Wednesday, November 12, 2014


The Worgen stood, arms crossed as he watched the ground below. To those used to his usual attire, he appeared far more armored, having arrived wearing both a helmet and pauldrons, a heavy mace resting on his back. Behind him a few others were going about making their final preparations, having been rushed to pack their needed items. Luckily for them, they were among the damned, meaning that they were free to neglect bringing many things other were not.

                His gaze was rested firmly on the large Orc-ish construct, the portal that usually swirled within it having once been green now having been replaced with one that was a shade of red. He frowned. Despite having heard it multiple times, it didn’t change the fact the fact that there was no way of knowing what was now on the other side of it. The Worgen did his best to not even begin to think of what had become of those who had made use of the Dark Portal before its change and could now be stranded Light knows where.

                A human man stood off to his left and a few steps behind, mouth slightly open as he watched the portal. The Worgen looked toward him, snorting, “Gonna have somethin’ fly in there and nest if you ain’t careful mate.”

                The man blinked, breaking his concentration on the hallway in front of him. Looking to the Worgen he closed his mouth, mumbling “Force of habit,” before resuming seeking out the door. If his attention waivered for too long, it was far too likely that Samuel Dorsey would simply walk on by it while his mind ran onto other things.

                “Right,” the Worgen said, smirking slightly. “Remind me where we’re goin’ again.”

                Dorsey let out a sigh of relief, coming to a stop in front of a thick metal door, happy that he could converse without missing his mark. He raised a fist to pound against the door, someone inside pulling at some bolt, a muffled “It’s unlocked,” being barely heard from behind the door.
                As they entered, the Worgen noted the numerous marks of multiple explosions around the room, which was filled with a number of workbenches and cabinets, their doors flung open to reveal multiple reagents for any number of explosive devices.
                Behind one of the workbenches, purposefully lower than what one might expect, stood a Dwarven woman, her black hair tied back, goggles pulled over her eyes. She didn’t even bother looking up at them as she spoke, hands constantly working at putting more powder into a small shell casing, “Who’s the stiff?”

                The Worgen’s brow slowly inched up, “She talkin’ about you or me?”
                “You,” the Dwarf replied, putting a wick gently in her creation, before placing a cap over it, “Dorsey’s been a good old delivery boy ‘round here a number o’ times. You ain’t, Stiff.”
                Dorsey coughed into his hand, nodding, “Yes. Well. I have nothing to deliver today, Natalia.”
                “Figured as much. Supplies’re gonna be dwindling for as long as this whole thing decides to go on. Got about a hundred requisition orders to fill out and I’m gonna have about ‘alf o’ the materials I do now, and it is gonna be a grand ol’ time, I tell ya.”
                The man shook his head, “I believe you will have to put those requisitions aside, Natalia.” He slowly backed towards the door.
                The Dwarf finally looked up, pulling her goggles off and setting them onto the table. She slowly worked her way towards the human, staring him down, “You implyin’ I’m bein’ cut off, Sammy? That what you’re tellin’ me?”
                He shook his head more and more, “No, no, that is not what I meant, I simply meant that you will not be working here, and thus will not be able to complete the requisitions.”
                “So I’m bein’ sent outta here! One o’ the better folks who don’ mind stayin’ down here, an’ you’re gonna cut me off o’ what I’m supposed to be doin’! Well screw you an’ your damn paperwork, Sammy, I ain’t havin’ it. You can march righ’ back to the folks who gave those orders to you with yer tail between your legs, ‘cause I sure as hell ain’t havin’ it.”
                The Worgen coughed, prompting the Dwarf to turn her attention to him, “An’ who the hell’re you?”
                “Redamous,” the Worgen muttered, “Also the guy you’re bein’ assigned to.”
                She looked back to Dorsey, “’Scuse me?”
                He nodded warily, “You have been assigned to one of the Ebon Blade’s first responders to join those embarking upon the new Dark Portal, as the small squad’s explosives expert.”
                The Dwarf squinted slightly, “So what you’re tellin’ me is you wan’ me goin’ with tha’ fella, through the Dark Portal to nobody-knows-where, an’ help blow stuff up.” Dorsey nodded slowly. She chuckled, turning to look at the Worgen, “Well hell, shoulda started there if tha’ was where it was headed all along.”

                “I’ve been tellin’ ‘im tha’ for ages now,” came a voice from behind him. They both looked towards the female Dwarf, tinkering with a box of explosives who didn’t even bother to raise her gaze to them as she spoke, “But it’s always jus’ a ‘force o’ habit’. Ain’t never been different, doubt it’ll ever be different, ‘til some Nerubian nests in there an’ i’s youngin’s take off ‘is entire lower jaw.”

                Dorsey frowned, rubbing the lower half of his face at the very thought, looking forward once again, this time at the field below, a number of soldiers moving this way and that as they took their positions, waiting for their chance to charge.

                The Worgen followed his gaze, shaking his head, “Feel special?”

                “I suppose,” Dorsey muttered, “But it’s not like we aren’t going to be among numerous others once we’ve a foothold to insert from.”

                “Still gonna get in there an’ get to murder some stuff pretty good ‘fore that, though. Suppose tha’s a nice little start to things,” Redamous mused.

                “I would certainly hope things are to be murdered, else I will feel that my time is being wasted otherwise,” a voice came from between and below them.

                “We’re goin’ to get a what?” Redamous asked, keeping pace behind the human.

                “Weapons master,” was the only reply he got.

                They emerged into an area filled with the sound of numerous hammers hitting anvils, and filled with the smell of multiple kinds of ores filling the air as they slowly worked their way towards becoming useful. Elsewhere runes were being inscribed into weapons and armor, before they were sent off to whoever they were intended for.

                Dorsey’s target was in the back corner of the room. A small workspace had been set up, with a smelter placed directly behind an anvil, which was only a few yards at most away from a Runeforge. It was squared off with various weapons and armor racks, the majority of them empty aside from a few freshly made pieces that were still awaiting their turn. The Worgen immediately noted a stepping stool, it sticking out against the rather large anvil.

                A Gnome slowly made his way up the stepping stool, appearing from behind the anvil, dropping a number of tools for his next piece in front of him. Red was almost certain that he could have fit a number of them into his hand at the same time.

                The Gnome looked up at them after his items had been dropped into their places, his bald head being somewhat illuminated by the glowing embers in the smelter behind him. He pointed towards his left, where they both spied a pile of papers that were likely larger than the person they were addressed to, voice raised, “If you’ve an order form, please deposit it over there in a timely fashion. It will likely be filled within the next,” he stared up, calculating the numbers, “Fifty-two days, seven hours, and thirty five minutes.” After a short pause, he pointed towards another pile of papers, this one working its way up to the height of the human, “If you are filing complaints, please place them over there and allow one to two years for response.”

                The Worgen slowly turned his head to stare down at the human, eyebrow raised yet again, “Really?”

                The Gnome spoke before Dorsey had the chance, “Really what?”

                Red looked back towards the Gnome, “’Pparently you’re the blacksmith for a little excursion.”

                Dorsey coughed into his hand, nodding, “Blacksmith and architect, actually.”

                The Gnome’s eyes slowly went wide as he hopped up on the anvil, striding over it and hopping off it to stand in front of the two, “Well I must say that this is a rather timely change of events then. I do assure you that you would be hard-pressed to find someone better suited for such a job. I am an expert in the realm of metalwork, and have built entire towns on my own.”

                “Those model towns don’t count, Phineas,” Dorsey muttered.

                “I have built entire sections of buildings all on my own, and they scarcely fell down,” the Gnome said, not giving the man time to continue on. Holding up a hand above his head, yet still a ways below the Worgen, the Gnome grinned as best he could, visibly shaking with excitement, “Phineas Stormcrank, at your service.”

                “We can assure you that your time is not going to be wasted, Phineas,” came another voice to their right.  “There will be plenty of uses for your particular skillset, that I am more than certain will only grow in number as our forces settle in.”

                The Gnome looked towards the arriving elf, nodding, “That is for the best, I am certain. We’ve no need of sending me back to the smithery. No need at all.” He began muttering something to himself about geists and their ‘sportery’ as he wandered back behind them.

                Dorsey looked towards the elf, as did the Worgen, raising a hand to greet them, “How nice of you to join us, finally.”

                She took her position to the Worgen’s right, and a few paces behind, hands folding behind her back, “I’ve had a few matters to wrap up before we departed. I am sure you can sympathize.”

                The man nodded, “I suppose I can.”
                The elf brought her arm across her chest, saluting the Worgen, “Sir.”

                The Worgen returned the gesture, though with far less of an official feeling. The elf’s motion was obviously well practiced. Whether due to a life of service, or simply being trained for it in death, he couldn’t say. Her back was as stiff and straight as could be managed, her purple hair cut short, and her armor almost spotless.

                “Lastly, our translator as well as second-in-command, Gwendolyn Mourningstar,” Dorsey said, half-heartedly.

                Something appeared to amuse her, though she was tightlipped on just what it was.

                “Redamous,” the Worgen muttered, stepping to the side slightly to observe the two.

                The elf turned towards him, “I am well aware, sir. I always make sure to do my reading for assignments. I do hope that we are not taking too much of your time from the 1113th. It would be horrible for us to do so.”

                “Suppose that depends on how long this is gonna take.”

                She nodded, “Then I suppose we will have to find out, and do our best to reduce the amount of time the operation requires of you then.” She turned back towards the other man, feigning concern, “Are you feeling well, Samuel?”

                He nodded in return, arms crossing. For the first time, the Worgen thought he actually looked displeased. “Perfectly fine, miss Mourningstar.”

                The elf shook her head, “Something is obviously disturbing you. Please, we shall not judge you for anything regarding such.”

                “Then you’ll forgive me for wondering why there needs to be a second for a group of four people,” he said flatly.

                “There must always be a chain of command to follow, and considering the place we are going to, and our lack of knowledge regarding it, we very well may need it,” she said, no show of concern over the fact that the person should would have been replacing in such a situation was standing all of a few feet away from her. “Besides. It is a five-person expedition.”

                He frowned, almost looking panicked at that. There was no fifth person mentioned in the paperwork. Someone had been missed, and there was a chance his hide would be had for it. His look of worry only amused her more. She took a few moments to let it sink in, before saying, “You are to accompany us. I was sent the information regarding such this morning. I’m sure your schedule will easily free up for such, considering.”

                “Orders?” Dorsey asked, finally looking away from the commotion below them.

                The Worgen took in a breath, pulling out a small pocket watch to glance at, “Looks like we got some time ‘fore things get set in motion. So I guess we best get to waitin’.”

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Late Night

The key was somewhere. It wasn’t in his pocket, though. Last he could recall it had been in his pocket. But was it the left or the right pocket? He couldn’t rightly recall. Maybe it was his coat pocket. Except his coat didn’t seem to be present. Where had that gotten left? On a bar stool, maybe. Had that been where his key was? No, surely not. The key always ended up in his right pocket. Either that pocket, or his left one. If not the left one, then it was in the coat pocket, which was uncheckable due to the coat’s lack of a presence.

            He sat himself down on the porch, backing against the door as best he could, as to let the slight overhang of the roof shield him from the rain. Of course it had to be raining. If it wasn’t raining the moon would have been out, and he would have been able to see. Somewhat, at least. As best as one could see under the light of the moon.


            There was a rock somewhere. A rock that had a key left under it for the few times that someone neglected to have their own. Of course it was hidden among a number of other rocks that looked extremely similar. Those rocks happened to be rather hard to see, due in no small part to the lack of a visible moon.


            “Alright pal,” he muttered to himself. “We can do this. We can find it.”


            Leaning forward, he squinted, peering off to his left. That was the side of the porch with the rocks. Unless they had all managed to move, that was the side of the porch that had all the little rocks. One of those rocks had the key under it. He turned, sloppily flopping onto his knees, hands slowly feeling about for each and every rock. Each stone was carefully turned, or at least they were as carefully turned as he could manage, and the ground under it patted until he was certain that the item he sought wasn’t located under it.


            There. His hand rubbed against cold metal along with a large chunk of dirt. Grabbing the key, he pushed himself to his feet, stumbling forward against the wall with a slight ‘thud’ as he did so. Slowly guiding himself over to the door, he aligned the key with the lock. All he had to do was just push his hand a bit forward, and the key would be in the lock. Such was easier thought than done. It took multiple tries before he managed to hit his mark, key finally turning in the lock. He tossed it back among the rocks he had found it in, turning the knob and entering.


            He squinted in the darkness, slowly lumbering in the general direction of the stairs, having to go off of memory, what with the entire house being dark. Behind him came a small scratching sound, followed by a light. Someone had lit a match. But the light was brighter than just a match, so someone must have used the match to light a candle.


            He turned to find her, settled down at the dinner table, arms resting against the table, chin resting against her joined hands. The candle was set just a bit to her left, flickering and casting its red glow about the room, but especially on her face, leaving her with the appearance of some demonic apparition.


            She sat up slightly, hands departing each other’s company, one of them motioning to the chair on the other side of the table. Her face was stone as she spoke, her voice reminding him of some commanding officer he had had at some point. Calm, yet firm.


            “Take a seat, Nathan.”

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Acherus was, for lack of a better word, alive. With activity, at least, since its population’s living status continued on in the ‘un’ category. People rushed to and fro with packages and messages to be delivered, the runeforges were kept constantly busy with people intricately drawing their designs on the weapons that were to be sent out of the citadel, and the entire second floor was filled with the constant groans and complaints courtesy of its Master Siegesmith. The minions of Acherus’s denizens were even busy, carrying crates through gates, and orders to quarters, and even a number of items that one wrong slip would have ended with a small crater.

                Samuel Dorsey pushed through the crowded halls, muttering his orders to himself as he went. They had been due days ago, but there had been multiple other messages to be delivered, as well as other orders to be given, as well as document, filed, and sent away to be approved. With how deep into Acherus his administrators were, some might not have worried too much about the consequence of a delayed response to an order, but that was only because those people did not know just how far their hands could reach.

                The signal had come, and now he was due to follow his orders and deliver the orders to the person he had been directed to. Worgen. 1113th. Those were the specifics. He slowly counted off the doors. The 400th, the 567th, the 890th. There. One clean tag next to a large wooden door marked with ‘1113th’, alongside multiple others that had long since been covered in dust.

Dorsey contemplated knocking, bringing his hand up multiple times, before simply walking in. The Worgen in question was kneeled down in the corner of a room, digging through a wooden trunk. His nose lifted up slightly, ear twitching as the human man entered.

“Bit busy,” the Worgen said, not looking up from the trunk.

Dorsey held up a small envelope, even though the Worgen had his back to him, “New orders in, sir.”

The Worgen snorted, motioning back towards his desk, which Dorsey noted to be piled high with papers, "Toss “em on there. Already have a dozen other things to fill out on the ‘Iron Horde’ and all that. Not that that’s gonna be happenin’ for a while.”

“And why is that, sir?” the man frowned, continuing to hold the envelope out as it was going to be taken by some unseen third person.

Finally standing, the Worgen hefted a large blue mace from the trunk, turning to look the man over. Holding the item up, the creature smirked, showing off a number of sharp teeth, “Plan on bein’ a bit too concerned with fightin’ ‘em over writin’ for the privelage to do so.” Placing the mace on the floor and allowing its hilt to rest against the desk, the Worgen began scooping up a few scattered pieces of armor from the floor.

Dorsey coughed into his free hand, holding the envelope back out, “You are going to take this, sir, as they are your current orders regarding the Blasted Lands and the Dark Portal. You are due on one of the lower floors in approximately two hours, after which your schedule shall be your own, as long as it fits within the orders enclosed.” He let out a small sigh of relief that he hadn’t forgotten the entire speech.

The Worgen finally looked back to the interloper in his office, walking over to snatch the envelope from his hands. Running a claw along it, he tore the paper open, pulling out the note from inside. After his eyes had made their way down the page, he looked up to the man, “And who the hell’s givin’ me these orders.” It was a question, though the way he said it almost made Dorsey believe it to be a rhetorical one.

The human gulped, pointing to the floor, “People far above our pay grades.”

The General snorted, “I’ve never been one for lettin’ those types worry me too much. Issue I inherited from my predecessors.”

“I advise you do not neglect these ones, General. Their will lines up with your own, so it would be out of spite more than anything, I’m sure,” Dorsey said, failing to include the part where if the Worgen chose to do so he would more than likely have found out just how cold the ones assigning the orders could and would be.

Redamous grunted, looking the sheet over again. Motioning towards the door, he growled, “Show me where I’m headed, then.”