September 19, 2012 – 9:30 am
This takes place after the events of Forgebreaking and after the fall of Theramore.
Aely stood in the little washroom of their apartment, hands over the sink, ripping the remains of a glass out of the palm of her hand. It hurt, but not enough. The tumbler had shattered satisfactorily against the bar, but Kyraine had to go and get Verne, and he had to go and try to heal it.
Numbly, she looked at the little glittering shards in the sink, washed pink with blood and warm water. She spat, tasting the sour remnants of bad whiskey, and dug the last bit of glass out of her palm. It fell with a clink against its brothers. Her hand oozed red down the side of the sink.
Look at yirself. Na better than fuckin’ Bittertongue. Go oan. Wallow in it.
She wrapped a linen bandage tightly around her hand, gritting her teeth. No better than Bittertongue indeed. She wasn’t sure where the line was – The utter catastrophe of the summit. Malkavet and the condition of Shaila on her rescue. Having razed a fortress to the ground, only to find that Beltar wasn’t there. The loss of the freed slaves she’d tried so hard to give a better chance to. The destruction of everyone and everything in Theramore, the last remaining stronghold with ties to the North.
But it didn’t really matter where the line was, this crossed it.
Sensless bloody loss ay life. What a fuckin’ waste.
She briefly fought a battle not to attack the wall behind her, gave up, and slammed her hands into it anyway. Neither gave way, and the low gutteral growl in the back of her throat turned to a full blown scream, turned to deep, wracking sobs. She collapsed into the wall, beating against it weakly with her bandaged hand, reopening the wounds. The white linen turned red. Aely gave herself up to the sobbing, sliding down and sitting on the floor, letting the hurt and loss and hatred pour out of her like water.
Eventually there was nothing left. Nothing but the still, small voice of her own mind.
Wir at war, Aely Caltrains. Ye’ve been ta war before. Time ta start actin’ like it.
She sat for a moment, thinking about that. And then she took a deep breath, stood up, swept the glass shards out of the sink into the trash, splashed some water on her face, and left.
September 18, 2012 – 8:20 pm
Over the last weekend, the Wildfire Riders got together, under the guidance of our illustrious leader, Tarquin, and we went to find Beltar.
If you’ve not read Reports of His Demise you should go read it now, since that will set up the next bit of story.
After much gathering of intelligence and some rather unpleasant hinting by Malkavet, the Riders have a good lead on where to find Beltar. This is the story of that expedition.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely proud of this, and proud of us. This document was written, in part, by Tarquin, Threnn, Bricu, Fells, Shad, Lorelli, Kyraine, Illithias, Beltar, Ulthanon, Pitchblack, Chryste, and myself, and it was read and edited by pretty much everyone who has a character in it. Tarquin gets the credit (and blame) for wrangling this out of us and for editing the whole thing together, turning our disparate bits of fiction into a coherent story.
This is what happens when the Riders go to war. It is alternately funny, profane, violent, serious, lighthearted, and disturbing. It is not a short read.
And it is, if I do say so myself, brilliant.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.
We are the Wildfire Riders. Who the fuck are you?
***** Introduction *****
They came at sundown, fifteen armed and armored, when the color was leeching from the dun hillsides and the few hardy pines that straggled up the crags. There were wings to be had, of gryphon and dragon and things yet stranger, but the Horde contested the skies here, so they marched on foot like soldiers of a past age. Twice they had to duck into the scrub as wyverns flew overhead, flattening themselves like rabbits under a hawk. They shook the dust from their boots and marched on, with good-humored complaints.
At the top of Windshear Crag, in the high hills, they met their spy, the fox-faced little sprite of a woman their chief had sent ahead. The work went on in the mines; the garrison slouched about the fortress, enjoying their leisure but eager for a fight. They made their camp, sixteen now, and waited for the last of the light to fade. Mage-bread and dried meat, served cold. None of them, even the lean young woman at her first real battle, thought to ask for a fire. They knew the answer.
When their creased and smiling tracker judged the sky dark enough, it was back on their feet. Packs were slung, laces were tightened, blades were checked and checked again. Their chief made his last instructions, salting the air with lilting curses and burring imprecations, and they all clasped hands, traded jokes, and said a few hundred words with only one meaning. Don’t get killed.
Then they split. Six to the mine, the vulpine scout guiding them; seven to the base of the crag, bristling with weaponry; three to the high road between mine and fortress, swallowed by the night. They spread through Windshear Crag like splinters of bone from a bad wound, drifting through blood to find the heart. Sixteen scum of the earth, come to strike a blow in the war that a week ago they’d been working to stop.
Come to bring their brother home.
You can read the rest here.
(this is a shortened link because it goes to a public google document)
September 14, 2012 – 7:42 am
Because it’s just that kind of Friday…
- WHAT…. is your name?
- WHAT…. is your quest?
- WHAT…. is your favorite color?
(I’d ask about sparrows and the capital of Assyria, but I’m afraid I don’t have a giant pit to throw anyone in.)
September 12, 2012 – 9:40 am
She’s so small, Duugvilder thought as he stepped into the room where the Night Elves were caring for her. She was little more than skin and bones and a very ragged looking hat. Her skin was a pale white, almost grey, and the freckles that he loved tracing a finger over were like mottled blemishes. He could feel tears starting to fill his eyes as he looked at her sleeping form. He fought them back, and whispered to her:
“Annie Mae?” He reached out slowly, and gently pressed his fingertips to her shoulder, careful not to jostle her too much, fearful that even this much contact would injure her further. “Annie Mae, are you…awake?” He didn’t want to say the word that first came to mind.
Annie Mae’s eyes flashed open, revealing vibrant green eyes that not even her brush with death could extinguish. She looked up at Duugvilder and flashed an enormous grin.
“DUUGY!!!” Her voice was raspy, but strong, and she flung her arms around his neck. “DUUGY! You’re still around! And you came here! They won’t let me leave until I’m ‘better fed’ and everything they want to feed me has frigging mushrooms in it.”
Duugvilder felt his heart swell, and wasn’t sure if the force at the back of his throat was laughter or sobbing. He held her gently, hugging her back while still careful of her condition. He lowered her to her pillow, adjusting it so she could sit up. He looked at her, concerned, but relieved and amused. Of course she will be well, he thought. With her spirit and will, how could I have doubted?
“I would not have let you leave either. You are nothing but skin and bones, Annie Mae! We are lucky that you survived…” He took the ragged hat off her head and set it aside so he could test her temperature. “I brought food for you, to help you regain your strength.. But I do not understand: what is wrong with mushrooms?”
Annie made a little gagging noise. “I’ve eaten nothing but mushrooms and cave crickets the whole time I was in that cave. Do you know how disgusting that is? And plain water, which wasn’t so bad, but I want a BEER.”
“Have they given you nothing else to eat?”
“Something they call pine nut bread. It’s not too bad. A little chewy. How did you know to come here? Did that stuffy git of an elf actually write you?”
Duugvilder smiled at her. Not even live burial could still her tongue, and he chuckled at the vulgarity. “The pine nut bread will help you regain the weight that you have lost, and it is mild enough that you would be able to keep it down when you were at your weakest. As for how I came here, yes, that ‘stuffy git,’ as you call him, sent a letter to me. While one cannot usually read tone into a letter, his desperation was palpable, especially when he begged me to ‘come and take this terrifying worg-kin off [my] hands.’” He took a moment to enjoy the look on her face. “I am joking. His letter was incredibly kind but it was direct in communicating your condition and the importance of my presence. I came as quickly as shopping and provision- gathering allowed.”
“Oh Duugy, you’re the best! But they won’t let me have bear burgers. Something about bear spirits…” She pouted. “Please tell me you at least brought beer. Stranglethorn Brew or Metok’s Bubble Bock or…” Her eyes widened. “DWARVEN STOUT!!!”
He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “There will be beer when I know that you will keep it down. And you have my word that, by the time you and I leave here, you will never wish to consume bear flesh again. We will have time to talk soon – and we have much on which to catch up – but first I will make arrangements to take over your care, starting with your first non- mushroom meal…”
Annie Mae’s eyes gleamed brightly. “BEAR BURGERS!!! I’ve have a full pound with cheese and lettuce and tomato and hot sauce and bacon and…”
“Nonsense. You are still not ready for solid food aside from the pine nut bread. I am going to make you a nice soup that will help your body prepare for heartier fare…”
“Aw HELLS, Duug! I don’t want any more soup! I’m sick to death of broth! Please, if you ever cared a damn about me…”
Duugvilder smiled. “I do ‘care a damn’ about you, Annie Mae. I am incredibly happy and relieved that you are alive. But you simply must trust me on this. No bear burgers yet.” He looked at her as she grumbled, leaned forward, and kissed her furrowed brow.
“Annie Mae, my dear, have you ever had consomme?”
August 4, 2015 – 12:22 pm
An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out!
It really …
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