Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Call to Arms

For some reason or another, he had expected it to be difficult to find them. As if they were going to be deep in hiding. Only traceable through whispers and rumors, and a long trail of pieced together clues. But that had never been the case, and he almost felt a semblance of comfort in knowing that some things about the world had refused to change.

All it had taken to find them was to begin delving into any cave in Icecrown that looked as though it housed something that they would have deemed 'interesting'. Be that signs of civilization that had been swallowed up by the ice, or the promise of powerful runes that had been hidden away. The larger giveaway was all of the dead vrykul nearby.

As he wandered further into the cave, the light from his torch illuminating the various corpses that had been strewn about, he mused on their methodology. Above all they had always seemed to treasure their privacy, but it constantly amazed him how brutish their methods seemed at first. Of course, by the time they were prepared to leave the cave, with whatever it was they had come to retrieve, every single one of these corpses would be covered under a layer of ice.

By the time he reached the deepest point of the cave, he was convinced he was in the right place. The corpses were one thing. A good first impression, but not one that cast away all doubt. Icecrown, and likely many places throughout Northrend, had its share of brutal individuals who cared not for the vrykul. Or anyone else for that matter. But now, with the blue fire in the sconces on the wall, anything that might have held a valuable pried open. Everything covered with a thin film of frost. A layer that only grew thicker as he went further into the chamber, until it reached the figure at the end of it.

There it met the 'feet' of a figure, seemingly a being of ice, pilfering its way through a broken open stone chest. Odd as they were, there was a gracefulness to the creature's motions. He had always held a deep respect for the sheer amount of willpower it must have taken. Any given motion required the ice to be melted and reshaped any number of times. And with the creature being something of a golem of ice, it was impressive how delicate each movement was.

When he first entered, its attention was on whatever trinket it had in its hand. Turning it over to examine each and every side of it. By the time he was halfway across, its attention had redirected itself on the newcomer. He paused at the chamber's center, allowing the thing to come to him. It thundered its way across the room, absorbing the trinket into its icy armor, before settling in front of him.

Within moments it had diminished in size, a quartet of glowing blue orbs staring out at him from inside the ice. All four of them sized him up for a moment, before staring at his face. When it spoke, it was just as he remembered. There were no words spoken from the being itself. Instead it was as though a cutting wind did the talking. Each word carried through on a cool breeze, cutting their way into his head.

"We are surprised to see you, Commander," it said, a distant tone to the words, "To what do we owe the occasion?"

The orc sighed, removing his helmet, and allowed it to rest under his arm. "I feel that it is time," he said calmly, "I presume you've heard it?"

There was a derisive noise upon the wind, and the eyes narrowed on him. A short distorted chuckle soon followed, as it allowed itself to grow closer, "We see that you still somehow fair worse than we do in terms of...Formalities. No hellos, no fine greetings. Not that you ever cared for them." The orc didn't allow himself to respond to that, so the thing did it for him. "But yes. We have heard. Even if we do not hear the words, we can feel the buzz." It turned somewhat, scanning the rest of the chamber, "The King speaks, and they heed his words."

"Then you know why I'm here," he said flatly, following the thing as it began stepping around the room.

It turned once more to look at him, "We understand. That does not make us pleased. But we always knew it was an inevitability. This does not convince us, Rutgarth. So we are forced to presume that it is more than this that has brought you to us."

The orc sighed, shaking his head and speaking bluntly, "The Legion returned and the world has gone to hell. The lengths that were taken to banish them again. The destruction it has caused." His grip tightened on the helmet, "They swing around weapons wielded by demons or gods as though they are toys. And soon they will march off to war again."

Another noise filtered in on the wind, this time a sigh, "We see." It stopped, turning to face him, "We presume this is the official call?"

He nodded, "It is."

The thing extended its icy hand out, allowing its rigid head to nod ever so slightly, which the orc took. "Then we shall begin making preparations. Have you contacted her yet?"

The orc let out a long sigh, dropping his official facade for a moment, "No, I have not. I wasn't sure where to find her. I was hoping that you knew."

The quartet of eyes narrowed again, this time seeming more amused, "Ah yes. She and her...'Symptoms' have a tendency of remaining out sight. We are aware of the places she has happened as of late. We are also absolutely certain that this is the entire reason you came to us first." A grunt from the orc prompted the thing to laugh, "Allow us to catch you up to speed on such matters. And allow you to avoid speaking to her for longer still."

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