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 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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