Warcraft Fan Fiction ❯ The Cronicles of a Spy ❯ Ma(r)kings of a Night Elf ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

A young looking night elf woman sat reclined in her chair, one arm lazed over the side of the arm, a skinned pelt of one of her race's riding night sabers thrown over the back, the shimmering pelt reacting against her midnight black hair, and while she looked up at the ceiling, she fingered the collar that rested around her neck.
What a fine mess this isbut then, I suppose I deserve what's coming to me, after all, I'm the one who failed to keep such pertinent information a secret. Her eyes closed, the metal around her neck had been made by one of the finest Engineers, there was only two ways she was getting this thing off, Either the keys, or to cut off her own head, and she really didn't feel like doing the latter of the two options.
Footsteps warned her of the approaching guards, she'd agreed to cooperate with the men that had captured her, but it didn't mean she had to like it. She'd rolled out of the chair and gotten into a crouching position, though her weapons had been confiscated when she was captured, the fools had left plenty of objects around to fashion her own weapons out of again, it wasn't until she put her hands on them and felt the pain surge through her spine from the collar and she was gasping for breath that she realized that the damned thing was enchanted up the wazoo to keep her there. It didn't take a genius to know that if she was caught with what she'd fashioned she would be killed on the spot, and so the previous resting place for her Butt became her hiding place, then she rolled away from it onto her back to make it appear as if she'd just tripped, fallen, and was poised to get up when two arms snagged her.
“Aww, the cat like rogue fell down again, seems the collar's made her lose her sure footedness.” She didn't bother to glance up at the men, a tall orc held her beneath one arm pit, and the other, she knew from the smell was among the forsakened undead.
“Perhaps she'd like rid of the collar that binds her so, she'll have that chance today.” the undead commented, and she nearly gagged when he put his hand under her chin after hoisting her to her feet. “Be a good little rogue and walk, lest you be dragged feet first down a long line of stairs.”
Hands off. Her voice seemed strained, and again it was, as the collar nearly made her bite her tongue half way through the sentence, she didn't know how she was supposed to serve her trial this way, but they seemed apt to keep her confined. You wanted me to walk, I'll walk on my own. Eyes cast back downward as a tauren clasped one shackle over each wrist, tightening them to the point that they bit into her skin. It was enough to make anyone wince, and the heavy chain they hung from the collar to the bindings didn't help anything. She Staggered once as the weight was added, much to the amusement of her captors, then stood straight and tall, walking as proud as she could, and ignoring the comments from all the horde around her as she walked past. There were even a few choice pieces of food thrown at her, all of which she didn't have to see to know how to duck so they'd miss and hit another spectator, which started a fight behind her. She seemed to lose herself in the procession, thinking back to how she'd gotten to this place, which, counted her back to the start of her journeys as a rogue.
--She'd just graduated from the schools which provided her to choose a profession, her mother was a priestess, such a scrawny thing, while her father stood proud as a warrior of the light, they were both shocked to hear that she wanted to follow the path of darkness, that of the rogue, but they allowed it, and hoped at the ceremony their queen would turn her away from this path. To their dismay, she hadn`t, in fact, when the lady called her up to receive her markings, the lady spoke aloud.
“This Child shall one day be held in great company as the leader of a faction of troops, and so, I grant her the ability to follow her own dreams, as the only rogue in this class of future warriors.” The lady chose red, the color a stark contrast to her almost black hair, and changed into a cat, the druid`s rogue form, gently painting with the claws, three stripes over and under each eye. The spell was cast so quickly, there was no cry of pain as there was from the others when it had been preformed upon them, this spell to mark the female as forever a night elf, despite what would become of her in the future. “Do not falter, young elf, in your path, for you shall seek greatness.”--
Her thoughts were interrupted by many shouts of displeasure as she turned the corner, finding herself in an arena of sorts, and the tauren that had held the line while she was taken clipped the chain onto a square of the floor, then handed her two pieces of wire, winked at her then left. She looked up, seeing a circle of people chanting, and in front of her in the stands, a large Orc that could only be the leader. Luckfully, they hadn't removed the signal to call her translator, and at the sharp whistle, none other than a parrot came to sit on her shoulder. As the orc spoke, the bird recounted the words.
“Bawk, he says: `if you assist him in slaying the alliance he'll let you live, but first he needs your name.'” the night elf waited patiently, her blood red markings on her face looked as if she'd been clawed over each eye. After picking one of the shackles from her wrists, she reached and pointed at the collar, made a movement with her mouth, and a sound came out that barely she heard, but the bird translated it into orcish for the leader as it flew up and around the room. “I would give my name, but I'm afraid I can't speak loud enough for you to hear it.” As the bird returned, so did one of the guards, who lifted the enchantment from the collar that would allow her to speak, and re-cuffed her previously unbound hand. A moment of Utter silence occurred, and she spoke, something soft that was like a song came from her mouth, this time in fluent orcish. “My name is Istalri, in my tongue, it means `phoenix'” An Ooo came from the mouths of several men, and Thrall sat forward, now that he knew she could speak his tongue, he seemed quite interested in this prize.
“You have been charged with a direct attack upon the horde, charging into one of our main towns is a direct act of violence. How do you plead?”
The girl's voice remained calm a she spoke. “Guilty of walking in, if only to find someplace to call home.” The knowing look of the people in the circle turned to laughter as she spoke again.
“If I may…you see, my father fell in battle a short while ago, and my mother ran back to her homeland…Silvermoon. The Alliance were furious with her leaving their ranks after they so graciously let her in, that they banished me and the rest of my family from their ranks as well. Among my possessions that you confiscated, were the charred remains of my father, they wouldn't even grant him a proper funeral due to what she's done. I've been fully trained as a rogue, I naturally chose alliance to the Scryers and to top it all off, I've been double dealing for you for years, what is the harm of naming me among the ranks of the horde, when I've worked so diligently to earn the trust I now rightfully deserve?” The words out of her mouth darkened the moods around her, all but the leader, who smiled the fangy grin one could only expect from him.
“Then welcome home to the horde, Istalri. Release her, and bring her the cat she once rode, she'll be skinning it here before our eyes, and if she succeeds, we'll provide her with her bird, as that's exactly what she is, our little HALF blood elf. Treat her with the respect you show your fellow rogue, men, and lets get her out of those alliance rags.” He hopped down from his pedestal. Jumping to the floor, and stared at her still chained form. “I knew there was something more to you when you showed yourself as a diplomat before me that day.”
The Smell of his breath made her shrink away, almost in a cower, and he grinned again. “You'll be sent to Silvermoon shortly, to learn what you missed out on as a child.” Her ears drooped, withering away it seemed, though one had already been cropped down to that of a humans ear from a fight. “Back to…the beginning?” her breath was shallower, and the bird had, sometime ago, flown away. When he turned away, she stared at him, the jingling of chain dropping to the floor let her know she was free. “NO!” she had gotten too far up on the ladder when she'd worked with him before, and she roared, grabbing a sword from one of the captors, and charged the leader. The twang of arrows let her know that the marksmen had decided it was time to end it, though a little too late.
She`d reached Thrall, bringing the sword to his throat and leaving those who watched, stunned by the actions she`d made. Several arrows had stuck in her back, none hitting a lethal mark, but she was losing a lot of blood. She staggered in place, the sword dropping from her hand. “You looked away…just like my mother said you did to her…I AM worthy to be among your ranks!” her eyes closed for a moment, and she began picking arrows from her back, tearing the shirt she wore into crude bandages as she spoke.
“I'm going back…no, not as a soldier of the alliance, though that's how it'll appear, but I'll go back. Better to go back now with my mount, than have to explain how I got a fricken' black cock to let me ride it out of the horde's inner sanctum.” She strafed to the left, not about to turn her back on any of them, and walked up to the beast that growled and roared at it's captors, then went down to a mewl as it saw it's rider. It kneeled, but she paused and went back to the collar that had been dropped from her neck, and tossed it to a guard.
“I'll prove it to you all…have that fashioned for me, remove the enchantment that limits my stamina, not my health or my voice, and hand it back to me.” For some reason, the beast did as asked, then handed it to her. She replaced it around her neck, then hid it with the faceguard of the shadow fang armor she wore, and climbed up onto the back of her cat. Despite the collar's enchantment, this time she gave a loud “For the Horde!” And spurred her cat to ride out of the place, snatching her weapons from one that was bringing them to her as they'd named her a member of their faction. Before she left completely though, she dropped her tabard in the hands of the waiting, and replaced them with a knight of the horde's banner. This was what she loved about being a rogue.
It only took her a day to get back in sight of the Alliance border in Ashenvale, so she'd told a bit of a lie, that wasn't her father in that container, though her mother really had run off to Silvermoon, and she really was half blood elf, but the facts didn't matter much to her, neither did the side she served on, that's why she'd just gone out of her way to further her relations with the horde. As she crossed the border, between two surprised trolls that served as the guard there, she quickly changed out of the horde tabard, tucking it into one of her bags, and brought out one of her spare alli tabards, slipping it on.
“Lets Go, Spooky, we're going home, and I know just the Pally to fix these wounds along the way.”
It was about an hour to the flight point where she haggled with the keeper until she found a reasonable price, and the cat vanished into the forest to run the way to catch up. She had to muse at the beast she had exchanged spooky to ride. The beast looked like a cross between a moose, a horse and a bird, a parrot to be exact, but at least this bird did all the work, she was free to lay against it's neck so her wounds wouldn't open back up, and drifted off to sleep.
Her dreams took her back to the day her mentor in Stormwind gave her the right to wield two daggers, she was young then, about 15, and had begun practicing with them in the field outside, each slash she made drove through the dummy despite the crude form of the daggers. From her position, she could hear her mentor speaking to the king behind her.
“She has quite a way with the weaponry, doesn't she? She should have just learned to pick locks just yesterday, and yet, those at Goldshire and even up in the marshes say they've nothing left to teach her about the skill, I fear if I were to send her elsewhere to learn, she'd be killed by the animals that run rampant through there.” As he finished the sentence, she threw up a kick that knocked the dummy over, then swayed back and it doubled over as it was meant to when someone had successfully `silenced' it.
“That's enough Ista, come on in, I've got a very special person for you to meet here.” She panted, though only slightly as her stamina came back up, and walked towards the two men, twirling the blades before placing them in their sheathes. “My king.” She curtseyed graciously, then looked to her mentor. Behind the king stood a young boy, no where near old enough to be even done with the academy, let alone starting in a profession. Before she could speak, her mentor interrupted her thoughts. “This is Prince Arthas, the heir to the throne, perhaps you can give him some insight?” She looked at him, then down to the child, and knelt down, extending her hand to the child.
“Greetings my young prince, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and I'm sure that you shall make a great knight.” The moment he'd taken her hand, the girl's brows furrowed, though she pulled him into her lap, tickling the child. “Do not worry about what the future holds, you'll have plenty of time to grow up, think only of the people around you, as it will not be your job to hold the throne until you are older than I am. Judge not, and do not be judged, little one, for you shall hold such great praise, no matter how you stumble.” She eased the child back down, and he stood there. “The knight's path stands before you.” she stood, and motioned behind her, and the child ran to see his father, who had moved to stand in the doorway there behind her, ready to leave.
“Such great words, Istalri, I knew I was right in having you say something to him.” Her mentor had puffed out his chest with pride, and saluted the king as he walked away. “Great words, yes, it is such a pity that they shall fall to the rubble with the coming years, may the lady help us.”
She awoke to find her cat staring down at her, licking over her face repetitively as if he could wipe away the tears from her eyes. She had always been able to tell the future of someone when she held their hand, or had some sort of interaction with someone, but that memory in particular caused her pain. She pushed her cat's muzzle away and climbed onto his back now that they were in Auberdine, and ran towards the dock that the ship left for Stormwind from, just making it before the ship pulled away from the pier, it would be another three days from this kingdom to the other, but she could wait, and she could make it through the sea sickness that the rocking of the boat always caused her. This reason kept her up most of the nights, and had her sleeping the days. Her chosen lover rested his mace and shield down in Stormwind, and since her mother had left her when she was 11, this was her home.
Spooky raced from the ship just as soon as the scout had alerted the passengers of the fact they would be docking shortly, and she had to laugh at being on the harbor's again, the cat was just as glad to be home as it's rider was, and lengthened it's stride, increasing the speed to make the elf's hair spread out behind her. Several people shouted out a greeting, or a curse, as she past, riding straight for the cathedral square of the city. Once in front of the church, she left the cat there, and took the steps three at a time, rushing in to the paladin's quarters within, and being caught by the very person she was looking for.
The Paladin smiled down at her, his silver hair glinting in the candle light, and though he had a slight mustache, he hadn't let any of it fill out, keeping himself shaven, only his long hair marked him as not being a formal soldier. “Welcome home.” His voice sounded more like a hum than actual words to her, and as he pulled his hand from her back, red with her own blood, she realized the wounds had reopened on her back. Bother the words were the last thing she thought before she fell back into a slumber.
It couldn't have been more than a minute or two, but her Paladin had stripped her of her armor, leaving her in the black shirt she wore under it, and had her on her belly so he could treat the wounds. A flash heal rang out over her, and she opened her eyes, looking at him. “Sorry to be a bother…but if it's any condolence, I accomplished my task with no problems.” As she said them she knew the words were better left unsaid.
“You call these `No Problems?'” His voice boomed.
“So there were four-” she was interrupted in mid sentence.
“SIX, arrows, and I'm sure that's not all that were fired at you.” He seemed angry, but she just looked at him with those big mitch-matched eyes, one eye the color of the blood elves, emerald green, and the other the more subtle blue of the night elves.
“My dear, do not blame those who have itchy trigger fingers, for I seem to remember the itchy trigger finger that you have has saved men's lives more than once.” She waited for him to nod, and got up into a sitting position. “And you can't say that you haven't pointed that trigger finger at me, you healadin!” She'd laughed, picking up her armor and mask, then paused, realizing that he must have seen the collar around her neck, and turning around, the glare that followed her confirmed her suspicions.
“Istalri, you've got some explaining to do, so don't even think that you're getting out of this that easy.”
“Ehehehehe….? Well…you see, it's like this…they didn't take too kindly to me turning down their offer to send me to Silvermoon to chase down my mother-”
“Who's dead,” he crossed his arms over his chest gruffly.
“Yes yes, who's dead, shot and killed on the spot of going back, we know this, now let me finish or let me leave, I've got to brief the council and be debriefed so I can come back and relax for a while….lest you want an officer coming here and interrupting us while I'm filling you in.” She was backing towards the door rather quickly, slipping on the armor and the fresh tabard. “And I WILL fill you in, Mon ami, but not right now.” with that, she had opened the door and gone back out to her cat, who was lazing around with it's back on the ground, and it's stomach to the sun. The Saddle had been placed off to the side, likely the doings of a stable boy, but no matter.
“Spooks, time to get up and get moving', the king's awaiting.” As the cat got up, she re-saddled him and took to riding again. “Slowly this time, lets not knock over any little kids running on the street, you know, like the one that's coming right now with the girl's doll?” As she mentioned it, the boy rounded the corner with the doll, and made it easy enough for her to snatch it from him, giving it back to the little girl before setting out for her ride. The mask over her face didn't help the stares she got from the people, but she had adapted to it, and let her mind wander while the cat trotted off towards the castle.
I wonder why I had that dream again, Arthas has already made his choice and taken Frostmourne. I suppose I was the only one to see it coming, but there was nothing I could do to prevent it from occurring, I was only a child then, it really is a pity that now, we'll be the ones to bring him down, and it's a pity as well, that his father will see his son's head on a silver platter, the same way that he's seen so many criminals'. She paused in her thought to salute a captain as they passed, then continued. Maybe this is a sign that his reign has come to an endWords assaulted her ears, and she wondered what it could be, from where she stood, it seemed like an endless dark mass had streamed itself up to the castle, but then she realized, these were people, no, Death knights.
A moment of shock ran through her, then she heard the words of her king, again and again, ring over the city of Stormwind. Citizens of Stormwind, I as your king declare the death knights our allies, the knights of the ebon blade have chosen to side with us over the Traitorous scourge of the land. You shall treat them with the same respect as you give to all of my men, and they shall treat you the same! By the time she got to the entrance of the castle, she wished it would stop, but could only imagine how the king felt, and so, to save him some time, she cleared her throat and gathered the attention of those around her.
“Alright you would be soldiers, you heard him, I presume that you all have the same letter, so toss them down in this bag here, this way he only has to read 1 more time, then he can get his meetings underway, and this last time will count for all of you, so you can get out of line now and carry this up to him.” She tossed the bag to them after removing one letter, and walked up the steps, giving the same instructions to everyone in line that she'd given before, and worked up to her king. Once before her king he looked up at her with gracious eyes, and took the last letter from her, the message rang out one time, and everyone including the people cheered as he finished. Istalri smiled brightly, taking the bag of letters from the death knight and handing it to a squire.
“Burn these for me, if you don't mind, but bring back my bag when you're done.” The boy nodded and walked away, while the death knights filtered out the other way, and the king spoke in a raspy voice.
“I don't know why we didn't do that earlier, thank you, my faithful rogue, you've saved my voice for the meeting today, and my well being, I thought I was going to die of thirst.” He motioned for a servant to bring forward a glass of water, and drained it several times before handing it back to the servant. “I trust things went well?”