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Kerala

Kerala's Inquisition

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[To chronicle events, until Kerala passes or fails the Grim Trials]

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Kerala had not expected, when she went to see Awatu that night, that he would want to settle the Blood Debt at that exact moment. But just like the simple letters he'd sent, he was not the type to delay what could be done now. He'd immediately had her burn the cloak Lomani had made, and given her the tabard Konro had been killed in, still torn and stained all down the front with his blood.

She should have known. Should have remembered that the soldier had not been burned while wearing it. She could not quite contain her surprise, but she hoped she'd managed to disappoint the commander somewhat with her otherwise stoic reaction.

Kerala could not bring herself to go back to the Horns garrison to tell Lomani. Her sister would be appalled to see the tabard, and it did not even occur to the druid to leave it behind somewhere just to go tell the seer what she would be able to guess anyway.

It began.

So, she didn't go home.

* * *

She stayed by herself, mostly. Kerala spent most of the next day searching for an Inquisitor to try and get the tabard fitted to her. She didn't bother washing it- blood could not affect the black cloth except to make it stiff, and the red design was also only darkened.

Lilliana could not be found anywhere. Kerala had the sneaking suspicion that the troll was avoiding her, and she had no idea why. Instead, she ran across Cen. The strange little elf was an expert tailor like Lomani, and had not minded Kerala's request at all to highlight the torn fabric instead of making the mend blend in. The mark where Breygrah's sword had pierced Konro's heart stood out in brilliant crimson thread, the most notable feature of the garment. Cen's brilliant scissors had taken all the inches out in the proper places so that the tabard could perhaps have been made for Kerala, except that the Grim design on the front was ridiculously over-large.

Kerala ran her fingers over the tiny precise stitches at her heart. It gave the druid some strange satisfaction, to be wearing Konro's tabard. It reminded her of leaving Desolace. She would need the skills she'd learned there.

* * *

Her first few days as a Grim were largely uneventful. Kerala stayed around the guild hall, but usually out of sight. She'd repaired the tabard as she'd been told, and when the building was largely empty, she'd go in and read about the Mandate for a few hours until her eyes or head hurt.

One thing Kerala found odd was the amount of mail being sent to the Grim. Apparently, it was customary for those interested in joining them to declare their interest beforehand, and then wait to receive an invitation. Many items arrived throughout the day.

It was late in the afternoon when Kerala was taking a break from the onerous reading, when the courier arrived. Cautious, the man dropped off a large parcel rather than bring it inside. The wind was blowing in Kerala's direction, and the scent drew her attention. Her eyes narrowed as she watched the package being brought within the Grim walls. It was obviously intended for the Inquisitors, and there was a note.

Kerala waited until the thing had been delivered to Khorvis' office. He was absent, she'd seen him leave earlier. When the rest were gone, she crept back to the room. She opened the package, and stared at the 'gift' that had been sent to the Grim.

It was a child. The corpse of a shu'halo girl. She was bound, and had been brutally beaten, perhaps it was what had killed her. Her face was terrible. Shoved into her mouth was a fruit in bright contrast to the stains beneath her skin. A red apple. She was only a year or two older than Kerala had been...

The druid clamped her teeth together. She carefully re-closed the parcel and left it as she had found it. She exited the guild halls, walked slowly across the grounds directly for the gates, and left the Grim compound.

Then she ran. Anywhere but here.

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Monday. The night Inquisition would start, or so she'd thought. She'd arrived before everyone else, perched high on one of the colorful ribbons strung between floating plants or whatever. It was a precarious spot, but it tested her reflexes.

When her raptor eyes spotted the sneaky form of Inzema perched high as well instead of joining the two down below, she abandoned her perch to land near him.

As far as she knew, no one had noticed her absence yesterday or all of today at all.

Inzema looked over his shoulder and smiled at the bird. "Hey Kerbear." His stained and pointed teeth showed in an expression that seemed genuine. His face no longer seemed strange, now that she'd seen it a few times. His easygoing attitude had seemed so odd, at first, as if he'd known her for years even though they'd only ever really exchanged hellos.

Kerala hopped to the edge of the balcony and looked over, eying the folks below. At his words, she twisted her head back to fix him with her raptor stare, and fluffed her feathers indignantly.

"What? You cranky?"

Kerala shifted to tauren, adjusting so that she could sit with her legs hanging off the ledge. "That is not my name," she told the rogue.

"It'sss a nickname."

Staring down at the people gathering below, she revised her outlook. It didn't matter. So long as she was a supplicant, many things would need to be ignored. She shrugged. "I suppose it doesn't matter what you choose to call me."

There was an elf hunter down there, trailed by a scorpid. That one, she had spotted wandering soon after she'd arrived. A blaze of red hair identified Lilliana. The trolless went over to Syreena, and Kerala frowned, wondering what sort of schemes might be taking place.

After a long moment, Inzema spoke again. "Why doesn't it matter? Sssorry, got dissstracted by the voisssesss in my head."

"Hmm?" And then she remembered the nickname. "Oh. Just because you call me something other than what I am... it does not change who I am. It's just annoying."

"You don't like nicknamesss?"

She didn't look up, watching several new people arriving. From up here, it was hard to identify anyone by the top of their head, and she didn't know these new ones. "Never had one before. Well...." She thought of what she had been called before. "No... never had a nickname."

"I give them to practically everyone. Like, Cobrak is Piece-of-shit-traitor-that-I-will-eventually-prove-is-a-gnome-humper. And Khorvisss isss Khorvy. Usually it'sss jussst a varianssse on the name." Noting also the growing number of people below, he added "We should hop down."

"I suppose so." She agreed with him. Inzema stood, brushed himself off, and offered a hand to Kerala.

She looked at Inzema. Something about him still bothered her, even though her instinct told her that he, of any of the Grim, was pretty much exactly what he seemed to be. Kerala ignored the offer, leapt off the ledge and shifted to birdform to join the others.

* * *

She landed amidst the appraising eyes of Syreena, and the one she knew as Khorvis. The rogue's expression was decidedly unfriendly. Lilliana and a stranger greeted Syreena, but the undead broke eye contact only long enough to return the greeting before continuing to stare.

The Shattrath terrace of Scryer Rise was largely open. Three gigantic grim battle standards had already been erected , against which the three inquisitors stood. Ahead of them was an open room filled with benches, but for some reason no one used them. Awatu leaned back against the wall opposite Kerala, watching. She put her own back to the stone. It was not the most defensible location, but it was the best available. The crowd bothered her.

"This meeting of the Inquisition does begin." Khorvis declared.

The expected speaker had apparently not arrived yet, so Ruuki called Inzema before her. She questioned him about his last trial, looking rather comical trying to view his evidence through those strange goggles of his.

Kerala tried to watch them, but she was aware that Syreena was continuing to gaze right at her ratherly openly. It was annoying. She returned the stare. Lilliana noted Syreena's stare. It was hard enough for the troll to not just stand and gawk at the tauren. She restrained herself, but she did shoot Syreena an acknowledging look, that was a bit dark in nature.

Kerala raised a brow, first at Syreena then, glancing to Lilliana, at the troll too. She leaned her back against the rock behind her. Syreena grinned, glancing briefly at Lilly.

Khorvis watched the exchange between his Inquisitor and the crafty rogue.

Lilliana caught Kerala's brief glance and sent her an overly warm and inviting smile while they all waited for Inzema to prove himself. Kerala eyed Lilliana for a long moment... she really had no idea what was going on with that troll. She smiled back, cautious and distrustful.

With an exchange of insults, Khorvis gave Ruuki leave to promote Inzema. The rogue passed his trials, and was no longer a supplicant.

The one-eyed orc turned to the troll on the other side of him. "Inquisitor Lilliana. I do think there is blood debt in the air. Settle the mist for us."

Lilliana restrained a giggle....she really wanted to do nothing less than giggle right now. She nodded at Khorvis, and then smiled towards Kerala. "Alright." She pointed at the tauren who was leaning against the wall, "Kerala?" She beckoned.

Kerala stepped forward. She was keenly aware of the empty space at her back.

Lilliana stuck her hands deep into her pockets, her gentle eyes resting on Kerala, "Why are you here, Kerala?" She asked in a most innocent tone.

"I am a Supplicant." the druid said simply.

"Why?" the troll asked again.

"Payment for a Blood Debt."

Syreena snickered at the tauren. Lilliana simply repeated herself yet again, expecting Kerala to explain further, "Why would we need payment? What are you replacing?"

Kerala turned to glance at Syreena, not really comfortable with the rogue behind her. When she faced forward again, she found Khorvis also giving her a very dark look, verging on bitterness. Her every sense commanded her to flee, for she was outnumbered and clearly surrounded by enemies seeking to harm her. Instead, she forced herself to stay where she was, very still. The open hostility provoked an answering emotion in her, the dull fury and stubbornness that had seen her through her adolescence.

"I am replacing Konro, as Awatu requested."

Ruuki frowned, crossing her arms and watching Kerala carefully. She hadn't really expected such an archaic law to be enacted. Behind them, Awatu must have nodded, confirming her words.

Lilliana looked pleased. "You are replacing Konro......." She said rudely, sarcastically even. "I'm your Inquisitor, do you think you can truly do this?"

"I'll do whatever is required of a supplicant." Kerala shrugged.

Lilliana looked towards Awatu, "Maybe like, you already spoke about this with Awatu or something.....you know what's required of you?" She asked that quickly, as she noted that Greebo had arrived and he would probably be speaking soon.

"I know there are three trials to pass." She looked at Lilliana, her expression calm, since it seemed the troll was the one assigned to tell Kerala what to do. She waited to be told.

Lilliana nodded roughly at Kerala, "Yeah. We'll talk about them. See how you do." She paused and looked at everyone, "She's here to replace Konro everyone, since he died and stuff. Show her how to be Grim, okay?" Syreena grinned wickedly at Lilliana. The inquisitor then gestured for Kerala to go step back, they'd chat later. Lilliana couldn't help but to wink at Syreena.

Kerala turned, disappointed. How long would she be kept waiting? She'd expected that tonight she'd be given the first task to accomplish, and she was anxious to start the process. Perhaps that was exactly why Lilliana had not assigned it.

Ruuki scoffed, as she wasn't entirely sure this one had what it took to be Grim. But, she wasn't one to argue with the Commander's order.

"Silence, for the Inquisition." Awatu reprimanded Ulrezaj.

"Druidess Kerala." She paused and turned back to look at Khorvis, already almost back to her place. "The Horns were an honorable lot. May be you do them some good by following our truer path." The orc snorted, nearly disbelieving his own words. Lilliana eyed the high inquisitor up and down.

An undead warlock noticed Kerala's tabard and approved.

Kerala eyed Khorvis as well, but said nothing. Her tongue was clamped firmly behind her teeth, and she did not acknowledge the comment about Horns honor, or share her opinion of the Grim's path. The image of the murdered shu'halo child on his desk was fresh in her mind.

The orc high inquisitor continued then, "We did invite the Twice-Made this night to give us wisdom from his long years under the Mandate. All Supplicants, Aspirants, and may be even Irredeemables might learn from his words."

The undead warlock, apparently called Greebo, stepped forward. "It was here, nearly a decade ago that the truth of the Mandate was made real to me. And that I learned that weakness is to be sought out and purged, constantly."

Kerala eyed the man, thinking he sounded very much like some other folks she grew up with. She crossed her arms. His speech mostly captured the attentions of everyone gathered, and his sentances were interspersed among various mumbled comments, and cheers as he continued on. He spoke of treachery and failure of the Aldor, which was why they were not on that rise, and then began listing flaws in Alliance races, his tone growing more passionate as he went on.

Kerala looked down, and began scraping at the ground with a hoof gently. Doodling. She recognized preeching when she heard it. They fear us! They hate us! Kolkar think they are strong, but we laugh at them! We laugh. And we kill them! Gelkis think our centaur mother, Theradras, protects us. They are stupid. No one protects centaur! Magram do not need protection! We are strongest! We will place Mauradine heads on pikes. So all can see strength of Magram. We will crush all others! Rule Desolace! She had ignored it before, she would ignore it now.

Inzema eyed Kerala's doodling, smirked, and also started drawing with the toe of his boot in the dirt. It was quickly obvious that his picture was going to be something lewd.

Greebo prattled on about how the terrible scum draenei sought to use the completely innocent orcish people as a shield to avoid the Burning Legion.

Kerala stopped her own doodling, watching Inzema's drawing take form. Lilliana shot a very openly disapproving look towards Kerala. She didn't even mind that Kerala, eyes on the ground, had no idea about her disapproval, she made the look so that others would see it.

Greebo spoke of the draenei luring the orcs to drink corrupted blood of Mannoroth, then scurrying away like rats to hide on Azeroth, deceitfully neglecting to tell anyone of the Legion from which they were running from. Kerala managed to look up in time to meet the warlock's eyes as he looked around at each and every person.

Inzema finished his drawing. It appeared to be of...well...let's just say "multi-racial multi-individual multi-orfice mass intercourse...thing..."

Greebo finished his speech. "The alliance will never share with us, this we know in our bones. The Legion ahhhh the Legion will burn our bones and use the ash to break the next world." The warlock glanced over his shoulder at the light beacon.

Kerala rolled her eyes at Inzema's drawing, then added a few things to hers. It was a map, an aerial view of the city they were in right now.

"Hear the words of the Twice-Made. Supplicants and Aspirants, the Mandate does fight against the Draenei as it does the Legion!" Then Khorvis thanked Greebo.

The two small goblins that had shown up to this meeting were getting impatient. When Ruuki called the elf forward, they were not thrilled. Rapacia lifted her shoulders into a small shrug. "Best for last.. yeah?" She turned and kicked the large canvas sack behind them. "Have faith bruddah dear." Hoard took his sister's lead and kicked the canvass bag of presents as well.

Kerala eyed the two goblins, suddenly suspecting she knew who had sent the parcel to the Grim yesterday. The female caught Kerala looking, and struck a ridiculous pose, while the brother pouted his lips at her and winked. She wanted to throw them both off the balcony.

Inzema knelt and placed a coin on the ground. He stepped back, a hologram of him appearing, and then he disappeared. Kerala took Inzema's vacated spot.

Kerala rubbed out Inzema's drawing with her hoof, and then her own.

A wispy elf was summoned next before the inquisitors, and Kerala blinked at Khorvis. They all questioned if she would be able to pass the trials, but don't bat an eye at these others like Shaelie?

Kerala eyed Xekanjo. He looked mildly familiar to her, but she couldn't quite place where she might have seen him.... The troll craned his head to the side, smiling at Kerala through his mask. Then he bent fully backward, becoming an upside down U-shaped troll to smile at Hoard. Kerala couldn't help but giggle.

Rukki was asking the elf a question. "Say you come across a farm that has been seen sending supplies to the Alliance, food mostly, to aid them in their fight against us. They have no fighters or defenders of their own and they claim neutrality. What would you do?"

Shaelie narrowed her eyes. "They are traitors! If they aid the Alliance, they are no better than Alliance."

"And you would slay them all, down to the infant in the cradle."

Shaelie nodded firmly. "That infant would one day grow old enough to raise arms against us. Just as the Alliance who killed my family were once infants." She shrugged. "They are the enemy."

Kerala thought if the Alliance had such an outlook, most of the Grim with similar pasts as the elf would not exist now, and THAT might have been a good thing.

The Twice-Made undead warlock took his leave early, with Khorvis, but before he did, his gaze scanned all over all the supplicants. He seemed mostly satisfied. His gaze landed on her, and Kerala frowned at him. Kerala sighed, waiting patiently for this to be over. She was glad she didn't have to answer these questions.

The two trolls were summoned up next, and the little goblins had had it with waiting. Rapacia flailed a bit in a little tantrum before Hoard leaned into her. "Meybe we cum back next week. Bring anotha' body?" Kerala's guess had been correct then. She suspected these two were responsible for the child mailed to Khorvis. They left, dragging their burlap bodybag behind them.

Syreena noticed Kerala eyeing the goblins, and she went back to staring at Kerala as she listened to the goings-on of the inquisition. The druid continued to ignore the rogue. When her stomach rumbled quietly, she ignored it too.

Then Syreena moved over to the undead priest Lupinum. Kerala looked at Lupinum, then back to Syreena and the trolls. The rogue grinned at Lupin, then went back to staring at Kerala. She smiled at Syreena. but of course the rogue did not smile back. She just stared as she whispered to Lupin, who smiled vaguely.

Kerala shrugged. It was turning out to be very similar to Desolace. She doubted any Grim would risk the wrath of the commander to kill her, but it looked as if many of them might be plotting something. She would not be surprised to be attacked later. Not for the first time, Kerala cursed Breygrah, for the way things had turned out.

"If there are no other hopefuls and no other business...?" Ruuki looked around at the gathered, giving them a chance to speak. Kerala just looked at Ruuki, saying nothing since apparently she'd get her trials or whatever from Lilliana. After a moment Ruuki nodded her head. "Then this Inquisition is sealed this night, as Khorvis would say. You're all dismissed."

Kerala waited for most of the Grim to depart. She walked to the edge of the balcony and looked around. Rukki left. Then Awatu. If something were going to happen, now would be the time.

Sure enough, Syreena eyed the druid, and prowled over. "Need a push?" she asked with a snicker.

Kerala raised a brow at Syreena. The attempt at humor was lost on her, of course, especially since she was wary of an attack. The question seemed ridiculous. "Why would you bother pushing me? I would be a bird in flight in the moment after you did."

The goblin death knight had meandered over as well. "Not if your wings were cut." Maybe that was what Syreena was waiting for. Would they attack her together?

But the rogue just shrugged. "I can hope." Then she grinned wickedly at Gazreeth's comment.

Kerala became irritated. Were they going to or not? She was hungry, as ever. "Are you threatening me?" She looked directly at Gazreeth.

The goblin's body language shifted, then. He was not. Not now, anyway. "Stating a matter of fact, a wingless bird can not fly." The moment of challenge passed.

Kerala considered the goblin's words, but said nothing. She was fairly certain the hostility would not cease until they vented it, but she would be foolish to initiate it just to clear the air. Perhaps they would all get together later and it would happen in one encounter, if she were lucky.

Kerala stepped backwards off the ledge and as she said, became a bird a moment later. She flew away.

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Logging started on 05/11/2015 at 23:30:55.

Syreena eyes the strange elf, her gaze lingering on the ears a moment, then looks at Kerala.

You look at Syreena.

Kerala looks at the fire.

[syreena]: You should have shent Lomani.

You look at Syreena.

[Kerala]: What?

Gazreeth waves goodbye to Syreena. Farewell!

Syreena waves goodbye to Gazreeth. Farewell!

Gazreeth looks at you.

[Gazreeth]: You are Grim, if anything should happen to the Shadowblade while you are around, I will hold you responsible. Grim's protect one another, even if they don't like it.

Syreena grins wickedly at Gazreeth.

[syreena]: That one's a quick learner.

Syreena looks at you.

[syreena]: I said...you should have sent Lomani to join us instead of yourself.

[Kerala]: Why? You all are waiting for me to fail, and I don't think she's ever killed a thing in her life.

Syreena shrugs at you. Who knows?

[syreena]: You will fail. Because you don't want to succeed.

[Kerala]: You are wrong. I can and I will.

[syreena]: You want to be Grim? Really? You are proud to wear that tabard?

Kerala snorts.

[Kerala]: Want has nothing to do with it.

[syreena]: That's what I thought.

You look at Syreena.

[syreena]: What did you think of the Inquisition tonight?

[Kerala]: It was boring.

[syreena]: Yeah, well, contrary to popular belief, we don't spend all our time attacking other members of the Horde.

[Kerala]: Only most.

Darethy fetches a pack of ice out of his bag, and tosses it towards Syreena.

[Darethy]: "For the burn."

Syreena blinks as a pack of ice lands in her lap, then grins at Darethy.

Kerala raises a brow at Darrethy.

[syreena]: Those meetings are informative.

[Kerala]: Informative? That twice-whatever-he-was spouted nothing but lies.

[syreena]: Greebo has been a Grim since shortly after we went to Outland. He once led The Grim for a while.

Kerala just shrugs, unimpressed.

You look at Syreena.

[syreena]: What?

[Kerala]: And what information, exactly, was I supposed to get from that meeting? You didn't even take in all the supplicants that were there.

[syreena]: It's a chance to learn about those who may become Grim. To get a hint of the best way to test them, to make them prove themselves.

[Kerala]: I don't need to know that, the inquisitors do. I know an elf hates alliance for killing her family. It's seems a common thing.

[syreena]: It is a common thing among The Grim. You don't think it's a good thing to get to know the people who may one day be watching your back?

[Kerala]: Sure I do. But you said yourself, most supplicants don't make it. Why should I care about them before they pass trials? You expect me to fail, remember?

[syreena]: I do expect you to fail. But your failure will be your own. It won't be because you weren't given a chance.

You laugh at Syreena.

[Kerala]: You're cute.

Syreena looks at you.

[Kerala]: So.... what did you learn about me? Anything useful?

[syreena]: Sure. That you don't want to be here. That you're not giving it a chance. And that even if you pass your Trials, you still won't be Grim. You don't want it.

[Kerala]: That would be why you're supposed to 'teach' me, wouldn't it?

Syreena shrugs. "Teach. Test. Pick one."

[Kerala]: I'm actually disappointed.

[syreena]: About what?

[Kerala]: I was expecting to be assigned the first trial.

[syreena]: I'm sure Lilly will assign you one soon. The first one is easy.

Kerala cocks her head, looking at Syreena a little more seriously now.

[Kerala]: What were your trials?

[syreena]: I was Grim before there was an Inquisition.

[Kerala]: Oh.

[syreena]: I had no formal Trials to earn my rank.

[Kerala]: Convenient, I suppose.

Kerala frowns, since that's no help at all.

Syreena shrugs at you. Who knows?

[Kerala]: I'll learn later I suppose. Goodnight.

Syreena nods at you.

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Logging started on 05/12/2015 at 19:26:29.

Kerala orders a big strong drink. It's probably a bad idea.

You let out a long, drawn-out sigh.

[syreena]: So....how are you liking your time with The Grim so far?

[Kerala]: I read a big book over the last few days, but not much else has happened. I sort of expected a trial by now. So... not well. Reading is dumb.

Syreena nods at you.

[syreena]: Maybe this is a trial. Staying alive.

Syreena grins at you wickedly.

[Kerala]: Hmmph.

[syreena]: How is Lomani? The curse should be gone now, right?

[Kerala]: I don't know. I haven't gone home since... well I didn't really expect Awatu to give me a tabard right away. She was fine, though.

[syreena]: Yeah....I'm a bit surprised by that myself.

[Kerala]: You said the other night you didn't have to do the trials... but you did anyway?

[syreena]: Not shpecifically. I've served The Grim in various roles for nearly a decade. I'd say that covers my trials.

[Kerala]: Oh.

[syreena]: So how long is your...sentence with us?

Kerala sips her drink, then changes her mind, because it's gross. She sets it aside.

Syreena grins faintly, trying to hide it behind her bottle.

[Kerala]: What do you mean?

[syreena]: How long are you planning to shtay with us? How long does it take to satisfy that revenge tradition?

Kerala smirks at Syreena.

[Kerala]: Awatu asked for a supplicant, now didn't he? If I pass the trials, my understanding is that I won't be one anymore.

[syreena]: Sho if you earn your rank, you'll leave then?

[Kerala]: I very much doubt you all will change my mind. When will an Inquisitor be assigned to me? Ruuki says that must happen, and then I get the first trial. I thought I was assigned to Lilliana.

Syreena shrugs. Who knows?

[syreena]: It usually happens right away, but then, there wasn't anything usual about you joining us, or the way it happened.

Kerala sighs in frustration.

[Kerala]: What sorts of things have people done for the last one? The Sacrifice?

[syreena]: Hm, let's see. Kill someone from their past, hand over their personal journals--that was interesting, destroy a shpecial item from their past....

Kerala frowns. She doesn't have any journals, or special things.

[syreena]: Cobrak sacrificed his eye.

[Kerala]: He did tell me that. I think that's dumb, as well. He's a great shot, but imagine how much better he'd be with -both- eyes.

[syreena]: The whole point of that Trial is to give up your past life in order to prove one's commitment to The Grim. Yours will not be sincere if you plan to leave right after, so I don't see how you can pass that Trial.

[Kerala]: I don't have anything to give up. My armor...

Kerala frowns, maybe worried about that last trial.

[syreena]: There's always something more to give.

[Kerala]: Hmm. Well then it'll be fine.

[syreena]: Maybe it will be.

You look at Syreena.

[syreena]: We'll see when the time comes.

[Kerala]: There is nothing the Grim can do that has not already been done. You all look at me with doubt, but accept little wisps like that hunter without question. I am stronger than she ever thought about being. I'll be fine.

[syreena]: But will you be Grim? Your survival is not in question. Your dedication is. And that little elf last night. *She shrugs* Well, we need fodder too.

Kerala shrugs at Syreena.

[Kerala]: I should go find someplace to sleep. Good night.

[syreena]: Stay safe. Wait...what do you mean find a place to sleep? You said you haven't seen Lomani since you put on the tabard. Where've you been staying?

[Kerala]: I don't know. Wherever looks comfortable. I like Talador. And Nagrand.

Syreena looks at you.

[syreena]: Why not the barracks in the garrison?

Kerala just looks at Syreena.

[Kerala]: I'm not a Grim. Not really. Just a supplicant.

[syreena]: You wear the tabard, handed to you by the Commander himself. You have a right to be in the garrison. Nobody will harm you without risking the Commander's anger.

[Kerala]: Um... ok. I can find a spot there I guess.

Syreena nods at you.

[Kerala]: Ok then...

[Kerala]: I guess I'll go do that. Goodnight.

Syreena nods at you.

[syreena]: Stay safe.

You nod at Syreena.

Kerala leaves.

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When Kerala entered the barracks, she was surprised to find a book laying in a bunk with her name on it. A supplicant’s handbook. Apparently this was her assigned place. There was also a package, from Lomani. The letter read:

Kerala,

You are Grim now, I know, so I am sure this will reach you. I'm ok. I'll look after the garrison while you are gone.

I've sent your things. Don't neglect your gems. I find that working my hands is soothing. Bring out the beauty of the stones, and remember them when you are surrounded in the ugliness of the moment.

Walk your chosen path with care. Be strong. I will be here waiting for you on the other side.

~Lomani

In the box was a large mostly-empty new hexcloth bag. The giant cloth satchel was folded neatly around Kerala's small collection of items.

One small wooden box held papers- every letter she had ever received, minus the battered one from Awatu that she had mailed back to him. Twenty-three from Kethrenorean, most of them faded and old. One for every month since she'd left the Glade. The very oldest letter from the night elf still held within it's folds the special altered steelbloom that came with all of them, crispy and delicate. One letter from Konro, mailed to her after his death. One letter from Tesonii. The newest from Awatu.

A small jewelry box that closed with a simple lock. Inside it contained her gem collection- a few polished and finished gems, and some still rough and uncut. They rattled around among shattered rock fragments and crumbled gem shards without care. There were a few ossified venom glands as well, from what creature Kerala could not recall. But they were pretty, and so she kept them.

A small cloth trinket pouch within the jewelry box held the non-jewelcrafting things. Inside was only one real piece of jewelry- the starkly simplistic black diamond wire ring. She'd never worn it since making it. The pouch also held a colorful rock. An essence-infused moonstone. A lovely blue charm in the shape of a bird with it's wings outstretched in swift flight. Her skytotem was in there as well, the old worn bone looking out of place next to the other, pretty things.

Folded neatly beneath the two containers of her possessions were Kerala's two dresses. The blue embroidered dress with wide neck opening and sleeves from when she'd been injured. And the oldest dress, somewhat faded, with simple beadwork and open sides. A stylish blue shirt, unofficial uniform of the Skytotem healer tribe, topped the clothing pile.

Kerala looked through the things for a moment, then grabbed a couple rough gems from the jewelry box and the tools to shape and polish them. Then she added Lomani's letter to the wooden box, sealed the hexcloth bag, and left it in the bunk with the Grim handbook atop it.

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It took several days for Kerala to find exactly what she was looking for.

She sat in Orgrimmar as a storm crow, sometimes prowling in the form of a cat to listen. She stalked the orphanage. Children came in all the time. Most of them stayed only temporarily while next-of-kin were notified. Some arrived there to live.

Finally, she spotted what she needed. She fell from her perch in a swoop toward the ground, shifted in midair, and landed neatly on the padded paws of her cat form. She immediately slunk into the shadows, her ears perked to listen.

After a few moments, she was certain. The boy child was very quiet as the adult orc delivering him explained the situation. The older sister had been killed, as well as both parents. No other known kin. He couldn't have been more than four.

She flew off to find the body.

Rigor had set in, and she had to flex the limbs to loosen the muscles from their stiffed state. She stripped the clothing, tied the wrists and ankles. The girl was considerably smaller than the shu'halo child had been. About the same age. Her hair was in pigtails.

Kerala laid the orc into the box, carefully folding the limbs- arms to the chest inside the drawn up knees. The fetal position really was the most compact. The hardest part for her was to place the apple in the girl's mouth.

Then she sealed the box. The goblin she had contacted would come pick it up later, address it and affix the note. There would be no way to trace it back to her, if he tried to. She wasn't quite sure why, but it was important to know how far Khorvis would go.

The note said simply:

Still hungry?

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Logging started on 05/16/2015 at 00:18:35.

[Leyujin-TwistingNether]: Syreena, c'mon. Shlay a bit mo'.

[syreena]: All right, but just a little.

[Kerala]:*mumbles* Can't..sleep... [something]'ll eat... me

[syreena]: What'sh the matter?

[Khorvis-TwistingNether]: Do your bunk be too hard, Supplicant?

[Khorvis-TwistingNether]: *snarls*

[Kerala]: Uh, what? *yawn*

[syreena]: Why can't you sleep?

[Kerala]: Because you're talking to me.

[syreena]: You said something about getting eaten or something.

[Kerala]: I did not, I was asleep. I'll make sure and put the stone somewhere it can't fall out and wake me up.

[syreena]: Ah, okay. Well...rest well the.n

[Khorvis-TwistingNether]: *growls into the stone, obviously preoccupied* Then do close your bloody eyes and lips, Supplicant!

[shaeli]: Someone has a terrible bedside manner.

[Kerala]: *clacking noise, as if the stone might have been flung away and hit something*

[syreena]: Goodnight, Grims.

Logging started on 05/16/2015 at 12:14:55.

You lie down. You yawn sleepily.

Inzema plops down beside Kerala. "'Ey Ssscrawny."

Kerala opens an eye to look at Inzema.

[inzema]: Lilly ssstill givin' ya shit?

Kerala shifts, and then yawns, not nearly so graceful an expression as it would have been on a cat face.

[Kerala]: She's not doing anything. Which is irritating.

[inzema]: Prolly meditating or sssomething. I don't underssstand priessstsss. They're all "Inzema! Your mind is like a maze built by a madman hallucinating from mushrooms!"

[Kerala]: Oh, yeah she does that, but I didn't mean now. I meant she's not assigning me to do anything yet. I should have some trial or something by now, I thought.

Kerala smirks at Inzema's comment. Anything to keep people out of others' heads sounds good to her. Creepy shadow magics.

[inzema]: Well...I have an idea that might work.

Inzema smirks mischievously.

[Kerala]: Oh?

[inzema]: Yup! There'sss two problemsss to thisss whole dealy. Firssst is...Lilly isss sssometimesss a butt. A ssseksssy butt, but a butt nonethelesss. You gotta keep pessstering her and ssstuff until she givesss in.

[Kerala]: And the other problem?

[inzema]: Sssecond isss that everyone knowsss you wanna chuck duesssesss as sssoon as you're done. I mean, that happensss a lot, but nobody outright sssaysss "I'm jussst gonna be here until I fulfill thisss ssstupid outdated law thingy.

[Kerala]: You're right, I have not said that at all.

[inzema]: Actionsss, Kerbear.

Kerala doesn't deny that she might plan to do exactly that, though.

[inzema]: You wear your thoughtsss on your sssleeve. You dessspise usss. Yeah, Grim ain't eksssactly the heroesss everyone looksss up to, but we ain't the bloodthirsssty warmongersss either. Well...not all of usss.

Lilliana is sitting rather quietly, and comfortably with Aaren. She turns her gentle eyes to gaze towards Inzema and Kerala as they have their little 'conversation'.

Kerala considers that for a long moment.

[Lilliana]: Hey, hi, elf girl *she says to the red haired elf* [Florence, who is bothering Aaren]

[Kerala]: The Grim doesn't want me any more than I wish to be counted one of you. You all think I will fail the inquisition anyway- why draw out the process?

[Lilliana]: Give me a second. *she raises to her feet, and brushes off her robes which have become rather dusty from sitting for so long*

[inzema]: I don't think you get it. The path of the Sssuplicant is to show-

Inzema glances up at Lilly. "Hey ssseksssy."

Lilliana comes up behind Inzema and Kerala, a sweet little smile on her childish face. "Yo."

You look at Lilliana.

Lilliana looks down to Inzema, "So like, what's the path of the supplicant?" She grins.

[inzema]: It'sss to let both the Grim and the sssuplicant know if the Grim is right for them.

Lilliana nods her head.

[inzema]: Done it twissse, Q did it onssse, she ran the bit. You don't bend over backwardsss to make the Sssuplicant feel welcome, but you don't make them feel unwelcome neither.

Inzema gives Lilliana a cool smile from his cocked head position.

Lilliana simply smiles, "My view of supplicants is different.....but that doesn't matter." She looks to Kerala, "He's right though. The purpose behind this is to see if you can live as a Grim, and if the Grim can live in you too."

[Lilliana]: Meeting your blood debt is going to be exhausting for you. *she says this rather seriously*

[Kerala]: Can live.... in me?

Inzema stifles a snicker and lewd joke.

Kerala crosses her arms. "I don't expect it to be easy."

Lilliana doesn't try to further explain to Kerala...either because she feels she shouldn't need to...or she's being a shit to her. Take your pick. But she nods. "Yeah."

[Kerala]: So... start exhausting me. What am I supposed to do?

Inzema smirks at Kerala's remark.

Lilliana 's eyes rest on Kerala's, "Stuff." She answers.

Inzema rolls his eyes, and somehow his goggles emote that. "You're bein' a twit, Lilly."

Lilliana grins wickedly at Inzema.

[Lilliana]: Why, I never! *she cackles*

[inzema]: You grouchy 'cause Ley ain't been dickin' you enough? Is that it?

Inzema cackles maniacally at Lilliana.

[Lilliana]: Yeah, that's probably it. *she says in utmost seriousness*

Lilliana looks at Inzema.

You blink at Inzema.

Inzema gives Lilliana a cherubic smile.

Lilliana tries really hard to look serious at Inzema, but she doesn't do a very good job. She's an idiot.

Kerala sighs, and sits back down on the sun-warmed rock.

[Lilliana]: So.... *she rubs her eyes and grins to turn back to Kerala, winking at Inzema as she goes* You need to battle something, Kerala.

Kerala snorts. Obviously, or it would not be called a Trial of Combat.

[Lilliana]: You need to like, show strength. Power, and intention to battle down something and win, for the guild that you now follow.

Lilliana leans down to say softly to Inzema, "See, I'm not always a twit."

Inzema shoots a glance at Darethy, then back to Lilliana. "You're talkin' to her like either you or she is a halfwit, and I ain't sssure which one is your intention."

Lilliana grins at Inzema, "Well, either way I have both bases covered."

Lilliana sits down in front of Kerala, and places a gloved hand on the tauren's.

Inzema flails his arms in apparent exasperation and shuts up.

[Lilliana]: So like, what ya wanna do? Since you are so intent on becoming Grim? You gonna go take something down? Some sweet little alliance folk? It's gotta be cool.

Kerala eyes Lilliana with more than a little bit of wariness. She is really really uncomfortable with the priestess, for some reason.

[Kerala]: I get to pick?

[Lilliana]: You get to pick, I have to approve, as your inquisitor. *she nods, her tone has taken on somewhat of a mature tone, but that's not likely to last long, considering who she is*

[Kerala]: Oh.... hmm

Lilliana smiles at the lack of direction she has been giving to Kerala, but then she makes it look like this is all part of the process. "So...........? What ya gonna do?"

Lilliana takes her hand back, and places both hands primly in her lap, as she so often does.

[Kerala]: Well... there's a big battlefield on this island right? I can go with the fighters and keep them safe...

Lilliana runs her fingers through her red hair, and then stretches her arms over her head. "Oh, how about this, Kerala?" She gestures towards Ashran, where the battles always seem to be raging.

Kerala hushes and listens.

Lilliana nods her head slowly, "Yes, you can."

[Lilliana]: But if you do that .... I want to see you ensure that they bring down the alliances tree thingie. You know, that stupid thing that they throw at us? And, I want you to take a goblin picture thing, and make sure that the tree falls on at least two alliance that are fighting for it. K? At least two. Otherwise, it don't freaking count.

You blink at Lilliana.

Florencé looks at the troll woman and quite literally sits in her lap. Looking up at her hair.

[Kerala]: Take a picture of a tree, after I make it fall on two alliance?

[Everyone is thus distracted by Florence]

You look at Inzema.

[Kerala]: Inzema, you look like you have gadgets. Do you have a goblin picture-thingy I can borrow?

Inzema seems to manifest with his other hand a [s.E.L.F.I.E. Camera MkII]. "One of these?"

Kerala looks at Lilliana as if to ask if that's the goblin picture-thing.

Lilliana places her attentions back to Kerala, "I want you to take a picture of two squished alliance that have fallen under the tree."

[Kerala]: Right, is that the right thing to do it with? *she gestures to the camera Inzema is holding*

[Florence is still distracting]

Kerala shrugs at Inzema.

[inzema]: You could use one of these, or you could get sssome goblin to take your picture. Whichever.

[Kerala]: Oh. Well keep your thingy, then. I'd probably break it.

[inzema]: Butterfingers?

You shrug at Inzema. Who knows?

Kerala thanks Inzema anyway and stands, intending to go hire a goblin photographer right that instant.

Kerala mutters a goodbye to everyone and wanders off to see a man about a picture-thingy.

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Kerala stood there dumbly, looking at the battlefield. She was confused.

It had taken the entire day of fighting in Ashran before the Alliance had summoned the tree ancient Fangraal. She was sore. She was tired. Several times throughout the day, she'd taken a beating and had to retreat. The soldiers she was healing did not know her, and didn't seem to care that she was helping them. They did not protect her at all.

But then the ancient appeared, and it no longer mattered. It was time to pass the first trial.

There were two sturdy fighters that dared to keep the tree's attention, a troll monk, and then an orc warrior. She focused her attentions on healing them as they took turns dealing with the tree, and then the most stubborn of the Alliance fighting alongside it. She let the blooming nature of her spells care for the rest of the fighters. She grew mushrooms, let out her frustrations in roars to incapacitate any allies that came near her, and she danced through the fighting.

Something had thrown her and several other soldiers high into the air. She spotted a priest, weakened by the blow, falling back to the ground with her. She cast, and the woman's skin became as tough as ironbark to survive the fall. Kerala landed hard on feline paws.

Eventually, though, the Horde won. The fighters delivered killing blows to Fangraal. The tree began to wobble. Horde fighters finished off the last of the Alliance fighters, heartened by the sight. Several other gave chase to those retreating. There were plenty of corpses around for the picture that was required, whichever way the ancient fell.

The photographer that Kerala had hired started running up. A younger goblin female, she'd stayed behind, safe, for the most part. She tended to squeal very loudly and so Kerala hadn't had much trouble at all protecting the girl.

And then, Fangraal disintegrated. The thing had started falling, but then it never hit the ground. Like decay in fast-forward, the tree visibly rotted away, and crumbled upon itself. The tiny particles of it's body vanished as if the thing had never existed.

Kerala just stared, not understanding. How could she get a picture of dead people under a tree when the tree didn't fall down?

The goblin woman, ever interested in completing the task and receiving the rest of her payment, inventively found some branches and staged a few photos with Kerala doubtfully looking on. She was certain no one would be fooled by the limbs of a regular tree. Fangraal's leaves had been so very large.

She left the battlefield, and paid the photographer girl her fee, plus extra hazard pay and a bonus for trying. She got her pictures, worthless though they were.

Her confusion had quickly turned to anger. Lilliana had set her up to fail.

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Kerala ascend the steps of the Hall of the Brave. She's not the first to arrive, this time. Several others are already gathered at the top floor. Her head clears the level of the floor and she identifies the inquisitors, Ruuki and Khorvis. The High Inquisitor turns his monocular gaze upon Kerala and grins darkly. The druid scowls. She's still infuriated at Lilliana and the trolless was, of course, no where to be found. Syreena nods as her green eyes scanned the rest of the room, and she nods back. Lupinum plops next to Syreena.

Ruuki looks around at the gathered. Not nearly as many as last week but it's something at least. Then the orc begins speaking.

"Dabu. This is our word for obedience." Kerala looks to Khorvis and listens. "Look around yourselves at the iron and wood. They do obey the will of the Warchief, assembled and riveted as a bastion in the honor of the Horde. Dabu. I obey the Mandate, as do we all. We are the iron and raw lumber of the Commander's aim." Ruuki nods in agreement with his words. "Does the iron of this tower groan in protest against the battlemasters and the Warchief?"

There is a pause, during which the troll Tazzuk arrives, of course with Xek'anjo at his back. They take their places quietly. Kerala frowns, listening, wondering what the point is in talking about the construction of a building.

"If it does groan, then that do be the fault of the maker. If it does snap and splinter beneath our boots, then it do be no fault of its own. Dabu. It does obey the siegesmith, the carpenter, and the Warchief." Khorvis watches the Supplicants with a dark eye. "You do obey your Inquisitors in your trials. We do shoulder the weight of your corpse if you do break and snap. But you do obey. Dabu."

Several people present, not just supplicants, nod at his words, but Kerala is thoroughly perplexed. Wood and iron were not things that could obey anything. A tree cut to build a tower was dead, and had no say over how it was used, and metal was never sentient to begin with.

"I am not a tree." she says crossly, "Or a lump of ore."

"But you are still something to be guided and shaped. All of us are." Ruuki replies.

Khorvis nods at Ruuki. "Aye. Flesh and bone to become a weapon. Inquisitor Ruuki, your charges. Let us hear them"

Kerala wonders where Lilliana is again.

The tauren inquisitor summons a goblin Kyoukimaru before her. She asks him about his last trial, his sacrifice. The goblin starts spouting nonsense about how he was created, not born, and says he ate his body. The druid looks at the crazy rogue, very confused. What exactly is going on in this room?

Khorvis crosses his gauntlets and listens to the tale. When it is finished, he asks. "Do you obey the Mandate now fully, little goblin?"

Kyoukimaru looks at Khorvis and grins wickedly. "I obey. I am the very blade of execution, waiting eagerly for my next duty."

"Say the word on the lips of these timbers and iron. Dabu. Peace through annihilation." Kyoukimaru screams it, followed enthusiastically by the others. "Aye! All of us! Dabu! Peace through annihilation!" Khorvis looks slightly manic, a gleam in his eye.

Kerala remains silent. After a few moments, they all calm down.

"Zug zug, Kyoukimaru. Well done, Inquisitor Ruuki." the high inquisitor comments.

Next, the two trolls are summoned forward. Ruuki looks at Tazzuk and Xekanjo. "I am your Inquisitor for your trials. Here are your assignments for the Trial of Combat, made public for all to watch you complete."

Malhavik arrives as she speaks, and Kerala glances to him before returning her gaze to the tauren woman. She assigns Tazzuk to slay so many Alliance that they whisper his name in hushed tones around the campfire, and constantly look over their shoulders for fear he'll be there. It seems a vague sort of thing to assign someone to do, to Kerala. Xekanjo is told to collect the souls from each ally that Tazzuk killed. Ruuki tells them each they have a month to complete their tasks.

"A proper trial, Dreadweaver. I do commend your hunger. Trk'hsk for the Mandate!" Khorvis exclaims.

"Good, you two can step back." Ruuki glances to Khorvis. "That's all I have for tonight."

Khorvis nods in thanks to the Inquisitor. "Good. Then I do call forward one of the Mandate who has obeyed our creed in with great fervor for many moons. Come forward, brother Lupinum. We will hear your wisdom this night."

Lupinum sits up, somewhat slowly. He walks to the center of the floor and salutes Khorvis with respect. "Yes, High Inquisitor." The orc returns the salute.

Xek'anjo cranes his head unnaturally towards Kerala, and smiles. She ignores him. The druid sighs, but resolves to listen at least until she's sure this speaker is spouting nonsense like Greebo had last week.

"Here is one who does know 'dabu'. Without tire and fatigue on the battlegrounds. We did hear the wisdom of the Twice-made one week past. We will now hear yours - but much more to our point. Come forward, Supplicant Shaelie." Lupinum pins his hands to his sides as he stands there, unsure and unwilling to fidgit. "Tell the Grim what you do make of this timber and iron, brother Lupinum. How might she serve the Mandate in her first trial?"

Lupinum relaxes then, and clicks his tongue in thought. He eventually assigns the hunter supplicant to finish her training and deliver to the High Inquisitor twenty-five cleaned skulls of draenei.

Khorvis gives the elf huntress an heirloom of some importance, which Syreena does not like. Kerala watches the exchange passively.

Then the high inquisitor glances at a ream of papers and sets them on the table. "Right, one last Supplicant under the ledger of Inquisitor Lilliana. Come into the light, Kerala. We do wish to see your horns."

Eyes turn toward her. The mention of Lilliana reignites the anger that was still simmering within her. Kerala shoves aside Shaelie's little scorpion and steps forward. She looks at Khorvis. She doesn't offer him a salute like the others had.

Behind her, Lupinum leans close to Syreena and whispers. In the suddenly quiet room she can hear the sound of it.

Khorvis takes a side-saddle perch on the edge of the table and irritably picks through his feedbag for a moment. He pulls out a small clean bone and flicks it aside. Kerala 's eyes follow the bone as it is cast aside, bouncing on the wooden floor. Six years of experience identified it with some degree of certainty as orcish, and feminine. Apparently, he -had- still been hungry. The knowledge is filed away, and her eyes then return to the Lasher.

"My ears do be old, tauren. Some words do slip by them and I do forget their passing. But I do know the sound of Dabu. Remind me?"

Kerala immediately repeats the word obediently. "Dabu." Apparently that was not what the orc wanted.

"Hrmph. Yes, we all do the dabu." He pauses. "Your blood debt to the Mandate do be a tricky thing. I do wonder if your heart do be in it."

"Syreena seems to share your wonder" is the only thing she can think to say. He put to words what the rogue and every other Grim seems to believe. It doesn't matter.

Khorvis slides off the table and snaps his fingers in the air! "Heart! That do be it!" Kerala can't help taking a small step back from Khorvis. Not only was he close enough after that exclamation for her to smell the carrion stench of his breath, but the tone in his voice makes every hair along her spine lift.

The high inquisitor Khorvis the Lasher straightens up to his full and imposing height. "Supplicant Kerala. Your first trial do be to eat the hearts of every race of the Alliance filth!"

Behind her, several Grim cheer and laugh. "Greatest trial ever!" she hears. Ruuki smirks a little at the assignment.

Kerala glares at Khorvis. He didn't even know that she had been given a task already! "I was given a trial, I thought." She speaks over the troll Tazzuk, who is more than willing to help her get started right now with a heart he apparently has in his bags.

Khorvis pauses. "Another trial you do say?"

"Is Lilliana not my inquisitor? Ruuki said I would get my trial within the week, and Lilliana kept it from me. When I asked in Warspear, she set me to it." she tries to keep her voice even as she explains, and mostly succeeds.

"Bah, did you complete this trial?"

Kerala pulls out the pictures and throws them somewhat angrily on the table. "She said I was to go and fell the big tree the alliance summon. I was to make sure it landed on no less than two corpses, and supply photos as proof."

"Dis be true...." Tazzuk confirms. "She wuz there when it came."

"That task is impossible!" the druid nearly shouts. "The ancient disintegrates as soon as it dies!"

Khorvis stares at Kerala, the stink of his breath wafting towards her snout. She swallows hard, disbelieving. He doesn't care at all. The orc digs around inside of his sidepouch and produces a rusty fork. He holds it out to her. "I did say that we Inquisitors do lift the weight when your wood does splinter. You have your new task. Feast with relish."

Kerala eyes Khorvis for a long moment. Ruuki moves just close enough to see the pictures on the table, frowning.

"If I may," Tazzuk offers behind her, "I gotta goo' one right here ta whet her appetite."

Again, she ignores the troll. The orc had not asked her to kill the alliance and prove her prowess, only to eat them. Staring at him, she wonders. Does he know that she had sent him the package? Is this challenge personal? Punishment? "What purpose does it serve, to consume their hearts?" Khorvis continues to hold the ancient heirloom fork of heart-eating out towards Kerala.

Gazreeth, his hostility openly obvious, can't contain himself any more. "What purpose does your questioning everything serve?"

She glares down at him, and he stares right back at her. "You all expect me to fail, and wish for it, and then I am given a task that is truly, without doubt, impossible to accomplish? Why would I not question?" she demands.

"Eating alliance hearts isn't impossible, it's actually a lot of fun." the goblins says.

Lupinum stands. "Any of us here would take a bite of that heart."

"I -meant- the trial given by my supposed inquisitor." the druid snaps.

The tauren inquisitor Ruuki speaks up. "Considering I've fought and helped fell that tree in Ashran, it does not disintegrate immediately upon death. It topples over, like any normal tree. We do not give impossible tasks to our Supplicants. We challenge them to push their own limits. If you never push, you never know what you're capable of."

Lupinum sits back down, muttering "All of here, wearing the tabard."

Khorvis nods at Ruuki. At her blatant lie. "Dabu, Kerala. The first trial is to obey. In the second, you will get your questions."

Obey. Kerala looks down, away from his eyes. The gesture of submission. She finds the bright red stitching of her dark tabard attracting her attention from the blurry periphery of her vision, and she focuses on that. Supplicant. This is one of three trials, and she will beat them. Khorvis' task is not impossible, but it will take planning.

The druid looks up, her dark eyes flashing. She steps around and eyes Tazzuk and his heart, and points to him. "I refuse that one." she declares. She can see several of the Grim openly incredulous at her defiance.

"Fine." the high inquisitor answers, "I do only want you eating ones of your kills."

Ruuki shrugs. "They're better warm anyway."

Another thought occurs to Kerala, and she eyes Khorvis. Lilliana had required proof, as Ruuki did from the trolls, and Lupinum did of that hunter. "How will you know I have done it truly?"

Malhavik raises his hand, but Tazzuk just blurts "High Inquisitor, I be fightin' wit da druid in Ashran. I kin prove witness ta her eatin' da hearts...and be grabbin' dem as she mendin' me."

Khorvis lifts his gaze from the fork held forth and twists the taladite shard embedded in his eldritch eye's device. A new soul mist begins to coalesce. "Worthy words, Supplicant Tazzuk. I will hear those of the felmancer Malhavik." Kerala still has not made any move to accept the silly fork.

"Hearts contain the essence of those they belong to. I'm quite sure a Death Knight, or warlock could ensure she's has consumed the essences of the other races." Malhavik says. "So long as it is recent enough," adds he.

"A clever thought. Zug zug. Gather Reaper Gazreeth and gauge our Kerala's progress." Kerala eyes the undead warlock up and down, unsure what to think of him. Malhavik tilts his head at the druid politely.

Lupinum meets Malhavik's eyes for a long moment. Malhavik nods at the priest.

Khorvis flings the fork down into the timbered floors of the Hall, then. It sticks into the wood, quivering. "You have your orders, Supplicant Kerala. Obey your new trial or do not. Both paths have an end." She says nothing, but nods.

"If it tries to swindle us... I'll await my orders.." Kyoukimaru glares angrily..

Gazreeth grins wickedly at the crazy rogue. "You'll have to get in line."

"Do there be any other faces that would show themselves before the Inquisition this night?" Khorvis asks, his voice louder.

Kerala looks at Tazzuk, and the heart still in his hands. Her teeth are tightly shut together.

Ruuki says after a moment of waiting "Then if there's no other business to add, the Inquisition is closed and sealed to the Mandate. Peace through Annihilation." Ruuki finishes. Again, she is echoed by the attending Grim, but for Kerala. She notices a slight hesitation as Malhavik says it.

"Dabu." replies Khorvis. If the word meant 'obey', did that mean he was obeying Ruuki, agreeing with her act to end the night's meeting? Orcish never failed to be confusing. "Peace, Grim."

"So..." Kyoukimaru piped up, "anyone up for a steak? Kerala glares at him. Ruuki tells him to mind his blades.

Kerala walks over to where the tiny bone discarded from Khorvis' feed bag landed, and she picks it up. She examines it while they are all distracted talking. She catches Cobrak's name, and someone named Morinth. The bone is from a child's finger, and she closes her fist over it. She returns to the table, and kicks the stupid fork under it. She gathers up the pictures that Khorvis had not even glanced at.

The others begin filing out following the Lasher's suggestion of continuing the discussion over beers.

Two goblins are blocking her when Kerala turns back around. She looks at Kyoukimaru's back. He had been talking with Ruuki, but the inquisitor wasn't looking this way anymore. Gazreeth reaches under the table and picks up the fork.

Kyoukimaru makes multiple loud snapping noises as his head turns back to her, despite his body facing away. He looks unharmed by the action, despite the unnatural pose. "You dropped something I believe.."

Kerala resists the reflexive urge to stab the creepy rogue in his stupid face. "No, I did not. Khorvis dropped it, not me.

Kyoukimaru cackles maniacally at the situation. "You're too funny. Don't be so arrogant in your lifebringing abilities."

"Ale!" Khorvis' loud voice reaches them. "Blood ale! I do hope."

Gazreeth throws the fork down in front of Kerala so it sticks into the wood, just like the Lasher had done. "Don't forget it, or the alliance will be the last of your worries."

The druid looks down at him, standing at eight feet tall to his- what, four? His face was right on level for her to smash it against her knee. "I don't need a fork."

The rogue chuckles. "The knight here.. too obvious. Me?"

Gazreeth leans in. "Do NOT disrespect the lasher again..." his voice trails off, leaving the threat unspoken. He turns away to join the others as they go downstairs.

Kyoukimaru has no problem picking up the slack. "or else." he warns. "Because you won't see me coming." He leaves as well, and now Kerala is supposedly alone in the tower.

Kerala heads for the stairs after waiting long enough that she can no longer hear the others. She stops at the brazier there. With a sigh, she throws the stupid pictures into the flames. Useless. She brings her clenched fist up then, and opens her fingers to look at the small bone.

She whispers the Magram funeral phrases she'd heard and uttered countless times, slightly altered. "Nees ko stroval. Strovalt lo ralt. Kek strovalt di Khorvis. Kek ralt di Khorvis. Nuth. Khorvis agol sroval." It seems appropriate. Kerala throws the small bone into the fire.

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[05/18/2015 after the Inquisition]

Kerala orders a strong drink.

On the far side of the tavern, the Grim are gathered around a table. Atop it lies a package that has apparently just been delivered. She can hear the goblin death knight saying how it would be easier to just have Kerala open it, can never be too careful. Kerala downs her glass in one breath, then coughs a bit afterwards. She eyes Gazreeth. It doesn't matter.

Kerala plops an elbow onto the table, and her head into her hand as the drink takes very quick effect in her small boney frame. She watches everybody on the other side of the room. They investigate the contents of the package. Body parts, and yet they seem not to like these ones. Picky picky.

A Forsaken in green robes is a new face in the tavern. She has a metallic jaw like Lupinum, though there is something off about it. She is staring at the druid. Kerala looks at Lightcursed.

Lightcursed smiles at Kerala, which really is a pulling of her upper lip on the stitches that hold her bony, mismatched jaw in place. "You have a rather admirable soul, did you know that?" she says, her voice having a ghostly echo to it, her lip and jaw not moving.

Kerala blinks at Lightcursed. Why did priests feel the need to share the things they saw in people? Lomani, this one. She tells the woman crossly "Stay out of my shoul, undead. You don't know me at all."

Lightcursed seems slightly taken aback by Kerala's response. "Oh, my, I've offended you. I am very sorry." Kerala frowns, but her somewhat glazed eyes are no longer on Lightcursed, but Khorvis. He is really the source of her current mood. Or rather, Lilliana is. But the troll isn't here.

"There are many ears in this tavern." the high inquisitor was saying.

Malhavik nods, but Syreena grumbles. "Not too many. It's one short."

Kerala giggles at Syreena. Syreena frowns, looking at Kerala, then notices the glazed look in her eyes. The strange new priest wanders over to them, and Kerala beckons Syreena over the next time the rogue glances her way.

"I meant to ax you, but you left too fast." Kerala starts. She sits up, which proves to feel like an odd manuever as her head swims suddenly.

Syreena looks at Alakroz, who has just arrived, and sighs. "Ask me what?"

"I need... um." she can't recall orcish words suddenly.

"More booze?"

"A... no!" Kerala exclaims.

The goblin death knight has overheard, and he offers "A fork?"

"A shpear wall, a... whatsit called. Jail! I need a jail thing. ...hic!"

"A prison cell?" the rogue asks. Kerala nods at Syreena. Then she remembers the fork comment, and she shifts her gaze to Gazreeth. She flicks her fingers at the goblin in a shooing motion, which is somewhat amusing to her.

"At the Grim garrison. Under the barracks. You haven't explored the building you're sleeping in yet?"

Gazreeth is glaring angrily at her. Kerala blinks slowly at Syreena. "I don't shleep init."

"Why not?"

Kerala looks over Syreena's head at Khorvis for a minute before answering. It would take too long to say that the scent of his roasted meal of shuhalo child lingered through the building, that she was uncomfortable in beds or hammocks in the first place, and that both lended themselves well to creating nightmares for her, which she was having plenty of already. "Shmells"

"Uh huh." The rogue briefly turns to wish a goodbye to a departing Malhavik. "So where have you been sleeping?" Malhavik belatedly notices Syreena's goodbye. He pokes his head back through the door, and gives a flamboyant bow to Syreena.

Kerala frowns, since this was really not what she wanted to talk about... but she forgot... Khorvis yells for Syreena, and suddenly it doesn't matter because the forsaken is gone, back to the others.

ATTACK! She reacts reflexively, catching the movement from the corner of her eye. Her arm blocks Alakroz, who was apparently trying to grab some of her fur? The sudden movement again sets everything to swirling, and her alcohol-cured bad mood sours again due to the dizziness. And then she notices something. Kerala blinks and reaches up to her neck, where she finds a dart.

"STOP." she commands him. Even to her it is a childish thing to do. Alakroz looks at her. Then he shoots another dart.

She doesn't bother trying to dodge. Instead, she reaches within herself and releases the magic of the natural world of which she is a part. Knowledge floods her drunken mind, bringing with it a separation from the toxin's effects. Even with her slow metabolism, the alcohol is already effecting every part of her. The heart and respiration rates are increased. The drink was wrecking havoc in the brain and of course, seeing it this way, the druid wondered why she ever bothered consuming it. She focused on the liver and other organs needed to clean up this mess, and she urges them to do so.

Kerala stays very still for a moment. She exhales poisonous vapors even as her bladder fills to capacity. It's a very good thing she had only drunk the one glass. Then, she tries to punch Alakroz, suddenly very much -not- drunk.

He was distracted yelling to the Grim about how he was a shaman and could do shaman things for whatever they were discussing, but not enough get slugged. He jerks back his head to dodge the punch and disappears into a rain of frogs. Instead of an annoying troll face, the druid instead punches the hell out of the wall. She does it again to vent emotion, since she just wasted a lot of good cider by curing most of it's effects.

Kerala sits back down, sulking like the child she kind of is. Syreena is mad at Khorvis about some assignment, and still upset that a mere supplicant was given some priceless stupid heirloom earlier at the meeting. Alakroz shoots darts at her pet dog, and Kerala has had it with that troll.

Kerala gets up and stalks toward the stairs, and the dart-happy shaman. He is distracted by the goings-on in the room below him. She mounts the stairs slowly, until she is within range.... Khorvis and the other Grim walk outside for something. Alakroz looks at the druid. He starts to talk and gesture, probably trying to Hex her into a compy or something, but she is ready for that. With a frown on her own features, she puts fist to face, interrupting him.

Alakroz is punched. So he shoots a dart at Kerala. The druid grabs at Alakroz with one hand, going for the rest of his darts with the other. She growls as she does. He is not expecting that move, and so her fingers find and easily snatch most of the shaman's pointed arsenal. He is busy trying to headbutt her with the voodoo mask thing.

A simple angling of her head takes most of his silly blow to her horns, and then Kerala jabs all of the darts into Alakroz. The troll shaman is slammed by darts of death, sleep and varying degrees of drugs. She can feel with the hand still gripping his robes as he goes into cardiac arrest. The angry tauren shoves him off the stairs. Maybe if she's lucky he'll land in the fire.

Alakroz lands in the fire. Kerala descends the few steps back down to the tavern floor and watches the troll convulse and begin to roast for a moment as Khorvis walks back in. The smell of burning cloth begins to fill the room.

"I do seek another shaman. Reports put his mad arse in this tavern." the orc declares.

Tazzuk arrives, soaked in blood....hopefully Alliance blood. He takes one look at the shaman on the fire and laughs. "Oh roasted Gurubashi. How fun."

"Why do this troll be on the firepit? He do be Horde?" Khorvis asks.

"He be filth, High Inquisitor." Tazzuk argues. "He's Gurubashi, an' onna Hakkar's puppets. ...hic! He ain't troll.

From atop the barrels of ale, the elf huntress Shaelie has witnessed the whole thing. "You're supposed to eat Alliance hearts." she tells Kerala. "Not troll hearts."

"Pull it out." the high inquisitor commands.

The druid glares angrily at Shaelie. "You shut up." The elf just shrugs at her. Kerala takes her spear and finally jabs Alakroz so that he rolls off the flames. The fabric of his robes is charred and blackened, and his flesh is scorched as well, down to deep tissues. The surface visible beneath the crispy fibers of charred cloth is blistered and raw. Kerala deems it enough damage, and her anger is completely assuaged. With his turning, she can now smell his meat. She's done.

"There do be enough Horde blood flowing just one hundred paces to the South." Khorvis is saying.

"Bout twice that of Alliance." Tazzuk laughs.

Kerala puts a hand on the crispified shaman, and heals the damage done to his body. Flesh mends, and toxins are metabolized or pushed out as needed. She saves him from death of a dozen different ways. "Don't dart me again." she growls at him. She releases the shaman and, oddly, he continues laying there. Playing dead.

Syreena walks in in time to witness the horrific burns and such, and the healing. She asks "What happened to him?"

Tazzuk offers Syreena "Guru" ears and while he thinks she is distracted, Alakroz jumps up and tries to Hex Kerala. She gestures as if to shove him backwards, toward the flames, and it seems enough to halt his cast again for the thought of the flames licking at him. She regretted the fire part of her attack. Her anger was completely gone with the oily residue of roasted troll inside her nostrils.

"This one has some spirit in him!" Khorvis cackles maniacally at the druid. Bring your prey outside, Supplicant Kerala. I do wish to see you test his skill with the spirits of the Earth." He turns and steps back out the doorway.

Kerala groans. "What?" She follows them all outside.

"Smash his skull!" Tazzuk cheers at Kerala.

"The trail of Morinth does grow cold in the earth. Test this mad elder's skill in the dirt spirits." Khorvis tells Kerala. She just looks at the orc. Does she have to?

Alakroz makes a taunting gesture. He flexes so show his readiness, and he starts some kind of dancelike motions. Troll combat stances?

Lupinum looks around and blinks. "What I miss, Shaelie?"

"Kerala and the crazy troll will battle."

The high inquisitor gives Kerala a long stare. "I do have faith in my Supplicants." He throws down a dueling flag to mark the area.

The druid sighs, and squares off with the uppity troll shaman. At least he is out of darts.

The shaman throws himself at her, and Kerala only heals at first, defensively. It is quickly clear that he is inexperienced, and though he was enthusiastic, her healing skills, even under pressure, were just too powerful. Perhaps what little poisons she's deemed harmless were still effecting him more than he cared to admit.

He threw a totem down. "Now THERE is an earth spirit!" Khorvis cackles maniacally at the Greater Earth Elemental.

Tazzuk cheers Kerala on as she begins casting offensively. "Shattah his spine!" The magic feels strange and impotent, but it seems as good a time to practice as any. She is in no danger here.

The fight drags on, and it becomes clear that she cannot hurt Alakroz with the silly nature spells any more than he can harm her through the heals. "Enough!" Khorvis calls, "Hold your fel pissing blades." Alakroz doesn't seem to hear, and continues throwing himself at Kerala.

"Might hafta speak up, Guru's be too dumb ta hear right." Tazzuk comments.

"Hold, mad one." the orc says again.

Still, the shaman doggedly tries to gain some advantage over her, and Kerala refuses to give it to him. Just the same, she can't root him long enough to give him pause, and afte each stunning blow, he comes right back at her. "JUST STOP" she yells at him.

He does not. Kerala shifts to first cat, then bear, but the day had been long and grueling. She hasn't the energy left to properly overpower the agile and bouncy troll.

"We have seen enough, strange shaman. Yield the battle Kerala, or I will drag you back onto that fire pit." Kerala mishears, thinking the high inquisitor orders her to yield.

"Its becomin' a feat o' boredom." Tazzuk yawns. "Loa's sake."

Kerala growls at Alakroz, the sound reverberating in her bear chest as she glares at the stupid shaman. She turns her back on him, ignores his totem searing her backside as she swipes at the dueling flag, knocking it over. Only then does he stop, seeming to deflate, as if disappointed.

"This one can not hear my words over his own axes. We do have no use for him in our hunt. Syreena, you have your shaman." Kerala elbows Alakroz hard in the ribs as he leaves, passing her, while Khorvis' back is turned. "My thanks, Supplicant Kerala. You might do proper service to the Mandate yet." The orc nods at Kerala without any bile. She blink at him with no small amount of surprise. The druid relaxes her ticked-off stance just a little, and nods at Khorvis. "Mok'rah. I do have business with an Aspirant of some note."

The crowd that had gaathered begins to disperse. Kerala sighs.

"Dat wuz....sumtin'."

She looks at Tazzuk. "It was terrible."

"Glad ya called it off fore we all fell sleep." Tazzuk laughs.

The druid eyes Tazzuk up and down. He is still drenched in blood from his fighting in Ashran...and his odor is rather potent. "The one troll collected souls right? And you have to... what, exactly?" Kerala stays upwind for a reason.

"Gonna kill me so many humes dey gonna tell stories o' me to their kiddies to scare em ta sleep." Tazzuk laughs again. "Bes' job in meh book. Dere be nuthin' better den squeezin' a hume's throat as he's dyin' gaspin' fer air... An' he gits that look in his eyes....knowin; he gonna die." The troll stares off, lost in his bloodthirsty reveries. "An' den...."

Right. Well that would be of no help to her. "Oh. Well nevermind then." She'd been turning the problem over in her mind since hearing the high inquisitor's task. The problems she faced were not of morals, but strategy. She would have to do this carefully. "Don't touch the ones I bring to the cells." He cackled at her, still not fully present int he moment. "I mean it, troll."

Tazzuk makes a cracking sound as he twists his arms. "Cells? Why? Jus' rip der hearts right dere." Then he realizes the tone she'd used. "Don't be gittin' tween a shadow huntah an' his prey, druid." He warns.

"I don't want to have anything to do with your trial. You go ahead and eat the still-beating hearts of random strangers you haven't observed for more than a few minutes, be my guest."

"Dass what I do bes'." Tazzuk grins wickedly. "AN; wut you be doin' eh? Get ta know em? Talk wif em?"

She scowls at him. "No, you idiot. Quarantine. I'm not keen on catching the shaking disease, or any others. So leave mine alone." She wondered if she should be telling this to Khorvis, but she wasn't sure what his reaction might be if a lowly supplicant tried to tell him what to do.

"An' why's that? Bein' Alliance ain't sum bloomin' disease. Only cure iz purgin' tha lotta 'em." Kerala eyes Tazzuk with a hard expression. She's not joking around, she's serious. "But iffin you wanna keep'em as pets, dass your deal." Tazzuk shrugs.

"You can have them when I'm done, I don't care."

He seems to perk up at that. "Okay den. Now den, I gotta go spill sum more blood."

Kerala watches him wander off, toward Ashran. She lets out a big sigh. She briefly wonders if the trial she'd been given was random. Perhaps they did not know she didn't eat meat. If that were true, then it was disturbing to think that supplicants were asked to consume the hearts of people regularly.

More likely, she thinks again, she'd made an error somewhere. She thinks Khorvis must know she was the one to send the orc girl to him, and like any dominant, he aimed to push her down.

Submit.

Obey.

Wouldn't be the first time.

So what if they did know? They'd get a surprise then, if they thought she'd break merely because they demanded that a vegetarian eat meat, even the hearts of sentient beings.

She is strong. She would not fail the inquisition.

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05/19/15 [in the Grim barrack's jail]

Kerala stares at the two alliance, one human and one tiny little gnome. Both are laid out on the floor, unconscious.

[syreena]: Kerala?

You look at Syreena.

[Kerala]: What?

Syreena eyes the two Alliance.

[syreena]: What's going on?

Kerala opens the cell door and steps out. Kerala closes the door and locks it.

[Kerala]: What do you mean? You heard Khorvis. He gave me a different trial.

[syreena]: So you brought them here to eat?

[Kerala]: No. I brought them here for observation, but I'm an idiot. I forgot, I don't need to do that.

[syreena]: Why do you want to observe them?

You look at Syreena.

[Kerala]: It doesn't matter. Not to undead... and I guess not to trolls.

[syreena]: Does the Commander know you brought two live Alliance to the garrison?

Kerala hadn't thought about that.

[Kerala]: Does he care?

Syreena shrugs. Who knows?

[syreena]: What are you going to do with them?

[Kerala]: Kill them, of course. It's a little bit hard to live without a heart inside you.

Kerala frowns.

Syreena nods.

[Kerala]: But I need all of them.

[syreena]: For what?

Kerala sighs.

[Kerala]: Do you know I don't eat meat, Syreena?

[syreena]: It doesn't look like you eat anything.

Kerala nods.

[Kerala]: I know. Do you know why?

Kerala looks at the sleeping alliance.

[syreena]: Why?

[Kerala]: Because I'm damaged. Inside.

[syreena]: So you can't eat?

[Kerala]: I can. It just... you don't survive on as little as I did for that long without being changed. I can't eat much, and what I do eat isn't as helpful as it should be.

[syreena]: I don't understand.

Kerala searches for the right words.

[Kerala]: Ok, take a vegetable. It has good things in it, vitamins, nutrients. Right? A normal person eats it. It goes through them, and their body does all the things it is supposed to to take those things out, to nourish the person.

Syreena nods.

[Kerala]: Ok. And then there are people who are starving. They don't get enough... of anything. They start dying, and so their body does everything it can to survive. First it takes all it can from fat stores, and then when those are gone, it ...eats... other things. Muscles, organs.

Syreena peers at you searchingly.

[Kerala]: If it is stopped soon enough, they might recover.

[syreena]: And if it's not stopped soon enough?

[Kerala]: They usually die.

[syreena]: What happened to you?

Kerala looks at Syreena, since it should be obvious that her recovery wasn't quite soon enough.

[syreena]: How?

[Kerala]: I grew up in Desolace. With the Magram centaur.

Syreena listens intently to you.

Kerala unslings her spear and shows it to Syreena. Kerala shrugs and replaces the weapon.

Syreena looks at the spear.

[syreena]: That was a centaur spear?

[Kerala]: Yes and no. My last one broke, so I made this one special.

[syreena]: What makes it special?

[Kerala]: It's ironwood, and Lomani enchanted it for me so hopefully it's more sturdy.

Syreena nods at you.

[Kerala]: Anyway, I need all of them here before I start.

[syreena]: Why?

[Kerala]: Because if I don't, I won't finish the trial within the month, and then I will fail. I can't go fighting alliance to get the next heart if I'm busy being sick.

Kerala says that as if it's obvious.

Syreena nods at you.

[syreena]: I see. So you do intend to do it?

Syreena is surprised by your actions.

Kerala gives Syreena a very hard stare. "You don't know anything about me. And neither do the rest of the Grim... I. Will. Not. Fail."

Syreena studies her for a moment, then nods slowly.

[syreena]: Your determination is impressive. You'll need it. They won't make it easy for you.

Kerala snorts.

[Kerala]: It's never easy.

Syreena shrugs slightly. "For some more than others."

Kerala looks at the human and the gnome again. Kerala walks out of the jail.

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Logging started on 05/20/2015 at 17:32:37.

You glare angrily at Lilliana.

Lilliana swings her gaze over to Kerala, and raises a brow at her glaring.

[Lilliana]: What's up?

[Lupinum]: Hrmph.

[Kerala]: You set me up.

Lilliana looks to Lupinum, "Didn't go well, did it?"

[Lupinum]: No.

Lilliana then says to Kerala, "You set yourself up." She actually says that. "So, how you gonna get around it?" Her tone is pleasant, maybe even a bit cheerful.

[Kerala]: I've been given a different trial.

Lilliana nods her head and smiles, "You gonna do it?"

Kerala stares at Lilliana. "What do you think?"

[Lilliana]: I dunno, you couldn't do the one I gave you..... *she giggles*

[Kerala]: I DID do the one you gave me.

[Lilliana]: I don't see no pictures. No picture or it didn't happen.

[Kerala]: I burned them. And it -didn't- happen. Your stupid tree ancient disintegrates before it hits the ground. But then, you knew that didn't you?

Lilliana doesn't hide it, she just grins. "Oh, pity."

Kerala wonders what would happen if she jabbed her spear, right now, through Lilliana's back.

[Darethy]: "Lily, Ker, Lulu."

Darethy nods slightly.

You look at Darethy.

Lupinum blinks and looks at Kerala, feeling her brain's wavelengths... almost.

Lilliana happens to pick up Kerala's thought, since she made it so very loud, seemingly. And she steps just a tad to the side, so she's square in front of Kerala, her back to her.

Lupinum waves at Darethy.

Kerala scowls and crosses her arms, angry, but she nods what could pass for a greeting to Darethy.

Lilliana turns to the side and smiles at Kerala. She even winks. The shit.

You glare angrily at Lilliana.

Lupinum waves at Shaelie.

[Darethy]: "....Glad to see you folks are getting along well."

[Lilliana]: Well, hopefully you can do this one, and hopefully the hearts don't disintegrate.

Lilliana pauses to greet Shaelie with a gentle smile, ever so sweetly.

Lilliana grins wickedly at Darethy.

Alykat bursts into dance.

Kerala grinds her teeth.

[Lilliana]: You know I get along with everybody! *she says to Darrethy*

Shaelie wandered in, hefting her pack higher up on her shoulder. Spotting the gathering, she nodded to them.

Lilliana looks at Alykat, "A bit early for naked elf dancing, isn't it?"

Darethy just nods at Lily.

[Darethy]: "If this is that kind of Tavern, I probably should duck out of here before my wife smites me."

Alykat punches Darethy's shoulder.

Lupinum chuckles at Darethy.

Lilliana giggles at Darethy.

[Lilliana]: You know you wanna watch *she points to the elf on the bar top*

Shaelie settled near the fire, sitting right on the floor. She leaned back on her hands and looked over at Lilliana. "What's new?"

[Darethy]: "I'v pretty much lobotomized myself to avoid those kinds of...distractions. Anything short of a supernatural charm wouldn't get me remotely interested."

[Lupinum]: Whatever floats your boat, Dare.

Lilliana greets everyone warmly.

[Darethy]: "Murder. Murder floats my boat."

[Lupinum]: Sounds like kind of a leaky boat... full of holes and burns...

Lilliana gets a giggle out of what Lupinum said to Darrethy.

[shaelie]: "Murder. And doooom. And puppy killing."

Lupinum cackles maniacally at the situation.

[Darethy]: "Nah, no puppy killing. I like animals significantly more then I like people."

You look at Darethy. You smile at Darethy.

Lupinum shoots a glance towards Kerala and Lilliana.

Lilliana looks at Shaelie, "Puppies?!!!! Awww, don't kill the puppies!" She whines.

Shaelie looked over at Lupinum. "I killed a draenei. But it didn't count. So I didn't keep the skull. The hunt continues."

[Darethy]: "Animals are base, instinctual, their emotions guide their actions and no one can really blame themselves for it. People have the sentience to know better, but choose not to. Ignorance is something I can tolerate, selective ignorance is not."

[Lupinum]: Didn't count? How so?

Lilliana gets quiet for a moment. And she's turned to gaze at Kerala.

[shaelie]: It was in the battlegrounds. Doesn't quite feel the same. I'd rather it be one on one, out in the world.

Kerala frowns at Lilliana.

Lupinum smiles, his iron jaw creaking loudly.

Lilliana says quietly to the tauren, "You need help with finishing your first dealie? Or you got yourself all sorted with it, you think?" She sounds sincere, although it's doubtful she is.

Alykat dances with Darethy. Alykat bursts into dance.

[Kerala]: I've got four of the seven. I need a worgen, a draenei, and a night elf.

[Lupinum]: Aye, Lilly. Kerala caught a bit of luck yesterday. Pandaren, right out in the open in Arak.

[shaelie]: I'll join the battleground for practice. But my task will be completed outside of that.

Lupinum nods at Shaelie.

[Lupinum]: I like your fire, Huntress.

Lilliana nods her head slowly, "Awesome." She's nodding to Kerala and Lupinum.

You let out a long, drawn-out sigh.

[Lupinum]: Be cheerful, Kerala! You're over half way to completing your trial!

Lupinum cheers at you.

Lilliana sneaks a snicker towards Lupinum.

Lupinum slides some coins to Lina'gar, avoiding the Elf's undulating limbs.

[shaelie]: Oh, she's been eating hearts?

Shaelie looked at Kerala.

Lilliana nods at Shaelie. Lilliana giggles at Shaelie.

Kerala scowls.

[Kerala]: No, I have not.

[shaelie]: I didn't think you had.

Lupinum tilts his head at Kerala and makes eye contact.

You look at Lupinum.

[shaelie]: And I don't think you will. Beef, maybe. Or kodo. But not truely Alliance hearts. Unless of course, you slay them and feast at the next guild meeting.

Kerala glances to Shaelie. "You are an idiot."

Shaelie looked unphased.

Lupinum's voice is in your mind, speaking softly. "Why do you not relish your kills in front of your sisters, Kerala? Are you ashamed?"

Kerala looks sharply to Lupinum. She scratches her ear, as if at a sudden itch.

Lupinum has a small smile, but says nothing.

Lilliana raises a brow at Kerala, "You better be eating them."

[Lupinum]: I can vouch for her, Lilly.

[Lilliana]: And be nice. *she gestures to Kerala and her idiot comment towards Shaelie*

[Kerala]: I told you, I don't have all of them yet.

[Lilliana]: Oh, I see. You're gonna pig out on them all at once. Cool. *she nods*

Kerala looks at Lilliana. Really?

Lilliana looks back at Kerala. Really.

[Kerala]: Is there a single thing about you that is sincere, troll?

Lilliana nods with utmost seriousness at Kerala, "Yeah."

[Lilliana]: And Kerala, don't call me troll. *her tone is faintly warning* I have a name.

[Darethy]: "In my experience, Lily is actually rather sincere most of the time even if it's difficult to tell. She just has some...complications to her."

Lilliana turns to Darrethy, stares at him for a few moments, then grins way too much.

Kerala would sincerely like to see the trolless under Khorvis' supposed Lash.

You glare angrily at Lilliana.

[Darethy]: "Of course there's always the off chance that she's not sincere at all and I've had a grievous error in judgment. But I choose to deal with that train when it comes."

Lupinum catches Kerala's thought again, but brushes it away.

Lilliana raises a brow at Kerala...it's not like she doesn't catch her little thoughts...... She tilts her head at the tauren.

[Lilliana]: You'd find out long before me. *she replies as if Kerala had said that to her*

[Kerala]: What, if you were a train?

[Lupinum]: Enough, you two~

You look at Lupinum.

[Darethy]: "This is only one trial of three, isn't it?"

Lupinum tosses something towards the Troll and Tauren. [dance party thingy]

Alykat bursts into dance.

Lilliana giggles lightly, "Yeah, she has a long way to go."

Lupinum laughs at you.

[breygrah arrives]

Breygrah smiles at Lilliana.

[Lilliana]: Breygrah! *she leaps forward, jumping at Breygrah to throw her arms around the tall tauren in a silly, childlike hug full of enthusiasm*

You look at Breygrah.

[Darethy]: "If you already want to impale your superior at this point, you'll never make it to the end. You have to grin and bear it, at least for a little while."

Breygrah snickers at Lilly and makes sure she catches her!

[breygrah]: Lilly! Careful! I am glad to see you are well! You are, yes?

Lupinum slides off of his box, onto the stairs below.

Kerala sighs, looking at the warrior and the troll, and goes to sit down.

Shaelie glanced after Lupinum.

[Lilliana]: I'm cool. *she says to Breygrah after her ridiculous and deliberate display* You?

Breygrah blinks her eyes and frowns. "Wait... what was that..." She looks around with a confused expression.

Kerala looks down the stairs after Lupinum, wondering what that was about.

Breygrah blinks and smiles at Lilly again. "I am fine."

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

Lilliana nods to Darrethy.

[Lilliana]: Come on and join everyone, Kerala is learning how to be Grim and is doing a fine job at it.....She can tell you all about it!

[Lupinum]: Yeah.

[breygrah]: Doing fine? Is that right?

Shaelie snorted.

You glare angrily at Lilliana.

Breygrah looks slightly troubled, but is clearly trying to hide it.

Shaelie looked through the flickering flames at Breygrah. The tauren seemed to shimmer in the heat waves. Shaelie nodded to her.

[Lightcursed arrives]

Kerala is glad of the distraction Lightcursed provides.

[Lighticursed thinks Lupinum mindvisioned her, she goes down to the basement where he fell off the box, and wants him to apologize. Then she finds out it is Lilliana messing with her, and they come upstairs. Darethy comes back.]

Kerala stays still, not attracting Lilliana's attention again in Breygrah's presence.

Lilliana 's attention swivels, and she suddenly asks of Kerala, "So, which hearts have you already gathered for your trial to munch on? How many you got left?"

You glare angrily at Lilliana.

[Lilliana]: Oh, and how do you plan to eat them? Raw, or are you going to cook them with sauces and stuff? *she continues*

Breygrah blinks.

You let out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Breygrah looks at Lilliana.

[Darethy]: "If you're going to eat them, eat them raw. The Anima is vital energy, though I suppose that only really applies if you're a Forsaken."

[breygrah]: That... Is what you all do?

Lilliana giggles at Darethy.

You look at Darethy.

[Lilliana]: Darrethy...... *she continues giggling* Hmmmm

[Kerala]: Really?

[Lilliana]: Yeah Breygrah, we eat hearts all day and all night long, didn't you know?

[Lupinum]: Would you, Brey? Eat the heart of your kill?

[Lilliana]: Yum. *she giggles*

Lupinum sirks at Lilliana.

Breygrah looks at Lupinum and shakes her head sadly.

Kerala is decidedly not looking at Breygrah.

[breygrah]: That is not something that ever crossed my mind, no...

[Darethy]: "It's how the Forsaken pushed through the Pandaren campaign. When our fleet was sunk off the shore of the Jade Forest we drug the drowned sailors of the Alliance to ground. With no need to breathe, we could devour them to recover what few wounds we- -sustained. So i'm no stranger to devouring hearts."

[Kerala]: I am not a Forsaken.

[Lilliana]: That sounds pretty cool, Darrethy. *she's looking at him, and seems to be imagining that tale in her mind, undead under water, struggling alliance sailers trying to swim to the surface but instead being eaten alive, blood flittering through the dark waters*

Kerala sighs, and answers Lilliana's earlier question. "Four of the seven. I need three more."

Lilliana nods to Kerala, "that's cool. I'll be there when you eat them." She doesn't ask, it is simply an expectation....and a requirement of hers. "In fact.... You'll do it at one of our Inquistions. Hmm. Yeah, cool." Now she's saying that more to herself, but she still assumes Kerala is listening.

Breygrah pulls out a couple rough gems from a pouch to busy herself, distract herself from the talk of hearts and all that.

Lilliana looks at Breygrah.

Kerala stares at Lilliana. "No, I won't."

[Lilliana]: Maybe you could come too!

Lilliana shrugs at Kerala, "Okay. You don't have to. But then you'll fail." She sounds saddened.

Kerala repeats herself. "No I won't"

[Lilliana]: You will if you don't do as I ask.

[Kerala]: The trial was not assigned to be by you, but Khorvis.

Lilliana shrugs again, "Okay, your choice Kerala."

Breygrah blinks.

[Lilliana]: Oh! I gotta check something!

Kerala breathes a deep sigh.

Lupinum watches Lilly leave him among the Supplicants and weirdo's.

Kerala glances at Breygrah.

Kerala stares at the fire, somewhat troubled by Lilliana's earlier declaration. If she knows anything about the trolless, it's that she'll cause trouble.

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05/20/15 [late night, in Brokenspear]

Khorvis cracks his neck and glances about the room over his mug of ale.

Kerala debates, on whether or not she should leave... then decides to stay where she is.

[Khorvis]: Ah ha. Supplicant Kerala. Resting your spear on this warm night?

[Kerala]: Some, yes. Pandaren and dwarves are rather heavy.

[Khorvis]: Your shoulders do be broad enough. But fel, there do be time enough for your meals over this next month.

Khorvis smiles menacingly at the druidess.

Kerala cocks her head at Khorvis.

[Kerala]: You don't know what you have asked of me.

[Khorvis]: Come, have an ale!

Kerala hesitates, then joins Khorvis at the bar.

Khorvis hands Kerala a slammer.

Kerala looks at the drink.

[Khorvis]: To the feast that is our pleasure in the Mandate!

Kerala coughs violently, spraying the rest of the mouthful she tried.

Khorvis cackles maniacally at you.

[Kerala]: What is THAT? ...hic!

You cough at Khorvis.

[Khorvis]: A shplash of whatever brew seepsh beneath Blackrock Spire.

[Kerala]: That's.... *cough* ...terrible.

Kerala shoves the rest of the drink at Khorvis.

[Khorvis]: Enough to wash any taste from your tongue, aye?

[Kerala]: Here. All yours.

[Khorvis]: Any taste.

[Khorvis doesn't accept the bottle back, and instead hands Kerala a case containing six more bottles to go with the first. Seven total.]

You eye Khorvis up and down.

Kerala looks at the orc a long moment.

Kerala looks at the case of alcohol she's just been given, and at Khorvis. "Thank you"

[Khorvis]: Now what did happen to the Hornsh of the Shu'halo?

[Kerala]: They never were. I... shhould go... I have three more to collect.

Khorvis nods at you.

[Khorvis]: Mok'rah, druidess.

Kerala glances down at the [sulfuron Slammer]s again, then nods at Khorvis. It's a nice gesture, if useless.

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Logging started on 05/21/2015 at 01:12:26. [brokenspear]

[Kexti]: Hoi, Kerala!

Kexti waves at you.

Kerala looks around.

[Kexti]: Come and share a meal with me!

Kexti invites the druid up the stairs.

[Kerala]: Um... ok

Kexti smiles at you.

Kerala plops down. It's been a long day.

Kexti drums his fingers along a case.

[He hands her a lunchbox with another slice of peach pie, spicy vegetable chips, and a drink]

You smile at Kexti.

[Kexti]: I was hoping something a little bit...of comfort food might be of use to you. And no meat, of course.

Kerala eyes Kexti, not sure what he knows and doesn't know of her current situation.

[Kexti]: You are well, friend?

Kexti removes his helmet and smoothes his hair. Kexti notices Kerala's flashing hearthstone.

[Kexti]: They are...running you ragged, aren't they? If you need to go, that's fine. Please, enjoy the meal on your own time.

Kexti smiles at you.

[Kerala]: Uh... kind of. Thank you for understanding.

Kexti nods at you.

[Kexti]: We do what we must, no?

[Kerala]: I'll find you later, okay?

Kexti smiles at you.

[Kexti]: Of course. Oh. Kerala, before you go.

You look at Kexti.

Kexti holds out the package. Kexti helps himself to his feet.

Kerala accepts the package, her expression curious.

[Kexti]: When you get some time for reflection, I'd like you to open this. It's nothing dangerous. Just...

Kexti rubs his beard and struggles with the word.

[Kerala]: It's not more food is it?

Kexti chuckles at you.

[Kexti]: If only!

[Kerala]: No! I can't eat this much.

You giggle at Kexti.

[Kexti]: In any case. I hope it'll help you with your challenges.

Kexti smiles at you. Kexti bows before you.

[Kexti]: Farewell, Mme. Kerala.

Kexti smiles at you.

[Kerala]: Alright, thank you

Kexti bows before you.

Kerala hearths.

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Logging started on 05/23/2015 at 00:08:21.

You greet everyone warmly.

Lupinum waves at you. Lupinum points at you.

[Lupinum]: The Mandate calls!

[Khorvis]: Supplicant Kerala. The battlegrounds do call your name.

[Kerala]: .... they do?

You sigh at Khorvis.

[Kerala]: Alright.

Kerala looks tired

[battle in Silvershard Mines]

Lupinum cheers at you. Lupinum claps excitedly for you.

You smile at Lupinum.

[Khorvis]: Solid work. More true iron for the Horde.

[Kerala]: There. Now I must go rest. Good luck to you.

You smile at Lupinum.

[Khorvis]: Rest well. And not too much.

Khorvis nods at you.

[Kerala]: I've got all seven now.

[Lupinum]: Hrmph.We'll see how things go at the Inquisition.

Khorvis makes an unintelligble grunt.

Lupinum has a small, wry grin on his face.

Kerala glances to Khorvis.

[Khorvis]: When the Clandestine is there to see

You frown.

[Khorvis]: We will digest your trial.

Lupinum nods slowly as he uncorks a flask.

Khorvis emphasizes the words "we".

[Kerala]: So I do have to do it her way, even though the task was given by you?

You blink at Khorvis.

[Khorvis]: Do not guess the seconds of your Inquisitor. The Supplicant Konro was the charge of Inquisitor Lilliana, and now you do hold his role. You do follow Lilliana's orders, Kerala.

Lupinum looks up.

Kerala frowns.

[Kerala]: Fine.

Lupinum looks over to Khorvis.

Khorvis appears to be strangely preoccupied with a distant vision. A feral look glazes over his snout before he returns to the conversation.

[Lupinum]: I expect a lot from you, Kerala.

[Khorvis]: Zug zug. We will see you front and center before the Inquisition.

Lupinum clamps his jaw and nods.

Kerala is not happy that Lilliana is getting her way, and she just walks off while the high inquisitor is talking.

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To say the druid was in a panic would be pretty accurate. It was impossible! She paced the jail below the barracks, her hooves clacking on the stones of the floor. Back and forth, back and forth. Clack clack. Clack clack.

There had to be a way. There were several problems, not just one. There had to be a way. One at a time.

Her gaze fell again on the victims arrayed like a living carpet on the floor of the one cell. They were each and every one of them still, breathing little and unaware of their fate as she left them hibernating. Accalia had given her great practice for this. She didn't have to keep them sleeping, but it was easier. They did not require food or water to maintain. More importantly to Kerala, she was free of guilt. In hibernation, they felt no fear at their impending death.

It had taken her five days to assemble the seven of them, not because she was especially choosy about her hearts, but because she was choosy about who she killed. She'd stalked the battlefields, prowling the shadows avoiding horde as well as alliance. She'd hunted for the perfect prey like any predator, selective and precise once she'd located them. Each one of them was what she would consider deserving of death- cruel, bloodthirsty. The dwarf was a rapist. The night elf had neglected her animal companion, resulting in it's needless death.

Killing them was not the issue. Size was.

Four of the seven were female, which helped some. The panda and draenei, both the biggest races, were male, though. Their hearts would be gigantic, akin to the size of her own. Hearts large enough to fill her hand. Even though the worgen was female, her heart would be nearly as large. The dwarf, despite her short stature, would also have a relatively large organ. Then the human and night elf women. The male gnome heart would be the smallest, of course. She snorted, almost a bitter laugh. Dessert?

The sheer volume was too much to consume at once. A single heart in one sitting was tough, and she ate only that much over the course of an entire day. Her stomach was too small. She doubted very much the Grim would let her off with only a single bite from each one.

Clack clack. Clack clack. Clack clack. Kerala pondered how to fit something so big into something so small.

A stomach could change sizes! It distended, and for those who continually ate large meals, their stomachs stretched to that size as a norm. She could stretch it. Though, she didn't have very much time. Maybe if she could continually eat and drink from now until the inquisition meeting....

No. It would help, but she would not be able to enlarge an organ that had remained so small and nearly empty for seven years into one that could handle this task, even if she tried to use her healing abilities to hurry along digestion.

Silence fell on the jail when she stopped in her tracks. Now that was an idea. She stepped again, stalked forward, turned, and continued back the way she had come. Moving always helped her think.

Maybe she could do both. Stretch her stomach as much as she could beforehand. That would hopefully allow her to eat one heart, maybe even a heart and a half. Then she could push them through digestion, empty the stomach, and eat more. She could practice a bit with the food she ate now.

She'd become ill, no question, and very quickly. She was fairly certain that the hearts had to be wholly eaten, and similarly, she had a feeling that throwing them up would be frowned upon. But would it matter? She wasn't sure. She hadn't considered it before now, because she'd had a month. A heart every few days had been doable, if miserable. Maybe it didn't matter. That would be fantastic. What was pride compared to gastrointestinal distress?

She had no idea if the Grim would make her kill and butcher the alliance herself, or let her cook the hearts. Those were things that concerned her only slightly in the face of the other issues. For the first, she figured they would, and the latter, probably not. That would be the most difficult. She didn't expect it to be easy.

She had not tried, really, to test the limits of her body. It was always a possibility that this really was something she could no longer do. Impossible. She had no illusions that the Grim would intervene on her behalf if attempting this trial led to her death, or even care. Years of conditioning pushed these thoughts from Kerala's mind before she was even aware of them. The idea that she might die was not even one of her considerations.

The druid stopped her pacing then, a plan formed. She checked the cell door. It remained locked just in case her spells failed, and the key was in it's proper place.

She would need food, and a lot of it. The only thing she could think of then was the pandaren and their cooking, and that led her thoughts to Kex'ti. The box he'd given her was on her bunk, still unopened. He enjoyed cooking, and he was always giving her food. He'd said that wasn't what was in this box... but it was supposed to help in her challenges. She'd been too tired to care much the night he'd given it to her, but now, the smooth polished wooden box suddenly seemed important. Promising.

It took her a moment to undo the latch. It was an intricate metal affair with swirling designs that probably would have formed an image if she'd bothered to bend and look. Instead of flipping up, a part of the latch swiveled to one side, sliding a smooth pin free of a hidden enclosure. She lifted open the lid.

A note was affixed in place with a thin ribbon around simple undyed cloth. Kerala frowned and grabbed it, letting the lid close again. People and their stupid writing. Surely whatever he had to say could have been said five times over in the time it would take her to wade through the word on a page.

She stared at the words. After fighting to get to the end, she blinked, then read through them again for comprehension. They were in taurahe pictographs, but even so, his elegance of speech managed to come through despite the many words she could could not identify. Kerala dropped the letter onto the bed and opened the wooden lid. She shifted a fold of cloth to see what he had given her.

She dropped the lid on her fingers. She stuck her fingers in her mouth, sucking the tender spot where a bit of skin had peeled back, and then frowned and opened the lid again.

Wrapped in the simple cloth was a leather-wrapped staff set with sparkling orange gems, and two shining round shoulderguards. Golden scrollwork swirled around a setting that contained brilliant blue teardrop crystals, a match to the ones in her belt and vest. The leather was supple and expertly pieced together. They were beautiful. She glanced again to the note.

Mme. Kerala, I know what a burden it is to atone for the past.

I know you as a kind, valiant woman of integrity. The path you walk is one I myself have traversed, and is difficult to return from.

You are a healer, and paragon of light and brightness. These colors, and this weapon, serve your hands as an agent of restoration rather than bloodshed.

Use these tools to brave the shadows, and seek the truth.

For the horde.

Sincerely, Your Friend

Kerala was touched. She looked at the gifts, so pretty and clean.

And then she shut the lid. He was right. Those were things for a healer. They did not belong here. There was a reason the bright skytotem blue was folded and put away, and she wore the black leathers. Black was the color of the West. Black was death. If you were going to brave shadows and walk among them, what other color would you choose?

Like the unexpected gift from Khorvis, these were of no use to her, at least not now. But she seized on the meaning behind them. She did have allies. She was not alone. He was offering her aid, and she would not be so stupid as to turn it down.

She went to find Kexti, and ask if he would mind cooking her food. Maybe rice. Lots and lots of rice.

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Logging started on 05/23/2015 at 20:36:47. Saturday

You let out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Lupinum blinks at you.

You look at Lupinum.

Lupinum hides, not very well.

Kerala shrugs.

Kerala is eating.

Lupinum idly sniffs the air near the Taurness. It smells of hay, spice and crushed vegetation.

Kerala speaks around a mouthful of food...

[Kerala]: Hello

[Lupinum]: Hello Kerala. I'm bouncing in and out, but it's good to see you.

Lupinum waves his claws as he disappears.

Kerala shrugs.

Kex'ti hobbles up to the bar.

You look at Kex'ti. You smile at Kex'ti.

Kex'ti waves at you.

[Kex'ti]: Hoi, Kerala.

[Kerala]: Hello How are you?

Kex'ti raises an eyebrow. Kex'ti sets the helm aside.

[Kex'ti]: I am well, yourself? I sent you a large shipment of rice pudding.

Kerala smiles.

[Kerala]: You did? Thank you.

[Kex'ti]: I am curious why you would need it, though...

Kex'ti nods at you. Kex'ti sips from his jug.

[Kerala]: ...I need to eat more.

Kex'ti nods at you. Kex'ti chuckles at you.

[Kex'ti]: That seems to be a reasonable request...surely the Grim are keeping you fed...?

[Kerala]: ...ah. Well, it's not that.

Kex'ti waits for further explanation.

Kerala sighs.

[Kerala]: The Grim, they put new members through a series of tests, I guess. I've been given my first challenge, and I need to prepare. It involves..... food.

Kex'ti rubs his beard.

[Kex'ti]: That seems delightfully mundane for the Grim.

Kex'ti smirks slyly at you.

Kerala looks away.

[Kerala]: Not really.

Kex'ti continues rubbing his beard.

[Kex'ti]: Curious.

Kex'ti shrugs at you. Who knows?

[Kex'ti]: I don't suppose you are hungry now?

Kex'ti looks in his bag.

[Kex'ti]: Ah. Unfortunately, I only have meat.

Kerala sighs again. "I asked for your help, but after I sent the letter, I realized you probably wouldn't if you knew why."

Kex'ti looks at you.

[Kex'ti]: Why is that?

Kerala seems to debate for a moment with herself.

Lupinum looks down at Kerala talking with a Sanctuary. He's silent, at the moment.

[Kerala]: I'm supposed to eat a heart from one of each alliance race.

Kerala looks at Kex'ti.

Kex'ti rubs his eyes and sighs.

[Kex'ti]: You are assuredly joking.

Kex'ti taps his staff against his shoulder.

Kerala drops her gaze back down uncomfortably, obviously not joking at all. His reaction is what she expected.

[Kerala]: I'll send the pudding back when it arrives, and the other things.

[Kex'ti]: No. Make use of it.

Kex'ti helps himself to his feet.

[Kex'ti]: Gifts are given without the intention of having them returned.

[Kerala]: I'm sorry. I just wanted to tell you so you didn't.... hear it from Lilliana.

[Kex'ti]: The Grim respect strength. This is disgusting and depraved. Show them that you won't be toyed with in this awful manner. Whatever sense of shame you have which drives you to undertake this abominable trial...

Kex'ti sighs at you.

[Kex'ti]: You're better than this.

Kex'ti hobbles towards the door, clearly frustrated.

Kerala looks up at Kex'ti then. "No, I'm not."

Lupinum bites his jaws close.

Kex'ti turns, and storms back.

[Kex'ti]: You are not Konro. You are not responsible for his choices.

Kerala stands up. Kerala nods, agreeing.

[Kex'ti]: And you are -not- some pitiable wretch to be bent to their Mandate.

[Kerala]: No, I am a supplicant.

Kex'ti scoffs at you.

Kerala sighs at the departing elf.

Lupinum looks down at the Druidess.

[Gazreeth]: Know this, had that become a problem, I would have had your back.

You glare angrily at Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: You had two Grim with you, Kerala.

You look at Gazreeth.

[Lupinum]: Remember what I said in Arak?

[Kerala]: Where did you come from? Leave him alone. [as Gazreeth walks out]

Kerala looks from Gazreeth back to Lupinum.

[Kerala]: Refresh my memory.

[Lupinum]: The Grim is a family. You wear that tabard, you have the might of all of us behind you. Some think us barbaric, especially those Sanctuary pacifists.

Lupinum looks at Kerala, his features softening.

Kerala 's eyes flash. "A family who would not guide and protect one of their own, who abandoned his corpse and ripped the colors off him!"

Lupinum fights back a snarl.

[Lupinum]: I wasn't here! I could've...

Lupinum growls and looks away.

Kerala switches tactics. "A family that requires it's members to kill others."

Lupinum blinks.

[Lupinum]: Kerala, do you think the Alliance would stop, if we stopped? I don't.

[Kerala]: There is a difference between defending against violence, and actively pursuing it. That shaman in Arak was outnumbered and fleeing for his life, and we tracked him like an animal. Is it any wonder the others arrived to help him? To -try- to help him.

[Lupinum]: There's no difference in Alliance blood. The battle master calls, I'll return.

Lupinum sighs as he disappears.

Kerala fiddles with some things roasting in the fire.

You let out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Kerala pulls several wrapped things out of the fire.

Kerala unwraps one gingerly, avoiding steam.

Lupinum looks over to Kerala, and sniffs the air.

Kerala 's cooked things smell of roasted vegetables, but no meat and not much, if any, spices.

[Lupinum]: No meat, hmm?

Lupinum smirks.

You glare angrily at Lupinum.

[Kerala]: I don't eat meat.

Lupinum rocks back on his heels.

[Lupinum]: Of course.

Kerala stuffs her mouth with what appears to be a cabbage.

Lupinum blinks.

Kerala eyes Lupinum, surprised at his surprise over her vegetarianism.

[Lupinum]: So... no meat at all? No fish? No bugs?!

[Kerala]: Not for... three years?

[Lupinum]: I couldn't imagine it.

Kerala shrugs.

Kerala stuffs another bit of cabbage in her mouth, eating with her fingers.

Lupinum licks his lips.

[Lupinum]: You're making me hungry.

[He leaves, either to go battle some more, or eat... or maybe both at once.]

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Logging started on 05/24/2015 at 21:21:22. Sunday Cantina

The Cantina on Sunday nights was always interesting, to Kerala. Having spent so much of her life alone, watching the interactions of others was confusing, challenging to comprehend and sometimes even enjoyable.

Syreena was already there, relaxing with the goblin bartender and the elf hunter supplicant of the Grim. Kerala smiled a greeting to them all. The rogue nodded back. "Pretty dress. Is that for your upcoming dinner?" she asked with a grin.

The druid frowned, and promptly turned around to sit by herself. She wore her first dress, the loose one. She'd only just begun over-eating to enlarge her stomach, but she could not abide the feeling of a waistband pressing on her middle. Not with the incredible discomfort of being so full. It was an unfamiliar pain, and harder to deal with than any other she'd had in a long time for the strangeness of it. There was no position she could adopt to alleviate the discomfort, nothing she could do but suffer it. She'd made herself sick most of the first day, unable to detect the limit. Vomiting was the very opposite of the goal, and despite the relief it offered, it made her mad to be sick. It meant she had to start all over.

The bartender apparently objected to Kerala's solitude, and after a moment she came to fetch the druid back, claiming she didn't bite often. The attempt at humor went ignored. Kerala looked from Bayonnii, to the other two, debating. The elf hunter regarded her with a blank expression, an iced glass in her hand, but Syreena smiled sweetly. So, she moved over to them, quietly took a seat and resumed slowly eating without a word.

Syreena peered at the container. "What are you eating?"

"Rice. Or.... rice pudding, I guess? I don't know what it is."

"I heard Kex'ti was giving you a hard time last night." she said idly.

Kerala fixed the undead with her dark emerald eyes. "You heard wrong." She was not surprised that the rogue believed some twisted non-truth. It was a habit of the Grim. No... she was not the one who'd had a hard time last night. Kex'ti's reaction was one she was used to, and had seen many times. It had hurt, but it was a sensation well-known. Because of his letter, and the gifts he'd sent, she'd almost dared to hope..... but no.

"Huh. So he wasn't arguing that you shouldn't be Grim?"

"No, he wasn't. Who told you that?" Either the undead priest... or more likely the hostile goblin death knight.

Syreena shrugged. The rogue allowed the bartender's inquiry about drinks to distract her, and the topic was abandoned. Kerala sighed and gave up on fitting any more pudding into her stomach for now. She packed up her food, and instead pulled out a plant root. She gnawed on it quietly.

A little goblin arrived, and eyed her curiously. "Sunwalker, are you eating plants?"

She glanced around, not seeing any sunwalkers. "Who, me?"

"Yes."

"It's ginger," she told him. "Also, I'm a druid."

The little goblin had a small fit about the difference between sunwalkers and druids, and Kerala demonstrated that she could, in fact, become a bear.

"Why are you eating 'ginger?'" The little goblin pulled out his notebook "Ginger may turn 'druids' into bears." Syreena grinned faintly, hearing Kizrax.

She eyed the thing. Was he really so ignorant? Even she had not been so dumb leaving the desert. "Seriously?"

"What?" he asked innocently.

"Firstly, becoming a bear had nothing to do with ginger..."

"Says who? The bears?" he snorted.

"...And secondly," she continued "ginger helps with nausea. It settles the stomach, among other things."

"I ain't never asked a bear why it was a bear before I shot it. What's wrong with your stomach?"

Now she was annoyed. Her insides flipped unsettlingly. "What's wrong with your brain? Are you simple?"

His answer was gnomes. Syreena nodded to Kerala, as if that one-word answer should explain everything. There was a mention of experimentation, but Kerala didn't care. She breathed very slowly for a long moment, not paying any attention to anyone anymore. She chewed the ginger root piece, staving off a wave of nausea. She might have over-done it. Syreena threw a Paper Zeppelin at Kerala. The druid was too busy not puking to notice.

"So druid, what ales you?" the goblin asked.

Kerala blinked, looking first to the paper zeppelin that bounced off her, then to Kizrax. "Nothing, I'm fine." To her, it was not a lie. She was actually doing better than she had expected so far with this.

The goblin considered her little container of food doubtfully. "How did you get so big eating stuff like that?"

Kerala looked down at her boney frame, and then laughed. What he said struck her as bitterly humorous, like Syreena's comment days ago. But then he got too close, almost touching her, and she felt the need to move away. She did, and walked to the other side of the small table.

The little goblin's feelings were hurt, and she did not care. Ordinarily, she would not have been so cruel, but all she could think about was her stomach, and how much she hated it. Kizrax sniffed at himself then looked at her. "Do I smell or something?"

Kerala ignored him, but that was not a successful tactic. He came around the table and violated her space again, this time actually poking her. "Don't touch me." she growled.

"Hey! I am over here trying to be nice, and make friends with a Druear! What's wrong with you?"

"Be nice from a distance, or I'll stop eating this ginger and throw up on you." she said. It was the truth. The intense root burning the inside of her mouth was the only thing keeping her together at the moment. She could have sped the digestive process... she'd had some success doing that earlier today, but it would defeat the purpose. If she could keep this down, she'd be able to fit in more food later. Inquisition was tomorrow night.

"Don't you dare throw up, we had enough of that last week." Kerala shot the red-haired trolless an angry glare, at the same time that Bayonnii looked toward them, her expression worried.

"Why would you throw up on me?" Kizrax took a few steps back.

Syreena looked at Kizrax and said very seriously, "Psst....it's how druids digest their food." Then she ruined it with a smirk.

"What?!"

Kerala scowled. "Do you ever run out of questions?" Syreena quietly snickered to herself.

A few notes of music drifted across the room an undead minstril was tuning his lute. A sour note rang out as he played it softly. He frowned at the instrument.

"Don't worry," Kerala told Bayonnii, "I'll leave if I feel sick." She even managed a smile.

"Why are you feeling sick?!"

The druid looked at Kizrax. He obviously was not going to go away if she ignored him. "I'm -not-. That's what the ginger is for."

"Harumph! Why do you refuse to give a straight answer?"

"Because it's none of your business."

"Why not?"

With his instrument properly tuned, the undead placed his hat upon the ground, an improvised coin tin as he strummed his lute in a soft, melancholy tune. "♪ When goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo. ♪ When goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo. When goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo! When goin' the road to sweet Athy♪ ♪ A stick in me hand an' a drop in me eye A doleful damsel I heard cry Johnny I hardly knew ya ♪"

The singing did not distract the persistent little annoying goblin for long, though, and his curious eyes fixated back on the druid. As Syreena and Bayonnii clapped for the musician, Kerala stood up and walked out of their earshot, beckoning Kizrax over. He followed her. She turned and knelt down to his level. His face filled with confusion then when the druid grabbed him by his stupid Grim tabard and yanked, bringing him close to whisper in his ear.

"I'm sick, because I'm overeating, and the ginger helps with that. The reason I'm overeating is none of your business, and if you ask me again, I will turn into that bear, and I will crush you, and then eat -you-. I don't feel well. Leave me alone."

Kerala then shoved hard, sending the goblin reeling away. She returned to her place.

Kizrax stared at her for a long moment, then took out his notebook. "If you are nice to druids, they threaten to turn into bears and eat you." But, he did not come near her again.

The musician finished his song and not surprisingly, had nothing in his hat to show for it due to the early-night sparseness of the Cantina. The bartender thought she was being sneaky when she went over and passed the man a gold coin. He bowed to her.

Kerala watched Kizrax pacing around in circles for a time, and began to feel better. After a time, she realized she was no longer uncomfortable, and retrieved the container of rice pudding. She began eating it again, slowly. She didn't bother removing the ginger piece, and simply ate around it.

A familiar slim figure appeared among the tables, chairs and umbrellas. "Hoi, friends," came Kex'ti's usual greeting. Everyone turned and acknowledged the elf's arrival, if not with friendly greetings of their own. Kerala smiled, her cheeks full of the rice pudding he had made. The smile was not for Kex'ti, but just because she was happy to see him. He was nice, generous. In another life, she would have considered him a friend. She did not blame him for turning his back on her the other night. Everyone did.

"Bayo, something light for me tonight." he was saying.

The bartender turned away from the musician, who had been asking if she had any requests. "Sure thing!" Kerala turned back around in her chair without saying anything, and concentrated on her food. The limit was right here again... somewhere. Bayonnii took a drink to Kex'ti, a weak fruit wine that Kerala had tried once. It had been fizzy, and tickled her nose. "Many thanks, friend." he said.

Lilliana, who had arrived just before the elf, looked incredibly bored. She sighed much too loudly, like, for attention. Kex'ti glanced to her on cue. "Hoi, Lilliana. Long time no see." He leaned up against his staff.

The elf huntress supplicant slowly narrowed her eyes at Kex'ti. Lilliana looks at him. "Yo. Your hair is all different.....or is it just me?" she comments without a filter.

"Yes" Kex'ti said tersely.

"It's on top of his head," Kizrax observed helpfully. "Where was it before?" Both Lilliana and Syreena could not help laughing.

"'It's on the top of his head', yeah. Good job, Kizrax." The redhead trolless giggled again, then eyed Kex'ti playfully. "Sorry...."

Kerala sighed, unable to eat anymore. This was the last bite, she could feel it. She shoved her dish of rice pudding away again. The sound of the container sliding across the table captured Kex'ti's attention.

She saw it then, there in his face as he looked at her. "Ah," was the wordless sound that accompanied his grimace. Kerala just looked at the elf monk blandly. It was fine. She'd known better. It didn't matter.

The elf leaned in then and whispered. "It will be okay. If this ish something you must do, I believe in your shtrength to carry it through." She was so surprised that the monk put a hand on her before she realized what was happening to avoid touch. But he just squeezed her shoulder gently.

She blinked at him dumbly, her dark green eyes seeking his elfish ones. He nodded at her, and she was utterly confused. Lilliana stared at Kex'ti for a few moments, then stuck out her tongue while his back was to her. The priestess went to seek Darrethy out. Kerala just shook her head, disbelieving.

Kex'ti smirked slyly at the Forsaken Grim rogue, who looked at him. "Not sharing her meal, Syreena? I feel it's more to her taste than yours." Kex'ti looks at the pudding.

"She didn't offer any. She's greedy like that."

Kex'ti looked at the druid. "Somehow I doubt that." The monk wandered off to greet a troll that had arrived. Kerala heard him asking after the guy's health. Apparently the troll had been in a fight. They talked for a moment, and then Kex'ti bowed to the troll, and made his way to another one, a Grim warlock.

Kerala swallowed the old bit of ginger in her mouth. It no longer gave up the burning juices when her teeth smashed it. She pulled the root out of her pocket, bit off a new piece, and replaced it. She chewed slowly. Her eyes followed the elf monk as he went to speak with two other Grims- trolls.

He confused her. She'd seen his reaction, knew his opinion of her. It was familiar, it was expected. Nothing new. Yet just now, he may as well have never heard her words last night. He was back to being nice to her. She didn't trust it.

The monk offered to buy drinks... for everyone except Syreena. Maybe he was just a friendly person. He knew the Grim did terrible things, and yet he was being nice to them. That must be it. She supposed it was a better coping mechanism than most. She was just a Grim to him now, like the rest.

Then Kex'ti looked at Kerala, and caught the slightly pale druid eying him. He clumsily dropped his staff. "Blast. I've had too much to drink." It rolled the short distance to stop near where she sat. The monk let out a hearty chuckle, then leaned down to pick up the stick. Kerala's narrowed gaze followed his movements. Instincts screamed that something was wrong.

"Didn't you just have the one?" she asked him, as Syreena also peered at the elf.

The white-haired elf just smiled at her from his knelt position, and then Kerala felt something thunk gently against her hoof. Kex'ti stood himself back up. "My elven fortitude must be failing me." Now he had even Lilliana's attention, who glanced back from where she stood with Darethy. The monk coughed and pretended to swoon, winking slyly at Syreena. The undead merely watched Kex'ti curiously and suspiciously.

Tahzani folded his arms and cocked a brow. "Ain't part a da monk trainin' gettin' shitfaced a bit? Learn ta fight while limp?"

Kex'ti chuckled at Tahzani. "In some sects, that is so. Syreena, would you fancy a bit of sport?" He leaned against his staff, smirking.

"What kind of sport...?"

Kerala shifted her hooves, now that all the eyes were back on the monk where he stood. "A challenge, of sorts."

"Uh huh.... Doesh it involve killing elves?"

Lilliana turned around, running back to the group, "Kex'ti, me first!!!!!"

Kex'ti suddenly assumes a peculiarly gruff manner. "I do be serious in being my intent to do be drinking a contest." The monk shuttered an eye. Kerala recognized an attempt to mimic the high inquisitor.

"You were gonna duel her, right? Oh, just drinking. That's stupid." Lilliana lost total interest.

"Do you be accepting my challenge?" Kex'ti continued, still winking his eye.

Kerala began to straighten out the fabric of her skirt, chewing on the ginger piece and swallowing a lot to try and ease the spiciness.

"Ain't stupid lilly das our entire business" said the troll barkeep. Lilliana was challenging Darethy to another duel, and tossed a dismissive apology backwards to the troll.

Syreena slowly grinned at Kex'ti, though still cautious. "Sure."

Kex'ti beckoned the rogue over and they stepped away a bit to an emptier section of the Cantina. "Tahzani, bring me two tankards of your strongest liquor."

The troll was looking at Kerala though, pale and chewing on the ginger. He was apparently concerned. "Jah okay Ker?" She nodded to him as the goblin wench yelled that she had it. "Two tankahds... Okay Bay" Kex'ti tossed a glance at the druid.

Shaelie drew a knee up and looped her arms around it, eying Syreena and Kex'ti. "What doesh the winner get?" the rogue was asking.

"Hmm. I'll give you my staff if I lose. If I win, I keep only my dignity."

Kerala glanced down at the folds of her dress, where she'd managed to pick up the strange something at her hooves. It was a smooth glass vial, cool to the touch. Taurahe symbols on it read "calm waters". The druid lifted her gaze to watch Kex'ti and Syreena, her fingers closing around the vial.

"Uh huh." Syreena said. "All right."

The undead minstrel cleared his throat and began to play an upbeat, jig-worthy tune dedicated to the Shadowblade. " ♪Near Starbreeze Town in the county down One morning last July!♪ Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen♪ And she smiled as she passed me by.♪"

Kex'ti threw his staff to the ground, then raised his tankard with a smirk. He paused. "Hmm." Syreena raised her tankard up as well. "Bayonii or Tahzani... Could you have more drinks on hand? I trust Syreena's fortitude."

Kerala slipped the vial into her pocket. She was very curious now what Kex'ti was up to.

"Tought jah had 'em Bay?" the troll said. He set himself up to resupply the dueling drinkers.

Kex'ti made a bottoms up gesture to Syreena, but his eyes flicked to Kerala as he did it. The druid eyed him up and down. Then, the two began their contest, the monk calling out after each mug was downed. "One! Two!" They both counted three. "Four... Five." Syreena started squinting. "Shix. ...hic!" Then, the rogue toppled over.

"....Aaaand it begins." The troll barkeep said. His mop bucket was ready, and he began to work. A table blocked Kerala's view, but Syreena must have gotten sick. She was glad that she could not see. She chewed the ginger.

"Oof. ...hic! Well fought Shyreena." And then, Kex'ti kept going. "But, sheven."

"Ugh," the Shadowblade groaned.

"It'sh a shhame for you that I am a monk. And have many meansh of calming my shtomach... Eight." The monk was actually smirking, even as he swayed. Kerala watched the two, a hand on her belly.

"You already won. Now you're just shhowing off." The ignorant annoying goblin went up to her and tugged gently. He almost pulled her back over, she was so woozy.

"Nine." Kerala cocked her head at Kex'ti, realizing at last what he was doing. As far as she could tell, he wasn't using any of the monkish abilities he'd mentioned. He was putting on a demonstration for her benefit. "Oh. I shcarecely noticed. Would you like me to detoxify you?"

"No." Syreena hiccuped. The minstrel whistled gaily as he pranced about with lute in hand, spinning around the various customers.

Kex'ti smirked slyly at Syreena still. "Well enough. ...hic!" He glanced to Kerala, and if her eyes were correct, actually winked. Then he promptly fell to his ass reaching for his staff.

Syreena drank some coffee Kizrax gave her. She openly snickered at Kex'ti. The elf huntress supplicant watched, her eyes suspicious.

Kerala stood and walked over to the fallen monk. He let out a long, drawn-out sigh, then noticed someone he knew and waved at them from his position on the floor. The druid silently offered a hand to help the monk to his feet.

Kex'ti waved her off. "You have better thingsh to worry about than touching an outcast ash myself." He smiled, and she did the opposite.

Kizrax looked over at Kerala "See what happens when you're nice? People are mean to you."

Syreena peered at Kex'ti over the top of her coffee cup, still squinting. "You're strange, you know that?"

Kerala held her hand in place. "Don't be dumb," she told the elf. Kex'ti winked slyly at Syreena, then allowed the tauren to help him to his feet...but stumbled against her. She twisted, easily holding him up, but so that he wasn't against her stomach.

"It numbs your shtomach and taste buds." came his whisper. "Oooh. I'm shorry." Kex'ti said louder. The monk coughed into Kerala's clothing. She eyed him another long moment, then, admonished him not to be sick on her, not knowing what else to say. Subterfuge was not something she excelled at.

Kerala returned to her seat. Kex'ti went on to greet the friend he'd seen, then mingle with other people. The minstrel, now with a crowd to pander to, was actively engaging their attentions, dancing and getting in their way as he played. Some of the Grims came and went as the battlemasters called them away. It was as they were returning from a scirmish that she heard Lupinum loudly declare that it wasn't a Cantina unless someone was puking.

He was too close. Kerala took one look at Lupinum as he bent over hurling, then jumped up suddenly in a run. She saw it and worse, she had smelled it. Her gut rebelled. She reached the other side of the wall before the contractions of her middle reached their peak, and her stomach emptied. She endured it, then coughed and was done. Rice pudding was perhaps the easiest thing she'd ever uneaten.

"Are you well?" came his question behind her.

Kerala straightened and turned to look at Kex'ti. "I'm fine. Just Lupinum... when he... I'm fine."

"How much more do you need to do before it's over?"

It was a good question. She briefly considered it, realistically. "Inquisition is tomorrow... but I'm not ready." The monk looked at her. "I'm not going."

"Why?"

"I need more time. I might get in trouble.... but it's better than failing." Then, because they were alone here "I see what you are doing, monk. Be careful."

Kex'ti taps his staff. "I am worried about you. You are the one who should be careful." He dipped his head at her, then turned and walked away.

Kerala reentered the Cantina a moment later, and assured Bayonnii that she was okay. The elf monk left with the Grim when they next went to battle, to heal them. It seemed odd, to her. Eventually, people began noticing the late hour, and slowly filtered out of the bar. They disappeared even quicker when the dark sky overhead began to let loose a slow drizzle. Kex'ti was one of the last to leave, after talking with the two bartenders about a supply line. She waved goodbye to him.

She was about to leave herself when a short-haired elf woman approached her. She offered Kerala a mug. "Always good to see an ally nearby." she said by way of a greeting.

The druid had a pretty good memory for faces, and this one was foreign to her, even considering the fact that elves tended toward uniformity. She shrugged and accepted the drink with a nod of thanks. "Do I know you?"

"Maybe not me. But maybe an associate of mine." Kerala tilted the mug to her lips, and after holding the first sip in her mouth for a moment, determined that it was not poisoned. She eyed the mug. Something was in the bottom of it, and she drank the rest. It took her a moment to read it, but a note in the bottom of the mug that said 'We have your back.' The druid raised her dark eyes to look closer at Escala. "Some amoungst us still consider the Horns to be family."

Kerala licks the bottom of the mug. Her tongue scooped out the wet note, and she swallowed it. "That drink actually wasn't bad," she commented, as if she had been savoring the taste.

"It's one of my favorites."

"Who is your friend?"

"Someone who should probably remain unnamed for now. But my boss has a habit of keeping an eye on her... and people she considers family." Kerala blinked, and sighed at all of the subtlety going on lately. The elf smiled at her, reading the expression. "I'm sorry. My boss is a man named Naheal. I had thought you met him?"

Kerala thought of Breygrah. "Oh... if you mean who I think you mean, she doesn't consider me family. I do know Naheal."

"She's stubborn. But she'll come around."

The druid shrugged. "It doesn't matter. I'm just happy she's found friends in you folks."

"How are you, Miss Windchaser?"

Kerala sank back down into her seat, not surprised that the elf knew her name. She deliberately did not ask the elf for hers. "I'll be fine." She snorted then, because she realized she sounded just like Breygrah, who never really was fine.

"You needn't lie to me, Miss Windchaser. Despite the subtlety, I often deal in truths rather than lies."

Kerala glared at the woman. "I have more flaws than most, but dishonesty is not one of them. To clarify- I'm fine, and I will be... for a week...."

"What happens in a week?"

The next inquisition. "If you you see me again on Tuesday, it'll mean I'm still fine. If not, then I'm not. But I never lie."

"Ah, I see. I detected the omission and suspected a lie. My apologies."

"I know my limits much better than your friend does." Kerala meant Breygrah, but the elf misunderstood and thought the comment referred to her boss Naheal.

"It's true. He doesn't know you well. But he wouldn't offer his help if he didn't care."

Kerala scowled. "It's funny how everyone thinks I will fail, including people who claim to be friends."

"I believe he's more concerned with the debt itself. And the future -when- you succeed."

There it was. "Ah. Whether I will choose to remain a Grim or not."

"He and I spoke at length on it."

"Oh?"

"We believe that you're not going to leave the Grim until your debt is paid in full. For the casualty they sustained? However, how long that is isn't known to us."

Kerala confirmed with a nod. ""They are owed a Supplicant. Inquisition is 3 trials. I was under the impression each had a month's time to complete... but my first one is being rushed, so... For Konro's death, yes."

"I'm not completely up-to-date on the Grim's inner workings. Awatu's quite a bit different from their... leader a little over seven years ago. He seems... organized rather than a psychotic killer." Kerala shrugged and the elf continued. "I wonder... if you were to cease being a supplicant, would that release you from the debt?"

"Yes. It is why they hate me, I think. They know I am not passing the trials to become one of them, but only to satisfy the debt." Kerala smirked slyly at Escala. "And why they are making it very difficult."

"Clearly they've never had a true Horn at their side." the elf smirked back. Kerala shrugged again, then, non-commital. "We have friends amoungst the Grim, truth be told. Having another wouldn't be a bad thing. But, we will value your freedom to choose your path above all else. If you choose to walk it alone when your trials are complete, we will respect that as well as if you were to ask for assistance."

The arrogance bothered her, and Kerala snapped "I'm happy for you, because the ONLY people who ca tell me what to do are the Inquisitors, and that is strictly due to my current situation." How dare this skinny little elf talk as if Kerala were some puppet to control?

The elf took a step back, and seemed honestly sorry. "I didn't mean to upset you. Admittedly, I'm not as up-to-date on tauren culture as I'd like to be, much less who you are." She put her hand to her ear, as if she heard something. She nodded to whatever it was. "Sounds like things are starting to take a turn. I'm sorry, Miss Windchaser, but I have to be going."

Kerala just nodded to the woman. "Have a good night." The elf walked away, and she sighed, not sure what to think about all that had happened tonight.

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Kerala wasn't ready. Inquisition was tonight, but she had no intention of attending. Every other supplicant had a month. Kerala left her hearthstone in the garrison in case it could be used to track her, and disappeared for a while. She needed one more week. She'd face whatever punishment there might be when she got back.

Logging started on 05/25/2015 at 19:57:05. Monday

(The inquisition she did not attend- snipped for relevant content)

[Khorvis]: Late Supplicants. Do make me spit.

[Khorvis]: This do be all the faces this night?

Ruuki looks around, seeing only her own Supplicants present.

Lilliana leans back on her heels, looking at the few here. She shrugs her shoulders, but smiles. "I guess so."

[Khorvis]: This meeting of the Inquisition does begin. The Stormspire do be a wild place on my old homeworld. It is a reminder that not all power sits within our Horde. May be there be many more powers in the Nether that we might make the use of in our war with the Alliance.

Khorvis looks cooly at Malhavik.

Malhavik eyes Khorvis up and down.

[Khorvis]: We do stand on ledge very close to the raw stuff of the Nether. Brother Malhavik. May be you do have some wisdom for the Mandate on this?

Khorvis beckons Malhavik over.

[Malhavik talks some about Nether bits]

[shaelie]: Sorry I'm late. Could I get attunement?

[Khorvis]: *sounds snarly* About bloody time, you tardy waif...

[Malhavik]: Aside from that, the nether is a very powerful tool.

[Khorvis]: Then summon the huntress Shaelie through the Nether, felmancer. Do make sure it is unpleasant for her.

Malhavik nods at Khorvis.

[Malhavik]: Some assistance please.

Khorvis glares at Shaelie with a very dark frown.

Shaelie was dragged through the nether.. rather roughly and unpleasantly. Who knew it could be so *painful*? She fell to one knee, teeth clenched.. then gathered herself to her feet again. Shaelie kneels down.

[shaelie]: T..thanks.

Lilliana turns a smile onto Shaelie as she appears with the rest of them. She's smiling even as the elf is in obvious discomfort from the trip through the nether to here. Now that's kind of rude.

[Malhavik]: You most welcome my dear.

[Khorvis]: You are late. Next time the void may not return you with all of your limbs, Supplicant.

Khorvis thanks Malhavik.

Shaelie 's voice was tight, but she nodded to Khorvis. "Understood. Lasher."

[Nathandiel]: In other words YOU might get here, but you're ass may not.

Nathandiel winks slyly at Shaelie.

Lilliana glances at Khorvis, she covers her mouth with a hand and stiffles a laugh. "Ooo." Lilliana cackles maniacally at Nathandiel.

Shaelie nods at Nathandiel.

[Khorvis]: Inquisitor Lilliana, report on your charges.

Lilliana grins at Khorvis, "Well, one just poofed here, courtesy of Malhavik, but let's see...let's see....." [Lilliana talks of a few supplicants]

Lilliana continues.

[Lilliana]: And Kerala......*she shrugs her shoulders* I think she got scared, she ain't here. Oh well. She is nearly down her first trial, you know, the one you had to help her with, Khorvis.

[Khorvis]: Zug. If only one of your creatures does have the will to show their face before the Inquisition, let us hear the tale of her trial.

Khorvis eyes Shaelie up and down.

[Lilliana]: Oh yeah, Shaelie *she looks at Shaelie* I think she's picking her first one. She catches on fast, she told me she got this.

Khorvis chomps on a wad of something within his feedbag and nods at Lilliana.

[update on Shaelie's progress]

Inzema crosses his arms. He watches Lilliana without hint of his usual smile.

Lilliana simply grins at Khorvis's dubious frumpage, since that is a usual look for him. When Shaelie steps back, she simply starts talking again. "Kerala isn't here, you guys notice that?"

[Gazreeth]: With the lack of respect she has for the Grim and everything it stands for, why don't we just cook her and have a feast?

Nathandiel looks at Gazreeth with a confused look.

Malhavik snickers at the goblins words.

Ruuki scans the gathered, then shakes her head. "She's like a stubborn kodo being dragged along. I don't think she has the strength of will to see the Inquisition through."

Inzema bares his teeth. Actually showing some sort of anger.

Lilliana shakes her head slowly at Gazreeth, "Now that's no way to talk! She'll just feast on her first trial at our next guild meeting. No one else gets to eat her food though, she gotta eat it herself."

[syreena]: Not much of a feast. Not much meat on her.

Ruuki glares at Gazreeth for that suggestion.

[Nathandiel]: There's enough.

[Malhavik]: If we slew her as a bear, would she revert to a cow?

[Khorvis]: A blood debt do be a great and powerful thing for the Shu'halo. The Supplicant Kerala will be punished for her absence, but only failure in her trial will bring about the axe.

[Gazreeth]: So we make battle rations then.

[Tazzuk]: You evah kill a druid fore? Dey always turn back inta deir original form.

Lilliana tilts her head towards Khorvis, "She'll suceed in her trial. She'll eat her hearts at the guild meeting, Awatu will even see."

[Malhavik]: I dare say I never noticed. How embarrasing!

Malhavik laughs.

[Tazzuk]: I see it firsthand rippin' out deir innards.

[Khorvis]: Zug zug, Lilliana. It will be a right feast.

Khorvis nods at Lilliana.

Lilliana beams at Khorvis.

Inzema takes a pair of old dice carved from bones from a pocket and rolls them in his hand, his expression returning to neutral.

[Lilliana]: And Brast....well, I need to find him. *now she's done talking with a shrug*

[Khorvis]: We do thank you for your efforts, Inquisitor. May be next week you will have some progress to report.

Khorvis snorts derisively at Lilliana.

[Khorvis]: Sister Ruuki?

Lilliana nods at Khorvis, and actually replies with a "Maybe." And grins.

[update on Tazzuk's progress]

[Khorvis]: Does that be the whole of your crop, Inquisitor?

Ruuki motions for him to step back before looking over to Khorvis. "Pretty much. I've only the two."

Inzema closes his hand in a fist, stopping the rolling of the dice in his hand. He tucks them into his pocket.

[Khorvis]: Zug zug. There do be one new soul beneath the Mandate that few of you have met. A death knight. Gallid. His absence do be noted, but he did send to us a great gift. The results of his first trial, for all of us good Grim to share.

Khorvis sets forth a great chest inscribed with the runes of the Grim. From within beats an unseen force.

[Khorvis]: Supplicant Gallid did be tasked with a great mission - to gut and remove the hearts of five Alliance bastards in each of their foul cities.

[Tazzuk]: Dat be a waste, why take out da hearts if ya don't eat'em?

Khorvis opens the chest and reveals a giant beating heart, stitched together from twenty victims.

[Khorvis]: Wise words, Tazzuk. Do you join me in this repast?

Khorvis plunges a gauntleted fist into the abomination and pulls out a hunk of grisly meal. Blood ejects in a geyser that hits the top of Stormspire's arcane shielding.

[Khorvis]: Any takers?!

[some do- Ruuki, Shaelie, Tazzuk. Most don't- Inzema, Syreena]

Khorvis wipes gore from his mask and composes himself. "Now. Do there be any other souls that would show their faces before the Inquisition?"

[Khorvis]: Then this meeting do be sealed to the Mandate.

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Logging started on 05/25/2015 at 21:51:08.

Inzema appears and pokes Kerala.

Inzema kneels before you.

Kerala wakes with a start at the poke, and immediately throws a fist at whoever is attacking her.

Inzema dodges the fist easily and smiles at Kerala. "Woah, it'sss only me."

Kerala blinks at Inzema, then glances around for other Grim.

[inzema]: Jussst me.

[Kerala]: How did you find me?

Inzema smiles in a way that he thinks is reassuring. "I'm good at finding thingsss."

Kerala relaxes from combat-readiness and sits up... somewhat sluggishly.

[inzema]: Ssso, yeah. I heard a couple of thingss that pisssed me off and I wanted to run an idea by you.

[Kerala]: What time is it? Is the meeting over?

Inzema shifts, as if maybe he is uncomfortable. "Yeah, it'sss over. But that ain't important. In a week and change there'sss the monthly meeting. They want you to complete your trial then. I heard your trial was to eat Food heartsss and alssso heard you were a veggie."

Kerala looks at Inzema, listening.

[Kerala]: Food...? Oh alliance. Yes, both of those things are true.

You nod at Inzema.

Inzema nods, seeming to have already know that and only needing confirmation. "I have two waysss that would make that easier for you.

Kerala eyes Inzema distrustfully... though of any Grim, he's probably the one she distrusts the least.

[Kerala]: Why would you help me?

Inzema proceeds, waving the question away as if it wasn't improtant. "The firssst way isss I could appear to be you and eat the heartsss for you. The sssecond way isss a bit more risssky but I could maybe do a short term dossse of the thing that made me me."

Kerala frowns.

[Kerala]: You want me to cheat.

[inzema]: No, well maybe, but they're cheating, too. Ten gold sssaysss that Lilly gave you thisss trial to make you quit because she knowsss you're a veggie. A further ten gold sssaysss she'sss turning people againssst you because you are you.

Inzema kneels before you.

[Kerala]: Even if she does, she's sorely misjudged me. Khorvis gave me this task, not Lilliana. She just altered the terms of it.

Kerala cocks her head at Inzema. "Are they mad I was not there tonight?"

Inzema shrugs. "Don't matter. They sssaid you gotta complete your thingy Friday after nekssst. But I'm ssstill thinkin' that Lilly an' Gaz're out for your blood for sssome ssstupid reason. Gaz only because Lilly is."

[Kerala]: The goblin death knight? They don't worry me.

[inzema]: You don't care it'sss all bullshit grudgesss and they're cheating you?

[Kerala]: They may hurt me, yes, but I do not think they would kill me and risk Awatu's wrath. As for the inquisition... of course it bothers me. Lilliana tried deliberately to make me fail. But though she was not punished for it, Khorvis assigned another task. That is the best I could hope for, I think. This is not the first time I have not been popular, dead man.

Kerala eyes Inzema. "Nor is it the first time I have been offered assistance such as yours. Even if you don't plan to betray me and reveal the deception to the Grim, I will not cheat."

Kerala places a hand below her belly button suddenly, and moves to scoot off the ledge.

[inzema]: If you wish. Don't go ekssspecting me not to cheat for you, though.

[Kerala]: One moment.

[inzema]: I'mma take off. Sssisss is plotting to kill a sssupplicant. and I gotta ssstop her. You know how sssiblingsss can be.,

Kerala holds her bladder then. "Alright. Don't interfere."

[inzema]: Maybe

Kerala frowns.

Inzema taps his forehead in a salute to Kerala before disappearing.

* * *

You look at Tazzuk.

Tazzuk grumbles, he actually looks downtrodden as he drinks from the a massive mug.

[Tazzuk]: S'you...

[Kerala]: Rough day?

Lupinum sniffs you.

[Tazzuk]: Found out onna me friendsh died. Whatchu tink? ...hic!

Kerala shrugs. "People die." She doesn't look sad or sympathetic at all.

[Tazzuk]: Dey do...don mean I can't go an' find who did it and bring them pain witout end!

Tazzuk mumbles, "Chief ain't gonna like dis..."

[Kerala]: Chief?

[Tazzuk]: Cob. Not lookin' foward ta tellin' him....or Whaz'sh brudda. ...hic!

Kerala smirks slightly, since Tazzuk's only commander now should theoretically be Awatu.

[Tazzuk]: Rekk'sh gonna blow a lotta shhit up when he findsh out.

You look at Gazreeth.

Tazzuk looks at Gazreeth. Tazzuk nods at Gazreeth.

[Gazreeth]: Tazzuk, a small group from my Garrison will be dropping Whazat off at your garrison. I took the time to play him in a coffin. I didn't seal it, in case you needed to prepare him differently.

[Tazzuk]: My base be tha Grim'sh base. Shhould shend him ta Broden'ar.

[Gazreeth]: I will send them the new location.

Tazzuk pulls out a map. "It be where da Deadshots be.." Tazzuk points to a location tucked away in Nagrand's hills. "Righ'here"

Kerala stays quiet while the two talk.

Gazreeth pulls out a goblin communication device and sends a typed message with the new location.

[syreena]: Location of what?

[Tazzuk]: Ya got my tanks, Gazreet.

You look at Syreena.

Syreena peers at you searchingly.

[Tazzuk]: He be gettin' a statue long wif tha otha dead.

[syreena]: You....were missed tonight.

[Gazreeth]: I wish I was able to bring him back for the Deadshots.

Syreena grins at you wickedly.

[Tazzuk]: Did tha once wif Bramm....not turn out sho good. ...hic!

[Gazreeth]: No Grim should die alone.

Tazzuk shakes his head. "Dat we agree on...I be buyin' ya drinks tonight."

Kerala cocks her head at Syreena, but says nothing.

Gazreeth pours a small amount on the ground "Peace through annihilation, for Whazat!"

[Tazzuk]: Aye fo' Whaz! We gonna drown hish grave in Morinth'sh blood! ...hic!

Gazreeth looks at Kerala. "Show some respect for the fallen." Raises his glass.

Gallid greets Lupinum warmly.

[Kerala]: Why?

[Gazreeth]: He was family.

[Tazzuk]: Heh. ...hic! Whaz shaw tha Grim more like the bes' bargain he made!

Tazzuk laughs at you.

[Tazzuk]: Tha lil' shlimeball.

Syreena winks slyly at Lupinum. Syreena eyes Gallid up and down.

Tazzuk chuckles again, and he is actually smiling.

Lupinum smiles at Gazreeth.

[Gazreeth]: Unfortunatly I never had the chance to battle with him.

Kerala looks at Tazzuk, and doesn't say anything- especially to honor some stranger she never met.

[Gazreeth]: Wish I could tell Whazat shtories. ...hic!

[syreena]: You...

Syreena points at Gallid.

[syreena]: Where's your tabard?

[Tazzuk]: Fast-talkin' lil' shhrew he wuz. ...hic!

[Gallid]: Me?

Lupinum smirks slyly at Syreena.

[Gallid]: I was unaware that I must wear the tabard.

Syreena shrugs at Gallid. Who knows?

Drinn walks in slowly, whipping the blood on her hands off on her pants.

[syreena]: It's not a requirement, though most new Grims are eager to wear the colors....show their dedication...

Syreena grins wickedly at Gallid.

Gazreeth looks at Gallid. "Ever hear the saying "one of these things isn't like the others?""

Tazzuk lets out a loud belch.

You eye Syreena up and down.

Drinn teeters back and forth while singing, "I"m not new!"

[syreena]: Kerala doesn't wear one because she isn't really a Grim. She's just pretending, to settle a debt.

[Gallid]: i have not worn a guild tabard unless it was earned, and i do not feel that i have earned it yet.

[syreena]: And Lulu doesn't, because....well, he thinks his dress is too pretty.

Syreena nods at Gallid.

[syreena]: I see.

[Drinn]: So she gets to pretend the be awesome.. and the best..to settle a debt?

[Kerala]: I'm not in my armor, so I didn't think I should. I have it here in my bag...

[Tazzuk]: Bettah ta shtain tha colors wit Ally blood than beer!

Tazzuk laughs at Gazreeth.

Gazreeth cackles maniacally at Tazzuk.

Gallid salutes Syreena with respect.

Kerala sighs, and digs in her bag for a moment. She locates the tabard and slips it over her head. She doesn't tie it, though

[Kerala]: There. Happy?

Lupinum burps.

[Lupinum]: Sy! I wear one!

[Gazreeth]: It looks a little loose.

Lupinum holds up his torn, blood stained tabard proudly.

[Tazzuk]: Thassh wut he shaid! ...hic!

Tazzuk laughs.

Drinn blinks, looking at Kerala. Her eyes narrow a moment while she thinks about flicking the Tauren's snotty snout.

Lupinum looks at Kerala.

Syreena looks at Lupinum.

[syreena]: Oh, so you do. I couldn't see it in all those white frills.

Syreena winks slyly at Lupinum.

Tazzuk is a happy drunk...quite the 180 attitude change for the shadow hunter.

Lupinum waves his hands dismissively at Syreena.

Syreena cackles maniacally at Lupinum.

Lupinum is giving Kerala a look that could say 'Take that tabard off, it was my best friend's." but, only if one looked closely.

Kerala doesn't notice, cause she can't see Lupinum at all wherever he is.

[more talk about Whazat, lots of drinking]

Gazreeth slams his glass on the table ale spilling out of it. "There is a deciever amongst us! Mark my words they shall be revealed for who they are!"

Kerala finds a seat on a barrel, and digs in her bags for a skin of something to drink. She uncorks it and drinks (and doesn't spill any for Whazat).

[Gazreeth]: These are tough timesh comrades! Grimsh are dying, the mad are everywhere. EVERYWHER!

Kerala drinks her drink.

[Tazzuk]: COb shhoulda lef' shomeone bettah in charge...like me! Hell, I'd even take Brey!

Tazzuk lets out a loud belch.

[Gazreeth]: I have heard many talesh of "Brey" what'sh the big deal?

[Tazzuk]: Shhe be a warrior! ...hic!

Kerala eyes the two, listening.

[Gazreeth]: Sheemsh to be hated by most Grim.

[Tazzuk]: Cuz shhe killed this shupplicant o dersh in a... ...hic! uhh... ...hic! orc word.... ...hic maggim'ra

[Kerala]: Mak'gora

[Tazzuk]: Ya dat!

[Gazreeth]: What'sh that?

[Tazzuk]: Mad cow named Kofblo!

[Kerala]: KONRO

[Tazzuk]: Wuteva. ...hic! He needed puttin' down an' he got put down.

[Gazreeth]: Sho what'sh a mogwai?

[Tazzuk]: A mak'agro be a duel o' honor!

You nod.

[Tazzuk]: To tha death!

[Kerala]: It's supposed to be.

[Gazreeth]: Sho Brey killsh Kon in a Mogwai, Why ish thish a problem? ...hic!

[Kerala]: Shu'halo have no business playing at being orcs.

[Tazzuk]: Oh yeah, remember las' time tha happened ya lost tha elder tauren. ...hic!

Lupinum looks over to Kerala. These snippets of conversation are all he needs to know what she's talking about.

[Gazreeth]: He got into a fight and lost, doesn't shound like a real problem. Unlessh he wash ambushed or shomething.

[Tazzuk]: Nope. ...hic! Kondo wuz a traitah too! Xek looked inta his shoul, found he took thish worgey thingy innim!

[Kerala]: He was crippled and possessed, and not of sound mind. She murdered him. The Grim only care on principal.

[Tazzuk]: Xek shaw him acceptin' tha shpirit!

Gazreeth looks at Kerala. "Would it be murder if you killed me before I turned my back on Arthas?"

[Kerala]: Killing another person is always murder.

[Tazzuk]: Diffrence bein' iffin they deserve it. Shhoulda shmashed hish shtupid soul when we had tha chance. ...hic!

Lupinum looks at you.

Kerala lunges off her barrel fist-first at Tazzuk's face!

Tazzuk , in his inebriated state, offers no defense and topples backward. Tazzuk lies down. Tazzuk stands up and cracks his neck.

[Kerala]: You SHUT UP

[Tazzuk]: Wut da hell bein' yer problem?!

[Kerala]: Konro did bad things, yes, but what were you all doing instead of helping him? Instead of guiding him? Laughing! Goading him on!

[Tazzuk]: I'dda guided him ta early grave fore he went an' sold everyone out! ...hic!

[Gazreeth]: Maybe I missed something, but are you saying they shhould have told him not to accept a duel to the death?

[Tazzuk]: Fore he killed Bramm in cold blood! He be little bettah dan dose Twilight lunatics!

[Kerala]: It only got that far at all because you did NOTHING. *turns to Gazreeth* That's right. No stupid orc duel.

[Gazreeth]: Couldn't he have shaid no?

[Kerala]: He did say no! And then that wolf possessing him took over.

Gazreeth rubs his head.

[Tazzuk]: Which he took on, eitha knowin' er too stupid ta realize tha would happen!

[Gazreeth]: Sho shhould Brey have not defended?

[Kerala]: They shouldn't have fought at all! I was so close to fixing it....

[Tazzuk]: Oh right, fixin' it till he'd fuck up an' go afta Brey again. Ya can't fix stupid!

[Kerala]: Maybe if the Grim weren't too busy being cannibals, they'd have actually had the most loyal member ever. Instead, they threw him away!

[Tazzuk]: Like tha trash he wuz!

[Gazreeth]: I'll have you know I have never ate a Goblin or Forsaken before.

[Tazzuk]: An' cannibals be eatin' deir own kind.

You glare angrily at Tazzuk.

[Kerala]: If you eat the meat of a person, a thinking person, you are a cannibal, regardless of race. The lowest of low.

[Tazzuk]: Alliance not people. Dey be pests.

[Kerala]: No evil person believes they are the evil one.

[Tazzuk]: Oh den, tell oh wise sage...

Tazzuk says this whilst dripping with sarcasm.

[Tazzuk]: Wutchu gonna be when Khor makes ya eat dem Ally hearts?

Kerala stares at Tazzuk a long moment. Her answer is quiet and serious. "A cannibal. The lowest of low."

[Tazzuk]: Well den...welcome ta tha bottom rung.

Tazzuk laughs at you.

Kerala doesn't laugh... but the conversation has been off the subject of Konro long enough that her anger has diffused some.

Gazreeth yawns sleepily.

[Tazzuk]: I gotta body ta bury....can't wait ta see ya eat up.

Tazzuk pats the top of Gazreeth's head and smiles at him.

[Kerala]: [Magram Low Common] Barad ergin se lon

[Gazreeth]: Time for me to go *Looks at Kerala* Be a Grim because you want. Not because you feel like you should. If you don't want it you will never repay the debt you think you have.

Lupinum blinks at you.

You look around.

Lupinum lays a brief hand on Kerala's arm before disappearing.

You look at Lupinum.

Lupinum blinks at you.

You sigh at Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: What.

[Kerala]: Nothing.

[Lupinum]: Pff.

[Kerala]: I punched Tazzuk...

[Lupinum]: I saw. That was something.

Lupinum chuckles.

[Kerala]: He deserved it.

[Lupinum]: Oh yeah? Why?

[Kerala]: He was spouting lies.... about Konro.

Kerala gulps a lot of liquid from her drinking skin.You look at Lupinum.

[Kerala]: How much trouble does a supplicant get in for skipping Inquisition?

Lupinum shrugs. Who knows?

Kex'ti walks into the tavern. Kex'ti waves at you.

You greet Kex'ti warmly.

[Kex'ti]: Hoi, Kerala.

Kex'ti puts his sword away and walks in with his staff. Kex'ti smiles at you.

[Kex'ti]: How do you fare.

Kex'ti pointedly ignores Lupinum.

[Kerala]: Hello there

Lupinum hacks loudly, and coughs a slimy lump of black ichor into the floor in front of Kex'ti.

Kex'ti returns the cough with one of his own. He wipes his mouth on his gauntlet. Kex'ti watches Lupinum leave.

[Kerala]: You are a very poor actor, you know.

Kex'ti smirks slyly at you.

[Kex'ti]: I don't have to be a good one. Just a distraction. Of that I am quite skilled.

Kex'ti chuckles at you. Kex'ti takes a seat.

[Kerala]: I suppose.

Kex'ti peers around the tavern for prying eyes. Kex'ti looks at you.

[Kex'ti]: Did it help, at least?

[Kerala]: I did not go, tonight. There was no way I could have done it. If Inzema did not lie, Lilliana changed it again, and I have two weeks.

Kex'ti rubs his beard.

[Kex'ti]: What happened?

Kex'ti sets out a set out a pot and lights a bit of charcoal beneath it.

[Kerala]: Apparently there is a big meeting planned. She thinks, I think, that having Awatu watch will have some effect.

Kex'ti sighs at you.

[Kex'ti]: My thought that this is designed to be one large prank at your expense only gains more solid footing with each passing mention.

Kerala cocks her head.

Kex'ti pokes at the meal.

[Kerala]: The task is serious enough, given by Khorvis. The rest... you are probably right. Lilliana thinks to demoralize me, make things difficult.

[Kex'ti]: I don't envy you. It is a disgusting, vile thing they have tasked you with.

Kerala looks at Kex'ti... but then says nothing to that.

[Kex'ti]: I know this is a bit of a tall request, but these are made with ginger and udoroot. I'm aware that your...

Kex'ti rubs his beard.

[Kex'ti]: Appetite may be somewhat diminished. But this will help with any nausea. They remain fresh for quite a while, if you need to sneak a bite of...more palatable things.

Kex'ti slides some hard-crusted objects out of the pot into a small, square bowl. He puts a ceramic lid and hands it towards Kerala. Kex'ti smiles at you.

[Kex'ti]: They're designed to be bite sized.

Kerala eyes the food with some interest.

[Kex'ti]: No meat. Of course.

You smile at Kex'ti.

[Kerala]: I wonder... now that I have two weeks, if I should not test my tolerance.

[Kex'ti]: The ginger quells nausea, and the various other ingredients provide adequate nutrition. The udoroot will quell appetite temporarily.

Kex'ti emphasizes the last part.

[Kex'ti]: If...the task remains the same, eating that for a few days prior should aid.

Kex'ti frowns, sadly.

[Kex'ti]: I'm sorry.

Kerala eyes Kex'ti.

Kex'ti takes a pull from his jug.

[Kerala]: I have told you what I am to do, and your reaction was expected. Yet, here you are again. Why?

Kex'ti rubs his eyes.

[Kex'ti]: Your fortitude and willpower are far greater than mine. I simply wish to help you see this task through. The sooner your debt is repaid, the sooner your conscience is clean, the sooner you may act in a manner more befitting your integrity. If you will not turn away from this path, the least I can do is help keep you from drowning within it.

Kex'ti looks at you.

[Kex'ti]: Kerala, I have done many regrettable things. I would help you avoid the same mistakes.

[Kerala]: You are too late, monk. I regret many things. This is not one of them.

Kex'ti looks at you.

[Kex'ti]: Why?

Kex'ti says, his lips hiding a smirk.

[Kerala]: Nature calls, I'm sorry I must go for a while. You do not need to know. It's enough, knowing how you feel about this task. You don't need a further reason to hate me.

[Kex'ti]: I do not hate you.

[Kerala]: I'd like to keep it that way.

[Kex'ti]: I simply wish to help. If you do not see things from my perspective, at least accept my aid to your own ends. There is too much goodness in you to stand idly by.

Kex'ti smiles at you.

[Kerala]: ...Thank you.

[Kex'ti]: Whether or not you see that is your choice.

Kex'ti bows before you.

[Kex'ti]: Sinu a'manore, friend.

Kerala leaves.

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Kerala had plenty of reasons to be nervous when she next saw Lilliana in the Brokenspear tavern. Her newfound favorite place to sit was in a nook by the stairwell, atop a stack of logs. Out of the way, against the wall, it let her watch the entire room as well as the entrance and stairwell. So when the redheaded troll priestess walked in, the druid noticed immediately.

"Inzema told me my trial will happen at a meeting now, instead of inquisition. In two weeks, is that true?"

The priestess deliberately ignored Kerala's direct question about the change in the trial again, first playing around with Lupinum, throwing snowballs and trying to break into each other's minds. Something about not being able to get past a front door, and then huts not having doors, and being full of air.

Darethy came into the bar, and Kerala greeted him. He still seemed distant from her, and she was content to let it remain that way. She did not have a clue why he suddenly disliked her so much.

The other inquisitor arrived, the tauren one. She noted that Lilliana had found her missing supplicant, looking at Kerala with a frown.

"Yeah, Inzema was right. Yup."Lilliana finally said. She thought it was funny that Inzema was now her message boy and spoke to Ruuki about it. The sunwalker said she thought he was good for things like that because he was bored, and then went on to not-so-subtly imply that he was at will to do so because he was not a supplicant anymore. They could no longer boss him around. She said a bored Inzema was a dangerous Inzema. Lilliana disagreed, and looked to Darethy for confirmation, then to Kerala. Then she frowned, as if changing her mind about saying something to the druid.

Darethy told them both that Inzema was literally the worst person he'd ever met on a list that included Arthas.

Kerala just finished her juice, adding the mug to a collection of them sitting on the floor beside her. She felt the cool liquid make it's way downward through her chest, and she sensed that her stomach was full now. She shifted on the logs uncomfortably.

After a moment of talking about him, Kerala's ear caught a noise. She was not surprised at all when Inzema dropped down onto the barrel beside her to sit.

"I heard you, dead man" she smiled at him. Across the room, she did not see Lupinum flinch at the appellation.

The foul-mouthed elf that was a friend of Breygrah threatened to cut Inzema when he wondered if she needed a spanking. She'd been arguing ever since she'd set foot on the tavern floorboards, and Kerala had been trying to ignore her. Darethy offer to help the elf cut Inzema.

"No one's going to cut Inzema." Lupinum told them. Inzema made some snide remark, playing off his first spanking comment.

"Why?" the warlock demanded. "He deserves getting cut, at the very least."

"Cause he's Grim, and a good one. Aaren was just leaving, anyway."

Inzema stifles a snicker. The elf huntress supplicant entered the bar, and the rogue invited her to sit with them and be his harem. Kerala rolled her eyes. He really was a little bit closer than she would have liked him to be, but of any of the Grim, he was one that she didn't feel so uncomfortable being near.

Lilliana made her way over to the two of them after a while. Inzema raised an eyebrow at her, and said "Sssup?"

The trolless giggled. "Hi." Kerala did not bother saying anything.

"I'm not joining your crusssade to convinssse Kerala that she should jussst leave the Grim." he told her. Kerala snorted, since there was no chance of that happening anyway.

Lilliana asked innocently, "Who's crusade?"

Lupinum snapped his head around to look at Lilly. "Kerala'sh shtaying."

Lilliana looked to Lupinum, "That's up to Kerala in the end."

The druid shrugged. "Well, he's right," she said, meaning that she would stay until all three trials were finished.

Inzema stuck his tongue out at Lilliana. "Yoursss. Mebby she'sss doin' thisss for sssome ssstupid law and already plannin' on leavin', but you don't gotta make an enemy outta her too." Lilliana stared at him with a stupid blank expression. "None of usss would have half the ballsss to go and do what she'sss doin' for her honor-thingy."

The redhead shrugged her shoulders, "Then I guess none of us have any 'ballsss' worth mentioning."

But the rogue wasn't done yet. "I mean, mossst of the Horde thinksss we're uncontrollable homisssidal maniacsss and want nothing to do with usss. Mossst, if demanded to provide a sssupplicant, would find the perssson they leassst like and forssse them to do it."

Lilliana tilted her head. "You're speaking to the wrong person, Inzema."

Inzema stuck his tongue out at Lilly again. "You're the one leading the Kerala-lynch mob. You and Sssy."

Lilliana raised a brow at Inzema and seemed to think it over,but then she shrugged. She beamed a smile at Inzema. Then the troll woman turned and left.

Kerala was hopelessly confused. She supposed it was possible that the rogue really did want to help her, but she wasn't sure why. What did he gain from it? She had too many scars to believe anymore that anyone wanting to help her now was motivated purely by the goodness of their hearts. Even Kex'ti had another reason, she was certain. Maybe to keep the Grim from having her, or maybe something else.

Inzema rolled off the barrel he was perched on and disappeared before she could ask him.

* * *

It was later in the day when Kerala found herself in the tavern again, this time with Lupinum and the elf supplicant. The undead priest asked her how her trial was going, and Kerala told him.

It was a great relief to her to have so much more time. Not only that, but it seemed that her absence at the inquisition wouldn't even result in any sort of punishment. She wondered if that meant she could skip them all now, or if perhaps Lilliana was deliberately not doing anything immediately. Perhaps she was leaving punishment to the high inquisitor to dole out, hoping it would be more of a shock.

"If you could choose your interviews for your shecond trial, who would you pick?" Lupinum asked.

"What does it matter?" Kerala's words echoed her thoughts. "All I have to do is ask them a question, and then parrot it back. It does not matter to me."

Syreena appeared out of the shadows. "It should matter."

"Well if it does, then who, Druidess! ...hic!" Lupinum persisted. "Inquiring mindsh want to know. ...hic!"

"I've already requested to be one of your interviews." The rogue smiled sweetly at Kerala.

Kerala didn't even give the question much thought. She truly did not care. "You," she told Lupinum, "her," she pointed at Syreena, "...and um..." she tried to think of anyone else, but the only other person she could think of at the moment was Lilliana. So she said "and anyone but Lilliana."

The elf huntress, of course, thought it mattered a lot who she was assigned to question for the trial, and got Syreena talking about the hunter whose heirloom lens had been given to her by Khorvis. Little fanatical suck-up.

They were sitting on the upper level, each person on a bannister, when Kerala addressed the huntress. "Do you plan to simply kill Alliance every day of your life, for killing your family?"

She looked up and over at the tauren. "If I can. But not just for killing my family. Other families, too."

"And were you truthful, at the inquisition, when Ruuki asked about the farm?" Kerala pressed."Would you murder the children too? She said it, not you, so I wonder."

The hunter confirmed that she would. Then Lupinum asked "You couldn't shquish some Alliance skulls, Kerala?" And the conversation turned to Syreena, and the lies that the Grim believed regarding their precious Shadowblade. Kerala tried to tell them the truth, but it was no use. It didn't matter what they believed, and she told them so.

There was a lull in the conversation.

"So, what happens in two weeks? Why would Lilliana change the date?" Kerala finally asked. It worried her. What new thing had the troll done to make things impossible? Wasn't it hard enough already?

"I don't know. Shhe'sh Fel touched, I think. Maybe they're making you a cake." Lupinum offered optimistically.

"It's better off, there would have been hardly an audience last night anyway." Shaelie commented.

Kerala looked at the elf. Could that really be the reason? Lilliana wanted a bigger audience? "What do I care who sees? If she thinks that will effect anything, she is wrong." she told them.

"What do you care about, Kerala? I hear all about what you don't care about, what doesn't matter, what you hate or dislike. But what do you care about?" Lupinum glanced at Kerala, obviously interested in the answer to the elf's question as well.

She told them she liked to fly, and Lupinum said that was cute. He went downstairs for another drink, then suddenly she found herself staring at him, disoriented. He had snatched her down there by her soul, theoretically. It was like when she propelled herself toward someone, only without the glorious sensation of really having feathers and flying for an instant.

"Flight too short?" he teased. They returned upstairs, him with his drink.

"So why do you hate us so much?" the elf asked when they got back. "I've seen most everyone treating you with plenty of kindness. Most everyone. So why the hostility and resentment?"

"It's cause we eat meat." Lupinum said sagely.

Kerala didn't think he was funny at all, and she wondered what twisted reality Shaelie lived in. "He has been kind," she acknowledged, looking at Lupinum. The undead smiled.

Shaelie nodded. "I see pretty much everyone hanging out and trying to make you feel welcomed. Inzema was sticking up for you earlier. Syreena pretends to dislike you, but she spends an awful lot of time talking to you. So it seems like the ire is pretty one sided And I'm trying to figure out why."

"Syreena has changed some, that is true. I am a puzzle to her." Kerala did not believe the rogue would hesitate to stab her, though. So long as Kerala was entertaining, the undead seemed to be friendly enough. "And you are right about Inzema. He seems to be exactly what he appears...." Kerala stopped, not sure anymore about Inzema. He offered help to her... but by cheating, which could be a plot to betray her and get her to fail the trial....

"Grim." Lupinum said. "Family. How many times do I have to say it?"

"So, why?" Shaelie asked.

"Gazreeth and the crazy goblin rogue were ready to shove me off the balcony. I try not to stay around folks who wish me ill. Seems like a good way to die young." Kerala said.

"Did that happen before you were so..." The hunter paused, thinking carefully about her phrasing, and started again. "Were they going to shove you off the balcony recently? Or before they got to know you?"

"Look, elf. I don't want to be your friend. I am here to be a supplicant until I can get through the three trials, and earn a different title. You can keep your dysfunctional family and go kill babies and eat them, I want no part of that anymore." She shout her mouth, nearly biting her tongue. She hadn't meant to say that word.

The two were silent for a moment after Kerala's outburst, and then gradually began speaking softly again. It was clear to them that the druid was no longer interested in being friendly. Lupinum wished more supplicants were eager like Shaelie. The elf said she wanted to be here, even though she felt that she didn't quite fit in, likely because she was a blood elf. That of course led to Syreena. Which led to Kex'ti, and a list of others as 'bad eggs'.

When Lupinum began talking about Kex'ti, and how the monk was scum, Kerala stood up abruptly and walked off. She'd had enough of twisted Grim truths for a day.

* * *

Kerala comes back into the tavern some time later.

Lupinum blinks at you.

You look at Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: So you just sit in here now?

Kerala shrugs. "It's better than the guild hall."

Lupinum rubs his temples.

[Lupinum]: I need a drink.

[Kerala]: You are always drinking.

[Lupinum]: And you're always sulking.

[Kerala]: I am not. I'm just.... tired.

Lupinum warms his back against the fire. Lupinum grunts.

[Lupinum]: I haven't heard that excuse since I was alive.

[Kerala]: Excuse?

[Lupinum]: Being tired.

[Kerala]: Well, I suppose you don't need sleep, do you? Is that why you drink so much?

Lupinum nods at you.

[Lupinum]: It helps. I meditated before, but now my mind is unquiet.

[Kerala]: Unquiet?

Lupinum shrugs at you. Who knows?

[Kerala]: Isn't that the purpose of meditation- to fix that?

[Lupinum]: Supposed to, but it hasn't. So I get drunk at night to not think.

You eye Lupinum up and down.

[Kerala]: And in the day

[Lupinum]: I don't see a sun out, do you?

A sly smirk spreads across Lupinum's face.

[Kerala]: It's been my experience that alcohol solves nothing, and so I don't see the point. And hangovers really -really- are unpleasant.

[Lupinum]: I don't get hangovers.

Lupinum smiles.

Kerala smiles.

[Kerala]: If you are so unhappy.... why do you bother?

[Lupinum]: No blood brain barrier, I don't need water, so no dehydration. Bother with what? Living?

[Kerala]: Sure

[Lupinum]: Not like I have a choice. Rip off my skull, I'll still be alive. Able to talk and every thing.

[Kerala]: I've tried to end this life more than once, I can't imagine being... as you are. Can you not be killed?

Lupinum 's brow creases.

[Lupinum]: I don't know. Maybe if whatever's keeping all Forsaken active was destroyed. Maybe it's in our heads. Maybe it's something else.

[Kerala]: I didn't mean that you should... obviously you must have something worth staying here for, or you would not be. Sorry.

Lupinum shrugs. Who knows?

[Lupinum]: I never thought about it.

[Kerala]: There comes a point where if you can't, you stop trying for a while. I understand that.

Lupinum sips loudly.

[Kerala]: If you vomit on me, I will punch you.

[Lupinum]: Might be worth it. Shee some action out of you

[Kerala]: You weren't complaining when I was healing you, out killing Alliance, or in Arak.

Kerala supposes those were both 'killing alliance'.

Lupinum pops his jaw.

[Lupinum]: That was for practice. I don't need anyone to heal me. 'The Light gives me shtrength'.

Lupinum cackles maniacally at you.

[Lupinum]: We used to shay that back at my parish. In my old life.

[Kerala]: And now?

[Lupinum]: Ever heard of the Cult of Forgotten Shadow?

[Kerala]: No. I am not religious at all.

[Lupinum]: Nor am I. But that wash the group that took me in before the Grim. Priests of all walks are involved. Our creed was to balance Life with Death.

Kerala cocks her head at the mention of balance.

[Lupinum]: They saw my old powers still present and nurtured my Holy powers. They taught me how to use the pain in my body to focus my mind. Your Nature magic must feel soothing, right? Like thick creeper on a forest floor? ...hic!

[Kerala]: Healing can be.... satisfying.

[Lupinum]: Satisfying. Imagine the cleansing touch of flame coursing through your body instead. Fire in every dead nerve ending.

Kerala considers that.

[Lupinum]: To breathe is to burn yourself inside out...

[Kerala]: When you feel nothing else.... ?

[Lupinum]: Not cold, not heat. Knife wounds and sword cuts are forces in my skin, not pain in my head. But the Light is like stepping into the Firelands doused in Goblin gas.

[Kerala]: As I said, I can not imagine why you are still here.

Lupinum smiles. "The Grim is why."

[Kerala]: You say they are family.....

Kerala looks uncertain, as if really considering that concept for the first time.

[Lupinum]: I do.

[Kerala]: That is not something I have had in a very long time. I tried.... with the Horns... I don't know.

[Lupinum]: It seemed that the Horns were gone when you got them.

Kerala sighs. "They were."

Lupinum tilts his head.

[Kerala]: I used to hear stories of them, when I was a child. For a time, I used to imagine Cairne and a great group of hunters, come to save us.

[Lupinum]: Giant Kodo's on the plains...

Lupinum 's lips tilt into a smile.

You smile at Lupinum.

[Kerala]: Something like that. And then the Horde, well.... I knew better by then.

Lupinum grunts, obviously displeased.

[Lupinum]: I am disappointed with the Horde, lately.

Kerala eyes Lupinum, thinking that's a hypocritical thing to say, for a Grim. But then, Lupinum doesn't seem so... evil, as the rest of them.

[Kerala]: Why?

[Lupinum]: Disorganized, lazy louts.

Lupinum clicks his jaw loudly.

[Lupinum]: The Grim is strong. We are fractured in some ways, but we are competent. I can't say the same about almost anyone who walks into this tavern.

[Kerala]: Fractured in what ways?

Lupinum 's eyes narrow a slight amount.

[Lupinum]: In... Our leaders are firm. I can say that plainly - effortlessly. There are some in our ranks who are Grim, but are not Grim. And I don't mean you and that tabard.

[Kerala]: You don't?

[Lupinum]: For once, no. But what I think doesn't matter. I'm only a Reaper.

Kerala doesn't ask Lupinum to betray any names, but she's confused so- "What do you mean then- Grim but not Grim?"

Lupinum looks over his shoulder for a moment.

[Lupinum]: I mean talented warriors. But.. they're... Less tempered, as Lasher would put it, in the Mandate. Unlike you. You're not Grim. But you can become Grim. Hence, the trials.

Lupinum pushes back his hood and musses his hair.

Kerala looks somewhat troubled. "What would make me Grim... in your judgment?"

[Lupinum]: We all have a past. The Grim are here to help each other move through it and better themselves for the Horde. You're holding onto your baggage like it's an Iron Star. I think you will find more than a few kindred spirits in the Halls

[Kerala]: What baggage!? I have nearly nothing at all. I'll go throw it away right now...

[Lupinum]: You're carrying the Horns, Konro and the Fel else.

[Kerala]: The Horns are dead. Konro is dead.

Lupinum tilts his head.

[Lupinum]: Do you want to die?

[Kerala]: What? No.

Kerala looks more confused than ever. What does that have to do with anything?

[Lupinum]: So. That's why you don't make any attachments at all

Lupinum shrugs,

[Lupinum]: Or maybe not. I'm the dead guy after all.

[Kerala]: What do you mean, no attachments? You just said I have too much stuff...

[Lupinum]: Too much of your OWN stuff. But you keep separate from the Grim. What's the name of the Inquisitor opposite of Lilliana.

[Kerala]: Khorvis.

[Lupinum]: He's the High Inquisitor. Who is his other subordinate?

[Kerala]: Oh.

[There is a long moment of silence.]

[Lupinum]: Don't worry, I'll wait.

[Kerala]: .... It starts with an R.

[Lupinum]: It does, you're right.

Lupinum lets out a long, drawn-out sigh.

[Lupinum]: Do you know the gender?

[Kerala]: Of course I do. She's short, with brown eyes. Lean, but hippy. Dark brown mane in three braids.

[Lupinum]: Even that shurprisesh me. But not the name? What'sh the name of the huntressh who was here?

[Kerala]: The elf?

[Lupinum]: Yes

[Kerala]: Sha... what is your point? *she says this rather crossly now*

[Lupinum]: You don't care, for whatever reason. You don't hate the Grim. But you're apathetic about... just about everything.

Kerala crosses her arms.

[Lupinum]: I just wanna know why

[Kerala]: Why should I care... about the inquisitor, or the elf? What purpose does it serve to get to know them?

[Lupinum]: I wish Awatu wash here. It's helpful to know your Brothers and Shisters. Any one of them will come to your aid, if you call. ...hic! We'd come to each other's aid at a moments notice.

[Kerala]: I have come to help. I've battled with you. Even when I didn't.... always approve.

Lupinum rubs his forehead.

[Lupinum]: There's no HAVE to. It'sh purely for the Mandate.

[Kerala]: No, it wasn't. Not all of them.

[Lupinum]: There, hold on. What didn't you like- when we hunted the Monk? Or Mage, whatever the Fel it was. ...hic!

You eye Lupinum up and down.

[Kerala]: ... yes.

[Lupinum]: Remind me why.

[Kerala]: We had him beaten, and he was running for his life. If we had let him go, he would not have caused further harm. He was terrified!

[Lupinum]: Alright, that's where you're about 84 percent wrong. He will call for help. And they will retaliate. Peace through Annihilation ensuresh that we strike sho hard, they are unable to respond. And if it escalates, we continue until we are victorious. ...hic!

Kerala asks quietly. "Was he even the one who started the trouble? Was he the one we were called to defend against? I think he was not- just unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Grim showed up. You heard that inquisitor, about the farm. Even the -children-.

[Lupinum]: I would. Nothing is more powerful than vengeance. A child seared with his parents murder would absolutely grow up with a mind bloodied to Horde.

Kerala stops suddenly... Lupinum's choice of wording calling to mind the Blood Revenge.

[Kerala]: I....

Kerala frowns.

Lupinum blinks at you.

[Lupinum]: This is what I mean. What are you thinking? And I won't poke around.

Kerala 's eyes flash at the threat of mental force.

[Kerala]: Don't

[Lupinum]: I just said I won't! ...hic! We're just talking, Druidess.

Kerala eyes Lupinum... and then forcibly breathes deeply to relax some.

Lupinum sits back down.

Kerala eyes the priest still as he puts himself lower... a submissive gesture. Kerala steps forward and sits too.

[Kerala]: I've never heard it put quite like that before. It's not always true, though.

Lupinum sips his now warm mug of beer as he listens.

[Lupinum]: You think so?

[Kerala]: My father was murdered, and I do not hate the ones that did it. I tried, and I was angry for a time, sure. A long time. But hate?

Lupinum works his jaw, as if he's literally mulling that over.

[Kerala]: Life is too short... too fragile, to carry that burden.

Lupinum scratches his cheek. "Is that part of the reason you choose to be a mender?"

[Kerala]: Because I cannot hate? No.

[Lupinum]: Noo, because life is short and fragile. Though I would beg to differ a couple of those points.

Lupinum smiles wryly.

[Kerala]: You are not alive... *and it takes her a moment, but she fishes out his name from her memory* ...Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: Not in a conventional sense.

Lupinum doesn't address his name being said, but it doesn't escape his ears.

[Kerala]: No... I heal because I am good at it, and because I've killed... more than one person ever should in a life. I don't want to do that again.

[Lupinum]: And here I'm just not good at it...

Lupinum chuckles.

Kerala smiles a little.

[Lupinum]: I already have my title chosen for when I reach Harbinger. The Brace, because I hold everyone up.

Kerala does laugh now. You laugh at Lupinum.

Lupinum shrugs.

[Lupinum]: It is what it is. And I do it well.

Kerala looks at Lupinum. She thinks that maybe knowing his name is alright... if he can't die.

[Kerala]: I'm sorry it hurts you.

Lupinum almost laughs at the expression of kindness, but holds it.

[Lupinum]: Thank you... Did I ever tell you how I died?

[Kerala]: .....no. Did you want to?

Kerala guesses that's a stupid question, since he brought it up.

[Lupinum]: Drowned by my lover in a storm, after being freshly plagued. The fire is a thousand times better than feeling your lungs fill up with water.

You eye Lupinum up and down.

Lupinum blinks at you.

Kerala looks at Lupinum and nods silently. She might not recall suffocating to death, but she -does- remember some vivid and terrible fever-dreams.

Lupinum catches a whiff... hay... the heavy musk of sweat

[Kerala]: I guess it would.

Lupinum nods slowly.

[Lupinum]: It makes me feel normal. Aside from feeling that rot and maggots in my skin... That part is highly enjoyable, no matter what focus you're in.

Lupinum giggles at you.

[Kerala]: I noticed mites earlier. I can fix that, if you like.

Lupinum blinks.

[Lupinum]: How?

[Kerala]: The critters, I mean.

Lupinum blinks at you.

[Lupinum]: One less thing to worry about

[Kerala]: There are certain herbs to keep away any animals, just as there are to aid a person.

[Lupinum]: Am I going to smell? I rely a lot on my nose!

[Kerala]: Try mint. Use it as a soap, or maybe in a tea... there are other kinds of herbs. I'm not an alchemist. Since you aren't alive, I bet you could inject something. You wouldn't smell then, but it would only repel after you were bitten once. I'd recommend staying away from the areas where parasites are picked up in the first place.

Lupinum wrinkles his nose as well as he can... he doesn't know how he feels about being a walking mint leaf.

[Lupinum]: Alliance are covered in the things, everyone knows that.

Kerala rolls her eyes.

[Kerala]: You could always eat the maggots.

Kerala is completely serious.

Lupinum has more than once eaten maggots that wander into his mouth.

[Kerala]: Horde have more, anyway. Lice and mites prefer fur.

Lupinum waves his hands dismissively.

[Lupinum]: Fur shmur.

Kerala eyes Lupinum. "I prefer my fur, thank you. Hides my ugly skin. Sort of.

[Lupinum]: Ugly skin? It's just... skin.

Kerala holds out her arm and runs her other hand slowly over the chaotic pattern of fur. Very many scars become evident that the pattern helps to hide normally.

[Lupinum]: You didn't always mend. Did you fight in their faces?

[Kerala]: I fought any way I could.

[Lupinum]: I don't think I understand, but I won't pry.

Kerala smiles. "It wasn't by choice, and I unfortunately learned by experience. But with fur, I'm never naked.

Lupinum tilts his head.

[Lupinum]: I guess, in some way, sure.

You laugh at Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: But I'm sure... udders or... something

Lupinum sticks his tongue out in mock disgust.

[Kerala]: I'm not a cow!

Kerala waves her hand dismissively, well aware by now that her enjoyment for no clothing is not appropriate.

Lupinum blinks, not quite sure what her hand wave meant. Lupinum takes more gulps of his beer.

[Lupinum]: I haven't seen you eat today

Kerala cocks her head. "Do you think Khorvis knew I didn't eat meat when he assigned my trial? And did it to be mean? Or that's just how he is?"

Lupinum laughs. "I don't think he knew. He's tough, but not unreasonable. But it's too late now..."

[Kerala]: I have more time, now. I don't need to rush to prepare. Which is very good. I hate food.

[Lupinum]: How do you hate food?

Lupinum is holding back the cow jokes... He's worked too hard for jokes at this point.

[Kerala]: I just do. If I were undead, that would be one thing I would love- not having to eat.

[Lupinum]: But.. you have to? Or you're gunna die! And not come back.

[Kerala]: I now that better than most.

Lupinum peers at you searchingly.

[Lupinum]: How do you mean Cause I'm walking proof of it!

[Kerala]: Of starving to death? You told me you drowned.

[Lupinum]: That coming back is an exception! I did, but I had the Plague at that point.

Lupinum raps his knuckles against his chin.

[Lupinum]: Fish ate my jaws, had to make this new one to talk properly.

[Kerala]: Odd. Why the jaw and not your cheeks first?

Lupinum shrugs.

[Lupinum]: Do I look fishy to you?

Kerala shakes her head, but still frowns. She knows animals and they always go for the tenderest parts first.

[Kerala]: I wasn't always a vegetarnian, or whatever you call it.

Lupinum chuckles.

[Lupinum]: How long ago was this?

[Kerala]: Mmmm... three, maybe four years now?

Lupinum nods.

[Kerala]: Let's see I was seventeen... so yeah, four years.

[Lupinum]: What changed?

Kerala doesn't answer.

Lupinum has an idea and rummages in his pack.

You look at Lupinum.

Lupinum decides to make Kerala more comfortable. [he turns into a tree]

[Kerala]: What.... you are adorable.

Lupinum laughs.

[Lupinum]: It's just like Moonglade!

[Kerala]: You know what vegetarnians eat, right?

[Lupinum]: Isn't it nothing with faces? Or something? I don't know.

[Kerala]: Plants, we eat plants. You know.... like trees.

You eye Lupinum up and down. ".....Nevermind."

[Lupinum]: ...

[Kerala]: Oh I don't know anything about other people, just me. No meat.

Lupinum pauses.

[Kerala]: I'm joking. I won't eat you.

Kerala sucks at jokes.

Lupinum couldn't even run if he wanted to... he seems... rooted.

[Lupinum]: It's alright, I feel myself wilting as we speak.

[Kerala]: Are you stuck like that? I could find you a pot or something....

Lupinum pulls his tree-legs, but they stay planted.

[Lupinum]: I don't...

Lupinum tugs harder, the bark starts to crack and break.

[Kerala]: You can be Khorvis' desk plant.

Lupinum laughs.

Kerala grins at Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: I figure he'd like to have a mender in his pocket.

[Kerala]: I think it's funny how everyone thinks I will fail this trial.

[Lupinum]: I didn't think you'd pass, at first.

[Kerala]: Because I eat plants? Wait, you do now?

[Lupinum]: Because I thought you'd wimp out. Yes, I do. I actually have high hopes that you're going to stay once the trialsh are over.

Kerala shrugs. "Even if he makes me eat them raw, blood doesn't taste that bad. And I have no qualms about killing them. I made sure to get evil people." You look at Lupinum.

[Lupinum]: None of them are good. Given the chance, any one of them would attack.

[Kerala]: I don't see myself staying, dead man. Eating people and killing children is still evil. Even if you do it together... and call it family. I'm not doing that anymore.

[Lupinum]: We'll see after your trials. The sacrifice you chose will be... interesting.

[Kerala]: I.... get to choose?

[Lupinum]: Absolutely.

[Kerala]: What did you do?

[Lupinum]: I murdered my murderess.

[Kerala]: How is that a sacrifice? Surely you wanted to?

[Gazreeth walks in]

You look at Gazreeth.

[Lupinum]: One life given to the Mandate is a small price to have the calm mind of a priest.

Gazreeth feels looked at.

Lupinum nods at Gazreeth.

[Lupinum]: Evening, Reaper

[Gazreeth]: evening.

Kerala is no longer relaxed. Not combat-twitchy, but not relaxed.

Lupinum looks at Kerala and shrugs, sipping his beers

You look at Lupinum.

[Kerala]: And yet... here you sit, not meditating because your mind is 'unquiet', turning to alcohol instead.

[Lupinum]: Maybe I just like the beer.

Lupinum laughs and drinks.

[Kerala]: Mhmmm

[Gazreeth walks back out]

[Lupinum]: I think that's what it is.

Lupinum nods.

You shrug at Lupinum. Who knows?

Lupinum picks at his teeth with some bits of [broken Bones].

[Kerala]: I don't know what I should do for that trial. Let's see if I survive the first one, hmm?

[Lupinum]: You wiiill.

Lupinum burps.

[Kerala]: Yeah well... family and all that... Consider this my call then.

[Lupinum]: Call to what?

[Kerala]: To aid me.

Lupinum smiles at you.

[Lupinum]: I'll answer, Sister.

[Kerala]: That's what you said. I'm counting on it. Don't let me die.

Lupinum cackles maniacally at you.

Kerala isn't joking.

[Lupinum]: That old myth? That Shupplicant fallout'sh are hunted and murdered?

[Kerala]: No. When I pass.

Lupinum blinks at you.

[Lupinum]: Now I'm confused.

Kerala does laugh now, somewhat bitterly. "Lilliana gave me an impossible task to be mean, but I don't know that the high inquisitor's is any less so."

[Lupinum]: Lilly plays games. And I love her for it, but Khorvish is fair

Kerala feels like one too.

Lupinum 's head is wobbly.

Kerala drinks some [shadowmoon Sugar Pear Cider].

You blink at Lupinum.

Lupinum blinks at you.

You giggle at Lupinum.

[Kerala]: Why does the tasty one have to be sho strong?

[Lupinum]: Hey. I dunno. But.

Lupinum lets out a loud belch.

[Lupinum]: I think I about reached that point

[Kerala]: I will punch you. If you get sick on me.

[Lupinum]: Yeah yeah yeah

Lupinum waves his hands. Lupinum stands, very wobbly.

[Lupinum]: I uh... ...hic!

Lupinum burps again.

[Lupinum]: I'll be in the guild hall...

You nod at Lupinum.

Lupinum pulls out his hearth, drops it and digs his claws into it as he picks it up.

[Kerala]: Do you need help getting there?

[Lupinum]: Naaaah, I'm fine. G'night Kerala.

[Kerala]: Good night.

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Kerala was sitting on her stack of logs Wednesday night when Lupinum found her next.

"Do you go anywhere?" he hiccuped at her.

"You are here as well as I," she pointed out.

"Because this is where we gather for bloodshed!" came his happy reply, and she blinked at him as he went to purchase another drink. He was going to go fight in that condition?

It was soon evident that this was indeed the place for Grims to gather. A white-haired troll arrived, and the tauren inquisitor. When the high inquisitor stomped in, some kind of whip in his hand, Kerala stayed very still. Lilliana had not seemed to care that Kerala had purposely missed the last inquisition, but that troll was as serpentine as any desert sidewinder reptile. The tauren inquisitor asked him how his lash had been working out since parts had been provided.

"There still do be two parts missing. But it does work well enough for some..."

The Lasher looked over to Kerala, and the druid met his eye. She'd made the choice to avoid the inquisition meeting, and if he decided to punish her for it, she knew she deserved it. She did not know the rules of this game the Grim played, but she knew if she had attended that meeting, she would have failed the trial.

After a long moment, the orc twisted a dial upon the gaudy crankshaft of the Lash and set the weapon aside in his pack. He turned to the troll to talk about the battles planned for that day, and Kerala dared to breath again. With a name like 'the Lasher' she was fairly certain she knew how he would attempt to correct any mistakes or misbehavior. Honestly, she had never seen a weapon like his before. It had been a long time since she'd received a beating.

Lupinum handed a grease-stained bag of something to Syreena, and Kerala watched the forsaken pull out an ear and begin munching on it. Her eyes met the druid's as she did. The next thing Kerala knew, something was flying through the air at her. Her instincts took over before her mind could really figure out what it was. Too big to be a weapon, so instead of flinching around to take the blow to her thick neck, her hand shot out reflexively to alter the thing's course away from her face.

A pack, dark and coldly saturated with blood. The thing thudded to the floor as Kerala looked at the dark stain on her hand with digust. "What is that?" She glared at Khorvis, who had thrown it. Entirely too close beside her, the undead priest shared more than just the Shadowblade's seat. Kerala tried to block the sound of chewing from her ears.

"Do not shy away from simple tasks. They do be the foundation of our order." Khorvis said. Kerala was not sure if he meant attendance at the meeting, or the consumption of hearts. "That? It do be what is left of Supplicant Gallid's first trial."

The heart-eating, then. "The trial you've assigned me is not a simple task. I was not ready. All other supplicant's get a month."

"Aye, one moon." The orc looked at the pack of bloody flesh on the floor. "Do not let time rot your will."

This annoyed Kerala. Not once had she ever said that she would not obey, nor was she objecting to the task itself, terrible as it was. She'd collected the alliance, made certain they were healthy to consume. She would kill them quickly for just the small portion of their meat- she was doing everything she was supposed to, and yet he chose to believe that she was weak-willed because she insisted on one more week? She was altering her body, pushing the very limits of her poor abused gut, and he didn't even notice or care. Last time she had checked, the cycle of a moon covered four weeks, not two.

"You said I was to do it at inquisition, with you and the troll watching. I was not ready." she repeated. He ignored her purposefully. He didn't look angry, so Kerala swallowed hers. Three months. Three tasks. Nothing mattered now.

She shrugged then, and stood from her set to approach the dark pack he had thrown. She didn't bother opening it. There was nothing it could contain that would interest her, she knew. She picked it up and released it almost immediately, letting the quick movement of her arm aim the thing at the fire. The mass of it collapsed a structure of logs, sending up a flurry of red-hot embers and filling the room with a sizzling crackle. Khorvis turned then, and watched the pack begin to burn. The scent of charred cloth assalted her nose, and then a few moments later, cooking meat.

Kerala wiped her twice-bloodied hand on the lowest section of her tabard, and returned to her seat. She waited until they left, her tongue clenched firmly behind her teeth. When they were gone, she immediately dug out the knot of ginger root from a pocket, and ripped off a piece. Her jaw worked hard, even as she breathed through her lips and not her nose. Her stomach took a long time to settle its ominous flipping, and even when it did, she felt uneasy. She took deep breaths, trying to still the slight tremor of her nerves responding to adrenaline. She could have looked inward, could have dispersed the hormone faster, and maybe even quelled her stomach, but she didn't. It would become too easy to rely on those skills, and become dependent.

Syreena watched all this quietly. She'd finished her grisly snack, and had thankfully not reached for another piece. Kerala knew the first ear had been solely for her benefit, of course, but now another emotion was ruling the rogue. Kerala was a puzzle to her, again.

"I thought you wanted to get your Trialsh over with, so you could leave."

"I do."

"Sho why'd you chicken out last night?"

Kerala briefly debated not answering. The rogue did not really care, and why should she do anything to satisfy that curiosity? "I did not. Lilliana changed the task."

"It changed again?"

"Just the timing. I still have to eat them, but instead of going to a warlock or whatever to confirm the deed, she wanted me to eat them all at once. At the inquisition." The druid ground her teeth again, still angry at the meddling trolless.

"If I were you I think I'd get it over with before it changes yet again. They seem to like changing your tasks a lot."

"... I can't." Kerala finally said. She wished she could, for certain. She sighed.

"It's not that bad. Just suck it up and eat body parts for once. You'll live."

Kerala could not help but to glare at the rogue. There it was again- the assumption that they knew her, that they understood anything about her. They did that even as they ignored her and wanted nothing to do with her. How did that make any sense? Do you want to die? Lupinum had asked. They would never understand if she didn't communicate. Did she want that? Family, he'd said. She wasn't sure. She did not want to die, but there was the possibility she might. Did she care what they thought of her? "You don't understand." she said finally.

"What don't I understand?"

"It's not possible. Even now, I don't think it is, though I've a better chance than I did. I- " but then the other Grim returned from their skirmish, and her mouth shut with a snapping of teeth. The undead priest eyed them both.

Syreena pulled her face into a goofy expression, and made him laugh. Then they were all gone again. "Why is it impossible?

Kerala realized how ridiculous it would sound, but she said it anyway. "I didn't have enough room. Not for all seven at once."

The rogue looked at her strangely. "There is more than one cell under the barracks..."

The druid clarified. "I meant inside me."

Syreena blinked then, eying the boney frame beneath the chaotic fur and loose-fitting dress. "Oh, I guess that is a lot."

"I'm not sure why Lilliana changed it, or what new hurdle she thinks to have put in the way by doing so, but I'm glad of it."

The rogue was quiet for a minute, still looking somewhat oddly at the druid sitting atop the logs. When she opened her mouth, she spoke slowly. "Take a bite from each one, then repeat as long as you can. Rather than eating each one whole in turn." At Kerala's incredulous stare, the little forsaken just shrugged. "Then they can't say you didn't eat any of them, just that you didn't finish them."

Was she really trying to help? Maybe she wanted to see Kerala pass this trial, in order to see how she handle the others. She nodded, though she had already thought of that technique as well. "That is a good idea. I will do that."

"Why are you glad Lilly changed it?"

"For the extra time to enlarge my stomach. I'm not foolish enough to just hope that I won't have to finish them all."

The two of them sat in silence for a while. Kerala chewed the ginger piece. It's juice was mostly gone now, but she still found a sort of comfort in the rhythmic smashing of it between her teeth. It was almost like a piece of jerky, savored as long as possible to make the mouth water and fill the stomach with saliva so that it seemed as if you had more than you did. Now she had too much, and she found this extreme harder to deal with. She would be very glad when this trial was over.

The Grim came in and out as they needed to to rest and recover, before leaving abruptly to reinforce some position, or press an attack. Sometimes they returned with scowls on their faces, and others they had obviously had a success. While they were gone, a strange blood elf entered the tavern.

Syreena eyed the magister's ears, then licked her lips. The bag of whatever Lupinum had given her earlier went ignored as she wondered aloud "Is it snack time?" She grinned wiskedly at the confused elf.

"For the two of you? Of course" the elf said politely, with a small bow. He reminded Kerala of the monk Kex'ti, only without the brains or the smirk. "I'm a great cook."

"You have some," Kerala pointed out, gesturing to Lupinum's gift. "Don't."

Syreena ignored her, amused at the elf's answer. "That's not what I had in mind.... Do you know what my favorite snack is?" she asked him. Her tone dripped venom as clearly as any snake, while her face turned up in a sweet smile. Did all Grim have that skill? The elf nodded to Syreena, unaware of his peril, and Kerala briefly covered her face with a hand. Stupid elves. "Yes? You do?"

"What is it?" he asked the Shadowblade.

"Fresh elf ears." Now she was no longer playing at being sweet or polite, and the grin she gave the elf as he slowly backed up was predatory. Kerala tensed.

"I must get back to the battle over Ashran! Take care!" and the mage blinked backwards, turned, and sprinted away from the tavern and the forsaken Grim who wanted to eat him.

Syreena leaped off the table to follow him, and Kerala moved as well."Where are you going?" the rogue shouted, "Come back! I'm hungry!" She pouted. Then, she turned her glowing amber gaze to the druid holding her by the arm. "What? What are you all grabby grabby for?"

"I was going to stop you, if that idiot was too stupid to run." Kerala answered honestly.

"Why?" Kerala blinked at the rogue, her expression mirroring her confusion. Was Syreena really asking her that? "Why would you interfere with me? For an elf you don't even know?"

"Because it's wrong." Wrong to eat people, mostly, but also the Grim claimed to be Horde. If they bothered to make such a distinction to defend their crusade against alliance, how could the attack on blood elves- a race of the Horde- possibly be justified?

Syreena smirked then, and yanked her arm loose from Kerala's fingers. She returned to her seat atop the table. "Don't do it again," she said. Clear warning.

The druid eyed the undead rogue for a long moment "Or what?" She was reasonably sure she would find out exactly or what at some point, and she wanted to hear the woman say it.

But Syreena's face just spread slowly into a grin. "You really want to find out? You're still a Supplicant trying to pass your Trials. I can make that even more difficult. Among other things." She wasn't stupid enough to outright threaten another Grim with physical harm.

Kerala was not expecting that sort of answer at all. Subtlety and vague inconsistencies. But the warning was real enough, she supposed. This was an enemy, sitting here, no mistake. The druid turned to leave the tavern, and Syreena maintained her grin the entire time.

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