Categories > Games > World of Warcraft > Embers of Old

Chapter Four: Archerus: The Ebon Hold

by Aryadei 0 reviews

Category: World of Warcraft - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2011-04-26 - Updated: 2011-04-26 - 2488 words

The instructor was waiting for her, he grinned at her before saying "You have heard the call of the Lich King, death knight. Now is the time to answer your master. Your training begins now..." He did not wait for Ashiaya to respond. "The single most important piece of equipment to a death knight is the runeblade. It is through the runeblade that a death knight commands the powers of frost, blood and the unholy. The runeblade also acts as a vessel to store the death knight's runic power. The time has come to create your first runeblade. Search the weapon racks on this floor and locate a Battle-worn Sword. Once found, take the sword to a nearby runeforge and use it to create a runeblade."

It did not take long before Ashiaya found one, she removed it from the weapon rack and set it on the Runeforge, unsure of what to do next, once the blade hit the Runeforge a transformation began, without her even touching it runes began appearing on the side, it shimmered with the contact as Ashiaya picked it up, she felt as if power coursed through the blade yet it could not be released. It NEEDED to, Ashiaya felt a strange sensation, a hungering. She walked over to the instructor presenting him with the blade.

The instructor looked at the blade a grin spread across his face. "Well done, Ashiaya. You have successfully created your first runebladed weapon. With it you will sow the seeds of chaos and destruction! In your wake will be a bloodied field of battle, littered with the corpses of all that would dare oppose the Scourge."

Without pause the instructor continued. "The mark of war is etched indelibly upon your soul, death knight. You have learned the dark art of runeforging and with it you will engrave runes of power upon your weaponry. Preparations for battle must be made. Return to one of the runeforges, here in the Heart of Acherus, and use the power of runeforging to emblazon your weapon with a rune of power! Return to me when your blade glows with dark energy!"

Ashiaya looked at her blade fondly. She should name it. Her lips curled in a wicked grin; She would name it Nak'artora... Ashiaya bowed before the instructor before saying in compliance "Yes Instructor.” Ashiaya returned to the Runeforge. Dark phrases slipped from her mouth, runes danced around her flickering and fading. It took a minute and a half before the blade glowed in white frost. Nak'artora hungered for blood; SHE hungered for the slaughter that awaited her. She returned to the instructor, her Runeblade aglow with power, “Well done Death Knight, remember these words: Runeforging is a scourge instrument, Runeforges can only be found here in Archerus, Naxxramas, and the very heart of Icecrown it’s self. Return often and emblazon you weapons. A Death Knight must be prepared for all who would dare oppose them.” He looked at her with pure understanding in his wicked eyes; a sort of grin curled his lips. He waved his hand in a short simple motion; in it now lay a spectral key that pulsed with dark magic of one kind or another. “The endless hunger will soon take hold of you, death knight. When it does, you will feel pain immeasurable. There is only one remedy for the suffering: the hunger must be sated.

I give you the key to your salvation.

Chained to the Heart of Acherus are those deemed unworthy of the dark brotherhood. Use the key to free an unworthy initiate. Allow them to equip their gear and battle you for their freedom. Kill and the pain will cease. Fail and suffer for eternity.

Live or die - the choice is yours to make.” He thrust the key into her hand, and left, leaving her to ponder that to be done.

Ashiaya walked slowly to the center, she grinned as she saw a human struggling to break free of his prison. He would do nicely indeed. Her boots made a clink every time they touched the ground, the human met her gaze, in his eyes was loathing… and something else… fear yes but that not what irked her, pride… the pride that his life had been one that when in defiance of the Lich King. Ashiaya held the key in front of him, letting it dangle. She love to see how he looked at that key, she could just imagine what he was thinking… “Freedom…” She grinned at him before fitting the key into the lock. Once it made contact the chain broke letting the Human free.

He grabbed his sword, his armor… and equipped it, then rose. “Let it begin” he hissed.

Ashiaya leaped into the air, Nak’artora flashing in her hands, she landed behind him and swung her sword at his head, it met cold steal as the human’s blade met hers, sparks flew from either blade, the human prepared for another attack. Ashiaya muttered something; she did not know exactly what, the words had just come to her tongue. And from her palm a shadowy blot flew- striking the unworthy scum. He staggered back, not expecting it, Ashiaya found her chance and kicked him to the floor with her hard plate boots, caved in his chest plate making impossible for him to get up. She held Nak’artora up to his neck – and without hesitation, killed him.

A sensation passed over her like cool water, it lifted something from her, she could not quite say what, and it only lasted for a moment before the hungering returned.

She walked back to the instructor, her head held high. “As I expected, my chosen knight has triumphed! You are ready Ashiaya.”

“Behold, Archerus, the grand citadel of death! It has no equal in this world! Not even the mighty Naxxramas could withstand a direct assault from the Ebon Hold. Looming above the face of the necropolis is the all-seeing eye of Archerus. From it the master is able to see great distances into the territories of our enemies. What the eyes sees, the Lich King sees, and now the time has come for you to peer through the eye! The Lich King has called for you Ashiaya.

Go now, and suffer well sister.”

Ashiaya felt a strange tingling in the back of her mind; it felt as if… someone else was there, like she was being watched! She was eager to continue. She did not walk but ran to where the Lich Kind stood, silently overlooking the plot of land below him. “The time to spill the blood of our enemies approaches. You must learn what it is that you seek to destroy, before rushing headlong into battle. It is what separates a Death Knight from a mindless ghoul. I will grant you sight beyond sight, my champion. You will use the eye of Archerus to gather information on our agents. “

Ashiaya bowed before her master as her eyes wandered over the glowing orb that rested over to the side. It felt… almost sentient… Ashiaya slowly approached it, every movement she made, the eye glowed to in response to the intensity of whatever gesture. She slowly rested her palm on the cool pulsing surface, the instant she touched it flashed bright green and when Ashiaya looked around, her body was gone! In its place was the orb, suddenly she shot up in to the air now the land folding beneath her. The eye surged forward toward New Avalon, within a matter of seconds she was there. She felt herself gain control of the eye, she probed the town and watch over the pathetic human scurrying about underneath her. She moves toward the Town hall, a red roofed building, surrounded by walls, it had a mob of frustrated citizens crowding it.

Its only apparent weakness was that not many guards were stationed at it. Suddenly she heard a twang, moving to the side a arrow grazed the edge of her orb like form, she summoned a ghoul to distract the guard that had apparently spotted her and confirmed that it belong to the scourge... Another twang and hiss, but this time the arrow hit and stuck, quivering in the orb. Ashiaya flew up and away, safely out of range of the arrows. She drove the orb in a decent downwards, stopping just in time to loom over the Forge.

The Forge, a rather small little thing also had a red roof, a single guard stood to either side of the front entrance, but not to the back. A fact Ashiaya reflected on. To the right side of it was a cool, tranquil pond. Ashiaya flew up, and flew 20 paces east, where she came to reside over the Scarlet hold.

It also had a red roof, where four doors where located, though she added to her mental notes, that it did not, in fact have any guards stationed on the roof, leaving it just open. The ground, however was heavily guarded, four guards stood at each side of the entrance.

At last she came the Chapel of Crimson Flame, it had healers stationed by the guards and had rather high defenses, yet there was one major weakness, the supports seemed to be made of wood. To the West of it was a empty prison, it seemed to Ashiaya as if they had planned on capturing and interrogating Death Knights, but that the capture half of it wasn’t working out as well as they hoped. Job done, Ashiaya returned to Archerus, a looming shadow hanging in the sky. She slowly rested the orb on the surface of the pedestal, as soon as she did everything around her blurred and refocused, she had control of her body once again. She presented herself to her master, her task completed. He was gazing at Frostmourne fondly, the blade resting flat on his palm.

Then he turned to face her, his eyes resting on her, his champion… she was his… her will was no longer her own. She felt consumed by the power. “They prepare for battle - as expected - but there is something else. I sense an old enemy. An enemy that I destroyed long ago... It matters not. We will send the full might of the Scourge against them before they have a chance to evacuate their homes and put in place their defenses.” He paused; Ashiaya thought she knew who he was referring to… she had sensed him to, but she did not understand how it could possibly be. Then he continued, “Listen well, death knight, for I give to you the words that will start a war. My final judgment has been passed: Death. To. All. None shall stand so boldly against the might of the Scourge without reprisal! As you have served me well in your first task, so too shall you serve me in your next task. Take my judgment to Highlord Mograine at the command post of Acherus, found on the first floor. Tell him to begin the assault. And when the Crusade has been dealt with, we will finish off the Argent Dawn.” Ashiaya bowed. She was eager to start fighting. Bounded off the stairs mid-air did a flip, and landed beautifully on the glowing teleporter pad and vanished.

Ashiaya found herself standing on the first floor, without pause. She was on another platform, almost identical to the one above, except on this floor in the place of where the green orbs were giant skeletal birds. They smelled like feted meat and were ghastly to look at .The only feathered part of their body at all was their wings. A few to her left hand were flapping their bone wings impatiently. The others were picking at their bones with their ebon beaks. Their eye sockets blazed with a icy flame, they were blue, just like the rest of the Death Knights.

Directly in front of her was Highlord Dariron Mograine, she cared not to look around, the only object of importance in the room at this very moment was the man directly in front of her. He was on a Death Charger, not unlike that of what she had seen in Elwynn Forest, its hooves blazed with the same blue flame. In his hand rested the Dark Ashbringer, a blade once wielded to destroy the Scourge and heralded a weapon of light and justice, now served as a weapon that destroyed what it once fought for and protected.

She slowly approached the man; he was clad in armor of ebon coloration, a helm, of extraordinary craftsmanship, and made of pure Saronite, rested on his head. Ashiaya bowed and quietly repeat the message the master had given her. He nodded and saluted her. Then he spoke, his voice was distant and forlorn “The horns of war will soon echo across this land, waking the dead and calling forth the Scourge war machine. Woe unto those that would stand in our way! You and your brethren will lead the charge, Ashiaya. When I next look upon the Scarlet lands, my sights will be obscured by the legions of Acherus. The march upon New Avalon begins now.”

He turned and in a booming voice yelled for all to hear. “Armies of the Scourge, hear my call! The scarlet apocalypse has begun! Tear this land asunder and leave only death in you wake!” His voice echoed through Archerus, ghouls stopped gnawing on old bones and looked up. Ashiaya looked around to see other Death Knights stop their training. Many were now heading over to the undead gryphons. He turned back to Ashiaya and addressed her.”Scourge Commander Thalanor awaits your arrive at the overhang located directly southeast of our current position. Report to Thalanor and requisition a Scourge Gryphon to deliver you to Death's Breach. Prince Valanar will be waiting for you down below. Suffer well, sister!”

Ashiaya looked over to the Blood Elf mounted on an undead gryphon. She bowed Highlord Mograine and turned, approaching the Commander. He scanned over her for a moment. Ashiaya had the strange feeling everyone she talked to her already knew what her intentions were. He smiled at her with calculated purpose, perhaps he thought a friendly gesture would make her more comfortable- The fool, she needed no gestures of initiation from him, she already fully served her dark master, did he doubt that?!

“The war has begun, death knight! I shall place you on my finest gryphon and deliver you to Death's Breach.” He gestured to a hearty looking undead gryphon. “Chaos, death, destruction! You will herald in all of this and more!” He continued, “Below Acherus stands Death's Breach, the staging point for our assault upon the Scarlet Crusade. You are to report to Prince Valanar. Do as he says and you may live to see these lands fall before us.”
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