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Kerala

Eclipse: Lost

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04/03 LOST

She's lost in the darkness, Fading away

I'm still around here, Screaming her name

She's haunting my dreamworld, Trying to survive

My heart is frozen, I'm losing my mind

Help me, I'm buried alive!

Buried alive!

Lomani steps into the Warspear tavern. This place had been her second home, almost. Every day after she took her turn sitting with Kerala watching over the druid, she came here. The little Forsaken bartender looks up from wiping a table, a smile on her face. Tired, the grey seer nods to her.

“Hello, something to drink?” Syreena offers.

“If I must.” Lomani sighs. Then, aware how hopeless she sounds, she takes a breath and gathers herself back together. “Sure.”

The waitress nods and almost disappears behind the tall bar. She returns with a mug filled with a now-familiar amber liquid. “Here you are.

Lomani accepts the drink, and took a sip, holding out the cost with a tip. Syreena nods her thanks. The comforting alcohol mildly warms it's way through her insides, like a ray of sunshine triumphing through grey cloudcover. “This drink... it's really good.”

Syreena smiles “I think it's pretty.”

“It reminds me of a warm summer day. Maybe a picnic.” Lomani savors another mouthful.

“A picnic?” the happy rogue inquires.

“I don't know. Something happy in the sunshine.”

Syreena nods, smiling again. "That does sounds happy."

Lomani looks at Syreena, thoughts of yesterday's conversation intruding a the momentary pleasure. “I didn't thank you. For yesterday.”

Syreena looks at the seer with a confused look. “For what?”

“For telling me about Kerala.” Really, Syreena's words the previous night had done much to ease Lomani's mind. Though she had thought she knew her chieftain, the things Darrethy had said... the things Lilliana had shown her... her faith had been sorely tested. But Syreena had finally relaxed enough in Lomani's presence to answer the seer's burning questions. Pieces of a puzzle had all fallen into place, and the scene they made had sense to it.

“Oh.” The forsaken looks slightly uncomfortable, as she always did, tip-toeing around the topic of the druid. “Um, you're welcome.”

“Darrethy and Lilliana both made it seem as if she was some kind of monster. But you told me otherwise.” She smiles at Syreena, trying to be reassuring.

“I did?”

“Yes, you did.”

“Oh.” Syreena frowns, confused. She does think the druid is a monster. “Okay.”

Lomani sighs at Syreena, seeing the expression. “I know you don't believe me. That's alright.” Syreena nods. “But to answer your other questions yesterday- she probably won't do anything at all to you, or to those who beat her.”

The waitress blanches. “Probably...? I will just try to stay out of her way.”

“She wasn't being intentionally cruel to you, you see. I helped her write the letter to your commander. About Breygrah, about Konro.... the whole stupid situation.”

“A letter to the Commander...” Syreena echoes.

The seer's worry and fatigue reasserted themselves, and her considerable patience frayed. “Oh come now. I know she must have spoken to you about it. If she told you not to harass Breygrah anymore just because she killed him. Blood Revenge is a very old, and very sacred thing.”

Syreena nods slowly, then suddenly smiles brightly. “Would you like a refill on your drink?”

The seer eyes Syreena up and down. “Believe what you will, and avoid the truth if you will. It is your choice. I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant thing, what she did to you. I'm sorry she did.” Lomani holds her cup out, though it's still mostly full.

Syreena smiles again. “I'll be right back with that drink.” Lomani found her lips moving to return the smile, even though it seemed to be an automatic expression the rogue used to hide behind.

After receiving her drink back, almost sloshing, she spent several long moments looking around the tavern. There was nothing else but Syreena in her pretty red and white dress to captivate Lomani's interest. “So.... were you once like the rest of your guild? You seem very nice now.”

“I was a fighter before.” Syreena nods. Then she frowns slightly. "The rest of them are nice. Mostly."

“Killing people isn't very nice.” Lomani points out. “Although I suppose I haven't actually witnessed that yet myself.”

“Oh, well, sometimes that's what soldiers have to do.” Syreena shrugs.

“Which is why I'm not a soldier.” Lomani mods, letting the forsaken continue with her cleaning undistracted.

After maybe an hour, a slim armored figure limps into the tavern.

. . .

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“Hoi, friends.” The elf was covered head to toe in dark leather armor, leaning on a tall staff. Over the armor was a purple tabard. Kex'ti was a Sanctuary monk, wasn't he? This could be him!

Syreena smiles at the elf. “Good evening. Would you like a drink?”

The elf frowns, looking at the forsaken waitress. “Ah. No. I'm good. Thank you.” He shifts uncomfortably against his staff. Lomani notes his reaction with more than a passing interest.

“Something to eat, maybe?” she persists.

“Ah. I'll uh. What do you have to drink?” he asks finally.

“What do you like?” Syreena countered, her tone happy to be of service.

Lomani stands from her seat at the table and steps towards the two. The seer thought he looked as if he were rethinking the merits of having come here. “You're Kex'ti... right?”

“Something not poisoned...but other than that, use your discretion.” He looks at the tauren.

“Oh, right, she's been looking for you.” Syreena comments belatedly. She turns to fetch a drink. “Something not poisoned.” She confirms the request with a nod.

“Yes. Kex'ti Dalendala, of Sanctuary.” Kex'ti bows. “I believe we've met. But...I'm not sure where...”

Hope soars within Lomani. “I wasn't sure under all that armor.” She tells him with a smirk.

Syreena returns with a mug. “Here you are, sir.” She presents the beverage with another one of those smiles.

Kex'ti glances at Syreena. “Thank you.” he says, with almost a question mark on his inflection. He removes his helmet, and lashes it to his belt.

Lomani smiles at Syreena as the forsaken notices another customer to tend to. She goes up to a robed undead man cheerfully. “Hello, would you like a drink?”

The man looks crossly at Syreena. “What happened to you?” Syreena blinks, taken aback, her smile fading. “Your mind feels broken.” the man continues, almost like an accusation.

“I'm fine, thank you.” Syreena answers. “Would you like a drink?”

Kex'ti leans against his staff, and takes a pull from his jug. “You've been looking for me?” Lomani nods at Kex'ti, slightly distracted by the man with Syreena. “How can I be of service?”

“I didn't know if maybe you could help...” the seer begins.

Kex'ti nods at her. “However possible.”

“Kerala was beaten by the Grim, and though we healed her, she won't ...wake up.” The words seemed pathtically inadequate at conveying the seer's tremendous worry for her chieftain.

Over by the door, the forsaken man was looking at Syreena with a mixture of incredulity and perhaps annoyance. “Syreena the Shadowblade does not serve drinks!”

“I am Syreena Breen, the waitress.” she tells the man, the smile mask firmly in place. “Can I get you a drink?” she repeats again.

Kex'ti takes a pull from his jug. “Perhaps I can help her condition? I've helped her out of a coma before.

Lomani breathes a sigh of relief. “OH wonderful! I knew she was looking for you before all this, but not really why. Really, we've tried almost everything.” Kex'ti nods at her.

Another robed forsaken comes through the tavern doorway, this one wearing a mask and easily recognized as Darrethy. The warlock looks around nodding slightly to each of the people in turn "Evening."

Kex'ti looks at Darrethy. “Hoi, Darrethy.”

"Kex'ti, how are you?"

“I'm faring well.”

Darrethy nods. "We'll be going out to destroy the book today."

“Good evening, Mr. Darrethy.” Syreena peers at the warlock, her new, and perhaps more willing, customer. “A drink? Something to eat perhaps?”

Darrethy nods at Syreena. "Thanks."

The waitress curtsies before Darrethy, pocketing her coins. “Thank you, sir.”

“The book?” Kex'ti asks.

"The Black Book Vionora is after. The Grim will be providing an escort from what I understand, me, Alfirin, and Xara will be heading out with them to dispose of it."

“Ah.” the monk says. Then he seems to recall Lomani standing there looking at him. Her green eyes regard the two men. “Darrethy, I think I need to address Kerala's...” Kex'ti searches for words. “Condition.” The warlock nods at him. “But I'd be happy to help with the book, however I may, in my limited capacity.”

Lomani eyes the warlock. “You're wrong about her”

"About who now?" he inquires.

The seer stares at him, conviction in her gaze. “Kerala. She isn't the monster you painted her out to be.”

Darrethy just shrugs his shoulders at Lomani "I saw what I saw."

Kex'ti glances between the two. “Something I should know about?”

"And she's a druid besides, I don't trust them much. Regardless, if she needs assistance and resources, let me know."

Lomani looks at Kex'ti. “My chieftain was beaten in retaliation for an attack against Syreena. She'd activated Blood Revenge and warned to rogue to stop seeking vengeance for Konro's death on Breygrah.” The monk shoots a glance to Syreena. She was using a dish towel to wipe down the bartop.

"This I already know." the warlock comments.

Kex'ti's eyes return to Lomani as she continues, ignoring Darrethy. “The little rogue refused. Kerala insisted physically, and the Grim didn't like it.” The monk looked rather discomfited, as if he would rather be thinking of other things at that moment.

"Facts is facts, and I just gave the facts." Darrethy says.

The seer frowns at the faceless forsaken. “I was telling Kex'ti”

"Ah I see."

“Regardless.” the monk says “I am a healer. It is what I must do.” Darrethy just nods, but Lomani looks at Kex'ti, finding a kindred spirit. She smiles at him gratefully.

Bored, Syreena steps back over to them. “Does anyone need a refill? Or maybe a bite to eat?”Darrethy simply moves to take a seat by the fire, and remembering his cup, takes a drink.

Kex'ti shakes his head at Syreena. “No...I believe we're fine.”

Syreena nods and makes for the bar again, peering at the surly forsaken man. He stood there, still eying her in a way that Lomani didn't really like.

“Syreena...may I help you?”

The waitress frowns at him. “That's my job. Would you like a drink?”

The man shakes his head while bringing his right hand towards the young bartender. “This might hurt a bit.”

Syreena blinks at him. “What are you doing?”

Lomani takes a step towards them, as if she'd like to interfere, but the two are both Grim. Despite the screaming of her conscience, the seer stays where she is.

By the fire, Darrethy pops open the cork over a bottle of some pungent red liquid, taking a deep drink before setting it off to his side.

“Waitress!” comes a boisterous call. An orc looks around and spots Syreena, an obvious employee of the establishment. The orc approaches the two undead. “I require more think-think after this long day”

Shadow like tendrils ebbed forward towards Syreena from the forsaken man, the tips of his shadow magic diving deep into her temples. Syreena squirms and tries to back away, whimpering.

The bald orc blinks. “The piss is goin on here?”

Kex'ti apparently has no problem interfering. He puts a hand on the man's shoulder. “I'm sorry friend. But she is of greater service to the Horde in this fashion. I suggest you let her rest with her new-found peace.”

“Dead boy...” the orc adds, “Yer keepin me from my drinks.”

"....Peace?” Darrethy says from his seat on the floor. “It is -horrific- to see a Forsaken in this state."

The man didn't seem to hear either Kex'ti or the orc, but then he falls to his knees, his shadow magic dispersing. "It seems you are not ready my dear."

Seeing the assault on the little rogue stopped, Lomani blinks at Darrethy. “In what state?”

Darrethy answers the seer, but his eyes are on Syreena "Broken. Even a man with no eyes can see how grotesque this is. A slave in her own mind, like one of the servants of the Lich King."

The orc grunts. “Oy!” He prods Syreena with a thick grubby finger impatiently as she rubs her head, sending a grateful look at Kex'ti. “You back to your senses then?” Syreena jumps at the prodding and turns quickly to him.

The forsaken slowly stands while smoothing out his robes. He shrugs off Kex'ti and bows slightly to Syreena “Seek me when you are ready" Then he turns to the elf. “What is it boy?”

“I require ale!” the orc practically shouts, drawing glances from all around.

Syreena nods quickly, “Yes, sir, right away.” She runs to grab something to serve to him.

“Nothing.” Kex'ti smirks at the the undead man. “Merely that I'd not allow someone to ruin someone's peace.”

“Ah, my gratitude miss!” the orc sighs as Syreena returns with a drink for him. Satisfied, he wanders away a short distance, the mug pressed to his face.

"Don't pass this off as peace Kex'ti." comes Darrethy's voice from the floor. "It's an offense to every Forsaken in existence." The warlock seems quite grim.

“How do you know she is a slave?” Lomani asks, but her question goes ignored.

Kex'ti leans against his staff and takes a pull from his jug as the undead man eyes him suddenly. “Did you do this to Syreena?”

The elf swallows. “Do what?”

“Did you break Syreena's mind?” his tone wasn't quite hostile, but close.

“Of course not.” the monk replies, “I'm a healer. I serve the Horde by mending. Friend.”

Syreena returns to wiping the bar, humming softly to herself.

The undead man spits on Kex'ti, who just grins. “You're sanctuary scum and that is all”

In the corner, the orc belches loudly and eyes the gathered Horde watchfully.

Kex'ti wipes the sputum from his tabard. “Bold words for a member of the Grim.”

“If I find out this was you...”

Lomani remains silent, not bringing up the possibility that her chieftain might be partially responsible for the change in their assassin.

“You'll what? Threaten me with violence?” Kex'ti tilts his staff towards Syreena. “She's fought me with every advantage. And lost.”

“Lets just say your wounds will not be able to be mended.” the undead threatens.

The orc stands, his loud voice carrying as if he were standing right next to Lomani. She jumps at the sound of it. “There will be no in-fighting while I'm on duty.”

The undead looks at the orc. “I'm off...I have a brother to find.”

“Good.” Kex'ti scoffs. The monk looks to the tauren woman standing there, her hands grasping each other awkwardly. “Lomani...your chieftain needs attention, no?

“Yes. Please!” she says quickly. If they didn't leave soon she was afraid something else awful would find the opportunity to happen.

Darrethy-Ravenholdt stands up suddenly, shaking his head. He storms out of the bar muttering "Bunch of misbegotten animals."

The orc suddenly notices the seer standing there in her silvery grey robes. He winks at her. “Hey there beautiful. I'm new to the post.” His flirtation goes unnoticed.

“To your Garrison?” Kex'ti asks.

“Yes,” Lomani nods, “we've been caring for her there.”

Kex'ti nods. His shoulderpads twitch somewhat, and he grits his teeth and suppresses them. “Let us depart, then.” Lomani eyes him, not having seen the reason for the shift in his tone. “Lead the way, sister.” he says, once again pleasant. Kex'ti limps his way behind the seer as she leads them past Syreena.

“Good evening,” the waitress was asking another new face. “Would you like a drink?

The words “Indeed...something fruity please.” carry outside with them as they depart for the Horns garrison.

Lomani is filled with hope.

. . .

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Kerala is just the same as she has been since Lomani and Coqui healed the damage from that awful night they'd taken her from the tavern. She looks thinner. Her normally boney face now has small hollows in it that are somewhat alarming. It is a strange thing, seeing the Horns chieftain laying there so still. The druid's hair, for once, is actually kind of pretty. Coqui had spent a few hours with a large bone comb, patiently working on the druid's wet mane after bathing the blood from her fur. The result is organized curls and waves instead of the normal chaotic fluff. The delicate skin of Kerala's nose is marked with thin lines where Inzema's knife had traced his V pattern.

They had only just arrived, and Lomani regarded her chieftain with Kex'ti, giving the monk a moment to consider how best to proceed. Inside, though, she is impatient. It hurts her heart to see Kerala like this.

A soft knock draws both of their attentions. A large black-furred male tauren looks at them from the doorway. “Pardon me, I am looking for Lady Kerala?”

Though Lomani does not know the bull, her greeting is as warm as one to any long lost friend, or maybe a relative. “Hail Brother.”

“Ah, wondrous vision, a pleasure to make your acquaintance...” The bull steps into the room fully. He was dressed in fine leather armor of red and black, decorated with sleek feathers and bits of fur. His helm was decorated with antlers. A druid, then, she guessed. Lomani eyes the druid's armor, noting the Deadshot emblem etched onto his chest. “I am Rhuune Nightmane, I believe we have a mutual friend in Cobrak? He sent me to check on her condition, if I may enter?”

Not entirely surprised, the seer nods. “Come in, yes. She hasn't changed.”

The large male tauren steps into the room proper, not even throwing a glance to Kex'ti. His focus is solely on Lomani, and of course Kerala. “If I may have your name, my fair beauty?”

Lomani can't stop the blush that pinks the dusky skin of her nose. “I'm Lomani Greydawn.” she says. Then deliberately, she gestures to the elf beside her. “This is Kex'ti Dalendala.”

Kex'ti nods a greeting “Hoi, Rhuune.”

“Oh yes, hello Kelto.” the bull said dismissively. “Lomani...a beautiful name for a beautiful woman.” The monk eyed him, but Rhuune again was ignoring the other male. He turned to Kerala, lying in the hammock. “Hrmm, and how long has she been like this?” He knelt down to the floor gently.

Lomani takes a moment to recall what day this is. “... A week, now? We've tried everything. Healing, potions and tonics...

“A week,” Rhuune acknowledges quietly, “and has she shown any form of reaction to outside stimuli?”

Lomani shakes her head, then realizes Rhuune isn't looking at her. “She'll cough if we don't measure liquid in small enough drips to get her to swallow. The druid looks carefully not touching Kerala. Lomani belatedly recalls that not everyone would know she was cursed, and she's thankful for his care.

Rhuune rubs his chin as he gazes upon the chieftain's figure. He slip on his gloves and gently prods around her eyes. “Our monk isn't ... experienced... enough.” Lomani continues, “And I haven't the ability to wield shadows for mind magics.

Kerala blinks, a reflex to protect her eyes from Rhuune's probing.

Kex'ti looks between the two tauren. If he's offended at Rhuune barging in, he doesn't show it. Instead, the elf steps over to stand next to Rhuune in front of the hammock. He says nothing, and places a hand over the druid's forehead. The monk begins channeling magic, a cooling mist that drifts from his fingers to disappear through Kerala's brow. Kex'ti closes his eyes, and focuses on his mistweaving.

Having done this once before, Kex'ti isn't surprised to feel as if there was a cold darkness within the druid. But instead of the panicked whirlwind of fear, there is only a deathly quiet. "Can you hear me, Kerala?” he whispers to her.

Lomani watches, arms folded against her torso, one hand nervously at her throat. The expression the monk gets after his whisper unnerves her. His lips press to a line. Determination?

Within the druid, the emptiness is deafening like an absolute and all-encompassing silence. Kex'ti remembers the last time he had done this, the druid's strong reaction to lack of sound. He presses on, exerting his will against the quiet.

Very gradually, he begins to get the sense of emotions. Like before, there is a kind of chaotic terror, but there is something else as well. As the monk projects soothing waves of calm and love, the feeling that he is not at all welcome coalesces. At his efforts, there are flashes of anger, fear, and distrust. It's almost as if he's cornered some wild animal. It was dangerous, and it might lash out at him at any moment. The monk patiently withdraws.

“Hrmm....This is beyond physical healing.” Rhuune is saying, stating the obvious. The seer nods at him. “Tell me, did she take part in the Pandarian conflicts?”

The question is an odd one, “Not that I know of. I've heard the lands there are beautiful, but she did not wish to visit them, for some reason.”

“Because of the Sha most likely...” he muses.

Kex'ti removes his hand from Kerala, and Lomani looks at her chieftain. The druid still stares sightlessly. “I don't believe I can help her. She doesn't want my help.”

Lomani blinks stupidly at the monk. “.... what?”

“She is afraid...deeply afraid.” Rhuune says softly. Kex'ti nods at the bull.

“Afraid of what?” Lomani says, almost desperately. “She's here, she's safe.”

“It is...a natural reaction to the trauma she was subject to.” the druid's voice is calm. “In her mind, she is not.”

The grey seer looks to Kex'ti, but the monk only shrugs. “I'm... I'm sorry. I don't know how to help.”

The bottom drops out from her stomach, looking at Kerala. This had been the one real hope. She's absolutely crestfallen.

“I believe I may have an answer though...” Rhuune offers, seeing Lomani's face. She looks at him, her pale green eyes sparkling with extra moisture. “Amongst the Deadshots, there is a soulweaver under our employ.”

The seer blinks, then breathes deeply, rubbing her hands cover her face, using the motion to wipe her eyes. “A what?”

“A soulweaver, a troll witch doctor who specializes in the tampering of spirits and souls. He may be better suited to such a case such as...”

“What is going on here?” comes a familiar voice from the stairs. “Lomani?” Breygrah calls.

The warrior eyes Lilliana standing just outside the door. The red-haired troll stands there rather casually, her blue eyes returning Breygrah's gaze with a look that says she totally belongs here. Breygrah nods at Lilly with a small smile, then steps past the priestess into the room.

Her eyes scan around, noting Kex'ti, Lomani and Rhuune. In a hammock is the slack form of Kerala, and the silver seer looks like she's trying not to cry. Seeing the familiar brown face, it's an effort that fails slightly. “What is going on?” the warrior repeats.

“Lady Lomani, p-please do not fret!” the druid pleads, seeing Lomani's reaction.

Breygrah looks at him. “Greetings, Rhuune.”

“Lady Breygrah....good to see you again.” Lilliana chooses that moment to slip into the room beside the bull.

“You seem to be feeling better.” Rhuune nods at Breygrah, and she smirks at him. “Good.”

Lomani takes a deep breath and smiles at Breygrah.... then immediately turns a sharp gaze to Lilliana. “What are you doing here?” Were the garrison guards completely useless? What was a Grim doing inside the walls?!

“With your permission, I will call him here.” the druid says to Lomani “His name is Xekanjo.”

The seer nods. “Please Rhuune. Thank you.” The druid bows to her politely and steps out. Lomani notices that he inclines his head to Lilliana also on the way out, but not Breygrah.

“I dunno, came to help. Heard that Kex'ti was heading here to heal that tauren lady that beat up Syreena.” Her voice is casual in an almost offhand manner.

Breygrah frowns and looks at the ground. "Can you all not argue, please."

Lilliana has a rather friendly and earnest look on her face. She's not arguing. Lomani eyes the troll, not trusting her act for a moment. Her gaze flickers to Breygrah, and then to Kerala lying helpless.

“Please, not now.” Breygrah says “Everyone behave.”

From downstairs, a loud troll voice drifts up to them. “Ey dere, lil buck...”

Rhuune says, "Xek, she's inside...and thank you for hurrying here."

“Ain't nottin, buck...” Xekanjo replies “Ol' Xek know a ting or two bout dese tangs.”

A moment later, the tall and lanky form of Xekanjo appears in the doorway. He is dressed in forest-green robes elaborately decorated with tiny bones and wooden charms. On his shoulders are wooden panels that resemble faces, complete with tusks jutting from the bottoms. The top half of his face is concealed beneath a somewhat frightening and elaborated carved and decorated mask. Long green braids are scattered along the flat of his back from his hunched posture, and long chops stick out from beneath the mask.

The witch doctor sees Lilliana first. “Oho! Lil' fox...”

She eyes him up and down. “Hey.” Lilliana looks expectantly at the witch doctor guy, but also with a bit of dubiousness.

Breygrah greets Xekanjo “Greetings, Xek!”

The troll looks delighted. “an' da big grizzly gal!”

At Lomani's quietly murmured welcome, the troll's mask snaps to face her, then turns oddly sideways as he cranes his head. Somehow, his neck doesn't snap from the extreme angle. Frankly, it's quite unnerving. “an' a lil' lamb...” he says quietly, almost wondrously.

“You must be Xekanjo.”

From the doorway, Rhuune states, "Xek, behave yourself around the women."

The witch-doctor's head bobs once. “Ay-ya, lil' green lamb. I be Xek.” Then he turns towards Kerala. “An' dis mus' be da wolf wot got 'er noggin inna tizzy.” He eyes the druid laying in the hammock coma-like, except her eyes are open and staring. The pupils are dilated wide as if she were in darkness, almost obscuring the green color. Lomani blinks at the troll's descriptions of 'wolf' and 'lamb', and resists the sudden urge to place herself between him and her chieftain.

Lilliana eyes everyone carefully, then says to the troll, and not to the others really.... "If I can help, let me know. You know I can do head magic shit....better than any freaking witch doctor anyway...." She says that last part with a mutter as she leaves the room. Breygrah watches Lilly leave.

Xekanjo ignores her. Then he flares with power, several ghastly-looking souls whirling around his person. “Ziondeh Deh Caang im deh'yo ir wha. Caang im fidong ir iyaz. Caang im siame ir difus im nehjo.” Breygrah tilts her head a little at the troll's words. Lomani watches the whirling souls a bit uncertainly. But if it will help her chieftain...

Xekanjo 's souls pick up in momentum, swirling into the troll's eyes before rushing into Kerala's. Their forms bind together with a weaving of spirits, both of their eyes becoming a shade of eldritch purple.

Lomani gasps. Breygrah blinks.

“Sssshh” Kex'ti hisses. The monk takes several steps back.

The witch doctor turns his face to Lomani, his eyes glowing brightly through the carved mask. “Ya who be closest ta her...step up.” He commands. His voice is somehow different. It sounds at once normal, and yet with an echo slightly off. It's monotone, and yet not. “I see da fear. I see da nightmare.”

Breygrah looks at Lomani as the seer steps forward uncertainly.

“I see da rackin' o' claws an' da howlin' o' a beaten beast.” the witch-doctor continues. He reaches out a hand for Lomani to take. “Ya gonna live her nightmare.” She blinks at him. “Ya gonna save da wolf from 'er own terror.”

Breygrah gives Lomani a worried look, then takes another step back. Kex'ti looks at Breygrah. He leans in to whisper to Breygrah. The silver seer shoot a worried glance of her own, at Breygrah, and then places her hand into Xekanjo's.

Immediately, there is an incredible rush as a dozen of foreign souls enter her body. She gasps. Lomani blinks violet eyes, blind to all of the outside world.

Breygrah nods slowly and whispers back to Kex'ti. The monk shakes his head. She frowns and takes in a slow breath.

Oblivious, Lomani feels light as air. She's floating as a landscape unfolds beneath her, as if she were a bird flying high above it. It's a city...she feels limitless flows of arcane power around her. Dalaran. She feels a faint tugging sensation, and with a thought, she floats that way. After a moment, she recognizes the Filthy Animal tavern, it's archway looming overhead as she veers into it.

Lomani's violet eyes look around in wonder, seeing beyond the physical inn and the people in it. She whispers "It's the tavern..."

Xekanjo grimaces slightly as a bead of sweat rolls down his cheek from beneath his mask.

Kex'ti nods at Breygrah, but she watches the seer with slight worry still on her face.

Further and further in, Lomani sees shapes, all but shadows. Each wears a mask marked only with a black and red icon. The symbol of the Grim. They coil and writhe, each bearing heinous weapons, and in their midst stands Kerala, bound by chains, like tendrils of black fog.

In the physical world, Lomani frowns. "No... let her go.. get away!" Breygrah blinks.

Xekanjo suddenly lurches, but manages to grunt, "Lamb, ya gotta fight'em!" At the yank on her arm, Lomani suddenly looks at Xekanjo blinking uncertainly, as if just now noticing him.

A shadow shakes his mask and stabs Kerala with a shadowy dagger, the druid screams in pain but no wound appears.

The seer cries out and her face takes on a determined look. Breygrah takes another step away as she bites the inside of her cheek while watching the three.

In the vision, Lomani can feel Xekanjo's presence at her back, before he drifts -into- her, their spirits merging. ...A lust for destruction seeds itself into her with a rush of power. Awkwardly, Lomani tries to shove the shadow away from the helpless druid. The shadow staggers, taking form...an undead comes to fruition, his twin daggers dripping with venom.

Kex'ti looks at Kerala. “I...Am a bit of a loss here.” Breygrah looks at Kex'ti and nods. Lying in the hammock the druid blinks her purple soul-filled eyes, not reacting at all to whatever is taking place.

In the vision, Kerala cries a name that Lomani doesn't recognize. The seer throws holy spells at all the shadows, blinding light to try and banish them. It only partially works. The undead fades from existence. Two other shadows turn to trolls...Lilliana and another wearing stout in plate. A round barrier shimmers for a moment around the troll priestess. A shield.

Lomani 's hands sparkle slightly with light, almost like she's casting spells. Kex'ti looks at Xekanjo. Breygrah lets out a long and quiet sigh. The seer glances down at her hand holding Xek's for a moment, surprised.

Rhuune shifts nervously, "I must say...I feel rather...useless at the moment..."

Breygrah looks sympathetically at Rhuune, then to the floor. She shifts herself uncomfortably.

Lomani's hand burns with a strange green fire, but does not singe or hurt. She wonders if she can fling the emerald flames like she can the Light, and tries. A great gout of fire licks around the two troll shadows. As it flickers out, there is no longer any trace of them. As they disappear, a final giant shadow replaces them. It looms overhead, the mighty form of Awatu showing. It grabs her, and she can feel it ebbing into her spirit. Kerala cries out from the shadowy chains.

Kex'ti shifts, immediately sensing a change, though he not exactly sure what it means. “I'm... How can I help, Lomani?”

Breygrah looks at Kex'ti curiously, then back to the three entrenched in magic. Xekanjo is now drenched in sweat, and seems on the verge of unconsciousness. He suddenly falls to a knee, as though he is being choked. At the same time, Lomani jerks as if to snatch her hand from Xekanjo and retreat from something. "...Awatu."

Kex'ti extends his healing mists to rejuvenate Xekanjo.

Breygrah blinks. "Xek?”

“KkkKkkkKKkk...TAkekkke...KkkkKKKHKaaankdkk...” Xekanjo is barely able to rasp out a command. Lomani reaches out. “Hhkkakkakaaaaaand!”

“Come on...” Kex'ti weaves more mists, determined.

Xekanjo has one hand in Lomani's the other is currently concentrating the spell on Kerala. He tries again. “Tttkkkkakaaaakke....Hhkkkkkhhaaaaaaand!”

Lomani 's free hand reaches out, as if to grasp something. Now she also falls to a knee. “I can't....” she gasps. “I need help!”

But Breygrah just looks at them, confused. She didn't do magic, how could she help? Kex'ti continues hurling rejuvenating streams of mists to the pair but she's not sure if his efforts are actually doing anything.

“Grriizzzkzkkzllyy!” Xekjanjo shouts, his words still incredibly garbled, “Tkkakaaee....laaaaakmb.....HAANDKKDK!” Breygrah blinks at Xekanjo.

Lomani looks around, not seeing Breygrah or Kex'ti. "Brey?” her voice is very small. “Are you still here? I can't beat him!"

Finally, Breygrah walks forward and kneels down between Xek and Lomani. She reaches out a hand for the witch doctor, and clasps Lomani's hand with the other.

Breygrah blinks her eyes several times. They've become purple.

Kex'ti suddenly reaches his limit. He is exhausted, and unable to help further. He hastily walks out of the inn, his exit completely unnoticed by the occupants of the upstairs room.

Breygrah is surprised to find herself in a shadowy world, but she recovers quickly. Kerala screams in fear and wriggles against chains binding her. Breygrah starts to reach for the chains, but then she sees a giant Awatu choking a being that is at once Lomani, and also Xekanjo. The shadow senses the newcomer and roars like a fell beast unknown to this plane of existence.

Breygrah promptly does what she does best and punches his face! Fel fire surges over the entirety of the warrior's arm and strikes Awatu square in the chin as her fist connects. He releases Lomani and staggers back, the felfire burning his face, but now he is angered. Lomani gasps, immediately adding her own holy fire attack. The yellow holy flames react with the fel green ones, creating a stunning blaze that is too blinding to look at. When it disappears, Awatu is also gone.

Kerala is limp in the shadowy chains, one wrapped around her neck. Lomani runs to the druid, yanking at the bindings. On the other side, Breygrah is doing the same.

With both of them yanking, the two tauren women manage to break the chains somehow. They dissipate into nothingness. Kerala gasps in air. If it's possible, the druid looks even more terrified. She looks at them, shaking and gasping. Then her form darkens. It looks like she is being swallowed up in shadows.

Lomani tries to grab the druid, but her hands pass right through like smoke.

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With a tearing sensation, Xekanjo 's souls return to his body. The scene fades to nothingness as the viloet drains away from the tauren's eyes.

The witch-doctor slumps from exhaustion, Rhuune quickly moving to his side. Breygrah staggers also, but doesn't fall. Lomani immediately drops the troll's hand, but, noticing the warrior's hand in hers, she clutches it. Breygrah holds on to the priest, probably thinking the priest is more unsteady herself.

Xekanjo manages to stammer..."It...it be upta da wolf now...She gotta...git 'erself on now..."

The seer looks at Kerala. The druid is no different. “It didn't work?” She's confused.

“It did...but now...she gotta chance ta make 'erself right. She jus' gotta git 'erself out o' dat hole she done dug in. Nuttin' more kin do.” Breygrah looks at Xekanjo.

Lomani slowly seems to gather her wits. She looks at Breygrah gratefully. After a moment, she climbs to her feet.

Xekanjo seems ready to collapse. Rhuune states, "I should take him back to Broden'ar to rest."

“O... okay. Thank you both.” Lomani doesn't even think to offer her healing services, she's so out of sorts.

Breygrah nods her head slowly at Rhuune. “I will stay here with Lomani until she recovers.” She peers at the silver woman searchingly.

Rhuune nods his head and helps the troll out the door.

“I don't really know what just happened.” Lomani eventually admits. Her right hand moves up to cup her head gently. Her eyes sweep over Kerala laying in the hammock.

“I could not begin to guess, myself. How much did you see?”

“The only thing real was the tavern, and the people. Inzema, a troll I don't know with white hair. Lilliana. Awatu. I... I burned them away...” She looks down at her hands, as if to make sure there is no green fire there.

“Troll with white hair. Male?” Lomani nods, and Breygrah frowns as she thinks. “Leyu'jin. I do not know many trolls. Plate armor? Large sword?”

“I think so? They were all just shadows.”

“I see. Possibly him, then.” her voice becomes quiet. “I was not paying attention that night. I was speaking with Naheal. I am so sorry.”

Lomani makes a visible effort to file the troll's name away in her memory. “Kerala was chained. But then you came. Did you see that?”

“I saw the chains. I attacked Awatu. I pulled on the chains.”

The seer nods at Breygrah. “It wasn't real. There were no marks from a chain on her.” she says firmly, her eyes back on Kerala.

“Does this happen to her often?” Breygrah sighs again. “I know that her life was somewhat difficult...”

“I don't know.” Lomani answers. “She certainly doesn't get beaten by three people on a regular basis that I know of.”

“Well. I meant this... State. Do you know Darrethy?” Breygrah peers at Lomani inquisitively.

The grey-furred woman turns her attention away from looking at Kerala to blink at Breygrah. “I've met him. He doesn't seem to like me very much. “I think he blames Kerala for Syreena being a bartender.”

Breygrah nods slowly as she thinks.”From what I understand... She was witness to Syreena attacking me. I never saw her. Syreena was no threat to me, I do not know why she would attack her.” Breygrah lowers her head and looks away from Kerala.

“I do...” the seer says, her hand rubbing at her temple again. “...now.”

“Why did she do it?” Breygrah looks generally concerned. For Lomani? Kerala? Syreena? Probably all three.

“It took me several days to piece it all together.” Lomani regards Breygrah with her pale green eyes. “She didn't tell you anything?”

“I had not seen her for moons before that happened. I spoke with her for a few moments in Warspear, with Kex'ti and Cobrak and Darrethy, but she said nothing of it. I think... That was before. I am not sure, I am having a hard time keeping track of everything.” Lomani nods at Breygrah aware, somewhat, of the stresses that had plagued Breygrah leading up to the Mak'gora. “I don't know what to think.”

“Well,” the seer says gently, “after Konro nearly killed her, and then the Mak'gora, and getting your tabard, it was kind of hard for all of us to keep track of her.” Breygrah closes her eyes and takes in a slow breath. “She came back though, and she hugged me. She was determined about something. She had Anura and I write to Awatu, the Grim commander.”

Breygrah tilts her head. “About what?”

Lomani sighs. “Are you familiar with an ancient tradition, from back in the days when we still roamed the lands as separate tribes? Blood Revenge?”

“I have heard about it, but my tribe did not endorse it.” Breygrah frowns. “The Ragetotem I trained with included. Why?”

The seer nods, not at all surprised. Though she'd mentioned days of roaming tribes, the practice was almost as old as tauren knowledge itself. She suspected it had come about during the days just after the Earth Mother was said to have torn out Her eyes in grief at Her children warring on each other. It was a way to stop the bloodshed.

“Some never had cause to use it. Basically, it is what kept some of the more.... aggressive tribes from warring on each other. Fights were about honor, rather than ever aiming to kill, because to kill another Shu'halo is the worst offense there is.” She keeps her tone carefully neutral, non-accusatory. She's only explaining, not taking any sides in the matter of Konro's death.

Breygrah narrows her eyes at the seer's words anyway. “Without a reason, yes. What does that have to do with anything?”

“Well, if one tribe member killed another, there would be a debt to pay. Accidental deaths, or deaths caused without murderous intent would usually be paid to the victim's tribe in the form of supplies- meats, furs, animals...” Breygrah takes a breath after noticing that she's tensed up while Lomani continues. “If one tribe member actually murdered another, the debt of death could only be paid for with the death of the aggressor.”

“What are you suggesting?” Breygrah tilts her head slightly, her brown tails lopsided.

Lomani continues carefully, now. “Kerala activated the Blood debt on your behalf. The letter she sent to Awatu offered to give the Grim whatever supplies they needed, as Konro had chosen them as his 'tribe' when he left the Horns.”

Breygrah frowns deeply and tenses again. "...what? But... They are not a tribe. And why would she offer something for me?” The seer shrugs at her. “She never spoke to me about this.”

“It's an archaic tradition. We argued with her about it for several hours.”

“I fight my own battles, I pay for them myself.” Breygrah declares. “Well.”She lets out a long, drawn-out sigh. “What became of it?”

“Not only are the Grim not a real tribe,” Lomani agrees, “but they refused Konro's remains, I was told. Having attended the funeral now, I saw the truth of it.”

This fact alone should have nullified any obligation to pay the debt for Konro's death. The 37th could claim the bull's remains, and had a right to their grief at the loss of their commander, but they had not been the ones Konro had chosen for his own. Only the Grim could claim Blood Revenge for Konro's debt, and from everything Lomani and Anura had been able to research, they had chosen to give up that right when they refused the care of Konro's body. Still, Kerala had not listened. For some reason, it was of paramount importance to pay the debt.

Breygrah nods. “They did. While I was still there.”

“But, the Grim are led by Awatu, and he is Shu'halo.” Lomani also points out. Perhaps that was why. If Awatu had been a troll or an orc, Lomani had the feeling nothing would have turned out this way.

Breygrah nods again to confirm the silver seer's words “He is. try to avoid him. I do not know too much of him, to be honest. But there are a lot of Grim I try to avoid, so...”

Lomani shudders, recalling the vision. “I don't know that I ever wish to meet someone who would stand idly by watching a beating.” Breygrah frowns, and she recalls her train of thought. “Oh right. So, back to the letter.”

“Yes... What was she offering?”

“I don't know,” Lomani says truthfully, “I never saw Awatu's response. But by assuming responsibility for paying the blood debt, any Grim seeking vengeance on you should have immediately ceased.”

“It has nothing to do with her, however...” Breygrah says quietly.

“Syreena told me yesterday, the reason Kerala attacked her is because she met with the Grim rogue and told her of the debt, and to stop harassing you. Syreena didn't stop, so Kerala ambushed the forsaken in the cellar.”

“I can handle Syreena on my own.” Lomani just shrugs at her, and Breygrah takes a slow breath in again. She looks into the fire with a blank expression.

“That act is apparently what made the Grim mad enough to attack my chieftain.” the seer concludes with a sigh.

“I don't know what to think of this.” Breygrah says after a while, staring at the flames still. “Anything she needs, someone just needs to tell me. I will do whatever I can to help her. But I don't think I'll be discussing it with her.”

Lomani nods, maybe a bit sad, but not surprised. After all, Breygrah is no longer a Horn. It didn't seem as if anyone wanted to communicate openly anymore, staying withdrawn to themselves, trying to take on all the hardships of the world alone. At that moment, she understood a little more clearly what Kerala was trying to do by raising the banner again, even when she did so by herself. “She didn't discuss it with any of us beyond having us write the letter.”

“I should have dropped the colors before I did anything. I didn't want any of you to become targets. I am still a Horn. I have been for a very long time. But I cannot be obvious with it, right now. You all are very important to me. I was not careful enough.”

Lomani looks at the warrior, not really understanding the logic there at all. Everyone knew the old tribal tale of the father with his two sons always fighting each other. He'd asked them each to break a bundle of sticks. They both tried, but could not break the bundle. Then the father had separated each stick and showed them how easy it was to snap each one individually.

She just sighs, though. For once, she was tired of trying to guide stubborn tauren to see reason. “Dear Sister, I don't know that it matters right now. What's done is done, it is in the past.”

“Yes. It is. I just thought I would explain...” Breygrah sighs heavily. “The last time I left, it was with the Horns' blessings. Because I needed to. I will see what happens after this curse is taken care of. I will not make enemies for the Horns by doing what I must.” She smiles at Lomani then. “I was once Matron, you remember?” Lomani nods remembering not Breygrah being Matron, but of being told how she once held the mantle of leadership. Breygrah sighs with a smile as she thinks about the past. “So long ago. We will worry about what comes next after this Wolf is taken care of.” Her tone is a valiant attempt at confidence.

The seer just nods. “One step at a time. It's the only way we can walk the pathways of our lives.”

“Especially right now.”

Lomani glances past Breygrah, out the doorway. “Something is happening out there.” She stands to go see what is going on outside.

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Logging started on 04/03/2015 at 22:51:22.

[Fhenrir]: I'll tell Leyujin.

Fhenrir grins wickedly at Lilliana.

[Lilliana]: He'll forgive me. *she actually takes another bite*

Lomani looks at everyone.

[Fhenrir]: Ugh.

You smile at Syreena.

Syreena smiles at you.

Inzema rips another piece of the meat off with his teeth, tosses it into the air, and catches it in his mouth.

[syreena]: Hello, does anyone want a drink?

You greet everyone warmly.

[Fhenrir]: Suppose we should head over.

Fhenrir nods at Lilliana. Fhenrir hails you.

Lilliana glances at Fhenrir. "Hmmmm?"

[Fhenrir]: We're running late.

[Lilliana]: So? *does'nt look like she cares. She finishes the meat Inzema gives her with a loud gulp* Okay, I'm ready.

[Lomani]: How is everyone this evening?

[Fhenrir]: Have fun being gross.

Syreena waves at Ruuki.

[Fhenrir]: On our way to a battle. Wish us luck.

Fhenrir bows before you.

Lilliana smiles at you.

[Lilliana]: Battle smattle.

[Lomani]: A battle?

Inzema grins at Lomani with blood all over his face.

[Lilliana]: I'll be back in a bit.

Ruuki smiles and waves at Syreena.

Fhenrir nods at you.

Syreena looks at Lilliana.

Lilliana ate her piece of bloodied meat cleanly, there is no blood on her.

Lomani looks between Lilliana and Inzema, not entirely certain she'd like to know what they are eating.

[inzema]: Want a bite?

[Lilliana]: I'll....be back. *she looks concerns, and then poofs out of their existance*

[syreena]: Where's everyone going?

Inzema pulls a slab of very raw and bloody meat to Lomani.

Lomani wards the offering away.

[Lomani]: No.... thank you. I prefer my meat cooked.

[inzema]: Grosss. You do that, you lose all the emosssion from the meat.

You blink at Inzema.

[Lomani]: Emotion?

Inzema finishes the ball of fatty meat and then starts in on the slab.

[inzema]: Mmhmm! You kill 'em when they're ssscared, angry, or whatever, they got different flavorsss!

[inzema]: Thisss one wasss ssscared at the end. Kinda tangy.

Syreena waves goodbye to everyone. Farewell!

[Lomani]: What... kind of animal is it?

Inzema looks down at the meat in his hand. He looks back at Lomani. "Guesss."

[Lomani]: I'm relatively certain I really don't need to know.

Inzema takes another bite of the raw and bloody meat, making a mess on his face and tabard. "Prolly. You'd prolly not want to eat it if you knew, which isss dumb, essspesssially if you'd already had sssome."

[Lomani]: Is that a reference to our earlier conversation?

[inzema]: What were we talking about before? I forgot. Memory like a wet sssponge.

[Lomani]: That's alright then. You enjoy your meal.

[inzema]: Want me to tell you what it isss?

Inzema waves what is left of the meat at Lomani, spattering a bit of blood near her.

[Lomani]: I'm going to guess that it isn't an animal, given your people's tendencies.

Lomani steps back quickly.

[inzema]: Ooh! Rasssissst!

[Lomani]: Am I wrong?

You stare Inzema down.

Inzema tosses the last piece up into the air and snaps it into his mouth. He wipes the back of his wrist against his mouth. "No, but ssstill rasssissst. You coulda jussst sssaid "Based on what I know of you" inssstead of "you people.""

[Lomani]: But, I don't know you.

[inzema]: But I told you about me the other day!

[Lomani]: So you -do- remember that conversation.

[inzema]: I remember we had it, not all of what we talked about. I tell a lot of people a lot of things.

[Lomani]: I don't beleieve your preferences in dinner was discussed.

[inzema]: You don't know what Food isss?

Lomani blinks at Inzema, confused.

[inzema]: Food. Ya know. Bluesss?

Lomani still looks lost.

Inzema sighs. "Humansss. Elvesss. Sssquidsss. That'sss Food.

[Lomani]: That's gross.

[inzema]: It'sss a dietary nesssesssity.

[Lomani]: Eating people? How is that necessary?

[inzema]: I have a condisssion. It'sss sssimilar to the Forsssaken, but not really. It'sss why I'm me. I have to eat meat and only meat. And eating an animal isss like eating sssand. It would work, but it sssucksss.

Inzema scratches his head. "You lot can eat sssand, right?"

Lomani giggles, shaking her head, allowing the question to move her mind off of eating people.

[Lomani]: I'm sorry you have to do that. I don't think I ever could.

[inzema]: You get usssed to it after three hundred and sssiksssty nine yearsss.

You blink at Inzema.

[Lomani]: I suppose you would indeed.

[inzema]: Of courssse, in my cassse, you get usssed to it a lot fassster when unicorn monkeysss give you a blesssing.

You laugh at Inzema.

Kex'ti waves at you.

[Lomani]: What on Azeroth is a unicorn monkey?

You greet Kex'ti warmly.

[inzema]: Sssomething not ON Azeroth.

[Lomani]: Kex'ti! How are you feeling? I didn't see you leave. Are you alright?

Kex'ti nods at you.

[Kex'ti]: How is Kerala?

You sigh at Kex'ti.

[Lomani]: The same.

Inzema looks at Kex'ti, then back to Lomani. "You wasss jussst itchin for sssomeone sssane to talk to, weren't you?"

Kex'ti frowns with disappointment at you.

[inzema]: I'm on to you.

Kex'ti looks at Inzema.

[Lomani]: Xekanjo seems to think we made progress, but I don't know...

Inzema grins lecherously. "Maybe literally, later."

Lomani shakes her head at Inzema.

You sigh at Kex'ti.

Kex'ti raises an eyebrow at Lomani.

[Lomani]: I guess now we'll see if the northrend herb Chief Whitehorn went to fetch will help, and we'll try to think of other ideas, in case it too fails.

[Kex'ti]: Hmm. I know Tesonii went to Northrend recently...

[inzema]: Betcha I could figger out a way ta fiksss her.

[Lomani]: Tesonii?

You blink at Inzema.

[Kex'ti]: A friend of mine

[Lomani]: If it involves trying to lay with her, you can think again.

[inzema]: What? No, that comesss after!

Kex'ti glares between the two.

[inzema]: She'sss already sssenssslesss, from what you've sssaid. What ussse isss fucking her sssenssslesss when she already isss?

[Jiying]: How crude!

Kex'ti recoils with disgust at Inzema.

Inzema waves at Jiying.

[Lomani]: I don't know.... I would have thought it useless to carve designs into someone as punishment when they couldn't feel it either. Yet you did!

[Kex'ti]: I'm surprised you retain the biological function to shuggest shuch a thing.

[inzema]: You're an elf, you don't have that function, but I have it in ssspadesss.

Kex'ti chuckles at Inzema.

[Kex'ti]: I doubt that. Very much. ...hic!

[inzema]: Yeah?

Kex'ti laughs at Inzema.

[inzema]: I'd show you, but you'd prolly trry to sssuck me off, ya flit.

[Lomani]: Oh goodness.

[Kex'ti]: Such crude insults.

Jiying audibly gags.

[Kex'ti]: From shuch an unrefined individual.

[Lomani]: Inzema? What idea did you have regarding my chieftain?

Jiying covers her mouth with her hand. And hood.

[inzema]: I'm an alchemissst and an engineer. I don't really have a proper idea yet, but I could figure sssomething out.

Kex'ti glares angrily at Inzema.

Inzema grins and waves at Kex'ti.

[Lomani]: Well, I guess at this point if you come up with something reasonable, we'll consider it.

Kex'ti remains disgusted at Inzema.

[inzema]: I'd need to actually, ya know, sssee her. Wasssn't payin' attention during the thing.

Lomani narrows her eyes at Inzema.

[inzema]: What?

[Lomani]: Which part of you CARVING up my chieftain makes you think I will allow you near her at all?

[inzema]: Dunno. Sssoundsss like you're holdin' a grudge. Thossse ain't healthy.

You frown with disappointment at Inzema.

[Lomani]: Seriously?

[inzema]: That wasss the other day. Dissse sssaysss she livesss, ssso she livesss. Look, I'll show you.

[Lomani]: Dice?

Inzema takes a pair of worn bone dice from his pocket, almost reverently. He drops them on the ground.

Lomani is curious.

Inzema casually tosses his [Worn Troll Dice].

[inzema]: Sssee? They're ssstill calling for it.

Inzema picks up the dice and tucks them back into their own special little pocket.

[Lomani]: ...You make your decisions based on chance?

[inzema]: Duh.

Inzema looks from Kex'ti to Lomani, then back again. "You don't?"

[Lomani]: No!

Jiying gasps.

[inzema]: Ah, okay.

[Lomani]: What would you have to roll to suddenly decide to end my chieftain's life?

[inzema]: Oh, that'sss easssy.

Inzema pulls the dice out again. The bone cubes have skulls carved into each face. Two on one face, three on another, etcetera. Inzema points one side to Lomani, where a single skull with knives in the background is carved.

[inzema]: Twin ssskullsss isss death.

Kex'ti smirks slyly at Inzema.

Lomani eyes the dice and their disturbing artistry.

[Lomani]: How often do you roll them?

[inzema]: When I think sssomeone dessservesss it.

[Lomani]: So.... anytime.

You frown.

[inzema]: Nah. I've never rolled for you or the flit here. Or Jiji, wherever she'sss lurking.

Kex'ti laughs at Inzema.

You think about Inzema.

[Lomani]: So you would not roll again for Kerala? I mean... you did just now, for no reason.

[inzema]: Only becaussse you don't believe me. Had to show you.

[Lomani]: Oh good goddess. That is ridiculous.

[inzema]: About asss ridiculousss asss believing in other dimensssionsss, right?

You blink at Inzema.

Lomani cocks her head at Inzema, to the left, eyeing him.

[inzema]: You believe in a god, I believe in my dissse. They're equally weird.

[Lomani]: Give up your weapons, consent to an escort of guards... and I will take you to see Kerala.

Kex'ti watches the pair.

Lomani waits patiently for Inzema's decision regarding her offer.

Inzema unsheaths a pair of large daggers, drops them on the ground. He then pulls no less than a dozen other knives from various places on his person and adds them to the pile.

You blink at Inzema.

Inzema adds flasks, vials, bombs, three guns, an axe, and a rubber chicken to the pile.

[Lomani]: That is quite the collection.

Inzema holds up a finger, telling Lomani to wait, then takes off his boots, his gloves, and, finally, pulls a knife out of his mouth and disconnects it from the string that secured it to one of his teeth.

[inzema]: I think that'sss about everything.

[Lomani]: How..... you know what, nevermind, I don't need to know

Lomani looks over the pile.

[Lomani]: Well, alright then.

[inzema]: Oh, wait, forgot sssomething!

Inzema pulls one last knife out of his mohawk.

[inzema]: Now what?

[Lomani]: Now I guess I take you to Kerala. Kex'ti, did you wish to rest here, or you are welcome to join us.

[Kex'ti]: Ah. I had...other plans regarding rest for the evening. I also think my ability assist Kerala is somewhat minimal.

[Lomani]: Still, thank you for your help earlier. I appreciate the attempt.

Kex'ti nods at you.

You curtsey before Kex'ti.

[Lomani]: Enjoy your night.

[Lomani]: Inzema? please follow me.

Kex'ti nods at you.

[Kex'ti]: Farewell.

Lomani whistles, and several beefy (ha!) guards come to surround the two as an armed escort. There are a few more guards on duty than usual.

Lomani leads Inzema to the garrison tavern, then up the stairs.

Lomani nods to a woman sitting on a stool by an occupied hammock. The black-furred and rather large tauren woman nods back to Lomani, and exits the room, leaving the two of you alone.

Kerala is in the hammock, all physical evidence of the beating healed. Inzema's design is only visible on the druid's nose as tiny faint lines. She lays completely still, breathing very slowly. Her eyes stare straight ahead.

Lomani gestures, inviting Inzema to do whatever. Guards stand two inside the doorway, and the others outside the room.

Inzema eyes Kerala, waves a hand in front of her face, and frowns. "Yup, eksssactly the sssame."

Inzema adjusts his goggles and starts prodding Kerala with a finger. "What can you tell me about her?" he asks while he works.

[Lomani]: What would you like to know?

[inzema]: Fearsss, hatesss, what you know about what makesss her tick.

You are lost in thought.

Lomani thinks about it a moment.

Inzema shrugs and manifests a knife from nowhere, waving it about. "She was nonreactive before I did anything. Limp. Like thisss already. I think it may have been sssomething Lilly did, but it alwaysss helpsss to think about other posssibilitiesss."

[Lomani]: Not a whole lot, actually. She has a short temper. Likes to spend....

Inzema looks at the knife in his hand, shrugs, and tosses it over his shoulder.

Lomani trails off, seeing the blade.

[inzema]: Allergiesss? No, probably not allergies. Hm...

[Lomani]: ...likes to spend time alone. She's an animal a lot of the time. She's fond of flying. No allergies that I know of, but she is vegetarian, if that helps.

Inzema digs through his pockets, pulls out another rubber chicken and tosses it over his shoulder, then pulls out a bottle in the shape of a skull. He takes a sip from the bottle, nods, then holds it under Kerala's nose.

Kerala coughs a little.

[inzema]: Not entirely unreactive. Hm.

[Lomani]: She does that if we try to give her too much water, too.

Inzema offers the bottle to Lomani. With his other hand, he pulls a cut of flesh from a pocket. This one actually looks like fish, not any sentient being...unless it's Murloc...

Lomani accepts the bottle, looking curiously at Inzema's new item. Lomani sniffs the bottle, and then she too coughs.

[Lomani]: Wow, that's awful. What is the fish for?

Inzema pokes Kerala's left boob, murmurs to himself, then pokes her stomach. "Weird...Can't find anything physically wrong with her. Her temporal signature is all normal..."

Lomani frowns. "Is that really necessary? And of course she is. We healed her."

[inzema]: Right, but you didn't fix what was wrong with her! That's why she was unresponsive for the torture! Hm...Downstairs...bit of a scuffle...

Inzema snaps his fingers, pokes Kerala's right boob, then points at Lomani. "Is she afraid of the dark?"

Kerala kind of doesn't really have much in the way of boobs, she's so skinny, but Lomani glares at Inzema anyway.

[Lomani]: She mines gems, I can't see how she would be. Although...

[inzema]: Although...?

Inzema waves for Lomani to continue.

[Lomani]: she really wasn't happy about the tunnels built here by the goblins. I've never seen her go into them. She was always yelling at them. The old foreman quit about a month ago. The new replacement seems fine.

[inzema]: Hm. That probably has nothing to do with it...but what if...?

Inzema pokes Kerala in the stomach, the right shoulder, and then the left hip.

Inzema takes off his goggles and offers them to Lomani. "Take a look at her Quipthaumic Lowkey Entanglement!"

Lomani sets down the bottle of embalming fluid to take the goggles. Awkwardly, she holds them up to her face and peers at Kerala.

The display on the goggles is a dizzying array of swirling colors and readouts. If she were to look at Inzema, she would see that colors seem to be dull near him, but near Kerala they are much brighter. It would also tell her Kerala's bust size, measurements, and pulse rate.

Lomani looks around in wonder.

[Lomani]: Wow

You look at Inzema. You look at Kerala.

[Lomani]: I don't really know what I'm looking at.

Lomani lowers the goggles and holds them back out to Inzema.

Inzema frowns, snatches back his goggles, looks at Kerala, adjusts them slightly, then presses a button. He then looks at Lomani and presses the button again, then offers them to her.

[inzema]: Sssee this purple swirly by your head? It's more square-ish by hers. I think thats why she's broken.

One lens now shows the view of Lomani while the other shows Kerala. This time both pictures are nude.

You frown with disappointment at Inzema.

[inzema]: What?

Lomani just shakes her head at Inzema.

[Lomani]: I do see the.... difference.

Lomani grinds her teeth in frustration.

[inzema]: Basically, I think that means she went insane. I'm pretty sure purple is your Fear Dingwongle. Or maybe rage...

[Lomani]: I should have the skills for treating the mind!

Lomani reaches up to finger the lack of a horn on the right side of her head.

Inzema claps for Lomani. "Well good! You might- Wait, should?"

You sigh at Inzema.

[Lomani]: Mhmm. I only have limited ability at weilding shadow magics. Most of it is lost to me, along with my memory.

[inzema]: Well you're kinda ussselesss... Hm...I might be able to fuckery up sssomething.

Inzema starts digging through his pockets.

[Lomani]: I can burn you with the light, mister dead man, and then sew you a nice body bag. I'm not entirely useless.

[inzema]: Psh. The light tickles.

Inzema pulls a chainsaw from his pocket. "Think I could reengineer this into a mindcap?" He looks at the chainsaw. "Me neither." He tosses it over his shoulder.

Lomani just covers her face with her palm as a guard dodges the projectile. Lomani doesn't even bother asking how Inzema fit a chain saw in his pocket.

[inzema]: Wait! I know! Not engineering!

Inzema pulls a vial from his pocket. "This is a hallucinogenic. One of my failed poisons. Gives the ingester happy thoughts. Maybe this will work."

Lomani looks uncertain. "A poison?"

[inzema]: In a sense. Side effects may include irrational masturbation, drooling, licking faces, dancing, telling everyone you love them, handstands, jazz hands, wearing pants, thinking dresses are men's clothing, death, light thunderstorms, and irrational fear of daisies.

[Lomani]: Yeah.... no. I have a problem with the 'death' side effect.

[inzema]: Well, I include that on everything. Mostly because I can't disprove that that might be a side effect.

[Lomani]: What's it made from?

Inzema adjusts his goggles, looking at the bottle.

[inzema]: Powdered Felguard testicles, essence of a cold morning, daisy pollen, Upside-down mana, liquified eye of sea marmoset...and a touch of concentrated sunbeams.

[Lomani]: Coqui!!

Lomani shouts.

[inzema]: Gazoontheit.

The guards step aside to admit the larger-than-average tauren sunwalker from before. She's got decent breasts and wide hips, to Inzema. "What?"

Inzema eyes the newcomer and makes a lewd gesture.

Coqui looks tiredly at Inzema. "Sweety, you're not my type. What's in the vial? Let me see."

Inzema offers the vial to the tauren. "Yeah? What'sss your type?"

Coqui ignores him for a moment. She sniffs the contents of the vial. Touches the back of the cork with a finger and tastes it. Replaces the cork.

The sunwalker steps up to give Inzema back the vial, her eyes inviting.

[inzema]: Tastes good, no?

Coqui leans down to put the vial in Inzema's hand. She goes to kiss him.

Inzema grins widely, accepts the kiss, and attempts to reciprocate.

Coqui kisses Inzema deeply, her empty hand groping his groin. She finds it and squeezes, firmly, but not to cause pain. Then she abruptly pulls away.

Inzema chuckles at the tauren and looks to Lomani. "That was not what I was expecting either."

Coqui "yeah...you've got a little too much penis for me, and not enough ovaries. You're cute though." To lomani she says "it's fine, dear"

Lomani blinks, and Coqui heads back downstairs.

You blush.

Inzema laughs loud and long, turning back around to Lomani. "You know, you could have a taste, too." He smirks. "If you ask nicely."

[inzema]: I only bite if you ask me.

[Lomani]: That's quite alright. I'm fine.

[inzema]: Are you? You look a bit flustered and intrigued.

Lomani gestures to Kerala, for Inzema to proceed with his attempt.

Inzema cackles and proceeds to delicately force Kerala to swallow the liquid from the vial.

Kerala swallows, little bit by bit.

Lomani watches to see if anything will happen.

Inzema stares at Lomani's butt instead of Kerala. Inzema takes the vial from Kerala's mouth when it empties, sticks a finger into it, then attempts to dab the finger on Lomani's nose.

Lomani pulls back. "What are you doing?"

Inzema chuckles and keeps trying to boop Lomani's nose. "C'mon. You'll enjoy it!"

Lomani frowns, still avoiding Inzema, and in his goggles he should see a change in her [her chakra turns red] "Stop it."

Inzema sticks his tongue out at Lomani and boops his own nose. "What a waste. My body metabolises it in seco-Pre-And gone."

Lomani sighs.

[Lomani]: I'm sorry. It's just.... I'm very worried. Is all.

[inzema]: You should be more like me!

[Lomani]: How long should it take to work?

You look at Kerala.

[inzema]: Dunno. Thirty seconds to an hour. Effects should last anywhere from fifteen minutes to three days. Alchemy ain't exactly precision science.

Lomani thinks maybe that outlook on the profession is why Inzema is not an Apothecary. Probably a good thing.

Inzema is thinking no such thing. Mostly, he is thinking about what he could do to convince Lomani to start doing jumping jacks.

[Lomani]: Alright... I guess we'll just watch her to see if she improves any.

You thank Inzema.

Inzema hms quietly. "I could give her a stimulant to boost her metabolism and make it work faster.

Inzema digs through his pockets. "Which one worked best on taurens?" he murmurs.

Inzema eyes Lomani, frowns, and stops digging. "Or I could not..."

Kerala lays there. Almost unnoticeably, her breathing quickens, becoming slightly more normal for a resting person.

[Lomani]: What?

[inzema]: Nevermind!

Inzema pokes Kerala, noting the increase in her pulse. "Well that's an improvement...Lolo, what's your average beats per minute?"

Lomani looks at Inzema, confused.

[Lomani]: It's working?

[inzema]: Increase in respiratory rate, increase in pulmonary activity.

Lomani looks hopeful. "That sounds good..."

Inzema quickly reaches out a hand and grabs Lomani's wrist. He uses the other hand to check Kerala's pulse.

[inzema]: Divide by two for resting rate...and one and a half for laser frogs...

Lomani blinks. Laser frogs....? Lomani covers her mouth to keep from laughing despite the seriousness of the whole situation. She must be more tired than she thought.

Inzema smirks, releases Lomani's wrist, and quickly slaps her on the ass. "I think she's out of the boneyard." Inzema attempts to close Kerala's eyelids with his fingers.

You gasp at Inzema.

Kerala's eyes blink shut to protect them from Inzema's fingers, but pop right back open again.

[inzema]: Hm...weird...Maybe not all cured... Well...I think I've enough information to come up with a custom tailored concoction that should definitely not have a lot of side effects! I will have to work on it, though. I'll be in touch!

[Lomani]: Thank you.

Inzema gathers up his things, pulls his boots out of nowhere, slips them on, then his gloves, his knives, and finally, his rubber chickens, which he sticks into his belt.

[Lomani]: Don't forget your chain saw.

[inzema]: I don't own a chainsaw. Those things are dangerous!

You blink at Inzema.

[inzema]: Chainsaw, she says. Hah!

Lomani wonders if maybe she's imagining things.

[Lomani]: Oh alright then.

Inzema walks out the door and past the chainsaw on the floor.

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Logging started on 04/05/2015 at 12:32:54.

Lomani eyes Rarahn up and down.

[Lomani]: Rarahn! You're back, oh thank goodness.

Rarahn blinks, "Oh, hello Lomani, I was wondering when I'd find you."

Lomani looks maybe a bit more tired than usual. Her normally smooth braids haven't been redone neatly today. She looks at Rarahn. "How was Northrend?"

[Rarahn]: Cold. Same as usual, but I managed to get the stuff needed for the ritual.

[Lomani]: The Dream Fade herb?

[Rarahn]: Indeed. Has there been any changes with Kerala?

Lomani shakes her head.

[Lomani]: Not really. There was a potion that seemed to relax her somewhat- she slept, but that's all. A witch doctor tried to help as well.

[Rarahn]: That might be helpful for us. A more relaxed sleep would be much safer.

[Lomani]: It's been a day since then. We don't have any more of the potion, but she might be sleeping anyway. It's been long enough. And I found the monk.... he couldn't help her like before.... nothing is working. Lomani sounds a little bit distraught.

Lomani looks at Rarahn.

[Lomani]: Do we need to prepare the potion, do you need help...? Or it is ready now?

[Rarahn]: It's already. I had the Elder Shaman prepare it for us.

Lomani smiles at Rarahn.

[Lomani]: Alright. Do you need to rest from your travels?

Lomani is being polite, but she's anxious to try the dream-thing now.

[Rarahn]: I'd enjoy it if we started the ceremony as quick as possible.

Lomani smiles at Rarahn.

[Lomani]: Alright then, if you're ready, I am too.

[Rarahn]: Let us head to the inn then.

Lomani nods at Rarahn.

As they go up the stairs, a black-furred sunwalker passes them, carrying a bucket. From the smell it's not hard to guess the contents.

[Rarahn]: Are you ready for this?

Lomani nods at Rarahn.

[Lomani]: She's been like this too long. I don't know what else to try.

[Rarahn]: I'll attempt to guide you as best I can. You'll likely still hear my voice in the veil.

[Lomani]: Alright.

[ Will you be with me? Do you drink too? I can get someone to watch over us.

[Rarahn]: I'll be watching over you, but you'll hear my voice guiding you.

Lomani nods at Rarahn.

[Rarahn]: Get comfortable.

Rarahn gently pats Kerala.

Lomani crawls into a hammock and lays down. She looks at Rarahn.

Rarahn pulls out a small waterskin. "The poison is in this. You have to make sure to drink it all, but I warn you, it tastes awful."

Lomani makes a face, but nods at Rarahn

Rarahn hands it to her. "Good luck."

Lomani accepts the sloshy skin and uncorks it. She sniffs the contents.

[Rarahn]: I probably wouldn't have done that.

[Lomani]: You said drink it all. I'd rather not get a mouthful and -then- realize how awful it is. I might choke from surprise.

Lomani smirks slyly at Rarahn. She considers the volume, and whether or not she can just gulp it all down without needing to pause for breath. It really DID smell horrible.

[Rarahn]: I wish I could have masked the taste and smell, but it'd weaken it.

Lomani glances at Kerala lying in the next hammock, then looks at Rarahn and raises the skin as if to say cheers.

Lomani makes a face of disgust, but gulps quickly. She squeezes the skin to make sure she drank it all, then pulls it away from her lips.

[Lomani]: Ughhh!

Rarahn watches as Lomani falls asleep quickly after drinking it. "Good luck."

Lomani is about to ask how long it takes to be effective, but her eyes droop and her head goes slowly slack as she falls asleep.

Rarahn drinks his own potion to allow him to speak to Lomani in the dream. "Lomani, what do you see?"

Lomani opens her eyes and sits up, in dreamland. "Rarahn?" She looks around.

[Rarahn]: I'm here in the waking world. What do you see?

[Lomani]: I'm... in a desert. There's nothing here.

[Rarahn]: Are you familiar at all with this desert?

[Lomani]: No...? It's just flat. Sandy.

[Rarahn]: Try to imagine Kerala. It'll help you find her.

Lomani obeys. Nothing happens, so she starts walking...

[Lomani]: There.... there might be birds over there.

[Rarahn]: you likely won't be able to tell right away when you've entered her dream world, if you're not in it already.

Lomani voice sounds a little winded from walking in sand. "Well, it's certainly not my... idea of a dream... it's hot... I'd like a nice cool grassy... plain somewhere.

Rarahn chuckled. "It could be a negative effect of whatever has Kerala. Follow the sound of birds."

Lomani nods slightly, laying in her hammock.

[Lomani]: They're circling something.

[Rarahn]: Can you see what it is?

[Lomani]: Almost... It's... something dead. They're vultures.

[Rarahn]: A dead what, exactly?

[Lomani]: Ehhh... a centaur. So gross.

[Rarahn]: Try to focus on Kerala again and keep going.

[Lomani]: Alright. There are tracks, should I follow them?

[Rarahn]: What kind of tracks?

[Lomani]: From the dead horse man. I'm going that way, there are some hills now.

[Rarahn]: Still desert?

[Lomani]: Yes, but there are some rocks, now. And I- Lomani stops suddenly.

[Rarahn]: Is everything okay?

[Lomani]: Oh sorry. I found a... a battleground, I think.

[Rarahn]: Between whom?

[Lomani]: The dead are all kinds. Centaur, shu'halo. A lot of animals.

[Rarahn]: I see... Continue to focus on Kerala, you have to find her quickly.

[Lomani]: Should I be able to feel her? I feel.... something.

[Rarahn]: It's possible.

[Lomani]: There is a giant pile of bodies. I think... Lomani frowns. I think she's under them? I feel like I should go down.

[Rarahn]: If you think that's best.

[Lomani]: Ooh.. kay. What did you see, when you did this?

[Rarahn]: It depends on the circumstances.

Lomani grimaces. "Ok well I'm certain she must be this way, now. I don't know how, but I just walked all the way around this mountain of death, and it's all the same. I would really -really- like you to distract me while I try something."

[Rarahn]: What are you planning?

[Lomani]: You are really not helping with that...

[Rarahn]: Well it's hard to help distract you if I don't know what you're doing.

[Lomani]: Oh.... it's fine. If this works, though, she owes me. Big time. And also, we have to chat, because seriously- what kind of dream is this? I'm at the top of the... the mountain.

[Rarahn]: Likely it's either a nightmare, or something.

[Lomani]: It's hollow in the middle. Like a shaft going straight down again.

[Rarahn]: Hopefully it's not filled with spiders.

Lomani mutters. Rarahn catched the words "owe" "big time" and something that was probably "only because I love you"

[Lomani]: Yeah, you are the worst guide ever. Just saying! I'm climbing down.

Lomani really really hopes there are no spiders.

[Rarahn]: I'm sure it'll be fine if you believe.

[Lomani]: It had better! Ah! I'm ok...

[Rarahn]: Glad to hear. What do you see?

[Lomani]: I fell the rest of the way. I think I'm underground? It's pitch black now. I can't see..... fantastic.

[Rarahn]: You're a priest. Light it up

[Lomani]: I'm waaaay ahead of you elder. It's some kind of tunnel.

[Rarahn]: Keep going. It sounds like you're getting closer.

[Lomani]: it's better than bodies. Lomani gasps again, surprised. Oh.... oh Goddess. That... that needs to not happen.

[Rarahn]: Vague. What's wrong?

[Lomani]: Please tell me you did that? Rarahn? Did you bump the hammock?

[Rarahn]: Did what?

[Lomani]: Everything just shook. Did you bump the hammock or something?

[Rarahn]: No, I didn't.

[Lomani]: Oh that's just lovely.

[Rarahn]: Stay safe.

[Lomani]: Oh... I don't like this at all. You know, the undead thought maybe she was afraid of the dark... and now we're in the dark.

[Rarahn]: Ahh... Well that could be a good sign then?

[Lomani]: Hey! There's light at the end of the tunnel! Lomani in the hammock, the shadow of a smirk crosses her features.

[Rarahn]: Go towards it, I hope.

[Lomani]: I see her! Kerala?

[Rarahn]: Is she okay?

[Lomani]: Kerala? She's just... standing here. She can't see me, I think. We're in a little cavern, and there's a campfire burning.

[Rarahn]: Hmmm... Did you touch her?

[Lomani]: I can't! I just went right through her! The fire isn't real either. I feel... I feel like a ghost.

Lomai frowns.

[Rarahn]: Well you are in her dreams.

[Lomani]: So... what do I do now? Gaaahh. everything just shook again.

[Rarahn]: You have to wake her up.

[Lomani]: Right... ok...

[Rarahn]: I wish I could help.

[Lomani]: Come on chieftain... Come on Kera- OH! Oh hi, oh she sees me!

[Rarahn]: Oh?

[Lomani]: Yeah, she tried to hug me. Didn't work. Come on, come this way... Ah, don't stop! I'm right here! She lost me. Heeey. Nonono, don't go that way. Let's go out. Out. That way. Lomani lets out a long, drawn-out sigh. I don't know how she saw me. I'll try again...

[Rarahn]: Good luck. I know you can do it.

[Lomani]: There! Yes, hi, come on. Come this way. Rarahn, I'm going to try and lead her out of here, I don't like the dar-

Lomani abruptly stops breathing.

[Rarahn]: Lomani? Lomani!

Rarahn stumbles and prepares the counter agent to wake Lomani up.

Lomani continues not drawing breath.

Rarahn opens her mouth and pours the drink into it. "Come on... Wake up."

Lomani does nothing for a long agonizing moment, but then she swallows hard, and begins gasping. Her eyes open and she clutches Rarahn desperately.

Lomani starts crying uncontrollably, like any woman would after a traumatic experience.

[Rarahn]: What happened?

Lomani struggles for several minutes to calm down enough to talk.

Rarahn frowns and sits there waiting.

[Lomani]: Th'ole pla- ace fell.... o- -on top f'us

Lomani manages to get the crying reduced to sniffles and hiccups.

Lomani takes a deep breath.

Rarahn places a hand on her shoulder. "It's okay... It was just a nightmare."

[Lomani]: The whole cavern collapsed.

[Rarahn]: How?

[Lomani]: What do you mean how? It just came down! I was trapped, I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe. I couldn't get out!

[Rarahn]: Something must have caused it.

[Lomani]: Oh. The way everything was shaking, I think it was an earthquake.

Rarahn frowns. "And Kerala?"

[Lomani]: I don't know! She was just standing there, like she knew it would happen. It makes no sense. None of it makes any sense.

Rarahn looks to Kerala's body.

[Lomani]: So, she's stuck like this because she's dreaming of dying? I don't understand.

[Rarahn]: I'm afraid I don't really know myself, and I only have enough Dream Fade for one more trip in.

Lomani sighs, still somewhat shaken.

[Lomani]: We should save it. I think we should talk it over and plan the next move very carefully, then. I don't know that we have a lot more time. Would you mind leaving the Dream Fade here with us, and the antidote? I wouldn't want to keep you from your duties while we try and figure out what to do next. But I'm not sure what we can do from here.

[Rarahn]: I'll make sure to leave it here.

Lomani nods at Rarahn.

[Lomani]: Thank you Lomani climbs out of the hammock. I think I need a drink. Strong one.

[Rarahn]: Probably a good idea.

Lomani shoots one last look to Kerala, then heads downstairs.

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04/05

The midday inn had been nearly empty of all but the usual suspects- peons looking for a minute to relax quietly, soldiers taking their ease from the battlefield. These people came and went without much noise, and the daytime barkeep was quiet and efficient.

Lomani's favorite alcohol wasn't a quick way to drown reality, but given enough time- say all day- it did the job. The seer had been in the corner since maybe noon, alternately giving in to bouts of depression, then periods of self-reprimand and drunken brainstorming that really only amounted to fervent, if slurred, prayer.

Lomani could not get the morning's images, the -feelings- out of her mind. For the first time, she couldn't hold onto the hope that they might still find a way to save Kerala. How hypocritical. It was her job to hope, to inspire others to it when they stumbled. To lead them in faith. What did it mean that she gave in to despair now?

The daytime shift ends and, like clockwork, the little undead waitress appears for her evening shift. Syreena is accompanied by the fiery-haired troll priest, who was just about the last person Lomani wished to see. Briefly, the drunk tauren considered taking her bottle and retreating to someplace quiet and alone. Instead, she stayed put. It didn't matter anyway.

Lilliana grins in the most friendly way at Lomani. The seer doesn't return the smile, but rubs red eyes quickly. It doesn't do much to hide the fact she's been crying. She doesn't say anything to it, at least right now. Instead she gasps, looking at Brammorn, "All better?" She asks him.

The simple undead bull had come in just a few minutes before. Lomani had managed to go unnoticed, in her corner. “Priiiest-friiend...” He greets Lilliana with a nod. “Bram-morn... strooong.... not... neeeed..... medi-cine...” Then he notices Lomani as well. “Greeeen-lady...” His greeting trails off slightly as he looks at her.

“You do look pretty strong now.” The troll gives him an appraising look, then she turns her gaze to Lomani. Her expression is gentle. “What's wrong?” She takes a seat in front of the red-eyed tauren woman.

“Green-lady... huuuuuurt...?”

Lomani sniffles. “No Brammorn. I'm not hurt.”

“Good evening. Does anyone need a drink?” Syreena is her usual cheerful self. It's hard for Lomani to associate this person with one that would have harassed Breygrah enough to prompt Kerala into attacking her to make it stop. She just can't draw an evil grimace out of those smiling lips, can not imagine the pretty serving dress replaced with dark leathers. But then again, the troll sitting in front of her looks absolutely genuine as well, and Lomani knows -that- is a lie.

“Yeah, Lomani needs one, a strong one.” She looks to Syreena and grins at her. The waitress laughs and disappears behind the bar.

Lomani can't help but laugh. “I am so far ahead of you dear...” Even she doesn't know if she's speaking to Syreena, or to Lilliana.

“Well, more can never hurt.” the priestess says.

Lomani agrees with an enthusiastic “Nope!”

“Here you are.” Syreena returns with a mug of the golden Skyreach Sunrise, smiling. “Anyone else?”

Lilliana looks Lomani over slowly, "I'm sorry you're sad, what's going on?" Lomani fixes her with an emerald stare as she glances to Syreena “I'm good, Syreena. I'm fighting tonight.....don't want to be all wonky.” Brammorn shakes his head.

“Some cheese then.” Syreena nods at Lilliana. After another quick moment, the undead sets down a tray of cheese and pastries on the table. She smiles at Brammorn. “And for you? What would you like?”

“Not... need.... aannny....”

“Oh. Okay.” Syreena frowns with disappointment at Brammorn.

Lomani looks at Lilliana somewhat unsteadily, but very seriously. She's pretty drunk, because ordinarily she would have remembered her manners. Now, she didn't care. "You, missy.... you should teach me that."

Lilliana pops a piece of cheese into her mouth, gesturing for Lomani to have some too. "Thanks, Syreena." she make sure to thank the serving rogue. "Teach you what?" To Lomani.

Lomani tries to grab a cheese, knocking off a couple to the floor in the process. Frowning, she gives up the effort as the trolless watches. “How to do that....” she waves at Lilliana “all that. That thing... where you pretend like you care, but issh all just... not.” The thought didn't stay with her long enough to articulate.

Darrethy enters the tavern as Lilliana turns a rather hurt look upon Lomani, and she frowns. "I care." then gazes over to Darrethy, "Darrethy, don't I care?"

There it was! The fake. Lomani points at Lilliana's face. "Yeahh jusht like that.”

Darrethy glances at Lily "Care about what? I just got here."

Lilliana leans back from the pointing tauren finger in her face, "Whaaaaaaaaa......" She looks completely confused. “You want me to teach you how to frown and look sad? You're already doing a good job of that yourself.” she looks at Lomani.

But the seer is distracted now, giving Darrethy a wobbley look around the troll. “How many of you are there...? An how many are mindlessh?” It seemed a question of sudden and tantamount importance.

“Mindless?” Lilliana echoes, even more confused. “Darrethy, Lomani is sad....and drunk.”

"A lot of people are for....various reasons, Accalia has taken a toll."

Lilliana isn't getting anywhere with the poor tauren. She gets up, and looks down at Lomani. It's hard to tell if that look is full of concern or confusion. "Yeah well, Accalia just sucks butt."

Brammorn blinks at the silver tauren. “Green-lady... saaaad...?”

Lomani stares at Darrethy, unable to respond to Brammorn. If she did, she'd forget what she was trying to remember. There was a point here she had to make. She concentrates to keep the slur out of her voice. "Forsaken or mindless. How many die and turn out okay?"

“Huh.....? Is Kerala still a zombie?” Lilliana asks Lomani.

Darrethy rubs his chin "....Hrm, how many die and turn out alright? Hard to say, the raising process is different for everyone. But the Forsaken recruit hundreds. If one is too damaged, they are mercy killed."

Lomani looks at Lilliana, and then bursts out laughing at the word "zombie". Then she stops just as suddenly, and nods. “Sho, it'sh 'afe to ssay death ish pretty damned traumatic, yeah?” The seer claps a hand over her mouth after she curses, her red eyes wide.

"Well yes, but keep in mind that being a Forsaken adds an extra layer. Your body is imperfectly attached to your soul through a barrier that is...almost impossible to see, this is why the Forsaken are so in tune with the shadow. A thin barrier of darkness is worked into our very being, and to an extent alters how we feel and perceive the world."

“Death.....traumatic?” The priestess looks at Darrethy, then back to Lomani. She raises a brow. She isn't touching that subject.

Brammorn blinks at Darrethy. “Dress-man... talk.... funn-y...” Sitting next to him, Lomani blinks at Darrethy as he launches into -way- too much detail for her alcohol-marinated mind to grasp. Her expression could have been a mirror for Brammorn's.

Darrethy taps his helmet "It's....impossible to describe, it would be like trying to explain what the color red looks like to Taozhu."

Lilliana looks at Khorvis, hearing his voice as he calls Syreena a clever barkeep. “Hey, Khorvis.” She steps away from the death conversation for a moment, and grins over to the orc as he glances to them, then back at some kind of card Syreena had given him.

Lomani glances to Brammorn, considering him for a long moment. She manages to realize how hurtful it would be to say it aloud, but only just. He kind of proves her point about death and all that.

Lilliana looks at Lomani, perhaps noticing the thoughtful gaze at Brammorn. “You know what, drink some more.” she picks up a drink and hands it to Lomani.

“Shhuuree!” the seer says enthusiastically. It was her favorite.

“Totally what you need right now. See, I care. This proves it!” She shoves the alcohol at Lomani, knowing full well it is -not- what the woman needs.

“Nooo.... Green-lady.... reeeeest...”

It was Brammorn's objection that made Lomani realize the bad judgement she was displaying currently. If he thought it was a bad idea, then surely it must be a terrible one. She narrows her eyes at Lilliana. “Oh!”

Lilliana cringes when Lomani frowns at her, and she steps away, looking beaten. Darrethy drifts after her toward Khorvis against the bar.

Brammorn looks at Lomani for a moment, then bends down and effortlessly picks up the smaller tauren and begins carrying her bridal-style.

A surprised “Hey!” was Lomani's only protest.

“Green-laaaady..... not... need.... driiiink..... reeeest.... like.... Bram-morn.... reeeest...” Lilliana looks to Brammorn and Lomani and starts laughing as she's carried upstairs. He carries her up and eyes the rug on the floor. He'd been too big to fit into a hammock, so he'd laid there days earlier while Lomani had sung to him. But the simple bull looks back at Lomani, and then places her gingerly onto one of the bunks.

“I can't shleep here.” Lomani begins to tell him. This was Warspear. This was a bar. It wasn't safe.

But Brammorn takes a breath. “...Red... eye... An'she... good-bye...” Lomani shuts up and listens to him for a moment. The bull is trying to sing to her, but his way of speaking makes it flat and wholly terrible. Still, the proper words invade her thoughts, filling in the gaps. It's the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for her. When the red eye of An'she Bids his goodbye...

“Moth-er.... chiiiiiild.... sleep-time....” Mother sees Child's sleeptime is nigh...

Lilliana cants her head to the side, and listens for a moment to Brammorn....sing....? Yes...that's definitely singing...at least....an attempt. She smiles, thinking that's rather endearing. The troll then heads upstairs. Khorvis watches Lilliana walk off, his eyes following, truly concerned.

“.......not.... re-mem-ber.... more...” Brammorn looks apologetic. "Not...siiing...liiike....Green-lady..."

Lomani whispers the end to the song "And you'll come back to me then in the roshe of dawn."

Lilliana shoves Brammorn aside, "Look, you can't sing. I'll sing her a lullaby. Shut your mouth, it's scary."

Brammorn looks at Lilliana. “Priiiest-friiiend... siiiing....?”

“I can.”

Lomani looks at Lilliana, at the flash of... something she'd seen there. She looks at the hammock where she just realized she's sitting, and promptly lurches, dumping herself onto the floor in an effort to get out of it instantaneously. Images of the shadow-Lilliana from Xekanjo's ritual flash in her mind as she recalls Kerala's form lying in the hammock, slowly dying. She feels the crushing press of earth again, and she starts bawling.

Brammorn looks outright frightened as Lomani begins sobbing..."No....! N-not.... cry..."

“Oh gawd..... Lomani......” Lilliana backs away to allow Brammorn to hug the tauren priest or something. “What the hell is going on with you?”

Instead of bending to hug her, though, Brammorn turns and flees.

. . .

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Lomani looks up at Lilliana, hiccuping. The troll steps forward and kneels down beside Lomani, and believe it or not, the little priestess puts her arms around the bawling tauren.

Lomani freezes, except that she can't really, because she's got that spasming diaphragm thing from crying. Her hiccup sounds deafening in her own ears. This troll is the one that more or less led the attack on her chieftain, and now she was touching Lomani. The seer couldn't decide whether to panic, to scream for help, or to just give it all up and accept the hug at face value, despite knowing Lilliana only showed the world a mask.

Lilliana begins humming something quietly. It sounds very sweet, very soothing.... Then she says the words. "Come little children I'll take you away, into a land of enchantment...come little children the times come to play in my garden of shadows. Follow sweet children, through all the pain and the sorrows.

Lomani blinks, the troll embracing her. She gives up. The tauren hugs Lilliana back.

“Weep not poor children...for life is this way....murdering beauty and passions.” She pauses and looks at Lomani when she feels the tauren grip her. "Hush now dear children, it must be this way, too weary of life and deceptions. Rest now my children, for soon we'll away, into the calm and the quiet.” Then she repeats the song's chorus. “Come little children, I'll take you away into a land of enchantment...into my garden of shadows.” She finishes this kindly, but she's giving Lomani a careful look as she holds the weeping tauren.

Lomani sighs, relatively calm again. “That's the s-sweetesht death ssong I've ever heard.” She lets go of Lilliana, even though she really still needs a hug.

The troll smiles lightly at Lomani. "Death ain't that bad."

“Liar.” The silver seer accuses. “It ish. I felt it today. It s-sucks!”

The troll peers at her. “How did you....feel it?” [Lilliana starts pvping.]

Downstairs, the sounds of the tavern quiet briefly. Lomani can hear a familiar elven voice as a certain lame monk makes a round of greetings. She'd really rather not remember this morning.

“Darrethy, how's the curse research?” she hears Kex'ti ask.

"Need to talk to Rhuune, the Nightmane tauren have a potential solution."

“Nightmare? Tauren...?”

"A tribe of tauren who have access to a moonwell. Lunar energy might purify it." the warlock explains.

Lomani ignores Lilliana for a moment, hearing talk of tauren below. She leans over the chain railing, listening.

“I think I've developed a method to cleanse the worg wounds. It's not a cure, but given that the curse doesn't seem to affect me, let me know if anyone needs healing.”

“You just heal them in tandem!” Lomani says very loudly to Kex'ti, about worg wounds.

A pause. “Lomani of the Horns of Shu'halo? Is that you?”

“She's upstairs. She was crying and drunk.” Syreena shrugs.

“Thank you... Syreena. Any reason?”

“Ayup!” Lomani answers the question herself, still leaning on the chain. She can't see the elf below her.

Syreena nods, and then shrugs. "I don't know. She was like that when I got her. Lilly was with her, and that big Tauren that talks slow."

“Thank you.” Syreena smiles at the unseen elf. “Watch my helmet, if you don't mind, Darrethy?” Several long moments later, Kex'ti comes hobbling up the steps to look at Lomani. He bows to her, ever-polite, as his eyes take in the tauren sprawled on the floor, the troll sitting in front of her. “Are you okay?”

Lomani shakes her head a little too emphatically for the amount of dizzy she is, and has to grab something to keep from falling to her death, even though she's sitting, and leaning against a very sturdy chain.

“Here, let me help you with that.” He gets down on the floor with her. The seer blinks as Kex'ti leans in and places his hand on Lomani's shoulders. Mists gently churn towards her torso, taking the edge of the drink off. Not enough to sober her, but to help the nausea.

Lomani blinks again, looking bit more in control of herself. Lilliana sees that Kex'ti has this under control. She leaps down behind Leyu'jin. The seer glares after Lilliana, recalling that she's supposed to not like the woman. She also recalls an earlier urge. “Bitch!” Lomani spits the taurahe word, not really a curse, in the trolless' direction. The shu'halo language didn't really have any curse words in it.

Kex'ti raises an eyebrow at Lomani when she utters the unfamiliar word. “Does that feel a bit better?” he asks.

The seer looks at him and sighs. “A little better, I guess. Thank you.” She puts her face in her hands.

“Good.” Kex'ti helps himself to his knees, leveraging himself with his staff.

Remembering why he was up here, then, Lomani mumbles. “You heal the worg wounds in tandem. Phys.. phi..” her clearer mind still has trouble and trips over the word, so she changes it. “flesh and spirit.”

Kex'ti nods with a smile. “Kerala taught me that. But I don't need a second healer.”

“Oh.”

“Were you part of the conclave that figured out how to heal the body and soul?” Lomani nods carefully, and the monk smiles at her again. “Thank you. It is truly a wondrous discovery. Are you okay, though?”

Lomani starts to shake her head, then just puts it back in her hands, staring at the floor between her knees. "I am so far from ok..."

Kex'ti taps his staff against his spaulder. “I'm Kex'ti, remember? I was there with Kerala a few days ago.”

“I know.” the seer's voice is partially muffled.

Kex'ti's kind expression is lost on the tauren with her head buried aganst her arms. “I just wanted to make sure you knew you were among friends.”

Friends? A couple... “Maybe. You are, I think.”

Kex'ti nods. “I count the Horns among my allies. Breygrah, as well.” The separation galled her, true though it was.

“The rest of them are murderers.”

Kex'ti looks down at the Grim. He nods slowly, and then helps himself up. “I'm sorry I can't stay longer, Lomani. If you wish to speak later, please. Come to the Sanctuary garrison. It'll be okay.” The monk puts his hand on the tauren's shoulder. “I'm happy to listen.” he says with a smile.

But not here are the words she can imagine being implied. “It's not ok.” she tells him, even as she tries again to convince herself of the truth in his statement. “But I appreciate the effort.”

Kex'ti flattens his lips and nods. He retreats downstairs, and she can hear him bid everyone a good evening as he departs. She listens to laughter from Lilliana, as well as another male troll. She peers over the chain, not surprised to see white troll hair. Lomani makes her way slowly down the stairs, no longer smashed, but still pretty drunk. She's not sure what she intends to do, if anything.

. . .

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Lilliana is prancing around Leyu'jin when Lomani wanders down the stairs. Leyujin nods at Lomani as she descends, and turns back to his dance with Lilliana. An orc stands near the doorway, and he looks up as she makes her way down.

“Lomani dear, how are you?” he inquires. The seer recognizes him from the funeral. An undead comes up, sniffing the air as if there is a terrible stench he is tracking. He sniffs Karthok. The orc rogue regards him calmly. “Lupinum correct?” Lomani grips the pole thingy and looks at Karthok, then at Lupinum

Lupinum nods, his neck is loose from drink. “Who's askin?”

“Karthok of the 37th infantry, a pleasure.” Right. That was his name. Lilliana twirls around Leyu'jin, but she steps up on her toes and look over to Lupinum.

“The... 37th?” Lupinum blinks his blurry eyes.

“Yes, one of Konro's comrades. Would you like another beer?”

Lupinum clamps his jaw slightly, but nods. “Would love one. ...hic!” The rogue smiles at him. The two head over to the bar, where the undead lifts his new drink up in salute to Karthok. The two start up a conversation.

Lomani glances at the other people in the bar, noting how they are all Grim. "I should probably leave before I get murdered" she muses. Instead, she just kind of sinks down to sit on the step, wondering where Syreena is.

In the corner, a slim elf raises his eyebrow inquisitively as he peers at the grey tauren woman who had just sunk down to sit on the steps. He walks over. Lomani blinks at him. His leather armor is clean and bleached nearly white. The tabard he wears is not black and red, at least.

Across the tavern, a troll with thick blue hair pulled back into a large braid whistles loudly at Lilly as she dances.. "Keep shakin' dem troll-bearin' hips!" He cackles at her.

The elf gestures with his hands at Lomani, in a manner used to ask, 'Everything alright?'. His glowing green eyes are concerned. Lomani shakes her head, then just leans against the post. He searches for a moment, then holds out a single piece of paper. 'Cursed?' Is written across it in a wavy type of handwriting. It had the look of a message he used often.

“No...” she answers with a sigh. “Are you deaf too? Or just mute?”

The elf nods while pointing to his ears, he can hear. Póê gives a gesture obviously for 'Come along' with his right hand as he tries to help Lomani to her feet.

Lomani stands slowly. “My friend is deaf. I can sign. Or... well maybe not right now.” She sways a little, which she thinks is a pretty funny demonstration of why she might not be able to form the intricate gestures needed to sign properly at the moment.

The elf grabs an arm, pulls it over himself, and steadies Lomani,. He begins to make his way to an actual seat, and the seer lets herself be led without objecting. He lowers Lomani into the seat, the same one she'd occupied for most of the day. “Mm, thanks I guess.”

The elf makes a curious face, as if to ask. 'What happened?'

“Hello, does anyone need a drink?” Lomani hears Syreena asking. There a few new patrons, so her address is to them as a group, but the seer waves emphatically at the waitress anyway.

The elf waits until Lomani returns her attention to him, then makes the same inquiring expression. “You do not need to know, little elf.” He takes a step back, raising his hands cautiously, as if to say 'Sorry' without saying it.

Syreena comes over to the elf and the tauren seer with a fresh cup of Lomani's favored beverage and something else. “What's this then?” It is a firm paper card, folded in half.

Syreena shrugs. “Fortune card.”

The seer looks at the card, finding the notion highly ironic. " 'I will see the world as it is.' Oh well.... isn't -that- just fantastic.”

The elf waves at Syreena, hailing her over. After a quick comment to the current customer, she returns to the table smiling. “Hello, can I help you?” He points at Lomani, then raises a hand as if he had a drink, then raises his eyebrows. Lomani gulps her mug empty helpfully.

Lomani eyes Lilliana up and down as the troll group laughs again at something. She frowns even as the alcohol warms her insides, thinking of shadows. Lilliana notices the stare, and smiles back.

Syreena puts a pitcher of [skyreach Sunrise] and two glasses on the table. “Anything else?” she smiles. The elf nods a thanks to the forsaken and gives her some gold as a tip. “Thank you.” Lomani turns a happy grin onto the wonderful little purveyor of such fantastic drinks.

The elf pours a cup for the tauren. He hands the filled cup Lomani, and takes the empty glass for himself. She accepts the cup with a smile. “This is the best drink, little elf.”

Instead of filling his own, the elf pulls out a small leathery pouch and pours some of its contents into his own glass to about, halfway. Lomani watches, her own drink momentarily forgotten, but he places a hand over his cup and returns his attention to the her. With his other hand, he gestures to Lilliana and looks back at her with a curious expression on his face.

Lomani looks confused, but not about his question. One thought at a time, and currently she was hung up about his Sunrise-less glass. “You didn't want any?” The elf shakes his head no, and then glances at the group of trolls again. “Oooohh.” she says, even though she doesn't understand why anyone would -not- want this delicious beverage. “ I see what you mean. Yes, they are the source of my troubles Lilliana and the white-haired one. There were others, but I don't see them.”

The elf pulls his hand off of his drink, the liquid now a quarter of the way of the glass. He frowns at her. Mint-smelling steam rising from the glass, causing Lomani to sniff. Such a wonderful unexpected smell in a bar! “Well -that- is a neat trick.”

The elf raises his index finger as if to say, 'but wait.' Lomani smiles and waits patiently to see what he will do next. The elf spins his left index finger along the rim of the cup, the mists from the hot drink trailing after his finger, reaching quite a distance to sit in his hand as he brings it palm-up above the glass, and before her. He nods at Lomani, toward the troll brought up earlier. He closes his hands, squishing the mist and opens them again. There is the silhouette of a person formed between them, swirling slightly. Lomani watches, entranced.

Lilliana giggles, then seeing something happening, starts creeping over to see what it is. Over by the entrance, the commander of the Grim has just appeared, Awatu's grey bulk nearly filling the entire doorway. Lilli flashes him a smile. He looks at her, then heads in her direction.

The elf spins the mist-person, it changing into a rather unfriendly looking person. He raises his eyebrows as if to ask a question. Lomani's gaze flicks from his eyes, to Lilliana standing behind him. The elf looks behind him to his right, and promptly slaps his hands together. They crush the mist, the image dissipating with a slight 'Pfft.'

Lilliana smiles faintly at Lomani, and the seer sighs back. “What do you want, Lilliana?”

The trolless smiles, almost as if she has a secret. “Nuthin. You finish my cheese and cakes? Cause like, I don't mind if you did.”

“What? No.” Lomani says. The elf looks at Lomani, almost as if to ask 'What would you like me to do?' By then, Awatu steps up, and Lomani eyes him nervously. She knows exactly who this is, thanks to Xekanjo's vision. She blinks as he gazes at her impassively. “Little elf, you should probably go.”

Awatu looks at the elf, who looks a little disappointed but nods, he leaves his glass behind, perhaps as a convenient excuse to return and get it later. The Grim commander watches the elf leave, an eyebrow raised.

Seeing the elf hopefully a safe distance away, Lomani looks at Awatu. “Hello Commander.”

Awatu looks at her. “Another companion of Lilliana? Well met. And you are...?"

“Lomani Greydawn”

Awatu nods. "Well met, Greydawn.” he repeats. “To what tribe were you born?"

Lomani can't exactly answer the question, but her present status should be good enough. “I'm a Skytotem healer, of the Horns of Shuhalo.”

Awatu seems to ponder this for a moment, then he nods. "Ah, yes, the Horns. How is everything?"

Lomani frowns, but is a little bit too drunk to really care about consequences... “Oh, just peachy.” she says recklessly, “My chieftain should be dying any day now, so I'd say the Grim's message is received loud and clear.”

Awatu shakes his head. "Most unfortunate. Her death is not intentional, but, yes, the message should be very clear." Then he tilts his head. "Is it that bad?"

“It is. The physical damage is healed, but she's comatose. I've tried everything.”

Awatu looks down in thought. "Mm." A non-committal noise.

Lomani frowns at Lilliana, realizing how the trolless had tried to distract her, and succeeded. She was now sitting at the same table with the single-most person she had never ever wanted to meet. Lilliana smiles back.

The elf notices the exchange, and the tenseness of the seer. He gets up and returns to his drink, making sure he's between Lomani and everyone else standing.

Syreena walks up smiling, “Good evening, everyone. Does anyone need a drink?” Leyujin perks up at hearing Syreena's voice and looks over his shoulder. He looks at the people assembled around the table, and shrugs.

The elf raises his hand at Syreena, noticing the pitcher for Lomani is low, while Awatu shakes his head. The waitress nods at the elf and goes to refill the pitcher.

Awatu looks at Karthok, the orc having been eyeing him for a long moment now from the bar. The rogue walks up smartly. Syreena has to step around him to put the freshly-filled pitcher of [skyreach Sunrise] on the table. The elf nods at her and she smiles.

“And you are?” the Grim commander inquires.

“Karthok, sir.” Karthok replies. “A pleasure and an honor to meet you.” He bows before Awatu.

Lomani gently touches the elf's hand to get his attention. He leans down to pour more liquid into into Lomani's cup. The seer whispers to him.

"You seem to know of my name. How did you come about it?" Awatu asks.

“You're not an easy Tauren to mistake sir. And you have quite the reputation.”

Awatu simply nods, looking over the orc's shoulder for a moment. "Quite. I suppose... some things are bound to reach more open ears." Karthok nods “Regardless... is there something you require?”

The elf shakes his head no as Lomani pushes the pitcher and mug a little away from herself, no longer interested in drinking. She blinks at him, then just shrugs.

“No sir. Just wanted to see the Commander in person is all. If you should need anything of the 37th or me, we are ready.” Karthok salutes Awatu with respect.

“The 37th?”

“37th Infantry sir. Older military unit.”

Awatu nods, his brows knitting in thought. "Is this the group that the Suppli- Konro, was once a member of?" Lomani stays quiet, listening to Karthok and Awatu speak, but she nods, even as the orc answers. An idea slowly begins to form in her tipsy mind when he mentions Konro.

“Yes sir. He was our commanding officer sir.”

“Who is your commanding officer, now?”

“We have more pressing matters than to choose a new commander sir. For the moment we are simply brothers in arms.”

Awatu nods, finding an oddness in such an organization. "I see."

“Actually sir, there is something I would ask of you.”

Awatu looks at the Orc. "And that is...?"

“One of your Reapers, Cobrak Deadshot, currently holds a comrade of mine in his custody and is torturing him. It would be most appreciated and rewarded if he were to be released.”

Awatu tugs at his beard, in thought. "Cobrak, you say? For what reasons would he have to detain one of your own?"

“Cobrak did not detain my comrade sir, he simply took my comrade after he was delivered by Naheal. Since then we have recieved samples of Alakroz' scalp. Naheal would also like Alakroz released but Cobrak has refused.”

“Are you aware of his reasons for doing so?”

“No sir, I am not.” Karthok answers. “Until this point we have only received threats, no explanations.”

Awatu looks at the Orc for a moment. "I will look into it."

“Thank you sir.” Awatu watches the orc as he leaves, returning to Lupinum. “Ah! Lupinum! Might we talk for a moment?” A muttering from the undead, then “Come quickly then!” They step outside.

Lomani eyes Awatu up and down as the leader snorts, his eyes drifting to the floor in thought. There was only a small table between them, and maybe a small elf if the stranger chose to be heroic and defend a lady about to do something stupid.

But it was now or never.

. . .

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“Commander, did you receive a letter from us?” Then she ammended, “From Kerala.”

Awatu looks up at Lomani with his vibrant brown eyes. "A letter? Yes, I believe Kerala sent one a few weeks ago."

“About the Blood debt?” she presses. Awatu nods, appearing to recall the 'revenge'. “What was your response to her offer?”

“A new Supplicant, to replace what I had lost.”

The seer blinks in shock. Was that even allowed? “A...- and did my chieftain respond to your counter-offer?”

Awatu thinks a moment. “She returned the letter, crumpled and dirty, but with a crudely-written message on it. Once the curse is dealt with, I will have my Supplicant.”

Lomani almost smiles at that, considering she'd been instrumental in the writing of the first letter. Her chieftain knew how to read, but just barely. If Kerala had agreed to the price, then it must be an acceptable payment of the debt. A person though? Still, that might make this plan even better. “If she dies, the Horns is no more. Konro has died, Bryegrah has dropped the colors. If she dies, you will not get your... supplicant.”

Lilliana, her arms over her head as she stood at bar stretching, suddenly looks at the seer, overhearing. She tilts her head at Lomani, and then glances at Awatu. The shadow priestess may have picked up Lomani's thought....maybe. She raises a brow at her, then saunters over to Leyu'jin and Syreena.

“Unfortunate, but understandable.” Lomani frowns, but then the Grim commander continues. “I would much rather have a Supplicant, than having lose one...”

Syreena smiles. Leyujin looks over to Lomani and Awatu, then whispers to Syreena. "So was' bin goin' on?"

The waitress speaks softly in answer to Leyujin. "They were talking about a letter Kerala sent to the Commander, offering a payment of sorts for Konro's death." Lilliana listens in. Syreena continues, softly, "The Commander apparently asked for a replacement Supplicant."

Awatu appears to be weighing his options. "...and her death -would- be unintentional."

Lomani continues carefully... “The Blood Revenge is an archaic tradition. Kerala activated it, yes, but I understand that your guild attacked her for reasons they thought justified at the time....” Lilliana eyes her from the bar, but the seer's eyes are on the Grim commander. “ I would not do the same for her, because I understand that... I just...” Lomani decides to just say it- nothing but the plain truth. “ I don't have any other options. I don't know how to save her. I'm asking for your help.”

Awatu watches Lomani, impassively.

At the bar, the trolless blinks at Lomani. Then she shifts her gaze to Leyujin, frowning. The troll warrior shrugs his shoulders, almost imperceptibly. Lilliana leans over to whisper something to him. The elf stranger steps in the way of Lilliana's field of vision of Lomani. He turns to look at her and smiles, then returns to messing with his mist.

The seer looks at Awatu. “Please.” she finishes.

Lilliana elbows Leyu'jin while she whispers. The winces at Lilliana's hit, but nevertheless nods. He shoots her a look, as if to tell her the jab hadn't been necessary at all. The troll casually approaches the table with his commander and the grey tauren seeress, a most unlikely matching couple. “Lomani,” he says, intending to interrupt.

The elf waves his hand at Leyujin, mist rushing to his face, a hand of mist gripping his mouth. He then brings a finger to his lips to make a shh'ing gesture. There's a conversation in progress. Leyujin nods at the monk, and waves the mist away. Lomani glances to him.

The commander is saying “I know not how to aid her. I am no Seer, nor a mender. But... I will aid her.” Leyujin pauses, then looks over to Awatu. “She owes a debt. It has yet to be repaid.” The seer nods at Awatu, confirming his train of thought. “If her life guarantees my payment, then her life is to be guaranteed.”

Lomani almost smiles in relief. “Thank you.” What she really felt like doing was dropping to her knees and screaming thanks to the Earth Mother. Her prayers had been answered! Thank you, goddess!

Lilliana looks at Awatu and sticks her hands into her pockets and smiling happily. The elf takes a step back, Allowing Leyujin to speak once more, it appears the conversation is over for the most part. Leyujin chuckles and steps back towards the bar.

Awatu simply nods.

Lilliana winks at Lomani. The elf steps in front of Lilliana's line of sight of Lomani yet again. “Oh will you freaking stop that?” she says to him “It's not like I can't see over your freaking short head.” The trolless shows that she is annoyed with the strange overprotective elf, and she wanders off to more friendly people.

Awatu shifts his attention to something outside the doorway. “It is late. I must leave. When you require my services or assistance, contact me and it shall be done.” He stands.

The seer nods. “Thank you, sir” she says again.

Awatu nods. "Ancestors watch over you." Probably the most dangerous person in the entire bar bid her farewell, and then just casually leaves. Syreena gives him a wave of farewell.

Lomani lets out a long sigh, as if she had been holding her breath the entire time in Awatu's presence. She exchanges glances with the strange elf standing there in front of her, and smiles at him.

“Well little elf. We didn't die. And maybe everything will turn out alright.” He laughs soundlessly. “I don't know if you are ignorant, suicidal, or foolishly valiant, but thank you for staying.”

The other Grim seem to be following their commander's example. Lilliana pouts about something and stomps childishly, then whines in a matching tantrum as she follows Lupinum outside. Leyujin says his goodbyes, then drifts out of the bar himself. Syreena speaks her goodbyes to each person as they leave.

“Bartender,” Karthok calls to the little forsaken,”I'd like a drink by the beach. Care to serve me down there?” She puts him off, then changes her mind and grabs a few things and follows him out as well to avoid what were apparently a few less-than-wonderful customers.

The elf looks about the bar and sees the trolls outside. He turns his attention to Lomani. H recalls she knows how to sign. 'Name?'

The silver seer smiles at him. “Lomani Greydawn. I was just about to ask you the same thing!”

The elf attempts to sign his name, fails miserably and gets frustrated, so he writes it with mist in the air. 'Póê' in neat, Curly font.

Lomani looks at the mist, delighted. “Nice to meet you, Póê.”

He bows, scribble mist-shifts to spell out 'Likewise' in the air and she stifles a yawn. Póê pulls the cap off of a leather sack-like item attached to his belt, the mists coil and rush into it.

“Póê, I appreciate your company, but I'm afraid I've had a day that has been far too long already.” He nods and offers a hand to get Lomani upstairs. She smiles and accepts it. Like before, he drapes her arm over his shoulder and steadies her as he approaches the stairs and gradually ascends them. He helps her sit down on the bed.

“Thank you”

Póê nods. He signs rather horribly, 'Tomorrow we talk. You're hurt. I help.'

“Alright.” she smiles at him. “I need all of it I can get, Póê. Good night.”

Póê nods goodnight. He watches as the grey tauren closes her eyes, and drifts relatively quickly into the easy sleep of the intoxicated. He uncaps his little flasky-do-dad and within moments 3 little spheres of mist dance around upstairs. A neat trick for a friend, a nasty booby-trap for anyone with ill intention.

He walks back downstairs without making a noise.

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Against the Tide

I finally get what you’ve been saying, Now that we’re knee deep side by side,

The storm clouds are circling above us, As we struggle, against the tide.

I feel your grip firm on my shoulder,

But this fear in my head won’t subside,

They patiently circle around us,

As we hold out…

We’re losing light, And strength of will,

The darkened depths beckoning still,

And we hold on against the tide.

Another storm you’re left to fight alone, Remember , you’re reaping what you’ve sown.

Under the waves and sinking like a stone,I’m sorry , you’re reaping what you’ve sown.

We’re slowly losing ground, And hope is harder to maintain,

When all the prayers we prayed, Feel lost like tears in the rain.

The water is pulling down, The moon's eclipsing the sun,

The ending that we knew would come,

Has finally begun…

This sorrow weighs down on my shoulders, This fear is getting harder to hide,

You’ll leave me alone in the darkness, Left to hold out.

Against the tide.

In darkness, Kerala struggled, panicking yet again. This was not the first, nor would it be the last time. Still, she fought. It was WRONG. It was not real.

Consistently, she hallucinated, in these grand scenes that were themselves hallucinations. Her father. Her sister. They were not real either, but the sense of determination they gave her was. There was a way out, if she could just find it. It was not REAL.

Dimly, she knew the dark silver child she frequently saw was not really her twin. She would be grown now, like Kerala. One time. She had seen Agiga as she should have been, grown, broken, and pale. Just a flicker... and then swallowed by the darkness again. Even more than the visions of her father, that glimpse of her sister haunted her. Drove her onward.

And so she fought hordes of centaur, killing them until they piled around her so fast that she was buried in their stinking flesh. She killed animals and tauren and all the other combatants until the sands ran red and she drowned in the hot tides of lifeblood. She ran through mazes of tunnels in the dark searching for the adult Agiga until tremors shook the rocks down on her and she was smothered. Fighting or not, the result was the same. So she tried to survive. She rushed toward each end, trusting that this time, it wouldn't be the last one. This time, she would survive somehow.

This time, she failed again.

Kerala blinked, ans glanced upwards at dark storm clouds and vultures circling. A spear was in her hand. Grimly, she prepared to fight again. She killed them as they came- animals, centaur, orcs, trolls, and tauren alike. The crimson rivulets gushed from them until she stood in it knee-deep like some kind of shallow ocean. She could let them kill her... or she could try again to swim.

The end began again.

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04/09 in the Horns' garrison

Lilliana quietly eyes Lomani, a tauren that should not trust her further than she can throw her. She smiles, "Where is Kerala?"

[Lomani]: “She's in the inn. Chanchu is caring for her. Anura and Coqui are out in Northrend somewhere, tracking the 37th, I think.”

Lomani beckons Lilliana over.

Lilliana follows along, looking around as they go. She's been here a few times, some on invite, some when she wasn't welcome or expected.

Lomani leads them upstairs. There are numerous tauren charms hanging all over- wind chimes, dreamcatcher-type things with suns and moons in their designs...

Lomani gestures to guards to stand aside. They eye Lilliana sternly, then look back at Lomani to confirm. The seer waves them away.

Lilliana smiles flirtatiously at the guards.

Kerala is laying in a hammock, and a red-furred monk was sitting on a stool. She also limps out, using her staff very heavily to support hert, seeing Lomani with new healers presumably. She looks tired.

[Lilliana]: “Hello....” *she says to the red furred monk that limps out when she sees them*

Lomani gestures for Lilliana and Asheerah to feel free to try whatever they think might help. Kerala is laying there, and it takes a second to realize that yes, she is actually breathing.

Lilliana glances back at Asheerah. Then she steps forward and sits in front of the hammock with the prone tauren.

Chanchu looked at Lilliana, but said nothing, not friendly at all.

Asheerah following Lilliana's lead, she kneels in front of the hammock next to her.

Lilliana reaches out a hand and places it on Kerala. Touching those when she invades a mind always makes it much easier. she doesn't do anything though, other than place her hand on the tauren.

Asheerah places a hand on top of Lilliana's.

Lilliana seems just to be assessing the situation. Unsure as to what is happening with Kerala right now. She looks at Asheerah as she places her hand on top of hers. She smiles.

Kerala doesn't react to the touch at all.

Asheerah speaks to Lomani, without taking her gaze from Kerala, "What do we know so far about her condition?"

Lomani sighs.

Lilliana whispers, her childish voice sounds very gentle, almost soothing, as she asks quiestly, "Kerala, where'd you go?" then she pauses and looks to Lomani for the update.

[Lomani]: “She's getting worse. Her eyes stayed open at first, but she wasn't seeing anything. She'll react reflexively- cough if if we gave her too much water, blink if we shined light at her or touched near her eyes. She just would stare. I don't think her eyes have been open since last night, though.” Lomani frowns, her worry showing.

[Asheerah]: “What has been tried already?”

Lilliana listens, as this is stuff they probably need to know.

[Lomani]: “We've all tried healing her. Coqui has made several healing potions and elixirs. Kex'ti tried... well I don't know what he did, but he said he couldn't help... that she did not want to be healed.” Lomani frowns.

[Lilliana]: “She wants to die, then?” *her blue eyes flicker from Lomani to Kerala*

[Lomani]: “I don't know... that's just what he told me. He didn't try for very long. A soulweaver did some kind of ritual. It was very odd. There were shadows of you, there.” Lomani looks at Lilliana.

[Asheerah]: “And nobody has been able to reach her at all?”

[Lilliana]: “Oh, ok. She must feel guilty then.” *she pauses* “Shadows of me? I didn't leave her a shadow of myself....why the hell was there a shadow of me?” *at this, the little priestess looks perplexed*

Lomani looks at Asheerah, she'll get to that... to Lilliana "It wasn't even a real scenario, she was never in chains, there were no marks from chains. Your shadows were defeated, and when we freed Kerala, it's like the darkness just swallowed her. After that is when she started slowly getting worse.”

[Lilliana]: “Oh, she gave up then.” *she furrows her brow*

[Lomani]: “And one of our elders brought an herb from Northrend. Dream Fade. He said it let me enter her dream.”

Asheerah nods.

“I found her in a cavern just before it collapsed...” Lomani looks extremely uncomfortable, remembering that. “She might have seen me, then. I'm not sure. Oh and Inzema tried some sort of potion.”

Lilliana nods her head, "And nothing is working. "

Lomani nods at Lilliana.

Lilliana turns to place her attentions on the prone tauren only. "One sec, " She leans forward, and attempts to push into Kerala's mind.

There is zero resistance.

Lilliana goes to see what she can see,within the poor tauren's mind.

Kerala's mind is very still and quiet, dark.

Lilliana feels that she has free range within Kerala's mind, given there is no resistance there. She pushes around.....normally, this would feel invasive, uncomfortable.

Eventually, Lilli might get a feeling... Like she's gone into a cavern and even though she can't see, there is some kind of animal not pleased with her presence.

Lilliana grabs onto that, and she explores the cavern, searching for the animal presence she feels in there. Perhaps she can talk to some part of Kerala within this strange empty silence.

Asheerah senses Lilliana is trying something, and waits patiently for the results.

Lilli hears growling. She is not welcome.

Lilliana lingers there, near the sound of growling, hoping to draw out the animal that is most likely Kerala. She would like to talk to it. She clicks her tongue within Kerala's mind....a call for the beast to show itself.

Something, everything, suddenly shakes. In the dark, a shape approaches, moving fast. There might be amber-glowing eyes.

Lilliana 's body tenses behind Asheerah, she can feel it through her hand that the druid rests hers over. The priestess, within the dark cavern, says, "Hey, Kerala? Come out of the dark, let's find some light."

Asheerah looks at Lilliana to make sure she's alright, but does not disturb her yet.

Instead of getting an answer, the shape resolves into a tauren, but not one Liliiana has likely ever seen. It's almost a skeleton, filthy and dirty and nearly naked, fur matted in blood and other gross things...

Lilliana 's presence within Kerala's mind attempts to portray a soothing demeanor, and in fact, it does seem rather so. "Hey, will you follow me?" Her voice beckons to the skeleton-like tauren.

The tauren flees past Lilliana as if she were not there, running terrified from something. As it passes, a strange shadowy -something- lashes out toward Lilliana. It can't reach her, but there is the distinct impression of hate in a sound like a howl.

Lilliana keeps her calm in there, and her mind essence chases after the fleeing tauren. She yelps though when a strange shadowy something lashes out towards even, even if it can't get to her. This yelp is not just within Kerala's mind, but also her physical form lets out a surprised, and somewhat frightened yelp....before her face turns right back to concentration, "You will come back!" She shouts to Kerala, "you need to get out of the darkness!"

Asheerah peers at Lilliana searchingly.

Asheerah looks at Lomani, "Do you have any of the Dream Fade herb left?"

Lomani looks at Asheerah. “Actually we do.”

[Asheerah]: “I may be able to help Lilliana in there.”

Lomani nods. "I'll go downstairs and get it." Lomani does.

Following Kerala, for it is the druid, Lilliana feels everything shake again. There is a scream of terror, and frustration, as a sudden rumbling sounds, and there is a crushing sensation. Suffocation.

Lomani returns with the Dream Fade poison in one skin, and the antidote in another, smaller one.

Khorvis howls from the front gates “Inquisitor Lilliana! You did leave the kettle on in your office! What did I bloody tell you?!”

Asheerah holds her free hand out for the herb with a nod of thanks to Lomani.

[Khorvis]: Bah! Where is that daughter of a crust burster?!

“It tastes awful, but you have to drink it all to work.” Lomani hands Asheerah the poison.

[Khorvis]: I swear on the saggy teet of a dwarven goat-mother, I will teach you to mind the hearth!

[Lomani]: “Up here, Grim!” Lomani calls from the upstairs of the inn.

Lilliana 's eyes are closed tightly, her lips pressed into a line. She doesn't respond to Khorvis's hollaring, although she likely hears it despite what she's doing.

Asheerah ignores the shouting of the Lasher and drinks the potion.

Khorvis stomps into the tavern and takes in the situation.

Asheerah falls asleep. Zzzzzzz.

[Khorvis]: “Oh gnome cocks. What fel is about this night?”

Asheerah enters the dream world, hopefully Kerala's, and looks around to get her bearings.

Kerala appears to be sleeping in a hammock, Lilliana has her hand on the druid doing mind magic, and Asheerah literally just fell backwards asleep on the floor after drinking something. Lomani is standing there, looking worried, with a small skin in her

Khorvis moves to put his thumb on the druid Kerala's neck.

Lilliana had just heard a frightened scream within Kerala's mind, and the cavern she was lingering within seems to have collapsed. The priestess has found herself trapped within. Khorvis and Lomani would see the priestess grimace angrily, even if they can't know what's going on.

Asheerah finds herself in the middle of a smooth flat desert.

[Khorvis]: “This one's heart is weak. What disease did she take?”

Asheerah begins walking forward, believing direction doesn't matter--you always end up where you're supposed to in a dream.

[Lomani]: “It's not a disease, I don't think. I would be able to cure such, or at the very least sense it.”

Asheerah is correct. She eventually spies a circling of birds in the distance.

Khorvis only nods. "The Inquisitor Bloodshine does plumb the depths of her mind? I do know her skill is great in such realms."

Asheerah shifts to a cat, loping across the desert with her golden gaze fixed on the ground under the circling birds.

[Lomani]: “I hope so. And this one just drank an herb to let her walk in dreams. I hope she has better luck than I did." Lomani looks doubtful, and fingers the cork on the skin in her hands, ready to administer it in an instant.

Lilliana emits a really loud thought through Kerala's mind.....anyone within there, Kerala and Asheerah included, 'should' be able to hear it.... "FUCK"...... and she attempts to pull herself out from Kerala's mind as she finds herself trapped, but with very little strength to do so. Like being crushed in the physical world, with breath pushed out of you to the very last partial of air, your muscles leave you. That's how this felt to Lilliana, and she wasn't quite sure what to do. On the outside though, she simply sits there.

[Khorvis]: “These ways are beyond my skill. All that I might do is guard your backs from blades of real steel.”

Lomani agrees with Khorvis.

Khorvis catches Lilliana's words and sits crosslegged with his sword lain over his lap. His back rests against Lilliana's to prop her up during the meditation.

Asheerah lifts her head in the dream, her ears turning to the sound of Lilly's voice, and she picks up her pace.

Asheerah stumbles across a corpse. Just one. A black-furred tauren male with a wound in his thigh- fatal. It looks like scavengers have been at him, but there is a trail of blood to follow

Asheerah sniffs the corpse briefly, then follows the trail of blood, hoping it will lead to Lilliana.

Asheerah comes to the edge of a giant hollow in the sands, like a huge crater. Down inside it there is some kind of battle going on. Centaur are rushing toward the center.

Lilliana pushes against Khorvis's back, as if trying to move away from Kerala. Or she could just be using him as a comfortable chair back, one or the other. But, probably the first one. Her head droops, her chin resting on her chest.

Khorvis dozes while on guard duty. Flickers of the dream scene flit through his head, interspersed with visions of raw venison and frothy ale.

Asheerah pauses, looking more closely at the crater in the middle.

Khorvis snorts and snuffles awake from Lilliana's fidgeting. He stares meanly out the tavern door, as if anything might threaten the bar.

There is a single defender, some kind of animal. It's large enough to be a bear, maybe. It's certainly doing some damage.

Asheerah charges through the centaur, sharp cat claws slashing at a few as she runs by, always quickly darting away before hooves or spears find her, until she reaches the animal. The cat glances at the other animal's reaction to her approach as she stays just out of reach of swiping claws.

Lilliana is not a happy camper from where she is....panic starting to rise as she feels the suffocation.... the same that she felt from Kerala the first time she entered her mind to see what was wrong with her... long before she ever dreamed of having to teach Kerala a nasty lesson, simple gang style. She sends a thought to Asheerah, "get it out of the way and help my ass" ... but....it's weak, she is struggling with her own control as she feels rather contained.

Khorvis reaches into his pouch and pulls out a [Draenic Strength Potion], uncorking it with the flick of a thumb. He tries to splash to contents of his shoulder, thinking that the priestess Lilliana might need a boost.

Asheerah manages to get to the center without much trouble, as none of the centaur are focused an her at all. The creature is an insanely boney and scarred-up bear probably on the verge of starving to death, if it doesn't die to spears first. It doesn't acknowledge Asheerah, continuing to fight.

Asheerah asks the skinny bear, "What are you doing here?" And then she glances at the ground to see if this is possibly where Lilly is trapped.

Khorvis dozes again and suddenly finds himself in an unfamiliar landscape.

The ground seems firm enough, regular sand and grit to Asheerah...

Khorvis twitches as the stray filaments of ether slip over the bare wires of his eyeless eldritch device, granting him some vision into the drama.

Asheerah realizes she can't help Lilliana from here.

While Asheerah was staring at the ground, the bear began to get buried under centaur corpses. Before she can really react, she is too, though she isn't injured at all. More like she is in the way of falling bodies, and somehow they just keep coming....Centaur are incredibly filthy and disgusting, and they always have flies around. There is a horrible stench that makes whatever air Asheerah -can- get feel toxic and wholly unhealthy

Khorvis stands astride a giant pile of death, dressed only in a loincloth and with a blazing sword in his hand. He does not seem to realize his absurd outfit in this dreamstate, and slides down the corpse-mound like a wet ski-slope.

Asheerah gets knocked off her feet by the corpses and falls to the ground, buried under them and feeling their crushing weight on top of her.

Khorvis' slide begins an avalanche, he and bodies hurtle downwards very fast, and suddenly he can see that the pile leads down into an ocean, thick and churning- not salt water, but blood.

Khorvis cackles manically in his descent and braces his arms forward to dive into the abyss of blood and gore. "Inquisitor Lilliana! Asheerah! I do come for battle!!!"

Khorvis hits the liquid and it is indeed blood. The tumble of bodies continues behind him, making it impossible to try and go back up, and possibly beginning to drag him down as they hit and sink all around him.

Khorvis swims downward with mighty strokes, trying to dodge the centaur corpses, and searches for signs of his comrades in the murky darkness.

Asheerah stays calm for a while, but eventually the crushing, suffocating sensation overrides her logic and knowledge that this is just a dream, and she starts to struggle frantically, trying to get loose.

The ground beneath Asheerah suddenly begins moving, like sand sifting through the hole of an hourglass.

Lilliana has gone silent within her suffocating mental collapse within the cavern.

Khorvis spots a tunnel and dives towards it. He breathes out his last burst of air, ditching the ballast and plummeting into the hole.

Asheerah tries in vain to make her claws find purchase in the sliding sand.

The rocks around Lilliana suddenly shift, seeming less like giant boulders, and more like smaller pebbles. They begin grinding around her, and she gets the sense of motion. Falling.

The tunnel is eerily constructed somehow to be lined with arms, and jutting spears, both of which make it difficult to move through.

Lilliana would prefer the falling to the caged feeling she had when crushed....what had caused her difficulty with withdrawing.

Khorvis snaps at one of the reaching hands, then initiates his [bladestorm] during the tumble downwards.

The underground tunnel abruptly turns straight downwards (assuming he can sense this by his own bouyancy).

Khorvis sinks to the bottom of an impossibly deep and dark chasm, having evacuated the hole and takes a deep breath of something not unlike air, yet still of a dank fluid.

Khorvis's attack on the tunnel disrupts it's structure. As he swims, the whole thing begins collapsing downward in a strange sucking whirlpool.

Khorvis roars in defiance but gets sucked through the whirlypool and gurgles.

Asheerah falls with the desert sand into a small cavern room with a campfire, where it appears Lilliana somehow got dropped a moment before. Khorvis also splashes in, though to each other, each person only just blinked to find themselves here.

Khorvis coughs up an ocean of blood that never materializes from his lungs upon his comrades. He struggles to his feet, gasping for air.

Asheerah gets to her feet, looking around the cavern, her gaze resting briefly on Lilliana, and then Khorvis.

Lilliana seems completely discombobulated.....and even is gasping for breath still...not that she needs to...but the mind and nightmares are feirce things. She's gasping for air just like Khorvis is.

There is a tiny campfire in this cavern room, and Kerala, in skeletal starving tauren form, stands there too, her back to them. Lilliana's mindvision seems to have been reset to the begining.

Asheerah regains her composure quickly, and slowly approaches the skinny Tauren.

Khorvis stumbles but tries to lend support to Lilliana as they three clomp towards Kerala.

Kerala screams in fury, not noticing them.

Lilliana does not regain her composure, and initially she brushes Khorvis away, not interested in approaching Kerala. But she takes the support after her initial resistance, and gets up to follow.

[Asheerah]: “Kerala?”

[Khorvis]: “What in the nine hells is this place?”

“Yeah, scream you stupid tauren.” the priestess says this fouly, and somewhat weakly from behind the skeleton version of Kerala

Kerala spins around then, but doesn't seem to see them at all, she kicks rocks angrily, walks THROUGH the three of them, and collapses in front of the small flames, punching the ground as she does, yelling.

Khorvis lets go of Lilliana to rush to Kerala's side and attempt to restrain the flailing druid. “Bloody madcow!”

Asheerah looks at Lilliana. "I do not think I can help her. Not right here, not right now."

Lilliana 's mind spirit version of her self stumbles when Khorvis let go of her, as she had been using his from support. But she's a tough little troll, and she catches herself and stands to watch Khorvis jump for Kerala. She doesn't move to help. "I don't think either of us can. She's so fucked. Gone crazy from dying...." she mutters this...she isn't really saying this to Asheerah, although it looks like she may be.

“Then let us leave this place.” Asheerah looks at Kerala. "Walk with the Earthmother."

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04/11

Lomani spent the entirety of her shift watching Kerala on her knees. Head bowed and silently praying, the only sound in the room was her own breath, and the occasional tinkle of the wind chimes whenever a chilly breeze wafted through the room from outside. Though her eyes were closed, she knew that with the sound, so too would various feathers flutter, attached to the netted charms she had made. Sacred circles, wound with cord around and across the center to form the familiar patterns of An'she, Mu'she, and the Earth Mother.

Coqui had tried every spell and healing draught she knew, and a few she learned from browsing books in her off time. Anura had healed, pleaded with the spirits, and carved totems. Lomani had healed. The seer had found Kex'ti, who had brought the chieftain out of this once before. She had gotten the Grim commander to agree to assist, but the most promising Grim, the one who'd started this whole mess, had left cursing like a sailor after exploring Kerala's mind.

Lomani did not know what else to do, and so she was still. She prayed.

“When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still; be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists -- as it surely will. Then, act with courage” the elders had taught her. So she was still.

The seer's folded hands rested lightly atop Kerala's chest. Each time the druid exhaled, Lomani waited for the chest to rise again, hoping that it would, and fearing it wouldn't. With her eyes closed, she did not see the shadows in the room thicken when Vionora appeared as if borne from them.

The elf stood there a moment, looking at the two tauren. Her gaze lingered on the druid. “Even her dreams are still better than reality.”

Lomani flinched at the sudden sound, pivoting around on her knees to look. She recognized the elf woman, despite the new clean and tidy appearance. “You...” The herald had simply appeared, as they'd known she could, and yet Lomani was here alone. She'd seen the woman's power, battling an entire group of people. But, looking at Vionora now, she did not call out. Did not summon guards, nor even the two skytotem healers downstairs.

“I dreamed of dying again and again, too. Three hundred and fifty-eight times.”

She blinked at the elf woman, at the completely unexpected comment. “Really?” There was a way to fix it- she was living proof. Lomani just had to find it.

“Yes.” Vionora continued looking down at the coma-afflicted tauren. “It would be a mercy to truly kill her.”

The seer frowned “I do not think so.” She stood. Even as short as she was among her own kind, Lomani's seven-foot height dwarfed the smaller elf.

The woman raised her gray-glowing gaze to Lomani. “You would not know.”

It was not her wish to antagonize this person, but “If she wished to die, she would have by now. Dying is easy. Living is hard.” Gently, Lomani had to disagree.

“Sometimes dying is impossible. And we are forced to live.”

Again, the seer paused in surprise. The herald had already turned her gaze back to Kerala, lying in the hammock almost motionless. “You wish to die?” she guessed. It explained much. Perhaps she was only aiding Accalia in order to find relief from the troubles she faced. It saddened Lomani that anyone should be in that position. Vionora continued gazing at the druid, not responding, and Lomani could not bring herself to think of the woman as an enemy. Not quite certain what to say, the tauren shrugged. "I don't believe anything is impossible."

“Another thing you would not know.” came the immediate response.

Lomani ignored the repeated insult. She cocked her head, to the left. "If you have been through this- can you help her?" It was worth a try- one never could tell the effect of simply asking for something.

Vionora looked at the seer. “...I told you how to help her.”

“Killing her? She's well on her way to that already, miss. If you are not here to help, what is it you wish?”

The herald was silent for a little while, her eyes back on Kerala. Then she said, "I escaped the dreams because I came to hope... but that was proved a lie in the end." Her gaze shifted to Lomani, then at Kerala again.

Lomani said softly. "Hope is never a lie."

“Once again proving you know nothing.”

The seer frowned at the third repetition. “I know many things.” she told Vionora, “The things you claim I have no knowledge of are not facts. They can neither be proven nor dis-proven, and so I can know them if I wish. You may choose not to.”

Vionora tilted her head. "What I choose has never mattered."

Lomani shrugged. "You may choose to believe that if you wish. Again, I disagree. Why are you here? Surely not to discuss religion and opinion."

The herald became silent again. She drifted around Lomani to stand at Kerala's bedside. “I have need of her.”

Lomani eyed Vionora, recalling how many people it took to fight against her for the book. Though her instinct to protect her chieftain demanded that she act immediately to deny the herald what she wanted, Lomani remained still. "Why?"

Ignoring her, Vionora held her hand out, over the unconscious tauren's right hand, where it rested at her side.

“Please do not hurt her.” Lomani blurted.

“Begging never helped me either.” Vionora focused Accalia's feral magic through the curse, through Kerala.

Lomani watched, anxiously. “I am not begging. I am asking.” Would it make the herald angry that she disagreed with everything the woman said?

Lomani blinked at her chieftain, as Kerala's eyes opened. The herald brought her to an almost sleepwalking state. Amber feral energy animated her, giving her the intelligence and instincts of a feral beast. The seer glanced from Vionora to Kerala and back, taking several steps away, not certain exactly what was going on.... but having a pretty good guess.

“She hungers.” Vionora turned her gaze on Lomani. The blanket fell away as her thrall stood from her hammock, revealing a scarred and completely naked druid. "You will feed her." With that, she sent an impulse to Kerala to attack Lomani.

The boney chieftain immediately leapt toward Lomani, hands curved like claws. She did indeed look hungry, an amber-eyed expression that ordinary would have matched the woman's wild unkempt hair. Now that Coqui had patiently spent hours combing out the frizz into orderly curls, the baring of teeth was especially incongruous, and frightening.

Lomani promptly screamed. A psychic sound, it usually inflicted all who heard it with fear or confusion. She dodged to the side.

Kerala stumbled into the table in the middle of the room, but it didn't seem to be because of the scream; the druid was just uncoordinated. She turned and lurched toward Lomani again, lacking any of her usual graceful efficiency of motion. The herald watched, apparently also unaffected. But, Lomani saw, her hands were closed into fists at her sides.

The seer continued back-pedaling to avoid her chieftain, and glanced to Vionora. Her mind worked fast, trying to think of what to do. She recalled the woman's affinity for shadows. Maybe that was why the scream hadn't affected her, or Kerala. No shadow magics then, which was fine with Lomani- she wasn't strong with those anyway. She decided to try something else. She jammed a hand into her pocket.

Echeyakee.” the seer whispered the holy word in her native language. Literally 'Whitemist', and a name given once to a powerful albino lion, the term was a focus for Lomani's magic. Here, it meant 'sanctuary'. The lion had taught her there was strength in subtlety, and honor in mercy. Instead of attacking, Lomani had spoken a blessing.

To the seer's eyes, the wooden floor of the entire room suddenly glowed with divine white light. A faint sound played in her mind, a tinkling pulse to match a brightening and dulling pattern. The sound was not unlike the earthy tones of wooden wind chimes, but this was light and airy, rhythmic, soothing. Within her, Lomani felt the seven anchors of her soul respond with gentle pulses of healing energies.

Vionora flinched and backed away, running into the bunks where she stepped up onto a rung. She hissed in anger, focusing on Lomani. “You're only prolonging your suffering.” She quickly gathered shadow energy to her in the form of a rope. She threw it at Lomani, and it snaked through the air toward her like it had a mind of its own.

The silver tauren yanked on Kerala, snatching the druid into the path of the shadowy rope. It worked- Lomani's chieftain got ensnared by the rope instead of her. The herald took a step and simply disappeared. The rope dissolved as Kerala turned around and tried to seize Lomani.

The seer stepped closer obligingly. She grabbed her chieftain by the face with one gloved hand, trying to cover her nose. Lomani's being flared with a temporary infusion of holy power and with her other hand, she brought up a small vial of Monster Mash, trying to pour it into Kerala's mouth. The possessed druid choked and sputtered, but then had to swallow to clear her airways for breathing. Some of the potion made it down her throat.

Kerala froze, then fell to the floor in convulsions. “A'lo pawni, Kerala!” Lomani apologized. Behind her, the herald had appeared. The elf took a single step forward, striking with her dagger.

Lomani gasped. Vionora jerked the dagger out of the tauren's back. The blade glimmered with blood. “Nothing but prey.”

Lomani staggered forward a step, immediately shielding herself against further attacks. She turned toward Vionora. “Now who knows nothing?”

Vionora stood with the bloodied dagger to her side, simply looking at Lomani. The reason for her inaction became apparent as Kerala, still twitching slightly, reached out a hand to take Lomani by the ankle, attempting to pull her to the ground.

Lomani jerked her hock away from the druid's grasp, disappointed the drink had not worked to combat the wolfish curse within. Her anger flared, like a hot beam of An'she searing through misty cloudcover. The seer was no longer still.

She flung a spell at Vionora.

The herald threw up an arm to block it, but the magic somehow hit her anyway, and drove her to her knees. Kerala flinched away under the table, making whimpering sounds. The wound in Lomani's back sealed with the effects of the binding heal effecting them all.

“I may be prey, but so are you. We are all a part of the circle of life.” and then Lomani immediately began singing a divine hymn in taurahe. “Let us know peace. For as long as Mu'she shall rise, For as long as the rivers shall flow,”

Vionora gasped. "Stop it!" Under the table, Kerala was convulsing again. The herald dropped her dagger, clutching her arms around her waist.

“For as long as An'she shall shine, For as long as the grass shall grow. Let us know peace.” Lomani finished the short hymn, looking with a pained expression at Kerala. “I -believe- you should leave, herald.” With the next breath she attempted to purify Kerala of whatever magic was allowing Vionora to control her chieftain.

Vionora bared her teeth. "You think a little pain is going to stop me?" she whispered. She picked up her dagger and lunged at Lomani with supernatural speed. Kerala had frozen in her convulsions, then gone completely slack, unconscious again. Lomani registered the elf's attack in her periphery and tried to dodge back as she reflexively flailed an arm.

Vionora corrected course, colliding with Lomani, but only grazed her chest with the dagger. She lashed out with her other hand to try to seize the seer's neck. But the tauren had been near the table, and crashed into it with Vionora's weight. Lomani let the edge of the table flip her backwards away from the herald's grasp, so that she was lying prone. The herald took the opportunity to pin her down with a knee, lifting the dagger.

The silver seer unleashed her magic at Vionora again with a singular clarity of purpose. The spell hit the elf. Her eyes widened and she shuddered, nearly loosing her dagger. “O'ba'chi” Lomani didn't let up, whispering the powerful holy word at Vionora as she grabbed for the woman's dagger.

Vionora jerked, stabbing the dagger through Lomani's hand. "Do you enjoy inflicting pain?" she said through gritted teeth.

With a sharp intake of breath, the seer replied, “No, do you? You're the one attacking me!” Not a single thing Lomani had done was technically an attack. Not one single spell had been offensive. The seer pushed painfully against the elf, but it was enough to get a hoof in place. She kicked Vionora off of her.

The woman kept her feet under her as she was thrown back. She landed like a cat. "You stand in my way," she says flatly. The herald looked at Kerala on the floor, and focused the feral energy through her again. The druid's eyes snapped back open, but she didn't move.

The elf's tone gave Lomani pause. Maybe Vionora -had- realized that the seer was not actively fighting against her. She resumed her shield, instead of taking advantage of the residual effects of the holy word on Vionora. "I don't mean to. Please stop this."

The herald looked at Lomani, then down at Kerala again, then back to Lomani.

Lomani suspected a renewed attack from her possessed chieftain. She slid backward across the wooden surface of the table. The druid would have to crawl around the base before being able to reach her.

Kerala's eyes closed as she slipped back into a more natural state... comparatively. Vionora pointed at Lomani. “Your time will come. As will everyone's.” There it was- the mention of death again. Surely she meant that she would use Accalia to enact that promise... for everyone, apparently, except herself?

"Life is not separate from death.” she told the herald. “It only looks that way. There is no death, only a change of worlds." She was not afraid to die, and she tried to put that conviction through in her voice.

Vionora just looked at Lomani, inscrutable, but maybe somewhat taken aback. And....she was not attacking.

“How can I help you, Vionora?” the seer asked.

“...What?”

Lomani stepped down off the table awkwardly, putting further distance between the herald and herself, just in case. Even she wasn't quite certain what she meant, only feeling that it was the right thing to do. When doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. “You came here for a reason. I do not know your goals, but... is there a way I can help you?...” Of course, it remained unspoken that she did not mean help kill everyone.

“...You truly know nothing.” and Vionora vanished.

Lomani blinked. She waited for several minutes, tense, wary of a trick, but the herald did not reappear. There was no sound of movement from beneath the table where Kerala laid.

After another long silent moment, a breeze wafted into the room. A chime tinkled with serene hollow wooden sounds. The seer collapsed to the ground, the composure she'd held together finally allowed to crumble. She burst into tears uncontrollably, crawling over to check her chieftain.

There were a great many things Lomani did not know, but she knew this: she was still alive.

For now, Kerala was too.

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[[:) I'm pretty sure I wrote vionora exactly as Rped, maybe just switching emote and said words around, changing repetittive pronouns. I'd still be interested in Vi's emotions during all that, b/c I have no idea what's going on with her at all. Also- is that a special dagger or a regular one Vi had?]]

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