The Will of the Whip

Then there was a soft spitting noise, like a match flaring to light. Evelos glanced between his fingers, and there was Keelath, the wuyon’mar’s angular face twisted in rage, holding his sword in one hand and a ball of furious Light magic in the other.

“Take your claws off my son,” his father growled.

The Will of the Whip

By A. Broadhead


“…this life, witho-o-out you.”

Mirium drew the final note to a careful quaver, then bowed as her small audience erupted into clapping. Face glowing, the wuyon’mar stepped down from the Halfmoon Tavern’s stage and sat down between her two adult children, Medi and Evelos.

“What did you think?” she whispered.

“It was beautiful,” said Evelos. “I think you’re getting your talent back.”

“Oh, you think you could do better?” Medi quipped, nudging Evelos in the ribs.

“Well, I do have a story I could tell,” said Evelos thoughtfully, as the crowd settled again and Lana took to stage to call out for the next participant. “It’s from when I was a child.”

“You were a child once??” Medi goggled.

“Erm, yes,” said Evelos. “It’s about when we first moved to Thalas’talah, away from the Dawnmist manor. It was years before you were born, though.”

Medi leaned back in disappointment. “Really? That sounds bore-ring!”

“I think you’ll find it’s not.” Continue reading “The Will of the Whip”

The Third War

“Dalah’surfal, we—we need to talk.” 

Talthan didn’t look up, still going through his daily mail while he ate from the bowl of porridge she had fixed for him early that morning. He was relaxed, but she was not, her stomach flipping as if it had seen a lynx crouched in the brush. Mirium focused on a new stain on Talthan’s shirt, and tried to find the courage to go on.

“Yes, my dear?” Talthan asked lazily, when she hadn’t elaborated for several more minutes. That spurred her to continue where her whirling thoughts couldn’t.

“The Scourge,” she choked out. “The reports are coming in more frequently now. They could make it here in days—“ Continue reading “The Third War”

The Whip’s Will (Fanfiction Version)

“…this life, witho-o-out you.”

Mirium drew the final note to a careful quaver, then bowed as the small tavern audience erupted into clapping. Face glowing, she stepped down from the Lion stage and sat down next to her children, Medi and Evelos.

“What did you think?” she whispered.

“It was beautiful,” said Evelos. “I think you’re getting your talent back.”

“Oh, you think you could do better?” Medi quipped, nudging Evelos in the ribs.

“Well, I do have a story I could tell,” said Evelos thoughtfully, as the crowd settled again, and Lana took to stage to call out for the next open stage participant. “It’s from when I was a child.”

“You were a child once??” Medi goggled.

“Erm, yes,” said Evelos. “It’s about when we first moved to Thalas’Talah, away from the Dawnmist manor.”

Medi leaned back. “Really? That sounds boooooor-ring!”

“I think you’ll find it’s not.”

Lana moved her pointer finger around in a circle over the audience, but the takers to come up on stage were few. Evelos then put up a hand.

“Forgive me if I don’t come up on stage, but I have a sleepy child on my lap,” he said, stroking the blonde hair of his little son, Alesric.

Lana waved him off. “It’s a casual night, anyway,” she said, sitting down on the stage’s edge to listen.

Evelos exchanged glances with Medi, who was goggling at him again. Then he swallowed hard, and the ren’dorei began.

A Darkmoon Reading

The final piece to be cut out of “Brothers Apart”, this scene really deserved to be a stand-alone all along. Keelath was given a tarot card reading at the Darkmoon Faire during a Summer Festival roleplay event, which left him chewing on whether he needed to use a lighter touch in his relationship with Mirium. His worries didn’t come out of nowhere: at the time, Mirium was suffering from a mental intrusion by Talthan, via a mind control spell that caused her to see Keelath as an enemy. Since this is nowhere else referenced, this piece didn’t really belong in “Brothers Apart”. I think I originally put it there as it showed how Keelath and Tyrric’s brotherhood was on the mend.

Author’s Note

The cottage was dark when Keelath made it home from the Faire. Mirium was sleeping–of course she was sleeping. It was past moonset, and at this time of month, that happened only hours before dawn.

Keelath dismounted, letting the ghost of his bonesteed drift away, back to wherever such undead creatures lurked until they were called again. He let himself pause to listen to the nightly sounds: crickets, a muffled stamp from the stables, water trickling some distance away from the brook, the cloud of humming from the frogs living near a pond Tyrric had left behind when he had dredged the grounds of Dawnmist from the swamp that had given them its name. Joining those sounds now was a crackling buzz from the new wards Lithliana was helping to lay around the manor, since Haljek had gone. The buzz would fade once the wards were fully up, she had said, but that would take another few days.

He edged up on the cottage. Mirium couldn’t stand his presence at the moment, shrinking away anytime she caught sight of him. He knew it was Talthan’s doing, not a reflection of her honest thoughts about him, but it still hurt. One never appreciated what they had before it was taken away… Continue reading “A Darkmoon Reading”

Deleted Scene: Meditation Application

This was originally slotted in with “Brothers Apart”, to help provide contrast for how Tyrric treats his wife vs. how Keelath treats his. At one point of time, it was also meant to depict how Keelath learned how to beat his bloodlust problem, by realizing it’s all in his head, but I didn’t feel like it carried the right weight or came at the right time in this couple’s journey, so here the post now stands in the Deleted Scenes pile.

Author’s Note

She focused on her breath. Beside her, Keelath’s breaths rattled almost in time with hers. Though the death knight didn’t need to breathe, the priest guiding their meditation had recommended it, and so Keelath dutifully did his best. Continue reading “Deleted Scene: Meditation Application”

Deleted Scene: Mirium’s Exile

This was originally part of the “Brothers Apart” series. It always felt a bit ungainly to me, as it was describing the aftermath of a bit of roleplay that had gone on in-game. So, as part of the Great Revision, I’ve cut it out and instead put it here.

Author’s Note

When Tyrric announced his choice to exile Mirium for helping an agent of Sylvanas, the impact of Keelath’s anger almost swept his sanity away. He had a vague sensation of being able to lie down inside the wave, to let what violence that would happen, happen, and then there would be no one left to blame.

Then with an effort, he was back again. He was Keelath, ex-paladin, not Keelath, undead monster. He wouldn’t give in to the bloodlust. Not now. Continue reading “Deleted Scene: Mirium’s Exile”

Rose for a Thorn

Part One

This scene has been rolling around in my head for a while now. I particularly like Tyrric’s presentation here.

For references’ sake, this story takes place nearly 3,000 years ago, shortly after the Troll Wars in the World of Warcraft setting. Tyrric and Mirium are maybe 16 or 17 years of age in this scene, while Keelath is approaching his late 20’s. As elves, this means they are all young adults just barely into their maturity, though Keelath has a bit of a gap on the others.

Author’s Note

The moonlight lit the paths leading away from the village square, silvering the hair and hoods of the quel’dorei streaming into it. Its light was overpowered by the lanterns in the square itself however, shining blue and violet, green and gold, from the branches of the trees. Keelath took a sniff of the air, scented with herbs and exotic perfumes and all kinds of food. The Lunar holiday was in full swing.

He had been to the midwinter celebration a few times since their family had moved to Thalas’talah, but his younger brother, Tyrric, had not. Keelath grinned to himself as Tyrric dashed from one vendor to the next, giddy as a boy half his age, and the young quel’dorei didn’t seem to know what to pay the most attention to first: the food, the girls, the drink, the crafts, or all of them at once. It was a haphazard version of the latter he chose, as far as Keelath could tell. He glided along behind his brother, making sure Tyrric didn’t get into any trouble while also sharing the experience with him.

A train of wagons was pulled into the center of the square, though they looked like cheery little houses on wheels more than wagons, painted in reds and greens and yellows. Four of them were pulled into a half-square — two on either side and two forming the back — with their awnings stretched out to create a sheltered space between them. A crowd was forming outside it, waiting with a tense air like they were forming lines for tickets to see an exotic beast. Then someone began to sing, clear and piercingly beautiful.

Tyrric paused in his sampling of a wine older than he was, but Keelath walked around the wagons, craning his neck. On this side, under the awnings, someone had draped curtains, painted and sewn in fanciful colors: a backdrop to a stage. A silver-haired woman stood on a hastily constructed deck, singing older hymns of Elune interspersed with newer songs celebrating the Sun and the quel’dorei’s journey into the Light. This singer was better than many of the priestesses Keelath had heard, though she struggled with some of the pronunciations: not a true believer, or so Keelath took it to mean. She was singing instead for the benefit of her audience, as the dwellers of Thalas’talah were known to be especially devout. Keelath folded his arms and listened appreciatively.

“You know, they’d get more attention if they hired someone younger to take the role,” said Tyrric, suddenly appearing at Keelath’s side with half a pastry in his mouth.

“You’re spitting crumbs all over me,” said Keelath.

“It’s an improvement,” said Tyrric, then seemed to make his best attempt of choking himself by shoving the rest of the pastry in his mouth at once.

Keelath smiled, putting a hand on Tyrric’s back in readiness for having to knock his throat clear, then turned his attention back to the stage. The woman had ended her performance and was taking her bows, and other elves were filing out on stage, preparing it and themselves for a play. It seemed they had taken Tyrric’s advice, as one of them was a young woman, taking the center in a gown that showed off her slenderness without quite being inappropriate.

Then she began to sing, and it was Keelath who needed the help to keep from choking, as his breath caught in his throat.

Child of Light

digital art portrait of Mirum, blood elf paladin, holding Aubraan, her infant son, upfront of a light-filled window

Here is Mirium and her infant son, Aubraan. This image was inspired by my writing a scene in which Aubraan was nomming on Mirium’s pauldron. Someone said I should draw it, so I did!

Getting the color balance on this one correct made me want to pull out my hair. The background started out as blue, then green, and now purple. I also had to over-saturate the characters’ skin tones so they would pop out properly among the rest of the busy picture.

This is one of the first pictures I attempted adding sun glow and reverse shadows to, too. If you see purple shadows on an object instead of a darker shadow of its normal color, that’s the reverse shadow effect.

If the future, I should probably remind myself to smooth out the shading.

Art-Making Streams!

I have finally figured out how to use OBS Studio! Prepare to see more art streams making their way to the Locals and YouTube FoxFireFiction communities in the near future!

For now, have a partial stream of the clean-up phase of the Mirium Sketch (better title to be determined). Fuller-length streams I plan to include on Locals in the future, for the price of $2 a month. You will also get access to an exclusive fans-and-devs community besides just supporting me to continue more work like this. I hope to see you there!

Locals link: https://foxfirefiction.locals.com/post/1139119/lines-clean-up-mirium-sketch

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/lre60dMZxBA

Tyrric’s Madness

Inspired by a roleplay scene, as what was going through Tyrric’s head while the Sunwalker crew discussed how to cure him of his Void corruption. This would take place shortly after Tyrric was rescued from Ny’alotha, the Black City of N’Zoth.

Author’s Note

Alelsa poked him in the ribs. At first he was merely annoyed: he wanted to sleep. Then, as she continued to poke, talked over him, he came more alert. Memories about who and where he was started to coalesce.

The expedition into the Black City had ended poorly. Everything had made sense until then. Now, nothing did, and the danger was — seemed? — constant.

Alelsa gave him another poke, but was it really her? Could it not be the probing tentacle of a n’raqi, the scraping claw of a silithid? Continue reading “Tyrric’s Madness”