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Shadowfiend

--by PeeJee


"Mistress, you wanted me to wake you before noon," The smiling woman barely poked her head inside the master bedroom, knowing all to well what normally befell anyone who dare wake it's occupant before she well and truly wanted to wake.

A muffled groan came from under the covers, "I'm awake."

Relieved she wouldn't have to brave dragging the mistress of the house out of bed against her will, the serving woman fled down the hall in the blink of an eye. While she loved working in such a feeing environment, not to mention the pay was insanely high, there were some 'on the job hazards' no amount of gold could ever compensate for. Waking up PeeJee was one of those.

Within the room, PeeJee rubbed at her eyes sleepily and asked no one in particular, "Why on Azeroth did I want to be woken up early?" A barely audible whisper seemed to respond, making the elfess nod with a groan, "Of course... back to Sporeggar." Yawning, she stood up and began to go about her usual waking routine. She dressed then went around packing up a small sack with the things she'd need: a field notebook, writing graphite, sample bags, some herbs, potions, and even a few bandages. Before leaving, she poked her head into the new lab Ash had setup in one of the guest rooms, hoping to catch him there. She couldn't help but pout a bit when she found the room empty, "Must be back in Nagrand again." One last stop to check on her newest specimens planted in the garden then she was off, slipping into the shadows and making her way in relative safety towards the Blasted Lands.

The entire trip, PeeJee couldn't help shake the feeling that someone was watching her. Every so often she'd catch herself looking over her shoulder, trying to see if there was another walking the shadows with her, but all she saw was more shadows. It wasn't as if she felt threatened, but the intensity of the feeling was so strong she couldn't help but rush to reach her destination. Slipping out of the shadows, PeeJee rounded one of the pillars, nodding at the assembled guards before walking through the portal. Neither she, nor those on watch, noticed the thick shadow that slipped into the portal shortly after her.

Walking out into the arid air of Hellfire, the elfess pulled her hat down and simply blended in with those around her until she managed to reach a collection of tents where the guards were staying. There, she once more slipped into the shadow domain, leaving the loud sounds of constant battle behind. PeeJee was half way across the Peninsula before the feeling of being watched returned. The shadows were more dangerous here, but still, this was her realm and she would not be afraid. If anything, she was starting to get irritated. By the time she reached Zangarmarsh, the smaller shades had started to flee her path, not wanting to chance her anger turning onto them.

On the outskirts of Sporeggar, PeeJee slipped back out of the shadows and approached the gathered Sporelings. Many waved, calling out their greetings and soon PeeJee had forgotten the source of her irritation and simply enjoyed being amongst the odd little creatures. She found a few gathered around a cook fire and sat down beside them, today's work had just begun. Most the day was spent in talk and observations. Frequently PeeJee would pull out her notebook and jot down the things she was learning.

Late afternoon her observations came to a screeching halt yet again. A cry came from the Spawning Glen that the fungal giants were attacking once more. Her earlier irritation returned with a rush now that she had an easy target in which to vent it on. Without waiting for the sporeling guards or anyone else, PeeJee picked up her staff and rushed off to the glen, the shadows around her instinctively thickening around her body.

At first she saw only two of the giants: one weak from starvation, the other a bit more lively since she could see the remains of a few spawnlings crushed in its maw. Infuriated at being disturbed by such a weak threat, PeeJee called out to her friends the shadows, willing them to blast the mind of the smaller giant to smithereens. Its friend howled in rage as it's companion fell to the damp ground, charging the shadowy attacker with flailing fists to strike at her. PeeJee called out a single word, willing the giant to be writing in pain before letting out a screeching sound filled with pure terror. A smug shadowy smile formed on her lips as she watched the frightened giant run away, failing to notice the third looming Bog Lord creeping up behind her.

It was when a loud pain filled scream sounded behind her did PeeJee finally turn. What she saw amazed even her. Tendrils of solid shadow had wrapped around the giant's arms, limiting its movements. Shadowy clawlike hands tore deep gouges into the creature's hide, literally tearing it apart before her eyes. PeeJee didn't have much time to stare as a splash behind her announced that the former giant's hunger had finally overcome its fear. Frowning, she turned and used a trick Asherrean had taught her. She uttered the ultimate word of separation, willing the creatures life to be torn from its body. As she watched the body fall, PeeJee once again felt that intense feeling of being watched. Cautiously she turned, only to look at the shadowy... thing head on.

Never had she seen anything of its like. Like a piece of living shadow, long tendrils for arms, a gash for a mouth and more tendrils for feet. It slowly it moved towards her with a weird half-crawl half-slither. She wasn't sure how she knew for sure, but it wouldn't hurt her. In fact, she had to begrudgingly admit, it had probably saved her life. Crouching down, PeeJee held out a hand to caress the creature and was only a little surprised with it nuzzled her hand like a cat. It was with that single touch did she instantly know where it had come from.

"You...You're one of the House Shadows! How did you get all the way here?" Leaning close she tried to examine it further, but the creature made an almost pained sound and then moved to slowly sink into PeeJee's own Shadow, returning back to the shadowy domain it called home. "Amazing... If I didn't know any better, I'd almost say you were fully sentient." Something about that spoken thought made the elfess pause. It was here, wasn't it? Something that should be technically impossible since it was supposed to be bound to the house itself. It had actually followed her, protected her through no will of her own.

"You know, I should tell Ash about this." Quickly she rushed back to Sporaggar, heedless of the guards she pass as they headed towards the glen. She grabbed her pack and darted into the shadows to walk to Nagrand. When she glanced behind her, this time she saw it.. the shadow creature who followed her like an invisible body guard.

"I wonder what I should call you?" She wondered aloud as she walked, the creature moving up to walk beside her. "How does Bob sound?" The creature turned its hideous face up at PeeJee and made a reproachful sound. "Ok... not Bob. How about Sam? Pat? Cthulhu?"

Needless to say... it was a long trip to Nagrand.

~fin~


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