Ashagga Wolfskin: The Hanging Tree

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Keeper Of Lore
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Ashagga Wolfskin: The Hanging Tree

Unread post by Keeper Of Lore » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:11 am

Ashagga Wolfskin: The Hanging Tree

Ashagga, November 2, 2006

Flashes. Images. Nightmares.

Chingaso stands before her with his spear held high, tears
streaming down his cheeks, before plunging the barbed weapon into
her chest.

At a meeting of the Grim, Abric paces back and forth before the
assemblage, speaking in a language she cannot understand.
Triumphantly, he holds up an orc's eyeball, presenting it to a
crowd of faceless shapes that once were her friends.

She stands before the tree, ropes binding her tightly. Lascivious
approaches, whispering into her ear, "Your time is up, orc." A
dagger is drawn across Ashagga's throat, and the river behind the
tree turns red with her spilt blood.

She stands at the front of Sylvanus' black chapel in Undercity,
and Varimathras presides. Chingaso slowly walks down the aisle
toward her, but when he reaches her and removes her veil, it is
the Banshee Queen who stands as his bride.

Lightning storms rage across Azeroth, igniting the dry plains of
the Barrens, and Crossroads is consumed in a torrent of screams.

Images. Flashes. Nightmares.

Omens?

A flash of lightning and clap of thunder rudely hauled Ashagga
from her tormented reverie. Torrential rains soaked Felwood, and
even the corrupted wolves and bears sought shelter from the
downpour. The wind dashed Ashagga cruelly against the tree from
which she hung, jarring her aching, twisted muscles and strained
bones.

Her good eye strained through the darkness of her second night,
and she managed to make out the figure of Chingaso, never far,
always looking up at her. He'd tried to speak to her at first,
but she had not answered, choosing to save her strength, and not
trusting herself not to cry.

Now, she faded in and out of consciousness, sucking at rainwater
when she could, trying to ignore the gnawing hunger growing
strongly in her guts. She tried not to imagine the festering
black wound that was her eye, tried not to feel the rain sluicing
away the pus and blood from the injury. She tried not to feel the
ache of her bonds, cutting into her skin or the weight of her
body hanging from her shoulders.

She always failed.

Five more days... Light, she would go mad, if not for Chingaso.
He was always there, every time she regained consciousness. He
was safety. He watched over her. Sometimes, when she woke, he was
bleeding, but he was never far.

Why hadn't she seen the spirits yet? Why hadn't it worked?

Oh, Light, she was going to die here...

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Keeper Of Lore
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Re: Ashagga Wolfskin: The Hanging Tree

Unread post by Keeper Of Lore » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:12 am

[Yichimet]

He had tried to comfort Chingaso after so cruelly keeping him
from Ashagga during the ceremony. He watched Syreena from afar,
who had sat and stared at the river in what he thought was a
serene and sad way. He had spoken to Mohan brusquely, afraid to
show any emotion to the one shu'halo who knew him inside and out.

He did all this and was terrified in his very spirit.

As Ashagga had been parted from her eye, and as she screamed, and
as she whimpered from the rope tugging her high, Yichimet had
seen the tortured spirits swirl around the tree and her. They
flashed in and out of view, howling soundlessly and weeping.

"Have I made a mistake?" he'd wondered. He had looked at the
feeble dreamcatchers at the base of the tree and almost cut the
orc down. But his sense said otherwise. If Chingaso would guard
her body, Yichimet would guard her spirit.

When he left, he stopped at Orgrimmar to gather a few things from
his banker and went immediately on to the Spires. When he got to
the highest spire he could climb, he took out his pouch and mixed
a sapta. The height was important. He would watch from high and
guard her spirit as he could.

Yichimet's unmoving form sat atop the Spire and watched.

[Ashagga]

One week... it had been one full week, seven agonizing days,
since the Grim had hauled Ashagga into the branches of the dead
tree in Felwood, leaving her hanging from her wrists in the
corrupted elven forest. Seven days since Abric had removed her
eye at her request, leaving her open to the spirits of blood and
pain that plagued the land.

The only witness to her torment was Chingaso, the orcish hunter
to whom she had confessed her love. He was stalwart and stoic,
forcing himself never to cut her down, forcing himself to guard
the battered and increasingly broken body of the orc woman who
loved him. He was the only one who saw her deterioration.

After the second day, she was aching and sore, wishing she could
just cease this torment. She was hungry and thirsty, tortured by
nightmares and visions of things that had happened, things to
come, and things that could never be, and battered by the
elements.

After the fourth day, she was delirious, raving and ranting,
murmuring about things not there. She would scream at nothing,
lapse into hours of silence, or writhe frantically, repeating
over and over that, "They were inside her." She drank rainwater
when it came, ate the bugs that crawled into her mouth, and bled
as the ropes sawed into her wrists.

After the sixth day, she was utterly mad, when she was conscious
at all. Most of the time she was catatonic, speaking but little,
drooling, her lips cracked and dry and bleeding. When she spoke,
it was in fits and starts, sometimes in languages Chingaso could
not understand. Once, as the sun's last rays fell below the
horizon, she screamed, her entire body writhing in pain, crying
that it had come, the Bringer had come, and weeping tears of
blood.

On the seventh day, she was silent.

At the end of the seventh day, she slowly and groggily regained
consciousness, peering through her bleary, bloodshot eye for
Chingaso.

[Chingaso]

Chingaso hear stir behind, turn to see Shaggy, and see Shaggy
look at Chingaso...

"Chingaso, what day is it?" Shaggy ask.

"Seventh day of ritual," Chingaso answer. "Tuesday on Goblin
calendar."

"Thank the light," say Shaggy. "Chingaso, please cut me down."

Chingaso heart leap in chest. Finally, end to torment. Torment
Shaggy and torment Chingaso.

Chingaso pull new sword from back and careful cut rope while hold
Shaggy with other hand. Gently, Chingaso lower Shaggy and self to
ground. Chingaso hold Shaggy light so not hurt.

"He came, Chingaso," Shaggy say. "The Bringer came..."

[Lascivious]

Lascivious sat silently on her wolf observing the hunter from up
the hill. He did not know if he knew she was there, nor if his
worry for Ashagga had dulled his sharp senses to nearby
trespassers, but it didn't matter. Today was the final day and so
she had come here to see if the orc thief was still breathing.

She had pulled her reigns up when she saw the hunter stir and cut
down Ashagga's bindings. Had he cracked? Or was it time. She
chewed her lower lip with concern until she saw the thief move in
Chingaso's arms.

With a nod of satisfaction, Lascivious turned her mount and
started up the trail to Timbermaw Hold. Whatever moment the orcs
were having, she would let them have alone.

[Ashagga]

Ashagga fluttered in and out of consciousness, cradled in
Chingaso's arms. She spoke to him, but her words were jumbled...
sometimes she spoke as Ashagga, and sometimes as a prophet,
sometimes speaking her love for the orcish hunter and sometimes
trying desperately to warn him of the fire and blood that was to
come.

She dimly recalled resting against his broad chest, held in front
of him on a wind rider from Bloodvenom Post to Crossroads, but
beyond that, she could only call up dim memories of the trip.
They spoke much, and she tried to be coherent, but there were so
many images in her mind. Her entire body hurt, and her blood felt
like it was on fire.

Worst, she could see the spirits.

They were always present, fluttering around Chingaso, herself,
those they passed. She saw spirits of life and hope, of water
earth and air, of pain and blood and death, and so many more of
the latter. She saw them not with her eye, because when she
closed that to keep them away, she could still see them... she
saw them with the spirit of the orb Abric had removed. She saw
them even when she closed her eyes, and only the leather patch
she found could bar them from her sight.

She feared she would go mad. She feared she already had.

Chingaso laid her down on something soft, and she felt food and
water offered. She ate as quickly as Chingaso would allow, her
body starved of nourishment. She felt sleep trying to claim her,
when the stoic orc replied to something her other half had said:

"We can have ceremony if Shaggy want, or not. Chingaso happy to
face trials with Shaggy at side."

There was a moment of terror, not at the idea of committing to
the hunter... she wanted nothing more... but at a vision she had
felt, a vision of a Banshee's face. She started to protest, but
her lips moved of their own accord, and she felt a smiling,
baneful presence behind her face.

"Aye... a ceremony would do much to bind us. We might need the
strength o' a ceremony..."

She wanted to scream. She wanted to beg Chingaso to run, to get
away, but she felt the presence, gloating, push her back down,
felt sleep overcoming her.

When she woke, she remembered only that she was to wed the Orcish
hunter, and that she was glad of it...

[Chingaso]

Chingaso sit in secret lair, watch as Shaggy sleep. Chingaso
think on small ceremony have. Shaggy, Chingaso, priest,
witnesses. Some friend Chignaso seem upset not invite, but
Chingaso promise party soon, after Shaggy recover.

"Wed." Chingaso roll concept around in mind. Mean Chingaso commit
whole of self not only to Grim, but now to Shaggy.

"Wed." Chingaso consider possibilities. Image of orclings make
Chingaso feel faint, like need to howl at sky. Bring orclings
into life uncertain? Maybe someday...

Shaggy moan and stir slight on pallette. Chingaso brush hair from
face with hand. Chingaso never know this feel.

Yet, something different about Shaggy. Shaggy say maybe different
after ritual, but Chingaso see same Shaggy. Until murmurs in
sleep...

"Th' elves, they'll ruin us." Shaggy mutter in sleep.

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