Nightshade tossed stones at the base of a small oak, obviously bored. She looked over her shoulder at the camp of orcs and sighed heavily. The mage had been watching them for almost an hour.
"Does it rrreally matterrr which one we take?" the druid purred.
Phealea made a shushing sound, her eyes never leaving the encampment.
Nightshade rolled over, resting her weight upon her elbows. "We can kill them all. I won't mind."
"Keep quiet," Phea hissed.
"Who knew frrreezing your hearrrt would make you move with the speed of a glacierrr?" Nightshade complained.
"If you don't stop talking - right now - I'll turn you into a glacier," the human said icily. "I haven't come this far and delayed killing you to be undone by your impatience."
Nightshade turned back sulkily and threw another rock at the tree.
Phealea had watched the orc encampment for the better part of an hour, despite the complaints from the druid. She made a mental analysis of the bases defenses, how the guards move, how the guards dealt with friendlies and enemies, and the traffic that base gets. There had been a reason she had chose the Swamp of Sorrows for this part, everything was so near by.
After another hour passed, Phea finally stirred. A caravan began to make its way out of the Stonard, a few orc guards and two plain covered wagons. She saw what she needed to see and turned to face the druid.
"When the caravan reaches the intersection near the border to the Blasted Lands is when we strike. Kill all but the captain of the guard, the one with the large two handed axe. His heart will be extracted. Inside one of the wagons is a sin'dorei, a former priest. A studier of old legends and history who as a thing for dragons. He is the other mark. Again, no witnessess. Everyone here dies. I will deal with the sin'dorei and you can play with the orcs" She explained casually as she headed off to cut off the caravan.
Nightshade smiled as the boredom finally was broken and fun was soon to be had. She shifted into a massive raven and took to the air. She perched herself high in a tree at the intersection and waited.
Phealea merely leaned against one of the large rotted trees and kept her eyes on the road. She did not have to wait long before the caravan began to wheel its way into view. Phealea pursed her lips as she counted the visible guards. Four, plus the captain and any hiding inside the wagons. Phealea pushed herself from her tree and began to draw on the energy about her.
Nightshade caught sight of the caravan before Phealea did. She flew herself down to the ground and held her arms high. She whispered sweetly to the wind and quickly the clouds became a bit darker. Before the guards knew what was occurring, lighting began to strike down from the heavens, as if the spirits of the land had risen up against the orcs. The drivers of both wagons were slay in the first volley of deadly arching electricity. The guards began to scream in their guttural natural tongues and began to move outside the ring of angry clouds above them. Nightshade whistled happily as she watched the ensuing chaos. She then took to her cat shape and bounded off into the swamp after the scattered guards.
One of the fleeing guards saw the young mage as she strode betwen the trees. He roared his challenge and charged Phealea. He crashed his shoulder into the young human and sent her skidding on the muddy ground a good ten feet before she was able to compose herself again. He smiled in victory and went to raise one of his axes to bring it down on the human. It was then he noticed that the shoulder that had come in contact with the mage was cold. Upon further inspects he could see the ice that clung to his armor and skin. He grunted and forced his body to move, the ice began to crack and fall away from him as he stomped toward the human girl. Phealea looked up into the eyes of her attacker and offered in a mirthless smile. She quietly said a single word of power and slammed her foot into the ground, causing a wave of ice to flow around her. The orc blinked in shock and attempted to jump out of the way, only to land and feel nothing in his legs. He gazed down to see his frozen appendages and the frozen blood that clung to them. Razor sharp shards of ice pierced his legs and he was unable to move. He growled at the human girl who turned her back to the warrior and then, in a flash of light and power, she vanished from sight. In her wake were two yellow eyes that seemed to stare the orc to his core. It was then he felt the razor sharp claws of massive panther claws ripping his flesh asunder.
Nightshade grinned wickedly in her cat form. "She does leave the best presents for me" She thought.
Phealea materialized near the first wagon and her eyes flashed hot for a moment as she channeled the power of fire. In an instant she unleashed the surge of heat onto the top of the wagon, it caught flame and nothing happened. She waited for a moment and then turned to the last tent and saw the regal blood elf jump down from the tent. A bubble of holy energy surrounded him as he regarded the mage. It was then she saw a wicked smile form on his face. He sensed the magic power within her and thought of his next meal.
"Talsin Swiftbow. I will take more than your heart. I will need your soul. Syyla will need something to power her return to this plane." Phealea said coldly as she began to call on her power.
The blood elf's eyes lit up with fear for a moment as he saw her charge him with a dagger in her hands. He spoke a single word and that word wracked the girl's body with pain as shadows leaked from her mouth. Her dagger fell from her hands and she toppled to her knees, wincing from pain. The priest smiled again and took a few steps toward her.
"I do not think so. Though I shall savor t...." he was cut off as a blast of cold water crashed into his back. he whirled to see a large water elemental looming over him. He frowned as he he saw it calling on its own power. The sounds of crashing waves became louder as the elemental nearly finished its spell when the priest said another word which caused the elemental to fall silent.
As Talsin turned to face the human she stood mere few feet from his face with her hand stretched out before her. In the reflection of the setting sun he could see a thin layer of what seemed to be icy water, flowing about the girl. He grimaced as cold winds flew from her hands causing the priest to frost over slightly from the bone chilling gusts. His shield of power shattered around him and the mage smiled thinly at him.
"Fr..fr...fr...frost.... ma...mage" He cursed through his chattering teeth.
"No matter if you silenced me or Douroon, you would still die priest. Your shadows will not save you." Phealea said plainly as she began to cast once again.
Phealea stared at her frozen prize as Nightshade finished off the remaining caravan survivors with a sort of demented glee. The wagons were fully engulfed in flame and thick smoke blackened the swamp cyprus.
"We need to go before they spot the smoke in Stonard," the mage called out. Nightshade was busy slicing a herald into fleshy ribbons.
"Man! What a mess!"
The squeeky voice came from just behind Phea. She turned, startled and looked down at the familiar brown hat hiding the shape of a gnome. She stared, openmouthed, as Talula padded over to the bloody corpse of an orc and tsked in a disappointed fashion.
"That was some flashy fire use though. Good to know you're not totally frozen."
"How did you.... are you...." Phea stammered as the gnome turned her pale blue eyes toward the mage. She smiled a bright Talula smile. Phea blinked and shook her head.
When she opened her eyes, the gnome was gone.
Phealea scowled softly as the priest attempted one last ditch effort to save his life. He shouted at the heavens and attempted to fill the minds of those around him with fear and death. As the visions formed in her head, Phealea scoffed and placed her hand around the elf's mouth. With a icy glare she allowed the ice spell she held free which coursed through the elf's body and chilled in to his bone. His movement slowed and with a mental command, Douroon moved to grab the elf as Phea shoved the man backwards. With a sigh she watched her icy barrier slowly darken as the shadows from the elf's spell attempted to cause damage to her body. Instead her barrier soaked in the dark power and darkened accordingly. As she coughed out the last bit of shadow stuff her spell faded as well. She turned to regard the scene and frowned a bit. The battle had taken less than a hundred count, she knew the guards would respond quickly.
"We need to go before they spot the smoke in Stonard." Phealea called out to Nightshade.
The druid was lost in her sadistic joy and that irked Phealea. She sighed disapprovingly and then something called out to her. She did not quite register it all but blinked in shock. It was Talula, standing before her instead of whatever prison Nightshade designed.
"How did you.... are you...." Phea stammered as the gnome turned her pale blue eyes toward the mage. She smiled a bright Talula smile. Phea blinked and shook her head. "Impossible! Talula is secured!"
Sure enough when she looked back Talula was gone and she was there, alone. Phealea frowned but put the incident out of her thoughts. She issued one last mental command to Douroon, who then carried the priest deep into the swamp. She then turned to Nightshade who now stood a few feet away from her with the shredded body of an orc dragging behind her. Phealea looked at the heap of flesh and muscle and yet was pleasantly surprised to see the chest barely moving up and down. She offered the druid a bit of morbid respect for her work and then made her way after Douroon with Nightshade trailing behind.
Once deep into the murk of the swamp Phealea snapped her fingers and two eldritch boxes. She then went about her task of channeling dark energies into the bodies of the beated and mutliated orc. She then peeled back flesh and bone to reach her prize. She coated her blade with necromantic energies and cut out the still beating heart and placed it inside the box. For the elf she had other plans.
"Open his chest and expose the heart. Make it painful." She said calmly as she closed her eyes and centered her mind. She withdrew a power crystal from her bag and began to focus her energies between the elf and the gem.
Nightshade grinned sharply and took in a deep breath, she planned to savor this for a time. Nightshade took her time in slowly digging her dagger into the elf's chest, watching his face slowly contort in pain and horror. She hummed happily as flesh and muscle were excruciatingly pulled and separated from bone. She could not help but laugh as she snapped rib bone. She mused to herself as the elf yet lived and stayed conscious.
Phealea had channeled dark energies into the poor elf and as Nightshade opened his chest cavity the crystal glowed brightly. With each pained movement the crystal drank deep in the elf's fear and pain. When the crystal was sated Phealea removed the elf's heart and placed it inside a box. She then waved her hand and sent the boxes back from whence they came.
"Now we move to the Blasted Lands, the corrupt energies there will be of use for the next step. I have a small task that must be finished next. A certain succubus needs to be taught a lesson, and it will also aid me in how effective we can be against a demon. Then we can move on to the big prize." Phealea said with a grin on her face.
"Perrrfect." Nightshade purred as she licked the dark blood from her blade.
As the pair made their way to the Blasted Lands a quick squeal came from her left. She quickly whirled to respond to what the sound could have been, only to see Talula running from where the bodies of the orc and the elf had been left.
"Miss Phea! Miss Phea! Did you see that grizzle business a ways back!?" Talula asked as she looked up with her icy blue eyes.
"You again, you are not the real Talula, and you do not belong here." Phealea scowled.
"Oh, of course I am not the real Talula. The real me is stuck in some dank cell somewhere. That was a bit mean of you Miss Phea. Is it 'cause I left my stuff all over the apartment when I was fixing Gert?" Talula said with a great deal of curiousity.
"I do not have to explain my actions to you. You do not even exist, damnit! You are just some kind of trick!" Phealea spat out rather harshly. Yet a odd feeling rolled in her stomach. Something that made the frost mage frown even deeper.
"Yeah, I get that. O' course, some folks are gonna wonder if maybe your brain hasn't been missing for a while now.... I mean people have noticed you are not the happy girl you used to be. When are you gonna smile that famous grin of your's" Again the gnome stared up with more curiousity written on her face.
Phealea balled her fist and the urge to scream welled up in her. It took her a moment to realize that it was not rage that was overcoming her, it was sadness... regret. Phealea scowled deeply and spoke in a low harsh voice as she pushed down her weak feelings.
"Leave me alone." the mage snarled.
"Oh... if that is what you want Miss Phea... but I can't say the same for her." Talula said as she pointed behind Phealea.
Phealea blinked as she turned around, reality came back to her senses again as Nightshade stared at Phealea for a moment.
"You became still forrr a long time. Somethi..." Nightshade attempted to say before she was cut off by a fireball crashing between her and Phealea.
The two were taken off their feet by the quick blast. Phealea found herself against the trunk of a think tree, her eyes still blinking as they attempt to rid the bright flash from her sight. She slowly pulled herself to her feet and when her sight returned she looked into a set of intense brown eyes. Phealea narrowed her cold eyes into slits.
"Sarina.." Phealea cursed under her breath.
Her sister smiled wickedly. "Well well well, little sister. Looks like you have been bad... again. Only this time you have gone too far. I guess its up to me to put you down and drag you back home. I told you the day would come for when your play time would be over."
With no need for words left, the two Spellfire woman began to summon up energy and power.
Phealea's hand predictably glowed with icy power while her sister flashed her a smug look as her hands dripped with flame. The two women Phealea finished her spell and unleashed its power before Sarina's fireball spell was finished. The bolt of ice flew at an unbelievable speed and crashed into the the eldest Sepllfire, however it shatters harmless around her. Phealea scowled as Sarina grinned and let her fireball fly. Phealea as watched the scorching magic head to her, she quickly formed the symbols needed for her next spell. In a instant she flung herself backwards and fire flick about the younger Spellfire and when the fireball blossomed into its lethal power Phealea slid dangerously on the wet and muddy landscape. Fire clung to Phealea, licked about her hair, but otherwise seemed to do no real damage. As the flames died away Phealea gave her sister a dark stare and then quickly cast another spell, which awashed her in a icy barrier. Once complete she drew her staff and charged her sister.
"The ritual of the frozen core is not supposed to make one lose their minds!" Sarina chided as she began to channel the rawest form of arcane power.
Soon a volley of missiles shot from Sarina's head and sped at Phealea. The missiles crashed and splintered the barrier bit by bit, yet the frost charged still. A second volley crashed into the barrier and the cracks became more visible. Sarina grinned as a third volley was let loose, but her grin faded when her sister did. Once Phealea was a mere dagger cast away she vanished in a bright flash, allowing the arcane missiles to hit the ground. Sarina was a breath to late to register what had happened and turned in time to see a impossibly dark crystal collide with the side of her face. Sarina was taken off her feet and slid a few paces away. The arcane mage frowned as a bit of blood trickled down from her nose.
Sarina struggled to get to her feet as quickly as possible. She grunted as she heard that famailar ice spell being cast. Once she sensed the release of the magic she rolled to the side to dodge. She breathed a sigh of relief as the bolt whizzed by her head, but gritted her teeth as she felt the mud harden under her. She looked up at the smug face of her sister. Sarina's face twisted into anger as she saw Phealea lean back slightly as if she were reading a spear to throw and then in a flash she cast her hand forward and a large ice sickle streaked towards her. With a huff and sheer force of will she too vanished in a flash and appeared a long dagger cast away from her sister.
"Seems like you learned a few tricks. Very unconventional for a mage duel Phea. " Sarina said as she wiped the blood from her nose.
"This is not some dainty dance between you and your friends Rin. This is real fight. Additionally I can not allow you to report back to father. I do not need Dalaranian interference." Phealea with a sharp edge to her voice.
Sarina looked deeply at the woman opposite of her. She clicked her tongue as if chiding a child. "That ritual is something. Not even batting an eye to killing your own sister. Well I guess that is why you were always the prodigal failure. Blessed with a uncanny talent for water magic in a House full of arcane and fire wielders. But since you wanna fight unconventionally...." Sarina said with a growing grin.
Phealea sighed disapprovingly and made a "tsk" sound at her sister. She raised up her hands and cool water began to form in them. Sarina smirked and leaned against a tree. With a few sharp words arcane energy sliced and tore into the large tree. The dead wood gave easily and with a strained push the tree came crashing down towards Phealea. With a scowl on her face she allowed the spell to die in the wind as she quickly threw herself backwards to dodge the falling tree. Phealea narrowed her eyes as the tree fell before her and she lost sight of her sister, but she did not need to search long. Pressing her advantage Sarina once again called upon her arcane powers and threw them into the fallen tree. Arcane energy and high speed wood fragments crashed into Phealea's weakened shield. Her shield shatter about her and she was forced to shield herself from the debris. Phealea blinked as she heard the words of a spell to her left. As she turned she was gifted with the sight of a speeding ball of fire streaking at her. Quickly Phealea rolled to the side out of instinct, but knew what the outcome would be. She gritted her teeth as the ball exploded and sent the mage reeling into the swamp. Fire coiling about her body she slammed hard into a tree. With a loud groan of pain she slid helplessly into murky water.
Phealea meekly opened her eyes and slowly crawled her way out of the water. She looked up to see Sarina stepping from behind a tree. The two locked locked eyes and Sarina was the first call upon her power. Phealea whispered a single word and then got to her feet. Phealea spat out a glob of dark blood and then in an instant she spoke the words need to summon her ice barrier. Sarina's arcane power collided into Phealea's ice shield and seemingly spidered the air in front of her sister. Before Sarina could begin her next cast Douroon streaked from the murky water and crashed into the arcane mage. She was pushed several paces back and wiped the water from her eyes. She gasped as the elemental froze the water that clung to her, freezing her in place. She turned to Phealea and her eyes went wide as she realized Phealea was already casting. In a pained gesture she flung out her hand. She shot a quick blast of energy at her sister which canceled the spell and much to Phealea's irritation, silenced her as well.
The water elemental was still undeterred and sent a ball of condensed, high velocity water into the arcane mage. The water ball slammed hard into her shoulder and she screamed as a loud audible crack emanated from her bone. She frowned and quickly summoned up the power of fire and sent it into Douroon. Its watery body bubbling and boiled but remained. Douroon sent another ball of dense water at Sarina, who threw out her hands and summoned form a shield made of her own magical power. The ball splashed harmless against it, but Sarina still frowned as her power was quickly fading. She once again called on the power of fire and sent it into the elemental. This time the creature made a sound, much like waves crashing against stone, and boiled itself out of existence leaving its oversized golden bracers clanging on the ground.
Sarina turned around to face Phealea again only to catch a glimpse of a white flash. She whirled around and threw her hands up to block the incoming staff, however this time none came only a dark chill. A sudden sharp pain stung Sarina in her midsection. She gazed down to see a dagger, dripping with dark energy jutting from her stomach. Phealea looked up, into the eyes of her sister as she removed the dagger, which exited Sarina's body with a soft hiss. Sarina coughed and spit blood as she tried to scream. Phealea stood from her crouched position and with a soft push Sarina fell to the ground and rolled softly and wordlessly into the water.
Phealea watched her sister gently float in the murky water, being carried by the light current of the stream. It was then Nightshade appeared behind the mage.
Nightshade grinned as Phealea turned to look at her. The young human girl, whose once well maintained hair was now a tangled mess of dirt, sweat, and blood caked curls that clung to her face and shoulders. Her clothes smeared with dirt and burns barely hung to her body. Blood trickled down both corners of the ice mage's mouth, which now seemed permanently formed a frown. All these features made the druid smile, it wasn't until she looked hard into the human's eyes did something seem off. Nightshade allowed a soft frown form on her face as she turned to the floating arcane mage. She turned back to Phealea.
"She still brrreathes." Nightshade said with a curious look on her face.
Phealea turned from the druid and looked out to her sister in the water. "No matter, we must continue on with the plan. No more delays." She said in a icy tone.
"But she...." Nightshade started.
"I said no more delays, damnit. We have more blood to spill and no time to waste druid." Phealea said as she began to walk away.
With a sharp frown Nightshade followed after the mage. Something was off, the druid thought as she watched the brooding mage.
Nightshade's eyes narrowed as she watched the back of the mage disappear into the swamp. She hated to leave unfinished carnage and there was something in the mage's tone that didn't sit well.
She looked down at Sarina then back to where Phea had walked from view. She slipped into the water and grabbed at the woman's robes. A soft moan escaped the injured woman's lips.
"Lucky forrr you, I suppose that yourrr sisterrr can't brrring herrrself to finish the job," Nightshade purred. "I doubt she has what it takes to be trrruly powerrrful. If herrr Tigerrr family had been morrre like you, she wouldn't be having second thoughts now would she?"
Nightshade slid a dagger from its sheath and made a long, shallow slice across the mage's throat. The wound wasn't enough to kill her immediately. It was carefully placed so that she would still be alert when the hungry crocolisks followed the scent of blood to its source. The druid licked the dripping blade before resheathing it.
"Good thing she still has me."