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  1. Yesterday
  2. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper made his slow march through the wartorn port, his eyes scanned the devastation as he made his way to the Infirmary. The entire area looked as it had been through a hurricane of Shadow and Fel. The winds from the sea helped to illustrate this further. He calculated the estimated property damage against the last numbers he had seen on the market value for resources required-- numbers that had been rising ever higher since this war had began. The gusts buffeted the Magister as he continued his stroll, straining his already damaged and worn attire he had insisted on wearing. To say that the costs accrued from this conflict would be significant was… quite the understatement, potentially insulting even. As he neared the doorstep of the infirmary a particularly strong gale proved rough enough to rip one of the weaker buttons from its place, the robe flapping in the wind as a cloak more than its intended purpose-- revealing the paler grey-blue undershirt that hugged his swimmer’s form. And as he stood at the precipice of the doorway into his destination, he found himself faltering for a moment. Doubts and fear lingered between him and this glimmer of hope. What if Miss Cat was mistaken? What if what he had done wasn’t enough to impress her, making this a waste of everyone’s time while the threat of oblivion loomed over all their heads? His head hung low as he contemplated what he had hoped to achieve. Behind him he could hear Kirital closing the gap. With his eyes closed he took a breath. No, there was still Hope. He had to remind himself, he could help them; that was the very reason he stood here. He only needed to convince them. But that is the problem... “Vathelan?” “I’m fine.” The Magister reopened his eyes, focusing on the door before them as his hand rested on them. No point in lingering, is there? He summoned the courage he required. No, I suppose there isn’t. And he opened the door, inspecting the scene as he entered. Miss Cat sat at one end by her fiance's side, giving a small wave as he walked by, rewarded a small nod in hopes of reassuring her as he continued to scout the area. His first stop being the grey eyed medic. She was certainly elven, though it seemed hard to pin down particularly what kind-- given she had features of both Quel and Kaldorei. But that wasn’t any of his concern; especially not right now. He kept his voice low, both out of respect for those injured she attended to and to hide his weakness as he spoke through cracked and split lips. “Is there anything you need for these people?” “We’re pretty behind on clean linens.” The Medic spoke as she finished changing out the bandages of one of those who had been injured in the battle from the day before. As she looked over him once more she picked up a nearby pitcher and poured a glass of water before handing it to the Magister. “You look parched. Here, take this.” “I’ll see what I can have routed here, either from the Scryers or personally.” He instinctively took what was offered to him. A glass of water? For but a moment he considered protesting that others, such as the patients or the Medic herself, would need it more. But he remembers that just like the Medic, hydration would be something they needed to keep functioning, so that they could help others. So he relents, after taking a drink he speak again. “Thank you. If you have the time, please get me a list-- I’ll pass it on.” As he drank the water, he continued to scan the room. Every detail he could find he tried to pick apart and commit to memory. If the Scryers were to choose the Borrowed Time mercenary company as their champions, they would need to be optimized for the war ahead. But that all quieted down in his head when his eyes finally laid their eyes upon her. Dora Arath’dorei was already out of her cot, instead straddling a chair with her arms slung over the back. Her chin dug into one of her arms as she seemed to skirt the edges of consciousness. A book within her hands threatened to fall loose from her grip and onto the floor. Vath set the glass down as he muttered a polite departing to the Ashen-eyed woman to go to greet the very woman he had sought here, a spring in his step--until he saw who laid in the bed next to her. The psychopathic Orcess that had been allowed to run wild and threatened his life on multiple occasions. Perhaps this is a bad time? He hesitated, his mind devising excuses as to abort this approach. In spite of the water he had consumed, his mouth once more went dry. Get a hold of yourself, Vath. This is the whole reason you came out here… is it not? Attempt to steel himself as he may, when he worked the courage to continue his steps became lighter and far less certain than they once were. When he finally reached her side, despite the mental protests, he choked out two words. “...Lady Arath’dorei?” The chair feet scuffed the floor as she jerked within it. Her disorientation was obvious, it seemed he had taken too long to muster the courage and she had fallen to one of the sides after all. “Oh,” Dora murmured. She hissed at the bite of cold fingertips as she pressed her balms against her lower back in a stretch within her loose linen attire. Afterwards, she regarded Vathelan with remnants of sleep in her eyes, alertness swimming against the current. “Magister-” Her tone more formal, setting the pace of the conversation, “-I’m glad to see you.” “My apologies if I woke you.” The solemn look was distorted by the hint of warmth within the frost mage’s small smile. This would be short lived as his eyes once more caught the image of whom she was visiting. He takes a moment to consider on just how to continue. “...I… was worried you hadn’t made it. I am heartened to see that my subordinate was wrong on this matter. One in my profession is…” he tried to lighten the mood, though he fumbled. “...It is hard to imagine me repeating that phrase.” “I’m fine,” she assures him, likely remembering his mention of not being trained for field work from past conversations. Her eyes try to focus on him, unused to having to look up at the Magister when they talk. They were of similar height. “Minor damage to my legs, so you’ll have to forgive me for staying in my seat.” “I am… relieved to hear you say such.” The tip of his lips surrendered to a small twitch. ‘You’re relieved to hear she was hurt’? How kind of you, Vath. He was stumbling over his words, he knew it. This is why you don’t get emotionally compromised, it makes things messy. He likely seemed to be excessively quiet. Enough. “Shall I take a seat, or…?” His hand hovered over one of the chairs next to the despicable Shokkra Deathrage. “I will try not to take up much of your time.” Dark hair obscured her features before being cascaded to her side. Her back remained hunched for a moment before she unfurled to sit straight within her chair as she mentally shifted gears. Her eyes spotted the figure of Kirital behind the Magister and then a smile floated to the surface as she gestured for him to take a seat beside her. “It’s clearly important to you, Vath. Take however much time you need.” The Magister gave a small nod, his motions were slow and gentle as he sat beside her. He tried to quite his thoughts and emotions as he focused on the task at hand. They may have won here, but this was but the start. “...We have a lot to talk about, Dora. And to try to impress all of it upon you given what surrounds us is, admittedly, unfair.” He took a breath. “So, I am suggesting we do this in stages. The most dire being handed fist. And we shall go from there. Are we in agreement?” The medic from earlier made her way to examine the bandages for the Orcess before them, this was sure to split the attention of the acting Boss of Borrowed Time. Even still as her hands turn in slow revolutions between pinched thumbs and forefingers she responds. “Yes.” “Very well… Good.” He reaffirmed as he reorganized his thoughts, he prioritized them best he could. In spite of his personal needs and desires that nagged at him, he shoved them aside once more in favor of the fate of the world. He tried to ignore the feeling in his stomach that fell to the fear he wouldn’t get another chance-- but he would have to make due. In the grand scheme of things, he was meaningless save what he could provide to the world in this war effort. “I… feel it is prudent that we support you in your reconstruction efforts after this conflict. Were you able to recover Lord-General Rayfeather?” The notebook stilled in her hands, then began once more in the same rhythmic turns. A trench appeared between her brows. “Shan’do… Faelenor is still recovering, but he’s alive.” “That is a relief. I haven’t failed this one entirely then as of yet.” Vathelan considers this approach for another moment. “And for this to work… I am going to need both of you.” It seemed he had her full attention now, though the regard he gave him is peppered with reluctance that nipped at the heels of her curiosity. Her body angled towards him as she shifted in her chair. She slipped her notebook back into her pocket. “Need us both for what, exactly?” “The same reason I came here in the first place.” He paused. He wasn’t being entirely honest with that statement. “That may be slightly misleading.” He corrected. “One of the major reasons I fought in this battle: to save the world.” “You’re talking about the Scryers.” “And Borrowed Time.” He clarified before his eyes cast back upon the ground. He gave a small sigh before he continued. “The war continues, the Legion threat is barely being held back while the world worried over the Emerald Nightmare. To make matters worse, Sanctuary drags their feet in accepting our aide. I have worked tirelessly to try to make this work. Months have gone by, with far too many nights where I collapse out of exhaustion as I keep seeking any logistical advantage to buy us time. But no matter how hard I work, Commander Liene won’t talk to me. So that’s a non-starter. We’re running out of time. Countless are dying needlessly. We have the resources, the technology and the research. But we simply don’t have the numbers.” The healers around them tended to the sick and wounded, the footfalls lead in the direction of their passing. She took in the ambience of her comrades, friends and family in such dire situations. All the while she sat taller within her chair after these moments of silence; which further accentuated the distance between them when she finally spoke. “Magister Frostwhisper. When I sent a response to your letter as acting leader of Borrowed Time, I wrote that now wasn’t the best time. Maybe I should have been a lot more clear.” She pointed in Cobrak’s direction; she didn’t even need look to know where his cot was. “Our current Boss is our priority. My people are my priority. When they’re recovered, then… Then we can talk.” “And if you would hear me out, Lady Arath’dorei,” Magister Frostwhisper gritted his teeth. He would not be stonewalled again, he would not be denied or dismissed. He had secured a retired Scryer tactical agent at great cost to himself for them. He had fought for them. He had faced death for them. He had Made his shot, he refused to throw it away. He was determined to save all of Azeroth, no matter what it cost him. “You would take note that I mentioned offering aide in reconstruction efforts to make sure your people come out on top of this. I can direct this to happen, I can lend support in your time of need. We are not asking you to wade into war Tomorrow. That would be both immoral and tactically unsound.” Before her very eyes, it seemed Vathelan Frostwhisper had underwent a change. He claimed he was not a hero, and yet the lengths the Magister showed he would go for the sake of his beliefs reveal themselves to her. Her mind wandered back to one of their early conversations. In stunned disbelief, she smiled. “I understand.” She bridged the distance between them with her taking hold of his shoulder, scrunching the elegant but tattered fabric of his robe turned cloak. At her touch, the iced demeanor of her friend melted once more. She felt as if she understood him much better now. “Listen, Vath. I’m not saying no to what you’re proposing, but I do have to decline your offer for assistance right now. The company needs to start believing in themselves again. We’ve got too many outsiders here as it is; I’ve had concerns brought to my attention already. It’s bad for morale, to have more strange hands trying to prop us up.” “...What if it came from one of your own?” After a pause he shot back. “I am not looking for favors. I don’t care for any sort of esteem. I gave up on that, in what seems like a lifetime ago.” “Well,” she quirked a corner of her moth, releasing him to fold her arms along the chair back once more. “That’s a bit different, isn’t it? I’m open to whatever you have in--” The conversation was cut short as the Orcess stirred once more. “Vath, look, we’ll take later, just---” the chair clatters to the floor as she clambers out of it, nearly leaping for the cot. “In my office, later,” a hasty assurance, “Just- Shokk…” “I--” As always the Orcess shattered all he worked for. The moment, their planning… gone. He was forced to watch as his first friend in his life, someone he had been willing to go to war for, clung to someone who had tried to kill him on multiple occasions. And like still wanted to. He felt as if his head had leapt from his chest and shattered itself upon the floor. "...Of course." Be barely managed to mumble as he was dismissed, feeling cast aside. He stood, his body felt numb. And he slunk his way out of the infirmary, defeated-- helpless as he heard the women in their reunion behind him.
  3. Last week
  4. RiktheRed21

    An End to Summer

    Swords flashed silver and blood spurted green and black across the verdant field. The undead reeled silently, his sword hand fallen from his wrist. Brinnea closed the distance in a long stride and cleft his head free. Only one enemy remained standing. He didn’t hesitate. With her arms extended mid-swing, the death knight was an easy target. The Forsaken hacked down at her arms with all his undead strength. Steel bit into blackened flesh. Brin gritted her teeth and hissed as she plunged her blade into her final foe’s head. He fell over, twitching. The ground drank his blood greedily. “Shit,” Brin cursed, looking down on the ruin of her left arm. The Forsaken’s blade had shortened it at the elbow, leaving a black stump spurting corrupted blood. She tore cloth from a dead man’s cloak and fashioned a clumsy bandage with her hand and teeth. This wasn’t the first time she had lost her left hand. In fact, it was the fourth. The first time her hand had burned off by a witch’s grim spell, which had left a lingering curse on the arm. She replaced the hand, only to watch it blacken and rot away. She shortened the limb even further before replacing it, but the curse remained. Sighing, Brinnea retrieved her sheath from the undead who held it before she had broken loose. Her arms and armor had been stripped from her, leaving her in breeches and tunic. Without her hand, she had no way of putting on her armor. It is probably best that I leave it behind anyway, she thought. I may hide my identity in Forsaken lands with some luck and my hood and cloak, but there are too many who know me by the saronite plate. Adding in the lack of mount since her charger had fallen into the spike trap, she had little hope of keeping the armor without dragging it the rest of the way. And she had no net or sack to tie it up in. She cinched her belt and wrapped herself in her faded shadowskin cloak. She had extra clothes in her saddlebags, but there were too many enemies on her trail to take time backtracking. She stretched her leg – formerly wounded by a pit stake – and found it healed well enough. The Forsaken had been enough to repair her wounds from the fall. Before she started north, Brinnea glanced back the way the Forsaken hunters had brought her. She had been riding away from the mercenaries when the ground fell away beneath her horse. Jessaya had taken cuts but was able to climb out before the undead came. Brin had been stuck and had to wait until the hunters dragged her out. Given their numbers, she decided playing dead was her best bet, and in her undead state, it was rather easy to pull off. After they had taken her a short distance, she sprang loose and took up her blade. Everything after was simple butchery. Jessaya got away. The mercenaries are after me. That orc as well. She’ll be fine. Yet she lingered. For the remainder of the day, and the following night. Half the next day passed before the first pursuers came upon her. She had not been idle in that time. She had arranged the bodies and their skeletal-horse-drawn cart into a defensive position, ringed on one side by a small slope and the other with bodies, arrows from the hunters’ quivers dug into the earth like miniature stakes, and the cart itself on which she stood. The riders ringed her makeshift fort on all sides. The man with the tauren horn helmet whistled at the sight of the battle. “You’ve been busy, Red.” “Bronto,” Brinnea said icily, “Your people have bled enough on this hunt. My reward cannot be worth the men you’ve lost.” Bronto grinned, his smile aglitter with golden incisors. “It’s even more worthwhile, actually. Fewer shares means more for everyone. And now, you’ve got no horse, no orc friend, and…oh! You’re even short a hand. How quaint.” Brinnea had fixed a dagger to her stump when she heard the hoofbeats approaching. She pointed it at Bronto. “I don’t need two hands to tear you apart.” “Two hands tend to help, though. Oh, and I wouldn’t count on miraculous last-minute rescues this time. That big green shit and the little blonde bitch you were with? We already had our fun with them. Now it’s your turn.” The Bruisers laughed cruelly, weapons clattering against shields and one another. The horsemen approached at a trot, keeping a tight formation. Brinnea’s arms felt heavy as lead. Jessaya… Her sword clattered against the armor of the dead hunters where Brin dropped it. She began untying the dagger from her stump. “You win, Bronto,” she said, “I stand no chance, that is plain.” Bronto sniffed, looking disappointed. “Aye, true. Can’t say I expected such meek surrender. Bruisers, collect her head.” Brinnea held the dagger’s point under her chin. “Not so fast,” she warned, “One more step and I’ll end it myself.” Bronto watched her, befuddled. “I believe you’ve missed the first principle of delivering a threat, Red.” “You’ll get a heavy purse for me dead, certainly. But if you give me to the right person, alive, then you’re in for ten times what the Alliance have put on my head.” She pressed the point into her skin, spilling a dribble of blood. The mercenaries looked at their leader, unsure. Bronto looked rather silly with his face scrunched up in deep thought. “This is a ploy to escape. A plot to kill me. Everyone knows you’re not to be trusted, murderess.” “True. If you took me captive, it would mean greater danger. But my odds of survival are higher – and your reward much greater – this way.” “Then tell me, Red, who would I deliver you to? Who has such coin and such a passion to collect you?” “The Knights of the Ebon Blade. I was a champion among their ranks, and gold means less to them than any who offer you bounty. Take me to Acherus and you will have it.” It was a bluff; the Knights cared little for Brinnea, though they would likely accept her back into their ranks if she offered herself. She only hoped her lie was masked well enough. Bronto thought a long while, then flashed a golden smile. He chuckled, a throaty laugh for the throat of one thirsty. Or hungry. Hungry and lusty and greedy. I’ve won myself another day, at least. He said, “Agreed.”
  5. Aruku

    Moving Day

    The Exodar: At last there was a response on his hearthstone, an unfamiliar woman's smoke-roughened voice gave a quivering reply. "Are you, Aruku?" "Yes, where's Janala?!" A pause, then, "I'm... I'm sorry. We got trapped in the burrows. My child and I, she shared her hearthstone with us. We all tried to use, but she didn't... make it." Janala's hearthstone had been set to their home, here on Azuremyst. The bottom dropped out of his previously clenched stomach, leaving him feeling cold and alone. They were gone, his wife and his unborn daughter both. "... Hello?" It took him a long moment to regain enough composure to reply, voice thick with emotion, "Thank you, for letting me know." Long ears wilted and shoulders drooping he stared at what was now the funeral pyre for two of his loved ones, along with many other unfortunates. Some time later his kids found him, having come up to see as well. They all hugged one another, a small family group among the crowd of many. "Where's mom?" One of them asked timidly, afraid of the answer. Looking at the kids surrounding him the young man swallowed his feelings, forcing them to the back and locking them away. Vemy was right, he was going to be needed even more right now. They all were. "Don't worry, I'm sure she's fine. She's a druid, she can fly, remember?" Forcing a smile he tried to reassure the kids and keep them calm. Once they weren't needed for the injuries coming from Darnassus, then they could mourn. "But there's gonna be a lot of people from the big tree who'll need our help, so let's go back inside and start, aye?" Giving each a kiss and hug he went back inside with them, dropping them off on the way to the clinic. When he came back the elf was no longer smiling. Instead a subdued, grim person returned and went quietly to work, eyes hollow with pent up loss. Finishing his shift with Vemy he saw her off, then went back in to keep working. Sanjay seemed to have the same idea. The monk had not left the hospital since he returned to the Exodar, and had worked through several assistants in the whirlwind days since. He adopted Aruku during nightly rounds and forced a cup of tea into the elf’s hand. “If you intend to stay and you wish to be useful, you will drink that and steel yourself,” he says. Aruku didn't balk and simply drank the tea, not noticing the taste at all. "Alright." He couldn't sleep anyways. Being assistant to Sanjay kept him occupied and they worked together in quiet accord. It was like a grim test of stamina between the two as they settled into a work rhythm. Working their way through the next few days without sleep and only taking breaks for necessities the pair efficiently treated as many victims and refugees as they could; mostly those folk from Teldrassil or near it who had gotten 'lucky' in escaping via means other than the portal to Stormwind. Azuremyst was the nearest safe port for anyone without teleportation. It was dawning on the third day after the tragedy when the thin blood elf finally collapsed between one step and the next, having driven himself to his limits. Strain lined his face even while unconscious, leaving him looking worn out and used up. With all the beds in the clinic and its overflow area filled it ended up being Vemy who took the exhausted young man home and put him in bed there. With her husband gone there was plenty of room for a scrawny elf and between her shifts she took care of him too. ----------------------------------- Resting he might be in bed but Aruku's mind was fitful, struggling to make sense of everything that had happened. The Horde set fire to Teldrassil, a World tree. Those damn stupid orcs, those hateful undead. Why had no one stopped it? Why had no one stood up? What had the Tauren been doing with all their Earthmother talk? The blood elves should have known destroying a magical world tree was bad! Even the goblins should have recognized that Teldrassil was more profitable existing than being ashes! …. did those in the Horde he had counted as friends, had they been part of this? Had people he'd healed been the cause of this suffering? Even unprovoked, the Horde would attack and kill. They might as well be The Grim. He could feel bitterness replacing the emptiness inside of him, that once had held such love for everyone and everything. Was this how the world had always been, and the Light had just made him blind to it? Without Janala he alone had to raise all these kids; find a way to support, feed and clothe them. Bitterness sparked anger, helplessness turned into frustration. Without magical talent, physical prowess or mental sharpness how was he supposed to do that? Alchemy made some gold, but all the best herbs were in dangerous places. And worst of all he looked like a Horde. Aruku was almost tempted to fix that by embracing the Void but some lingering bit of self preservation kept him from doing it. With the state of mind he was in he'd be lost to it immediately. Driven with no goal he rose, mechanically taking his hearthstone to set up a place for his kids to be taken care of while he lost himself in trying to find a new path to follow, a reason to continue.
  6. Aruku

    Moving Day

    Lor'Danel was falling, the last defense before the Horde reached Teldrassil. Pressing her lips together grimly the green haired night elf surveyed the map and markers of her family's assets. People, goods, equipment, knowledge stores; it was too much to move at once but if they could just move things that couldn't be taken now into hiding, they could be retrieved under the noses of the Horde during occupation of the city. Her people were skilled at that. Snapping out orders and arranging plans to the best of her ability she sent clan members out of the hidden burrows with missives, knowing they were racing against time with their lives on the line. Not enough time, never enough time. Janala felt like she was always trying to beat time; first in her own life, then in her husband's life, now for all of her clans' family's' lives. She'd won the first two of those, now... There was a little shudder in the ground under her feet. It'd not been long enough, by her estimations only the most essential things had been moved and non-essential family members should just be packing up or heading out now. Looking about the empty burrow alcove she slowly walked out, her pregnancy slowing her down. She should be leaving soon as well, once everyone had their orders. Giving a little harrumph at the idea of having to use a beast for transportation instead of shifting forms as she usually did the young lady rubbed her rounded abdomen, smiling softly as she murmured reassurances to the baby girl within. Up ahead she could hear running, stumbling footsteps coming towards her. Frowning Janala started at her slow pace up the passageway, stopping when she saw a panicked mother and child round the bend. These clan members were not the ones she expected to see. “Teldrassil...” gasps out the other lady, tears welling up in her eyes. “It's burning! We... we're trapped!” Hugging her young child tightly she trembled. Pursing her lips Janala tried to stay calm, someone had to have a cool head here. “We will exit the burrow and get the nearest Hippogryph, there should...” she was cut off by the other lady's wail. “No, we're trapped, in the burrow! Fire's everywhere outside, in the entrance...” Shaking her head she sobbed, already the smell of smoke was drifting down from the passageway up. Violet skin blanched in color as understanding set in. Placing a hand on the other lady's back she rubbed and asked softly, “Honey, is anyone else in here with us?” A 'no' shake of the head was the reply given. Options were quickly becoming slim. Awkwardly standing there trying to soothe one of her subordinate's and her crying child Janala had many thoughts running through her mind. There was one way out but it wouldn't take all of them, even this small of a group. Selfishly she had wanted to use it for herself to get out just before the Horde came in. It'd take her to her home on Azuremyst, where she could be with her children and her loving husband. Her eyes softened as she thought of them and him, then looked down at the two next to her. She knew what Aruku'd do, crazy as it was. And she knew how he'd feel if he knew she didn't try to save these two when she saved herself. Giving a sad little smile Janala settled heavily next to the pair with a little 'ooopf,' taking and drawing their hands into her own. “Do not cry, everything is going to be alright sweeties.” With one hand the druidess reached into a bag at her side, withdrawing a hearthstone. “This is not set to Darnassus, this will take you to my home on Azuremyst.” “I.. we couldn't you're Head of...” “Shhhh,” Giving the two a reassuring smile she placed the stone into the middle of their joined hands, “We will just see how many it can take at once, perhaps Elune will bless our trip.” With a deep breath she made up her mind. Please Elune, let this work. “Be sure to hold on tightly, ok?” When she'd gotten nods of agreement and saw hope in their eyes the three of them held onto the hearthstone, practically covering its surface with their hands. Smoke wafting in thickened as Janala traced the rune to activate the teleportation device, a soft green glow issuing forth from between the group's hands. Reaching out it enveloped them, whisking away to safety those who had previously been without hope. As the green glow disappeared, only Janala was left behind in the otherwise empty burrow corridor. Gently lowering her hands onto her rounded stomach she began to sing softly, strangely at ease with her fate but still mourning for her child to be. You had your whole life ahead And that I took away from you Was it selfish of me to decide this To save lives precious to another? I wish I could have shown the joys and wonders of the world to you Held your perfect little hands in mine and shared in your triumphs as you grew. But it shall never pass now so to you I give a lullaby, a story of the place where we lived and shall die. In purity, all things are born. The eldest tree was once a tender sapling, And even the stars were young. O Lady Elune, Weep tears so sweet At the thought of the innocence That once was ours. The huntress' horn has sounded! To battle, it calls us now, To the defense of all we hold dear: This city, This well of the moon, This soft song of the evening breeze. it calls us, And we answer. The jewel of our city Lies within their craven grasp. One last time, we shall stand. One final act, we shall perform By the light of the moons, By the flash of our blades, By the song of our arrows, We shall triumph-- Or we shall fall. The tree has fire for leaves And skeletons for branches And its roots feed only upon The ashes of the dead. The winds that sigh through it now are the cries of the dying And this daughter, This lament For horrors unspeakable, For cruelty unimaginable, For this life and the beauty and the grace that once were And shall never be again. By the moons' glow, listen. Beside the river, listen. Holding those you live, listen: To the cries of the dying, To the whisper of the wind over the silent dead, To the song my broken heart will ever sing Of the story of the Tree of the World And the death of all the dreams It once cradled in its mighty boughs. -----------------------------------------------
  7. Aruku

    Moving Day

    Things continued that way for some time. The routine changed when Sanjay returned with the new patients and healers. The clinic exploded in size and began to resemble a true hospital, albeit with few real walls or beds. Though it was easy to get lost in the tangled mass of wounded, sick, and healers, Aruku found himself constantly working alongside Vemynisa. Every day they grew more in-sync, able to assist one another with barely a word spoken between them. The Draenei spoke to the elf freely about nearly anything, and was an attentive listener when Aruku spoke. While Aruku didn't seem to think the near constant presence of Vemy was odd, he did end up opening up and relaxing around her more, acting more his normal self. That came with both raunchy jokes, casual flirting & talk of his family, at least as far as she was comfortable with. One of their break conversations over hot beverages; coffee for Vemy, tea for Aruku; turns to baking plans to treat the staff. Both of them have spouses who are hazards in the kitchen so it'd be a nice change of pace to make food with someone else... and maybe afterwards they can enjoy one another's company in a different way. Before more plans are made Sanjay bursts into the room, clenching his jaw with iron strength. “Those damn maniacs...you two haven’t heard yet, have you?” He glances between the two, his eyes stern and angry, but underneath the anger there lies something Aruku has never seen in Sanjay before. Fear. Puzzlement and worry showed on the thin man's face, and by the lack of reaction it was evident before he even spoke that he hadn't heard. "What happened?" While his mind flew through several thoughts he wasn't about to presume what it might be yet. “It’s Teldrassil,” the monk says, “The Horde set fire to it. The entire tree is ablaze.” Vemynisa gasps. She puts a hand over her mouth. “By the Naaru...” Aruku stared blankly at Sanjay for a long moment, his mind refusing to grasp what the words meant. Teldrassil couldn't be completely on fire, it was giant! When Sanjay's expression didn't change his golden eyes grew wide in alarm and he spun to dash for the door. While recklessly speeding off he dug out his hearthstone, trying to reach his wife in Darnassus to let her know if she didn't already. Sanjay sidesteps, still cursing under his breath. Vemynisa leaps to her hooves and races after the elf. "Aruku!" she calls after him, "I--I think we're going to need you even more now..." She fidgets nervously. Too wrapped up in the panic of trying to make sure his wife was alive and safe, and needing to see this with his own eyes the blood elf bolted out of the clinic and across the Exodar. It seemed everyone was still in a bit of shock at the news so he managed to exit unhindered, panting as he passed through the bits of wall around the city till he could get a view of Teldrassil. Already there was dark smoke making a smudge on the sky in that direction, under lit by an angry orange light. He wasn't the only one out here either. Others had come out to stare in horrified disbelief to the north east. Men, women, young, old, all were gathered in an eerie quiet vigil only broken by sobbing here and there.
  8. Aruku

    Moving Day

    As with most such things everything had started out fine. Time had come around for the visit to the Exodar Sanjay had said he'd work on getting through for Aruku. As Janala was off in Outlands working on growing their new home that meant the young blood elf had brought along the entire entourage of half-breed children with him to visit, much to the dismay of his host Sanjay. Fortunately the human's working partner Ingrid, an easygoing dwarf lady was delighted by the additions. Dropping the kids off at their friends was uneventful enough and allowed Aruku to pay attention when he was brought over and shown about the human monk's pride and joy in the Crystal Tier: 'The Sands of Time Healing Clinic.' Tucked in a back corner it was a modest establishment but homey. It wasn't long before the blood elf had been introduced to most the workers and had waded in with Sanjay to lend a hand, having some casual.... ok, maybe not so casual conversation. But before the talk could get more awkward and uncomfortable... “Sanjay!” Ingrid cried as she burst into the room, looking panicked. “There’s been an attack in Kalimdor! The Horde is marching on Darkshore!” Those words marked the end of the pleasant trip, and the beginning of working full shifts along with the others in the clinic as they received injuries that couldn't be taken care of out in the field. Sanjay left to go to the warfront, leaving Ingrid in charge. Temporary beds and rooms were set up outside and still there was concern of not having enough space to handle it if things got worse. Everyone in the city was pitching in in their own ways, even the older kids were being sent on tasks and given responsibilities around the Exodar. Aruku's wife, Janala had returned to Darnassus and was doing work she could what with being in the late stages of her pregnancy. Mostly giving orders and handling the Shadowblade family's organization to this crisis, or at least that's what Aruku understood of it. The week rushes by at a blinding speed. Injured soldiers and civilians run through the clinic like a river of blood, and in the thick of the tide stand Aruku, Ingrid, and Vemynisa. Ingrid mostly operates on her own, leaving Aruku and the Draenei woman to work together most of the week. She’s quiet mainly, and her thoughts seem preoccupied. Yet she always seems strangely close to Aruku. Every so often their hands brush against one another and she rushes to hide her blushing face. When she does speak to him, she always seems out of breath and flustered. Between treating the injuries, grabbing bites to eat here and there and the tiredness at the end of the long shifts, Aruku couldn't find a good time to ask Vemy about her shy reactions to him. His golden eyes ask questions but there never seems to be a free moment to put voice to it. When a full week has passed, Vemy finds Aruku in the break room with a roll of paper in hand. “I have something for you,” she says. Hearing her words and seeing the paper his heart jumped in his chest. He'd nearly forgotten his pass here was only for a week, was this an order for him to leave? Worried he raised his golden eyes to meet the draenei lady's, "Is it good, or bad news?" "That depends on you. I spoke with the ambassador's office, and convinced them to extend your visit indefinitely to assist with wartime treatments." She hands him the scroll, sealed with the pink and gold seal of the Prophet. Her hand lingers by his a moment before she promptly retreats a couple steps. The thin man's eyes grow big as he looks at the seal then up at her. Questions come out as incredulity and relief fight for space on his features, "I can stay?" The rhetorical inquiry was quickly followed by, "You did this for me?" Vemy opens her mouth, closes it, then clears her throat and says, “I did it for the sick and wounded of this war. They need your help — our help.” While he might not be quick on other things, social things he was decent at. Giving Vemy a soft smile despite the tiredness from the long week of work he took the few steps over to her and gave her a quick, strong hug of thanks. "Yer a nice gal, ya know that?" Vemynisa freezes at the embrace. Her face flushes a deep blue color, which she tries to hide with her facial tentacles. "You...you're not bad," she manages with a cough. Giving one final squeeze he lets her go, a hint of mischief twinkling in his eyes as he looks up at her. "Thanks cutie." Her blush transcends embarrassment. This time she reaches out to pat his cheek. “It—it was my pleasure,” she says awkwardly before clopping out of the break room. Smiling after the nice lady (and view) exiting the room he took a seat, happy she had willingly touched him at last without moving away. Breaking the seal open on the paper he read over it, more of a formality since Vemy had told him what was inside already. At least something good had happened.
  9. mockrabbit

    Shallow Grave - The corpse and the rabbit-

    The combined forces of the Horde and Alliance set out for Highmaul later that night hoping to use the darkness to hide their numbers. By first light the next day they had setup a command post outside the city gates, had siege weapons bombarding the city walls and gate, and archers firing at anyone brave enough to put their head, or heads, up to survey the enemy. It was a few hours before the sun would hang high in the sky that the allied main force shattered the city gate, as a smaller group had gained access to the city earlier creating a distraction. Inside the invading army and defending ogres clashed in a bloody mix of metal, stone, and magic. Even with what appeared to be superior numbers, the invaders where having a tough time with the larger inhabitants. The ogres could cleave, crush, or pull apart some of the smaller soldiers in a single motion. Small mounds of the dead dotted the battle field, usually a fallen defender and the corpses of those that eventually brought it down. Graite, Lubella, Yurrie, Mock and Ottis were in the third wave of soldiers to enter the city. The first two waves had secured the inner gate and had been handling opposition allowing the next waves to secure the entrance to the Gorthenon which had already been assaulted by the smaller force that had entered the city first. On the way Luebella and Graite charged ahead, slashing at ogre defenders already engaged, cleaving the wounded with precise deathblows, and working as one when any enemy dared to stand in their way. A lower ogre magi, with two heads, tried to stop their progress at the stairs leading up to the Gorthenon. Before he could get a word out Lubella had choked one head with her dark powers while Graite leapt up with unnatural strength and removed the other head in a single stroke. Yurrie and Mock trailed the two death knights, being sure that no one would attempt a back attack on their fierce commanders. The death knights are very efficient in the art of war and killing. Mainly Yurrie and Mock just tried to keep up to them, Ottis clinging to Mock's shoulder plate, constantly looking behind them for any surprises. As the Death Knights had finished off the orge magi and started moving up the steps, a loud roar could be heard off to the south. Yurrie stopped and looked down a short road in that direction. An orc warrior and orgre guard were looking in hand to hand combat, their weapons on the ground around their own personal arena. The orge was winning, Yurrie seeing it lift the orc off his feet by his neck, raspy gasping and sputtering struggling from his lips. Mock had already began to charge at the orge, Yurrie close behind him. The orge turned his head as Mock raised one of his large spiked maces over his head. Ottis jumped from the shoulder plate, pouncing on the orges arms, and assaulting one of it's wrists with bloody nibbles. Blood erupting from the orcs lips, spattering the orges face as he loosened his grip to defend against the corpse and the rabbit. Yurrie did not draw her halberd, only balled her fist and flew threw the air. Mock's mace struck the orge heavily on the shoulder, narrowly missing it's head, but shattering bone and crushing the tissue that it did hit. The orc fell to the ground, clutching his throat, trying to suck in air and more blood spayed from his laboured coughing. The orge howled in pain as he fell to a knee. Ottis was now on the ground next the liberated orc, ready to pounce again. Before Mock could raise his mace again for a killing blow the orge's howling stopped. In what seemed like a strong breeze moving by the monk had struck the orge hard in the face, stunning it. In the next moment she placed her paws on either side of it's head, and with a quick movement put the orge out of misery with a 'snap'. The heavy body fell to the ground with a a hard 'thud' before the orc. The orc's coughing and sputtering had also been silenced. Mock picked up what he assumed was the orc's axe. Yurrie rolled the warrior onto his back, and Mock rested the axe across his chest. A brief moment of stillness passed. It was Ottis that scrambled back onto Mock's shoulders that shook the warrior and monk back into their situation. The sounds of war rang throughout the city. Turning back down the street they hurried up towards the stairs of Gorthenon.
  10. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper would finally wake, though he gave no signs of doing so. He had no notion as to how much time had passed. But what did it matter anyways? He remained curled up in the bed, unwilling to face the day and results of his failures. Kirital knocked out of habit before letting himself in the room. On the night stand he sets a tray with a biscuit, three sausages, a ham/cheese/pepper omelette, two halves of cantaloupe, and some jam. "So these are the extras from my meal. I dunno exactly what you like and it's really missing grits, but, hey," Kirital looked at the magister expecting some sign of life. When none showed, he shook Vath's shoulder gently, but with a firm grip. "Hey. Food?" The Magister was clearly awake, but doesn't particularly respond. Through his mind he reviewed what he could have done better, how he could have prepared more wisely, and scolded himself constantly for each mistake. If he couldn't even protect his very capable heroes, then what was the point? How could he expect to save the world? He mumbled something before trying to curl himself into a ball even further. "What are you thinking?" Kirital sat on the end of the bed. He couldn't resist the sausage and took one to eat. Taking interest in Vathelan's thoughts, he hoped, could help him out of the metaphorical shell he seemed intent on curling into. "...I'm a fuckup." Vathelan murmured, not one for such language as he kept his back to his companion. He couldn't face anyone today. "All my heroes are now dead, thanks to my negligence." "I wouldn't be so quick to conclusions, Vathelan." Kirital's voice was quiet, similarly unusual coming from him. "We didn't think you could handle visiting the infirmary and you're not a fuck-up." He smiled softly at the Magister of questionable dress; brow creasing up in concern for the man. "Besides, your wall - " He sighed as a knock cut him off. As he stood into a brief stretch and grunt, the bed lifted back into its original height. "It worked. I know it did." He closed the door to the bedroom behind him then opened the front door to whomever knocked. Cat stood behind the door wearing an oversized man's shirt and a pair of old pants. Her hair looked damp from a recent shower, and her fading bruises had taken on a greenish color. On her shoulder was a white kitten. Her downcast expression was heightened by the dim glow of her eyes, who's once vibrant bright blue were so faded that they revealed the naturally dark colored eyes underneath. "...I heard you guys were staying here," she said weakly. "Is Vath okay?" Kirital leaned against the door frame and rests a hand on his hip. The sobriety of his eyes betrayed the jovial smile of his mouth. The battle taxed him, though his worry for Vathelan is evident. "He's recovering. I'm not sure how many large scale battles he's been in but...How's Dora?" "Uhm.. still sleeping, from what I last saw. She's in the infirmary. Her brother was with her." The kitten on her shoulder batted at Cat's pigtail, but was otherwise ignored. "I think she'll be okay," Cat suggested, her voice lower than usual. "They're taking good care of everyone." "Glad to hear it." He rested a hand on the side of Cat's arm. "And hey, I'll tell Vathelan. I don't know if he wants to see anyone just yet." The kitten suddenly saw its chance, and ran up Kirital's arm toward the half-elf's long hair. Cat raised her eyebrows in alarm and reached for her, but it was too late. The white ball of fluff disappeared underneath Kirital's ponytail. "Munchkin!" Kirital froze once the kitten begins exploring the expanse of his neck and upper back. The occasional twitch from the dagger-like claws threatened to unbalance him. "Excitable." He jerks at a nip on his ear. "Fella." He tried to snatch the kitten, succeeding only to be met with a face full of claws. "Gotcha-ahhhh!" All the while he is gentle with the tiny creature. Cat winced at the sight, reaching for Munchkin as swiftly as her grace (which was zero) allowed. Cat stumbled against Kirital instead, prompting Munchkin to leap from his back and make a run for Vathelan. The ungraceful attempt to retrieve the kitten nearly knocked them both over, though one might consider their her body on his somewhat scandalous. Kirital barked after the kitten, oblivious to it. "Hey! Don't wake Vathelan you fuzzball." As Catalinetta and Kirital fumbled in their attempts to catch the little furball, it took the opportunity to further explore. With little bounding paws it delved further into the temporary lodging, it’s snow white fur quickly disappearing from view as it turned the corner into the bedroom where the Magister refused to rise. With tiny claws the creature bounded and climbed the bed until it found itself beside the man and lay upon him. After a few moments, Vathelan’s hand would rise to greet the little creature, giving a gentle scratch behind the ears. Cat followed Kirital inside, unphased by the brief physical contact. The death knight seemed more or less concerned that Munchkin might bother Vathelan, but she seemed to be doing the opposite. She curled up somewhere between the magister's shoulder and chin to bury her head against the crook of his neck, seeking warmth. The Magister rhythmically stroked the tiny kitten’s head, other than that he remained laying bundled under the sheets. Kirital smiled at the disgruntled, blanket hidden Elf. "Cat's got some news for you, Vathelan. I'll be outside. Your food's getting cold." He exited the bedroom and leans against the wall just outside of it. Cat approached Vathelan carefully and sat down next to him on the bed. She put a gentle hand in his shoulder. "..s..sir? Are you.. are you okay?" The man mumbles something in response to Kirital’s announcement. The entirety of the man was hidden from view underneath the sheets. Though that was likely for the best. Before the battle had even started, the man had lost his usual luster. As the woman sat next to him, his motions of affection for the feline had not stopped—though his voice weakly spoke a single word through the cloth. “No.” Cat pet Vathelan as she might have pet the cat. Her voice wasn't as chipper as usual, though she seemed genuinely concerned for the magister. "..I know.. it was a bad day, sir.. but you really did good out there. With the wall. You saved those casters, a-and... only a f-f... f... few c-c... casual... casualties.." The death knight seemed to have a hard time saying the words. "..b-but.. m... most of us s..survived. All of K-kreyen's f..f...family." The hand paused at the mention of the fate of the Arath’dorei family. For a moment nothing more happened; a hesitation. And then slowly the now greasy ebon hair of the Magister poked out of the bundle. Soon thereafter came his fel-stained eyes behind their glasses to peer up at the death knight beside him. His voice somehow more muffled than before as the sheets rested up against his lips. “…All of them?” Cat looked down toward Vathelan's face. She tried to smile reassuringly, but could only offer a nod. "..mm hmm.. b-but... Ari.. Ari d-din't make it.. a-and.. and K... K... Kreyen lost a l..leg." The dark brows of the Magister knitted as he processed the news. And then he began to stir, much to the known chagrin of the poor fuzzy creature that had been resting on him. He murmured an apology to the kitten before fully sitting up, still wrapped in the sheets. “I… see.” Kirital stood in the doorway now, leaning against the frame with his arms folded. A light hearted smile met Vathelan as he watches and listens. "Morning, blanket slug." Cat reached for Munchkin and held the sleepy kitten to her chest before standing up from the bed. "I was gonna go back to the inf.. infirmary.. some of them are th-there." Moving away from the bed, she finally gave the best smile that she could to Kirital and pat his shoulder. "Take care of him. I'll be around." The Magister moved to stand, the sheet giving way to fully reveal his face. His lips were chapped from dehydration, his lip split and his face covered in grime from the night before. Other than that, he seemed to have gotten off—quite well, considering the reports of the death of one and the loss of limb of another. Both had done him wrong in spite of his goals, but he hadn’t wished them ill will. He started to move towards the door. “I’ll go too. I need to make sure.” The Sheet dragged with him as he made his way towards the door. Kirital remained in the doorway. "You may wanna reconsider your outfit." There is a smirk to him. "Also, I'd like for you to at least...something? You decimated your mana yesterday, which was inspiring granted, but I'm not moving till you down this sausage at least." He held a plate with two sausages and some biscuits in one hand and a glass of water in the other. “Hm?” He looked over at the mirror and saw how the sheets clung to him. With an ‘Oh Right.’ He takes off the sheets to reveal tattered robes from the chaos of the day before. “…This… won’t do. Not if I’m going to play the part of dignitary.” He ignored the comment about food. He still wasn't hungry. Kirital, at least, set the glass of water down in front of Vathelan with a pointed look as if to insist on consuming it. Retrieving the food from earlier he idly munched on some of it as he moved to the kitchen. "Whenever you're ready, then." The Magister looked over the robes, taking the glass of water gratefully. His head was starting to pound from from the lack of proper hydration. "Kirital," His voice only able to rise ever so slightly. "The robes or my undershirt? We did fight in a battle... do you think it appropriate I visit looking like this?" Kirital did his best to not giggle or laugh when he suggests going in his wrinkled and ripped attire. Folding his arms he rubbed his chin and thinks. "A friend of my brother and I conjured clothing sometimes. I'd say an undershirt if you don't have anything to go over it. It's kinda cold though, which is fine for..." Kirital got an idea. "Here." He took off his jacket and offered it to Vathelan. "Thankfully your build can fill this out a little, but I think it's more appropriate for you to be the more clothed one. I'm your bodyguard afterall, not a dignitary." He couldn’t keep a grin off his face. "Are you certain that this would not be perceived as... offensive? Not to have proof of my participation of this battle?" His brows furrowed as he takes the jacket. "We fought to defend them. Maybe we can use that as leverage?" "Leverage for what? You're visiting friends and making sure folks are all right. You don't need to prove anything." Kirital ran a hand through his hair to put it behind an ear. "Everyone knows that wall was yours and that it stopped that demon dead in its tracks." He found Vathelan's diplomatic sensibilities cute in this situation and smiled. "Besides. If something happened to you, I wouldn't be doing my job very well." "Kirital..." Vathelan gave a small frown. "Nothing is ever so simple or easy in my line of work. I... forgive me, I am new to this position. And sometimes I hate it. I am sure they have better diplomats. But I was sent." Kirital rubbed the back of his head and sighs a little. "That's just my two cents. I just...recommend checking up on people, you know?" Grappling this line of thinking took a moment. He really didn’t consider his actions and tried to see them from Vathelan's side. "Though I guess in the future maybe? Bringing up our involvement might seem like we're holding it over them and uh, I really don't think now's the time for that?" A slight embarrassment overcame him from speaking his mind about something not his specialty. His hand rested on the back of his neck as he blushed. "I... plan on giving them some time to recover. Lady Arath'dorei knows how to contact me. But it needs to be addressed." He looked back into the mirror with a frown. "I have wasted too much time on Sanctuary, we can't afford to waste more." Kirital felt rather disappointed to hear that. It's not his place to apologize for the guild or anything that's happened, but he could understand some of the frustrations that lingered afterwards. "Yeah there's a time and place for politics, but tact is equally as important. Who knows? Maybe if you're in need of help, helping here could be a way to get it. Favor for a favor, you know?" As he spoke he paced about the room, hands behind his head. The sleeveless shirt over his torso thankfully is well fitted. He regarded Vathelan for a moment in thought. “I’m not looking for Favors.” The Magister spoke as he still debated what sort of appearance he should provide for this encounter. He set the coat over his chest as he tries to picture what that would look like, and its implications. “I don’t understand why this is so hard for people to come to terms with. I want nothing more than to do my part to save the world, to fulfill my purpose in Lord-General Visca’s teachings. The Scryers have and are still developing the technology to give the world a fighting chance. We have been preparing for this day… for a long time. But we’re too few in number to stop the Legion ourselves.” He decides against it as he sets the coat down. They would respect him more if he showed his willingness to fight, he decided. The tattered robes would remain. “So we’re looking for an army. Someone we can trust to take the fight to the Legion with our backing and blessings. Someone we are sure will not become a threat to us or our mission later.” Kirital folded his jacket over an arm without a desire to put it back on. "I mean, it doesn't hurt to be courteous though. You can do both. Besides, it helps to have folks think they owe ya one. Sure helped me leverage my brother to do things for me." The thought brought up a few memories which bring out a laugh from him. Throughout the course of the conversation he had yet to make it feel like an argument. He enjoyed the discussion and, if anything, helped him understand Vathelan more. "I'll ask you more about the Lord-General later, if you'd like?" "He was... a great man." The Magister’s voice got quiet once more, his eyes averting themselves from his reflection. "I cannot express my shame in failing him... or his family." He looks back to his companion. "...Are you ready?" "Yup." Kirital is as he was during the battle. Tank-top, cloth bound waist and forearms, loose cloth pants, and heavy boots. His jacket stays draped over his arm. "I'll be right behind you."
  11. Pelande Aijatar

    Sins of a Patriot: Act 1: Rise of the Shattered Son

    As Pelande passed through the portal, the sights that greeted her were not what a Shal’dorei would consider pleasant. She was underground, in some ancient ruin of a circular room with high ceilings-- it looked like it possibly predated Suramar’s sealing.It all bore the familiar trappings of Suramar’s architecture but had undergone none of the meticulous maintenance. Still, it held together by virtue of its craftsmanship. There wasn’t much in terms of furniture, nor did there seem to be any natural way out. As the portal closed behind her she was trapped. The third time, by her count. Though less than pleased by this, Pelande kept her composure. “You made it.” The Eyeless commander noted, his tone flat. It was hard to get a read on the man. His head canted towards the female that had stood next to him before they departed and gave a simple command--“Pour her a drink.”--and the other Nightborne got to work immediately. Pelande set her spear aside, upright against the nearby wall, and pointedly stepped out of reach of it. A show of trust to accompany the direct inquiry, “What are you?” “A weapon against the Legion.” The Commander motioned towards the table. There were too few chairs to seat all those she had seen at the ambush. In fact there were far too few people in this room. There were dozens during the conflict, now there were but four excluding her. Scanning the room, she took this to be a council of some kind. A marksman, a man in robes next to what looked like a now inactive telemancy beacon, the female who was pouring the drink, and this demonic outlander who was seating himself. For a brief second she became anxious of her unkempt state. But the others seemed either not to notice, or simply didn’t care. “That’s not much of an answer,” she replied, settling into a chair. “but if you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. You fight them; that’s all that’s important.” The ordeals began to catch up to her-- just the simplicity of sitting down was such a massive relief. Pelande let out a long breath. “So… how do we do it?” “First, you drink.” Before he finished the sentence, a mug of Arcwine was placed before the woman. The timing was eerie for a man who shouldn’t be able to see. “You are worthless to me if you Wither. Where the First Arcanist uses her rebels as an army and to inspire, we are more… specialized.” Pelande swept the cup into her hands and it was at her lips before she knew it. Her eyes opened in shock, but their illumination was already stronger than it’d been in weeks. She looked to the cup and shivered. Had she really just behaved like a starved animal in front of these strangers? Swallowing heavily, Pelande set the emptied cup back down. She tried to shift focus back to the conversation with a shaken laugh. “Extremists, then?” “Some would say so, but those would not understand the nature of war.” The Commander shrugged. “Sometimes a dagger can slip through one's armor with more ease than a sword or hammer. We give the Loyalists pause as they exploit your city, we create those openings the Dusk Lilies need by getting our hands dirty. In turn, by killing those who sell their own to the Legion, we save lives.” Idly, she tapped the side of the cup with her fingernails and let her thoughts run freely off her tongue. “They make me sick, these Shal’dorei that would rather be the kings and queens of ruins than fight. We didn’t survive all this time just to lose Suramar like this. Death is better than they deserve but all we can give them.” She looked to him curiously. There was much she wanted to ask, but wasn’t sure how to. “Does your cause have a name?” “I’ve not seen a point in naming our little group in hopes of keeping us more anonymous. But… the public has deemed otherwise and have named us for the weapons we leave as a warning for those who betray your people to the Legion. We are known as ‘the Ebonfeathers’.” Maela would probably find all this informality uncouth, but Pelande was feeling refreshed by it. After so many millenia, here she was in a new place. Speaking with new people, finding a new path, following a new set of rules... even if she wasn’t sure what they all were yet. It didn’t matter, she said to herself. As long as she was fighting the Legion, the anger that had festered for ten thousand years would find its outlet. She spoke with a smile. “As I said before, my weapon is yours. If you’d have it I would call myself an Ebonfeather.” “Then you are in luck, as we do have an opening.” His tone betrayed no hints as to how genuine he was being. “You made your choice when you stepped through that portal. Before we talk about your first mission; you should know that as one of us, our resources are available to you. This includes wine, our beacon, arms and armor-- tell me what you need and I’ll see to it.” “Some plate and a proper spear is all I could ever want--” She paused, “and, rations of wine, naturally.” This last part was spoke with a touch of shame, quickly masked with a clearing of the throat. “From there just tell me what to skewer… er...” Pelande trailed off, blinking… and then laughed. “...it just occured to me. I don’t know what to call you yet.” “Kal’une Danteur will do for now. As for your mission, you come to us at a critical conjecture. The First Arcanist marched three elven nations worth of armies into Elisande’s trap, including my ‘Brother’ who tried to warn them. This has left the rebellion in shorter numbers than we would prefer, so we will have to supplement for them. And while we don’t have the time to forge you into a weapon such as myself, I know where to find my Illidari brethren. The problem is, we need to get them inside the city undetected.” He motioned for the other woman to take a seat next to their newest recruit. “And that is where the two of you come in. We’re going to locate select targets, and replace them with those designed to Slay rather than Serve.” ‘Forge’ her. Did that mean turning her into something as twisted as himself? She didn’t care for the idea, but if he said it wasn’t happening it shouldn’t matter. But assassinating those that had turned their backs on her people? He didn’t have to ask her twice. It was apparent that he was moving his pieces into place. To what exact end, Pelande couldn’t see--she didn’t have much of a mind for planning, and the more she knew the more of a liability she’d be. She’d taken a leap of faith, and now this was the only solid ground left in sight, the only island in the storm. She had to trust in this man. With her bridges burning behind her, it was easier than expected. “Whatever it takes to liberate Suramar, Commander Danteur.”
  12. Raphael Vanderzee

    Sins of a Patriot: Act 1: Rise of the Shattered Son

    “Guy can’t catch a break can he?” He murmurs to himself as he looked over his now dry flask. Before him was the barricaded tavern, how the hell was he supposed to spend his money at this rate? His brow raised as he spotted the monk and the Magister carried in his arms. “Oi’, he all right?” "Exhausted but fine." Kirital stepped away from Vathelan. "We need to locate Dora." The Captain heard the request, and looks at the Magister for a moment with a small smirk. “That so?” He shrugged and opened the Com, “Boss-Lady? You out there? I ‘ave someone lookin’ fer yeh.”' “You could show her a bit more respect, Captain.” The Magister wearily glares at the Rogue who simply stares back up at his with his singular eye. "Let's argue over a meal once Dora is found, right?" Magister’s face etched deeper and deeper into his expression. He said nothing; he simply began to Moments pass; there are no words to be heard over the Com. With each passing second, the worry on the exhausted start to tremble. The thought of being in that battle… and for what? “Welp. She ain’t gonna answer.” The Rogue closed the Com. He saw the devastation clear as day on Vathelan’s face. The man went totally pale as he started to hyperventilate at the thoughts. The Rogue looked over to the other half-elf. “Don’t mean she be dead, but, well… ain’t usually a good sign. Take him back ta the room. Not much we can do til daybreak.” "We can go to where the major battle was fought." A pointed look goes to Van, as if chastising the man's lack of tact. "Would you lend us that comm device?" "Or, yeh could head to the Infirmary. If they find her that will be the first place they take her I guarantee it." Vathelan had lost focus on the conversation around him, falling to his knees as he started to have a panic attack. Emotions made things messy. And Magister Frostwhisper was a wreck. He hunched over as he found himself lost in the shock that was giving way to despair. After all the time he waited… it didn’t matter. They had failed. “Though… but look at ‘em.” Captain Van tilted his head towards the Magister who had lost all composure. “Won’t do anyone any good him being seen like this. Best he get some sleep before we start lookin’ any further. I’ll keep an ear out, let yeh know what I find.” With a sigh, Kirital relented. "You have a point." Vathelan hd been through much for this. He needs time to recuperate. "I'll see him back to the room." The stress of the battle begins to catch up to him as well as he rubbed his nose. Kneeling down to Vath, Kirital spoke slowly and clearly. "Vathelan, I am going to take you back to the room." The statement is mostly to test the Magister's coherence as well. The Magister said nothing, requiring getting pulled away to their room, leaving Captain Van alone to his own thoughts as he took out another smoke. Wasn't booze, but it would have to do for now.
  13. Pelande Aijatar

    Sins of a Patriot: Act 1: Rise of the Shattered Son

    With the liberation and arming of those imprisoned by the Legion, the rebels cloaked in dark colors and wielding the signature blades of the rumored Ebonfeathers had ensured the odds were well stacked within their favor. The struggle was as quick as it was violent. But even still, they worked upon a time constraint. “With haste. Their ilk won’t let this little slight go unanswered.” The stranger didn’t appear to be the type for conversation but something drew Pelande to him anyway. Thousands of years of conditioning made her aware of just how unseemly she appeared, told her to hesitate. It felt good to ignore them. She wore the mix of blood and grime proudly. The warrior let the urge to preen loose for but a second to swipe her filthy hair out of her face so her expressions could be clearly read. “Wherever you’re fighting next, take me with you.” Half-request, half-demand, she awaited an answer with her bloodied spear held tight. “So bold.” The normally flat tone of the commander of this band of rebels edged into a dark amusement as his back remained turned to her. His head turned over his shoulder, revealing fel-green flames that licked at his eye sockets. “Are we really so eager to sell our souls from one fate to another?” This stopped her for a second; that awful flare. The exact hue of her people’s tormentors. But she was quick to put her steely facade back on and assess the situation logically. Maela would probably have this all figured out by now, but Pelande’s mind churned. She pushed the less important questions to the back of her mind and tried to focus. “My soul is my own; I’m not offering it.” She raised her spear. “But if you’re fighting the Legion, my spear is yours.” “To fight the Legion may prove less simple a task than you’re expecting. To win this war, sacrifices must be made. Consider what victory over the oblivion that has consumed more worlds than you can fathom is worth to you.” His eyeless vistage returned back to greet the Nightborne rebel that approached him. Before she could even speak, the Demonic elf before her nodded and his hand made a gesture close to his ear. “M, prepare our departure.” “I have no alternative.” Pelande asserted once she felt it appropriate to speak. She seemed frustrated at what she viewed as pointless, grandiose talk. She had offered her weapon. What more did they need? And this impetuousness was plain in her scowling lips and narrowed eyes. “What other path do I have now?” She made an aggravated gesture toward Suramar. “No city to return to, and No World, if the Legion has their way.” She punctuated her statement with a tap of her spear on the ground, “Take me with you!” “I won’t deny you the opportunity, so long as you’re aware.” The Commander said as reality folded before him into a portal. Passing through, he left the warrior one final message: “Make sure you are dedicated to this path, there won’t be any straying.” Without even sparing a glance toward home, Pelande Aijatar followed the Commander through to the unknown.
  14. Vilmah

    The Horde that is Alliance

    That's an interesting way to think about it. I also played humans more than I did orcs (when playing the campaign, anyway), back in my WC2 days. But what really drew me to the Horde was the art from that WC2 manual. I was in middle school and I would draw my own banners, and of course I wanted to make an ORCISH banner because they had SKULLS AND BONES! Funny how our feelings about that game shaped what we would become, later.
  15. Vilmah

    Vilmah's Journal - Volume 2

    I've accepted an assignment from Horde High Command. I'm sure that sentence would look confusing to anyone who would read this (and if anyone is reading this, I am going to find you), but the thing is, I actually believe in the mission. Some refugees from Undercity have tried to make a place for themselves in Andorhol. I'm putting a team together to offer assistance, then I'll go and speak to their leader. It seems fairly cut and dry. They're just trying to survive, right? They have the right, and Andorhal was a ruin. Maybe the Forsaken there can actually rebuild. I'm willing to help if it means giving them a place to just be. After what the Warchief did, I can understand why they'd feel a little disillusioned with her. To be honest, I'm surprised more aren't, but that's what sets us apart I guess. Allycia visited. Apparently she's been interrogated by SI:7? Well there's a shocker.. someone with Horde ties being interrogated by the Alliance. I'm surprised nobody on our side has tried to same thing with one of us. Maybe they're biding their time, but this is exactly why I didn't promote her. I told her this sort of thing could happen. The last thing we need is for her to talk about our plans, even if they have to rip it out of her by force. The less she knows, the safer she is. And us, for that matter. Baern came to talk to me, too. That was not the best conversation. He kept bringing up Nojinbu, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to talk about it. I mean, I don't want to talk about it. It still hurts. I know he's out there, somewhere. Doing what he needs to do. So am I, and to be honest, it's a relief. At least when he's not around, I know why, now. And for once I feel like I have everything I need, even if it's not how I pictured having it. Things feel right, and even if I feel guilty for admitting it, I'm not going to keep beating myself up for doing what's right for me.
  16. Earlier
  17. Gunheya Darkhowl

    Darkhowl's worn recorder

    The quality of the recording is low and scratchy " September 17th 10:40 PM." " All this time i've been trying to make a name for myself and it turns around to bite me on the ass. Apparently my record is noticeable! But only as a scout. Combined with my engineering ability, Command has decided I would work best in our Azerite operations out in Drustvar." " If you've never been there, don't go. It's a cold, damp hellhole that makes Gilneas look tropical and cheery. But it appears to be good enough for farmland to have several towns scattered throughout it." " All things considered it's a pretty cushy job. I just need to deliver a report every few days as I sweep the same areas. It gives me time to explore and a lot more freedom than the guards and miners in the mountain range near Krazzlefrazz. Save for the threat of being in enemy territory, it was going to be boring. At least, that's what I thought." " At first I thought the place was just grey and ugly, but at night you can practically taste how wrong everything is here. Witches... I've heard the term enough and I thought it was just an insult or maybe an off-brand of magic. Primitive arcane, blood, or maybe even Loa based. But no, if there's anything that's truly a witch, it's the bitches out here." " Right now i'm still not sure how all of this works. I've never seen the circles and symbols they use before and the very magic they call upon only bares a passing resemblance to the necromatic and shadow spellwork I know. But it involves a lot of sacrifices and revolves around a lot of soul infused constructs, much Trollish golems. The organization is women only and of those women, only the practitioners and converts are allowed inside. The rest are enthralled by whatever they're weaving... Whatever it is, it's horrible. A healthy person should never thank me for killing them." " Whatever it is it has more uses than mere mind control. It's corrosive and ruinous as well, one week in and i've already lost my blades. It rusts metal, makes leather wither and crack, and skin rot while you're still alive. Compared to what else they can do to you, a death by rapid decomposition is merciful. It was better to lose my sword than my face but there's something insulting about working all campaign with a weapon that survived the entire Legion suddenly becoming useless. What's even more insulting is how fast they replaced it. "They gave me a standard issue insurgent's blade when I showed them the shards. Imagine a butcher's cleaver got real tall and real thin and then screwed a pick-axe. It's a weapon without finesse and messy as hell but for what i'm fighting? It's perfect. At least Horde command seems to appreciate my initiative. A few strikes against hags when they're caught out in the open isn't in my job description but they agree that these things need to be kept in check." " It's looking bleak out here. Talking with my friend only makes it worse. While i'm rubbing feeling back into numb fingers she's walking face first into troll abs in the tropics. Dunno if it's luck of the draw or karma, she's earned the reprieve. I should stop whining about it. I wanted a good fight. Doesn't get more good and justified and murdering witches. Wonder if my Mom ever had postings like this..." " Around the time I start going back to THAT subject I know I should stop. Gunheya out."
  18. Belronae

    The Horde that is Alliance

    A story: When I was a kid there was one special Christmas where I reached the end of opening presents and was a bit sad. I had wanted a copy of Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness and it didnt show up. I had gotten to play it as a demo at microcenter and stop-n-save (an early discount predecessor of EB games) and I fell in love with it. I talked to my parents incessantly about it, begging them for it. But, that was also the year that my family had been introduced to "A Christmas Story". So, what my old man did was hide one last present under the easy chair and gave me the, "look at that . . . Is that another present?" routine from the film. As far as childhood christmas gifts go, this one is the best one I ever got. I played WC2 over and over again, for hours on end, over the course of years. I did the WC3 thing and enjoyed that as well. But my nostalgic bend was always towards WC2. When WoW came out I had a choice, Alliance or Horde. The competitive nature of the game wasn't lost on my highschool self and so I knew I would pick and stick to one side. In WC2 I played human more than orc. Then, through the WC3 campaign I never forgot Lordaeron and took a special joy in playing the human campaign. There was one character however who made the decision quite easy for me. Garithos. He was the lynchpin in how I understood what the Alliance and Horde were at their core. So the choice became easy. I would play as the Forsaken. That was who I played as in WC2. I was also drawn to the lost history elements of the ruined lordaeron, strathholm, hillsbrad, alterac and plaugelands. When BC came out my commitment only grew deeper, I now got to play as the elves I played in WC2 as well. Now, when I log in and look out over Zuldazar, I suppose some small part of me is still playing the Alliance, way back in the 1990s. I guess I am now the Horde that was once the Alliance. Lok'tar Ogar
  19. Novadragon

    Memories

    This late at night the graveyard was quiet beyond the chirping of the night insects. This was fine as far as the drenched figure was concerned, he didn't need anyone thinking he was any crazier than he thought he was. Stepping off of the beaten path Dustin made his way towards the small fenced section bearing the Stonefield name and paused outside the gates. It had been a while since he visited, probably too long. Exhaling slowly the paladin pushed open the creaky gate and made his way inside pausing to pay respects the the various family members interred here and then finally to a wall bearing the names of those kin who either could not be buried or were in the family graves left behind. That duty done he finally let himself make his way to the two newest graves. Reaching out a hand he slowly rested it on the top of the larger stone before finally sliding down it, he didn't need to see the inscriptions to know what they said. ~ Caroline Stonefield, Lily Stonefield beloved wife and mother beloved daughter. ~ Tilting his head back Dustin let the rain wash over his face for what felt like an age before finally speaking quietly. “I still miss you two. When I lost you, I formed a group to try and fill the hole left behind made of people who had likewise lost those they held dear. I was an idiot.” Brushing a bit of hair back out of his eyes the paladin finally closed them. Even so many years later the memory of the last time he saw them came as clear as if it had been yesterday. ~ “Papa!” The shrill squeal of his five year old daughter caused the paladin to pause and turn in amusement so he could catch her as she predictably flung herself into his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Don't go papa, you just got home!” Giving her a tight squeeze Dustin gave her forehead a kiss and set her back down on the ground. “I have to go but I promise I will be back before you even know it alright?” Lily's pout stated without words that she very much felt it wasn't alright. She was her father's daughter though and she finally gave a begrudging nods. “Okay. Can I have a pony when you come back??” Laughing the man picked her up again and headed back towards their home. “Your mother and I will talk about it alright?” As another pout started he gave her a sly look “I hear the horse fair is coming around soon, maybe we will discuss it there.” He was rewarded with a shriek of happiness and a fierce neck hug. Reaching the door he finally passed the girl over to her bemused mother and kissed both of their cheeks. “Keep your mother in line Lily, I love you both.” ~ The news had come the next week. War had come to his home and none in their town had survived. Rubbing his face rapidly Dustin finally reached into a pocket and pulled out a small intricate pony figurine. Giving it a long look he simply placed it on the smaller grave and stood to walk away. Even now he couldn't bring himself to say goodbye.
  20. Aruku

    Draveux (aka Tarrin)

    (Just throwing a brief reference appearance here for people interacting with this character in Discord) All physical features are current apparent features. Subject to change. Name: Draveux Aka: Tarrin Date of Birth: Unknown Age: 15 Race: Void Elf Gender: Male Hair: Medium bland grey Skin: Medium dusty grey with slight purplish hue Eyes: Pale blue Height: 4' 10" Weight: skinny and gangly Physical Features: - Wide slightly oversized ears make him look dorky - There doesn't seem to be as much Void lingering on him as most void elves. - Does not gain a void appearance when in combat - Not pretty by any stretch of the imagination This young scrap of a kid looks like he's had to fend for himself or grew up in a rough neighborhood. Wary and difficult to gain the trust of, he's looking for his next meal and a place to sleep. He doesn't like being touched. Notable: - His Common is poor - Has some crude jewelry, if you can call a few bits of dark stone strung on twine jewelry. One looks like a bit of hearthstone. - Clothes are well worn but appeared patched and cared for.
  21. Garinth

    A Guardian's Duty

    The pitch black slowly began to fade. It was only a meager glow at first, a hazy brightening at the center of Garinth’s sight. As the darkness faded, it was shapes that began to takes shape next, and finally color. The shaman’s chest still heaved from the effort the fight had required, after needing to shift to tactics nearly forgotten in the time since his sight had returned. A dragobar, grey skinned and pallid lay dead on the ice nearby, a hole seared through his chest surrounded by a tree like lattice of burns. The storm Garinth had called began to rumble overhead. “Garinth, we need to move,” Holun called from nearby. As the younger shaman turned to look at the old tauren, he immediately spotted the broken ankle. Luckily, Greywind was big enough and strong enough to support the old bull. “Sorry,” Garinth called, getting back to his feet. He shook his head as he approached, still shaken from the fight. “Whatever he hit me with...I couldn’t see.” “Well, you dealt with it,” the tauren said gruffly, his demeanor changing as another of his ancestors took control temporarily. “But the storm you called is going to tear into us soon, and I would really prefer not to be out in the open.” “I can keep the strikes away from us,” the half-orc replied, “but as soon as it gets here we’re going to have more problems than just them.” The wind was already picking up as he spoke, scattering gravel and ice around the cave entrance they stood in front of. Near to the site of the wards placed long ago, Holun had thought they might find more of use within. Necrodark drogobar had poured out of the place during the conflict the Highmountain had weathered recently. Garinth knelt down and made a light Call for healing magics as he reached Holun, trying to tend enough to the tauren’s wound that he could walk with aid back to the long house. “The affliction you suffered is new,” the tauren said quickly, “I’ll make sure the entrance is sealed off after you leave. We don’t need anyone stumbling on more of them on a vision quest or the like.” “Agreed,” Garinth said quickly, the healing magics only just doing enough work before petering out. “I can wait to head home until after though, if you need.” He stood upright then, and watched as Holun tested his weight. The highmountain winced and leaned on Greywind again, but didn’t collapse. “I’m not yet so old that I need help with such a menial task, little wolf.” After bracing himself on his walking staff a little, he looked to the frostwolf and nodded back down the mountain. “Come on then, you got what you came for. Best we get to shelter so you can bring it back to your organization.” Geywind looked to Garinth for direction, and after receiving a nod set off while watching the old and injured tauren. “There’s not a lot to bring back, Holun,” the half-orc said with a shake of his head. “The wards here were for sealing, not anything like a protective barrier. Even then, I’d need some source of power for it. I was hoping to be able to find a better way to keep those under my watch safe.” The tauren grunted in response, wobbling for a moment on his bad leg. Above and in front of them, the thunderhead rumbled and began to blot out the sun. “You young types always worry about the...immediacy of your knowledge,” the tauren grumbled slowly, his demeanor shifting again as he appeared to take on a few extra decades, “Sometimes just the knowing is enough. You might be able to pass it on to someone else. So, perhaps you just need to be the custodian for a while.” The half-orc didn’t seem pleased by the advice, but nodded all the same. In advance of the storm he began the call to ward off the lightning that would be coming. “I need to be able to protect my people now, Holun,” he said dryly, merely holding onto the spell as they made their way back down the path. “I can’t wait for trouble to strike and trust that I...or we can fend it off.” That drew a deep belly laugh from the tauren, despite the pain and the looming misfortune creeping towards them. “Your duty is more than just preventing things from happening, little wolf. You’re going to have to break that line of thought and loosen up, or you’ll only end up more frustrated with things. That won’t going to help you keep anyone safe, and certainly won’t help with your duties to your ancestors.” “Spirits,” Garinth swore, trudging purposefully down the path. “That sort of advice is obnoxious to be on the receiving end of.” The statement drew another laugh from the tauren, ended abruptly as a false step sent shooting pains up Holun’s leg. Garinth paused and attempted to help with supporting him, but was waved off. “You are going to have to get comfortable with your talents at some point, Garinth,” the old tauren replied dryly. “Beyond...earthwork projects and wards, I mean. You can sit on the sidelines in your cave for as long as you want, but if this war rolls onto your shores it won’t do you much good. War on this scale doesn’t care how much you want to hide. If you don’t stand up and actively protect the things you care about, you’ll get ground down like everything else.” The half-orc’s expression seemed to sour further at the reprimand, but it gave him something to think about as they trudged down the mountain. They made the rest of the trek in silence, Holun focusing on not injuring himself further and Garinth mulling over what had been said. They were lucky to escape the drogobar further up the summit, but the storm wasn’t nearly as merciful. By the time they reached Holun’s longhouse the trio of travelers was soaked down to their bones.
  22. As the walls before them collapsed from a tremendous unseen show of power, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper felt so exposed as he saw the state of the port. He had heard the sounds of war descend upon them as the struggled played out, but to actually see it... His mouth felt dry as he swallowed a lungful of air. “Now, Vath! Put up the shield!” His dear friend and assistant Miss Cat shouted with her axe at the ready as she bravely charged into the battle. He nodded, trying to summon the courage to move. He was a pacifist, he had no place here in the middle of a warzone. His Half-elf companion at his side, too, was quick to react as a support beam knocked loose from the blast started to fall before them. He couldn’t even keep track at how fast the monk moved, deflecting the metal with a single kick before returning to his side. “Down here!!” Shouted Miss Cat as she created a ghastly rune upon the ground to keep the massive Demon Hunter at bay to buy them time. “...I do believe that is our queue.” Vathelan finally sprang into action as he forced a nervous smile. They’re doing their best, they deserve your own. His mind sharpened from all his training snapped into focus as the air around them began to chill. Drawing power from the spires of frost, those etched with the most powerful runes he knew and wards he could muster, he unleashed their potential with a single snap. Before they could seal away the outside world for as long as he could manage, he shouted to those brave defenders beyond. “I’ll hold it for as long as I can, I won’t let you down!” He felt pangs of regret as he sealed them away, fearing how many casualties he would hear of at the end of the battle as they grew more distant as he put more and more ice between him and the monster beyond this new wall. These were his orders, and he was not about to let these combined forces down. Not when so much was at stake. Determined, he channeled power to keep them steadfast as promised. “Summoners!” The ritual leader called to her group behind the Magister. She had come to some sort of realization. “Reverse the spell! Hurry, follow my lead!” Vathelan couldn’t spare the focus to look behind him to see what had changed her mind, but he didn’t need to in order to understand that they had complied. Magically sensitive as his race was, he could feel it. No longer was the spell meant to drain, but instead a vortex of energy sprouted. And this certainly got the Demon Hunter’s attention. For even beyond the wall his roars could be heard. The first blow landed upon the barrier, the magics within the ice lighting up as they absorbed the brunt of the attack. Lazhio’s strength was impressive, and it worried Vath on how long they could last. Muffled shouting could still be heard through the ice, as well as what sounded like gunfire. Vathelan’s imagination ran rampant of what violence had to be occuring beyond, it made him want to hurl. But such thoughts would last long as another mighty strike landed upon the frostwall. Still the wards held strong. But the assault continued. Three, four down the line with force that rivaled the brunt of siege engine finally began to overwhelm his enchantments-- a couple of reinforcement runes burning out. To keep the wall standing defiantly against its attacker, the Magister was rapidly expending his mana reserves. This isn’t sustainable. He gritted his teeth as he ran through solutions in his mind. Limited resources rapidly depleting… Only ten minutes worth at this rate, if I’m lucky...Frost will not last against another blast of flame… All his lines of thought lead him to once single, unpleasant and horribly dangerous potential answer to this riddle. He hated to put it in practice, but he saw no other option. His eyes shifted towards his companion. “...Kirital… do you… have… a knife?” “No. I’ve got my hands and feet. Why?” “...Not sure… how long… hold…” He spoke through labored breaths. Another blow against the wall drove home the strain he was putting himself under. He didn’t have the time, energy or desire to explain his plan. He doubted that the Half-elf would agree with this plan, even in the middle of a warzone. “...I… ugh… Have… an idea… Need… something… Sharp.” It was a blessing, then, that Kirital did not argue or question the need for such. Instead he searched the area of ruin until he found a splintered piece of metal with a dull enough area to act as a handle. It looked to be shrapnel from one of the destroyed Copters. “Will this work?” It was not ideal, but neither as this plan of his. His free hand gripped at the makeshift implement. This was the price of his poor planning, his priorities being that of scrolls to evacuate in spite of being told they wouldn’t be used rather than managems to keep him going. “...That’ll do…” His jaw clenched as he winced at what he was planning as his fingers wrapped around the dull side. He positioned the sharper edge behind the back of the hand that continued to pump the last of his reserves into the wall. He hated blood, and yet here he was trying to talk himself into employing the darkest and most powerful magics he theortically knew. Time is running out. We need more power. This is the only way. “Vath, what are you thinking?” Had Kirital been tipped off? Or were the ever increasing sounds of battle starting to alarm him instead? “Because, honestly, once that wall goes down; I’m gonna grab you and get the hell back.” This was going to hurt. Pain is a sacrifice worth making to gain these allies. Not just the stabbing, but what was to come afterwards. Others offer up their lives. His fel-green eyes stared at the shard through his glasses. For Dora. His hand trembled. For the Sin’dorei. He prepped for the agony that was to come, taking rapid breaths. For Azeroth! Nearly hyperventilating he drew the shard back, his stomach churned from the dark energies he started to summon. This was it! He would become the hero they needed! He steadied his nerves enough as he imagined the transmutation of the ice in front of him into something greater as he forced a confident smile for his companion. “I’m sav--” This surge of courage was for naught as before he could even finish his sentence, the wall of ice exploded into little more than moisture and steam as the horrifying figure of the Lazhio burst through wreathed in flame. The force wrested the shard from Vathelan’s grip as he tried his hardest to simply remain standing. Before the Demonic entity could get his hands on the Magister, Kirital sprung into action as he swooped his charge within his arms and sprung out of harm’s reach. “Light…” Those that had been sealed outside to contend with this Demon Hunter were in quick pursuit. He was smaller than he had been when Vath last saw him, were they actually exhausting him? It also seemed that those beyond the frostwall had all survived so far. This would normally have heartened him, but despair was starting to take hold. “...Can we work with what’s here for what you wanted to do?” Kirital’s voice pulled him back to reality. The Magister looked up at the monk, the question slowly sinking in as he remained within the Half-elf’s arms. Vathelan shook his head as he scolded himself. “...I… no… i-it’s too late, he got through my barrier. My one duty. Even with-- Even with my research, I fear I wouldn’t be able to get it back up in time to make a difference.” He watched as these men and women, some he knew-- like his dear friend Miss Cat, or the stonewalling Commander Laine of Sanctuary-- others he didn’t, they all continued to fight with all their might. He didn’t deserve to be counted within their number. If they died here, it was his fault. “It was the last line of defense, I have failed them.” “Vathelan. Focus on what you can do. Right now.” Kirital spoke in a kind but urgent tone. He had refused to give up on him. Why? “Observe. Use your magic. Support your allies. Think, Vath. You’re good at that.” Miss Cat struck true into the Demon Hunter’s flesh, forcing him to give a pained howl as his bones began to shatter. The infection of the move started to claim his corrupted blood. They were still fighting. A tauren struck with divine light that formed spikes that erupted upon Lazhio’s skin. Why? Couldn’t they see how hopeless this was? Commander Laine barreled her shield into him, forcing him backwards where they could continue to hold him back for as long they needed. Was this the true face of heroism? “All casters… Push everything you have left into the stone!” The leader of the Ritual Team commanded. Vath’s eyes looked back at them for a moment, noting how the runic array of stones deteriorated before collapsing entirely as it formed a dark singularity in the midst of the pentagram. “What were you planning on doing? Tell me and I’ll help.” Kirital still tried to coax action out of the Magister. From behind Lazhio, as he reached out his his arm trying to draw magic from the singularity, the Gustblade and a woman that looked similar enough to be a relative fired into him. Vath felt so small in comparison to these brave soldiers. Miss Cat continued to hack at the monster’s spine, blood spraying everywhere upon her as her axe continued to feed. The raging Orcess that was allowed to torment him within Sanctuary’s halls let out a piercing scream as she severed his wing from his shoulder. “Something dangerous.” The blood was already starting to make the pacifist of a Magister, forcing him to avert his eyes lest he disgrace himself further than he already had. His exhaustion was obvious as he made eye contact with the monk as he confessed. “I’m… spent. There is another resource I could tap into. But… it’s a bit more… precious. And I don’t think I can cast fast enough to make the sacrifice worthwhile.” “All right.” Kirital clicked his tongue as he looked around. Thankfully not pushing for info as to what exactly the Magister meant. “That thing isn’t going down easy. Do you know their plan here? How can we help with that?” “Everyone! Get away from him!” The Tauren shouted as he caught on as to what the ritual was doing. “It… seems the plan has changed.” Vathelan shook his head. The dehydration was kicking in, the first clue being how his lips had grown dry and chapped. He rolled out of the monk’s arms and staggered in an attempt to stand. He could feel the magics of the ritual reaching a climax. “The battle… it’s drawing to a close. Whatever is going to happen next, it’s going to be soon.” Each of the five stones consumed by this ritual claimed an extremity of Lazhio’s form. Slowly it ripped him apart, unravelling him bit by bit as his ethereal soul was pulled into each of them. “F...Fools… I… was… y-our… sal...vation…” He howled in fury as he was forced a slow and terrible death, his voice a baleful cry that filled the entire base for several moments as those who remained alive from his siege upon Dragonroost Port witnessed his final moments until he was at long last silent. He had been slain, the battle was over. And they had won. Now they would have to pick up the pieces.
  23. Vilmah

    Hello peeps

    Hey Scoobs!! I remember Brakogar! The Frostwolf Brotherhood eventually became Sanctuary, which is still going strong after... uh... has it been 12 years?? Something like that.. but if you're interested in something akin to what the Frostwolf Brotherhood was, give me a holla!
  24. Mortica

    Hello peeps

    Welcome back Check out our Discord server, as that has some good activity (link in upper right of forums area).
  25. Vilmah

    Vilmah's Journal - Volume 2

    Let's try this again, before someone else comes to see me. I haven't written anything in a while. I used to just dump all of my emotions into these journals and in the end I'd feel a little better, but I don't know if it ever solved anything. Lately I think I've been dumping most of those emotions into Garinth, poor guy. He doesn't deserve that, even if he is my shaman. He talked through the Night Vanguard business, the fact that our connection to them makes us a target, and that was important for me to keep in mind when I broke our ties with them. Unfortunately, it goes a lot deeper then that. Because as much as I don't want to put us all at risk, I might consider it if I knew the Vanguard would have our best interests in mind. As it is, I don't think they do, and that's troubling. I don't want to alarm our "in-betweeners", but I think the war is drawing closer to us than we can fight off for much longer. I've already received a request to the warfront in Arathi. The Horde is attempting to gain a foothold in the north. A strategic move, supposedly, but I don't see the benefit of us being there. That's my head talking. My heart wants me to go for stupid reasons, pride especially. If the Alliance does away with our bases in Arathi, Hammerall will go. I have no good memories of Hammefall, really. Nothing but the day Thrall came and liberated us. My father is dead. There's nothing left for me, so why do I want to protect it? Because my mother is buried there, somewhere? It's just earth. It means nothing, except for some stupid reason it means something. I keep trying to remember something, anything good that might make me want to go back, but even my mother trying to protect me is painful. I'm the reason she died. I suppose going to war over bad memories would be a shit way to show my gratitude. Still, there's something in me that wants it. That pride. I know there will be fighting, that brutal bloody warfare that we sing about. I refuse to believe there is honor in attempting to conquer someone else's home, but the Trollbanes aren't weak. They would put up a good fight, and there would be shouts and metal and brutality to remember forever. Just thinking about me gets me anxious. I want what I know is the wrong thing. I just have to distract myself with worthy causes and try to ignore the fact that my birthplace is a battlefield. It's difficult. I miss having someone to talk to. At least the pups are here. They're terrible at cuddling, so I'm teaching them. I hope their new partners appreciate all the work I'm putting into their cuddle training.
  26. Raphael Vanderzee

    Sins of a Patriot: Act 1: Rise of the Shattered Son

    The first thing to materialize from the smokescreen beyond the ruins of the gate was the remains of a demolisher as it was flung towards the crowd of defenders. One of the pilots moved to intercept it. Before his rockets could even launch he was caught by the war machine as it plummeted into the ground before blowing as a makeshift bomb, claiming the first of Lazhio’s personal killcount within this battle. “TRUM, NO!” Shouting one of the pilots as he went to avenge his fallen comrade, guns blazing. He too would be a casualty. Even before Captain Van could command him to fall back, an enormous clawed hand swatted the copter from the air. Out of the smoke and ruin a hoofed digitigrade foot crushed any unfortunate to cross his path as it pulled the looming figure into the scene with each determined step. His leathered wings stretched wide and gave one gust of wind that could have shredded the sails off a ship, scattering the copters once more and blanketing the entire port with a momentary blanket of smoke. He could hear explosions of his fleet as they collided with objects, but was unable to get a read on how many still flew. He could hardly see anything. Which made the sight below him all the more alarming. He could swear that the ground seemed to swell and move below him, as if feeding on the terror going on around them. But that sounded crazy, didn’t it? Sure there was that thing that happened down south in Panderia, but here? As the shadows seemed to boil and write, taking shapes of maws and sharpened teeth however, it suddenly didn’t sound as insane as it had a moment earlier. Even worse he could hear the screaming of people being ripped into from whatever the fuck was going on down there. “EVERYONE TO THE COMMAND CENTER! NOW!” Shouted the Orcess over the communicators. The smokescreen began to thin, granting Van a better visual over the battlefield once more. At first the attacks of these sha creatures seemed indiscriminate against retreating defender and surging invader alike. Those who fell to the claws of the sha would have the shadows sink into their flesh, rising another to assault the remaining undead forces of the Demon Hunter. A goliath Demon Hunter of deep lavender skin marred by an assortment of thickened scales and reinforced hide like that of a pit lord. One that would be engulfed within flame from some unknown but significant source of explosives. They had lost their cannon, supplies for the airfleet were running low, their forces were quickly starting to diminish… one could only hope this was the final blow. “Still looking for wounded, Cap!” Reported in Gunheya, much to Van’s relief. “Ground forces, we have bogies that aren’t friendly. Try to head them into each other!” “Good man. Remind me ta get yeh an extra round after we get through this. Mates, stop yer firin’ at them shadow creatures! Let ‘em rip our bigger threat ta shreds. Make another defensive line fer them wounded and keep yer eyes peeled fer big ugly. If that ain’t take care of ‘em, we’ll be ready ta give ‘em a what-for!” As if on queue, the curved-horned monster made his presence known once more as twin beams of fel-infused power shot from the flames. Whatever his gaze touched; his own forces, the defenders that had not yet made it to the temporary safety of the Command Center, Building, Sha. It did not matter. The energies burned and carved their way through it all. And he would continue his march out of the flames that cauterized the wounds of whatever had happened beyond the horizon. All the while the sha creatures fought through the remnants of his army and made their way to him proper-- uncaring if they were lost to the beams or not. “We are almost finished…” The leader of the magical ritual breathed into the comms. “...Keep… him busy… a while… longer...:” “Big Ugly in our sights.” Van’s hand free from the cyclic began to prep his stronger, more limited secondary fire on-board. “We’re ready to give ‘em a taste of rocket fire at yer mark, Boss-lady.” A moment passed, likely ensuring her people were out of the way and secure before she gave confirmation. “Give ‘im everything you got, Captain.” “Aye Aye.” He flipped the final switch. Missiles were primed and ready. He flipped over the com, took a deep breath as he summoned the persona required to inspire and give it their all. “All right mates, this be the moment we’ve all been waitin’ fer! GIVE ‘EM ALL WE GOT!” The barrage from all the remaining skyfleet screamed through the sky. It was a pretty sight, watching the fireworks all blow in rapid succession against their prime target. He laughed as they lit up the sky. When the sound died down he would give his next set of orders. “Now then, we ain’t done jes yet. Harass ‘em like sailors on a wench in port! Bu’ don’ be rude now, don’cha dare forget ta tip!” His dread march had lead the Demon Hunter, with his grand strides, to the doorstep of the Command Center. His forearm raised to guard his face from the worst of the volley, halting him in his tracks for nothing more than a few moments. When the strike ended, when the fleet had expended all its resources he finally dropped the guard from his face. It seemed his attention remained solely upon where he could sense the ritual was taking place, his mouth open as he drew in air… “All range units, aim Light infused artillery towards the mouth!” Everyone who had any range capabilities complied with this order, trying in vain to halt his next decisive strike. Both Captain and Gunheya seemed to come to the same conclusion, as while Van started prepping all his personal explosives the courageous orc was once again quicker on the draw. “Ah HELL! I’LL PAY FOR IT LATER!” The Copter aimed directly for the mouth, likely clamping the cyclic stick before ejecting mere yards away from the monster. But Van doubted this would be enough. “This is Captain Van speakin’. Not expectin’ any of yeh ta fallow our leads, but I’ve fired me last round ‘ere and we need ta delay that… thing as best we can.” The Captain positioned his Copter to make the same run, he double checked that all his explosives were primed and cooking. “Been a pleasure workin’ wit’ yeh mates. If we make it outta ‘ere alive, meet me at tha’ good ol’ tavern. Got some o’ tha’ Magister’s money burnin’ a hole in me pockets. Can’ think of no-one I’d rather spend it wit’ than any o’ you tonight.” He clamped the stick, unclasped both belt and bandoleer full of grenades and charges and then ejected from the Copter as it jetted towards its target. The explosives, the fire and two gyrocopters that Lazhio devoured in this process was not enough to kill him. That would have been too much to ask. Van cursed this as he floated in the air. But the detonations had been enough to knock his aim off-kilter as his fel-blast of breath unleashed its destruction into the ground. A direct hit would have ended the lives of all those within, and thereby ending the ritual. Instead the blast tore down the wall defending those inside. Exposed at the front Van could spy the plucky death knight he had met at the bar earlier, and beside her stood his employer with his half elf bodyguard. Van stuck out his thumb, though the action was likely foolish as he was too far up to be noticed. Make yer lady proud, Good Magister.
  27. and by delaying instant gratification he meant delaying this several times because life, boredom, mood swings, and friends happen too so like september 11th or 12th now oh and ew gross i had to change my signature
  28. Garinth

    A Guardian's Duty

    “How are you handling things, little wolf?” Holun asked curiously, not struggling on the hike nearly as much as either of the Frostwolf pair. There was little that Garinth could do to rush acclimating to the high altitude, but the work had to be done. All he could do was move slowly and try not to stress himself or Greywind too much. As he looked up to his white furred guide, the tauren added, “Generally, I mean. You seem...perhaps better off than last we met.” Chest heaving as they paused to take a break, Garinth gave a nod. “Your guidance helped,” he replied with a raise of his eyebrows. “I’m not...I’m not trying to use them to be something else anymore. I wasn’t ever going to be what my father was.” The shaman reached for his waterskin then, and took a long draw from the cool water within. “There’s more to it than that,” Holun replied with a wizened smile, his demeanor shifting subtly and growing more relaxed as he leaned against his walking staff. “You carry yourself differently, straighter perhaps. Even your grandmother seemed more at ease when we spoke last night.” That earned a weak smile from the half-orc, and a swift shake of his head. “That’s not entirely my own doing, Holun. I feel, lately at least, that I have been fulfilling my purpose. I’m training with the Winds, but most of my time has been occupied with offering guidance and shelter. The organization I belong to underwent a shuffle of leadership a few months back, and I was called to help with it.” The tauren gave a thoughtful hum in reply, and then made sure that his traveling companions were ready before starting to move up the mountain again. Mid stride, Holun’s shoulders seemed to hunch a little and his age grew more apparent. “Is that why you’re here then? More of this...guidance and shelter business?” “Everyone else is too consumed with the war,” Garinth replied, having to break up his sentences to breathe again as he trudged along behind. Greywind continued alongside him in silence, panting but otherwise seeming mostly at ease in the thing air. “They either want to avoid it or...join it. None of my ancestors have any experience with it. My position...involves keeping members safe so... someone needs to be looking for ways to protect ourselves from these things. And maybe...maybe it’ll help with what’s happening to Azeroth too.” “You’re not a member of the Ring anymore, little wolf,” Holun chided quickly, “If you were, you would know they had already been here to see what could be made of the wards. I doubt you will glean anything they have not already.” The reproach quieted the half-orc, and he resorted to following along in silence afterward. The was plenty enough to look at on the hike, so near to the mountain’s peak granting a broad vantage of the Broken Isles. It was nearly an hour later that they reached their destination, and the tauren stopped to point a a hollow ahead. “That stone in the center there, that marked the location of this ward. We should have a few hours up here before we need to head back down for the day.” The tauren paused then, and gave the shaman a quick look over. “Will that be long enough?” Garinth’s gaze drew distant then, but after a few moments he nodded. “It’ll have to be. Even if I wanted to set up camp here, there’s not enough shelter in that bowl to keep safe from the storms.” Holun gave a simple nod to the half-orc’s appraisal, and began to lead them down into depression.
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