The Demon's Ordeal (part 1)
Thank you for letting me share my work. I wrote this backstory when I first made Bella. This was a chance for me to get a first grip on what sort of psyche might be appropriate for someone who's been through the process of becoming Forsaken. As a result, it can be viewed as a little more violent than sunshine and flowers, so please don't let it take you by surprise. Still, I've tried to touch upon graphic issues as gently as possible, so as to upset the smallest percentage of my audience possible.
I apologize if I stray too far into angsty territory, but I don't believe one can honestly represent the horror of a Forsaken existence without those sort of reactions. Rather I'd like to think that the prevalent theme here is that the human spirit has the capacity to struggle on, despite any situation.
That's probably covered everything I need to put in a disclaimer. If I haven't turned you off by now, please set aside some time. It's long, but I'm told it's worth it.
The Demon's Ordeal
The warlock turned her head just fast enough to catch the demon’s superior smirk. After so much time together, Bella knew that particular smile was caused by the sight of her own ruined body. “Soon. I’m waiting for the others to wake and join me in the Gulch. We’ll find you something there. Just be patient.”
The unholy creature turned sharply to face her warlock. Her slight snarl made her beautiful face something less than beautiful as the talons of her hand shot out and wrapped around necrotic flesh. By her neck, Villia dragged Bella’s face close. “When will you learn not to put me off? When I don’t get what I want, when I want it, you suffer.” The succubus’s glowing eyes narrowed. “Clearly you need a reminder.”
Bella’s body shook in familiar terror at the threat. Why didn’t someone come round the corner? The demon always played the submissive minion while others were around. Where were the Orgrimmar grunts? Bella shrank back as much as she could, but when Villia’s tainted lips met what was left of hers, she lost herself in the past.
Panting and nearly exhausted, Mirielle Raiku hugged the rough bark of the old tree and grinned. Through the trees, she could finally make out the fabled buildings of the glorious city of Dalaran. With an almost palpable aura of magic, Dalaran was no disappointment. Before the war, Mirielle had endured tired story after third-hand story of the magnificence of the place. Every farmer, goose-girl, and cow-herd seemed to know what Mirielle ought to be doing with her magical potential. Before the Scourge, there had always seemed plenty of time… after the planting, after the harvest, maybe after Lemeo and she were wedded. Daily life had been full of promise for one of the prettiest mage-talents to come out of her small hamlet of Ander’s Run in thirty years.
But that was before the screams had heralded the Scourge’s attack, and before the survivors had fled with little more than whatever was at hand. For Mirielle, it had been a well-used hayfork, for protection. She knew powerful Dalaran lay to the north-east, so she ran, to the promise of its protection. The mages there had to take her in. They’d be fools to pass up her potential. If she had to indenture herself, or even just run errands for some old mage with half her talent for the rest of her life, well… at least she’d still be alive. She stopped herself before she thought about what she’d just escaped, and about all the people she’d known who hadn’t. She couldn’t afford to grieve, yet. First she had to get to safety. She had to get to Dalaran. There would be time to cry in Dalaran.
A languid voice cut through her wool-gathering like a scythe in wheat. “If it’s power you want, my beautiful girl, I can offer you more than anyone in THERE ever could.” Mirielle whipped her head around so fast she got a kink in her neck. Before her stood a creature so exquisite in form that Mirielle felt like an old hag next to her. She knew instantly what she faced: A succubus demon that, with promises and hedonistic pleasures, excelled in seducing unwary souls into a damned existence.
“P-p-power? No, I don’t want power. I need protection. You can’t offer me that!” Mirielle’s cheeks burned with shame as her voice shook. She stood taller and gripped the shaft of her broken hayfork in what she hoped was a defensive stance. She took strength in Auntie’s lessons that demons were powerless if you rejected them in every way.
The demon’s inviting smile widened as her voice took on more of a purr. “Of course I can protect you. I know the Scourge. Intimately.” She leered like a harlot. “Join with me, open yourself to me, and it will be the undead that learn to run from you!” The demon extended her open hand, but the dried blood on her talons served to remind Mirielle of the price to pay for accepting the promises of demons.
“No! I reject you, and your offer! Let me be!” Mirielle ran towards the silhouette of Dalaran, trying to outrun the chill in her heart. Villia only smirked as she watched her leave.
“My willful little mortal,” the demon sighed and turned, as the freshly-raised zombies of Ander’s Run limped, trudged, or dragged themselves on their way past her to the attack on Dalaran.
Mirielle was so tired she could barely think. There hadn’t been time after being accepted into the city to even seek out something to eat; she'd needed coin for that, and her small purse had been left behind in haste. Head muffled in weary relief, she had maneuvered the winding streets with the help of directions from passing strangers. She had walked most of the way to the Magick School, when warning bells suddenly sounded all over the city. She’d managed to run the remainder of the way, and had been drafted to support the battlemages with her unrealized magical abilities. She'd felt bitter regret for her procrastination in developing her talent as her summoned drink was judged “weak but somewhat useful."
She thought that that had been yesterday afternoon sometime. Since then, the hours had blurred together. Her head ached and pounded. Her stomach complained of three days without food, but she didn’t dare stop. The grim-faced wizards she served hadn’t stopped shielding or chanting or hurling frost or fire balls at the never-ending onslaught. The desperation she saw in their eyes steeled her resolve to keep going past pain and exhaustion.
If any of the defenders had been fresh, they might have noticed the keening purple and green ball coming. If any of them had been looking at the sky, instead of the undead coming through the breach, they might have cried out a warning that might have saved lives. Instead, as the gigantic magic missile hit the refectory, the explosion caught everyone unaware. It killed most of the ones nearby, knocking people to the ground, covering many in stone and wooden wreckage. Dust billowed up and curtained the victims from one other.
Mirielle was in agony. She’d been facing the building when it exploded. A part of a roof beam had come down across her calves, and she thought one of her feet was crushed by rock rubble. She couldn't move one of her arms at all. She cried out for help, praying it would not be the undead who found her first. Her prayers died in her throat as the dust parted to reveal a familiar form.
“I didn’t think you’d call for me so quickly, but I am here and ready for you, my pretty thing.” The succubus’ hooves on the cobblestones were eerily loud against the low moaning of the dying and the slow scrabble of the approaching undead. The demon sunk down, close to Mirielle’s head, and brushed her hair away from her face with a gesture that felt almost loving.
“No, please, not you” wheezed Mirielle, trying not to cough out the dust in her lungs. She raised her free arm in a warding gesture.
“I will protect you, if you give yourself to me, now. I will take you away from all this, and clothe you in velvet and feed you sweet ambrosia and fill you with power you can’t even imagine now. Say, now, you will come with me.” The succubus reached her hand towards Mirielle’s face with a triumphant smile.
“No! I reject you!” Mirielle cried out, pushing the demon’s hand away. The infernal skin was soft and smooth and warm, like an infant’s. The sigh that escaped her luscious lips was impatient and not very enticing at all. She stood and turned, her pointed tail slashing Mirielle’s cheek as she disappeared back into the gloom.
Desperate, Mirielle grasped as the stones that trapped her. Her exhaustion left her only able to dislodge some of the smaller pieces. Over her own labored breathing, she heard a dragging sound. She froze, hoping to avoid detection.
“Well, look who I found!” That cloying voice was wickedly delighted, and Mirielle quailed in dread of the reason for it. As the daylight began to fade and no one lived to light the lamps, the succubus returned, not alone. Mirielle stared in disbelief and then wailed, as Lemeo’s reanimated body moved inexorably towards her, guided by the shoulders by the demon.
Mirielle thrashed and screamed as the undead thing that had once been her betrothed sunk down over her and began to tear into her belly. She wept and tried to force him away with her arm, but the succubus wrapped her wrist with her whip and jerked it upright. With a quick punch to the back of the elbow, Villia broke Mirielle's arm. The sickly green sheen covering the zombie’s skin seeped into the wound as Mirielle's innards were ripped and torn.
As Mirielle’s vision began to darken, she suddenly felt her arm drop. She barely saw the winged demon drag Lemeo back and tear him to pieces. Tears leaked from her eyes and her blood sluggishly pumped onto the ground around her as the demon wiped her hands on the robe of a dead mage nearby. She walked back over and looked Mirielle up and down. She nodded absently in satisfaction.
“Now, Precious, this will be my third and last offer. I do wish you hadn’t made me damage you like that, but you really should have accepted my offer the first time. I could have made your beauty immortal. Now you’re nothing but offal waiting to die, infected with the Plague.” The succubus pressed the edge of her coiled whip into the gaping wreckage of Mirielle’s stomach. Already light-headed, Mirielle’s eyes rolled into her head with the pain.
“Give yourself… well, what's left of you,” (the full lips frowned a little in distaste), “to me, and I will take you away from all this. I will protect you, and give you power a hundred times greater than what you’ve seen. Will you open yourself to me?” The demon reached her hand out for the third time.
Defeated, Mirielle’s arm lifted weakly from the blood-soaked rocks. “Yes,” she whispered hoarsely, and then coughed up more blood. The demon crouched quickly next to her.
“Ooh, sounds like he dug up some of your lung. Men, they're always too eager. You don’t have much time left, sweetling.” With a single motion, the demon slashed her own wrist open with her talon. Exultantly, she intoned the words of the Pact as her hot ichor dripped into Mirielle’s open lips: “Drink my blood, and take me into you. With this act, you are mine, body, mind, and soul. You are mine now until I release you. My blood will remake you into a warlock worthy of me. You belong to Mistress Villia now, my broken beauty. You belong to me in every way, my Bella.” The liquid blaze slid down Mirielle’s throat like molten molasses. The burning agony spread outward, until every inch of her body seemed to sizzle in pain. Her vision went from black to crimson to white hot. It seemed to go on forever, until she felt her demon mistress release her into the oblivion of death with a last kiss.
She opened her eyes weakly. It was over; she was back in the present. Villia was a few steps away, admiring her talons absently. She finally seemed to notice Bella and said, “Do you need more?” Bella shook her head as quickly as her weary state allowed.
“No, Mistress” she whispered. Villia smiled smugly and assumed a submissive stance. Bella pushed herself away from the rock wall in time to see a pair of Orgrimmar grunts march lazily around the corner. Bella steeled her voice for their benefit, as she knew Villia wanted. “Well, the day is early, and there’s pain to dole out in Warsong. The others will have to catch up. What do you say, Villia?” Bella recited with effort, despising her role in the whole mockery.
“That would be delicious. Perhaps you’ll even find me a paladin.” The succubus licked her lips in anticipation as one of the guards eyed her as they passed. "One with stamina. I'm bored with easy prey." Villia smiled nastily at her warlock.