My sincerest apologies about this post being a day late from its scheduled Saturday posting. Time has a way of getting away from me and I had a lot of random stuff drop on my lap yesterday. So here it is, part two of my short story… (Sorry!)
Vrykerion inked out a rough sketch of each piece that lay before him on the desk. He drew lines and notes of how each one would potentially fit with others. He didn’t need too. He had done this many times before and would likely do it many times in the future. He knew the design by heart but still went over it again and again. It may have been in part to the time he spent studying and working with gnomish engineering. Their desire to tinker and go over every detail hundreds of times to ensure that every bit was correct and in place. But he knew that wasn’t about knowing how things went together, but understanding why.
“We’re proud of you, son.” Kitarin Dawnshatter said, slapping Vrykerion on the back, “It might not be a Spell Breaker like your brother was, but being accepted into the Blood Knights is nothing to laugh at.” Vrykerion just nodded a bit.
Vrykerion was wearing his blood knights’ tabard, a depressing mix of black and red – a reminder of what his people had to endure in the wake of the Third War. He was dressed in his best chain mail from the graduation ceremony with Lady Liadrin, though in all honesty he had worn it for someone else.
“Just think! A few more years and you might be able to help pull this family out of Murder Row and back up into the Exchange! Or even the Court of the Suns!” Vrykerion’s father continued to prattle, causing Vrykerion to slightly roll his eyes. There was nothing like a reminder that his father’s crimes and the task of their family’s redemption was riding on his and his brother’s shoulders.
“But I want you to have something, my boy. Something your Uncle got back during the Second War. He originally gave it to Herio, but he didn’t really want it. I think he thought it would tarnish his reputation with the other Spell Breakers after we joined the Horde. Not that he’ll need it now.” Kitarin dropped something into his son’s hands: a small gold pocket watch. “It’s a gnomish design, ya see. Tried to pawn it over in the Bazaar but no one in this Nether blasted town is willing to take it with those knuckle dragging orcs’ banners flying everywhere now.”
Vrykerion’s armored fingers traced over the designs on the back of the watch. “Gnomish,” he muttered for a moment before looking up, “You shouldn’t speak of the other races like that.”
“Those brutes killed your brother, you cowardly green skin boot licker!” Kitarin shouted throwing a bottle of wine at Vyrkerion and missing him, turning his back dismissively at Vrykerion and walked back to his hookah, “Don’t you have some rich noble whore to go visit or something, boy?”
“Yea. Calowen is waiting for me at the celebration. Tell Mother that I left her a gift when she gets home from work, will you? Please don’t sell it this time.” His father puffed on the tube, inhaling the thick fumes of bloodthistle, and waved his hand, dismissing Vrykerion without a word. Vrykerion sighed and left into the streets of Murder Row and up towards the Court of the Sun.
As he turned the corner into the fountain square, he was met with a pair of arms wrapping themselves around his neck. Vrykerion panicked for a second, his instincts from his years living in the shadiest neighborhood in the city kicking in. But his nerves eased when a familiar and curvaceous body followed the arms and pressed up against him in a hug, “Congratulations!”
He wrapped his arm around Calowen, “You too. Excited for our deployment tomorrow?”
Calowen nodded, nuzzling her head in the crux of Vrykerion’s neck, “A bit nervous too.”
“You’ll do fine. If you can drag me to graduation, I’m sure you could take on the entirety of the Scourge all by your lonesome.”
Calowen chuckled softly, never lifting her head, “I can see my extra lessons in ‘sense of humor’ have served you well.”
Vrykerion smiled. It was one of many ‘extra lessons’ he had enjoyed with Calowen during their time training to be paladins, “Are you ready for the celebration?”
This time she shook her head and her soft voice got quiet, “I actually thought we could go somewhere else.”
Vrykerion raised an eyebrow. Did she really mean? His answer came quick in the form of her lips pressing deeply into his, her soft warm skin contrasting the cool metal of his armor. And as the night went on the cold feeling of armor vanished piece by piece, and the warmth spread more and more.
Vrykerion’s hand trembled slightly as he drew a small 14 toothed cog. He stopped and set the parchment down. He allowed himself a moment of reprieve to glance out the window and to let the blood drain from his flushed face. Blue Child hung low in the night sky. For a brief moment he wondered where the sun had gotten off to. The process of rebuilding was long and sometimes very hard on him. Still, he knew that he had to continue. He had to press on or else finishing and thus understanding, would never come. He would simply run away again. So Vrykerion sat back down and took his quill in hand once more.