The Butcher's Vengeance

What it says in the title. Slow learner aren't you?

Topic/Postby Tiermaya » 06 Aug 2008, 22:01

The Butcher's Vengeance

The wine cellar of the Giroval Manor was normally quiet. Tiermaya remembered coming to hide here many times in her youth when she did something wrong. Her father had always found her and had been much more lenient than her mother. How times had changed that she found herself there chiding him.

Two servants were helping the Patriarch of House Giroval while a maid tried to prise a wine bottle out of his hand. He pushed them away and stood swaying for a moment before falling over backwards and spilling the wine all over the maid. Tiermaya gave the girl an apologetic look and gestured to the door with her head. The three servants left silently. Tiermaya sighed and massaged her forehead as her father sat up and studied her for a moment.

"You know prinshesh-" he slurred drunkly, slipping back to the name he had called as a child.
"No!" She interrupted sternly. "And I don't much care either. You have to stop this. You're an embarrassment. You're supposed to be the head of a noble house but all I see is a drunken cretin!" She instantly regretted her outburst as a wounded expression formed on his face. She began to apologise but stopped as she heard a door bursting open and a commotion upstairs. Instantly she turned and stormed upstairs.

Who would dare burst into her home like this? Not only was she a highly accomplished mage but her sister was a capable Paladin. It was practically suicide. As she entered the entry hall she stopped in her tracks, her anger turning to fear. Several servants cowered in the corners of the room, too afraid to draw attention to themselves by making a break for another room. In the dooway stood the familiar form of Rinu Fizzlespark, the air around her alive with dark energy. Behind her a voidwalker demon loomed like an angry shadow. It had something over her shoulder. She needed to be careful, she felt she may be able to defeat Rinu in a confrontation but the warlock was dangerous enough to give her doubt. She steeled herself, quashing her fear.

"You have some nerve Rinu, bursting into my home with such an extravagant display of your practices." She said. "If the authorities learn of this it will not bode well for you. My family may have little influence, but it's enough to change your sentence from confinement in the vault to execution. No doubt the world would be better for it."
"Can it Snoots." Rinu sneered. For some reason it disturbed Tiermaya that she had adopted Pepple's nickname for her. "I have come here as an enemy. I've come to make a deal. I'll need your sister's help."
Tiermaya snorted. "And why would she help a villian like you? You are everything her order stands against."
Rinu snapped her fingers and the demon dumped it's burden in front of her. It was a rather large and bulky gnome (though still much smaller than other races) in baroque armour. Her violet hair was matted with dried gore and fresh blood seeped from several wounds that most likely had reopened after her rough landing on the hall floor. Spotting the runic tattoos on the gnomes face she guessed who this was.
"This is the one Maytal described isn't it? This is your sister, Phina."
"Oh indeed," Rinu replied an grin spreading across her face "the Bite-sized Butcher of Stratholme herself."
Tiermaya grimaced. "Nice to know madness runs in your family."

Rinu rolled her eyes. "So, think your sister will let mine bleed to death? Hmmm?"
"I doubt she would, she's far too merciful. She's hard to disturb when she's sleeping however and since it's the middle of the night, she doesn't need to know." Tiermaya grinned smugly. "It's for the best, from what I've heard she's worse than you. Last thing this city needs is a serial killer on the loose."
Rinu returned Tiermaya's grin with interest. "Like I said I'm here to cut a deal. I don't want to lose my sister and I doubt you do. You can't keep an eye on her all the time, and unlike you she's no match for me..." Tiermaya's blood ran cold. It must have shown because the warlock clapped delightedly. Most excellent. Now go fetch Solantra for me."

To be continued...
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Topic/Postby Lilandris » 10 Aug 2008, 17:08

Intreguing... must.. have.. more..
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Topic/Postby Tiermaya » 20 Aug 2008, 22:11

When Solantra arrived the atmosphere in the drawing room was tense. A few servants kept to the corners of the room furthest from Rinu who sat by a window glowering at Tiermaya while her minion loomed over her chair. Tiermaya was making her best effort to appear to not care while idling by the fire. Solantra knew better, Tiermaya never stood that close to the fireplace as she couldn't look at it. However when prepared to defend herself she did have a tendency to edge closer to open flames.

For her own part Solantra was as terrified of Rinu as the servants. The last time they had met she had been sure she was about to die. What shocked her most was the site on the sofa. Mats had been draped over it to stopped her bleeding on the upholstery. She had heard of the self-titled Butcher of Stratholme from the gnomes who'd ventured into that accursed city and met her there and this was definitely her. But Solantra could not help but feel she'd met Phina before. She was suddenly very aware of the scar over her heart.

She must have put her hand to her chest because Tiermaya was suddenly alert and moving towards her.
"Solantra?" She said warily with a glance towards Rinu. "What's wrong dear?"
"O-oh. It's nothing Tier." Her voice was shaking more than she would have liked. "I just didn't expect her to match Maytal's description so accurately. That's gnomes for you I guess. Attention to detail and all..." She realised she was rambling and stopped. Tiermaya didn't seem convinced though. She'd always been able to read Solantra like a book. A trait she had inherited from their mother.

Before either could speak, Rinu's sibilant tones chipped into the general ambience.
"Say there. Hate to interrupt the family moment, but incase you hadn't noticed my own sibling is currently bleeding all over your furniture. It would be a shame to bring her all the way from Northern Lordaeron for her to die here." Somehow, Rinu's faux-sweet tone was scarier than when she was threatening people.
"You're right. I can't let her die..." Solantra started. "But I can't let her kill more innocent either."
Rinu sighed and her sweet demeanour fell away like a snake shedding it's skin. "I figured you might be like this. I promise to take full responsibility for her. If you don't trust my word, bare in mind that I'll be putting her up at my home outside Darkshire." Rinu paused and when she realised this meant nothing to the two humans she continued. "I had to work hard to get the Night Watch to let me continue living there after Haathun had his fun attacking townsfolk with my body. You think I'm going to let her ruin that?"

Solantra felt torn. If the stories were true she would be giving an unhinged killing machine a second chance to live. She could not however countenance letting somebody at her mercy die. She turned to the light to help people. As she stepped towards the former Death Knight's prone form she could almost feel everyone in the room tense up.
She beseeched the light for aid (Tiermaya couldn't seem to help snickering as Rinu twitched violenty) and sent the energy that built up within her through Phina. The gnome was close to death from wounds that had recently reopened. Solanta continued this way for several minutes before breaking of and staggering back. Despite their fear several servants rushed forward ready to catch hef should she fall. They few staff who'd stood by House Giroval were extremely dedicated.

Phina's eyes fluttered and she looked around blearily before her demeanour turned sour. She beared her filed teeth and to Solantra it seemed as though she were not so much a gnome as The Legions attempt to copy gnomes. Where Rinu possessed a quite menace, her sister was outright terrifying despite her size.
"He-he-haemorrhage?" She said. "Where's Haem?"
"Now Phina." Rinu said getting up. "If you would ju-"
Phina's eyes shot wide open and she snarled. "Morawain!" she roared "I'll flay her alive". The name hit Solantra and Tiermaya like a charging bull. The two gnomes, however, didn't seem to notice. With a bloodthirsty howl, Phina leapt up and charged out of the room almost knocking it from it's hinges. Rinu ran after cursing loudly.

The room was subdued for a while. None of the servants wished to disturbed their mistresses and many of them knew full well the meaning of the last few seconds for them.
"D-does this mean she's alive? Solantra said with a flutter of hope.
"Maybe" Tiermaya said sternly. "It's not a common name. I'm more interested as to why Phina wants her dead so much."

More to come.
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Topic/Postby Tiermaya » 23 Aug 2008, 19:54

"What have you done runt?" Phina growled as she paced up and down Rinu's cottage in Duskwood. "You have no idea what that axe meant to me."
"On the contrary, dear sister." Rinu replied from her chair by the fire. The was a surprising amount of malice in her voice. "I know full well the properties of a Runeblade. I used a similar method to stow my own soul in a safe place. That is why I was able to undo the bond between you and the axe before destroying it entirely."

Rinu paused to fully appreciate Phina's look of surprise before continuing. "Had you forgotten that magic concerning the soul is a specialty of mine?"
"I had you've consumed them." Phina stated plainly. Among the scourge such things were commonplace. Little could perturb Phina.
"So have I. However my memory isn't what it used to be. The Aldor have seen to that."
Phina cackled. "They've hobbled you? Serves you right. Nevertheless you're not as dangerous as you once were thanks to them Alfors you keep talking about."
"Aldor." Rinu corrected with barely concealed annoyance.
"Awww. Do Runt's friends not want to play anymore? Wouldn't have thought you'd get so bitter over being kicked out of an order that serves the beings you fear most." Phina grinned as a flicker of fear crossed Rinu's face as her thoughts strayed to the Naaru.
"Don't get so high and mighty with me." Rinu visibly forced down her fear and straightened in her seat. "I fear nothing."

Phina grinned as only she could. As though she were about to pounce and rip Rinu apart with her teeth alone. "Maybe you should." She whispered.
Rinu narrowed her eyes and dark energies began to swirl around her. Phina fancied she could see the faces of those whose souls she had consumed in the fine shadowy swirls. She backed up, understanding that Rinu was ready to strike her down there.

"As if I would hurt my beloved sister who came all the way into the deepest parts of the Plaguelands to save me." She said as she backed towards the door without looking away. The two gnomes stared of for a moment before Phina slipped through the door and out of the house.

As Volnip emerged from his hiding place, Rinu grinned and chuckled to herself.
"She fears me Volnip. I may have to kill her sooner than I planned." She gazed at the door a little longer before turning away and walking to her bookcase. "Such a shame. I had hoped she'd be of use to me but she's to wild for that. Oh well"

Rinu made some tea while pouring over archaic tomes and planning how best to murder her sister.

*****

The Skeleton burst apart in a shower of dust under Phina's blow. The ask she found in the old abandoned farmyard was designed for chopping wood, but it sufficed for destroying the scourge minions in Duskwood. She bristled with rage but the old chapel she was in was empty now.
"She destroyed him..." she rasped to the empty chapel. "How dare she do this to me?"
"Yes. How dare she?" The voice boomed out in the empty building and Phina spun around realising she was not alone. Almost too late she noticed the dark shape dive from the rafters and land before her.
"Phina Fizzlespark." Haathun said with a grin. "We need to talk. I think you and I have much in common."
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Topic/Postby Tiermaya » 24 Aug 2008, 13:49

Rinu gazed into the morning mists of Duskwood with a sense of frustration. Phina had not returned from the night before. Despite her weakened state she was fearsome enough that the more hostile denizens of Duskwood posed little threat, so it was too much to hope they'd killed Phina for her. None of the residents of Darkshire would take her in. She was too creepy for strangers to take to her. So where was she?

Sighing irritably she wandered across the room to check the calender she kept to aid her patchy memory. She raised an eyebrow as she realised what day it was.
"Huh. Has it been a year already?"
"A special day Rinu?" Nazola chipped in jauntily.
"Hardly." She said bitterly. "Just another day. It's other people who put importance in silly little things. I have things to do... people to kill." She finished with a smile.

Nazola went to speak but was interrupted by an odd noise. They both gazed at the ceiling where it had come from for a moment before the ceiling caved in with a shower of splinters.

Haathun thudded to the floor between them, his weight cracking the floorboard and tearing Rinu's furbolg hide rug. The demon towered over Rinu with a smug grin on his face. More infuriating than the demons presence however was his companion. Phina sat perched on the felguard's shoulder with a smug grin.

"Howdy runt!" She said cheerily "Look I've made a new friend."
"Phina you maggot!" Rinu yelled, her voice full of hate. "You betrayed me!"
"Pah! You betrayed me first when you destroyed Haemorrhage."
"No matter. I had planned to kill you anyway since of of no use to me."
Phina gasped and clapped her hands to her face in mock surprise. "Really? I was going to say the same to you. How spooky."
Haathun chuckled. "You two really are sisters. I remember when you thought you were the last of the Fizzlesparks. It seems that honour won't go to after all."

Haathun swung his axe in an overhead arc at Rinu, who barely managed top roll aside of the blow. Phina, who'd hopped to the floor at the same time raised her own weapon to finish her off only to have Nazola's whip curl around the haft. She growled in frustration before the Succubus pulled the whip back. To her surprise Phina's grip was strong and the Gnome came with it, hurtling into the surprised demon and sending them both crashing out of the window and rolling down the hill behind the cottage.

"Well, well, well." Haathun twirled his axe in a one-handed grip. "It appears it's just you and me little warlock. Just like in the desert all those months ago."
"I'm much stronger now though." Rinu retorted.
"As am I." With that Haathun roared and charged at her.

*****

Phina ducked into a ditch and ran it's length, hoping to circle round on her opponent. Nazola was skilled with her lash and Phina had learnt when fighting Morawain that she could not defeat such a precise foe with berserk rage alone. She need to bring her strength to bear.

Nazola searched the tangle of trees and bushes vexedly.
"Come out now little Phina." She cooed. "Don't you want to play with me?"
A clink and a rustle was all the warning she had as Phina burst from the bushes in mid leap her axe on a course with the demon's head.
"Course I wanna play!" She screamed with a mad laugh. Nazola barely ducked aside and cried out as the blow tore a gash in her shoulder. Phina did not give her time, diving in with a series of blows. Armed with only a whip, Nazola could not parry. Taken aback by the sudden assault which began to tear her apart she could on scream in terror before allowing herself to slip back into the twisting nether.

"I had a feeling you'd be trouble."
The newcomer's voice was clear and confident, the accent was cultured and dripped with dissaproval. Turning Phina found herself confronted by the woman from the night she'd been healed. Only now she was dressed in strange red robes and wore a glowing sword at her side. The air around her shimmered as if heated.

What really stood out about her however, not that she had a good look at her was this woman's resemblance to Morawain.
"Hmmmm. How interesting." Phina said snidely. "Now I get to meet the other daughter."
The woman stiffened her face darkening, and flames playing around her fingers.
"So you have met my mother." She said in cold tones at odds with her expression and the magics around her. "My sister too it seems. I would know more."
Phina laughed loudly. "Heee! I know something you don't know." She chanted as she hefted her axe and lunged fowards.

Tiermaya merely allowed herself a small half-smile. "Most unwise."
With a flick of her hand she turned the air around Phina into a storm of fire.
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Topic/Postby Tiermaya » 11 Oct 2008, 23:25

Phina thanked whatever higher power was listening that there were alot of dead, dry trees around. In order to prevent causing a forest fire her opponent had to hold back.

This one was definately Morawain's daughter. She had that same expression of determination, the utter confidence in her ability. She was different Phina had always assumed Morawain to be have gained her title through a knighthood or something. But her daughter had the accent and rigid posture of the nobility.

In Phina's experience they always screamed the loudest when subjected to her predilictions. This was going to be fun. She ran around a tree and tried to blindside the mage, only to knocked frrom her feet as a fireball stuck her breastplate. She laughed despite the sudden heat.

"This is great!" She exclaimed. "I never get fight anyone like me!"
Tiermaya's lip curled in digust. "Please, don't think to compare one such as me to a base monster like yourself."
"Oh but don't you see we fight the same way."
Tiermaya frowned at the apparent absurdity of the statement. "Say what?"
"Oh sure." Phina continued "You study for years to fight from far away while I pick up and axe and wade right in. But at the end of the day whethers it's my axe or your fire we both throw subtlety out of the window. We have one trick that alwa-"

Phina cut off as a sudden blast of air stuck her. This was fire though. It was cold. She felt the joints of her armour clogging up and large blocks of ice rooting her to the floor. Tiermaya was grinning wickedly.

"I wasn't always a Pyromancer you know. I still know a bit or two from my cryomancy days." She began weave her hand in complex pattern the air in between superheating as she went. Before Phina could break free Tiermaya whipped her hands around forming an enormous ball of fire which she hurled at her. The blast hit Phina square on and melt the ice away in moments.

Phina turned and fled swearing and heaping death threats on Morawain, Tiermaya and all who associated with them. She was sick of being outclassed by that family. She hoped Haathun had what he needed.

*****

Tiermaya found Rinu sat on a stone watching the remnants of her home burn. As she approached the warlock turned and regarded her bitterly.

"Did you get her?" She asked tonelessly.
"No." Tiermaya replied regrettfully. "She lives to kill more, though maybe with a few burn scars. What happened?"
"Haathun happened. He came barging in and grabbing books that I took from the Scholomance. I figured it best to keep the information out of his hands by burning it."
"You burned your own home to spite him?" Tiermaya asked incredulously.
"Not quite. Haathun's pretty bright as Felguards go. When a former Burning Legion agent goes after Scourge tomes it can't be good."
Tiermaya nodded in agreement. "Makes sense. I guess you did something decent for once."
"Pffft" Rinu sneered at her. "Not really most likely they want me dead. However now that Haathun doesn't have me empowering him and Phina is without the Lich King's blessing they can't actually take me in straight fight. It was self defense on my part. Failed anyway, he got what he wanted."
Tiermaya choked. "What?"
"Don't worry I have a lead on where they're going."
"You do?"
"He took tomes on Runeblades only. They obviously intend to restore Phina's former power. Then she'll be a threat to me but still one-track minded enough for Haathun to manipulate her to his own ends as I planned to."
"Not sure I like that you were going to take advantage of her bloodlust." Tiermaya said folding her arms. "What for?"
Rinu waved her arm dismissively. "That's a moot point. The only thing I want now is those two dead. There's one person who can tell us where they might be going to do that. She wants Phina dead too. Me and you are taking a trip to the Plaguelands."
Tiermaya balked at the statement. "Why would I go with you of all people to a place like that?"

Rinu turned to her with a malicious grin. "We're going to see a Death Knight. Her name is Morawain Giroval."

The End... for now.
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