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Old 03-22-2009, 06:18 PM
Wulfang Wulfang is offline

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Default The Marked

For many months (perhaps years even) I have talked about how much I'd like to start a fic but that I lacked the inspiration or drive to do it. Well, the drive hit me this weekend and I hope the inspiration as well.

Remember, this is my first fic, so I'm going to make a lot of mistakes and so I'll need lots of criticism (both positive and negative, I hope) to make this work, because I think the plot and characters I've come up with are genuinely good.

So, without any further ado, I give you the prologue of The Marked.

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Prologue: Whispers of Change

Night had long fallen over the city of Stormwind. While bustling with movement of all types during the day, even the great capital had its quiet moments at such an hour, with only the repetitive chant of the crickets breaking the silence.

One man, however, still walked the empty streets. It had been a long time since Trevor Stonefield had the luxury of sleeping a full night like most of the other citizens. While at first sight he could easily be mistaken for any common Stormwind guard due to the armor he sported, a quick glance at his tabard clearly marked him as something different. Instead of a golden lion, the symbol on his chest was a lock encircled by five heavy chains - the symbol of the Stormwind Vault.

As he climbed into the small rowboat waiting for him by the canals and started rowing towards the edifice where he would spend the next eight hours, Officer Stonefield grimaced at how depressed this task now made him feel. Just a couple years ago he was an ordinary guard who spent his days patrolling the streets, beating up muggers and, more often than not, directing some clueless adventurer in mismatched clothing to the nearest bank. All that suddenly changed when he was offered a job at the Vault. Like every Stormwindian, Trevor always wondered what the mysterious prison in the middle of the canals contained, and the hefty sum of gold he would receive as a salary certainly convinced him to find out.

He spent the next three months receiving special training in defensive combat, prisoner handling and learning the long list of command words that, once spoken by a guard inside the prison’s rune-laden corridors, would activate magical effects designed to contain the prisoners, like pushing them away, immobilizing them or, in more dire situations, teleport the guards outside and seal every door. When he finished, he was confident he could handle even the most horrifying prisoner Azeroth had to offer.

A few days at his new job were enough to prove him very, very wrong. The prisoners held within, while completely harmless inside their enchanted cells (the wizards of the Academy of Arcane Sciences regularly made sure of that), still managed to greatly trouble him. He was forced, day after day, to stand close to creatures as repulsive as demons, undead and the occasional ogre, as well as a fair share of depraved humans, whose maddening screams and stares threatened to make him go insane. How could he feel comfortable when he regularly had to walk by beings like Grayfarn, the wizard who froze people solid and cut their bodies into more “pleasing” shapes while they were still conscious? Or Amis Rothand, the Forsaken who killed children so he could steal their hearts and stitch them to his own rotten skin in an attempt to feel alive? He hated his job, but he knew that someone had to keep those monsters in check and protecting the people was the reason that made him become a guard in the first place.

Arriving at the Vault, Trevor tied the rowboat to a nearby pole and climbed the stairs that lead to the main gate. He saluted the two guards there, who asked the standard identification questions and then opened the gate for him. As he crossed it and it closed behind him, the now common but no less disturbing screams of the prisoners reached him. He traversed the corridor, meeting with other guards sharing his shift at their restroom at the end. While he knew their faces and names by now, they barely ever exchanged even a single word. The Vault’s ambience managed to crush any hint of good humor the guards had.

Shortly afterwards, he headed out to watch his section of the great prison. While the other guards usually stood or sit in some place in their patrol area, Trevor prefered to walk back and forth through the corridor. Time seemed to pass slightly faster that way and, most importantly, he could focus on the path he was walking instead of on the prisoners and the macabre curses and threats they threw at him, some of which he suspected were actual demonic curses which the cells’ runes stopped from functioning at all.

As he walked, he paused by the cell of one of their strangest prisoners, Soran'kar the Azure. Unlike the other prisoners, constantly screaming or thrashing in their cells, Soran'kar was always standing silent and unmoving in a corner of the cell. About three meters tall, body covered head to toe in bluish scales, with long wire-like hair, fangs, talons and even a sleek tail, the demon’s appearance and quietness both intrigued and horrified Trevor. Getting ready to move on with his patrol, suddenly something unusual drew his attention: he was hearing whispers from Soran'kar's cell.

Stepping back to confirm what was happening, he realized that the uninteligible whispers he was hearing were not being uttered by the demon. While they certainly were coming from that cell, the demon stood as quiet and motionless as always. Following his instincts, he prepared to utter a command word that'd call the other guards to this location but, just then, the demon stared directly into his eyes and gave him the most malicious grin Trevor had ever seen. In that instant, Trevor heard a high-pitched voice whispering in his ear.

I think I am going to have some fun with you...

For what seemed like hours, Trevor writhed in pain as he felt like a thousand frozen blades stabbed every corner of his body over and over again. He was unable to think amidst the pain, much less pronounce any of the words that could have made the pain stop. He screamed his lungs out, all the while hearing a maniacal high-pitched laughter that rejoiced at his torture. Then, as suddenly as it had started, the pain stopped.

Trevor found himself with Soran'kar's thin tail wrapped around his neck, suspended in the air. The demon was out of its cell and the runes inscribed all across the corridor seemed to have no effect on it. He tried to move but his limbs wouldn’t answer him and he was drenched in blood that gushed from the myriad open wounds spread across his body. He tried to say a command word to teleport himself out, but he couldn't. The demon had crushed his throat.

Barely conscious anymore, but still well aware of the pain which flooded his body, Trevor could do nothing but listen as the demon directly addressed him.

"It seems patience is actually rewarded, dear guard. I have to thank you for your services – I now know exactly how to let myself out of this hole. It has been a very long time since I was last able to stretch my wings." - The thing giggled at him. - "Let's put you out of your misery, shall we?"

And with a quick movement, Soran'kar's tail decapitated Trevor Stonefield. Relishing in the scent of human blood after so many long years, Soran'kar took the severed head and gently licked some of the blood dripping out of the guard's neck. It had missed that flavor. Then, focusing, it uttered a command word it had gleaned from the guard's thoughts.

-----

As fresh air filled its nostrils, Soran'kar quickly incinerated the nearby teleported guards in a flash of azure flame before they even had the time to be alarmed at its presence. Inhaling the scent of freedom, the demon spread its wings and took off into the dark night sky.

Feeling revitalized by the wind caressing its wings, the demon laughed. Soran'kar the Azure was finally free, and the whole Azeroth was calling out its name.

Last edited by Timolas; 06-09-2013 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:27 AM
Timolas Timolas is offline


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Like I've said, pretty cool villain and awesome twist that Trevor was just a protagonist decoy. The story involves you.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:31 AM
Vicious Vicious is offline

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Man, i connect too easily with characters for my own good, especially those who start the plot with shitty lives.

The command words for prisioner contanment gave me a Turn Back the Pendulum vibe, similar to the method used in the Maggot´s nest. Then again, these kinds of magical failsafes are probably common in Fantasy.

Satisfying opening chapter, keep them coming.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:48 AM
Timolas Timolas is offline


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicious View Post
Man, i connect too easily with characters for my own good, especially those who start the plot with shitty lives.

The command words for prisioner contanment gave me a Turn Back the Pendulum vibe, similar to the method used in the Maggot´s nest. Then again, these kinds of magical failsafes are probably common in Fantasy.

Satisfying opening chapter, keep them coming.
I shall call you Trevor.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:11 AM
Kerrah Kerrah is offline

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This is made of awesomeness. I truly hope you can write like this for the entire length of the fic.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:27 AM
Vicious Vicious is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timolas View Post
I shall call you Trevor.
Let´s play a game of pretend....
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