My precious Queen,
I am truly honored that of all your numerous consorts and suitors, you have selected me to be your partner and King. Together, we shall lead the nerubians to unimagined acclaim. I shall strive to live up to your expectations and satisfy the needs of our people...and of you, my beloved Nezar'Azret.
I was but a newly-hatched broodling, still casting off the clinging webs of the nest, when I realized that my sole purpose in life would be to court and serve you. When I first laid eyes upon your bloated bulk, provocatively heavy with ripe ovum, my mandibles gaped at your unearthly beauty. I know our people do not believe in divine worship, but in that moment I would have sworn a goddess was walking amongst us. Never before had I laid eyes upon such a perfect, idealized embodiment of fertility and matronhood.
My Queen, you had me at Auum na-l ak-k-k-k, isshhh.
Over the next few months, I found myself lurking in the shadows of the hatching chambers, entranced by your every move. I salivated uncontrollably at the sight of your sleek, hairy carapace, the way your spinnerets twitched seductively in the morning breeze, dangling and alluring. I was entranced by the gentle motions of your pincers as they tantalizingly caressed a fleshy morsel, furry pedipalps running teasingly, sensually over its quivering skin before you lifted the doomed creature to your warm, waiting fangs.
And as you chewed the tender meat, the hot blood mixed with your digestive fluids, congealing into a thick, delectable cocktail that dripped and coursed down your chitinous, distended belly. Trickling rivulets slowly descended, languidly painting your body hues of crimson and amber, softly outlining the adorable pits and fissures decorating your shell. Your voluptuous thorax shuddered with pleasure, engorged with satiation, and the cavalcade of liquids sizzled mildly as they oozed down your slender legs and splattered onto the icy snow.
As I gawked at you, standing tall, dominant, covered in the cooling gore of a lesser being, I felt a shiver run through me. So powerful. So dominant. So beautiful. I knew in that moment that I would be yours, always and forever.
I devoted every waking hour to honing my skills and abilities, so that I would one day be worthy of catching your eye. I knew the task would be a challenging one, for you were not lacking in admirers. I would simply have to be the best.
What would tingle your gland hairs and warm your curving abdomen to my affections? I pondered this dilemma for many years, as I steadily rose through our ranks. My hunting prowess (driven by my insatiable desire to impress you, my Queen) was second to none, and it wasn't long before I earned a spot on Azjol-Nerub's council of spiderlords. Whenever I stepped forth to offer you my counsel, I could feel your eyes playing over me, inspecting me, judging me. I dared not approach you as a potential nestmate, not yet. I adored you, but I also feared your wrath. I was still unfit, simply a lowly, average male.
When I was not hunting, I immersed myself in our culture's other areas of prestige, hoping that perhaps by possessing a multitude of talents, I could impress you. I spent countless hours combing our sprawling libraries, teaching myself about every facet of our glorious history.
At first, I found the long days of study tedious and infuriating - such was no life for a warrior like myself! However, as time passed, I found myself slowly growing intrigued by this other aspect of our society which, until now, I had only glimpsed from afar. Ancient literature, philosophies, even music! The sheer amount of knowledge contained within our archives was astounding. I spent weeks in the tutelage of Seer Ul'Tomon, hungrily absorbing everything he could teach me.
I realized with talon-clenching excitement that I had my opportunity. My peers mocked my studious devotion, never suspecting that it would be their downfall. Sure enough, as I continued to hone and sharpen my intellect in the observatories, I began noticing a change in your mannerisms. You lingered longer on my suggestions, called upon me more often for my thoughts, and more than once I noticed your gaze flicker over my jutting, burnished horn (which I was always sure to carefully polish before we met).
In retrospect, this should not have come as a surprise. My rivals were all fierce hunters, but utterly lacking in social wit and charm. Anub'Rekhan, while without peer on the battlefield, was slovenly and alarmingly perverse, while Anub'et'kan seemed obsessed with tormenting the pitiful surface-dwelling races. There was no comparison.
I felt as fragile as a hatchling the day I sought you in the underchambers and, on bended legs, asked you to accompany me on a trip around the Upper Kingdom. As I led you through the grand halls, you stopped and looked about in amazement at the wondrous sights that greeted you. I had commissioned our finest webspinners to fashion dozens of elaborate tapestry-webs in your image, which hung proudly from the spires overhead.
Your eyes took in the meticulous detail, the dozens of invaluable gemstones embedded in the silk, and I saw a new respect - perhaps, even warmth? - fill your orbs. But I wasn't finished yet. Tentatively, I gripped your delicate but powerful foreleg, and when you did not resist, led you further into the depths.
We ascended a series of newly spun ramps, and your eyes grew wide when you realized our destination. A newly-erected obsidian obelisk towered before us, the ultimate symbol of power and ceremony to our race. You inclined your head quizzically at me as we approached.
"My Queen, I have dedicated the last few years of my life to contemplating a suitable courtship gift befitting one of your beauty and majesty," I said, head bowed in proper respect.
"This humble obelisk bears hundreds of lines of scripture and verse proclaiming your revered name, and the focal gemstone at its apex, a magnificent sapphire, has been pain-stakingly carved in your likeness. Now, all who enter Azjol-Nerub, today, tomorrow, or hundreds of years later, will know of my beloved."
I looked up at you, breathless in anticipation, but you stepped past, your hide warmly brushing against mine. You reached out a pair of legs, delicately exploring the faintly glowing runes and sigils decorating the black stone surface. I stepped back and watched with delight, and some longing, as you pressed yourself up against the pillar, cooing and murmuring quiet words of excitement as you felt the obelisk's mystical energy wash over you. Hundreds of feet above us, the gemstone focusing the obelisk's power throbbed and pulsed in synergy. I stared, enraptured.
When you finally stepped back, I could see the hairs on your torso standing on end, tingling with vigor. You drew near, and gently reached up to cradle my head as your gaze locked onto mine. I stood, stoic and resolved, but inwardly I was flailing like a bird caught in the web.
As you looked me eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye I felt a nervous tremor run through both my hearts. Your body began arching, lifting into mine, and your maw opened slightly as your face pressed close to mine. I tried not to squirm as your one of your legs lifted nimbly into the air and began soothingly tracing the length of my horn.
"You have impressed me, subject," you whispered huskily, your rasping voice setting my wings buzzing. "You have proven yourself worthy to become my nestmate. What is your name, nerubian?"
"A...Anub'arak, my Queen," I croaked.
"Do you swear to obey me eternally? To follow my accord and honor my wishes, no matter what the consequences?" Your eyes pierced mine, looking for any doubt, hesitation...any weakness. But there was none.
"Shabtir bakh sokhen. The servant bows to the master's authority. May I be doomed to an eternity of atonement should I ever falter," I answered, unflinching.
You continued to lift off the cavern floor, your legs coiling tightly around my shell, your warm chitin rubbing coarsely against mine. "Mmm, very good," you clicked softly into my auditory orifice, your palpus playfully dancing across my rigid shell.
"Rise then, Anub'arak...King of Azjol-Nerub. My consort. Our people await! But first, let us...consummate...your coronation," you coyly demanded, your steamy breath dripping off my mandibles. I said nothing, but chuckled. One must obey the orders of his Queen.
It has only been a few months, but already our reign has reached newfound heights of glory. Together, we have inspired and motivated our people, and our civilization has begun stretching, carving its way through the depths of this land. Let the warm-bloods have the chilly, icy surface. The nerubians will be warm and strong underneath the soil, secure in our impregnable subterranean complex. No one would dare oppose our wisdom and fearsome strength.
Nezar'Azret, never was I happier when you informed me that your next brood contained another female! A daughter! So exceptionally rare among our kind, this was truly a blessing. I know from my studies that nerubian Queens possess the ability to pass their ancestral knowledge from to their female offspring. I have no doubt that she will grow to become a great monarch and leader like her mother.
This is a good life. My reign was been fruitful, my kingdom, magnificent. Our people are dedicated and devoted. And you, my gorgeous Queen, are healthy and strong. I could not ask for anything else.
With us upon its thrones, Azjol-Nerub will never fall!
Your loyal servant, consort and King.
Show/Hide Letter Notes
Scepter of Nezar'Azret (Cataclysm archaeology spoiler)
I really don't know how this letter came about. I mentioned on Twitter in the morning how I had been surprised to learn female nerubians existed, and somehow that mutated into the ridiculous idea of a nerubian love letter. I was really grossed out...yet intrigued.
The evidence of female nerubians was an unexpected surprise. I was researching nerubians, preparing a serious Anub'arak letter, when I stumbled upon the existence of Queen Nezar'Azret. She was a bonus boss in Warcraft III, only killable on hard mode (or something). Arthas and Anub'arak kill her during their flight through Azjol-Nerub.
Well, Anub'arak is established to have been a King in life, right? So maybe these two were a pair!
I jotted down a few awful physical descriptions and realized, to my horror, that the idea was growing on me. So I started wondering just what a giant arachnid creature would find arousing, but a reader would find disgusting and just flat-out weird. It's quite terrifying to imagine, really. I tried to avoid anything too graphic or gross, instead going for more subtle descriptions than actual HAWT BUG ON BUG ACTION.
There was a lot of research about spider parts and physiology done on Wikipedia. It's very unsettling. Spiders are creepy. One thing I DIDN'T have to look up was the word pedipalps, and as I crowed on twitter, I was overjoyed at being able to use it.
I also decided it would make sense if nerubian culture was ruled by matriarchs, and that females were extremely rare. I imagined a society similar to those of an ant colony, where everything revolved around the Queen. Not only would this explain the lack of female nerubians, but I stumbled upon an Archaeology item from Cataclysm, the Scepter of Nezar'Azret, that says that nerubian queens are rumored to be able to pass their knowledge from mother to daughter. If a queen could pass their entire life's knowledge to their successor, no wonder they rule the nerubians! They would be incredibly wise and experienced.
Also, this implies that Nezar'Azret might have had a daughter. And while I made up her relationship with Anub'arak...it's not impossible! Maybe old Anub'arak has a baby girl spider running around there somewhere. Maybe we'll see her eventually in-game?
The rest of the Azjol-Nerub info is all canon, such as the gems embedded in webs and the hatching chambers, taken from the WoW RPG book: Lands of Mystery. Apparently the nerubians really did have massive libraries and observatories, and placed a great deal of importance on culture, art, music, etc. They were very serious philosophers and historians! Who knew! All these things were lost when the Scourge drove them from their homes. Also, Seer Ul'Tamon is a real nerubian mentioned in the book.
I was very intrigued reading about nerubian art in Lands of Mystery, and headed to Azjol-Nerub and Old Kingdom to check it out for myself. Sure enough, there really are cool sculptures, stained-glass windows (that Lands of Mystery explain are actually multi-colored webbing creations), and giant rune-covered obelisks! The cave walls just outside the Old Kingdom instance entrance are covered in orange "stained glass" designs. The obelisks are present in a few places in both dungeons, but there's a huge one standing in Hadronox's lair in AN, right in the room where you hop down below the web floor and kill the swarm of little hatchlings. Disturbingly, there is also a webbed figure struggling against its bonds tucked off in the corner. :O
Anub'arak's love story is kind of sad, since as a Scourge crypt lord, he is forced to kill his "beloved" Nezar'Azret during the Frozen Throne expansion. I thought his oath of loyalty, with the punishment for breaking it being cursed to eternal torment, might be a cute way of explaining just WHY Anub'arak keeps coming back. I also thought it would be funny if the other "Anubs" were his brothers/rivals.
Finally, my favorite line in the letter is "As you looked me eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye I felt a nervous tremor run through both my hearts." I couldn't stop laughing.