A Picaresque Apologue

Lips curled around razor sharp teeth forming a feral grin as Lycaohn shadowed the unsuspecting Forsaken soldiers marching through the deserted, shattered streets of Gilneas.  Glowing red eyes focused on those who, too intent on their destination, bore no witness to the form stalking them.

The silent assassin began to pick the undead soldiers off, one by one, never fully leaving the shadows, cloaked by his dark clothing and the night.

Quick came their second-deaths.

Lycaohn’s dagger punctuated reanimated lungs so precisely, and his strong arm snapped necks so quickly, that not even an audible gasp escaped his victims before they collapsed.  Each was just as easily snagged by clawed fingers before hitting the cobblestone street and lain silently down before their assassin moved on.

Within moments, Lycaohn had dispatched all four soldiers on foot, leaving only two higher ranking Forsaken on their abominable mounts.  The undead horses looked much like their decaying masters – reanimated, with rotting flesh covering bones that moved more by dark magicks than the tattered muscles and ligaments doing little to hold them together.

Lycaohn held back and melded further into the shadows as one of the undead officers finally turned around.  The officer had said something in their Gutterspeak, apparently aimed at those on foot behind.

When he got not reply, he turned and Lycaohn was pouncing from the darkness before full comprehension could manifest.  One moment the assassin was in the shadows, nothing more than two glowing red eyes and glittering sharp teeth, and the next his dagger was pressed against the officer’s throat.

“I hate your stench, undead,” Lycaohn snarled, a lupine, furred nose brushing the remains of the Forsaken’s ear.

“Speak for yourself, mongrel,” the officer hissed back, no fear showing in his hollow voice.  “You reek of wet dog even to the dead.  I would not deem to even make a rug of your foul pelt.”

The assassin growled, his lips trembling in his fury around the jagged teeth projecting from his greying muzzle.

“A quick second-death is too good for you.  I should instead rip off your limbs and watch you flail and beg me to end your abominable existence.”

“Do your worst, worgen.  My death would mean nothing.  The Lady Sylvanas will exterminate your kind like the cockroaches you are either way.  Then, she will make better use of you in her own army, or perhaps she will just use your flea-ridden kind to fetch her meals and polish her boots.”

Lupine features once more formed a savage grin, his fangs glistening in the poor light of the empty street, most of the gaslights shattered and burnt out.  “Ahh, but the banshee is on my list as well, once I have dealt with her underlings.”  His eyes flashed red with hatred – they were merciless hunter’s eyes.

“Even if you could get to her, she would easily disembowel you and watch the life seep from your body before making you serve her.”

“Enough talk,” Lycaohn snapped, the two words a sharp bark.

The other officer had been hanging back, uncertain, during the exchange, but now was getting a bolder look in his glowing eyes, thinking their attacker distracted.

With a feral howl, Lycaohn decapitated the Forsaken with his claws and tossed the lifeless parts off the undead mount.  The decaying steed gave an echoy neigh and pranced nervously.  Its reactions were so similar to a real horse that it made Lycaohn just the least uncomfortable and more disgusted.

Grabbing the rotted reins, the assassin roughly steered the displeased creature around toward the one remaining soldier of the patrol and urged it forward to a canter.

As their gazes locked, Lycaohn leaped.

The Forsaken let out a started cry as the giant, wolf-like humanoid flew at him with a speed belying his size – all savage teeth and claws and wild animal eyes.  The worgen had the look of a predator closing in on his prey.

As the Forsaken clumsily clamored at his belt for his sword, Lycaohn’s full weight crashed into him, sending both over the side of the his mount.  The undead creature let out an eerie whicker and bolted away.

Lycaohn landed on top, snarling and snapping, saliva spraying, and ripped out the Forsaken’s decayed throat, slashing wildly with his front claws until all that remained was a tattered pile of cloth and bones and rotten flesh.

My work is far from complete, Lycaohn paused to ponder, his breath hardly irregular, but every Forsaken death brings me closer to feeling you are revenged, my love.  For a moment, the feral look left his eyes and there was a flicker of the human he had once been.  Maeranda.  The words barely formed on his lips.  It lasted only the span of a few breaths, that tender recollection, and then those thoughts were pushed aside as Lycaohn glanced once more at the carnage surrounding him with a quiet snarl.

Then, the worgen raised himself fully on his hind legs and howled in triumph before bounding away once more into the shadows.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story was originally published on Effraeti’s RP, on October 25, 2011. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License

Awaiting the Muse by Jamie Roman AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/ and http://effysrponwyrmrestaccord.wordpress.com/

3 thoughts on “A Picaresque Apologue

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