Assassin of Kings

In the shadow of the Gilneas wall, deep below the earth, prisoners of war are being forced to dig through the night, at the point of a crossbow. What they uncover will be their end...

A (very) short story by N.T. Blevins, set in the World of Warcraft universe, created by Blizzard Entertainment.

Thanks for reading!

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2. Queen of Corpses

  Cromush could have crushed the goblet with little more than a shiver. There was a chill in the air, and the cup was dwarfed in his monstrous green fist. But the High Warlord did not shiver, nor did he drink. Hours had passed since he had entered the tent, hastily assembled at the mouth of the mine, and still they waited. Across the lavish rug beneath him, the Banshee Queen sat almost casually, swirling her own goblet, also untouched, gazing into its red depths.

  "The Warchief does not take kindly to surprises, Windrunner." Cromush growled, "Nor I to spending my nights with corpses."

 He referred as much to her as the two outside the door of the tent. The guards were worse, but she was no rose herself. A thorn, more like. A poisonous thorn. Sylvanas ignored the comment, yet lifted her gaze. 

  "Patience, High Warlord. If our information is correct, all will be revealed, soon enough." Her voice echoed through the folds of the tent, disembodied, and haunting.

  Behind her, a figure stood, face shrouded in shadow, a deep hood puled low to conceal their face. The figure spoke.

  "The information is true. It is here. We will find it."

  Cromush scowled, and again considered taking a drink. He was an Orc, High Warlord aside, and did not appreciate being made a fool by this decomposing bitch. He would wait, but only a little longer. The Warchief would not be pleased.

  Just then, there was a commotion outside, and a runner appeared at the door of the tent. He bowed low, sparse hair clinging to his otherwise bald, dead scalp flapping as he did.

  "My Queen. We have found it." He remained prostrate, waiting.

  Sylvanas smiled, setting her wine aside. "You see, Cromush? Our efforts have not been in vain." She gestured to the hooded figure behind her. "The key."

  A slender, feminine hand produced a bronze talisman, old and ornate. A faint gold chain hung from the top. Sylvanas moved toward the door.

  "No!" Cromush shouted suddenly. The goblet crumpled in his fist. He had had enough. She had tricked him into coming out here, made him wait all night, and provided nothing more than weak wine and insults, but he would not let her forget who was in charge. He served the Warchief, none other, and she needed to be put in her place. He seized the talisman.

  "The servant of Garrosh will see for himself what the Queen of Corpses hides under the earth. No tricks, no surprises."

   Sylvanas did nothing at first, only arching an eyebrow. "Very well." She said at last. "I serve the Horde. Lead the way, Warlord."

   They swept the tent open and stepped out into the night, cool air brushing their faces, Orc and Undead alike. The mouth of the mine gaped open before them, beckoning them down inside. Cromush grabbed a torch from one of the guards and marched into the mine. But as they approached the entrance, Sylvanas held out her hand, stopping the hooded figure.

   "Let him go down." She instructed. "Alone."

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