A story written by Kaitlyn, it's part of the Chronicles of the Hand.
Full Synopsis Edit
Chapter One Edit
The only Master she could ever trust. The only one that had treated her well. The only Master who had been willing to share a little of his knowledge. And now he was gone.
Not dead, no not dead. She thought to herself, staring up at the bones and the altars. Just… gone.
The wind was whipping up a storm, causing the dust to rise, painting the sky a peculiar red, as it so often did in these parts. It brought with it the smell of magma, the ground bleeding from it’s wounds. She feared the lava, with great reason, but has pushed the bodies of the orcs into it nonetheless. She didn’t want the sight of them spoiling the image from her memory.
“They always come back here, little one.” She observed to the whelp, speaking in low and strangely accented draconic.
The whelp performed a winged shrug, and wandered off to entertain itself, flitting amongst the altars. It was beginning to understand, she noticed. Learning draconic had helped, but the ancient texts which she had studied had taken up too much of her time. Keeping the youngster alive had taken up too much of her time. Discussions with druids, the pursuit of artefacts, and her endless work for the Consortium had all taken up too much time.
She stood for a long moment, staring at the bleached bones, letting her day to day routine slip from her in the storm. It was here that everything had ended, and her new tasks had begun. She moved towards the second altar, standing where her Master had stood in his transcendence, and allowing the memories to flood through her. The cries of the dismayed Light-lovers flowed through her again; the sounds of spells cast, and bullets, first ricocheting from her shield and finally through it. She closed her eyes, and she could see him again, hear his screams and curses, continuing his spells even as he was ripped to pieces, the soft flesh of his body torn in a battle that she had felt sure he could never survive. This is no battle, it is a slaughter. She remembered trying to cast her shield on him again. She remembered the push, and even now, she fell to her knees, legs giving way beneath her as they had then. She had hurtled over the edge toward the lava, and boiling mindless death, but instead she had hit firm ground, as she did now. The ledge had saved her.
She opened her eyes. She was kneeling where he had fallen, and for a moment her mind wondered if she scrabbled at the dust, would she find, preserved there for eternity, a warm pool of his lifeblood.
Nonsense. She childed herself. The blood was not truly His, and He survived.
The days of the search had been a nightmare. Waiting patiently for her captors to forget, to stop watching her long enough that she could slip away and discover whether he had succeeded, or whether that last glimpse as his body lay torn and bloodied was the final image of him she would ever have. She remembered the elation when she had finally found him again, the midnight sparkle of his scaled body, fresh yet ancient. And the size of the beast! Could there ever be a creature with greater power? At first she had felt afraid, but his mind was still there. Intellect, wit, and a great, dark delight.
If she had to bow to any creature, then she would bow to this one, and gladly. Lord of Midnight. True Master of the ‘Flight.
She shook her head, and banished the last of the memories. He was gone.
She called the whelp back to her, and it came, reluctantly. It was no good wasting time here. There were no sign of Him in this place. She had hoped… but no, the mere presence of the orcs at the altars proved that he had not come back. And why would he? This place was merely a portal to him. But it was the last place that she could think of. His lair was empty, and that place where she had found him before… members of the Black Flight roamed there. He would not stay for long in the presence of his hated kin.
No, she forced herself to admit it. She did not know where to look anymore. She had been away, concentrating on her other tasks for too long. Perhaps he had stopped coming back after all. Or perhaps he had greater things to attend to, after all, it was no easy task to bring the flight back to his control.
She had made so many promises, and she felt like she had failed. She walked away from the Altar of Storms, heading back towards the mountain. What did she truly have to show for her months of labour? A few more trinkets, a whelp that could barely speak, and far too much information regarding the abilities to turn oneself into a cat. She laughed bitterly to herself. No wonder He did not return.
A shadow fell across her path. For a moment she did not notice it. The whelp was flitting about, irritating her again. Probably wants more food. She thought unkindly. It chattered, landing, looping itself in circles around her hooves. She stopped, with a mind to kick it, then paused before landing the blow. No use taking my frustrations out upon the whelp. It’s emerald green eyes peered up at her solemnly, then beyond. She turned, following it’s gaze upwards.
The creamy, golden underside of a great Black Dragon was revealed in relief against the bloodied, storm cursed sky. For a moment her heart leaped within her chest. It is Him! He has returned! She stared closer and realised the beast could not be Him. It was flying lower than she had at first thought, and it’s profile was long and thin, nothing near his size. An adolescent, a drake of the Flight, cruising easily on the thermals of the storm. Her anger resurfaced, this time fully.
“Curse you!” She screamed in draconic, giving herself over to the anger, letting it flow through her and destroy her frustration, crush her self-doubt. The whelp below took to it’s wings, fluttering up around her, but she ignored it, focusing everything at the greater dragon flying so easily, so carelessly above.
She released the first spell without even thinking, and down the beast flew, wings pulling in, flapping itself to an attack position, head held forward, body curved down behind it, keeping it’s vitals protected behind four clawed feet. The essence of her spell flickered briefly against it’s scaled body, shimmering darkly before winking out of existence. She had caused it little damage, merely provoked the beast. She didn’t care.
Let them come! Let the Black Flight take me if they dare!
The tip of the dragon’s tail flashed towards her. She dived to one side, letting out a wordless cry, then calling her shield around her. She rolled once, twice, as the tail flashed towards her again, buffeting the shield, but missing her by inches. She crouched low as it drew back, reassessing her location. She took a breath, her mind shimmering with rage, and as it drove towards her again, she sent out another spell, this time not attacking physically, this time aiming for it’s mind.
She felt the creatures will falter for a moment, and used the split seconds of it’s confusion to call the shadow energy to herself as she had once so long ago taught herself to do. Her aura flashed a violent black-purple-fel green. The dragon was recovering, taking a deep breath to call forth it’s flame.
Kaitlyn renewed the battered shield.
The fire rained down upon her, and she stood in it’s centre, feeling the heat brushing against her shield, but unscathed. From the centre of the raging furnace she called forth another spell, then another. A single blue line raced through the fire, from her hands, and stuck at the mind of the dragon. She could feel it’s confusion again, and the strength of the beast flowing into her. As the firestorm faltered, she noticed the whelp flying up, towards the beast. The dragon was thrashing wildly, trying to eject her from it’s thoughts, stunned, and it appeared the little whelp had decided that perhaps it might stand a chance after all.
“Opportunist!” She cried to the whelp, feeling suddenly heartened, though whether by the slight of the whelp or the fresh feeling of dragon-strength she could not tell. She renewed the attack, before the dragon could recover, and felt a sudden feeling of elation as it’s wings stopped beating and it fell from the sky like a stone.
She backed away from the creature, watching it twitch. It had landed badly, crushing one wing under itself. The whelp was diving at it, it’s tiny claws outstretched, harassing the adolescent as it tried to recover. She watched in fascination as the dragon attempted to right itself, saw it’s claws scrabble in the red dirt, it’s body flip. Letting go of the last of her anger, she called out one final spell, the one that had got her into so much trouble in her younger years. Shadow-Word: Death.
The creature didn’t even have time to scream.
The whelp, startled, skittered away from the carcass, returning to her side, giving her it’s baleful green gaze.
Kaitlyn stood, moving towards the corpse. “Do not be afraid.” She whispered to the whelp. “This is one less for the Master to kill.” She pushed at the dead drake, turning it, exposing the pale underside. She stoked the scales once, almost as if in awe, then her hand strayed to the Mindblade, belted at her waist. She drew it, and, focusing energy around it, plunged it deep into the creatures breast.
“A kill for you, my Lord!” She cried, pulling back, raising the bloodstained blade high, staring victoriously into the storm.
There was no answer. She lowered the blade, letting it drop, paying no heed as the whelp ran to it to lick at the warm blood. “A kill for you.” She whispered into the wind, feeling a directionless loneliness descend. He was gone. She closed her eyes, feeling woozy after the fight, the shadowy aura deserting her.
She slid to the ground, her back resting against the cooling scales of her recent kill. Nothing now but memories. Memories. Memories.
Her mind drifted back again, as she caught her breath. Memories. One particular one suddenly forcing it’s way to the fore. The night her Master had first revealed himself to her.
“You are a dragon?”
She’d made a promise back then, and now, only now, did she remember.
“So you will kill the traitor. I promise you, my Lord, I will slay his mate!”
She stood, her eyes open, glittering with understanding. The brood mother dead. Perhaps that would be enough. She looked from the carcass to the whelp.
“If I destroy Onyxia… it would be a rallying call. I am sure of it.”
The whelp shrugged at her again, then resumed it’s nasty meal.
“It would show Him I am still waiting. And that I am ready to do his bidding. I made a promise. It is time to keep that promise.”
She knocked the whelp back from her blade, and wiped the last of the blood against it’s letter’s scales.
“The druidess told me that to become a creature you must know it’s heart. I shall have Onyxia’s heart, and her head as a trophy for His lair. Come now, there is work to do, my young one.”
The whelp took to it’s wings, fluttering along in her wake.
“We shall go pay a visit to your mother, young one. And I think we shall not go alone.”