Krest is named after and loosely based on Crestaen, an old roleplayer and PvPer in World of Warcraft. He was my guildmaster for a brief time while Evelos was a blood elf on Horde-side, sometime during the Burning Crusade expansion. His character taking Evelos fishing in the old Forsaken zones is one of my favorite memories, and this helped serve as inspiration for how Evelos behaves in this series.Author’s Note
It was a bead forming on the ceiling. It followed the ridge of stone until it reached the lowest point, then hung there for a moment, glittering.
It swelled and rounded, colors swirling within it. He saw a face, then two faces as another bead formed just behind it, running along like it was trying to catch it.
Being behind the other bead meant something. It summoned up feelings of confusion, darkness… an ambush. The second bead ran into the first, speeding its way to the floor.
He was upside down, a tiny Evelos reflected in a tiny bead, stretching and then falling down, down, down to the ground — because of that second bead.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The beads shuddered as, down the hall, something screeched with the sound of metal scraping against stone. Two thumps approached him in a pattern: heavy-soft-heavy-soft. Then heavy-soft-soft as the lighter of the thumps quickened its beat, and a shadow appeared before him. There was another screech, much closer at hand.
Evelos picked up his head. It felt full of cotton, and stretching his neck put a pressure behind his nose like a sheet of metal. Patter-ping went the beads, bouncing off that metal sheet; whistle-shuff went the thumps, sanding down its edges, and he cringed as the sounds turned to shrilling deep inside the cotton.
“He acts like he has a concussion.”
“A side-effect of the spell, doubtless. Has he spoken? …slept?”
Ting, ting, ting. Drip, drip. Whistle-thump-shuff.
“What must I do?” he heard himself saying. What must I do to make it all stop?
“Stand. Turn this way.”
He wasn’t sure if he could do it, because while his head felt full of metal and cotton, his limbs felt full of sand. Suddenly, though, his view of the room was vertical rather than horizontal. A light flared into being upfront of the twin shadows looking at him; a ball of flame cupped in an elven hand revealed an elven face. The fire came close to him, and he didn’t flinch; the elf stared into each of his eyes, adjusting the light back and forth.
Evelos watched it. Whisper-whistle. Ting-shuffle-drip. Ting.
“We can’t keep holding him here. You promised the Banshee Queen assistance, not an invalid.”
“He’ll be useful,” muttered the elf. Evelos watched his mouth move. Ting-whisper. “Do as the Forsaken says,” the elf said next.
Evelos felt his ears pop, and he nodded to relieve it. Ting, pop. “What must I do?” he asked again.
The elf turned to his companion. “You try it.”
“Touch your nose,” grunted the companion.
Evelos found a finger on his nose. He stared, cross-eyed, at it. How strange someone had found an exact copy of his finger to–
“Tug your ear.”
Evelos obliged. The ear didn’t pop again.
“Now dance a jig.”
The room began to move strangely, the sand in his limbs shifting around and tugging his balance this way and that. He wondered if he’d fall, but his vision remained upright.
“Stop it,” the elf snapped suddenly, and Evelos heard incomprehensible whispers as the elf seemed to take several steadying breaths. “I give him to you to serve, not to make fun of!”
“My mistake,” said the companion. “It won’t happen again.”
Whisper-hiss. Evelos didn’t believe him. Yet the elf was staring at him, now. Ting, ting, ting. Drip.
“I will do whatever is required of me,” said Evelos. Please, make it stop, screamed the cotton.
The companion beckoned and the room made that funny shuffle as the sand in his legs went whirl-a-thump, and he moved. The elf continued to stare at him, then at his back as Evelos left the room.
Not the room, no, the cell. The prison cell. The prison cell which–
Make it stop!