My first experience of playing World of Warcraft came in early 2007 when I took a short break from playing Everquest 2. Cogno the Gnome Warlock was my first ever WoW character. The Guild I used to be in when I played Everquest Live had migrated to World of Warcraft when it was first launched so I looked them up and created Cogno on the very crowded Silvermoon PvE server. He was played up to level 42 and spawned a single story before I slipped back to Everquest 2.
I finally gave Everquest 2 the heave-ho and re-rolled a new Gnome Warlock called Bunion on the much less crowded The Sha’tar server and recycled the story.
PART 1 : Diary of a DemonologistPART 2 : An Axe to Grind
Nakia - you have seen these I know but hopefully the others will enjoy a fresh read. I will post the rest one at a time every day or so.
BUNION, DIARY OF A DEMONOLOGIST
===“What had happened to his eyes! Was this how
Demons saw our world? Was this why they hated
being here? His eyes really hurt! Muttering a
curse against those who had decided that
sunlight should be so bright, he raced to his room...”
Bunion glanced up nervously at Gakin the Darkbinder. The hidden cellar, pompously called the Chamber of Incantations under the Slaughtered Lamb was intentionally dark – barely half a dozen candles and the low fire fitfully illuminated the room. The tall man's features were cast in deep shadow by his cowled robes. Swallowing to conceal his fear, Bunion returned the gaze of the deep-set eyes.
“A Demonologist?” Gakin asked.
“Y-yes, Lord...” Bunion replied, dreading the wrath he was sure would fall upon his shoulders.
Gakin continued... “Let me make sure you understand the consequences of this... decision, young Bunion. You do not wish to specialize in Affliction Magicks despite the fact that my esteemed colleagues tell me that your mastery of the Corruption spell is admirable, and also that you can control the flow of energy within yourself through adroit use of Life Taps. Nor do you wish to seek to understand the phenomenal powers of the Destruction Magicks to rain death and woe upon your enemies. Instead, against the advice of many of your fellow Adventurers, you wish to understand the forces and whims of the Demons themselves?”
Bunion nodded and again said “Yes, Lord.”
“You wish to learn the deeper and darker secrets of Demons... the urges that drive them... what it is they seek in this realm... how to work more closely with those minions you already have under your command?”
Seeing Bunion's confirmation, Gakin spoke again.
“This path you have chosen... it will forever set you aside from almost all your fellow Gnomes – and quite a few of your fellow Warlocks too. You will have more in common with the Warlocks of the Horde than your companions in the Alliance. Up to this point in your career you are merely a Gnome who dabbles in a convenient if misunderstood source of power. If you go ahead with this decision, you will be... marked... as one closely associated with the Demon realm. Demons will find you more... easily. Other Warlocks will recognize you. This choice cannot be undone. Ever. This is what you want? This is what you desire?”
Bunion looked down at his feet. He knew deep inside that he could control this power. He felt it. He needed it. But the price? Being marked? He glanced round the room. The other Warlock Trainers looked on with interest. The other Gnome with the Grimoires of Learning gave him a small nod. A tiny snickering noise made him look up. The caged Imp peered out at him from behind its bars up near the ceiling with a hungry look. Yes, definitely hunger. Forcing his eyes to meet those of Gakin the Darkbinder, Bunion affirmed.
“Yes, Lord. I wish to take the Demonic Embrace. To the Fifth Rank.”
As he spoke those words, he saw Gakin's eyebrows raise and heard one or two intakes of breath. The Fifth Rank! Seeing that Bunion was set on this course, Gakin merely inclined his head.
“As you wish. Remove your shirt.”
Turning away, Gakin picked up a copper bowl from the table next to him and went into the side crypt where the captive Imps were kept. A brief shrill squeak of pain set Bunion's teeth on edge as he shuffled off his linen shirt to reveal pale white skin. When Gakin returned and placed the copper bowl carefully on the tabletop, Bunion was ready. Gakin reached for a wickedly pointed metal stylus with a coarse-feathered quill.
“Colleagues – Bunion stands before us today to receive the Demonic Embrace. He wishes to attune his Spirit to the Demon Realm. His vigour will be increased but his spirit will forever be tainted with the Essence of Nether. He will be marked. He will be set aside from his kin. Each rank of the Demonic Embrace will bring him closer to the Demonic Realm.”
Uttering an arcane incantation which froze Bunion in position totally unable to move a single muscle, Gakin dipped the stylus into the liquid in the copper bowl and raised his hand. Bunion watched, both fascinated and terrified, as a droplet of the dark ichor fell from the stylus towards the floor but evaporated... or vanished... before striking the stained and pitted flagstones.
“Urd'Al'Unar – the First Rune of the Demonic Embrace – with this Rune, I Mark you!”
Swiftly, Gakin plunged the razor-tipped stylus into the skin on Bunion's outstretched forearm. Searing waves of pain coursed through his body as Gakin traced the outlines of the complex Rune round his right wrist. The agony intensified as Gakin continued. Urd'Al'Du, Urd'Al'Tre... further and further up the forearm the stylus moved, darting almost with a life of its own. By the time Urd'Al'Phar and Urd'Al'Pen were completed, the weals of blood and ichor reached almost to his elbow.
A single word from Gakin released Bunion from the Curse of Stone. Swaying dizzily, he was barely aware of Gakin throwing both the copper bowl and dreaded stylus into the central hearth-fire where the volatile Imp-blood was consumed in a brilliant flash of light.
When his vision steadied, Bunion stared down at his abused right arm. Already the wounds were closing – part of the Pact of the Demonic Embrace. All that remained of the path the stylus had taken was a fine spider-like tracery of grey lines, barely visible against his pale skin. Nodding his gratitude, Bunion staggered backwards out of the Chamber of Incantations and ran upstairs to the abandoned tavern.
Tugging his shirt on, he muttered under his breath... “I must be a bloody fool! Gnomes will be laughing at me for generations!”
Stepping from the cool shadow of the tavern doorway to the brilliant sunlight, he shielded his eyes. Everything was too sharp... too bright... too colourful. His eyes hurt! Gods! How his eyes hurt! Shadow, darkness. He needed to find a dark place to hide! What had happened to his eyes! Was this how Demons saw our world? Was this why they hated being here? His eyes really hurt! Muttering a curse against those who had decided that sunlight should be so bright, he raced to his room...