In Search of a Ghost

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Sometimes, in the fleeting quiet moments between battles, when my mind is left to wander as it will, it takes me back to him.  Those memories are still whole, untouched by the wicked sorcery of the human professor.  At times, I am grateful that these most precious memories were spared.  Other times, I think it would have been a mercy if they'd been taken or scrambled with so many others.

I remember the first day I met him.  That day was at least ten years ago.  I was buying poison in Undercity when he approached the same vendor.  He seemed to know him.  They made small talk and joked with each other, while I was still waiting for my purchase.  I got irritated with him, but he started talking and joking with me too, as if we were old friends.  He soon had me laughing along with them, my irritation forgotten.

I remember sparring outside the front gates of the Undercity until we were both beaten and bloodied.  And then we’d spar some more, telling ourselves we were only trying to determine which of us was the better fighter.  In truth, we both knew we were evenly matched, but we continued the fights for the sheer joy of combat and each other’s company.

I remember hunting mages with him in Felwood, positioning ourselves carefully -- one to ambush the mage and the other to intercept after the inevitable blink.  We made such a bloody sport of slaughtering the felcloth gatherers there.

I remember sneaking through Stormwind Park together, collecting coins from the Elders, and murdering any Alliance who crossed our path.  We’d laugh as we ran and hid from the guards, reveling in the bloodshed and the danger.

I remember the quiet talks about fighting, about The Grim, about his guild, about our pasts, about anything and everything.  They were secret talks.  In those days, Grims did not have close relationships with non-Grims.  It just did not happen.  He also led his own guild.  I met a few of them now and then, but I never got to know them very well.   The time we spent together was most often private time shared by just the two of us.

“Marry me,” he said one day during one of these talks.  I had never before considered the possibility of marriage.  What would I do with a husband?  What would I do as a wife?  I was Forsaken.  I had once been dead and was now undead.  I would never be able to give him children.  I couldn’t even be with him as a wife should be with a husband, and I had no desire to be that way with anyone.  I was also Grim.  Grims did not often marry, and they never married outside the guild.  There was no chance he would abandon his own guild to become Grim.  He was too willful to ever take orders from another.

“I can’t,” I answered quietly.  “You’re not Grim.”

I expected him to be disappointed, or angry, or insulted.  Instead, he laughed his carefree laugh and said, “You are Grim through and through.”

He disappeared sometime after that.  I thought him lost forever, claimed by a final death, or some new adventure. 

Two years later, I would see him one more time.


Eight years ago……

The Alliance had invaded Orgimmar again.  They seemed determined to kill Thrall.  I was part of a small unit of Grim aiding the defense.  By the time we got there, most of the Alliance had already been killed or driven off.  We helped kill the remaining Alliance as they fled. 

As the last stragglers were dealt with, something about one of the other Forsaken there caught my attention.  He cut down a druid that was trying to sprint away in cat form.  In my mind, memories stirred as I watched him move and fight.  He was different though.  His eyes were now a frosty blue instead of the glowing gold I remembered, his daggers were gone in favor of a large sword, and he wore plate instead of the usual supple leather.  Still, I knew without a doubt it was him.

“Lucion.”  I breathed his name without thinking.  Although it was barely a whisper, he looked at me then.  After all the time that had passed, I felt nervous as I approached him.  “Do you remember me?”

“I remember I gave you a flower in Undercity.  A lotus.  I remember you wearing a black dress.  You are all grown up now.”    We talked the rest of the evening.  It was like before, but it was also different.  He told me some things about the time he’d been gone, but he didn’t remember everything.  Something about a warlock, a crystal, and a priest with all the answers, and something about empowering the Forsaken, but he didn’t know any details.

I was so happy he was back, and I vowed to help him find answers.

I never saw him again.

Edited by Syreena
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Eight months ago…..

The Legion was invading Azeroth.  We had been fighting them all over the world.  Wave after wave of demons kept coming.  Plans were being made to travel to the Broken Shore and fight them there.

Although I would not be among the first to travel the Shore, I took a walk one day from the gates of Orgrimmar to Bladefist Bay and observed the preparations being made.  Weapon smiths, cooks, armorers, combat trainers, and other various vendors were there, trying to make some coin for themselves while they better prepared heroes to fight a never-ending enemy.

These heroes—champions, mercenaries, adventurers—were lined up at the Bay, waiting their turn to board the ship that would soon take them to battle.  Perched on a post at the land end of the docks, I watched them as they loaded themselves aboard with various expressions.  Some looked eager, some frightened, some resigned.  All had sharp weapons, shiny armor, and a sack full of food from the vendors.  Each one was determined not to be among the first casualties of this crowd when they landed, as if giving their coin to the vendors would prevent that.

I was just about to return to the city when I caught sight of a Forsaken on the deck.  By now, I had given up all hope of ever finding Lucion.  He still crossed my mind from time to time, but I had long ago accepted that he was nothing more than a sweet memory of happier days.  But I recognized the priest on the ship.  If Razvaan wasn’t second in command of Lucion’s guild, he was close to it.  I had met him a few times back in the days when Lucion and I were close.  If anyone knew what happened to Lucion, it would be him.

“Razvaan!” I called his name as I ran down the docks, but he didn’t hear me.  The ship pulled away from the docks, along with my chance to learn what had become of Lucion. 

I decided to head to the Broken Shore right away.  However, when I went back to Orgrimmar to begin preparations, I found an opportunity to strike at Sanctuary which eventually led to the Ghostlands and a three-month delay.


One month ago…..

After watching Razvaan leaving Bladefist Bay, I found myself thinking more often of him and Lucion.  I wondered if Lucion could have been aboard that very ship.   The possibility would not leave me.  I did my share of killing demons on the Broken Shore, but that wasn’t my only goal there.  I kept an eye out always for Lucion or Razvaan or anyone else wearing Broken Sanity’s colors.

I told nobody.  Muatah once told me that it was wrong to waste time looking back.  It was not the Grim way to reminisce or go searching for long lost loved ones.  I would find no support there. I should spend my time killing Alliance and demons, not chasing ghosts from long ago.

Then one day in Dalaran, I saw him again.  Through the crowd, a block or so ahead of me, I caught a glimpse of Razvaan.  I called out to him and tried to push through the mass of people, but again, he didn’t hear me, and I lost him.  For days, I sat on the railing of the Legerdemain balcony, watching for him, but if he passed by there again, I never saw him. 

Frustrated, I considered my options.   I was no tracker.  I had no skill for finding people in a city as crowded as Dalaran, or a land as big as the Broken Shore.  If I wanted to find Razvaan, if I wanted a chance to find out where Lucion was, or even if he was still alive, I would need professional help.



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At the gates of Dragon’s Roost Port, the base of Borrowed Time, a small Forsaken female rode up on a galloping skeletal horse.  Both mount and rider were covered in black and red armor.  Although many knives of various shapes and sizes were visible on her person, Syreena’s hands were empty, except for the reins, which she used to slow the horse to a walk as she drew closer.  As always, the Grim tabard was worn over her armor.

She noticed that the reinforced iron composing the fortifications of the port seemed relatively new around what looked like a former battlefield.  Craters littered the landscape, with any form of growth burned away by fire and oil that still had a vague scent about the place that was intermingled with the sea breeze.  Briefly, she wondered what had happened here, but she was only mildly interested.  She was focused on the task at hand.

It wasn't long before much attention was pulled towards the gates. The colors and the description of the Forsaken woman were enough to call plenty more guards into watchful motion. Of the gathered guards one figure stood out among them. A ranger, hooded and armed with a bow in hand, stood on the wall and peered down at their guest. The dim verdant glow of his eyes studied the tabard and every weapon that clung to her.

Despite the potential threat of so many guards, Syreena was both amused and flattered by the attention.  Still, it wouldn’t do her any good to get shot full of arrows before she’d accomplished what she came for.  As her horse chomped the bit and shook his head, Syreena remained still and calm.

"Brave, stupid, or both,” Faelenor called down to her.  “Either way you've managed to get our attention." He turned to each of the guards that followed him and mouthed something to them before turning back to her. "What do you want?"

The guard nodded and made his way down from the wall, motioning for another one of the orcs to follow him

"I want to hire someone for a job,” she said to Faelenor.

The two orcs emerged from the gate and advanced upon the undead. One held a bowling ball sized orb in its hand that he tossed into the air. A red wave emerged from it to wash over the mount and the rogue in a downward motion.  The horse, being battle trained, didn't shy from it, but pinned his ears and snapped at it.  As the cloud fell over horse and rider, it produced and unpleasant feeling but seemed to have no effect beyond that.

“She’s real,” one of the guards announced.

“What the fel?” Syreena demanded, putting a hand on one of the large daggers at her hip.

" Standard procedure,” the guard explained. “An increased number of Legion infiltrators warrants the checking of every guest coming into the port." The orc motioned up towards Faelenor with an affirmative hand sign.

"Oh," she muttered at the explanation.  "Well, you could have warned me." 

Faelenor drew an arrow from its quiver as her hand reached for the dagger. The bow raised and the arrow was nocked all in the same motion.

"Though in your case...being real is actually the worst of the possibilities,” Faelenor informed the little rogue. "You have come here to hire one of us?”

She looked back up at Faelenor and slowly removed her hand from the dagger to place it back on the reins.  "That's right.  I want to hire someone.  For a job.  Like I said."

"Yeah, I heard you the first time. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going mad." Fael loosened the tension on the bowstring, setting the arrow back into its quiver, but kept his mark on the tiny rogue. "Name your business here and now, and perhaps I can find you a fool to take your job."

She frowned, looking around, having pictured this discussion not happening quite as out in the open as this.  She stifled a sigh as she looks back up at the ranger on the wall.  "I'm looking for help in finding someone."

"And your idea of searching for help was to come to Borrowed Time of all places. You understand that you probably would have had a better chance at begging Sanctuary or the Alliance for assistance."

Fael pulled out his comm mumbled into it. When he finished, he pocketed the device and shouts back down. "Wait there." He moved from his spot but guards quickly take his place.

Syreena held her tongue, but she frowned, trying to remember why Borrowed Time hated her so much.  Surely they wouldn’t still be this upset over Dora's knee.  She waited where she was, but she kept a grip on the reins, ready to signal the mount to run if guards suddenly started swarming out of the gate. 

"Grumpy, aren't they?" she mutters softly to Bones, her horse.  "You'd think they don't want the work."

A moment passed before the gate opened. The ranger walked out alone, armed with his bow and a pair of blades on his belt. He stepped carefully towards the Forsaken, signaling with a quick wave of his hand. The gates closed and the guards pulled bows of their own from their stations. Such attention from the guards that she had initially found flattering, was quickly becoming irritating.

"Your window of time is short and it's slowly closing,” Faelenor told her. “This is as close to private and within the walls of the gate as you are going to get. So start talking." She was in need of their service. They could care less of what she was willing to pay. But curiosity won out over reason.

She slid down off her horse and took a few steps toward the ranger, careful to keep her hands away from her blades.   "I don't want to go within your walls.  This is fine."  

Suddenly overcome with doubt about her decision to hire Borrowed Time for this, she fell quiet for a moment, hesitating before stating her request.  "I'm looking for someone.  I haven't seen him in...well, years.  But I saw a friend of his twice since the Horde sailed for the Broken Shore, a guild mate.  I'm busy with other business, but I'm hoping for help tracking down this friend to find out what happened to the person I used to know."

"Almost every tracker, ranger, or hunter in this establishment has something against you. It's to your fortune that I got here first, or else you may have lost more than a knee cap this time around." Fael hooked his bow back in its resting spot, eyeing the rogue and her surroundings. The goggled lens that covered his right eye hummed as he looks around.

Syreena wondered what he was looking for, then figured he probably thought she wasn’t alone.  Maybe he expected the entirety of The Grim to come charging out at the gate to take over Borrowed Time’s base.  In the interests of a better chance of doing business, she refrained from voicing such sarcastic thoughts.

"So either you believe yourself rich enough to pay for this job or you aren't terribly keen on keeping your head... but I'll bite,” Fael continued. “Give me a little more to work on."

"Everyone has something against everyone," she says mildly.  "Last I heard, you guys take jobs.  If that's no longer true, I'll leave."  She tilted her head at him.  "You want more details...  Does that mean you'll take the job?"

"Like any establishment that provides invaluable service to their patrons, which I can understand if you aren't familiar with that concept, we also have the right to refuse you. Given your past history with us I shouldn't really have to go into too much more detail. However, through some miracle, the order to send you away wasn't given. So, I'll ask again. The details of the job... we will need more. We need to send the right mercenaries to do the job after all... unless you want Cobrak hunting down an old friend of yours?"

"I...didn't say he was a friend.  I said I saw his friend," she argued, having second thoughts again.  She was reluctant to admit to a group of mercenaries who hated her, what Lucion meant to her.  She bit her bottom lip briefly, not even seeming to notice that her filed pointy teeth drew blood.  "Maybe this isn't a good idea...." she says, as she started to turn away.  She stopped though.  If not Borrowed Time to help find Razvaan , then who?  "Is it?  Can you do business with me without bringing personal issues of the past into it?"

"Why do you think you weren't made a pin cushion at the very start of this?" He held out his hand and with another wave the guards stowed their bows and moved back to their regular positions. "So, if you want to discuss a business proposition then now is your chance. Consider my interest a show of good faith."

She glanced up at the guards, then she took another step closer to Faelenor.  After another moment's hesitation, she began speaking only loud enough so that, barring any special powers or equipment, only he and her horse would hear her. 

"All right then,” she started.  “I'm looking for a man named Lucion.  He's Forsaken.  He once led a guild called Broken Sanity.  Recently, I saw his friend and guildmate, another Forsaken by the name of Razvaan, but I lost sight of him before I could catch up to him and talk to him."

"Where was it you last saw him?" He asked as he shifts the bow on his back.

"In Dalaran, on the street between the Legerdemain and the wine & cheese shop.  Maybe two weeks ago?  I saw him once before that too, on a ship leaving from Bladefist Bay for the Broken Shore."

"Anyone else with Razvaan when you found him? Perhaps something more notable to help track him down. The streets of Dalaran and ships leaving to the Broken Shore aren't exactly enough to go off of. Two weeks ago leaves a large enough time frame for him to be long gone by now."

Syreena’s frustration was evident as she shook her head.  "No, I don't know.  If it was easy to find him, I would have by now.  That's why I need help."

Noting the frustration, Fael gave a sly smirk. "I'm simply gauging the expenses of the work. Given the complexity of this job and the resources needed to find him I imagine you know it won't come cheap. Being that this is a mercenary establishment, talk of compensation was inevitable."

She nodded, seemingly not upset at all at the subject of the cost.  "How much?  And also, I assume that, since this is a paid job, that a certain amount of....professional'standard procedure'?" she asked, using the guard's words from earlier.

"That's dependent on the merc who gets the job and what their definition of professional discretion is. My interest was personal. But as far as fees go I want to make sure you understand that the more you pay the more professional the work. Dirty deeds aren't done dirt cheap. Once the contract is made and signed you are guaranteed what you pay for. " Fael looked over the rogue once more before asking his final question. "Why not go to the Grim for help? Couldn't you just yell out your mantra and have a pick of the first that yell it back to aid you for free? You had to expect that question to come about eventually?"

Her brow furrowed, twisting her patchwork-stitched face.  She shrugged, kicking at a small piece of debris in the dirt.  "I don't see many of them much.  I mean, they're busy....killing demons, and Alliance, and elves in the Nighthold, and...."  She trailed off, looking up at Faelenor with a frown.  "Does it really matter anyway?  It's not a dirty job.  I'm not trying to hurt anyone or anything.  I'm sure you guys wouldn't take a job like that for me."

"Discretion comes with caution. You know who you are but even if you weren't Syreena these questions are still extremely relevant. Our forces aren't exactly laying around waiting for the next job to fall on our laps.  But someone has to watch over the port and today just happened to be my day. So yes, it does matter. Simply because we would be sending one of own to do the job. And if it means making sure they come back alive, I will ask for any information I find relevant. As for the job, I will talk with Cobrak and see who he wants to assign it to. If no one cares to work then I may just pick it up myself. Give us until tomorrow to decide. I will send you a message when the decision has been made." He took a step back and bowed his head. "All things considered...this is the best that I can do for you."

"Oh," she says.  Then she winced.  "Cobrak?  Are you going to tell him it's for me?"

"He has eyes and ears all over the port. He'd know it was a job for you even if I decided to keep it a secret. Besides. Who do you think gave the order to listen to you? It's up to the discretion of the merc if they want your job. We don't hold them to any oath or mantra. So long as they know what they are getting themselves into and won't bring back harm to our port... they can deal with whom ever they want."

She tilted her head, considering that.  "He already knows I'm here...." she muttered to herself, looking back up at the guards on the wall as if they were suddenly going to start shooting at her.  "Umm, okay.  I'll watch for your message then.  And  you'll let me know how much it will cost?"

"Yes yes...variable costs are just so difficult to determine right away. Now then..." He gave out a whistle and the gate doors opened. "I will discuss this further with him and I will get word to you tomorrow. Tread carefully...Syreena."

"Okay.  Thanks....for not shooting me."  The little rogue nodded, then backed up a couple steps before turning to find her horse, who had wandered a short ways off.  Apparently Bones had given up his search for grass in the burnt area.  He was eating dirt.  Syreena yanked his head up by the reins and mounted up, looking back at the ranger and the guards on the wall.  As the gate began to close, Syreena wheeled Bones around and kicked him into a gallop, going back the way she came.

The ranger stepped backwards into the port and watched as the gate closed. He let out a sigh, taking a moment to relax himself before making his way to the office. "Why didn't I shoot her again?" he asked himself as he walked up towards Cobrak’s office.

Edited by Syreena
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The missive arrived to the Grim's base, carried by a large raven that sat at the mailbox until its recipient would come to claim it. How it knew who it's recipient was, was a different matter entirely, but when Syreena emerged from the guild hall, eating Silvermoon Steak on a Stick, and followed by her two favorite pets, the raven stirred.  It flew from the mailbox to perch on her shoulder, pecking lightly at her pauldron before delivering its missive to her.  The wax seal that adorned it depicted a raven whose wingspan was spread to show its majesty. 

The Shadowblade took the letter and held the stick of meat toward the bird.  “Hungry?”   Then she broke the seal and read the letter.


Your request has been reviewed and the contract has gone to one of The Ravenflight's operatives. The specifics of the contract and all else will be discussed and disclosed upon meeting with our Ravenflight associate. Location of the meeting will take place in the city of Dalaran per the agency's request. The Underbelly should be discreet enough for any and all manner of business. Be there when dusk falls."

The missive ended abruptly and without further detail. Without warning and having no interest in the food offered the raven leapt off her shoulder and flew off.  Syreena watched the bird fly away, then tossed a chunk of meat to each pet.  Ber, the undead worg, swallowed his whole while the hydra’s three heads fought over their piece.

"The Underbelly," she muttered to her pets.  "That doesn't sound like a trap."  Her tone was sarcastic, and she rolled her eyes.  Then she sighed refolding the letter and sliding it into a hidden pocket in her armor.  She didn’t really think it was likely to be a trap, but it was a definite possibility.  She would go anyway.  The chance to discover Lucion’s fate, and her curious nature itself, would compel her even as her suspicions warned her to be cautious.




That evening, just before dusk, the little rogue was in the Underbelly.  She perched on top of a stack of crates.  When there were no guards nearby, she became unseen.  She didn't want to get distracted by some eager fighter attacking her.  When there were guards in sight, however, she was visible to anyone looking for her, wearing her usual black and red armor with daggers and other knives visible on her, as well as the bold Grim symbol on her tabard.

The clatter of clashing blades and sizzle of stray bolts of magic were particularly exclusive to Dalaran’s underbelly. Most who came to do business in the darker parts were usually dealing in less than legal matters but there were still parts of the Underbelly were even the fighting didn't carry over. With the guards returned to their stations however, the calamity of it all seemed to die down until there were only the footsteps and voices of heavy traffic that remained.

Clad in his mesh of leather and mail, the Lord Ranger approached his mark with a curious calm. He lowered his hood and let the pale of his blond hair fall down to his shoulders. The bow on his back and the blades on his hip were clear indicators of his precaution but it wasn't out of place in the Underbelly.

"I hope the choice of location doesn't bother you terribly," he spoke out as he stood beside her. "I felt strange holding this meeting anywhere else. This felt appropriate for some strange reason." Before she could answer to his comment he motioned towards the bar on the dock and smirked. "I've an associate who will be joining us tonight. I told them to meet with us there. We can begin negotiations on the contract there if you don't mind." Down to business, no pleasantries needed giving after all.

Syreena offered no comment about the location for the meeting.  She would never admit to him that meeting in such a violent place, with someone who so obviously didn't like her, seemed suspicious.  But he didn't seem to expect a response anyway.

"Lead the way," she said agreeably in her raspy voice, as she slid smoothly from the crates.

Seating was self-served and it seemed that Faelenor had a favorite table ready for their meeting. When they sat, the ranger glanced quickly around their surroundings before pulling the contract from his satchel. He placed it in front of her and allowed her to read over the details.

"The most important thing within the contract is the terms of our agreed negotiation. You have offered the job, we have taken said job, and now you will be reimbursing us for it. Half in advance and the other upon completion. Should we fail to get the job done then you will be reimbursed in full. Should it be through negligence on your part that the mission fails then you agree to forgo the advance you have paid and terminate the contract. Other little details here and there but the biggest detail is the cost. As far as that is concerned I have estimated every expense on our end and have determined a final amount. It's at the end of the contract. Please let me know if it's reasonable." The serious expression on his face remained throughout his pitch until he spoke about the price. "Or if we need to negotiate assistance in helping you find a different mercenary group to hire."

Syreena read through the contract, scanning some sections and reading others more closely.   Her gaze rested on the final price for a moment, and a thought came to mind.  She looked up at him, her head tilted curiously.  "Would it cost this much even if it wasn't for me?"

"It may seem a bit arrogant to charge so much for my services but that price comes with a sense of pride and reassurance. We certainly aren’t on friendly terms with one another and it may seem like that price was tailored for you but I am far more professional than that. So no, the price is definitely not based on who I am employed by, but because you asked for discretion where no one else would give it. Risk factors, resource management, and a few other items are taken into consideration when narrowing down a price." He crossed his arms and leaned back into his seat as he examined her expressions.  "I have given you the option of walking away and finding someone else, but at the very least you have my own reassurance bound by my seal. The Ravenflight take their work seriously when a client is paying."

"Okay," she said simply, seeming to accept his wordy answer.  "And Razvaan won't be hurt, right? I don't want..." she trailed off, biting her bottom lip.  She studied the ranger for a moment before finishing her sentence.  "I don't want him to be hurt."

"You set the boundaries of the contract and I will abide by them. The only reason I should ever need to harm anyone is if my own life is in danger. If Razvaan presents no immediate threat and this job is as clean as you claim it is, then the only reason I could think of for hurting if the job demanded it. In this case, it’s simply to seek him out and find him for you, am I correct?"

"Yes, that's right," she confirmed.  Her brow furrowed as she tries to remember something.  "I don't think he'll be any threat to you.  He's not violent without reason.  Not from what I remember anyway.  You don't need to keep my name secret from him, by the way.  I was on good terms with them.  If he remembers me, and how...    If he remembers me, he should understand why he's being asked about Lucion."

She flagged down a passing waitress and placed an order.  Then she looked around curiously before turning back to Faelenor.  "I thought you mentioned an associate meeting us here."

As if on cue, a tall elf woman slid from around the corner, a smirk plastered across her blood red lips. "You give too much away... you care for this man. A mistake I hope you learn from in the future. You're lucky you chose the flight for your search.  Many others would take advantage of that."

Simple, tight black and green leathers hugged every curve of her body as she made her way over to the table, letting her fingertips lightly brush against Faelenor's back. The move was hidden from the rogue, though, before taking the seat at the apex between the two.

The little rogue eyed the elf woman up and down.  No expression on her face gave anything away about her reaction to the words.  She didn't bother arguing it, but she didn't admit to it either. 

"Who are you?"  Syreena demanded.

"Vyriana, his associate you're so eager to meet." She tilted her head, eyebrow raising in a smug way. A hand casually flipped the long black hair that fell over her shoulders and down her back, gaze studying the little rogue in front of her. "So do we have a deal?"

Syreena tilted her head as she regarded the elf woman, already not liking her one bit.  "You were listening all that time?  So you know my requests?  Razvaan is not to be hurt, and nobody else needs to know I'm looking for him."

Vyriana snorted, stifling a bigger laugh of derision. "For being a heralded member of The Grim you really are dense, aren't you?" The look she cast to the man at her side was filled with a haughty air. "Of course I know your requests, now would you like us to find your mark or not?" Vyriana really didn't have any patience for stupidity, specially from one not of her... caliber.

The little rogue tapped her fingers on the tabletop a couple times, her eyes narrowing.  "Would it be less dense to not make sure my terms are clear?  Freakin' elves," the last words were muttered under her breath.  "Now I see why you let him deal with the clients first.  Yes, of course I want you to find him.  That's why I'm here.  Now who's being dense?"  Silently, she reminded herself why she was here, and that it would do no good for that purpose for her to lose her temper with this elf.  She managed to resist the urge to pull a blade to find out the exact color of the woman’s blood.

Faelenor crossed his arms, eyeing Vyriana as she spoke with Syreena.  A look of slight regret painted his face but none the less he continued to listen. The back and forth was pointless at best and Vy's antagonizing of the client, Syreena or not, would not last too long. "Vy...let's keep our head on, please. I'd like to think you've a little more class then that!"

He turned back to Syreena and gave her a look before speaking again. "She's new...Good, but new...What we need from you now is all the information you can give us about Razvaan and your friend. Relevant to his location or not, all of it is important."

Syreena seemed to relax, slightly, as it became clear that Faelenor at least did not share his companion’s attitude toward her.  Or if he did, he was doing a much better job of presenting only professionalism.   She slowly pulled her gaze back to the ranger, and her brow furrowed as she tried to remember details.

"Razvaan is a Forsaken priest.  I never really knew him very well, but I know he was one of Lucion's closest friends.  I haven't seen either of them since the Northrend campaign," she explained.  "Until the two recent sightings of Razvaan, I mean.  I've been searching for clues as to Lucion's fate ever since, with no luck."

"And Lucion? What does he specialize in? The last time you encountered Razvaan was in Dalaran and on a ship towards the Broken Isles? Given there is much to be done on those isles I can't imagine he has finished his business there so we can start our search there. I can have a small team keep an eye open for signs of him but we will need a description of the two." He pulled a leather-bound book from his satchel and flipped it to an empty page. A quick wave of a hand and the page gave a dim glow. "I will try to get this as accurate as possible but it's not always right...also was there something of note on his person at the time? Something that would have him stand out?"

"Ummmm," the little rogue starts, thinking back to when she saw Razvaan last.  "He was wearing plain brown robes.  Carrying a dark, curved blade of some kind, a book with spikes, and he had a big round thing attached to his shoulder pads that came up above his head like a dark halo with a ball in it."

"Lucion..."  Her raspy voice softened a bit even as she mentions his name, and a smile threatened to touch her lips.  Then she glanced at Vyriana, and forced her expression into careful neutrality.  "He's the leader of Broken Sanity.  Or at least, he was.  I don't even know if he's still alive now.  He's Forsaken also, he was a rogue, but....last time I saw him....."   Her gaze drifted to the side, seeing an old memory that was one of few that had remained untouched when that horrid human professor scrambled most of her memories.

"It was in Orgrimmar during the days we were fighting in Northrend.  The Grim was defending an attack on Thrall in the old throne room.  Cristok was leading us.  Lucion was one of the defenders there too, and I saw him.  Even though it had been years since I'd seen him before that, I recognized him right away, but....he was different.  His eyes glowed the icy blue of a death knight.  And it seemed as if his mind wasn't all there, though I'm sure many would have argued that it never was."   She smiled a small smile then without realizing it, but it quickly faded, and she looked back to Faelenor.   "That was the last time I saw him."

Vyriana kept an eye on the woman, noticed the almost smiles and the wistful way she spoke of the man, but she contained her eyeroll. The rest of her attention was on all around them. Having taken the seat with her back to a wall it afforded her a view of the whole place, making sure Syreena didn't bring any friends with her.

Syreena noticed the elf woman watching her, and she shifted in her seat as she looked back at her.  Her eyes narrowed slightly.  Without even realizing it, her right hand slipped down to her side to touch the comforting hilt of her dagger there.   "What?!" She finally shouted.

Without another thought Vyriana's hand grasped the dagger at her belt, wooden legs slithering back before crashing against the floor as she rose over the table. "I should ask you the same thing!" Eyes narrowed her voice dropped a bit, realizing they'd garnered unwanted attention, "Hand off your weapon before I remove the appendage for you."  It was said with a sneer, her body language of one not willing to back down first.

"Vyriana, ENOUGH." In one quick motion, he rose and placed a forceful hand over the threat of a drawn blade. With a cold stare he eyed the huntress, silent in his attempt to defuse her haughty nature. "Sit down. We don’t need to make a scene in public. If you cannot keep your temper in check then walk away from this table and let me finish gathering the information. I did not ask you to come along so you could start something with the client. So, sit or walk but no more of this." His hand remained on hers, head turning to Syreena's hand. "We are not here to start a fight. We are here to negotiate. Refrain from reaching for your weapon next time and simply ask. We are in public after all and the Dalaran guards are doing their job this time..."

But Syreena was already on her feet in a defensive position with two large daggers raised in front of her.  "I don't take orders from you, elf,” she spat at Vyriana.   She barely spared a glance for Faelenor as he rose.  So far, after his initial warranted suspicion of her, he'd been nothing but polite and professional with her.  His companion, however, was displaying behavior that represented everything she hated about the race.

Suddenly, a sickly-sweet smile twisted her patchwork stitched face, showing off all her filed pointy teeth.  She spoke to Vyriana now in a warm, friendly voice.  "You have pretty ears."

Faelenor’s free hand reached to draw a revolver from its holster. In the same fluid motion the hammer was drawn back and the barrel pointed at the small Forsaken woman, right between the eyes. "Syreena, please..."

Syreena’s glowing yellow eyes didn’t leave Vyriana, but she saw the pistol in her peripheral vision.  She hissed at Vyriana, but she came here for business, not a fight.  After spinning the daggers once around her fingers, she dropped them back into their places on her belt and placed her hands on the table.

"Your partner is rude," she muttered to Faelenor, without looking away from the female elf.

Vyriana very much wanted to utter a word that rhymed with "bundt" but chose not to be involved in anymore disruption than there already was. Her hand slowly lowered as she sat down, a scared worker having already righted her chair for her. Silent, her gaze stayed on the woman now, just waiting for one more slip up.

Syreena finally took her seat as well with a small grin.  She looked back to Faelenor, but kept Vyriana in her field of vision too.  "So....where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?"

The barrel lowered, hammer gently set back in its resting position as the revolver was holstered. The verdant glow of his eyes darted between the two for a moment before he himself finally sat down.

"If at all more of those interruptions would be greatly appreciated." He returned to the leather-bound book’s open pages and continued etching the description. "Those details are fine but I'm looking for more physical appearance. Facial features or lack thereof. Anything that sets Razvaan apart. The search will start with him so his description is far more important."

Looking back at Vyriana for a moment, Syreena tilted her head, pointedly eyeing the elf woman's ears and ran her tongue over her lips.  Then she winked and turned back to Faelenor again.   "Well, he's Forsaken.  His face doesn't look too bad though, from what I remember.  He has dark straight hair, about down to here...."   She held her hand just below her chin.   "Nothing really stands out about him too much.  He looks like an average Forsaken man."

"That's plenty for now. I simply need as much as I can get... makes the whole chasing a cold trail that much easier. As I said I will have operatives look out in Dalaran after we've made a clean sweep of the city ourselves and then move on to the Isles. Amalyn may be able to help us..from his description he sounded like a shadowmancer. Perhaps while we search Dalaran she can search the temple. Don't leave any stone unturned."

She tilted her head again.  "You really think you can find him?"

"He won't be easy to find but I didn't make the price so high because of our disagreement in the past. Both Vy and I are good at what we do... One of the few reasons I brought her along..." He turned to Vy with a look that said don’t make me regret this, before turning back to Syreena. "If we cannot find him then you are guaranteed a portion of the fees in return. This covers costs needed to pay for the time spent. However, there hasn't been a job the flight have ever left unfinished." He turned the book to Syreena to give her a glimpse of his sketch for approval. "Oh...and should we find either of them dead (for reals) what would you have us do?"

Syreena eyed the sketch then nods slightly.  "Close enough, I guess.  I'll be surprised if you find Lucion at all.  If Razvaan has died since I last saw him, then.....  I don't know.  I guess I'd want to see him to make sure it's him, if that's possible."     She glanced around to make sure nobody was too close, then looked curiously at Faelenor.  "You keep referring to the flight.  As in dragons?  What kind?"

His brow rose and quickly fell again.  Borrowed Times was known for its association with a few of the chromatic spectrum. A small chuckle escaped him. "The Ravenflight. My apologies. We are an operation run by the Talon King, and not the Arakkoa's Talon King. The founder must have been obsessed with birds or something. In any case, we are a group of informants who do this sort of work regularly...among other deeds not so heavily advertised. We don t associate with any of the dragonflight directly."

"Oh," she said, but her tone was only curious.  "You said half the money up front?  I'll bring it by the base for you tonight, unless there's somewhere else you want me to bring it to you.  But I'll give it only directly to you."

" We will make preparations and begin our search immediately the following day. When you return to the port I will meet with you outside the gates. This time at the very least the guards will know to expect you. So I wouldn't be too worried about someone pointing spears and arrows in your direction. So long as you haven't done anything to piss someone off that is. That aside, professionalism will be carried through til the contract is over."

Syreena nodded, then looked wryly amused at his last sentence.  "And then back to arrows and spears pointed at me?"

Faelenor looked her over and sighed. "You have to understand that what was done was not simply a stab at Cobrak. You may have thought that you were just getting back at him. But it wasn't just him you were getting revenge on when you hurt Dora. Cobrak isn’t the only one who cares for her. She is someone's daughter, someone’s sister, someone's...student. Of course, the majority of Borrowed Time is going to want their revenge for something you though would only hurt Cobrak." He took his book back and closed it before putting back in his satchel. " So I can't speak for everyone and claim that it won't be that way anymore."

Her brow furrowed, but then she looked indignant.  "I'll remember that next time someone hurts me while I'm cooperating with them.  I guess I should just take it without complaint," she said as she slid from her chair and stood up.  "I'll bring the money to the gate tonight."     She eyed Vyriana once more, then turned to leave.

"No one expects you to just take it..." He called out to her as she walked away, but the little rogue did not turn back. "Just consider what comes with who you are paying back."

Edited by Syreena
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Torchlight peeked through the main gate of Borrowed Time’s port, giving emphasis to a lively set of guards that patrolled their nightly station. Like most of its crew, they enjoyed the peace the nocturne of the night offered, only having to ward off the occasional stray naga or dwarf that stumbled into view. Their chatter, although never loud enough to cause a stir from the night sleepers, was usually about nothing in particular, and that night was no different.

"So I think I'm gonna go for it," the orc guard, Torgan, said.

"Course ja are,mon. Dis be wot, da fort time ja gonna be goin for it?"  Napo, the troll replied.

“Napo, this time I mean it. She smiled at me so I know I have a chance!”

“A smile, mon!? Ja be needin’ a bettah reason for da confidence!”

“I'm gonna go for it! I don't care what you think,” Torgan insisted.

“Whatcha gonna end up doin’ is gettin’ kicked out o da inn, Torgan!” Napo teased.

"Ahem!”  A raspy female voice called from below.  "Do you think you have a chance if I smile at you?" 

The Shadowblade grinned wickedly, showing all the filed pointy teeth in her patchwork stitched face.  As at her last visit here, she sat atop her horse.  She waved at the guards, tilting her head and offering a wink that was meant to look seductive, but probably only looked hideous in the macabre face.

The guards’ attention turned swiftly to Syreena, and they drew their blades in surprise. They looked her once over, and Napo broke out into laughter. "Torgan, nows ja chance tah test ja self."

The orc grunted as he sheathed the blade and punched the troll over the shoulder. "Not funny, Napo. How about you call Chief Rayfeather and let him know--"

"Don't strain yourself, gentlemen." The ranger's voice came from below them on the opposite side, having snuck up on them as Syreena had. They jumped and drew their weapons again only to let out a sigh as the sheathed them once more.

"Chief Rayfeadah...ja gotta stop doin' dat, mon! Ring a bell or somethin' so we be knowin' ja around."

Fael raised a brow and waved a hand in his acknowledgement, having them open the gate for him. "Do your jobs and maybe it wouldn't happen so often." He smirked up at them as the gate opened.

Faelenor stepped through to meet with the little Forsaken rogue clad in red and black. "Like I said...things go smoother when your presence is expected."

Torgan gave Syreena one more look before shuddering as he walked back to his station, now speaking in hushed tones. "Not even a little bit, Napo."

The little rogue watched the guards in amusement at their reactions.   She made kissy faces at them as they walked away.  "See you later, boys!"

The traces of a grin remained as she turned her attention to Faelenor and nodded a polite greeting before sliding down from her horse to land lightly on the ground.

"Evening," she said, glancing behind him.  "No snobby partner tonight?"

Fael closed his eyes for a moment, sighing at the mention of the huntress. "No, she decided to take care of a few things before we started in the morning. Honestly, I wanted to avoid another pointless confrontation between the two of you. She will get job done and be professional about it, but as for facing with clients it’s probably for the best that she no longer interacts with them."

After a quick study of the rogue he moved closer and spoke out in a nonchalant tone. "Everything will proceed as discussed, given you've come to fulfill your end of the contract. I say that only because I wouldn't blame you for terminating our negotiation."

Syreena leaned against her horse and crossed her arms over her chest as she listened.  Then, she turned and opened one of the bags hanging on Bones's saddle.

"Well....I do wonder why you choose to work with her.  You seem pretty level headed, and she's...."  she scowled and waved her hand in a frivolous motion.   "....not.  Elves like her are the reason I started my collection."    Syreena grinned faintly, allowing her gaze to travel to Fael's ears for a moment, before she started rummaging around in the saddle bag.   "Anyway, promise you won't let her be rude to Razvaan, and we're still on.  I wouldn't want him to be unwilling to speak with us, just because of an elf who can't get over her high opinion of herself."

"Her being there was a personal choice. Why it was made is my own concern. Regardless of her stance I need the skill set she provides. Especially since we are hunting blind. She is an exceptional tracker and I couldn't think of a better qualified individual that didn't have a personal vendetta against you. To that same notion, it's people like you that justify her perception. You've no place to point fingers, Sy."

He raised a hand and the orc guard made his way down to them.

"As for Vy,” Faelenor continued, “She promised professionalism. With the contract signed, you've got my reassurance that no harm will come to any of them. What little you left with us will need to be supplemented with our own methodology. So, are we doing business?"

"Yeah, sure, we're doing business," she answered, but she was clearly distracted by the approaching orc.  She eyed him up and down, her brow furrowing.  Briefly, she touched one of the daggers at her hip, as if for reassurance, but she didn’t let her hand linger on it long.  "Who's your friend?"

"Someone other than myself needs to count and safely store the payment. I make it a habit never to let it be myself when I'm working a job for the flight,"  Fael explained.  Torgan gave another grunt as he waited for the Forsaken woman to relinquish the bags, eyeing the shine of the coin with a slight lust as the ranger spoke again. "With the offer accepted we can continue as planned. If you come across any other details you may have forgotten or you wish for us to stop our search, send message to us here. We will get it."

Syreena narrowed her eyes distrustfully at the orc, looking between the two men for a moment.  Finally, she held the bags out toward the orc, and leaned in to whisper quietly to him.

"If you skim off it, then tell him I was short, I'll get my smile up close and personal with some very sensitive parts."  She snapped her teeth audibly on air, then leaned back with a sweet smile to show off her pointy teeth.

The orc shuddered, hand reaching down protectively over his sensitive parts as he stared at the maw of sharpened teeth. "I like my junk, thank you very little." With the sack in hand he made his way back past the gate entrance.

Letting the smile fade, she stared at the orc’s back as he left, and then she turned back to Faelenor.  "The other half after you've found Razvaan.  If you find him."

Fael shook his head, sighing at her antagonization, as if he hadn't expected it. "Those are your terms and we intend to stick by them. You've read over our contract and we've made every effort to ensure your conditions have been met. Now we simply do the job. Consider the flight and its resources yours for the purpose of this mission."

He gave a customary bow, an age-old tradition from the looks of it, and held his hands out in a questioning fashion. "Until such time, we are allies by necessity. I will keep in contact with you as I can. Is there anything else you need while here? If not then our contract has started."

"Allies by necessity.....," she repeated, and then shook her head. "No, nothing else I need.  I look forward to hearing from you."   After a polite nod, she turned back to Bones and mounted up, pulling the reins to turn him away from the gate.

"Tread carefully, Syreena..." He turned to move back into the port, gates promptly closing behind him. The troll guard moved back to his watch of the gate, keeping his attention of the undead rider until she could not be seen in the night.




Edited by Syreena

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Growing impatient with waiting, Syreena decided to call on Faelenor again to see if there was any news.  Again, the undead horse and rider, both still clad in red and black armor, rode up to the gate.  Syreena drew the mount to a halt several feet away from the gate and sat there quietly, just to see how long it would take to be noticed this time. 

" What is your business?" An elf called from the wall.  An orc nearby already had his gun ready.

Syreena looked up at the source of the voice.  She also noticed the orc with the gun, but she doesn't seem surprised.  It would seem strange to her to show up here and not have weapons pointed at her.  She looked back to the elf.  Out of habit, she allowed her gaze to rest on his ears for a moment before answering.

"I'm selling cookies,” she called up to the guards.  “How many boxes can I put you down for?"

“Excuse me?” the elf asked.  He did not sound interested in cookies.

“What kind?” the orc asked.  He did sound interested.

Syreena ignored the elf and answered the orc.  “What kind do you want?”

“I like peanut butter.”

“Shut up, Gruk,” the elf snapped.

“Peanut butter.  Got it.  How about your pretty girlfriend there?” the little rogue asked, trying not to grin too broadly.  “What kind does she like?”

“Oh, aren’t you PRECIOUS,” the elf grumbled.

“Don’t be fooled, undead.  This is a man,” the orc informed her.  “I have difficulty too.”

“Shut. Up. Gruk!” the elf snapped irritably.

“Well, in any case, he has pretty ears.”  Syreena made horrid kissy faces at the elf.  He looked a little unnerved by the comment, far more so by the kissy face that was all teeth.  Syreena gave him a fake pout.  “No cookies for you?”   She let out a big, dramatic, and totally unnecessary sigh.  “Fine.  Then send a message to Faelenor that Syreena is here to see him.”

Syreena waited quietly for a little while, but soon started fidgeting impatiently.  After several minutes, she pulled some paper out of her pack and started folding it different directions.  Finally, she tossed the paper zeppelin up toward the guards on the wall.

“I got it!” Gruk shouted, reaching out and nearly backhanding his companion as he caught the little device and gently threw it back.   Syreena caught it, and was about to throw it again when a noise caught her attention.

Just beyond the outer part of the gate, a distance away from the encircling enclosure comes the soft sound of a roar as three large mana sabers approached.  One carried atop it the hooded ranger, while the others rode at his flank.  They made their presence known to the guards but slowed in their movement as their master saw the Forsaken rogue in all her cookie selling glory, black and red armor to match.  He slowed and slid off the massive feline before waving off the guards.

“Syreena.  As per usual, an unexpected visit.  And selling your blight this time no less.  He raised an eyebrow and watched the small rogue carefully.   “I advise you not try that nonsense here again.  It would be bad for our business arrangement.”    He whistled softly, and the cats moved toward the gate, laying down with their heads resting on their paws, ears flickering and tails swaying as they watched the exchange.  “I take it you aren’t just here to peddle your poison in baked goods form?”

Syreena watched the cats through narrowed eyes for another minute.  Bones, her horse, snorted at them, but he was too well-trained and had too much experience to be skittish around the big predators.  Syreena looked back at Faelenor, but unlike him, she did not dismount.  If the felines decided to get feisty, she’d rather be ready to ride away quickly.

Her look of wariness changed to one of amusement, and she spread her empty hands.  “Relax, Ranger.  I have no cookies today.  I was just having some fun with your guards.  I can make some for you if you’d like though.  Cookies, cupcakes, pies…..  I’m told they’re to die for.”  She winked at him.

“Poor choice of words aside, what brings you so unannounced to the port?  I did warn that if you traveled this way without so much as a letter, you would be welcomed with swords and guns pointed your direction.”  Fael crossed his arms and stared up at the little rogue, raised brow replaced by a smirk.  “Surely you didn’t think our business arrangement needed monitoring?”

Syreena shrugged, her amusement fading.  “Monitoring…maybe not.  But it has been a while since I gave you lots of money, and I stopped by to see what it’s bought me so far.  Any progress in finding Razvaan?”

"General progress on finding him has yielded very little result. The flight has been sent to span the lands of the shore, agents in each major point. The Legion is making the search difficult and I can't stay in Dalaran for too long without having other requests to take care of. Vy waits patiently for the chance to catch a trail and follow it but until we find something, there is little progress to be made." His head lowered to peer over the Forsaken steed, following the trail of energies that kept it animate. "Why did you doubt we would find him, and why pay if you knew it was going to be difficult?"

Syreena listened closely to the update, then nodded.  Although she looked disappointed, she did not complain or criticize.   "I paid exactly because I knew it would be difficult.  Probably too difficult for me to find him on my own, unless I got extremely lucky.  More eyes looking for him would have a better chance.  As long as he hasn't been killed or something already."  She frowned at the last thought.  

“Anyway,” she added in her raspy voice.  “I was just wondering if there was any news yet.”

"On the front of finding Razvaan there is little news. Only that we have not found him. Leads are scarce and sightings are even more so. Admittedly my own attention has been divided by family affairs but they will not keep me much longer. I do not speak the same for any other agent." He gave a whistle to the guards and had them open the gates, all three mana sabers lazily making their way inside. "I will keep you updated regularly after things clear much as I hate to admit this, your case has proven difficult at best."

Syreena looked at the gate as she heard it opening.  Seeing it was only the cats going in and no threat coming out, she turned back to Fael with a crooked grin.  “If it was easy, anyone could do it.”

Her brow furrowed as she thought for a moment.  "Hm....let me know if I can be of any help in clearing up your other things so you can focus on this sooner.  I would expect a discount on this job though if I do."   She grinned again and picked up her reins, sensing the meeting was coming to an end.  Her expression turned playful, if such a thing were possible on such a hideous face.  "Did you want to place an order for any cookies before I go?"

"And here i thought you wanted me to finish the job," He replied with his own smirk. "How could I possibly do that if I suddenly become ill and unable to perform my tasks." He waved off her offer, looking up at her with a bit of caution. "I don't want you to assume that this makes us friendly...but you've kept to yourself and haven't hurt anyone I know as of let’s try to keep it like that!"

All humor fell from her at his reminder of how things were between her and him, and all of his guild.  She nodded curtly.  "Don't worry, ranger.  I'll never make the mistake of thinking any of the purple people or their allies will ever be friendly with me." 

Laying the rein against Bones's neck and squeezing her legs against his side causes the horse to turn away from the gate and start walking.   "I'll be waiting for your update."

He watched the shift in her expression, studying the way she collapses for a moment before pulling herself back into a more stoic professionalism. "Our ideals are not the problem...but then again, you know that as well as I." Fael leaned on the open gate and watched as the rogue took her leave. "I will send a raven with news of any changes."

She nodded again, with nothing more than politeness.  "I'll be waiting."  Leaning forward slightly in her saddle, she lifted her feet and thumped them against Bones's ribs, sending him into a gallop as she rode away.

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