I just recently got Warlords of Draenor and gave the level 90 boost that came with it to my undead rogue, Necronim. His in-game backstory is the basis for the Necronim of Bones so when I was having to use cannibalize to keep him alive, I started wondering how he’d react to having to do so. This works for either of them really as neither are happy with their undead status and try to do good but don’t always succeed.
Ragged lungs attempted to draw in another unneeded breath and Necronim choked on the air like it was blood welling in his throat. The reaction made his already stuttering footsteps falter and he fell to one knee in the gore-spattered battlefield. His human reaction was the sharp rise of his gorge and the faintest hint of acid at the back of his throat, a pale memory of life.
The secondary reaction was hunger and it made his hands shake.
“No,” he growled aloud, not willing to give in. Pressing harder down on his injured side, where rotting intestines and shreds of organs hung loose, Necronim slowly regained his feet. He would not give into that bestial hunger, that monstrous drive to feed that had been cursed onto him in his undead state.
It was already too much to remember the actions before he’d regained himself.
To actually make the choice…he wasn’t sure his lingering bits of sanity would survive.
Carefully picking his way now, he made his way slowly across the battlefield, aiming for the treeline that he knew hid allied forces. Allies meant safety, meant being able to get his insides back where they were supposed to bloody be, meant stitches in his nearly nerveless skin, meant not having to surrender everything he’d gained…
And it wasn’t to be.
Necronim heard the snap of a stick to his right and whipped his head around just as a voice growled, “Undead scum.” Given his injuries, his reaction time was severely off and even his eyes couldn’t keep up. One moment the man was standing there, features barely registering in the fading light of the day, and then an iron-clad fist was on his shoulder as a sword buried itself into his already massacred gut.
Gasping as the blade twisted, he turned the sound into a snarl as he reached for the man. The hand that wasn’t clutching at his side found the man’s throat and he dug the exposed bones of his fingers into the soft flesh he found there until it gave way. The man screamed, the hunger screamed, and Necronim howled as he knew right then and there that he was lost.
It seemed to take an achingly long time for the man to die and he put up a fight the whole way. Despite the fact that he was on his knees at the end, he still gripped his blade and tried to force it to tear the wound he’d made wider, to try and kill his enemy. By that point, however, he was weak, blood loss stealing the strength of his sword arm and the fact that Necronim had practically torn his throat away now sending him spiraling into agony.
When the man finally died, he slumped over sideways and – unsteady on his feet as he was – Necronim followed him down. He lay on the ground for a moment, just trying to focus, and then it came as abruptly as a bolt of thunder. It wasn’t, however, what he wanted his focus on.
His eyes locked on the torn open throat that his hand was still tangled in, fresh blood soaking into the leather of his glove, and even as his gorge rose, he found himself scooting forward. A strangled no passed his lips, a bare weak denial to what he knew was inevitable. The wound he had born before the fight would have already been hard pressed to heal through the means his allies had.
The second wound which had nearly torn him open another time would make it impossible for him to survive except in the way his kind did. To feed on flesh and let the foul magic that had given him a second life stitch him back together.
And by all the gods, he wanted to live.
Closing eyes that weren’t technically open to begin with, Necronim gave into the hunger and sank his teeth into the dead man’s throat.