I used to write on here for Warcraft all the time, but I've been gone for years. My writing and ideas have changed so much in that time, I decided to start anew. I wonder if anyone will figure out who I am ........
Essentially, 'Gunmouth' is a romance, though it's not very apparent at all at first. I wanted to write something that tested my characters to their core, instead of a nice, happy-ending sort of romance.
This chapter starts a bit slow, though I could think of no other way to start it. Hopefully you'll bear with me.
Wow belongs to blizz, then.
On the day that her mother died, Meviahd cut off all of her hair.
Meviahd knew that before she disappeared, it was said of her that she was headstrong, a black sheep folded into the flock of her mother's perfect daughters. That it was said that she behaved like the rash young brood of the short-lived humans, or that she had a long road to walk before the lived up to her sisters' glory.
A long time later, after Meviahd disappeared, she would learn it was said of her that she had possessed a fiery will. That they said she would certainly have come in to her own in her due time, and that the loss of her was a tremendous one. It was true that absence warmed the heart.
On the day that her mother died, Meviahd saw her body buried among the green-sprigged plants of Darnassus. Her grave was marked with a tree, grown by the elven druids to mourn her passage. Meviahd's mother was a healer, killed in a border skirmish at Azshara. Standing next to her sisters, two of them healers themselves, another a Sentinel, Meviahd could only feel a painful, keening sort of ache. She had never known the death of someone so intimately. Their father had died when Meviahd was only an infant, too young to remember. But absence and loss are different thing, though both are bitter, dark-skinned fruits. It was a sickness Meviahd had never felt before.
That night, the elf took a dagger to her hair and cropped the waist-length cords into inch long spikes that stuck up from her head in a white halo, like a dandelion puff. She had inherited her mother's looks: dusky purple skin and hair the color of a handful of salt. It's tufts stood from her head, uneven and and ugly. Meviahd turned this way and that in front of the mirror, admiring the skin of her scalp showing through the part in her hair, purple like a bruise.
She crept out of the window in the house her mother and sisters had shared, scaling the sides with ease. Meviahd would show Devi Devi what she had done.
Devi Devi was a hippogryph, though Meviahd would never say he was her hippogryph. More that she was his Night Elf. The distinction often made no sense to other races, especially since the Alliance so frequently made use of the hippogryphs for transport, and thought them mere beasts. But just as they underestimated the dragons at times, so had they underestimated the hippogryphs, who could talk and feel emotions just as the humanoid races could.
Meviahd had been chosen by Devi Devi when she was just young, though Devi Devi was not young himself when he made the decision. It was common for hippogryph hatchling to bond with Night Elf children, most eventually becoming air-borne archers. But a mature hippogryph picking a Night Elf child was scarce, barely heard of. Meviahd's mother only told her that she had gotten lost in the forests one day, and had returned in the company of Devi Devi. They had been inseparable ever since.
"You have ruined your hair," Devi Devi announced when he saw her. He had a voice like water rolling over the rocks of a deep, powerful stream. Hippogryph facial expressions were hard to read, but Meviahd could easily see the disdain on his avian face.
They were in the hippogryph roost, a spacious, open room on the second floor of the stables. Devi Devi presently shared the space with two other hippogryphs, though as many as ten of the large creatures could fit in the roost when all their warriors were home. The other two ignored Meviahd, keeping to their own nests, mute and somber. Devi Devi was easily the oldest of them all. Though he was still a handsome creature, and his teal, blue, and orange plumage still shone with a youthful luster, his many pronged antlers were starting to betray his age.
"It's not ruined. It will grow back." Meviahd slipped down on the wall beside him, crossing her legs underneath her. Devi Devi just continued to give her the same, disapproving look. Meviahd was young in his eyes, but in the eyes of her people she was old enough to be an adult. Perhaps even to be married, or soon to have children of her own.
"You should be with your sisters, this is a time of togetherness."
"I cannot be there while they mourn and stain my mother's memory with their sadness. She would want us to react. To avenge her."
"I do not think so." Devi Devi shifted slightly, moving his back legs, his heavy hooves clattering on the stone floor.
"It is what I want, then. I need to do something other than sit here pretending to be sad when I can feel only anger. Please, Devi," Meviahd's hands tightened into fists across her knees. The leather gloves she was wearing creaked. Meviahd had already suited herself in her riding gear: dark leather pants and a half-sleeved shirt, as well as a wide pair of shoulder pads, all trimmed in Devi Devi's shed feathers. For a moment the hippogryph felt a sympathetic twinge, but he pushed it back. It was for Meviahd's own good.
"I refuse to take you. Anywhere. And later, you will thank me for not allowing you to make the decision out of grief."
The Night Elf gave him a glare cold as a river bottom. He could see her hands shaking. Devi Devi softened slightly and murmured, "Give it a few days, Mevi. If it is still what you want, I will help you."
She didn't say anything to him, just stood swiftly and ducked out of the roost doorway. He had seen the bitterness in the way her mouth twisted, and how she clenched her teeth like a bear trap. Meviahd was a stubborn soul, but she always eventually saw reason. One just had to give her time. Sighing, Devi Devi curled back up in his stable. He would try not to worry; with any luck Meviahd would return to her mother's house. There wasn't much trouble she could find in Auberdine.
Leaving the roost, Meviahd shouldered off the sympathetic looks from elven guards who had known her mother. She knew just as well as Devi Devi that no one elf here would agree to find her transport or the like. It wasn't that Meviahd didn't know she was making an uninformed decision. Meviahd was by no means stupid, but she was driven. Anything to fill the hollow in her chest.
Her ticket out was a caravan of goblin traders. It was not often they passed through the area at all, Darkshore was of course predominantly Night Elf, and the Night Elves saw little good in the green-skinned merchants. The goblins had been forced into Auberdine on account of short supplies.
Meviahd offered them a handful of silver coins, speaking quietly to the caravan leader behind one of their huge wagons. He gave her a suspicious look, scratching the stubble on his pointed, green chin, but he agreed.
They left early the next morning. Meviahd watched the sun rise over the lip of the ocean behind them as the caravan bumbled along down the path through Darkshore. Her intent was to reach Azshara. It was a foolish, rash thing to do, like cutting her hair. Meviahd knew that. But the keening ache she carried in the hollow of her chest would give her no peace. She felt pulled to Azshara, if only to stand in the autumnal, haunted grounds and grip her blade. To wait for the enemy to show it's face. In a few days, Devi Devi would find her and agree to help her, and together they would pick up where her mother had left off. With any luck, it would be that simple.
They were stopped at just past Astranaar. The goblins had insisted on haggling in the elven town, pausing to count their gold and inspect their rations. They were a fickle bunch: refusing to give Meviahd food or water for their trip, but insisting she watch the two-wagon caravan while they poured over their silver in behind the larger vehicle. Later, Meviahd would admit she wasn't really on lookout. She was distracted, staring off at the shifting tree leaves high, leaning against the wagon sluggishly. When the orchish rogue snuck behind her and pressed his dagger to her neck, Meviahd couldn't have been more shocked.
Hell broke loose on the caravan. One of the goblin merchants came peeling out from around the wagon wheel, an arrow sticking from his shoulder like a grotesque accessory. He was carrying a blunderbuss longer than he was tall, struggling to load it, tripping as another arrow caught him in the back. The third rent his throat, blood spilling from his neck as if poured from a tea kettle.
Meviahd twisted a little, keenly aware of the whetted dagger at her neck. She could feel it slicing a paper thin cut across her jugular. Just like the goblin who lay on the path, moving no more, one more inch and she was done for.
Her hand was inching towards her own blade, bit by bit, moving down her side to the hilt there. She never made it. Something blunt and hard hit the back of her head. Meviahd's vision swam, her head bobbing like a jug full of water. Her vision dropped.
When Meviahd came to, she vomited. Around her came a few low cries of disapproval in gruff, weatherworn voices. She could taste acid bile and copper blood in the back of throat, could smell her vomit down her front. Her vision cleared, as if she'd been underwater and had just broke the surface, and things were worse.
Tusks and green faces leered down at her. Meviahd was on her knees, her hands bound cruelly behind her head. She could feel blood matting the short spikes of her hair to the back of her head. The familiar weight of her weapons were gone from her hips.
The orcs peered at her for a moment, their rough faces entirely unreadable as anything emotive. They gestured at her a bit with their thick hands, splaying fingers and pointing weapons. In their loud bouts of Orchish (the most rudimentary of which she had been taught), Meviahd caught the word 'ogar'. 'Kill.' Her stomach rose into the back of her throat again.
A heavily accented voice, a bit richer than the orcs', broke through the ranks. They seemed to shrink from it a bit at first, then stood with their chests puffed out. As if challenged.
The interloper was a troll. His skin was a darker, bluer color than the orcs', his features angular. As if carved from wood. Kneeling, the troll shot his hand forwards to clench Meviahd around the jaw none-too-gently. She veered away from the three-fingered hand, shivering as it fastened around her chin. The troll wrenched her head to the side, continuing to speak in a gapless, lilting slur of words. He pointed to her cheek, twisting her head again to indicate the other side of her face. Among the words spoken was a constantly repeated phrase, 'Thrakk'reva', but Meviahd had no idea what it meant.
Finally the troll released her, standing in front of her now and berating the assembled orcs. Where before they had seemed like they might put up a fight, they now stood down. Glancing at one another, they finally began to nod or shrug, some even beginning to wander away. The troll huffed, beginning to issue what seemed more like commands, pointing in various directions. Meviahd was now vaguely aware they were still in the forest, though there were no discernible land marks enough for her to know exactly where. He head was throbbing.
The orcs dispersed. Meviahd gingerly began to test the bonds around her hands, flexing her wrists and ankles, as she found those to be bound as well. The ropes were tight, so much so that Meviahd could feel pins and needles creeping through her hands and feet.
"Ah wouldn't try that if Ah were you, girlie." The troll spoke in a surprisingly well-developed Common. He kneeled in front of her again, meeting her hate filled gaze with a surprisingly calm look of his own. His eyes were a murky berry color. They were the same color as his long dreadlocked hair, a vibrant, almost gaudy wine hue. He continued to speak lazily, his curved tusks bobbing.
"The ropes ah real tight. Besides, if you go runnin', where you think you'll go? You think these orcs gonna think twice before they put an arrow between your shoulders? Nah, girlie. Behave yourself."
Meviahd spat in his face. He paused, running a tongue over his teeth, close lipped. Steadily, he raised a hand to wipe his cheek. Frowning and mumbling something in a language that wasn't orchish, the troll stood.
"Was gonna be nice. Guess not." The troll snapped his fingers and a couple orcs were summoned by the sound. They leered at Meviahd, grinning like jack-o-lanterns. The troll threw them a few commands, waving his hand airily and striding away from her. She struggled, through she didn't make it more than a few inches before the orcs were upon her.
Meviahd felt her skull split, and was unconscious a few seconds later. Knocked into sleep once more.
Hope you enjoyed. More to come.