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A Proper Farewell

Started by Nosh'marak, April 21, 2020, 11:52:36 AM

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A Proper Farewell

"You and I, Ironclaw. We are not so different after all."

The words echoed in his mind as he placed down the last piece of the shrine. A finely carved statue, no bigger than the Orc's forearm but still immensely detailed and reaching its hand out as if seeking a gift. His eyes wandered across the shrine, nodding a little at the question from the she-Orc on his left, he sat himself down and accepted the finely crafted ritual knife. His heart pounding in his chest and his mind plagued by pure nervosity, he hesitated. He did not want to call on his friend in a way deemed unnecessary by the old one, but with a deep breath he took the hilt of the knife in to his mouth, running his uncovered palm along the palm and squeezing his blood in to the ritual bowl of herbs and spices and taking in the comforting scent of the contents, watching as the Orc on his left did the same. As their blood mixed, the bowl began smoking and chanting came from the one on the left.

"We will never be held by chains again, my friend. We will have our glorious deaths, our halls and hunting grounds."

The golden halls of Odyn had been a big topic of conversation between the two. He'd never heard of anything quite like it, but now he was almost afraid of them. This would be his farewell, he would never see the old man again. This rugged and brotherly old man. He let the scent of smoke and herbs hit his nostrils... Until screams, piercing shrieks of the damned echoed from the bowl, the smoke climbing in to his face smelling foul and deceitful. It was the smell of death and sorrow, yet not like he was used to. It wasn't the smell of the battlefield and glorious death as he'd expected, but of pure dread. His eyes widened as he reached his claws out, enveloped by the thick black smoke before finally, darkness consumed the two Orcs on the mountaintop. He clenched his eyes shut, not giving in to fear but neither being able to throw it off completely as he was thrown to a realm, so unlike his.

They were no golden halls, no. It was a terrifying place to be sure, thick mist covering the ground and the very hands of the dead grasping for the two Orcs, pleading to be allowed to drag their transparent forms down, never to let them leave. Never to let them feel anything but suffering... Yet they trudged on, guided by the black shape of a flapping raven who took them to where they needed to be, the mist even thicker here. A single glimmering eye peered at the two, before what could only be described as a mangled carcass groaned and creaked as it slowly crawled toward the two.

"Axeron, my friend? Is that you? Who are you?"

And so it shambled, held back by a chained noose quickly shattered by the Rrosh-tul who then glanced at the she-Orc on his left, who was swinging her staff in a wide arc to give the soul an anchor. This must be it, he thought as he reached his transparent hand to the shambling corpse. He was confused... This was nothing like he'd expected, but there was no time for fear nor sorrow. He pulled the lost soul up on the shore, refusing to step in to the fouled waters himself whilst the other Orc was performing her ritual, her staff still acting as an anchor to not let the now confusedly rambling soul fall back in to the waters.

And so they tried to figure him out; what was keeping him here, and why. And answers they got, the two Shaman struck by visions of many things pertaining to Axeron, the only one to be remembered being the poor Human's death... Cut down by men he would call sons, cold steel to his throat hindering him from the death he wanted. The death Ironclaw had promised him. The Orc felt what can only be considered dreadful guilt, stumbling back a little at the vision. And so the jailors of his soul showed themselves, great hounds of literal hell not keen on letting the two spiritwalking Orcs bring back what they'd come for. Yet wolves do not concern themselves with what dogs believe or want, and so the two Orcs battled with tooth and literal claw under the vague guise of Vrull, the Son of Strife not holding much power other than observation in a place like this. Yet as many times before, his gaze was invigorating. Fury bubbled up as the hounds were defeated, turned to ash or mangled by claws of iron, and so there was only one step... The she-Orc spoke with a grim nod.

"We must retrieve his soul, Nosh'marak. We must -be- Sharguul."

Approaching a chain-bound burial mound of skulls and bones, the Rrosh-tul nodded and brought his claws down upon the chains, every blow of the now-glowing steel weakening the chain before completely shattering it, giving a glimpse of a shimmering light inside the mound. And so he reached in, his hand barely reaching. He pushed himself further in, the hands of the damned grabbing at his spirit-y form until he finally caught a golden, shining hand and felt the world shift once again. Nausea filled him and he closed his eyes, not opening them again until the night sky of the Barrens once more threw its glorious glimmer against his closed eyelids. He stood up, offering a bloodied hand to help the weakened she-Orc up, the two of them having spilled ludicrous amounts of blood in to the now overflowing bowl. The mangled soul from before stepped forward from the slowly fading smoke, falling to his knees and weeping. They were the most genuine tears this world had seen, the pure thankfulness of them enough to shatter even the coldest of hearts. He spoke after settling a little, looking up at the two Orcs.

"Words can not explain my love for you... Thank you, my brother. I knew fate would bring us together once again."

"Will you be free, now? Will you finally get to feast in your golden halls, the ones you told me about? With ale and food aplenty, and songs to fill your head for all eternity?"

"I will... As soon as I've spoken to Edari. I must tell her that I'm free, and then I can pass on. No matter what happens, know that my gaze will be upon you. Thank you."

"Edari... The one from Tirisfal, yes?"

The spirit nodded a little, his mangled form still present but ever so slightly more bright now. As if a light was shining inside him.

"Yes, that's her. Thank you, again. Remember that I will watch over you and yours until the day comes for you to meet Vrull, and finally wander his hunting ground. Until we meet again."

"Remember what we said... Our promise to never be bound by chains again, forever to be free to our own destiny. That promise is fulfilled."

A single tear rolled down Ironclaw's cheek as he nodded, even offering a small smile, rare as they may be. He reached out as if to touch the spirit, before withdrawing his hand and realizing there would be no final handshake. Words would have to do.

"Farewell, brother. Until our paths cross again."

And so the two Orcs were left at the top of the mountain, the smoke dissipating once more and leaving them in silence with no more scent of death, and no more shrieks of damned spirits. It was done, and the burden had been lifted. Finally, he'd fulfilled his promise to the friend. It had been an odd friendship, but more genuine than any before. Kindred spirits perhaps. No matter. It was done, the human was free to go to his brothers and sisters in his long-anticipated golden halls, and the shrine would be left at that mountaintop for ages to come. He would not be forgotten.
"Dogs obey and whimper, wolves carve their own path with a roar! Let the Alliance hear your cries for battle! Rrosh'ka Valokh! For the Blood!"