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Wretched (Short Story)
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The once great streets of Silvermoon City had fallen into dis-array. The initial chaos had left them dirtied and falling apart; garbage and similar clutter covering them all through the city.
In the wake of the Sunwell's destruction, the city had fallen into madness. The hunger overtook all. Those who broke the law, and those who upheld it were both thrown into the same ravenous need to feed. Shops were broken into, magi were beaten senseless for their possessions. Anything that might even provide the slightest shred of freedom found itself taken by ones means or another, and then feasted upon.
And then the solution was found; demonic magics proved to be much more filling to the Elves, but at a great cost. Those who fed on the evil magic known as fel were tainted, corrupted and altered from their once noble place as High Elves. In the wake of their corruption, those many survivors called themselves Blood Elves in honor of those who had fallen in the recent disaster.
Yet there were still many who refused. Whether they refused to feed at all, or simply refused to feed on fel, usually made little difference. These many found themselves raving in pain. Many would simply collapse, their stomachs churning as their groans echoed through the city.
The man made his way hurriedly through the streets. They were absent of any real crowds, and on the off chance that anyone did pass each other in the disaster zone, any conversation was brief at best. A guard passed by on patrol, his footsteps echoing off the stone as he did his best to ignore the groaning Elves that huddled together in their pain.
The man turned his head; looking down in shame as the guard passed by him. Gulping; he continued along in a hurry. One of the starving Elves looked up at him; reaching out. "Pleeease... so hungry." The man moaned; reaching with his weak arm and knowing what the other Elf hid on his person.
"No-no, I don't have anything!" The Blood Elf shouted; beginning to sprint down the street and down a corner before heading up the stairs to a doorway.
The apartments hadn't exactly been nice before the disaster, but they were both a ghost town and a death trap now. Starving Wretcheds-Elves driven to madness by their hunger-made their homes in the abandoned and dark rooms, waiting behind any door and ready to attack whoever might meander too long on the other side.
Brushing his long dark hair aside, Ral'Than pressed himself against one of the doors. Pulling out his keys, he glanced back and forth. The guards and military were doing what they could about the Wretched, but the city was still in crisis. Insane Elves, starving fools lining the streets, undead still infesting the countryside... they hadn't even begun to repair the damage to the city itself. Anyone who hoped to make their way to the older portion of the city, most notably Sunstrider Isle, was forced to brave the dangers beyond the walls.
Ral'Than sighed in relief as his key clicked and the door feel open, only to be slammed shut and locked again once the man was inside. He panted a moment, pulling his bag free and checking the glowing green stones within. He had washed the blood from his hands, but he could still hear the screams.
He could always hear the screams.
He was lower class, bottom priority to the Elven Government. Hardly even enough supplies to take care of himself. So he had been forced to take some from those the Government did care about.
Guards, rich, military... along with various others received quite comfy accommodations despite the state of the city itself. Ral'Than still remembered his first murder, although he feared with time it might slip his mind; blending amongst the others. A courier; delivering the supplies around the city. He had argued with Ral'Than, calling him pathetic and reminding him of why he and his wife got so little.... and so he had taken more.
The screams, he could still hear the screams. The Elf sighed.. they were the part that would never leave his mind afterwards; screams of pain and agony, cries for mercy.
"Delora?" He called out, glancing around the apartment and making his way along. "Del, honey?" He called again, entering the bedroom.
There she sat, huddled in the corner. Blond hair fell in messy strands over her face as she huddled. Her eyes were still blue as they glanced up at Ral'Than; proof that she had refused to feed. She watched as he made his way over to her, crouching down beside the messy bed and amongst the dirt and grime that caked their home; neither of them having cleaned it.
"You've been so strong." Ral'Than commented. It was true, she had been much stronger then he in fighting the addiction. In the aftermath of the Sunwell, few had managed the feat she had. For a moment, the woman seemed to smile. It faded as she looked towards the bag though. "Y-you k-k-k-k-"
"Killed, yes." Ral'Than nodded. "But I had to. They had these." He commented; spilling out the healthstones before her.
Delora shook her head frantically; hair falling in all directions. "N-n-no!" She shouted, the man placing his hand to her face and holding her.
"Delora, you've gone so long... but you need to feed..." Ral'Than told his wife carefully.
"NO!" She screamed in response, pulling away and attempting to stand up against the wall.
The Elf growled and stood up faster. "WHY? Why won't you listen to me?" He demanded; pulling her upwards as fear filled her eyes. "You can't do this! You have to feed!" He shouted; tossing her sideways and onto the bed. "You think I like doing this?"
Adrenaline began to overtake the woman as she moved her shaky limbs to crawl away; tumbling off the other side of the bed.
"No! I do it for us! For you!" Ral'Than shouted again in rage, glowing eyes beginning to peak through peepholes drilled between apartment walls. He watched as Delora began to crawl beneath the furniture in hopes of protection. Rage overcame him as he tossed the bed aside; wood splintering as a large hole formed where it hit the wall.
Delora cowered in fear, panting in pain as she stared at her angered husband.
"Well, say something!" Ral'Than demanded; reaching for her. Her hand suddenly shot out; gripping his wrist and holding his back. The man blinked in shock at her face; pulling back quickly.
Sunken eyes were surrounded by pale skin, hair falling in an untamed mess as the woman stood up, taking on a hunched posture as she eyed the man. Her mouth opened, as if to say something.
Instead, she merely charged Ral'Than; arms outstretched to grab him. The man back peddled; getting back into the main room of the apartment as he dodged her.
Delora flailed for a moment, turning and lunging for him again before being smacked aside.
"Why?" Ral'Than asked. "Why wouldn't you just eat? Huh?" He demanded as the Wretched stood. She was no longer his wife, not in the slightest. Grabbing her, he lifted the woman upwards. "It's always about what you want! Well you know what I think of that?" He yelled; rushing forward and thrusting her ahead.
Glass shattered as Delora screamed in madness; flailing as she fell downwards and into the alleyway below.
Ral'Than stared, shocked even after the crack of the landing echoed upwards. Stepping up, he carefully looked out the window. The corpse sat limp below, outlined in shards of glass as cold dead eyes stared upwards at him.
Panting, the man nearly fell backwards; making his way to the door. Ignoring the lock, he simply ripped the flimsy gateway open instead. Hunched figures had begun to fill the hallway outside, filling Ral'Than with fear as he hurried out of the complex by way of the stairs.
Shouldering his way out the door, the Elf turned to begin down the street. He stopped; looking down the dark alley at the limp body that lay amongst a puddle of blood and glass. A hand shot up to his mouth as his stomach searched for something to eject. In panic, Ral'Than ran; rushing past the hungry that lined the streets and glanced at the fearful elf.
He held his breath at the stares... all of them, every single shivering and pained Elf stared at him with the same face.
The room sat dark, dimly lit this late at night. Those who might have taken breaks within were nowhere to be seen; few having shifts this late, and none having enough free time to relax at the moment.
Long dark hair fell just short of the books pages, glowing green eyes scanning the texts that documented the destruction of the Sunwell, and what the author called the fall of the High Elves.
Specter absently turned another page, his eyes suddenly landing on one line in particular.
'The initial chaos had not vanished, merely subsided and hidden itself. Thieves, killers, and other criminals found themselves at home in the loosely controlled poorer sections of the city. Many of the less fortunate Elves found themselves trapped in their homes, their former neighbors turned against them, and left only with their own family.'
"Hmph." The Blood Elf scoffed. "If only."
-I enjoy adding layers to my characters.
-I also enjoy torturing my characters. :D
Wow. Nice. I've never really thought all that much about how the wretched would have effected blood elf society when they first started to appear, even when they were prominant features in the game, but this sums up everything that could be possible about the condition so perfectly.
Brilliantly done, good sir. And this Specar character, is he one you've used in the RPs before or one you intend to? I can't say I remember him if you have used him already.
EDIT: on the second note:
You and Skree both.
Specter is actually a pretty major character of mine from IndAz and Dark Secrets.
I decided to expand a bit on his backstory.
One particular thing I can note now is your ability to set tone, Atik.
I liked this one (though it's Specter, I always like him). It's a type of backstory that isn't seen often, and I really like how both characters were guilty in the end.
I also agree with Light. The opening few sentences really set the tone for the piece, which stuck with it the whole way.
Also, peepholes? WTF.
Wretched are creepy like that :P
(In my head, they were there for the purpose of spying on potential prey.)
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