((In connection to the events of the Prelude to a Kill, one might ask two things. Where the hell was Mac and, as the title suggests, where exactly did Gregor Fremen end up after the interrogation? Now, in this stunning two issue series, we'll find out! This does not mean I am putting a pause on DALIA. No, there's more of that on the way too. So, sit back, relax and enjoy...))
Part One of Two:
Whatever Happened To The Defender of Duskwood?
An excerpt from the Journal of Doctor Gregor Fremen:
“Once again, I have been called to aid in the problems of my lord and cousin, the good Doctor Marrion MacHarren. After the attempted assassination of the Dean of Marrion’s associated University, I have been aiding the investigation of the motives and actions of the men (and beasts) that have plagued the academics of Stormwind University. According to the most recent interrogation of a prisoner, a ‘Lord Wisock’ was to blame for most of these actions. Now, I go to contact my man within the aristocracy. I go to beg for some kind of aid for my revenge…”
A window breaks, as the Defender enters a dark, yet ornate room. The glass falls onto the floor, and cracks under the flaming man’s feet. As dim light flows from his chosen disguise, silent forms begin to move against the walls of the room, keeping to the shadows. His voice begins to echo, as his eyes follow the forms.
A quick blow to the ribs forces him forward, followed by a sharp pain against the back of his head. As the Defender collapses to the floor, all he can hear is the sharp laugh of two men.
‘One, possibly heavy-set,’ he thinks to himself. ‘The other, must be a smoker. Short-breaths…’
All turns to blackness, followed by the violent noises of a cart rumbling beneath himself. Taking in a deep breath, the Defender catches the scent of burning candles and the quick noise of a bell resounding above him.
After ten more minutes, he can smell ash and soot, as the cart begins to wobble more violently.
‘They’re taking me to the barracks.’
Soon, the cart begins to roll to a stop. Keeping silent, he knows what these rough men are going to do next. As he’s lifted over one of their shoulders, he opens his eyes, only to see sackcloth obscuring his view. With a well-placed kick, the Defender strikes the man in the chest, managing to escape from his first captor. Blindly retreating, a stray stone or brick manages to trip him up.
“Damn!” He mutters.
As he collapses to the scorched ground below, he hears the distinct ring of a sword being unsheathed.
“Now, don’t be doin’ that! We’ve got a few question for ya…”
‘Distinctly Gilnean accent. Possibly a worgen.’
After rolling onto his back, he hears the man come closer, as well as the crack of bones and constant growls.
‘Definitely a worgen.’
Struggling with his bound hands, he’d listen for the sound of water, rolling closer towards it.
“What’re you doin’ you lil’ sod?!”
“Come and find out…” The Defender would laugh underneath his sackcloth. The worgen was directly over him now.
‘Only one chance to pull this off.’
Curling his legs up towards his chest, he’d quickly deliver a blow to the worgen, forcing him off the edge, into the sea. One could almost hearing the blood-chilling howl of the beast, as it fell to its doom.
Soon, he was raised up into the air by an unseen foe.
‘A third one? No… Didn’t hit the first one hard enough, it seems.’
Soon, all returned to blackness. Upon waking once again, the sackcloth was finally removed from his visage, allowing him to see clearly his assailants.
“Well, well, well… If it isn’t the trouble-maker, that’s been messing with our interests…”
The fellow was indeed, a heavy-set gentleman, in nobleman’s clothing. Circling around the room, would be a woman in equally regal red dressing. She was much, much older than the man, with long grey hair and a large mole on her right cheek.
“Now, we know who you are, Mister MacHarren… It is unfortunate, that we’ve had to undergo such measures to prevent your intervention, but…”
Looking around the room, he’d notice that his disguise, his cowl, and his weaponry would lie on a table behind the woman. His person was tied to a pole, most likely a support beam. Fresh. Put in place very recently, most likely to keep the dilapidated floor above from collapsing onto them.
“Are you listening, Mister MacHarren?”
Letting out a humorous laugh, Gregor Fremen would slowly shake his head.
“You’ve identified me as the wrong man…”
The woman smirks slightly, as she grabs a dagger from the man.
“My husband and I… Well, we know of Lord Wisock’s efforts. He might not know of our plan, but his own misguided views towards that University of yours, aids in our own plight… Now, tell me, Mister MacHarren… What do you know about us?”
She wanders forward, grazing the blade of the knife against Gregor’s neck.
‘She’s grasping at straws. She’s not –really- going to slit my throat…’
“I know all about the bo-“
The woman removes the knife from his neck, lowering it towards his stomach.
“If you lie to me and my husband, I swear, Mister MacHarren, there will be consequences…”
‘No way out of this…’
“My name, is Doctor Gregor Fremen. Lord MacHarren, is my cousin.”
“-Mister- MacHarren… He holds no power in our government.” The Large Fellow injects.
“Husband, hush… Now, you’ve been a thorn in our side for quite some time, Doctor Fremen… Why is that?”
Gregor grins, as he stares harshly into the woman’s eyes. Light blue, grey hair, red dress…
“Because, I do battle with those who seek to do evil in my domain…”
The woman gives off a distasteful sigh, before plunging the knife into his lower thigh. Letting out a harrowing cry, Gregor look between the two noblemen.
“No one… Can claim Duskwood as a domain. No one…”
As blood begins to trickle down the rope bindings, the woman would snap back over to the large man, raising him up from her seat. “He knows nothing… Husband, we’re leaving. If he manages to escape, he’ll bleed out anyway, from the wound. Hit an artery with that…”
Soon, the pair would rush off, as the world began to return to the black haze. Soon, he’d awake to her, standing in front of him.
“Always managing to get yerself into trouble, eh?”
A loud cough, and a quick check at his leg, and she vanishes. Replaced by an old man in black.
“Gregor… Such a disappointment…”
Again, like a phantom, he disappears. The world would begin to turn grey, as the phantoms of the past continued to haunt him. Jameson, the Dark League, Moira, Agatha. All the while, his mask remained the last bit of color in the world, still burning bright with the last vestiges of magic left within him.
Closing his eyes, he’d begin to chant heavily the ancient tongues taught to him. Words spoken by daemons, by the Old Orders, by the cultish men of yore. Slowly, the world’s color begins to return, as the knife begins to fall from the wound.
Clasping his fist, utilizing the last bits of strength his body has to offer, Gregor summons forth the Dark Fire, burning the bonds that encapsulated him. Falling to the floor below, slowly he rises back onto his feet, the weight of himself feeling heavy, as he wanders forward to gather his things. Finally placing his cowl back onto his face, the Defender retreats back into the night… with dark tidings.