This was going to be a problem. There was no denying it.
At first, she thought she might be able to control it, but the pile of dead rats in front of her told her otherwise. It just simply was not possible to control her Blood Hunger.
Death Knights, were a real piece of work that Arthas and the Scourge threw at Azeroth. They didn’t need to eat or sleep, so they could essentially exhaust an enemy force into submission. That also cut out the need for a supply train to feed your front lines. They were basically machines designed with one purpose in mind: the Total Annihilation of an enemy force. But beyond all this was the Blood Hunger.
The Blood Hunger was programmed into all Death Knights during their conditioning, and gave the Deathknights a driving need not to defeat all in their path, but instead, gave them a singular brutality to do it with. The longer they went without causing suffering on a living creature, the more the need to do so would consume them and drive them forward. This was Channi’s problem.
Since the Fall of Deathwing, the need for Channi’s particular talents dwindled. Sure, there were the odd pockets of Twilight Cultists holding out hope for Deathwing’s return, but the more of these pockets that were found, the less Channi’s talents needed to be utilized. This made for days stretching to weeks at a time that Channi wasn’t able to fulfill this basic need as a Deathknight. She had to find other avenues to perform this function.
Occasionally, when the need grew too much for her, she would head out into Elwynn and seek out a sickly deer, or if she were lucky, an overly aggressive wolf. She wouldn’t use weapons, that would make things too quick and easy. No, she would go at them bare-handed. The more of a struggle or fight they put up, the better. A few days ago, she found a bear that didn’t take kindly to her poking around the hills outside of Northshire. It had taken a good 30 minutes before the bear let out it’s last breath with an agonizing groan. Channi smiled as she finally felt as if she could overcome this afterall, but then watched as two cubs came to see why their mother hadn’t come back to the den yet. The euphoria of the Blood Hunger was replaced by the sorrow of killing these cubs’ mother. It was more than Channi could handle.
Hence, the endangerment of the rat population of Stormwind. If she was slow enough, and she could make them squirm and squeal just so… it could at least take the edge off to a more controllable level. And she’d be doing the city a favor! Or at least that was the theory she came up with anyway. As it turned out, the more she did it, the more she NEEDED to do it. The rats were just a tease to her system and weren’t enough to sate her Hunger.
Footsteps approaching… *OH SHITE!* She was so busy contemplating her predicament, she didn’t even notice someone coming down the alleyway toward her. She tried to kick the last of the rat corpses behind a trash bin as she looked up and saw it was Kalenedral, and started toward her.
“Channi? Is that you?” the Kaldorei asked as they got closer. ”I thought I saw someone hiding back here…”
“No, it’s just me,” Channi replied. She turned around to look down the alleyway where she just came from to make sure no one could see any evidence of her recent activities. *Whew! all out of sight!* She wiped at her face with a free hand and swallowed as she tried to calm her breathing to a more normal level. It wouldn’t be good for anyone to note why she was coming out of an alley out of breath. They might go looking… “I don’t think there was anyone else back here,” she said as she turned back around and met up with her friend and lover.
Kalenedral glanced back down the alleyway behind Channi and wondered what she was doing back there. She looked back at the girl and held out her hand. ”Well, I’m headed to the Pig, you want to come along?”
A slight pause, and then,”Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” She tried to wipe her hands on her pants just before taking the other woman’s hand and walked away together.
*Ohshitohshitohshitohshitohshit! That was too close! I can’t keep this up or next time I’ll be caught for sure…*
They walked into the tavern hand in hand and greeted the heavy crowd. There was a celebration of sorts going on. More so than normal. It looks like that Fells girl was back. Channi didn’t know her well, but had seen her around often enough. And then she didn’t. And now she was back. Maybe Channi will have to make it a point of getting to know her before she disappears again…? She hoped she would have that opportunity, but if anyone found out her secret, she didn’t doubt that she wouldn’t get to know anyone else ever again.
Channi glanced up at Kalenedral and noted her face and the long scar that she came down her cheek. Even with her imperfections, she couldn’t help but be amazed at Kal’s stature and poise. The light she sees in Kal’s eyes when they are together gives her hope that she too can be whole again. But if Kal ever found out about the rats… or the deer or wolves or even the bear… How would she feel then? To know that the girl she was with was a slave to her Hunger, and couldn’t get past the wholesale slaughter of innocent creatures just to pacify her urges… She let out an inaudible sigh.
*Oh… That’s me! * Channi blinked as she registered she was being asked if she wanted something to drink. ”Uh, sure…. give me a Bourbon.” The words were out of her mouth before she could think about what she was saying. Kalenedral eyed her questioningly. Normally, she would just have some milk, not out of any kind of need, it just seemed familiar somehow, so she didn’t question it. But tonight was different. She wanted something strong. Something to make HERSELF suffer.
Their drinks came, and she downed her drink in one go. *OOooo how it burned going down….! Delicious….* not the taste, mind you. She actually didn’t like the flavor much at all, but the burning sensation as it went down her throat delivered such sweet suffering! She ordered another one, a double this time, and she sipped at it relishing the warmth as it found it’s way into her system.
She glanced up stairs at the upper level as she took a drink, and saw something furry poking it’s head out under the railing. She almost dropped her drink and death gripped the rat to her right there, but forcibly willed herself not to with everyone else around. She drank a bigger gulp than she intended as she tore her gaze away and noticed she was garnering looks of concern from Lorelli and Zha’ane.
She placed her empty glass on the bar, and ordered one last double. Reese quirked an eyebrow at the girl, but served her up anyway.
By this point, her body was starting to react to the unfamiliar substance she was ingesting. ”Whoa… this stuff is stronger than I thought…”
“Maybe we should get you to sit down,” Kal suggested. Channi could only nod in agreement, and she immediately regretted doing even that. *When -did- the room start spinning…?*
As they find a seat at the central table, Lorelli half turns back to Zha’ane, and then gives Kalenedral a “Look” when Channi wasn’t watching. Kal can only shrug one shoulder as she helps Channi sit down. Zha’ane give Lorelli a quick squeeze to her waist and just watches the girl across from them at the table.
They are there for a while, and Channi is aware of converstaions happening around her. Lore pipes up with a “Round on me! Whatever they want! S’honor of Fells!” Cheers go up in the bar, and Lorelli earns a smile from Fells.
Channi’s ears perk up and she finishes off her mug. “I’ll have another… whatever thish was…”
Lore looks up at Elly and gestures to the girl and shakes her head. Kalenedral can only watch with a concerned expression as Channi tries to get Elly’s attention each time she passes by.
Kal finally heads off to the bar and gets herself a glass of wine and another mug for Channi. She comes back and sets it down in front of the girl and gives her a kiss on Channi’s temple. “Here ya go, love.”
Channi’s eyes light up as she grabs for the mug and goes to take a drink, and then realizes its just milk and lets out a sigh.
Kal watches and lets out a muttered sigh in Darnassian, “[Bloody Elune...]”
‘…know any druids that go rattin’ ’round ‘ere?” Channi’s eyes go wide as she hears a nearby conversation.
“Eating rats? No, why?”
“Rheu an’ I ran across an awful lot of dead one’s in an alley the other night. They were all tore up figure. Like somethin’ got t’em…”
Channi’s hear sank even further as she tried to hear them continue through the other loud conversations at the bar.
“Tore up..? Might ‘ave jus’ been a dog or somethin’ then…”
“Mean, seen ‘em dead before, jus’ usually not so many.”
Channi gets up rather abruptly, “I just remembered… I think I left something smelting at the forge. The ‘Smithy gets cranky if you don’t take care of things like that…”
“How long you going to be?” Kal asked tentatively.
“I might be a while. Can I just meet you at home?”
Kalenedral nods, trying to hide the hurt expression on her face. ”Whatever you want, love. I probably won’t be staying much longer anyway…” she muttered.
Channi tries to smile and wave to everyone as she rushes out the door and to the Blacksmith Forge. She just had to get out of there before she heard anymore and brokedown. Again. If she was going to make it through this, she’d have to find something else she could do.
Or at least find a better way of hiding it…