My short story for Blizzard’s creative writing competition didn’t make the cut, but my mageboy has encouraged me to share it anyway. Because it’s pretty long, I’m going to post it here in parts. This, then; is Part 1
A Successful Experiement
Runes hung in the air, glowing brightly. Each one was a different shape; a different spell—but all of them were incomplete. The fingers tracing them looked worn, but flew across the space with deceptive speed. Lips moved in barely whispered incantations and many uttered curses.
One of the runes glistened for a minute, then a sound like a small explosion echoed through the chamber, followed by a violent curse from its creator.
A door creaked and a voice bellowed from behind it, “Keep it down in there, Your Highness!” Then came a short snicker drowned by the slamming of the door.
A tall female with pale blue skin and hooves sat next to a fountain, looking incredibly lost. “Diplomacy,” her father had said, “is an important part of our life now. As a people, we have adjusted to many changes with this new alliance with the humans, gnomes, dwarves, and elves of Azeroth and Kalimdor. Forging these bonds is imperative to your adult life.” Faced with her father’s insistence, Sonora reluctantly agreed to a trip to the human capital of Stormwind. She felt like an oddity here; many of these humans were unfamiliar with her kind, and looked at her strangely.
Just when she was sure she could take no more, her escort finally arrived. A strikingly tall human, he introduced himself as Markus. Brown hair and blue eyes, Sonora found him not unattractive. “Sonora, I presume?” he said with a smile as he extended a hand, and she placed her hand in his. “Peter at the Stormwind Visitors Center sent me to welcome you to Stormwind and show you around. It is very nice to meet you.”
“The pleasure is mine, sir,” she said in her soft voice as he closed his fingers around hers and assisted her to her feet.
“Oh, please call me Markus,” he replied with another smile. Her blue cheeks flushed slightly purple. This blush did not escape Markus’s attention, and he grinned inwardly with delight. She was just what he had been looking for.
Morning came, and he could sense the building waking up around him. Today would be another day they could torture him. For 475 days he had been in this room that served as his cell; days without magic that crawled by through his one dim window.
The guard outside his door handed him a small mug of water and a plate with gruel and a piece of hard bread. Immediately after his capture, he had refused to eat, but found that this only made the torture more painful. Using the bread as a makeshift spoon, he forced the tasteless mush into his mouth. When it was gone, he tore at the bread with his teeth and sipped the water to help him swallow.
When he finished, he threw the plate at the door and put the mug next to the straw and joke of a blanket that served as his bed. Several minutes later, a familiar voice called to him. “Good morning, Ultraking,” the female voice sneered.
“I am more noble than you will ever be,” he growled back at her.
“That may well be true,” the voice replied from under a dark hood. “But this is my palace. You would be wise to watch your manners.”
The captive clenched his jaw, and the tall elf in front of him took it as a sign of acquiescence. She began to cast, her voice low and guttural. The crown of inky black light above his head—serving as both the mind-control spell that kept him from blasting his way out and the source of his nickname—began to swell and brighten. He braced himself, knowing what would come next. Her shorter partner withdrew a trembling orb from her robe, and the circle of darkness above his head dropped down into his body. He writhed in pain. The first time they had tried this, and several times after, he had been forced to his knees and blacked out. He now knew to force his body to relax as much as possible, though he clenched his teeth tightly against the burning swell within him. After several agonizing moments, a stream of light tore from the center of his body and whipped to the orb with frightening speed. The searing pain was gone, but it had been replaced with the feeling that his soul was being ripped from his body. They had certainly gotten better at this, he noted with some difficulty.
Finally, when the orb had been filled, the draining ceased. Impacted by the sudden stop, he fell to his knees. He looked up at the orb, and grimaced with concern. It was completely unclouded; they had extracted his magic without infusing any of their own. He wanted to believe that they would now release him, but he knew better. The thought of what they planned to do with his concentrated power concerned him; there were many ways he could think to use it, none good.