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 An azure shadow

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Azure
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PostSubject: An azure shadow   Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:02 pm

Disclaimer (sort of speak): I was never any good at writing a character's background into one consitant story which is why I with most end up writing short stories for various events in their lives, often with a few comments at the beginning or the end to give some extra info.
I've done the same for Azure although I'm still writing for her since I haven't gotten around to finish it all due to sheer lazyness. Anyways, I'll be posting short stories about her here mostly because I like writing despite the quality, or perhaps rather the lack there of in my writing Wink
I write a lot and it might not be the most interesting to read but it gives an idea as to why Azure is the way she is and a better understanding of the character for those who've been so (un) fortunate as to have to deal with her. And, in the end I had fun writing it, since it helped me understand my own character a lot better.
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PostSubject: Re: An azure shadow   Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:51 am

-nightfall-
evil comes in all forms and shapes

It was a dark night many years ago that Iiori wandered through the forests of an unknown world all by herself. The youth had always been on her own but this time it was different.
She stumbled across a group of soldiers, most likely returning from a field of battle for they where still carrying the insignias of their army. What she didn’t know though was that the encounter was to change her forever as the soldiers turned out to be all but friendly.
Outnumbered and overpowered the young girl’s strength wasn’t enough to even put up a decent fight as they simply took from her what they wanted..


Iiori took a trembling breath, her lips bruised and cut, her throat sore and deprived of voice as her screams had long since silenced. She’d given in and was only waiting for the inevitable.
Her body no longer held the will too keep her upright, though the tight ropes around her wrists tieing her to the branch above her made sure she couldn’t fall to find rest.
Swallowing the sickening taste of blood still lingering on her lips she closed her eyes and hung her head down not wanting to see the men gathered around the bonfire a few yards away.
She was trembling from the cold and yet the blood slowly trailing down her arms from dozens of neatly placed cuts was as warm as a summer day. It all seemed so surreal. So strange that she was to end up like this, beaten, bleeding and abused. And for what? Because they could? Because she hadn’t been strong enough to stop them?
The young elf sobbed quietly as a steady stream of stinging tears found their way down her cheeks only to fall onto the dark ground at her feet.
This was her end, her death, and it wasn’t going to be a pretty one. Hell, no one was even going miss her when she was gone. If anything, the soldiers had picked the right victim to satisfy their desires. She was a nobody, unknown and lost in a country she knew so little about. No one would ever know what become of her.
Her hands trembled as she tried to lessen the pain of the ropes digging into her wrists, a low whimper finding its way past her lips as she found her efforts futile.
The sun would not rise in another ten hours, though by that time Iiori would long since have passed into darkness. But at least, if nothing else, she’d be freed from the pain and humiliation then. Finally, she’d be able rest again.
It was with those thoughts that she opened her eyes at the sound of approaching footsteps, only to find that one of the soldiers had found his way over to her. With a half empty keg of ale still in his hand he grinned at her, though all Iiori could do was suppress the desire to scream out of fear just seeing his face.
The man extended his hand towards her, and the young elf felt another tremble running down her spine at the mere thought of his touch. Though, much to her relief, he was never to touch her again as suddenly from the shadows came an arrow and silenced him once and for all.
The arrow struck with precision beyond what any human could ever hope to display, piercing the man’s throat and bringing him down.
He was dead before he hit the ground.
At the sound of his body falling to the ground his fellow soldiers rose to their feet but before the first one could even manage to draw his sword a saber tooth tiger sprung from the shadows. In the flickering light of the bonfire the huge animal appeared more demon than beast as it ripped the man apart within seconds, drowning his scream in his own blood.
The remaining soldiers, frightened beyond words from what they’d just seen hesitated but for a split second before running head over heels into the darkened forest.
Of the four remaining soldiers however one more was to fall before he was able to step outside the rim of light cast by the bonfire.
A shadowy figure, tall as a man and cloaked in black severed his head with just one sweep of a dagger and then there was silence.
Iiori could do nothing but watch, her gaze halfway clouded over as she struggled to remain awake. Her lips parted as if to speak but no word managed to find their way past them. Too tired and too drained she could do nothing but watch as the shadowy figure approached her with steady steps, perhaps with the intent to finish her off as well.
The shadowy figure stepped closer, pulling its mask down to reveal the face of a woman orc flawed with a long vertical scar across her right eye. The elf and the orc stared at each other for a few moments then much to Iiori’s surprise, the orc unbuckled her cloak and carefully draped it around the elf’s bruised and bleeding body, hiding her naked shame beneath soft clothes.
“Ka’thraz che… arak!” the orc muttered and behind the orc Iiori could now barely make out four more shadows in the dim light, one of which towered nearly twice the size of a human with what looked like horns and one which stood but half the size of a man. Three of the shadows replied silently and disappeared off into the forest in the same direction as the soldiers had gone, while the last stepped closer to Iiori and the orc only to reveal the kind eyes and delicate features of an elven woman armed with a crossbow.
Without a word the orc stepped away as the elf approached and smiled to the youth, a kind of smile which could melt even the hardest of hearts and erase the memories of any harships.
“Ashiira tai…” the elf whispered in the elven tounge, her voice as if velvet as she wrapped a gentle arm around Iiori and drew a dagger with her other hand to cut her free of the ropes.
“You’re safe now…”
Iiori collapsed in the woman’s arms with a low sob, incapable of even thanking her as darkness swept across her mind and whisked her off into unconsciousness.


Having been rescued by the Blackfang, Iiori herself joined their ranks and fought for their cause for many years as one of their most trusted soldiers.
She gained friends and a family there, things she’d never had before, and a sense of belonging. Strife, the orc who saved her, and Cy, the elf with the kind eyes, became two of her closest friends despite being the exact opposite of each other. For while Cy Ascheer was mild mannered, kind and loving, Strife was rough, hard and bad tempered. They both though shared the qualities of loyalty and friendship and so Iiori sought to learn from them both.
However, in attempt to strengthen herself Iiori chose a path unlike that of the kind Cy who she admired so much, a path harder than even that which Strife had chosen. She chose to hide her feelings and shut herself off from the world which had caused her so much pain. She grew distant, but never crossed the line which stands between the light and the darkness.
Iiori became the Azure Shadow.
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PostSubject: Re: An azure shadow   Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:53 am

-acceptance-
everyone belongs somewhere

One of the events which marked a crucial turning point in Iiori’s life was the initiation rite of the Blackfang, a rite as simple as it was barbaric. Though to the youth, it was the beginning of her life as an adult.
Once she’d proved she was willing to give everything to the cause she was given two tests. The first was the Trial of Shadows in which she proved her dedication by single handedly bringing down a target, or as other would call it, performing an assassination on behalf of the Brotherhood. Iiori’s target was a noble who’d abused his power over his people. He died knowing of his sins and in the blink of an eye without pain.
The second trail was the Trail of Blood in which she was to prove that she was strong enough to claim a place amongst Blackfang by defeating another member in knife combat.


The sound of many voices cheering echoed through the cave, over and over again as the blue-clad elf standing in the middle of the arena took a trembling breath and sighed in relief.
“You’re finally a true Blackfang..” Strife’s voice could be heard from up on the ledge overlooking the pit which made up the arena. The scarred orc woman folded her arms across her chest with a smug smirk as she eyed the elf with approval. She didn’t often speak in the common tongue, so one was bound to notice it when her usual rough voice echoed in something other than orders barked in orcish.
By her side sat Cy, continuously stroking her white saber which seemed to have completely missed the whole thing as he’d taken the time to sleep. As most cats do. The elf smiled as she so often did despite the somewhat barbaric ritual which had taken place.
Iiori took another deep breath as two others jumped down and helped her opponent to his feet. The young man, a human, smiled with bruised lips as he supported himself on their shoulders and swallowed the taste of blood. He’d lost, but he’d lost to a worthy opponent.
He nodded and Iiori returned his gesture as he was carried out of the arena before she herself finally had managed to gather her thoughts enough to climb out of there herself.
Cy eyed her as she walked over, tilting her head slightly to one side as she reached out to run a gentle hand across Iiori’s cheek.
“That’s gonna leave a scar you know” Cy said, and first then did Iiori realize she’d been cut. In the heat of the battle she hadn’t even felt the blade on her skin. But upon Cy mentioning it, she moved her hand to her cheek only to find her fingers stained with blood.
“But maybe I can treat it so that it doesn’t” Cy smiled only to be interrupted by Strife who found the whole thing ridicules as she leaned away from the wall.
“Leave it! It gives character. Besides” the orc grinned. “You’d want to remember this day”
Iiori chuckled and nodded. Indeed a small scar was worth the prize of being accepted as a true member of the Blackfang Brotherhood. This initiation was proof, not only to them but to her as well, that she could do the job which was necessary, and that she could do it right.
Cy shook her head with a low sigh but said nothing as the smile which was always on her lips still lingered. She knew well enough that trying to talk Iiori out of something was as useless as trying to convince Strife to change her mind once she’d made up an opinion.
Iiori wiped clean the blackbladed dagger with which she’d fought on her tunic and offered it back to Strife.
“No..” the orc woman smile as she pulled her hood up. “It belongs to you now. It’s your fang now. Wield it with strength”
“Wield it with honour” Cy added with a nod of her head.
The young elf, which by now had earned the nickname of the Azure Shadow, nodded and sheathed the dagger which marked her a member of the Blackfang.
This, was the first day in the rest of her life.
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PostSubject: Re: An azure shadow   Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:54 am

-the azure shadow-
loyalty, honour, blood

The Blackfang Brotherhood saw it as their duty to protect the people from those who would seek to abuse their power or position in society. They’d go after nobles, officers and even royalties if such was needed to make sure the people did not suffer by their hands.
Even harder though did they punish those of their own ranks should they ever step out of line and turn their back on the cause. The Blackfang was strong, but even amongst the strongest of organizations there are those who’ll betray them for the sake of their own desires.
Amongst the Blackfang there was only one punishment for betrayal, and that was death
.

With his mind and senses still clouded by alcohol and incense, Gavin staggered up the stairs with a bottle of cheap wine in one hand and an equally intoxicating woman in the other.
From downstairs the sounds of several dozen voices could be heard singing, laughing and talking out loud. And despite the darkness of night having claimed the sky by now, spirits were still high at the small tavern comfortably seated by the side of a deserted highway.
Reaching the top of the stairs, the two somehow managed to find Gavin’s room despite almost tripping in each other's feet, trying to walk and make out at the same time, something which was slightly difficult in a sober state and nearly impossible after having downed two bottles of wine and half a dozen mugs of beer in less than two hours.
The girl grinned and pulled Gavin close to kiss him, her dress having fallen off her shoulders to reveal pale alabaster skin. Gavin yielded willingly though in the process the bottle slipped from his hand and shattered on the wooden floor.
“By the devils..” Gavin muttered and put his hand on the wall to keep from falling. The maiden, who was having some problems on her own trying to keep upright, giggled mischievously and stole a kiss from his lips.
“No worries hun. I’ll get another one”
Gavin watched her slip out of his arms with a smile.
“Don’t you run off now” he grinned, the girl replying with a wink before turning and heading back towards the stairs with slightly unsteady steps. Gavin watched her for a few moments before fishing the keys out of his belt pouch as he turned to unlock the door, shattered glass breaking beneath the soles of his leather boots as he pushed it open and walked inside.
It was with a satisfied grin that he closed the door and tossed the key on the table by the bed. And why shouldn’t he be pleased? After all, everything had worked out just fine and in just a few minutes he’d have a beautiful woman in his arms to complete was what possibly the best evening of his life.
He was just about to reach for the oil lamp when he heard the voice.
“Don’t”
It was a woman’s voice, calm and cold, coming from the shadows at the other end of the room.
Gavin let his arms fall to rest alongside his body as he slowly turned to face the source of the voice. There, sitting in the window at the far end of the room, was a dark clad warrior whose face was obscured in shadows and on whose back rested a sleek sword.
A cold night breeze found its way through the open window, tugging lightly at the warrior’s clothes, causing them to shimmer in shades of blue as pale moonlight fell upon them.
There was a moment of silence as the two eyed each other.
“Who are you?” Gavin asked, brushing a few strand of blonde hair from his face, his expression as if cut from stone.
“It does not matter who I am” the warrior replied. “It matters only who sent me”
A flick of the wrist, a movement so fast that Gavin would have missed it had he blinked, was followed by a low thud as a knife embedded itself in the floorboards at his feet. Unwillingly he found himself taking a step back as his gaze sought towards the dark bladed knife. A sinister smile spread across his lips as he looked from the knife to the warrior now standing to her feet. So they had found him.
“The Blackfang…” he chuckled. But though his voice was confident enough he was painfully aware that he was not the one with the upper hand in this situation. The un-named warrior was the one with the better deal, but if there was one thing he’d learned over the years, it was that things didn’t always turn out as expected. And he’d turned more than one unfavourable situation into a success, so there was no reason to suspect that this time around would be any different.
“So you found me after all” he smiled and leaned his back against the wall, folding his arms across his chest. “I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show up”
“You were hoping” the warrior spoke with that same cold voice as before. “I had expected more from you”
She was right, he had hoped. Ever since he had slit that man’s throat he had hoped that the Blackfang would not come after him. One day had passed, then two and three. And before he knew it a week had already gone by. He had thought himself in the clear, though he should have known better.
The Brotherhood adhered to a strict code of honour and those brave enough to stray from it only did so once. Not because they realized the error of their ways, but because they were not given a second chance.
No one got a second chance with the Brotherhood, not even he.
“You betrayed us” the warrior continued, her azure gazing locking with that of Gavin. There was a silent anger visible in her eyes though her demeanour remained calm. There was something else in there as well, hidden even deeper, a kind of disappointment. Unspoken, but there none the less.
Gavin pushed away from the wall and took a couple of steps towards her. He towered nearly a head taller than her, and had a clear advantage in form of muscle and body mass. But he was without weapon while she was armed, and unless he could reach his sword before she could draw hers, his future looked rather bleak.
“I made a choice” he said with a casual tone, shrugging his shoulders.
“It was the wrong one” the warrior said with an acid tongue.
Gavin’s eyes darkened as she stopped and raised his chin, looking at her with the attitude of someone looking down at his inferior.
“What right to you have to judge me?!” he snarled.
“I judge no one. I leave that to whatever gods you believe in”
“To hell with you and the gods!”

What happened next is difficult to describe in words.
Gavin, enraged by her words, leapt forth grasping his sword which had been hidden besides the bed and raised it to cut down his enemy. However, it was without even having struck, that the sword fell from his hands and onto the floor, making a sound that echoed through the silent night with the strength of a rooster’s cry in the morning. And then there was silence again.
Gavin stood as if paralysed, his face pale as snow, his hands trembling as a stream of warm blood trailed the edge of the elven warrior’s sword before dripping onto the floor at her feet.
He had never stood a chance.
Not even when his sword had rested in his hand had he had any chance of surviving. His faith having been decided the moment he had chosen to betray his brothers and sisters.
The Blackfang Brotherhood did not tolerate traitors. He had been a fool for thinking himself above their laws.
Gavin’s trembling lips parted as if to speak, but no words could be heard. He staggered, and then he fell.

Iiori wiped her sword clean on his clothes before sheathing it, the cool night wind blowing in through the open window to brush her skin while Gavin’s body lay lifeless on the on the ground in a dark pool of his own blood. From downstairs the sound of singing and laughter could still be heard, though in the small room a strange silence reigned.
The elf stepped over the body, walking over to the window to look out at the dark sky.
It never felt right to kill a blood-brother, but Gavin had signed his own death warrant the moment he’d turned his back on the brotherhood and he had done so well aware of the consequences of his actions.
The Blackfang did not forgive, such right was beheld the divine. Perhaps though, with a little luck, Gavin would find redemption in his next life. She had her doubts though.
From the hallway outside the door the sound of approaching footsteps accompanied by a woman’s laughter told the young elf that the time had come for her to leave. And when the door to the room was pushed open, nothing remained to witness of her presence save an open window and Gavin’s dead body on the floor.

No trace. No witnesses. No nothing. Just an azure shadow in the night…


Last edited by on Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: An azure shadow   Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:56 am

-doubts-
walking the shadows

Though strong in ones beliefs even the most dedicated of hearts might come to doubt, even a woman like Iiori. She never once doubted the cause and for that which she fought but she did come to doubt herself. Fearing that she’d become like the ones she hunted, she turned to her friend Cy seeking an answer, needing to know if she had crossed the line, if she was already lost or if there was still hope for a broken soul…

“So this where you’ve been hiding..”
Iiori looked up at the sound of Cy’s warm voice, watching as the ranger emerged from the sunbathed forest. The leather clad elf smiled as she so often did, lifting her crossbow up to rest on her shoulder as she walked over to Iiori and sat down next to her on the rocks.
There was a moment of silence as the blue clad rogue’s gaze sought towards the horizon, a slight nod being the only welcome the ranger got.
“Sanjyan said you where back” Cy continued in the same warm tone. She was used to Iiori’s distancing nature by now and knew well enough the young elf meant no harm with her lack of words.
“I would have thought you’d at least come by..” the ranger smiled, tilting her head slightly as she looked over at Iiori.
It was with a low sigh that the rogue lowered her head, a slight breeze tugging at her blue clothes and rushing through her hair like a gentle touch, one arm resting on her knee the other resting on her thigh as she tapped the rock with the back of her foot. So long had she been sitting there now she’d long since lost track of time, not moving even the slightest inch, just staring out across a world she had come to doubt.
“I don’t know what to believe anymore Cy…” Iiori muttered, closing her eyes.
Again there was a moment of silence, the wind sweeping through the leaves of the tree canopy high above them. “I feel like I’m balancing on the edge of nothing.. slowly falling to darkness…”
The ranger took a deep breath, exhaling with a soft sigh and a gentle smile as she ran her fingers through Iiori’s soft hair. Her hair had always been an azure shimmer of colours, soft and light to the touch. The ranger could never understand why she never did anything to show it off.
“You always doubt yourself” Cy smiled, parting the rogue’s hair with a light touch as she began to braid it. “ Even when no one else does..”
“Maybe I’m weak after all..”
Cy said nothing, slowly and neatly continuing braiding the rogue’s long flowing hair into a braid similar to her own, pulling a leather strap decorated with glassbeads from her belt and tieing it once finished.
“There” Cy smiled. “That suits you”
Iiori raised her blue gaze, meeting that of the ranger with a silent seriousness. For someone so young Cy had always thought that Iiori’s eyes had held an old soul. Though behind the rough façade she put up there was still a frail little girl. Not even the rogue’s trained cold demeanor could hide that.
“I need to know…”
Iiori’s voice was but a low whisper, determined though with a tint of fear to it.
A few moments passed as they stared into each other’s eyes, Cy’s glittering gemlike gaze searching until it found what it was looking for deep in those blue wells through which Iiori viewed the world.
She nodded, the warm smile still lingering on red lips as she slowly pulled her gloves off revealing slender hands which palms were both marked by a straight scar, as if once upon a time having been pierced by a blade.
“Then you shall know” the ranger spoke softly as she reached out and placed her hands to Iiori’s temples, the rogue closing her eyes at her touch.
Warm was the feeling that that spread through the young elf’s body as a shimmering white light manifested around the ranger’s hands, engulfing the rogue’s mind and seeking through the darkness like shimmering threads of gold in search of truth.

Some hours later Cy and Iiori returned to the camp to find Whisperwind at the campfire, blatantly ignoring Strife’s hoarse barking as the tauren so often did. Like Cy, he was a well of peace which it took more than a troublesome hot headed orc to stir up, though that didn’t mean he didn’t welcome a break from Strife every once in a while.
“Ah, I thought I heard footsteps” he smiled, turning his gaze back to the boiling water as Strife threw a sideways glance over her shoulder at the two elves who’d emerged from the forest without a sound.
“’bout time” she growled in her usually friendly tone of voice, switching from the tongue of orcs to that of man. “You’d think a hunter knew how to hunt. What’s the matter? Ye get lost?”
“Well sometimes” Cy said with a soft smile as she handed over today’s catch of four rabbits to the tauren, throwing a sideways glance over at Iiori as the rogue sat down by the campfire.
“one is forced to take detours in order to find the right path”
A brief smile found its way to Iiori’s lips, her gaze lost in the flickering flames of the fire. She knew now. She knew..
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PostSubject: Re: An azure shadow   Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:08 am

Excellent story Smile This kept me reading to the very end without even thinking of quitting at all ^^ You write very well, your words are well formulated and you have good grammar Smile All in all, the basics of a good story. Additionally you follow that with a red thread and details. Its all very nicely done Smile
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PostSubject: Re: An azure shadow   Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:34 pm

-betrayal-
a leap of faith

Among the tasks the Brotherhood had taken on was the pledge to keep a great evil from the world. Long ago a demonic soul had managed to enter the world of Azeroth, bringing with it destruction and evil beyond words. The demon’s body had been slain, but its soul, too strong to destroy or banish had instead been enclosed in the body of a mortal.
The Brotherhood passed on this demonic soul to another who would then seal it within his own body and so ensure it continued imprisonment, when the current host became weary or somehow too weak to keep it under control. The strongest and most reliable of the Blackfang’s warriors where always chosen for this task.
However, Akúma Shadowsun, a night elf warrior of the Blackfang had secretly forged an alliance with the demon and as she was to receive its soul, she unleashed its full fury in exchange for power.
Iiori had long since expected something was wrong and as true terror was about to be unleashed she interrupted the ritual, causing the soul to shatter and taking one of its pieces into her own body. Thus ensuring that Akúma could not receive its full powers…


Iiori slid back across the floor, finally coming to a stop in a kneeling position, one hand supporting her on the floor while the other still firmly gripped the hilt of her single-edged sword.
“You where always an anoyance Akechi…” Akúma’s voice could be heard echoing through the inferno spreading throughout the room, causing people to flee and burning anyone not fast enough to escape it.
On the old stone altar in the middle of the room lay Echan’s dead body, his eyes still staring blindly into nothingness with the same confused look as when Akúma had pierced his body with her sword. He hadn’t seen it coming, none of them had. And now they paid the price for their blindness, a price only payable in blood.
Somehow the sound of metal against cold stone cut through the screams and the voices as Akúma dragged the blade of her massive two hander across the floor, moving with steady steps towards Iiori.
“You never did know when to quit” the warrior smirked, watching the despair shining through the anger in Iiori’s blue eyes. “Even now you fight knowing you’ve already lost”
Her words where met by a cry of rage as the blue haired rogue suddenly bolted towards her, lashing out with her sword in a downward arch, seeking not to injure nor to incapacitate but to kill.
Many where those who’d fallen to the rogue’s blade and skills over the years but this time she was to fail as the warrior’s two handed sword met her strike with such a mighty blow it shattered her blade with the same ease as a stone through glass. And it was more a whim of luck rather than skill that saved the rogue from loosing her head as the sword came sweeping back through the air.
Iiori staggered back, hitting the wall with a gasp of pain as blood trickled down her arm and trembling hand, though her stare remained defiant as it once again locked with that of Akúma.
“We trusted you…” she growled from behind gritted teeth, warm blood dripping from her fingers onto the stone floor at her feet.
“Yeh well, bad move ey kid?” the warrior grinned, lifting her sword up to rest on her shoulder. An armoured hand clasping the hilt with a strength Iiori had no chance of ever matching.
Again the flames around them flared, causing the rogue to instinctively raise her hand to shield her face from the heat although the warrior didn’t even seem bothered by the fire licking at her boots. Then again, looking closer one could understand why as the same fiery inferno raged in Akúma’s eyes as her smile slowly faded and was replaced by stone cold seriousness.
“Give me what belongs to me rogue…”
Her voice was as if cut from stone and dripping with distain, like acid blood off a blade’s razor edge.
Her words hit the rogue like a hammer to the chest, drawing a half choked gasp from her bruised lips as she felt the shattered demon cry out for its other half, causing a trail of shadowenergy to manifest around Iiori’s right arm. It writhed and crawled like a snake, screaming, confused energies reaching for its other half, screaming to be hole again.
She grit her teeth, clenching her aching hands into tight fists. The feeling of warm blood dripping off her skin all but totally ignored by now as the screaming voices in her head threatened to break her.
“It was never yours” the blue haired rogue growled, opening her eyes to reveal a pitch black darkness searing where once there had been an azure light. Her voice no longer her own but tainted with the same demonic presence which shadowy aura flickered around her. The young elf spoke with more strength than she had the right to, considering the position she currently found herself in. “I’d rather take this soul with me to the depths of hell than see you with its powers”
She drew a trembling breath.
“He’ll tear you up from the inside out. Can’t you feel it? Tugging at you soul, scratching at your mind…” Akúma took a step closer. “So much power.. and no guts nor strength to wield it”
Like an explosion the shadows erupted from Iiori’s body, screaming threads of black nothingness cutting through the air like shattered glass. There had been no warning, no hint, just a frightening lack of control trying to rip the rogue apart from the inside resulting instead in the massive release of chaotic energies.
The warrior staggered back with a scream more of surprise and anger than pain as the tendrils of black shadows cut at her armour and her skin, the sheer force and power of the sudden explosion catching her off guard and breaking her superiority for a brief moment before Iiori fell to her knees, throwing up under the strain.
“You little bitch…”
Again the warriors gaze flared as she looked down at her blood stained hand. Her voice a hissed whisper at first before raising to a high pitched scream of rage.
“It’s mine! Maz’cherogz belong so to me!”
In a fit of anger the warrior raised her massive sword, her hands locking around its hilt to take by force from the rogue what she would not give.
Iiori blinked, the shadows fading from her eyes though the sickening taste of pitch black darkness still lingered on her lips like the taste of ink mixed with blood as her gaze snapped back to Akúma.
Move.
Her own voice screamed in her head, trying to break through the other voices.
Move now!
Her body tensed, a dark trail of shadows still engulfing her trembling arm which knuckles had turned white. Blood flowing from her fingertips as they dug into the stone floor.
She’ll kill you move damnit move!
Her eyes flashed wide open.
Too late.
Yet, the scream which next filled the underground crypt and which unearthly roar could have woken the dead was not Iiori’s.
Not once had her eyes moved from the warrior and yet she hadn’t seen what had happened. All her azure blue eyes could make out through the rain of crimson blood was the shimmering edge of Strifes’ blades, the orc now standing between her and certain death like an unmoving pillar of strength.
The scream was which finally let her move again, her body suddenly responding to her desperate thoughts as she staggered to her feet as if a spell had been shattered.
“S-Strife..”
“We’re getting out”

Having staggered back into the room, Akúma was grasping at the stump which had once been an arm. Blood gushing forth from her shoulder and between armoured fingers unable to hold it back yet grasping at the wound in vain more out of instinct than real thought.
The blood hissed like an angry snake as it spilled onto the ground only to be consumed by fires. Strife didn’t even flinch.
“I’ll kill you!” the warrior’s voice screamed out through the inferno, her twitching limb still holding the hilt of her sword there it lay on the stone tiles. “I’ll destroy you! Every single one of you!”
Iiori felt as if she was going to fall, though a quick hand from Strife made sure she didn’t as the orc rogue pulled her towards the stairs leading back up, back up to air, to freedom, to life. Making sure to keep between the two elves at all times, still holding her heavy bloodstained blade firmly in her other hand.
Through the flames they could hear the warrior’s voice still screaming at them, her words fading into a sickening laughter as she steadied her stance despite the infuriating pain searing through her body. Her side red with blood. Her blood.
The flames drew nearer, licked up her boots and her body, travelling down her missing limb and forming into a fiery arm. The same demonic glow gleaming in Akúma’s burning eyes as she called her sword to her arm though sheer will, lifting it off the ground without nothing but the power of her own thoughts.
“You’re already dead Iiori… I’ll find you.. you can never hide from me! I will have what is mine! You hear me!?”
Iiori could hear her. Far, far away down in the raging inferno, the pale haired warrior’s demonic voice screamed as Strife lifted Iiori up on the horses waiting outside and spurred them on.
Grasping the reins with trembling hands the rogue closed her eyes, trying to shut out the voices, the screams and the sickening smell of burnt flesh still hanging in the air around them. Her world was spinning out of control, and she couldn’t tell what it was that was keeping her to the saddle but it sure as hell wasn’t skill, cause she couldn’t focus on anything at the moment.
Her arm still ached, black shadows licking at her skin.
They’d failed. Akúma had betrayed them and broken their promise to keep this evil from the world.
Opening her eyes she glanced down at her shivering hands.
Had she done the right thing? She didn’t know, but she knew that there had been no other way.
Be strong…
She closed her eyes and bit back the stinging tears.
Be strong…
She had to be strong…

Akúma’s betrayal marked the beginning of the Blackfang’s downfall as she broke their bonds of trust and allied herself with the forces of Stormwind. As evil as the demon with whom she’d allied herself, Akúma was still able to get on the good side of the military by providing them with information they would otherwise never have gotten.
The hunt had begun. And Blackfang Brotherhood was now the hunted.
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