Post by Morec0
(( Gilnean Mon (Part 17)
“You know, looking back at it I think I should have brought you the worgen’s pelt,” Morec mused as she sat across the Vrem, the hunter sharpening his axe while his pets rested at his side. “She had a nice
coat of red fur. I guess what they say it true; the carpet matches the drapes… and the furniture, fuzzy walls, ceiling, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…”
The death knight trailed on like that for a few minutes before cutting off his own sentence with his crazed laughter. As he had before, Vrem continued to ignore the death knight; no exceptions even now. His… encounter with the worgen some week ago had left him unnerved, even to this point. The creature he had faced was terrifying, and that thought enraged him. The dead should fear nothing, the undead even less; he had looked into the emptiness of the Great Dark and come back, what in the universe should scare him after something like that?
But the worgen did, and he hated them for it. Fortunately, he had found strength in that hate, strength which allowed him to overcome the fear and continue to serve his Queen. That strength had also brought with it an interesting little collecting hobby; one he had taken too eagerly. Each worgen kill he now made, he skinned and took the pelt of the beasts to make into a cloak. So far he had a nice collection, not that he cared much for it in terms of sentimental value, and the one he currently wore was a dark brown coat he had taken from a large male only a few hours ago.
For as long as they had marched into the heartland of Gilneas, the undead armies had been unable to find the living. They knew they were hiding in the Hailwood marshes, but the terrain and the animal threats in the marsh had hindered their progress; of course, not as much as Horde politics did. The orcs overseeing their operations in Gilneas had piled regulation upon regulation on the shoulders of Sylvanas’ Generals, prohibiting certain actions of be taken; first and foremost amongst them disabling their usage of the Blight to where they might as well not have even brought it at all. They did their best to work quietly around these regulations, of course, but doing so was not easy.
On a positive note; they had finally managed to locate the Gilneans hiding spot. Of all people, it had been a scouting party with Morec counted amongst its members that had located the massive refugee camp the living scum were basing all of their operations out of. As of now their commanding officers were discussing the possible actions to take against the Gilneans, how to slaughter them all or force them to a more favorable position from which to enact the former of the plans. Personally Vrem did not care for the idea of drawing it out any longer; in his mind they should just march their entire armies into the camp and slaughter every man, woman, child and newborn in the Banshee Queen’s name.
But that kind of thinking was why he was not an officer of the Forsaken’s army, even if his rash idea for dealing with the living was based mostly on his irritation that it had taken this long to find them, and longer still to work out a plan of eradicating them. In fact, it might even have had something to do with his fear of the worgen…
His thoughts were interrupted by Merciless’ voice; “All soldiers! Rise in the presence of her majesty; the Banshee Queen!”
Without a word or thought he stood, turned to face the eastern end of the Forsaken camp where Sylvanas was standing in front the command tent, and saluted with all the respect he could muster. Across the camp all of the Forsaken stood and did the same, even Morec – and, surprisingly, not in any sort of comedic or less-than-sincere fashion.
The Banshee Queen strode forward a few steps, her long, black leather-clad legs giving her pace exceptional length. Her long blond hair, streaked with lines of necromantic black and white, was fixed to flow out of her cowl where it fell across the front of her shoulders and chest. The glowing red eyes beneath her hood blinked solely out of a reflex that still had yet to die; much was the same with many Forsaken, though. Across her back was her bow, strapped to her via leather straps on her armor, and her quiver also hung from her on the leather belt the crossed her front.
She stopped, her head turning slightly to take in the sight of the Forsaken army at attention in her presence, and began to speak of them all. “Children of the grave, brothers and sisters of the Forsaken, I ask you all this; why are we here? Why do we bring a war to a broken land while the enemies we swore to defeat still have a presence within and so close to our homeland? It is because the people of this land committed a crime against us, and justice is demanded in repayment for that crime.
“That crime is betrayal. While the men of Lordaeron and the elves of Quel’thalas fought tooth-and-nail against the undead Scourge to prevent it from consuming our lands the Gilneans built a wall to keep both the dead and the living out, even sealing off a part of their own nation from their heartland, and it was behind this wall they hid. It was from behind this was they watched humanity be all but scoured from the northern lands of the eastern kingdoms.
“The crime of betrayal is the single greatest sin one can commit, and it is for that crime we are here to distribute justice. They have hidden from us for some time, attempting to avoid the judgment they have brought down upon themselves, but they can hide no longer. We will march upon their camp, burn it to the ground, and slaughter every man, woman, and child for the crimes they committed against us in life. We will have our vengeance against them just as we had our vengeance against the Scourge. Death to the Gilneans; victory for the Forsaken!”
There were no rousing cheers at the end of Sylvanas’ speech, merely dead-cold determination in the eyes of Forsaken army. Vrem himself cared nothing for the revenge his Queen had spoken of, he cared nothing for the justice she claimed was demanded, all he cared for was his loyalty to his Queen. The Dark Lady demanded the deaths of the people of Gilneas, now more so than ever before, and by the Dark Lady she would have the slaughter she sought.
He snapped open the cylinder of his rifle and began reloading cartridges into it.
It had taken just a day for the disappearance of General Denson’s wife to be noticed. Immediately upon her failure to make her usual trip into camp for supplies a group of soldiers had been dispatched to her personal camp outside of town to make sure she was alright. Upon arriving there the soldiers found only General Denson, Pamela herself was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately General Denson’s condition had improved enough that a decision to let him return to the main camp to be treated until fully healed was made.
Rumors had spread quickly about what might have happened to her. Most of them were witchery nonsense, but others dealt with very real possibilities; worgen, undead, even murder by the hands of another Gilnean.
The news hit exceptionally hard amongst Gilneas’ highest ranking, the Generals and Lords; both because it had been one of their owns family to go missing and because the citizens of Gilneas were quickly being riled into a terrified frenzy out of fear that whatever had happened to Pamela Denson would come for them next. Investigations around the area were made, but no evidence to further the case was found. The panic growing in the crowd began to reach an unnerving climax, then news and evidence from an eyewitness account was brought before them.
Lord Godfrey began speaking to his fellow nobles and the military officers that had gathered; “fellow men and women of Gilneas, there is a murderer amongst our ranks.” No murmuring started in the crowd. This was to be expected; those gathered were not lowly, gossiping civilians, after all. “I had ordered one of my servants to keep an eye on General Denson and his wife, in hopes that his condition would improve. He followed Pamela into the marshlands one day, and it was there he watched the… depravity unfold.”
The Lord motioned for the servant to walk forward, and as he stepped into better light Blaine noticed that he was the same man that Ivan had assaulted about two weeks ago. “Mister O’glen, tell us exactly what you saw.”
“I… uh-,” O’glen tripped over his words, clearly nervous about having to retell this tale. Blaine wondered what he had seen to make him act so. “L… well, um… Lord Ivan Jeret had been watching Misses Denson since she took him away from the camp to treat his wounds. Wherever she went, Lord Jeret was not far behind. Then, three days ago, he followed her out into the marshlands; she had been traveling into the forest to gather herbs for a few days, but this was the first time he had pursued her into it.
“I… I don’t know how he didn’t see me, or smell me, or whatever, but I followed him. We were about twelve yards into the Hailwood Marsh when he approached her. She recognized him, or at least thought she did…” He trailed off for a moment. “When… She tried to get a confirmation; ‘Lord Ivan Jeret?’ she asked…” He trailed off again, staying silent for longer this time, trying to gather his thoughts. “He replied; ‘no.’”
?” Krista said bluntly, a confused and questioning expression on her face as she stared down Godfrey’s servent.
“I… I don’t know,” O’glen nervously admitted to the Lady Jeret, maybe intimidated by her maybe unsure how to explain what he witnessed, “but… but after that he attacked her, flung her head against a tree. I… I don’t think
he killed her, maybe he just knocked her unconscious, but…” He gulped hard and audible. “But after that he, he... raped her.”
Now the outburst started, now the mutterings and accusations started. The Lords and military Officers could not believe what they had just been told; only King Greymane remained silent, and even so the look on his face showed he was deeply disturbed by this accusation. Lord Ivan Jeret, eldest son of Lord Viktor and Lady Anna Jeret, had stalked a woman into the Hailwood Marsh, and raped
her there? It was only now, as Blaine found himself searching through the assembled crowd for his brother’s face that he realized Ivan was not here. That did nothing to ease Blaine’s feeling about what he had been told, but he still refused to believe his older brother was the monster that this man was claiming him to be.
“No,” Blaine said. “You’re lying. I know
my brother, and he would never do such a thing! He would never
commit such an act of… evil! You’re lying!”
“I know what I saw!” O’glen almost yelled, quickly going on the defensive. “I don’t know why, but I saw Lord Ivan Jeret rape Pamela Denson. I quickly fled back to the camp when… it started,” he was obviously uncomfortable retelling the story – that’s why he had tripped over his own words, then; he had not nervous, just disgusted as what he had seen and not wanting to retell it.
“Then why didn’t you speak up about this when then investigation started?” Krista said; accusing the man the same way her youngest brother had, but with venom in her voice.
“Because of intervention from me,” Godfrey replied. “I wanted to find evidence to confirm his story, but since the main investigation and my own privately-funded search for proof have both failed-.”
“If there is no evidence then it never happened,” Krista interjected. “If there is nothing to tie my brother’s actions to this crime, then he did not commit it – if it even happened at all. We have not even been able to find a body; she may very well have been captured by the Forsaken!”
“And what if she was not, Lady Jeret?” Vincent said, staring her straight in the eyes with a face solidified in determination. “What if he simply left behind no evidence or the crime scene was destroyed by nature? What might he do next? The people of Gilneas are not safe until this has been completely proven one way or another.” He composed himself, his face softening but still holding its same high authority. “I am calling for the immediate arrest of Lord Ivan Garrison Jeret on the charges of rape and first-degree murder.”
“I won’t allow you to take our brother into custody without some form of proof other than the word of your own servant,” Blaine growled, irritation manifesting itself enough to cause his worgen to slip out – not physically, only verbally for that one sentence. It took only a moment for him to recompose himself. “If you have suspicious you want to clarify then we will confront my brother and question him, but I will not
allow him to be treated like a criminal unless there is concrete verification he is one.”
Godfrey glared at Blaine and, for a brief moment, disgust flashed across his face; the kind of which he had only seen Vincent express when discussing the worgen. “Very well,” he agreed with a slow, almost reluctant nod. “We will do this your