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The Wrath of Kil'jaeden

 
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destron



Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: The Wrath of Kil'jaeden Reply with quote

A million worlds burned, hard red lights glittering in the dome's obsidian interior. Too small for mortal eyes to see were the endless battles raging across these worlds, upstart nations falling to nations more upstart still, and falling in turn to even newer rebellions. No mortal ear could detect the bellowed commands of petty gods, leading their armies to ruin, each infernal deity struggling to hold a single world for more than a day.

Kil'jaeden could see and hear all of this.

He sank into his throne, built from the blood and tears of his enemies, red eyes fixed on the dome above him that stretched miles across. The din of infinite wars faded to a distant echo. Slowly and with staggering reluctance, he fixed his gaze on the white light of Azeroth, on the periphery of his boundless realm.

Libraries of information rushed through his mind in an instant. From what world to invade? The Naaru already held Outland, but there were so many others. Gates took time to build, but there was sure to be a lost soul or two on Azeroth itself willing to further his efforts.

Thinking of the thousand thousand demon lords squabbling over the worlds of the Burning Legion, Kil'jaeden suddenly felt very small. How could he marshal a force? Even the most orderly world would take at least century to batter into submission. How did they do it? he wondered. How did the idiot pit lords and mentally deficient eredar claiming these worlds think themselves his equal? They were so tiny! Yet they always made a fuss, granting themselves ever more outlandish titles.

For some reason he thought of Zal'aa, that globe of magma ruled by... someone. Did the forges there even still run? He'd started a fel reaver initiative there, some millennia ago, but what happened to it? After ordering the forges built, he and Archimonde became distracted with some dreadlord intrigue (how they both hated the Nathrezim!), and then came the problem with some lost Titan war machine, or perhaps the collapse of the Infernum Lodes. One or the other. Zal'aa got lost in the shuffle, and no one knew what was going on there.

In the old days he'd have simply retaken it, but every other world had the same problem. Sure, he could send an emissary from Argus itself, but the poor diplomat would spend years being shuffled from one petty lord to another. Kil'jaeden used to personally lead armies to pacify chaotic worlds, but that always caused problems. Crumbling inter-world infrastructure made it an ordeal to travel even short distances, and by the time he finished the campaign some new problem would arise.

That's why he'd started outsourcing the Legion efforts, corrupting the locals on unconquered worlds. This technique actually worked, sometimes, even though that arrogant bastard Archimonde never admitted it. It took time, but it was rewarding. Kil'jaeden loved getting personally involved, not having to deal with a billion egotistical demons every time he wanted to do something. Of course, the thing with the orcs fell through, and however much he wanted to distract himself, Azeroth was something of a priority.

How did Sargeras do it?

Kil'jaeden wanted to scream, but he stifled himself. He could not show weakness, not with the greatest demons of the Legion (most of whose names he did not know), watching him at all times. He saw their eyes, single, in pairs, trios, or more, glowing in the chamber's shadows. They worshipped him and hated him. Most of them had proven themselves at some point, but it was unlikely that they still controlled the worlds they claimed. These greater demons loved nothing more than to backstab each other and curry favor with Kil'jaeden's inner circle. Doubtless they no longer recalled the names of the worlds they ruled.

Suddenly he remembered Azeroth, that he had to do something. The Sunwell plan hadn't worked, a causing a huge embarrassment for him. Kael'thas had been an insufferable snob, but the elf was at least competent. Losing him just created more problems.

Kil'jaeden bitterly envied Arthas, who had such an easy time managing a single Scourge. If Kil'jaeden could take Azeroth, he could then free Sargeras, letting the Dark Titan handle the nightmarish complexity of the Burning Legion. Yet that one world proved so difficult, the inertia of an infinite empire confounding the simplest of conquests. Sargeras could not help him take Azeroth.

Naaru, help me, thought Kil'jaeden.

((Please tell me what you think; hardly anyone's read it on the official RP forums, and no one's commented.))
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Amaunator



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
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Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twice already I've tried to review this, and twice now I've suddenly walked away for no apparent reason other than being distracted. I'm afraid that's just my problem though, because I did read the whole thing from A to Z without stopping. Mind you, I wouldn't call it riveting stuff, but it's a comical insight into steering a whole universe of chaos and mayhem Very Happy.

Even the most orderly world would take at least century to batter into submission.
--> A slight error: "a century"

How did the idiot pit lords and mentally deficient eredar claiming these worlds think themselves his equal?
--> Also, how can you justify this? Is it writers sarcasm or character sarcasm? Very Happy Kil'jaeden himself was part of the Triumvirate of the Eredar (or whatever their official title was) along with Archimonde and Velen. Or am I confusing myself with the retcon they did of that piece of lore when TBC came out? At least I remember that he's still known as an eredar anyway. Razz So it wouldn't really do to call his "fellow-citizens" deficient, seeing how they usually are staged as brilliant casters.

Also, there's a slight dichotomy between having libraries of knowledge flash through his mind at the mere sight of Azeroth, while he doesn't even remember the names of his own lieutenants... Even if that information isn't important enough, then he'd still be brilliant enough to remember it easily. He is known to keep a grudge - a very long and tortuous grudge -, so he would have no problem with the mere remembrance of one demon/person and all the deeds and misdeeds in their service of the Legion.

The Sunwell plan hadn't worked, a causing a huge embarrassment for him
--> Minus the article at the start of the subordinate clause.

Kil'jaeden bitterly envied Arthas, who had such an easy time managing a single Scourge.
--> And I think in the scheme of things it would be more proper and common for Kil'jaeden to refer to Ner'zhul, not Arthas, who after all only serves as a body for the mind of Ner'zhul; whatever is left of Arthas's personality is subsumed, so I really don't feel it useful to call him Arthas (from what I heard and read, not much of that is left but figments of a child running around in Northrend Very Happy). It's like calling a child named Jack "Child", in its face Wink. Not only is it confusing, but it's also inaccurate Very Happy.

The entire internal (infernal Razz) debate is an interesting tidbit, but hardly a story or even a short story. To me, it serves more as a "character profile", a "mugshot" or just a "frame of reference", but though it is comical and humbling to see a demonlord so stumped by his own powerlessness, it's also slightly unrealistic. Kil'jaeden never struck me - through all of the cutscenes and dialogues - as a pining, self-pitying loafer, stuck on his throne. That's why it was interesting to read a different view of Kil'jaeden, but it ultimately felt like dangling a fish in front of a bear: liable to get your arm chomped off along with your hand and the fish.

You normally don't have a problem digressing from real-time lore in the travelogue, so it comes as a surprise here that you do digress problematically. I'll leave it at this, it might just be a fluke, but my guess is that's why it's not been received gloriously on the other fora.

I wonder, does this story tie in, in some way, to the other short piece you'd written about the "shadow-Ner'zhul" on Azeroth's south pole? Do you want to humanise these outlandish creatures in a way that Pratchett makes magic look like everyday business for old men and sorry old spinsters Very Happy? It's not a bad thing, of course - it's rather novel in regard to WoW, I'd think, which has always been taken far too serious for all the cartoonish representation given by Blizzard itself -, but it's different, so it has me boggled somewhat.

To be brief I'm generally discombobulated about this piece. Literarilly it's not bad; it's a bit ponderous - a bit too maybe? -; and maybe it's too short to fully sculpt a character, not a caricature. All in all, it's the story that really falls through, though. You're not giving us much "more" or "anything new". That might be the main problem.

That's all from me. I'll be checking up on the second part of the Howling Fjords soon. I'm a bit busy with work and school now Very Happy. I'm guessing it isn't going anywhere Wink.
_________________
the sun may melt the rain
may rinse the sky may sink
the clouds may meet the dirt
may drop your heart may heal

feelings of love you love
fluttering hearts you hate
revealing souls you love
breaking spirits you hate that

the sun...
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destron



Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input. It, much like the Lich Duke story, was meant as more of a joke than anything else. You bring up some good points though; I didn't portray Kil'jaeden's ability very consistently, now that I think about it.

Kil'jaeden is an eredar, but the reference to "mentally deficient eredar," was directed more towards others of his race that he deemed lacking in some way.

I wrote this all in one sitting, and it probably shows. Oh well, I'll put more thought into things the next time I try something like this.
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Amaunator



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
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Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I don't know. For a one-sitting write-up it's not too shoddy in general. But it did have that "didn't reread enough" feel Wink. I'd also advise you to write about less known characters from the lore Wink.

And I only belatedly realised Kil'jaeden's remark on the other Eredar might have just been a snipe at his "lesser equals" Wink.

I'd advise you in the future, to collect these writings in that other thread where you started the Lich Duke story? You can still make "headlines" in posts alone, so you don't exactly need a new thread for every story. Just a thought, but maybe just my extreme tidiness and control-freakiness getting the better of my judgment Wink.
_________________
the sun may melt the rain
may rinse the sky may sink
the clouds may meet the dirt
may drop your heart may heal

feelings of love you love
fluttering hearts you hate
revealing souls you love
breaking spirits you hate that

the sun...
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