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Eclipse: A Book on Loan

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This conversation occurs in the Filthy Animal in Dalaran, after the Mak'gora of Breygrah and Konro.

Khorvis grunts at Syreena.

Syreena inclines her head politely.

[Khorvis ]: I do not want to hear a word about Supplicant Konro, the curse, or Darethy's odor.

[Khorvis ]: I do just wish to drink this firewater until I no can see.

[Kyoukimaru ]: question...

Syreena says quietly, "As you wish."

You eye Kyoukimaru up and down.

[Kyoukimaru ]: were we all just together on a quest for righteous slaughter? or was I dreaming?

Syreena glares angrily at Kyoukimaru .

[Kyoukimaru ]: I'll umm... take dat as a no..

Syreena has gore dripping out of a hole in the side of her head where her ear used to be, and is not in a very good mood tonight.

Kyoukimaru backs away slowly.

[Khorvis ]: There was no quest, Shupplicant. You do be dreaming again.

[Khorvis ]: I do think we need have a mender check that head.

[Kyoukimaru ]: these are happening a lot more frequently lately..

[Kyoukimaru ]: Forgive me, i'll see what I can go do about it.. If anything.

[Khorvis ]: You yourself do need a bloody mender, Ms. Syreena.

Khorvis reaches over a tears a hunk of steaming boat snout from the platter.

[Syreena ]: I'll be fine.

[Kyoukimaru ]: Mal! Good to find you. Um..... spare a moment?

[Malhavik ]: Lasher, Shadowblade, good evening!

Syreena looks at Malhavik.

[Syreena ]: No, it's not.

Khorvis notices a presence behind.

Malhavik blinks.

[Malhavik ]: Hello Kyoukimaru.

[Kyoukimaru ]: there's been a few... issues lately.. I've been kinda... losing consciousness more then normal.

[Kyoukimaru ]: like... A LOT... more than normal.

[Malhavik ]: I have urgent business with the Lasher.

[Malhavik ]: Perhaps after?

[Kyoukimaru ]: Usually trying to remember things sets it off unless im fighting.

[Malhavik ]: Go kill some squirells for while. I'll be with you momentarily.

Khorvis grabs a wineglass and hurls it at a wall before stomping to the bar.

[Malhavik ]: Hmm...

[Kyoukimaru ]: sure thing,.. dont be too long.. I may lose track.. Of everything.

Malhavik bows down graciously.

Syreena glances at Khorvis before silently taking another drink.

[Malhavik ]: Is this a bad time?

[Khorvis ]: Shpeak your words, felmancer ... brother.

Syreena starts to say something to Mal, then closes her mouth again as Khorvis speaks.

Malhavik glances the ruin of Syreena's face before speaking to Khorvis.

[Malhavik ]: Do you recall the mention of the Black Book?

[Khorvis ]: I do recall many books. Most that I do like have the pictures. And the pasted boards that do wave back.

You nod at Malhavik.

Syreena looks at you.

Malhavik reaches carefully into his robes, and pulls out a vile black tome. "The one used to contact Vionora in the first place"

[Malhavik ]: I have... come by it.

Khorvis feels his jaw drop inside of his feedbag.

[Khorvis ]: Thish ... this does be the truth, felmancer?

[Malhavik ]: Indeed. Even now as I hold it I feel the things presence. Simply touching the book invites it into your mind, but I have much experience in these 'possesive' magics.

[Malhavik ]: Vionora will be coming for it soon. I thought to bring it to you immediatley.

Khorvis snatches the book from Malhavik and holds it up to the torchlight. Nothing attempts to possess his mind, probably because of the lack of it, and his lack of mana.

Malhavik 's bondy fingers scrape the outside of the book, his was slack to release the book.

Syreena watches the exchange silently, being unusually still and quiet.

[Khorvis ]: I did make the proper choice in trusting you, felmancer.

Malhavik bows down graciously.

Khorvis grabs a broad and greasy napkin from the feasting table and wraps the book in it before tucking it into his saddlepouch.

[Khorvis ]: Konro is dead.

Malhavik remains motionless a moment.

[Malhavik ]: Breygrah took him with her own blade I trust?

Syreena mutters, "Stupid, stubborn, honorless cow."

[Khorvis ]: Aye. I do think the possession was too much for his brain. It all did come crashing down on him.

[Syreena ]: Watch your back, Mal. ...hic!

Malhavik looks to Syreena.

[Syreena ]: Naheal...Darethy....they said....something. Looking for you.

[Malhavik ]: Hmm?

Syreena frowns trying to remember that small part of the eventful evening.

[Malhavik ]: Oh my.

[Syreena ]: Darethy was...mean tonight. Not himself. Even attacked me with fel fire.

[Khorvis ]: We have seen enough Grim blood shed this night. We will safeguard your hide, Malhavik.

[Syreena ]: All I did was accuse him of justifying death for those who had differing opinions than his. And he cast a spell at me. ...hic!

[Malhavik ]: My thanks Lasher, I only just boke the curse Naheal placed on me. I am not yet at fulll strength.

[Khorvis ]: Can Naheal be trusted?

Malhavik scoffs.

[Syreena ]: He'sh an elf, he's Brey's...friend?

[Syreena ]: He cursed Mal....

[Malhavik ]: I'd have killed him myself were not all ready under scrutiny.

You eye Syreena up and down.

[Malhavik ]: He's more than Brey's friend.

[Khorvis ]: I do find my honor torn. I did respect the elf, and did strike a bargain in planning the end of Accalia with him.

[Khorvis ]: But I do trust the words of Ms. Syreena and you strongly.

Syreena mutters, drunkenly, "Everyone's against us again. If you're not Grim, you're nothing. Can't trust anyone else."

Khorvis stares at the black book in his pouch, wrapped in a greasy napkin.

Malhavik notices.

[Malhavik ]: The book cannot be read by normal means.

[Khorvis ]: There is a cipher?

[Malhavik ]: Keep it in a well lit area, I would advise.

Syreena would bet it doesn't have pictures anyway.

[Malhavik ]: The pages are solid black. I couldn't figure out its secrets.

[Malhavik ]: I do know it thrives in darkness.

Syreena lets out a loud belch.

[Khorvis ]: This tome will be held in the Grim Halls.

[Khorvis ]: There is a sanctum ...

Khorvis eyes Malhavik.

Malhavik nods at you.

[Khorvis ]: A place a lights. We will hold it there until our arcanists can discover its uses.

[Khorvis ]: For now, I drink to the spirit of Konro.

Khorvis returns to his libations in peace.

Syreena drinks to that.

Malhavik bows before you.

[Malhavik ]: I will be staying in the Grim halls tonight.

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[Khorvis ]: I do recall many books. Most that I do like have the pictures. And the pasted boards that do wave back.

[[ Ahahahaha I love Khorvis. ]]

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The next day, on the shores of Ashran, Khorvis approaches an idle picnic.

Khorvis dismounts from his kodo and sets it to graze.

Syreena doesn't notice Khorvis, too busy whispering to Lilly.

[Naheàl ]: What we need is a means to sever that chain. If you're willing to offer assistance that isn't need elsewhere, we could use it in dealing with Vionora.

[Khorvis ]: This does look like a peaceful vision.

Ulrezaj rolls his eyes.

[Ulrezaj ]: That be what ah said.

Lilliana does notice Khorvis....long enough to turn sharply to gaze at the approaching orc...but she doesn't say anything, instead, she goes right back to whispering with Syreena. At this point she's rudely making it very obvious that they are having their own >

Ulrezaj returns his attention to Naheal.

Lilliana > conversation, and no one else is invited.

[Naheàl ]: It's my fishing spot.

[Ulrezaj ]: De secrets o' draining and ritual bindings comes from a distinct connection.

Syreena looks up as she hears Khorvis, and inclines her head politely.

[Ulrezaj ]: Ah may devulge ye some o' de Gurubashi's knowledge: dat afteh de Sundering elemental lords came te wash away de mortal plane. And so, some o' de bes' shaman bound all dey could, but in de end secrets were unraveled through relentlessness.

Ulrezaj peers at the waters uneasily.

Naheàl listens intently to Ulrezaj.

[Ulrezaj ]: Perhaps, by investigating de source wit' de right tomes, ye kin find an answer.

[Khorvis ]: I do know when the creaking of my armor is not wanted. But I do have one small point of business with Reaper Ul-rezaj, and then I do leave you to your whispers.

Naheàl nods at you.

Ulrezaj nods at Khorvis, "One moment," reaches from his bags and extends a tome.

Syreena smiles faintly as she whispers to Lilly.

You nod at Ulrezaj.

[Ulrezaj ]: Yeh see, sometimes [Focus Augment Rune] o' Grimoire's o' various sorts may yield de source o' such knowledge.

Lilliana looks at you.

[Ulrezaj ]: Now, if ah may, let me speak wit' our great Inquisitah.

[Naheàl ]: Considering I'm bearing said curse, I'll keep my distance for now. Would you mind leaving it there?

Lilliana breaks away from her whispering with Syreena to say to Khorvis, "We like the creaking of your armor."

[Ulrezaj ]: You may need a third party.

Naheàl nods at Ulrezaj.

Ulrezaj returns his attention to Khorvis.

Khorvis reaches into his side pouch and produces a tome bound in black leather. Every page, as he flourishes the contents, is solid ebony.

[Darethy ]: "Uhhhh....."

Darethy looks at Naheàl.

Naheàl closes his eyes, thinking on a direction and who he could call on for that.

Syreena notices what Khorvis has and slowly moves between him and the non-Grims.

Ulrezaj stares at the tome with uneasiness.

[Naheàl ]: ((AFK))

Lilliana also gets right much for her distraction with Syreena.

[Khorvis ]: This artifact is critical to our war against the Accalia worg, Reaper.

Syreena whispers harshly, "Psst, Lasher! Put that out of sight!"

Ulrezaj , in a low voice, asks Khorvis, "What be de origin?" Reaches to take the tome from Khorvis' grasp.

You eye Syreena up and down.

Syreena knows Naheal had that book before Mal got it, and maybe he just might want it back!

Lilliana is ready to ask so many questions!

Naheàl opens his eyes.

[Naheàl ]: Was that the black tome?

Naheàl looks to Darethy. "I have some contacts wtihin the Cenarion Circle that may be able to get that information."

Ulrezaj scowls at the thought.

[Khorvis ]: Inquisitors, give Naheal access to the Grim archives if he does wish to inspect our catalogues of the Zandalari.

Darethy shudders "....Cenarion Circle...well, I suppose that's one way to get it."

Syreena tires of the conversation, and the company of non-Grims, and slinks away into the shadows.

[Naheàl ]: I'll be otherwise occupied. I'll send word if I find someone who would be available to do so in my stead.

[Ulrezaj ]: Listen te me about trustin dem Night Elvish thinkers: all o' dem do not finish der rituals. Probably becuase dey killed demselves along de way.

Lilliana looks from Khorvis to Naheal, and then says, almost as if displeased, "Alright."

Ruuki nods her head. "Alright."

[Ulrezaj ]: last time some Night Elves dabbled in de Arcane, dey had a dragon fo' a dog te keep stored in some ancient city called Dire Maul.

[Naheàl ]: And that happens to be where I found the book in the first place.

Naheàl looks at Ulrezaj.

[Lilliana ]: In Dire Maul, Naheal?

[Naheàl ]: Yes.

Ulrezaj blinks with shock, "Oh, perhaps mana draining curses do come from dem," he slivers back a couple of steps to think about the concept.

[Naheàl ]: Think about it. The Kaldorei hate the arcane with a passion and only barely tolerate the presence of their old Highborne. It would follow that they would craft a curse like this to target arcane users.

Khorvis snorts. "Bloody night elves."

Ulrezaj chuckles lightly.

[Naheàl ]: Regardless, I'll be busy setting the trap for Vionora and finding a means to keep her within arm's reach.

[Ulrezaj ]: Search de halls in search o' knowledge, ah shall go and do what ah can wit' dese materials. Darethy, ah have one final thing te say to you.

Ulrezaj looks at Darethy.

Darethy nods at Ulrezaj.

Ulrezaj , in a low voice begins to mutter instructions, "If in time ye find ye need to increase ye pace o' do more learnin' on dese matters, speak wit' Talonpriest Ishaal, he shall fetch de tomes. Reshad shall keep de book safely stored in a Goblin Jukebox."

Ulrezaj adds, "Oh, and one more thing. You be in de Grim's Garrison at Frostwall. Ah do not stay der fo' long due to the cold environment. You shall find me in Spires o' Arak. Elsewhere, ah be reading scrolls at a trade post while keeping track o' de Adherents."

Darethy nods at Ulrezaj "Noted, i'll be sure to have a few of my Arakkoa friends attend from the Raven's Gate as well, we can compare notes and hopefully double our efforts."

Darethy nods at Ulrezaj.

Lilliana listens to the other Sandfury troll speak with the warlock.

Ulrezaj blinks and adds one more thing, "Oh, tread de Grim's Halls lightly o' else de Enforcer will pop out o' knowhere te spill ye guts. Othewise, keep near Frostwall only when ye think de weatheh is going to be permitting."

[Darethy ]: "My Garrison actually started as a refugee camp from the Adherents of Rukhmar, their people are quite knowledgable."

Darethy nods at Ulrezaj.

[Darethy ]: "Got it."

[Ulrezaj ]: <raises his voice with formal promptness> That is all, Darethy. I trust your knowledge is sufficient to gain anything else you may be needin' along de way.

Ulrezaj stands tall and pounds his chest.

Naheàl frowns.

[Ulrezaj ]: Mok'ra, as dey be sayin'.

Lilliana eyes Ulrezaj up and down.

You nod at Ulrezaj.

[Darethy ]: "Dark Lady watch over you."

[Naheàl ]: Alright. To work, then.

Darethy nods at Naheàl.

Naheàl looks to the group, then bows his head.

Lilliana looks at Naheàl.

[Darethy ]: "Good luck."

[Lilliana ]: Hey Naheal......

Naheàl looks at Lilliana.

Ruuki has remained quiet, but only because she is listening. This magic stuff is very much out of her league, so she's more of a bodyguard.

[Lilliana ]: Don't bring up that other shit....your new direction....til all this is over. Alright? *her voice is low and gentle...but maybe with a bit of a warning in it* There is enough to think about right now.

[Naheàl ]: Accalia must be dealt with before anything else is considered.

Lilliana nods her head, as if a serious troll.

Naheàl knows better. Lilly is not a serious troll.

Khorvis grunts at the secrecy, but does not comment.

[Khorvis ]: Mok'rah. I must find other arcanists to map the twilight of Moonglade. Ul'rezaj will have his time consumed with the book.

Naheàl nods at you.

Lilliana will totally tell Khorvis, but isn't gonna tell Naheal that.

Khorvis mounts his grazing kodo and rides off into the sunset, for happy hour.

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The ascending stairs, hidden behind a false wall in the High Inquisitor's chambers, spiraled tightly within a Grim tower of stone and mortar. Clomping heavily, Khorvis mounted the secret passage and withered under the imperious glares of past Inquisitors. Syreena the Shadowblade. Awatu Stonespire. Araun the Prophet ... their portraits marched on and on, stretching back through the years, painted during their tenures and hung to watch over the future Grim. Bloodstar could feel the weight of their pooled time pressing down upon his shoulders as he summited the final ledge and entered the observatory. Stooped and nearly crawling, he furtively escaped the tyrannical watch and rested his elbows upon a ledge above which a great oval window opened into a vast and phantasmagorical sky. The oculus existed both within the planar ledge of the Grim Halls and the 'subcuticular' layer of the Twisting Nether. At least, this was according to the rambling texts strewn about by previous occupants, the source of which being neither wholly reliable or sane.

High Inquisitor Bloodstar could only find amity and commiseratory flagellation within the chaos that glacially unfolded overhead. Were it a mirror into his conscious, he might have ruminated upon a fatalistic link between the defective soul-mist bequeathed by the Twice-Made into his flesh and the Escherian pandemonium just beyond mindsreach. A more base department of his faculties was flippantly attached to assigning the raw cruelty of luck upon his most recent circumstance.

Foremost in Khorvis's thoughts was the Mandate. Not the pious and ardent posturing that always accompanied the platitudes of Annihilation, but the tangible interchange between the Grim mission and its crude bodies. The guild was assaulted on every front by a hundred different foes. Though this was no new stance in theory, the angles were frustratingly obtuse. The Alliance (as always), the Iron Horde, remnants of the Shadow Council, Sanctuary, the curse of Accalia, and the errant foolishness of several Grim as well. It was enough to drive an orc mad and Khorvis was flagging beneath the weight of it all - not to mention the failure of several fresh Supplicants, including one Konro.

That last one bit. Try as he might, Khorvis could not shake the haunting notion that Konro was the ghost of his brother - a foolish, stubborn, and headstrong Wren come back to trouble the living. No matter that Konro was now slain (and that fact would take some explaining to the Commander, a dreaded conversation if there ever was one). Khorvis had lost another charge to the winds of fortune and he would carry that failure for the rest of his life. He clasped his goatee and gave a sharp tug, changing perspective.

Sanctuary. What a bloody mess that was. In his most private moments, such as this, the warrior would admit to himself that he truly did not wish the conflict. He did consider the Commander Liene to be a worthy foe and in better years, they might have even been comrades in arms, fighting side by side in battles that were worth their price in blood. Still, the wounds were already salted and Khorvis was no stranger to inter-Clan warfare. The 'peace' that he had negotiated was no more stolid than the paper it was breathed upon. Just one slip-up by his armsmen and the whole ploy would be for naught. Even still beyond that, by the words of Julilee herself in Warspear, the truce was only half-believable in the best of lights. So it would go that eventually their two standards would stand opposite each other on the field before the Nether took them all.

Khorvis shifted his weight and turned away from the planescape to wander his mono-sight among the timbered vaulting ceiling. He might have thought he saw the shifting of an odd shadow, but those perturbances were of little novelty in the Halls. Syreena. How he had positioned the Shadowblade in this war was unfortunate. Certainly she had made herself both a valuable ally before Khorvis's ascension and a flagrant target afterwards. The conflict between guilds required some buffer for normal hostilities to recede and, sadly, many individuals would fall into those chasms. Syreena was one of those unlucky souls, but not without reason. Khorvis had made clear that her quarrel with the monk Kex'ti was of a personal nature and not a consideration for the Mandate at large. While in balmier days, he might have made exception for his friend, but war demanded sacrifices, and Syreena would be offered up on the altar for appearances.

The shadows in the rafters disappeared as a wandering comet collided with the edge of a galactic arm. The light of supernovae banished all darkness and Khorvis's vision whited out for the split second it took to consider Accalia. There was no metaphor between that old beast and blindness. The loose coalition against her ravenous maw was still stumbling sightlessly through the morass of Vionorra's machinations even after acquiring the black book. Nevermind that Ul-rezaj had set the blasted thing in plain daylight - much against Khorvis's orders! The Grim arcanists were ever at a loss to decipher the black pages and if Darethy had any success, the felmancer was slow to share the secrets.

"Blast it all!" Khorvis snarled. "I wish to be done with the cursed thing. No good or Peace will come of it, sitting amidst the Grim ranks! I will destroy whatever summoning spells Accalia thinks to anchor in our world and piss on the ashes!"

With that, Khorvis marched back down the observatory's narrow stairs and slammed the false bookcase behind him. The fresh portrait of Syreena the Shadowblade was knocked askew, her gaze flung sidelong into a field of meteors and burning suns.

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