By Bricu | October 21, 2009
Part 2 of Wrathgate Wednesday has two more posts by long time riders. These posts continue to follow the italics post made by Tarquin.
Ulthanon is a long time rider. He’s seen a number of campaigns and fought–usually on the winning side–in a number of battles. I could write tons about him, but I think the art by Lans does a much better job.
Genise has been a Rider since day one, and gives our particular band of mercenaries a softer, more noble side. This post continues the idea of three powerful magi combining their arcane talents into one torrent of magical energy; however, Genise does things her way.
The use, mate, is that he was human once.
As the others took up their battle line below him, Ulthanon Kaidos dug through the snow as quickly as possible, clearing it to the sides of his hilltop and packing it loosely into embankments. He had no illusions about a wall of snow stopping anything- except, that was, the wind. The air temperature even during the day barely climbed above freezing, and if he were to stand in one spot for an extended battle in the snow, he wanted as little wind whipping past him as possible. Plus, his feet wouldn’t freeze from standing in a snowbank. He worked with a quickness, focusing his mind on getting through the snow and ice and down to the dirt and rock of the hill itself.
They know pride, and the void that follows it’s breaking.
When his shovel was thrust downwards with a thud instead of a shiff, he knew he’d finally reached dirt. He started clearing the snow around the space he’d dug through, working through the white powder with a steady quickness. Now and again, his eyes would dart to the advancing Alliance line far below him- maybe a quarter of a mile from the front line to the Gate, but at a slow march, it would still be a few minutes. He kept digging.
And if he’s forgotten all of this, then we’ll fucking well remind him.
He’d managed to clear his hilltop in a twenty by twenty circle, give or take, and the snow embankments were roughly a foot tall and equally thick. Taking the furs from the chair he’d aquired, he laid them down inside the makeshift bunker, covering most of the ground on the Gate-facing side. He stole another glance at the battle line; maybe an eighth of a mile, now. Time to set up.
He came for us in Lordaeron, and we lived to sing of it. He came for us at Hyjal, and we broke his back on the Mount. He came for us in Stormwind, and we paved the streets with corpses and turned his hands away.
He’d bought more specialty ammunition at one time than he had over the past few months combined; three entire cases of KS80’s, that would burst from their casings after leaving the muzzle and unfold into a miniature bolt thrower glaive; a dozen boxes of ES-SV4’s, shaken up beforehand for extra volatility; SS-MM41’s as his personal answer to enemy casters; and of course, his personal favorite- seven boxes of CS-MM51’s, coated with a unique blend of acids and other nefarious compounds that would cause his more standard poisoned bullets’ toxins to burst out of the target’s veins. This was not to mention, of course, the thousands upon thousands of standard bullets he’d brought with him.
The battle line had come to a halt.
Now we’ve come for him!
“Hey, Darrows!” He called down, following his hail with a sharp whistle, “Do me a favor and freeze this side of the snow bank for me? I don’t want to end up sledding in the middle of this party if I’m leaning forward to aim.”
He turned after that and covered his face; a moment later, he felt the impact of a bolt of ice slam into the outer edge of the snow. A familiar crackling noise followed as the wall froze solid down to its core. He raised a thumbs-up as thanks, but said no more.
This is what comes when the Riders go to war!
Ulthanon threw a clip into his gun, slammed it into place, and cocked his first round into the chamber. He exhaled slowly, the cloud of his breath trailing slowly behind him. Below, the Riders had taken up positions.
The tall, blue-eyed man stood at the entrance to Genise Crownsilver’s tent, a wide grin on his lips and a single hand brushing back his long, black hair. Adjusting several pieces of the light mail armor that protected his thick, well-muscled frame, he cleared his throat and leaned forward, calling out in a deep, rumbling tone into the tent.
Moments passed with no answer. The man sighed, a look of disappointment coming over his features.
Genise’s eyes lifted from their fixation on her nails as the deep voice of a young man rose amidst the Riders’ camp. “Courier sent with a message for one of your camp, mister Ap Danwyrith. So sorry to interrupt.”
The deep voice was nervous, as one would be at such a time. Not only was this young man upon the eve of the worst battle all would see for years – but he was sent to the most ill-reputed camp of all the forces gathered. Genise’s brow perked as she eyed the young man, who was being assured by Tarquin to not worry for his safety here. As Tarquin patted the kid on the back and took the delivered scroll, the sorceress patted Varenna’s thigh and slipped to her feet, a predatory glint in her eyes.
“You look nervous,” she quietly spoke in soft tones. Feeling a sudden warmth rush through his body, Genise’s fingers lightly touched to the courier’s arm, the smile of the young lady sending a chill of equal proportions down his spine. “What’s your name, darling?”
“In..Innis, ma’am, Saul Innis.” He swallowed, and rubbed the back of his head with the untouched hand, a goofy smile spreading across his handsome features.
Genise eyed a raised bicep before returning her gaze to meet that of the slightly shorter man. “You’ve had a long ride to get here, must be freezing, you poor thing.”
Courier Innis blushed, shrugging faintly and being unable to form words before Genise spoke once again.
“Come sit with me and have a drink, Saul. It’ll warm your blood for the ride back.”
A collective amount of Riders rolled their eyes.
Saul eyed the tent a moment longer, before standing erect and covering his brow with a hand, gaze searching over the camp in hopes of spotting the Archmagess, but there was no luck. As depressing as war was, it paled in comparison to not see that charming smile once again.
“Saul?” A warm breeze suddenly washed over him as he turned back to the tent, the glinting blue gaze of Genise Crownsilver a mere inches away from his own. “Madam Crownsilver…” her spoke in strong relief, just staring…
A chorus of giggles, cackles, and groans rose from the over-decorated tent of the Sorceress of Elwynn. An arcane source of light lit the tent well on the inside, oddly enough, casting no shadows to those on the outside looking in.
A deep grunt sounded from outside the tent. The giddy noises stopped, and moments later, Genise’s head popped through the entrance at ground level. Her hair was disheveled – as rare a sight as any – and she was grinning.
“…Tarq, hi there!” She giggled brightly, staring up at her proverbial older brother. Her stared back down at her with a raised brow, a cigarette burning to the coal in his hand. No real surprise that sleep was a stranger to anyone on this night.
“Came by ta see if yeh’d aught worth drinkin’, but I see yir occupied.” He paused, doing a mental headcount, and stared at her with deadpan incredulity. “Thit’s no’ Sunshine in thir with yeh, is it?”
She cackled and rolled onto her back, hand shooting from the tent with a bottle of something quite strong in her grasp. Tarquin’s eye twitched, praying she didn’t slide any further from the tent and embarrass them both. “Whiskey?” she purred.
“Whiskey?” He blinked, not knowing her to usually be into that. “Sure yeh mean wine, ayeh? A nice Pinot Gregarious or what d’yeh name it?”
Genise narrowed her eyes, staring at Tarquin for a moment, before glancing back to the bottle and blinking. “Oh yeah… Maybe it is.”
A laugh rose from both of their mouths, more dominantly from hers than Tarquin’s. He aimed his smoke at the redhead and spoke with a thin veneer of jocularity. “Well, wha’ever yeh’ve in thir, I trust yeh’ll both be with us at dawn. We kinna be-”
He stopped in his words as a second head popped from the tent. A mane of black locks and the well-kept face of the rookie courier, Saul Innis, who stared up at Tarquin with wide eyes. The rogue’s brow furrowed, and Innis slowly disappeared into the tent once again, clearing his throat and clearly intimidated. Somewhere deep inside, he was praying that this wasn’t one of those stories where the gorgeous lady simply ‘forgot’ to mention she was married.
“Wis tha’…?” Tarquin’s question trailed off while his breath was still misting the air. Genise just nodded and grinned, exhaling softly.
“What?” he mocked softly. “I mean, really, Geny?”
She rolled her eyes, pointing a well-manicured finger in his direction. “Private Innis has never seen battle before, or a woman, Tarquin, and coincidentally, he may die tomorrow.” Tarquin folded his arms, staring as she continued. “Coincidentally, I might die tomorrow.” She blinked. “Okay, so, I probbaly won’t die tomorrow, but… I am a giving person, and I like to make people smile and forget their worries.”
“Aye, and he’s no’ worryin’ about much the now, is he?” he interrupted, grinning despite himself. Genise chuckled and slowly shook her head. A brief, amused silence came over the two for a moment, before Genise curled the pointing finger and spoke to break the quiet.
“You know, doll, you look a bit wary yourself. You should go grab Ceil and come back!”
Tarquin blinked his eyes open a bit wider, staring down at her incredulously. Genise winked, and Tarquin sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’ll be movin’ oan now,” he mumbled, turning to seek his sought-after drink elsewhere.
Genise cackled, and then yelped as she suddenly disappeared, pulled deftly back into the tent.
“I..I wanted to see you again, before the battle.” He timidly spoke, his masculine posture seemingly gone to mush in her presence. Genise just smiled softly, touching a hand to his cheek, leaning in, and kissing him on the top of the nose.
“I’m sorry, darling. I can’t talk right now – there’s work to be done.”
He blinked at the lack of flippant nature in the woman’s tone. It was as if a different woman spoke to him. “I… Just… but…” He babbled as her hand left his cheek, touched to his chest, and then removed itself completely. She swayed away in fluid motions towards a lone tent at the far side of the camp. Not once did she bother to look back or pause in her movement.
And as she disappeared into the tent, a soft whisper passed by the courier on the wind. “Fight bravely, and you will survive.”