Casavel & The Culling

The hand that brought the blade through its cleaning stroke was strange, pale gold kissed flesh with short stubby fingers, unlike her normal ones. She frowned briefly, then her head jerked up as the next wave of undead converged onto her small band of adventurers. The illusion that wrapped around her was forgotten as she once again faced a thing she knew how to kill.

Her lips peeled back in disgust and she looked to the right, dropped her shoulder and pulled her shield arm in close, half ducking behind the wall as ghoul claws clanged off the titansteel shield. She shoved back, a low sound slipping from between her teeth as she struggled to open enough space between the press of undead and the shield to bring her sword back to bear.

Another ghoul slammed against the shield, a full body contact that caused the vile corpse to begin smoking as the holy blessing in the metal reacted and flared gold. She snarled this time, her voice lost to the squeals and thrumming power of undead locked in combat with her group. Her lips shaped the one word she needed to gain herself space and the sound of a bell tolled, holy flame blooming from beneath her booted feet and pushing the undead away.

Her blade flicked around the shield, shearing off a clawed hand as the undead threw itself forward, probably thinking to kill her. She whirled as a chopped yell reached her ears, sword flashing a deadly arc and gutting a zombie that was in the inevitable path of the blade, she leapt back towards her companions and the throb of an old church bell once more filled the air as flame rolled from where she stood.

Lightning leapt from the shaman's hands tracing a potential path in the air as it ripped through three of the zombies. Casavel saw the brown eyes of the human before her widen and she turned, shield upthrust as the next wave of abominations and spider lords blocked them at the corner.

"Come, we must press on. Mal'Ganis will not wait."

Casavel flinched as the voice rolled over her. She had heard that voice much colder and deeper when she stood at the Wrath Gate. Only her loyalty to the Dragonflights kept her from running her blade through Arthas and doing the Infinite Flight's work for them. Arthas had to survive for the good of Azeroth. Chromie had stressed that before she wove her illusion over the group. Arthas could not die in Stratholme. And with the Infinite Flight again interfering in the time stream, Cas had agreed along with a group of other adventurers to keep history on course and cull the city along side Arthas.

For, without this culling, she would not exist. Chromie had been very blunt. Her race would not exist. She would not have been born. To keep the stream stable, she had to do this. She had also said something strange, that her own life wouldn't be the only one affected in a negative way, but that her decision would affect the entire Bronze Flight.

The jarring of her sword arm returned her thoughts once more to the fight at hand. She realized suddenly that she had been going through the motions, letting muscle memory do much of the work for her as Chromie's words had rolled through her head... her group thankfully had picked up any slowness on her part and the last shambling corpse had impaled himself onto her blade... apparently in an attempt to get at her, as she realized her blood was tracing a path over her breastplate.

"Look, up ahead. One of the dragons." She heard the murmur from one of the death knights in her party, and lifted her head. He was right. A bronze drake and an infinite were entangled in combat, the bronze drake being used to fuel the alternate portal. This she would not allow. She stepped forward, ignoring Arthas who could not see what she saw, and would not even realize she and her small group had slipped away from his side to help the bronze dragonflight.

Her lips shaped a word, and an ethereal copy of her shield, formed of holy power arrowed towards the head of the infinite drake. It snarled and roared, partially blinded and definitely angered by her interference. She braced herself for an impact and sucked in a breath as the drake slammed into the holy shield that had been woven into her armor. It blunted the impact of foul body and breath. Fire rolled from beneath her feet, and she heard the distant roar of her companions as they launched themselves at the drake.

When the carcass of the Infinite Drake lay cooling at her feet, she turned as a humming groan pricked along her shields. The bronze drake lay crumpled, wing snapped oddly and smoke rising from its gilded flesh. She stepped forward, knowing a gout of blackening dragon blood could burn through her armor and flesh instantly; yet she was honor bound to assist the drake in any way she could. Even if it was only a swift and merciful death.

The drake rasped in a breath, and lifted its head, and her eyes flared for a brief second, and the drake inclined its head.

< Young One, you honor me. May I assist you? >

"No, Wise One. My only wish is to help you." Casavel said softly, gauntletted hand resting lightly on her blade.

< A noble wish, Young Daystar. Our meeting was foretold. I have been waiting for a rider. You are she. Greetings to you, I am Aois. >

Cas stepped back as the wings suddenly became whole and the drake stood before her, one wing extended for ease of mounting. She inclined her head, palms pressed together. "It would be my honor, Aois."

< We will speak later, Young Daystar of the Blood Elves. Finish what Lord Nozdormu expects you to. I will be waiting. >

The drake shimmered from view, and Casavel turned back to her companions and nodded towards the trailing tail of Arthas' army. They hurriedly moved through the men and women, returning to Arthas' side at the head of the battle as the demon stepped into view.

Casavel leapt for the demon, even knowing exactly how this would end and her companions sprang with her. Some good had already come of her time in this wretched place, even if more evil would follow Arthas, and she would be returned to her own time and freed of the human illusion that hung over her entire group. That thought would carry her through this battle, and a gilded drake would carry her into the ones that came after.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice! I like how you captured the sort of uneasiness about going through with helping Arthas become what he is now-the Caverns of Time can be a little off-putting in its demands.

    I remember when I first got my drake-four total strangers to roll against. It felt so epic!

    Looking forward to reading more about Casavel's travels. :D