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Catalinetta

Lie - Die - Sanctify

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"I see they are growing nearer, Librarian," the dreadlord said calmly, his voice reverberating through the exposed bones of his face. Battle scarred from what looked to be many years of battle, he wore the armor of a warlord and carried what looked like a trident fashioned by the Naga.

The Inquisitor beside him continued to write in his book. Brown and grey, the book appeared to be hewn from the skin of several different eredar. As far as Inquisitors went, the Librarian was quite tall and emaciated. His eyeless face was partially hidden behind a black and red hood. "Yes, lord Udoroth."

"Soon these mortal cretins will be further along than even Kil'jaeden expected," Udoroth sighed, as if this were of little consequence. "The Tomb of Sargeras will be infiltrated. Kil'jaeden is a fool if he thinks he can win this battle with force alone."

The Librarian looked up from his book. "My lord?"

Udoroth grinned. "He needs a helping hand, I am sure.."

Another scribble in his book.

"Yes, my lord."

"Perhaps.. a way to keep them distracted, Librarian?"

A pause. "There are ways, my lord."

"Fine then. Keep them busy. I'm sure it won't be difficult to make these pests claw at one another."

The Librarian grinned to himself. It would be easier than Udoroth expected.

_____________________________________________

The walls of Light's Hope Chapel were scrubbed daily. Not because they were particularly filthy, but it provided a steady source of labor for misbehaving squires. One such misbehaving squire was a human girl, perhaps ten or twelve years old. As she scrubbed the walls with a stiff wet brush, filthy water splashed into her face. Wiping it from her one eye, she didn't bother avoiding the large scar tissue that covered half of her skull. She arrived in the chapel only a few years ago, and none of the other squires seemed particularly keen on befriending the strange-talking disfigured human. It was difficult to make friends, so she made bruises instead. Her punishment - scrub the walls.

Fortunately, scrubbing the walls sometimes supplied her with some valuable information. On this, her second day of punishment, she could hear two paladins speaking in grave voices. There had been some firm discussions since the Ebon Blade's attack, but they sounded particularly weary today. One of them, a female, spoke firmly to a rather weak sounding Sin'dorei male. Both spoke Common, which seemed unusual.

"That letter you sent to Sanctuary regarding Sir Vyel's recovery, was it ever answered?"

"No ma'am," the male answered. "He returned shortly after it was received."

"And the death knight that you witnessed? The one who scarred him? Is she still in their employ?"

The male stuttered. "I-I... I really would not know, ma'am. I have little, if any information on their organization."

The female sighed. "Very well, Jean Baptiste. Perhaps this situation frustrates me more than I  am willing to admit. The attack on our chapel was cowardly, but we are at war with the Legion and cleaning up these loose ends will take up valuable resources. Nevertheless," she continued a little louder, as if angry with him. "We can not let this injustice stand. The Ebon Blade will give us little in the way of answers, but our supposed 'allies' have provided us with the name of a rogue death knight that was apparently at the forefront of this attack."

"..ma'am? Their leader?"

"Not their leader," she corrected quickly. "But after viciously wounding sir Vyel and almost becoming incinerated with the Light, she left the Ebon Blade's ranks. They have attempted to apprehend her with little triumph. We have been warned that this could be a sign of her going feral, which would be a problem for  us."

"Ma'am.. I do not understand."

"Let me make it clear, then. That death knight not only scarred sir Vyel, but she may be responsible for many other deaths. If she goes feral and the Ebon Blade can not control her, it is up to us to make certain it is done. The blood of our comrades may be on her hands, yet she has been given 'Sanctuary'."

Jean Baptiste seemed to stutter. "..b...but.. if sir Vyel is there, surely--"

"Reach out to his old friend, the Vanguard" the female said, calmly now. "Tell her to go and see sir Vyel. She will question him about the death knight, and if his answers are unsatisfactory, she will be brought in for trial."

"T-trial, ma'am?"

The woman's voice was resigned. "Someone will see justice for the blood spilled in this holy place. Of that, you can be certain."

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It was a quiet day in the chapel, one lacking in the usual sounds of business as most of the Silver Hand made their way in and out of the Broken Isles. As the Legion continued to assault their world, the paladins found that there was little time to be spent in prayer. The lights filtering in through the chapel were muted by stained glass, and reflected off of the backs of those who were either too young or too old to fight. The former typically trained the latter, and though most were outside, a handful remained inside, kneeling. One of them, a human woman of middle age, stood from her place in the pews.

Raelana entered the chapel stiffly. It had been some time since she entered the holy place and she took a minute to glance around, noting any subtle differences since she last was there. The silence in the chapel made her uncomfortable and Raelana shifted and rubbed a non-existent crease in her freshly pressed tabard. Finally, she walked forward as quickly and quietly as she could and stood next to the woman.

The human turned to face Raelana, a calm-yet-stern expression on her face. Her dark brown hair was tied back into a tight ponytail, pulling at the corners of her tanned face. Thin creases at the edges of her mouth were beginning to darken in recent years. She looked like the type of woman who had seen a lot of hardship. "Raelana, yes?" She asked quietly in Common, not bothering to ask if the other paladin spoke her human tongue. "Lady Liadrian said that I should expect you."

Raelana stared for a moment longer at the front of the chapel while a half smile appeared. Amused at the assumption that she spoke multiple languages, but even more grateful that she actually did, she turned to face the human. She bowed her head slightly, acknowledging the human, before speaking. "Yes, my name is Raelana. Apologies must be made, Lady Liadrin's message gave me no other information, other than I needed to come here... and quickly."(edited)

"Well, given the current situation on the Broken Shore, I would not disagree with her. Please, walk with me," the human said gently, turning toward the hall so as not to disturb those in prayer.

"My name is Najme. I have been with the Silver Hand for some time, now," she said as they walked toward the front doors. "Unfortunately, an injury has kept me from being able to provide aid in the fight against the Legion. So I remain here, training and educating the next generation. I was here when we were attacked by the Ebon Blade. Were you present when that happened?"

Raelana silently followed Najme, trying to pick up clues as to why she was called. "No, I unfortunately was not present. I had received word there was an attack, but at the time was told not to return and continue working on my current assignment. If it's no trouble, would you provide me with the details?"

"Of course." Najme stopped walking somewhere near the front doors. "Weeks ago, while most of the Silver Hand was assigned to the Broken Isles, we were invaded by a force of Death Knights. Since the Legion has returned, the Ebon Blade has been resurrecting heroes for the purpose of leading them. Supposedly, this was commanded by the Lich King himself. According to our sources, he believed that it was necessary to resurrect Tirion Fordring, in the hopes that he might lead them against the Legion. I needn't explain how very insulting that is, both to his memory and to his very soul.. but they attacked us to do this vile thing, and many of our comrades were killed in the process. As I said, the most skilled among us were in the isles. Those of us remaining were the wounded, or the old.."

She shook her head.

"Lady Liadrin arrived and did battle with their leaders. The Light would not allow such a vile thing to happen, and the Ebon Blade was driven back. Thankfully they failed in their mission, but not without many casualties."

"My gods... Tirion?" She scoffed. "I'm beginning to understand why I was requested specifically. These types of situations are exactly within my  skill set." She pauses, thinking. "To attack those unable to defend themselves...they must be desperate. Hopefully they would not be so foolish as to make another attempt." She takes a deep breath in, fairly certain she knows exactly why she was called upon. "How have relations been with the Ebon Blade since?"

"As one can imagine, not good. We waited until some time had passed before actually attempting to reach out to their leadership. They seemed intent on ignoring us completely until we threatened to take it up with Horde and Alliance leadership, at which point they offered us a peace treaty; a name. Someone who was involved in the attack, and is no longer a member of their ranks." Najme shook her head. "Not only did she leave after their failure, but she has been identified as the death knight who nearly mortally wounded sir Cerryan Vyel. I believe he is a colleague of yours."

"They gave... a name?" Raelana closed her eyes briefly as the gravity of the situation became more clear. She opened her eyes and lookd at Najme. "They gave a name and nothing else?" She shakes her head in disbelief. "I suppose that's better than nothing. Perhaps we can get some more information from her." Choosing her words carefully, she continued, "What is her name and where is she now? Hopefully no one is vacuous enough to seek revenge before she can be... debriefed." Hesitating for a moment, she finally inquires, "And Vyel? What is the word on his recovery?"

"Vyel has recovered. He has returned to Sanctuary, and, to my knowledge, is still in active duty." Ashe she said this, Najme seemed almost pleased. "As for her name, it will be a familiar one to him. Catalinetta D'Aragon, also of Sanctuary. As far as we know, she has been working with them since the incident. The Ebon Blade attempted to apprehend her themselves, but she eluded capture. Therefore it is our responsibility to bring her to justice."

Breathing out a sigh of relief, she simply stated, "Well, at least something is working in our favor." She didn’t elaborate anymore as to what she was referring to. She looked at Najme, raising an eyebrow and bluntly asked, "And what justice do you think is befitting?"

"I would not be so bold as to suggest an immediate execution," Najme said calmly. "But she must face a trial, and answer to her crimes. If not for her own sake, but for the sake of those she and the Ebon Blade have hurt. Allowing them to go without punishment is inexcusable."

Raelana only nodded in response, her face hiding her true opinion well. "The expert in battle moves the enemy and is not moved by him," she responded cryptically. "Perhaps it's time for an introduction to one Catalinetta D'Aragon?"

"I would suggest first speaking with Cerryan. I have also briefed one Tamaryth on the situation. She will be joining you."

"I shall wait for Tamaryth before proceeding." Raelana bowed her head to Najme. "Light be with you."

"Light be with you," Najme replied with a respectful bow.

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Posted (edited)

The gray skinned, white haired death knight had not left the forge in over a week. During that time she had not stopped her work save to request additional information on the armament she was to create. It was a testament to undead resilience but to anyone who knew of her, a reason to be concerned.

The longer the elf went without feeding, the more distant she became as the agony increased and her skin went stiff like stone to become more receptive to the flood of life energy. As a result, her blows were fueled by unapparent anger.

The reason for such was the Ebon Blade's lax approach to the enemies in their midst. What were they doing to prepare for the Silver Hand's inevitable counter-attack? Why had they done NOTHING when the Crimson Legion sent the head of one of their knights back in a box? Why were they focusing only on the Legion? it was by far the biggest threat, but a dagger in the back would cripple you just as surely.

Impotent and angry, she stayed by the runeforges, churning out weapons to be given to new and recovered knights as they fought the foes of the Deathlord.

Azilrog lumbered to the forges, grunting through his thick metal plating. He reeked of the unholy odor most death knights do, especially in Archerus. He watched her metalwork intently, folding his plated arms across his chest. "Your work is going to get sloppier the longer you keep at this."

" My worst piece is still miles better than most knights' best." she responded, though she took his words into consideration enough to douse the blade in the trough and hand it off to one of the skeletal servitors and look towards the orc. She knew him by repuation, especially after the show produced last time with the suicidal elves. " Did they put you in charge of reanimation or did Whitemane decide we need to talk about our feelings now?" The name was spoken with a unmasked dislike.

The orc shook his head. "I'm only trying to keep the war machine of our order burning. We can't do that with emotions getting in the way, or with brittle runeblades." His voice is hoarse, still recovering from its rupture.

" If the Blade is brittle it is a reflection of the wielder who carves himself into it and bonds to the blade. Not just its creator. Why, have there been complaints?"

"Not yet, but there's nothing wrong in preemptive measure." He straightened, assessing the elf. "What's troubling you?"

" Tyr's hand is still infested with Scarlet groupies. One flyby from Stormrender and it would be a corpse filled ruin... We always need the ghouls. Yet the Deathlord won't spare even one Wyrm, even when those arrogant fools mailed back one of our members in a BOX."

" I'm worried that this offensive has attached blinders to us.'

"We gain more Knights than we lose on the battlefield, even with the Scarlet and Paladin blowback. As for blinders, the Legion is the primary threat, and the only real threat. The Deathlord and the new Highlord recognize that. Anything else can be dealt with once the Legion is vindicated."

" If all we needed to worry about was moving forward. WE would save time and material and only make half a breastplate. I don't know how much experience you have with "Holy men" but they don't take what they consider a trespass and turn the other cheek. They will strike at us as soon as they don't need us...Maybe even give us the nudge while under pressure so we fall.  These thoughts plague me. I worry more about our former teammates than I do the Legion at this point."

Azilrog's face twisted into a frustrated frown. "And so? The Silver Hand does not match our numbers, they do not match our strength in battle, and whereas the Highlord has the Light on their side, we maintain the allegiance of the Lich King. Should they strike at us, the Scourge will strike at them, and us beside them."

She gestured to him as if he had just proven her point. " This sort of attitude is what lead to our loss so many times before. We assume numbers and strength are all we need. Yet the last Lich king fell despite having five times the force that the Scourge holds now. We have improved but so have they. To treat the possibility of counterattack as unimportant is nearly welcoming critical damage to our cause. You forget that we would not be facing just the Silver hand but the acolytes of Nertherlight temple as well. Their power has too many unknown variables...Meanwhile we have not changed."

There was an approaching sound of heavy footsteps as a female tauren appeared beside Dessim.and Azilrog. She wore heavy plate, but her pale white face splotched with brown spots went uncovered. "Azilrog Deathrage," she said in a hollow sounding voice, her face neutral. "Supposedly, there is another defector within Sanctuary's ranks. This one calls himself 'Ghostslayer'. With a name like that, he may already have gone mad. Find him and either retrieve him, or put an end to him. We have suffered enough embarrassments already."

" ... Not sure if that group just has an unfortunate soft spot for sob stories or if it's TRYING to piss people off."

"Whatever the case may be, put an end to it. The Silver Hand is already barking at our door and we do not need another excuse for them to distract us from our battle on the Broken Isles."

" Barking at our doors? Have they made demands or are they still writing angry letters?"

The tauren huffed through her nose, as if the very question annoyed her. "They demand justice for the lives lost at Lights Hope. Clearly we have more important matters to concern ourselves with, so they were given the name of another stray to busy themselves with."

" Justice... What would that even mean, allowing them to pick through our ranks and eliminate whoever they pleased?"

"I am sure they intended on holding our leadership responsible or some other such nonsense to soothe their broken egos. We have bought ourselves time with this peace offering, so I suggest we use that time to clean up these loose ends."

The elf huffed and hooked her hammer back onto her belt. " Two turncoats won't be enough... And it sends the wrong message."

"It will never be enough for them, but it will relieve us of their idiocy and for the time being allow us to focus on the Broken Shore. You have a better idea?"

" Right now? No... But the idea that we will sic the rabid zealots of the Silver Hand upon you should you choose another path feels like we are insulting what was fought for in the North. We fought for liberation from the Lich King... Even if this isn't the same, promoting a 'with us or against us' mindset feels like the old way we overthrew."

" Personally, I would have dug up more reasons to convince our numbers that Fordring's retrieval wasn't only necessary, but that the ranks of the Hand deserved thinning. Would have been easy if we just monitored the Brotherhood of Light members. Their zealotry is more than enough to arouse anger."

Sunsong shook her head slowly. "Our members understand well enough why Fordring's retrieval was a pivotal necessity. That is not the issue. The issue is cleaning up stray dogs in our ranks, and that is exactly what must happen if we are to continue this alliance with the living."

" If you say so... Perhaps looking into their dogs wouldn't hurt though. They are barely united by a related belief, surely there are secrets that would turn their attention upon their own organization for a time."

The tauren turned her head to one side. "..are you volunteering?"

" If need be... Though it would be better suited to someone with tact."

Sunsong didn't appear particularly interested in 'tact'. "See what you can find. We are death knights, not diplomats. If you can find anything of value, it may be useful to us once the Legion threat is extinguished."

" Guess I could use a moment away from the forge." She shrugs

"Good. Report back here with your findings. And you," she looked again at @Azilrog . "Take care of our 'Ghost Slayer'."

Azilrog nods and salutes. "It will be done."

Sunsong gave each death knight a salute and returned to her post.

Dessim saluted wearily and strode away. She had to open her big mouth..

Edited by Catalinetta
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Tamaryth was found in the small training area in the chapel, supervising some aspiring crusaders as they practiced. She was a blood elf, with dark hair and stern features. Her armor was red and gold, and glimmered in the lantern light. As Raelana approached, she steps forward, and delivered a stinging rebuke with the flat of her blade to the sloppy arm of a recruit. "Arm in," she ordered. The recruit nodded and sheepishly stooped to retrieve his weapon he had dropped. She put her armored boot on it. "And never," she saaid, lowering her voice to a low growl, "let go of your weapon. Ever."

Raelana leaned up against the cool, stone wall watching Tamaryth train. Her hands rested on the hilt of her fiery blade out of habit, but as always she was alert of her surroundings. She caught Tamaryth's eye and bowed her head lightly out of respect and approval of her methods. It had been a long time since she was in training, more than ten years, but the methods hadn’t changed much.

Tamaryth stepped back, letting the berated recruit retrieve his weapon. She caught Raelana's eye and nodded slightly. "Fifty strikes on the practice dummy," she said to the recruit, then turned walk over to where Raelana was waiting. "Can I help you?" she inquired.

Standing up as tall as she could (which was not very tall at all), she spoke quickly and quietly. "I'm looking for Tamaryth. She knows why I'm here." Raelana said it matter of factly, certain she had found her, but unwilling to give out more information until it was confirmed.

"She might, if she knew who you were," the blood elf responded. "Though at this point I'm going to go ahead and assume you're Raelana. Najme told me you'd be assigned to me." She sheathed her sword.

Raelana's hand squeezed the hilt of her sword slightly. Her green eyes flickered in the candlelight and her fiery hair seemed to match her temperament. She looked hard at the blood elf before relaxing her grip, but not releasing the haft from her grasp. "Ambassador Raelana de Bergerac, at your service," she said with a brief bow of her head. "Please forgive the formalities. When you're in my line of work, you can never be too careful." She gave Tamaryth a half smile. "I'm sure you know how that can be." She paused as a recruit sauntered by slowly, only proceeding when no one else was within earshot. "I was called upon to aid in the situation; however I was only recently filled in on what's going on. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it."

Tamaryth folded her arms. "We have someone to bring to justice," she said. "Ironically, she's ensconced herself in a guild that claims to be devoted to justice." She scoffs. "I hope for their sake they're unaware of her crimes. If they're not, and they've been willingly sheltering her, they're guilty of collusion and their leaders will have to stand trial as well."

"Anything I should know about this guild? I believe Najme said Sanctuary. Seems an appropriate guild considering what she's accused of. Honestly, I'm surprised she's still a member, when you consider the fact she attacked one of their own. Do we know where..." She paused suddenly as another recruit slowly walks by, obviously trying to see what was going on. "...she is? Will any of the members give us trouble when we go to bring her in?"

"Their headquarters is in Dalaran," Tamaryth said. "I've heard stories about them that make their actions less surprising. They're a rogue outfit by all accounts. We can certainly expect trouble. We'll start with their leader and see if we can convince her to turn over the fugitive. Unless you have another idea?" she added, almost as a token comment.

Raelana pulled forth some parchment and glanced at her notes. "The greatest victory is that which requires no battle. I do indeed have another idea." Her face lit up as she looked over her notes. "Yes a very good idea indeed," she muttered to herself, a grin slowly building on her face. "Why start with the leader at all? Sir Cerryan Vyel is in the perfect position to help us appeal to the guild. Not to mention I want a chance to meet him." She looks at Tamaryth, then quickly adds, "To get his opinion on things of course.”

Tamaryth’s lips twisted in a little annoyance. "I suppose we can do that," she said. "We can summon him here. If nothing else, an explanation for why he tolerates her presence, or tolerates the guild that harbors her, is one that should be answered."

Raelana raised one of her eyebrows and gave a disapproving look, but didn’t say anything to contradict or disagree with her statement. "We both have questions we want to ask and things we need explained. Would you like to summon him now?"

"Yes, we shouldn't waste any more time." Tamaryth looked back at the recruit, who was struggling to raise his sword to complete the task she had given him, his arm leaden after so many swings. It was a cruel punishment, but if he managed to hold onto his blade for the duration, he'd be less likely to drop it under trying circumstances in the future. "I'll send a page."

Edited by Catalinetta

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T'suro knocked on Cerryan's office door. The voice that responded was terse. "Yes, what is it?"

"I wished to talk... but if you're too busy." T'suro replied.

There was a sigh before Cerryan responded. "No, come in. I apologize, I am just a bit overwrought."

T'suro stepped in, giving his older superior a salute before approaching the desk. "What's the matter?"

"It's everything. It's the attack on Shal'Aran that I should have been there for. It's the attack on Light's Hope that still burns in my mind when my eyes close. It's Shokkra missing, Karthok plotting, Kanda...." Cerryan sucked in a breath, and released it slowly. "It's the Legion intensifying their crusade on the heels of the victories we've been able to secure."

T'suro sighed and nodded slowly. "I can understand all of that. I've been doing my part, but sometimes I feel as if it's just... overwhelming. This actually plays into what I wanted to discuss with you, though. Lady Liadrin has accepted my request, and supplied us with a deployment of some fresh Blood Knight recruits. There's only four of them, but they're all freshed face and eager to work." T'suro leaned against the desk and sighed again. "I already told the commander, but I'm worried they might feel unwelcome here, even with my presence. Perhaps you could speak with them?"

Cerryan nodded. "I'd be happy to. Additional support from the Blood Knights will be welcome. Light knows what further predations we can expect from the Felborne who struck at us. The knights should have little to worry about, Liadrin's forces are not unwelcome here and we're stretched thinly enough that the aid will go a long way."

T'suro gave the other paladin a smile. "That would be wonderful." His face fell again. "But, wait... we'd need to house them... surely the guard barracks have some empty bunks?"

"I am sure that accommodations can be made, and at worst we can outsource to a local inn. They're as far away from home as we are; small comforts are the least we can do."

T'suro nodded. "Fair enough, I suppose. Consider this an official request then." He chuckled.

Cerryan nodded. "Now to determine how they will provide support. There are a few options I can think of at least; Shal'Aran could benefit from the security of extra hands, of course. Security here is still never in small demand, what with the latest incursion upon our compound. I wonder if..."

The paladin was interrupted by another knock on his door. A moment later, a young page bearing the markings of the Silver Hand entered the room and nervously delivered a summons  to Cerryan from one High Justicar Tamaryth. The paladin nodded and dismissed the page, then turned back to T'suro. "Well then, I suppose we will have to revisit this. I do not want to keep the Silver Hand waiting."

T'suro raised a curious brow. "Silver Hand business? Hmm... Might I accompany you? Our orders are joined together nowadays."

"Yes, of course. I was going to ask you to anyways. I have a feeling I know what this is about."  With that, Cerryan stood and led the two of them out of the office and towards Light's Hope.

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Moving through Acherus slowly, Regdar spoke softly to the human that walked with him. He wore red plate, polished and adorned with the expected skulls of his class, clanking along like everyone else that refused to lose their armor.

"Things haven't changed much," he explained to the blonde human. "But I think you've made the right decision in returning. We all understand that Tirion's loss was tragic, and of course I respect that he was the one that was able to defeat Arthas once and for all. But the chips are down, Gelart. The Legion wants to annihilate every single one of us. I did the right thing and you did the right thing by trying to get one of our most powerful back in the game. Your friends will forgive you, with time."

They stopped at the rune forges, and Regdar put a comforting hand on the cracked plate of the humans' shoulder. "I fought paladins for decades, and I understand the power that comes from their convictions, that righteousness they feel. But you and I aren't powered by that. We're powered by the opposite, almost. We should be murderous monsters with the magics that keep us all walking and talking. But we're not. And we're not the heroes that the Paladins are, that you once were. They get to be heroes and they need to be heroes. When they're powered by their own faith and nobility, they can't have the kind of doubt and choice that you and I do."

"I doubted our attack on Light's Hope, and you did, too. It's why you chose to leave, right?" Gelart nodded slowly and somberly. "But you chose to come back because you see the bigger picture. And you choose to stay, even though you know there are going to be death knights that you don't agree with. That choice is always yours, I'm not going to force you into it and neither is Acherus."

"But what I want you to do is tap into some of that ol' paladin conviction. And I don't want you to dedicate it to us, there are plenty of things to doubt coming, I'm sure. Dedicate it to the war with the Legion. Be the best soldier that you can be killing the most demons that you can kill. And if you think that the best way to do that is by coming here and using the resources we have to offer, then you know you made the right choice. Don't let me convince you of that. Let you convince you of that."

Regdar let a few moments pass. This was the pitch he had given a hundred times, but Gelart didn't need to know that. He was just as conflicted as so many of the others. He knew that the Ebon Blade were taking the fight to the Legion and helping end their attacks, and that he'd be far more useful to them as a member of the organization than alone. But he'd killed two of his greatest friends and allies at the melee at Light's Hope. That was a kind of pain that he had too hard a time washing off. With Regdar, at least, he felt there was someone still in the dark, noisey halls of Acherus who understood.

Gelart accepted, and Regdar helped him reconcile with the members of the Blade he'd spat on in his haste to leave. He got new armor and, most crucially, his cracked runeblade was reforged to be stronger than ever. There was no danger that he'd be warped by the dark shadows that powered all Death Knights, and he would be safe in his attempts to continue fighting the Legion.

Curiously, however, Regdar couldn't help but overhear the name "Catalinetta" come up a few times as he was working through the process. It wasn't enough that he felt alarmed, just unnerved. He'd given her his word that the Ebon Blade would leave her alone, so why were there knights whispering her name to one another like this? After Gelart was set to return to fight on the Broken Shore, Regdar headed off in search of some answers. If Acherus still had Catalinetta's name on its lips, he ought to find out why.

Still aboard the Acherus, a tauren death knight worked the runeforge. She was built rather standard for a tauren female from Mulgore; short white horns, white and brown spotted pattern. What may have once been soft eyes, however, were now hard with loss. She hammered her axe with the precision of a master craftsman, taking the time to admire her work every few seconds.

Regdar did his best to project respect as he approached. "Not looking to take up too much of your time, but, well, I'll get right into it. I keep hearing the name "Catalinetta" among the knights. Do they mean Catalinetta D'Aragon?"

Sunsong turned to Regdar and wiped a hand across her forehead. It was more out of habit than anything, as the dead did not sweat. "That is correct." The tauren peered at him for a moment, as if trying t place him. "And you are?"

"Regdar the Red. I know Catalinetta, I've met her before, tried to talk her into returning to the Ebon Blade. Why are people speaking of her now?"

"We have utilized her as a bargaining chip," Sunsong said flatly, returning to her work. "Some members of the Silver Hand wanted to start some sort of assenine investigation on our mission to their chapel. Rather than allow such a blatant waste of our time continue, we gave them her name. They can busy themselves with her while we continue our strike against the Legion."

"Gave them her name in what way? She left the Blade after what happened, why would the Paladins care about her?

"Because she is a known face who injured one of theirs. She may have left our ranks, but that has made her even more suspicious. Convenient for us. If they want someone to hang, better it be one we have no need for any longer."

"That doesn't even..." Regdar was more surprised and dumbfounded than anything else. He spent half his time trying to convince wayward knights that the Blade, despite its flaws, was the right place for them only to be met with this. "Thank you for that. I hope those paladins eat their fill." He said finally, before making great haste for the portal to Dalaran.

Sunsong furrowed her brow at the departing death knight. She watched him go suspiciously, but didn't make a move to follow him.

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Three firm knocks sounded on the office door.

"C'mon in." The voice of Cobrak was easy enough to recognize.

"Been a while, Cobrak." Dessim greeted as she stepped inside. "Looks like you're full of more stitches than ME now."

Cobrak made an odd noise that was a mutt of both grunting and chuckling, "Well 'ere's 'opin' I dinnae go 'ungry fer blood an' 'afta eat souls or wute'er it is ya do..." He says, gesturing to a chair and an accompanying bottle of rum. "Wut kin I do fer ya, lass?"

"You? Probably nothing." It wasn't said in a way that inferred insult. "But I need someone who is a holy warrior or can at least look like one."

His eyebrow cocks, a silent gesture to continue on tht thought.

"I have concerns. A few months ago, the Ebon blade made an accurate presumption to how the Silver Hand would react to their plans... I won't go into details but it ended with another assault on Light's hope and a second death for one of their commanders.... He got better. There has been no counter-attack due to efforts against the Legion and I am worried about how long this ceasefire will last,” she continued. “The Silver Hand will not forgive such an ‘affront’ and paladins are not known for their sense of forgiveness.  When they strike back I do not think it will end with the Ebon Blade. I believe they will hunt down every last one of us. If you have anyone who could poke their head in, I'd like to at least know the mood they see in."

Cobrak folded his arms, pondering. He weighed his options then. Usually it was not his intention to be involved in such affairs as politics or tension between such groups. His lone eye closed as he pondered, then again, it was merely a job to feel out the paladins' state of mind. Could there be harm in that? If he were found out, it could be construed as Borrowed Time helping one organization essentially spy on the other.

The orc tapped his fingers on the desk, pondering still. A small risk then, as Dessim was a friend who was merely concerned. "...I kin 'ave onna mine see bout it."

"Thank you. I'm not asking for attack plans, just the general consensus. I know they're angry, but if the call to arms is gaining followers I'd like some warning."

Cobrak nods, "Aye, notta problem...I jus' 'ope this doesnae blow up in our faces."

"Then just pick someone who is either too subtle to be caught or too stupid to feel nervous about what they are doing."

"I 'ave tha perfect guy."

"Send me the bill then. You know where we are." She gives a small smile, now that the business was concluded without issue.

Cobrak nodded, "Aye, will do." he says with a smirk, "So's when will yer Boss reopen tha Cantina nights now with tha Legion mostly limpin' back ta tha Tomb?"

"It's hard to say... Between the war effort, his family issues, and Gunheya's tendency to take on projects like a pack mule I feel like we have none that could run it to our liking. But as soon as we find a spot to run the business we will try."

Cobrak nodded, "I see, well iffin 'e needs any 'elp settin' anythin' up, ya tell 'im we'll be more than 'appy to lend a 'and."

"I'm sure he would love it... His bitch girlfriend  might not."

Cobrak rolls his one eye, declining to comment himself on that subject. "Well, offers always open ta Coldstar."

"And we appreciate it, sincerely."

Cobrak smirks, "Right then, we'll send tha contract o'er fore 'e gits goin' ta Light's Hope."

" I'll be around to make sure our crew hasn't slacked off then."

A nod from the orc followed, "Good ta 'ear, sumtiems peons need a good smack'round."

"Only sometimes?" She asked, cracking a grin as she rose and made her way out

Cobrak let losse an easier laugh, "Mos' o' tha time."

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Regdar lit another candle as he poured over the legal documents in the hall of records assisted by one of the fat custodians in breaking down the specifics of each individual interpretation of horde law. The orcs, though the documents of the various races that appeared as well, did not seem particularly fascinated with legal nuance, and the number of awkward loopholes created by the disparate documents of seven.different races and cultures was truly astounding. But no matter where Regdar looked, the answer seemed to remain the same. No matter which why he examined or argued the problem in his head, the problem at hand offered only one solution.

And that solution was awful indeed for Catalinetta.

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Azilrog stepped through a Death Gate to Archerus' sparring level. He dragged the unconscious form of Ghostslayer behind him. "SUNSONG!" He shouted out, his voice grating.

Ghostslayer’s death grip was to his ice-like blades still sliding along behind him left frost in their wake. The tauren was not only unconscious, but also had a bloody Shoulder from the slide of his weapon. He was missing his full chest plate, his helmet was cracked in and falling off, almost the leaving a shoulder piece dragging along his form, and his thigh plates were gone. Spirits hovered around Ghostslayer like a moth to a flame.

Sunsong answered the call, her brow furrowed at the sight before her. "Well that didn't take lomg," she said gruffly. "Azilrog, you have performed admirably. Put him in a cell and I will see to him."

Azilrog nodded and took Ghostslayer to a cell as Sunsong followed close behind, locking the cell door once Azilrog had Ghostslayer situated. "I will see to him once he wakes. You are dismissed, Azilrog. Though you may want to keep an eye on that guild you reside in. There may be trouble. Stay out of it."

Azilrog nodded. "I will maintain my efforts on the Broken Shore. Sanctuary has proven to be a breeding ground for naive rebels." He saluted and marched off.

A spirit lingered close to the cell, curious if it could ride Ghostslayer. After all, he was an easy ride, one of the many tortured beings the Ebon Blade had slain. It would get it's vengeance through this death knight. The human's cold presence ended up right behind the large tauren. It could be seen for a brief moment, the skin sullen and the eyes red before Ghost turned and gripped the spirit. It screamed out in terror as the tauren absorbed it into its form, clinging to it like a cat suffocating its prey. The ice around the cell built like a winter wonderland, and the wound at the Tauren's back healed along with the wound on his head. The blood, however, was still there. He tore his helmet off and threw it to the ground, getting up on legs that were once again strong. Ghostslayer peered out of the cage with purple eyes.

"You," Sunsong said to the tauren with an even voice. "Explain yourself. You have been telling people a story about being exiled."

Ghostslayer seethed, looking at the cage around him, the bars icing over. He clopped back and forth his eyes, turning blue as he watched the other death knight like a cat behind bars. "It is not a lie. I was cast out and attacked for many years. Why are there words why have you not done worse like the Lich king would have?"

Sunsong folded her arms. "Maybe we can still use a fool like you. Tell me your story. Who cast you out?"

He watched her, flicking his ear and crouching down. His tail swished slowly. "Highlord Darkmoon. He cast me out for killing his daughter." He said simply. Watching Sunsong, he slid his fingers along he ice in his cage. "When I was free of the lich king. The spirits saw me as fresh meat I could not control myself."

Sunsong furrowed her brow. "So another death knight saw fit to banish you for killing his own blood. I see. Well," she huffed, clearly irritated. "He is no longer here. I would welcome you back to the Ebon Blade."

"Welcome I would appreciate but I have been oathed, and the oath may conflict with what you would have me do." He said simply. "Why is the silver hand hunting us?"

Sunsong clicked her teeth. "They are not hunting us. A few paladins have a grudge regarding our mission to Light's Hope. That is all."

He watched the other Tauren and slides his right shoulder pad off and his gauntlets, then the seat of his armor only wearing underpants now. "Grudges will be held. It is the way of things. What would you use me for?"

"You are a death knight," Sunsong said flatly. "You will be 'used' to defeat the Legion, to the best of your ability. We do what the living cannot."

He seemed to consider this. "I fight the legion anyways. And of the Paladins that wish to kill us?" He shifted, looking behind the tauren, his blue eyes turning to her as if reading her.

"The paladins wish to bring us to justice. They are not so stupid as to want to kill us all."

"Some of them are. We are scourge to them. I have fought my fair share of Zealots. I would think I would gain certain perks for this? A new set of armor and access to a rune forge? And perhaps a more steady supply of ghosts to feast upon? Souls that are used for us are not put towards the Legion." He came close to the bars. It was cold, but some of the ice cracked off and fell where he grips the bars. "Are we planning self defense or diplomacy with those that aim to kill us?"

Sunsong raised an eyebrow to the Ghost Slayer, her arms still folded across her chest. "We have provided them with a leave offering, so that we might continue to harmoniously work together. That is none of your concern. What is your concern is the fight against the Legion, which we will see finished. In return for your allegiance, you will have access to the runeforge that will grant your blade greater power. The Acherus and all its reaources will be open to you."

He scratched his back and looked over his shoulder at the blood caked there, then looked back to Sunsong. "Things have changed. Besides fighting the Legion what do you expect of my allegiance to the Ebon blade?" He inquired. "I will not harm an innocent and I will not be included in a petty war agains the alliance I will protect people I will not outright harm them unless it harms the legion."

"I think you will find that there are no 'innocents' in this world," Sunsong practically growled. "But we have no intention of taking any aggression against anyone but the Legion."

His blue eyes focus in on her. Clopping his hooves, he let go of the bars and crossed his arms. "Innocence is not being of the legion. There is a difference between us and the Legion. We have the freedom of choice to be better than we were made to be. " He stepped from the bars, eyeing the tauren, his tail swishing and his hooves sliding along the ice. "You will have my allegiance. But I will not violate my oath in doing so."

"Fine," Sunsong huffed in resignation, opening the cell door.

He watched Sunsong as the cell opened, clopping hooves to step out of it. "Good to be fighting again. Better than just surviving."

"Stay out of trouble," Sunsong warned, pointing toward Ghost Slayer firmly. "We do not have time to go looking for rogue death knights. There is a war to be fought."

He looked to the Tauren. "Trouble is how we learn." He says idly. "I do not make allegiances lightly."

"Nor does the Ebon Blade. Now go. The Broken Shore requires assistance, and there are few who can provide the strength that our kind demonstrates."

He nodded and headed up to the forge. First, to obtain replacement armor. Then to have his blades forged.

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The Twisting Nether Gazette is a role play forum for characters on the RP-PVP servers Twisting Nether and Ravenholdt.  We have been active since November of 2005, a few months after the Twisting Nether server originally went live.  Our purpose is to provide a safe and inclusive environment where role players can meet and interact with each other, and, of course, post their amazing role play stories, art, bios, and journals.

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