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  1. Today
  2. Baern

    Maznar Cliffgrove

    Full Name: Maznar Cliffgrove Date of Birth: Sixty years before the Dark Portal Age: 94 Race: Bronzebeard Dwarf Gender: Male Hair: Black Skin: Tan Eyes: Green Height: 4' 5" Weight: 195lbs Place of residence: Greenwarden's Grove Place of Birth: Dun Modr Occupation: Mountaineer Group/Guild affiliation: Night Vanguard Enemies: Dragonmaw Orcs, Dark Iron Dwarves Favorite Foods: Bloomin' Onions, Beer Basted Boar Ribs, Ram Flank Stew Favorite Drinks: Beer, Ale, Lager Favorite Colors: Green, Blue Weapons of Choice: Though not sentimental enough to name it, Maznar has been working on a customized rifle since his time with the Explorer's League in Ulduar. A revolver rifle with an arcane toggle sight, Cliffgrove built two cylinders into the gun that can be swapped with the crank of a lever. In one cylinder, he loads mundane, typically elementium, ammunition. In the other, he loads runerounds that carry a variety of magical effects. Though they rarely get out into combat together anymore, Maznar also once journeyed with his black bear, Tarhide into battle. At more than twenty years old, however, Tarhide is arthritic and more liability than asset on the field. Likes: Mechanical Engineering, The Explorer's League, Beer, Animals Dislikes: Dragonmaw Orcs, Dark Iron Dwarves, Salad Hobbies: Hiking, Tinkering Physical Features: Maznar is in many ways the proto-typical dwarf. Thick, bushy beard, long wirey hair, a plump nose and stocky build are all expected character traits. He most commonly wears green or blue mountaineer's mail with a cloak to match. Even his hatchet and mining pick are standard issue mountaineer's gear, though the climbing pick he uses is decidedly not dwarven. Of less angular construction and blue hue, the climbing pick is a relic of the Shattered Hand orcs. Special Abilities: Maznar's most important talent is his ability to craft runerounds: bullets that can be fired from a weapon that unload a magical effect. While he is by no means alone in his ability to construct and use runerounds, the rifle he uses to fire them keeps the expensive ammunition from drawing too much on his time and bank account. The ability to swap between mundane ammo and magical ammo means that he can save costs where necessary. Cliffgrove also has a speciality in dwarven engineering stemming from his time in the Second and Third War. Religion/Philosophy: Like many dwarves, Maznar believes in and defers in some ways to the Light spiritually, but the heart of his religion and philosophy lie in the Titans that spawned his people. Curious enough to work with the Explorer's League, if never brave enough to join them outright, Maznar has delved with them to the depths of Uldaman and Ulduar in search for answers about who his people are and where they come from. With those questions definitively answered, especially given the reports of his former liege lord, Magni, Maznar is now in a position of great understanding. Positive Personality Traits: Maznar is a quick thinker, adaptive learner and loyal friend. Those that have earned his loyalty have done so for life, even if those that haven't may find him a bit abrasive. He is also, by admission, less of a leader himself and happier to be a supporting player on whatever team he's currently with. He wants to be the favorite student in the class, favorite soldier in the unit, the one relied on by commanders and strategists to deliver on those tactics and strategies. Negative Personality Traits: Maznar is quick to anger, overthinks problems, and holds long lasting grudges. Maznar is never the person to withold his opinion and when he's surrounded by others that don't value it is prone to just repeating himself over and over to see if he can browbeat them into submission. On top of this, those that have lost Maznar's trust have lost it for life. Even when he does express compassion and friendship, it's commonly with mutually assured insults. Finally, Maznar is haunted by some deep seated PTSD from his time serving during the Second War. History: Born in the medium sized city of Dun Modr, Maznar Cliffgrove was one of many siblings in a large family of brewmasters and mistresses response for keeping the swampy settlement flowing in booze. Adventurous and inquisitive, Maznar and his brothers would hike the area, its mountains, its fens and even wrestle a few crocolisk into submission in their day. As Maznar reached into adolescence, he began to hone himself for the life of a mountaineer, patrolling the dwarven wetlands and keeping them safe. For quite a time, Maznar served in this role. Several pets came and went during his lifetime, a crocolisk, a bear, a wolf, a raptor. He saved up, nearly starving himself, so that he could go on far reaching vacations to Lordaeron in the North, Stormwind in the South, the Badlands, the Black Morass, Gilneas. He visited Tol Barad and Kul Tiras off the coast, every single one of the human kingdoms at least once. But he would always need to return to Dun Modr to make sure that his home and his family were safe. Like many, Maznar heard tale of the orcs in the south and thought them myth. He'd seen trolls before, even troll behemoths. It didn't worry him to think that some of them had made their own tribe somewhere in those swamps. But when the orcs devastated Stormwind and the surrounding countryside, that confidence quickly dispersed. Dun Modr, a tactically unwise move, was abandoned and evacuated into the protection of Ironforge itself. Though he had every intention of joining the battle, Cliffgrove and a large number of his people were too late. By the time their territory was liberated, the orcs had suffered a vicious defeat in Lordaeron and were retreating all the way to the Dark Portal. That time spent in Ironforge, however, introduced Maznar to the engineers of the city, and though he was viewed as a country bumpkin for the first few months, eventually his curious mind and inquisitive nature got the better of them. Maznar quit his post with the Mountaineers and instead joined the siege brigade. It was here that Maznar crafted the first iteration of his custom rifles, using the hard to craft, but effective rotating cylinder as the basis for a quick firing gun. When the Third War broke out, the Siege Brigade was brought to bear against the scourge for the first time and found good headway carving through the zombies, ghouls and necromancers of the Cult of the Damned. While Arthas was being corrupted in the North, Maznar was a tank gunner mowing down abominations and frost wyrms in their journey towards the center of the undead menace: Stratholme. As it turns out, that would be for naught. While the siege brigade was busy pushing deeper and deeper into Scourge controlled territory, Arthas returned and murdered his father, almost instantly shattering morale across the Alliance and sowing chaos in their military forces. As Arthas struck down Uther the Lightbringer, things only got worse. As the spearhead in the Alliance forces trying to retake Lordaeron, the siege brigade were swiftly cut off and surrounded on all side by the undead menace. Day by day, their tanks and numbers were being cut down as an inability to resupply and repair almost ended in doom. As Arthas' forces chased after them, the Dwarves sought refuge with the high elves, but were turned away lest Arthas' eye was turned on them. Luckily for Maznar and his crew, it was already. Doubling back, the siege brigade was forced to abandon their vehicles and try and trek through the eastern mountains to the safety of the Wildhammer's home of the Hinterlands. That trek, brutal and long, dogged by ghouls and abominations the entire way, would claim more than half the siege brigade. With no small part being played by Maznar's mountaineering skills, the dwarves were able to reach the Hinterlands and were, covered in wounds and bruises and frostbite, evacuated to Aerie Peak. In recovery, Maznar chose to remain with the siege brigade and helped upgrade their fleet of steam tanks into a more robust set of siege engines still in use today. He took a few moderate missions dealing with foes, but otherwise, remained in Ironforge and worked with the other engineers in preparation of another deployment on the scale of the Third War. That time would come again against the scourge, but this time in the icey reaches of Northrend. The Siege Brigade were deployed to the base of the Wrathgate with the forward forces of the Valiance Expedition, though, their hardy tanks and steam engines were mostly used as long range artillery rather than frontline combatants. While using his turrets to gun down flying scourge gargoyles, Maznar witnessed the events of the Wrathgate unfold to his horror. For the second time in his life, he and the siege brigade retreated in the face of the Scourge onslaught. Shaken, Maznar immediately requested a transfer away from the front and was granted a guard detail alongside intrepid Explorer's League dwarves venturing deeper into Northrend. Almost as soon as Maznar found his way to the Explorer's League did he find more combat with Vrykul and Scourge. This time, however, Maznar was able to beat back his opponents with his upgraded rifle. Soon, the League would find itself fighting against the Iron Dwarves of Northrend, prosecuting conflicts in Thor Modan, and later, deeper into the Storm Peaks, culminating in the assault on Ulduar. Along the way, Maznar learned in a few short months than he did over years spent engineering. His dual cylindered rifle was first dreamt here, when pilfered runerounds caused Maznar and his colleagues to decode the creation of the magical ammunition. Ulduar was the time of Maznar's greatest success in battle, returning with the siege brigade to the gunner's seat of his steam engine, they fought along the Kirin Tor to liberate the temple from Yogg Saron's dark influence. As the explorer's league remained behind, Maznar and his new allies unlocked the secret of runerounds and forged their first batches in the fires of Ulduar's forges. Simultaneously, Maznar upgraded his rifle to the dual cylinder format, allowing him to switch between magical and mundane ammunition thereafter. With the war against the Lich King concluded, Maznar returned to Ironforge with a new confidence. He was more learned than ever, Tarhide was in the prime of his life, and Maznar was ready for more fighting. He wanted to assist in retaking Dun Modr. Unfortuantely, that wouldn't quite be possible. Even after re-enlisting with the Mountaineers, Maznar would later find that Modr was sacked by the Orcs and Dark Iron dwarves, virtually unusable even after its liberation. And even worse, he was kept in Khaz Modan rather than returned to the Wetlands. Years passed with Maznar doing everything that he could to find a way back to the Wetlands and his home, but little could be done. He took every odd assignment he could find, hoping that it would give him the good will to get back to Dun Modr, but was neglected at every turn. He did a tour with an Alliance airship in Deepholm, another at Lion's Landing in Pandaria. He joined up with Admiral Taylor's expeditionary force in the Spires of Arak, escaping a third brush with defeat and failure because he was captured and forced to fight in Shattered Hand fighting pits. But it was during the War against the Legion that Maznar finally caught his break. A new, diverse military force had been commissioned by Genn Greymane and turned into the Paramilitary force known as the Night Vanguard. Though they were based in Greenwarden's Grove and under the control of a sentinel, the Mountaineers of Ironforge wanted a liaison that they could rely on since the Wetlands was so close to dwarven territory. Maznar was the first to apply and qualified with flying colors. Since then, he's been working with the Vanguard in their operations all throughout the Wetlands, hoping that one day they'll be able to retake the ruins of his hometown for the dwarves once again.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Chestius

    I can Speak!

    Hello! I feel like I should have posted this SOONER, but I've kinda been all over the board as far as forumers go! I am Hunter, otherwise known as Chestius, otherwise known as Mr. Pockets. I'm a small time youtuber and a huge fan of both WoW and TF2. I've been playing both for YEARS, and adore everything that comes with it! Some funny facts about me: I am very bad at video games I can do voice impressions of both the Goblins in WoW as well as the Scout in TF2 (the only difference was Smokers Lung, after all) Beyond that, I'm just a dork who loves treating WoW as an extra D&D Night. I love the game and challenge, but also love the storytelling and fun with RP. Hit me up in game for some Battlegrounds, and I look forward to seeing everyone in BfA!
  5. Skullduggery War, a constant within the world of Azeroth, something guaranteed like the tide's ebb and flow. Causes of war are negligible once it starts, and the moral code of justice only caters to the winning side. After all, the flavor text of history books is decided by the winning side, is it not? So don't delude yourself with a sense of justice and mercy, just focus on surviving, winning, making it to the end of the day. It's rare to find folks that can see events like these for what they truly are. Those talented visionaries are sought out, branching from all walks of life to empower each other. Standing as one seafaring unit, survival in this ever-changing world is guaranteed.. Skullduggery Mercenary Corporation is a multi-faceted company of talented on-call work. With a recent up front payment, Skullduggery has an extended contract working as an elite privateering force for the betterment of The Horde (Disclaimer: This is by no means to be confused with Piracy. Skullduggery is a licensed company that employs legitimate work). With recent events causing a disturbance between the Alliance and Horde, a call to arms has been established. {OOC} Skullduggery is a passion project guild being built for Mythic Dungeons, Casual PvP, World PvP, and RP amidst this all. We look to be laid back and relaxed, allowing player freedom and fun in and out of game. The Guild Alignment is officially Chaotic Neutral, as many ranges of contracts for work will be available, some on the table, and others below it. We are part of a community of RP guilds looking to bring more players into the mix for BfA\ Requesting Employment? Rules: We are laid back, looking for more to join in on the random fun. In character is where RPers will see the obvious rank and file of a naval company, but ooc will always be open to chill. Race: All Canon Horde races are accepted. Character: All ranges of alignment are accepted as Skullduggery employs a melting pot of culture, however each member must be capable of following a code of conduct. This code is for the safety and functionality of Skullduggery employees, therefore cannot be abused. (Treason and infighting are not accepted character traits) Classes: All canon classes are accepted alongside flavor to such classes. (example: An orc monk who identifies as a Brawler is fine, as Brawler still fits within the ideals of a Windwalker Monk) PvP Conduct: War Mode will be something encouraged, but not forced. WPvP events will of course be in War Mode. With War Mode being on, attacking enemy players is indeed encouraged, but keep this separate from obvious bad sportsmanship (Like whisper harassment and character stalking). Code of Conduct: Complete the Contract. Bring each and every contractor home. Do not stand in the way of a contract. Do not stand in your fellow employees way. Work together, survive, endure, and cash out together. At the end of the day, Success and Survival are all that matters... Contact: Chestius of the Ravenholdt Server. we have a Discord for most of our RP as well as Communications. We are looking for all sorts of players interested in both gaming as well as RP. No prior experience required, in fact, we encourage all to jump in and give it a try. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leadership: 1. Captain Chestius, Owner of Skullduggery and Captain of her Flagship. -Age: 60+ -Profession: Hunter/Sniper -Years in Service: N/A
  6. The knock threatens to teeter the bulk of her thoughts off their railing. She goes through the rigmarole of standing for a new guest, calling out a clear "Enter!" Kirital slips in. He figured they were in discussion, so his body language reflects a quiet respectfulness. Offering Dora a quick smile, he slips to the wall just beside the door; hands moving behind his lower back. Like before he wears a dense cloth jacket lined with a short fur for cold, slack pants bound with cloth at his waist and ankles, and heavy boots layered with dense disks of metal. Oh right...well, shoot, she's going to have to remember this guy's name eventually. The bodyguard that shadows Vathelan for reasons that Dora doesn't have knowledge about...and she's starting to worry that she really ought to have looked into that before hand. Too late now. She gives the male a nod of acknowledgement and a smile of similar briefness before she sits back down again, her posture changed into a rigidity that makes her back ache. "Weeell," she drawls, drumming a beat, "think of him like a felhunter. Any spellcasters are fair game. According to old mission logs on him, he can only possess bodies that are heavily tainted by fel...the body he's using now...I really don't know how he managed to reconstruct it, but it's a close approximation of his original if the testaments from retired Rough Raiders are anything to go by." The Magister looked back at his bodyguard with a small nod before turning his attention back to the task at hand. “I see. And we are assuming he will strike here? What does he have to gain from such? Is it revenge? All this preparation for one Demon Hunter…” "Not just any demon hunter...if it was that simple, well," she shrugs. "I mentioned before that he has a history of working with Scryers who defected to his cause. Artifacts in exchange for power." A twist of a frown, a shift of her shoulder blades like a predator cat out in the Barrens that makes the gilded piping of her military-style jacket shimmer. "He knows how to network and build a following. He's got two other known enemies on his side with incredible shadow powers. Like," she barks a short laugh, "like, they both outclass my mom in Void control and she's no slouch. Besides that...we have a plan. He wants these stones we have, that the Rough Raiders used to create a pocket dimension where they trapped him initially." She pauses, the windows of her stare darkening like the shadow of a bird across a dusty plain, there and gone. "So we want to lure him close enough to activate the stones again. We won't have the element of surprise on our side, but we have strategies for dealing with his army and his techniques. When we start the ritual, he'll sense it and he won't be able to resist." “So, you are essentially trying to lure him into a trap.” The Magister looked over the report. Defecting Scryers. He could use this to gain Borrowed Time more favor from his organization after the battle was won. “You’re sending my Agent to lead your air force. And I am sure that you will brief him further later. What of your other forces? Are you well supplied, are you in need of anything I can acquire for you?” From the conversation, Kirital attempts to catch up. It seems they're planning to counter a foe of strength...with powerful allies...and who they plan to trap instead of defeat. A look of concern turns toward Vath; brow turning outward until he steels himself against his wandering mind. Vathelan is no combatant. Besides that's what Kirital is for. Through Dora's explanation, he moves his focus onto her and listens. She seems tense, though confident. It brings a subtle smirk of interest to his stubbly face. "We've got help pouring in on all fronts!" There's a little bit of that cheer in Dora that bears the marks of authentic if a bit worn down. It's too difficult for her to stay down for very long, goes against what comes naturally to her so she doesn't fight the sudden tide of good humor. "Honestly, it's been kind of a windfall of support from unexpected places, all of them vetted. We've got ships in the dock, we've got people diggin trenches, we've got out weapons specialist working on landmines, the tanks. Fel!" she grins, eyes going crescent with her mirth, "I've got my cousin up in the zeppelin tower working on a damn canon that oughta put a sizable dent in anything Lazhio tries to bring to the table." In her excitement, she brandishes a copy of the map that details their plans, with red markings of adjustments in the margins. She points to the square marking the command center, hovering over the map while her long ebon hair slips off her shoulders, messy and wild. "We have shamans who can detect underground tremors in case of tunneling. We have ballistas set up along the eastern and southern facing walls," her finger drags a line down, "and that's not accounting for the mines placed here, or the oil that will be set aflame by our rangers." Kirital gets to his tip toes and peers to the map from the wall. It seems rather complex and there are a lot of lines and words. Instead he returns to ogling Vathelan's back view with a subtle once over. If Vathelan resolves to be here for this intense siege, he'll kick the shit out of whatever tries to attack him. The hunter in Dora reacts to the movement in her peripheral; she notices the half-elf in his less than discreet attempt at satiating his curiosity. She'd be doing the exact same thing in his position. She shoots off a look towards him, that same enthusiastic and artless grin tossed in his direction like a bomb. She's pure energy in her element, explosive like the weapons she enjoys tinkering on in her spare time. It's like sharing a secret, a little understanding between him and her, before she returns her attention to the map. Kirital grins. He had a feeling Dora was into him. That look confirms it to him. He makes a mental note to ask her to go clubbing in the Dalaran nightlife and maybe bring Vathelan along. It'll be a celebration. Resting against the wall, he lets himself daydream a moment. “Your tactician seems to have done an adequate enough job devising a solid plan of defense, save potentially warding the area to ensure that the enemy cannot simply teleport within.” Despite his studious tone, her usual liveliness is infectious. He cannot help but smile at how her excitement bubbles to the surface. “I am willing to lend my aid there if you so wish, and while I am not normally a combatant—I can provide support in terms of altering the flow of battle in our favor, or I can lend my prowess in keeping up the barrier if you would have me at either station. Unless you have something else in mind?” Vathelan's offer sobers Kirital and his wandering mind. He approaches the table and stands behind Vathelan with crossed arms and a raised brow at the man. "It's not outlined here," she confides, "but we do have plans for an arcane barrier. Those magic users who can use light will be fighting against what are basically sha-puppets..." the movement gives her pause. Vathelan stands in the shadow of what Dora realizes is a giant of a half-elf. He might actually be the same size as Nokh, managing to loom in their space and her just shy of meeting his eyes. He might have had an inch on her, she'd have to guess. She gives his size a notice, a mental 'huh' before she continues on. "I can put you on the team with the barrier...you'd be closest to the inner circle where we're protecting the stones, but arguably that would be the safest place in the base." “If you think my talents would be best suited there, then so be it.” He has his suspicions, but he doesn’t verbalize them. He understood the value of such a position tactically, and if she sought to protect him… he would have to take that as a good sign. “Where will you be?” "Erm," she verbalizes, internally wincing while she keeps her eyes down, pinned to the map. "I'll be with the rest of the ranged fighters and fall back after they breach the wall." "Where Vathelan goes, I'll be there as well." Kirital adds. Looking over Dora, he smiles, demeanor turning friendly and a little scrutinizing. It's almost as if he sizes her up in the least offensive way. "Should I get with you to see where I fit in? Vathelan is my priority, but that doesn't mean I can't help defend others nearby." The Magister’s lips thin as the briefing declared her positioning. His frosty gaze glared within the woman’s scalp. He looked about to protest at any moment. His brows knitting at his bodyguard’s declaration next. He obviously wasn’t pleased, and yet he said nothing at current. What he sees is what he gets, that much is obvious just looking at her. If imagined lined up against other elven women considered typical in stature and grace, they'd probably try to gently direct her out and maybe hang up her femininity card as she left. She had the height that made her tower over most of her gender and race, and a thicker build beneath the jacket and trousers. Feminine demure was traded for the sort of free-spirited will of a younger mind who really just cared about what was practical. She was freshly scrubbed, at least, but bare-faced and curious. She considered the man and his question, rubbing thoughtfully at her chin. "Honestly," she starts, head canted, "I'd just like to know why Vathelan has a bodyguard in the first place. I don't wanna compromise your job, but I am wondering." Kirital's grin turns toothy. He's clearly proud of the position. "Sure yeah! We can go over that and Vathelan's body over drinks." He soon catches what he said and attempts to recover despite a small blush. "Ah, why I'm assigned to be his body guard, that is." “It’s a bit comple—” The Magister had finally spoken up, his frigid concern had not yet thawed in this distraction. And then he heard that slip up and froze in place, his eyes slowly looking back up at the half-elf, before looking back at the woman before him. The correction did nothing to stop his flustering however, as a red hue slowly began to emanate upon the man in glasses. There is a titan of a male blushing in front of her. What he'd said had caught her notice, but she wasn't going to give it much thought; at least until Vathelan cut himself off and his discomfort radiated off of him in a deep blush across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose. She runs the words in her head again, niggling loose the meaning, and hates that she feels her own face go hot when she isn't even sure why they are blushing (though she's got ideas, but they're distracting from the point!). Her hands splay flat across her desk, with her stare roving from Kirital to Vathelan. "I'd- uh. Rather just hear it now." "I'm a uh," Kirital clears his throat and slides a step away from Vathelan, similarly drifting his gaze to the far wall. "A member of Sanctuary charged with stopping threats to Vathelan's person." He shrugs. "Simple as that, really." He gives a somewhat desperate look to Vathelan to extrapolate, and hides it behind a smile. "Who?" Dora is forced to ask, concerned, her focus on Vathelan. “There have been… incidents, which were left unchecked. Some of the leadership thought this acceptable; others did not and understood the risk it posed to my delicate work in negotiations.” "That's not the answer to my question," Dora frowns. "You know her quite well, and I loathe the thought of being a wedge between your friendship." Kirital nods during Vathelan's explanation. Clearly the Magister is better at describing delicate situations. Once the conversation continues he stops. "I dunno. Haven't had any incidents, really." He arcs a brow toward Vathelan. Really he is oblivious to what harm merited Baern's order to bodyguard the mage. The truth hits her with enough force to make her groan. She scrubs at her face, her reluctant little smile peeking from behind the gaps of her fingers. "Well," she sighs, laughter hiding in her eyes as she glances between them both, "yeah, I can see why you need a bodyguard. That's an entire set of problems I'd like to address later, when we're not dealing with a magic-sucking maniac." "Shall we add it to the list of things we need to discuss after this scenario?" "Yeah I can cover the first round but you're on your own after that." Kirital teased, or at least that was how Vathelan took it. Her stomach freefalls, the gently amused curve of her lips wiped clean. There's too much in the unspoken to pick apart. When she tries to catch murmurs of a conversation in the dark, she hears her own voice but not his. Apologies and backpedaling. Clarification; a small perk that laid at the end of the unknown. "Sure," she offers, straightening. The buttons of her coat gleam in the light. “I didn’t mean…” The Magister gave a small sigh, he seems slightly flustered. “We have much to discuss when this is over. I have hope that the majority of it will prove quite pleasant.” He manages to calm his fussing to give her a small smile. “…All we need do is survive.” Dora probably does this to spite herself. It's her playing cards against her brother all over again, revealing her hand just by breathing or something. She lacks the ability to hide, to disguise. She feels like the air blares loud with the undercurrent of their conversation. Vathelan was going to read it just like Eiverlyn could read a person's history just by analyzing their clothes. Unable to stop herself, her stare flickers to Kirital. Was it written all over her face, the uncertainty? She takes up the map, a safe port in a storm. "We've got good odds. Surviving, I mean." “Indeed.” The Magister gives a small nod, it was uncertain if he could see through her weak façade or not. “Thank you for your time, Lady Arath’dorei.” He moves to stand up from his chair. His eyes looked over his dear first friend. “We’ll get through this. Together. And… perhaps we can have our discussions over dinner?” "I'm starving." Kirital laughs. Overall he seems to not own a care in the world, or at least doesn't let such bother him. There is a disarming quality that hangs about him as loosely as his attire. "So I'm game for anything." He does take a few steps back as his input ends. Just like that, the bubble of tension breaks. Unconsciously, she aims a half grin Kirital's way. "Well, you're free to have dinner in the mess hall if you want. We've got a pretty decent chef...and yeah," she meets Vathelan's eyes, easy confidence returned to her. "Dinner after the battle is fine too." Vathelan held the door open for the bodyguard, his eyes glancing back at his first and dear friend. The smile started warm, encouraging as she regained her confidence. “Thank you, Lady Arath’dorei.” The gaze lingered for a moment, the smile faded before contact was completely broken. He shut the door behind him and his companion without a word further.
  7. Vilmah

    ((OOC)) [WR] July - Character Submission

    Here's my submission for Syreena!
  8. Vilmah

    They were in the trees..

    She was panting, now. Purple lips trembled as she attempted to scan the treeline for her foe, but in spite of her skills and whatever natural affinity she had for tracking, Kalyra could not find any trace of the creature stalking her. She continued running, Booty Bay just a few miles up ahead. Kalyra was a good runner, she had long muscular legs and long purple hair that flowed like a ribbon behind her. She was pretty, and that amused Syreena. Why would someone so pretty and so dumb be in Stranglethorn Vale? Doesn't she know that's where the fun happens? the Forsaken rogue thought to herself from the bough of a tree, hidden within the shadows that Night Elves were so good at seeing. Surely, Kalyra should have spotted her by now, but she was in a panic. Syreena had already leaped from the branches to stab her once, with her tiniest knife, just to get the poison in and watch her run. She wasn't accompanied by any animals, Syreena noticed when the night elf first happened past her, which she supposed was unusual. By now most night elves would have jumped on a big cat and run away, but not Kalyra. "I knew.. I should have.. waited.. a bit longer.. before coming here.." the elf said between pants, pumping her long legs as fast as they would carry her. A raptor happened past her and snarled, lunging toward Kalyra's body to sink its jaws into her lovely purple flesh. Oh no! Thought Syreena, leaping to another branch. He's going to ruin them!! But Kalyra was fast, and without hesitation she drew a sword from her side and stabbed into the raptor's mouth. Blood gushed from the creature's wound as the sword penetrated its skull. Kalyra was a novice, but she could push a sword into meat and bone with the best of them. She waited for the raptor to go limp before sliding out the blade, letting its body hit the ground in a heap. Whew.. sighed the little rogue, relaxing again to watch her prey leap back on to the main road and run for Booty Bay and breakneck speed, her bloody sword still in one hand. Syreena followed her closely, jumping from branch to branch as the night elf's running gradually slowed. She smiled with pointy teeth as Kalyra stumbled over a root, flying face first into the ground. "Oof!!" She said with a mouth full of dirt, picking her self back up to keep running. The rustling of branches behind her told Kalyra the truth of the matter; she was still being followed. Wiping her mouth, she turned to look behind her, picking herself up off the ground to shriek into the sky. "What do you want from me!?" There was no verbal response. The sound of birds and her own breathing was all that Kalyra heard, the latter of which grew heavier and more ragged with each breath. Groaning irritably, she turned to run again, discovering that her legs were so heavy she could only manage a slow trot. Now her sword felt like a huge weight in her palm, and try as she might she couldn't keep a solid grip on it. The sword fell to the ground with a loud clatter, eliciting another grunt from Kalyra. Still, Syreena watched and waited. Won't be too long, now.. And down she went. The night elf tripped over another root and fell face first into the dirt. When she didn't immediately get up, Syreena knew this was her opportunity. Jumping down to the ground, she kept to the shadows, just in case. The night elf struggled to roll off of her stomach, only to push herself to one side and shriek with horror at the sight before her. Syreena was a ghastly sight for anyone who wasn't used to seeing the Forsaken; her skin was made up of different colors and sewn together haphazardly, and her teeth had been filed down into razor sharp points. Of course, human teeth were not designed for this shape, so they were jagged and discolored, displaying dead nerve endings and rotted cavities. Holding up two daggers, she grinned at Kalyra and spun them around her wrists. "..w...why..." the night elf whimpered helplessly, hardly able to lift a hand from the ground. She considered briefly how stupid she'd been to forget to pack health potions. Syreena tilted her head to one side. She didn't speak Darnassian, but she assumed that the elf was asking something. "Ears," she replied, tugging her own for effect, then pointing at Kalyra's. "For my collection!" The night elf couldn't understand this strange language. As Syreena pulled her earlobe, she considered that perhaps the Forsaken couldn't hear her? "WHY?!" She shouted louder. Syreena raised a patchy eyebrow. Again, she pointed to the elf. "EAAAARS." Kalyra shook her head in disbelief. That this would be how she'd die was not something she could have imagined, not in a million years. Bracing herself for a killing blow, she shut her eyes tightly and waited. Syreena watched her prepare. Out of all of the elves she killed, this one didn't seem particularly different or even particularly interesting. Under most circumstances, she would have just cut off an ear and finish the job her poison started. Today was different, though. Today, she was feeling...merciful? No, that wasn't it. Shaking her head at such a silly thought, she grabbed one of Kalyra's ears and yanked it to the side, her other hand swooping down to carve off the long tip of her purple ear. With a quick tearing sound, the hunk of flesh was removed and Syreena had a new addition to her collection. Kalyra let out a pained moan, her limbs too heavy to move, but the pain visibly overwhelming. "This is one of the biggest ones I've ever seen!" Syreena said proudly, patting the night elf's cheek. "You did a good job growing it." Again, Kalyra moaned. Behind them both, the sudden sound of voices could be heard approaching. Syreena turned to listen, but heard only the weird elf language. Turning back to Kalyra, she considered killing her quickly with a single slash to the throat. It could be quick, and she could be out of there before the other arrived. The slow trail of blood, however, signaled that she didn't have long to live anyway. The poison will get to her heart, soon. Scrambling away, Syreena waited in a tree to watch as three night elves on black sabers ran to the scene and immediately went to Kalyra's aid. The night elf writhed in their arms, close to death, but babbling in her own language. "..undead... in the trees... they... they're in the trees.. they're in the trees!" she moaned before they made her choke down a healing potion. Syreena grinned. She couldn't understand what the elf said, but one of the words in Darnassian caught her ear. Aman.. she repeated in her head, then frowned. But I'm not a man... I'm a girl! How dare she! What happened next could only be described as a full on massacre. Syreena leaped from the trees and carved into the night elf bodies as if they were soft butter. Her daggers tore through the light leather armor, finding sweet warm flesh that she might gorge on later. Of course, she would save the ears. When the bodies fell, she stomped over to the already bleeding Kalyra and pressed a boot against the other girl's chest. "I AM NO MAN!" She shouted triumphantly. The birds sung, and somewhere nearby, a tiger roared. Then Kalyra died.
  9. In his own preparations for the battle to come, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper had kept finding himself at a loss any time the Captain asked for an explanation of the details of the job not listed in the contract—when he wasn’t leaving at the bar to get drunk on the Magister’s silver, of course. Not liking having a decidedly lacking understanding of the situation, he had decided it prudent to return to the office. Each step had him questioning his preparations. Should he bring flowers? Too forward. This was work, after all. And Dora had too much on her plate as it was—the whole reason he decided against actually getting an answer or saying the words. His hands hovered at the door of the office. He took a deep breath, only exhaling as he finally announced his presence. How many more adjustments did this plan need? How many more hands volunteered for the sake of a fight that counted on so many factors outside of their control? Earlier, opportunities ran abundant out of the mouths of those in attendance at the meetings. Now that they put those plans into action, she kept running into new logistic problems. Most tedious part; the part she liked dealing with the least. She skimmed the end of her quill across her mouth, the feathery end chewed while she came up with what she was going to do for Cat in thanks for all of her assistance. Shokkra too. Cat fought for Kreyen, Shokkra for her best friend. Julilee for her support in everything, reliable even at all-time lows. Though they all bent their heads to their tasks for different reasons, they all bore the same banner and it made Dora speculate on just how much Sanctuary aided them now without question. Not because they were Sanctuary and allies...or maybe the term 'ally' meant more than it ever had before.... With the startle from the knock, she ends up with the feather end of the quill tip up one nostril. She sets it aside, brings her wrist to her nose to stop her sneeze, and beckons them with a muffled "Come in!" After hearing her invitation, the young Magister gently opened the door and saw himself in with a warm smile. “Good evening, Lady Arath’dorei. How does the planning fare?” She peers past a sea of parchment, catches sight of Vathelan. The sincere if tired half-smile reaches her eyes, just partially hidden under a heavy black fringe that always seemed to need cutting. She stands, throws a hand in the direction of one of the chairs in front of the desk. "It's a little fiddly," she admits, "but promising at least." “I could help, if you would allow it?” He seems slightly better rested than the woman before him. Though the robe he was in was less pristine than she had ever seen, save perhaps the end of their little hunting trip almost a year ago. “My specialties tend to be catching and managing the little details so that heroes such are yourself can worry about the bigger picture. You slay the dragon, I figure out how to make sure your men don’t go hungry during the venture.” "You're restless," she decides, a dimple deepening as her smile hitches up further. If Dora Arath'dorei carried the confidence to claim any sort of expertise in anything at all, restlessness ranked at the top of the list. She knew the signs. “I am worried.” He corrects, his eyes looking pointedly in direction and at all the paperwork. He sat down before her, gently moving to try to smooth out the wrinkles in his uniform as he did so. And then he eased his demeanor, back to a more familiar than the professional as he teased. “Do not tell me you were so quick to forget our conversation?” Their last conversation; it's like staring into a dense fog in her own head where glimpses reveal themselves of their own accord, never to her satisfaction or to complete the picture. Vague notions, an awful lot of confusion. Her bottom lip attempts to roll back for her teeth to chew, but she manages to refrain. "You can be worried and restless," Dora counters, sitting when he does. "I learned that those two tend to go hand in hand." She looks like she might tip out of her chair, perched on the very edge, but her feet are solidly beneath her. “I suppose it is difficult to get adequate rest when there is a threat of certain doom, or when your employee deems to claim the bed within the guestroom as his own.” The playful smirk continued to grow for a moment before it settled back down into his professional side threatened to overcome him once more. “Lady Arath’dorei… I know the eagerness to spill oneself into their work, the fear that someone else may get it wrong. But I am here. For you. Please do not hesitate to utilize my talents.” "I- yeah, I know that Vath." Zakael can only do so much between his own exhaustion and taking care of his daughter. Amalyn...Dora passes by the infirmary to get updates on her status. At least Amalyn's recovering, but she won't set the burden of more paperwork on the woman. Or maybe Amalyn needs the work to feel included in the fight, to save her husband (or vengeance, but Dora moves right along past that possibility). "If I gave you anything, it would be a lot of grunt work. Giving the numbers another check, reporting directly to me." A ruffle of her hair, a mild furrow of her brows. Her smile carries a note of sardonic, like it's an uncomfortable sentiment that can't stand to land on her expression for any longer than an eye blink. "We've got...a lot of Sanctuary here filling a lotta roles. As much help as they provide, there's also been tension because of it. It's hard to keep up morale when it looks like we're handing off a lot of our control to an outside source, no matter how closely we might be allied." “If running numbers will help alleviate some of the burden you bear upon your shoulders, then please, by all means.” His face remained in the twilight of both personas, each sentence seemed to play a different note in his mannerisms. “Though… I must admit, I am surprised to see Sanctuary actually acting.” The amount left unsaid fills the room, forcing her attention. She's always been told that, as a leader, you're always listening for the unspoken. You're balancing multiple conversations with each word capable of changing the outcome. You can tuck meaning into phrases like cards up a sleeve. She's never once won a card game against her brother. She works on her strengths to make up the difference. "They're not acting under orders. A lot of the members that are here came on their own, because of family or friendship." “I suppose the reasons are irrelevant at current. What must be focused on is how to achieve victory in order to fight another day.” He adjusts the conversation as he does his glasses. “…Speaking of which, I feel I am at a loss of an understanding of the specifics." The specifics? She gets another chance at trying to narrow down months of events into a succinct summary. The problem of information sharing among BT's own people buzzes around her head, with half-baked ideas that she's considered in those meandering moments where she's drifting between one problem and another. Better kept mission logs, maybe a little more bureaucracy. Not enough to stifle, just to smooth out their operations... Oh, right. Debriefing first. She tries to keep details relevant. "Alright," she starts, handing him off one of the reports passed around in their earlier meetings detailing the victims in Dalaran whose remains appeared no more than husks. Bodies of Sunreavers and stray mages. "These were found in the sewers a few months ago. We didn't get a confirmed ID until Aaren was attacked. Then Uncl-..Cobrak recognized Lazhio, not just from Aaren but from events prior...he borrowed a body of one of our own, using it like transport. I'm not sure about the form he's using now beyond the fact that it's strong." She picks up another loose sheaf with the pitlord-esque form of Lazio in the background, with the Rough Raiders to the front. "He breathed out a wave of felfire and had our best fighters retreating with just a word." “You said he is devouring… essence of those Magically inclined, those trained in the classic arts specifically? Or are those using natural magics or the Divine for example also at risk of this?” His first question as he reads the reports. No one he knew sticks out within them, if there are names.”He… borrows forms? Does he kill his host? Does killing the host neutralize him?” A soft knock comes from the door.
  10. Last week
  11. CHARACTER SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED, YOU HAVE BEEN RANDOMLY ASSIGNED AS FOLLOWS: Brinnea, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Qabian, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Vilmah, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Tahzani, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Syreena, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Catalinetta, you will be writing a story from the perspective of:
  12. Hey all, I've added two new themes to the boards. I have arbitrarily made the Horde one the default, but there is an Alliance version also. I am leaving the green Legion and default White there for others who either don't like change or dark colored forums. Let me know (screenshot if you can) if you find an area where the text on background doesn't have enough contrast to be able to read it. I've gone through a bunch of the pages and I've fixed the things I've found so far. Happy new expansion! To change your theme, go to the bottom center of the page --> Theme --> pick one.
  13. Nikaa

    LUNK LUNK THE DESTROYER

    Hearing Lunk's name mentioned caused Lonk to stomp his feet, and gnash his teeth. "Lonk Hate Lunk!" He yelled. "Why Lunk get all nice tings? Floaty sammich chose Lunk, and Lunk get to talk to pretty lady and get gold stars! WHY! It not fair!"
  14. supermoop

    LUNK RITE WORDS

    me is lunk, i ritE word 2 telL aventu adveture story 2-dayyY good dayy talk wit bOb wach sho togetah wit bob affer go tak wit miss raZzy but miss rAzzy make LUNK fel sad scarE ladi hurt pretti miSs ket n miss razzy no want punish no unnerstan. lunk confuse, think miss razzy say 4 tat fite fite bad bad. alSo see lonk 2deey he men 2 LUNK try stel lunk lunch cuz he say no fairsies dat LUnk see miss razzy. no lunk faul he see miss RaZzy n lonk no. LONk no go see 4 self. if want go see miss razzy, not hard. dumb dumb lonk. luv lunk ❤️ The writing is crude, having been written by an overly enthusiastic hobgoblin. The paper is torn, but still connected to others in a raggedy looking journal of sorts. It is stained, having been held by the mook throughout his daily activities, including but not limited to: using his zappy stick, rolling on the ground, and kicking over all the backyard furniture at Razz's home looking for the pen he thought lost forever.
  15. supermoop

    LUNK LUNK THE DESTROYER

    Full Name: Lunk Lunk the Destroyer Nicknames: Lunk for short Birthday: 01 April, at least that's what he's told Age: Don't ask Race: Hobgoblin Gender: Mook Hair: Mook Skin: Mook Eyes: Mook Height/Weight: Mook Place of Residence: Razz's House Place of Birth: Don't ask Known Relatives: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Religion/Philosophy: Whatever Miss Razzy tells him Occupation: Miss Razzy's Bodyguard/Protector of her house Enemies: LONK Likes: Pretty ladies (particularly Ketani Addison), his shows, bun huggers/underoos, Miss. Razzy Dislikes: Lonk, when people are mean Favourite Weapon: Zappy Stick, itchy stichy (itching powder) Favourite Food: Floaty Sammich Hobbies: Watching his shows, picking pretty flowers, and helping Miss Razzy Positive Personality Traits: Unending positivity, always tries his best Negative Personality Traits: Has the intelligence of a hobgoblin Theme Song: Womp Womp, Wimp Wimp by Mook Quartet History: Lunk work hard for Miss Razzy, write journal telling all adventures! He try hard, do best job!
  16. Vilmah

    TN+RH Community Masterlist of characters

    Thanks for this! Great job!
  17. A google masterlist of characters can be found HERE. Main characters are listed in the first column, with alternate characters listed across in the same row. Each name is typed out in order to be searchable using a Ctrl+F function, and sorted into class columns. For some people, anonymity is wanted and if one of your alts is listed that is NOT common knowledge, send me a PM and I will delete it. In a list this large likely no one will have even seen it. By the same token, if there are blanks you'd like to fill in, by all means, let me know! If your name is not on this list, please let me add it. Check to see if you are listed as inactive with a [xA] for Alliance or [xH] for Horde. I'd like to keep the list current by filtering active people to the top and inactive folks to the bottom, but sorting is not an exact science and I'm sure I got it wrong somewhere- no hard feelings I hope. If you see your alt in the first column please claim it to be added into the proper row with your main! Feel free to correct me if you consider your main to be different than the toon your row is listed by. You know- just be helpful if you see I've messed up. This is meant to be a useful tool that can be edited on the fly as people come and go from the game. (original Masterlist thread can be found here)
  18. Qabian

    Time Shattered

    She has her claws in too many aspects of my life as it is. Now her brother? At least, he seems unlike her in most ways, but it's just another connection where there are already too many. I should... not have gone there, but I felt like I had no choice. Not that anyone but myself was forcing me, but... After everything, simply... staying away... was not something I could do, not without at least making the attempt. I was lucky it was only Damian around, although perhaps if he hadn't been there I could have been and gone without waking her. What she said about Sylvanas is... her problem, not mine. Or it should be, but anyone whose focus turns to her, after they take out her family, will inevitably find those connections. Given what she spoke about sounded like paranoia, something I'm highly familiar with, I know the path that can unfold from there. There is no way that I am willing to stand between her and Sylvanas' minions if there's any truth to her presumptions. There's also no way I just stand aside and let her die. Or is there? On the one hand, I know what I should do. I should stay away from her entirely. But now her brother. Awatu wants us to pay attention to Genn, but I wonder if Anduin isn't stronger than we're giving him credit for. Yes, he's an idiot child, but I'm not entirely certain he's an idiot child entirely bent to the will of the adults in the room. I think he's too opinionated and has too much power to simply do what everyone else says without asserting his own ideas. Umbral has her tabard, at my insistence, essentially. I went where I needed to go and made my arguments and got my approval, such as it was. It feels like desperation. When she turned over that journal, we should -- and again, doing things I know I should not -- have cut her throat immediately, no hesitation, no compromise. But much of what we do feels like desperation these days. The pendulum never completed its swing. Will it ever? Will we have to force it? Yes, she worked hard. She "earned" the privilege by completing the tasks set for her. Several times over, in truth. But she is so deeply flawed that she is utterly untrustworthy. And it's not because she lies. It's because she won't, so she floats her flaws on the surface where we can all see them, and yet rather than destroy her for them, we are forced to take them in stride. We had to give her the tabard to make sure that hard work of hers doesn't turn against us, not because she is what we need. Now her brother.
  19. It seemed impossible to determine how long the remaining of the trio stood there in shock after watching their assumed victory snuffed out with a single gesture. Three armies, of separate proud nations of Elven people, gone-- nothing more that statues lost to time. Even worse for Isabaele, was the loss of the man who offered her salvation from her former life, her dear commander was now stolen from her. “We’ve done all we can here.” The flat tone spoke behind her, his hand coming to her shoulder. “We’ll live to fight another day.” “No!” A look of harsh indignation filled her features as she whirled to look back at the man, “How dare you? We’re not leaving him behind! There has to be something we can do!” “And what would you suggest? Wading into a destabilized temporal zone that the enemy controls?” Kal’une shook his head. “No. We have a war to win.” And with that, her objections were dismissed. The disguised Illidari pulled out a small sliver of a gem, “M, pull us out. The day is lost.” Isabaele fell to her knees, defeated but still trying to come up with a counter argument. She had none. She cursed herself for her stupidity as tears ran down her face, the moisture caught the glinting light of the portal that formed behind the final half of the brothers Danteur. It was in this moment she finally found her voice again. “Wait… what about the other rebels, we’re not leaving them too are we?” “They belong to Thalyssra, not us.” The voice of Kal’une was flat and to the point as usual, his back turned from the girl kneeling upon the Concourse as he began his journey towards the portal. He stopped three steps from its maw when he heard the lack of footfall behind him. His blind gaze returned to the girl. “You have two options: Stay here and wallow until the Duskwatch finds you; or prove that Sin’soiel was right about you. We lost this battle, but tomorrow is another day. The war continues. Decide if you desire to be a waste of our time, but know I will no longer tolerate such distractions. If you decide to remain with us I will require your full dedication. And be quick about your resolve, the Legion will not wait for us.” And with that final sentence, Lord Kal’une Danteur vanished-- potentially forever. Isabaele looked back towards where the man she so admired stood in stasis and took a deep breath. She stood back upon her feet. “I will be back for you, I promise.”
  20. RiktheRed21

    A Wolf, A Horse, and A Rider

    Near on a week passed before Brinnea left Dun Modr. Though loathe to admit it, even to herself, she had become attached to the girls in Matron Sio’s boudoir. Ever since she saved Jessaya from the drunkard Vic, the other girls had pestered her with questions and requested help with anything from braiding hair to making beds. Brinnea didn’t mind lending a hand, and they quickly caught on. Their company was worth the pestering, so far as Brinnea was concerned, but the more comfortable she became, the more anxious she was to depart. When she did, it was early in the morning, before the sun could rise. It was at that hour the boudoir was most quiet, when all the drunkards had fallen asleep and the late-night lechers had fled to bed before their wives could wake and find them gone. Brinnea had stolen out while Sio slept, and left all the money the gruff matron had secreted into her purse. I never asked to be paid, Brinnea had thought, I shouldn’t have even stayed as long as I have. Now the sun was rising to her right, over mossy green hills. The crossing of the Thandol Span lie behind her now, and before her rose wave after wave of green hills. This was the land of the most ancient human civilization, the Strom. Arathi Highlands was true to its name; the death knight found herself riding up and up and up as she ascended from the dull basin the Wetlands sat in on the other side of the wide Thandol gap. Beneath the grass and dirt Brinnea knew there were relics to be found, some as old as she was and some far older. This was a land where civilizations rose and fell – one massive graveyard buried beneath pleasant green hills. The wolf made its appearance known again a few miles north of the Span. It baffled Brinnea that the beast would have waited so long for her to leave Dun Modr, let alone follow her across the great stone bridge over a massive, wet, and windy gorge. A lone wolf seeks a pack where it can find it, I suppose. A few miles more, and Brinnea found the road blocked by two boulders as large as she was. Given that the road was tightly flanked on both sides by hills, making going around on ordeal on horseback, she immediately suspected a trap. She dismounted and clambered up a hill, her sword drawn and ready for an ambush, but when she reached the top, she could see no sign of anyone or anything. A pair of birds weaved about one another in an angry dance up above, and the wolf was nowhere to be seen, both otherwise there was nothing of note. “Nothing to do but move the boulders aside,” she mumbled to herself. A wind whipped at her cloak, as if trying to reply. If it was speaking to her, she did not know the tongue. A sudden yelp back down the road caught her attention as she slid down the hill. The wolf eyed her and barked. It lifted its head, and the bark flew into a wild howl. Brinnea’s eyebrows knit in annoyance. “Did it occur to you I didn’t want to attract attention, mutt?” The wolf kept up its howl, and padded up and down the road. It kept looking at her with its unnervingly focused eyes. She called out to it loudly, “Go bother someone else! I’m a poor replacement for the pack you lost!” The wolf sprinted down the road, away from her. Guess that finally drove it away, but for how long? Brinnea set to work moving one of the boulders. There was little chance of removing them entirely from the road with such steep hills to either side, but at least she could move one so there would be a narrow s-shaped gap to ride around. Any travelers with carts would be out of luck, but that wasn’t Brinnea’s problem. She found a thin, sturdy tree a way off the road and hacked at it until the little trunk gave way. She shaved off the branches and returned to the road. The trunk was sturdy enough to serve as a lever, but getting the proper leverage took much longer than anticipated. Eventually, she managed to get the boulder to budge, but the process of moving it out of the way was gradual and often resulted in the damn thing rolling back the way she had moved it from. Frustration was among the emotions left to Brinnea, though she could have done without it right about now. While considering better methods of moving the boulder, she happened to glance back down the road, expecting to see the wolf coming back. When she saw no sign of it, she felt oddly disappointed. “Get ahold of yourself, Velmon,” she muttered, and set back to work. The screaming started a few minutes later. The wolf’s howl accompanied it, making it hard to know for sure, but it sounded just like a girl’s scream. Brinnea listened closely, uncertain. It could have just been a bird with a peculiar cry; it wasn’t as if she knew the fauna of this region well. The screams stopped of a sudden. Brinnea told herself to pay it no heed, but before she knew it, she was clambering into her saddle and leaving her boulder and level behind in a cloud of trail dust. Not a mile south of the road obstruction, she came across a dead horse swarmed by flies. The smell of it was fresh, and there were clear marks indicating the rider was dragged off the road by something with deep footprints. “Ogres,” Brinnea said. Something moved behind her, too soft to be one of the great oafish clansmen responsible for this mess. She whirled about, and lowered her blade when she saw the wolf padding up to her, its fur a reddish brown she hadn’t noticed before. “You’re growing bolder to get so close to me, mutt,” she said. The beast panted and watched her expectantly. She imagined it speaking to her; Are you going to do something about this mess? “What’s there to do?” she replied, “Anyone taken by an ogre is bound to wind up in an ogre’s supper.” They could still be alive. “It’s none of my business. I have more important things to worry about.” She turned towards her horse. Some urgent meeting you have to get to? And here I suspected you were wandering aimlessly. “I know where I’m going.” But you don’t know what you’ll do when you get there, do you? Brinnea spun to shout back, but the wolf was gone. She looked around and caught sight of its tail retreating up the hill, in the direction of the ogre trail. “You have to be joking!” Brinnea exclaimed, but when she remounted, she followed right along, looking back at the northward road woefully. The trail was clear enough, but Brinnea lacked the skill to interpret how many or how fast her query was moving. Based on how long it had been since the screaming, she figured the ogre or ogres couldn’t be more than a couple miles ahead of her. She urged her charger into a gallop. Even at a dead run, an ogre couldn’t outpace a horse. The wolf bounded to try and keep up, and Brinnea was surprised at how long it managed to do so. Before too long, it fell behind, panting and yapping. The ogres are like to hear us coming with all this noise. Oh well, I prefer a fair fight, anyway. She caught sight of them after ascending a hill. They were within a couple minutes’ ride of her, and had lit a fire under the cover of a heavy stone outcrop. A stream trickled beside them, no deeper than Brin’s ankle, she guessed, but it would be an asset in the fight to come. The death knight couldn’t tell if the captive was alive or not; they appeared only as a white and yellow smudge in the distance. The ogres, on the other hand, stood out greatly. There were three of them, more than enough to overwhelm Brin if she wasn’t careful. She rode around the ogre’s camp, sticking to the shadows. It seemed that they hadn’t spotted her yet, so she intended to keep it that way. She made her final approach with the westering sun at her back and the stream at her side. The ogres stirred from their seated position as she approached, cantering carefully. Ogres were dull creatures, but smart enough to set traps or tame wild beasts. She watched closely for any sign of a trap. “HEY!” one of the ogres roared at her, “THIS OUR CAMP! NO STEALING!” The three ogres faced her, two carrying crude clubs, and the other a net and spear shaved from the trunk of a tree much larger than Brin’s lever. Their captive was wrapped up tightly in another net. A great boar was turning on the spit over the fire. Luckily the beast seemed a better feast than the small woman the ogres had captured, else Brin’s detour would have been for nothing. “I’m here for the girl, the one you idiots pulled from her horse,” Brinnea said calmly. Her sword rested in its sheath for now. Let them think I’m not hostile. They’ll underestimate me and charge blindly. “NO LIKE HORSE!” the head ogre shouted back, “WE EAT GIRL INSTEAD! BRING SKIN BACK FOR TENT!” “I didn’t ask. You’re going to give her to me. Now.” The ogre with the spear and net laughed first, but the other two joined in, as if just getting the joke. “YOU STUPID! YOU NO BEAT US! YOU WANT BE FOOD TOO?” “If you want a taste of me, you’ll have to come get me.” As expected, all three sprinted at her, roaring and bashing their weapons against their chests, bare but for a few furs and leather straps. Brinnea wheeled her horse to run down the line of the stream. Once they were chasing her, big feet clattering along the wet pebbles, she drew her blade and pointed it at the water behind her. In a flash of blue light, the water began to freeze. The ogres were too dead-set on her to even slow down. All three fell over on the patch of ice, making a great THUD! Brinnea spun her charger around and urged it to do what it was made to do. The killing was bloody, brutal, and brief. Her sword flashed thrice in wide silvery-blue arcs, each time turning red midway through. She raced past the ogres, and left them with three slit throats. Brinnea came to a stop at the camp and dismounted. The wolf was there now, gnawing at the nets angrily. Brinnea drew her knife and cut the animals free first, shooing them away easily enough. Then she freed the girl. Somehow, Brinnea wasn’t surprised to recognize her. “Jessaya, were you following me?” She helped the girl sit up and looked over her head. It was cut and bleeding, but her eyes focused when Brin passed a finger in front of them, so she figured her brain was likely safe. “Yes,” the girl admitted quietly. She was always quiet and shy. It was part of why the men liked her so much. That, and her absurd youth. Tonight, she wore one of her white robes covered by a cloak of foxfur she must have stolen from Sio along with the horse. Her clothes were dirty and tattered, but still usable. Brin noted with annoyance than the girl wore only underclothes beneath the robe. “You’re going straight back to Dun Modr in the morning,” Brinnea said. “But…!” Brinnea hushed her with a look. “There are worse things than ogres about. You’re lucky to have been saved this time, but your luck won’t last.” “But if I stay with you…” “You won’t.” I’m more dangerous than anything you’ll face on the road. “Why not? You’re all by yourself out here. Everyone needs company.” The girl was utterly innocent, her eyes telling a story of hurt and sadness, but hope too. It was too much for Brin to look at. The wolf lay nearby, warming its fur by the fire. Brin noticed Jessaya watching the beast carefully. “You’re going back, and that’s final.” “It’ll be dangerous for me to go back by myself now,” Jessaya replied, “And without a horse now. I couldn’t ride very well, but it was faster than walking.” Brin sighed. The girl was right, but the last thing she wanted was to delay her travel further. “You’ll just have to tread carefully and hope for the best.” The girl was devastated, Brin could tell. Better sad than company with a walking disaster. Her odds could be worse. It’s only a couple days back to Thandol Span. Brin picked meat off the spitted boar and offered it to Jessaya. She ate hungrily, thankful for the food. Brin tossed a few meaty ribs at the wolf too, when she saw it eyeing the meat and licking its chops. The charger, Sparklehoof, stood sentry out in the open. It and Brin were the only ones not eating. “I didn’t just come because I wanted to,” Jessaya said after a while. “I’ve been hearing about Vic’s company for a while from the girls. They’re called Bronto’s Bruisers, and they practically own Dun Modr. After you kicked Vic out of Sio’s, the word was they wanted blood for being made fools out of.” “You think I didn’t notice?” Brinnea asked rhetorically. “I’ve been keeping the Bruisers out of the boudoir for a week.” “But you left. They didn’t even wait until morning before they came to Sio demanding free tumbles for the whole company. ‘When one Bruiser gets shortchanged,’ they said, ‘All the Bruisers are robbed.’ Sio couldn’t stop them with you gone.” “So you came to fetch me back?” “No. I just wanted to get away, like you. Sio will find a way to survive. She always does. They probably won’t leave you alone, either. They might have sent people out here hunting for you.” Brin cleaned off her sword with cloth and tempered the edges with a whetstone. “They can certainly try.”
  21. Earlier
  22. Baern

    Gahnder Rendler

    Full Name: Gahnder Rendler Nicknames: None Date of Birth: 43 Years Before the Dark Portal Age: 72 at time of death Race: Human, then forsaken Gender: Male Hair: Grey Skin: Grey Eyes: Yellow Height: 5' 6" Weight: 125lbs Place of residence: Dalaran Place of Birth: Gilneas City Known Relatives: None Languages: Common, Dwarvish, Gnomish, Darnassian, Thalassian, Orcish, Gutterspeak, Goblin, Pandaren, Eredun Occupation: Retired Group/Guild affiliation: Sanctuary Guild Rank: Member Likes: Smoking, Reading, Writing, Criminals, Commonfolk, Performing Dislikes: Mages, Nobles, Religion Favorite Foods: None Favorite Drinks: None Favorite Colors: Red and Violet Hobbies: Inscription, Soothsaying, Teaching, Spellcraft Weapons of Choice: Gahnder carries two weapons, though he rarely if ever wields them in a martial capacity. The first is a black, dark iron staff with a star ruby at the top. Forged and sold by Dark Iron Dwarves to Dark Iron Dwarves, the staff is primarily used to store spells to be cast later, the primary benefit being that complex runework can be stored in the staff only to be deployed from it later with a fraction of the timeframe. The staff is nameless, though, marginally unique in that it was specifically forged for a human's height rather than a dwarves. Gahnder also carries a fel sword known as the Bleeding Blade, a seemingly unique artifact of the most recent Legion invasion. At the base of the blade, a shrivelled, crystalline heart meekly pumps blood which is then drained into the blade. If the blood isn't siphoned, it always drips with green poison, the effects of which include heightened aggression, an inability to decipher friend from foe, hallucination, and bloodlust. Gahnder, instead, drains the blade of its fel power constantly, channelling that into low level, passive wards. Physical Features: Gahnder is a frail forsaken, constantly hunched, slow to move even if he's fast with his mouth. How much of that is true to form, however, and how much is theatrics is hard to tell for a former man of the circus. His hair is spindly and grey, long like it was in life, though some chunks have come free where pieces of his scalp have flaked off. His eyes glow yellow like most forsaken, though, when he's casting they shift to a bright green. When casting, Gahnder's body is riddled with tears and cuts, his skin splitting open and revealing black ichor and rotted muscles that glow a fetid green. He is able to heal back these wounds and typically does so swiftly, but in the heat of battle he can ravage his undead form with the power of his fel casting. Special Abilities: Gahnder is a master of fel magic, with a specific focus on the demonology subschool in his later years. While the blazing fires of destruction and the entropic corruption of affliction appealed to him as a young, criminal enforcer, in his old age and subsequent undeath he specializes most often in summoning demons to fight on his behalf. He does not, however, keep a demon around him at all times, preferring only to summon a fel companion in the heat of a fight or when one might arise. Aside from the benefit of his enchanted weaponry, Gahnder carries another powerful benefit: the shard of a dreadlord's soul that he's bound to his own. This provides him with a greater engine of fel power than a typical warlock might sport. He is, however, less than capable than most in combat scenarios. While some of the demonic spells and rituals he knows, indeed some that he crafted himself, can be exceedingly useful and require prodigous amounts of power, very few of them are useful in combat. Religion/Philosophy: Gahnder despises religion, finding it to be a tool used by the powerful nobility to subjugate and oppress the commonfolk with their consent. He has believed since he was a child in the carnival that the dedication the commonfolk have for the Light is simply a tool that nobles use ensure their cooperation and protect their own rule, often rule gained (in Gahnder's view) by engaging in the unchivalrous duplicity that the Light would despise. Philosophically, Gahnder believes that knowledge, even terrible knowledge, is truly good and ignorance is truly evil. He is skeptical of anyone that looks to stifle the acquisition of knowledge, since such a mindset is often so destructive, and does everything that he can to acquire and preserve knowledge. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Gahnder finds the social structure of many Azerothian societies and kingdoms abhorent, specifically the House of Nobles in Stormwind, Gilneas, Lordaeron, Arathi, and Alterac. He sees them almost universally as corrupt oppressors, even those that acknowledge the unfairness of the system considered disdainful unless they actively work to dismantle and undermine the system. Positive Personality Traits: Clever, experienced and jovial, Gahnder easily finds himself falling into advisory roles in his old age and undeath. Ambition and determination still keep him committed to certain personal goals, but rarely does he wish to return to the kind of leadership that he gave up twice with his criminal syndicate. Gahnder thinks laterally, often finding simple solutions to complex problems, catching opponents unawares and giving unconventional advice to those that seek his input. He is also generous with his time, his money and his influence, especially and exclusively for those that are downtrodden in society, working with them to both undermine the systems that oppress and build up systems to better support. Negative Personality Traits: While a life as a criminal has kept him mercifully out of prison and off the chopping block thus far, it has manifested in Gahnder a series of character traits that hamper his ability to live. The decision to sell his soul being an impulsive one, Gahnder has forever after practiced caution in all things, which has closed him off from people around him. He never married, barely ever finding a man or woman to share his life with even casually. Love, to Gahnder, is something for other people. He has friends, but few that know the depths of his secrets. There must always be a secret account, a nest egg hidden away in case someone close to him was compromised. Every relationship he enters must include an escape route that allows him to cut off all ties, perhaps worse, in the worst case scenarios. His criminal nature has also bred a ruthlessness into him, willing to implore horrific magic at the drop of a hat with barely a hint of remorse. He has murdered many men and women, tortured others, committed atrocities that few alive even remember. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Gahnder loathes nobles and nobility. He was willing to weaponize many people in subversive efforts to destabilize nobles that crossed him and the worst terrors he's inflicted on individuals have been terrors against noblemen and women. Misc. Quirks: Gahnder enjoys smoking, both before and after his undeath. Gahnder was a soothsayer in his family's carnival and can perform quite a few performative feats of sleight of hand. Gahnder, like many underprivileged children, was illiterate until his late teens. Literacy became so important to him, however, that he became something of a polyglot. History: Born to a large, poor family of carnival folks in Gilneas City, Gahnder Rendler is the third oldest of four brothers. His family, essentially nomadic through the northern portion of the Eastern Kingdoms, didn't stay in Gilneas long, even though the young boy would pick up the accent due to his family. Instead, Gahnder and the Rendlers travelled from Stratholme to Strahnbad, from Brill to Aerie Peak, even trekking far south to Stormwind and the shires. Gahnder worked as a child in the carnival, first as an unseen and unheard pickpocket, before joining the performing members of his family as a soothsayer. But despite his protrayal as a wise beyond his years supernatural child with magic gifts, Gahnder possessed none. He'd heard stories of the great mages of Dalaran and magic academies all across the Eastern Kingdoms and sought desperately to escape his criminal life to go join one of them. And even though his parents wanted to keep him with the travelling family, they respected his wishes and allowed him to take Dalaran's stringent entrance exam for magical prowess. While he was clearly a bright boy, Gahnder didn't possess the magical aptitude necessary to join the academy and was denied three times under three separate aliases. By the fourth time, his deception had caught up with him and he was barred from attempting another application. All the while, the Rendler carnival travelled across the countryside bringing joy, laughter and mostly crime to whatever area they were in. The racket, as Gahnder's father had set it up, was simple. Enter a small town or village, case it for valuables, take contracts from the locals, learn what needed to be done and then, right as the carnival planned to leave, execute the planned crimes. By the time local guardsmen could respond, any suspects were already on the road moving to the next town or city to repeat the process. Soon, the carnival started picking up smuggling work from local cells of criminals, where it picked up its fame, fortune and name: The Black. By the time Gahnder was sixteen, the carnival was nothing more than a cover for the vast criminal enterprises of the Black, mostly from smuggling drugs, alchemical potions and poisons, weapons and forbidden knowledge from town to town. The black crates that the carnies used to house their contraband would become their staple, quickly allowing the team to logistically search and sort inventory. This would eventually catch up with Gahnder's father and uncles, however, as they opened up a midnight bazaar of banned books in Stratholme, they were attacked by a rival organization and slaughtered in the streets. Full of rage and anger, Gahnder plunged into the forbidden tomes of his family's supply, though he was completely unable to read a single one of them. Eventually, though, one of the tomes spoke to him. It could offer him power, the power to avenge his father, in exchange for his very soul. Young and impulsive, he eagerly accepted, unwittingly trading his soul to a dreadlord named Morchane, infiltrating Azeroth in preparation for the eventual invasion by the Burning Legion. In those days, without rigorous study, Gahnder felt he'd just been magically supplied the power of the mages of Dalaran. What was the difference? But the fel that flowed through him would end up being very different than the arcane magic of the Kirin Tor. Singlehandedly, Gahnder burst into the nest of thieves that had slaughtered his family, burning them alive with his newfound power, extracting a bloody toll for their transgression against his family. This act, using magic to kill for criminal gain, is practically unheard of given the restricted nature of the Kirin Tor. But the story of the inferno that Gahnder unleashes turns him into a specter of death and devastation within the criminal underworld of the Northern Kingdoms. This, he and his brothers decide, proves useful. Rallying the resources of the Black, Gahnder and his brothers jointly control the criminal enterprise and launch a bloody gang war that tears across every nation above the Thandol Span. While his brothers take on more central administrative roles, Gahnder acts as the chief Enforcer. Those that don't bow down receive a visit from the fledgling warlock that uniformly ends in blood. It takes more than ten years, but in that time the Black is able to transform itself from one, small criminal caravan to a sprawling network of cowed cells. During that time, Gahnder is not just content with killing sprees, instead, filling his downtime with thorough and careful examination of the new magical powers that he's been granted. Soon, he begins to understand the subconscious spellcasting that he's been gifted with, pick it apart, and put it back together. Doing so trains him, unwittingly, as one of the first human warlocks. It has also allowed him to train others, taking on acolytes to learn from him and act as a powerful group of enforcers. With a team, Gahnder is able to crush opposition to the Black and consolidate as much power for his brothers to wield as possible, though, it also draws the wrong kinds of attention. A body trail this bloody attracted action from local guards, and the Black was faced with a substantive crackdown by local guards, watches and even militias. One of his brothers was imprisoned for life in Gilneas for this and another was shot dead in the streets of Lordaeron by crude dwarven muskets. The third, fearing for his life, accepted exile in Kul Tiras rather than confront the realities of the war they'd brought on themselves. Left as the only Rendler brother in charge of the Black, Gahnder quickly withdrew from the fighting and redesigned the organization, establishing rules to their crime with the sole intention of evading this kind of attention that had crippled them. He invested his efforts in non-violent crime, rejoining the carnival and overhauling its smuggling efforts. Setting up fighting rings where brave fighters could bet on winners and the Black played bookie. Even teaching and training forbidden magics, arcane, fel and even necromantic to circumvent the monopoly of the academies in Dalaran. But, most importantly, Gahnder created a protection racket against the nobility. Convincing commonfolk to pay in a pittance each in exchange for cruel lords, Gahnder was able to reap windfalls of gold simply as insurance against nobles that could turn particularly brutal or mean. Suddenly, their most profitable venture was waiting to see if nobles would act particularly poorly. But when they did, Gahnder was ruthless. At first, his tactics were direct and straightforward. Send a group of enforcers, kill everyone and everything, burn the estate to the ground. But soon, he became more subtle and nuanced. Arrange for a hunting accident. Stage a suicide. Seduce with a prostitute. Forge paperwork. By the time Gahnder was forty, he had turned the Black around, made it a part of the bedrock of human kingdoms. If your lord mistreated you, go to the Black. If you were afraid your lord might mistreat you, go to the Black. Even if you think that your lord is a good man, go to the Black just in case. The one nut that Gahnder was unable to crack, however, was Stormwind. Unlike in Lordaeron, there was something about the faith in the Wrynn Kings that made it hard for him to convince a single peasant to fork over a copper piece. STill, he prioritized setting up smuggling routes between Lordaeron and Stormwind since that was the next big windfall, if he could only secure the territory. That windfall came, but in a way they never expected. At the outbreak of the First War, there was an insane demand for evacuations of civilians to the safety of the North, and there was no better organization to handle that than a criminal enterprise running stealthy smuggling caravans from Lordaeron to Stormwind and back for years. It would be free, Gahnder ordered, the service of evacuating the refugees, but crucially the smuggling teams had orders to loot as much value from the south that they could find. Part scavengers picking through the aftermath of orcish attacks, part underground rescuers whisking civilians out of the bloodshed, The Black got both a tailwind of goodwill and cash that would allow them to grow even larger. By the end of the Second War, Gahnder is able to use the returning refugees as his open door to establish fighting rings, protection rackets and smuggling operations in Stormwind, especially taking advantage of the devastation to almost entirely refocus their operations in Stormwind. The rise of the Defias make sure that Gahnder and the Black stay out of the cross-hairs of Stormwind's guard, since running a few brothels and fighting pits isn't nearly as bad as the cartel ransoming of Edwin Van Cleef. And when the Third War devastates his former base of Lordaeron, the Black is mercifully wounded, but not killed by Arthas. Instead, he provides the same service of evacuating refugees and takes up leadership in a logging camp east of Goldshire as the new base of operations. But, as always, there is discontent and unrest among his ranks. One of his most powerful enforcers, a mage named Antros, has watched Gahnder close off profitable pieces of the organization for years. First? Paid hits. Second? Kidnapping and ransom. Third? Drugs. Gold sitting on the table for them to take, Antros believes. When an attack by a new, lethal fighting force of Knights convinces Gahnder to discontinue the forbidden magic teachings that he himself started, Antros rallies those who believe the Black could be swimming in gold if only they let the old man's rules go and strikes. Fortunately, Gahnder was able to direct these Knights after Antros, crushing the rebellion in his ranks and gaining a powerful ally in law enforcement to boot. However, even the promise of The Black's ascendance left Gahnder feeling empty. Hollow. Soulless. When he was a younger man, reveling in his warlock powers had been easy. He had little conception for the timeless march of death and the oblivion that awaited him if he passed without possession of his soul. Worse still, the Dreadlord that held it was dead. After attempting to corrupt a noble house in the same way Gahnder had been corrupted, the Torchsight family had defeated the Dreadlord and shattered his soul into dozens of pieces. Using demonic inscription that Gahnder unwittingly sold them, Morchane's soul was imprisoned among all members of the Torchsight family above twelve. If he wanted to regain his lost soul, Gahnder would need to find a way to reunite Morchane and defeat him in the Twisting Nether, using magic no warlock on Azeroth had ever used. It was a task he set himself to diligently, devising dozens of rituals and occult spells necessary to complete the task and reclaim his soul. With his newfound allies in law enforcement willing to use his information to target the worst of his competition, Gahnder fought a brutal proxy war through the Brotherhood of the Sword to dominate areas of the Eastern Kingdoms that had long eluded him. The pirates of Booty Bay, cowed first by the Knight's attacks and then follow up strikes from Gahnder's enforcers, capitulated first. They weren't the bloodsails or the Blackwater Raiders, but having a faction at play in the steamwheedle haven was good enough. Next, Gahnder claimed the crown jewel of the Alliance, uniting the Black with the criminal operations of the dwarves in Ironforge. They were stubborn, willful and rebellious even after bowing to his control, but never stepped far enough over the line that Gahnder was willing to act. He even reached across the faction line, enlisting an up and coming Blood Elf in Silvermoon and funneling resources to him give the Black a piece of the barely rebuilding blood elf nation. Just as he was finally gearing up to extend himself across the sea to Kalimdor, however, Gahnder was approached by one of their own with an offer of her own. Alurea Shadowvale, the leader of an ancient Night Elf syndicate of information brokers and weapons deals, had just solidified control of large Night Elf territories and was in need of funding to expand. Gahnder, fresh off the acquisition of these new cartels and more flush with cash than ever, was more than happy to oblige. But, most importantly, Gahnder recognized in Alurea something he had yet to see in any of his other subordinates: someone that could succeed him. That succession would require clockwork planning. First, he executed a plan he had set in motion more than ten years earlier: the eradication of the Torchsight family and the forced reconstitution of Morchane. Enlisting a bloodthirsty, anti-nobility paladin, Gahnder was able to have every single member of the Torchsight family save one killed. Then, with careful, subtle manipulations, he sent the remaining Torchsight, bearing the final ward keeping Morchane from reforming in the Twisting Nether, to himself in a shack in the Western Plaguelands. There, he conducted his ritual, freed Morchane and confronted his disembodied soul in the Nether. Even as a 72 year old warlock, more than fifty years of experience with fel magic, against a dreadlord that had been held at bay for decades with a shattered soul, it was the fight of Gahnder's life. But it was one he had cautiously, meticulously planned for, and one that he won. Gahnder shattered Morchane's weakened soul into nothing, pulling as many pieces of the dreadlords power into himself as possible and, finally, attaining the thing he'd been missing all this time: the soul he sold as a teenager. Reunited with it, at the height of his power with the Dreadlord's might added to his own, Gahnder did the only thing he could think of: leave the Black to Alurea and retire to the countryside to live out the rest of his days. It was peaceful. He read nearly one book per day, travelling to and from Hearthglen and Light's Hope whenever he needed more. He had a nest egg for himself, quite a fortune, in the Bank of Dalaran just in case he needed it, but otherwise kept to himself. An old man, living out his days, tucked away in the foothills south of Hearthglen. Then, he died. A group of Deathstalkers were hunting an Alliance thief that had made off with patrol routes for the forsaken in Andorhal, heading North to try and find amnesty in Hearthglen. Too clever for his own good, the thief headed up the road, then doubled back, hoping to trick his pursuers and escape for good. Knocking on Gahnder's door and pretending to be a weary traveller, he was invited inside and treated to fresh herb to smoke and strong tea, but even as they enjoyed themselves the unfooled Deathstalkers crept closer and closer to Gahnder's cottage. When the pair went to sleep, a cannister of poisonous gas was lobbed through an open window. Both men died in their sleep. Gahnder awoke, as all forsaken did, in Deathknell. He was offered the choice to join Lady Sylvanas' people and readily accepted. What other choice did he have? Become Horde, another one of the forsaken, or perish forever. In truth, Gahnder had been lucky. If he had died with his soul lost to Morchane, it would have been impossible to resurrect him at all. But just as he was skeptical of the nobles in the Alliance, Gahnder was skeptical of Sylvanas and the Horde. She wasn't a noble and a product of that corrupt structure, indeed, by all accounts she was well liked among the forsaken. But she was also no leader that he trusted, either. Nominally a member of the Horde, Gahnder relocated almost permanently to Dalaran, given that was where his fortune lay. He bought a small, struggling printing press tucked in a cobblestone corner of the city and began to collect, write and read as much as he could. If there was any benefit to being forsaken, it was the lack of needing to sleep. He tore through as many tomes as he possibly could before finding himself running dry, which of course prompted Gahnder to recognize that a whole new collection of knowledge was open to him, now. The Horde's. He travelled to Thunder Bluff and Silvermoon, the Undercity and finally Orgrimmar, tearing through libraries for as many rare tomes as he could find before joining a small guild in Orgrimmar. He swore some oaths, made some pledges, but his goal was their vast library, full to the brim with rare and exotic books to sate him for months. That guild was Sanctuary, and he became more and more attached to it over time. These days, Gahnder is content to advise others on their path, now that he has highlighted his own. He answers the call to battle when there is some great knowledge to learn, like journeying to Argus and getting his hands on texts straight from the Legion's secret stash. But otherwise, he keeps to himself, holed up in his dusty, smoky bookshop at the back of a winding caul de sac. He'd had enough adventure in his life, perhaps there was no better plan than to leave it to the youngfolk.
  23. Ninorra

    Overcast

    All at once she found herself floating again. This time, the waters were cool and chilly, the cold seeped into her skin and bones and blood in a way that felt unnatural. No warm hands pulled her to a soft embrace, but icy pinpricks on her flesh carried Ninorra into darkness. Opening her mouth, she found that her voice was gone. She could not call for help, and try as she might. No breath entered her lungs. The blackness that enveloped her senses was thick and weighty, like molasses over her eyelids creeping into her mouth with the sweetness of silence. But silence was a nightmare, and the warlock struggled. Red hot pain spread from an ache in her side, a searing tear in her being that she yearned to reach for but couldn't touch. Her limbs were too heavy, and even the act of moving a finger was fruitless. She was limp, floating in a dark sea of hollow voices and emptiness. Somewhere in her mind, she searched for an escape. Surely there must be a way to pull herself out, to reach for the sun even as the night pulled at her toes and ankles, threatening to drag her silently screaming into abyss. A nothingness. A void. But where was the silence of the dark, now? Whispers tickled her heels, the tip of her nose. Like ants, they crawled up the length of her ebon hairs, each one carrying a tiny fraction of information. Each one asking to move past the oily scalp, to burrow into her skull and fill her brain with knowledge. It would be so easy, she thought, to let them in. No. Her mouth made the movement. Progress, she thought, as the whispers itched at her face, antennae tickling delicate earlobes. No. She did it again, and her voice was almost there. A whisper among chattering, hoarse and uncomfortable, thin as silk thread yet unbreakable. Real. No! The whispers were loud and angry, and now they dug at her flesh from the inside, crawling within her veins, eating at her as they spoke words of wisdom and creation. Her voice was insignificant but theirs were intimate, infinite, incredible. "No!" A flash of dawn, and the face of an elf. Two red eyes looked up to see the face of a friend, no, two friends, and the light of a place that felt safe. No more itchiness, only the healing Light. It only lasted a moment, and she was asleep again.
  24. Syreena

    ((OOC)) [WR] July - Character Submission

    I'll throw Syreena in.
  25. Raelana

    Overcast

    The portal opened into a dark room where three chairs lay waiting and nothing more. Steinburg crumples to the floor, writhing under the effects of the priestess' shackles. She moves silently around the room before gesturing to one of the chairs, expecting Steinburg to seat himself. When he doesn't move she flicks her hand and throws him into the chair in front of her. The Warlord stands in the corner, arms folded, waiting to see what she does next. A few moments pass, the only sound a slight plop of a droplet of water hitting the stone floor of the room. The Warlord narrows his eyes at her, "Get on with it." Her head snaps up as she turns to look behind her at the Warlord. A whisper comes from her and those unaccustomed to listening for her voice would miss it entirely. "You've done your job, let me do mine." The Warlord glares at her and she quickly looks to the ground submissively. "I promise: You will get what you want." The Warlord ignores her, moving quickly to stand behind Steinburg. He looks up at the priestess as he whispers in Steinburg's ear, "If I wanted you to talk, you'd talk. But I don't have time to waste on you." Another quick movement brings him to the backside of the priestess, his lip curling slightly as he looks at Steinburg. "Fortunately, I have someone who does..." He directs his attention back to her. "I said, get on with it." Her head bows before her whispered response, "Your will be done." But he had already left the room, the door slamming shut, locking her in with Steinburg. Steinburg leans forward, muffled cries as he tries to plead with her. She ignores him and turns and cracks her knuckles. Steinburg cranes his head, trying to get a look at her, trying to catch her eyes, anything so he can try to convince her to let him get away. A scream erupts in his head and he howls out in response. His shrieking eventually dies down as her's does, but he doesn't dare look back up at her. Eventually, a noise brings his attention upwards and he sees her dragging the second chair across the room. She sits down in front of him, looking at his face, trying to catch his eye. He cringes in response and, looking away, notes that something isn't quite right about her. Something about her presence is extra unsettling as he becomes even more aware of his status of being undead. "Fast learner," she whispers out gleefully. Or was that whisper actually in his head? He couldn't tell. Her hand reaches out, a faint aura of gold around her skin and he tries to pull away. A blue shield snaps up around her as she grabs his hand and his muffled wails echo out once more.
  26. Keraph

    Overcast

    Keraph Xalascent shook the blood from his blade as the portal before him closed. The elf had escaped, albeit with a mortal wound, but she was not the target of the operation and her life, whether it persisted or ended shortly in miserable pain, was inconsequential. The Warlord of Infection turned his attention to his party's prey, pressing a plated boot on the rogue Forsaken's back to keep him in place while he silently gestured for one of the other Forsaken to approach. "Resistance only heightens the charges against you, Mister Steinburg. Charges that include treason, aiding and abetting a subversive organization, and of course heresy against the Dark Lady." To punctuate the final remark, he presses his boot harder against the mage's back, pinning him helplessly to the ground. "And now, attacking loyal agents of the Queen. Of the Warchief. You understand of course the severity of such crimes." His voice was dry, hollow, lacking even mockery in his tone. There was an irony here to those learned in the history of Infection, who had themselves been put to the axe in the face of treasonous charges levied by Hellscream's Kor'kron Overwatch following a string of suspicious murders in the Undercity. Few understood the penalties of opposing the Warchief more than Keraph, or rather more than the less-than-worthy Forsaken under his command who the Warlord had seen executed in an attempt to appease the fragile ego of Garrosh Hellscream. It was a necessary price to pay to ensure the survival of Infection's elite, a price paid without hesitation so that the Dark Lady's will could continue to be carried out by those most loyal to Her. Now the tables had turned, and despite all of their prior experiences Keraph had risen gladly to execute the same methods to suppress and silence those who would act against His own Warchief. Silently, the hooded Forsaken who Keraph had summoned to his side approached. She whispered something to him in a sparse, gravelly voice. He nods to her, plunging his blade into the ground next to Steinburg's face so that he gets a clear view of the blood running down it. "Bind him. Tightly." A whispered word, and shackles of holy energy wrapped around Steinburg's body and seared his decaying flesh. The priestess did not flinch as she quietly channeled the Light through herself and into the prisoner, and perhaps in a gesture of irony she directed the chains to cover and burn Steinburg's mouth, leaving him as silent as she. A portal was soon opened, leading back to the dark catacombs of the Undercity, and Warlord Xalascent wordlessly guided his flock home, prisoner in tow.
  27. Tahzani

    ((OOC)) [WR] July - Character Submission

    I will submit Tahzani
  28. The men are lead out of the office. Vathelan keeps his eyes on the shorter of the two half-elves until he is surely going where intended. Then he holds back, looking up at the woman at the door frame as he stood at the bottom of the steps. He could tell she was stressed; he tried to think of something encouraging and yet appropriate to say given this strange dynamic in play. “I’m… sorry if he crossed a line.” He starts. “Do… you want me to stay here too? My offer to aide you still stands, just tell me what you need.” He's offered his help time and time again. Realistically, she knew that every hand available meant a better fighting chance for her uncle and for her shan'do. For beating Lazhio and for the continued survival of the world as they knew it. The reservations that hold her back fade in importance. "It was just unexpected, but it's fine. Uhm." What does she need? What does the company need? She wants to explain the risks...and since when did Vathelan have a bodyguard? What for? Just what kind of danger was he already in? “Dora…” His voice is low, meant just for them. The formality dropped. He is worried for her, this much is evident. “I understand the perils of leadership; I understand the impulse to work yourself beyond the point of exhaustion. At least let me do some of your paperwork? It’ll allow you to focus better on the upcoming battle. Also… have you seen Lord-General Rayfeather around? If I can get him to help me to lean on Headquarters, I may be able to requisition some Golems at least to help.” At the mention of the Lord-General, the cracks in her professionalism start to deepen. Her shan'do, who had put time and effort into her with training, had been dangling as a limp puppet with no way to help him. The images of his head caught in the claws come to her unbidden. She goes very still, and very quiet. She just needs a moment. Just a moment. She'll be fine, she can do this. She has to do this. "Faelenor was captured," she admits, voice whisper quiet and wavering. "It's part of the mission detail." Not another one. Vathelan’s jaw tightens, his eyes express a deep sense of regret beyond the glass before them. “…I… didn’t know.” He looks behind him, to the group travelling to the guestrooms. His mind starts calculating. “If you want to take me up on the paperwork offer, let me know… you know how to contact me. For now… I-I’ll see if I can use that information to our advantage.” She wavers. She needs to tell him. "...this monster that we're facing, this...man. Lazhio. He targets magic users, Vath. I...can ask my company to stay back and fight for our leader and for taking him down. He poses tremendous risk, but...if we fail, then all of our hope goes to surviving organizations who know about the threat and can do something." The shadows of the hallway outside her office press against her on all sides. She takes a deep breath through her nose, exhales. "I don't want to take you away from the Scryers. Not when you could be doing a lot of good in their service." “…I see.” He pauses, seeming to process this new information. “I will respect your wishes. But have you considered the alternative? What if I lose you, Dora? Do… you know how much you mean to me? And how much shame I have from failing the first Lord-General? What… how do I live with myself with another failure like that? With having you taken from my world?” He shakes his head before leaning in to give her a hug. An unusual gesture from a man who seems to tend to shy away from physical contact. It's not the first hug he's ever initiated with her. She's transported to a hillside just outside of Durotar, close to the crossroads where she witnessed Legion-infested ships flying overhead. She remembers warm arms and silly promises. As dark clouds filled the sky so that it looked like evening when the sun was at its highest point in the sky, they'd found a moment to laugh. Was he...putting her before his duty? Her arms hang on either side of him until, finally, they settled around his waist. "It's not about me," she murmurs. "You- Vath, you know the price of peace." “And who do you think has a better shot at it? You or me?” She was so close to him, he wasn’t sure if his heart was racing from her touch or the fear of losing her. He was getting emotional. Emotions were always messy. “I… cannot ask you not to do this. For many reasons. But you—you cannot expect me to just walk away? To leave you to die without a moment’s thought?” Desperation hounded her for the entirety of her life. If they lived in the same place for the length of a season, the company considered the event a miracle. Years of watching her mother's back, wondering if this was the mission that killed her. Being sent on missions of her own and wondering if she'd ever see her brother's face again. It was either hunt or be hunted. Hopelessness returns to lie in wait at her back, waiting patiently for her to take notice. She hears it in his questions. The back of his robes crinkle under her clenching fist. "The world is more important than just me," she reminds him, breathless. “You say that…” The retort starts, but the logic is with her. So he simply holds her, in fear that this may be the last time. His clever mind, the one that had gotten him here against all odds, races for an answer. The missing piece of the puzzle. The solution to all their problems. After minutes, he finally admits it. “…I don’t know if I’m strong enough this time.” She draws back, with the curtain of her black hair slipping to fall against the front of her coat. Just far back enough that she could meet his stare with her own. Her eyes glow a muted jade in the gloom. This was the man who forged credentials for the authorization of the Order of Eversong. He'd risked his career, his future for what he thought was right. She'd been so proud. "I believe in you, Vathelan." “There has to be a way. I… believe in you too. I believe in both of us too much for this to be the end. I’ve yet to fulfill my promises to you.” His gaze reflected into her own, his mind still trying to whirl in a way to find a solution. “…I’ll keep looking for support to send you. If I can spin this as a rescue mission, maybe I can garner something greater than a single agent. Dora… if the battle… goes too far, if it proves a suicide mission… If I can give you a way out, would you take it?” "No," she answers. "I die with my company." "...And you will not reconsider? So that you can help me fight for the peace we so desire?" She laughs, a single little sound trapped between them. "I think there's something you don't know about me. I care about peace, like my dad. It was all he wanted, and my mom died for his cause. I'm fighting for peace, but not for the world." Another shaky exhale. Gods, she's trembling now, nerves rattled. "I just want peace for my family. They come first. If I lose them, I have nothing to fight for. So yeah," she laughs again, a little reckless, "It's hypocritical to have me ask you to leave. But I don't think this is the end, and I don't," she gives him a tiny shake, her grip on his arms, "want to risk more people." Then her face clears with sudden realization. "Wait. You're a Scryer." He heard her words. Her mention of family. Family. Something he never had. How could he relate? In her little speech, the only piece he could take solace in was her denial of this being the end. His beacon of hope had not yet run dry. “…Yes, Dora. I have been since before I met you. What are you…? Should we get you somewhere to rest?” "No no," she mumbles, then drags him towards the interior of the office. She might be half-way to delirium, but she knows she's onto something. She shuts the door behind them, starts to scrub again at her hair as she paces to a stack of papers and flips through them until… "There's intel here that claims...yeah, that during his first surge into power, there were Scryers who defected to aid him. Fed him information and artifacts in exchange for promises of power. There was a Crosys Falirin, he was a magister...and he had help." “And do you want me to go researching on what they found?” He sounded skeptical, wondering if she was just trying to humor him to get him away. "Maybe?" she answers, dropping the papers back on the pile. Suddenly what she thought might have been a good lead evaporates. She leans against her desk with the small of her back resting against the lip, sinks a few inches with her boots skidding ahead of her, and groans into her palm. "I don't know. I just- gods, Vath," she lifts her face up, "You ask how I can expect you to just stand by and let me walk into this fight when you'd be one of the first that he'd seek out if you were anywhere near the base. I'm not even magical, I'm some sort of elfish dud!" “If you think it’ll actually help, I’ll do it.” The Magister moves to reorganize the papers so that he can try to get a better look at them. “And… maybe I was a little off base there. If I’m going to be… a part of your life, I’m going to have to get used to this notion. You’re a hero, this is what heroes do. I just—I care about you, Dora. You’re my first friend, ever. And—” He cuts himself off as he gets close to her, his eyes likely say what he won’t. “…This is hard for me. You’ve taught me that the price of inaction is worse than that of making a mistake, remember?” She following two different conversations. She hears what Vathelan says, but she's also interpreting the rest in a way that she was slowing learning to decode. She couldn't play ignorant, not after all the mistakes she made in the past year. Not after seeing those same eyes from several different people and recounting what happened afterward, all the shattered promises that cling to her like emotional shrapnel. "Vathelan," she says very carefully, "I care about you too. You barely know me. I barely-" she stops, lets out a frustrated sigh. Takes up his hands to hold in her own, like they were children about to swing them from side to side. "...maybe you have this idealized version of me in your head that I'm never gonna live up to." “None of us are perfect, Dora Arath’dorei. I’ve read too many reports and profiles to not realize this. And I don’t mean to stress you out any further than you already are…” He gives a small sigh, kneeled as he was to be on her level. “I’m sorry if this is unfair given the circumstances. But… we’re, pardon the expression, if we’re living on Borrowed Time—what if we don’t get the chance? Which will be worse; the not knowing because we didn’t act, or learning from our mistakes?” It's abysmally unfair of him to do this to her now. She has a company to hold together, putting the skills she learned into practical use for the first time. She's managed alright thus far; no major mistakes she feels like in her planning or the choices she's made in assignments. Emotionally, she's stable enough. Having a plan and putting into motion creates that stability that she needs to focus on the task at hand. But he's flinging her own argument against her. She's a day and some change away from leading her company into a war. She doesn't get to choose who lives or who dies under her command. She knows in her heart what would be worse. "You're using my own philosophy against me," she responds, her smile a little broken. “It’s a solid argument, and it’s been something I’ve been thinking over… a lot.” He gave a small smile to try to reassure her, his voice is even and gentle as the words play past his tongue. “I’m not asking you to decide tonight, nor am I planning on asking you to be exclusive with me. Certainly not while we try to figure things out. I just… wanted you to know, just in case the worst does happen. At least I said something.” His hands gently rub her own in his grip. “…And, if I’m lucky, maybe you’ll consider it.” She gives him a squeeze in return. "I've considered it," she admits. Tonight was a night for confessions, she supposes. She's running on food from about fourteen hours ago, an apple she scarfed down while she was examining the gates. Blood roars in her ears. Her heart is leaping ahead of her, confused but barreling forward without her consent. Crazy infects everyone the night before a battle. She's never been one to be satisfied with standing still. "I'm considering it right now," she says like a challenge. “I do not mean to rush you, my lady.” He gives a small nervous smile. Part of him wants to retreat, another wants so desperately to know. “And I apologize for the intrusion...” Surprise splashes across her face, completely bare. For Dora to hide her own heart was doable, with effort. But she'd tried to fight against what had been lying between them according to her better judgement, eventually gave in...and for what? The whiplash stuns her. "Oh," she says, her grip going slack. "...alright," she murmurs in a daze. Then she lets him go entirely so that she can turn away to look down at the piles of her notes. She plants her hands on the desktop, hunched over it. The faint color of her eartips go a deep red. Well… that reaction wasn’t encouraging. He had made a mistake. “…Unless you’re sure?” He thought he was starting to catch on. Lady Bloodstone had criticized him for this. “I just… I’m nervous for your answer. Please forgive me.” He started to fuss over her, trying to get her in a much more comfortable position. "I'm just-" she halts, gathers her thoughts. She senses him at her back, but she's collected herself enough to angle herself slightly in his direction and allow him the right to have a face-to-face conversation. "I'm confused, I guess. You talk about acting and learning from mistakes, when there's a battle looming over our heads and then you ask me to take my time deciding...maybe," a wrinkle creases the place between her long brows, "maybe I don't know what you want from me." “Honestly? I panicked.” He frowns for a moment, silently scolding himself. “But… can you blame me? Dora, you’re amazing. You’re smart, you’ve got a great sense of humor, you’re brave—ready to die for your family. You’re talented, you’ve got the markings of a great leader… and I’ve not even touched on your beauty. I admire and care about you so much… it’s a little intimidating.” He sighs as he tries to collect his thoughts. “Look… what I want from you is simple, I want you safe and happy. Preferably with me. And I’m willing to take the risk on that—but I also understand what’s coming for us.” "I'm not sure I'm all that," Dora smiles, fondling a gold button on her jacket. She's going to get herself cleaned up and presentable soon, for the next meeting. Maybe get food in her too. "You can ask my brother, my humor is awful. I really really like puns." The point of the conversation is getting away from her. She chews on her bottom lip, considering. "...alright. I can add you to the roster of arcane casters. We'll fight this thing together. Then after that," she peers at him, wary but curious. She notices moonlight across his glasses. "...after the battle, we'll see what happens." “Excellent. And… I am sorry for the confusion.” His lips twist in another nervous smile. He was relieved to hear she was considering it still, in spite of his horrible grasp of emotions. And he was even more thankful that he had the chance to oversee her safety through the oncoming chaos. “I just… I want to make sure I’m doing this right with you. You may not believe me, but you are all the bit amazing as I say.” He leans over to give her a joking whisper, “I like puns too.” She broke into a laugh then, covering her mouth like they were sharing a dirty secret between themselves. The laughing felt good. This moment hung suspended in that otherworld of night where only they exist and death is forced to wait for it's harvest. She's relieved that she can laugh, even now. When they die away, she seems at least a bit refreshed. "Alright," she giggles, "okay. Then...yes. I guess we have a plan."
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