"Felbat Pup Tails and Big Fat Flails"
Wild grin clamped around chain-smoked bloodthistle cigarettes, Cymbidia threw her own demons at the Burning Legion, their hooves kicking Tanaris dust into the fel-laced sky. In between barks of "Snuff out that overgrown candle" or "To my side before it's melted" she lobbed green fire at the invaders.
An arrow tore into her shoulder. She snarled, teeth bifurcating the coffin nail, and spotted the archer, a troll charging at her as he knocked another arrow into his bow. She had no problems with the Horde, and she wanted to uphold the neutrality of her new associates, but a hostile shaft marinated in her blood.
Reaching out across the Twisting Nether, she yanked some lifeforce from her doomguard. It roared a bit, but otherwise kept flinging skull-faced shadows at a Sargerei warrioress while its stolen essence coalesced around her, the next arrow wilting as soon as the head pierced the pulsing shield.
She lit the Nether around him on fire and filled his mind with troll infants being cannibalized and other images that sent him screaming and flailing past her. The red-orange barrier starting to fade, she yanked out the arrow, and then jogged to the other side of the warrioress, torching her scalp as she moved.
The assault lasted several hours. Bloodthistle and healthstone shards she kept in her lip like chewing tobacco fueled her unleashed chaos. Still young, she also didn't fatigue easily, especially around demons. A constant in her life, they kept her motivated, even empowering her to run, which she hated. Though a healthy weight, Cymbidia's body didn't scream athletic, unless the sport involved being horizontal on a bed. She smiled at the thought as she glided over the Shimmering Deep on a drake she had chiseled out of the Nether.
Back at the Slaughtered Lamb in Stormwind City, she sulked at the corner of a large table. She would normally have Nazaith with her, the succubus concealed by invisibility, but the new demon hunters in town stared daggers at her everywhere the warlock strut. If she wanted to watch Nazaith die, she would just ask her prudish sister for company.
She drowned the image of Drucinda's face with a healthy pull of Darkmoon Special Reserve. Intoxication hit her head faster than it took her to kick her imp back into the Nether. The loss of control relaxed half her mouth into a smile.
A felbat pup darted into the tavern, fixated on her aura, and landed on her shoulder. She giggled and scratched its chin. "Aren't you cute! How did you get into the city?" It cooed, twitched its ears, wagged its tail.
Two demon hunters charged to her table, tattoos blazing, pecs rippling. She liked the aesthetic but not the demeanor, so she pictured lewd happenings to prevent her nose from wrinkling. "Hi, gentlemen. What a surprise."
The slightly bulkier one jabbed a finger at the pup. "Give us the runt, warlock."
"Cool your goblin gears. Your tone's so edgy I could cut my wrists with it."
The other one crossed his arms over his chest, covering up one of the few things that made their presence tolerable. "And use the blood to bring demons into the city to slaughter everyone."
She rubbed the pup between its ears. "Just what are you doing with these things anyway? Biting off their heads to prove your devotion to dear sweet Illidan?"
"How dare you mock our Lord and Master. He will drag his jagged glaives across your throat."
She laughed the dry wheeze of desert wind extinguishing until she let out a wet belch. "Oh, sorry, excuse me. I guess I can only eat so much crap."
The first one slammed his fists against the table. "Just shut your foul mouth and give us the felbat!"
The bartender and the few patrons in the tavern, most of them dressed in dark cloaks, turned their heads towards the scene.
"Let her buy the filthy mongrel." The second gripped the first's shoulder. "We have more important chores."
"You're selling these in Stormwind?" She cackled for a few moments. "Now that's rich."
"We've stripped them of harmful abilities and stunted their growth."
The first hunter gawked at the second. "Are you serious? She knows how to reverse our magic on the vile whelp."
"If she does that, we will kill her."
She leaned forward and waved her hand between them. "I'm still here, you know."
"Fine," the first hunter said. "Give us one hundred fifty nethershards, and the mutt is yours."
She kissed the pup on its cheek and conjured a purse from which she withdrew the necessary shards. The second hunter opened a leather pouch from his belt, and Cymbidia poured the payment into it. Their unpleasant visit concluded, the hunters stormed outside.
"I'm glad that's done, little one." She smiled as it licked her hand.
She ordered roast boar with honey glaze and cloves. The demon invasions energized her spirit, but dashing all over Azeroth drained her body. She devoured her meat and washed it down with some more Darkmoon Reserve. When she finished eating, the pup landed on the plate and nibbled the crumbs.
She looked up to see a dandy escorted by a hulking man carrying the fattest flail she had ever seen and sporting armor that put even a city guard captain's to shame approaching her table.
"I notice you have taken to eating your mammals raw, Miss Ebonthorn."
She scooped the wriggling pup into her cleavage. "Lord Cumberdale! How dare you suggest I do such a thing to cute little Emerald."
He took a long look at the display before bringing his eyes to her face. "I already ate dinner at my estate. I am here for dessert."
She raised her eyebrows at him. "I was just about to order some." She gestured to the seat across from her. "Please, join me."
He rested his hands on the back of the chair but didn't sit. "Oh, I would rather have you for dessert."
She let out a long, drawn out sigh. "I'm sorry, but I don't do that anymore."
"What do you mean? You're the most talented harlot I have ever met, and trust me, that is quite the compliment coming from me."
She flashed a subdued smile. "I appreciate your praise, but after watching Lord Wellington, Lady Azikiwe, and Lord Zhao be killed, I realized all my time spent on my back made me soft."
"That was a fluke. The dirty blood elves are too busy with the Legion to send anymore assassins. Plus, you taught them a lesson they will not soon forget."
"Yeah, after three clients died." She winced. "No, not just clients--human beings."
He shrugged. "Such is life. It ends. That is why I want to live. Right now. With you."
She narrowed her eyes. "You don't even care that your business partners died?"
"It's a pity, truly, but now I own the fishing boats and the dockyard, not just the storefront." He brushed imaginary lint from his shoulder pad. "Oh, and I own the oil supply, too." He examined his manicured nails. "All this means I can buy more of you."
"I'm flattered by your lust, but, as I said, I'm no longer a lady of the night." She screwed on a sympathetic face even though her blood started boiling. The pup squeaked at her agitation. "In fact, my bedtime has become rather early--for me, anyway."
"Then the rumors are true." He shook his head. "The invasions have changed you."
She steepled her hands on the table, and the felbat pup crawled into her lap. "If the return of the Legion made wonder if there's more important things than entertaining privileged nobles, then, yes, the invasions are affecting me."
"What can be more important than people like me?" His smirk suggested a joke. His eyes did not.
She reached into the Nether and pulled out a hexweave bag. From that, she withdrew blue fabric that she unfolded into a tabard embroidered with twin golden lions.
Horror contorted his face. "How could you join those Horde lovers, you traitorous bitch? Do you not care about the Alliance slaughtered right before your eyes?"
"I do." Her lips dropped into a scowl. "You don't."
"I care that now you're going to be selling your body to blood elf girly men!"
"I said I don't do that anymore." She snorted through flared nostrils. "And you're wearing a silk blouse."
He looked on the verge of exploding, and his words leaked out like steam: "I am extremely appalled by your behavior, Angelica Sampson."
"Don't call me that!" Nether crackled at her fingertips.
"You insult me and threaten me. You are lucky I do not fetch the city guard or have Hamfist bash your pretty face in with his flail."
The bodyguard grunted into his helmet.
"Now you are threatening me."
"Yes, I suppose you are right." His posture relaxed. "While you would not find prison to be any better the second time, death is permanent, and that is what you will face serving this treacherous Empire of yours."
"It's not my Empire. It's Azeroth's, Outland's, or that of anyone that wants some stability on the planets for once."
"Whatever." He turned on his heels and left the tavern, his bodyguard lumbering after him.
She lifted the felbat from her lap and cradled it near her face. "That idiot should be called Hamfoot."
The demon licked her nose. She grinned, and then finished another drink.
Soon, she was yawning. She paid her tab, leaving some extra gold for the noise. From her robe she fetched the guildstone used by the Twilight Empire. "My new associates, I'm going to bed soon, but I can stay awake long enough to poke at any fel-inflicted wounds. Just give a shout to Doctor Ebonthorn."