Felonius

A Rogue's Workbook - Felonius T. Gallows

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A few more interesting screenshots:

 

Goofin' off in the poisons lab. ( Don't try this at home kids. I am a trained professional. )

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In the village of Thunder Totem it becomes clear just how big Tauren really are.
I found their village Pancake Vendor.

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Back at Dalaran, sportin' some bling!
Women are so hard to impress these days!

WoWScrnShot_091316_215215.jpg

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I haven't been well lately.

The Caravan has been camped in High Mountain, so the climate is a bit colder. My wagon is rented out in Stormwind, and I don't mind sleeping on the ground. It's safer to crawl under some bushes and sleep rather than in a wagon or tent that draws attention. Horde are everywhere and they cannot be trusted.

But the cold seems to have crept into my bones. I sit close to the campfire and just can't get warm enough. I gave in and went looking for a merchant to sell me a tent, so I could at least get out of the weather. I haven't found one yet.

Maybe that's why I can't sleep. The dream returns every night. Just when I am tired enough to doze off and Wham! there it is again.

I wondered if I may have spilled something in the lab. This rash on my arms is really itchy at times. I double-checked the lab and everything was in order. Maybe bug-bites or an allergy to some bush I was laying under?

The good news is that Bokar finished my motorcycle and delivered it today. He did a great job with it. It runs great, nice paint job. Oh and it has a collapsible side-car, so I can carry a second passenger without moving my gear. Most of the time it will be just me on it, so the side-car stays folded up and out of the way.

I think Bokar was pretty proud of himself too. He said he is going to build one for himself now.

Hah! An old Paladin just somehow doesn't seem like the biker type.

I've gotta find an Apothecary and see if they have something for this damned itching!

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The Dalaran Apothecary gave me some salve to put on the rash on my arms. It is thick and greasy, might just as well use lard. It does have a cooling effect and feels good on the skin. I have to keep my shirt sleeves rolled up to keep from rubbing it off when I move. The past few days have been much better, but the rash has not gone away.

I have had quite a few clients that have asked me to do various assignments in Black Rock Spires lately. I had been declining the offers as I just haven't had the time to take on new jobs. But now, I have reconsidered. The jobs do pay well, and while I am there I can easily head down into the mountain and do some mining.

The work for The Uncrowned has gone well. Rogues from all over Azeroth have banded together in search of three sets of artifact weapons. The third set is a pair of swords, which I am not particularly interested in. The other two are sets of daggers. As a collector of daggers, these are of keen interest to me. We have been successful in recovering those. The Kingslayers and the Fangs of the Devourer are very interesting weapons. As a blacksmith, I learned how to make weapons and armor with special abilities. This is done by crafting sockets into the piece, then affixing gems. The abilities desired determine the appropriate gem to install. These artifact weapons also have similar sockets, but instead of gems, they have relics installed. Again, the installed relic determines the ability. This is an approach that I had not considered before.

I have been using daggers of my own design. I incorporated my design of a poison injector into the blades, and I have crafted relic sockets which have proven to be quite successful. I have acquired quite a few relics and, I must admit, the daggers are working very well. I have nicknamed them "Agony" and "Sorrow" after the Kingslayers that I used to model them after.

My research into working with the dark iron has also been quite successful. From what I have learned, the things that make the dark iron different from other iron is the energy given off by the elementals in the mountain. There are two types down there, that of fire and earth. In slaying these I am able to acquire their elements, such as Heart of Fire and Essence of Fire, etc. Combining the two types of earth and fire was unsuccessful. But I have now developed a technique whereby I am able to add the earth elements to the ore before smelting, then add the fire elements during. This process incorporates both types of elements into the final metal, which can then be forged.

I had run low on supplies, so another trip into the Depths and Molten Core became necessary. I picked up a few side jobs to pay my expenses for the trip and headed into the mountain.

The trip was uneventful. I was able to mine quite a bit of ore and elemental fluxes. The salve on my arms was a bit of an annoyance, as the residue collected on it's greasy surface. The itching had stopped, or perhaps I was more focused on my tasks to notice. It wasn't until I returned home and washed my arms that I noticed that the rash was completely gone! The skin seems to have absorbed some of the gray color of the residue, but appears to be completely healed. I don't know if the salve just took a long time to heal it, or if something in the dark iron residue served as a catalyst to energize the salve. I don't much care about the why, I'm not an Alchemist. All I care about is the result. Now I can get to work without being distracted by that infernal itching.

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I have been working on a catalog of products.

I did an inventory of the poisons I have available for sale. With the help of a rather crafty gnome, I was able to put together a catalog that can be easily distributed among potential clients. These products can be ordered by mail, and I can then meet with the client for delivery. I am hoping that this will make it easier, especially when I am away traveling with the Caravan.

(( This is a GHI item  made using the Gryphonheart Items addon. The addon is required to view and trade items. To get your copy of the catalog from this thread, click the spoiler button and copy the code. Go into GHI in-game and select Im = import. Paste this code. Make sure when you copy and paste that there are no blanks spaces or lines before or after the code. Feedback greatly appreciated. ))

Spoiler

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Edited by Felonius Gallows

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So far, my travels with the Caravan have been entertaining, but honestly, this new land has not captured my interest.

I had hoped to find it exciting, with treasures galore or resources as yet unseen. I must admit that the wildlife here are creatures of wonderful beauty. Even the landscapes are picturesque. But from a practical, resource-oriented view, it is severely lacking.

Being a native of the Eastern Kingdoms, and having spent many years in Kalimdor, I have enjoyed exploring and mining the various ores I use in blacksmithing. Draenor provided new ores to experiment with, as did Pandaria, and so too The Broken Isles.

Yet there are not many varieties, compared to the wide variety of ores found in my homeland. In fact, the only resources I have been able to locate are Leystone and Felslate. Granted, The Broken Isles is not as large geographically as the Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor, so perhaps that is the reason. Even though there are only two varieties of ore, they do seem to be in abundance, so not entirely useless.

The ores are interesting in that they have an inherent force within them that requires special forging techniques. I find it interesting and continue to study their properties so that I can use them. I am just not certain how much use I will get out of them. Like the copper veins of Goldshire, I may master them and just go back to what I know works best for me. The bottom line is whether or not it is profitable to use these new ores, taking into account the expense of travel, special forging, and so forth.

The poisons trade has turned out to be quite successful. Rupert Coldwater advised me rightly in steering me in that direction. To begin with, my products only seemed of interest to my colleagues in the Assassin trade. But lately, I have received more orders from everyday common folk: wives of abusers, disgruntled employees, aggressive politicians and others who see my products as a solution to their problems. Some have confided in me that their target was not someone else, but that they intended to use the product upon themselves to finally be free of a life of misery. I do not judge, because a sale is a sale... And if I helped someone solve a problem, then I am glad I could help.

My next project is to do with weapons what I have done with the poisons and compile a catalog of products available for purchase. To do that properly though will mean dedicating more time to crafting the products. That means more time collecting supplies too. So before long I expect to be venturing back into the Depths of the mountain.

I have found that I truly miss mining the dark iron down there. When I am away from it, even for a few days, I begin to feel a longing... a compulsion... to return there.

Some days, it's all I think about.

I really must return there soon.

 

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I received a letter today.

It was addressed to me by name, but was unsigned with no return address.

All it said was:

"The Orphanage Matron named you Philonius. You changed your name.

Some things you cannot change. They are a part of you, a part of who you are.

In the Alterac Mountains, near the Ruins of Alterac, is a crossroads. You should visit Gallows' Corner."

Edited by Felonius Gallows

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I have been to the Depths of Blackrock Mountain so many times. I have had plenty of opportunity to observe the Dark Iron Dwarves in their natural habitat. They have a city down there, with a domicile, a bar, mines, factories, a crafting hall. Like an other city, they have average citizens, a standing army, and a few local celebrities.

I see nothing that would indicate they are "corrupt". They repel invaders like any other society would. They do not venture deep into the Molten Core, as that area is populated with elementals and monsters. This tells me that their thinking must be intact. I am beginning to think the fear-mongers are exaggerating when they speak of the dangers of the dark iron.

I know that when I am down there, the coolness of the caverns relieves the itchy burning rash I get on my arms, neck and scalp. I ran out of the salve the apothecary sold me, but the dark iron residue seems to work well all on its own. It doesn't need the salve for a catalyst.

I needed to practice my skills in forging the dark iron. I loaded up what ore I had stashed away and headed into the mountain. I hadn't even left the bank vault with the ore in my pack and I already began to feel better. Stronger.

Once inside the mountain I picked my way quickly down into the Core. The Dark Irons have predictable habits, and I have learned the routes of the sentries. Slipping past them is much easier than slaughtering my way through them.

It has been awhile since I was this deep and my absence provided the elementals plenty of time to replenish the ore I came for. Some of the bigger ones thought they were clever trying to block me from my prize.

Hah! Stand between me and my ore? It means your death!

I dispatched them with ease. I felt stronger and more powerful than ever. Not sick and weak the way I do in the Broken Isles.

Perhaps that is the secret... they were not standing between me and the ore to keep me away... maybe that is the source of their strength. Maybe they were feeding on it.

Once I had cleared the Core of its ore, I made my way up to the Depths where the Dark Irons live. A group of them attacked me.

Fools! I can take on all of you at once! How dare you!

I suddenly realized that I was screaming at their bloody carcasses.

I searched their bodies for coins and valuables. Then I noticed something... they all carry Dark Iron Residue. This is the dust that is everywhere, on everything, it even hangs in the air. Why would they carry it in their pockets? It's not just the guards. Everyone, even the lowest commoner has some they carry with them.

I collected enough keys to search the vault. What kind of rogue would I be if I walked away from a vault full of chests?

Hah! I haven't lost MY mind!

I found a few stacks of legal documents, (those are always handy), but most of the chests just had small sacks of coins. Still made the trip profitable.

I made my way down to the Black Forge and smelted all the ore. Then headed back to the Black Anvil. Lord Incendius was there guarding it as usual.

GET OUT OF MY WAY!

He ignored me, so I dispatched him quickly and cut the fiery core out of his remains. I tried to kick him, but he is an elemental and dissipated quickly before I could.

I began crafting a set of Dark Iron arm guards. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. Next I fashioned a nice plate helm, then a full breast plate. They turned out well. I'll work on completing the set another time.

In working with the dark iron, I had some ideas of things I may want to incorporate into the sword, the Black Blade. I may start with something smaller, like a dagger to see how it will work first. I'll need to locate some special materials and if they are not available from the auction house, I may need to hire someone to make them for me.

I packed up my gear and began heading toward the entrance. I felt a sense of dread, like the mountain was sad I was leaving. As I stepped outside, I felt the strength draining from me. I was returning to sick and weak.

I looked around and there were no Dark Irons out here. They stay inside the mountain. I have seen them occasionally throughout Azeroth, so I know they are able to travel outside the mountain. But most of them stay inside. I stepped back inside and felt the strength returning to me almost instantly.

I need a way to take my strength with me everywhere I go. I found a rock near the side of the cavern. It was covered in residue. I grabbed an empty poison vial from my pack and filled it with the gray powder and dropped it in my pocket.

When I stepped back outside the sun was getting low, but it seemed like a beautiful day. I felt good. Strong and healthy.

I mounted my gryphon and headed home. Today was a good day.

 

Edited by Felonius Gallows

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Aeneli has been working in the mine and doing a wonderful job there.

Today she reported that she had located some rich true iron deposits at the deepest end of the mine. Upon investigation, she was right. Not just true iron, but black rock deposits as well. This got me to thinking...

It still bothers me that this land only seems to have a couple varieties of ore. I have thought about this long and hard, and it just doesn't make any sense. I have considered that the surface nodes will be minimal. (( I actually experience this. Yes, I am a RL gold miner. )) And it makes sense that larger and richer nodes might be buried deeper underground. Dark iron is only found underground in Blackrock Mountain. So maybe if we dig deep enough we will find some previously undiscovered deposits... or maybe even another source of dark iron!

I gathered all the miners together for a meeting. I offered a 1,000 gold reward to anyone discovering a new ore. I also spoke with my mining foreman and told her to develop plans to sink the mine as deep as we safely can. She said the problem they have is that whenever they go deeper, the more Goren dens they locate. The miners are actually afraid to dig in some of the deeper shafts. I told her I will take care of it, just get those miners to digging. The reward should motivate them.

Next, I spoke with the commander of the guard. I ordered regular patrols to now include foot patrols throughout the mine. They are to protect the miners at all costs. I also told him that the guards are also eligible for the 1,000 gold reward if they find it before anyone else. He agreed and everyone went to work.

I have got to find a more efficient way to mine, smelt and forge the dark iron. With all that I need to do, traveling back and forth from the mountain just isn't practical. But I need the ore to forge the Black Blade.

Oh, that reminds me... I need to make a shopping list of other materials I want to try to use in the sword.

  • Core Leather
  • Enchanted Leather
  • Guardian Stone
  • Arcanite

 

Edited by Felonius Gallows

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The shipment of Core leather arrived today. It was expensive, but will be quite useful.

I have drafted up the plans for the Black Blade and it is going to be incredible!

It is going to take a long time to build though. Due to the way that each part interacts at various stages of the process, the process will be slow and methodical. Each of the phases of smelting, forging, and crafting have intermediate sub-phases that require specific processes over time, and key checkpoints at which the gems and relics must be incorporated.

At first, I had a hard time visualizing each process. But now that the nightmare visits me every night, I learn something new... I see the process more clearly. The pain is excruciating, but I try to focus on the beginning of the dream... what leads up to the finished product.

Sometimes I feel stuck and actually go to bed early wishing for the nightmare to teach me its secrets.

I still need to acquire some Guardian Stone. The only place I know to get it is Un'Goro Crater. That place is infested by the Steamwheadle Cartel and with their Kill-On-Sight bounty on me, it will be difficult. I would normally just hire a contractor to obtain it for me, but this is something I must keep secret. So I will have to do it myself. Might give me a chance to take out a couple hundred of those damn goblins.

The rash seems to be returning more and more often. I have exhausted my supply of the dark iron residue, so I will need to make another trip to the Mountain. Soon. Very soon.

Sometimes, I catch myself thinking out loud... or I think I was talking to myself... but sometimes it isn't my voice that I hear.

It's weird.

I want to just scream and tell them all to shut up!

But then the other voice... the Mountain voice... she tells me I should listen to them. They are telling me how to get this done.

So I listen.

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Core of Earth powdered... equal proportions to the iron...

I know!

Fiery core with a Heart of Fire... smelt until...

SHUT UP!

I know that part. When do I add the first socket?

You mustn't be rude... never forget who you are speaking to...

I'm sorry. You were saying?

...

Hello?

...

Look, I'm sorry. It's just that it's hard to think with all of you talking in my head at once. Please come back.

...

Great, now I did it.

I need a drink.

 

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I don't know how long it has been. I never seem to remember to date these entries, not that I am even certain what day it is today.

The Caravan is in need of supplies. Our usual custom is to barter our trade goods for whatever we need. This time of year, we tend to stockpile things for the winter. Now that our trade goods have been stolen, we are essentially penniless. Audro gave me a good tip that harvesting had not been completed yet in Redridge due to an increase in gnoll attacks. He felt this would be a window of opportunity for us to negotiate a deal, in exchange for ridding the area of gnolls. Since Audro has experience in farming, and is from Lakeshire, I trusted his judgment.

I met with the Magistrate, Solomon, and worked out a deal where the town would provide us with the supplies and I would remove the gnolls. I scouted the areas all around Lake Everstill and found that their problem was much larger than I anticipated. The shear numbers of dens and camps of gnolls all around the perimeter of Redridge meant devising a more practical way of removing them.

Rather than attempt to slay every one of them, I thought it better to concoct a long-lasting poison. Most poisons evaporate quickly, only lasting about an hour. I could make one that is oil-based, but to use it as bait, it will need to be both odorless and tasteless to prevent premature detection by beasts with heightened senses. I figured out the right combination and made a rather large batch. I then spent a couple of days hunting boars and rabbits. I then tainted the meats, and left chunks of them lying all around Redridge. I had warned the Magistrate to ban all hunting for two weeks to ensure the safety of the citizens.

I met Audro's family, but did not let on that I knew him. His father is not well, and seems to be having a difficult time. I sent a message via guild-courier to tell Audro about the situation here. He has told me in the past that he cannot return home. He fears many things, but mostly it is a feeling of prejudice against him because he is Worgen. I have never seen him in human form, and from what I gather, he is subconsciously unable to change out of the wolf form. He told me that, even if he could change into human form, everyone in town still knows what he is... the prejudice would still be there.

I don't know Worgen, truly very little about them. Audro is really the only one that I have befriended and who was willing to talk to me. He told me, indirectly, about his need to hunt. That somehow the beast inside him, sort of takes over, and he must let it go and do its thing. I don't really understand it except that it is just some overwhelming compulsion that cannot be refused.

It never occurred to me, that my letter to Audro about his father's health might actually convince him to return home. But, apparently, it did.

Also apparently, he still needed to hunt... and was not aware of the hunting ban in Redridge.

They found his body while I was still in Lakeshire. He was alive, but not by much. I can only assume that he did not eat the baited meats, but ate something else that did. It appears that he did not receive a lethal dose, but he could surely have died had I not been there to give him an antidote.

I am deeply remorseful over this. Yes, I have had a few drinks but it still seems that all of my attempts to help have somehow reversed on me. I wanted to help the Caravan obtain supplies. I wanted to help Lakeshire get rid of gnolls. I wanted to help Audro understand how is family was doing.

Then with a twist of Fate, all of that resulted in my almost killing my friend; the very friend I was trying to help. Then, I had to break my promise to my friend about remaining silent, so I could explain to his father what I had done!

No, what I did was not intentional. Some say it wasn't my fault. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

Audro had better pull out of this... then I can tell him the good news: He is the first person ever to survive a lethal poison crafted by Felonius T. Gallows!

"Cheers to you, my friend. Get well soon."

 

 

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I have packed a few provisions to last me a few days. I stopped off in Lakeshire to check on Audro, but he is still unconscious.

If he were awake, I don't know what I would say to him... what I should say to him. Sorry?

Sorry doesn't cut it. This isn't the first time I nearly killed my friend.

There was that time when I first got the motorcycle. We were camped at Thunder Totem and I wanted to show off. I took Audro for a ride in the side-car and we ran a few laps around town. Audro wasn't exactly thrilled, so I kicked it up a notch and I tried to jump the motorcycle over the elevator shaft. We plummeted to the bottom and nearly died. Took me weeks to repair the bike.

Then there was that time when I got some Goblin Glider Kits. I took Audro up to Highmountain Peak and convinced him that we should jump off the cliff. I had done it before and glided all the way to Bradensbrook. Audro was really nervous about that, but agreed to follow me. Well, everyone knows how reliable Goblin technology is. The gliders failed after two minutes of flight. And we got caught in a cross-wind. So when we plummeted to the ground, we ended up in Suramar. Another tag-team-near-death-experience.

But it was fun. This time... not so much.

I think the part that I am wrestling with is that I convinced him to come home, to help his ailing father, and to be there for his daughter. Instead, the result has been yet another burden on Lucas who really has enough on his plate as it is.

The voices continue to urge me to continue my work on the Black Blade. They have been very helpful, when I take the time to try to listen to them. Lately, they have been getting louder...

I think it is so I can hear them when I am too far away from the Mountain.

The whole process of mining the dark iron, smelting it at the Black Forge, then crafting the metal at the Black Anvil is very time-consuming. Traveling back and forth between the Mountain, my Fort, and the Caravan camp has exhausted me. I needed to figure out a better way.

On my last trip to Searing Gorge, I made my way down into the Mountain. I discovered a small cavern that is really difficult to see from the Dark Iron Highway. It is sort of a natural camouflage the way the rocks are formed, effectively hiding the entrance. Once inside a short hallway, the cavern opens up into a larger space that has three other small alcoves. I decided that this could work out for a make-shift camp. I can safely sleep here undetected and that will allow me to spend less time traveling.

This trip I brought enough supplies of food, water, and building materials that will allow me to craft a bed, table and chair. It didn't take long for me to get those made and set up a small home-away-from-home.

The Mountain voice has told me she is pleased that I have returned. The other voices are not as loud now, but there seems to be more of them and they all want to talk at once. And it never stops. They are never quiet, but I have learned how to ignore them now. When I need to know something, I will listen and try to figure out which one is telling me what I need to hear. Sometimes, the Mountain voice will make them quiet so I can hear her clearly...

That is interesting... they are silent when she speaks. She must be their Queen.

I feel tired, exhausted really. Physically and mentally, yet I cannot sleep. I know I need to. The Black Blade isn't even halfway done. I still have much to learn about how to proceed to complete the next phase of crafting it.

I brought along a decent supply of Sulfuron Slammers to help me sleep. It took four of them to get the job done. I was so drunk I could barely get into bed. And when my head hit the pillow, at long last I felt the world slipping away. And not long after that, the nightmare began again... right on schedule.

Edited by Felonius Gallows
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I awakened this morning feeling stronger than ever.

My little make-shift camp in the bowels of the Mountain provided me everything I need... except a few things that will be forged into the Black Blade.

"Come," said the Mountain, "I have something to show you."

I've grown accustomed to her voice. I find it... soothing. Sometimes I try to imagine what she looks like... the Queen of the Mountain. With a voice like that, she must be beautiful.

"What is it?" I asked aloud, "Where are we going?"

She giggled.

I've never heard her giggle before. I headed out of the narrow tunnel toward where I thought the voice was coming from.

She led me through a maze of tunnels and small caverns to a tunnel that dead-ended.

"Here we are."

At the end of the tunnel was a trash heap. Old crates and boxes, pieces of cloth and bits of rusty metal. Junk discarded by the Dark Irons, no doubt.

I began sifting through the trash, digging into the old crates. In one was a bunch of leather... not just any leather, Enchanted Leather and Core Leather! I searched faster, locating everything I had on my shopping list. A small box of Arcanite bars, a bag of Guardian Stone. I couldn't believe my eyes. I couldn't believe my luck.

(( Insert Billy Mays voice here: "But wait, there's more!" ))

As I moved another rusted metal box, something fell out. It was a blood-red stone that glowed faintly. I grabbed it up and examined it. I have never seen anything like it before.

"It's a gift." said the Voice.

"But... what is it?"

"I can't tell you, Felonius." Another first. She never called me by name before. "It is a secret... a secret power. A special relic of the Titans, like you were looking for. Just for you."

"Thank you!" I called over my shoulder as I hurriedly carried my loot back to my camp.

Now, I have everything I need to begin crafting. I don't know what this glowy red stone is, but it will look nice in the handle. She said it is a relic, so I will need to fashion a relic socket inside the handle for it to fit. If it is a Titan relic, it sure is small.

I wonder what its power is?

 

 

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The dream no longer haunts me.

I don't know if it is because I have gleaned all I can from it and now it bores me, or if my exhaustion just allows me to sleep right through it. I no longer awaken in pain. It is as though my arms have become strong enough to withstand whatever force I had previously encountered.

Things have changed.

The other voices have gone silent now and even the Mountain Voice has changed. It is no longer the seductive feminine voice that guided me in my work. It has become deeper, stronger, more masculine. It no longer follows me around either. It seems only present at the anvil as I work upon the Black Blade.

I have discovered the perfect process for shaping the blade. While the metal is hot it is very easy to work with, almost liquid and it pulses with an energy I have never seen before. And yet, when the metal cools, it seems indestructible. I have tried to break the blade and could not. I have beat the edge to try to dull it and it remains undamaged.

I completed the handle and I am quite pleased with the look of the finished product. It seems to have a life of its own, radiating a sort of power. Not one that can be seen, but one that is definitely felt. I received one last instruction from the Voice and that was to "charge" the blade. The Blade requires a sacrifice.

I made my way to the Grim Guzzler to celebrate the end of my work. I don't even know how long I have been at it. I haven't seen the sun in so long. Has it been days, weeks? I have no clue.

I ordered up a couple of Dark Iron Ales and was finally able to relax. I no longer felt rushed. I no longer felt compelled. I felt satisfied... almost happy. And the happier I got, the more ale I drank. Ah, the sweet release of intoxication!

And that is when it happened.

In all the time I have been here, I have never seen any Horde come to this bar. But today was different. Things had changed. Three of them came in and seemed to be talking among themselves. I laughed out loud thinking this was the beginning of a bad joke. Two Orcs and a Forsaken walk into a bar...

My laughter caught their attention and the Forsaken gave me a look. I heard the Voice coming from the Black Blade... "KILL THEM!"

I chose to ignore it and enjoy my ale, but before I realized what was happening, I found myself cutting the Forsaken's throat. I leaped at the Orcs and drove the Blade deep into their chests. The Blade throbbed in my hand.

The Dark Irons do not take kindly to any aggression and soon I was surrounded by dwarves wanting to get in on the fight. I was amazed at how quickly my reflexes responded. I didn't need to command my muscles to do anything. I just had to allow the Blade to take over and do its work. Within seconds, it seemed, the floor was littered with bodies and blood flowed everywhere. I looked around at the carnage and felt the Blade in my hand.

It felt... satisfied.

I looked down at the Blade and it too had changed. The plain blade of dark metal now pulsed as if the metal had once again become liquid. Faces of the dead now looked out at me as though I had captured their worthless souls within the blade itself.

With the danger over, I put the blade away and returned to my cave. I felt exhausted again and sleep overcame me quickly. Maybe it was just the ale.

Dagger-large.jpg

 

 

 

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I remember the pain in my eye.

Although it was raining when I emerged from the Mountain, I had been living in the darkness for so long that even the cloudy skies were painfully bright. The raindrops flashed with an intense light of their own as they fell, like miniature lightning bolts.

I no longer felt weak as I stood at the entrance, my eyes attempting to adjust so that I could focus on the surrounding landscape.

There is always the question, when one completes a great task, of "What's next?" When we think of a longtime struggle, or a lifelong dream, then finally, after weeks, years or decades, it is finally done... then what?

For some, it is a feeling of despair. For others, it is a feeling of release and impending freedom. Some fear the unknown, while others embrace it. I truly have no answers.

I headed over to Thorium Point, said my "hellos" to some old friends. They seemed different now... almost distant. Maybe it is me who has changed.

I mounted my gryphon and flew up to an isolated peak, and I  just stood there in the rain. It was like I had just woke up from a long sleep... again. Was I still asleep, or was I awake? In that realm of twilight between the two, sometimes it is hard to tell.

I looked over the landscape below me and found nothing that caught my interest. Was there something I was supposed to do? Where should I go next? What do I want to do? Do I need anything?

It was like I could not decide a single thing. I couldn't even tell if I was hungry or thirsty. What happened to me?

I laid down in the mud and let the rain fall across my face. It felt good. My gryphon stood nearby looking at me with a puzzled look. Yet, I just laid there. I thought for a moment about dismissing him, but even that seemed like too big a decision to make at the moment. I ignored him.

My mind was in a fog that I couldn't pierce. Memories flashed before my eyes of fire, a forge, the smell of smoke. My stomach turned and I thought I would vomit, but nothing came of it. I lay there, soaked in rain and mud, and let my mind wander.

Eventually, the rain stopped and the Sun began to fight its way through the clouds. The sunshine felt warm, but I still felt no ambition to get up. And before long, I fell asleep.

I have no idea how long I had laid there, but when I awakened again, the Sun was getting low in the sky. Birds circled overhead and I watched them with amusement. I got up and dusted myself off. My muscles ached and my throat was parched. I dug around in my backpack and found a flask of ale and downed it quickly. The liquid quenched my thirst but it seemed to have no flavor. I wondered if those birds actually taste meat as they eat a fresh kill, or if it is only quenching a thirst.

Do Forsaken enjoy consuming a corpse, or do they just feel a need? Do Worgen enjoy the flavor of raw meat, or do they just derive some sort of satisfaction from the kill? I should ask Audro about that sometime...

Audro.

My mind raced, trying desperately to clear the fog in my mind the way I had just seen the Sun pierce the clouds.

Focus, dammit!

My mind reeled. Then I remembered... Lakeshire.

I need to get to Lakeshire...

 

Edited by Felonius Gallows
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I don't remember actually going to Redridge. Like a sleepwalker suddenly awakening, I found myself stealthed, up on a ridge overlooking Lakeshire.

Below me, the townsfolk had gathered at the cemetery... a funeral was underway. I could faintly hear the priest reading from a book. Passages reassuring the living that the dead had moved on to a better place. They seemed to accept what the priest was saying despite the fact that the dead lie not ten feet away in a hole in the ground. "A better place."

"You need to kill them." The Black Blade whispered.

I've grown accustomed to the dagger speaking to me. While I was in the Mountain, the Voice was a constant companion. Now, it seems it has taken up residence in the the Black Blade.

I looked at the dagger strapped to my thigh.
"Why would I do that? I have friends down there."

"Kill a Friend or Kill a Foe. It matters not to me."

A tall wolf took a shovel and scooped a bit of dirt, then ceremoniously tossed it onto the casket in the grave. Audro is alive... I smiled. It must be Lucas in the hole. Poor Audro. This must be hard on him.

I scanned the others. Magistrate Solomon, Bailiff Conacher, Barkeep Daniels and Innkeeper Brianna, Gloria and Sherman Femmel, Amy Davenport, ...

"Ah, you recognize those. Especially the wolf, and that one... Amy. You had a thing for her."

"Are you reading my mind?"

"Of course not. I would never invade your privacy. I sense your emotions. I sense an affection there. You really should kill them."

"Stop telling me to kill my friends."

"Look at them down there."  The Blade seemed agitated. "Do they look happy to you? They are not mourning the loss of a friend... they are jealous. They want to be released from their miserable lives. They want to be free of their burdens. They wish to be free the way Lucas is now free. You can free them! Help your friends. Give them what they want."

"I will not kill my friends or allies. Stop suggesting that I do so."

"Friend or Foe, you all must go. It is just a matter of time. You act like you actually have a choice in the matter. Silly mortal. Have you forgotten why you created me?"

I pulled the dagger from the scabbard and tried to toss it away. My hand would not release it. I couldn't let go of the damned thing! I think it laughed at me.

"What kind of sorcery is this?"

"Let me remind you of some facts, Felonius. Did you not want to create the ultimate weapon? Working all those hours to learn the skills you needed to create such a weapon... all those hours spent toiling over the forge and anvil. Did you think you were making a skinning knife? Did you think you were making a tool to carve wooden sticks? No, my friend, you wanted a weapon to use to KILL. And KILL you shall."

"I guess it's true then... 'Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.'"

"You wanted something of immense power, and now you have it. Did you truly believe that any human could control something as powerful as me?"

"Maybe I'll just go down there and have that priest put a blessing on you. Maybe have him perform an exorcism or something."

"Do it! I'll stab him in the heart. I DARE YOU."

The funeral was wrapping up. I watched as the townsfolk walked past the grave, one by one, then wandered off slowly leaving only the priest and gravediggers behind.

Audro headed toward the family farm, alone. Where was Emily? I wanted to run and catch up with him. To make sure he was okay, to try to explain what happened. Do I even know what happened? What can I possibly tell him? Would he forgive me?

"Mmmm. Worgen blood. I haven't tasted that yet. You should go talk to him right away."

"Shut up! I'm quickly learning that I can't trust you."

"Is it really ME that you don't trust? Maybe you just don't trust yourself. You know you want to give in to me. You know that I am right. You want to help your friends. Release them. It is the right thing to do."

I pushed the Blade back into its scabbard and sat there watching the men fill the grave. The priest waved his hands over the ground and said something about peace and Light. Then they too wandered off.

I sat there thinking, trying hard not to speak or feel anything that might reveal my thoughts.

Maybe the Blade was right... maybe I just don't trust myself.

 

 

 

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