Kexti

A red, silk-bound journal.

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Kexti    42

The inside is black leather. Horde colors. Golden rivets bind the silk taught over the leather. Sin'dorei colors. A small series of raised loops hold two light brushes. The parchment is soft to the touch, and is infused with Kex'ti's medicinal, spearmint smell.

On the rear cover, a knife's been used to engrave a paragraph or so of text in Pandaren. Except for a single word, written in Orcish lettering, about a quarterway into the script, "Remiaan."

Entry 1

I like this. It's light, and it's sturdy. It lets me switch the parchment around as I need to organize my thoughts. Yuting gave it to me before I left Pandaria. I wonder if she's still up on that mountain, in Kun'lai. I should write her.

I guess I'm writing this because I feel useless. I was pretty badly injured the other day. There's so much I need to catch up on. But I'm too tired to write any more. I'll follow up later.

Entry 2

Ambushed before I had my medicine, caught in remembrance, then forced to choose between one set of principles and another. It's not really any wonder that I got as injured as I did. It won't be happening again.

I was ambushed by who I think was Syreena, a member of the Grim. I can't believe that she'd have so brazenly attacked me. If I were Alliance, perhaps, but maybe she's not someone who adheres to ideals so cleanly. She does hate elves, or so our conversations would seem.

I was thinking about Rem. I've done that a lot, and I think part of me still hopes that she's here, in this Draenor. But, Talador is no Terokkar. The Spires aren't Skettis. I'll go where the Horde needs me. That seems to be Ashran. Something about Ashran, and about my fight today. It's always about fighting, for me, at least.

Grimal reminds me of August. It's easy to just think of the Forsaken as this closed, insular culture. After all, most Blood Elves are from Silvermoon, and most Tauren are from Thunder Bluff. Yet, among the Forsaken, there's this huge line of heritage which gets confused by fragmented memories and time frames of...rebirth. Krown was, I think, the first person I ever thought of as a friend.

Sanctuary's given me a chance to make new friends. I think it's time to stop fixating on old tragedies.

Entry 3

It's been a strange few days. Sanctuary and the Grim battling it out in Aerie Peak, for one. I wasn't there, I don't know what happened. I've been busy in Talador. I think she's close. I'm excited, but I'm also scared.

Entry 4

I found her today. Remiaan. Or, this Draenor's Remiaan. It was a strange experience, to find someone you have all these memories and feelings about, but has never experienced them. I went to talk to her, and the voice I heard was the self-assured woman I met in Outland; the words were someone else's. Draenor's Remiaan has enough to worry about at Auchindoun, and she seems content to fight there against the Legion.

I feel proud of her, in a way. In a different lifetime, she never got the chance to serve with her Exarch, and to fight the shadows so directly. Hopefully this Remiaan will be spared the Skyguard and the Bone Wastes.

And yet, this is what my journey comes to. My armor is broken. My Sunwell is gone.

Entry 5

I visited Colbjorn today. After all these years, I've made myself new armor at the place my life stopped. Maybe this way is the way forward. Or maybe it's giving up.

Entry 6

Some sort of curse which drains mana is going around. There's a lot of rumors regarding who's responsible, and who isn't. I wouldn't put it past the Grim to have some misguided hand in this, and if so, they'll need to be brought to justice. I tried to examine Naheal's wounds, but his aura has always troubled me. Those wounds are something else, though, and are more akin to the plague afflicting the Forsaken than any real wound.

The implication of such a thing is terrifying. I wasn't able to help anyone the last time tragedy struck. I won't let that happen again. No matter the cost to myself, I will not let my allies fall prey to this Old God's touch.

Entry 7

I fought Konro and attempted to shame him rather than murder him. I had hoped that humility might let him become a stronger member of the Horde, and that refusing to give him a swift death nor the attention he craves would help redeem him. Time will tell.

Entry 8

Time has told otherwise. Konro has sold his soul to Accalia, and he defeated me and stole Breygrah away. I was unable to protect her. The Commander's behavior is proving to be worrisome. I empathize, understand, and respect her effort to repel the Grim from our garrison, but the lack of cohesion in our ranks angers me. She's doing her best, why can't anyone else see that?

Entry 9

I received a package today, from Syreena. It had to be her. She's begun attacking draenei as a means of getting at me. She used the name I told Lilliana in her letter. My list of friends dwindles. I'm...deeply saddened by this turn of events. I wish I could speak with the Commander. I can certainly relate to how she must feel.

Entry 10

We fought Vionora today. She's strong, but she can certainly be beaten.

Entry 11

Tesonii is back in my life again. It's so strange to see someone I'd thought so long gone back. I'm excited to see her again, and I'm hoping things will continue looking up. We needed more swords in this conflict with Accalia...and the Grim. I had it out with Lilliana earlier. I want to trust her, but maybe that's the wrong choice.

Entry 12

The Mak'gora was tonight...We almost lost Brey. I was so consumed by my desire to destroy Syreena that I almost broke my oaths. I settled for taking her ear, rather than her life. Brey seems to be doing better, at least somewhat.

Entry 13

*There appears to be a bunch of half-started words followed by a smiley face.*

Entry 14

I don't know if I'm going to make it through this. But I'm leaving behind healing techniques to deal with the worg bites. I feel sick, but at peace.

Aaren's magic seems to be keeping the memories of the Cataclysm at bay. I believe I can trust her. Can't I?

Entry 15

I have been recovered from...I don't know where. Malhavik's dungeons, but I'm too tired to write more.

Entry 16

My mind refuses to settled on anything more than fleeting images of pain and paranoia alike. In the dark of that basement, my will, my armor, my training all meant nothing.

But I could provide them no answers. I've never lost so much blood, or experienced pain in that fashion. My hatred simmers toward those unholy Grim pair. I knew that the Grim were somehow responsible for Accalia.

I will not let them, or their monster run amok any longer. Things with the Commander are good. Nobody could replace Remi...but I feel safe with her, like she's solid ground I can trust. I am beginning to feel quite strongly for her, but I cannot let these bonds distract me from my duties, though perhaps they will encourage me to fulfill them more deeply.

My hair has gone white. I should address this.

Entry 17

Sick again. I think her smile is part of it, but not the bad part.

Entry 18

I made the medicine. I hope it works. I hope it doesn't.

Tesonii seems to be talking more about Aaren lately. I'm not quite sure if I'm relieved that Tes is making new friends or if Aaren is somehow, obliquely trying to blackmail me.

Entry 19

New armor. It's strange to be wearing something crafted from a thinking creature's skin, but apparently it's been enhanced by our shaman and the strength I feel, the way I look, and the lingering earthen presence of the armor (as well as its source) make my swell with pride to be wearing it. I am ready, sword in hand, to fight the Great Beast with Sanctuary at my side. My strength is theirs, and we will overcome the monsters we fight.

Entry 20

We won. Accalia has fallen and Sanctuary still stands. But the dreams...they'll lurk as the other nightmares do. I am the sum of the failures I've overcome. I must not forget this. I must not despair. Not with the people I have keeping my lantern burning so brightly. Some, especially.

Entry 21

Aaren and Tesonii are together? What? I'm happy for them but I feel the cumulative headache of such a pairing on the horizon. Juli and I seem to be doing well, but I wish she'd learn how to take a break and let other people handle the minutiae for once.

I could certainly use one. I try to defeat my foes, and in many cases killing them is necessary to avoid further pain. I don't pull my blows, but there is more cruelty in letting some defeated enemies live.

But...not all of them need to die. Breaking a cycle of hatred is hard, but hopefully bruised honor and serious reflection is more a remedy than a pile of corpses.

I...had to kill her. It's the second time I watched her die, and I don't know how much more I can justify this fighting. How much more life is going to be wasted on these pointless struggles, when the Iron Horde looms near?

Entry 22

I have seen many things in Ashran, and in Draenor. But to talk with High Warlord Volrath himself, and to remember the blood price I've spent was a bitter honor to shoulder.

I am, for now, a Warlord of Draenor. I hopefully can live up to the spirit of this title. Rumors abound that Grom has fallen, leaving Gul'dan to head the Iron Horde. What a mess. Had an argument with Juli. I don't know what to say to her sometimes. I'm in pain, again.

Entry 23

The Poisoner's peril served me well against Accalia, and I'm surprised to even now be walking around rather than dead or hospitalized. I could say this was due to strength of conviction, but that would be...

My illness grows worse. Hellfire Citadel needs to be destroyed and the threat of Gul'dan brought to an end once and for all. I'm going to organize an assault team from anyone I can bring on board. I just need a name, something that calls to mind our goal as well as past Horde victories, something Sanctuary, the Grim, and all in-between can bear proudly.

I want Gul'dan to be stopped. I want it to be remembered that I fought bravely for Azeroth and the Horde's future.

Entry 24

Briefly: I found Vionora. She's calling herself Shinay, but seems to have lost her memory. I hope Adei, who didn't have exposure to her during the Eclipse, might be a mentor for teaching her responsible control of whatever magic yet suffuses her.

The innocence in her is palpable. I grew to hate her, as Vionora, not having received the same perspective or experience as others. I held her accountable for actions she had been manipulated into doing. I won't make that mistake again. As long as she acts under her own willpower, she is responsible. As we all are.

But, if anyone deserves a second chance, to build anew her life from a clean slate, it would be hypocritical of me not to defend that opportunity for her. Perhaps in time she'll find out of her history. But, if doing so would burden her only with continued pain and misery, with no productive end, I would be no worse than other monsters she's encountered. Juli trusted me with her. I won't let either of them down.

Entry 25

Morinth is an Alliance terrorist with her hands in many horrid plots. My attention has been fixed on the Tanaan Offensive.

And if it has been a successful obsession, it has brought to peril those closest to me by my inattention.

I will find the ones responsible for what happened to Tesonii, to Aaren, and to Julilee. They deserve to receive judgment for all they've victimized.

But more than that, they made it personal. There will not be one single inch of those responsible that does not regret the harm they have inflicted. I swear it.

Entry 26

How can someone so smart be so oblivious? We must act, and yet all we do is pretend.

Entry 27

(Torn loose)

Entry 28 (Filled In):

The assault on Grim Batol was today, even as we organize the plans to strike at Gul'dan's heart. I do not trust Naheal's intentions, though his sword and siege weapons are essential to the attack on Hellfire. I worry about fighting Tolero, or Morinth's other lieutenants. I won't die. But I worry that part of me that I've worked so hard to build up may.

Entry 29 (Filled In):

I love her. I'm amazed and enthralled at her strength, though I'm not used to seeing Julilee show that side of her. I didn't think she had one, and frankly...I don't think I'd still be with her if not for that outburst. That's horrible to say, but it's a lot more salient to see someone act, and show, rather than merely say. With the time I have left, I am going to make certain I carve out a bright future for our righteous path.

I never wanted her to be some naive girl I had to rescue. Simply someone I could exchange strength with. I hope she knows that.

She makes me feel like I did with Rem. I never expected to feel that way about someone again.

I will deal with the gangrene in our midst as I always do: by trying to cure it, rather than amputate. Idealistic, but...

Entry 30

What I have done can never be undone. Onward to Hellfire.

Entry 31 (Crossed Out)

Entry 32

The expedition into Hellfire was a great success. Most of the sacrifices and slaves were freed, and we got a substantial portion of Iron Horde to defect. Even with the Alliance aggression, I've still had the opportunity to work alongside, rather than in opposition, to many more than have struck at me.

It's the latter that these defectors will hopefully stand against.

A fel magnaron lurks in the walls of Hellfire...

Entry 33

I have never been quite so disappointed with someone. Tesonii has left Sanctuary to join the Grim. I wonder if this is my fault. Julilee assures me it isn't. I can only hope that Tesonii's better nature can guide the Grim away from war crimes, even if their aggression remains high towards the Alliance.

She said I was the only thing keeping her here. I don't believe that, though I don't always claim to understand her. I can't help but feel this is my fault, to show that I'm not necessary. She'll be fine. It's the people she attacks I worry about.

Entry 35

We keep making better and better progress into Hellfire, even as my own condition worsens. I hope we get to Gul'dan before it's too late. For everyone.

Entry 36

I finally collapsed today. Julilee rushed me to the peaks. I'm alive because of her.

Entry 37

She gave me a gift, today. It could not have been easy for her, yet I always admire her ability to make these type of choices. I have heard stirrings of very negative things regarding Cerryan and the Grim. When I am feeling stronger, I am going to try and end this as simply as it began.

I will not forget the days you've given me, my starlight.

Entry 38

How are people continually so stupid as to put this conflict between us while our world is threatened? For a group which preaches about the necessary evils of survival, they are certainly very arbitrary in how they apply that philosophy. There are people in the Grim who I believe in. Perhaps they would make stronger, less childish leaders.

The business with Cerryan's ear seems to have prompted a lot of anxiety on either side. I hate to see it too, but perhaps it is not entirely foolish to hope some of his good spills into Syreena. I do not expect her to have a change of heart, but, I feel as though she never got a chance to be good, and to choose a different path.

My healing is coming along well. I am making excursions into Tanaan, and trying to recover any prisoners that the Fel Horde had taken captive. But the situation grows dire. I fear what will happen if we cannot defeat Gul'dan soon.

Entry 39

I should have known better. But I will not compromise Siane's opportunities out of some vague hope for the Grim. Tesonii, why did you leave when you did?

Entry 40

It would seem this war is inevitable. But, maybe that is why it is so important to fight against it. Destiny made me come to Draenor. And I found that destiny is a lie. The only life we have is the one we choose, and the one we make by our own acts.

I will not die. Not while there is evil left to fight. Not while I have Sanctuary. Not while I have Juli and Breygrah and Tes and Aaren and Siane to live for. No matter what stands against us.

Entry 41

Whatever you have seen, my starlight, I will not let it defeat you. What do I have if I lost you too?

Entry 42

The cooking contest, even after the strife, was still attended by the Grim. For the purposes of a monstrous prank, but they came along without the intention of butchering people. Given that was what they'd already accomplished...

In any case, Kiraleen was there. I have not seen her in some time, and I'm disappointed the Grim caused her to leave on such a sour note. But otherwise, we had quite a few attendees, some merely passing through the inn, others coming in unannounced. It was wonderful to have so much food!

I cooked a red theme. Simple blackbelly sushi, though I did catch the fish in prime season. They're normally quite dry, but in spawning season, their flesh becomes bright blood red and juicy. I made some farmer's delight out of strawberries, some aged vinaigrette, and rice. I had a lot of rice, it seems.

I cooked Tanaan peppers into cocoa butter I got from Moriah, way back. The powdered stuff never goes bad, and I figured some red cupcakes that were a bit spicy would be a nice mix.

The meat dish I prepared was OPA-basted crocolisk. Crocolisk meat is often really chewy when it's cooked, and eating it raw isn't safe. But letting it marinate in beer, then pan-frying it? Well, that turned out really well, I think.

Xaraphyne is also an incredible cook. I would be a very large man if she were in Sanctuary! Well, larger, anyway, ha. She made a burning clam chowder that was really hearty, but the lobster stew was the best I've ever had. She also baked cupcakes, but honestly, after Kiraleen's pie and cookies, I was more than tired of sugar.

I allegedly won the contest, but I think we are all fortunate to have friends, or at least rivals, we can gather around and eat with. I'm angry that Syreena and Orphyn tried to feed us Alliance people. But, hopefully, their intentions were good. They do...after all eat that. I do not know how much further Syreena can push me, but I fear Cerryan has already crossed that border. I must speak with him soon.

Entry 43

Syreena has issued a dueling contest to the Grim and all Horde, with the intent of singling me out. I hope she doesn't think having her guildmates cheer her on is the advantage she needs. She should know me better by now, that there are few things more satisfying to me than humbling an overconfident opponent.

She must have gotten Coldstar to distribute fliers around Warspear and Bilgewater. The fight's taking place in Zorammarsh, which should certainly add an interesting element.

I'm one of Sanctuary's more capable fighters. I hope to test my mettle against some of the Grim's truly deadly fighters...And hope this is not some ill-conceived trap.

Entry 44

I went to the market, on my way back from Tanaan. I found several bottles of Hearthglen Ambrosia, mint vintage. Even for sin'dorei, it's a rare drink to get Horde-side, so I bought a full case. I sent a bottle in the mail to Julilee as a surprise. The first time we kissed, we had been drinking. Not quite the same thing, but...I hope it helps her remember some warmth.

I promised her I would not die. Not yet. I will find a way to keep that promise. I must. Perhaps, then, it is in good faith that I have changed a few things. I wonder how she'll react?

Entry 45

She said "I love you," in an outburst of emotion, and reaffirmed it later. I know, that maybe, I had expected it sooner. But I have always known, really. The effort she went to in the Nightmare, how she has always made efforts to protect me, especially now. I think saying those words on her own is the most precious of gifts. Perhaps, for the first time in a long while, my Sunwell has lit once more.

Entry 46

And she manages to surprise me further. I am hesitant, but eager at the same time. Her demeanor has calmed significantly, and I cannot help but wonder if this change will be affected permanently. I like this side of her. I love it, like all the rest. But it is still something which will require adaptation. But I have come this far, learning as I have gone, have I not? Why would I be any different now, especially when it means so much to me. So much to her, as well.

I look forward to seeing what other wondrous turns this path may take.

Entry 47

Hellfire Citadel has fallen, more or less. Archimonde himself had materialized, and Gul'dan escaped. While I was not there in person, it is nonetheless a relief that our world is safe. I just...with everything that's happened, cannot help thinking about Remiaan, and how things may have been. I have more than I would ever have wanted now. More than she could have provided me. But...I have never had much room for nostalgia, and what little I had was her province entirely.

I reconciled the Remiaan of Draenor's death over time, but it's still haunting. I don't know if it'll ever go away. But, she lived as she chose in both of her lives. In the one I knew, she lost so much, and still managed to be one of the happiest, most centered people I've met. Even if her eyes had a caul of sadness, even in some of my fondest memories of her. In this world, she strove to use the souls of her people to fight off the Legion, and her husband had remained.

I do not believe in fate. I simply think accepting what happens is a wiser burden to carry than abandoning oneself to destiny.

I still killed her. But the second time, I can accept responsibility rather than happenstance. And I am okay with that. I will always wonder why she and I grew close, and why we became what we were. The dead are silent on these questions. But really, it does not matter. Her tragedies are hers, and, in some way, mine. Julilee feels responsible for the severity of my illness, and went to colossal lengths to overcome it, or at least account for the damage.

It is simplistic to simply deny any responsibility, and to say it was entirely my choosing, or it was entirely in service of the ideals she and I share. The truth is more complex, and flows easily between these rocky extremes. I chose to take the risks I did, but I chose to do some of them for her. And that is okay. What matters, in the end, is appreciating the experiences and times I have spent with the people I care for. I love Julilee. And, really, I will never stop loving Remiaan. It is not a feeling that is easily shaken, and must be guarded carefully.

I hope that Tesonii feels the same way, and that...despite her choices of late, remains my friend.

Entry 48

Syreena lost that little puppy she carries about. Perhaps reflection will allow her to understand the pain she inflicts when she performs her murders. There is good within her, somewhere. She has simply never had the opportunity to experience and be embraced by it.

I have prepared a gift for her. It will be a far kinder one than those she has so generously given to me.

Entry 49

The tournament was today, and it felt to be in the depths of Tanaan without the looming threat of the Burning Legion over our heads. Or at least, not the overt, immediate threat.

The Commander's fighting was...placid. My own efforts were to the standard I usually expected, and managed to put Malhavik in his place. While I have little doubt that the Grim harbors more skilled opponents than he and Syreena, I am confident that I could handle them in a confrontation.

Despite my writing on that topic, I truly believe that these little battles, done deliberately, and not from worn nerves and deep hatred, strengthen the Horde. It allows us practice against unusual foes, helps us understand our "allies" assets better, and, perhaps most importantly, allows built up anger to release itself.

I certainly know physical activity helps take the edge off...I am still concerned for Julilee. I am not sure whether it is her burdens of late, or the horrors of the vision she saw, or some combination, but I want to enjoy the period of calm. But I also do not want to lose the woman I love...Especially now.

Entry 50

I haven't felt this good in a long time.

Entry 51

It has been some weeks since the Commander's gift, and while I am enjoying the present, and look forward to the future, I have my concerns as to her own well-being...I need to find another solution. I wonder what I can find in Borrowed Time's archives...After all, why not borrow their resources while we loiter?

Entry 52

I found some surprisingly interesting information, which I corroborated with Tesonii and Aaren's studies. Tol Barad, then, to seek this "Harrowed Haruspex."

Entry 53

Too tired, but I obtained what I sought. The cost...

Entry 54

The Haruspex works! But the grisly nature of it and how it interacts with my ring are problematic at best. It would make of me a leech. But, one way to look at it is that it would free Julilee up from this obligation she has made for herself. And that by not killing them, taking a bit of life from them to heal is not such a bad thing. I am taking a year or two at most, not the rest of their eternity.

Ghoulish. I hope there is another way. I should talk to her, before I commit to this.

Entry 55

I knew she would say no. And that she would propose finding another means to become whole. I will not give up, and let death take me yet. I have too much left to fight for, and to do. I will sequester the Haruspex away so that it is not used for evil.

Entry 56

It has been some time since I wrote in the diary. I have purchased property in Dalaran, in hope that we can move Sanctuary out of Borrowed Time's garrison, and Frostfire entirely. If not, it shall prove a valuable investment, and I could recommission it as a place of healing. I wonder how Father would feel, knowing his son owns property in the City of Mages? The building is perfect, and the suite at the top is quite beautiful. There is a great deal of renovation that needs to be done, but it should not be of too great a difficulty.

There is a new sickness, similar to Accalia's Touch, which has gripped Dalaran. I am doing my best to treat it, but fear that I may contract the disease as well.

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Kexti    42

Entry 57

This illness is spreading. It appears to be a legitimate illness, since it does respond to magical healing, at least for a time. Strangely, it affects young mages more than elderly ones, and I expect that it has something to with a mage’s cellular makeup.

I will do what I can to spread information on treatment methods, as I have in the past. It is disconcerting to have another plague so swiftly after Accalia. One would think that magical theory would have gotten out ahead of this sort of thing.

Entry 58

At last, the Silver Sickness seems to be in recession. There was a cult involved, as well as several organizers in Dalaran’s ranks. Why would someone do such a thing? The Empire’s medical corps have told me it had something to do with preventing reckless use of magic, but that does not feel right to me.

In any event, Julilee approved the new barracks. I cannot believe it has been almost a year since I joined Sanctuary. Hopefully, looking forward will yield just as bright of experiences, no matter what dark accompanies them.

Entry 59

Artifacts and relics have been on my mind lately. The Haruspex has the potential to be used for rather heinous things compared to its positive uses, and I cannot help but wonder at other such minor magical items that are scattered across Azeroth, and what danger they might present. After all, it seems that the most destructive of items come in small forms. Perhaps it is Sanctuary’s duty to use our collaboration with the Alliance and Horde alike to prevent these things from falling into the wrong hands.

I shudder to think what would happen if the Grim or Borrowed Time got their hands on an item like the Divine Bell. Perhaps Faelenor, or Kerala; someone with a lot of historical knowledge, might point us in the right direction. Sanctuary is more than just a nominal place of peace, it is a means to preserve such.

Entry 60

Oh Tes. Why did you get yourself caught up in all of this? Next time, we will not be able to help you escape the Grim’s machinations, and next time Syreena might not be there to save you. I always knew there was a spark of goodness in Syreena, and this proves it.

Nobody else came to rescue Tes. She wanted to fight her way out, but she went along willingly so that Tes could go free. And Syreena does not like elves at all, or so she says! I will not forget this act of heroism. We will get Syreena free in no time at all. Eternal Aegis said they would keep her safe, and would return her when Skylah was returned to the Alliance. They are not like the Jade Lion and their assaults on Horde bases, though I doubt they are like Twilight Empire.

My blood boils at the thought of what the Grim did to the ambassador. If there were only a way to separate the good from the bad in the Grim, they might find a more radical, if less horrible, means of seeking peace.

Entry 61

I have heard the myth recounted more times than not, and had spent hours pouring over texts, recovering lore, anything. In the process, I have put a few unusual items in the vault at the Dalaran site. They will be safe there. But, I found what I sought. A cure.

Julilee came with me, regardless of the peril. It was not an easy trip, and I know tempers got the best of both of us at times. But I cannot imagine having done that without her at my side, or, indeed, having found a purpose in her absence. Perhaps I would still be a shiftless mercenary, following who offered the most gold. Who am I to soothsay, though.

The trip was…a mix of desolation and life’s infinite perseverance and defiance. The Pools of Awakening lie at the end of a long, winding path through the mists and banyan of Krasarang. It was humid, cold, and what light there was was dim and distant.

I have always respected her. But it goes beyond that now. She has done so much for me. And not out of any sense of indebtedness. I want her to be happy too. We enter the Pools…and I could have taken more. I know she would have given it. But I stopped. I can deal with my illness, and my aches. I could not deal with her absence.

Entry 62

We were deceived. Syreena was never safe. Worse, it was never about Skylah to Eternal Aegis. It was all about doing as much damage to the Horde as possible and looking good while doing so. I feel disgusted. They tortured their prisoner, and refused to release her once terms were met.

Syreena, for her horrible faults, saved Tes from that same fate. The mannerisms Eternal Aegis displayed made my blood boil. Regardless of what happened to Skylah, the Horde needs to stand together against these monsters. I do not forgive what the Grim did. I will not forget.

But we will be getting Syreena back. We offered so many avenues of peaceful conflict resolution. I even put my own life on the line. And that mage, Marrus, just laughed. They lied to our faces, and tortured Syreena after what was ostensibly a good act. Gods, if it had been Tesonii…

The Horde stands together. And we protect our own. This injustice will be corrected. By my own hand, it seems.

Entry 63

And now I wait for the axe to fall. Was this a mistake?

Entry 64

Winter Veil might be my favorite time of the year. The warmth, the joy, and the food. Oh, the food. That is what brought me to Orgrimmar, and had me sitting outside the auction house, brewing up egg nog and cooking ham and pastries. Lupinum raised an interesting point, in that they are shaped like little people. I will certainly be making them in a different shape moving forward.

Kerala, and Breygrah were both there. It has been some time since I have seen either, and it was going well, until a third tauren appeared. Konro is back, having apparently survived the Mak’gora. How? How would I have missed that? Could his will to live truly be that strong? Perhaps, given his bull-headedness. Was I really that distracted by Syreena? Or Brey? Or Tes?

I will have to catch up with Brey and Kerala soon.

There he was, in all of his idiotic glory. New arm, though. What tinker would have helped him? Someone from the 37th. His behavior has not changed at all. Perhaps I will need to humble him again. Without an ancient to turn to for strength, perhaps the lesson will be impressed this time. I worry for Brey, and Freah. But perhaps it is for the best. Perhaps the burden of fatherhood will wipe away some of his immaturity.

I went to Lake Wintergrasp for the annual Winter Veil war games. I could go into more detail, but suffice to say that Horde was victorious, and I brought home a small pine for our quarters. I slipped her presents, a ring and a mantelpiece under it. But, I have been speaking with some of my Pandaren friends, who have been helping me locate another gift. I hope she likes it, when it is ready.

We went to Warspear tavern, and Konro and Lilliana alike attempted to provoke fights. The foolishness is irritating. Julilee is in the right. But Lilliana seemed insistent on provoking a reaction. The more I interact with the Grim of late, the more guilt I feel, and the more inclined I am to believe I made an error in judgment. A severe one.

I knew that when I went to the jailbreak, that it was going to be an impulsive and dangerous choice. But the ramifications have been far worse than I anticipated. How could I be so stupid? Whatever debt I owe Syreena is paid in full.

Entry 65

We had another argument, tonight. For some reason I cannot decipher, the Mackinzies accused Sanctuary of involvement in the jailbreak. I urged Julilee to not respond, or to bend the truth. But to her credit, she stood by principle instead. I feel ashamed, both for attempting to coerce her, and that I may have tarnished Sanctuary’s reputation for wholly selfish reasons.

Here is what happened.

I heard from Tinox that Twilight Empire was moving Syreena (who I came to learn had also been tortured by the Mackinzies, and I would be a hypocrite to say that I have not been in a similar position to enact revenge) and set out to request the aid of the Grim.

Instead, I got nothing but near silence. I wonder if that is not the problem with sifting the chaff out of that organization. Are they truly a guild, or a cult? I cannot bring myself to hate them, but their means and methods…My opinions on the matter are well documented. I do not need to justify myself again. There are good people in the Grim, there are bad people in the Alliance. Actions make you, not your colors.

They would have abandoned Syreena. Disgusting. Zanas, Gnarrdog, and Lilliana accompanied me to Stormwind. We stole in under cover of night through Stranglethorn. On the zeppelin to Grom’gol, I offered the use of several poisons, and asked only that the guards be subdued, not killed. The poisons cause momentary pain, then unconsciousness, and are a far more humane means of dealing with the inevitable resistance we encountered. And to my surprise, the Grim agreed, perhaps for nothing more than to stop an immediate reprisal.

And so we did. I removed my tabard, wrapped my face, and wore some obscuring armor. I took two of my old longswords with me, and refrained from any external mistweaving arts. I know how to put on a performance, when I have to, and I had imagined my disguise was fairly capable.

Perhaps my mount gave it away. I noticed a woman watch us fly off. Shou-Kara, however, is but one of many cloud serpents. And in armor, perhaps I look slightly more Pandaren than elf. That was the intent, anyway. Twilight Empire gave us information, and a previous letter had said that Sanctuary would stand with the Grim to get Syreena back, though at the time that meant that we would strike against Eternal Aegis, rather than break Syreena out of the executioner’s block.

But we recovered her. Her memories were ripped to shreds. How can anyone who professes to be good do that to someone else? Eternal Aegis doesn’t care. I doubt they even care about the Alliance or Horde at all. I think they are simply the Alliance’s answer to the Grim. Disgusting.

What happened to Skylah does not justify erasing someone’s identity, or partitioning their soul. Trauma and physical harm can be overcome. I know that better than anyone. But what Syreena will have to go through to get her memory back makes my blood boil. I suppose I should feel some satisfaction for the fact that Lilliana has to subject Syreena to the same mental intrusion Julilee did, but even I lack the spite to necessitate that.

Syreena had good in her. She saved Tesonii. She was learning, slowly, about the virtues of temperance. She would not join Sanctuary any time soon, or ever, but her murderous streak was perhaps quelled. If the Aegis had thought that erasing her would remove her teeth, they will find they are surely mistaken. Once Syreena gets it in her mind to slake a vengeance, I pity those who are subject. I have not forgotten what she did, when she learned of Remiaan.

She owes me nothing, and I owe her nothing. I will stop her if she harms innocents, Alliance or otherwise. But, I hope she remembers it is Eternal Aegis, not innocent men and women and children that brought her so much pain. That it was a Sanctuary member who rescued her, and who fought to save her life, heedless of the consequences.

The consequences, despite my disguise, are far worse than I could have anticipated. I was honest with Julilee. And she berated me. And, continuing in honesty, I deserved it. While we argued, I had imagined that I would repeat that event a thousand times over if it meant paying Tesonii’s freedom forward. But, the sinking guilt, and misery that has consumed me, to say nothing of the threat of dissolution of ties with Sanctuary and Twilight Empire, cause me to think otherwise.

It was a mistake. I hope time will show that it was, in some way, worth making. That the Mackinzies can get their justice. That Sanctuary, and Twilight Empire can. But they tortured Syreena too. How many wrongs do we need to make as a collective before we can stop this nightmare?

I thought that writing it down would help. I should meditate on this. I am so sorry. To all of you. None of you deserve to suffer like I have made you suffer.

Entry 66

We went to the Veil of Eternal Blossoms, today. I used the information and Skyshards my friends had given me to find a small group of Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpents. It was no surprise at all that one of them took to Julilee quickly. Now, she will have a mount that will not die in the first charge. She named him Shou-Yana, “Eternal Sunlight.” A worthy mount for a worthy warrior.

Entry 67

Baern accompanied me to meet with a man, Vil’Ithus. A night elf, and member of Twilight Empire, we discussed a great many options for collaboration on a medical compendium he is gathering. This book will be a great boon to many, and I am enormously pleased that I was called upon to help in its creation. There are several books only available in Silvermoon that he requested. I have been studying them for relevant passages and transcribing them, along with updated copies of my own formula books. Given that the formula book is mostly a place I story my recipes, the few medicines and potions I know to brew were included more for my own clarity than any expectation of usage.

We discussed Twilight Empire and Sanctuary’s détente. He understand, like many in Twilight Empire, I imagine, that Sanctuary’s involvement with the jailbreak was not done out of any hostility towards them.

He did mention that Eternal Aegis, but not the Grim, would be at the book’s first release. This news does not please me, but it is important to make up for lost ground. I do not trust them. But I do not need to attack them on sight, either. I made a mistake. Should they not be allowed a second chance, as well? In any event, I am excited to be working with Twilight Empire on such a positive tool. He did also mention concern about weaponization. But, really, if this book saves hundreds of lives only for one particularly vile person to build a poison, I believe that the good far outweighs the negative. And besides, someone willing to turn a book on healing into recipes for toxins is far beyond the ken of the average alchemist who uses this tome.

Baern and I had a long discussion, and caught up on his whereabouts. I certainly understand what it is like to be singled out because of some characteristic, but in my events it is usually a choice, rather than something like the coat of fur he has. He will make a fine member of Sanctuary. I am enormously happy to have him back among our ranks. I caught him up on things. He seemed a bit bewildered, but I was also deep in my cups at that point in the evening.

Though in the future, I hope he does not forget that the burdens the tabard requires carry with them enormous benefits.

I think my favorite part was how offguard he was when I told him I was getting married, though. For once, I got to be the one delivering the surprise.

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Kexti    42

Entry 68

I talked to Syreena, Lilliana, and Shaelie today, in hopes of influencing Syreena to vent her anger on those who deserve it, rather than innocent targets, but I must have offended them with my honesty.

Entry 69

Winter Veil is a strange time of year. It is filled with the least activity, and yet it is also a time of great battle. Grumpus, a yeti of some sort, seems to bring out the worst in people. A rogue attempted to kill me, and then, despite being knocked unconscious quite easily, returned with others. I have to say, given recent events, it was nice to get out some aggression.

Julilee wants him to come to the wedding, but doesn't want Tesonii. I want her to be happy.

Entry 70

How many more people do I have to lose?

Entry 71

My favorite memory of Tesonii was after she had begun training as a spellbreaker. She'd gotten her head shaved, and looked even more freakish than she did. She was never a pretty woman, growing up, some combination of apathy and dirt and grease coating her like others her age wore makeup and Hightower fashion. Despite how different she looked, and the armor she wore, and the happiness she had seem to find in the honor of being such an elite member of the guard, she was still herself, underneath.

We talked about the same things we always did. I teased her the way I always did.

Tesonii was a person I don't think was ever capable of effecting change in her life. But she wasn't someone who needed to grow and change. For her flaws, there was always a core of honesty and kindness and overt joy at just being alive. That was Tesonii. The way she smiled, in chainmail, bald, kicking her feet back and forth on my balcony. The posture and smile eternal and enduring.

I called Remiaan my Sunwell. I don't, in retrospect know if that's true. I loved Remiaan in a way I never quite felt for Tes, or maybe I did and just never let that emotion go the same way it did for her. Tesonii, resplendent and perpetual. She was a constant I used. Even in her absence, she is the person I remembered, at my weakest. I fought for Remiaan. I would have died for her. But I kept living because of Tesonii. My siblings and mother were the only others in my life who cared for me. But Tesonii was my friend. Not many people have orbited that space in my life, between partner and acquaintance.

I can't write down the rest. Of why I'm writing this. Of how it is to truly lose her for the first time, rather than some vague end at the hand of the Scourge.

Goodbye, Tes. I guess what I said was wrong. You're the one who has to wait for me.

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Kexti    42

Entry 72

We ended up having a small ceremony instead of a big ordeal. While it would have been nice to be surrounded by friends, with Tes gone (or as good as gone) I think it is for the best, and avoids having any unusual drama.

Tesonii lied about her vanishing. I am happy to have her back. I do love her, and she is family. But I am thoroughly angered by her callous disregard for others. Perhaps she is more Grim than I anticipated...Time heals all wounds. But for now, I just need to keep my distance.

Entry 73

Relics. Too often those who ward them fall into the trap of believing themselves adequate wielders of such power. Too often they fall short of the standards necessary to use such tools. For this reason, I have begun initiatives to have Sanctuary create, well, a sanctuary for artifacts and items of might and magic. The first I obtained was with the aid of Saelyx and a green dragon, though her name escapes me.

This one is called the Censer of Dreams, and when swung over a sleeper, causes the smoke to congeal into figments from their sleeping mind. I had to delve into a shrine of the green dragonflight to retrieve it, but it is not the first item to go into the vault. I will catalog the others, but for now, myself and Baern are following up on numerous leads. It is good to have him back, though I see that his Grimtotem background does him no favors in the eyes of most.

Sanctuary is about redemption, and Baern should not be held responsible for the actions of others, when he has long made amends, and continues to make amends, for his own acts. I have gathered a list of potentially dangerous tools to sequester and secure from less cogent hands, which I have posted in the guildhall in Dalaran. Additionally, I have discerned the locations of several of those items, which we shall surely seek soon.

-The Ripping Knives: These were once Gilnean. A minor Forsaken dignitary has them hanging in his manor. I hope we can persuade him to part with them, before they cause a mess.

-The Black Hand of Amn: Something fel, something necrotic. It is in the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds on Draenor.

-Red Tea: A staff, found in the Pools of Awakening. It has numerous abilities regarding the mists and blood healing. I just do not want to delve into that place again. Not so soon.

-Cosmides' Theorem: A tome containing numerous polymorphic spells. Cosmides, near as I can tell, was a mage of the Kirin Tor who delved into blasphemous acts of hybridization through use of polymorph magic. I shudder to think what could happen if this fell into the wrong hands. This will be somewhere in the Howling Fjord, likely in an Alliance settlement. It will be good to work with Twilight Empire to obtain this.

-Beekeeper's Mask: Not something particularly dangerous, but this mask protects the wearer from poison and insects. Handy. Somewhere in Westfall.

-Lord Vessel: A hammer of light. I've sent Cerryan to go find it.

-Steamcoil of Antimone: In Outland, in Zangarmarsh. A tool made of magically hardened vapor, the steamcoil can be used to rapidly superheat anything it is wrapped around.

-Sin: This is more of a rumor than anything. But some sort of weapon made of shadow and holy magic, a longsword if correct, this is somewhere near one of the Icecrown gates.

Baern also noted some Grimtotem items of legend, if not great magic. Perhaps he will recover those too?

Entry 74

I met with the Mackinzies. I have tried to live my life since joining Sanctuary as one without regrets, or at least without causing needless harm. It is clear that freeing Syreena, while I did it for good reasons, seems to have caused the exact effect I was trying to avoid. In freeing Syreena, I felt that I was paying a debt to her for preventing Tesonii's suffering, in addition to calming my own anger at Eternal Aegis.

In being completely honest, that was no small part of it. I did it for selfish, ill-thought reasoning. It took so long to convince the Grim to do something, that by then she had already been relocated to the stocks. There is, or was, some spark of good in Syreena. If I cannot help her live up to it, what a hypocrite I am. But now...I fear that, no, I know that, it was an error.

I will never feel guilty that Tesonii was spared that torture. Pain, misery, and hatred are not zero sum. But, to see it fester inside of the Mackinzies is disturbing, and hurts me. If they wish to scorn me, so be it. But freeing Syreena, or watching her die, does not heal or cause yet more wounds on one's soul. It is your actions that can be used to heal it. Perhaps the Grim will see some of the irony in creating someone who hates them more than anything. Perhaps Sanctuary will see a family who was a force for good fall from grace.

It is easy to lose sight of things when they strike so close to home. I only hope that the Mackinzies, and Skylah in particular, choose to be stronger than the agony they have endured. If they cannot...All I can do is give them my pity and remorse. Pity for what they've become, and remorse for any hand I may have played in it. I am not responsible for what the Grim did, and I will not tolerate being treated as though I or Sanctuary were.

Baern caught that sentiment, and it was mirrored by Breygrah. Humans and their belief that everything revolves around them, that their short lives can afford to be wasted on petty grudges and minor indignities. The continued to argue with hushed voices just outside the tavern, as though we were out of earshot. Fools.

There are good ones, like Rylie, who keep an open mind, and seek nothing less from the world than to understand their place, and to strive to be the best they can be. But the arrogance and impotent rage wore away at my resolve, and I fear my words may have been less than kind, my patience and humility exhausted. I am, truly, truly, sorry for what the Grim did. And what Syreena might do. What she probably will do. Julilee did me a kindness by forcing me to face that reality. But my pity will not help them.

All that matters now is that Sanctuary and Twilight Empire have no bad blood between them. If there are more interpersonal conflicts, I am no stranger to those.

Speaking of Rylie, her training is coming along quite rapidly. And she has even proven to be a deft assistant in the kitchen, though I fear that my cooking is still a bit developed for her palette. I often forget what I was like at her age. Or, well, the years I was, given elven lifespans. Maybe owing to her youth, and lack of other burdens, or perhaps some nascent desire to defend herself should the situation need arise, she has picked up on the fundamentals far faster than I ever did in the last few weeks.

I am proud to teach her my arts. At least, the ones I have learned in pursuit of a happier life for myself. I hope never to need to fall back on the others, or teach them to her, whether by choice or by observation.

Entry 75

Julilee sent me to Twilight Empire's tournament, and was unfortunately unable to attend. Before I address that, I forgot to mention the blood samples I sent to Katelle. True, I did have to have Rylie sneak into the medical bay to acquire them from Sinlanna's record chest. But, they will not be missed by Borrowed Time, and I am certain that Katelle, and the Empire as a whole, need it for a good reason.

At the tournament, it was strange being mostly among the Alliance. Our allies, to be sure, but I did not fail to see the heated glances the Mackinzies and their friends threw my way. I spoke to Tinox, and he seemed amiable enough, and the food was quite good. Siane was there, though I remain uncertain as to what she and Zakael are going to do about their child. I hope they can mend their broken ties before too long, should they overcome their fears. Not that it is that easy. But, with what lies at stake, one would think they could simply do what is best for the child.

From what I know of Vionora, which is not much, her life was troubled to the extreme. I hope that they do not inflict another fate by their own reticence.

Zakael is quite the jouster, which came as a surprise, to be honest. It is a form of combat I never committed to (hence why I prefer mounts capable of fighting without direction, or at least with the sense to avoid major combat) and respect those who master it.

In the melee, I got to see various members of the Alliance test their mettle against each other, which was a wonderful change of pace to having to fight against them on the various battlefields that flare up on occasion. I fought a rogue in the first round. I thought her a human at first, but her aura, then the fur, revealed her as a worgen. She is one of the Mackinzie's friends, so I tried to subdue her quickly.

Rorrek was another challenge, however. In an open field of battle, using his main form of combat, I did not have a chance. Though, had I used the mists and had a bit of cover, I am now confident in my abilities to stand against him. He is a skilled combatant. Honorable, too. It would be quite the task to take him down, even at my strongest, though...I probably could.

The rest of the event was a blur, though Rorrek did manage to win the entire tournament, taking some of the sting out of my own loss.

Baern, myself, and some others are going to sortie out to gather some of these relics, and lock them away before someone can use them to harm others.

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Kexti    42

Entry 76

What an eventful few days. Sanctuary's efforts are going well, and numerous relics we have sought now lie safely in our vault. Furthermore, Cerryan held a small ceremony for Julilee and I. That is all I could have ever wanted, and yet my fortune seems to continue to wax. Truly, I am blessed with friends and, now, family, like the ones who stand at my side.

Entry 77

It was a night of a lunar eclipse. The thought of Accalia, and her cosmic manipulations still sends a chill down my spine. But, Julilee, Grumak, Drayna, myself, and one of Baern's warlock acquaintances descended into the dark caverns below Shadowmoon Valley in search of the Black Hand. It was not easy going, and Gahnder guided us ever further in. A necromancer had seen it, and while we had originally chosen the evening so that the haunts might be at rest, this malefic sorcerer had chosen to use the occasion to enact an unholy ritual.

It now lies safe in the vault, and we celebrated with drinks and a meal at the Filthy Animal. I hope that we may become regulars there, and I can see that slowly, the red lights of Horde torches begin to once more flicker in Dalaran.

Entry 78

The search for relics has hit a complication, and I think that with the exception of the most noteworthy or most arduous to maintain, I will keep those records in the vault. It seems that there are those, even among Sanctuary, who cannot be trusted. I am furious at Taozhu for revealing our mission to Borrowed Time, knowing full well I had instructed them specifically to be excluded from our hunts. Twilight Empire can be trusted. They too seek peace on Azeroth. Not so Borrowed Time. While they are most assuredly not the Grim (or at least, many of them are not), I fear the consequences of allowing yet another device to fall into their hands so that it might be abused in the misguided moral architecture of whatever masters the guild serves. This must be rectified. And soon.

Entry 79

I think it no small irony that whenever my mind turns to the Alliance, my resolve is tested. That worgen from the tournament, one of the Mackinzie hangers-on, was in a confrontation with Lilliana. Truth be told, I do not know which had the upper hand, nor whether either would have survived their fight. I simply did not want to stand by and let anyone die when I could stop it. I hope the worgen can at least appreciate the consequences I will doubtless suffer for choosing to help an Alliance out from under the gaze of the Grim.

Entry 80

I met with Baern and Kriga, today. Baern had some...troubling news regarding his family. While the Grimtotem have always been fiercely independent unto themselves and beyond the Horde, it appears that one tribe at least has found a darker master to serve than even I had anticipated. And meanwhile, Borrowed Time constructs an infernal machine to tear between realities. Kriga suggested that Borrowed Time might be encouraged to pursue their explorations using a more practical and safe method, and thought it wise to recruit their aid when we remove the corruption from the midst of our would-be allies.

It, honestly, has been some time since I had such frequent talk with those in my own guild who I could call friends. While Breygrah, and of course, Julilee, will always be such, most of my social interactions occur through other channels. It is nice to have them under our banner, and to have a firsthand reminder of the types of people Sanctuary will always strive to protect.

In other friendships, or mentorships, or whatever word I cannot seem to find in Orcish, my instruction of Rylie goes well. Truth be told, it was more out of amusement than any real sense of duty that I originally begun her training. My bigotry against humans has been a fact of life I have had to work long and hard to overcome, after what Arthas and the Scourge did to my people. To have it inflamed so recently was certainly frustrating. But...I need to remember that there are more humans like Rylie. Or rather, that could be like her if they so chose, that it is worth remembering. There are more that want the exact same life I do than the monsters I have known in my own time.

She is truly an extraordinary girl, both in her demeanor and her focus on her training. I hope that, while I may not ever replace more significant figures in her life, that I might help her grow into the type of person who can carry on Sanctuary's teachings, regardless of whether they wear blue or red. That is, after all, why we fight, is it not?

Entry 81

Sinlanna's research has uncovered a most disturbing end. What does this conspiracy have to do with the Silver Sickness? Is it Anters himself that is delusional? Or is there something else?

Entry 82

Two days of meeting with Borrowed Time. A sin'dorei, Zakael's cousin, in fact, was attacked in Silvermoon by human and worgen assailants. While I have no doubt they are more than likely cultists of some sort, their mention of a Wolfmother frightens me, even in the web of strange events which has plagued both Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. A drug called Wreave preys on the Alliance's desperate, while others go missing in Duskwood. Surely, one hopes that these are all somehow connected, so that the entire wicked plant can be pulled out by the root.

But just as much, one fears that such a monolithic conspiracy is not pervasive. That these are all simply individuals acting out of some horrid boredom or lust or greed rather than a concerted effort to conduct evil. What can it all mean?

I discussed my feelings about Borrowed Time's own search for items of power with Sinlanna. A word she used, "Quorum" fills me with dread. Am I too merely growing paranoid? Grasping for connections when none exist? Am I too going mad?

I have known madness. Far, far too well for anyone's liking, though Aaren's magic still keeps the worst of those nightmares locked away. I should check up on her. I feel as though we have fallen from contact in the wake of Tesonii's betrayal/disappearance.

We met with Borrowed Time to discuss the Grimtotem (another thread of conspiracy?) and their recent reliance on fel. We also came to an accord where Sanctuary can study anything Borrowed Time manages to recover. Any joint efforts, of course, will go in the vault. I am not particularly clever, but perhaps it is this misunderestimation that makes Cobrak trust me so. I, in truth, do not intend to act in bad faith. But it is a far more confident feeling that we have control and at least cognizance of Borrowed Time's material possessions than no understanding or mastery at all.

Anock's infernal machine can reach into the Emerald Dream, and Vionora's Twilight Realm as well. I must talk to Siane, to see if there is any connection between the two. I fear that paranoia ceases to be such if it is true.

Then it is merely...awareness.

Entry 83

Rylie has asked to come live with Julilee and I (and Sanctuary) in Dalaran. Though I will likely need to give her a bit of training in how to act as a young blood elf ought to, among her other training, the feeling of joy I had in decorating a room for her in mine and Julilee's section of the garrison washed away such trivial concerns. My excitement only grows to think of having all of us in one place.

Soon, we take the fight to the Grimtotem. If nothing else, we can start there. From Ashes We Rise.

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Kexti    42

Entry 84

The excavation in Northrend was a success. The Faceless Deck is certainly an odd piece of trivia. Once made by the Old Cults in the visage of their...heralds...it now serves as little more than a convenient method of communication. Drawing a portrait (a skill I am certainly lacking) onto one of the blank cards allows near instant mental contact.

Of course, such a relic is not without danger. After all, it does belong to the Old Cults first and foremost. It likely carries some sort of odd enchantment with it.

Next, we have the Grimtotem to worry about. Then...Kotmogu. It amazes me that years later, we still have not fully explored the temple's secrets. Nonetheless, Sanctuary will assuredly find something others have missed. Of this I am certain.

Entry 85

I am fortunate. Beyond fortunate. I will never forget this. Not now, not ever. I will fight, to my dying breath, to make the world a brighter place for these people who have cared for me, who have given me so much.

Entry 86

What a nightmare. Konro never returned, only a demon wearing his face. The grief that Baern bore, for his people, that Shokkra was forced to face, yet again, makes my blood boil. As does the reckless use of magic, to fuel a machine likely a trap as much as anything else. I hate very few people in this world, but that list is becoming slowly more populous.

Dreadlords lead this conspiracy. I know it. But if we cannot trust those closest to us, who can we?

This was only made worse that apparently someone impersonated myself, then Julilee, in order to steal the rock that Anock--I refuse to call him by his chosen name--obtained from the cavern. What horrors in our lassitude have we let fester in the Horde? In our own ranks?

No. No. I will not give into paranoia. I will not let fear overwhelm my good judgment. The truth, and seeking it, is one of Sanctuary's highest ideals. And that means trusting ourselves and our allies to do what is right.

Shokkra...Poor woman. Perhaps this is selfishness, but I will not let her pain go unavenged. These are not people with other philosophies to be reasoned with. These are demons. I know what it is like to lose someone, to seize any hope at them coming back. And for them not to be the same. I brought my own misery upon myself, but in the process found a greater love and purpose than I had ever hoped for.

I cannot allow Shokkra to suffer like this, without helping her destroy these monsters in mortal guise.

I sent Katelle a letter. We must find the root of this vile thing, and excise it. Soon.

Entry 87

I wonder, at times, if I am not a hypocrite. I know, at others, I certainly am. I fight alongside the Grim in contested areas of Azeroth; Warsong Gulch, where the strip mining and lumber to develop Horde infrastructure largely arises from. That it was Garrosh, and not Thrall, who developed Orgrimmar into the defensible fortress it is, is one of the few credits the dead man deserves.

And others. Twin Peaks. Kotmogu. Stranglethorn Mines. And so on. Anywhere the Horde and Alliance continue to skirmish. For resources, for pride, or for tactical reasons.

When I fight there, I do so to my utmost ability. Not to kill the foes we face. On the contrary. To the chagrin of my allies, I often spend as many resources keeping them alive as I do stabilizing fallen foes. I cannot be everywhere at once. And I do enjoy the thrill of combat. It is something that reminds me how far I have come from the sickly child I was for nearly a century. But I think it is better to prevent needless death. When you kill a man, you not only punish him for all of his wrongs and ignore the good he has given the world, but you cut off any chance of anything better for him.

A foe that lives, no matter how pained, can turn their lives around. They do not send angry relatives who fill a missing gap in their lives with hatred to kill more of the aggressor's people. If one is too afraid to fight again, that means they can find a more peaceful existence. It is few who realize they have been spared, and in whom the spark that the people they themselves face are not monsters, but those with the same hopes and dreams as they.

All mortals dream of love, of security, of triumph. How might we create a better world if we stopped trying to kill each other for superficial differences and ancient feuds?

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Kexti    42

Entry 88

We followed our own studies and Kerala's dream, mad as the plan may be, to a valley in Pandaria. When the gates opened at sunset, I was assured that it was a lie, an optical trick. Yet our compass did not deceive us. Or maybe it did, owing to the proximity to Titan metals? Regardless, the gates opened, and we ventured in. It was oddly pristine, all things considered, saved for a single smear of dust on an altar, or panel, in the aperture.

This fact alone was incredibly disturbing, but not to the extent the broken tunnel before us seemed to be. Something had burrowed up[/i] from underneath. The dust had remained settled, and we ventured into the dark below. A dead Faceless one, several non-evaporated demons, and multiple dead Twilight cultists were all we found. Covered in dust. Yet disturbed above?

Kerala began to hallucinate, and I too felt a strain in my mind that was all too familiar. Kerala managed to engage some sort of Titan record, and was told numerous things; what exactly, I remain uncertain, as we left with all due haste shortly after. But, before our departure, it displayed a map, or a globe of Azeroth, and marked several locations. I do not remember the exact spots, but given that the voice told Kerala in Centaur (or Taurahe?) that they contained corruption, I've done my best to mark them down. But these are spans of dozens if not hundreds of miles of wilderness. Sanctuary, let alone myself, cannot be expected to scout them all in any appreciable time. There must be a way to narrow it down. Does this have anything to do with the Quorum that Sinlanna mentioned? Or is it just happenstance?

I think the presence of long-dead (and unbanished) Legion and Old God forces in the Titan vault are an ill omen regardless. Shokkra discovered entrance to another subsection of the complex. In the process, we found a few strange, pale slugs. Of course, we destroyed them.

In the vault, Kerala continued to act as our guide, seemingly destined to arrive when she did. She took a sample of a plant that was miraculously alive after presumably centuries of neglect, and nourished it back to life. Meanwhile, we retrieved multiple artifacts for our own vault. I know I promised previously not to discuss these things in my journal, but the relics bear mentioning.

The Ring of Inviolate Form, once used by Worgen hunters in Gilneas. It was really more of a belt, but...Why was it in the vault? The timing makes no sense, nor the location. Serendipitous to be certain but...troubling. I fear we walked in hoping to resolve or gather information and yet left with more questions than ever before. Is there a war between the Legion and Old Gods and we are simply bystanders caught in the middle? Or something even worse? Hopefully, Shokkra's use of the Ring and Sword, to say nothing of her own motivation and drive, should give her a chance to avenge her fallen comrade, and to truly serve Sanctuary in the highest capacity possible.

One of the weapons was a Titanium sword of unknown make. The aura is clearly magical, but I have yet to decipher the blade's true purpose. The third relic was something extremely dangerous. And that is all the needs to be said.

Entry 89

Rylie and the rest of Sanctuary (or, rather, those who ate some tainted chocolate) all fell ill. To our surprise, we received the package from Borrowed Time. The conspiracy, this "Quoreem" continues to play on our distrust, or perhaps the trust itself. They must be stopped.

Entry 90

Zuqi'quorpol. The name of the sword we found. Archival research or no, this one was a lot of guesswork, and I am concerned about it being used directly. Hopefully, we can find another application.

Entry 91

I think I have a solution to Anock's infernal machine.

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Kexti    42

Entry 92

I had a disagreement with Shaelie of the Grim at the Cantina on Sunday. My patience is swiftly wearing thin with the ever-presence of what horrid events continue to transpire in the dark corners of Orgrimmar and Stormwind. She had been commenting on something relating to the Alliance, and how we were traitors. I was talking with Leyu'jin about the current events of Wreave and so forth. And she could not hold her tongue for an instant.

It was Shokkra who ultimately stopped me from making a reckless decision. My words more than made up for it. I called her what she was: a bystander. When she had gone to the fields of battle and shown herself to be more than grease and bile, then perhaps my opinion of her would have changed. Instead, despite the good will I have brought to the frontlines of combat, despite the numerous lives I have protected in her guild, especially at risk to my guild's and my own reputation, she continued to insult and demean me. I hope that our exchange, and the lack of support she received from those around, makes her reconsider which one of us is damaging to the Horde, and which one of us is trying to help it.

Entry 93

Wreave. What a horrible substance. The truth of its origins made only more horrific as time has gone on. Katelle reported, and Leyu'jin confirmed that their guilds had clashed in Zul'gurub of all places. Someone, or something, had thought to bind Hakkar once more, and was using it to make the horrible drug. In turn, they were using the Wreave to infuse or treat addicts with high amounts of fel, while the proprietor of this drug trade grew fat on the profits.

At the very least, both organizations are trying to find a cure, or antitoxin, for Wreave. It is an exceedingly rare and haunting event for groups like Twilight Empire and the Grim to agree on something. And Borrowed Time as well, though I wonder what their profit motive is here. For the Grim, it is simple: the trolls know firsthand how horrific Hakkar can be, and the corruption sewn in his wake. Orcs, too, know what it is like to see a people fall to corruption, the least among them taken until the foremost are the only ones left. For the Grim, protecting the Horde from history repeating itself is likely their highest aim.

For the Alliance, protecting their own from the events already transpiring (and whatever the feral men of Duskwood are doing) is similarly reasonable. Twilight Empire differs in that they wouldn't want to see the Horde exposed to Wreave; theirs is a choice of morality rather than expedience. Or so I believe. Who is truly to say?

The dreadlords have something to do with this. But what, and why? A strange type of demon was seen attacking an enlisted transport of Wreave. And somehow, it caused Silver Sickness like symptoms in the victim.

Anters, what did you find? How the Sickness, a drug, and demons tie together? I do not know.

Entry 94

The guild assembled, and we are prepared to assault White Hound Industries along with Twilight Empire. Even at the fore of this daunting task, I am excited to see us all working together. Taozhu was somehow injured (only furthering my suspicion that something internally in Borrowed Time is screwed up, as he has consistently proven himself as much loyal to Cobrak as he is to Sanctuary) but I must depart quickly. Kriga and Shokkra found something in the Swamp of Sorrows.

Entry 95

How can I say I want to protect others when the ones closest to me are so easily brought to harm? An infiltrator used Taozhu's face to break into the garrison. When our wards proved too much for him to bypass, he threatened Rylie with subsequent death if we're not able to bring him a staff in possession of Borrowed Time. This petty infighting and distrust is going to cost the life of a child. And I feel helpless to stop it.

I've enlisted aid wherever possible if only to stall the sigil's eruption. Time enough to hope that Borrowed Time will part willingly with a relic. Hope. How little currency it seems to equivocate to.

Entry 96

I delivered Sanctuary's gift to Cobrak and Djara's wedding. But, I could not really join in the festivities. Julilee was home with Rylie. So that was where I should have been. And so I went.

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Kexti    42

Entry 97

Hagriddan. The name of the imposter dreadlord who went about wearing many different faces to be as disruptive as possible to the Horde and Alliance. What other involvement did it have with the chaos surrounding various events?

It seemed to have a particularly vindictive streak towards Borrowed Time. Perhaps because of the plans they have for that damned dimensional machine? The thing did use that tainted staff to try and tear a hole into the Twisting Nether…or the Void…or some other alien and horrific place. The hardest part, I think was touching the staff.

That’s not really true, though. Seeing Rylie, or thinking about what could have went wrong is a bit of a torturous exercise with no real merit to investigating. But, she was so calm, and so brave, at least on the surface. If Julilee had been there—had actually been there—doubtless she would have been as proud as I was.

The staff though…I have had worse nights of sleep, but the feelings and those haunting, pervasive memories kept at bay behind the wall of sleep, returned. I need to have Aaren check the wards. I am not at risk of doing anything foolish (or more foolish than usual, in any event) but sleep and rest are so essential.

The dreadlord was attacked by another impersonating Julilee. When I reflected with the Commander, we believe there’s some sort of internal conflict in the Legion. The Legion’s tactics fall in line with the methods the Quorum seems to be using: disrupt, distrusts, discard. In either event, Azeroth is not safe from their predations. But why? What other goals do they pursue? And why?

Katelle’s research seems to have shown that at least a convenient coterminal goal was the manufacture of Wreave. What a horrible substance on its own, but to find that it was being used to convert mortals into strange, otherworldly demons? That seems incredible…Twilight Cult to me. The Legion succeeds on subversion and annihilation, but they do not often employ the high strangeness one often associates with the Old Gods. Gods below, could the Quorum be defectors working with the Old Gods?

The Grim and Twilight Empire (and Borrowed Time, if I can infer correctly from Cobrak’s babbling) are trying to develop a cure for Wreave. If Dessim’s research is any indication, this is not a drug that simply leaves the body after a certain time. It takes up residence, and makes the user its slave. Just like the Legion.

I hope that working between the Grim and Empire will ultimately let us progress the cure. It helps Alliance and Horde alike. It’s insane to try and restrict it to just one or the other. Even Leyu’jin can see that. I think.

There is a new troll that I assume is in the Grim. A phrase Yu-Ting once taught me comes to mind: “More air can pass through an empty space.”

Entry 98

Murder Row was abound with various impolite activities and individuals. After all, it does not acquire a name like Murder Row out of a sense of irony, though given previous Sin’dorei and Quel’dorei beliefs, it does not come as that much of a surprise were it ironically motivated…But I digress.

My parent’s inn was situated to take advantage half of the more prosperous members of the low-end of society, and half of the wealthy or travelers coming to feel endangered, but comfortable. It was, compared to some people, a great childhood.

Others, it seems, were not so fortunate. Whether Murder Row or elsewhere, I did not ask, but Madame Ophinnia revealed her history as the child of the brothels. I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She acts as though nothing is wrong…and perhaps nothing is. But I feel as though anyone in that line of work, with such practiced fel magic, is not a person who leisurely approached life. It is the distinctive mark of someone driven and…not hungry, but very oriented towards success. I find that with very few exceptions (like Julilee) most children of the upper class strive to maintain.

Those from the lower strive to rise, when opportunity affords it. Such as Ophinnia. In truth, I do not know how much of her demeanor is effected as a means of persona to help her business, and how much of it is genuine, or, perhaps of the two, it’s simply a mask that has become her natural face. Her curiosity in response to my own is possibly acceptable, but I dislike the personal nature into my own life and my partner’s. I cannot forget that there are eyes everywhere.

Rylie’s extremely resilient for a child, too. I just hope to provide a life that will make her strong enough to make her own happiness, without making her a project. I think, or hope, that Julilee and I will just be able to mentor her without imparting our own negative impressions on her.

I do think that having Taozhu tutor her is a bit of a waste of time. I would much rather spend time guiding her in pursuit of her passions and practical skills like cooking, fighting, and swordsmanship. Diplomacy too, though that is likely a talent Juli will have to teach.

Entry 99

The lack of accountability of some people is infuriating, especially when they leave a mess for me to clean up.

Faelenor vanishes for personal reasons for months, returns quietly, and decides out of the blue that he needs a reason to remain in Sanctuary. If he did not want to be here, he could have stayed gone, rather than saying whatever he said to the Commander.

And Shokkra. To say she reminds me of myself at…maybe not that age, but that level of experience and exposure to the world is an understatement. But maybe she is not ready for Sanctuary. I wish there was a way to guide her to inner peace, but that is a deeply personal journey. I only hope that her progress is not lost. Underneath her gruff exterior, there is a kind, deeply optimistic person. I trust her to make the right decisions.

That, more than someone staunch in their commitment to the oaths, is the type of person Sanctuary needs. None of us are perfect. I think Shokkra, in a pragmatic sense, shows the world that we are not all elves with god complexes staring down from our tower in Dalaran. All we want as an organization is for there to be peace. And we approach it from a position of tolerance, rather than obliteration.

I can accept an ideology like the Grim’s, to some extent. Obviously I would prefer they did not fight, and that all peoples could just live and focus on societal problems at the individual rather than kingdom level. But, if they were to simply ward up in Alterac, never step out, and spend their time hating, it would not matter, as long as they were not harming others.

I hope, if she leaves, we can at least be friends.

Entry 100

I can barely write this. We won. Against Mr. White. Or Tin-Dalos. And the other one, Sophie. But gods do these injuries hurt. I will recover, certainly.

I just wonder what’s next. There are still the addicts, the Kin that ran away, and the fact that dreadlords can manipulate the Holy Light. Really, we should have thought of that. Blood Knights stole the light of the Naaru. How long would it be until someone else must have figured out something similar?

Where has Sinlanna been; this all traces back to her friend. The Silver Sickness was apparently an agent used to mark those who were to be transformed by the Wreave. What about the ferals in Duskwood? That seems to be the only remaining issue. And Anock's device. He has been suspiciously quiet of late.

As has most of Borrowed Time, to my paranoia.

Entry 101

I was wrong about Shaelie, or maybe I was not. She is still a bit…prickly, but unlike Syreena, she seems to prove her worth in combat. I’ve spent a great deal of time with Gnarrdog and Ul-Rezaj in the fields of battle of late in search for the Kin, or any number of other activities. Ultimately, the Alliance we fight either live due to my intervention, or die for being in the wrong place.

But Shaelie. I thought she was simply another Grim posturing while contributing nothing save a scowl and a mind towards pain. From what I understand of the gruesome “Scalp Hunting” tradition the Grim put underway, they go perform acts of valor in contested territories currently under attack, a surprisingly noble exercise. Some may have gone after towns of innocents in some disgusting parody of conquest. Yet Shaelie proved she was not simply a bystander.

From what I have heard from her allies, she demonstrated a tremendous aptitude for combat in defending Horde interests in the North Sea. I still imagine she will consider me a foe, but she did prove me wrong as to her value to the Grim. And, I hope, a sense of dignity and honor, if not mercy and justice.

I met with Aaren to mend the wards, and we had a rather personal conversation. It’s…odd talking about those kinds of things with someone who does not foist it as a profession, nor is one with whom I share intimacy. Emphasis on one. She also recently made me aware that she has somehow come into a massive stockpile of Wreave, likely the last major batch prior to the Grim/Empire conflict in Stranglethorn.

I hope, as does Aaren, that she can put it into Sanctuary’s hands where it could be destroyed or studied, rather than put to yet more atrocity.

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Kexti    42

Entry 102

It wasn’t quite the Darkmoon Faire, but Julilee and I took Rylie on a search for a set of golem’s legs. Taozhu’s loss of innate ambulation has weighed heavily on her conscience. While he is seemingly in good spirits and is maneuvering about well on his Lorewalker’s disc, it was a good opportunity to get out into the world.

Unfortunately, the relics were not there, though it did to prove to be a relatively enjoyable outing with Julilee and Rylie into Crystalsong Forest. I wonder if I might have been so full of life, were I not confined to the inn with illness.

How much of my life might I never have gotten to experience if Arthas had never attacked? If the Legion had never taken an interest in our world? It is…perhaps a disconcerting thing to take some measure of joy from so much carnage and death.

If Rylie’s parents had not been murdered, then I never would have gotten to meet her. Is it wrong to seek a silver lining from such a tragedy, or is it perhaps the only way to keep one’s sanity when beset with such troubles. Ashran is little more than the gears of political machination oiled with the blood of soldiers. While those who deploy do so cognizant of the risks, perhaps they do not do so knowing the full scope of risk involved.

Honor can make people do stupid things, or it can make them do great ones. I guess that depends on the observer, though. There’s nothing truly valuable in Ashran, or at least nothing I have seen. Even in the face of the Iron Horde, and Gul’dan’s horrors, the Alliance and Horde stubbornly wage battle over nothing.

When we arrived on this world, common word was some ancient weapon lay buried beneath the island. All we found were ghosts and Apexis crystals, same as everywhere else. With Theramore, and all the rest, one would imagine that people would let such things remain buried. And yet Sanctuary goes after such things too. Though, we do it to lock them away. I feel that mitigates the risk for stupidity, somewhat.

True strength comes from not needing such cruel tools.

I am rambling again. Even in the face of tragedy, I have been given so much more in this life than I had ever expected. I promise to give something back. Perhaps, in the light of Taozhu’s suffering, or sacrifice, he can find some greater happiness. Not immediately, not while he hurts, but…One can hope, can I not?

Regardless, Rylie and Julilee and I should go on another adventure. Soon, hopefully.

Entry 103

Even though I have an honorary service to the Horde as a Warlord of Draenor, it was a title ultimately supposed to be temporary. An honor I would be lying if I was not somewhat bitter about. I will always fight for the Horde, and fight to keep us safe. All of us. I want nothing less than peace, but the Horde’s interests will always come first, foolish or not.

I received a more traditional commendation for my service. “Blood Guard Dalendala.” While the Warlord title may be more dramatic, and perhaps less wisely obtained, the chance to fight on the borderlands to protect true Horde interests, rather than mindless squabbles over empty graves, does bring satisfaction. Those places are often locations legitimately defensive actions against Alliance aggression.

It would be absurd to imagine that the Horde and Alliance stand on equal footing following Garrosh’s atrocities. We have never matched their numbers, and we have been separated by internal squabbles. But the brashness of trying to claim resources the Horde needs to survive can never be accepted. A diplomatic solution is ideal. But, we have to protect our own needs.

And if I can send some sufficiently humbled soldiers back alive, perhaps they can realize their mistakes too. While they may fear or hate the red and black tabards they encounter, maybe they can at least respect the purple and gold.

In truth, I know little of how the Alliance treats their crippled and wounded. I can obviously contribute to the war efforts directly, but to my knowledge, there are no unwilling vagrants. The mad and maimed of Orgrimmar are treated with respect for their sacrifices, and are afforded at least a simple livelihood.

Entry 104

I’ve reflected on my previous entry, and perhaps the judgment was a little harsh. But, the battles are never personal against the Alliance. Or, if they are, they’re only against fools and oathbreakers like certain organizations.

Of those who do not fall into those categories, I have had an enormously productive time working with Katelle and Twilight Empire. They have developed an extensive Wreave cure, and while we have attempted to bridge the efforts between Borrowed Time, the Grim, and Twilight Empire, we have nonetheless found the most success across the faction divide.

As of now, we test the Empire’s blood samples for any trace of dreadlord infiltration…if our research so far has been correct, the Quorum’s plans have been significantly uprooted, though how much remains is a thought best left guarded.

A cure for Wreave addiction. What amazing things can come of collaboration.

Entry 105

Julilee was more surprised than I was when the Infernal Machine turned out to be a Quorum ploy, rather than something deliberately stolen.

We crossed into the Emerald Dream, and perhaps our presence was what drew Kerala to us. Kriga has been absent for several days, doubtlessly securing Sanctuary interests elsewhere. It is a place that’s hard to describe. Ancient, certainly. Tranquil, but only in the sense that a pond above a waterfall is. Very green.

But, despite what may have lurked in the wilds, it mattered for only a little time. Once the device was brought into the Dream with us, it was hijacked to draw us into the Twilight Realm. It was a bit like…feeling a draft in a house. You could feel it long after the wind stopped blowing. But the wind ultimately stopped, leaving only a lingering cold. The hostility of the nightmare remained, both the Emerald and Accalia’s (is there some connection there, I wonder?) but it wasn’t directed. It brought back a lot of uncomfortable memories.

There was an elf there, or at least a dreadlord wearing the appearance of one. This one was called Xelkorak, and I can only imagine what kind of wretched designs this one has. But it will be destroyed just like all the others. Conspirators and the arrogant so rarely expect a challenge from what they deem their lesser.

Her appearance was doubtless warped by the Twilight Realm, which she had drawn us into. She looks, in some ways, similar to Siane. But the skin was far too dark to be kaldorei, the features too lithe to merely be some corrupted high or blood elf. But perhaps it is simply an aesthetic choice.

I am still piecing together what happened within the darkness. But…The device is dangerous and must be confiscated, as the Legion clearly plans to use it for something truly evil. And we allowed it right into their hands. We had gone to observe, and prevent such a thing from happening. But...

To emerge with Sanctuary at my side, and Julilee in particular, helped my unease from the strangeness of the situation. Without her, without Sanctuary, I’d be lost. This is both a comfort and a fear of mine. Perhaps that is only because of the Nightmare. Perhaps it is a character attribute I’ve developed.

But some, clearly, do not feel the same. Vathelan is nominally in our guild simply to attend Cerryan rather than out of any real interest. I do not trust him, and I do not trust his affiliations with the Scryers. He’s another one to watch.

Shokkra, and Baern, and Kriga believe, under however many layers of cynicism, that Sanctuary has the right purpose and belief. It is not a mere tool, it is not a mere convenience, it is not simply a cult of personality that keeps them with us. Baern was injured, and I have my concerns the Nightmare has afflicted him. I hope Kriga can help mend him, or Lohd. Or Kerala. I really should speak to her soon.

Unlike Borrowed Time, Vathelan, and others, she can be trusted to look beyond her own nose, and to do so with some degree of civility rather than incredibly unwarranted and undignified pique, the assets of the mercenary and vapid.

She’s a friend. Most of Sanctuary are friends. Even some in the Grim, some in the Alliance. Some others that are not quite either. But I do not trust these fairweather members. It won’t be the Grim’s atrocities that undo the Horde. We survived Garrosh, after all. And even if the Alliance dedicated themselves to the Horde’s eradication, they would fail, ultimately, in the grand scheme of things.

No. It will be the undeserved and foolhardy superiority of idiots reaching beyond their means and bringing all of us down with them.

Entry 106

Shokkra sent me a brief missive today about an undead priestess, Aziris. I have seen her at the Cantina a few times, and to my knowledge she is a Grim supplicant, albeit a quiet one. Shokkra believes that she could join Sanctuary. Would that not be a first, someone joining us from the Grim rather than the opposite?

I trust Shokkra’s judgment in this, and in the few occasions I have interacted near Aziris, she has reminded me in many ways of Adei. Adei has been a good friend throughout our interactions, and has been an enormous asset to Sanctuary. While eccentric and more than a little shy…or awkward…she goes out of her way to make sure her duty is complete.

She is mostly a field agent these days, and to my knowledge she has not yet set foot in Dalaran, though she does access our archives through the Draenor garrison. Mages seem to find ways to take the complex and make them simple if only for their own expedience. If I had to understand arcane magic, which…is somewhat of a sobering thought, I believe that it has the essence of time in it.

Maybe that is the philosophical implication of my own inability to grasp it. My time is stolen, or limited, or unknown.

Adei sends back a great deal of reports, and I had the fortune to venture back into Tanaan to meet with an enclave of Arakkoa. In a few months, she has become remarkably proficient in Ravenspeech, as she calls their language, and secured a few beneficial trade agreements and relics for study. While I would prefer Sanctuary’s artifacts to remain sealed within the vault, in truth, having them be bartered for mutual study can only be to the benefit of those who we trust.

Adei might be socially inelegant, but she’s certainly no fool.

Aziris, Adei, and Augustus Krowne. I miss him. I do not think I have yet to find a friend like him. In terms of importance, he has certainly been, well, eclipsed. But as far as that type of person goes, I have yet to find another man like him.

Baern and Kriga might be close, but perhaps my travels and warring have indelibly altered the way I approach my friendships now.

Entry 107

Rylie asked where I got my weapons and my armor. She was particularly interested in my staff, though the weighting and size of it are awkward and prohibitive of her to wield. Perhaps as she gains strength and grows, that may change.

I named my last sword Mercy. Rylie’s sword is named Nameless, in the same tradition Shifu taught me. Julilee wields Mercy now, but my current weapons lack a name. Maybe Tesonii’s penchant for naming her equipment and her departure had something to do with that, but honestly it is more that I would prefer to have my arms recognized for the fact I wield them. Maybe they are simply not significant enough to warrant their own name, when my attacks and forms already have so many definitions.

Pandaren martial arts offer a preponderance of names that translate oddly from Pandaren. But, the descriptions are oddly apt. Meteor of Rolling Birds is a strike that involves a rapid advance and then a strike from an unexpected angle; Cyclone of Boiling Roosters involves sweeping several short attacks into an extended, singular strike; Unspeakable One Million Tigers Kick is simply a rather vicious roundhouse to the groin joint.

Oh, some of the other ones I find amusing: Uncountable Lava Pose, Twelve Dragons Sacrifice, and the Hold of Nine Flails, Guardian Dance of Rings. There are so many strikes and stance I have yet to learn or even master. Even now, I still work to perfect the Submission of Silences Stance and the Guardian Strike of the Decrepit Palace.

Then there are the names which still make no sense. Wolf Spectral Lift? Cat’s Press of Gallows? One Hundred Friendly Queens Smash? The Pandaren have a surprising absurdity in their naming of attacks. I mean, if one can wound you with a touch or break your limbs with applied pressure, I think they can be allowed whatever names they want.

My armor, though, was a gift from Julilee, after my last set was ruined. Part of it was that I was excited to have a gift from her, especially one so fine. But the previous armor was…not healthy for reasons I avoided explaining. I often wonder if there is not another set that might compliment my fighting style better. After all, monks are a relatively new profession among the Horde and Alliance.

It would be unfair to expect that she could perfect the design on her own, though…I hope to wear this set for a very, very long time.

The longsword is simply an officer’s blade I had modified to conduct the mists in the same way Mercy did. While my body and spirit are strong, to strike the foe’s chi along with their physical form often yields far more decisive and less deadly results. The staff…is perhaps another story for another time.

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Kexti    42

Entry 108

Kriga and Baern have been working their own angles against the Quorum, but to bear evidence in such an obvious and embarrassing way is troubling. Perhaps they would know more than I, though, given their histories and backgrounds.

Baern has suffered greatly for his tribe. He values the Grimtotem, and has spent time since the first dreadlord incident among his family. But he is his own person, and he is a friend. He knows what injustice looks like, as he has been subjected to it without remorse. Kriga…I think Kriga is simply a man trying to find his place in the world. Once a thief, he began to train in the ways of the Loa, and Druidism, only to turn away. It was only when he was imprisoned that he would come back to those beliefs.

It turned out that Xelkorak, the final dreadlord, had been lurking within Dalaran proper. After all, where better to foment atrocity than amongst the most powerful magi and magical research in Azeroth. We gathered what hasty allies we could find and ventured into the depths.

I had believed the Beast in Repose so referenced by Myaka and Delenay in Katelle’s correspondence was the result of an oblique reference to Accalia. Xelkorak’s notes seemed to confirm this. But perhaps the den and the monster shared a name. Whatever vices Ophinnia might foster within her whorehouse, I hope that the Beast’s clientele and resources make the Fiend’s Den sufficiently tame.

I can only hope those liberated can be revived and gifted some semblance of peace. We owe them that much. But we found, beneath the sin-drenched corridors of the Beast, a portal to a library or complex floating in the Nether. We split up, those who came. There were demons, scholars, and the like present in the halls. Even a few Grim came along, which may have been a mistake.

The dreadlord fought with a surprising lack of passion, thought it seems she may have left arrangements, or even planned her death. Worse, it would seem as though much of our engagement against the Quorum has been at her orchestration. But why go to all the effort to destroy the other dreadlords? Surely they will regenerate in the Twisting Nether, with knowledge of the plot?

Is it to gain more power? Or something worse, doubtless. We shall see what plots in motion she has.

We also have the benefit of looting her library and a trove of relics. I fear what powers may lie in our hands now. But we will guard them, and sequester them from others who would use such things for tremendous evil.

Entry 109

The Quorum has been defeated, but how does their corruption linger? What conspiracies remain, just below the surface? Is the Legion truly due to attack our world so soon?

I am tired of worrying about it. How much easier our lives were when the Iron Horde was our only foe. I fear that the internal struggles of late will return in the absence of this mutual threat. But we won. And nobody can doubt Sanctuary’s role in stopping it. Borrowed Time did an admirable job, though I fear their…curiosity. The Grim too, in service to their Mandate, will always pick their creed over the greater good. Twilight Empire, I do not know well enough of their internal struggles, but doubtless they exist.

All of them came to defend their world. Nobody will forget that either.

We are all souls of Azeroth. We all seek a brighter future for ourselves. And I am happy that Sanctuary brought them together, that we fought the Legion, and succeeded. We might disagree, and even fight. But I do not doubt that in the face of destruction, these differences can be set aside.

It’s just as well. Even if our fate is conflict amongst ourselves, it will be by our hand that we meet our ends.

I…have not been particularly attached to my life. Despite the joys I have experienced, especially in the last year, I had always been prepared, or perhaps, in honesty, eager to lay down my life. To atone, or to avoid suffering. Perhaps I assumed I just wasn’t important, and that in by absence others would step in to further Sanctuary’s goals.

It has taken a great deal of time to learn otherwise. I have my pride. I have my oaths. I have Julilee, and Rylie, and Sanctuary. It was not some immediate resolution or revelation or regret in my final moments of consciousness. What rite Kerala performed to preserve my soul, or force it back into my body, is something I wish to know but feel I could never ask. I should speak to her soon…

I am willing to sacrifice my life to preserve a future for Sanctuary, Juli, and Rylie. But I am not willing to give it away where I could live, and fight more battles.

Entry 110

I have only ever gone by the name I was born with. When Shokkra calls me Janissary, a title I picked for myself, or one of my numerous ranking titles within the Horde military, I am always a bit uneasy. I think this makes the time-warped warriors of Borrowed Time so difficult to keep straight. They exist now, but from the future. So, in essence, there are two of them. Anock and Isadore.

Anock I am convinced would serve as a fine successor to Cobrak, if only to continue what I expect of Borrowed Time. I do not know if I am truly angry at Anock for simply following his nature, or developing that machine ostensibly to help. But part of me knows that there are men who find any challenge, regardless of the outcome, their only true driving principle.

Isadore, rather, Dora, strikes me as a gentle soul and her demeanor has earned my respect. A good friend to Shokkra, which says a great deal of her character. It is shocking, and I somewhat disbelieve, that such a person would ever rise from the union of her parents. She would make an excellent member of Sanctuary, and her familiarity with the madness which seems to follow Borrowed Time makes her uniquely suited to Sanctuary’s pursuit of dangerous magic and relics. Unlike others, we’re smart enough to know to lock such creations away.

It would be a tremendous honor for her to join Sanctuary. I can only hope that she is willing to swear the oaths. I know it would make Shokkra happy, and, in truth, it would bring great joy to know that her talents and inherent honor are not wasted.

I hope, perhaps highest of all, that she might serve as another role model for Rylie. I think exposure is very important, and while Sanctuary has many members that she might learn from, Dora seems to offer something even Shokkra and Juli might miss.

Entry 111

Sanctuary. A symbol of peace, and of shelter. It makes only sense that we have taken on this shadow role of locking away the darkness, and of isolating the dangerous. It makes me proud that we can serve Azeroth and the cause of peace through word, through act, and through exploration.

I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy combat, and testing my skills. Seeking these relics is a great joy that does not needlessly shed blood.

I have recently been researching the Hongsha, or Red Tea staff. Wielded by a great cleric of Chi-Ji, it bolsters the wielder’s resolve, and doubtlessly bears profound impacts on magic, albeit with great tax on the wielder’s body. There is a rightful fear that we consider ourselves as above others in our pursuit of these items, that we might end up using them under the onus of good.

I feel the temptation to find and wield this staff, just like I wear Bright Evening Star. But we must never forget that we are stewards of this magic and of these spells and knowledge. We are not their masters. And, try as we might, innocent items can often bear secret curses. And we will not be hypocrites, nor will we be fools to forget that we seek to contain these relics, not to wield them.

The less we show our hand, the fewer will think we are simply a repository to be raided. At absolute worst, let them think of Sanctuary as foolish pacifists hiding up above in our ivory towers. The strongest weapon is the one that a foe does not know you possess.

Entry 112

Julilee has been deployed by Horde command. While the mission is not exactly secret, it seems a waste of her skills and talents. It would be different if the cultures she were meeting with were seeking to join the Horde or even Sanctuary first, rather than simply reparations for the Draenor campaign.

Fostering ties is never a waste, I should know. But it is hard for her to be gone for so long, especially so shortly after recent events. I know she doesn’t want to be away either. I hope the neutral parties she’s been instructed to meet with treat her with the respect she deserves.

Though how did they get Jinyu to Tanaan, and why?

Entry 113

Dora was injured by Syreena, that much is clear. What good will my guilt has earned has swiftly run out. Syreena is a menace. What good I saw in her doubtless still exists, and I will strive to continue to bring it out. Her capture and torture destroyed that noble gesture of hers. And since returning, she has seemingly attempted to compound atrocity.

She has never known better, though I am sure she could reach it.

Even Borrowed Time acts recklessly when possible and keeps secrets from itself when prudent, a confusing and disorienting mixture. I know I have written quite a great deal of vitriol compared to the efforts I address to the Grim, or the Alliance, or another one of our rivals/foes. I think being causeless mercenaries hiding behind a façade of family makes me extremely worried, and calls to mind some of the worst gangs of Murder Row. Those gangs didn't often cause my family trouble personally...but...The Grim can be trusted to do what they are going to, for all the horror and monstrosity it entails. At least with wounds and harm, you can heal them as they are wounded. I feel bad for many of their members, who think the environment fosters personal development.

And maybe, in a way, it does. Perhaps they deserve more credit than I give them.

Shokkra is a bright example of being one’s best self. After she threatened Siane, I almost couldn’t believe it. Julilee was furious, and I can not say I did not share in the emotion. But I talked to Shokkra, about her past. About the future, and about which path she is going to seek for herself.

She has come to be a friend, a startling change from her position almost a year ago, where she wanted nothing less than my head for what she believed was my role in killing Konro. It was never about Konro, though I do not feel I have explained it to her. Given all that happened with Accalia, and Konro’s own stupidity and bullheadedness, perhaps, in truth, it was.

But Shokkra. She has grown, and though her outbursts are not infrequent, she is swiftly becoming a great member of Sanctuary. She’s still rough around the edges.

But…she and Dora apparently met with a troll man.

In the face of power, Shokkra refused it, and reaffirmed her conviction to Sanctuary. Dora was inspired, and told me about it, though Shokkra herself has yet to bring it up. I feel as though this is something that would embarrass her, and I do not want to risk her feeling as though I have been spying on her, or not trusting her. Even if, by all accounts, it might be prudent not to trust, I see a lot of my younger self in Shokkra.

She must apologize to Siane. That much is obvious. I do not know what her madness towards racial purity is. Or perhaps that’s still the part of her mind that’s Kor’kron. As frustrating as it is, I served worse masters than Garrosh, for worse reasons.

I know Shokkra believes in our cause. It is now only a matter of making sure she best represents it, and does right by herself. I will do no less.

Entry 114

I had the chance to sit down with Rylie and begin to study some relics Baern brought from southern Kalimdor. Moreover, he brought an old friend from Thunder-Pan, Rabhai. It was great to sit down over tea (and the whiskey that went into it) and catch up.

Since the Draenor campaign, most of the Thunder-Pan have moved on. The pay’s better with more established organizations, and Rabhai’d been deployed to the fight against the Zangar incursions. I was only vaguely aware that the spore creatures from the oceans were so hostile.

Rylie had walked in, raising an eyebrow from the two tauren men. Baern disapproves, in a vague way, for reasons I cannot fathom. Rabhai, however, seemed to gradually move from irritated at the sight of a “half-elven” child, to greatly amused.

I hope that Billamong is well, and Daaena, and Zorg, and the others. Looking back at the past is often an exercise in futility. But sometimes those memories are like embers of a fire. If you kick at the ashes, sometimes it lights back up.

I’m proud of Rylie. With Julilee gone, she’s been spending a great deal more time among the Alliance and humans of Dalaran, which, admittedly, can be a little saddening. However, it’s good for her to get out and make new friends, and see new things.

I’ve mostly been occupying what time I do not spend deployed in the battlegrounds or following leads to artifacts on cooking and bits of crafting. Perhaps I will talk about that more, or write about it, once I finish the whiskey I started with the tauren. I cannot simply let them outdrink me, can I?

Entry 115

I have been experimenting a great deal with recipes lately, none of them particularly good. I wonder if I should not contact Xaraphyne to make another cooking contest. It would give great insight as to the types of meals I should be preparing for Sanctuary. My personal stock of supplies is running low. It would be nice to have a reason to rebuild it, beyond simple gluttony.

Entry 116

The calm has been surprisingly therapeutic, though I still wish more of Sanctuary were here in Dalaran. I have put a great deal of time back into leatherworking. I can patch up my own armor, or make it fresh quite well, I have spent my hours and minutes in burnishing and shaping leather into mantles and cloaks. While certainly not important in the scheme of things, getting to work with my hands both with leathers and in the alchemy lab has been a peaceful hobby of late.

Entry 117

With the Quorum bested, and Legion allegedly on the horizon, now is a better time than any to begin preparing to face demons. I find that a creature belching fel fire is often less intrusive than moral quandary.

I left the monastery when I felt I was ready to explore and wander, as most pupils are. Some return to be recognized as initiates of the order, or even masters. While I have not yet reached that level of skill, I do wonder at times if now is better than ever to reshape, rehone, and learn some more mysteries of the order.

Yao grass is almost in bloom, anyway. I need it to make my medicine, obviously. All signs point to Pandaria.

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Kexti    42

Entry 118

It is strangely liberating to live at the edge of one's wits. The fear that the dreadlord's words were correct have made Sanctuary more vigilant than ever, and we scour everywhere for even hints of dangerous relics the Legion could use against us, and seal them away where they can not be used to bring harm.

This has occupied much of my mind lately, though I do spend some time with my alchemy, and my usual cooking and leathercraft. Julilee has been in the field for some weeks, leaving me a great deal of time for Rylie. It was Father's Day, this past weekend. Largely a human holiday it was...nonetheless touching for Rylie to treat me as such. She wants to call Julilee and I "mom" and "dad" and I...I am honored and frightened. It is as if putting that title makes my responsibilities and risks of failure so much more dire. 

I will make a better world for Rylie, one where she does not need to live in fear of the Legion, or of the Scourge, or what horrors set their sights on our world. No matter the fools who stand in my path, the monsters that wear the guises of mortals, I swear it. Sanctuary will. We will never stop until we create the peace and safety Azeroth so desperately needs. 

But...I wonder if I am worthy of the title. The day brought me thoughts of my own father, and his flaws. Perhaps his final words were true, in that he just did not know how to deal with a sickly child. That the aptitude of my sisters for the arcane drew more of his attention, and that there truly was no shame in running an inn rather than defending Quel'thalas. But part of me doesn't believe me. It doesn't accept that, it doesn't forgive it, and it doesn't give me the hugs I missed, or the attention I craved. I fought and clawed my way to strength. I took risks, and I earned my scars both in the arena and in Pandaria. I refuse to believe that he would not be nonplussed to see how his children ended up. 

That was remarkably cruel. I did not...mean to disparage the memory of Ashera, or Miliana, or Delirinye. I need to be better than this bitterness. For Julilee, and for Rylie most of all. 

Yet I must become stronger still. I never finished my training. Perhaps, for more than yao grass, I need to return to the monastery. 

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