Friday, September 24, 2010

Cashing In

"So, where are we going?" Mr. Wow asked.  Decedereful cast a sideways glance at the young man walking next to her.  She suppressed a smile.  With all the packs strapped to his body, he looked like a squire.  Her squire.

"We've got to go find my brother," she answered.

He shifted the bags uncomfortably on his shoulders.  "And he is where?"

"You know, I really can carry my own stuff," Decederful pointed out.

Mr. Wow gritted his teeth, "I told you, I've got it.  I insist."

"You know people are going to think you're my servant or something," she observed.

"I've been called worse.  Where is your brother?"

Decedereful shook her head.  Sometimes the man was hopeless.  "Icecrown Citadel."

Mr. Wow whistled appreciatively.  Decedereful could see him fight down some nervousness.  She had to admit, she wasn't too thrilled about it either.  She was confident she could handle herself, but Mr. Wow didn't exactly have the look of a battle-hardened soldier.  Sure he had some scars on his body, but who didn't in this age of war?  If he was more scarred then usual, it was probably because he got in a fight with a rosebush.  The last thing she wanted to have when following her brother into Icecrown was a liability.  Decedereful wasn't sure she could bear responsibility for the death of another friend.  Those days were supposed to be behind her.

"How about I leave you in Dalaran?" Decedereful suggested.  "I can go it alone from there."

As predicted, the young man favored her with an angry, if still attractive, glare.  "No way.  You're not ditching me that easily.  Besides, you'll probably get yourself flattened by a meteor without me."

The Death Knight scowled, "That was one time.  Come off it."

"Maybe, but it's not like I'm real busy either.  I left my post, remember?  For you.  To heal you." he explained.

"Fine, but we're going to need to get you some new armor," Decedereful observed, eying him up and down.  "That stuff they give you as a recruit is complete crap."

Mr. Wow looked down self-consciously.  "Is it really that bad?"

"Yes, but don't worry.  My brother has an account in Dalaran, and we know a few people with the Argent Crusade.  Plus, I got a buddy I fought some Horde with who tells me he's sitting on a nice cache of stuff out in Wintergrasp," Decedereful said, mentally forming a list.  "You're good with leather, right?"

"Sure, why?"

"Well you didn't much strike me as a plate guy, and lord knows we don't need another clothie in the manor," the Death Knight admitted.

"Fine, fine," Mr. Wow waved an arm, "but you have to let me get some of it on my own.  I'm not a charity case."

Decedereful shot him a skeptical glance.  "With the number of shirts you go through, ripping 'em up like a feral tiger, it's a wonder you have any armor at all."

Mr. Wow blushed, but did not respond to the jibe.  Decedereful still wasn't sure what he was, but she was leaning towards Druid, and the response seemed in line with that.  However, she'd know a few Druids in her day, and they rarely left themselves scarred.  After all, they had far to much control of their shapeshifting for that.  The young man next to her must really be a loose cannon.  Or, worse... new.  She didn't have the time or the patience to break in a new adventurer, even if he was strikingly hansom.

The sun was settling on the horizon, casting an orange glow across the landscape.  They were nearly to Stormwind, where they would board the boat headed for Northrend.  Decedereful felt invigorated to be out on an adventure again.  Even though she'd only been shut up in the manor for a few days, she just liked the feeling of having a goal, of being able to do something.  There was too many bad thoughts in her past to dwell on during quiet times.

Suddenly, Mr. Wow stopped dead in the road.  He seemed to be staring vacantly at the moon rising in the sky.  A bead of sweat broke out on his brow before he broke his gaze away and scrutinized the surrounding landscape.

"We should set up camp," he said, starting off the path to to side.  "I'll get the tents up."

"What?" Decedereful questioned.  "We're almost there, why stop now?"

"It's almost night," he explained simply with shrug.  "You don't want to have to set up tents in the dark.  Trust me."

"But, in the city, they have beds," Decedereful stated.  "And good food.  And ale."

"Sure, but they don't have the stars," Mr. Wow countered, "or the sound of crickets.  And it's not free."

"Crickets are overrated.  So are stars.  They can fall on your head," Decedereful pouted. 

Mr. Wow frowned, "Well, I'll find you in the morning then, if you insist on paying for your lodgings when there's a perfectly peaceful wood nearby."

Decedereful crossed her arms, "Good luck with that, tree humper."

"Enjoy your beverage, tavern wench," he shot back testily.

The fact that he'd dredged up a retort stunned her more than offended her.  It seemed so unlike him.  Still, she couldn't allow that sort of behavior to stand.  Putting on an air of offense, she walked over to him, looking him straight in the eye.  When she came within striking distance, she was disappointed when he didn't flinch.

Snatching her pack, she stomped off down the road.  She refused to look back.  If he wanted to camp out, then more power to him.  Besides, this might be her opportunity to lose the leech.  Even as she thought it, though, her stomach twisted in a weird feeling she wasn't used to.  She realized with a start that she didn't want the young man to let her leave.  What she wanted was some company.  Warm arms.  Soft lips.

Decedereful shook her head.  It was a silly thought, she should have more control of herself than that.  The last thing she needed right now was to get entangled with this unseasoned ruffian.  She had just turned a bend in the road, losing sight of Mr. Wow and his things, when she heard a howl behind her.  The sound of wolves sent a chill down her spine, and for a moment she wished she had not wandered off alone.  She loosened her sword in its loop at her waist.  She wasn't afraid.  There was nothing in these woods that could cause a problem for a warrior of her talents.  That sounded like a big wolf though, her brain interjected.  She ignored it and walked on, refusing to pay attention to the shadows growing around her.

The moon had risen high into the night by the time Stormwind's gates came into view.  Torches burned out front, illuminating the entrance to the grand city, and the guards stood their constant vigil.  For the first time since leaving her companion, Decedereful paused for a moment, taking a second to gather herself.  The faint scratchings of paws coming from the shadows off of the path almost made her scream in frustration.  The sound had been following her for some time now, but she refused to acknowledge it.  Whatever it was would be sorry if it decided to come out on the path and challenge her.  She was in a bad mood, and ready to hack away at something, even a simple forest wolf.

When nothing materialized, Decedereful hefted her pack and headed for the gates.  A large mug of ale was in order.  Perhaps several large mugs of ale.  By the time she passed the guards, she already had a tavern in mind and was preoccupied with thoughts of a delicious, frothy beverage.  She didn't notice two shiny orbs, glinting from the shadows to the side of the gates, but they were there.  Watching her.  Waiting.  It would be dawn soon enough.


  1. Awesome. Didn't get that this is how you're introducing your new toon. *sigh* Reading Comprehension fail.

  2. Ha, thanks guys! Yeah, I snuck it in there :-).