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Posts: 48
Joined: April 4th, 2014, 8:43 am

Curse of the In-laws.

Postby Cerestal » August 13th, 2014, 4:30 am

Cerestal rarely travelled, and rarer still travelled without the intent of killing something. He glanced up as he walked toward the stormy sky, growing more ominous in step with the landscape growing more desolate. A pair of nether drakes glided far out on the horizon, searching like vultures for an easy prey. He figured a storm was coming, but a more worldly person than Cerestal Falah'serrar would have known that this is how Shadowmoon Valley always was.

His nightsaber whined despite being unburdened, still reeling from the strain from when she had been mounted. Cerestal wasn't tall for a night elf but his body was laden with muscle, weighing in at over three hundred pounds by himself. Adding another hundred and twenty to his total was the plate armor and greatsword he decided to bring along with some supplies, he decided to regularly rest for the poor girl before he rode her into the ground.

The region was fairly bright, amplified by the elf's natural night vision. He stopped at the first crested hill to study the map to ground for a minute. Satisfied he was on the right track, he mounted the saber and pressed on. The going was uneventful, save for two lava lizards (for lack of a better term) snapping and hissing at one another over a dead boar. Through most of this leg of the journey, Wildhammer Stronghold - his next stopover - loomed like the fortress it was to the south.

When he was within five hundred yards, a pair of patrolling gryphon riders swooped in and escorted the night elf to the gate. Cerestal was met by the sergeant on duty, a stocky dwarf with one mangled and useless eye, half a left ear and tattoos spanning his entire face.

"Welcome te Wildhammer Stronghold, night elf." he said routinely, though his appraising look lingered over the elf's right eye as they all did. "State yer business."

"Ishnu'alah. I'm heading to the Netherwing Fields." Cerestal replied. His words were low and growlish like a taurens, the Common laden with an Ursine accent he had tried more than once to iron out. "I have a map, but some directions and remarks about the route would serve well."

The sergeant looked to the handle of his greatsword poking over the traveler's shoulder.

"Are ye a poacher?"

"A poacher?" Cerestal repeated. "No."

"If yer here to kill a dragon, don't come crying te us when one breathes fire down yer arse." the sergeant chuckled along with a few privates in earshot. "Or do - it's always amusing. But we won't help ye."

"I'm not here to kill, unfortunately."

The sergeant gave him some remarks about the path east, including the Sanctum of the Stars - 'just dannae wear Aldor colours' was the advice given. Cerestal knew only they were priests from Shattrath and wondered why anyone would have issue with that specifically. For a sergeant, the dwarf was quite amiable towards the elf. Cerestal had been told that his long, semi-elegant beard often won dwarves over, but that his discolored right eye also made him intimidating. Perhaps they simply both worked on a hard-as-nails dwarf sergeant.

"My thanks." the night elf said after a few minutes. "Anything else I should know?"

"The Fields themselves are inhabited by flayers." the sergeant remarked, tapping his cheekbone to highlight his useless eye. "Ye dannae want te let one get close, alright?"

"That's what the sword is for."

"Aye. If that's it, then off with ye. I've got work te do."

Cerestal turned without a farewell and followed the path, knowing how busy a sergeant can be from his own service time. The final leg was equally uneventful, a little to his disappointment until he passed the Sanctum of the Stars. The blood elves went about their business, a few stopping to whisper and glance Cerestal's way frequently. The night elf had little desire to speak to a dwarf sergeant and less to put up with condescending, holier-than-thou elves and decided to dismount and continued on.

The fields themselves were filled with enormous crystals, flayers and Netherwing, feeding, hunting overhead or simply lazing about somewhere out of reach of said flayer. A roar boomed every few seconds and the constant beating of wings never left Cerestal's ears. A drake eyed him distrustfully. Cerestal put two fingers to his mouth and let out two short, sharp whistles followed by a longer blast.

Somewhere, a familiar roar replied.

Posts: 48
Joined: April 4th, 2014, 8:43 am

Re: Curse of the In-laws.

Postby Cerestal » August 22nd, 2014, 8:08 am

Before she could properly greet him, a flayer appeared from behind a crystal formation. The large drake lowered her body and bared her teeth like a dog. The growl enough gave pause to the opportunistic predator, enough for her to snap at it with her teeth. The bite caught only air, but the foe was intimidated enough to back down. When it was finally out of sight, she looked at Cerestal.

"Flayers... I heard they were a real problem back in the day."

Cerestal reached out with a gauntleted hand and patted Varaku like he would a horse. "They didn't have you to fear."

He grinned and she roared something akin to laughter. Despite being only five or six years old, Varaku was well on her way to maturing into a full nether dragon. The tips of her wings were brighter and she was bigger still since last they met. Her body was still the same crackling cobalt and her eyes a piercing electric blue. Her flanks were etched with scars from her youth as a slave to a Dragonmaw rider whom would ultimately fall to Cerestal's claymore. It had been six months since she had left him standing atop a knoll in Winterspring after saying their goodbyes. It almost saddened Cerestal to think his vain, impulsive and excessively violent Varaku had grown up and carried the torch.

Her body began to glow and morph. She let out a silent cry, and within a few seconds Cerestal was face-to-face with a glimmering night elf about his height. She still had her taste for blues and azures in her hair, tattoos and attire, though still hadn't worked out how to change her electric blue eyes which was always her giveaway whilst disguised.

"How's Meia?" she asked, making minute adjustments to her flowing gown.

"She's fine." Cerestal replied. "How's being amongst your own kind?"

"They don't eat enough."

They chuckled and she began to walk through the fields, beckoning him to keep pace.

"It's warmer here." she began idly. "Which is most certainly a good thing."

Cerestal simply nodded.

"The Netherwing here are often cowed, despite their nature. See that?" she pointed to a distant Orcish ruin. "That's Dragonmaw Fortress, where I was born."

Cerestal thought back to the orc who held her reins and riding crop all those years ago. One of her scars had been from him to ground her, which allowed Cerestal to attack and swiftly behead the arrogant rider. Varaku spoke little of her torturous upbringing, but he could still see the brutality of the place from so far away.

"Neltharaku lives there with his mate." she explained. "The rest of us nest in various nooks in the mountains around the fields here. My next is up there."

She pointed up to the hills to the south and looked at Cerestal.

"Would you like to see it?"

"You told me I needed to come with haste for something important." Cerestal started. "Is there a problem?"

"Come." was all she said as she shed her disguise and stretched her wings. "If I could carry you before, I certainly can carry you now."

She could. Even with his weight (he had left his saber in the care of the blood elves), Varaku launched with a force he had never felt from her. With her growing size had come considerable power, it seemed. She flew effortlessly to the ridgeline summit she had pointed out, navigating a few rocks and crystals to reach her secluded nest. On their approach, Varaku let out a roar, which was answered by one further ahead.

When Cerestal dismounted, he was greeted with the bared teeth of a beast even larger than Varaku.

"Kalthraku, play nice. This is Cerestal." she said. "Cerestal, this is Kalthraku."

The large drake quickly ceased his mistrusting glare and something told Cerestal that Varaku had spoken of him in high regard before today. Their nest was an open cavern sheltered by three walls and a low ceiling. The terrain protected it from rain, storms and runoff and the interior was surprisingly warm. Varaku approached the other drake and nuzzled his neck.

That was enough to convince him. When he looked around, the dozen eggs cemented the idea in his head.

"Your mate?"

Varaku growled something in acknowledgement. Kalthraku nuzzled her in return, though between two drakes it hardly looked romantic. Still, the sight made him wish Meia was in arms reach.

"Varaku speaks highly of you, mortal." the larger drake growled. "She says you're a titan that cannot be slain."

"I intend to die one day." he replied, which caused both drakes to growl a chuckle. Kalthraku said something in draconic, which caused Varaku to laugh.

"I know, right?! So eager to rush headlong into death." she replied, looking at Cerestal. "Pray you get to see him fight. You won't regret the spectacle."

Cerestal folded his arms. They conversed quietly in draconic before Kalthraku took wing and left. Varaku gave the eggs one protective glance and looked at Cerestal.

"Well? What do you think?"

"He seems nice." Cerestal simply said.

"He's dreamy." she said serenely, her muzzle turning an impish grin. "And rough."

It suddenly hit Cerestal the reason he was here.

"I bought a portal to Darnassus and purchased a saber." he started. "Took another portal to Stormwind, rode for six days through swamps, dark forest and demon-infested territory, navigated around a demonic army in Hellfire Peninsula, rode for days through forests, barren wasteland and tainted, barren wasteland...

"Please tell me this isn't just to be asked what I think of your nest and your mate..."

"Well I was thinking of a pile of skulls by the entrance." Varaku started. "I don't know, what do you think?"

"I thought you were in danger or something!"

Varaku spared him a glance, then roared a shrill roar of a laugh. "What about some wind chimes? I was thinking some armored orcs hanging by their necks and--"

"I don't care." Cerestal said. "I've spent hundreds of your lifetime with a campfire and a sleeping roll. I'm the last person to ask about decorations."

Varaku huffed. "If you're so old, then why are you angry about losing a week to come see me?"

"I'M NOT--" Cerestal stopped himself, realizing she was right. It was only a week, and usually a week or even a month was nothing to him. But this week was a week without Meia's warm touch, or his gym, or those steaks he always craved. Or the mead, or...

"I think I'm getting too settled into Winterspring." he said at last.

"I've got eleven eggs coming, so you can't stay with me." Varaku said with a growl of a chuckle. "Enkilzar il, let me introduce you to them."


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