|A Need for Change - Part Two
||[Jun. 4th, 2012|10:18 am]
"You sure ya don' wanna have one of your own kind do dis, priest?" The troll asked as he sanitized the tools he was preparing for Aden's request. His name was Bo'gan, a troll visiting Thunder Bluff who also happened to be an expert in his field. Aden watched nervously as the man brought his blades through the grinder, sharpening them with such perfection. It even took him an eternity to answer, bringing out his more drunken haze as he watched the irons drop onto the fire.
"No." He said, turning to look Torrg in the eye. "It must be someone other than Shu'halo to do this. A troll helped make the scar I bear, and I would like one to fix it."
"By bringing attention to it, Aden?" Torrg asked with a concerned expression washing over his face. "Are you sure this isn't just a drunken stupor."
"These changes are needed." Aden shook his head, strengthening his resolve. He looked at Bo'gan. "And I heard you were among the best of ritual scarring."
"Tattoos, mon." Bo'gan corrected. "On de flesh, but it be de same principle, instead'a pumpin' ink into your skin, scarrin' it to make it visible should be jus' as easy."
Aden nodded. "Then let's do it."
Bo'gan smirked a bit. "Ya a brave bull. I like ya. Jus' take your robes off an' lie on de table face down. Ol' Bo'gan gonna help ya disguise 'dat scar of yours."
Aden stood and began to unfasten the clips holding his robes to his chest before thinking to ask. "I wear nothing beneath, if that offends you I can return properly attired."
"I seen it all, priest." Bo'gan answered, half looking up from a blade he was sharpening. "If ya not bashful neither'm I."
Aden's heart was pounding looking between the orc and the troll; just as it had been years ago, but he shook his head clearing it. "No, I'm fine." He said, pulling the remaining strap and letting the robe slit down the middle, allowing him to pull it off his body. Aden was well formed for a priest, large in girth and a sturdy frame, he was more muscular than Torrg would have guessed even with the taut robes that seemed to press against his upper torso. His stomach was mostly the same girth as his chest, which dropped back at his hips. He sheepishly turned and crawled up onto the table laid out before him, his tail resting over his rump and his scars dimly displaying themselves in the soft light of the room.
Bo'gan ran his hand along the scars on Aden's back, making the bull shiver instinctively, two long slashes going from his upper left shoulder blade down to his hip and a singular slash interlinking the two, he hummed a bit. "Ya, dese scars've faded enough near de hip, I can barely see dem so we only gotta work wit' the upper shoulder where the slice begin an' the one crossin' dem. Now ya say you want a sleeve of ritual markin's wit' an insignia brand on ya shoulder?" Aden nodded, and Bo'gan looked at Torrg. "Okay, orc. Ya gonna have ta hold him still in case he be startin' jerkin'."
Torrg stepped closer to the tauren. "I'll be ready." He said firmly.
The first cut came as the troll's fingers delicately pressed down on the upper portion of his scar. Aden's body shook as his hands clenched shut, he could feel the warm trickle of blood cascade down his shoulder across his buried snout, filling his nostrils with the bitter salty scent and causing him to pull his head free, making him turn over and groan as the burning pain continued a few more inches before turning into twists and curls at his shoulder line. Some relief came when Bo'gan dipped his cloth into the dish beside him and coated his fresh cuts with warm medicinal water. The pain came and went in waves, but Aden remained for the most part very still and silent. His fists unclenched a moment as he felt Torrg's fingers slip into his grasp, and he looked up, barely able to see the shaman through his tears which had welled up from holding in his pain.
"If you feel the urge, just squeeze, my friend." He said softly, petting the tauren. "You're doing well, he is about half finished."
Another sudden cut near halfway down worked inward and Aden's face returned under his large shoulder as the blade continued to work into him. The pain was slowly dulling in his mind, his entire left side had fallen numb from the cuts which exposed his flesh to the air. His clutch on Torrg's fingers had loosened giving him some relief as well. He barely heard the artist tell him to "Turn ova'" which Aden only really did on Torrg's guidance. His left shoulder rested on the bench a moment, Bo'gan forehead was drenched in sweat. "Gotta lift ya arm up, white pelt." He said as he took Aden's wrist and pulled his arm erect. "Hold it up for a minute, mon. Gotta make a few cuts ta finish the connection, den we work on his forearm, an' finish off wit' de brand." Torrg's grip firmly took Aden's heavy arm which was like a lead weight.
"Aden? Are you alright?" He asked the bull's dull eyes fluttering at the sound of his voice. He looked at the troll. "Bo'gan we should stop this, he's barely conscious..."
"N-no..." Aden said, his eyes blinking, adjusting to the light again. "No, I want to finish this.
"De customer's always right." The troll said. "But don'chu worry none. What don' kill de tauren make him stronger, ya?"
"That's what I'm afraid of."
Aden watched as the troll's knife cut into the back of his forearm, several inches above his wrist, making intricate spirals and points with his blade. It was the first time Aden had noticed, even in his haze that the troll was humming a chant under his breath. He barely felt the cuts but could feel the blood dripping down his arm onto his chest, the knife cut a bit above his pectoral muscle and Aden winced visibly, but soon felt himself getting lost in the rapture of this ritualistic song, he began to sing along, softly at first but more vocally as the knife made ground along his arm. He had released Torrg's hand, but they migrated to just below his neck. Aden's eyes were closed, he could feel himself singing. He felt the first time he was cut, the angered roars of the orc and troll responsible; he was thrown to the floor and while the orc stepped on his back to hold him down, the troll sliced into his hide. The feeling of his rending flesh renewed he could hear his pain, feel his anguish. Then the cold of being thrown out into the rain as a piece of garbage striking the wet mud. Flashes passed before his eyes, events he had seen following his departure from Kalimdor. Those he'd met and cared about; Khoven and others. Enemies he'd faced, battles fought for self preservation, some sense of retribution in his normally peaceful nature.
He gasped as he felt his inner demons pour from his body, like dragons twining around him, choking him. He could feel their cold breath against his fur and flesh, penetrating him as though he were naked. He tried to wrestle one of them, it had a blue head and its scales felt like porcupine needles, its very core was frozen solid. He whirled around in the darkness, avoiding the crimson head that tried to stop him. It struck, biting into his left arm and sinking in his fiery fangs so deep that he could feel its venom of flames fill his body. But instead of making him weaker, it seemed to make him even stronger. Aden let out a bellowing roar and threw his weight into the crimson head, forcing it into a pillar of stone. He watched the blood from its crushed skull splatter against the rocks before noticing the tidal wave which had nearly killed him on his journey, it enveloped him and pushed him further into the darkness. The icy fangs of his blue headed demon made the water colder, and colder but Aden kept his grip firmly on its neck. Feeling it writhe and hearing its defiant hissing, he knew he had it. It was ice cold to the touch but he pulled its body away from him, keeping its head well distant as he squeezed the flesh under his fingers. He could feel its windpipe cracking, its skull starting to bubble and crystallize with its frozen nature. It tried to rear back and spit ice at him, but instead it let out an underwater hiccup and his entire body went rigid and his flesh turned to ice instead. Using the last of his strength, Aden completely clenched his fist around this demon's neck, shattering it. It was only then he knew peace, and he felt himself float off into the darkness...
Aden bolted upright in his cot all of a sudden, knocking Torrg back onto the ground. "By the ancestors..." He uttered as he placed his hand onto his forehead and fell back into the cot. He looked at his left arm, which was completely submerged in a tub of cold water and he extracted it. Examining the scars designed into his flesh he followed his fingers along the fresh cuts that crested over his pectoral and down his shoulder along his back. Both ends of the scarring met at the center of his arm, bridged by a dark burn into his flesh, the sigil of the horde directly centered between them.
"Glad you're awake." Torrg said. "I was afraid I'd let Bo'gan go too soon."
"What happened?" Aden asked, looking around to see that the sunlight outside was now penetrating the hut they were in. He placed a hand to his face, he was slowly getting the feeling back in his arm, and the stinging made him replace hit in the water.
Torrg smiled. "You did it." He said. "And a rather impressive change I must say. You began to chant with Bo'gan last night, singing louder and louder until you lost yourself in whatever vision you were seeing. Then when he added the brand to you, you lost consciousness.
"So that's what happened... my mind interpreted me defeating my inner demons. A fire aspect, and one of ice..." He chuckled. "Or maybe that was just me feeling that brand and this freezing cold water."
"Perhaps." Torrg admitted. "But I wouldn't take it out of chance. How do you feel, Aden?"
"Strong." Aden couldn't think of much to add as he rolled his still-tender shoulder. "I could use a drink though..."
Torrg smiled a bit and nodded. "I'll get you the best flask of water this side of Thunder Bluff." He said, patting the bull on the leg. Without another word he stood and stepped from the room, letting in a flood of light that was quickly followed again by the hut's natural soft light.
Aden sat there for a time, examining his scars, admiring the ritualistic design when he spotted something that piqued his curiosity; right where the scarring rounded his pectoral, where the sets met from back to front on both sides, the image of what looked like two dragon heads came together in a kiss, the realization of his dream and his reality sent a shiver down his spine. Perhaps it wasn't a dream after all.