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  1. Yesterday
  2. Catalinetta

    Silent are the Dead

    Quel’thalas It was so close to the Undercity. Sometimes that closeness struck Steinburg as he walked through the lush Eversong woods, crimson leaves on white barked trees casting a warm glow on the forest floor. It was all so beautiful, and once, so too was Lordaeron. His thoughts were with the dark kingdom, buried beneath the bones of its people as he and Catalinetta rode on the back of her death charger. He held on to the elf, her body so much stronger than is in undeath, and was grateful that she never flinched. They were both undead, but there was an obvious difference between death knights and the Forsaken. Catalinetta in particular seemed well preserved to the point where she gave off no rotting smell, and the blood magic fueling her strength allowed an unnatural life-like pulse to flow through her veins. They didn’t speak as they rode, but he encouraged her to move fast. As they left the city, Cat noticed that Steinburg was unusually watchful, as if worried that even here he might be stopped by someone. Who would stop him in Quel’thalas, she wondered? Who would stop him anywhere? Eventually they reached Bloodstone Manor, following Steinburg’s directions to find an unmarked path through Eversong Woods. The Bloodstones enjoyed their privacy, and the way didn’t seem overly used. It wound through trees and overgrowth, eventually giving way to a gold gate flanked by a tall wall that surrounded a large plot of land. Past the gate, Cat could see the manor standing tall beside a pond and a stable. It was an old building, and if uncared for it might have seemed menacing. There was a warmth to it however, in the red and gold paint and white bricks. A few waterfowl played in the small pond nearby. “Allow me,” Steinburg said as he slid from behind Cat and on to the ground, grabbing what looked like a ring from his pocket to place within a keyhole on the gate. A tiny click sounded, and the gates opened. “I don’t think I’ve ever been here before,” Cat said in awe of the place, still unaccustomed to the way Silvermoon aristocracy lived. She dismissed her mount with a wave of one plate covered hand and followed Steinburg inside, allowing the gate to close behind them. “The Bloodstones will not mind your company, if that worries you,” the Forsaken said reassuringly, appearing at last to be comfortable speaking again. He walked her toward the house, their path lined with thick flagstones the color of pink coral. “I lived here for quite some time after our guild hall in Orgrimmar was destroyed. Ninorra brought me here, herself. She wasn’t concerned with the Warchief’s finding us, which was when I realized that this was a safe place. Vicailde has placed all sorts of his inventions around the home, to block it from prying eyes and ears.” “But I don’t understand, who’d be following you?” Cat asked, her own long ears twitching for the sound of any spies. Steinburg reached the door and again pressed his ring to the keyhole. Another click, and he opened the door with a push of his hand. Still unable to say what he wanted outside, he nodded toward the foyer. Cat entered a room decorated with long crimson curtains and the portraits of old powerful high elves, their disapproving eyes staring down at both death knight and Forsaken. Closing the door behind them, Steinburg let out a breathless sigh. “Dark rangers,” he answered. “Sent by the dark lady.” “The Warchief?” Cat whispered, unable to hide the horror in her voice. For all the rumors surrounding Sylvanas, Cat had a difficult time imagining why she would want to trail an accountant. “But why??” Steinburg seemed to relax in the manor, undoing the hooded cloak from his neck to hang it near a series of beautifully lined and embroidered cloaks and jackets. Cat supposed that the more flowy ones belonged to the lady of the house, though nobody else seemed to be around at the moment. “Because she’s keeping an eye on us,” he answered, finally taking the time to brush his hair with long bony fingers. “Come sit with me, it’s been a while since I’ve been somewhere comfortable,” he said in his usual tone. Steinburg might have been Forsaken, but he was not against creature comforts. Leading Cat into a sitting room, she was at once awed by the garish colors inside. Bright crimson and gold plush furniture covered in throw pillows embroidered with animal print greeted them. “Woah,” she said quietly, looking around curiously. “This place is awesome.” Steinburg chuckled and sat down in one of the sofas, sighing as the soft down cushion cradled his bones again. “Ninorra takes pride in her decorating,” he said with the hint of a smile before continuing his story. “Cat, it’s been a while since you’ve been to Undercity, hasn’t it?” Sitting down opposite of him, the death knight nodded. “Ever since I… well,” she stopped herself. “..I guess ever since I got engaged. The last time I was there, a friend stitched up my death wound.” Steinburg nodded. “Well. For the best, really. As I recall, your lover is living? There aren’t many who would take to that as good news. Some, sure, but… giving people the kind of hope that their undeath might be looked past… sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Congratulations on your engagement, Cat. You deserve to be happy, truly.” A pang of guilt hit the death knight’s stomach as the truth bit into her like an angry chipmunk. Of course, being accepted by the living was difficult, and she had gone to great lengths to make Kreyen more comfortable with what she was. It was hard on him at first, she knew that. How much harder it would have been on a Forsaken, whose bones and flesh were exposed and rotting, that much she couldn’t imagine. “…thank you, Steinburg. I’m sorry, I know it’s not the same for your people.” “No it isn’t,” he concurred. “And to tell you why, you must understand. I’m not bitter toward you, Cat. You and your fellow death knights are privileged in that you have the ability to connect with people in a way we cannot. Loved ones, for example. You may be undead, but you can still see your fellow Sin’dorei. The same goes for the orcish death knights, the tauren and so forth. Now, I know that can’t be easy,” he said quickly. “I know that many of the living are not accepting of your kind, but… at least you have the chance to try.” Cat turned her head to one side, trying to understand. “Well, I guess we do. I know I did. I reconnected with my brother and my aunt, but… I guess… that’s not the same as the Forsaken. I guess you all don’t really have much of a chance to talk to other humans, do you?” Steinburg smiled sadly. “Well. We did. For a brief moment, we did. Tell me, what did you hear about the Desolate council, Cat?” A change in subject. She shrugged and shook her head. “I heard they were governing Undercity while Sylvanas was gone.” “Yes, that’s right. That’s what I heard too, when I arrived,” he explained, leaning back in his seat. “I wanted to help. Damian is old enough to be in school, I had little to do here, so I went to help my fellow Forsaken. I’m a good bookkeeper, you know. The council needed a hand. They were kind, they only wanted to make things easy for their people. They were compassionate. They, like many other Forsaken, weren’t bitter about their situation. They wanted to make the best of things. Some of them even still had living relatives that they wanted to see, someday. Of course, that much is impossible. We assumed all humans saw us as monsters, and what relative would want to see their dead family?” Cat felt her stomach lurch. Her own brother seemed less disgusted than distraught when he saw her, but what would he have done if she was missing an entire jaw like some Forsaken she knew? “Yeah, I… I can see why that’d be hard.” “Hard, but not impossible,” he continued. “Can you believe that King Wrynn actually wanted to help? Apparently his own servant was married to a member of the council. Something in him thought that maybe, if he could reunite some families… I don’t know. But Archbishop Faol helped him, and somehow they managed to make some sort of… I guess a deal? She allowed the council to meet with their families. Those who had family, anyway… those who had family willing to meet them.” Cat’s eyes were as wide as saucers. The Warchief, allowing a reunion? That was a surprise. It never would have occurred to her that Sylvanas would actually allow something so reasonable or peaceful to happen. “That’s… that’s great! Wow, what a nice thing to do! King Wrynn must have been up against a lot to even suggest that,” she said with awe, picturing the human king in his white armor flanked by advisors telling him not to do the right thing. “The Light must’v really blessed him with bravery!” “…yes, well,” Steinburg muttered. “It was brave. Foolish maybe, but brave certainly. Anyhow, during the reunion, apparently some of the Forsaken attempted to defect.” “What!?” Steinburg held up a hand. “It wasn’t all of them. It was some. Sylvanas sounded the horn, and the rest ran back to their side. To the queen.” “What happened to the defectors??” Cat asked in a loud and almost screechy voice. “Killed by dark rangers,” Steinburg answered, then paused before continuing. “…along with the rest.” The death knight blinked in confusion. “What do you mean? The humans?” “No, the humans were completely unharmed. The Alliance humans, anyhow,” he added bitterly. “The dark rangers killed every one of the Desolate Council who met with family. Even the ones who returned. She killed them all, Catalinetta.” Her face went through a range of emotions. Shock, confusion, and finally anger. “I don’t… I don’t understand. Why would she do that?” “Because that’s how she keeps her power, Cat,” the Forsaken muttered. “Not like the human king. Not like Thrall. Sylvanas doesn’t command an army by playing the savior, or the saint. Sylvanas keeps her grip on her people by reminding us that life is hopeless, that nobody wants us, and that if the humans had their say we would all be dead. Those members of the council whose family members couldn’t bear to see them? Those, she allowed to live. Those who live in sorrow, who are truly ‘desolate’. Those are her Forsaken, and there is no room there for dissent or argument. There is no room for people like me.” For a while, Cat was quiet. The Forsaken were a people she felt she could relate to, once. Dead, forgotten, but for the most part, accepting of their situation. Now she realized there was so much she didn’t understand, so much she took for granted. The way people accepted her, the love of her family, and the freedom to express those things. The Forsaken didn’t have any of it, and it seemed Sylvannas’ goal was to keep it that way. “Steinburg,” she murmured, eyes lowered to the coffee table littered with romance novels. “I… I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” The Forsaken cracked another smile, flakes of peeling flesh falling from his lips. “It’s not your fault, Cat. You died like the rest of us, but you were lucky with your circumstances. The Forsaken are indeed forsaken, and that’s how the Warchief wants it. I can’t personally say that I’d be content to live that way. At least here, there’s a little happiness. I might not ever see my relatives, or have my own children, but I’ve been given the gift of a second life in which I can at least help raise them. I can live in my own way. I know there are plenty of Forsaken who don’t want that, but for those who do I only wish I could help them, or that the dark lady would give us the freedom she keeps saying we have.” Cat’s ears had drooped low in her sadness. Not just for the Forsaken killed by their own leader, but for the Warchief she knew that she couldn’t trust. Having joined the Horde and died with Thrall as their Warchief, she once knew that their leader was someone she could trust to hold their best interest at heart. Since waking from the dead, however, it was like a never ending series of terrible leaders. She had already cast aside her loyalty to the Lich King, to Bolvar. Now she wondered if she’d have to do the same to the dark lady. “Be careful with this information, Cat,” Steinburg said, serious again. “Words travel, and the dark rangers can hide in places you’d never think to look. I don’t know what Sylvanas plans on doing, but she’s got Undercity under her thumb. Books about old Lordaeron are banned. Anyone saying anything kind about the living are looked at with suspicion. I don’t know what it’s like outside of Undercity, but I don’t know if anyone outside of the Forsaken will even care about—“ “Of course we’ll care!” Cat said quickly, loudly, and maybe too fast. “We care. I care. I’ll tell the Warboss, okay? I’ll be careful. I’ll be very careful, Steinburg. I have to be, I’m supposed to get married, we’re supposed to be… things are supposed to be normal.” Steinburg laughed, genuinely laughed, and shook his head. “Oh Cat. I never get tired of your optimism.”
  3. Last week
  4. RiktheRed21

    A Wolf, A Horse, and A Rider

    ((Warning: sexual themes and language)) The wolf followed her for ten miles before she lost sight of it. By then, she was nearing the northern crossing at Dun Modr. Brinnea swung west from the highlands down to the cobblestone road leading onto the Thandol Span. From there, she would continue north. But for how long? How far would she go? Brinnea had lain awake the night prior, unable to close her eyes for fear of nightmares, thinking about her destination. Or rather, her lack thereof. Once upon a time, she had lived in Lordaeron, at a well-travelled town called Andorhal. But now, Andorhal was deep within Forsaken lands, and any Forsaken would attack her on sight. Yet, she felt unavoidably drawn to Lordaeron, as if called home by something familiar. Five more miles passed, and the wolf padded out into sight again, carrying a half-eaten squirrel. Brinnea realized then that she must have slowed her pace, else the beast would not have caught up again. She groaned at herself for wasting precious time before she realized that time didn’t mean much to a soldier with no war to fight. Night began to fall when Dun Modr appeared on the horizon, just around a tall hill. The dwarven fortress had once guarded the border between dwarven Khaz Modan and the human kingdoms to the north. But since the Second War, Dun Modr had fallen into disrepair, and after the Scourge and Forsaken invasions, the bordering human kingdom Arathor was almost entirely wiped out. That made the crossing a hub for oddities, wayfarers, and vagrants of all sorts. Brinnea meandered into the town square beneath the dwarven fortress. If she was to travel north, she needed to prepare. Glancing back, she saw no sign of the wolf following her here. The throng of people all about explained that. Humans, gnomes, dwarves, worgen, and even elves wandered about the mossy ruins of Dun Modr wearing largely threadbare clothes in hundreds of styles. Even now, nearly twenty years after the Scourge attacked the northern kingdoms, people were still reluctant to let go of their homelands. Yet, the people here all looked filthy and gaunt. Food and clean water was scarce in these hills, it seemed. Brinnea dismounted at a squat wooden structure. A sign nailed to the unsteady beam serving as a roof marked it as a stable in both Common and Dwarven script. Brin searched for the owner of the meager establishment while fishing coins from her purse, and settled for handing a couple silvers to a mud-speckled boy who might have been a very young human or a ten-year-old dwarf. He muttered a half-hearted thanks and took to her steed as she instructed. Brinnea kept a hand on her purse as she walked through the town, not enchanted by the idea of having it cut from her belt by some desperate soul. The crowd was brimming with folks who looked down on their luck, but also with merchants crying wares marked at ten times the price Brinnea would expect at Greenwarden’s Grove or Menethil Harbor. Typical of merchants to exploit the poor in such a way. She set her sights on the stone buildings up the hillside. They looked less ramshackle than the lower square, so she hoped for better wares than down where she was. At the very least, she expected better security. Wandering eyes latched on her for uncomfortable lengths of time. Rough looking men and women sat, squatted, or leaned along the sides of the road, carrying weapons auspiciously. There were no guards about wearing Ironforge badges, nor the mountaineers that the dwarves of Khaz Modan used to patrol the far reaches of their clans’ holds. No, this land was ruled by those with the coin to pay for protection. Brinnea noted that the mercenaries mostly flocked near merchants, taverns, and whorehouses. Any of the three would have enough coin to pay for them with the times as they were. She moved quickly to get away from their vulturelike gazes. In the upper part of the town, Brinnea finally found some of the garrison. Most were milling about as if there was no job to do. A pair of them sat at a Hearthstone board drinking cheap ale and laughing raucously. She felt the need to smack their heads together and yell, “You are defenders of the weak, now act like it!” But then again, who was she to judge? The shops she passed had more potential than the merchant stalls in the lower square, but that didn’t make the prices any fairer. Criers announced goods in stock at exorbitant prices. Brin shook her head, gazing down at her half-empty purse. For these people, this much is a fortune, she thought to herself, And yet I still may beggar myself before I depart north. Ludicrous! Brinnea finally settled on a humble shop built into the hillside. The crier outside welcomed her with a sly smile that made her nervous. She kept a tight hold on her purse until she was finished with her purchases. By the time she exited the shop, her purse was light, but her pack was full. She had enough cloth to make bandages, rope for various uses, bits of leather and metal for repairs, a couple tools to replace old and rusted pieces of hers, paper and ink for letters, (though she had only picked them with great reluctance), and a cleaver for chopping firewood. The store owner had looked at her skeptically and asked, “No food for your travels?” Brinnea had answered, “My horse and I don’t eat much.” Outside the store, the sun had sunk below the hills and night began to set in. Chirps from a million crickets filled the air in chorus, heralding the end of the day. People stepped quickly about their final business. Brinnea followed suit; it would not do to be out and about at night in a place like this. She noticed the thugs following her almost immediately. They weren’t trying to be stealthy about it. Three men, a dwarf and two humans, followed her loosely down the hill path. They had swords on their belts and leather on their bodies. Tattoos marked them as belonging to some mercenary band, unless Brinnea’s eyes deceived her in the dim light. That was trouble. Kill three thugs and you might be safe from further violence, but kill three members of a band of hundreds and you had better skip town before the sun rises. She tried to lose them by ducking into a tavern, but she misread a sign and ended up standing in the front room filled with fox fur decorations, soft-looking fox fur couches, contented and eager looking men fiddling with their coin purses, and mostly naked women. The sight of it all brought back uncomfortable memories for Brinnea, but at least the three men hadn’t followed her inside. The matron of the establishment approached her, carrying a board with a stack of papers and a candle in one hand and a quill in the other. She examined Brinnea skeptically. She was a dwarven women of freckled complexion and coppery hair tied up in businesslike braids. Her green eyes were stern and unwavering. When she spoke, she sounded very much like a man. “Good ‘eve, lass. My name is Sionnach, though you can call me Sio. What can the Foxy Sisters provide ye tonight?” Brinnea cleared her throat awkwardly. “Nothing, miss. I was only…passing through.” Sio’s eyebrow rose at that. She did not seem the type to enjoy having her time wasted. “Just passing through me house? Well, sorry to say, there’s no back door, so ye’ll have to pass back the way ye came.” Brinnea did not welcome the thought of searching for a tavern with the streets the way they were. Before the matron could walk away, she said, “Perhaps I could stay here tonight? I have coin.” Sio wheeled about, twirling her quill between her fat fingers. “My rooms are reserved for my daughters’ company. I’m afraid I have no gentlemen to provide you entertainment. So, unless you are—” Brinnea cut her off there, “I am not interested in that. But perhaps we could come to some arrangement for a place to lay my head tonight.” “What sort of arrangement?” Brinnea tapped the hilt of her longsword. “I could provide protection for your establishment tonight.” Sio pursed her lips thoughtfully. “And ye’d charge nothin’ so long as ye’re allowed to stay the night?” Brinnea nodded. Sio made some marks in her papers and waved for Brinnea to follow her. “Ye’ll stand guard in the corner. Swords make men nervous before a tumble, which isn’t good fer business. Stay here, out of sight.” She directed Brin to a chair, which the death knight sat in happily. Her joints ached from a long day of riding and walking. Sio went on describing the sort of things to look out for to aid security before she waddled off to see to other guests. Brin settled in to watch her surroundings. Her mind wandered back in time all the while. Brinnea, her mother Maria, and her sister Christa had lived in a run-down hut outside the walls of Lordaeron City after they left home to escape her father. While their mother fought a nasty fever, Christa and Brin had to look for ways to bring in coin, lest they all starve. Weeks went by with little work to be found, and their bellies grew emptier with each passing day. Christa had been the one to come up with the idea. “The brothels always pay their girls well,” she had explained to their mother as she lay in bed, “And Matron Kathy said I could start so long as I tell people I’m fourteen. They’ll never notice I’m younger by two years.” Maria had been adamant they never whore themselves out in such a way. “You are my daughter, Christa,” Maria said sternly despite her weak state, “You are not a piece of meat for men to buy and sell.” Brinnea had spoken up then, “But mother, we have nothing else to sell. And besides, we’re all girls.” She looked about now at the scantily-clad women, some no older than twelve as her sister had been. She saw through the masks they wore. They put on brave faces, even managed to look pleased to do their work. Perhaps some of them really were. A few hours of pleasure, a few hours of soreness, and at the end of the day, you had enough food and water and rest to feel comfortable. But none of them looked truly alive underneath those masks. Brinnea sighed softly. Not for the first time in her life, she felt powerless. “What do you mean, ‘you owe me?’ You charge silver for that sort of tumble?” A man, red-faced and drunk, stumbled out of a back room shouting and waving his fists wildly as Sio tried to calm him. He wore the same leathers and tattoos as the men who had followed Brin down the street. She watched him carefully. “What did the girl do wrong, Vic? Jessaya’s never made a mistake large enough fer such anger before!” The red-faced man looked all the wilder for Sio’s words. “Well clearly your standards are lax, Matron! That little slut just up and bit me! Like a fucking mutt, she just bit me!” The girl he pointed at with his angry red finger was in tears, holing sheets about her body to cover herself. She looked a teenager to Brin, though on the younger side. Her hair was a pretty shade of yellow, like a honey bee’s hair. Brinnea placed a hand on her sword’s hilt, eyes fixed on the escalating situation. Sio remained calm, unperturbed to be looking up at the angry man. “Vic, please! ‘twas a small mistake. Nothin’ to get so wild about! And ye will not storm out of me house without settling yer debt again!” A vein popped out of the side of Vic’s head. “A small mistake? She could have taken my bloody cock off! I ought to knock her teeth in!” “Please, sir,” the honey-haired girl wept, “I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to!” Vic took a step forward, and his eyes said everything Brinnea needed to hear. In a flash, she was between the two, sword unsheathed. She held the point to his throat and flashed an icy glare at him. The man shrunk back in horror, though not too far, for Brin’s sword followed. “Pay what you owe and get the fuck out of here,” Brinnea snarled. Vic fumbled for his purse, a little too slow for Brin’s liking. She yanked it off his loose belt and tossed it behind her to rest at Jessaya’s feet. Then she kicked the red-faced man to the door. “That was…excessive,” Sio said quietly. “Vic’s a lout, but he’s never hit one o’ my girls before.” Brinnea sheathed her blade, still eyeing the door. “People change,” she said icily. Jessaya tackled Brinnea with a hug. The death knight held her arms outwards in surprise. “Thank you, miss!” the girl said tearfully, “Thank you so much!” Sio pocketed Vic’s purse and tugged at Jessaya’s sheets. “A’right, girl, enough. Go clean yerself up and eat some supper.” The girl obeyed, glancing back at Brin with thanks in her eyes. Brinnea returned to her chair as Sio muttered to herself about death knights and bringing down the mood and losing clients. Brin’s thoughts were on the man she had threatened. He must have been a member of a mercenary band, and a tight-knit one to have tattoos on even a lowly member like him. Killing him might have brought worse wrath upon her, but if she had hidden the corpse, the rest of the band may have never found out. Now, though, he was likely to run straight to his friends and stir them up with his drunken, red-faced fury. As the night went on, Brinnea became more convinced she would have to leave town before dawn.
  5. Catalinetta

    Silent are the Dead

    Steinburg had been in Undercity for a few months, now. First he came to visit some old friends. It surprised him to discover that the librarians who once helped him find books on Lordaeron’s history were, along with the books, no longer there. When he asked about their whereabouts, he received roundabout answers. They were “no longer necessary”. Whether this was an answer about the books or his friends, he did not press further. During his search however, he discovered that the Undercity was undergoing a slight transformation. In the absence of the Dark Lady, a council of Undercity’s most active volunteers had been created. Steinburg did not know them personally, but he admired their willingness to pick up what Sylvanas had left behind, and to do so with seemingly no personal gain. Damian being old enough to attend school in Dalaran made his decision clear, and as a proud Forsaken, he volunteered to help. A good bookkeeper, he was immediately tasked with keeping track of the city’s funds. It was a thankless job, and he was not well known, but that didn’t bother him. Day and night he tirelessly worked to ensure that the Desolate Council was successful. Until one day, most of them were gone. Now things were different. He wasn’t so much a volunteer as a prisoner, and he understood the meaning of the word “dissent”. All around Undercity, Sylvanas had eyes and ears. Long ones, specifically. The ears of her dark rangers were everywhere, waiting to hear the rumors and report them. He was an accountant, he could calculate the numbers and the odds of his own survival in such a situation. If he had a big mouth, those odds weren’t good. Quiet as he was, however, he could live. That was how he managed to get back to the small apartment he’d been renting in the Undercity, though “rent” was mostly paid by him working for free. The single bedroom, tucked inside of a corridor of the Magic Quarter, was furnished only with a few clothes. Unsurprisingly there was no bed. The Forsaken embraced their wakefulness, their lack of restrictions that the living depended on. A bed would have been suspicious. He might have been accused of wanting to be alive, of trying to relive memories of the past. Once, those things were not quite so looked down upon. Strange, maybe. Now they were looked at with suspicion. The dead had no reason to want anything to do with their former lives, and to go by your “dead name” was to invite too many questions. Luckily for Steinburg, nobody seemed to care that he went by his surname. Though maybe, had he requested that they call him “Andy”, things might have been different. His apartment, sparse as it was, served only the purpose of granting him a place to read in silence. He was expected to work most of the time, but was granted a few hours of “rest” by his supervisor. During these hours, he would go to his apartment and sit down in his single chair. He might read a book or write a letter to the Bloodstones. Today, he opened his closet, and very quietly, cast a spell. A portal. It would not last long, and he was in a hurry. Stepping through the portal, Steinburg understood that he was probably not going to be able to return to the Undercity. They would say he deserted them, abandoned his duties, and be labeled a traitor. All well and good, he supposed. For a second chance at life, he could hardly call existing there under the eye of the dark rangers any sort of living. All was bright as he stepped through, suddenly bathed in sunlight and warm colors. Silvermoon welcomed him as it always did, though he was still suspicious of Sylvanas’ former home. Would she have spies there, too? Or was Lor’themar unwilling to allow such a thing? His yellow eyes glanced about for someone, and with a great sigh of relief he saw her. “Catalinetta,” he said to the death knight, who had apparently waited for him near the portal from Undercity. Shambling over to her, he embraced Cat with a tight hug. It was not a happy one, but the desperate sad sort of hug she could feel in her own bones. “Steinburg, what the hell happened?” She asked, pulling away reluctantly. “Not here,” he answered, looking around. “We need to get to Bloodstone Manor.” Cat shook her head, still confused. “Bloodstone Manor? Why?” Trudging out into the street, Steinburg reached for his hood and threw it over his head. Now she could see how ashamed he was of his appearance, and the old Steinburg had finally returned. “Because there are ears everywhere, and most are as long as yours.”
  6. Ninorra

    A New Beginning

    So now we have a tentative plan. Vicailde is working on some sort of device, I have not asked him for the details. We are going to travel again, to that awful alternate world, and find Corvallis and Helnia. Yes, the Bronze will likely be displeased. Yes, we could be punished for all eternity. The entire situation sounds insane, and really, what do we gain from it? A demon, and a man so loyal to me he was willing to give his own life. Am I really willing to do the same? I suppose we will see. What of Damian, though? I might have to insist that Vicailde stay behind. He will fight me on it, but I can not risk leaving him an orphan. Not again. My little flesh puppet did not work as expected and I will not go down that path again. Everything else has been rather quiet. I hear there is going to be some kind of conflict regarding azurite. Steinburg still has not returned from his visit to Undercity. I am tempted to find him there, but I was informed that he is now working as a bookkeeper for the Desolate Council. Apparently some of their members were lost. That seems a shame to me, considering Silvermoon has its own government and council, I would not doubt that Undercity could very much be in need of their own governing body. I am proud of Steinburg for lending a hand, of course. I do hope he is alright.
  7. Catalinetta

    Silent are the Dead

    Clank. Clank. Clank. Catalinetta walked through Undercity, the metal of her boots clanking against the stone floors of ancient Lordaeron. They felt almost unusually loud there, underground, where the Forsaken spoke in scratchy hushed tones and moved in slow, hunched over shambles. She didn't suppose that she was in a hurry, not at first anyhow. The death knight had gone to Undercity with a specific purpose; to find a ring. There were plenty to be had down there, crafted by some of the Forsaken's most talented jewelers, and she knew exactly where to go for what she wanted. Unfortunately, as she reached the edge of the Magic Quarter, certain to find the same bright-eyed Forsaken woman who used to craft her jewelry as a newly risen death knight, Catalinetta saw that she was no longer there. The death knight paused mid-stride, staring ahead at the now empty spot. Tilting her head to one side, she considered briefly that maybe her friend was simply taking a break. Or away, visiting friends in Brill. Without hesitating, she approached another nearby Forsaken who manned a stall selling inscriptions. "Excuse me, sir," she said in her high pitched, if not hollow voice. Cat's eyes glowed with the same eerie blue of her fellow death knights. It was not the dim yellow of the Forsaken, but they often found a kinship in their undeath. Today, however, that did not come as easily. "Death to the living," he said in greeting, his voice hoarse and gravelly. He seemed to have died in mid-life, just old enough to have sprouted a few gray hairs at his temples that hung in thick clumps about his gray face. A lack of flesh in his cheeks that exposed both jawbones gave him a permanently stern expression. "What do you want?" A corner of Cat's mouth twitched. "..yeah, uh... I was wondering if you'd seen Abby?" She asked, her dark gray ears perking a little. Though she was undead, the Sin'dorei's ears still worked as they did in life, reacting to her emotions with little twitches as much her eyebrows. "She was supposed to be here today, I thought. I wanted to buy some jewelry from her." The other vendor's face made no changes. Perhaps if he had been alive she might have seen some sort of change, something in his face to indicate his thoughts on the matter. As it was, he seemed far too corpse-like to emote as she did. "Gone. She won't be coming back." Cat's eyebrows rose, scrunching her forehead in concern. "Where did she go? Is she okay?? Did something happen to her?" Now the vendor's face changed, a slow and creeping grin that gradually pulled at the sagging flesh in his face enough to make his eyes squint like half-moons. "I do not know where she went, death knight," he answered, then frowned again as his face relaxed. Smiling, Cat imagined, must have taken quite a bit of effort on his part. "But I know that she will not be coming back." For a moment, she just stared at him. Admittedly, it had been a while since she'd returned to this place, where the Forsaken once welcomed the death knights to their new status as living dead. Certainly they were different, and there were plenty of Forsaken who were distrustful of Arthas' newer creations. However as time passed, most of the Forsaken grew to learn about the curse of the death knights, their eternal bond to the Lich King, and their inherent need to cause pain. The Forsaken were free, after all. The death knights, in spite of their great strength, would never truly be independent of their creator. Things were even, in a way. So why now did this Forsaken treat her like this, she wondered? Could he tell that there was something amiss? Could he somehow detect the Mogu blood magic that coursed through her black veins, creating the illusion of life even as it reanimated her? Was it a lack of decay? It didn't matter. He was being difficult, and that much was unnecessary. "Look, I don't know what your problem is," she started, pointing a gauntlet-covered finger at the bony creature. "But Abby is my friend. So if you know something, just tell me so I can go find her. Alright?" Again, the Forsaken smiled. It appeared to take less effort this time. "I can not tell you her fate, but your search ends here. Abigaille Lefaye is gone. You might as well leave this city too, death knight. You will not find what you are looking for, here." "But--" "Catalinetta?" Another voice from behind. It was scratchy, hollow and undoubtedly Forsaken, but it was also kind and familiar. She turned to see a man, hunched over but still taller than her. His short black hair, unlike most Forsaken, was usually well kept. Today however, it was matted and disheveled. His typically well cared for robes were frayed and dull, and the once jovial look on his gently rotted face had been replaced with one of terrible remorse. "..mister Steinberg?" Indeed he was. The former accountant of Sanctuary, stolen away by the Bloodstones to Silvermoon when their guild hall was burned to the ground by Garrosh Hellscream. Though he witnessed the death of so many other guild members, one of them his own adopted son, Steinberg carried on. He helped Ninorra raise Damian in her absence. He healed his broken heart by teaching the Sin'dorei boy to read and write, and one again was given another chance at life. In a way. "Yes miss D'Aragon," he said in a slightly pained voice, as if trying to keep the sorrow from slipping. Swallowing something down, his expression turned slightly harsh. "I heard you asking about Miss Lefaye. I'm afraid she's no longer with us. If you'll come with me, I'll show you where you can buy whatever it is you need." Cat's heart sunk at the change in voice. Steinburg had always been kind to her, to everyone. What happened to change him so drastically? Tearing herself away from the other vendor, she walked to her old friend and twisted her hands together. "Sorry if I caused trouble, I just wanted to know if she was okay. Is.. did something happen?" Steinburg lowered a pair of cold yellow eyes to his old friend, the once familiar smile completely gone. "Yes. Now come with me." Following him as the Forsaken shambled away, Cat's eyes were lowered to the moldy stone floor. She held in angry tears, tears she knew would invite too many questions, and vowed to let them out later for her friend. Steinburg led her from the Magic Quarter and walked her, quicker than she would have thought him capable of, toward the elevator. "Where are we going?" "Out," he said quickly, not bothering to look back. To any of the other Forsaken, they looked like a very angry man leading a very confused elf. Both dead, both unhappy, both completely ordinary in a place where nobody should ever be happy. His steps were so quick that Cat almost found herself tripping after him, but by the time they reached the ruins of Lordaeron and rushed past the throne room of its former king, she understood where he was leading her. "Steinburg wait," she said quickly, grabbing his shoulder. The Forsaken didn't slow. "Just keep walking," he said between clenched teeth, frayed robes fluttering around his bare skeletal feet. They clacked about almost as much as her boots, which worried her. Where had his shoes gone? "Steinburg, I--" The orb stood in front of them, a bright ball of red that would take them to Silvermoon. Steinburg grabbed Catalinetta's hand and moved it to the orb, but she wrenched it away. "Wait a second!" she shouted, wrenching her arm back. "What the hell is wrong with you?? I haven't seen you in months and suddenly you're here, and you look terrible, and everything is all weird and sad! What happened to you??" The yellow glow flickered in Steinbeug's eyes. For a moment, a hint of his old self came forward and he nearly smiled at the outburst. She had always been outspoken, even in death, and it had once made him smile. But it was only for a moment. "I am Forsaken," he said simply, the frown returning as he grabbed Catalinetta's arm and pulled her to him, whispering near her long ear. "Now go home. Where you belong." Still not understanding, Cat shook her head. She wanted to argue, to yell at him and get Steinburg to snap out of whatever spell he was under, but then she stopped. His face shifted, so close to hers. It wasn't angry. It was sad. He was trying to tell her something. Go home? She thought. But he doesn't know where I live, now.. She glanced at the orb. Silvermoon. It wasn't her home, per say. Not ever. But it was the home of the Sin'dorei, and she was starting to realize that's what he wanted for her. To go there. But why? "Fine," she grunted irritably. "I'll go back to Silvermoon. Maybe I'll find what I need there." "I'm sure you will," Steinburg muttered bitterly, watching as she grabbed the orb, her form fading from sight before his eyes. A few feet behind him, another hollow voice rung out. "Who was that?" Asked an almost silvery elven voice, though it retained the same echo as his own. Steinburg turned to regard one of the dark rangers, a beautiful elven woman who, even in death, moved soundlessly. "An old acquaintance," he muttered distastefully. "She has no place here." The dark ranger nodded, and glanced back toward the entrance to Undercity. "Good. You might want to get back to work, now. There is much to be done and not as many hands to do it." Steinburg nodded and turned back, resisting the urge to glance behind him at the orb. What point would there be in leaving? The Warchief's eyes were everywhere, and the long ears of the dark rangers heard everything. He would need to think fast. Thankfully, an accountant knew how to calculate all of his options quickly. He had a plan before he reached the bottom of the elevator.
  8. Earlier
  9. RiktheRed21

    Lanette

    Full Name: Lanette Wetwhistle Date of Birth: September 4 Age: 32 Race: Goblin, Formerly Steamwheedle Cartel Gender: Female Hair: Cyan, shoulder-length Eyes: Blue Height: 3 feet Weight: 40 lbs Place of residence: Dragonsroost Port Place of Birth: Booty Bay Known Relatives: Not among the living Religion/Philosophy: Money Occupation: Goblin Engineer, Pet Tamer, Sailor, Gun for Hire Group/Guild affiliation: Borrowed Time Enemies: Bloodsail Buccaneers, Southsea Freebooters, any and all slavers, some warlocks, the naga, the Venture Company Likes: The smell of the sea, animals, sleeping under the stars, tinkering, the tropics, photography Dislikes: Snow, ice, the color white, Northrend, snow cones, and ice cream Favorite Foods: Pineapple Favorite Drinks: Piña colada Favorite Colors: Teal, Brown Weapons of Choice: Rifles, Grenades, Rockets, Traps, Tasers, Knives Physical Features: Angular facial features. Sharp eyes. Messy hair tied up with skull-pattern pendants. Special Abilities: Wild imagination. Can put together workable contraptions quickly and with limited supplies. Can tame just about any beast, given enough time and resources. Trained in wilderness survival, specialized in tropical jungles. A spirited climber and excellent swimmer. Positive Personality Traits: Open-minded and logical. Easygoing. Can keep a secret. Negative Personality Traits: Aloof, disinterested. A natural liar. Lacking in social graces. Misc. Quirks: Loves to spend as much time around the water as possible. Seems to hate everything cold and related to ice or snow. Paints all her gear bright and tropical colors. Photographs everything. Music: Escape -- Rupert Holmes History: She spent her early life growing up in Booty Bay with her parents, both fishers. Pirates raided the bay and killed her parents. She was taken as a slave and sold to a plantation, where a warlock stripped away her ability to think for herself. A hero saved her and the other slaves from the plantation and gave them kaja kola, which restored their minds slowly. She still relies on the kola to keep her mind from being addled, since she was brainwashed from such a young age. Reliance on kaja kola has made her brain move twice normal speed. She’s able to hold a conversation while also rapidly coming up with complex plans in her mind. This makes her a natural improvisor, and made her a natural engineer. After the hero dropped her off back at her home, she felt lost and out of place. She got a sailing job with the cartel, but disliked all the rules and structure. Eventually, she left the cartel in pursuit of her own self-image. Though she is still looking, she has managed to gather numerous skills she enjoys practicing, including pet taming, hunting, survival skills, photography, and exploring. Nowadays, she drifts between jobs. In fact, she heard of a really nice job, just the other day. Something about a mercenary company in the Twilight Highlands…
  10. Lady Arath’dorei, Hope is as much a resource as anything else. The irony being how much its validity proves tied into the basic concepts of economics: Considered useless when plentiful as people seem keen to overlooking it, but wholly precious when the jaws of despair grasp upon the throats of the world. It is fortunate then, is it not, that it proves renewable? And it is my personal belief, that our mission statement of the defense and preservation of the Sin’dorei should include planting the seeds of such a resource. I have found, and brought under my employment, a formally inactive agent of the Scryers that I am happy to direct to your service. And while not one whom actively works from the field, I too am willing to lend my mastery of the Arcane Arts to your defense wherever it is you need us. Consider it a personal favor from myself, and a professional act in confidence in hopes that we may find common ground against the greater threat at large in the future from the Scryers. Sincerely, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper Scryer Agent of Asset Protection and Acquisition
  11. The Rooks of Twisting Nether cordially invite you to help us celebrate the Midsummer Fire Festival with our annual Mount Parade around Old Town of Stormwind City! Prizes will be awarded to the best Mount-Gear* matching participants! Bonus points for matching/themed gear, mount, and pet(s)! (( *Transmorgrified or actual gear only - those who use magic or temporary illusions will be disqualified from receiving a prize! )) Third Place: 25k Gold Second Place: 50k Gold Grand Prize: Other-worldly Mount** (( ** FREE, PAID MOUNT FROM THE BLIZZARD STORE OF THE WINNER'S CHOOSING! )) (( In the past, we've had nearly 30 participants! This is a fun way to bring both the RP and non-RP communities of TN-RH together! We hope you can join us! )) To participate, simply meet at the Fountain in Old Town at 7PM Realm Time (( CDT - 8PM EDT )). At that time, Rooks' Officers will check-in/register participants and begin the Parade line-up. Once ready, we'll begin our march around the Old Town Circle. (( A pre-parade "pre-game" Tavern-RP event at the Pig and Whistle in Old Town will commence at 6PM Realm Time. )) Be sure to bring fireworks and other celebratory items to commemorate the occasion! WHAT: Rooks' Annual Midsummer Mount Parade WHEN: Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 7:00PM Realm Time WHERE: Fountain at Old Town in Stormwind City WHY: To celebrate and bring together the communities of TN-RH! FABULOUS PRIZES! (( Be sure to whisper or send a message to Atilakai, GM of Rooks, if you have any questions! ))
  12. RiktheRed21

    A Wolf, A Horse, and A Rider

    She woke from an unrestful sleep beneath a tree that seemed doubled-over in pain. Dry leaves fell about her and rain pattered on the moist ground. Brinnea wiped damp hair from her eyes and stood to greet the new day. Dreary and grey, the day seemed unwilling to return her hello. She gathered her meager supplies – a sword belt and a satchel with some money and first-aid kit – and hopped on the back of her last loyal companion. The deathcharger stood still, its eyes vacant as a corpse’s. When she gave it a kick, it moved, but there was little evidence otherwise that it was even conscious. On they went, kicking up moisture from the summer rain and crossing long, desolate miles of the Wetlands in silence. Brinnea slowed as they approached a small farm. She gazed at it longingly, catching sight of a family at work. The eldest man appeared to be complaining bitterly about the rain while the youngest children frolicked about without a care in the world. By instinct, she began riding towards it. Once she realized what she was doing, she quickly yanked the reins and spurred the charger into a gallop northward. The farm shrank into a dot behind her, though she never looked back to see it. The rainclouds gave way to thunderstorms. Winds shrieked across the wavy hills and sent droplets scraping across Brinnea’s bare flesh. Drops tinned against her armor. She wondered if the soldiers back at Greenwarden’s Grove would be able to keep the rain out of their tents tonight. She wondered if somewhere on the passage into the mountains far to the south Charlotte and August were dressed in their warm clothes for the journey to Ironforge. Would they like it there? Would they make new friends? Would they ever forget about her? The wind picked up further until even the undead charger balked at carrying on at full gallop. The death knight eased her mount towards the dense hills where they might find some cover from the storm. Lighting crashed somewhere nearby. She couldn’t see where it had struck home. She imagined a fire trying to survive in a storm like this, but her imagination failed her. The horse and rider strode through clefts populated with fleeing deer and rodents, squirrels and birds of every sort. Plantlife was abundant here, ranging from flowers to fungi, small shrubs to huge trees spreading wide canopies. Thinking of the tree she had slept at the night prior, Brinnea decided to continue searching for better cover. A wolf’s lonely howl took to the air. Brinnea waited, but heard no response. She counted it a blessing without thinking. A pack of wolves is dangerous, after all. But then she got to thinking of the lone beast out all alone. What had happened to its pack? Was it cast out, as she had been? Perhaps it had hoped too greatly, and tried too hard to further itself and its pups. The alpha could only tolerate so much before he had to act. At last, Brinnea found a cave gashed into the rocks and hurried toward it. She dismounted, for the ceiling was too low to fit on horseback. The deathcharger squeezed into the cave and stood resolute at the back, facing a wall. Charlotte had named the horse Spaklehoof for its bright hooves, but the beast was far from intelligent. Brinnea guessed it was evening. The sky seemed a little less bright than it had when she first entered the hilly area. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. Last night’s dreams had confirmed it. Brinnea had never been able to sleep well as a death knight, but after a while living in Greenwarden’s Grove, she found she was able to have more restful nights than she used to. Despite being an overgrown, swampy backwater, the Grove had started to feel a little like a home. The wolf’s howl shook her back to her senses. Again, it sounded lonely and sad, and again it garnered no reply save for the roaring wind, the screeching rain, and the thundering storm. Brinnea had removed her armor and began polishing it, but every time she started to lose herself in the monotony of work, the howl returned. Somehow, it seemed to be growing both louder and weaker. She tossed her pauldron into a pile of armor and yanked her sword belt about her waist. After tying her cloak and lifting her hood, she stalked out into the storm. Brinnea was by no means an expert tracker, but she figured in this case it would be easy to find what she was looking for. The wolf howled every few minutes, so she used it as a guide. It became more difficult every time the thunder and wind deafened her, and for many hours, she felt as though she were wandering in circles about the hills. Then she spotted it – the wolf huddled under a tree with its leg caught in a trap. A kill was decomposing nearby, swamped by rain and eaten through by all manner of bugs. Odd that the wolf would remain trapped for so long without the hunter whose trap was laid coming to check on it. Brinnea thought as much, until she found whom she presumed to be the hunter in question lodged under a fallen tree stump. The char pattern was rippled like tree roots, but more jagged like hands with too many fingers and fingers with too many joints. Brinnea searched the man for weapons and found a knife, a bow, a length of rope, and arrows. She left the bow, but added the knife to her belt beside her own, and pulled the rope over her shoulder. The wolf had awoken while Brinnea was investigating. It sniffed and growled at her weakly, but made no attempts to move. Brin approached carefully, and eased herself to a crouch beside the beast. She reached out to touch the trap, but the wolf barked at her warningly. She pulled her hand back. Taking the rope from her shoulder, she measured a section of it and cut it with the hunter’s knife. Then she deftly clamped the wolf’s snout shut and forced the rope around and tied it tight. The wolf tried to paw it off, but otherwise acted with meek acceptance. Brin grabbed hold of the clamped trap, the leather of her handwraps thick enough to keep her hands from getting shredded by the sharp metal. She pulled with all her strength. The metal creaked, and the wolf whimpered. Blood spurted from the reopened wound, but the wolf pulled itself loose. Brin yanked her hands free and left the trap clamped and bloody where it was. The wolf tried to nuzzle the wounded hind leg, but was impeded by the ropes. Brinnea retrieved bandages from her medical kit and carefully grappled the wolf, then applied the cloth to the bleeding leg. After, she drew her knife and carefully cut the rope muzzle free, then pulled back. The wolf growled at her bitterly before madly licking its newly bandaged leg. “There, mangy mutt,” Brinnea said, “I saved you. Now scamper off and don’t do anything stupid.” The wolf watched her and continued to nibble at the bandages. In time, they would rot away, but that would be long after the wound healed. “You should be more worried about predators than a little cloth, idiot.” The wolf ignored her advice. Shaking her head, she turned to head back to her cave. It wasn’t until she was halfway back that she realized the beast was following her.
  13. Ninorra

    A New Beginning

    Journal Entry 2 It has been over a year since I have decided to write in this thing. How very sad! It is a pretty journal, and I have had such adventures. Imagine me, never even writing down any of them, even as I traveled to Argus and aided my friends against the Legion. How many things have occurred since I wrote this first entry? - I allowed Damian to train with Qabian. What a disaster! He learned a lot, certainly, but at some point Qabian's ego got the better of him and he put Damian in life threatening danger. Even he thought Damian was killed and in my rage I removed one of his limbs. Damian was, of course, fine. So we have all learned a valuable lesson. - With the help of my friends, I was able to obtain my soul and defeat the demon my mother made a deal with so long ago. I am now fully whole, though the idea is still strange and the curse of my eyes remains. What, if any changes this will make to my personality, are yet to be seen. - During the ceremony in which I retrieved my soul, my dear subordinate Corvallis, as well as Helnia, were lost to us. I miss them both dearly, but Damian took it the hardest. I believe he and Corvallis bonded quite a bit, and I have promised to try and find him. - The guild is moving. We will no longer have a place in Dalaran, but in Razor Hill, Shattrath, and Ashtotem. This makes very little difference to me, but I do enjoy Shattrath! It brings back a lot of happy memories from the war in Outland. Imagine, happy memories and war! - Still no word from my large friend who was hidden with us for some time. I imagine he is somewhere out in the world, making trouble. Always so serious, that one. I do miss him. - Since bonding with my little soul, my memories have been a bit jumbled. Everything is coming back to me, especially with reminders, but a few things remain fuzzy. I have the strangest feeling that I am forgetting something important, but so far nothing has been made clear. - I have had the strangest craving for sparkling white wine, lately. Not at home, of course. I will have to find someone to share a bottle with. Maybe brunch?
  14. Vilmah

    The Blue Hunt

    By the time Vilmah returned to Wor’gol, it was past midnight. Most of the village was already asleep, and the moon cast a bright blue sheen over the snow covered ground that crunched as Edmund bounded through the snow. Attached to his back was a rudimentary sled slapped together with wood and rope, something Vilmah constructed to carry the corpse of her kill. She had strapped down the large she-wolf with yet more rope, but in the moonlight its fur appeared eerily blue, like a brightly colored creature from the jungles of Azeroth rather than a wolf on Draenor. As she approached the village, a few of their still awake warriors waved to her. She waved back and was soon met with Tuyya, who rode out to meet her with sleepy eyes on the back of her black wolf. “That was fast!” She said sarcastically. “I was hoping you wouldn’t need to spend all night out there. Did she hurt you?” Holding up her right arm, Vilmah let Tuyya see the hastily wrapped wound of her right arm. The purple sweater had been stashed in her saddle bag just a mile before reaching the village. “I hope one of your shaman is awake,” she said with a weary smile. “I got her worse than she got me, though. I don’t think she was very interested in living.” “Grief does that to people,” Tuyya agreed, turning her wolf to walk back beside Vilmah. “And animals too, strangely. You brought back the body, though? I would have thought you only needed the fur.” “Can’t let good meat go to waste,” Vilmah reasoned, shrugging. “Even if it’s just dog meat.” Tuyya grinned. “You’re learning quickly. When you first came to us you would have eaten the meat raw on your own, like some crazed animal.” Vilmah’s lip twitched as she lowered her eyes to the snow. “When you first met me I was still very much a crazed animal,” the smaller orc explained, embarrassed. “I’m not exactly proud of that.” “There aren’t many of us who are proud of ourselves at our lowest point. It brought you to us, though, didn’t it?” “War brought me to you,” Vilmah argued gently. “..but I think my grief is what made me stay. And the fact that you all didn’t just kick me out. I’m sure I didn’t make for an impressive prospective new clan member.” “You think we love everyone in the clan?” Tuyya laughed. “Your blood ties you to us, regardless of whatever it is that took you away to begin with. You told me that your mother was one of us. That’s enough for us to give you a chance, and you earned your place.” An uncomfortable silence followed Tuyya’s words, as if Vilmah wanted to agree but couldn’t bring herself to. In truth, she was having trouble not telling Tuyya that she was Vilmah’s mother, and if the portal to Azeroth hadn’t been opened, if Tuyya’s thirst for adventure hadn’t brought her to the arms of a Blackrock orc, Vilmah never would have existed to begin with. “Thanks Tuyya,” she said gratefully, smiling a little in spite of the conversation. “Thanks for being my friend.” “Don’t get all dramatic,” Tuyya chuckled. “I just hate seeing the little guy get stepped on. Or in your case, the little girl. And you looked so sad, like a kicked puppy. Who would kick a puppy? Don’t worry, guura kad dok mara. You’re one of us, now. That means you’ll never really be alone again,” she said reassuringly, punching Vilmah in the left shoulder. “..for better or worse.” "Sounds like quite the commitment," Vilmah said sarcastically, smirking. Tuyya rolled her eyes. "Believe me, it can be a pain in the ass. Any time I even suggest leaving for a long hunt, my family comes up with some reason to make me stay. Commitments, the need to find a mate, it's like they've forgotten what it's like to explore past the forest sometimes. Makes me want to get my hands dirty somewhere new." Vilmah bit the inside of her cheek. It was that wanderlust that caused the Tuyya that she knew to leave through the portal in the first place, and die starving in a cage. "They have a point. I mean.. you have everything you need here, don't you? People love you, here." "I don't disagree with that, but there's more to life than being loved," the orcess argued. "There's adventure, and you can't get that here. Not anymore, anyway. I treasure my clan, but there's more out there than this place. I want to see it." A feeling of dread overcame Vilmah's stomach, like she'd swallowed a mouthful of bees. Tuyya wasn't the type to let anyone hold her back, and she would eventually leave, even if it meant leaving everything behind. The idea of losing her for a second time, this person who, in another lifetime, gave her life for Vilmah's, made the Warboss pale with fear. "..you could come with me," she found herself saying. "Come to Azeroth, help me with Sanctuary. There's a few Frostwolves in Razor Hill, I'm sure you'll feel right at home. Even if it's in a desert.." Tuyya's eyes widened. "Really? You want me to come with you?" In truth, Vilmah would have preferred that this version of her mother stayed in Draenor, pure in her own way, and untouched by Azeroth's brutality. Knowing that it wasn't in her nature to stay in one place, however, the Warboss nodded quickly. "Yeah, of course. It'd be nice having you there. Plus, plenty of orcs in Azeroth," she joked, smiling a little more. "If your family is worried about you finding a mate." "Can you imagine if I were to bring home one of your green friends??" The orcess laughed, bouncing on her wolf. "Oh they would have an absolute fit! Yes, let's do it! I'll go with you to Azeroth and help your Sanctuary! Right after we clean your blue wolf, of course. You can bring home a wolf pelt and a Frostwolf!" Smiling at her excitement, Vilmah nodded in agreement. Whether or not this was for the best, she couldn't say, but at the very least she'd be able to keep an eye on Tuyya.
  15. Vilmah

    The Blue Hunt

    It was dusk by the time Vilmah reached the she-wolf’s den, and the Warboss was hungry. She brought a few rations for the trip, some dried meat and and water, but the fight had already taken a lot out of her and in the back of her mind she dreamed of a full meal back in Razor Hill. “We’re gonna make the biggest sandwich,” she said quietly to Edmund, examining the trail of wolf blood as it led into a narrow cave once camouflaged with snow. “Maybe... wild boar with lettuce and tomatoes and that thick toasted bread... I wonder if the goblins in Dalaran made any of that good wheat bread? I hope they didn’t burn down our kitchen... I must be out of my mind…” Edmund shook his shaggy head and snorted. Whether this was in agreement or not was up for debate. Inside of the cave, Vilmah felt more than a little exposed. The walls were narrow and taking the lead, if the she-wolf decided to attack, there would be no room to maneuver. She let out a sigh of relief as the cave opened up, the deeper they went. Rounding a corner, Vilmah was slow and silent enough to be able to catch a glimpse of their prey in the middle of her den, attempting to lick the wounds that she herself inflicted. The blue wolf had created a nest from leaves and bark, which she lay in now, her wounds still bleeding slowly on to the ground. A few feet away, the bones of her kills lie in another pile. Beside her, their fur matted and dull, the dead bodies of her pups had been bundled together, huddled as if they were sleeping and not dead. The she wolf gave them a brief nuzzle, whining sadly. Vilmah’s heart ached for the mother she had to put down, knowing that in spite of the tender moment it was not in its right mind, and would only continue to damage an already damaged ecosystem if left to her own devices. Unsheathing her blade, Vilmah pat Edmund’s head and whispered “stay”. Her arm and leg still ached, something she would address later. The she-wolf knew they would come for her. Her nose was superior to Vilmah’s, and it was obvious she had been waiting. Perhaps she just wanted to die here, with her children. Perhaps she wanted Vilmah to die with her. Either way, the wolf stood from her place on the ground and growled, jaws bared, warning Vilmah that any wrong move would result in a death with no burial or funeral pyre. “Easy girl,” Vilmah said quietly, walking slowly now toward her prey. The Warboss voice was quiet and soothing, a tactic that didn’t work as well on people as it did with animals. How it would do on a crazed wolf, she couldn’t know. “I know you’re in pain… I know. Believe me, I know…” The she wolf lowered herself to the ground, as if preparing to spring forward. Still, Vilmah approached her. “I’ve been there,” she continued, her sword tilted to one side in a defensive position. “I know what it’s like to lose family… people you wanted to protect… young ones, even. I know. I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry it hurt you. You’ll be with them, soon.” The she wolf sprung forward, her jaws open wide to snap Vilmah in two. In a flash of fur and metal, the Warboss knelt down and pushed her sword up, right through the wolf’s throat. There wasn’t time for a whine or a growl, just the quick death of a sad animal as her blade pierced its spine. It was a faster kill than she anticipated, one moment swift action, and the next a heavy weight as the wolf’s dead body fell directly on top of her. Sliding the sword from the severed brainstem, Vilmah rolled out from under her kill and regarded the body. The she wolf was big, too big to carry out on Edmund’s back, and would require some real muscle to even get out of the cave. Understanding that the Frostwolves would appreciate her meat, however, Vilmah made the decision to take her out of there. With the meat quickly souring the longer it remained dead and unbutchered, she sighed and nodded to Edmund. “Wait here where it’s warm, Ed. I’ll go build a sled.” The wolf dog nodded and sat down next to Vilmah’s kill. Though she had attempted to kill him earlier, he sniffed at her, his eyebrows tilted down sadly at the sight of a mutt like him, dead to his master’s sword. A sad howl fell from his small mouth, a call to the ancestors of their blood, both on Draenor and Azeroth.
  16. Vilmah

    The Blue Hunt

    “I really should have dressed warmer..” It was only a few miles into the snow covered mountainrange and Vilmah had already begun talking to herself. Far away from Wor’gol’s fires, the Blademaster’s green skin was chapped from cold, a sacrifice she made to honor the Blademasters that had come before her. Typically, wearing little armor was supposed to strike fear into her enemies, or at least lead them to believe that she was completely insane. Realizing that a wolf wouldn’t care either way, she eventually brought Edmund to a halt and dug around in her saddle bags for a sweater. It was dyed purple wool with a gold trim, something she knit specifically for emergencies, and she thanked whatever spirits existed that she didn’t forget to bring it. In a purple sweater she might not have looked like a Blademaster, but the sword on her back said differently. First she removed her sword, then gauntlet, then slid on the sweater over the simple white fabric she used to bind her chest. After replacing her sword, gauntlet, and knotting the empty left sleeve, she re-mounted Edmund and continued on through the snow. Tracking was not one of Vilmah’s greatest skills. It had been years since she last hunted a wolf there, in Frostfire Ridge, to solidify her standing with the clan. Back then it felt more like a hunt for her own survival, battered as she was during the Cataclysm, when assassins tracked her in a similar way. She couldn’t help but feel for the wolf in question, a heart broken mother lost in her grief, her mixed blood having created an ugly animal that nobody wanted. It saddened her to think that an animal like this were better off dead, and the act of killing it seemed almost barbaric. A wolf like this, however, could not be tamed no matter how much she would want to. Putting her own selfish desires aside, Vilmah pet Edmund’s fur and spoke to the wolf dog soothingly. “Do you smell her?” She asked, as if he could understand her perfectly. “Do you smell the lady? She smells like you maybe, Ed.” The runt of his mixed breed litter, Edmund wasn’t earned by the Warboss as most Frostwolves make their connections. He was sold in Orgrimmar, a joke to the breeders who saw Vilmah as a worthless runt, deserving of an equally worthless mutt with small teeth and a desire to cuddle rather than kill. She gave him a human name, something that sounded sweet on the tongue, and since then he was just as sweet to her. Growling affirmatively, Edmund put his nose to the snow. The way he could “see” things with his nose was a marvel to Vilmah, something that always fascinated her about animals. He’d been following a trail for the past few miles, and it led them deeper into a heavily wooded area. She could see now why none of the other Frostwolves bothered to track the blue wolf now, considering how deep she’d gone. The most recent blizzard had not just wreaked havoc on the wildlife, but it also done irreparable damage to Wor’gol. Most of the orcs there were too busy rebuilding their own homes to have the time to venture into the snow for a hunt, tempted as they might be. It was startlingly quiet the deeper she went, and in spite of the clear sky, the leafless canopy blocked enough of the light that even mid-day it appeared to be dusk. Every so often, the crunch of snow could be heard somewhere nearby. A squirrel or a white rabbit might have seen them, only to hide. Vilmah didn’t see any wolves yet, but she understood that they avoided orcs if they could. As the already dim light grew dimmer, however, Vilmah began to notice signs of their prey. “Good boy,” she whispered, sliding off of Edmund’s back to walk beside him. Though the mixed breed wolf dog was small, it suited her. He was able to slip through trees that larger worgs couldn’t, and his speed, like Vilmah’s, was surprisingly helpful. Even on the hunt, he was quiet and light on his feet, leaving lighter footprints than the giant ones that they suddenly came across. “Oh..” Vilmah murmured. “..she’s a big one, alright.” Edmund gave a quiet growl. It was different from his usual growl, the affirmative sound he made when answering Vilmah. This was a warning. “That was quick,” Vilmah said to herself, unsheathing the sword at her back. It slid out smooth, making no sound at all but shining brightly in the slowly darkening woods. The only thing shinier, Vilmah surmised as it happened, were the eyes of the wolf who suddenly burst forth from a dark crevice in the snow with open jaws. “Edmund!!” The orcess shouted, rushing forward to intercept the massive blue animal that had set her mount in his sights. She was larger than Vilmah anticipated, larger even than Greywind and shaggier. True to her reputation, the she-wolf was a strange gray color that appeared blue in the dimming light, but her eyes were actually blue, a strange trait inherited from her mixed blood. There was already blood in her maw, possibly from a more recent kill, and it dripped from the she-wolf’s foaming mouth as she went after the smaller wolf. Luckily for them both, Edmund was faster than his full-blooded brethren and managed to dodge the attack. He rolled in the snow and leaped forward, maneuvering his body away from the enormous jaws of the she-wolf. Not to be outdone by the pup, she rushed for him, splashing snow every which way, her blue eyes bloodshot and furious. Vilmah used the opportunity to rush the bitch from behind, stabbing her from behind with a single clean incision at the she-wolf’s hindquarters. Blood shot into the snow, spraying forward like a geyser, but it did little to slow the blue creature’s attack or soften her rage. A loud howl of fury followed the freeing of Vilmah’s blade, and before she could bring it up to block the wolf lunged forward and snapped her jaws around the Warboss’ leg. “Oh you bitch,” Vilmah said through grit teeth, the armor strong enough to keep the wolf jaws from puncturing her skin, but not strong enough to keep her from squeezing and denting the armor into her bone. Seeing no blood, the wolf instantly recoiled, taking a moment to assess the lack of blood before lunging forward again. This time, Vilmah was ready. As the wolf’s jaws came for her unprotected torso, she stabbed her sword into its chest, burying the blade to the hilt before pulling it back out. Large as she was, the deep wound bled heavily, but still the bitch fought. Before Vilmah had the chance to attack again, the blue wolf bit down on her arm, her only arm, and while protected by the gauntlet it managed to get a tooth right into the Warboss’ forearm. This might have been big trouble. If she hit a jugular with her tooth, it would have taken Vilmah out of the hunt immediately. It might have taken her out of her life too, but she didn’t think about that right away. Rather, she slammed an armored knee into the wolf’s face, stunning her enough that she let go of her prey and stumbled back. With both of them bleeding, Vilmah and the wolf assessed themselves. It impressed Vilmah that the animal, in spite of her madness, had enough of a mind to want to live. Growling through the orc’s blood in her mouth, the bitch winced and bounded off into the woods. Edmund whined and bounded for Vilmah, whose arm was bleeding but thankfully wasn’t broken. “Times like this I really wish I had two hands,” she muttered to the wolf dog, watching the she-wolf run off, leaving a trail of blood behind. She would be weak, now, and easy to track, but Vilmah’s leg was sore from the bite and she had to wrap her arm first. “This is gonna be a long night, Ed,” she said while using the wolf to slide her sweater sleeve, the purple discolored with blood, and examine the wound. It was deep enough to be troublesome if not seen to, so Vilmah plunged it into the snow to clean it before grabbing a bandage from her saddlebags. With teeth and determination, she managed to wrap it haphazardly, tight enough to stop it from bleeding all over her. It would need attention later, but for now she had a wolf to kill. “Alright Edmund,” she sighed, hopping back on her friend’s back. “Follow her. She won’t last long out there, and I’m not about to become food for whatever friends she has left.”
  17. Vilmah

    The Blue Hunt

    “..so gray it’s almost blue, so they call it the blue wolf.” Vilmah blinked once and shook her head, lost in her own thoughts. “Sorry, can you repeat that?” The Frostwolf grinned at her with a mouth full of white teeth, her bottom canines impressively large. They pressed into her cheeks to create dimples, far deeper than Vilmah’s but no less similar. Tiny designs engraved in her tusks reminded Vilmah of the troll totems she’d seen on Azeroth, and it distracted her for a moment as she considered how different their cultures were, yet how many similarities they shared. Most of the other clan members did a double-take when she entered Wor’gol, though a few remembered her from less-than recent battles on Draenor, when many adventurers came and went. This one, “guura kad dok mara” the “one-armed green runt”, came to Wor’gol covered in scars that went deeper than her flesh. She remained longer than the others, helping the Frostwolves as they healed her with the culture her late mother could not share on Azeroth. She fought with the ferocity of an injured wolf, something the clan understood. It was not often that the Azerothian orcs made their way back to Draenor these days, so her presence was news. Tuyya was more than happy to greet her, having been aided by Vilmah the first time she stepped into their village. The ‘Warboss’ seemed better now, well muscled and clean, her eyes clear and bright in spite of the horrors witnessed throughout the years. It was no wonder she came to Draenor to clear her mind. “Welcome back, guura kad dok mara!” she said with a grin, as if this were an honorable title. These days, Vilmah didn’t take offense. “You’ve got a head full of thoughts,” Tuyya noted playfully, nudging the smaller greener orcess’ shoulder with one hand. Noticeably, the Frostwolf made it a point only to touch her right shoulder, far away from the metal monstrosity on Vilmah’s left side. “What brings you here to hunt, anyway?” It was a good question, but one that the Warboss wasn’t keen on answering in detail. “A friend of mine is injured. I was feeling a little restless, now that the Legion has been defeated. I thought maybe a hunt could clear my head, and he’d appreciate a new fur.” “To keep him warm on cold nights I imagine,” the Frostwolf said knowingly, smirking. Tuyya was nothing if not forward and her frank nature made it easy to talk too much. Just inside of Wor’gol, she and Vilmah stood near a large fire that illuminated the bright hazel eyes that the smaller orcess looked to for guidance. They were the same age, and yet this was exactly how she remembered her mother. Tuyya stood a half head taller than she did, with a broad frame and thick black braids. She even remembered her tusks, though those memories were clouded with fear and hunger. Except this Tuyya was most certainly not her mother. This Tuyya was well-fed, bold, eager for adventure, and had no qualms about discussing her own courtships with the new one-armed member of their clan. “Well, he’s bedridden right now,” Vilmah said awkwardly, rubbing the back of her neck as it prickled from the cold. Mentally she kicked herself for being so stubborn about her Blademaster attire, the bare skin of her shoulders and torso visibly reddened by the cold weather of Frostfire Ridge. “I just wanted something to cheer him up when he wakes, and I figured a fur from Frostfire would do the trick.” “A generous endeavor,” Tuyya noted dramatically. “Furs like this aren’t usually given to subordinates, ‘Warboss’.” “He’s my shaman,” Vilmah specified. Tuyya paused in her teasing and pursed her lips. “..ah. Well, this will be an appropriate gift, then.” “You said he was grayish-blue?” Vilmah asked, hurriedly returning to the subject of the hunt. Both hands clutched her sides eagerly, though her mechanical one noticeably had a looser grip. “Yes, it seems some of your less than lucky adventurers from Azeroth left their wolves here when they perished. They’re not from our world, but they bred with our worgs and created some ugly monstrosities,” she chuckled. “Mixed breeds. You need to watch out for those ones the most.” Vilmah’s lip twitched. “It’s grayish-blue, this one,” Tuyya continued. “A big she-wolf, she’s been wreaking havoc with the others. I think her pups might have been killed by the last blizzard and it’s driven her mad. None of us has had the time or the desire to go out and track her down yet, especially after the winter we’ve had. Too busy tending to what needs to be done, here. So if you can nab the bitch, we’d be grateful.” “I’ll do what I can,” Vilmah said hopefully, smiling a little at the endeavor. She wasn’t as much of a hunter as her predecessors, but the art of the hunt was something that went deep in her blood and she could full the pull and excitement tugging at her heartstrings. “Ah, just one thing,” Tuyya said quickly, lowering her voice. “About your toy. I would suggest leaving it.” “My..? Oh...” Glancing down at her mechanical arm, the Warboss smiled at the thought of just how offended Gunheya would be if he heard someone refer to it as a ‘toy’. “The rest of the village sees that sort of thing as a.. a crutch. Weakness, you know? Maybe you don’t care, but—“ “I don’t,” Vilmah agreed, reaching for the attachment on her left bicep. With a twist and a click, it disengaged from the stump of her left arm, the scar tissue dark and wrinkled. It was ugly, but uglier still to the Frostwolves was the idea that she might hide the scars that made her. The metal itself was enough of a Blackrock looking monstrosity, perhaps a strange callback to Vilmah’s own mixed blood, whether she admitted to it or not. Handing the arm toward Tuyya with her one hand, Vilmah appeared even smaller. “Hold on to it for me? I’ll be back for it soon enough.” Tuyya took the arm without protest, holding it like a precious artifact in both hands. While it may have bothered the rest of her kin, to Tuyya it was a marvel of mechanical genius, and a perfect representation of the wonders that awaited outside of Wor’gol. “Good luck, guura kad dok mara,” she said with a grin. “I still say you should dress a little warmer.” Smirking at the idea, good as it was, Vilmah shrugged it off and whistled for her own mixed breed wolf dog. “Nobody ever feared the Blademasters because they were sane,” she argued. “Yeah but they had fire swords to keep them warm!” Tuyya laughed, holding up the arm to wave it limply as Vilmah and Edmund bounded off into the snow.
  18. Qabian

    Time Shattered

    Malygos is gone. Neltharion is gone. Ysera is gone. Nozdormu has never been particularly solid in this time or any other. That leaves Alexstrasza as the only aspect. They talk about replacing them, but is there any precedent for that? Was Malygos the third, fourth, fifth Aspect of Magic? Perhaps they simply renamed them to Malygos each time? Or perhaps they were never worth anything to begin with. They are and have always been mortal. They are and have always been pathetic, only moreso than we are because they pretended to have power they did not. The same could easily be said of the Titans. All we have is who we are. There are no gods. There is no immortality. Fanyare didn't need to see that from me. No one does. But the more time passes without that swing of the pendulum, the more doubt creeps in and the more insidious it becomes, and the more comfortable I am in someone's presence, the more likely I am to simply let things slip. I am... sufficient, but the Grim needs more than sufficient. The Grim needs inspiration. The Grim needs to be shaped. I cannot do either of those things. I know myself, and I know my strengths, and they are not here. Being merely sufficient is suffocating, but unless we find ourselves a shaper, sufficiency is all we can hope for. Umbral is correct. She has been nothing but obedient. She will follow the Mandate until it kills her. Her problem is that she is not capable of respect, on many levels, but is that really something we demand? She is not an intellectual. She works on instinct, and it has carried her far with us. She follows orders, mostly, depending how drunk she is. Unfortunately, you cannot order her to stop being an idiot, just as you cannot order someone to simply stop their thoughts. I cannot even convince her to equivocate when it's in her best interests. The reason Grainger was surprised at my humility was because I knew how to lie to get what I wanted. Why does something that seems so simple and so obvious escape so many? Just lie. You don't have to lie all the time and try to keep track of multiple stories. Just lie when it's important. You won't forget you've done it. I remember a Grim where puppetry and boot licking were frowned upon. Tradire remembers that, too, it seems. But my memories are unpleasant to say the least, making me consider perhaps a structured, orderly Grim would be more useful. Unlike Umbral's accusation, I am not an anarchist. I have no interest in dismantling systems. I simply want to abuse them to my own ends. That's not anarchy. That's narcissism, maybe psychopathy. The more order there is, the easier it is to game. In that case, however, someone else would have to take my place, and unless Awatu does it himself, I'm not sure we have anyone willing to insist on order. Perhaps I can simply force myself to place more importance on structure than I naturally do. Syreena and I have a lot in common, but where we differ will prevent us from ever trusting each other. Where I want to draw out the truth in someone, to find out that their heart lies with the Mandate or to convince them through their own incentives and desires that it should, that for them to live their best lives it must, she instead wants to force it on them. She wants to strap them down and shove the Mandate down their throats until they choke on it, and when their pale, breathless body is resurrected they'll have no choice but to do as they're told. In that, apparently, Awatu agrees with her. I don't care. Not really. But it's not my way of doing things. I want to poison them with words, not crack their skulls. If skull cracking is what they want, maybe they should be on the lookout for a skull cracker. She also thinks we shouldn't leave each other behind. She puts weight on loyalty that I don't and never will, and I believe she means it honestly. I don't think we should leave each other behind, because a toolbox without tools is empty and useless, and the illusion of loyalty is efficient for convincing people they need something they may not actually need. But she veers dangerously into family territory. She wants something from us that does not exist, but it's the closest she's capable of finding anywhere in this world, so perhaps that is enough for her. Tradire has her shield and demands nothing else. That is for the best, at least where I'm concerned. But she needs more than a simple shield. She needs someone who responds to her and drives her to self-improvement. I'm not capable of those things, and she knows that now, or she should, but I suppose she's finding value in the shield alone. It was good to finally meet Fanyare, to have her become something more than an occasionally quipping presence at an occasional meeting and the one who dragged Tradire up out of her grave. She is, though, it seems, similarly bad at equivocating. Or perhaps simply doesn't care what others think of her. She's no supplicant. She has no one she needs to convince of anything. She can be brazen with her arrogance the way I am with my falsehood. The temptation to call the other back is high, but the longer I put it off, the stronger I feel. The temptation is there to call her, to show her things no one else will ever see, and then cut her throat. That would be endlessly satisfying in that single moment, but then that moment could never be retrieved. Drawing it out is better. I think. What we have is nothing if not drawn out, and I am nothing if not self-indulgent, right? Of course, the temptation to look up at the sun from the bottom of the Elrendar is there, too. "Learn to live with it," he says, as if I haven't already done that. There are rather a lot of things that should be preventing me from "living with it", yet here I am, and confident enough in my capacity to do so to take the place of any Grim in duress, yes. I wonder if that means anything to her at all. I wonder if that makes her feel better about her decisions. I wonder if she's even capable of regret. I don't think she is, and that's probably why I like her.
  19. Syreena

    A Rogue's Diary

    5.28.18 I haven’t seen Shaelie since that day. I haven’t seen anyone from Sanctuary since then. It’s been a quiet few weeks, other than continuing to clean up the remaining Legion forces in Antorus. I did catch sight of a human woman who matches the description of the woman who killed my messenger in Tirisfal. She also matches the description of a killer responsible for some other murders in the area over the past couple years. I saw her in Dalaran, and guards were nearby, so there wasn’t much I could do other than talk to her. She lied to me about her name, but someone else called her “Bronnie.” I will see if I can find someone with contacts in Stormwind to get more information. The Magister continues to baffle me. After suggesting the Commander would hurt me badly for having an Alliance boyfriend, he gave me a gift. Why he thinks I would ever have a boyfriend at all, let alone an Alliance one, is beyond me, but the gift was very interesting. A vase with a contraption inside it that would release whatever was in it—poison, sleeping agents, whatever—when someone got close enough to smell the flowers in it. I usually don’t like traps where I can’t control exactly who the target is, but it may come in handy someday. I have to take the potions more often. I know Tahz doesn’t want me to release it, but I can’t let it weaken me anymore. Eastvale is far enough from any Horde lands, and it won’t be the first time they’ve dealt with something like this there. I’ll take it there. Soon. We have one active Supplicant right now, but she is enough trouble to be three usual Supplicants. Umbral continues to keep digging herself deeper into a hole. Even the Commander has noticed it, and spoke to Qabian and me about her. The last time the Grim leader spoke to me about an unruly Supplicant was Cessily. Other than general lack of proper respect for the higher ranks of The Grim, even Awatu himself, she has called me a waitress, and now she’s bitten off a chunk of someone’s ear. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but when it’s a friend, and further a friend of a very good friend, then it’s a problem. I still haven’t decided how much to protect her from any retaliation. Maybe she deserves what she gets. And the waitress comment, I’m sure she doesn’t realize the meaning behind it. How could she? She’s not smart enough to have done any research, and she doesn’t have the contacts to have had that information handed to her. No, it was just a rude comment, from a Supplicant to an Inquisitor, and that alone is enough to cost her an ear. Luckily for her, she seems to have become more competent in her skill at killing. She’s provided me with many Alliance tabards in her search for the ones I sent her for. That isn’t enough to excuse her behavior though. After all, Cessily was a powerful killer too, and that didn’t save her ears.
  20. Razz

    The House

    The House is an RP event that will take place entirely in Discord. All Horde and Alliance roleplayers on TN/RH are welcome. There will be contestants and audience. There will be chances for the audience to participate and help guide the challenges for the contestants. The main goal of this event is to put your character into a setting with other characters they might not normally interact with, for some fun RP! More information about the house, including screenshots and descriptions of each room are on the Discord server. Applications are due by midnight on Sunday, June 3, and may be submitted on the Discord server in the Applications channel. Discord link: https://discord.gg/RuDVFSG THE HOUSE RULES 1. This event is open to all Horde and Alliance RPers on Twisting Nether/Ravenholdt. 2. This event will take place entirely in the Discord server, Razz’s House. However, any gold prizes earned will be sent through in-game mail. 3. You may apply on as many characters as you want. Please list your main to ensure only ONE of your characters is selected. There is a non-refundable application fee of 1000g per character. This money will ALL go in the prize pot, along with enough of my own gold to make 100,000g, to be distributed to the winners at the end of the game. 4. Most of the “game” will be freeform RP in the House. The main goal of this event is to give people a chance to RP together whose characters would normally not interact with each other. 5. There will be occasional IC challenges. The day and time of the challenges will vary, to give opportunity for everyone to participate. The challenges will take place in Discord, but will start and complete within set time frame, so participants will be expected to be able to be active and attentive during it. Winners of the challenges may be determined by dice rolls, contestant votes, audience votes, or possibly other means. Winners will receive points and/or some other meaningful award. 6. IC, applications have been left in all major taverns, along with anonymous nominations. If you want to participate, but your character wouldn’t apply to something like this, you can say someone nominated him anonymously. 7. The contestants will NOT be all from one race or one guild. Such balancing will be kept in mind as contestants are selected to ensure variety in the household population. 8. Each contestant will earn points through various challenges, voting opportunities in the House, voting opportunities by the audience, and whenever Razz feels like giving out points. 9. Hobgoblins/mooks will be employed to keep the peace within the House and grounds. While they won’t interfere with scuffles and small fights, anyone fighting with deadly intent will be thrown in the dungeon. Please respect their authority in the House, and if your character does get violent, play along with getting arrested. Your character may remain locked up for a couple days, lose some points, or receive some other punishment agreed upon OOC. Repeated offenses may get them banned from the House. 10. If you are interested in participating in The House, please see the #applications channel. 11. All House RP rooms are "open" meaning anyone in the house can enter and join in the RP there at any time. Bedrooms might be an exception depending on the RP. (Please do NOT RP any NSFW content in this server.) ------------------------------------------------------------------ AUDIENCE Anyone who does not have a character in the House can participate in special Audience events. These may include voting on winners of events and other issues, being a special guest star in the House for a short period of time. Suggestions for events, and even running an event may also be options for audience members. Audience members may also RP as mooks if they choose. (See below.) Anyone in the Discord server who is not a contestant will be given the Audience role. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- MOOKS ANYONE may play a mook at any time if one is needed to break up a fight, except the people involved in that particular fight. The mooks will only break up fights that look deadly in nature. They may lock the offender(s) up in the cells. They are not very bright, but they are large and well armed with various weapons, nets, handcuffs, stunrays, etc. They may also step in if someone is trying to cause harm/theft to the House or to Razz, or other very serious infractions. Players are expected to play along with any mook attempting to restrain them. RPing resistance is allowed, as long as the player allows the mook to "win" in subduing the character.
  21. Nikaa

    Wild Foraged Foods!

    You are so creative.
  22. “It seems you have a visitor, Captain.” A voice sneered in the darkness around Magister Frostwhisper, whom was clearly far beyond any shred of his element at current. “You know we don’t like the uninitiated poking their noses in our business.” Even in this dire of a situation, Vathelan struggled to recollect as to exactly how he got into this predicament. It had started with his search for the retired agent he had been eager to recruit. He couldn’t see anything. He had traveled into the Underbelly of Dalaran, looking for this bar his target was reported to frequent. Vath was forced into what felt to be a chair. The search proved to be fruitless, so he started asking around if anyone knew of this location. His back met the hard wood behind him. No one seemed to have wanted to give him a solid answer. “I’ll handle ‘im.” A second voice spoke, the accent was not one Vathelan was quite familiar with. It wasn’t Trollish… “‘e won’ be a problem. One way o’ ‘nother. Ain’t that right?” With the second voice claiming responsibility for the Magister, the first man seemed satisfied enough to remove the heavy sack from Frostwhisper’s head. He senses rushed back to him, and two things of note immediately caught his attention. The first was the wretched stench that reassured him he was still very much still within the sewer system of the Underbelly. The second was the man before him. Tanned skin, with short ebon hair. His right eye concealed by leather, his left was that of his own people; but without the glow of the proud magical heritage of the Sin’dorei. His build was too muscular for the average elf, but too lean and lithe to be considered entirely human either. This was further accentuated by the dark facial hair and the pointed ears that remained the size of a human’s. This had to be him as he stared impatiently for an answer. “Y-yes, Captain Vanderzee, sir.” “That’s just what I wanted ta hear.” The Half-elf smirked as he nodded to the man who brought the Elf in, who took the hint and faded into the shadows. “Yer gonna have ta tell me what a wizard such as yerself is doin’ in a place like this though.” “I...I don’t even know where this is. Is this the Cantrips and Crows bar? Why all the secrecy?” “Do yerself a favor, let me ask the questions.” The Captain pulled his revolver pistol and set it upon the table with one hand, his other motioning for one of the bartenders over. When he was sure he was seen, he turned to look back at his ‘guest’. “Let’s just say after Proudmoore’s tantrum, we all got a little bit o’ nervous so out in the open. Yer bein’ here is gonna put a few o’ these fellas on edge. Speakin’ o’… yeh still ain’t answer me question. What brings yeh down ‘ere?” “You, actually. We… I need your help.” The Magister’s throat was dry as he swallowed some air. “A… friend of mine is in danger. So I am looking to hire you.” “Couple o’ years too late there, mate.” Vanderzee stifled a chuckle. “I’m retired. Ain’t in tha killin’ business no more.” The bartender reached their table. “Another Mead, Dwarven.” His attention returned to the Fullblood in front of him. “Want anythin’? Me treat.” “No. I don’t drink.” Vathelan shook his head before struggling to take a deep breath, taking far too much of the chemical-ridden-body-refuse pugence that lingered in the air as he considered his next choice of words. Despite the smell of the location, the service was surprisingly quick. The goblin bartender returned with the Captain’s drink. “There is a war going on below us. And I assure you if the Legion wins, your drinking days will be over. That is, of course, assuming your funds don’t bleed dry first. The world needs you, my friend needs us. For her sake, I’m willing to foot the bill. So, please, name your price.” Vanderzee was content to nurse his drink, relatively ignoring the plea of the man in front of him. That was until the gender of the elf’s friend was mentioned. This caught his attention, he sat down the flagon. “Tell me ‘bout her.” “What?” “The girl yer doin’ this all fer. Wha’s she like?” The Captain leaned in slightly, a bit too interested in a discription for Vathelan’s liking. But if he wanted help, he suspected he would have to comply. An opening to negotiations was an opening afterall. “She’s the kindest person I’ve ever met. Brave and always with a smile, she--” “Yer borin’ me, kid. Come on, give me somethin’ ta work with.” Even as he spoke, a wolfish grin reached his lips. He was testing the Magister, and Vathelan knew it. “Try again, give me some feelin’, eh?” “...Where to begin? She’s not like most of our kind I’ve met, she’s certainly a cut above the rest. She is of heroic stature, her skin tanned from the warm embrace of the Sun.” The Captain went back to his drink, his boredom becoming even more prevalent. The Magister closed his eyes, trying to imagine her presence with him-- even in this horrible place. “...Her brilliant eyes, are like windows to her ever curious mind. When she smiles, the world lights up. And fortunately for the world, she smiles often. She is an endless supply of hope in a desperate world. She’s quick to see the silver lining of any given trouble, she always stands up for what she thinks is right… she has always been kind to me, she’s the first friend I’ve ever had. She sees so much in me, more than I can even fathom. And… I refuse to let her down.” “...Well, I’ll be damned.” The Captain spoke, setting his mug down. When Vathelan opened his eyes, he would see an approving smile on the half-elf’s face, much to his confusion. “What? I was young an’ dumb once too, an’ I know a lovebird when I see one. If yeh feel tha’ strongly ‘bout tha’ woman…” “Oh! Thank you Sir! I--” “Don’ thank me yet.” The Captain murmured as he took out a small booklet and wrote something on it. After sliding it over for the Magister, he then took out a small case and picked one of his Sultry Maiden cigarettes from it. “Jumpin’ tha gun ain’ gonna do yeh no good kid, we ain’t spoken ‘bout payment yet.” “Oh. Ofcourse.” The Magister gave a small smile before picking up the paper. His heart threatened to stop at the number listed. It was half his salary! His smile faltered, and the Captain picked up on it. “In gold pieces. I was one o’ tha best, which ain’ exactly cheap.” He set the cigarette in between his lips, lighting it. He took a puff and released before continuing. “An’ yeh’ll ‘ave ta pay ‘alf o’ tha’ a month as a retainer fee too, o’course.” He eyed the Magister who stared at the paper before giving a shrug. “Yeh did wanna bring me outta retirement.” “...If this what it takes to recruit you, then so be it.” Magister Frostwhisper accepted the terms with a conviction, that for a moment he thought he saw a look of surprise on the rogue’s face. “Welcome to the fight to save Azeroth, Captain Vanderzee.” He extended his hand. “Great.” But there was one more catch. If the Half-elf was shocked, that moment was gone. Instead the expression was replaced with that of amusement. “But it be customary fer me ta have a drink ta seal the deal with me new employer. Yeh don’t have any objections ta this, do yeh?” “If I must.” Emboldened by his resolve, he couldn’t afford to falter now. He reached for the mug to take a drink before the half-elf grabbed his wrist. The two men exchanged a glance for a moment, Vanderzee clearly had something else in mind as he motioned for the bartender to return. He whispered something in the goblin’s ear, who in turn nodded. What the Goblin returned with wasn’t something Vathelan would have expected. A single small stone container, the thing could not have held more than two ounces of liquid. However the liquid was on fire. The Magister looked at his new hire, who just gave him a smirk. This was his final test, it seemed. A trial by fire, he could almost her Dora say. He picked up the stone miniature cup with a smile at the imagined joke. He tried to blow the flames out. No avail. He tried again. The same result. He pondered this a moment before deciding there was no other option. He set the stone to his lips, he could feel the heat of the flames. He took in a breath of air, trying to prepare himself. Then he moved to down the shot of flaming liquor. To say it burned was an understatement. He wasn’t sure if he was imagining it or not, the fire that traveled down his throat. He grunted, his hand gripping the table as he tried to brace himself as the recreational poison’s effects took hold. He could feel the heat travel from his stomach, up his chest, and throughout his body until they reached the tips of his extremities. Flames temporarily licked his form, and only when they stopped could he even manage to cough and gag. It was dreadful! How did people do this for recreation?! “Seems we have a deal.”
  23. Aruku

    Wild Foraged Foods!

    It's been a long time but another food experiment has happened! This time with wild-gathered Black Locust tree blossoms. While visiting Syreena, we found and decided to try these tasty little flowers from her property. Much thanks to SySy for being adventurous and allowing use of her kitchen. <3 We used this recipe (with some substitutions for the evil, evil dairy): http://southernforager.blogspot.com/2013/05/black-locust-blossom-fritters-yummmmm.html The results were quite tasty, like eating funnel cake! Next time, I believe I will go lighter on the dredging of the flowers in the batter, so the flowers can be tasted. <.< >.> Flowers being dredged: Frying the Flowers: Finished Black Locust flower funnel cake: All of them got eaten by the three adults, flower fritters defeated! These trees are flowering all over the place right now, or are soon about to in more northern areas. They're a native, plentiful tree so if you watch for them to bloom, you'll be swimming in tasty treats! Mmmmm.
  24. Kerala

    Nath Published a Book

    YAY!
  25. Xaraphyne

    The Clickening 2: Shadows of DLC

    Here's a handy dandy template! (Number of bullet points is just a suggestion)
  26. Hello everyone! It has been a while since I posted one of these kinds of threads. In the first of its line I asked for your thoughts on if your character was placed as a hero unit in a MoBA or RTS style game, what would they say upon selection and being clicked too much. http://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23295-the-clickening/ But if there's one thing that any MOBA likes to do, it's go straight for your wallet by making new skins and outfits to put the hero in. Some are as simple as a color swap, others change the outfit completely, and others go so far as to change the visuals of their abilities, their voicelines, or even the backstory. With infinite possibilities for change or creativity i'm interested in what alternate reality your character could come from, or just what you might enjoy seeing them wear in a battle. Old Tahzani: Based on the character Tahzani Tallfisher Grand battles had raged across Azeroth for Millenia, but one uncaring soul with a button put an end to it all in a matter of hours. Tahzani was still young when the first weapon detonated. As Azeroth grew even less inhabitable, the people of Azeroth devolved into primitive, nomadic groups in constant search of the increasingly rare resources needed to survive. Tahzani has survived in the wasteland for decades, his sight taken by the blast and his mind fractured by all he has lost. He now serves as a reminder of the mistakes that lead to the world's end and dispenses wisdom hidden among his inane ramblings. Appearance: Tahzani's form is shriveled and much smaller now. He is hunched over and walks with the aid of a gnarled walking stick. His robes are all-encompassing, tattered and boring with a hood that leaves his eyes covered in shadows. He wears a hefty travel pack with many odds and ends strapped to the bottom and the sides. Game start: Oh what a lovely day... Click: Whodat? Aye? Ah see... Don'touchme! De shadows welcome jah... *Surprised snort* Ah been waitin' fah jah Excessive clicking: Stand still so ah can swat jah! Dis land was beautiful.... Befoah idiots like you! Ah don' have de liquor! Wait who are jah? Deah Loa ah hope jah ain't mah kid... Speak up, jah voice be muffled witcha head so fah up jah ass. Wah... Wah nevah changes Ordered to move: I'll get dere, in time Mah bones... Do ah have to? Is it outta de sun? Yes...YES! Wait, No... *Unintelligible muttering* Loa willin' Ordered to attack: WITNESS! If ah gotta kill jah, say heah please! Lemme show jah how it's done Swing at me!...Bones be powdah anyway TAZDINGO! It be necessary Taunt: Tahzani stands up straight and blows an errant strand of hair away from his face before waving dismissively. " Jah be de hand me downs from a REAL threat." " Ah can heah jah heart beat... An' ah know how ta make dat stop." " Rebuild an' reconcile or die, somehow dat simple idea be above jah." Jokes: Tahzani plants his walking staff into the ground before leaping into a handstand and spinning his legs like a helicopter before falling flat on his back. " Ah still got it! *Oof* Nope..." " Wisdom comes through experience... An' failure." " Does dis still look cool? Not dat paht!" Death: Tahzani falls to his knees and then onto his face. His soul looks down upon his own corpse and makes to strike at his opponent before several others clasp his shoulders and arm. With a resigned sigh, he wanders off with the group and disappears. Respawn: " Not yet errybody. Dey ain't learned." " Makin' me dead? Simple. Makin' me stay dat way? Heh." " Ah remembah...." Upon activating ultimate ability: " TAKE DEY LIGHT!" " Dis be a mercy dat de Loa grant." " You. WILL. SEE!"
  27. Another day, another cup of coffee. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper treaded the same commute, the same path. He had the same conversation with the guards of Sanctuary’s Guildhall, placating them with the same empty promises while he awaited the same abuse from the management that was passed down from the Commander herself. It filled him with endless frustration, knowing what was going on upon the Isles below and beyond. He sorted through the same paperwork sent to him, dreading the death toll and injury reports he would have to read as he eagerly awaited a response from his last set of letters-- a chance to do some real good, a chance to reduce the casualty rate. He ached for an advantage to exploit to help turn the tides. To his initial disappointment, he found only one of the two letters he eagerly awaited. That from Lady Dora Arath’dorei, not that from the leader of Borrowed Time. He frowned, yet he eagerly opened his consolation prize. To Vathelan Hope runs in short supply, but it exists. What you say is very true; we all face different threats of increasing magnitude with the passing years. Not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of the effects of the Legion or how it's opened doors for those of similar talents to reach out to each other despite race or faction. But right now my focus is on my people; that is, the people that comprise my company. We're looking into the mouth of a beast like I've never seen before. Every available hand is either digging a trench, delivering supplies, or making plans for an encounter scheduled to happen in five days time. We're woefully shorthand over here. If you have anyone you would recommend who knows anything about commanding an airfleet, direct them to me at your soonest convenience. Stay safe, my friend. I hope my next letter contains happier contents. Dora Arath'dorei, acting leader of Borrowed Time To those interested parties: The request comes at an unexpectedly difficult time for our company. We take the matter of your concerns with equaled concern. The threat of the Legion extends to every corner of Azeroth and beyond; as beings capable to fight against that power, we bear the responsibility of doing whatever measures required to defeat it. That said, we face a danger that requires our attention. Upon our success, we will revisit the request to join in your organization's efforts. With warm regards, Dora Arath'dorei, acting leader of Borrowed Time To say its contents were not quite what Magister Frostwhisper was expecting was an understatement, for it felt as if his blood would freeze within his veins in any given moment. His eyes raced across the page as he tried to process all the details within. His first and dearest friend was in a dire situation; she was the key. She was requesting aid; this was his opening. He had to help; this would give him quite the bargaining chip. His mind raced as he considered this gambit, his day’s priorities shifted as he abandoned the other stack of documentations of the ongoings down below. Vathelan’s fingers jumped upon the satchel he carried with him everywhere, rummaging through it. This window of opportunity was time sensitive, he only had five days to exploit it. He pulled out the pane of enchanted glass, it was about the size of the cover of a tome. After setting it upon his desk, his fingers grasped at one of his cuff-links. He removed what looked to be a golden coin with a twin headed phoenix upon it, leaving the cufflink bare of its usual iconography. He placed the quarter-sized emblem upon the bottom right corner of the pane of glass. The ‘Glass Scroll’ came alive with a brilliant light within the tiny room. He grabbed a writing instrument designed for the peculiar Scryer device and drew the command rune to search the Scryer Archives that his security clearance allowed him. Search: Scryer Agent Personnel. The Glass Scroll began to compile a list of all the Scryer Agents. He drew the Command Rune once again. Search: Air Command. The list rapidly shortened as per the new parameters. But Vathelan wasn’t finished, he drew the Command Rune a third time. Search: Unassigned. One result remained. He tapped upon the name: Raphael Vanderzee; Retired. The Magister’s eyes ran through the man’s bio and career history: Half-elf. Former Pirate. Infiltrated Alliance Military; Served as a Mechanic and Pilot on an Alliance Gunship. Lead Gyrocopter teams during the Panderia campaign. Retired after Lord-General Visca died. He seemed promising. Frostwhisper looked up his last known location, the Scryers were likely to keep an eye on someone so decorated in their service. He seemed to frequent the Underbelly bar here in Dalaran. Vathelan paused as he looked over all the paperwork he had as he weighed his options. If he could help turn the tides of war, he could save so many more lives than he could just sitting here as he had been; trying to make the strikes as efficient as possible in hopes to reduce casualties. ...But would the Half-elf really be there at such an early time of day? He looked back at the Glass Scroll, the Agent in question seemed to frequent the bar around the clock. He could finish his paperwork when he returned, could he not? He stood up from his desk. Worse case scenario, he could find a lead as to when he would be back, or where the man stayed. The world needed all the heroes they could get right now, to have such a decorated war veteran sitting out of the conflict was nothing more than a waste. The Magister folded the letter away on his person, smoothing the cloth as he departed from his office. He had a world to save. And with long and swift strides, he would head towards what he would have considered one of the most unlikely of places: The underbelly of Dalaran, a hive of scum and villainy; but potentially even more ludicrous, a bar.
  28. Nathandiel

    Nath Published a Book

    Hello TNG, After many years of work, I have finally published my first book. If you enjoyed Copper Kisses in Nether Legends or First, Do No Harm, you might enjoy Claim Sanctuary. Unlike my TNG threads, the book was actually edited. It is available on all Amazon Kindle marketplaces in digital form (US$3.98), and also in Paperback (with complimentary e-copy) on selected marketplaces (US$15.99). I have always valued the input of the community here, and while this work is not related to World of Warcraft, I would be very gracious to have anyone read Claim Sanctuary and provide a review on Amazon--even if you hate it! if you are interested, I can provide you with a PDF copy of the book at no charge. If you would like to participate, please email me at danegreenbooks@gmail.com or talk to @Nathandiel on the TNG discord. My very best regards, Nathandiel
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