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Unexpected

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As an ever-present, almost-living force, the magics of Azeroth often have... unpredictable reactions, much like the more base elements of the universe. Like two chemicals of unknown properties meeting, so, too, are two individuals’ manifestations of the magic they wield — frost, fire, arcane, Light, Void, and so on. Not many react well to the magics of the dead. This, I know beyond a doubt.

Whenever an individual’s magic reacts less dramatically to mine, willing to dance with it in proper battle rather than hungrily seek its final end, it intrigues me. I’d often wonder what it meant — would my opponent’s soul linger beyond their death, remaining, unwilling to part with this world so soon and so accepting my raising of them into undeath? Did it intrigue them? Would they retain their powers as Forsaken? Answers I would all have in due time. After all, there are few who escape my grasp — and those who do manage to outlast their brush with death do not last long.

There were really only two on the face of Azeroth whose powers I actively wanted to watch my energy interact with: Queen Azshara and Lord Admiral Proudmoore. The former was defeated and resuscitated by N’zoth, sucked further into the depths of the seas before I had even stepped foot in Nazjatar. The second, however…

Lady Jaina Proudmoore, Lord Admiral of Kul Tiras, former Archmage of the Kirin Tor, and unfortunate Alliance dog stood before me, opposing me with some trepidation. She does not know what to make of me, I mused, a slow smirk spreading across my lips. Her Alliance champions fought alongside some of the traitorous Horde rebellion through my loyalist forces and now looked up to where I’d perched on one of the massive totem poles of Thunder Bluff to watch it all unfold. She watched me as one might watch a caged animal, something unpredictable, something dangerous. She put on a brave face for her champions but I could practically smell the fear that hid poorly beneath her disapproving glare. I jumped down from my perch, landing quietly below. I began to walk towards them.

“The look you’re giving me reminds me of the look my mother would give me as a child when I’d gone off and done something I’d ought not to,” I purred. Many of the Alliance champions stiffened, bracing their weapons as if ready to pounce. Jaina held one hand out to her side in a gesture for them to stand down. I scanned their forces — there were a couple of faces I recognized, double agents of mine. Good. It guaranteed a clean escape should it come to a fight I could not leave once I tired of it.

“That’s enough, Sylvanas,” Jaina warned, eyes flaring a frosty blue-white. “Your tyrannical reign as Warchief of the Horde is over. Surrender and we may leave you living.” I chuckled darkly and continued to close the distance between us. Her words reminded me of a similar line fed to me by one little lion back in Lordaeron.

“And you think your little troupe of mongrels is going to stop me?” I asked. Jaina glared, opening her mouth to speak, but I cut her off. By this time, I was face to face with her, so I took her chin between my forefinger and thumb. “Surely, you know it’s going to take more than that. Tsk.”

Jaina brought one hand up to grasp my wrist. Her touch all but burned against my skin, building in intensity and wrapping around my wrist like a handcuff. I sighed, already growing bored with this exchange. It was not as lively as I expected it to be, far less violent and I had been looking forward to a way to burn off a bit of energy. Perhaps that would still occur if I just slipped out from Jaina’s painful attempt to cuff me.

As Jaina’s magic enveloped my wrist, closing in tighter, I discarded my corporeal form to slip out of her grasp. An easy shift and then a twist backwards and I’d be a few feet away from her — if I’d been able to slip out, of course.

No, of course that wasn’t so simple. As Jaina’s arcane closed in around the vaporous undead magic of my banshee form, I watched as her energy’s curious nature caused it to slide in between the particles that made up my own energy. My energy, on the other hand, did what it usually did when presented with a source of great power and life — it sought to consume it.

The reaction would have brought a smirk to my lips had the experience not been so painful. It was like a vacuum had been created at the point where our magics collided and co-mingled in the air and I found myself struggling to pull away. Jaina stared at that spot in the air, jaw slightly slackened in surprise. A wail began to build in my throat as the location where our magics collided swelled and swirled, drawing more of me back into it.

It felt as though I were clawing at the air, nails scraping over particles I could not get a grip on. For all the things I’d thought might happen when my magic finally contacted Jaina’s, this was not on the list. And, based upon the shock written clearly on her face, Jaina wasn’t doing this intentionally, either. The reaction was entirely organic.

As quickly as the reaction had sparked, suddenly the swollen orb of mixed energy I’d been slowly dragged towards and partially into flashed a bright purple-white and disappeared back into Jaina’s hand...with me.

The next thing I saw was my armor clatter to the ground in front of me. In front of us, for I was, with a cursory glance at my surroundings, clearly somehow bound to Jaina’s body. It was not a possession, for I had no control over her movements. I was just trapped. Desperately, I tried to separate myself from Jaina’s energy, from her body, from any part of the fucking Lord Admiral—

Sylvanas, stop.

Jaina’s voice pierced through my psyche, causing my thoughts to come to a grinding halt. Glancing down, I saw black smoke rising from Jaina’s forearms — much as it would come forth from my skin had I been out of that body and manifested in my own. Jaina’s voice had sounded shaken in my mind.

Did you think that I had possessed you, Proudmoore? I asked, directing my thoughts into her energy.

Oh, so you weren’t getting ready to turn around and unleash us both upon the Alliance? She replied. I found I could not hear her thoughts, only the words directed specifically towards me. Convenient.

As glorious as that would be, I would like to be back in my own body, thank you, I responded.

Considering that I don’t know what the fuck just happened, Windrunner, I’m not certain that’s even possible right now. She sounded as though her panic and frustration were mounting as mine was. I couldn’t separate myself from her energy. I couldn’t separate myself from her body in the way I’d transform into my banshee form. I couldn’t even—

I raised Jaina’s right hand. So scratch that off the list, I could control her body should I truly need to. But she was quick to regain said control and was able to prevent me from any further experimentation with that. The panic must have provided a lapse, during which I was able to control it. Interesting. I had a feeling that would be useful later.

And what of your... champions? What will you do now that the Warchief of the Horde lives inside of you? Perhaps using Jaina’s body as a vessel would provide me with more time. If I could get her to play along, I could even perhaps get farther with my plans. Which...was unlikely, for sure, but perhaps would be worth a shot if this condition proved to be even somewhat lasting. I felt Jaina’s chest heave in a sigh.

I...am not sure. She turned to look at them, then, the twenty-to-thirty of their jaws mostly slack in surprise.

“Did you just…?” One of them began to ask hoarsely. The Kaldorei woman cleared her throat and began again, this time with the smoothness I’d come to expect of even our most savage of elven brethren. “Did you just consume Sylvanas Windrunner?”

I felt Jaina tense in shock at the elf’s word choice. I longed for the ability to roll my eyes — as if someone could just ‘consume’ me like that.

“I...no,” Jaina began, though she sucked in a breath at how her voice sounded. Many of the Alliance champions stiffened, as well.

Well color me surprised, Lord Admiral, I communicated. It seems I was not the only one transformed by this...reaction of sorts we seem to have had.

“No, I did not consume the Warchief, as I’m sure you can hear,” Jaina continued. “Our magics seem to have had an...unexpected and unpleasant reaction. I can assure you it is much to my chagrin that she continues to exist despite this.” The statement seemed just as directed towards me as it was a response to the Kaldorei. Again, I found myself loathing the lack of my own eyes to roll. “I will be heading to Dalaran once we are done here to consult with Khadgar and the other archmages. See to it that the rest of the city is secure and that any other resistance is dealt with swiftly. I must go speak with Anduin.”

Ugh. You would force me to endure the boy-king’s company?

No. I simply need them to think that, Jaina responded.

Oh? Was Jaina Proudmoore lying to the Alliance? The idea enthused me. Perhaps this course of events would prove fruitful yet.

No. You and I are going to go have a little talk while I have a stiff drink. I chuckled internally at her response.

I hope, for both our sakes, that you have good taste in alcohol, Proudmoore.