A/N: Something I write to keep myself entertained really while trying to stay out of trouble. If i get some positive feedback i will upload more. forgive any typos, its all in good fun.
Where to start
The story of a world, magical, cruel and ever-changing
After fevered dreams, Millirain finally woke up. Night had come and gone without notice to her. The room was empty and a low fire crackled, complimenting the steady rain at the window. She felt at peace, safe at the moment, when a loud knock had her jump up in bed. A slight muffle was heard downstairs, a moment of silence, then quiet hooves against the wooden floor approached.
Vilrina, the loyal succubus and one of her only friends peaked inside the door. "My, master, there is a Draenei here to see you, carrying a letter... and a pair of axes. She wishes to speak to you on behalf of her daughter and the king. Her daughter is Sevorix." Millirain attempted to stand and Vilrina was at her side instantly. "If you still need rest I will send her away. You were gravely injured."
"Thank you, I am okay. Please see to her, get her anything she needs. I will be down shortly."
V ilrina bowed and went to task. She quickly ran downstairs and opened the door to the smiling Draenei. Vilrina looked up at her studying her for the briefest of moments "My master will see you momentarily, please come in if you will." The Draenei ducked slightly to enter the doorway and followed her host to a large sitting area in the living room.
"Please sit and make yourself comfortable. The master is still recovering, but she will be down shortly. Would you like something to eat or drink while you wait?"
The Draenei looked around for a moment then suddenly focused on Vilrina with a smile that looked menacing, making Vilrina feel a tinge of fear rise up in her stomach.
"I have never seen a warlock or her minions before fighting on the same side as me." She leaned the two huge axes she carried against the chair She had claimed. "It is very... pleasant I would say, yes. What do you call yourself?"
Vilrina did not know what to make of her, but she knew she was dangerous. She did not want this woman anywhere near her master. The weight of the weapons she carried could be felt as they touched the floor.
"My name is Vilrina, I serve my masters will. And I will see to her safety always."
The Draenei laughed curtly and sat in the leather armchair as she held her hands up. "My now, I am not here to hurt anyone. I would have not Knocked, Ha! I am called Kotala. And it is a pleasure to meet you. You are very Interesting. I am looking forward to this assignment, yes."
"I will explain everything to your master and yourself. It will be great! Could I trouble you for a drink? Something Strong Yes"
Millirain was getting dressed, trying to remember what exactly had happened. She had been in bed for days trying to recover. Her wounds were healed but She was still weak and her memory was foggy on all the details. She was in the Blasted Lands doing some work for the warlock's guild when She stumbled on a dragon's nest. The ordeal had nearly killed her. If She had not been found by the Draenei that was ready to kill her for just being a warlock she would not have made it. but her rescuers mother was downstairs and asked to speak with her.
Concentrating on Vilrina for a moment summoned her. The door to her room creaked open and Vilrina came inside looking to her master.
"Tell me Vilrina what do you make of her?"
She came close and whispered, "She is dangerous, my master. She could kill us at any moment, and she reeks of the light. Not like the paladin, Sevorix, that rescued us. Something Deep and frightening that I cannot explain, she does look related to Sevorix So she may be telling the truth she is her mother. Her demeanor is playful somewhat, I am very concerned with her being here. And to top it all off she is drinking So early in the morning! Please master, be careful."
Millirain smiled and gently touched Vilrina's arm, "Come with me." She felt a strange pang of anger that was very unlike her Followed by concern and frustration suddenly. Why would that upset her?
Downstairs Kotala laughed as a small imp refilled her cup. "You are a fine little creature. Humans really do make fine spirits. You are right."
"It's a shame the master does not drink and enjoy them without it being a special occasion. You will enjoy this, a personal favorite of mine, aged to Perfection. What do you think?"
"Wonderful! In all my years I would never have imagined I would be sharing a drink with an imp."
Millirain slowly walked downstairs hearing the conversation between her Imp and her guest. She stopped in her tracks at the imp saying that he knew what She really was. Leaning on the rail of her stairwell She listened.
"I am sure it is unusual for a lightforged to have any dealing at all with demons of any sort."
Kotala smiled and took a sip from the cup in her hand. "I am impressed honestly. There have not been many at all, outside my people, that know what lightforged are. You, my little friend, are much more cunning than I would have given You Credit for." Kotala looked over to the hallway. "Maybe I can still learn a few things, yes."
Not wanting to delay any longer at risk of being caught eavesdropping, Millirain came to join her guest.
"Forgive me for the delay, I have been recovering from a rather serious injury and am a tad bit sore still. My name is Millirain of House Ironstone. I have your thanks to have made it back alive I have been told."
"I am glad to see you recovering well. My name is Kotala, and there is no need to thank me, it was my daughter that found and healed you. I just had a lucky guess on where to send her." She Pulled out the letter from her belt with a wax royal seal on it. "You have friends in high places it seems. The alliance and my people request your knowledge."
"Really now?" Millirain broke the seal and read out loud.
Noble warlock Millirain, the alliance needs the expertise a woman of your caliber. There is a demonic infestation just inside the dark portal taking place at Honor Hold. As always, your name comes highly recommended in these matters. The Draenei have sent an escort to accompany You and keep you safe. Please make haste, your guide, Kotala, is well versed in combat and tactics. Use her experience to your advantage, we pray for your safe journey. See Vindicator command on your arrival. On your journey please pick up supplies in Darkshire ready for your task at hand. Signed King Wynne.
I have never been to the Out lands, nor have I been the head of an investigator before. I wonder how or even why I was selected. She said to no one in particular.
The Draenei Stood and walked over to Millirain, bringing the warlocks focus back to this world. Kotala's large stature made Millirain uncomfortable as she neared and place a hand on her shoulder.
"You have been chosen because those of us that have seen your deeds know you fix any problem with demons. My daughter spoke of your quick thinking and actions. Her word alone has been enough for me, have faith in yourself child, there are many who already do," She patted her shoulder gently before turning to look for her drink. "How soon will you be able to travel?"
All of this was happening too fast for Millirain. The grogginess of sleep still could be felt in her mind and her body ached more than it ever had. She would have turned it all down if it were not for the lopsided smirk Kotala was giving her from behind the drink. The anticipation in her eyes and the feeling of excitement was contagious.
"I was nearly killed two days ago... I am not ready for an adventure. I've never even met a Draenei before."
"My daughter would be sad to hear that. She called you a friend and sent me to check on your wellbeing"
"No! I am sorry that's not what I meant!"
Kotala laughed, "My child I am joking. I understand it is much to ask. Your skills are what we need, Sevorix thought you would enjoy it. we would not force you on this quest. What? you seem puzzled"
For the life of her Millirain could not know why Sevorix thought she would enjoy a dangerous quest. In fact, she was nearly no recollection of speaking much to her. The trip from the Blasted Lands was pain and exhaustion. Her sanity was tested as she clung to life.
"I… I don't remember much of my time with your daughter. Forgive me. I remember a voice telling me hold on and keep talking... telling me to just keep talking. I don't even remember getting back into the city."
Kotala looked sad. "My poor child, I did not realize how bad it was. You have been home in bed for almost four days now. She stayed with you two nights healing. You had a fever and spoke much to her about yourself. I suppose that is where She thought to Include you in this."
Millirain looked to Vilrina, feeling some strange emotion coming off her, and when she noticed her master's gaze, Millirain felt the fear come from her, making herself feel it for a moment.
"Master what she says is true. The paladin did stay two nights and healed you for a very long time. I was unable to stay by your side because of the use of the light. It sapped my strength and since our soul link I thought- "
"Soul link!" Millirain cried out as she covered her face with her hands. She felt herself grow weak in the knees. She tried to hold it in but could not help it when she began to cry. She was not ready for such a commitment in the demonic arts. This was a step that there was no easy way back. Why were her emotions so hard to control?
Kotala had guided her to a Chair and knelt in front of her.
"Breath my child. You are safe here. Come now, you are all right."
"Kotala, I don't remember what happened. I lost days and I may have blemished my soul. Your daughter sounds like an amazing person and I am ever grateful. But I can't even picture her face. I am a terrible person." She sat back in her chair and rubbed her eyes. When She open her eyes, Kotala held out a almost palm sized locket.
"The picture is almost two hundred years old, but that's her. See."
Millirain could not help but laugh at the small joy. "She is beautiful, thank you Kotala."
"Do not tell her I have it. it would embarrass her I think. She was a child then maybe only twenty at the time. She is much tougher now, but She will always be my little angle."
"Thank you Kotala, that means a lot for you to Show me this... She looks like you." She closed the locket and handed it back to her. A breath of a pause passed and Millirain exhaled slowly. "Could we leave first thing in the morning? I need some time to reflect and I especially want to brew some potions for the journey"
"Of course, my child. I will meet you here at Dawn with my gear. Rest well until then." She picked up her pair of axes and clipped them to her belt before showing herself out.
Millirain Sat staring at the floor until she heard the front door open and close.
"Come here Vilrina, we need to talk about this. I need to know everything that you saw and what was done"
Through succubus eyes
"Master, please forgive me. I did not know you had forgotten as much as you have. Please do not be angry with me. I had to link our souls when you lay near death from the black drake. It was the only thing to be done, I did not know the paladin was friendly before."
Millirain rubbed her temples trying to remember. A soul link was deep in Dark magic that most warlocks avoided. Sharing your essence with a demon made you stronger in every physical way, but it left you vulnerable to the demon. Only the strongest of wills could succeed because she knew no matter how much control she had, there was never a wise choice in trusting a demon with your soul. "Walk me through the day Vilrina. Everything we did. Everything you did. Tell me a story of it like I remember not even what city we live." She motioned for her to sit across from her. As Vilrina looked to the chair, Millirain again felt a stir of emotions come from the Succubus. She knew the soul link was one hundred percent true.
Vilrina Sat, then cleared her throat, starting from the beginning.
4 Days ago
A feminine figure walked through the trade distinct taking worried glances about every corner, A Dark hooded cloak concealed as best as possible a pair of curved horns and a nervous succubus. Knowing how much danger she was in and the amount of trouble she could cause made her paranoid. A young child running bumped into her leg and bounce off, startling them both.
"Sorry miss, didn't see you"
"It's quite all right child, please hurry along and go play," She said as she tried to shoo the child away. He had already continued on at top speed rounding another corner. A relived sigh escaped her lips.
Vilrina took not even three steps before her hoof dislodged a loose stone, causing her to fall hard to the ground with a grunt. A man in mail armor was to her side offering her help.
"My lady, are you hurt? That was... quite the... Demon?!"
"Please it is not what you think! I am bound to my master of the Alliance."
The man had grasped her arm forcefully and pulled her up to stand. A short sword was in his other hand as he pushed her against the bricked wall, "You think us humans not familiar with your games demon! Out for a soul to steal so early in the morn. Or still out from your night walk of weak willed men! Huh?! What have you to say.?"
She struggled with him until the cold steel touched her throat. Life again was unfair no matter how many you live, she thought. However, as luck would have it, a guard just off patrol heard the commotion.
"sir! Unhand her now!"
"Guard! She is a demon; do you not see! "
Vilrina moved her hands into view of the guard. "I am bound, see? My wrists! I am bound to my master of the alliance! I have done nothing!"
The guard approached slowly looking to her wrist. He pulled free his sword and shield. "I said unhand her, sir" he said calmly but with enough force. The assailant looked back at the guard, then to her with disgust as he let her go. She moved quickly behind the guard on the side of his shield.
"You may be new to these parts good sir, but we do have laws here in Stormwind. She is bound as you can see. Put up your sword and we will sort this out before anyone gets hurt."
As the angry man put his sword away, the guard took out a ledger and flipped through a few pages. "We will have this straight. Your name, miss? And who you are bound to?"
"Vilrina, I am bound to my Master Millirain Ironstone" Again she held out her wrist to show the markings on the cuffs. The guard looked at them and nodded as he turned more pages. An approving grunt and he turned the small book toward the man to read.
"Her and her masters name along with a etched symbol matching hers. She is a Stormwind citizen and you will not raise your hand to her again. Are we clear sir?"
The man burned red with anger as he squinted to see the writing. He straightened his coat and turned away from them. "This is not worth the effort, she is scum and not to be trusted!" He spit on the floor and walked away.
Vilrina was shaken up slightly but unharmed. The guard turned to her as she pulled up her hood again. "Apologies I was not there sooner. Using the hood like that will only bring the wrong impressions."
"I did not want any to know my whereabouts. "
The guard studied her for a moment, "What are you doing out here? Where is your master?"
"She is asleep still. I am out here looking for... A gift for her birthday." She looked at the floor when she said it. She could feel the embarrassment on her face as it warmed her cheeks,
"What? Really? Okay... carry on then" The guard was surprised by the honest answer, He gave a slight bow and carried on in the direction he was originally heading.
Vilrina laughed somewhat to herself. Never in her long life had she gone through this much trouble to please her master. She of course had to though, there had never been any time she was treated so well by any one. This warlock deserved to be treated better for the simple fact that she made Vilrina feel like a friend instead of a slave.
The trade district was the ideal place to find anything. The crowds were still thin and some shops were in the process of opening for the day. Vilrina knew she had to find something quick, she had to be back before the sun was fully up, her master would notice her missing for sure if she came back any later.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw exactly what she was looking for. She hoped her master would enjoy it.
Back at home, Vilrina opened the front door quietly and locked it behind her. She turned and saw the imp Yazfip looking up from a parchment at her.
"the master said for you to go see her as soon as you got back."
Vilrina's eyes widened as she took a quick step towards him and kept her voice low, "did she sound angry? Did she say why or what she wanted?
The imp laughed, "she said she wanted to talk to you, don't keep her waiting I am guessing"
She bit her lower lip as she looked up the stairs. Her master had never shouted at her or treated her bad before, yet she couldn't help but feel scared as she walked upstairs. Standing in front of the door, she took a breath and raised her hand to knock. Before she touched the door, she heard her master. "come in Vilrina."
Inside the upstairs bedroom Vilrina saw her master sitting at her desk blotting dry some ink in a book she was writing. She looked up at Vilrina and motioned for her to sit in the chair opposite her.
That was so meaningful to the succubus, she had been in her master's service for years and this was still so important to her. It stirred emotions she didn't fully understand.
"Is everything okay, Vilrina?" Millirain asked with concern in her voice.
"yes master. I am well." She was nervous. She realized she was still holding the gift in her lap.
"You have never left on your own like that, Vilrina." She concentrated on her for a moment, noticing she was indeed looking very nervous. "Tell me, truthfully…are you well? What were you doing on your own? I was worried"
Vilrina let a quick laugh slip out and a tear rolled down her check. She quickly wiped it and apologized. Thinking she would be in trouble or her master would be angry was what she was expecting, her being concerned made her happy and gave the feeling of relief.
Millirain reached out her hand to Vilrina then caught herself. She waiting for Vilrina to respond.
"My master…I was just. I am so sorry, forgive me." She picked up the small bundle she had in her lap and slowly slid it across the desk to her master. "It is your birthday. I wished to show you my appreciation."
Millirain gasped, completely surprised.
"You remembered my birthday? Vilrina, I don't know what to say. Thank you so very much. This is most unexpected. May I open it?"
Vilrina clasped her hands together as she smiled and nodded. Millirain pulled the string from the package to reveal a pair of bracelets with a smoky purple gem in each. She gently picked the gift up to admire them closer. "they are beautiful, and enchanted! Yes, shadow magic for sure. Thank you, Vilrina! I love them!"
Millirain put them on and made her hands into fist. The gems glowed briefly and she laughed. She came around the desk and hugged Vilrina. The succubus tensed up, unsure how to respond to her master.
"I am glad you like them, master. Happy Birthday." She returned the hug only briefly before standing up. She could honestly say she loved and feared her master evenly. Trusting herself to not feel lust for her in an embrace was a feat she did not dare at the moment.
Millirain noticed her pull away and turned her head away from her. She had a feeling it was because the succubus was afraid of her. There had been many times when she pulled away from her touch or even covered her eyes when she had raised her voice. Maybe now was the time to bring it up. Millirain thought since she went out of the way to remember her birthday and get her gift, she would be more open to talking.
"Vilrina, can we speak openly for a moment."
"of course, master."
"I know you have always been nervous around me. Even seemed scared of me. Be honest with me, Vilrina. Have I done something wrong or ever been cruel to you."
"no master, you have always treated me so well and better than I could have dreamed of. You have done no wrong in my eyes."
"Why are you so scared of me then? I look to you as a friend. We have spent many years with each other out missions and adventures. I have trusted you with my life, Vilrina."
"Master, I…I am not afraid of you."
Millirain sighed, she saw even now Vilrina wanted out of the situation. The warlock knew what she had to do.
"Please Vilrina. I can prove you are." She pulled her hand back like she was going to hit Vilrina. The succubus's eyes widened in shock. Vilrina dropped to her knees and covered her head.
"Forgive me, mistress!" she cried out. Millirain dropped to the floor and embraced her.
"Shhhhh, Vilrina I am sorry. I won't hurt you. Forgive me, I did not know it would upset you like it did. I would never hurt you." She stroked Vilrina's hair as she comforted her. "Why did you call me mistress? Tell me what is wrong Vilrina. Please. I am here for you"
The succubus held her master close, gripping her robes and crying into her shoulder. Extreme emotions were normal for succubus, but they were normally controlled and used as weapons of manipulation to their advantage. Vilrina had to come clean with everything, she knew.
"My master, please forgive me. Yes, I was afraid you. I had a master, before your lifetime, that could have been your twin. Everything in your appearance, mannerisms, and even your scent was the same. To call her cruel was a vast understatement. I have been in service of many before, but she had broken me completely. She used my immortality in such a way where my suffering never ended even in death. I had been tortured to death by her, and always more souls were sacrificed to bring me back to her.
There were so many times where I was beaten for no reason at all. Some times it was not pleasing her, others it was not answering to her satisfaction. I was less than an object. I did nothing to earn the cruelty she inflicted upon me. I am a demon, I have done much evil willingly, but no one deserved what she did to me.
I am ashamed to compare her to you. You have done more for me and others than I thought possible. You do treat me like a friend instead of a tool. I know what I am worth, and you have always made me feel that I know nothing of my worth. Holding me in such high regard has made me feel like I really was your friend. I had never had a friend even considered before you.
That is why I held so much shame inside. You should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as her. It was so hard to remember sometimes you were not her though."
"Vilrina, I am so sorry for making you remember. I only wished to have you trust me with your true feelings, because I knew there was something wrong. I do not want you to be afraid of me anymore. I will not hurt you Vilrina, you are my friend. Okay?"
Vilrina smiled and looked up at Millirain, feeling a knot in her chest loosen for once. "Thank you, master. I would like that very much."
Millirain helped Vilrina stand and reached into her cloth pouch at her hip. She pulled out a shimmering shard with a pinkish hue and handed it to her. "recover your strength, Vilrina. Relax down stairs for a spell and we can talk more about this later if you wish. I will finish up my work and we will go for herbs soon thereafter. Be ready for travel, okay?"
"Yes, thank you master. I will be ready" and she hurried downstairs. She made her way to the study and looked at the shard her master handed her. The swirling magic within was a piece of lost soul. It was the fuel of her kinds life force, the main source of power to demons.
Vilrina slowly absorbed the powers from the shard as she sat in a chair facing the window. It was her master's favorite chair that seemed to draw her. For years now, she had struggled with her feelings for her master. Her fear was a driving force to make her obey every command. Now, with her fear finally beginning to fade, she wanted to make her master happy and be a good servant for the simple reason of just wanting to now. Her master thought of her as a friend, and she wanted to make her proud of her now more than ever.
Vilrina watched a bird land on a potted plant outside and smiled. The shard had been fully absorbed and she was feeling better than she had about her life now than she could recall in a very long time. Still there was the pain of her past, but for now the future looked bright with her master leading them to their next adventure.
The Blasted Lands
Millirain continued to write in her book about the potion she was developing for the warlock's guild. She needed just one more component but knew she would have to harvest it herself, it too rare a plant to be for sale in the city. Double checking the list of ingredients, she nodded and closed her book, stuffing it into her pack she was ready to shoulder.
A quiet jingle caught her attention in her bag. Her bracelets had touched. Looking at them on her wrists she smiled, she loved the look did feel the enhancements they brought from the shadows. The main offensive abilities she had were all based on shadow and felfire, even her curses were strengthened by the bracelets. Vilrina made a wonderful selection.
The stairway creaked as Millirain put on her pack while walking down the stairs. "Let's get going, Vilrina. We have to catch a griffin as close to the blasted lands as we can get. You ready?"
"Yes master, I have potions, food and water packed. I am ready."
"Wonderful, Yazfip! Mind the house will you. I'll put up some wards. Expect us back tomorrow."
The imp bowed to her then vanished with a quiet thud. Millirain opened her front door and rubbed her hand on the doorframe. She spoke a few words and stepped back as she felt the vibration of her magic work as the door locked itself. Satisfied, she nodded and took Vilrina's arm as she walked towards the trade district.
"We should be able to take a flight, I don't think we'll be lucky enough to get one coming back. The weather is looking ominous."
They walked arm in arm, Millirain concentrating on her objective as Vilrina took in all the sites, loving every moment. They had never walked together like this, but the gift and the talk earlier made them both much more comfortable around each other.
The city was alive and vibrant at mid day. The trade district was central to all the commotion you could ever hope for. Millirain looked at tables and hooks of hanging herbs at the slim chance she would find what she needed to no avail.
The ramp up to the flight master was two stories up in zigzagging wooden planks. At the top a flight master marked pins on a charted map rubbing his chin in thought.
"Good afternoon, good sir. I would like to book a flight to nether guard keep in the blasted lands."
The burly man grunted, "I am sorry, but the closest I can get you is the swamp of sorrows. There have been some strange activity in the blasted lands. Lots of fell magic in the air reports says."
"Well, if that's the closest we can get." She pulled some gold pieces from her belt and handed them to him. He helped them both mount up on the Griffin then whistle sharply to have it take flight.
The flight was smooth for the most part. There was enough elevation and time for Millirain to force herself to forget how much she hated heights.
Hours went by quickly, and the swamp of sorrows was in view. The Griffin banked hard and dove once they were passed the Deadwind Pass. A small alliance camp came into sight and the Griffin made a line to it, landing gently and squawking loudly. Two men came up and greeted the Griffins call and pulled him into a area, helping the riders off.
"From Stormwind! How goes it warlock. Heard news of the Draenei in the area?"
Millirain approached the man with a questioning gaze, "Draenei? No, I haven't heard anything. I have never seen one in person. I thought they were still being taken in by the night elves. Are they well enough as a race to make moves on their own?"
"Oh! You haven't heard anything at all? Well it looks like they have mobilized. There is something going on with them. Something with the light I hear. Haven't seen it, but they say some of them are fanatical. Binding themselves to the light, killing every trace of fel anything. Warlocks like yourself included. It's got the locals praying to the light and the horde is real scarce cause of it."
"Killing warlocks? Really now? Well, I'll be careful."
Millirain walled outside the camp and rummaged through her pack. Vilrina approached her cautiously. "Master, we should be careful. Maybe it isn't just a story. The Draenei are not known very well to the alliance yet. They could be fanatics, maybe they want to hurt you."
"Now, now Vilrina. Everything will be fine. We are going to a nearly deserted land, we won't see anyone out there except the poor souls at the nether Gard keep."
Vilrina nervously looked around, feeling like she was being watched. She wanted to keep her master safe, but was there really a fanatic sect of Draenei killing warlocks? She was afraid for her master.
Millirain found the what she was looking for. A chard piece of a hoof. She let her shadow magic flow through it for a moment as she whispered to it. Tossing it on the ground in front of her made a fiery red circle with symbols of a gateway burning to life. A horse cry echoed as it burst from the center of the circle.
Millirain came over and pet the nose of the horse as if it wasn't a demon with scales instead of fur. Like all her minions, this creature loved her master. He knelt down so she could climb up on him.
Millirain held out her hand to Vilrina to climb up to. She hesitated for a moment but did so.
"maybe a couple hours ride and we will be where we need to be. Once we find our herbs we can make camphor take refuge in the keep if we have to."
Vilrina was worried but the ride distracted her. She had to hold her master close from behind as they picked up speed. She loved it. The ride was timely but she had hoped it would have been just a bit longer.
Heat from the blasted lands greeted them as they rode down the road. The keep far to the east could be made out in the distance. Millirain led them down some ways till the road was nearly non-existent. She jumped off and touched the ground.
"it looks like it's going to be close. We will have a little hike ahead of us." She unsummoned her horse and picked up the still smoking hoof for storage.
Heading east off the path into a rough terrain with loose dirt, Millirain would stop and take a scoop of earth in her hands and smell it. She nodded as the approached a small rocky hill.
"It should be just up there. Perfect spot for dragons tooth or purple lotus. I'll climb up there and check. Keep a look out."
"master, do you hear that? Something in the air"
Millirain was already climbing up, "there is a magic in the air, I can feel it. Come up here and scan the horizon. I found what we need." She took out a small blade and cut the plant down and pulled it out by the root. She stuffed it in her bag and dug some more in the ground.
"Vilrina, do you see anything out of the ordinary." She said without looking up. She found more roots and packed those as well. As Vilrina has flew up above a few feet above her master she looked hard to the west. "no master, there is nothing but I still hear something I can not identify"
"Okay, we can get going. Everything is ready and packed. Oh no! Vilrina! Don't move" she moved to her feet and rushed over to her. "you're standing on a dragon's egg. This is a nest."
Vilrina froze and looked down. Her right hoof was on an egg she had mistaken for a rock. She slowly took the pressure off it and stepped off. "I'm sorry master, I didn't see it."
"It's okay, I didn't see it either. It wasn't broken so we should be fine. Jump down here and lets… by the gods." The dragon that was out hunting was returning to its nest, and it noticed them. A roar and sound of piercing wind was closing in.
"Run master! I will distract it!"
"We fight it together or we will both die. Brace yourself. I'm bringing it down." She pulled her rune etched dagger out and started chanting. Shadow enveloped her, then fel flame. She strained and the dragon was engulfed in a shadowing flame. It roared in pain and fell to ground in a burst of dust.
The ground shook as it got up and started running towards them. Millirain did not let up as shadow bolts flew from her hands one after the other. Vilrina had lashed out her whip, breaking a weak spot, but not stopping it from swatting her away as it continued its charge to Millirain.
Millirain held up her hand then made a fist and the dragon roared as it caught fire. She ducked a claw but screamed as the other caught her in the back, tearing her clothes and flesh alike. It then balled up its fist and backhanded her, rolling her body like a rag doll. The dragon was near death but turned to finish off the warlock.
Vilrina jumped in between the dragon and her master and lashed her whip right in the eye of the dying dragon. It reeled back and fell over to its side with a thud. Vilrina waited a moment to make sure the creature stopped moving, then ran to Millirain.
She saw her lying face down but moving and was feeling relief until she saw how deep the wounds were. She gasped "no…no. Master what do I do? On no" she cried and opened up a healing potion. She remembered what her master has taught her about human anatomy and the basic first aid lessons she had given her.
She poured the potion on the open wounds, hearing Millirain cry. "master, please hold on." She rubbed the tears from her own eyes as she pulled bandages from Millirain's pack. She put them on as best she could, worrying about the amount of blood there was.
"Master, please talk to me. What else can I do. I can't stop the bleeding. I Have pressure on it and it slow but it won't stop."
"Vilrina…it hurts so much."
"Master, we have to link souls. You are dying. I can save you, I can take the pain."
"No!" Millirain knew she was slipping into unconsciousness. Vilrina knew her master was completely against the link, but there was no other way.
"Trust me master. I swear I will still be yours fully to command. We are friends. Please master, I would die for you. I won't damage your soul, I love you, master. Please. You need to link with me or you will die. Please. Please don't die." She held her hand out to Millirain.
They held eye contact with each other, Vilrina pleading, and Millirain considering if she really did trust. She had to, she took Vilrina's hand and felt the link start.
Vilrina's back exploded in pain as the soul link took place. Millirain's strength was starting to return, but the relief of the pain let her close her eyes for a moment. The succubus folded her wings in and laid down on her side next to her master. The pain she took was incredible, she had no idea how her master had stayed conscious for so long.
As she laid there catching her breath, she felt the link. She felt guilty for making the link under these circumstances, her master didn't want this. Her life was more important than anything to Vilrina. She wished it could have been for a better reason, but the link was almost impossible to break now. She would deal with the circumstances later, now she had to make sure the master made it out of here alive.
Vilrina checked Millirain's back and indeed the bleeding had stopped. She doubled up the bandages and tried to wake her up.
"master, drink this potion." She helped her drink and Millirain slowly opened her eyes.
"Vilrina? I need to recover. Help me sit up."
"It's going to hurt us moving you, master. Maybe I can hide you somewhere while I get help?"
"No, I need you here, you are my only defense. I can recover and then summon our dread steed, just stay near." She coughed into the ground.
Vilrina put her hand on Millirain shoulder. "something is fighting, I can hear steel on steel." Her indigo eyes scanned the land. She saw a felgaurd losing a fight to another demon, one that moved fast and she had trouble making out.
The felguard grunted as a sword went through its chest. Vilrina knew now why the felguard had no chance. It was an Ereader, and it was looking right at Vilrina now. It pulled its sword and started walking towards her with it at the ready.
Vilrina knelt down next to her master, she knew even if they were both at full strength they would have trouble with this demon. "master, please listen. There is an ereader coming to us with a sword drawn."
"An Ereader?! No…" Millirain was so weak at this point. Vilrina's emotions of sadness and fear were pouring into her.
"lay still, if it thinks you are dead, it may pass you by. I will do what I can…master if this is the last time we are together, I want you to know I have never loved anything in all the worlds more than I have loved you"
Pain gripped Vilrina as she stood and went to meet the Ereader. It had dark blue-plate armor on inscribed with red and gold. The sword it carried dripped of demon blood. It was so tall, easily seven feet tall as its stride was menacing. It reached behind it's back and pulled out a shield just before Vilrina was in range.
She let out her whip but it was parried easily by her sword. She tried for its leg, but it was so fast for being as large as it was. It knocked the whip to the ground with its sword and dipped down quickly into a blur and smashed Vilrina in the chest with her shield.
Vilrina was airborne for a moment, and as soon as she hit the ground there was a armored hoof crushing her shoulder. This was it, she thought. She was no match for this demon, her master would hopefully be left alone after she was gone. Maybe the demon wouldn't notice her. Vilrina glanced in her direction and felt her heart drop. Millirain was casting a spell.
The demon was fully focus on Vilrina when a fel fire bolt hit her side, not even making her stumble. This demon was more surprised than anything as it looked over at Millirain crying. The demon held its side for a moment, the spell did have a effect after all.
Vilrina struggled against the pressure on her. "leave her alone! She's already going to die here without me. Take my life and be gone. Leave her be!"
The Ereader looked down at her and pointed her sword at her throat. "not a word from you," she said with a thick accent. She looked back over to Millirain.
"where do you hail from human?" she asked to Millirain. She looked at her but couldn't answer. She had used the last of her strength on that spell, she fell over unconscious.
"please don't hurt her. She innocent, please." Vilrina begged. The Ereader looked down even more surprised now. She moved her hoof off the succubus, and Vilrina scrambled over to Millirain falling over near her but crawling to pick her head up and hold her. With her one good arm she hugged her as she heard the footsteps close in.
"Please leave her alone, please. We won't tell anyone we saw an Ereader here. Just let her live. We are no threat to you"
"I am no Ereade, I am a Draenei. And you are bound to this human yes?" she said as she knelt close to them. "what are you two doing out here? Why do you think I am a Ereader?"
"I have never seen a Draenei before, I am sorry. We are alliance, I am bound to her. She was picking herbs when the dragon attacked. We mean you no trouble. Please leave us be." Vilrina was scared, her master was hurt and this Draenei could still kill them both. The story of the fanatics lingered in her mind as she held her masters unconscious body.
The Draenei reached for Vilrina. She closed her eyes pulled Millirain closer and readied herself for the inevitable blow. She was shocked when she felt gentle fingers on her face. Her eyes met the Draenei's.
"You poor child, I will help you. Do not be afraid. Let me check her wounds. Come now, I can heal." She put her arms out.
Vilrina studied her through teary eyes. She looked at her master, covered in blood and dirt, lifeless in her arms. She lifted her tiny frame and moved her to the Draenei. "Its her back, she was clawed deep. I stopped the bleeding but just barely. Please help us, I don't know what I would do without her."
The Draenei turned Millirain over, laying her over Vilrina's lap. She looked at the bandages, then placed her hand over her back. A soothing gold light drifted from her palm to Millirain. The Draenei concentrated for a moment, then pulled a bandage free. Underneath the wounds were healing, but they were deep still. She removed all the bandages and tore Millirain robes open more to expose more skin.
The Draenei prayed and let the light shine again directly into Millirain's wounds. Vilrina felt lightheaded watching from so close. She saw the wounds were slowly closing, amazed at seeing the light heal firsthand. The mending was as good as could be done in such a short time.
A tap of water to the ground started to rhythmically beat. The rain slowly crept up on them in a light drizzle. The Draenei saw Vilrina's shoulder had already formed a heavy dark bruise.
"forgive me, I see I have hurt you as well. Let me fix that." A quick flash of light hit Vilrina causing her to cry out. It burned like fire on her skin, but it did heal her shoulder. The pain cause Millirain to stir, them being linked and not yet able to work out the mechanics just right. "I am sorry, I thought it would hurt for a moment. I have never healed a demon before. Let me get my elk, we need to find a place to rest."
She got up and walked back down from the direction she came from. Vilrina touched Millirain's back and sighed. She had only felt a fraction of the pain and found it unbearable. Her master was ready to sacrifice herself instead of letting her protect her. She loved this stubborn woman, she only wished she would have been able to keep her safe. "master, we are going to be okay. Master can you hear me?"
Millirain stirred and opened her eyes. She was groggy and still in pain. "Vilrina? What's happening?"
The Draenei had returned leading a large elk by the reigns. She knelt down and picked up Millirain like she weighed nothing. She was scared but to weak to resist. "I am here to help you little one. You are safe. Do you feel pain anywhere beside your back?"
"who are you, where are you taking me? Vilrina?" she looked back to Vilrina who was getting up slow. She came over to them and took her master's hand.
"I am here master. We are taking you home. She is here to help us. Tell me if you hurt anywhere. She needs to know."
Millirain eyes closed for a moment "I have a terrible ringing in my ears and pain in the back of my skull. I feel sick, very nauseous"
Walking towards the elk, the Draenei quietly prayed, enveloping them both in a soft glow. She climbed up on the creature still holding Millirain and settled her into a comfortable position in front of her. She placed a hand on her forehead to heal her slowly. "you are hurt very bad, but I will make sure you recover. You there! Climb up, he can carry us all." She motioned to Vilrina.
Once everyone was on she gave a quick kick and a click or her tongue to start at an even pace. "my name is Sevorix. What is your name, little warlock?"
Millirain was disconnected from her surroundings, viewing and hearing through a fog. Vilrina looked around Sevorix when she got no reply from her master. She was worried and wished she could do something. She called out to her, causing her come to for a moment.
"My name? I'm Millirain. What was your name?"
The Draenei smiled, "I am Sevorix. Please tell me a little about yourself. Why come out here in this weather so far from home."
Vilrina had realized then that she was trying to keep her master awake and talking. Was her injury more serious then Sevorix was letting on?
"we came out here too…I am suddenly very worried and scared. Why though? It feels like someone else is in my head." She said and rubbed her brow. Sevorix put her hand over her head and tried to sooth her. Vilrina however knew what was happening. Her feeling were running rampant and in turn it was effecting her master now. The soul link was connected them in many ways.
"You are okay, Millirain. Tell me though what made you come out here?"
"I was looking for herbs, rare herbs. Dragons teeth. I found them, and a purple lotus too was bunched up in the center."
"All this way for an herb, it must be very rare. You are an adventurer I take it?"
Millirain laughed, "I would not call myself that. I have been through much, but I am not an adventurer. I wish I was though sometimes."
"what is to stop you? I saw the dead dragon by your feet. That was something yes?"
"Well, that's how it always goes though. No one asked for my help or needed advice or anything. I got myself into this trouble on my own. I am capable. I am strong and smart and I am only thought of as an alchemist." Millirain was rambling now. She was slurring some words but staying awake.
"tell me, Millirain, what you would like to do then."
"well, I would like to go on an adventure, and research containing and disrupting fel magic. I have written books on containment, exorcism, lye lines, power sources and summoning rituals. I know what I'm doing, but I have never found a need. A goal really. You know what I mean?"
"I understand, my little warlock. I may have something for you to help with once you feeling better."
Millirain leaned back into Sevorix and sighed. "I would like to hear about it. I am so tired though; can I sleep for a moment. I have a salve in my belt to counter fel magic. Did I hit you with a fel fire bolt? Are you okay? The salve will help you."
"I am fine little one. But no, not just yet for sleep, tell me a little of your childhood. Where did you grow up?"
"I grew up in Ironforge, the dwarves took me in after I lost my family. The gnomes taught me everything I know about fel magic, said I was a natural. It's strange though… I feel…numb almost. Am I dying?"
"No, you are not dying. How's the ringing in your ears? Any better?"
She listened to sounds in her head for a moment, "I hear nothing now. It is gone. Can I sleep now?"
"Go ahead and sleep then. I have you."
Millirain had fallen asleep almost instantly after she got permission. Sevorix turned back to Vilrina. "she is fine, I will keep healing her while we ride back. There is some fel magic on her, are you doing that?"
"It's keeping her strength up. I can't undo it right now. We did it in haste to make sure she would not bleed out."
Sevorix nodded, "whatever you did, it worked. She would have bled out from those wounds otherwise."
Sevorix pushed her elk hard. They stopped only once to drink and rest on the boarder of Duskwood and Redridge. Millirain had slept for a majority of the ride. She would occasionally wake to ask where they were and what was happening but fell back under before an answer could be given. Vilrina was sick from being near the light healing for so long. She held in her discomfort, she knew her master needed the healing.
Coming up on Stormwind was could not come sooner. Vilrina had thrown up several times, as they were coming up the main road. Sevorix asked what was wrong but every time Vilrina was claim everything was fine and it was normal cause her master was unconscious. She felt her masters strength drop at times but always returned after healing resumed.
Vilrina had guided Sevorix to their home on the outer edge of the mage district. Sevorix stabled her exhausted elk and carried Millirain behind Vilrina.
Vilrina had canceled the protection wards on the door and pushed it open. The candles lit and the fireplace came to life on entry.
"I need to have her comfortable while I heal her. She will sleep for many hours, let us put her to bed. You should rest too, you have been getting worse as the trip became longer." Sevorix said.
Vilrina led her upstairs to her master's bedroom. The heat from the fireplace was slowly warming the house, bringing a small smile to Vilrina. This made her feel at home, she was glad to be back and put the near-death experience behind her. She pulled down the blanket and undressed her master after she was placed in the bed. After she covered her she touched her forehead tenderly. Sevorix watched curiously, their interaction.
"you healing her with me so close was what made me ill, the light was too much for me to handle for such a long exposure. But the master is home and safe now. Is she going to be alright?"
"You should have said something, we could have stopped."
Vilrina was still looking at her master with a small smile, "she's what mattered. Thank you for everything you have done for us. I will bring you some food and water. You must be tired yourself."
"I would like that thank you. I will continue to heal her for as long as she needs." Sevorix had pulled the desk chair to the side of the bed.
Vilrina went downstairs to get some dried meats and fruits from the pantry with a pitcher of water and bottle of wine. She decided she would make a stew for when her master woke and if the Draenei would like something heartier to eat for later.
Upstairs she the familiar light from the Draenei cover her masters head in a soft glow, no more than a single candle would have done. She placed the refreshments down and sat at the foot of the bed.
Sevorix opened her eyes and looked up at Vilrina. "her wounds are no more of a worry on her back. The blow to her head was much deadlier. We are past danger though now. But I will stay with her till I am certain she will be one hundred percent."
Millirain stirred in her sleep as tears came out her closed eyes. Vilrina stood to look closer. Then looked to Sevorix for answers.
"maybe a bad dream. She's not in pain. Here." She shook her gentle by the shoulder. Millirain moved her head and half opened her eyes.
" where…we're home. I know you."
"Sevorix, yes you know me."
"I feel like I have not slept for days. Sevorix? How did we get home? Vilrina are you okay?"
Vilrina laughed and shed silent happy tears. She took her masters hand. "I am well, master. I was worried about you. Sevorix brought us both home. Everything is good now, master."
Sevorix ran her fingers through Millirain bangs then. "Just sleep now, okay? You are home and safe. You have had a rough day."
"Thank you, Sevorix. Thank you, Vilrina. I'll just close my eyes for a minute." She was fast asleep moments after.
Sevorix started her healing again. Vilrina stood and rubbed her face. Sevorix noticed, "Vilrina, go downstairs and rest. You being up here will make you sick again."
"But…" she looked at her master in bed.
"I will call to you if I need anything."
"Anything at all, please let me know. And eat, please. I will make you a meal for later." Vilrina left her to her prayers over her master. The effects of her sickness lessened noticeably as soon as she was downstairs. She kept herself busy by cooking.
The long wait was unbearable, she knew her master was safe now, but she wanted her to be up and walking about. She missed her. She would go upstairs to peak in and every time she did the Draenei was vigilantly healing. Even over night, the Draenei did not sleep, only healed. It was close to the second night fall that Vilrina had gone upstairs and saw the Sevorix had fallen asleep in the chair slumped over the bed.
Vilrina had woken her, trying to get her to use the guest room to rest. She declined and started healing again right after she had eaten.
Just before dawn, Vilrina was downstairs cataloging herbs when Sevorix finally had finished. "she is healed. I will check up on you both soon. She will sleep still but wake up better. Possibly tonight or tomorrow."
"We can not thank you enough. I am eternally grateful for what you have done. You are welcomed to rest in the guestroom here as long as you need. The master would not mind I am sure."
"I have family close by, thank you though. I will be in touch."
"Thank you Sevorix, my master would not have made it without you. Please call to me should you ever need anything"
Sevorix smiled, the exhaustion apparent in her eyes. "it was my pleasure. Farewell for now." And with that, Sevorix left.
Millirain slept uninterrupted for one more whole day, until the knock on the front door woke her.
The warlock took to the story like a child hearing her favorite fairytale, it felt familiar yet seeing it from another's perspective was intense. Feelings were elaborate because of Vilrina, she was understanding now what the soul link would mean. The parts where Vilrina was scared or concerned, she felt them like the feelings were her own. How would she ever get used to this? She was happy to be alive but would she truly have to love linked like she was, and if so, could she possibly embrace it and make herself stronger. These thoughts rushed through her mind as she was realizing she had to be careful with this.
"Master, I know you are confused and afraid. But please, I assure you I will help you with everything you need."
"Thank you Vilrina, I appreciate that very much. Come now, we need to brew some potions. I have a feeling that our Draenei friends will have us pushed to our limits. We need every advantage we can get."
Millirain began her work in the lab space she made adjacent to her kitchen. She let her mind wander, she could brew potions with her eyes closed. The soul link was disturbing her more than she cared to admit. Could she really talk to Vilrina about it? Or would her feelings betray her and show the succubus a vulnerability she could exploit. Just then felt a strange feeling, again not her own. You would describe it as lust, maybe even love, or even admiration all mixed together.
Millirain though for a moment and turned to look at Vilrina. The succubus quickly looked away and a wave of embarrassment washed over her. Millirain looked to her for a moment then resumed her work. She smiled and thought, so that is what goes on in her head.
Her thoughts again drifted to the possibilities of what this soul link could mean. Her demonology skills lacked some, yet it was the quick way to power that she might as well embrace. The step that had been taken was just the first step, how far was she willing to take it? The scent of the floral mixture brought her back.
"Finish up Vilrina, I am going to pack some scrolls and books that we may need. Five of each, okay?" she touched her shoulder as she walked passed her, causing both of them to shiver. No way she would be getting used to this anytime soon, she thought.
The private study upstairs had a locked trunk that used keys and wards to keep its contents safe. A low hum of energy could be felt as Millirain placed her hand on the seal. She pulled they key from her pocket and opened the trunk. The creek and groan of the hinges sounded as the lid lifted itself.
A demon flesh bound book sat in the center. Its eerie texture and shifting dark colors were a sign or its power, and danger to anyone you dared read it. This book had no title, but it was known to warlocks simply as the book of demonology, no one dared speak its origins or true name.
Millirain wondered how many copies were out there. How many warlocks had been tempted by its extreme rituals and power from it? Holding it in her hands, she knew she had to be careful. Millirain needed it for the ritual of containment, but she needed to see for herself what could be done now with the soul link.
Skimming through the pages, she made sure not to utter any phrases or words haphazardly. The soul link was there, and there we answer her questions right away. It could be broken with a heavy price to both souls, so that was out of the question. It could also be strengthened, benefiting both demon and warlock, but sacrifice had to be made.
"I could not ask for that, could I?" she read through the pages as quickly as her eyes could move. Would it really be so bad? Perhaps she would think on it more, infusing the souls in one body would make the powers of fel and shadow magic incredibly potent, she was not sure if she would lose herself to the rush of power a demon's soul would bring. No, she remembered it was not just a demon's soul, it was Vilrina's soul that she was talking about.
A weighted decision had to be made, but she was unsure just yet how to proceed. She packed the book in her travel bag along with a blank journal, ink, pens and parchment. In the meantime, she needed to be ready for travel.
Downstairs Vilrina kept to task and finished all the potions, elixirs, salves. The alchemy she learned from Millirain was fun for her, it helped her feel useful to her master that she was able to pick it up so fast.
Placing each container in her master's belt, she felt a pang of guilt and uncertainty come upon her suddenly. Her master's emotions were strong, but quickly contained. Vilrina looked to the ceiling, wondering what her master was doing to cause such thoughts.
Evening had come at last. Millirain came downstairs and sat in her leather arm chair overlooking her small garden. She had come to the decision to talk to Vilrina about her thought process.
Millirain stood and grabbed an apple from her fruit bowl, not remembering when she ate last. Finishing it, she walked outside to admire her garden in person. She sat on the bench against the fig tree she loved and concentrated on Vilrina to let her know she wanted to see her. A moment passed and Vilrina was there.
Gesturing to the spot next to her, Vilrina sat by her master on the bench.
"We have been together many years, and I have no doubt that you would do anything I asked of you. More so that you wanted to do it, rather than me having to command you. You saved my life when you didn't have to, Vilrina. You could have been free of my will many times. So I want to be honest with you. Now that we are soul linked, I have some idea how you feel at times. And I want to know what you think about what I'm about to tell you." Millirain paused and felt the bracelet outline on her wrist. She also felt the uneasy and scared feeling of Vilrina.
"Master? I am sorry I performed a soul link, please don't be rid of me. I only wish to serve you." Vilrina thought that she was going to set her free, and as a low-ranking demon as herself, that was a terrible fate. She wanted to cry out and beg to stay, but her master put her hand on her shoulder.
"Vilrina, I don't want to be rid of you. Don't be sorry, you did well. I can tell you are scared, but you do not have to be. I wanted to discuss our options. Our soul link will make us both stronger, and I know of a way to take the next step in that."
Vilrina sighed with relief. She was sure she was about to be banished. Her master embracing the soul link was a feat she never though she would see in her lifetime.
"I have researched about demonic infusion, but it would require a sacrifice from you. After our soul link has strengthened, I would be able to infuse our souls together. We would become one in a sense. Your consciousness would be there, but I would have complete control. We would both essentially be living through my body, but we would become so much stronger in every sense then we could ever be alone."
"I am yours to do as you wish, my master. If you would benefit, then I would lay my life down for you no matter what the reason."
"Vilrina, I want to know what you want. Be truly honest with me. This is a commitment like no other, you will be a part of my very essence."
She turned to face her master and took her hand. "I would, more than anything, wish to spend the rest of my existence with you, aiding you in every way possible. An eternity with you sounds to good to be true, my master. I would be honored. Tell me what to do to make it happen."
"the soul link will form naturally over time. After that the ritual can complete it. It might hurt us, but once it is done, we will be nearly unstoppable." Millirain felt excitement to the point where she was almost shaking. She realized they were both having the same feeling, amplifying the effects.
"okay Vilrina, let's take some time to rest. It's going to be a early start, and a long while before we are back home. I need us both to calm down for my sake, it's been a rough week."
The quiet night was embrace by the exhaustion of Millirain's aching body. She took to sleep soon after her eyes closed. Her last thoughts were of her adventures to come, and her powers to grow with Vilrina.
Dawn's light broke, and Kotala was right behind the sun rise. Her armor fully adorned with etched symbols of countless worlds and places she had seen in her lifetime. The deep black armor with gold trim and painted glyphs was well used, but truly magnificent to behold. The protection it had provided over the years had saved her life numerous times, complete with a helm she had clipped to her waistline in front of her left axe. The weapons swayed with her walk, the axes being her favorite tools of war, with two of many short swords, daggers, knives, retractable spear, and flintlock pistol she had all fitted into her armor. Her travel pack nicely tucked on the small of her back as everything was made battle ready. Her belt, filled with potions and various liquids, concealed the flask she pulled out and took a sip from as she stopped in front of Millirain's walk to her front door.
Vilrina had been waiting for her arrival. She opened the door for her and gestured for her to enter.
"Good morning, my master is finishing a spell upstairs. Would you care for anything before we depart"?
"Thank you, Vilrina. I am ready and do not require anything." She placed her helm on the table and leaned her axes on the same chair she favored last time. "this is a very large house for only your master. Does she have family?"
Vilrina was taken back by the question. "I… she…I will not answer personal questions on her behalf. I don't trust you."
Kotala smiled brightly, "I like that you are direct with me. Demons usually are deceitful, but you are something else entirely, are you not." She crossed her legs at her ankles and took another sip from her flask. "delightfully curious. I am very pleased."
Millirain had come downstairs and saw the tension between them. She felt Vilrina's protective nature of her kick in and knew she had to step in. "Good morning, Kotala. Is everything well?"
She stood and walked up Vilrina, "everything is splendid. I like this one. I truly do not mean any harm to either of you. I will protect you."
"Please forgive Vilrina. We would like to get to know you more, that is all. Would you mind if we asked you some questions"?
"I will answer what I can. Let us walk and talk. How does your health fare?" Kotala picked up her helm and weapons.
"I am well, weak but getting stronger by the moment. Vilrina has helped much. Her and I are linked now. How much do you know about demonology? Yazfip, stay in the nether incense I need you to help, I'm going to ward the house."
"I know a lot about demons. Very much. But you are something new. A concept I do not understand fully. So many lifetimes of war…and now I sworn to protect you both. My people are a long-lived race, and I am a soldier in a war that has been eternal so far." She took a sip from her flask as she kept pace.
Millirain held Vilrina's arm as they walked. She ended up liking the physical contact more now. "Kotala, how old are you?"
"well now, let's see. I was with the prophet when he lead our people off our home world. So, I would say a little over twenty-five thousand. You eventually stop keeping track. I have been alive far longer than most."
"That is amazing! The oldest night elf I know of is no where near that. I am, we all are children to you."
"My daughter has a few centuries herself, but please we are allies, and I hope to someday become friends. I am very accepting, and different for other Draenei you will meet. You have my respect, I have heard much about you." Kotala smiled and looked back at Vilrina. "my daughter told me about you too, and I nearly did not believe her. From how you care for her and you were ready to kill a demon to protect her."
"To protect my master, I would kill anyone!" Vilrina was upset, causing Millirain to stand between them quickly. She felt her emotions and knew how upset she was.
Kotala held up her hands and smiled. "I apologize. I am far to blunt. I mean not to upset you. Let me tell you something about my people. All fel magic is frowned up by us. On top of that, I am light forged, fighting the legion for millenniums. My life was, kill anything with fel magic. Meeting humans, and you specifically, has shown me there are other ways to fight a war. This is not my home, I forget sometimes, that it is yours."
"Kotala please, this is new for us too. We have a very long journey ahead of us." She looked at Vilrina. "we do not gain anything from fighting with each other."
Vilrina looked to the floor and uttered an apology. Millirain took her hand and continued walking. "Let's make our way out of the city. I'll see if I can find us some sort of transportation to Duskwood."
"That sounds good. We need to make a stop in the forest just south of the small town Goldshire before we go to Duskwood. There was a disturbance that requires your expertise."
"what are the details?"
"demons in an abandoned mine have been cleared out, but they keep coming back. I am to take you to as many places safely as I can to help stop the infestations. Word of mouth traveled and any news will find us in time. We are officially the clean up crew."
"We can investigate, I won't know what we need until I see it. But I have the basics."
Kotala nodded and smiled. She looked like she was enjoying the possibility of a battle. She looked at Vilrina and winked. Vilrina still did not know what to make of her. Her master had not made a decision yet, and with both still uneasy around her, she needed to have some proof she was really on their side.
The group made way through the trade district with a lot of attention. Draenei were not common yet, and Kotala did stand over even the tallest rarely seen night elf in Stormwind.
Murmur and people pointing did not phase Kotala as she smiled and waved. Vilrina was nervous and got a reassuring squeeze from Millirain.
Kotala noticed the recruiting officer in full plate and cloak. "Millirain I need to speak with him for a moment."
"Okay, meet us at the gate. I'm going to the visiting center to see about a ride."
Millirain let Kotala go and took Vilrina with her. She looked back to see Kotala kneel down to talk to a child and let them touch her horns.
"Look Vilrina, she is good with children it seems. I feel so strange about her still. You and I have got to get on the same page."
"Forgive me master, my emotions are very much stronger than yours. And I am not trusting of her because I fear she can hurt you. I know she said she will protect you but I don't feel that. And you feel…. I do not know what this feeling is. Longing for something?"
Millirain was surprised. "I keep forgetting the soul link goes both ways. It made me miss my mother for a moment. It was brief, but I see why you picked up on that. We'll see what comes of her, she won't hurt us. There is good in her."
They both watched her interact with people as she made her way to the officer. She turned to wave at them with her normal smile. Millirain giving a small wave then pulling Vilrina to the visiting center.
The cave to no where
The gates of the city had a lot of foot traffic going in and out. Everything from visitors, merchants, delegates, guards, and loaded wagons. Vilrina loved to people watch. While her master read sitting on a bench, she stood and even enjoyed some of the looks she received.
Vilrina spotted Kotala making her way up to them. Millirain put her book away and waved her over.
"I was able to secure you a horse but we had to pick it up in Goldshire. There was umm… only one horse for sale large enough to… carry you comfortably."
Kotala laughed, "I understand, Draenei are much larger than humans. I was leaving a message with my contact to pass on to Sevorix. I would have her meet us in Duskwood when her services are finished here. And he owed me one" she pulled out a bottle from her pack to show Millirain.
"It will be good to see Sevorix again and thank her properly for saving me. We'll have to walk to Goldshire, it's not too far, but there is a path through a trail that would save us time. We shouldn't have trouble."
"Lead the way then, I truly do not know the area well enough."
They walked south out of the city to the main road that twisted to smaller villages before forking after Goldshire. There was a small trail on the west end of the road that went through the forest. That is where Millirain lead them to expedite their journey. Kotala looked completely relaxed as if she were taking a summer stroll in a garden as she sipped her flask.
"Kotala I have been meaning to ask, do all Draenei drink like you? It is somewhat a lot. But you do not seem impaired at all."
"Draenei do not drink usually. I am very different than most of them, so please do not base my people on me. That would not do them justice at all."
"I mean no offense, I just don't know much at all about your people. The dwarfs for example drink like you. So, I did not know of it was a racial aspect."
"My child, I have seen a lot of darkness and evil in my lifetime. I have given and received my fare share. This helps…numb some of the pain. But I am functional, I have had practice."
They walked in silence for a moment. Millirain and Vilrina feeling each others emotion go from concern, to sadness, to anxiety and back again hearing about Kotala. They we both distracted and did not notice Kotala had been a few paces in front and had stopped with her arm out.
"Will I get in trouble if kill muggers in self defense in your lands?" she had pulled her helm from her belt and clipped it on around her head.
"Don't kill anyone if you don't have to Kotala. I don't see anyone."
Kotala had stood her ground waiting, no weapons out. Millirain had out her dagger and Vilrina her whip still not knowing where the threat would come from.
Four men came out on the path in front of them wearing red handkerchiefs covering their faces. The bigger one stepped forward with a sword out.
"Not gonna get hurt if you hand over the money and yer weapons."
The response was a hoof to his chest that sent him rolling backwards. Kotala spun and her elbow connect with bridge of one of the bandit's nose. In a fluid motion she stood up with her fist to the jaw of another making his feet leave the ground. While he was still in the air she had charged at the last man driving her shoulder into his chest, causing him to fly straight into a tree as he bounced off with a thud.
Kotala pulled out a long blade off her thigh and held it out as she took a step toward the closest downed man. She stopped and you could almost she her shake her head slightly as she put the blade away and turned to Millirain.
"Let us move, we do not need anyone else coming at us." She unclipped her helm as it came apart in two pieces and fit back on her belt. Her face was that of rage briefly. Her glowing eyes focusing again, and her smile returned. "Come along now"
Millirain was in shock seeing all the violence first hand like that. And she knew in her heart Kotala would have killed all those men if she had not said anything before the fight. Her face after the fight was frightening, her eyes wild and hungering for more. She had not said a word as they had been walking for miles now.
Kotala sighed, she knew what was obviously happening. "are you okay, my child?"
Her voice had made Millirain jump from the silence being broken. "Kotala? What was that? Your technique was flawless but I saw it in your eyes."
"I felt the bloodlust rise for a moment. The rage was ready to be released. But I held it in. I am a Berserker, but I do not have to resort to that often."
"I've heard of berserkers. Warriors that defy normal limitations by giving in to rage. I never imagined, I have never seen it before. I was surprised."
"Millirain, I promise you I will never hurt you." She came over and put hands on Millirain's shoulders. "I will always protect you, I promise you. There is no need to worry about anything as long as I am with you." She leaned in and placed a ever so gentle kiss on her forehead. She turned and motioned for her to continue with her walking.
"There is something I think you will understand. I can tell, I am very observant. I can tell when someone is afraid. You are of me sometimes, but you control your emotions. Is it maybe, that you know what it's like? To have someone afraid of you." Kotala had looked back at Millirain with a sad smile that did not reach her eyes. "practicing the darker arts as you do, could not have been easy. I see how people look to you both. I understand when I see it."
Millirain nodded. "you're right. It's one of my concerns to say the least. I am not a bad or evil person. It isn't that they misjudge me that bothers me. It's that they're afraid of me. I wish I could have kept that from you. Yes, you scare me, but I tried to not let you notice. I hate how it makes me feel."
"My child, my only concern is for you. Others only fear what they do not understand. I understand you. And I only scare you because you do not understand me yet. Trust me. We will make a great team."
Millirain smiled as she followed Kotala. The Draenei was able to take notice of a deep fear of Millirain's. Having people, especially children, afraid of you for no reason killed her inside. Watching the child play with Kotala even briefly had a surge of lovely feelings. Had she noticed? Maybe she had, but one thing was sure. She was wise, and Millirain wanted to learn as much as she could from this beautiful killing machine.
The small town of Goldshire was coming up. The bustle of people and hammering of blacksmiths made it known. Kotala was loving it. She seemed to adore crowds and gatherings. "Millirain, would you mind if I looked in there. I wish to purchase an engineering tool that I believe this shop may have. Is this a safe area?"
Millirain was caught off guard by the question, "safe? Well yes. I don't believe you would have any trouble though. You could take on a platoon of armed guards if it came down to it I bet."
Kotala laughed and patted her shoulder. "thank you. But I ask incase we get separated. The guards are sparse here."
"Oh yes I will be fine. I'm going to see about your horse. You take your time, I will meet you at the blacksmith's forge just at the edge of town. It's only two blocks south of here. The stables are in the back."
"Very good. I will not be long."
Millirain was able to negotiate a deal for the horse, it being a large work horse that was bred for carrying huge loads. It would have no trouble with Kotala and the plate armor she wore, Millirain hoped. Saddles were prepared and packs were placed on the horse at her request.
"Vilrina, go and fetch us some more water and dried foods… and a bottle of whiskey, for Kotala."
"yes master. We are beginning to like her. She understands you. Perhaps she has had similar experiences with people as we have. Master I think…" Vilrina looked shocked at what she was about to say. She was not one to be outspoken or give her opinions without her master asking her. Millirain had notice but liked that she comfortable with her finally after all these years.
"Tell me what you think, Vilrina."
"Maybe we can give her a chance. She has been hurt before, not just physically I mean. She knows pain. She has been on this plane longer than I and I have had several lifetimes. I will keep an on her, don't worry master."
Millirain laughed and touched Vilrina's arm. "thank you, Vilrina. Here, make it a nice bottle. Let's get on her good side then." She handed her a small purse of gold. Vilrina smiled, bowed, then ran off to make her purchases.
Kotala had made her way into a shop that was empty in the front but provided workbenches that were in use by several humans. They were watching a man trying to balance a rotation and a contraption half built. She stood and observed too out of curiosity, and no one was paying her any attention. The man triumphantly slid the half circle in place with a click with congratulations from the audience. When he looked up he noticed Kotala and came around the table to greet her.
"Hello my lady, welcome to engineering for the alliance. I was giving a demonstration on how to replace a spanner." He turned and spoke to the men around the table "feel free to try it out and repeat the process yourself. Call me if you get stuck."
He pulled off his goggles and fixed his hair somewhat. "how can I be of assistance to you. Do you have any items you wish took look at or are you here for some lessons?"
She smiled as she rummaged through her pack. "I am looking for a replacement for a adjustable wrench and spanner of the strongest metal you have. Ah here it is." She handed him a cracked adjustable wrench which he studied for a moment while walking to the back.
"I have a something you might like. This wrench is worn. Been using it a while have you? It has a delicate tip here on this end, served you well I hope." He was opening drawers looking in each one.
"Oh yes, I have had it for hundreds of years. I would like a smaller version of it if possible. Half the size if you have. I have kept up making smaller gadgets these days. Mostly for fun, but explosives have been very useful."
"as they always are ha! Here my lady. You are no novice so I wouldn't mind showing you the good stock."
Kotala held the small wrench in her and adjusted the sizes on it. She rubbed the metal then smelled it. She pulled out her engineering goggles to look through them and nodded. "Very good, yes. I will take this. What are your spanners made out of?"
"I'll tell you right now my lady you won't like the spanner. Copper and iron only. Not much else around these parts. If you knew a blacksmith and got something stronger you could use the molds I have out back. The caliber of the goggles alone tells me you are well into the craft. Make em yourself?"
She nodded but was fixated on a particular item behind the store clerk. He followed her gaze. "ah, the old gnomish army knife. You are not from around here, I forget. Reckon you don't have gnomes where come from. Clever little fellows. This is a all in one tool they invented that has everything but the kitchen sink. Even carriers a single electric charge that you can use for so many applications. Self charging, just needs time before each jolt."
"I want one of those too!" she was excited to see such a all encompassing tool. It would lighten her tool kit considerably.
"Good eye, good eye. No engineer should be without one. I'll get that for you too." He brought it down and placed it on the workbench next to the adjustable wrench. "if you let me take a look at your goggles I'll through in some fuses and time delayed detonators at no extra charge."
She pulled out her goggles and handed them over to him, excited at the new tools she was getting. She started going through all the different options on the gnomish contraptions, delighted with each one.
The man was looking through her goggles with wonder as he adjusted it with a turn of the lens. "you have different light spectrums on these! Zoom in and pans out smooth. Tracks movement, by the light it's amazing. Crystal matrix…heads up display…amazing…delightful." He was looking around his shop, turning fast to see if there was a delay and delighted with everything he saw. Limited x-ray vision kicked in on a press of a button. "you can see right through the shop wall! Amazing! Oh my, sorry!" he had turned to look at her with the x-ray vision on and hastily pulled them from his eyes when she came into view. A heavy blush covered his face as he powered them down and slid them back to her.
"you are an amazing engineer. A gadget like that is most amazing. I would love to something even close to the caliber you have."
Kotala was giving him a sly smile, his embarrassment obvious and he knew she noticed. She was not sure if she should let him off the hook. She pulled out a small book, flipped through it and found a small field piece of paper, she held out to him.
"I thank you for admiring my…handy work. Here are the schematics if you would like to try for yourself."
All signs of embarrassment vanished and were replaced with excitement as the wide-eyed man could hardly believe what he just heard.
"I would love to try, please." He took the paper like it was a holy script and gently unfolded it.
"It is not in common but see the repeating symbols. Those are the measurements. As long as you make a key, you can recreate them as you see fit. Here." She wrote in her small book for a moment and tore out the page. "these are how our numbers are translated. Math is universal."
"my lady, I could not thank you enough for this. Please wait here one moment. Please one moment!" he went to the back of his shop through a locked door. He came back with a small bag.
"Would you have this as a token of my thanks. And your items are free of charge." Inside the bag, it was filled with gold to the brim.
"I could not in good consciousness take all this from you. I have the schematic written in my book and could recreate it from memory if I had to."
"I insist, please! I can make these and make all the gold back quickly. You could take my shop and I would still consider it not enough."
"Well sir, if you are happy, I am happy"
"Yes, I am, my lady. I can't wait to build my own pair. Maybe a little more translation here and there, but I know someone to help with that. I want the first pair to be perfect! You could not have made me happier!"
"wonderful, I will stop by again if I find anything else and to see how you coming along with them."
"you are always welcomed here, my lady. Please come back anytime!"
Outside, Kotala was please about her turn of events. She had packed away her goods, not expecting to have received such a large amount of gold for something she had in her journal for years. This really was a different world from hers. She made a mental note to come by and see her engineering friend when she was back this way.
She had walked south for a few blocks and noticed the blacksmith. Going around back she saw Millirain petting a very large horse and was humming to herself.
"Hello, Kotala! Find everything okay?"
"very much, yes. Where is Vilrina?"
"I sent her to get some supplies. With the horses we could carry more and it's always good to have extra food and water when you are going to be out for a unknown amount of time."
"Yes, we do have a long jou-" Kotala had stopped mid sentence and turned around. She had a short sword out and one hand was on Millirain keeping her behind her in a defensive position.
"Kotala! What's wrong!" Millirain looked around Kotala and saw nothing. Kotala stood observant for a moment then relaxed and stood up straight again.
"I felt fel magic for a moment flare up, but it is gone now. It came from the inn right there." She pointed to the Lion's pride inn.
"I think it might have been Vilrina. I felt her feed, but it wasn't anything bad. Look there she is now." Vilrina was walking toward them holding a pack over her shoulder.
"The magic feels the same…I am very sensitive to fel magic. I was surprised, I have not felt it being used by either of you yet. I will adjust as you use more."
"here you are master, what you requested. Shall I put it on the horse's pack." Vilrina had shown Millirain the contents. She nodded and they walked over to the horses.
"I know we are getting used to one another still Kotala. Please if there is something either of us can do to help ease anything, let us know. We got this for you."
Millirain handed her the bottle. Kotala smiled brightly. "thank you, both of you. It feels like you are both becoming my friends. Vilrina is not frowning at me, so I will take that as a good sign."
Vilrina opened her mouth to say something then stopped. She looked at Millirain and she nodded in encouragement for her to speak. "I was uneasy because you were dangerous and I did not know your intentions. We feel that you are genuinely going to do everything in your power to keep us safe now. We like you and would like to be your friend too."
"You both feel this way?" Kotala said looking back to Millirain.
"Yes Kotala, her and I are soul linked now. Our feelings and emotions are becoming one. So when she says she wants to be your friends, that means me too."
Kotala popped the top off the bottle she was given. "I will drink to that. To our new friendship." she took a large gulp of the contents then held out the bottle to Vilrina. She looked at it for a heartbeat then took it for a sip. Surprised at how smooth it was she handed it Millirain who did the same. When Kotala got the bottle back she took one more mouthful and capped it.
"Let us head for the cave then. Are we ready?"
Millirain and Vilrina rode her dreadsteed together, following Kotala on her new work horse. Kotala enjoyed the animal, she rubbed its neck and spoke to it like a child. It warmed up to her as well, the attention alone was more than it was used to.
They followed the compass due south, staying on the poorly kept road that was supposed to lead them close, according to the map Kotala had obtained. Hours of a steady journey lead them to a small lake with some farmland off in the distance.
"see off in the distance just past the clearing, Millirain. The map shows it is somewhere in that patch of woods in a dug out mine that had been under excavation. Maybe an hour travel with the horses. Good yes?"
"it was a bit farther than I thought. We should make camp. Nightfall will be upon us and we lose some advantage. We'll be safer as the sun rises. I haven't felt any demonic presence pushing from the nether." She pulled a small charm from the inside of her robe and shook it, sounding like there was loose sand inside it. She listened, then nodded as she dismounted.
"We'd have to be much closer, or the presence much stronger. No gateways or doorways around here. I'm feeling tired. Vilrina are you well?" Millirain watched Vilrina lean against her dreadsteed looking like she was winded.
"I am well master. You are still recovering and it drains me to a point."
Kotala had tired her horse to a tree branch and called back to them. "you two rest. I will set up camp then have a look around."
As Kotala went to task Millirain came close to Vilrina. "Vilrina, you have to tell me if I am putting a strain on you. Here, give me that." She took the pack Vilrina was still holding and took her arm to lead her to where Kotala was setting up their camp. As they took a few steps away Millirain looked back to her dreadsteed, it disappeared in a faint smoke and a chard hoof floated to her hand.
"I'm sorry master. It was nothing I could not handle. I am still not used to the soul link. Humans use a lot of energy just moving about it feels like. I will have to go feed soon, I may have to go through the nether."
"once Kotala has checked the area we will have you back to fighting shape. Sit, please." Millirain helped her sit, then joined her. She checked through her pack.
"I do not think I will have to look around much. The only place of interest besides the lake is the dark patch of woods we will see too tomorrow. Nothing much to hunt out here either. Strange, is it not? This forest has had little to no beast running around it since we came out this far." Kotala was digging a hole with a small shovel while talking on her hands and knees.
"You're right, I didn't notice that. Hmm. Oh yes here Vilrina, this will hold you over." She handed her a small soul shard. She noticed Kotala look up at her briefly then continued digging.
Vilrina and Millirain felt a pang of guilt and looked at each other. Neither sure who the feeling actually belonged to. Millirain pulled out a small potion from her belt before explaining to Kotala. "it's a shard from an animal, Kotala. I don't use souls like that."
"I make no judgment, Millirain. I was curious, that was all." She had finished making a second hole that was counted to the other underground. She begins filling one with twigs and dried grass. "I myself do not have the right to judge anyone." She almost whispered as she stayed on her task.
Millirain watched her dust off her hands and drop a small glowing pebble into the hole, starting a fire. The wonderful warmth was felt immediately, but the flame was hidden from view. The sun had set by now as Kotala went back to her pack off the horse.
She came back and handed Vilrina and Millirain a incredibly thin blanket folded down to the size of a napkin. "they will keep you warm through the night. Keeps your body heat, not too cold of a night."
"Thank you Kotala, I forgot to pack for staying out overnight. A simple bedroll should have been a must for any adventurer."
She laughed, "I will teach you as we go. Keep those, good for emergencies, yes." She took a long drink from a bottle.
Vilrina had wrapped herself in the blanket and held the shard with both hands close to her chest. Millirain had done the same then put her arm around Vilrina as she drank the potion. It relieved some of the aches and relaxed her. Vilrina leaned into her and sighed.
Both were feeling better from their journey. Millirain was thinking about Vilrina and how they both just felt so comfortable with each other now. It was huge in contrast; the soul link was making it harder and harder to tell her feelings and even thoughts apart now. There was no doubt that at this moment they were both happy.
Kotala had packed a small wooden pipe and lit it. She took a long breath with a slight smile as she watched the two. It was dark, and she knew that humans vision was not nearly as sharp as hers. The low fire gave off no light from a distance. "you both get some sleep. I can see well at night and will keep a watch."
"There is no need to stay up, Kotala. I can place a couple wards up around the camp to wake us up if anything comes close. You need your rest too."
Kotala thought for a moment, not sure if she could trust a ward over her own senses. Scolding herself, she knew that not trusting the wards was the same as not trusting her friend. "if you are sure they will work, then yes. I do not sleep much but it would be a weight lifted."
Millirain waved her hand in the air and whispered a spell. Six orbs floated out in a circular motion then disappeared. "it will circle our camp, and it explodes in a flash of light and a loud bang if anything enters. We'll be okay."
"very nice. That would have come in useful." Kotala came to sit on their side of the fire with them. "How do you both feel? You have had a tough week."
"My master and I are feeling better. Rest helps." Vilrina said without lifting her head. Millirain took some dried fruit out of her pack. "Vilrina needs to feed. It makes me feel hungry too. And it makes…oh my…Vilrina please."
Kotala raised an eye brow. "what is happening?"
Millirain was thankful for the darkness hiding her blush. She almost let slip some of Vilrina's more primal thoughts that usually came with feeding.
"Forgive me master, it was instinct for me too-"
"It's fine. Succubus's feed off life force through lust. And we kind of felt it for a moment."
Kotala grinned, "really now?"
"I'm sorry, Kotala. I don't know how to act with these new feelings. It's tough sometimes." She absentmindedly rubbed Vilrina's arm. "they're getting stronger too. But so am I. I understand how many have given into the powers freely and lost themselves. Going at a pace I am comfortable with allows me to gauge it all."
"the fel is never to be underestimated. I have seen it consume worlds. You have strength in you, but please be careful. I do not want to see you get hurt reaching for the stars."
"We'll be okay. You'll see." She stared at the light of Kotala's eyes. She was tired, and Vilrina was warm. "we'll feed in the morning Vilrina. Let's get some sleep for now."
Vilrina nodded and closed her eyes. Kotala took one last drink and laid down herself without a blanket. The fire crackled a steady flame and lulled them all to sleep.
Sunrise crept up them. Kotala sat up with a knife in her hand. Recognizing her surrounding she put away her knife and laid back down. She had not sleep that soundly in a while. It felt nice having someone around, and she was somewhat sober before bedtime for once. Looking over at her companions she saw Vilrina embracing Millirain like she was protecting her from the elements. She held her to her chest and Millirain had her arms wrapped around her.
Kotala would have loved to admire the two but it was time to get moving. She stood to stretch, then started fastening the larger pieces of her armor she removed for sleep. As she did, she walked over to her horse and gave him a rub on the neck. "time to get up you two. We have first light."
Vilrina and Millirain woke up slowly. Both had been feeling exhausted and the sleep had substantially helped. Neither one of them said anything but knew they did not want to let go of their embrace.
Kotala had packed up camp quickly. She ate some dried meat, bread and cheese while doing so. When she came by Millirain she handed her a cloth wrapped bundle of the same. "Eat up, have to keep up your strength." Millirain quietly agreed and ate too.
"Do we need to do something special for Vilrina to recover her strength?" Kotala said as she mounted her horse.
Millirain had started the summoning ritual for her dreadsteed. "I can use the demons we find in the cave. They'll provide a lot of power for us."
The three of them traveled at trot to the forests edge. Their estimated time was right by Kotala, it had taken just under an hour to reach it. "we should walk from here." Kotala took her pack off the horse and put it on her back, tying it tight to the small of her back.
Millirain drank a potion she made for the occasion. It would help her see into the nether and help her find the source of the demons. It took a while to take effect so she drank half now to give it time.
"Vilrina, scout ahead out of sight. Check for anything that have etchings or ruins. When you see the mine entrance come back."
"yes master." She said as she vanished.
"I can tell it's her now. Good. There is a light source too somewhere. I can not tell where but the light is being channeled." Kotala had put on her helm and drew her massive axes.
Cautiously moving to the mine, Millirain felt her heart race. Vilrina saw something that surprised her. "come back" she whispered, causing Kotala to stop.
Kotala crouched scanning the area in front of them. "what do you see, Millirain"
"Vilrina saw something that scared her for a moment. She is coming back. Let's wait for her. She's close."
Vilrina saw Kotala and Millirain waiting, staying low and hidden as they could be. "master, there is a night elf praying in front of the mine. She is focused on the entrance but I believe she noticed me. I will show you."
Vilrina lead them to a clearing ahead. The ground had been dug out to slops down to a mine shaft. Standing in front of the entrance was a night elf in white robes with black trim holding a staff with both hands concentrating. A glow of holy light was coming out of the entrance, she was holding up a barrier.
She looked back quickly in their direction then focus again on the entrance. "we will help her combat these demons. Look inside." Kotala said. Millirain noticed there were demons clawing at the barrier. Imps and felhounds were in the forefront, glowing eyes where in the back. Something was standing tall in the dark watching over the struggle of the smaller demons.
Kotala jumped down the hill and jogged towards the priest. Millirain and Vilrina climbing down the steep hill behind her. The priest turned and held out one hand towards Kotala. The priest had cast a holy shield around herself, she looked exhausted as she steeled herself for battle. She looked scared, but her strength did not waiver from the barrier at the entrance.
"We are here to aid you. Do not be alarmed. We came to kill these demons and purge this land." Kotala said as she walked closer to the priest.
The priest was dripping sweat and breathing hard. It was noticeable as they were close. Millirain wondered how long she had been holding this position by herself.
"Kotala! The place is filled with demons. What do we do?"
"watch the priest. I will do my job. Kill anything that gets by me." She slammed an axe in the ground to where it was still standing. Her hand had a red potion in it she shook, popped the cork, then down it in one gulp. "Priest, lower your barrier once I am in. Save your strength and recover. I will bath in their blood."
Kotala picked up her axes and shook her head quickly. Breathing heavy she focused on the entrance. Her pulse rose, her vision sharpened and she roared as she ran full speed sat the barrier of light. She crashed through it in an explosion of light.
The priest cried out and fell to her knees as soon as the barrier shattered.
Millirain and Vilrina were by her side. "keep her safe Vilrina, I have the entrance." She chanted and readied fel fire and shadow in her hands. A war could be heard inside between Kotala and what was inside. There were some that came running out but Millirain was there to incinerate anything that tried for the light of day.
Vilrina came up with a rejuvenating potion. "this will help you recover. Drink it and come with me. My master will take your position at the entrance."
The priest took the potion and drank it. She looked terrible, she was barely able lift her arm as she reached for Vilrina. The succubus put her arm over her should and lifted her up to move her away from danger.
Millirain held her ground as more demons ran in fear from Kotala's wrath. The fel energy released from their deaths were absorbed by her. She chanted and their life forced were released into a stream of glowing green and purple lights. They floated around her and formed into small shards. As the demons came out she felt her strength growing. The lesser demons did nothing but feed her.
She was surprised to see a fel guard run out with Kotala close behind it. She tackled it to the ground from behind and stabbed it repeatedly till it stopped struggling. She laughed as she straddled the demon, covered in its blood. Stabbing it one last time she stood up breathing heavy looking back to the cave.
"Kotala?" Millirain called to her. It did not phase her as she ran back inside the mine. Millirain was scared, Kotala was so violent and she enjoyed the slaughter. When she got like this she was not able to be swayed or stopped. Would Kotala be able to distinguish her from another demon when her bloodlust was not quenched.
Several moment later Kotala walked out of the entrance holding one axe over her shoulder, the other at her hip, her helm already clipped to her waist. Bending over she pulled her knife from the body of the felguard at the entrance. She wiped it off then sheathed it at her thigh, then grabbing her flask and taking it all down mouthful after mouthful.
"Kotala? Are you okay?"
"It is what I live for my child. You did well catching the ones trying to escape. What is happening there?" she pointed to the shards floating around her.
"For later, for spells. These will help, but Kotala are you okay?"
"Now that the rush is coming down I know I will have some bruises, but it nothing worth mentioning. What is wrong my child?" she saw Millirain looked upset.
"I am not good at this Kotala. I was scared seeing that many demons. Then I was scared when you didn't respond. I thought I had lost you and you would turn on me. I'm barley better than these demons." She had tears in her eyes that she wiped away, trying to not have a breakdown. Damn the emotions, she needed to figure out how to get a handle on them.
"My child, you are on the side of good and we have done the right thing here. Here, look at me." She knelt down in front of her bringing her close to eye level. Kotala took Millirain's hand and brought it to her check. "I will always be on your side, my child. Look into my eyes, know I tell you the truth. As frightening as I appear, I will not hurt you. Okay?"
Millirain nodded and hugged Kotala tight. She almost laughed. Talking to Vilrina about their emotions was bumped up on her mental to do list.
"come my child, let us go inside and seal this gateway. I have a feeling of the location." She led Millirain back into the entrance of the mine.
Outside the mine, Vilrina and the priest made there way to the forest. The priest sat on the forest floor catching her breath still. She had strained herself holding the barrier.
"They have cleared the mine and are going inside. We are safe here. Are you injured?"
The night elf looked up at her and mumbled something in Darnassian. "I am well. Who are you people. What is the warrior."
"We have been tasked with stopping the infestation and closing the tears in the nether." She handed her another potion. "for your stamina, you need it. The warrior is a Draenei. She is helping my master with this task."
The night elf smelled the potion and drank it, handing the empty vile back to Vilrina. "you have very powerful potions."
"thank you, I had brewed them recently." Vilrina looked over the steep hill to check on the progress from the outside.
The night elf took out water from her pouch and drank some, studying Vilrina. "it is rare for a succubus to brew potions. Have you been with your current master long."
"Many years yes…can you walk? My master would like for us to come and help."
The night elf stood with the aid of her staff and started making her way to the mine entrance as her answer.
Inside Kotala had lead Millirain to the back of the mine. There were forks here and there but they all lead to a central chamber. Millirain would stop to pick up charms or check the few packs that the demons had. Anything of value she pocketed and moved on quickly to keep up with Kotala.
When they entered the room, she saw it. The swirling magic looked like a vortex. Kotala only noticed it for the skull in the center of the room placed on a rune. She was not able to see the same thing as Millirain.
"This is it Kotala, I can close this permanently." She waved her hand over her pack and her spell book floated out flipping pages and following her. She started drawing symbols in the air in different locations circling the center of the room. She whispered chants Kotala was barely able to pick up, but in a language, she did not recognize. She heard her whisper a little louder Vilrina's name, pause, then continue with her rhythmic chant.
Vilrina had appeared at the entrance to the room with the nervous night elf behind her. Vilrina saw her master and went right to work mirroring the runes of her master.
"Kotala, can you bring me a skull from one of the larger demons. As long as it is larger than the one in the center here. The whole head will do, no need to clean it."
"By Elune…" the priest whispered as she watched them work. She moved aside as Kotalas passed her, looking up at her, trying to see the features of her face. Watching her turn the corner, she went back to watching the warlock work.
Seeing warlocks in battle was one thing, but she had never witnessed any rituals performed by one. This looked complicated to her. The constant chanting of a spell, the intricate runes that were all different from one another, the succubus and warlock working together like they were one unit. Moving around and with each other like they had done with years of practice.
What was she thinking coming down here alone? Even if she had killed all the demons alone, which would not have happened, she had no idea how to close a tear in the nether.
Kotala had returned with a severed head of a felguard, an imp, and felhound. "I was not sure if it made a difference so I brought one of each." She said as she dropped them on the floor. The priest felt faint for a moment shook it off.
Without a word, Vilrina came and picked up the head of the felguard and placed it in the center. She went over to Millirain and pulled the dagger from her belt and went back to the demon head. Kneeling down she carved a rune in its forehead as Millirain chanting continued while drawing runes.
Once the runes were done, Vilrina handed the dagger back to Millirain. She took it and cut her index finger and went around and touched each rune, making it glow from red, to green, then purple.
Millirain plucked a soul shard from the bunch floating around her head and held it tight in the palm of her hand. The chant in the demonic tongue rose in volume then stopped when the shard broke. The ruin formed as locks with a chain linking all the points together. They shined bright in purple then collapsed in on itself, sealing the doorway for good.
The priest felt the nausea rise. Something in the air made her feel sick. She threw up quietly leaning on her staff. Millirain came over to help, even held the priest's hair back as she threw up again.
"Forgive me, I didn't have time to prepare you. I didn't know you would come with Vilrina back in. Chew these roots, here, it will help you feel better." The priest took them and felt immensely better after.
"It's the nether. The very air will make you feel sick the first time you experience it. Let's get some fresh air." The priest nodded as Millirain guided her.
Outside she felt better completely. "I thank you all for helping me when you did. I got in over my head and all I could do was hold them off at the entrance. My name in Cho Rosa Linda, but you can call me Cho."
"I'm Millirain and this is Vilrina. That is Kotala. Can we help you get somewhere safe?"
"Vilrina told me you are tasked with cleansing the lands of demons. Can I come with you? I can help, I have the light with me. I wish to see the end of this and you have the means to end these invasions."
Kotala went to drink from her flask, disappointed when it was empty already. "I do not mind if you come. My sister was a priest, they make good companions on the battlefield."
"I would love to have you join us, Cho. We are headed to Honor Hold in the outlands currently. There is a demonic matter there we must help with. We will stop in Duskwood at Darkshire for supplies then carry on from there."
"Thank you for having me. I was traveling to Stormwind when I heard about this mine. It didn't sound as bad as it was. If you all didn't come along, I don't know what would have become of me. The light brought us together for a reason. I have made it my goal to cleanse Azeroth of demons and evil."
Kotala patted her back, "you would do well to join us then. I thank you and your people for how they have treated my kind. Let us find a safe place to rest, yes? You look worn. We have food to share."
Millirain packed the charms and shards she had collected and handed the bag to Vilrina. "we can use the lake to clean up too. Your armor is a little…dirty, Kotala."
Kotala looked down at herself, seeing she was covered in blood. "it is to be expected. Luck would have us near a lake. Let us go then. It feels good to stretch my legs, so to speak."
They made it back to the lake where Kotala's horse was still waiting. She went straight to the pack on the horse and pulled out a full bottle of liquor with a smile.
Cho sat on the ground with her back up against a tree, looking out over the water. She felt so relieved to be able to sit and feel safe. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slow, she felt her muscles ache for sleep, then her stomach growled. As luck would have it, Kotala handed her some food wrapped in cloth.
"Eat before you sleep. Your body will thank you." Kotala knelt down. "How long did you hold this barrier?"
The priest took the food and was more than happy with the thoughtfulness. "I am not quite sure. There was nothing else I could do. I made it inside without problem and killed a few demons. But they swarmed me and I ran when I had the chance. I held it there for maybe an hour? I knew I would not be able to get away from all of them. My prayers were answered by you all. I never lost faith, and I was rewarded by knowing you not only killed all of them, but also stopped them from being able to return."
"Perhaps fate did wish for us to meet. We can talk more after you rest."
Millirain had tied her travel pack on the workhorse. The shards and charms the demons had were invaluable to her craft. It would strengthen spells and even keep Vilrina full of energy for a long time. She reflected how she was feeling and aside from her nerves she was doing well. So well in fact she felt stronger now and was not remotely tired. Taking her mana potion, she had saved for after the battle was not needed this time.
"Cho, you look like you may need this. You can take it with your food. You had to have spent so much energy holding that barrier. How did you get out here?"
Cho had taken a bite of the bread while Millirain was talking. She nodded to her then covered her mouth, "I'm sorry. I have a camp set up across the other side of the lake. Maybe two days now I've been out here. I was circling the mine killing off smaller pockets of demons here and there. I knew they were coming from the mine but had no idea there were so many. After a moment we can go there to my camp, I have some supplies to share."
"You are very brave, much braver than me. I panicked back there, and you were out hunting them by yourself."
Cho looked over to Vilrina and Kotala by the lake. "you are a warlock afraid of demons?"
"well not demons, but the danger of it all. Weren't you scared?" Millirain had sat down by Cho now.
"I don't have anything to fear now. I just want them to go back wherever they came from and leave us all alone. They have committed unspeakable acts and there is nothing I want more than to see them all burn in holy fire. This burning crusade, the legion, whatever it is they call themselves. I wish them dead."
There was a deep burning hatred in her words. She had been hurt by the legion. Millirain could only imagine what had happened to her. Everyone had lost someone to these demons, but some chose to take action.
"We will do what it takes to stop them. Kotala has been fighting demons for thousands of years. I am learning from her experience." She had pointed back at Kotala.
Kotala had taken her armor off with Vilrina helping with instructions. The armor was layered and intricate, and much heavier than it looked. The warrior knelt down and washed off each peace that had blood on it using a cloth, pooling a blood spot in the lake. Each peace she handled delicately.
Vilrina watched Kotala go to task and admired her body in a not so subtle manner. Kotala was muscle, lean and beautiful. Her scars were visible, but more noticeable were the tattoos that were light. The pattern was alien and went along her arms and chest, and her legs and thighs. Her back was lined with gold that was inverted into her skin and forged in light in sharp angled sections. Vilrina wanted to reach out to touch this beautiful creature.
Cho had drunk her mana potion and sighed. "I needed that all very much. What's wrong? You look flushed."
"Vilrina!" she said in a harsh whisper. "excuse me, Cho." She got up and made her way to Vilrina and Kotala.
In the water Kotala was bathing herself. She had finished her armor and had it sitting in an organized pile. Millirain knew exactly what had made her feel flushed. "Vilrina, go sit with Cho. I will help Kotala with her armor."
"Yes, my master. I apologize." She said as she trotted away. Millirain sighed. She heard Kotala chuckle to herself.
"I'm sorry Kotala. I didn't know she would be ogling you. I'll help you with your armor."
"it is fine. I had not noticed until the end when she starting making sounds."
Millirain blushed, "I am truly sorry. Oh! Kotala are you hurt? Your leg."
Looking down at her leg she realized what she saw. "old wound. Felfire tipped spear pinned me down. My daughter shielded me until I was able to pull it out. Still hurts at times." She lightly touched it. "The thrill of battle has its price. It is of no matter now. I am light forged. This is my life."
Millirain sat next to the pile of Kotala's armor. "it sounds like a hard life, Kotala. You ever think of settling down? You've been at it for longer than I can comprehend."
"Oh yes, I wish to live a peaceful life. But now is not the time. Not yet. I think I will be good at it though, yes. But what can someone made into a weapon do in a time of peace? My daughter always told me I would be a great pirate."
"you like the ocean?"
"I believe it had something to do with the stories she read and a pirate's love for rum." Kotala splashed her face one last time and got out. She dried off with an undershirt she had then started putting on the first layer of armor.
"You would be good at anything you chose to do. Even if it is a pirate." She smiled up at Kotala as she helped her clasps some harder to reach latches. "Cho has a camp set up not far from here. She has supplies she wants to pick up. Think we could head over that way before Duskwood?"
"yes, that would be good. We have to find a place to cross the river. I hope that Cho knows the land well."
"I know of a shallow crossing we can get the horse across the river. But it takes us I to an area with spiders big enough to prey on wolves." Millirain shuddered.
"It is good we are larger than wolves, yes? We can have Cho ride with me. If the horse can not take the weight I will walk. She is burnt out, we should let her rest at her camp before we cross the river."
Finished with Kotala's armor, they readied her horse. Kotala lead it to where Cho was resting. "let us get you on. We can stop by your camp and give a moment to shut your eyes. Still have miles ahead of us before we come close to Duskwood."
Kotala helped Cho mount up, then took her staff and secured it on the horse's pack. She patted the horse gently and climbed up behind Cho getting no protest at all from her steed. "you are much lighter than I thought, Cho. No protest from our horse."
"you know you called me fat."
"I said you are lighter than I thought."
"You don't speak common much, do you?" Cho sighed.
Kotala laughed, "I know enough. Lead us to your camp. Let me know if you need a break. No need to push right now, we are mostly safe, yes."
The group rode around the perimeter of the lake. Cho was exhausted, but she kept waving off Kotala and Millirain's concern. Cho steered the horse until her camp was just in view. Her camp was just near the edge of a tree cluster, set up in the shade. It had a skin pulled over a makeshift tent, a bedroll, and small campfire. Cho had leaned back against Kotala for a moment, then sat back up. She fell asleep for an instant, "I need to close my eyes, I can't keep them open."
Kotala got off the horse and practically pulled Cho off the horse. She supported the priests body weight almost completely as she led her to the bedroll. As soon as laid down, she was asleep.
"Millirain, please stay in camp and watch her while I look around."
"Of course, Kotala. Take your time. We'll be okay." Millirain had brought down her pack and pulled out her journal and a spell book. She had begun going through her books as Vilrina kept a vigilance.
Kotala did a quick check of her weapons went into the woods. Cho was exhausted and Millirain had no problem reading a book. Kotala wanted to explore, the bloodlust she felt with the demons earlier was nothing, she was still trying to shake it off. Knowing how scared Millirain was of her, she did everything in her power to hide it. But is started to stir up memories.
The forest was cool and dark, she breathed in deeply the damp air. Once she was, what she felt like, a good distance from the camp, she sat down on a fallen log. Shaking her head, she pulled out a bottle and took a long drink from it. The violence and seeing that priest got her thinking of something she wanted to not remember. The damn war and thousands of years of death and losing people was a crushing pressure she carried with her. It was usually easy to shake it off and move on, but seeing the priest is what did it. She remembered. She remembered as she sobbed quietly in the forest.
Kotala, Sevorix and Kolma, Kotala's younger sister, were running in the twisting nether. Their unit was down to just them, the Legion set up an ambush that surprised everyone. They never showed tactics or patience, it was always smashing wave after wave of endless hordes at their objective. "the ship is up ahead, keep running!" Kotala shouted. They ran hard, but an explosion of fel energy changed their route. Again, it was a set up, it took them into the line of fire. Kotala was hit with an arrow that was designed to pierce armor. It went through her shoulder blade as it knocked her off her feet. Sevorix turned to her mother and was hit with two, once through her hip and one through her thigh.
"Pick her up Kotala, I have you!" Kolma shouted as she created a barrier behind them. Kotala did not hesitate as she dragged Sevorix to her feet.
"come on baby, we have to keep moving." Kotala said Sevorix cried out. She practically dragged her to the ship that was just over the crest, now in sight. She turned back to see Kolma still holding the barrier. "Run Kolma! Come on, we are at the ship!"
Kotala kicked open the door to the small ship and heard the explosion just before she felt the shockwave. She turned and saw a green fire of smoldering rocks where Kolma was standing. "Kolma! No! Kolma!"
There was no response. She thought about going back, but the legion had started to swarm. She decided she had to get Sevorix out, she knew she had lost her sister. She could not lose her daughter now. She dragged Sevorix in, shut the door, and initiated take off.
Kotala tried to wipe her tears away as she sat alone in the forest again. She took another deep drink from her bottle. "I miss you so much Kolma." She shook and cried into her hand. Her past mistakes always took the time to find her.