The Rouge Legion – An Epic by Haileaus and Cloaked

The first story about the Rouge Legion and its resolution.  Book 1 is by Cloaked, and is exactly the same as his earlier tale.  Books 2 and 3 are by Haileaus.  The original story is here.  Minor edits were made transferring the post to this site in the effort to undo any damage done by the swear filter used on the official WoW forums.

Book 1: THE HOSTAGE

The blindfold and the cloth gag are untied; the prisoner of war slowly opens their eyes and comes to, finding themselves in a stone room with only a table and a few chairs – that, and several notable rogues, most of whom were only thought to be rumors. In addition, prisoner’s hands, arms, and legs are bound: chances of escape, let alone surviving, are slim to none.

“What’s it look like, Verelyse?” asks a blood elf, her long auburn hair flowing liberally behind her.

The tanned, black-haired blood elf, Verelyse, stands from her seat and walks over to the table in front of the prisoner. “A human female with dark skin and red hair…” Verelyse nods. “Identity confirmed. Caera, it looks like we’ve got our suspect.”

From seemingly nowhere, a gnome jumps onto the table and looks the prisoner dead in the eye. “I say we KILL HER! KIIIIIILL HEEEEEER!”

Verelyse’s hand settles on the gnome’s shoulder. “Settle down, Gyro; we’ve still got plenty of questions for this one.” Gyro spits on the prisoner and jumps off of the table.

“Heh… as if I’d tell you guys jack. You might as well heed the gnome’s words and ki-” before the prisoner can finish, she takes a crucial blow – a powerful smack across the face.

“If anyone’s gonna ask questions around here, it’s gonna be us, you little shit,” says a brazen woman – another human – who is of a lighter complexion than the prisoner with black hair of the same style.

“I didn’t ask any que- oof! Stop smacking m- oof!”

“Looks like we’ve got us a live one,” speaks a night elf in a soft voice, the brim of her hat covering her eyes, “But I think I’d prefer you not smack her so much that she can no longer enunciate, Snoz.”

Snoz gives the prisoner what is perhaps the coldest glare that has ever been given before wandering off elsewhere. Meanwhile, a goblin begins inspecting the prisoner’s belongings. “Heeey, she’s got some mon’nay!” says the money-hungry rogue, pocketing a significant amount of gold. “Sheevah’s gonna be riiich, Sheevah’s gonna be riiich…” she sings quietly and happily.

“Hey, that’s mine!”

“And you are ours, little human.” The deep voice that spoke comes from a dark corner of the room; from that corner emerges a forsaken rogue whose face is mostly cover.

The other rogues clear a path as he walks through. Despite her grievous rogue training, the only thing the prisoner can gather about him was that his eyes were dark, devoid of any soul or emotion. She tries her best to maintain her composure.

“Can… can you see me? You have no eyes…” the prisoner asks nervously.

“I see many things…” The forsaken rogue continues to approach her slowly, staring her intently into her eyes. She is gradually becoming more confused – more afraid.

“You don’t scare me… I eat rogues like you for breakfast,” the prisoner scoffs.

“What a coincidence; I partake in cannibalism now and then as well,” says another forsaken rogue, this one female, from the far left of the room. The prisoner averts her eyes momentarily to try to catch a glimpse of the figure.

By the time she turns back, the first forsaken rogue is just at the other end of the table. She shivers, clearly intimidated.

“Are you… afraid?” he asks, his stance and glare unwavering.

“Could you blame her?” Caera says, “Even as long as I’ve known you, Haileaus, sometimes you still send a chill down my spine”

A low exhale can be heard from behind Haileaus’ mask; afterwards, his face slowly turns to Caera. “That… is what makes a rogue.” He turns and returns to his corner of the room. The prisoner’s shoulders relax.

“I’ve heard of you… I’ve heard of all of you! Verelyse, Caera, Backstabi, Gyroscope, Haileaus, Sheevah, and Snitz…”

“Snoz! It’s Snoz! Do I have to smack a shit again?!”

“S-Snoz! ” the rogue looks around and observes all of the fierce presences, both aggressive and rational, that she has seen. “You are… The Rouge Legion… The Rouge Legion is real?!”

Verelyse nods; Caera takes a step toward the table. “Now, as for you, Keorics…”

“WAIT A MINUTE!” yells a high-pitched voice from above. Through a secret opening in the roof, a pale, dark-haired blood elf falls, flips once, and lands lightly on the table. She looks up, and her gaze is immediately fixed onto Keorics. “You…”

“You…” Keroics’ face quickly turns sour. “Cloaked…”

“WHY DID YOU NOT ANNOUNCE CLOAKED’S NAME WITH THE REST OF THE LEGION?! Cloaked is a part of the legion, too, y’know.”

“Hmph, hardly. How’d you even get in here?”

Cloaked’s brow furrows and her eyes become ferocious. She grabs her dagger from a sheath on her hip and holds it up to Keroics’ chin. “Would you like to see?”

“Hah, as if. You probably couldn’t even kill me all tied-up like this! You, of all the members, have no notable credentials.”

Cloaked looks at Keroics for a while before returning her dagger to its sheath. “You’re right: nobody knows of anything Cloaked has done. Cloaked’s name is but a word to most.” Cloaked turns around and walks away from the table. “And soon, yours will be nothing more than a memory.”

Cloaked turns around to look at the prisoner, but all that’s in the chair are the ropes she was tied in. “Where’d she go?”

“Cloaked!” Backstabi yells; Cloaked quickly turns to find a knife being hurled at high velocity in her direction. With a minor repositioning of her head, she catches the knife with her teeth.

“Are you shill doubting Cloaked’sh skill?” Cloaked mumbles, her speech hardly hindered from the dagger in her mouth.

Keroics was found and is being physically restrained by Gyroscope and Caera; everyone, including Keroics, looks at Cloaked curiously.

“Cloaked…” Verelyse sighs and covers part of her face with her palm. “Really?”

Keroics bursts out laughing. “Fitting that a circus freak like yourself would catch a knife in your mouth.”

“Cloaked ish not a circush freak!”

Caera sits down in a chair near the table and crosses her legs. “Cloaked… no one can understand you bec-”

“Cloaked KNOWSH that no one understandsh her! Cloaked hash come to termsh wifth that.” Cloaked crosses her arms.

“No, you fool, it’s because there’s a knife in your mouth,” Backstabi says while shaking her head.

Cloaked flips her head back and throws the knife up, then catches it in her hand. “Hmph. Cloaked will never be understood.”

“The hell are you talking in third-person?” Keorics asks snarkily.

“FOOL!” Cloaked throws the knife swiftly; it cuts a small lock of Keroics’ hair off. “There is only one Cloaked. There are not three.”

Verelyse stands up and clears her throat. “If we could begin this interrogation…”

Caera’s fingers and thumb rub her temples. “I second that.”

“Hmph. Cloaked is too busy for these ‘interpretations.’ Cloaked will be… somewhere.” Cloaked takes a few steps back and gradually disappears into the darkness.

“… Hey,” a deep voice says.

“Yeah, what’s up Hail?”

“This is my dark corner…” Haileaus replies, “Go find your own.”

Cloaked steps out of the dark corner angrily, then finds one at another part of the room. “Cloaked will be… somewhere.” She slowly backs into the dark corner.

“Ya be gettin’ a little too close for comfort, Cloaked.”

“Ah jeez, where’d you come from, Kiwe?” Cloaked leaves the corner yet again.

“I been here the whole time, waitin’ ta see if Keorics be havin’ a fightin’ chance; if I see she be givin’ us trouble, I handle da business.”

Cloaked, now completely frustrated, heads to another corner of the room. Before she can reach halfway, a familiar voice yells out. “Don’t even come over here. This is the 2000+ corner, no PvE heroes allowed.”

“DAMMIT! FINE! Cloaked will go upstairs!” Like a child who just had their bottle taken away, Cloaked stomps through the Rouge Legion and heads up the wooden stairs.

Keorics struggles to contain her laughter. “So, this is a typical day for the Rouge Legion, huh? You guys aren’t nearly as tough as all the rumors say.”

“WE ARE TOO!” Cloaked yells from upstairs. “ESPECIALLY Cloaked!”

“ENOUGH!” yells a deep, rough voice; Keroics suddenly feels a strong presence behind her. “Keroics… you WILL tell us… EVERYTHING you know…” The worgen man from behind her growls in a low tone.

“T-Twitch…” Keorics shivers, feeling the worgen’s hot exhales along her neck.

The worgen draws his dagger and licks its side. “Now… I’LL show you how to make a prisoner squeal…” he laughs manically.

Keorics became rigid as he felt the point of Twitch’s dagger against the back of his neck, and the blade of another just brushing the hairs of his neck.

“So,” Caera said, “are you going to tell us why you are tracking us, or should we have Gyroscope…motivate you?”¬

“DON’TTELLDON’TTELLDON’TTELL!!!”

Rfeann raised an eyebrow.

Keorics stammered, “H-hey, n-n-no need to be hasty now! I’ll tell!”

“That’s right you will.” Twitch growled, giving more than just Keorics chills.

Haileaus once again emerged from his dark corner, this time wearing a black hat. “Now, now, let’s be civil. You look thirsty, how about a glass of water.”

Keorics shook his head. Something stirred in Haileaus’s eyes that made Keorics wish they were covered again, and tendrils of dark energy lashed out of his shoulder-pads forcing Keorics back in his seat.

“Are you sure?” Haileaus asked lightly, “Because you really look like you could use a drink.”

Keorics took it, wondering just what he was drinking. Then he started talking. “Alright, here goes.

“About a month ago I received a letter from an unknown hunter saying how my talents are not recognized that if I could locate and show them a way into the Rouge Legion’s headquarters, they would reward me handsomely. Of course I had not been invited to the Rouge Legion, but I figured if anybody was part of the legion it was the renowned Caera.

“It took me about two weeks to find her, but once I did she led me right here.”

About thirty seconds passed as the Legion mulled over his words. By this time Keorics had resigned himself to Twitch’s blades.

Haileaus broke the silence. “Where are the hunters now? Do they know anything? Are you in contact with them now? Be warned, if you are being dishonest I will know.”

“I have not been in contact with them since the letter. It instructed that we meet six days from today, at which point I was to give them any information I had and we would proceed from there. I do not know where they are, and have no way of contacting any of them until the designated day. I can only assume they are ignorant of my and your whereabouts.”

This time it was Snoz who spoke. “Well, I think we will all agree you were quite cooperative Keorics. Then again I suppose Twitch may be the one to thank in this case. Clearly your abilities are impressive if you were able to find us, so on behalf of the Rouge Legion I give you a choice. You may die in a very painful way, or you may pledge yourself to the Legion, and perhaps make a name for yourself – after a series of trials of course.”

A chorus of voices arose, most of them confused or angry. Once they died down enough Caera raised her voice, “Well Keorics, what shall it be?”

“Err, well I’d prefer to live of course, so I guess I pledge myself to the Rouge Legion.”

Twitch put his knives back. “Oh you poor, poor fool….”

“We shall start the trial immediately then. Gyroscope, would you be so kind as to fetch Heartcrusher? You seem to be able to stomach his experiments better than most.”

What are they planning…? Keorics wondered.

Book 2: TRIAL

The next day

Snoz opened the cellar door. Still sleeping? Wow this one isn’t gonna last long.

SMACK! Keorics’ eyes shot open. SMACK! “I’m awake already!”

“We are going. Grab your gear and meet be outside in 45 seconds or I’ll kill you.”

Forty-two seconds later the door burst open and Keorics ran out, holding her left boot while shoving a helm on.

Snoz led Keorics to the room they were in yesterday, where members of the Legion Keorics were lined up.

“Usually we wouldn’t do this test till later, but it seems a lot of people wanted for it to be pushed up. You must survive for five minutes in combat with a member of the Legion. Choose one.”

“Cloaked”

SLAP! “Do you see her her? No. Why? Because she’s on a mission. Now use your eyes and choose! Oh and by the way you may also choose me.”

“Ok, ok, let me think about it then!”

Keorics considered the choices. She needed a strong member of the Legion, but one she was sure she’d be able to kill. Simply surviving would not be enough.

Snoz…she seemed like a pretty dangerous foe, probably best not to fight her.

Gyro…Keorics thought she could probably take him, but gnomes are slippery and something about Gyro told her that he had a lot more to him than meets the eyes.

A large male orc Keorics didn’t recognize…seems like he knows what he’s doing and could very well over-power me.

Next was a nightelf woman in all black except for a blood-red hat. The hat and her head were angled so Keorics couldn’t see her eyes…maybe, but my intuition tells me she might be better left alone.

Sheevah…wait, she’s the one who picked my pocket! But no it’s too obvious of a choice. Still I’m sure I could take her, she’s nothing more than a thief.

Another Keorics didn’t recognize – a male gnome, face masked and with head and facial hair sprouting out everywhere…gnomes are easy to underestimate, and I don’t want them to think I’m picking on the smaller members.

This time a goblin with a pair of axes at his belt…maybe, but if this one is using axes he may have other tricks up his sleeves.

Haileaus, though he had changed his hood back to the original…god no.

Caera…something about her made Keorics know that she was one of the deadliest killers in the world.

Backstabi…maybe, but perhaps I should go for more of a challenge. She looks weak.

Another one Keorics didn’t recognize – a human male with black hair…perhaps, but judging by the way he is keeping his distance from Backstabi I worry he may be too easy. Or Backstabi may not be so weak after all. Either way I should avoid them both.

A worgan male was next. He wore a headband and shoulders with what looked like antlers coming out of them…Looks fierce, but I can probably take him. Definitely a possibility.

Keorics was pretty sure the next one was Kiwe…I don’t know if it’s the eyepatch or what she said earlier, but she seems pretty competent. Then again everyone is clearly good, so maybe.

Verelyse…clearly influential. No way.

Another goblin, head covered with a dark-blue hood so only the eyes could be seen. Keorics saw a deadly calm in her eyes, and felt her probing him for weaknesses…this would not be a good choice.

Another human male. It seems he got his hood from the same source as Haileaus, though this one was less intimidating. From the way he held himself Keorics knew he was confident that he was among the best of what he does, and what he does is kill…I think I’ll pass on this one.

Twitch – Keorics inadvertently stiffened as he felt the memory of his blades on his neck…no.

“I choose the worgan male between Verelyse and the human.”

As soon as Keorics finished Weran rushed forward, blades raised. He moved to stab Keorics with his right, reserving the left for any parrying necessary. Keorics stumbled back and managed to dodge to Weran’s right. When he turned around, Keorics was going for a counter-attack, holding both blades low but too wide in an attempt to strike just under the ribs. Weran stepped forwards and parried both blades, while at the same time kicking her in the chest towards an old pair of green antlers that hung on the wall. Keorics slammed into the antlers, and to everyone’s surprise the antlers went straight through her. In fact, they almost seemed to grow.

Weran grinned, “Looks like I win Keorics. And by the way, my name is Weran.”

Once the light faded from Keorics eyes Weran removed Keorics’s body from the antlers and dropped it on the ground. He then carefully inspected the antlers. They appeared to be undamaged, and very sharp. “I, Weran, claim these antlers as mine. Anybody who contests can fight me.”

Any potential responses were cut short by six Legionguards running into the room. One spoke. “A band of hunters has breached our defenses! All we know is they are strong, I’m not sure how many of us ar–ACK!” He dropped clawing at an arrow in his throat.

Hunters and their pets poured in from the three doors. The Rouge Legion, already prepared for battle, wasted no time in engaging the enemy.

Pajamas, the guard standing next to the one who spoke and the actual leader of the Guard, took out her throwing knives and quickly sent two hunters to their gods.

Madsushi raised his axes, quickly deflecting an arrow with his right while bringing his left down, slicing deep into the neck of a frostsaber. At the same time he brought the first axe down to prepare for his next strike, but on the way an arrow ricocheted off if it and struck him in the base of the neck. As he dropped, another arrow sunk into his chest, and he fell on the frostsaber, their necks crossing as they breathed their last breaths.

Gyroscope took out a grenade and threw it at a group of hunters. It exploded in a cloud of poisonous gas and the coughing hunters scattered.

After clearing the area around them of pets, Haileaus, Caera, and Rfeann exchanged glances and together rushed one of the doors, dodging arrows and the pets which were being cut down primarily by Leitka, Tanto, and Sheevah.

Someone crashed through the doors,

“Idiots.” Ippon muttered under his breath as he saw another member get crushed by a bear. He threw his last knife, nailing a hunter in the eye. Then he swung down, and began cutting down the hunters around him. A knife grazed his cheek – one thrown by a fellow member of the Legion. “WATCH IT YOU USELESS FOOL!” He the culprit, and send both his daggers under her ribcage, pitched up so they entered the lungs. At the same time three arrows in sunk into Ippon’s back with resounding thuds. As he turned back to face his opponent one of the arrows in his back exploded. As Ippon fell, his last word slithered out of his mouth with such venom that would make a lion whimper. “Idiots….”

Kiwe and Rogare both noticed the hunter who had killed Ippon and moved to dispatch her, but Leitka got to her first.

Weran managed to get himself into a fight with the two remaining hunters, parrying, dodging, and striking in such a blur that the other members of the Legion were worried they might hit Weran if they decided to help. All of a sudden both at once keeled over, dead, with axes sticking out of their backs. Standing behind them was a tall night elf with blue hair covered by a brown hat. “Sorry I’m late guys, glad you didn’t finish without me.”

With the battle over and any potential silence broken by Celinne, the room filled up with hushed murmurs.

For the first time in anyone’s memory Haileaus raised his voice. Darkness flared out of where his eyes should be, through the slits covering his “STOP YOUR USELESS TALKING AND LISTEN TO WORDS THAT ACTUALLY COUNT!” Silence. “Now I’m clearly not as surprised as the rest of you since I reject useless emotions, but still I’m surprised a group of the most elite killers can’t handle something like that. Yes, hunters appear to have blindsided us, killed some of our members, and made our false headquarters a bit more risky. But looking around me I see that the members that can hold their own are still here. So, let’s accept we got some fat cut out of our ranks and reap bloody vengeance.”

“Hail’s right,” Verelyse said, “‘Only two kinds of people die in battle – the stupid, and the unlucky.’ We can’t afford to have either of those among our ranks. That said, an attack on the Rouge Legion cannot go unpunished. If you truly are a member of the Legion, then you will leave behind any who died and come with me to start planning.”

As she walked away, the high-pitched voice of Gyroscope spoke up. “We may be able to trace the hunters’ tracks back to their lair. As I am obviously qualified and likely have the most contacts of all of us, I think it is best that I go. You know how to contact me.” Before anyone could respond, he jumped out the closest window.

Book 3: VENGEANCE

Leitka checked the time on her GYroscope’s ROuge Legion mUltipurpuse Device 9600 (GYROLUD). Twenty-seven seconds. She scanned the treetops. A glimmer of light from a nearby tree caught her eye and adrenaline and surged through her, until she realized it was just the reflection off the grinning Kiwe’s dagger. Leitka winked at her. She checked the time again. Three…two…she pressed the COMM button, set to Haileaus’s channel…one… “Leitka set.”

Haileaus noted with satisfaction as every eight seconds, without fail, a member of the Legion would check in. “One of the remaining members,” he thought.

Five…Six…seven… “Cloaked is set.”

Haileaus pressed the broadcast button. “Everyone is in position up top. Gyro?”

“It’s Caera. Gyro’s voice is too high-pitched so I took it from him. This tree is pretty sturdy. I’m starting to think druids may be involved. Give us a few minutes.”

“Alright,” Haileaus replied, “give me an update every minute.” He pressed another button. “Tanto?”

“Still in position, Hail. Sorry we can’t give you something to worry about. Maybe make sure Verelyse and Heartcrusher aren’t…distracted?” Haileaus grumbled, Rogare laughed, and Tanto clapped a hand over his companion’s mouth.

Caera’s voice came on the GYROLUD, “In position.”

Haileaus pressed the “Broadcast” button and said, “Everybody is set. Execute.”

The hunters were sitting at a table. “What do you think, Bullet, is it possible to use a looterang to pluck weapons and other nice items from our enemies?”

Suddenly a hissing erupted from under them. Canisters started coming in through the windows. “Bubbles” picked one up. “Who’s Cloaked?” then it exploded and the hunters learned exactly how poisonous the gas was.

The hunters, now holding their breaths, sounded the alarm and fled.

Snozy threw his last poison grenade into the hunters’ lair and grinned. She prepared a throwing knife. They should be coming soon.

Sure enough, she saw a hunter trying to escape by jumping off the second level. It hit the ground, dead, with a knife in its forehead.

But aside from that one hunter it was oddly quiet. Snozy waited. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a shift in the scenery, as if some of it was passing through piece of glass. She knew that if she acted perhaps a dozen hunters and their pets would start poking holes in her. She knew that every other rogue was thinking the same thing. And she knew that the hunters were in the same situation. But why weren’t they just running?

Gyroscope grinned. Just as he planned, the hunters were holding their ground. Well, in their own understandably cowardish way. “Looks like we need something to break this standoff,” he told Caera who winced how loud her partner’s voice was even when he was trying to whisper. Gyroscope pulled a tiny box out of his Quantum Qampression CONTIANment dEvice R-6300 (QQCONTAINER, a name which also made Caera wince) which expanded to be roughly a 12’’x12’’x3’’ cube with a big red button on it and an arrow which Gyroscope pointed towards the approximate location of the hunters. Then he took out a device that looked like a gun on a tripod (which also had a big red button) and set it a bit in front of the box. He looked at Caera, who was already stepping back with a slightly worried expression, sighed, activated the devices, and ran away.

Rfeann watched the extra high-tech target dummy unfold under her. “Huh,” she thought, “that dummy reminds me of Ippon. Man does Gyro know his irony.” Suddenly the tripod-gun exploded, Rfeann lost her balance, and found herself standing (feanns always land on their feet) staring at a wall of guns, bows, and crossbows.

Then everything happened all at once. Rfeann threw down a smokebomb and pressed herself flat against the ground; the wall of weapons turned into a wall of bullets and arrows; Pajamas started throwing rocks at all of the traps she’d spotted to “disarm” them; and about ten rogues descended from the trees. In short, the battle began.

Haileaus, who had recently restored his stock of Filled Festive Shotglasses, decided to use one to blindside the hunters from above. This backfired, as a trio of birds, one squawking, one screeching, and one quacking, began furiously pecking him. In pain and with the hunters alerted of his presence, Haileaus was forced to utilize shadowstep, a technique which involves teleportation through shadows that he created by studying the mages’ blink. He shadowstepped behind a hunter on the outskirts of the battle and slid a knife across its throat. Haileaus proceeded to contain the hunters by eliminating any who tried to flee.

Among the many acts of cunning, wit, and raw power a few great ones stand out.

While Verelyse was cutting down hunters with her characteristic skill and grace, one hunter managed to cock her crossbow. As she was about to fire an explosive bolt at point-blank range, Heartcrusher, who was standing in a nearby tree raising ghouls, deathgripped the hunter and punched her in the face. When the hunter hit the ground the bolt exploded.

While Cloaked was fighting two hunters at once, a rogue by the name of Stuffs told her she was fighting like a schoolgirl. Cloaked proceeded to ramp up her kill-speed and ended with the fifth-highest kill count of the entire legion behind Caera.

Snozy and Rogare tied for most hunters killed in one fight, each defeating three hunters and their pets at once.

Pajamas, seeing Weran in trouble, threw a stone at the tiger trying to eat Weran’s face. She swore as the stone stopped in mid-air and was surrounded by a purple glow. When the light faded, the stone was replaced by a large partridge which proceeded to gouge out the eyes of the pet, then moved on to attack the surrounding hunters with unmatched fury.

Soon after the arrival of the partridge the battle was over, with all hunters either dead or long gone. Just to be sure the Legion checked the hunter base for survivors, but found none.

The Legion since claimed the tree as one of their own bases, and in the inner-most room erected a statue of Daxxarri holding in his hands a partridge, modeled after the newest member of the Rouge Legion.

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