“I am sooooooo bored!”
Lenora Marjoram sighed as she lounged in the massive Vrykul chair. Even adorned with furs, the massive seat was still uncomfortable. However, it wasn’t like the Vrykul hall had anywhere better for her to lounge. So, as uncomfortable as it was, she was not about to give up her spot.
Besides, what was bothering her was not the lack of comfort. Rather, it was her fellow Death Knight, Baxter.
“Bored, bored, bored!”
Baxter was pacing across the room, looking for all the world like a petulant child; albeit a petulant child clad in dark armour and carrying a scythe that radiated unearthly energy. None the less, he sounded like a child, and that was what was getting on her nerves.
“This is so boring.”
She stifled a yawn as she watched him carry on. Years ago, when she had first found him, Baxter had been amusing. Violent, probably insane and easily manipulated, he had been her minion. It had been easy to convince him to commit the most heinous acts with just a flutter of her lashes and a gentle word. A little prodding, and he was hers to command.
“It’s the most boring place on Azeroth!”
Of course, it wasn’t like Baxter really needed encouragement to do horrible things; anything but. The man simply had no morals or scruples, no idea of right or wrong. And he loved killing for the simple sake of killing. The only thing he seemed to like more was the idea of inflicting pain first.
“And I am sooooooo bored!”
Right now, Lenora would have considered killing him herself, if only to stop him from whining constantly. “Shut up, Baxter” she finally managed.
“Why?” He whined. “I’m bored! I haven’t killed anything in... in...” He looked strained. “In a long time!”
She rolled her eyes. “Baxter, we were ordered to stay here by Sir Karl. Do you want to defy him?”
“I’d defy anyone if it meant I could get away from all these huge, smelly Vrykul and get out and kill something!” He continued, storming around the room in an angry circle. “Anything! Well, most anything!”
It had been a long time since Baxter was amusing to her. In fact, it had been a long time since he was even that useful. But they were Death Knights, the chosen champions of the Lich King; furthermore, they were amongst those who had voluntarily surrendered their free will to the Scourge, sold their souls to the Lich King for power and immortality. No mere walking corpses like the rabble that claimed the title, they were the elite of the undead armies.
And even then, she would have given it up to be rid of him.
A plan began to form in the back of her mind, one that would, at the very least get rid of Baxter for a few hours. Which would be a victory in and of itself. “Very well then.” She sat up in the massive chair, trying her best to look imposing despite being dwarfed by its size. “I have a job for you, Baxter.”
“What? What is it?!” He scrambled over to her, all but slobbering with enthusiasm.
“I want you to go out on a patrol to the... south.” She was making it up as she went along, but it sounded good. “Southern Zul’drak. Be on the lookout for any renegade Death Knights.” She knew that Baxter hated those that had betrayed and abandoned the Scourge more then anything else. He’d spent hours ranting and raving about how he wished to torture and kill them, and delighted in describing the pain that he was going to inflict.
“Can I?” He replied, the glee obvious in his voice. “Yes! I’m gonna go kill them and torture them and slice their fingers off and make them suffer so much!” He broke out in a round of childish laughter as he turned and left the room.
Lenora smiled to herself. If anyone asked, she’d say that Baxter had run off on his own; after all, she knew that he was prone to doing such, and there’d be no doubts that he’d done it again. If he got killed, it was his problem, not hers. And if he succeeded, well, she’d find some way to take the credit.
She leaned back again in the massive chair, then laughed to herself. She loved it when a plan came together.
Sellek and Jill soared over Zul’Drak, flying on the backs of skeletal griffins. Below them, the ruins of the Troll kingdom stretched out, an impressive vista of ornate temples and pyramids, as well as what had once been a system of canals and aqueducts that had been second to none. Until recently, the Drakkari Empire had been a power to be reckoned with, dominating this portion of Northrend. Now it was in ruins, collapsed from both invasion from the Scourge and its own internal conflicts.
However, the kingdom itself was not of their interest. Instead, the pair had been called to this place by a message form one of their superiors. Members of the enigmatic organisation known as “DKOG”, they had been simply told to fly to a specific temple in Zul’Drak and where they would receive further instructions. They knew better than to question their orders; their role was to serve the alliance in Undeath, and aid in the Scourge’s destruction by whatever means necessary.
“There” Sellek called out, indicating to a single temple in amongst the overgrown, ancient structures that dominated this region. Despite the destruction visited upon Zul’Drak, ceremonial pyres still burned on top of many of the temples. This one stood out, however, as it was an unnatural green colour, a clear beacon for them to follow.
Jill nodded, wheeling her Skeletal Griffin around, Sellek following her. Moments later, the pair of them landed on the roof of the temple, their mounts’ claws skittering over the ancient stonework. As they dismounted, they saw that there were a pair of figures already present, ones that they did not recognise. The first was a human, clad in plate armour. A mouthguard hid the lower portion of his face, but what was exposed made it clear what he was. His skin was pallid, while his eyes had the same unearthly blue glow as their own.
The second sonly served to underscore the point; a skeletal warrior, similar to those that were so common in the ranks of the Scourge. Clad in the rusted remnants of its armour, it carried an ornate greatsword in its bony hands.
“Who are you?” Jill demanded, reaching for her own runed sword. Several more were strapped to her back, runeblades taken from Death Knights that she had personally defeated. Looking like trophies, she had proved that her collection was decidedly practical. “Tell me!”
“Nobody you need to know, Zero-Seventeen.” He replied, his voice calm in the face of her threat.
She glared at him, then nodded. He’d identified her by her ID number in DKOG’s ranks, something that only she, Sellek and their leaders knew. Which meant that he had to be one of theirs. “We came as you asked.” Sellek spoke up while Jill turned her attention from him. Instead, she looked around the temple, as if spying for potential threats.
“And I am impressed by your prompt arrival.” He replied, his voice not carrying the anger and hatred so common to other Death Knights, such as Jill. Instead, he seemed almost calm in his tone. If not for the unearthly echo that was so common to their type, he could have easily passed for a normal, living human.
“What do you want?” Jill snapped. Sellek had noticed that, no matter what, she seemed to be unable to trust anyone save for himself. From what he knew, her past in the Crusade and the events of the battle of Light’s Hope had given her fair reason. She also had displayed a blatantly bloodthirsty nature, and seemed to be more then a little testy whenever she was not fighting.
On the other hand, she’s nowhere near as bad as the Ebon Blade, he thought. While they had been freed form the Lich King’s grasp, many of their number seemed to act no better then they had when they were slaves to the Scourge. However, now they were doing performing horrible acts entirely of their own free will.
“We have a situation.” The man explained. “Recently, a Horde-aligned Death Knight has taken to staging raids on our holdings in the Grizzly Hills. The leader of a small band of raiders, he has been hiding out in southern Zul’Drak as a way to avoid our forces. He’s shown himself to be as cruel and merciless as any Death Knight of the Scourge, and has shown no hesitation to attack civilians as well as combatants.”
Much like the Ebon Blade, Sellek thought. Although this one is not an obstinate ally.
“So you want us to kill him.” Jill spoke up. “Simple. I like it.”
The man nodded. “Correct.” He handed Sellek a battered scroll. “This is him. I want you to take him and his men out. Leave no survivors, and no evidence of who did it. We don’t want the Horde to use this as an excuse to escalate matters any further.”
“That idiot Garrosh would take anything as an opportunity to go after us.” Jill spat. “Someone should whack him too.” She grinned while reaching for her blade.
“That is maybe, but for now, you have only one target.” The man stated.
Nodding, Sellek unrolled the scroll. Inscribed on it was a picture, depicting a Tauren wearing heavy armour, carrying a sword. He noted the skull-like helm that adorned his head, and the runes inscribed on the blade. “A Death Knight?”
Jill notably perked up at the sound, while the man nodded. “Yes.” He confirmed. “That picture was based off a description we got from a lucky survivor. He is indeed a Death Knight and, while an agent of the Horde, seems to be acting of his own agenda.”
“We got a name?” She asked.
“Shoudla figured.” She finished. “Come on, Sellek, time’s wasting. We got ourselves a mad cow to put down.”
Zeke Grimtotem had made his camp in the southern end of Zul’Drak, based around a largely overgrown shrine. Little more than several canvasses stretched across poles and various ruins, it was as crude and uncivilised as its claimant. It hadn’t mattered to him that there were still Drakkari here, he’d simply cut them down and taken the territory as his own.
His “claim” as such was marked by several different markers. Crudely carved totems, ragged Horde banners and he skulls of his victims, impaled on whatever came to hand. Over time debris and scrap had built up around it; animal bones, bits of discarded armour and other trash of civilisation. Unlike many other Tauren, Zeke didn’t seem to care for nature. Instead, he seemed content to wallow in his filth.
Istellis Firetouch didn’t care for the filth and refuse that Zeke seemed to covet. However, at the same time, he would have gladly stated that he did like working with the Tauren. Despite their natural differences, the Blood Knight simply relished the opportunities that the Death Knight presented to him. The chance to bring grief and pain to the alliance was enough to make him ignore the squalor that he dwelt in.
Instead, he remained focused on doing what he liked most. He enjoyed fighting the Alliance, and not just for military advantage. Anything he did that harmed or even inconvenienced the alliance was enough to drive him on. Killing his enemies was always enjoyable, but causing them frustration or anger was just as good. He enjoyed it, while his enemies didn’t, which was all he needed.
He and one of the other members of Zeke’s squad were on patrol, just to make sure that nobody wandered into the camp. He would have readily admitted that he didn’t care for his fellows at all. All members of the lesser races, they served as a reminder of the filth that the Sin’diorei had been forced to deal with in joining the Horde. What he did like, however, was their perverse love of inflicting pain, one that united them in spite of their differences.
“I hope we get to kill something soon.” The Forsaken Warlock behind him muttered. His imp cackled and muttered in the seemingly mindless way the foul little creatures always seemed to.
“Yeah...” Istallis replied, ignoring the demon. “All this waiting... hold on.” He could hear the snap of broken foliage, the sounds of someone moving through the nearby trees. “Sounds like we may have a chance after all.” He drew his greatsword, eager for battle.
He didn’t have to wait. A bolt of purple energy struck him, grabbing him by the throat as if crushing itn, then dragging him away. Landing in a crouch, he had seconds to notice the armoured human woman standing before him, before she drove her sword through him.
“Got him!” Jill called out, her voice almost excited.
Sellek nodded, charging forth. The Warlock cried out, then released a spell, sending a bolt of dark energy at him. With his blade extended, the runes on its surface glowing an icey blue, Sellek simply batted the spell aside.
Shouting out, he unleashed a blast of Runic energy, striking the imp at the Warlock’s side. The blast struck the Imp, slamming into the creature; with a puff of green flames, it squealed and died. Cursing, the Warlock began casting again, only to be struck by a blast of freezing cold from Sellek’s blade that left him reeling. Before he could recover, Sellek closed with him, running him through.
“That’s two down.” Jill commented as she looked over the pair of them.
“And they probably know we’re coming.” He replied.
Jill shrugged. “Whatever. We’d better just kill them before they kill us.”
The pair of them advanced towards the camp, noting the debris and waste left by its occupants. It wasn’t too long before they encountered a pair of them, however. An Orc warrior charged forwards, hollering a battle cry as he hefted his greataxe. Beside him was a Troll dressed in mail armour, who seemed to be jumping as he advanced for no apparent reason.
“That’s annoying. You die first.” Jill snapped as she unleased a blast at the Troll, swatting him out of the air. As he fell, the Orc surged forward, bearing down on her. Instead, he found his axe blocked by Sellek’s blade, which effortlessly pushed him back.
Muttering, the Troll took his feet again, drawing a pair of axes. Charging forward, his weapons crackled with electricity before he lashed out at Jill. Grunting, she blocked his blows, standing her ground against him. His axes crackled as her blade absorbed the energy of his blows, before she lashed out, striking at him. While he was able to avoid the blow, it drove him back.
As the Troll stumbled back, the Orc seemed to surge forward, leaving his companion behind. Pressing his attack, he tried to bear down on Sellek, only to find that the Death Knight’s resolve was greater than he had expected. Each blow was blocked, with Sellek showing no sign of tiring; he seemed as immobile and indestructible as a glacier, while the air around his body seemed to visibly chill.
Swearing, the Orc reared back, putting as much energy as he could into his strike – and opening himself up. Moving with a fluid motion that belied his previously seemingly immobile position, he lashed out at the Orc, his blade impaling him through the chest.
“Nice.” Jill grunted as she blocked another blow from the Troll. However, as she did, the runes on her blades grew brighter and brighter. “You, on the other hand, are beginning to piss me off. Die now.” She lashed out at the Troll, empowered by the energy her blade had absorbed. The force of the blow drove past his defences, slicing through his armour and tearing through his chest.
“That’s the thing, Troll.” She grunted as she looked down at her victim. “I am a master of the blood; your strength fuels me. All you were doing was making me stronger.” The second blow took his head.
“When you’re all done being overly dramatic...” Sellek spoke up as he looked over the bodies.
Jill shrugged. “It just comes naturally.”
They found Zeke a few minutes later. He was at the centre of their camp, lounging in the shade of a tent propped up on what looked like a shrine. “Well, well, well.” The massive Tauren began as he stood up, looming over the pair of them. “Lookee what we got here. Pair of my Death Knight kin.” His common was slow and slurred, and heavily accented.
“We are no kin to you, Tauren.” Sellek replied. “We fight the true enemy, and don’t waste our time on pointless battles.”
The Tauren shook his head, then adjusted his skull-like helm. “Ain’t no such thing as a pointless battle. If I’m fightin’ Alliance scum like y’all, then it’s as good as fightin’ the damnn Scourge.” He grinned. “Better even; Scourge don’t feel pain. Scourge don’t care for loss. But alliance folk, yeah, it hurts them. And that’s what I love.”
“Monster!” Jill shouted, charging forward at the massive Tauren, her sword raised. “For what you have done, you will die!” She bought her blade down, only to be blocked by his own.
“Yeah, I already did.” He spat. “But when I’m done with y’all, you’ll want me ta kill ya.” He reared back, only to be struck by an icy blast from Sellek. “Now ya gettin’ me mad.”
Sellek took advantage of the hit, driving at the Tauren. The massive Death Knight attempted to parry the blow, only to have it slip off his blade and slice into his arm. Giving a bestial roar, he struck back, seemingly ignoring the wound. Sellek managed to block his strike, but was forced back by the blow.
Shouting, Jill again lunged at him, striking at him as he was trying to deal with her partner. As he came around, she stabbed at him, the blade digging into his side, piercing armour and skin. As she drove it home, the runes again began to glow as his blood flowed over it. The Tauren bellowed with pain, swinging at her as he ripped the blade free.
“Now two on one ain’t fair!” He shouted as Sellek struck at him, crushing one of his shoulder plates. He swung around, backing up as he did, cleaving at his attacker. Sellek ducked under the blow, then drove another icey blast at the Tauren.
“Fair?” Jill shouted, anger and hatred clear in her voice. “Since when have you cared about fighting fair!” She drove at him again, her blows coming fast and furious. Grunting, Zeke swung around, raising his blade against her. “Your type, they talk big but they’re only happy to act on it when everything’s going to their advantage!” She continued as she lashed out again. “But if things turn against you, then all the fight goes out of you!”
Backing up more, Zeke tried to put his back to a wall, reducing his exposure. He kept his weapon up, resolute against their offence, but at the same time, looking for a way out.
“That’s right!” She snapped as she drove home her assault. “You talk big, but that’s all!” More blows came, her anger and hatred fuelling her strikes. Zeke was continuing to hold her back, but it was clear he couldn’t stand his ground forever. “You only fight when you know you’ll win. You attack when you know your opponents are weak. You’re no better then the Scourge”
She raised her blade. “No, you’re worse then the Scourge. They fight because they are compelled to. You... no you’re just a coward.”
“I am no coward!” He shouted, lashing out at her. “I’ma gonna-“
His last comment was cut short as Sellek drove his blade through his side, crushing armour and bone. Focused on Jill, he’d left himself wide open to Sellek’s strike. “You are not going to do anything.” Sellek commented, his voice cold. “Your terror ends here, Zeke Grimtotem.” He drove the blade in, driving it through the Tauren’s heart before finally withdrawing it.
With a strangled gasp, Zeke collapsed to the ground. Sellek shook his head as he looked down at his fallen form. “Idiot.” He sighed. “That strength and power, you could have used to fight the Scourge instead of wasting it. What happened here, you bought upon yourself.”
“Yeah yeah.” Jill nonchalantly added as she walked past the Tauren’s corpse. “The man said no evidence.” She strolled over into the bushes that they’d approached from.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“Hold on a sec, I’m bad at this.” Jill commented as she dragged the body of the Warlock back into the clearing. “Seriously, I never do this.”
“What-“ He began as she raised a hand over the Forsaken’s corpse. Purple energy began to crackle off it, then struck the body, desecrating the ground around it. Moments later, the Forsaken sat up, however, it was changed. Already suffering the ravages of undeath, its body seemed even more twisted and feral, its features stretched and bestial. Most notable were its fangs and teeth, stretched out and twisted to wicked points.
“Destroying the evidence.” Jill stated, then indicated to the fallen body of the Tauren Death Knight. With a grunt, the Ghoul staggered over to the body, then opened its mouth in a horrific grin.
“Oh.” Sellek replied, then turned his back. “Don’t want to know.”
“Me either.” She added, joining him and trying her best to ignore the sounds coming from behind her. “Needed to be done though.”
“Yeah well...” Sellek winced. “I suppose I should be glad that you were at least reluctant to use it.”
“I’m terrible at Ghouls.” She admitted. “Best I can do is make one that falls over after a minute or two.”
“And then there’s the Army of the Dead-“
“Yeah, okay, I’m even worse with that ritual.” She continued.
“It never works right.” He continued. “Don’t know why you bother.”
“It does.” Jill sounded rather defensive. “It just... not always brilliantly and-“
“Hold on.” Sellek cut her off. As quietly as possible, he raised his blade. “There’s someone else here” He hissed.
Jill nodded silently in acknowledgement, readying her own weapon. Sellek began to move forward, being slow and deliberate as to make as little noise as possible, which was no mean feat in their heavy Saronite armour. Jill began to circle around, creating some distance between the two of them; who or whatever it was would. Hopefully, be caught between them.
They stepped around a ruined wall, ready to strike at whatever was behind it. What they found was a human and a dwarf, both clad in rust-brown plate armour, hoods covering their faces. As soon as they were spied, the pair of them raised their swords to strike, as did Jill.
“Wait!” The human called out. “We are not Scourge!” He frantically indicated to his chest; Sellek could see that he was wearing the tabard of the Ebon Blade.
“Jill!” He called out. ”Stand down!” Warily he lowered his blade; moments later, she did as well, while warily eyeing the two new arrivals.
“Who are you?” She demanded. “What are you doing here?”
“Uhh…” The human began. “We are… Ebon Blade Knights!” He finally stammered out
“From the Ebon Blade!” The Dwarf added. His flame-red beard jutted out from under his hood, giving him some distinction from his otherwise hidden compatriot.
“Rrrrrealy.” Jill slurred.
“Really.” The human nodded, even though his head was hidden by his hood. “I am Gene Shirt. This is Mogrom the Red.”
“We’ve come to help you.” Mogrom continued. “Against the bad… Horde… person.”
“Of course you have.” Sellek agreed.
“And our commander wants to see you.” Gene added. “Right now, even!”
Sellek and Jill glanced at each other, and then nodded. “Well then.” He finished. “You had better take us to see them then.”
They’d taken another flight across Zul’Drak to reach the Ebon Blade outpost; a small camp in amongst the devastated ruins of the lowest tier, it was largely hidden in amongst the large, purple and orange-leaved trees that dominated the area. However, it was there; with many of the accoutrements one expected; Ebon Blade banners, piles of skulls and a small bonfire.
Dismounting their bone griffons, the pair of them followed Mogrom and Shirt back towards the camp. As they approached, two things became evident. The first was that the fire was being fuelled by dead bodies; the acrid stench of burning flesh filled the air, while limbs were evident in amongst the fuel. The second was the lone Death Knight waiting at the camp.
A human, his armour was more elaborate then the norm for an Ebon Blade Knight. A royal blue, it had a brilliant gold trim that made it seem almost ostentatious; certainly it clashed with the dull purple and black tabard on his chest, and the hood that covered his face. Even more outstanding was the weapon he carried in his hands; rather than the normal runed sword or axe, he carried a massive scythe; its blade seemed to be made of solid ice, with brilliant blue runes burning on its shaft.
“Greetings, fellow Death Knights!” He began, his voice more high pitched then one would expect, but at the same time carrying the hollow echo that marked them. “I’m glad I found you. I have a special mission that needs your help.”
“Can it, Baxter.” Jill replied, clearly not impressed. “You’re not fooling anyone.”
“What?” He hissed. “Argh!” He threw off his hood, revealing his face – one that matched exactly to the Death Knight the pair of them had not seen since the fall of the Scarlet Enclave. “How did you see through my cunning deception?”
“Your cronies were very obvious.” Sellek commented. “They were stumbling and halting, showing the lack of free will and imagination so common to Scourge slaves. They were virtually tripping over themselves in an effort to convince us to come with them – which, by the way, we only did simply to find out who was behind such an obvious trap.”
“Furthermore, you did a terrible job of hiding the evidence.” He indicated towards the bonfire. “I can see limbs sticking out of that pile. Ebon Blade knights would not be so sloppy.”
“Oh yeah, one other thing.” Jill spoke up. “That scythe of yours is a dead giveaway, Bax.” She grinned. “Only an idiot like you would walk around with a runed agricultural implement.”
“That’s it!” He yelled out, sounding for all the world like an upset child. “Nobody makes fun of my cunning plan or my scythe. Get them!”
Mogrom and Shirt both raised their blades, charging at the two Knights. “I’ll hold off the goons.” Jill began. “Though I’d appreciate it if you didn’t kill Bax straight away. I’ve got a score to settle with him.”
“And if I do kill him in the process of engaging in lethal swordplay?” Sellek shot back.
“Eh, I’ll turn him into a Ghoul and kill him again or something.” She shrugged, then bought up her own sword. “Bring it, boys!” She yelled as she ran at Shirt, lashing out at him. His blade met hers, ringing off it with a resounding clang. At the same time, Mogrom charged at her, swinging his axe. Spinning around, she effortlessly blocked his blow.
“Yeah, we’re all Death Knights here.” She began with an almost gloating tone as she swung around, again driving at Gene. The blow very nearly took his head off, only just blocked at the last second. As she pushed against him, Mogrom took another swing, only to see Jill step out of its way, at the same time driving the human back. “Only some Death Knights are better than others.”
While she was outnumbered, there was truth to her words. She was more skilled, more capable then the two of them; they were slow and unimaginative, mindless creatures only a little better than a simple Ghoul. But there was more then just that. Her experience had given her a mastery of her abilities, something that the two she faced lacked. She was a cut above them; just as Sellek was. And she knew how to use her abilities.
“Two against one’s hardly fair, is it?” She commented as she stepped past a blow from Mogrom, the tone in her voice suggesting that it wasn’t as much as a problem as it seemed. “Let’s even the odds a little.” Concentrating, she channelled her power into the blade she had taken from Zeke Grimtotem. Then, with a shout, she grabbed and threw the blade, hurling it past Mogrom.
The weapon stopped in the air, the runes on its blade glowing a bright red as it did. Then, a moment later, it dived at Mogrom, as if wielded by an invisible mirror of Jill, striking at him. With a cry of alarm, he spun around, desperately trying to block the blow. His blade locked with the dancing rune weapon, the strength of the blow matching Jill’s own.
Which was enough for her. Taking advantage of the situation, she drove her blade through his back, impaling the dwarf. As she drew it out, the runes on her own sword burned red, mirroring those on its disembodied partner. The power she’d spent on it returned to her as her blade soaked up Mogrom’s blood, fueling her strength.
Grinning, she turned to Gene Shirt, power almost visibly flowing through her. “So, Shirt, feel brave enough to take me on?”
Baxter lashed out at Sellek, swinging at him in a broad arc with his runed scythe. The blade cut through the air, leaving a trail of icy blue in its wake, striking at Sellek. Instead, it glanced off his armour, barely leaving a mark.
“Hey! That’s not fair!” Baxter cried out, almost wailing in frustration.
“I would have assumed that you’d know how resilient those we can be, Baxter.” Sellek stated as he charged forward, driving at the younger man. “But then, you didn’t seem to be the smartest type.” His blade drove at Baxter, who only barely blocked the blow.
“I’m not dumb! Don’t call me dumb!” he squealed as he lashed out, swinging his scythe in a broad arc. Sellek easily ducked under the blow, then struck out again, his blade slicing into Baxter’s arm. With a yelp of pain, he staggered back as, almost immediately, the wound began to chill, the skin around it becoming numb and frozen.
“Skill, Baxter.” He stated. “You fight with sheer brute force and mindless violence.” He continued as he pressed his attack. “Those two alone will not get you very far.” Another blow nearly sliced through his chest, Baxter only barely dodging the blow.
“Stop talking!” He yelled back. “Stop thinking that you’re better then me just because you have your own free will and stuff!” He lashed out, swinging is blade around with a surprising speed that belied its seemingly cumbersome nature. “I hate all of you, and I’m gonna kill you all!” He continued to press his attack, trying to drive Sellek back. The larger man managed to hold his ground, his blade managing to deflect Baxter’s strikes.
“They all laughed at me, but you know what?” Baxter continued as he tied to press the assault. “I’m better than them, and I’m better then you!” His scythe began to burn with energy, slicing into Sellek’s leg armour. This time, the blow penetrated his icy shield, slicing flesh. “Yeah! See? I am so much better! And I’m gonna kill you, and take your heads back to Sir Karl and he’ll see that I’m better then all of you!”
Baxter continued to press his attack, Sellek managing to hold his ground against his fury. “Of course, I’ll still have your bodies to do horrible thigns to! When I’m done, you’re gonna be begging me to cut your heads off!” He unleashed a bolt of energy at Sellek, the older Death Knight managing to deflect it away with his blade. “So just give up and let me brutalise you already!”
Grunting, Sellek continued to stand his ground, as immobile as a glacier. “Two things, Baxter.” He stated as he continued to stand, regardless of the assault being unleashed. “First; we fought for our freedom. It is worth more to us than anything else. We saw what we had become, what the Lich King had made us. And we chose to turn our back on that; to try and regain what had been taken from us.”
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” He snapped. “What’s number two?”
“You are easily distracted.”
“Wha?” he snapped, only to be suddenly cut off as a Runeblade impaled him through the back. Gasping he coughed up blood, staring down at the tip of the blade protruding from his chest. “huh?” Was all he could manage.
“Dancing rune blade.” Jill commented as she walked over, a determined look on her face. “Fair payment for what you did to me, Baxter.” The weapon wrenched itself free, returning to her hand. With a shudder, Baxter collapsed to his knees. “Remember, Baxter? Remember how you ratted me out to Karl? And how he beat me senseless, and you laughed as he did?”
“Surrender, Baxter.” Sellek stated. “And we will spare you.”
He looked up, a mixture of pain and pure hatred in his eyes. “Never! Die, traitorous scum!” Despite his wound, he picked himself up, charging forward at Sellek. He let out a battle cry that seemed to be equal parts anger and pain as he raised his scythe to strike.
Sellek hit first; a howling blast of icy cold tearing into him, searing it with the sheer cold. As he reeled from the strike, Sellek charged forward, driving is blade through Baxter’s neck, snapping it. His body went limp, falling to the ground.
“I did offer you a chance.” Sellek muttered as he shook his head.
“Not that the little creep deserved it.” Jill muttered, the bitterness evident in her voice. “Let’s clean this mess up.”
The armoured Death Knight and his Skeleton partner looked up as a pair of skeletal griffins wheeled overhead, before landing on top of the temple. Moments later, Sellek Lerenze and Jill Valdar stepped off their mounts, their armour chipped and battered and showing signs of battle.
“Did you do it?” he asked.
“We did.” Sellek stated. “Zeke Drimtotem is dead and, yes, the evidence of who – or what – did it was nicely destroyed. Nobody will be any the wiser.”
“And we bought you a present.” Valdar added, then threw him a sack.
He easily caught it in his hands, warily opening it. Inside was a severed head; a human male, looking to be no more then eighteen or twenty. “And this is?”
“Baxter.” Sellek stated. “Death Knight of the Blackened Claw and loyal servant of the Lich King. We ran into him and two others after we had taken care of the target.”
“I see.” He nodded as he closed up the sack. “You’ve done well. Thank you both.”
Behind his mask, Fargo Bartley smiled to himself. Everything had gone exactly as planned, and two menaces to the Alliance had met their end. And his two most capable agents had again proved themselves to him. In the days to come, DKOG would have need of every ounce of their skill to overcome what would, undoubtedly be their greatest challenge.
And I know they will be up to the task, he thought to himself. Intelligence, skill, ruthlessness and the ability to adapt to the unexpected. And we will need all this and so much more.