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Nikaa

Shaelie's Journal

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I have to start a new journal, since my other one got left behind.

So much has happened in such a short amount of time. My whole life has basically changed completely. But I'm doing alright. Surprisingly- I'm doing just fine.

I am no longer Grim. I think the hardest part of that whole night and the days that followed was the look on Khorvis's face. I saw Ashenfury in those eyes. That was really hard to handle.

I was angry at him at first. But not anymore. I understand. And he acted in the moment, and did what he felt like needed to be done. He was shocked. Angry, hurt, betrayed.

Disappointed..

I have a lot of messes to clean up. I've been spending some time explaining myself to people. Most of them are accepting. Quite a few are still my friends. Some I think are trying to decide.

Graysong is struggling. It makes me sad to see him not acting his typical silly self. He's kind of lost, right now. We sat and talked for awhile last night. His faith in The Grim was shaken.

I told him that when you're Grim, you live and die by the Mandate. It's supposed to come before anything else i the world. Friendships, relationship, love. All of that is secondary, at best. And sometimes, that means you have to make difficult choices. Which is what Khorvis had to do.

That's where I was struggling, too. The Mandate came second to me. The members of the guild came first. It can't really be that way, though. It's not about family. We're supposed to be soldiers of the Mandate.

I wanted to tell him to come to Borrowed Time. I'd love to see some of my closer friends come and live at the base. That's what the selfish side of me wants. But instead, I told him that he needs to follow his gut. I told him to ask himself which is more important. Can he put the Mandate ahead of everything else? If there anything he wouldn't do for the Mandate?

He still seemed uncertain, so I suggested he go talk to Awatu. There's really no better person to define The Grim and the Mandate than the Commander himself. I hope he does. I think that'll help him make up his mind, one way or another.

A lot of other things have happened. They all know I'm Nika, apparently. Including Leyu'jin. He was at Cantina last night, and I couldn't really look him in the eye. But later in the evening, he told me we should talk sometime so I can explain how all of this happened. He didn't seem angry. I hope he and I can be friends. I've always cared a lot for Leyu'jin.

And then there's Karthok. Fucking Karthok. I got this in the mail today.

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It seems he's threatening more than just myself, now. The first one is Inzema, without a doubt. And I'm pretty sure the second is Nero.

Inzema and Nero. That's a whole other story. But I digress.

Anyway. I think the Chief might be Cobrak. But I haven't figured out the Secretary or the Siege yet. I already let Inzema and Lilliana know. I need to talk to Nero tonight. And the rest of Borrowed Time.

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The final two letters have been written and mailed off. Khorvis and Awatu were the last two I owed an apology and explanation to. I actually saw Khorvis at Nanori and Selash's wedding the other night, and I was tempted to apologize to him in person. But it was a night of celebration, and I didn't want to dampen the evening with such things. I'm sure I could find him in Warspear, but I think if I tried to approach him, he'd probably be too busy bellowing at me to hear my words. So maybe he'll read them. I hope he does.

The letter to Awatu was even more difficult to write. We were not close by any stretch of the imagination, so we didn't have the same sort of personal connection Khorvis and I did. Not that Khorvis and I were friends, exactly. But I liked Khorvis. Even if I didn't agree with him many times, I still enjoyed him.

I didn't like Awatu. That isn't to say I disliked him. It wasn't that. But Awatu was a leader I feared and respected. He gave orders, I followed them. I think the most personal thing we may have ever shared was a nod.

So his letter was much more complicated. I explained that I was sorry for deceiving him, but I didn't really regret doing it. Does that count as an apology? I'm not sure. But I didn't deceive him because I wanted to. It wasn't for my entertainment or amusement. It wasn't some joke to me. It was because I had to. Because there was nothing more important in the world to me than being Grim. I still felt like I needed to address it with him though, so I did.

I don't expect him to accept my apology, but I still owed it to him.

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Heard from Gunheya that Dalaran has moved from Northrend and is now hovering over Kharazan. I've spent the last couple of days here documenting everything and getting pictures. 

Some areas of the city are heavily damaged. I'm not sure what from.. it doesn't seem like it was structural damage from moving the city because the building are fine, including the towers. Just small, targeted areas like this, but nothing left behind to indicate what happened. 

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All entrances to the Underbelly have been sealed. I find this strange because nothing else is boarded up- the shops are closed for business but not barricaded. I tried looking for the sewer pipe entrance from the outside but I couldn't find it anywhere. I must have overlooked it somehow. 

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There's an art gallery by the toy store.. has it always been there? I don't remember ever seeing it, and it looks new. They must have opened shortly before the move. 

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This is definitely new - it's replaced the area where the open courtyard and fountain used to be in the middle of the city. They've turned it into a building, but there's not much in there right now. It's pretty, though. 

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The bank on the Alliance side of the city had.. problems. All the gold from the personal vaults and safety deposit boxes got dumped into the middle of the room, and some of the citizens are having a fit. They're not allowing any deposits or withdrawals until they get everything put back, and have guards on hand to make sure no one tries to rob them. The bank on the horde side of the city is fine.

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Very heavy damage at Kraus's Landing. No flights are going in or out of Dalaran right now. 

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Whatever magic they used to move the city, it had some other side effects with people stuck in walls.. Recovery specialists are on the scene getting them out. 

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For some reason, there's a blight wagon outside the Filthy Animal.. 

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Speaking of Filthy Animal, it's closed for business but they do have the kitchen running and they're serving food for residents and workers only. 

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Since we completely destroyed Legerdemain's Lounge when we were fighting that dreadlord recently, they apparently gave it a huge remodel. It looks a lot nicer now. 

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This is one thing I found really strange, though.. the Forge looks like it's been vacant for a long time. Even before the move.. it's the only business that appeared to be completely closed and empty. 

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Strangest of all, though.. I'm not sure Dalaran is finished moving. I haven't heard this rumor from many people- only two mentioned it. But someone said something about, 'when we get to our final destination', and another guy mentioned wondering if they were going to suddenly move again. So the location above Kharazan might only be temporary.. that also might be why they aren't opening up the shops yet, and everyone still seems so on edge.

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It's been a long time since I picked this journal up. I had forgotten about it, actually. It's barely even been used. Too bad I don't have my old journals, anymore... 

That's what's been on my mind a lot, lately. The past.. I guess it's sort of what brought me back. I had considered myself retired for what.. a couple of years now? Has it been that long? According to this journal, it has been. 

I traveled for awhile. Sometimes I just pick a direction and keep going until I find a spot that feels right. This time, it was an abandoned fishing shack in a bayou. It was run down and the boards were warped from moisture, and it had an entire colony of critters living inside. But as soon as I saw it, I knew it was home. At least for awhile. I fixed it up a little, and spent my days exploring the area, or fishing. Or sometimes just sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch, listening to nature. It was nice for awhile. I took a picture of it before I left. Maybe someday I'll find it again.

 

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But now I'm back. And I'm not entirely sure what the plan is. But like I said, a lot of things from the past have been on my mind, and I feel like there are some things I need to do. A  lot of things I need to figure out how to fix, or make up for. Not sure how that's going to pan out, just yet...

 

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I'm sitting in the grass right now. Between the ridge of two hills, overlooking a farm. There's a cow in the pasture, chewing some grass. The lights are on in the farmhouse, shining through the windows, and I can smell them cooking dinner. There are crickets chirping, and an owl hooting up in the tree above me, somewhere. 

I used to live here. Not there, in that particular house. Micael did, though. Nearby. I've been thinking about Micael a lot lately. I'm not sure why.. But I'll be honest when I say I miss him and Mack, a hell of a lot. I think my time away got me thinking about a lot of things. 

And tonight really magnified that. I stopped in the Wyverns Tail. And Jon Ableham was there. I couldn't believe it. He wasn't the Jon I miss so much, though. Just the bad version of himself. He didn't know it was me, of course.. After I got over my shock of seeing him, I talked to him a bit and he said some things that confused me, and some things that sparked some memories that I couldn't quite dredge up. He mentioned Venedict being his nephew. That blew my mind. Did I know that before? Something about 'nephew' sounded familiar. But if Venedict was his nephew.. how the HELL did he end up being his ghoul? 

And so I came here, for answers. To Stormwind. Where this whole journey with Venedict, Jon and Micael began. In the graveyard.. I remember something about a tombstone. So I found them tonight. Christine, Venedict, Alex and David Abner.. being here did help me remember some things. But I still couldn't recall the connection between Venedict and Jon. I sort of remember Jon being here, but he was afraid of Venedict. 

Anyway, my thoughts are all over the place tonight. That's just part of what's on my mind. Being here, just behind the gates of Stormwind. I'm homesick. I miss being me. I miss being Nika.  I remember how I used to help people. Not always.. I got into a lot of fights, even before I started doing the really horrible things. But I miss how life used to be. Before The Grim, and before my life changed. And before I ruined other people's lives, and destroyed families. 

My biggest regret in life is something that will always haunt me. It's what I did in Theramore... when I poisoned all those soldiers. I wish I could rip that day out of my life, and out of my memories. All those families and kids that no longer have fathers because of me. Fathers that didn't even get to die honorably, in battle. They didn't even get a chance to make a difference, or to be heroes. They were meant to die doing courageous things, making a difference in the world. Stories would be written about the battles they fought, and how they sacrificed their lives to make life safer for the people they cared about. 

But instead, they ate poisoned bread and choked to death. For nothing. That wasn't supposed to be their legacy. 

Hardly anyone knows about that. It's the thing I'm most ashamed of. I wonder about those families now. Whatever became of them? I feel like that's what I'm supposed to do, now. Help people. Make a difference, somehow. I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want to kill people. I can't change or take back every person that I hurt or killed. But maybe I can change something for other people, going forward. 

It's funny.. as I was sitting here behind Stormwind, thinking about all of this. At first I was wishing I could go back. But that wouldn't help anything, either. So I was wishing that I could somehow help people on both sides. Not just one or the other. And I was wishing there was some guild that was neutral, and that does help people on both sides. And then I remembered that there is.. Sanctuary. 

That's hard to wrap my head around, as much as I hated and fought against them in the past.. but that was also when I was consumed by The Grim.. and the most important thing to me was to prove myself to them. But time has passed. And you know what? I already did. And I don't care anymore.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I'm not sure if Borrowed Time and Sanctuary are on good terms, or bad.  I'm not sure if I want to stay with Borrowed Time but also help Sanctuary. if they'd even have me. Which is a stretch. A big one. 

Edited by Nikaa
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It's been several days since I last wrote, but a lot has happened. I sent a letter to Sanctuary asking to meet with one of them. I was expecting to see Juli or Kexti, but it was actually Cerryan who agreed to meet with me. After thinking about it, I am glad it was him. He's seemed.. friendly, the times I've seen him. Or attempting to be. He was the one that tried to bid some crazy amount of gold on me at that date auction a few years ago. I still don't know why. Maybe I'll ask him someday, if I get the chance. Anyway, I'm afraid if Julilee had been the one to meet with me, she wouldn't believe me. And if it was Kex'ti, he probably wouldn't take me serious. But Cerryan listened, at least. I didn't plan out what I was going to say, because I wanted to speak from the heart in the moment. And that's what I did. I think he believes me.. but agrees that I have a long road ahead when it comes to getting others to ever trust me again. He said he'd speak to them about me, and to be patient. I haven't heard anything in several days. It 's hard to be patient, but I feel like it'll be worth it in the long run. Every day I check my mailbox, hoping to hear word. Someday.. 

In the meantime, I went ahead and left Borrowed Time. I tried to talk to Cobrak but he was busy, so end the end I just left them a note. I don't think any of them will really care- most of them probably don't even remember me since I was gone for a couple of years. If Sanctuary won't have me, I have no plan B. So this has to work.. 

I saw Jon Ableham again, only I'm not convinced it's really Jon. Things aren't adding up. I've been trying to remember all of those details, but tonight I had a great idea! I went to Dalaran and found a library to see if they had archives of old newspapers. Particularly, the Violet Eye. Turns out, they did. So I made copies of the whole collection. There were a lot more issues that I remembered. I recall there being a lot of things in there about Jon though, at some point. And a lot about myself. Some true, most false. But reading back over them might help me start putting some things together. 

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I got a chance to start reading the newspaper tonight. It's going to take me a really long time to get through everything, but I've been clipping out the articles about Jon Ableham as I go. I'm only on the 4th issue (out of 21) and already have 6 articles.. I already have dozens of questions, but this article in particular is huge.. 

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I did NOT remember that Jon.. as in the Jon I considered my brother.. was somehow still present in Jon Ableham. I thought my brother died when I gave him that brain in the jar... I remember Jon Ableham being a general dick and orchestrating the worgen riots (though according to the articles, DeRossi was actually behind that and how the HELL did I let DeRossi slip off my radar during all of that?) Anyway. I remembered them being two complete different 'entities'. I don't remember Jon being present after the brain incident.. 

This changes some things. Maybe.. I still don't think the Jon Ableham I've been seeing in Orgimmar is the same Jon Ableham as  in these articles. But I need to keep reading.

Edited by Nikaa

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