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Melikar's Story (Part 6 up)
#1
It was like looking at an empty glass.

It was perfectly clear and the images behind it were distorted, slightly stretched or shortened. It could be easily filled, but that depended on when and who put what in it. It could be something everyone loved, or it could be something everyone hated.

And this was specifically how Melikar felt about his own life. He always saw himself as a nobody. He wasn’t worth the attention, he didn’t need it…didn’t want it. This is what made him so see-through. His past was a jumble of pictures, each flowing through his mind in secret. To those who looked on, his past would be nothing but a skewed sense of reality. The very sense they’d have about him and his perception of how things should be. He could easily fill himself so that people would like him, but just as easily he could shun himself from the world he knew.

He was a Troll. Bound to the Horde by his ancestral past. And if he didn’t listen to them, it could easily mean death. This was a lesson he learned early on. Or, maybe not to die, but to be exiled from all you knew. He supposed it was better to die then, to be at eternal peace than to wander the earth never belonging to anyone. He supposed that fear of the ultimate rejection was his biggest scare.

It was amazing, how a warrior like himself could be so easily weakened by his battle within. He’d fought the panthers of Stranglethorn, tore the Zul’Kunda leader from their grasp, made his name known for his strength with the Darkspears, and even earned a title of respect among his peers. He supposed that’s what he should’ve been going for.

So why did he still feel so out of place? Why did he always feel like he had to watch his back?

Because there was a whole other side to the story. The Alliance. He didn’t want to fight them, but they had given him little choice whenever they came charging at him, swords drawn. He was merely defending himself.

Would you even forgive me? Just for that?

The thought played in his mind, hearing only his own inner voice.

~~~

Melikar entered the tavern of the Salty Sailor, seeing hardly anyone around this time of the night. He sat down on one of the bar stools, straightening his back and giving it a pop. His current mind-set was leaving him in rather a slump.

The goblin bartender hoped up on the bar itself, strutting along until he stood right before Melikar. His green skin brightened against the light as he looked at the Troll with yellow tinted eyes.

“What can I get for ya?”

Melikar slid forward a bit, resting an elbow on the bar.

“Uh…jus’ a…” he started, sounding rather distracted, “Rum.” He ended lamely.

The goblin shrugged.

“A’ight. I’ll get that for ya.” He jumped off the bar and made his way for the “higher grade” area of the bottles. Like a pro, he deftly jumped from the floor onto a bar stool behind the bar itself, from there he jumped cleanly to the first shelf of alcohol and skimmed along.

Melikar would’ve watched more of this acrobatic goblin, but his head was in a totally other place. Earlier in the evening, he had become an official member of the Ironsong Tribe. He’d given them his thanks for all their help and it went over pretty well. They really were a great bunch, and Melikar felt like he really did belong somewhere for once. But he wasn’t going to tell them everything. Some things had to be kept in the dark, if only for his safety and that of others.

He thought back to his earlier warrior training days. It seemed so long ago, yet such a short distance at the same time. He remembered stumbling upon a Blood Elf mage in Ghostlands who told him that a guild by the name of Ironsong looked for dedicated, hard workers of the Horde like himself. After looking into it a bit more, Melikar discovered that Ironsong was rather well known for their deeds across Azeroth and he decided it was time to move in. He didn’t think staying in isolation was going to help him if he expected to succeed. The more people he had on his side, the better.

One night in particular, Melikar had been running about the Undercity, finding anyone willing to hire a warrior to do their bidding. He’d come across a few good jobs and was passing by the Auctioneers when he saw it.

A Troll bedecked in head to toe with shadow-like armor and cloth. But it wasn’t really the Troll who stood out to him. If he hadn’t spotted the symbol of the Ironsong displayed on this Rogue’s chest, he wouldn’t have even given a second thought. It was a good thing he’d stopped to talk to that Troll. Because he was the same one that Melikar found himself wanting to be like.

Gholjan was his name, and he’d been through quite a few of his own experiences. Way more than Melikar had at the time, and he carried quite an impressive resume. Not only did Gholjan act as a voice for helping Melikar into Ironsong, he also acted as a helper and a leader. Someone who began to teach Melikar that things were not always as bad as you made them out to be. It was in the fashion, and over the course of time, that Melikar began to think of Gholjan as like a brother of sorts. Of course, Melikar had never actually said anything to Gholjan about this, fearing he’d just come off as stupid.

But what was to be expected? The only other Troll whom Melikar respected more was the Warlord Sreng himself. The very leader of the Ironsong. Sreng could just walk into a room and you’d literally feel the honor and respect pour out of everyone like it was some invisible liquid flooding the area.

He grinned, thinking about that. He imagined actual liquid flowing out of his Ironsong friends and drowning Sreng in it. Respect had killed the Warlord! He couldn’t swim in all of it! Melikar bit his lower lip, resisting a laugh. His mind was pre-occupied though as the goblin returned with the rum drink.

“Here ya are.” He said, placing it before Melikar’s ivory tusks. Melikar wrapped a hand around the glass, feeling small in his grip. There needed to be some bigger glasses for Trolls and Tauren around here. He noticed far too often that the glasses were “human” sized. Of course, the Salty Sailor was right in Booty Bay. A neutral area, therefore, it seemed to make more sense. At least, to the goblins it did. No one in Booty Bay was stupid enough to start wars here. You’d easily get your ass hauled into the ocean if you tried to start anything. Not to mention a lot of the folk that lived here were known to be bi-lingual. Not all Horde hated Alliance and vice versa.

But the terms “humans” and ‘dwarves” left a foul taste in Melikar’s mouth every time he even muttered them. Tipping his head back, he swallowed a large gulp of the rum. Burning and slow, just how he liked it.

His mind once more drifted back to the moot earlier, the words of a certain orc ringing in his head. Lhuurssa had spoken to him before the official meeting, saying that he was rather driven for a Troll. She was right when she said most of his kind were pretty relaxed, and they were. But he didn’t feel that at all as of late. He wanted to hurry up and be known. He wanted respect and followers. Not out of a grab for power but at a chance for something else.
He rested his head in his hand, setting the rum back down on the bar. His eyes slowly glazed over as he spaced out, thinking about his dream. And maybe that’s all it was. Just some stupid pipe dream. Who was to say he could change anything? No one had before, why would he be any different?

He suddenly felt drained.

Grabbing his glass of rum and swallowing the rest, he realized just how much sleep was now pulling at him. Placing 50 copper on the bar, he exited the Salty Sailor, making way for the inn. As he walked, a human mage and his companion, a female paladin, crossed his path. They were both speaking in the Common tongue and stopped abruptly as he passed. The two of them glanced his way, and he could feel their eyes on him as he walked off. What, was he some freak show to them? The male human spoke a few more words and the woman laughed.

His hand reached up towards his chest then, feeling a sudden pang somewhere within him.

((Gah, I'm sorry if it sucks! Wrote this at, like, 1:30 in the morning. Now, I must go to sleep! *head slams into keyboard*))
[Image: AWOeJWn.png]
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#2
"Melikar?"

Melikar felt someone bump the bed he was laying on. A small groan escaped his throat as he shifted his weight. Just a few more minutes...

"Melikar? Wake up."

The voice was soft, feminine and with somewhat of a mother-like air about it.

"I made some breakfast. I know how much you love that sweet bread."

Her voice paused for a moment.

"...Or, as the humans call them, pancakes."

Her voice lightened, making it obvious that, even though Melikar couldn't see her, she was smiling. Sleep suddenly seemed to be a second thought as his mind raced over the thought of delicious pancakes with fresh strawberries sliding down his throat.

He opened his eyes and saw her face, gently peering down at him. Her skin was the same color as his, light blue and smooth. Her white hair hung in tendrils around her face as her hand reached down and stroked his fiery red locks.

"C'mon. You don't want them to get cold."

His legs swung off the soft mattress and onto the floor. He hadn't had pancakes in forever! This was already looking to be a great day. The table was not far from the bed. After all, the house he was in was only one big room. No walls divided anything and it was entirely open. Quickly walking to the table, he noticed the chair seemed rather...big. Regardless, he hoped up and saw a stack of pancakes awaiting him on a smooth, stone plate. There was already a sweet, golden syrup dripping down the sides, and the strawberries were placed on top, just the way he liked it. His hand curled around the fork, too small for his fingers. He didn't care, however. He stabbed into the first pancake and began to lift it to his mouth when the woman's voice stopped him.

"I hope you enjoy those..." she nodded.

Something in her voice had changed. Melikar could no longer detect the sense of love and care that had been there earlier. Instead, her voice had sounded somewhat...sinister. Like she was telling him to enjoy his last meal or something.

What was going on?

His arm slowly lowered, his orange eyes glaring over towards her.

"Go ahead and eat! I made them just for you."

Melikar slowly shook his head, pushing the chair away from the table. He rose as high as his body would allow him to, only to realize he didn't stand much higher than her chest. This made no sense! He was at least a foot taller than her!

"You won't eat?" She asked, that same strange emotion filling the room like it was a disease. The more she looked at him, the more Melikar wanted out of there. Don't trust her, you fool.

"That's okay." her voice idly carried on. It was like she knew that he knew. She was just drawing it out, waiting for him to break. He involuntarily felt himself taking a step back.

"I invited someone over to join us this morning. Perhaps instead of exploring outside like you usually do, you'll stay with us?"

This time she grinned. But there was nothing friendly or compassionate about it. Melikar wanted to scream at her. Wanted to kill her and yet save her at the same time. What are you doing? This is wrong!

The woman stood up then, walking towards the door. Her floor length skirt skittered along at her feet, it's golden color clashing horribly with the atmosphere. She opened the door and greeted whoever was standing there. Melikar couldn't see, having backed away from the table and completely forgotten about his breakfast.

He's here Melikar. Why don't you be a polite person and come say hi? Just like I taught you." She wasn't looking at him now. Her whole body was facing the doorway, and Melikar still couldn't see who was there. Whoever it was, he had a strong desire to stay as far from where she was as he could.

"Melikar?"

He had to look. Just to see. He took a few steps forward towards the door. The woman's body was obscuring most of his view, and she still refused to look back at him. It was when he was only a few paces away that she finally turned around. What Melikar saw mad his jaw drop. When the woman spoke, there was no doubt in his mind that she was speaking the voice of minions. She was no longer normal. She had been overtaken by forces so evil, there was no beginning to the comprehension.

"Say hello to our...guest!

It felt like someone had poured ice into his soul. He backed up immediately, feeling his hips for his swords. Yet, when he reached down, he felt nothing. He looked down at himself, only now realizing that he wasn't wearing any of his warrior attire.

There was a horrendous laughter that then filled the air, that of a man but of a demon at the same time.

"Speak my name, you pathetic wretch!"

Melikar looked at the floor, his entire body shaking and overcome with fear. He couldn't say it...he wouldn't!

"SAY IT!" The voice boomed so loud, Melikar was sure it would wake anyone near their province. Someone help...please...anyone...

"Go...away..." he muttered, closing his eyes tight, feeling the sting that was pushing it's way forward. No one would help. No one could. No one could face the very wrath of the one who stood before him now.

"What was that?" the man asked.

Melikar's eyes remained closed tight, his hands, gripping the loose cotton of his pants so hard he could probably just tear the pieces of fabric out. He could feel the sweat making it's way down his body, mixing with the slow flow of tears that had started to form.

"AH SAID GO AWAY!" Melikar shouted so loud, it made his throat go dry.

"Do you know who I am!?" the man threatened, his voice sounding very restricted.

Melikar tried not to move, but he felt his head slowly nod. A huge black foot slammed down before him and Melikar felt his whole body jump back.

"What are you gonna do, fight me?!" The man asked, his demonic voice covering the room. "You're just a child!"

At that moment, Melikar looked up. The man's red-colored body towered over him, his yellow eyes piercing Melikar's very heart. There was no mercy here. There was no one coming to save him...no one coming to save her. Looking down once more, he realized the man was right. His hands were too small to be his own, his whole body wasn't what he was used to. He reached for his face, feeling just the nubs that would later turn into tusks, just starting to poke out of his mouth.

The man spoke once again, and as he did, Melikar felt any form of hope drain from his system. He was too weak. He'd never be able to save her, save anyone from the horrid events that were to take place. He wouldn't be able to keep his promise to the very thing that had made him so dedicated to begin with.

"Your lands will burn, and your people will die! All will henceforth be brought upon my army, and all will be Scourge! No one can stand against me! I AM-"

"KIL'JEADEN!!!" Melikar screamed. He threw himself forward, not caring what happened next.

It was perhaps then, that his eyes gazed upon a dark room. Quickly looking around himself, he realized his was not in an open house, but a bed. The sheets were soaked with his sweat and his breathing came in heavy gasps. It was just...a dream.

There was a sudden knocking on his door as a female Orc voice accompanied it.

"Is everything okay in there? I heard some yelling..."

Melikar shook his head, getting his bearings straight.

"Yeah." he answered as loud as he dared. "T'ings be...t'ings be fine."

There was no answer, but he heard footsteps walking away. Slowly laying back down, Melikar was in no rush to fall back asleep. It was now more important than ever that he become as strong as he could. It wasn't just to save one person, but to save anyone from having to face such a threat. What this world needed was unity, and he really needed to go about finding more ways of allowing that to happen. How could this world win a war against the Burning Legion when they already fought too much amongst themselves. There was a time when Orcs and Humans marched into battle side by side. Why couldn't things be like that now?

Turning onto his side, Melikar had a feeling that it would be quite some time before sleep overcame him once more.
[Image: AWOeJWn.png]
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#3
Somewhere along the line, Melikar had really started to change.

He wasn’t sure where or when it was, he just knew it had happened. Since the day he stepped off the Echo Isles and waged the seemingly never-ending war with Zalzane, he had been waiting for that change to happen. And it had, when he didn’t even notice. Every day he grew just a bit more stronger. He was another step closer to defeating the Burning Legion. But wasn’t that what everyone was out there for these days? Defeating them was no easy task.
Many had set about it and died trying so.

And for ever person killed by their kind, another joined the ranks of the Scourge. With odds like that, it seemed nigh impossible to win against them. Of course, there were always the Undead one could turn to. But Melikar hadn’t exactly seen Undead Trolls or Tauren walking around. It seemed to be something only Humans that had passed on could accomplish. And that was if they could break free of the Lich King’s grasp to begin with.

Melikar had a sudden appreciation then, for the Forsaken. To be able to have the strength to break away like that, and to “re-start” their lives, essentially saying. He doubted any of it was easy. He knew Lady Dispaya’s story and it was just one of the hundreds or thousands out there, and many could be similar to hers.

He turned his head on the pillow glancing out the window of the Shattrath inn. Why did he lay awake at night thinking of these things? His body was spent, but his mind was as wide awake and wondering as it could be. Last night had not been a pleasant experience, and he had no feelings about revisiting such a dream. He remembered what Lucinther had told him after the Tribe’s weekly meeting. He could’ve found someone to make him a dreamless sleep potion, but then again…he’d rather not go around letting everyone know of this.

He’d meet with the Lady tomorrow, just as Lucinther said he would. Dispaya would hopefully be able to figure something out.

The moon’s light was glaring against the window sill, casting an eerie glow across the room. Melikar couldn’t see the moon from where he was, just its whitish color. Crawling out of bed, he walked slowly over to the window and stared out upon the night sky. At this hour, not many were running about. But there were still a few late nighters having their thrill in the city below. Paying them no mind, Melikar continued to stare at the moon. These past few weeks had not been easy on him.

At first, the dreams and images had come in sporadic bursts. Maybe just a thought here or there, or a small dream of little significance that he’d hardly be able to recall in the morning. But it seemed that the stronger he grew, the worse things got. Now he was having full length nightmares, waking up many times in the dead of the night covered in his sweat. Some nights, he didn’t experience a thing. He really hoped tonight would be like that. Or maybe he really should’ve taken Lucinther up on the dreamless sleep potion.

Is she really bound to me?

The thought flew through his head for a moment, before settling in to his thinking process. There was no doubt that his mother had some connection to this. He felt a sudden tightening in his chest and realized he did not want to relive that day. He didn’t want to even think about it. But by trying not to, it only made him remember. He quickly shook his head, trying to focus on the here and now. He felt stupid really. He’d made a complete fool out of himself in front of Lucinther and Laurynthas earlier that evening. Almost breaking down then and there, in the Brill graveyard. He was pathetic. He was acting that way, and he hadn’t even been involved with the Legion yet.

He really had no idea, did he?

If he acted this way now, he’d probably run screaming like a little girl from any of the real battles. Through all his training, he had his hardships. Too many to count, really. But none of it added up to how hard facing the Burning Legion would be. He was weak, just like he always thought. He wouldn’t be able to save his mother. He wouldn’t be able to-

His hands gripped the windowsill so hard, pieces of the wood were splintering off in his fingers. Realizing he was only worrying more, he slowly turned and headed back to his bed. He really did feel tired now. Perhaps whatever God existed out there would take mercy on him and let him sleep in peace for once. Pulling the blanket over his bare chest, he placed his hands over himself, turning his head slightly and trying to nestle in. He had just closed his eyes when a sudden pain flashed through his head. And in that few seconds he saw images flash before his mind’s eye.

A dark portal stood before him. Now he saw a dungeon and heard people of all manner begging for mercy. Blood pooled on the floor. Then, a yellow eye, glowing fiercely in contrast to the bright red surrounding it. And with it, the voice and language spoken of only by the foulest demons.

”Seek him and destroy him! Ziondeh has no right to live if he will not serve the Burning Legion!

Melikar’s eyes opened to the dark room. Somewhere in that few seconds he’d sat up. His hand was to his head, the ache still in his temples. What the hell was that? The headaches were something that had started happening too. But never had he seen or heard anything with them. That language…he’d never heard it before but he’d understood it. That too made no sense. And who was Ziondeh? Whoever it was, Melikar needed to find him and warn him of what may happen.

Too many questions, not enough answers.

The ache slowly was wearing off as Melikar leaned back, laying back down on the bed. Already his body temperature had shot up, his blood seeming to boil. His hand remained on his head where it was.

More than anything, he needed to talk to Dispaya. The sooner the morning came, the sooner he could get this over with. If she had answers anything like what Lucinther was talking about, then she better have some damn good ones.
[Image: AWOeJWn.png]
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#4
((This is a really good story. I just want to say that you should never apologize for your writing...it does not suck. Remember that most people are content to sit and passively watch tv all day...and it is really an amazing thing to create something for others. Well done Melikar...please write and post anything here whenever the mood strikes you.))


Dispaya listened to the trolls story. She looked into his eyes. She saw his pain.

Quietly she went to her alchemy table and began mixing some ingredients into a potion. Whiskers, her pet rat, climbed up on the table and slowly apprached Melikar while she worked. Though her back was to the rat, Dispaya spoke to it.

"Now Whisky...do not pester our guest."

Melikar took a bit of bread from his pack and offered it to the rat. Whiskers snatched it from his fingers and hurried away to gobble down his gift. Dispaya turned and placed a small vial on the table.

"This is the dreamless sleep potion you requested. A word of caution...use it only if you must. Some dreams must not be avoided."

"Wat do ya mean Lady?" the troll asked. His eyes were weary. Dispaya felt bad for him. The troll looked exhausted.

"Well ...let me explain. There are three types of dreams. Type one are creations of the mind...and they sometimes give us insights into our feelings on things. Sometimes what you dream is not to be interpreted literally...but they are like coded symbols that lead to things the mind is concerned with. Sometimes these dreams allow us to deal with things we are not yet ready to face in the real world...even parts of ourselves."

The Troll nodded in understanding.

"Type two dreams are visions that come from something extra in our senses. They may be visions of the past or of the future. We may sometimes see things that will happen...but only if a certain course is followed. These dreams are an extension of the intuition or psychic abilities inherrent in all of us. These dreams may be powerful or subtle...and they may also come in the form of symbols. Lifetimes have been spent in the learning of the ways to decipher them."

She paused and took a moment before continuing.

"And then there is the third kind...those dreams that come from something outside ourselves. These are the ones to be feared for they may come as a form of attack on the psyche. Demons do possess this power...as do powerful Shaman and Warlocks. The dark Shaman Delgarsida possessed this power and used it against her own daughter. These dreams may be the hardest to face...yet...they can also be confronted and defeated...for in the end they are still only dreams."

"Well..how do I know? Wha do I do?" Melikar wondered out loud.

Dispaya thought for a moment before giving him any further advice. She slowly picked up Whiskers and gave her pet a stroke.

"Well...you must stay on the path life has laid out for you. When the dreams come you must try to gain control of your fear and confront the images...do not run from them. Once you are able to face your fears...you will see the dreams for what they are...creations of your own mind...or an invasion of your thoughts by another."

"I see..." Melikar did not look hopeful.

"Knowing what you must confront is most of the battle. Sometimes we find that the hardest battles we fight are only with ourselves."
Sing True Ironsong!
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#5
It was late, as usual.

This really wasn't a surprise to Melikar anymore. Every night, he stayed up fearing what sleep would bring him. And that made him very...very...tired. A warrior couldn't be at his best if he was always tired. But mostly, he was tired of running and tired of thinking about where this all came from.

He had just returned to Shattrath from speaking with Dispaya in the Undercity. He'd caught her at a bad time, it seemed. She was just about to turn in for the night herself, but she'd caught word of his "condition" from Lucinther. He remembered her explanation about the three types of dreams and he wondered which were which that were currently infesting his head.

Laying on the bed, having just removed his armor, he stared up at the ceiling in somewhat of a state of delusion. This whole deal was just messed up. He sat up a bit, looking at the vial he'd set on the bedside table upon first walking in. It contained his dreamless sleep potion. His first reaction had been to take it as soon as he returned to the inn. But he'd also thought about it in the time it took to return here. What Dispaya had said about messages in dreams actually had gotten to him. What if his dreams weren't really...dreams at all? What if they were someone else's thoughts?

But who?

He had a good feeling who that may be. Leaning back, he rested the back of his hand on his forehead, closing his eyes in thought. He didn't want to remember what he saw, but he knew he had to face it if he expected to get any answers. His mind drifted back to that name he heard. Ziondeh. Who was he and what did he have to do with what was going on? Or she? First thing was first, find this person.

But how did he know if he even could?

This was the last thought through his head as his mind seemed to go somewhere else.

He opened his eyes and he stood in a darkened room, the surrounding walls made of cold stone.

"That pathetic creature has failed me TWICE already!"

"Yes, my liege."

Melikar's voice...it wasn't his...

"And look at these horrendous rats that infest the Outlands because of him!"

"Yes, my liege."

There was a thunderous shaking of the ground, but Melikar refused to move from his spot. He just stood there, staring at the wall. Above him was an open window that he payed little mind to. A red glare from outside was shining it's way in from here.

"Tell me, have you found Ziondeh yet?"

There was a pause. A hesitation.

"N...no, my liege."

Another pause. Melikar suddenly felt very nervous. He felt a cold sweat starting to slip down in his hands. An ultimate fear settling somewhere in his chest.

"And...may I ask, WHY NOT!?"

He cowered, feeling something very big behind him.

"I've tried! He's got some kind of power against me!" He screamed

"WELL TRY HARDER, DAMMIT!" the voice echoed.

That voice. The same voice he'd heard in his dream two nights ago...the same demonic language he suddenly seemed to understand. The voice coming from his throat was not his own, but that of a female. But it was different. It sounded harsh, warped almost.

The male demonic voice spoke again.

"Tomorrow you will seek him out harder then you ever have. And when you do, you will bring him to us, understood?"

Melikar nodded furiously.

"Y-yes my liege!" He stuttered, feeling his whole body shake.

"I took mercy on you tonight..." the male demon stated.

Melikar's knees his the stone floor so hard they suddenly turned sore.

"Yes, yes! Thank you my liege! Thank you! I will find Ziondeh tomorrow! I will!" His voice, er...her voice was dripping with a begging attire.

And like someone had flipped a switch, Melikar was suddenly back in his own room again. Was that....? No, that was too real to be a dream. Glancing up, Melikar saw the dreamless sleep potion again. Finally getting to his feet, he grabbed it. Whatever he was having, be it visions, dreams or someone else's thoughts, he really didn't care right now. He was tired of seeing these things, tired of being scared and waking up from nightmares. Pulling the cork out of the vial, he tipped his head back and drank the potion.

It had a pretty bad taste to it, but what was to be expected? Frowning from the dissatisfaction he'd tasted, he turned and went back to his bed. Flopping down in a mix of covers, he pulled them over himself, partly eager to see if this would actually work. Maybe now he could get a full night's rest. And whoever Ziondeh was...Melikar just hoped that person was strong enough for whatever happened tomorrow.

You'd have to be able to resist the power of the Burning Legion itself. Nothing a single being could do. Melikar felt very sorry then, for Ziondeh. He didn't even know who it was, but they were going to have a hell of a day tomorrow. He remembered a saying he heard from one of his fellow Darkspears in Hellfire. A way to insult the Burning Legion's God. If you were ever to be caught by them, they'd kill you immediately for saying it. It was to save you from the excruciating torture they would have put you through otherwise.

And that's exactly what Melikar hoped Ziondeh did.
[Image: AWOeJWn.png]
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#6
Oh, it was cold. So cold...

Wrapping his arms around himself, he realized he had nothing covering him. Opening his eyes, Melikar stared over at the opposite wall. Through the window, shown bright light saying that day had come once again. Looking over himself, he noticed that somewhere in the night, his covers had fallen off of him. Grabbing them from the partial pool they had begun to make on the floor, he threw them over his body again.

Just a few more minutes of rest, then he'd get going. His eyes opened again then. He didn't have any weird dreams last night, did he? As a matter of fact that strange vision he'd seen before taking the dreamless sleep potion seemed nothing more than a play within his own head now. He looked up, suddenly revitalized and anxious at the fact that it had worked. Sitting up, he looked towards the window, seeing a few birds flutter by. He could hear the crowds from the city hustle below and everything, for that moment seemed...right. Well, almost right. There were some things he'd still want to make it a "perfect" moment, but he supposed those would have to wait.

He reached up to his neck, feeling the smooth, metal chain there. With his armor on, no one would even notice the small object hidden on his chest. That's the way it was supposed to be. Attached to the chain was a small, round, gold locket. And beside that on the chain, was a broken Troll charm.

Melikar had managed to tie it to the chain, using a strand of horse hair. One of the same ones that had come loose off the skeletal neck of his own steed. After all, it wasn't like that horse felt much to begin with.

Sliding his legs off the bed, he began to go about putting on the Plate armor that bedecked his body every day. The vial from Dispaya's potion still lay on the bedside table. Picking it up, he figured the least he could do was give it back to her for a refill. He may need one of these again.

Exiting the room, he headed into the Scryer Inn's main hall. There were quite a few people about this morning. Walking to the front desk, he nodded at the red-haired Blood Elf.

"Somethin' goin' on?" Melikar questioned.

The Blood Elf gazed up from a piece of parchment in his hand.

"Hmm?"

"Jus'..." Melikar began, "Alotta people 'round, dats all."

The Blood Elf looked at the various groups and people situated in the Inn and shrugged.

"No different than usual." he said, "After all, it is about 11:30 or so. That's norm-"

He was interrupted as Melikar's hand hit the desk.

"Eleven t'irty!?" He exclaimed.

The Blood Elf looked taken aback. Then his eyebrows raised into a look of questioning.

"Are you just waking up?" he asked slowly.

Melikar stood back, running a hand through his stiff, ruby-colored hair. Quickly glancing around the room, he noticed some people had started enjoying their lunch meals already. Two Night Elf women sat against a wall, laughing as they filled up on cheese and bread. An orc on the opposite side of the room (no surprise) was eating some type of berry sandwich concoction. And an Undead man nearby was rummaging through his pack for...well, Melikar didn't have to guess.

"Uh, well..." he started, then shook his head. "Guess Ah should lea'ahn ta listen fo'ah dee mornin' bells, huh?"

The Blood Elf just gave a nod, still glancing at Melikar like he was crazy. Damn, was it really that late in the morning? He was usually up and out of here by 8 AM. No one really slept in here, or anywhere for that matter. Not unless you were too young to worry about it. Evil forces were moving all the time, and every person in training had to be as well. Be they Horde or Alliance. Mornings always started early and nights always ended late. His past nightmares really didn't help with that either. It seemed as though Dispaya's dreamless sleep potion had done him more than a little good.

Stepping out of the Inn, Melikar made his way to the Shattrath stables. Looking at his to-do list, he went over his plan for the day. Lots to do in Terrokar, it seemed. There was all manner of creatures and dark forces moving against Shattrath's peace keepers and Stonebreaker Hold. They had been picking up anyone willing to do their bidding, and there were some nice rewards out of it. His orange eyes scanned all the way to the bottom, seeing most of his work was indeed piled up from Terrokar right now.

Folding up the parchment, he shoved it into a small pocket in his plate covered pants. The stable was only a short distance from the Inn, and he easily walked to the stable keeper who spoke before Melikar even got a chance.

"Name?" he asked.

Melikar hesitated for a moment, not expecting to suddenly get questioned like that.

"Melikar." He stated.

The man, another Blood Elf, nodded and walked into the stable. The thing about Shattrath was that it was broken up into two different segments. The Scryers took up one part of the city, the Aldors took up the other. And neither side liked each other. Warring communities within such close distance to one another. The Scryers consisted mainly of Blood Elves and those who decided to forgive them for their wrong doings when they tried to invade years ago. The Aldor consisted of a lot of Draenei and people who decided not to forgive the Blood Elves for their past. It struck Melikar as funny, how these to factions could coexist together so closely, when they felt so differently about one another.

Couldn't Horde and Alliance be more like their example?

Quickly shaking his head, Melikar realized he was putting his idea into the clouds. He honestly didn't want to share, say, Orgrimmar with humans and dwarves and the like. Night Elves...he didn't mind. Dreanei...he also didn't really mind. But the rest of them could take a flying leap off the tallest tower in Azeroth for all he cared. He could also just imagine the general disgust that the other Horde races would be giving to the all over unity of the world. Some things just...could never be, could they?

There was always going to be war. Their world would never obtain such purity.

That still didn't mean he couldn't try though. Just as he thought that, the Blood Elf stable hand came back to him.

"Didn't see anything by the name of 'Melikar' in there." He stated.

"Oh," Melikar spoke up, realizing he had to give his horse's name, not his. "Mah horse be called 'Renegade'."

The Blood Elf stared at him for a moment. Then he turned, rolling his eyes and sighing.

"Be back in a moment." he muttered.

"Ja could jus' let meh go in dere an' get 'im mahself..." Melikar said under his breath as the Elf walked away.

He had sided with the Scryers. Mainly because he only felt it right to give a race that had helped him much through his own journey the forgiveness it needed. Looking at the stone ground of the city, Melikar's brow furrowed. He felt a small spot of pain in his temples. Not much, but just enough to be annoying. The start of another headache it seemed. His mind drifted back to his own problems then. Just make it go away, he silently pleaded. He really didn't want to deal with this now. He had a great night's rest and was ready to do what the Horde needed to have done. He didn't want a pesky headache bothering him at this moment.

"There's three of them."

Melikar looked up, seeing the stable hand again.

"Huh?"

"There's three creatures in there with the name 'Renegade'," The Elf explained, "Which one is yours?"

"Dee undead horse." Melikar slowly answered, trying to ignore the slowly growing pain in his head.

"Oh, good thing that one's close." The stable hand continued on, hardly noticing Melikar's pain.

Melikar's hand reached for his head as the stable hand led out a skeletal horse, donning a red colored overcoat and silvery armor.

"Here." the stable hand thrust the reigns in Melikar's general direction. Feeling a bit peeved at this Elf's lack of care, Melikar grabbed the reigns and began leading Renegade away from the area. The pain had nearly doubled in just those few moments, and he really didn't even feel like mounting up. He placed one foot in front of the other, quickly realizing he could hardly walk. The pain was now beginning to pound against his head, and he could feel something tugging at his hand. Looking back, he saw Renengade starting to back away from him.

"Get ovah he'ah, ja dumb animal." Melikar quietly muttered. But the more he pulled Renegade to come back, the more Renegade kept backing away. It let out a nervous sort of neigh as it suddenly pulled it's head to the side, ripping the reigns right out of Melikar's weak grasp. Part of him didn't even care, the other told him he had to grab the reigns again before Renegade decided to take off. But the horse remained where it was, seemingly a "safe" distance away as it watched Melikar stumble towards it. The dark shadows from it's hooves floated around its body, giving it a distinctly fearful air. However, Melikar found it very hard to concentrate on any of that right now.

And if he'd been paying attention at all, he'd noticed how strange he looked to onlookers. It was high noon and people were running about doing their business. A few in the surrounding area had stopped to watch him, thinking this Troll had one too many drinks. Melikar's left hand was pressed against his head in an effort to keep the pain off, the other was reaching for Renegade's reigns again. Just as he felt his fingertips touch them, Renegade backed up again. A nearby human woman said something in common to him, but he tried paying her no mind. She laughed then, and it couldn't have been at a worse time.

It felt like someone had thrown a knife into his head, the headache exploding into every part of his brain. Instantly the woman's laughing was cut off as she watched this Troll fall to his knees. He grit his teeth together, trying his damn hardest not to let out a scream. Instead, strange whimpering and groans managed to escape his throat as he tried to keep it together. His eyes were closed tight, focusing all his will to holding on. He couldn't break down here in front of all these people. What kind of warrior was he then? But it seemed that the harder he tried, the harder it was getting to control.

He opened his eyes, looking up at the woman who had been laughing just moments before, her face now white as a sheet. And in that moment, he felt sudden hatred. His hand began reaching for his sword on the edge of his hip, wrapping his two large fingers around the hilt. He wanted to see death. He wanted to see all of Shattrath awash in their blood. He wanted to hear them scream...

Before his mind's eye, he suddenly saw a blur of images.

He was standing in a forest, crouched by a small body of water. He was in a one room house, gazing out a large window. He was standing on the edge of an open field by a tree, waiting for someone. He was being handed a golden locket. He was running in fear out into the middle of the woods. Sreng was gazing at him with a wicked shine in his eyes, inducting him into the Ironsong Tribe.

The Ironsong Tribe...

And like a flash, the pain in his head, the hatred in his heart and his entire delusion faded away. Opening his eyes once more he felt in control once more. An entire crowd had formed around him, many speaking in common and hearing the Orcish tongue here and there. A city peace keeper knelt down before him. A male draenei who knew the language of the Horde.

"Are you okay?"

Melikar hesitated, one hand on the ground holding him up, the other still wrapped tightly around his sword's hilt. Was he...was he about to do...?

"Y...yeah." He said, nodding slightly and slowly letting go of his weapon. "Ah'm...Ah'll be fine."

The draenei stood up, waving his arms out for people to move.

"Run along!" he said in Orcish to the Horde onlookers. He then turned to the Alliance people and told them to shoo off in Common. Getting slowly to his feet, Melikar was suddenly drained. He gained his balance and looked for Renegade. More than anything he wanted out of here now. Glancing to his right, he saw someone handing him the reigns of the horse. He reached for them, wearily taking them up in his hand. He then did a double-take. It was a draenei woman. But that wasn't what caused him to look again. She looked familiar.

No...this was just another Shattrath peace keeper. Nothing special about her or anyone else he'd seen here. She didn't say anything, just smiled as he took the reigns and finally mounted onto his horse. He didn't know what the hell had just happened, but he'd never felt hate flow through him like it did a few moments ago. He noticed that the same woman was still standing there from earlier. And she refused to stop looking at him, that same fear still piled up on her face.

Ignoring her, Melikar kicked at his horse's sides and Renegade slowly began to take off. He didn't know what was going on, but he didn't see any weird visions this time. All those images had been from his own life. He'd been able to recognize every one. Still, if things like this were going to happen every day, he really needed some new potions. Seemed it was time to seek out Dispaya again.

Whatever was going on, he just hoped it got figured out really, really soon.
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#7
This morning was so unlike the last.

At first, Melikar didn't know what to think. To get up and begin his day, or to focus his mind on the fact that he'd had a dreamless night without any kind of potion help at all. Opening his eyes, he saw the far wall staring him back. The same wall he always awoke to in the Shattrath Scryer's Inn. He always ended up on his right side staring at that wall. Sitting up, he allowed the covers to fall off of him as he stretched, his nine foot frame going over the bed's size.

Once again, he fell into his usual morning routine. The dreams had stayed away tonight. Perhaps his sudden headaches would as well. He did not want to have an experience similar to yesterday at all. It was the last thing he needed at this time was another break down. Walking out to the main hall of the Inn, he noticed a lot less people milling about this hour. The sky looked rather dreary from what Melikar had seen, and stepping into the outside wasn't much better. The air was cool, but not shockingly so. Still, it was enough just to leave you uncomfortable or to make you want to stay inside.

Heading for the stables to pick up Renegade, the only thing Melikar could think of was the headaches. What if they happened again? What if they came when he was in the middle of fighting something? It would be the end of him for sure. He didn't know if he could risk it like that. Rubbing his right hand nervously against his left arm, all sorts of scenarios came to his head about his problem. None of them ended pleasantly either. Just as he was about to tell himself to stop, a sudden whirring sound caught his attention.

Turning to his right, something large, brown and coughing up smoke whizzed by him. Melikar paused his walking, watching this thing and the person within it. The floating mechanism yawed around towards him about ten feet above his head, before turning and landing with a sputter right in front of him. The sight of who was driving it cause Melikar to smile for the first time in days.

"What kinna piece o' Gnommish crap is dat?" Melikar asked.

The pilot pulled himself forward, lurching out of the seat and landing neatly on the ground beside it. His large Troll feet just barely being covered by the deep maroon cloak he wore over himself. His green hair fell back in a large pony-tail, his tusks of the uppercutting kind. And to finish off the look, the Troll donned a pair of slightly glowing goggles.

"Ain' a piece o' Gnommish crap!" The Troll Rogue responded. "It be a fine piece o' machinery dat gets meh aroun' a lot quickah dan d'ose flyin' animals can."

As if to back up his statement, he brushed the dust that had been accumulating on his robes off. Giving the flying machine a pat he turned toward Melikar.

"Ja can't ansah when ja name be called?"

"Ah didn' he'ah ja, Ghol." Melikar replied, starting to walk off again.

Gholjan turned his body, watching Melikar's slouched form move away. Pushing the front of the machine, he turned it so it faced the red-haired Troll once more. Hopping in, he flipped on the ignition. Instead of blasting it at full power, however, he merely pressed on enough power to make the thing float just inches above the ground. He accelerated, quickly catching up to Melikar's walking pace and slowly floating by. At this low to the ground, the helicopter wasn't quite as loud, allowing them to talk over it's occasional coughs.

Melikar gave Gholjan a look as the other Troll looked particularly happy in this creation.

"Didja he'ah abou' what be happenin' yestahday?" Gholjan then questioned.

"No." Melikar answered rather simply, "What be happenin' yestahday?"

Gholjan gave a sort of a chuckle.

"Some Troll lost it in dee squ'ah aroun' noon o' so." He turned to Melikar who quickly looked away. "Don' know what 'is problem be, but 'e sound like 'e need ta be hangin' wit' us, ya?"

Melikar turned back to Gholjan, seeing the Rogue's grin had increased. Trying his best to cover it up, Melikar also grinned in reply.

"Yea..." he started, "Guess 'e should be."

Though Melikar couldn't see Gholjan's eyes, he had the distinct feeling they were rolling at him as Gholjan shook his head slightly.

"Mon, ja not be dee same since ja came he'ah."

Melikar's eyes flicked towards Gholjan as they came upon the stables.

"What ja mean?" he asked, knowing perfectly well he was having nightmares and weird flashbacks and images being shown to him all the time. What was he supposed to do? Just spill it all out? He couldn't be that weak.

Then again, he thought of who he was talking too. He'd already told Gholjan a part of his past that no one else knew. Perhaps that's why he felt a strong connection with this Troll more than most. It was almost like they were...brothers in a way. He hadn't forgotten the kindness Gholjan had given him when they first met, or how helpful he'd been when he knew about Melikar's past.

"What do Ah mean?" Gholjan re-questioned, "Ja been like a little piss pants evah since ja got he'ah! Ja not wantin' ta talk much anymo'ah, ja not wantin' ta have fun, ja not bein' quick and witty like a Troll s'pposed ta be...ja not dee same warri'ah Ah knew when Ah picked ja up. Most may not be noticin', but ol' Gholjan does. Ja changed Mel, and Ah can't say if dat be good."

Melikar paused, the same Blood Elf stable hand from yesterday standing there.

"Ah'll..." Melikar began, stopping to pick his words.

Gholjan raised an eyebrow, turning off the flying machine. With a clunk, it hit the ground. The stable hand gave him a sort of curious look before turning away and heading inside. Rather grateful for the Blood Elf's departure, he sighed.

"Ah'll say somethin' at dee moot dis week, kay? Ah jus' don' really wanna be talkin' abou' it all out in dee open like."

Gholjan nodded in understanding. Melikar was sure there was a natural curiousness there, but Gholjan questioned him no further.

"Well, as much as Ah'd love ta stick aroun', Ah'm 'fraid Ah got some otha business ta be taken care of."

Melikar gave a sort-of half wave as Gholjan started the flying machine up again, this time getting much louder.

"Ah be seein' ja again latah, okay!?" Gholjan called above the roar of the engine.

Melikar gave him one last nod, and like that, he was gone. He watched the machine fly off until he couldn't even see it anymore. Even then, he continued to stand where he was, staring off into some lone point in the sky. He couldn't really come forward about this at the moot. That was only two days from now and there was no way he could see himself coming clean. Then again, if he didn't say anything now, how would he know if it was too late by the time he did say something? Dispaya and Lucinther knew what was going on with him, but Gholjan didn't. At least, as far as he knew. Sreng probably didn't know either...or a vast majority of the Guild for that matter. Then again, he kind of hoped it stayed that way.

Just as he turned toward the stable, he nearly jumped when he saw the Blood Elf standing there once more.

"Sorry," The Elf stated, "But I didn't see anything in there by the name of 'All'..."
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