WARNING: This story contains incredibly graphic sexual situations, a large majority of which are NON CONSENSUAL. THAT MEANS RAPE. And dammit, it's VIOLENT rape. If you are under age or strongly disagree with the content of this story, then PLEASE, I'm begging you, hit "back" now, before it's too late. If you continue to read past this point, then I am going to assume you have read and understood my warning, and will not be offended, spam, or try to report me or my writing to the Admins.
This warning will be repeated at the beginning of every chapter, for both your safety and mine.
Heylo and welcome to "Holding On", part of what I affectionately consider my 'Troll Family Tree'. This story was, in actuality, started long before I began on "Tryst", and to date is one of the most difficult projects I've undertaken. The reasons for that are varied, some obvious, others not so much. Where "Tryst" is lighthearted and fun, "Holding On" is much darker, serious, and a little sad. There's romance, make no mistake, but unlike my other stories, it isn't the driving factor behind it. "Holding On" is about telling a story to it's fullest, no matter how painful the content may be, learning from the past, and learning to forgive.
Part of what makes this story so dear to me is the main character, Zin, whom you may remember was briefly spoken about in "Tryst" - he is, in fact, a younger cousin to Atal, who is spoken of offhandedly here as well (though in later chapters). You'll see mention, later on down the road, of other Trolls in their family; I'm not entirely sure yet if I'll be writing about them in their own exclusive stories, though I would like to actually draw a family tree for the entireity of their family.
Anyway, I suppose I should stop rambling and let you get to reading. As I've said, this story is very, very different from my others, and I just hope that you enjoy it, despite the macabre track I've taken (heck, it'd be nice if you liked it BECAUSE of that, even!). This story is a huge learning experience for me, both in an academic way, and as a test of my imagination and ability. No matter where it goes, it will always remain a favorite of mine. I hope you find it worth the time.
The air was thick that day, both with the smoke of burning thatch and a sense of blood lust and fury. The flavor was palpable, a delicacy on Zin's tongue which he rolled around his mouth, swallowing the heady burn down his throat to fill his stomach with a giddiness he rarely had the opportunity to indulge. It seemed, for some time now, that the thrill of the battle, the sounds, the screams of the fallen, did not compliment his stomach as it once had. Oh, he still had his pride, surely, and would fight until the day some lucky Alliance bastard felled him on the battlefield, but he could not help but acknowledge the strange, empty space left behind inside him once the day was one.
Zin did not make it a habit to express his feelings on this matter, nor any other matter as fact. He knew and understood his lineage; he was Dark Spear, he was a warrior, from a long line of bloodthirsty nobility. To even think that he was becoming jaded, even bored with the battle was to delve into the realm of treason and heresy. He should be shamed of his feelings, despondent, though he found that through it all, Zin could only muster a strange sort of neutrality to his condition. He felt not one way, nor the other. He still completed his duties as per required – burn a village, kill an Alliance convoy, etc etc until the sun rose the next morning and he was entitled a few hours rest. But to even hint at this bizarre circumstance was not to be considered, even when he friend Go'run had noticed something off.
Go'run was typical, for an Orc. Shorter than the Trolls, much thicker than most of the other races of the world. He was infused with the pride Thrall brought to his people, a warrior among the warriors. Surely, he would not understand Zin's problem. How could a born and raised fighter possibly sympathize with the notion of just... stopping.
But even though Zin was certain his friend could not sympathize, it was obvious the green skinned warrior could see it for what it was. Inwardly, Zin thanked his God that Go'run was as tactful as he was strong.
"I is fine, mon."
The Orc stared at Zin from across their tent, his jaws working slowly on a piece of hardened jerky, muddy brown eyes sizing the slender Troll up. Zin coughed awkwardly, sipping on his wineskin, keeping his own eyes diverted.
"If you say so, Zin. You're full of shit, but if you say so." the Orc's tone was light, if not slightly mocking, and it made Zin snort.
"I promise you, mon. Nothin' is botherin' me."
"You're a bad liar, Zin Ol'bij. But I can take a hint. Just remember, it's completely understandable if you tire of repetition."
With that, Go'run swallowed his slight meal, and rolled onto his side, back to Zin, signaling the conversation was at an end. At least, it was for the Orc. Zin, on the other hand, stared incredulously at the Orc's back, his red eyes wide and frightened. Had he been so transparent? Did everyone at the camp know of his... problem? Surely not... if they had, someone would have reported him to the commanding officer, had expressed their worry about a discontented soldier. One who took little interest in their operations and duties was a huge liability, particularly during a time of war. There were many there who did not fully trust Zin's brethren, and they would have jumped at the chance of routing out a betrayer.
No... his secret was safe, still. Go'run simply knew him better than most. Or he was wise beyond his years. Or perhaps that was just a typical feature in a Shaman. Zin himself never had much use for the magics himself, but with those few Shamans he knew by acquaintance alone, he knew there was some strange sight within them that they could nearly read a person like an open book. No, it was no surprise that Go'run knew what was troubling him. Zin was just surprised that the noble Orc did not take measures to correct it, both for Zin's sake, and the sake of all those they fought along side. It was a foolish route to take, and Zin had never been more thankful.
The Troll sighed heavily as he thought back to that moment, not even a week prior, his chest still heavy with the implications. Go'run may have kept his secret, but it warned him to be more careful in his outward expression. If he continued to be sullen and drifting as he was, then surely the others would catch on, then he really would be in trouble.
Slowly, Zin blinked, clearing his mind of the memory. He had a duty to perform, and standing around, reminiscing was the furthest thing from it. Gradually, his surroundings came back into focus. He stood at the threshold of a small, wooden home. The building itself was old, the wood gray and cracked in places. This building had been spared the torch for the moment, as it was a primary suspect for housing Alliance weapons. The inhabitants had all fled, taken by surprise by the Horde raiding party, so if there were weapons here, they would not have had the time to retrieve them.
Inwardly, Zin wondered at the odd dwelling. He never understood the need for so many corners, and just the general waste of resources the Humans seemed to thrive on. There were decorations of wood, glass placed in the windows – why would they deny themselves the chance to feel a breeze within the home? - carpets woven with intricate care that seemed to serve no purpose at all; there was no picture of battling ancestors or noble deeds, it was just a random explosion of color. All things his tribe created had meaning. All things they used in life did not go to waste.
Zin curled his lips, pushing his irritation back down, and returned to the task at hand.
Experience taught him that despite their wasteful ways, Humans were indeed clever at their deceptions. The home was a single story high, with no root cellar visible from the outside. The cache of supplies, according to reports, would have been much too large to hide within the meager cupboards or trunks, so that meant there was a secret hatch somewhere. With a sigh, the Troll hunkered down, and began running his fingers along the floor boards, searching to anomalies that would hint at a secret door.
He spent nearly two hours there, moving along the floor, splinters biting at his finger tips, with absolutely nothing to show for it. He grumbled to himself, nibbling on his first finger to extract a particularly thick splinter, when something caught his eye. He turned, looking toward a corner of the room that was in particular disarray. Curious, now, he stood and strode forward.
There were two beds in this home, one double wide, one small and narrow; obviously the bed of a child. The bedding was mussed, the sheets hanging down over the floor. One of the squat shelves had been tipped over, leaning against the end of the small bed, its many books spilled across the floor.
What had caught his attention he realized, after squatting down and pushing a few of the other old, dusty volumes away, had been a leather bound tome, only it was nothing like he had ever seen.
Trolls did not bother with binding their tales. Their stories were either passed down from word of mouth, or secreted away in scrolls of animal skins, and kept far away from unworthy hands. He had seen many Human volumes, their bindings in leather, or sometimes carved stone depending on the age, but none of them were ever this... pretty.
The book itself was small, it's length not even exceeding the distance from Zin's palm to his fingertips. He could literally hold the little thing in a single hand. The leather used for binding it was strong and of good quality, and dyed the most curious color of deep, aqua blue. Even covered in dust, the color shone through in a vibrant display. The most curious thing about it, however, was the fact that pictures, beautiful images of butterflies and flowers and stars were embroidered into the leather. They were not perfect, not the work of a skilled tradesman, so Zin knew that the a commoner had to have done it themselves. But the detailing, though the occasional flaw was visible, showed that the owner of this book cared for it a great deal.
His curiosity still running high, Zin opened the cover, and stared at the spidery scrawled letters on the first page.
There was only, what he assumed, four words total, written in the center of the first page. But below it, carefully penned with an obvious skill, was the picture of a human woman, and Zin felt his lungs seize.
She was, for lack of a better term, fascinating in her appearance. The image was only a bust of her, but he could see the long hair, the slightly upturned eyes, the gentle curve of her cheeks, and the full, pouting lips. She did not appear happy, but rather contented in this image. And her eyes, though inanimate, seemed to be staring deeply into Zin's, as if welcoming him home.
He coughed, suddenly aware that he had been holding his breath, blinking through watering eyes at the picture below him. It was so strange... he had seem Human women before. He had seem them laughing and enjoying life when he had gone on scouting missions. He had seem them screaming and crying and begging for mercy in that strange dialect when their outpost had gone on raids. None of them were particularly striking, nor did they make him suck in a breath as if waiting for something grand. They were the enemy, they were filthy, honorless dogs who deserved every death the Horde rained down on them.
Zin turned the page of the book, hoping to see more images of this oddly pretty woman, only to find the next sheet covered from top to bottom in another language. He continued to turn the page, finding more of the same, with the occasional doodle in the margins, but nothing more.
Disappointment settled over him, that familiar feeling of apathy dropping on his head like a felled Kodo. He sighed and snapped the book shut, standing to his full height to stretch the muscles
of his back. There were no weapons here. He had spent too much time, been gone too long, and someone would be wondering.
He lifted his hand, twisting it to toss the blue book aside, when the sunlight caught a silvery thread of the embroidery on the cover, and Zin felt his motions freeze. No... he should get rid of it. Forget he even saw it. Pretend it doesn't exist.
He turned and walked out the door, carefully securing the little book in his pack, before anyone in the party saw him.
Zin tried in vain to school his features, to hide his revulsion as he stood at the sliding stone door, waiting for the lift to return so he could make his way through The Undercity. If the circumstances had been different, the Troll would have probably enjoyed this journey into the belly of the ruined Lordaeron, and he knew somewhere that the trip would be enjoyable still, if only...
For the tenth time since he arrived, Zin allowed his eyes to travel to one of the Abominations, it's thick, fatty flesh undulating with every rasping breath it took. The disgusting guards the Forsaken created and employed truly were the reason Zin hated to visit the city. While ingenious in their design and application, the Guardians were revolting to behold, and their smell alone was noticeable even above ground. The only way he managed to survive his forays into the circular bowls of the city was the hold his breath, or breathe through the mouth, though often thoughts of now you're tasting them! often filtered through his mind.
He exhaled, nearly cheering his delight when the heavy stone door ground it's way up, revealing the glowing green platform that would take him into the Undercity. He dashed inside, not wanting the door to close on him, as it had many times before, and waiting patiently for the lift to take him down. At the bottom, he knew the smell would be much more tolerable; the worst scents down there, especially in the trade quarter, would simply be a thick, musty stink, polish, and swamp rot. The last he was intimately familiar with, and found it reminded him of home in some strange way.
Finally the lift halted, and Zin made his way out onto the platform of the outer circle. From there he could see the bat handler, city hall, and the large bank stood right in the center of the pillar. There were races scurrying about all around him, Undead, Blood Elf, Tauren and Orc alike. All over he could hear their voices, haggling prices, making plans, coin exchanging hands. Though everyone in the Horde knew the Forsaken were allied with them out of simple convenience, it certainly didn't stop the desire for trade and to make a quick fortune. He wondered, briefly, if they offered to open trade with an Alliance race, would it help the war the end quicker?
Zin chuckled, and shook that thought away. It was stupid, really.
Carefully, he made his way down the sloping paths, checking the sign posts for directions as he did so. He enjoyed being here, true, but rarely had the time to visit, as there was hardly reason for him to, short of going en-route to Silvermoon. So it was that he knew where to find the Inn, the Bat Handler, and the Rouge's section of the city. He had wanted, when he found the time, to fully explore the depths of this place, and thought perhaps this time around he would be able.
Finally, as he turned a corner, Zin found the swinging sign that signaled his destination. He stood for a moment, digging through his pack, and pressed the little blue leather book to his chest, feeling a strangle flutter in his stomach. Over the weeks, though he was loathe to admit it, the small book had become a treasure. He did not understand the words written there, but it hadn't seemed to matter. Just to look on it and wonder – to whom did it belong? Was it just simply a human story? Was it a tale of their history? And who was the woman on the first page, so carefully drawn? What hand had studiously sewn the silvery threads into the back and cover, imperfect but enchanting at the same time?
No, he had not cared what the words had said, really. Just to look at it, his own private secret, his own mystery, had been enough for him. That was, until, Go'run had caught him flipping through the pages late one evening. Normally, Zin could deter the Orc's questions, but not that time. Not when it came to a Human belonging. Regretfully, Zin had handed the book over, his fingers itching to snatch it back almost immediately as the Shaman flipped open the cover, mauling the pretty thing, Zin was sure. But instead of the lecture the Troll was expecting, Go'run only chuckled, and looked up at him.
"This is a human book, Zin."
Zin rolled his eyes, "I know dat. Do I look stupid to ya, mon?"
Go'run lifted a brow at his friend, "Oh? Then why do you have it? You can't read Common, can you?"
Zin lowered his face, feeling a shamed flush infuse itself to his cheeks, "Naw, mon. I jus' like ta look at da picture."
"I see. Where'd you find it?"
And so, Zin told him the story, short and simple though it was. What was even more curious to the Orc, however, was the fact that Zin had kept it secret for so long. Surely, he thought, there could be nothing to hold the Troll's interest for so long. It was a simple book, really, a nice color, but if he could not read the words, what was the point?
When he asked, Zin could only shrug, holding out his hands to indicate that he was at as much of a loss at Go'run was. His friend took pity on the Troll, handing the book back with a care Zin seemed to require of his personal treasure, watching as he tucked it safely back into his bag, lacing the strings, and holding the whole thing to his chest. It really was interesting to behold. There were few things in life the Trolls treasured, but the signs of such were obvious in Zin. Something about that book had captured the Troll's attention, held his interest to the point of a fierce possessiveness.
Go'run sighed, smiling at his old friend, and told him a secret that very few knew.
And now, Zin was there in the Undercity, staring at the sign that advertised the existence of the Apothecarium. He strode confidently forward, his thick fingers wrapped around the blue book like a precious jewel. Inside the structure, a hallowed out corner of the city, was truly a sight to behold. Rickety tables, worn from age and chemical burns, housed bottle upon bottle of bubbling liquid, acrid to the senses, threatening all who came too near. Cages lined the walls and shelves, beakers and vials, specimens both live and dead seemed to peer at Zin through their walls of glass and metal, as though asking him, why are you here?
Zin swallowed hard, trying to suppress the feeling of unease crawling up his throat. He understood the sciences of the Forsaken, why they did what they did. It didn't help to cure the bile rising up to his mouth, though. To distract himself, he set about his task of locating the woman Go'run had told him about those long weeks before; the secret that few knew of.
She was there, far back in a corner, hunched over a low standing table, her back to him. He knew her only by Go'run's description; her hair was cut fashionably short, a musty purple in color. Her skin retained much of it's former shade, just this side of death in hue. Unlike many of her Alchemist brethren, she tended toward breeches and tight knit shirts, finding her work much easier to accomplish without cumbersome sleeves and ties. Zin knew, just from looking at her, that this Forsaken woman was practical and efficient, and he was forced to swallow down a lump of nerves. Despite Go'run's insistence that she would indeed help him, she looked extremely busy at the moment, and Zin wondered if perhaps he should return at a more convenient time.
His thoughts where shattered, however, as one of the Apprentice Apothecaries approached him, his sunken eyes glaring with their misty, ghostly light up into his face.
"Can I help you, Troll?"
Zin grimaced, his nostril's flaring against the sudden waft of stinking breath, reminding him of the scent of grave dirt. The man before him was hunched, his hair having fallen out in large clumps to reveal exposed skull and the occasional peek of brain matter.
He swallowed again, hoping his voice came out confident and arrogant, as was the staple of his kind, "Yes, mon. I seek words with da Lady Yessha."
The Apprentice raised a brow, obviously surprised that a lowly Dark Spear knew the name of one of the more prestigious Apothecary Masters in the Undercity. His suspicion was obvious, though Zin could easily recognize the few points of respect he had won from the slighter male. He nodded once, and turned to call out to the woman in the corner, only to be cut off before he could speak.
"I heard him, Apprentice. Have I not told you to keep your tones low while we are working?" she did not bother to turn from the formula she was scribing, further adding insult to the male Forsaken. He swallowed hard, and muttered his apologies beneath his breath before slinking off and leaving Zin to struggle through proper formalities.
Was that an invitation to approach her? Was he to wait for her to come to him? Should he chance interrupting her work? So many questions tumbled through his brain, his shame at interrupting something obviously important for such a simple, frivolous request made him feel sick.
But before he could react to the instinct to turn on his heel and leave, the Forsaken woman rolled up the parchment she had been writing on, sealing it with a gray, tattered ribbon, and handed it off to one of the many other Apprentices milling around. Finally, she turned to him, resting her hands on her knees, eyes settling curiously on Zin.
The Troll chewed his lower lip, returning her gaze, as Go'run had instructed him. Yessha was a powerful Magic User, as well as an accomplished Apothecary, and had
little use for those who wasted her time, or showed her anything less than respect and backbone. In another life, Go'run has mused, she had to have been a mighty warrior, infused with honor and strength, for no woman in the world had such gumption as Lady Yessha.
He had seemingly passed her test, for she nodded to him, and beckoned him over with one hand, the bones of her fingertips shining in the lantern light. Zin exhaled heavily, and quickly made his way across the room.
"To what do I owe the honor, Troll?" She asked, standing as he approached, extending her left hand to him in greeting. Zin took the offered hand, bowing his head over it, pressing her knuckles to his forehead in a standard camaraderie gesture reserved to the females of the races who were not on the battlefield.
"Lady Yessha, mah name be Zin Ol'bij. Go'run Bloodwash sent me to ya. Said ya could help me wit' a translation."
Zin watched happily as his words brought forth a strange shine to Yessha's eyes, the glow in them brightening. Her eyes snapped down, to the blue book he still held to his chest. Her fingers twitched, and he appreciated the fact that she restrained herself from simply reaching out and taking the book from him in her curiosity and pleasure.
"What language is it?" She looked to be practically salivating.
Zin cleared his throat again, moving her attention back to his face, to be sure she was listening, "It be Common. Go'run said yer' one of da few who can still read it."
Yessha nodded, her eyes flickering back to the book as she considered. Her anticipation had simmered a bit, realizing that the book was written in such a simple language to her, the thought of a challenge slowly leaving her mind. Zin knew that he was losing her interest, and tried desperately to gain it back.
"I was wonderin' if you could translate it to Zandali."
Yessha's gaze moved back to him, surprise on her features, "Zandali? Is this to be used in the war effort?"
Zin felt a shamed blushed cross his cheeks again, and he glanced away, "Nah, mon. I... found it in a raid last month. I's just curious."
Yessha seemed to consider for a moment, then held out her hand, "Let me see, if you would please."
Reluctantly, Zin handed the book over, watching carefully that she take great pains to be gentle with his book. It wasn't so old that it required it, he knew, but regardless.
Yessha seemed to understand Zin's need, and turning back to her table, slowly opened the cover. Immediately, she let out a soft chuckle, looking over her shoulder at the tall Troll, mirth shining in those ghostly eyes.
"Why, this is a Diary!"
Zin blinked, not quite comprehending at first, "Ya mean... A log?"
Yessha nodded, turning back to the book, "Something of the sort, yes, but much more personal. Particularly so for this, as it belonged to a young woman."
Zin said nothing, still perplexed, but Yessha took pity on him, "Humans, women in particular, guard their secrets more so than the most skilled Leaders and Spies. To have the world know their deepest thoughts would be the greatest humiliation ever conceived."
Ah. That, Zin could understand. "How do ya know it was a woman's?"
Yessha pulled out a second stool, patting the wooden seat to indicate that Zin should sit with her as she explained, "Well, by the name, obviously, as well as the picture. Though from looking at the handwriting in the entries, compared to the front page, I'd say this Diary was gifted to her. It is a common practice for those giving a book as a gift to write the name of the owner and the date given themselves, as a way to pass down important moments. This book in particular was given to a woman named Lilla Fairsky," Yessha's bony fingertip slid across the page, up to the far right corner, indicating another line of scrawled language, "And she received this book two years ago, on the day of her twentieth year."
Zin leaned in closer, looking at the spidery writing in the margin, completely fascinated, his heart thudding in his chest harder than he could ever remember is beating. He had a name, now, to go with the pretty curves and tails of the unfamiliar language that he had stared at for so long. Lilla.. it seemed fitting to the style of hand she had spread throughout the pages.
Yessha watched the Troll from the corner of her eye, wondering about him. It was rare to see a Troll take such avid interest in anything, let alone something Human. They usually reserved all their rage and hatred for the race. If she had not already been intrigued by the prospect of translating Common into Zandali (a rather difficult task as both languages had certain words and phrases that would never interchange), she would have agreed souley on the idea that this particular Dark Spear was a mystery himself. Who had ever heard of a Troll coveting something of Humanity? It was laughable, and just the sort of thing Yessha yearned to explore.
Slowly she shut the cover, and turned to face him.
"I will be frank with you, Sir. The book has caught my interest, and I will attempt a readable translation for you. It will take me time, and it will certainly not be cheap."
Zin nodded once, understanding completely. At that point, he would give the armor off his back to pay, if he had to.
"Secondly, you will have to leave the book in my care, as I am very busy here, and will not be able to devote all my time to it." she could see the reluctance in his eyes, and she could not blame him, but continued on nonetheless, "Finally, I will need a forwarding address to send the translations to you. If you are stationed with Go'run, then I realize that your visit here was far out of the way, and I somehow doubt that you will make it back any time soon to retrieve my translations. Payment shall be immediate, refunded of course if I am unable to translate certain passages. Shall we say... fifty silver per page?"
Inwardly, Zin winced. The book alone held at least 200 sheets. But he nodded again, a sick feeling crawling up his skin as he fished his money bag from his pack. Yessha eyed the gold in her hand greedily, counting with him as he dropped the pieces into her palm. That left him, he realized, ten gold total, and he still had to see the Trainer here in the city before he made his way back to his platoon.
"Yes, this will do nicely. Your address then, Sir?"
Zin scribbled down the name of the nearest Horde town by his post, his mouth going dry as he tried to prepare himself to leave his most treasured possession behind. He reached out, his thick fingers sliding over the cover, as if to say goodbye. Yessha smiled gently at him, the first softness she had displayed since their initial meeting, and patted his forearm.
"You need not worry, young Zin. I will take great care of her for you."
The terminology she used was strange to Zin, but he let it pass. He thanked her, lamenting the loss of his hard earned money, trying to convince himself he was doing the correct thing. For surely, over time, he would have sought a translator out, once he had tired of fingering the embroidery, staring at the strange, beautiful woman drawn inside the cover. It was just... better sooner than later, he supposed.
Still, despite it all, Zin could not help but feel a strange sense of loss overcome him as he made his way down the corridors, seeking out the Rouge's Quarter. Behind him, Yessha watched him go, a slight smile tilting the corner of still full featured mouth. With a wistful sigh, she turned back into the Apothecarium, to return to her work.
Zin lay on his back, staring up at the thick blackness of the night sky. Behind him, nearly a mile away, lay his outpost camp. The others there were loud and merry, singing songs around the fire and emptying wineskins in the near dark. The raid they had gone on today was successful to the utmost, filling both their bellies and Orgrimmar's coffers for at least another month. Zin, though happy things had gone well, was far less than jubilant. Since leaving his book behind in the Undercity, that familiar sullen feeling has come over him again almost immediately, and now he had nothing to distract his mind from wandering to all things he had once tried to squash from his thoughts.
He sighed, pulling the long length of his pipe from between his lips, licking his lips to retrieve the sweet aftertaste of the tobacco from his skin. It had been nearly two months since he had left the book with Yessha, and he had finally found a word to accompany his feeling: Loneliness.
He didn't understand what it was about possessing the book that had stolen that feeling away, but he knew it for what it was now. Before, he had had no one he could truly feel close to, Go'run excluded, though their time together past bunkmates was limited due to class and missions. And even his Orcish friend had not been able to completely unearth all of Zin's defenses.
Of course, a book couldn't do that either, surely, but there was just something to it that had taken hold of Zin's senses, and gave him a feeling of acceptance that he hadn't found anywhere else.
And so the days had passed in quiet delirium, waiting for the promised translation that, as time went on, Zin began to question that it would ever come. So then he lay at night, staring up at the stars, smoking the last of his sweetgrass tobacco, and resigned himself to the realization that he had been cheated out of his money, his time, and his book.
"I thought I'd find you out here. You're too predictable, Zin."
The Troll tilted his head back, viewing Go'run from an upside down view, snorting his indignation, but not replying out of spite. Go'run only smiled, and took a seat next to his friend.
"Things in town are in a craze, right now, what with the gold shipment we recovered today."
Zin hummed in an agreeable manner, puffing again on his pipe.
"I stopped by the mailbox, like you asked."
Again, Zin made no reply but a soft noise in his throat. His days of eagerness were long past, now, and he knew not to get his hopes up.
Go'run snorted, and stood again, "Well, if you're going to be like that, I guess you really don't want your letter."
"What?" Zin asked, his voice sharp and high in pitch and he sat up, staring at his friend, as though expecting some sort of treachery. Go'run grinned, pulling from his shirt a thick envelope, obviously over stuffed with parchment.
"It got to town yesterday. The postmaster was griping about the weight and the space it was taking up."
Zin lunged forward, snatching the envelope from the Orc's hands, his own shaking with anticipation. For a moment, all he could do was stare at the stained paper, turning it over in his hands. He recognized the Thalassian script, and Yessha's name carefully written in the corner.
"Well, aren't you going to open it?"
Zin eyed his friend silently, and the Orc just rolled his eyes, "Yes, I gotcha... I'll leave you to it then. Don't be too late getting back."
Zin nodded, and waited until Go'run disappeared into the dark.
Frantically, he pushed together a few spare twigs and dried grass, lighting with with his flint to make a small, crackling fire to read by. Then, his hands still trembling, he peeled away the wax seal, and removed the sheets of parchment. One was folded separate from the rest, this he opened first, scanning the quickly scribbled note from the Forsaken woman.
Dear Mister Ol'bij,
I do expect that this package has made it to you completely intact. I have managed to translate the first ten pages of your book, though I daresay that it is armature at best. The differences in the two languages is often times hard to overcome, though I am confident that the meaning has been scribed to the best of my ability. Expect the next section within the month. You will also be interested to know that this book, though indeed a Diary, has only a single entry in it, spanning through all the pages.
PS: You owe me an extra twenty silver for postage.
Zin laughed out loud, shaking his head at the frank nature of the Forsaken. Tucking her note away into the envelope, he took a deep breath, carefully unfolding the translated sheets. They were clearly written, in a neat version of Zandali, as he had requested. Taking up his pipe and gripping it between his teeth, Zin hunkered down and began to read.
There are few things in life that I feel regret over, this Journal being one of them. My Mother had given it to me on my 20th birthday, explaining that a woman of my age now was obliged to chronicle her life for the sake of her children and grandchildren. Women, she told me, held secrets and stories that could never be compared in all the years of Man, and I owed it to my future family the chance to let them know who I was, and who I will become.
Of course, I found this thought to be ridiculous, as I really had no aspirations of greatness for my life. I grew up on a farm in Westfall, tilling the ground with my father and brothers, learning to sew and cook and clean from my Mother and Grandmother. What greatness was I to tell? What inspiration should my own grandchildren find in these pages? So, I thanked my Mother, and tucked the book away without giving it another thought.
That was, of course, until tonight.
My family had never prospered to the point of luxury. Certainly we fared well, the food always plentiful, the coin my Father earned from selling his vegetables and hops enough to keep us comfortable. As the only girl born to this family, it was, of course, expected that I should marry one of the neighboring farmer's sons, to increase the holding and better provide for the families of the future. I had not given it much thought, to be honest, as it simply was a fact I could neither control or contest. It was just the way things were.
So surely one could understand my surprise when I returned from a trip to Sentinel Hill, to find the most curious of Wagons sitting beside the barn. It was not large by any means, but lavishly decorated. Swatches of cloth, silk and linen and a shining white kind I could not recognize hung from the sides and lay across the seats. Even the horses were adorned with the rich, decorative colors, as though painted up to look all the prettier. Still wondering, I made my way into the house, now not all that surprised when I saw the man sitting at the table with my Father.
He was surely the owner of the wagon, for he too was covered from head to toe in fine, shimmering garments, expertly tailored to his form. He was not tall, I could see even from his sitting position, but was strongly built, his shoulders wide and imposing. A tail of shining black hair hung in a low sitting tail, accompanied by a thick, curling beard, long enough to reach the middle of his chest.
Both men, the traveler and my Father, turned to look at me as I entered our home. The stranger smiled brightly, exposing crooked, yellowed teeth. I felt my stomach lurch as his eyes traveled up and down my body, my skin crawling as though I were being touched. My Father looked far less friendly, thank the Gods, though the worry etched across his features made the feeling in my belly tenfold.
Still, I had not been raised without manners, and I curtsied to the stranger, as my father spoke to me.
"Lilla, this is Rolf Redings, a trader and expert Clothier. He stopped in for accommodations on his way back to Stormwind."
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Sir." I said softly, my eyes glued to the floor. I did not want him to see my face, for it would surely show my distaste for him. I did not know him, he had not spoken a word, but I knew somewhere in my gut that he was not to be trusted.
"The pleasure," he drew that word out, like a soft hiss at the back of his mouth, "is all mine, My Lady." he took hold of my hand, pressing thick lips to my knuckles, lingering a moment too long for propriety. It made me feel ill.
My Mother, Saints Bless Her, came to my rescue by announcing that I had chores to attend to, as well as a dinner to help prepare, and I was able to take my leave of the wretched man. I had no idea what he could possibly have to speak with my Father about, but for the rest of the afternoon they sat in discussion at our little table, hardly noticing the world around them.
Dinner was an uncomfortable affair for me as I served my Mother and the men of my family, pouring their drinks and refilling their plates. Thankfully, the man Rolf did not touch me again, though I could feel his desire to. His eyes were doing plenty touching on their own, however, and I was hard pressed to resist the temptation to press a hand over the cut of my bodice, to shield the slight swell of my chest from his greedy eyes. Surely this was not appropriate behavior for any man of his class; to eye a peasant so openly, and with no consideration of her family in the process.
Eventually, my Mother shooed me outside, thrusting the wooden milk buckets into my hand to perform the last of my evening chores. Normally, I enjoyed the evening milking, but my thoughts were obviously troubled. The terrible, crawling sensation had remained through the afternoon and evening, and as I made my way to the barn toward our goats, it only seemed to increase. I tried to calm myself, for to go into the process upset would only curdle the milk before it hit the buckets, but it was only half successful. Mira, our oldest goat, brayed and complained to me of my inattentive nature, causing her undue discomfort in the process of milking her. I patted her sighed, shushing her and apologizing as best I could.
Finally, her utter had emptied, the buckets filled, and I turned to make my way back to the house. Only I came face to chest, and stumbled back. I would had fallen, if Rolf had not thrown an arm about my waste and kept me balanced, though I dropped one of the buckets, Mira's sweet milk splashing across the straw on the floor.
I gasped for air, struggling between my surprise and my revulsion. I tried to pull away, sufficiently balanced now, but I soon realized the man had no intentions of letting me go, just yet. The thought angered me.
"You may release me now, Sir." I said, tartly, struggling to control the volume and tone of my voice. My attempts seemed to amuse him, however, and he smiled that toothy, crooked smile.
"I may, may I? Who are you to give me permission?"
I swallowed hard, the dread that had been growing in my belly all day finally coming to a bursting head.
"Let me go, please." I said, my voice coming out in a cracked whisper. I was terrified now, my body trembling as he tightened his hold around my waste. He closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath, as though scenting the fear that rolled off of me. Perhaps that was what he wanted – to taste my panic.
"Nay, Lass, I don't think so."
He said nothing more to me; instead, his other arm came around, fingers easily slipping beneath the line of my bodice and yanking it down, exposing one of my breasts. Immediately, his mouth came forward, latching onto the nipple like a leech, biting down hard.
I began to scream, panic and disgust warring with each other, but the sound was muffled almost instantly, as though he were anticipating my reaction, by shoving two of his fingers in my mouth and pressing down on my tongue. The affect was extraordinary; I could hardly breath, choking on the length of his digits, his thumb pressing below my chin so I could not seem to clamp my teeth down around his fingers. I felt tears well up in my eyes, both from fear and from the stinging pain against my breast. Again, he seemed to sense this from me, and increased the pressure of his teeth. I thought fleetingly that surely he would bite the little nub off if he continued.
Eventually he pulled
his mouth away, staring up at me with bloodshot eyes, that wicked grin plastered to his face. I whimpered, trying so hard to breath through my nose and not gag on his fingers.
"You will come with me now, girl. Come, up to the loft with you, now."
He led me along by the jaw, practically dragging me toward the ladder. I had no choice but to climb up. His hand had to leave my mouth, naturally, but I was too full of fear at that moment to call for help. As I made my way up, I could feel his calloused hands sliding up my thighs beneath my skirts, over the swell of my behind, dipping between my cheeks to pass over my anus. The sensation made me shudder, and for the first time since this had begun, I began to understand what it was he wanted of me.
I was not completely ignorant. I was of age, and as such my mother had explained to me in dry tones what it was to know a man. She said nothing of the emotions one must feel while experiencing it, though I vowed then if it brought about such fear, I would never partake again.
I reached the loft all too soon, crawling on my hands and knees across the hay, turning to watch as Rolf followed behind me. He knelt before me, watching me like a hungry dog as he unlaced his shirt and breeches, peeling the cloth away and tossing it aside. His build was impressive clothed, but now naked, I felt my heart rise as a lump in my throat.
He was indeed broad shouldered, thick with muscle and body hair. He looked more akin to a beast than a man at that moment, and I felt myself scooting away against my own will. His appearance alone frightened me. And then, I looked down the trail of coarse hair, down past his belly to the place between his thighs, and I had to choke back another scream.
The man was proportionately huge, his member thick and heavy with his excitement. It twitched, as though acknowledging my stare and fear. I heard Rolf chuckle above me, unable to break my gaze away.
"Impressed, Lass? Don't you worry, it will fit. I'll make it fit."
I am glad, in retrospect, that I did not totally absorb what he had said at that moment. If I had, surely he would have beaten me into a faint, for I would have screamed until my throat had bled.
Instead, I remained silent, still staring at his erected manhood, hardly noticing at first that he was pulling my other breast free of my bodice. He took great care in disrobing me, though I was sure he could tear the clothes from my body if he wished. All too soon I felt the damp air touching my bared skin, and I begin my struggle anew.
"Please, Sir. Please. Don't. Please." I was crying, I knew, weeping like a child, and not knowing that it only served to excite him more. His breath was heavy and thick, blowing in my face and smelling of rotten, dead things. And he laughed at me through it all.
"Spread your legs. Wide. I want to look at you."
I whimpered, holding my hands against my chest and turning my face away in shame as I did what he bid, too scared now to resist him. The hot air around me brushed against my femininity, and I felt his hands sliding up and down my thighs. I gasped then, as one of his thick, dry cracked fingers worked its way into my womanly passage, poking and prodding in a most clinical manner. Finally, I felt the stubby digit bump up against something, and he nodded an approval.
"Good, good. You are intact. All the better, then." I was about to ask why, when suddenly his head fell forward, and that thickly lipped mouth descended upon my mound. I squealed, covering my mouth quickly so as to not anger him, choking on a sob when I felt the fleshy thickness of his tongue probe against my opening.
It was frightening, his lips and teeth and tongue nipping and sliding and pulling at my most secret area, having no regard for the tears that slid down my cheeks. All the while I whispered behind my hand, "Please stop, Oh Gods please have mercy, stop stop stopstopstopstop."
Finally he pulled away, his beard shining with saliva as he hummed in satisfaction. The dampness he had left behind chilled my core like ice, and I rolled to my side, weeping into my hands in my shame. He did not approve of this, however, and roughing pushed me onto my belly, yanking my hips up and my thighs apart. Without a single warning, a word, or a gentle reassurance, that thickly endowed member pushed past my opening and tore through my virginity.
I screamed. I could not help it. And again, his hand covered my mouth, his other hand yanking back my head by the hair until I was painful bent and unable to make a sound for the pain. He hissed in my ear, his tongue darting out to lick the shell as he murmured to me, "You will be silent but for your begging me to stop, and those even shall be quiet. You do not wish for your family to come upon us, to see what a whore you are, do you?"
"I am," I choked, there, unable to breath for a moment, "I am not a whore!"
He laughed again, his fingers twisting a little tighter in my hair, "Oh, now you are. Look how easily your cunt let me through. You wanted me to fuck you from the minute you saw me. You shoved your tits in my face at every moment, shook this pretty little ass like a common street walker," slowly, he drug his member back, the friction making me wail at the back of my throat, and again as he pushed back inside of me, "Yes, I do believe this is exactly what you wanted. But please, beg me to stop. I like resistance in my women, just as I expect you like to be taken as rough as possible."
He was silent then, his hand still holding my head back, my body bowed, and began to drive into me in earnest. I whimpered and cried, choked little sounds barely making it past my lips due to my position. All I could feel, all I knew was a searing agony inside my belly as the thickness of him shredded me. Soon his speed and strength increased, his naked hips slapping into my buttocks with no regard. I struggled to stay upright, my fingertips barely touching the floor as he pulled back on me, making my back arch all the more. The new angle sent a new streak of pain through me, and soon babbled words of protest and pleas for mercy came spilling from my mouth. It only served to make him increase the pace, increase the strength of his ragged thrusting.
Suddenly, he released my hair, shoving me forward to my hands and knees, pulling his member out of me. I breathed heavily, whimpering and gasping my cries, daring to hope that he had spilled himself finally, and I was freed. But, as such things were with Rolf, I would learn, only he would dictate when he was ready to stop.
The sudden press of his still engorged cock at the entrance to my anus made me freeze for a fraction of a second, then suddenly I was all wildness, panicked terror, trying desperately to crawl away. He laughed, loudly, seizing my hips and holding me still, the head of his member still pressing firmly against my ass. With another, forceful thrust, I felt the muscles in me stretch and protest, and he was seated within my body, thicker, and tighter than I had possibly imagined. He let out a grunt of pleasure, not bothering to pause for my comfort as his heavy length pistoned through my passage. This time he let me squeal, the agony stealing my breath so the sounds would not carry.
I felt as though my body was being rend in two. No person could possibly endure such agony and survive, and I found myself praying to the Light that soon his lust would kill me, so I would be free of this torment.
I do not know long he pushed his way into my anus before tiring of such games. I was in a daze, my screams now silent as I drifted in and out of awareness. I soon found myself on my back, his bearded face above me as he tossed my leg over his shoulder, his cock pushing into my raw womanhood once again. He thrust back and forth, the passing hardly eased by the blood and saliva, his free hand pawing at my breasts, twisting them, pinching the nipples until I had to clench my eyes shut from the pain. Unable to allow me a moment's respite, he thrust two fingers into my mouth, searching around my cheeks until they were sufficiently damp, then wormed them back inside my anus, wiggling them about until I was certain they would break through the passage from the pressure. I could feel his member and fingers rubbing up against one another, and the thought made me feel even more ill.
Finally, finally his pace quickened, and somewhere within me, I knew this torment was coming to an end. With a simple grunt, he pulled himself from me, his hand going to his cock and giving it a few quick jerks. He then held it tight, the skin purple from overuse, as he crawled up my body, his knees resting just below my arm pits.
"Open your mouth, wench."
I did as he bid, and blinked in surprise as he released his cock, ribbons of hot, sticky fluid painting my face and lips. He sighed happily, his cock jerking around irregularly, coating the floor around us as much as my face in his orgasm. Then, when he was nearly spent, he slid his thickness past my lips and down my throat, forcing the remainder into my stomach. I choked and gagged, but still he thrust into my mouth, demanding I pay homage to him through my shame.
When I opened my eyes next, Rolf was pulling on his boots, and I realized that I must have fainted for a moment. Carefully I pushed myself into a seated position, hissing silently from the ache in my lower body. Rolf had no concerns for my being, nor did he take pity as I tried to reach for my dress with minimal aggravation to my internal wounds.
It was slow going, putting on my dress and lacing up my bodice. But finally I had finished, only to realize that Rolf had not left me, but had instead sat and watched my struggles. He was still eying me, and I worried that perhaps he was considering a second round of his lusts, but apparently the thought did not seem prudent, and he merely smiled
that evil, toothy smile.
"You will not tell your family what has happened. Instead, you will return here at midnight, when they have all gone to sleep. If you do not do this, you will wake to find their throats cut, still in their beds. Do we have an understanding?"
My throat closed, so all I could do was stare at him, my eyes wide with fear, and nod my consent. He seemed satisfied with my answer, and turned to go down the ladder. He stopped, just short of disappearing from my site, to stare at me once again.
"I will remind you, Lilla, that a woman of poor virtue will be ill received by any man she should encounter."
With that he stepped down, and I heard him whistling a cheery tune as he made his way back into the farmyard. I stayed where I was for a time, allowing my body to adjust to the painful changes made within it, turning his words over in my mind, the meaning slowly seeping in.
I was no longer pure in body. He had taken from me, tainted my maidenhood irrevocably. I was no longer fit to be married, and to try to pass me on to another man would only be an insult to his family.
I lay back down in the straw, and once again, I cried.
Zin turned the page over, hoping that perhaps the translation continued, only to be disappointed by the blank side of parchment. He was consoled by reminding himself that his next shipment would arrive within the month, though he couldn't help lamenting the length of time he would have to wait.
When Yessha had told him that the book was a Diary, he had lost some hope of finding anything interesting in the translation, and at first, he had thought it to be a simple grouping of fanciful ramblings of a simple peasant woman. But to read the tale of such cruelty befallen her, the manipulation and abuse she faced made him wonder.
There were few women among the Horde that could have handled that sort of treatment and told the tale so thoroughly, in such a way that suggested she had survived and overcome. Zin knew deep down that the woman had somehow moved past the abuse of her youth, made something of herself, and hinted at something a little more in her future. Her despair then had to have been a platform, a stepping stone to something much greater in her life. For this alone, he knew he already respected her.
And the man she spoke of, Rolf Redings, her rapist and tormentor, brought out a seething hatred he had not felt for quite some time. Certainly, he had partaken in the spoils of war, claiming Alliance women when the opportunity had risen, but those circumstances were different entirely. They were warriors, those that he had bedded, Women of strength and cunning, who had fought admirably on the field, and were his by right. They were not simple, weak creatures that had no means of defending themselves. Rolf had not won her honorably. He had stolen from her, and laughed at the pain he had caused her; then, he had promised her more.
Inwardly, Zin felt revulsion, and was surprised to find a sense of worry for this woman, Lilla, and her future. This future had already passed, true, but his anticipation, his need to know how she fared threatened to overwhelm him, and he was forced to take steadying breaths to calm down.
He re-lit the remaining tobacco in his pipe, scanning over the pages once again to the dieing fire beside him.
As he lay down, watching the embers burn away, he made a silent wish that Lilla, wherever she was in the world, was enjoying some measure of peace that night. For surly, through her words, though trouble and in pain from the first few pages of her story, had offered him companionship he had known nowhere else in his life, and that alone, gave him peace as well.