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Greetings, friends. This is my fanfic centered around my goblin hunter (Isaac Torquebarrel) as he journeys through Outland and fights his creator's machinations.
Shall we get started?
Part One: A WORLD LIES IN CHAOS Edit
Chapter 1: A Rude Awakening Edit
He wasn't here, he wasn't there, he wasn't ANYWHERE in the strange realm known as unconsciousness. All he saw was pure black, nothing more. He knew only his name: Isaac Torquebarrel. He did not know why he was in this limbo of darkness, but it could not be good.
Wait, what's that light...?
A bright white glow pierced the center of his vision, becoming larger and larger, finally engulfing his vision and blinding him... Until he woke to see a lesser daemon with a surgical tool hovering near his eye.
"Holy crap!" Isaac yelped, and immediately punched the daemon, causing it to fall over and crash into a table. Isaac looked around him: the room he was in was rather savage. Dark metal composed most of the floor, walls, and ceiling. The table the daemon knocked over had frightening tools now scattered around the floor.
He hurriedly tore at his restraints with lightning-fast reflexes and jumped off the cot he was on. Suddenly his side spiked with pain, and as he turned to look, he didn't see his flesh: he gazed only at black and green armor. Then his vision went dark, and after, it went back to normal - along with symbols and gauges hovering over his face.
A voice spoke in his head, a monotonous drawl.
[Calibrating Blitzkrieg Mk.II armor to fit user's biological data.
[Subject is Specimen 60-B1-0N T0-RQ-U3. Race: Goblin. Sex: Male. True name: Isaac Torquebarrel. Powe-]
"I don't have time for this dammit!" Isaac roared and ran for the nearest exit.
He felt a prickling sensation on his right wrist, looked, and saw a good-sized LONGBOW spring to life. It had a unique shape: the part where the arrow came out had three spikes protruding from above the wrist. Two green spheres sat above and under his forearm, while the ends of the bow's points ended in wicked sharp spikes.
"....huh. Not my style, but this will work."
He kept on running, encountering more daemons that were meaner and more aggressive than the one that was operating on him. One had an orange tint on his flesh, with giant wings and devilish fangs in his mouth. Another was rather alluring, having pinkish-white flesh and wearing a tight-looking leather corset on her. Where there were meant to be feet, there were evil hooves, thorns covering her ankles. The female daemon, a succubus (he had no idea how he knew that), boasted two sharp horns on her forehead, and her face was the most gorgeous thing he laid eyes on.
He gunned them all down without mercy.
After what seemed like an eternity, he finally found an exit in the form of a glowing green portal to some location with a red color. "These guys apparently have a thing for green, I guess..."
He jumped through, heard a loud popping noise, and reappeared on the other side into-
"The middle of effing nowhere. Wonderful..."
Suddenly he had the mother of all headaches spear his mind, and fell down in agony, gasping. "What's going on?!" he cried, tears of pain and fear streaking down his face under his helmet. The pain increased to unbearable levels, to the point where he passed out.
Selron Dawntreader, a blood elf ranger, was busy hunting game for food back at Falcon Watch when she heard a popping sound and saw a goblin in dark armor fall to the ground a few feet away from her from a strange looking portal. She saw him suddenly gasp in agony for a few seconds and say something she couldn't quite catch before flopping to the ground, presumably out cold.
"By the Sunwell..." she murmured, confused and slightly scared.
She made her way over to the goblin's still form, taking care to eliminate any would-be carrion feeders. Kneeling down, she looked him over, and saw the helmet could be removed. Once she took it off, she inhaled sharply at what she saw.
The goblin had black hair, like midnight, and dark-greenish flesh. When she examined his eyes, she noticed he had red eyes, the pupils flaring sometimes with green fire, much like her own. His left cheek had a slight scar on it.
"I should probably tell the magistrate about this," she said, hoisting the goblin over her shoulder firefighter style, then proceeded to bring him to Falcon Watch.
Chapter 2: Where Am I? Edit
He was unconscious again, but for how much longer he didn't know. However, he was inching nearer to being awake as the sound of static washed over his ears. He saw the static as well, in his mind. And then he heard voices.
"What do you think, ma'am?" said a young female.
"It is a goblin. Ergo, he's useless. I do not know why you brought him here, Dawntreader," replied a middle-aged female, this one having a sarcastic tone.
"But magistrate, goblins like him don't randomly fall out of the sky from green portals on a regular basis. I think there's something peculiar about this man."
"You may have a point there, Dawntreader," quipped the middle-aged woman, "so try and wake him up. We'll get his story."
The static disappeared as he felt his helmet come off his head, and light found the path to his eyes, forcing him to enter the world of the waking. He slowly opened his eyes and found himself staring at a ceiling. Beneath his back was a bed, and it felt so lush and soft he supposed it was of elven design. The light, he found, came from hovering torches magically suspended in the air. The young female voice spoke to him. "Are you alright, sir?" Her face then entered his vision.
As to be expected from her voice, her face reflected her age as well. Blonde hair fell gracefully down her back, as if she had no need for a hair comb. Her skin was much like a human's, pinkish and tan. Strangely, her eyes, although she was an elf, had an eerie green coloration on them, much like his pupils. Her ears pointed from her sides like long tails.
"Uh... where am I?" he asked, slightly captivated by her face.
"Falcon Watch," the elf replied, and, when she saw that his face wore a look of confusion still, she continued, "in Hellfire Peninsula. I'm a blood elf ranger, stationed with the magistrate-" she gestured at the older woman next to her. "-to see if we can push into Shattrah, the old draenai city in Terrokar. We keep getting repelled by Ravagers, Skettis, and the like. I'm not sure how long we're going to stay here," she concluded.
Isaac had a feeling of dejavu as she spoke, somehow remembering the 'blood elves' and the 'draenai'. "I... I don't know why, but I somehow remember your kind. And this... 'Hellfire Peninsula'. Believe you me, mate, I just barely escaped some ferocious daemon-"
"DAEMONS?" the magistrate piped up, her voice filled with concern.
"Yeah... I don't know WHAT they did to me, but now I'm in this armor, and I'm pretty pissed," he added. "And my body... I feel something... CHAOTIC within. As if they instilled their power into me. It feels rather strange, really.
"What are your names, if I may ask?" he said, wanting to clear this up.
"Dawntreader," the younger of the two replied, "Selron Dawntreader." "Magistrate Arcanenia is my name," answered the magistrate, and Isaac looked her way to see another blood elf clad in a very exquisite-looking robe, with a blue staff in her hand. Like Selron, her eyes were glowing green. Unlike Selron, however, her hair was bundled on her head, much like a tower. "Care to give us your name, goblin?"
"Torquebarrel. Isaac Torquebarrel... I THINK that's my name, anyhow. I don't remember much of anything..." Isaac recalled.
"Would you like something to eat, Isaac?" Dawntreader inquired. "We have fruits and meats here. I hope you like what we have."
"I'll take anything, as long as it makes this damned headache bugger off."
Dawntreader exited the room, and the magristrate said only one thing before she left as well: "Rest well, Isaac. We will speak again soon."
Isaac leaned back on his pillow, still feeling dejavu. A face constantly pestered his mind, somehow familiar, yet unknown too. Its flesh was firey red, and tentacles protruded from its neck and rested on the collarbone. In place of eyes, it had two burning yellow orbs, filled with hate and chaos. He pondered this while he waited for Selron to return.
Chapter 3: Obtuse Examination Edit
Kil'jaedan pondered over recent events. The coming of the Horde and Alliance to Outland changed his outlook on them, especially the Horde, since the Blood Elves that did not join with Kael'thas joined up with them. It just meant that he wouldn't have even MORE slaves to use so he could be brought to Azeroth.
The 'elf' that was Illidan Stormrage taking the Black Temple from Magtheridon was most troublesome, since that particular foothold in the Shadowmoon Valley was of most importance, and now that it was taken from him, it was likely that the Burning Legion would be forced to stay in Outland for the time being.
The biggest problem facing him, however, was the fact that his creation, the goblin Isaac Torquebarrel, had escaped his clutches while he was still being surgically enhanced. "He could have been the ultimate death machine," Kil'jaedan sighed, "if he didn't have a consciousness." And the fact that he had infused Isaac with a small portion of his power meant that he could blare to those two factions about what's going on in the remnants of Draenor.
It was very peculiar how he managed to escape.
"The armor," he breathed, suddenly having a thought.
It was the armor that helped him escape. It was brand new, made by the forge daemons in Hellfire Citadel. One commented that "it helps the user, not those around them."
Kil'jaedan paid no mind to it, and paid the price for his ignorance. The goblin had the armor implanted onto his body, it came online, and he escaped... with the armor in tow.
"When I find him, I will rip his puny heart right out of his chest..."
Chapter 4: Rest and Relaxation... Or Not Edit
"Holy crap," Isaac said between mouthfuls of food, "this stuff is FANTASTIC!"
Selron had returned with many strange fruits and vegetables, with a jug of cider for him to drink. Isaac had not realized he was ravenous until he found himself drooling a little at the plates. "All that? For me?" he questioned her.
"Well, I guessed that you were weak after escaping the Legion, so I had to do something to make you feel better," replied Selron.
He had to slow down when he found himself gasping for breath after the last bite. She had brought grapes the size of his thumb; apples with a juicy red color; and many more. "Where'd all this stuff come from?"
"In my spare time, I had went foraging for more than just wild game when we were receiving less and less shipments from Thrallmar. I dunno what's going on there, but it's keeping them from sending us supplies. No worries, however; I managed to find suitable replacements."
"Well, this world seems to have quite the menu. By the way, when do you think it best to go to Shattrah?" Isaac asked, feeling a bit impatient.
"Probably tomorrow, night's approaching pretty fast," came Dawntreader's reply. "Though, if you ask me, it's hard to tell. I only know from Azeroth-"
"Azeroth? What's that?" Isaac interrupted her, suddenly interested.
"You never been to Azeroth before?" Selron replied with her own question, slightly shocked.
"Yep, never been to this 'Azeroth' yer talking about. Sounds pretty fancy, if you want my opinion."
Selron found it hard to describe her home world, having lived in it for so long she wouldn't dream of telling a foreigner about it. Of course, she had met some lost draenai, but that didn't count.
"Um... well... Azeroth is the home world of many races and animals, which include my kind, the blood elves, the humans, the dwarves, the gnomes, the orcs, the tauren, your kind, the goblins, the night elves, the trolls, the Forsaken, and, as of now, the draenai. You should visit sometime, it's very beautiful there," she finished, a dreamy look on her face.
"Well, color me curious, that sounds very interesting. Maybe once we're done in this world, we could visit."
"I'm sure you'll have a great time with my group, just watch out for Olaris: he gets pretty drunk most of the time and to everyone else, he acts like... well, an ass, if you will. For some reason, though, he always tries to seduce me, even though I've told him a thousand times I'm not interested. I swear, sometimes I wonder why we get such potent wine..."
Isaac thought for a second. "Would you object to me standing in his way?"
"I mean, when he's drunk and tries to seduce ya, I could, oh I dunno, ACCIDENTALLY knock him out, if ye catch my drift," he added, winkng slyly at her.
"I don't know... the magistrate hates violence in her own settlement. But-"
"You do realize he'll likely give up when I smack him six ways from Sunday?"
"Uh..." was all Selron could say, kind of embarrassed that a goblin would protect her.
"It's a yes or no question, sweetheart," Isaac interrupted her, wondering why she took her sweet time.
"Well... I guess you COULD, it would reaaaaally take some stress off my back."
"Least I could do, given that you brought me here. Now, where is he?"
"He's probably at the makeshift inn again, drowning his sorrows."
Selron and Isaac found their way to the inn, which, strangely, was only one room big, but it had a bar AND bedding spots, which meant to Isaac that it was hastily built at one time and left like that from then on. Two blood elf men sat at the bar, laughing and drinking, with one having more than his fair share. "Who's who and what's what?" Isaac asked.
"Olaris is the one with the firey red hair and goatee," Selron said, trying to hide herself from Olaris' view.
"Don't worry, I'll handle it. Just wait for the fireworks," Isaac said to her, a mischievous grin crossing his face underneath his helmet. Then he walked over to Olaris and poked him in the leg, making the latter turn groggily to Isaac and growl, "The hell do YOU want?"
"Greetings, Mr. Olaris. I come on behalf of Selron Dawntreader to inform you that she is really not interested in you. She preferred it coming from my mouth than her own."
"Oh, she's a (hic) shy one, Selron. Dunno why she keeps avoiding me, (hic) but she's just afraid I can't show her a good time."
"Well, I'm just here to say..." Isaac replied, and felt his wrist tingling where his bow was about to unfold, "that if you keep this up, yer gonna get hurt. Quite badly, I might add."
"And what (hic) makes you say that, tiny?" Olaris chuckled, rat-arsed drunk and wanting to cause a fight. "Maybe this." And with that, the longbow came unfolded and the three wrist spikes came pointed at Olaris' face, threatening to impale it. The latter went wide-eyed and hastily turned away, muttering, "Her boyfriend is tough..."
Satisfied with the result, Isaac left the bar - to be smothered in a big hug from Selron. "Oh, thank you so much Isaac! You're so kind!"
"Sel... yer... hurting me..." Isaac rasped, feeling squeezed against her.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" she said, and loosened her grip so Isaac could breath. "I'm just glad you taught that idiot a lesson. Now he should keep his distance..."
"That's good. You were right; he IS an ass."
"We should be good for tomorrow, now that he's been dealt with. Again, thank you."
"'You scratch my back, I scratch yours' I always say."
Chapter 5: Long Trek to the Ancient Draenai Capital, Part 1 Edit
The next morning, Isaac lay dozing on his bed, nothing covering his body besides his armor. His snores echoed loudly around the inn, amplified by his helmet's built in speaker system.
Selron felt giddy, sneaking to the inn. She was going to surprise him for sleeping in today. As she opened stepped in and slowly made her way to his bed, she looked him over and found herself a little captivated at his physique. Despite the plates infused to his flesh, she could still see his muscles bulging from beneath them, quite lean and strong. He seemed as if he could bench-press a doomguard - and throw said daemon quite a ways away. “Such a handsome man...” she heard herself whisper, then mentally scolded herself for thinking it. 'He's a goblin!' she thought, 'I'm a blood elf! We couldn't go together... could we?'
Selron banished such thoughts from her mind. She needed to wake him and get him to the caravan to Shattrah. Building her courage, she kneeled down and brought her mouth to the side of Isaac's head.
"Rise and shine, lazy boy!" Selron blared into Isaac's ear.
"Whoa!" he yelped and fell off his bed in surprise, landing on his head. Fortunately he slept with his armor on and it only shook his skull a little. Rubbing the place on his head where he landed, he slowly got up and leaned on one side of his mattress, saying, "What'd ya do THAT fer?"
"Don't you remember?" Selron said playfully. "We're heading to Shattrah today."
"...oh. Crap," Isaac said, mentally slapping himself for forgetting. "Pardon me, I guess I was really tired yesterday. Well, let's not dawdle," he said, walking out with her to the caravan at the entrance gate of Falcon Watch. Magistrate Arcanenia was found conversing with a troll man, debating on how fast he could get them there.
"Prolly a week's time, ma'am," Isaac heard, "aldough Ah'll need some protectin'. Dese caravans don' look so strong, an' I don' suppose we cahn survive an attack from tings like daemons or dem Skettis bird guys. Ya get me, mon?"
"Very well. I'll-" the magistrate started, when her eyes fell on Isaac and Selron treading to them. "Isaac? Selron? Would you two be kind enough to give our caravan some protection?" she asked them.
"Finally, some action," Isaac said before Selron spoke, "Of course, magistrate!"
"Good. Get inside, we leave in five minutes."
Isaac and Selron jumped inside the caravan and took care to avoid damaging the supplies resting in there. They finally found a spot that wasn't inhabited by potions or food. However, Isaac quickly learned that it made him and Selron uncomfortably close to each other, causing the former to sweat under his helmet and the latter's cheeks to flush with red.
"Uhm... this is kinda... awkward..." Isaac managed to say, feeling embarrassed to be this close to his friend.
"Er... yeah... you could say that..." Selron agreed, feeling mildly aroused by his presence.
Suddenly the caravan hit a bump and made Selron almost fall off her seat, only just before hitting her face when Isaac grabbed the back of her tunic and pulled her back up.
"Thanks..." she muttered, and then went wide-eyed when she found his arm around her midriff. She looked at Isaac imploringly.
"That's to... uh.. make sure you don't, eh, fall down next time," came his reply, with a nervous laugh at the end of it.
"How kind of... you."
They both remained silent during the ride.
Isaac's mind swam with voices. 'Are you stupid? There's no way you could get together with her!' one said in disbelief.
Another objected, 'She's his friend. They could get together one day. Don't berate him just because they're in this situation.'
"Fine..." the first said in mock defeat, "but don't come crying to me when they break up."
Isaac still said nothing for a while.
When the caravan stopped, Isaac wondered what could interrupt their journey.
"Bloody 'ell," he heard the troll yell, "we busted an axle! Now how we gonna get dere!?"
"Be quiet!" came the magistrate's rasped reply. "You'll alert us to possible enemies."
"Pardon mah tempa, ma'am," the troll apologized, "jus' a bit annoyed at dis. Oh well, Ah'm sure da poor guy is tired afta all dat, anyway," he added, gesturing at the kodo that pulled their vehicle along, which looked very tired and sleepy. "May need to make a camp here."
"Camp?" Isaac whispered, confused.
"It's what people do in the wilderness, until they... uh... find civilization. In this case, though, it's a temporary home until that axle is repaired," came Selron's reply.
Slipping his arm off her waist, he got up and walked out, relieved to get out of that situation. As he stepped out, he heard the sound of something heavy hitting the ground, and looked to see the troll building a campfire with long wood logs. "Dis should last a while," the troll said.
He looked Isaac's way and waved to him. "Don' worry mon! Just a slight setback!" he called, and grinned, his tusks gleaming in the light of the fire.
Isaac came over and seated himself in front of the fire, removing his helmet as he did so. "Damn, feels good to get out of that," he sighed, smelling the air and sucking it into his nostrils.
Selron came up behind him and sat next to him, sharing the same feeling he had. "You're right, Isaac, it feels wonderful to be out here. The trees... the sky... so pretty," she said, content.
"You know... now that I think about it, it seems you are very pretty as well, Selron," Isaac said.
Selron blushed, her cheeks tinged with a shade of pink. "Well... thank you, kind sir."
Isaac looked over at the troll and the latter's face said, without words, 'Smooth, mon. Real smooth.'
"Dere should be a lake somewhere 'round here," the troll announced. "You two should relax yerselves while I tend to the fiya."
"Will do. Thanks," Isaac replied and began searching for the aforementioned lake.
After what seemed like an hour(it was really only ten minutes), he found it. The waters of the lake gleamed brightly in the reflection of the moonlight. He spotted fish here and there, the little swimmers sometimes jumping out of the water. After taking a deep breath, he began to see if he could remove his armor, and seeing it could be taken off, began to do so until he was only in his underpants. Taking a few steps back, he dashed forward, leapt into the air, bellowed "CANNONBALL!" and dived into the water. The rush of such an entry made him forget that he needed air, and he suddenly swam to the surface, shaking himself like a canine and feeling good all over. As he made his way back to the shoreline and began to relax, he heard footsteps behind him and turned to see Selron approaching. "What are you doing here, Selron?" he pondered.
"Well, that troll said for us to both relax, so I came here too," she said. "Mind if I join you?"
"Uh... Sure. Be my guest," he replied.
"Care to turn the other way?" she asked, reaching to take off her tunic. Isaac obliged and turned back to his front, hearing her undress herself. he closed his eyes and wondered why he felt aroused at the thought of her without her garments. A sudden splash diverted him from his thoughts, causing him to instinctively shield himself. "What the crap!?" he said.
"Gotcha!" came Selron's giggling reply. "You're gullible, you know that?"
"Oi, you caught me off-guard! Cheeky."
"Surrree... that's what they all say..." Selron taunted, laughing.
"I'll show you 'gullible'," Isaac challenged, and dived beneath the water, swimming around to surprise Selron.
"Where'd you go?" she asked, suddenly feeling afraid.
Isaac found the perfect spot, then, with all his strength, he sailed upwards in front of Selron like a torpedo, showering her in a splash of water. He landed back in front of her, trying to suppress a laugh while gazing at her thoroughly soaked face.
"Payback," he retorted, and broke down into a fit of giggling, backpedaling himself back to the shore. "Oh, gods, the look on your face was priceless. You should have seen it!"
"Obnoxious is what you are," Selron growled at him.
"I know you are, but what am I?" Isaac countered.
"I know that game well," she retorted, before finally sighing and swimming to the shoreline, lying next to him and smiling. She turned and studied his features again. His ears ended in a loop, and he had a strong jaw. His normally springy black hair was now flattened on his skull, and Selron had to resist the urge of running her fingers through it. She looked at his eyes and suppressed a small squeak; they weren't red. Instead, they had a cool blue hue on them. Directing her view to the rest of him, she studied his torso. Despite his being a goblin, who were known for being quick and agile, he had the muscles and abs of a mature orc. It boggled her mind how a person like Isaac could be this strong.
"Do you like what you see?" his voice said, interrupting her reverie and remembering what she was doing, making her look away in fear.
"Uh... Maybe I do..." she nervously replied.
While she was looking away, Isaac began examining her. Like him, her hair was stuck to her head from the water, and somehow it made her even more beautiful. Her eyes reflected the light of the moon, seemingly making them sparkle. Although her muscles did not visibly show from her skin, he still surmised that she was tough enough to fight in melee.
Selron?" He moved closer to her, his eyes bearing a question.
"Yes, Isaac?" came her reply, making her turn to look at him.
"I got a question. What is 'love?'"
"Why...why are you asking?" Selron asked, confused and a little apprehensive.
"Olaris was rambling about how he loved you with all his heart, and that got me thinking. What defines love? I don't remember anything much before... you know."
"Well... How do I explain this... The meaning of love is when you have feelings of affection for another person. For example, marriage bonds a man and a woman into being husband and wife, and it seals their love for each other. Usually a family is started when they both decide to want children. Before that, though, the man and woman would be lovers. And before THAT, they'd be nervous about admitting their feelings for one another, until eventually one asks the other to take them out for a fun time. It usually includes seeing plays, enjoying a meal, picnics, and whatnot. I used to be in love with a certain someone myself, until I caught him with another woman. You could say that he got his rear handed to him, and we broke up after," Selron explained.
"How do you... um... show your affection to a person you love truthfully?"
"Simple. Through a kiss."
Isaac blinked. He had no memory of "love." Just how did it work? "Could you show me how to do this... 'kiss' you speak of?"
Selron went wide-eyed at him. "W-w-why?" she stuttered. "You shou-"
"I have amnesia, mate. I don't remember much of anything. Not even 'kissing.'"
Selron considered how to show him. She was not looking for a man right now, but his compliment from earlier made her want him for some reason. Could it be that she was really in love with this goblin? "Uh... I suppose I could show you instead of telling..." she started, and beckoned him to get closer.
Isaac complied, his face inches away from Selron's. "Now what?" he whispered, suddenly feeling hot again despite the cool air.
So he waited.
And he waited.
And he waited.
He was starting to get impatient when he suddenly felt Selron's mouth over his, their lips locking. His eyes widened to the size of pine cones, but then he closed them when a wonderful feeling cascaded through his body. He could not describe it. It was like pure bliss. He was surprised his armor had no data about this feeling... What was it? Ah, yes, pleasure.
When Selron broke away for breath, he was disappointed. Surely they could do it again? "Why'd you stop? I was enjoying it."
"I only...wanted to show you...how a kiss was pulled off. It appears that...you are good at this despite not...knowing what it was."
"It was pleasurable for both of us, right?" he pondered.
"Yes... I suppose..."
"Do you love me?" he wondered. Silence answered him.
"...maybe. I don't know."
"Can I say that I love you as well?"
"You...do?" Selron breathed, confused.
"Well, I like your personality, and yer looks, and what you did earlier confirmed it. So, what do ya say? Do we love each other?"
Selron smiled and kissed him again. "Does this answer your question?"
The sound of chirping crickets and birdcall died down that fateful night.
Chapter 6: Darkness Unbound Edit
Deep within the Deceiver's dimension, Kil'jaedan was hard at work building his newest creation. Instead of giving him the power of free will, like he had given to Isaac, he instilled only one goal into its mind: get Torquebarrel back to the Legion or die trying. A simple goal, though utterly devious when you really looked at it. Again, he infused a small portion of his power into it, but this time it would not scamper off. He was nearing the edge of completion, a smile crossing his face for once in a long time. As he put the final touches on his masterpiece, it was done.
The effigy, as it were, was clad in dark armor, like Isaac's, except tinged with crimson red instead of fel green. Its skin was completely black, much like coal, a stark contrast in Isaac's dark green. It had the same face as Isaac's, except for the eyes: they were entirely red, nothing resting in them to serve as pupils. It did not last long, however, as its helmet was lowered onto its skull.
Again, this clone's helmet differed from Isaac's greatly. It had two slits for eyes, which burned blood red. Two nozzles extended from the cheek areas as a mouthplate crisscrossed with black and grey stripes covered the specimen's mouth. Two giant horns thrust out from the sides of his head, each covered with tiny spikes. When it came down on his head, it flashed to life and he looked up to his new master before saying something the latter could not identify.
"Speak again, my creation... I am too lost in my pride to hear clearly," the Deceiver growled.
"What..." the effigy said, "who... who am I?"
"You are known as Doomstone, my perfected rendition of your traitorous brother, Torquebarrel."
"Yes... I see now. He gained a consciousness and betrayed us. What do... you wish me to do?" Doomstone inquired, feeling giddy at it all.
"Your task is simple. Find your sibling,and bring him back in my clutches or die trying. I am arming you with the best weaponry I can muster -"
Suddenly a blade appeared in Doomstone's hand, one tinged with orange waves, rippling like water. A longbow appeared in his other hand, and it was most hideous: the ends were black wood, and the wrist guard was a skull impaled with a red jewel, the sockets glowing with pure malice.
"- and I hope you find them suitable," Kil'jaedan concluded.
"Such raw power..." Doomstone breathed, taken aback. "Feels perverted for me to wield it honestly."
"Do not worry, you'll get used to it. Now, go forth, and bring me back your brother's head if necessary. GO!"
"Yessir!" the effigy replied, saluting, then disappearing in a flash of crimson light.
The axle was fixed the next morning, and the caravan set off an hour after, going deeper into the heart of Terokkar Forest. Isaac paid no mind to being practically squeezed in: after all, he was with his lover, Selron, who was, at the moment, resting on his shoulder in slumber.
They remained this way for ten minutes until a flash of heat washed over the front of the caravan, causing Isaac to sit up in surprise.
"Selron," Isaac said, shaking her a little, "get up. I think we hit another snag."
She woke up slowly, gazing blearily at him. "Whassat..."
Suddenly a loud *BOOM* sound came from the caravan front, jolting them both. "The hell was that!?" she squeaked, clinging to Isaac out of fear.
"Stay here," he said, kissing her cheek before donning his helmet, "I'll check it out."
He walked out the back of the caravan and found the troll driver dueling with a felguard, the former barely dodging the latter's sword sweeps. The magistrate was busy as well, trying to keep distance between her and two felhounds.
"Need help?" Isaac said before drawing out his longbow and firing an arrow at the felguard, spearing its skull and instantly killing it. He then aimed a couple more at the felhounds, killing one and injuring the other. As he moved in for the final blow, a loud, deathly voice bellowed over the whole area, "I found you..."
Suddenly a loud *FWOOSH* sounded, and a goblin in black and red armor and a bloody gas mask appeared, kneeling in front of the mangled kodo that was devastated in the attack. It - Isaac did not know its sex - stood still before gazing up and laying eyes on Isaac.
"Brother...!" it said, its voice not necessarily warm and inviting. "Oh, how I missed you! We rea-"
Isaac raised his bow and primed an arrow at the stranger, feeling confused and angry. "Who the FRAG are YOU?" he demanded.
"Tsk, tsk, looks like a certain someone has forgotten their lineage... do you not remember the time when you woke and escaped being made into the ultimate death machine?" the creature asked, ignoring Isaac's annoyance.
"How... who are you?"
The creature removed the helmet it wore, and Isaac had to bite back a yell as he gazed upon its face: it was just like his own, only with pitch black flesh and fully red eyes tinged with blood.
"Why, I'm your perfected rendition, as the Master puts it... I follow only him, and I have no free will, which is wonderful. Why don't you join Kil'jaedan and his Burning Legion, brother? We-"
"SHUT UP!" Isaac roared, drawing the arrow taut in the string. "I don't want to be this 'Kil'jaedan's' puppet, unlike you. I prefer making my own decisions, instead of something else pulling the strings. Now, why don't you leave?"
"I'd love to, brother, but the Master requires me to bring you back... dead, alive, undead, whatever. Before we duel, you should know my name is Doomstone, the Endgame. Now, HAVE AT THEE!"
Suddenly the creature produced a orange tinged blade and surged forward, intent on impaling Isaac. The plan failed, however, as Doomstone's prey rolled to the side, the blade instead landing in the dead kodo. "You're fast!... but I'm EVEN FASTER," the Endgame taunted, and leapt backward to Isaac's front, intent on dicing him with the blade. A swift kick made the weapon fly out of his hands and land in the dirt.
"Man to man, huh?"
"Bugger you," Isaac retorted and began melee combat with his 'brother' trying to get a blow in.
"Hold the hell still."
"You're good... but I'm BETTER."
Suddenly Isaac felt something spear him in his shoulder, and cried out in fury when he realized that Doomstone had caught him with a hidden dagger. Kicking him away, Isaac roughly tore the blade out and threw it back at his foe, only to have it miss by inches.
"Well, brother, it seems I was wrong about you. You clearly have... skill," Doomstone said, putting emphasis on "skill".
"That... was only... Round One," Isaac replied, gasping for breath, his shoulder flaring with pain and oozing blood. "You should... prepare... for Round Two."
"Maybe another time... I was... merely testing you. (huff) I look... (huff) forward to it..." And with that, Doomstone flashed crimson and disappeared.
Isaac fell to his knees, putting one hand on his shoulder to hold his wound and another to the ground to steady himself.
"Isaac? Are you okay?" came Selron's sing-song voice, and he saw her running towards him, worry creasing her face.
"Yeah.. I'm (puff) fine... just tired..." he groaned, and fell into her arms, grateful that she was there. "Selron... it seems that... I have a brother."
Chapter 7: Long Trek to the Ancient Draenai Capital, Part 2 Edit
Isaac looked over at the poor kodo that had died in the assault, the charred husk still sizzling with small patches of incendiary. With their only quick way to Shattrah gone, travel by foot meant much more hardship. And he knew that not even the troll had his stamina. Right now he just wanted to get out of here, but he could not leave Selron, the troll, or the magistrate.
"Doomstone..." Isaac let his 'brother's' name slide off his tongue. He remembered what Doomstone said before he took off.
'Why, I'm your perfected rendition, as the Master puts it.'
How could an amalgamation like HIM be a perfect copy of Isaac? He failed to understand the logic in that simple statement.
"Isaac, are you alright?" Selron said suddenly, derailing his train of thought. Her tone was one of concern and fright, which, given what recently happened, fit her.
"Yeah, I'm fine... but our ride ain't. Looks like we're gonna be walking it to Shattrah. Damn that bastard..."
"As long as we're together, we're going to make it," Selron added, and drew her gaze to his lacerated shoulder. "What in the... oh gods, you're bleeding Isaac!"
"Only... a flesh wound my dear... I'll be fine..." he managed to say, but it was difficult. His vision was going black at the edges, and he had to fight to stay awake. "What... what about... the others?"
"Worry later, you need help!" Selron answered, and whispered a spell under her breath. Isaac felt his shoulder ease up on pain, but only slightly. The bleeding had not stopped, however.
"Isaac... it... it should have healed fully...!"
He vaguely heard her as something else entered his vision - humanoid creatures that resembled birds, with rainbow feathers and sharp beaks. He felt himself being taken from Selron's embrace as one of the bird-men came to him, and he finally went out cold.
Fauskr looked up at the new 'sacrifices' in their cages, snorting and ruffling his feathers. One was wearing light, white armor, and another had black greenish. The white armored one was a female, apparently, and an elf at that. The dark green was very unusual... he vaguely recalled these beings designated as 'goblins'.
Daily he mentally questioned sacrificing innocent others for their rituals. Somehow it made zero sense to him, even though he had studied all about these sorts of things intently. And the screams of the sacrifices... it made him cringe and feel rather ill. He wondered why he was an arakkoa in the first place.
These two... somehow they seemed important, judging by how they had been captured. And the cries of the elf girl when she realized that she was separated from her friend convinced him more and more that this was incredibly wrong.
But he could not outwardly stop all of it, for he feared he'd be branded a heretic and forced into exile. He did catch word of 'heretics' in the city known as Shattrah, and was considering joining them when he heard the dark armored goblin groan.
Looking around to make sure nobody was watching, he made his way to the goblin's cage and looked inside, finding the source of the goblin's groan: a rather gruesome wound in his shoulder, bleeding profusely despite the armor.
Fauskr reached inside to unlock the cage, and he suddenly found his wrist caught by a hand, stopping in its tracks. Surprised, he looked up, and saw the goblin that grabbed him, his helmet gone.
"If you feathered freakshows are thinking of finishing the job..." it breathed, with a wary look on its face, "you've... got another thing coming..."
"I will not hurt you," Fauskr assured him.
"How... do I know that... what you say... is not some half-arsed... lie?" the small prisoner questioned, his breathing ragged.
"Because I am not like the others, despite what you may think."
The goblin blinked in confusion. "Do you mind if I fix that wound of yours?" Fauskr asked.
"Fine... but if you try ANYTHING... yer toast. Got it?"
The arakkoa nodded calmly and opened the cage, stepping inside and turning the prisoner around so he could examine his shoulder.
A hole in the chest at the shoulder, a crimson blemish on black metal. From the looks of things, it appeared that this man was hit with a dagger, and, judging how the wound looked, it had been torn out viciously, causing more damage on the inside.
"May I ask who, or what, had inflicted this upon you?" he asked.
"Some bastard saying he's my 'brother' attacked my caravan, and we duked it out, then he yoinked me with a hidden dagger. I swear, next time I see him, I'll-" the prisoner started, but then gasped as a spurt of blood cascaded from his shoulder. Fauskr quickly tore off a piece of his robe and put it on the other's shoulder, hoping to slow the bleeding.
After some time, the bleeding had slowed down considerably, but not entirely. "I will return shortly. I must find some bandages and salves to heal it," Fauskr announced, and, certain the prisoner could live while he was gone, exit the cage and travelled to his hut.
Isaac felt confused. His suit had some data regarding these creatures - known as 'arakkoa' - as unruly savages, stealing innocent people from their homes and using them for sacrificial rituals. But the one who helped him - stopped the bleeding in his wound - made him uneasy. Was this guy planning something big, and if so, why did it require healing Isaac?
He also felt scared for his partner, Selron. She had to be somewhere around here. He desperately hoped their rituals did not include raping the female sacrifices. If they so much as touch her, he just might slaughter them all.
He didn't have much longer to think things over, however, when he heard the telltale sound of talons on dirt and figured it was the bird-guy from earlier. He looked up, and saw that he carried bottles and bandages.
"That's the stuff... isn't it?" he asked.
"Indeed," the bird man replied, then re-entered his cage and went to work on Isaac's shoulder.
"You know... yer a very strange guy. What's your name?"
"Fauskr," the arakkoa answered.
"I'm Torquebarrel. Isaac Torquebarrel. Why are you doing this?"
Fauskr remained silent for a moment, and began to stitch the wound shut. Then he opened his beak and said, "You know about my people's ways?"
"Yeah. Somethin' about doing rituals with blood and guts and whatnot."
"You have no idea..." Fauskr murmured.
"What makes you different, if I may?"
"I did not want to participate in all that. Instead, I had always wanted to become a scholar, as I am fascinated by the history of ancient civilizations. But..."
Isaac turned and saw that Fauskr's eyes drooped down in sadness. "But what?" he pressed, somehow pitying his person.
"It seems that all my people ever care about is rituals this, sacrifices that. I have become very weary of this madness, but I cannot do much to stop it. If I so much as spout a single word that goes against the religion, I would be branded as a heretic and forced into exile. That alone keeps my beak in check. But I do not know how much longer this will continue..."
"Yer a priest or shaman, I take it?" Isaac asked.
"Shaman. I supposed that, since a scholar has no use in the rituals really, at least I could try communicating with the elements to help them. But as of recently, I have not caught a whisper from them, and that makes me worried. Try as I might, I cannot get them to speak with me," Fauskr said as he continued stitching.
Isaac remained silent as he took this all in. A shaman that cannot contact the elements? Strange, indeed. Even more so than Fauskr helping him.
"Can I ask you somethin' Fauskr?"
"Go right ahead."
Isaac gulped, his thoughts returning to his beloved Selron. Would she be okay in these beasts' talons?
"The blood elf woman in white armor. Is... is she okay?" he said worriedly.
"Yes, your friend is alright. She is held somewhere else in this stretch of territory, but I assure you, she is safe."
"Did they do anything to her while I was out? Like... did they... rape her??"
Fauskr blinked, then it dawned on him. "Heavens no! Despite our gruesome rituals, we would never harm our sacrifices in that way. For some reason, our religion says that if we do anything to our female sacrifices in a sexual manner, the ritual will be pointless, as we need a pure victim."
Isaac sighed heavily, one of his fears dissipated. When he felt his wound finally closed, he grit his teeth as he felt something wash over the wound and sting.
"Do not move too much, or the salve will have to be reapplied," Fauskr cautioned.
Isaac tensed, then relaxed as the stinging went away. Then he felt his stomach growl. "Do you happen to have any food?"
"We do, but I do not know if you will like it. Our culture's diet is very dif-"
"Just get me something so I don't die from starvation," Isaac butt in.
He felt bandages glide over his flesh and tighten over the wound as he turned to look at his new friend. Fauskr, despite his rather colorful tribe members, had a dull purple color to his feathers, and his eyes were the color of chocolate. His beak was a flat orange, the edges frayed slightly. His robe was a deep dark blue, as were his talons.
"I will go and check on your friend, then return with sustenance. Rest well, Isaac," Fauskr finally said, then exited the cage, locked it, and walked off.
Isaac shuddered and felt cold, despite the armor he wore. Teeth chittering, he tried to sleep, albeit fitfully.
Sometimes Selron questioned her fortune.
One minute, she was trying to heal Isaac after that fight with the mysterious crimson doppelganger, and the next, they were both captured by the arakkoa. She fought desperately to keep from being separated from Isaac, but in the end she failed. Now she sat in a cage, all by her lonesome.
"LET ME GO YOU BASTARDS! YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS! I SWEAR IT!!!" she recalled screaming as she was carted off to her own prison.
'Isaac, my love...please be okay...' she prayed silently. The bonfire next to her cast shadows around the place.
Suddenly she heard the tell tale noise of ruffling feathers, and looked up to see one of the bird men from earlier. She hissed in anger in his general direction, scooting as far away from him she could. "Stay away from me, ruffian," Selron warned, her voice icy with hate.
"Have no fear, youngling," he said, brown orbs connecting with fel jaded ones. "I have not come to harm you."
"I'll believe that when ravagers grow wings and fly," Selron snapped in response. Whoever this person was, she did NOT want to do anything for him.
"You desire escape from this place, do you not?"
"Isn't it obvious?"
The arakkoa blinked. "If that is what you want, then I require you to assist me. I-"
"Never," Selron interrupted coldly.
"You do not understand. I am not like the others. I do not think we should sacrifice innocent people to god-like beings."
That got her attention. An arakkoa that doesn't like the rituals? Odd. "W...why...?" she stuttered.
"The goblin from earlier. Are you related to him?"
She nodded. "We're in love."
"If you help me, I swear that I will reunite you with him. His name is Isaac, correct?"
"Yes... I'm Selron. I'll do whatever it takes to get back with him!"
"Good. By the way, I am Fauskr. Give me a moment," the bird man said, and in the blink of an eye, he slashed the lack open with his talons, setting Selron free. She crawled out and looked around for her equipment, finding her crossbow and arrows tucked away in a nearby hut.
"Fauskr, what do you think you are doing?" a voice said, having a feminine pitch to it.
"Oh, gods...not her..." Fauskr groaned as he and Selron turned to see another of his kind step in the light from the bonfire. This one was definitely female, as given by her slender frame beneath her teal robe. Her beak, unlike him, looked prime and strong. Her eyes were a lighter shade of brown. Her talons were not quite as long as Fauskr's, but they still looked very deadly. She wore an elaborate headdress, decorated with a small wishbone on the top. Her feathers were painted a vibrant yellow and magenta.
"Toka, please leave."
"Are you helping the sacrifice, brother? That is heresy! You know that, don't you?" the bird woman called "Toka" warned.
"You know I disapprove of them, sister!" Fauskr balked, his voice becoming one octave higher. "I wanted to be a scholar, but you had to make me stay and watch innocents die for no reason! How can you not understand my pain!?"
"We're supposed to be family, brother! If I've said this once, I've said it a million times: I don't want to lose you to your differences."
"DIFFERENCES?! Surely you JEST! Is it that bad that I do not like the rituals? Is that it!?"
Toka glared at her brother, locking eyes in a staring game, never blinking. "Brother..." she started, a tear finally breaking free of her duct and making its way down the side of her beak. "I... I love you too much to see you break away from us. Please... please stay."
"I am deeply sorry, Toka... but I have made my decision, and you yours. I do not want to harm you, so stand aside."
Fauskr's sibling remained where she was. Selron looked worriedly at Fauskr, sorrow evident in his gaze. "If I have to flay you to within an inch of your life to bring you back... then so be it," Toka boomed, her tone now lined with anger. She raised her staff and said something Selron couldn't quite catch before a large, dark bolt came sailing their way. She and Fauskr both dived out of the way, the bolt harmlessly striking a rock and dissolving it into nothingness.
"Selron! I will handle my sibling! Go find Isaac and get away from here!" the shaman barked, narrowly dodging another Shadow Bolt. He countered with his own lightning strike, forcing his sibling to shield herself with a barrier of light.
The blood elf ranger nodded and scurried away from the sibling rivalry, using her keen tracking skills and stealth to sneak through the encampment. Remembering where she last saw Isaac being carried away, she headed in that direction, diving behind a tree or hopping into a vase to avoid Skettis patrols. She noticed that they were in a hurry, no doubt running to the commotion caused by Fauskr and Toka.
After some time, she entered a section of the encampment that appeared similar to hers, the differences being that there was no bonfire and the cage contained a small humanoid creature in black-green armor, one shoulder plate covered in bloody bandages. Isaac, her love, was sleeping in his cage, tossing and turning.
She sighed deeply, relieved to see him alive. Slashing his lock open with her boot knife, she crawled inside and gently shook him.
"No... don't want to move..." he mumbled.
"Isaac, get up, we've got to escape!" she whispered hurriedly, shaking him harder.
"Comfortable here..." he said, fast asleep.
"WAKE UP!" she blared in her lover's ear.
He shot up instantly, his hands flailing about trying to grab something. One found her arm and gripped it a little too firmly, causing her to wince and swat it away.
"Huh? Who? Where?" Isaac said rapidly, wide awake and alarmed.
"Isaac, stop. It's me, Selron," the ranger replied firmly, grabbing his wrists to keep him from hitting her. He calmed down after a while, breathing heavily.
"Huh? How did... Fauskr," he thought aloud, realizing what his new ally was doing. Slipping from her grasp and donning his helmet, he said, "He gave us our ticket to freedom, didn't he?"
"Yes, but we have to hurry. I saw soldiers moving to where he was and the diversion won't last much longer."
"Well, let's get moving then!" Isaac rumbled, and set out with Selron to find the exit out of the area.
Surprisingly, they faced little opposition, probably because Fauskr's betrayal begged for more attention than some prisoners escaping. They both gave silent thanks to whatever gods had smiled upon them as they hurried out.
"Almost there!" the dark-clad goblin announced. "My armor database says that we have a few more feet before we-"
'I know where you are, brother,' a familiar voice crept into his mind, interrupting him. 'Don't think I give up so easily.'
"Oh, be quiet," Isaac thought aloud before he knew it.
"I didn't say anything," Selron replied, glancing at him.
'Now that is funny. You just embarrassed yerself in front on yer girl,' the voice of Doomstone mocked, giggling like a child.
'Yer no brother of mine, mate. Sod off or else,' Isaac warned.
'You can't do squat to me. I'll always be in your pretty little head, examining your pretty little thoughts.'
'SHUT UP!' "Isaac, what's the matter?" Selron inquired.
"Nothing, just thought I heard something."
'Why don't you come get me now? I'm vulnerable at this moment.'
'Oh, I'd love to, but that's soooooo boring. I like to play with my food first, helps my appetite,' Doomstone replied with a hungry tone in his speech.
'....you sick bastard,' Isaac blurted, disgusted.
'I aim to please.'
They moved further until the totems, huts, and tree houses were left behind them. Before them was Terokkar Forest, and, hopefully up ahead, Shattrah City.
Isaac could taste it.
Suddenly Selron remembered about Fauskr giving them their chance and slowed down. "What's gonna happen to Fauskr?" she asked.
"No time! We've come this far, Fauskr wouldn't want us to risk being captured again!" Isaac objected.
"We have to go back! We need to!"
"Selron," Isaac stated, "once we reach Shattrah, we'll form a group to get him back. I promise you. Right now, we're likely to be killed on sight if we head back in there."
Selron hung her head in sadness. Isaac moved to her and looked her in the eye, his helmet folding in his armor. "Hey, don't feel bad... we're gonna save him. You have my word," he told her, squeezing her hand.
"I hope we get to him in time..." Selron murmured as they neared the city.
Fauskr surmised that his father, the Chieftain, was not going to be happy.
Toka had bested him, and now he was awaiting his father to return to the encampment. Meanwhile, Fauskr sat in his cage, with his sister keeping guard over him. He had to suppress a laugh at how his sister, a mere Shadow Priest, had defeated him. In a man-to-man brawl, Fauskr would be the victor, given his experience and tactics. However, Toka had the advantage with her calling the guardians to restrain her brother.
"You brought this on yourself, you know," his sibling said.
"Be quiet and let me think," Fauskr growled coldly. Oh, how he wished to summon an Earth Elemental to smash her beak in.
"You know what Father will say, won't you?"
"If he has told me once, he has told me a billion times. Frankly, I do not care at this point."
"Your loss, then."
"Oh, boohoo, I am shedding tears," he scoffed. He was really beginning to despise his sister. She was a fanatic, and she audibly wondered why he didn't want to participate in the sacrificial rituals every damn day. It embarrassed him to no end, and not even their father would silence her. He felt that his son was becoming a heretic, and he simply could not have that.
Fauskr moved around a bit to get comfortable, and winced and ground his beak jaws together when his chest flared with pain. He had taken a direct Shadow Bolt there and its dark magic had not fully dissipated, despite his best attempts to cleanse it. Right now it was only a small spark, but it was quite noticeable if he moved suddenly or in a certain way.
"Brother, I'm..." Toka began.
"No, you are not. If you were TRULY sorry, you would release me and let me find my own path. You should know that I am not at all pleased with having you as my jailor, let alone my sibling. I am starting to hate you," Fauskr cut in, glaring at his sister with malice.
"After all we've done for you, you still won't join us? Why!?"
"Because I have told you many times over: I do not want to join in the killing of innocents!"
"They aren't innocent. Th-"
"YES. THEY. ARE. WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, THEY ARE INNOCENT! HOW CAN YOU NOT GET IT THROUGH THOSE THICK FEATHERS OF YOURS?"
"THICK FEATHERS!? WELL, IT'S NOT MY FAULT THAT I ENJOY THEIR DEATHS!"
"HOW CAN YOU BE SO COLD!? YOU CANNOT SAY THAT YOU LOVE ME IF YOU ENJOY KILLING OTHERS! YOU ARE A HORRIBLE HYPOCRITE!"
"CHILDREN! ENOUGH!" came the voice of their father, along with the sound of talons on dirt. The elderly arakkoa that stood before them wore a black robe, and his feathers were purple and teal. His eye sockets bore twin yellow orbs. On his head was a headdress similar to Toka's, but it was even more decorative, with a few animal bones on top and at the sides. At the moment, he was glaring at the arakkoa siblings with a disappointed look. "What are you two fighting about? And why is Fauskr in a cage?"
"I set two prisoners loose so they would not lose their lives over some petty ritual, 'Father'. You ought to know why I did," Fauskr interrupted.
His father was taken aback by the sarcastic "father" in Fauskr's speech. "You have disappointed me again, son. Why can't I make you see?"
"You have done everything wrong, Pakamak. You are no father... I see only a monster."
Pakamak was stunned. Never before had his children used his own name, instead of "father". "A monster, am I?"
"I'd rather die than be related to you," Fauskr growled, with an icy tone.
"Well, now... I am sorry to say, but if you are content with being father-less forever, than you can be our sacrifice for the next ritual in a few days' time."
"I do not care, Pakamak. Anything to get away from you."
The Chieftain sighed loudly. "Very well, then. I will see you when it is time."
Fauskr didn't even bother looking at his father during the conversation. He hated every single one of them. Inwardly, he hoped someone would rescue him so he wouldn't die meaninglessly.
'Elements save me...'