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  1. 4 points
    Rules: 1. Roll a 100 sided die (can be done digitally) 2. Your (main) character is now the race dictated by the results of your roll. If you roll your current race, you must re-roll. The point is, after all, to write something different! 3. Write a short story (500 - 2000 words, or 1-4 standard pages) involving your main character as this new race, and how he fits with the Horde or Alliance. Does being another race change your character's personality? Does it change their objectives? If the race they are changed to does not allow for the same class they were originally, how does that change your character? What aspects remain at the heart of your character that will translate if they are another race entirely? Note: Participants can write up to 2 stories to enter into the contest. 4. Post your story as its own separate thread with the tag (Race Bending Contest) in the title. Ex. Minny Fibblebottom's Lucky Day (Race Bending Contest) Example: Vilmah Bloodborne is an orc. I roll the die and get a 75. Suddenly she is a tauren! I write a short story about Vilmah the tauren, while utilizing her personality but in a completely different context. I also include (with the story) a short description of the original character, to offer some context for readers unfamiliar with them. Note: This description of your original character does not count toward the character limit of the short story. 1 - 7 Dwarves 8 - 15 Orcs 16 - 23 Gnomes 24 - 31 Goblins 32 - 39 Humans 40 - 47 Trolls 48 - 55 Night elves 56 - 63 Pandaren 64 - 71 Draenei 72 - 79 Tauren 80 - 87 Worgen 88 - 95 Forsaken 96 - 100 Blood Elves The 1st place winner will receive 10k g in prize money in-game, with 2nd and 3rd place winning 5k g and 3k g respectively. The deadline is Sept. 1st. The winners will be chosen by Sanctuary (H), Twilight Empire (A), Borrowed Time (H) and Night Vanguard (A) representatives by September 7th. Good luck!
  2. 2 points
    Qabian paced back and forth in his small apartment in Silvermoon. It was taking much too long to hear about the effects of his latest scheme. It must have gone awry. The human was more careful than Qabian had expected, more professional perhaps. Syreena had been asking about it, but he had nothing to tell her. He didn't mind telling her that he had done something and it hadn't gone as planned, but not having the details of why or how was frustrating. It was time to move on. He stopped at his desk and penned a quick letter. -- Several days later, as Daerek was moving through Dalaran in the early evening, three dark, burly figures suddenly leapt out of the alley between the Violet Citadel and the magic shop and grabbed the mage. One of them grabbed his arms. Another covered his mouth and nose with a big green hand. Another yanked a dark sack down over Daerek's head as they dragged him back down the alley. They didn't let him breathe again until he stopped struggling. When Daerek came to, he found himself on his knees with his hands tied behind his back. Beneath his knees, he could feel wood flooring, but it wobbled a little, as though floating on top of water. Someone removed the bag from his head and he blinked as his eyes adjusted to the light, which was mercifully dim, though the source was not apparent. He was in a room not unlike the Underbelly's black market, but devoid of any furnishings but a small table. A slim Forsaken woman in an out-of-place black satin pantsuit and high heels sat on the table, swinging crossed legs back and forth. "Good morning," she said, in a somewhat gravelly voice with a sing-song tone, stretching out the black cloth of the sack that had been over his head. Daerek craned his neck to look around. There was no noticeable exit, and an ominous looking orc dressed in black leather stood silently in the shadows. "We're going to ask you some questions today," the woman said, hopping off the table. Her metal lower jaw clacked slightly with each word she spoke. She turned and faced away from him, busying herself with something on the table. "Well, just one, really." She winked one of her glowing yellow eyes at him over her shoulder as she pulled on a pair of black rubber-looking gloves. Her bone fingertips tore right through them, so it seemed as though the only reason she put them on was to make the snapping sound against her wrists. She approached him with what looked like a pair of pliers in one hand, snapping them toward him. As she moved away from the table, he could just see the full set of ominous looking tools she had rolled out on its top. She crouched in front of him and placed the pliers against his face. "Where's Anee?" Daerek glared at her, but said nothing. "Oooh," she crooned. She may have been smiling, but it would have been impossible to tell with that much metal being part of her face. "I love when they fight it. Whenever they fight, I get to add to my collection." She snapped the pliers right in front of his nose. "I know who you work for," Daerek said, unimpressed by her threats. "Do you?" she said, crooking her head delightedly. "So do I. She's so shiny and useful. Her name is Gold and you can take her anywhere." She cackled, then stalked around behind him and leaned down over him as she placed the mouth of the pliers around his pinky finger. "Care to reconsider answering the question? Where is Anee?" Daerek kept his mouth firmly shut. The snap of the small bone reverberated up his arm to the base of his skull. He bit down on the inside of his lip to keep himself from screaming, but a grimace of pain crossed his face. She leaned further over him, two bone fingertips under his chin to tilt his face up to hers. "Lovely," she said. "But we're just getting started. Where's the girl?" When the second bone snapped, he couldn't hold back a reaction to the pain. ~~ The orc yanked Daerek's head from the water by his hair and the human gasped for air. "The girl?" the dead woman hissed. "I told you," Daerek grunted, his voice hoarse and as flat as it had been once the real pain had started. She hadn't broken him yet. He wouldn't let her. He'd survived worse. "I don't know. She just left." "Fine. We're done here." The woman made a gesture and the orc dropped Daerek to the wooden floor where the young man groaned quietly and rolled onto his back. The results of the past few hours were far from pleasant. Several of his fingers had been broken. One of his arms and a kneecap were massively swollen, shattered by the swung weights that had battered the bones. The other arm had pieces of skin sticking up from where they'd been tugged and peeled back. Both his shoulders had been torn from their sockets. There was a collar around his neck with inward facing spikes, hiding small round burn marks and a brand that looked like the Horde symbol on one side of his neck. His face was left curiously unmarred, but was slick with water after several threats of drowning, including one that required resuscitation. The woman stepped to one side of the small room and held a hand to her ear as she spoke. Her voice was quiet, but audible. "Nothing," she said. "I believe he may actually not know, but I'd need more time to be sure." A pause. "Three days. Starvation, loud noise, keep the lights on-- Yes, sir." She stepped back across the room to where Daerek lay, her stance and tone of voice betrayed her disappointment. She leaned down over him, peering into his face. He winced when she brushed a wet hair off his forehead. "Lucky you," she said. "He found her. You're not needed anymore." Suspicion crossed Daerek's face, his eyes narrowing. "I thought you worked for Gold," he muttered. She laughed lightly. "Someone has to hand her over." "You gonna kill me now?" "No, sweetie." She stood and gestured for the orc. "That's not my job." She tugged the black bag back over Daerek's head, then the orc slung the the young man roughly over his shoulder. "Dump him outside Findle's. Someone from the Uncrowned will trip over him," the dead woman's voice said. The orc grunted in response. There was a sharp pain at the back of Daerek's head, a single note in the symphony of pain he was feeling, and then everything went dark and, for a time, he felt nothing at all.
  3. 2 points
    Daerek stared hard at the slowly-spreading green blossom on the treated swab he just tested a vial with. Thinking it must be a fluke, he set the vial aside and reached for a new, sterile testing swab and a new vial from his most recent shipment. And reached for another. And another. And another. Eventually, there were no more vials to test for toxins, poisons, or things that generally shouldn’t be in sterile glass vials. Next to that pile, in an increasingly haphazard stack the nearer the top someone looked, rested the used testing swabs. Each swab was returned to its packaging to avoid further contamination, but all of them had the same green stain marring their white tips. Somebody had tainted his shipment, and he bet he knew who. With a soft curse under his breath, the young mage cleared his workstation and set it up for a new project: determining the type of taint present within the vials. Not for the first time, he silently thanked the poison mistress who taught him more than just how to brew. --- A little bell jangled above Daerek’s head as he stepped foot into the rickety Booty Bay shop. It wasn’t much to look at, with its salted wood and grimy windows, but the mage had never had problems with the service…until now. “Heeeeeey, welcome to Sparkfoot’s Deliv—ayyy, kid!” The bleach-blond goblin behind the counter flashed Daerek a gleaming grin. “Haven’t seen you in a while, eh? Always notes and letters and boxes! Howzit been?” “I wish I could say business as usual, Wix,” Daerek laughed, striding to the counter and resting both hands on it. He leaned forward a little, using his height to its full advantage. “But I’ve got a problem with my latest shipment.” The goblin scowled. “What’s that now? A problem? And you think I got somethin’ to do with it? Bub, I’m hurt! How long have we been doin’ business, huh? I’d never scam you!” “I know you wouldn’t, Wix,” Daerek said with a disarming smile, drumming his fingers on the counter. “You know better than to do that because you know some of the same people I know, and you know they wouldn’t be happy if they heard you were earning the wrong sort of reputation.” Arcane energy crackled between his fingertips. “But maybe one of your workers isn’t as smart.” Wix eyed the mage’s fingers and slicked his hair back with a greasy palm. “I got some real idjits here, lemme tell you what,” he muttered, glancing around the shop. “What kind of trouble we talkin’ ‘bout, pal?” Daerek leaned forward a little more. “Somebody laced my glass vials with a neurotoxin. The kind I could slip into your morning coffee and you’d be dead in a day. You want that kind of name for yourself? Wixet Sparkfoot, the goblin who frames his clients for mass murder?” “Hey hey hey! I don’t deal in that kind of stuff no more! I’m an HONEST businessman, kid! Murder is good money but it ain’t my money, ya hear? And none of my idjits’d have the know-how for that kind of stuff anyways!” “What about bribes?” the mage asked. “Someone take one to swap a box? To look the other way while the shipment was replaced with a new one? Anything like that?” “I don’t like what you’re insinuating, kid,” Wixet grumbled, “but I’ll ask my people. Yeah? And you won’t go spilling this all over the place and ruining my good name! Got it?” Daerek pushed himself off of the table and spread his hands wide. “I knew there was a reason I liked you, Wix,” he grinned. “You’re an honest goblin looking to make an honest buck. I’ll spread a little love in your name if you get me an answer, alright? Maybe throw some extra gold your way at the same time.” The goblin harrumphed and tugged on his vest to straighten it. “Damn straight you will after all this trouble I’m going through for you, pal. You’re damn right. Now if you’ll excuse me, time is money—and you’re wasting my time!” --- As it turned out, Wixet Sparkfoot was an honest goblin who wasn’t interested in murder for money. Nor were his employees. No, the weak link worked for Wixet’s glass seller. It seemed the goblin responsible had indeed accepted a hefty bribe to swap one innocuous crate with another—and after some method of questioning that Daerek didn’t dare ask about, Wixet even discovered the briber’s name: Minkley Fizblade. Daerek didn’t expect Wixet to investigate any further, but the slick-palmed goblin had done it anyways (“Nobody knows you to be a liar, kid,” he’d said when pressed, “and if you go spewin’ nasties about my name, that’ll cost me double money to fix”). In addition to bribing the goblin who swapped the crates, Minkley did the bulk of the dirty work herself—procuring the toxin, lacing the vials, and packing the crate. Wixet casually mentioned that he was already in talks with “the proper authorities” to see poor Miss Minkley received “appropriate treatment” for her part in “potentially costing two well-known and well-respected businessmen like themselves” their good reputations. Daerek didn’t dare ask what that meant, either. “Where did she get the toxin from?” Daerek asked with a frown. He expected to hear Qabian’s name somewhere in the narrative…was he an alchemist, or a poisoner, too? Wixet flicked some lint from his vest. “Eh. She said it was from the Royal Apothecary Society. I got someone followin’ up on that, but it might be a while.” He flashed his pearly whites at Daerek. “Unless I can talk’em into speedin’ up their inquiries.” With a sigh, Daerek plucked his coin purse from his shirt pocket and dropped it on the counter. “I need to know.” “Desperate, much?” the goblin asked skeptically. He swiftly pocketed the money anyways. “Word for the wise, kid. Don’t go poking around the RAS. They won’t just eat you alive, they’ll tenderize you with their experiments first.” “I’m touched that you care.” Daerek laughed humorlessly. “But I’m not getting my hands dirty with them. I just need to know, Wix. You’ll do that for me, right?” Wixet patted the pocket where the purse went. “Anything for my loyal customers,” he said with a grand sweep of his arm. “Now go on and make that money to keep up your excellent patronage, eh? Eh?” He laughed. “Ah, you’re a good kid. Go on, bub.” Daerek left the little shop with a smile, a wave, and an impatient itch at the back of his mind. The next time he heard from Wixet, it was by way of a note added to his next shipment’s invoice: The name checked out, but he hasn’t been seen since he sold the goods. I’d bet my business he’s gonzo. The mage stared at the note for several seconds before crumpling it in his fist. A quiet whoosh of flame engulfed his hand before flickering out, and Daerek opened his fingers to let the smoldering ashes fall to the floor.
  4. 2 points
    8.3.17 So much has happened these past few months. I’m still helping Karthok with his plans to destroy Sanctuary. Since my last encounter with Lazarus, I’ve had Iroh deliver him a pie, along with a beating. But then I’ve been thinking. Maybe straight out violence isn’t the best way to deal with them. There are many more of them than there are of me. I have the feeling I should be playing the long game with them instead, at least until I find out if Karthok’s plans will be successful. Hopefully, he won’t let me down. So far, I’ve stolen some relics from Silithus for him, and I killed an elf in Suramar. Both were easy jobs, but I’m not sure why they were important to him. He doesn’t let me in on his plans. He doesn’t talk much to me at all anymore. He said he will destroy Sanctuary. Others say what he’s doing will destroy the whole world. Oh well. If that happens, at least Sanctuary and all the Alliance will be ended. Peace through annihilation. I haven’t been to the cabin much lately. I am as healed as I will ever be, so it was time to return to the Grim hall and resume my duties there. Besides, barbecues and quiet evenings aren’t really my thing. Sometimes I wonder if that’s what a real family would have been like. I still see many of them at the Cantina, and I may stop back now and then to visit, but my place is with the Grim. I’m still working on new potions and plagues. There’s an orc guard at the Borrowed Time gate I’ve been experimenting on. He doesn’t know it of course, but he’s an easy target. He likes cookies. He seems nice enough, but Fael crossed a line in how he spoke to me, and he failed in his task to find out what happened to Lucion. So I don’t feel any guilt in using one of his guards as a lab rat. I don’t know if word of my success with the relics in Silithus has gotten around somehow, or if it’s a coincidence, but I received a strange letter a few days ago about a similar job, but with a much more dangerous target. Qabian was listed as my contact, and he said Borghul was mentioned in a similar letter that he received. Is Borghul the one behind this? Is it him that wants these rare spellbooks? Because, given the history, I’m sure nothing could go wrong in giving such powerful items to a Grim warlock…..
  5. 1 point
    Espionage is never simple. Whatever you are trying to get from your enemies, someone on your side is simply waiting for an opportunity to give to them. Back when Kael'thas was still a force to be reckoned with, Qabian played the double agent game consistently and not always smoothly, but he recognized early which side was going to win, and he refused to go down with the ship. With the current state of the Horde, there were many and more who would like to see Sylvanas knocked off her pedestal, but Qabian was not one of them. He had his issues with her, but compared to his issues with Thrall and Garrosh, they were minimal. His days of playing the Horde against itself were at least temporarily over. He did, however, have enough experience to realize that whatever was happening on his side would be mirrored on the other. For the moment, the easiest of his enemy to exploit were the Dark Irons. There would always be those who, while following their queen as faithfully as they could, wouldn't be able to resist sticking it to their old enemies whenever the opportunity arose. Now that there were some Dark Irons skulking around the Kirin Tor hoping to help fight demons, they were also relatively easy to contact. In exchange for whatever they needed that he had the ability to provide, usually murder easily traced to someone other than the person who ordered it, Qabian had a small number of Alliance mages willing to work for him. However, after the past several weeks, Qabian was getting seriously tired of seeing dwarves. Yes, they'd done everything he asked, even after he went to check their reports himself after the third false sighting, but every time he met with them and they gave their collective shrugs he had to resist the urge to just burn them all to ash. He was sure they could sense it in him, but they all seemed perfectly content to keep draining him of resources as long as he was willing to offer. Qabian began to wonder if he wasn't being played. Qabian burst into his room in Silvermoon and tossed his blade to one side with a clatter. Unrolled on top of his desk was a crude map of Azeroth, details unnecessary for its purpose. Red ink Xs were scattered across Alliance-controlled locations. Qabian snatched up a quill, dipped it in something, and slashed a new red X over what would have been Nethergarde Keep. He dropped the quill haphazardly and began to pace about the small room. His hunt for the girl had been concerned with covering as wide an area as shallow as possible, just scouting for sightings, not precise locations or hideouts. He was fairly certain she wouldn't be audacious enough to hide anywhere neutral or Horde controlled, which reduced the search area considerably. The Isles themselves were well covered. But all the while he pulled the puppet strings of another plot, his dwarves continued to turn up more and more nothing. He tapped the map as he passed by it in his pacing. "If I were trying to hide..." He muttered to himself, then amended his thought. "If I were a scared human girl trying to hide, and not in any of the places I've already looked. Hmm, Pandaria or Outland?" ~~ Allerian Stronghold was in flames behind Qabian when the goblin tracked him down with the message. The light from the fires lit the page as he read the jagged dwarvish words. "She's been spotted in the Shrine of Seven Stars. I'm confident it's her this time. She will be difficult to get to, though. She does not seem to leave. -K" A horrible grin stretched across Qabian's face. The location was more than enough. He opened a portal to Undercity. It was time to prepare Anee's next package.
  6. 1 point
    Pain. Everywhere. Sometimes it was in her chest, sometimes in her head, sometimes radiating into her limbs. It was a physical pain while she was connected to reality, like now. Intense. Blinding. Sickening. Red, red like the gaping hole where her heart had been obliterated before her magic--and the healers--took hold. Ketani took a breath and tried to force her mind away from the pain. She needed to focus on trying to say actual words, words that made sense, words that weren’t the gibberish she’d been spewing from hand and mouth. Simple. Start simple. Keep it simple. Simple. “Ered’shat,” she rasped to the empty room. Ketani wanted to scream. Even her gibberish was gibberish! Doomlight, indeed. But at least she was mentally lucid...for the moment. As far as anybody else knew, however, she was completely disconnected from sanity. She couldn’t communicate with anyone in a way that made some form of sense. Trelorian had even tried to clutch at her soul to connect with her on one of the deepest, most intrinsic levels a creature could connect on--and he had come away with a befuddled frown and a growing panic in his Fel-green eyes. It had been then that she realized what was happening. The disguised Nathrezim that shot her--for she had felt its unmistakable presence while her soul was trapped between body and the howling confines of the Nether--had caused a phasal disturbance. With her soul. The magic binding soul to soulstone also controlled the soul’s return to the body, and he’d expertly tweaked those bonds. Her soul was desperately trying to settle once again in the mortal vessel that housed it, but it couldn’t quite make it. Body and soul were quite literally out of alignment, occupying different spheres of the same realm. It had to be that. It explained everything. Her will was strong and her spellwork excellent, but she was no match for the raw power of a Nathrezim. Occasional moments of internal lucidity were all she could manage against the demon’s meddling. She doubted that answer. Sometimes. Other times, it was the only thing that made sense through the blinding agony. Ketani only knew how much time had passed thanks to her caretakers. Caretakers. The word made her sick. She was still young. She shouldn’t need a caretaker. And yet there they were, taking it upon themselves to maintain her body while they tried to figure out her soul. Trelorian took most of the work of both upon himself, she noticed--his magic made it easier to tend to her body’s needs, and Katelle would be busy with her children now that she did not have somebody to care for them while she worked. Or so she thought, until the first time she heard Marzano’s young voice and little Sophie’s toddler babbles. As it turned out, even after all these years, Trelorian was still good with children. The warlock didn’t know how long had passed between her “death” and the first time she awoke into internal lucidity. The first face she’d seen had been Katelle’s. Pale skin, dull eyes, straw-like hair--they were all telltale signs that the rogue had been neglecting herself for some time. She tried to speak, to offer her cousin comfort, to chastise her for her self-negligence, anything, but what came out was chaotic gibberish. She wasn’t even sure if it was a language in any sense of the word. Those first waking moments didn’t last very long. The pain erupted before Katelle could do so much as hold her hand, her screams erupting with it, and the red-hot blackness of the deep, dark pit where her soul belonged claimed her. Subsequent episodes of wakefulness blended together in a swirling mass of uncertainty. She recalled little bits here and there, but most of her memories were tinged with anguish. Eventually, she learned to push past the blinding agony and hold tighter to those precious moments of consciousness. Those moments became minutes, and sometimes those minutes became hours before she screamed herself raw again. Katelle and Trelorian tried to talk to her during those times, focusing on trying to determine a pattern in her mindless words and decipher her meaning. It was an impossible task, of course, and Ketani knew it--and yet she had no way of communicating that to them. She’d almost given up hope in recovering from her affliction when young Marzano, of all people, sat in front of her and spoke. “I keep trying to tell them that they’re going about it wrong, but they won’t listen to me.” He smiled a wry smile that she never expected to see on a ten-year-old boy. His violet eyes were serious as he continued. “It’s been almost three months since you were hurt.” Three months...that made it May? “Mom’s been a mess, but Dad has tried to keep her going. She’s managing okay. Uncle Trel is helping me keep my studies up when he isn’t working with you.” Ketani appreciated the boy’s choice in words--though young, he knew her well enough to know that she would not appreciate being taken care of. “He’s kind of messed up your bookshelves, though. I think he’s gone through most of what you have trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. He’s brought a lot of his own, too, and we’ve gone to the Scryer’s Library a lot for their help.” Marzano gave her a sheepish smile, seeming unperturbed by her body’s apparent inability to keep her eyes focused on him. “I’ve tried to keep your shelves as neat as I can, though. I don’t know where some of the books you won’t let me touch go, so I haven’t tried to put them back.” Not for the first time, Ketani’s heart swelled at the thoughtfulness of this little boy. He was exceptionally considerate for one so young. Katelle (and Zakarnas, as loathe as she was to admit it) had done a good job with him thus far, especially in light of his tragedy at the hands of the Cataclysm. She wondered if he was simply special or if children were truly that resilient. “Uncle Trel said I could study in here until you lose consciousness again. I hope that’s alright.” He looked a little anxious about it, and Ketani wished she could assure him that of course it was alright. “I...might’ve lied to him a little, though,” he continued, voice dropping to a whisper. “I tried to help him with figuring out what’s wrong with you, but he acted like I’m useless. I know I’m just a kid, and that I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m not an idiot.” A touch of youthful anger was showing through his voice by the end, and he took a deep breath to try and calm himself. Ketani had seen his mother do it a thousand thousand times. “So I’m not gonna study. I’m gonna pretend to study, and I’m gonna research my own theory. Sorry if you disapprove.” She knew from the cheeky grin he gave her that he wasn’t sorry, but she didn’t mind. He was certainly his parents’ son.
  7. 1 point
    (( This story thread is cross-posted on the Twilight Empire guild website. The first several posts are backlogged over the last couple of years, but they'll have dated entries at various points to help keep the timeline straight. )) August, 2015 "Fel damn it!" The soft blue glow, tenuous at best, flickered and faded into nothingness. Its death elicited a frustrated growl from the burgundy-haired woman attempting to coax the glow into existence. "Wretched—I know I—" She sighed. "Nether take it, and you, Jhaafenn, for that look." The Fel Hunter in question let out a quiet huff and swayed his tentacles in another direction, no longer interested now that his mistress's magical attempts had petered out. Ketani returned her attention to the project before her. At the last Steward's meeting she'd promised Aryanna—cousin and Path Leader both—that she would make some progress on her assignment. The nethermancer had thought prodding fellow Imperials to meet with her and discuss their craft and trade skills had been an arduous enough task, but crafting the vessel which would house her gathered information was proving to be even worse. Ketani envisioned an enchanted book of some sort that would return information in response to vocal commands. Input was not a problem, as she had perfected that with her notebook for this assignment—but retrieval was causing issues. The warlock brushed away some wayward dust, the only remnant of a wasted shard, and took stock of her remaining inventory. A few components were low—almost completely diminished...she would have to acquire some more before making another attempt. But not tonight. Now that this avenue of productivity was blockaded for the time being, tonight could be spent in more pleasurable pursuits. Copper-hued eyes cast about the small apartment housed within the Scryer's Tier of Shattrath City. She could perhaps have more room elsewhere, but these were established and familiar. They also provided close access to her preferred cloth supplier, and Miralisse had proven invaluable in her latest project: the nearly-completed gown created specifically for her cherished cousin's wedding. The gown's style was similar to, and inspired by, robes worn by Chancellor Skylah. Where hers were red and black, offering almost a sultry appearance, Ketani's creation was pale with blues that would make the bride's eyes shine and muted golds to brighten the glow of her skin. The cloth would shimmer in the natural light of their chosen venue, draping and clinging in all the proper areas. Once complete, it would be an elegant, beautiful work of art fit for the elegant beauty of the woman who would wear it. Ketani only hoped Katelle would love it as much as she was loved by Ketani. With a soft sigh, the seamstress bent to continue work on her wedding gift.
  8. 1 point
    January, 2016 It has been some time since I have taken up pen and parchment in search of some personal reflection, dear cousin. I thought vaguely of dispensing with such a thing altogether...as I have said before, I am not prone to enjoying such things and often see them as a chore or some form of frivolity. Perhaps to some individuals, ‘journaling’ is a beneficial process, and I would not begrudge them their time spent writing. I would think, however, that the day I confess actual enjoyment of the process is the day you ought to either have me questioned to ascertain my sanity and/or identity, or simply do away with me altogether. Be that as it may, I made a commitment and would be loathe to renege on such. You may consider me properly self-chastised for my lapse in writing. I have since returned home to Shattrath City from Draenor, having gathered what I hope is a sufficient supply of enchanting materials for both Myaka’s shield and my compendium. I have, of course, gone back a handful of times to meet with Rheena, and will continue to do so until such is no longer an option. My colleague, mentioned some months back, is still assisting me with my project. We hope that our work will go smoother now that I have different materials with which to experiment. We believe we have a solid theoretical grasp on the causes of current issues with the physical interface, but practical applications will tell us for sure. I hope to have good news for you on that front soon. I have recently been assisting Katelle with her research into the drug known as “Wreave.” You may not be familiar with your sister when she has sunk her teeth into a challenging project, but I have seen it time and time again. In the past, she often resorted to self-destructive behaviors in order to spend more functional time involved with whatever held her interest; now, I may rest easy knowing that she will be forced to keep her stimulant use to a minimum, which in turn requires her to sleep at some point. In addition to assisting her in her laboratory, I often take her children during the day--and sometimes overnight--so that her husband may see to it that she does not fall into old habits. While I am not altogether certain that I like the man--not that I have liked many, or perhaps any, of her lovers--I cannot deny that Zakarnas does his best to act in Kate’s best interest. Such is all I have to offer for now. Until we meet again, journal. Ketani stared at her script in consternation. There was nothing truly of substance upon the pages--would Aryanna be upset, or would she accept the entry for what it was: a filler, to ‘get back into the swing of things?’ She did not know the priestess well enough to make an informed decision. Not that it mattered, of course. It was what it was, and it was all she was getting for the time being. “If you focus that stare on your book any more, you’re apt to burn a hole straight through it.” Ketani glanced up at the voice, pinning its owner with the stare in question to avoid displaying that she had been startled by his arrival. “I was under the impression that you were sleeping.” Trelorian waved his hand dismissively, padding to the kitchen in his stocking feet. “I wanted a snack,” the elf called back to her, voice echoing in the cabinet halfway through his sentence. “It’s hard to sleep on an empty tum, dear girl.” Ketani rolled her eyes, slipping a bookmark into the journal and closing the leather-bound volume for the night. “I’m going to start making you earn your keep if you insist on filching from my pantry, fool man.” Trelorian stuck his head out from the doorway, nudging his spectacles higher up on the bridge of his nose. “And here I thought I was earning my keep by assisting you with that compendium of yours, young lady. More fool me, I suppose.” He lifted a cannister of dried fruits. “May I?” The warlock waved a hand in acquiescence, and the robe-clad elf returned to the sitting room. He seated himself across from Ketani, unscrewing the cannister lid and reaching an elegant hand in to retrieve a nibble. “So, child, why the cruel look to that innocent tome of personal lore?” “I am hardly the type to write about my…” Ketani’s lip curled. “Feelings.” “And why must you?” He popped a bite of fruit into his thin-lipped mouth before reaching into the cannister for another and offering the container to Ketani. She leaned forward and retrieved an apricot, taking a bite before answering. “The intended reader--Seneschal Anahi--is family. Kate would be cross with me if I disappointed her.” “Family? You told me the girl was married to a kaldorei man, child and everything.” Ketani waved her hand dismissively. “Her sister, you fool. Half. An early issue of my dear uncle, it seems.” Trelorian’s lip curled in distaste. “I never did like that man,” he muttered. “But that doesn’t explain why you’re writing all of this pish-posh for this woman.” The woman shrugged, casting a dark look towards the journal. “It’s part of my duty for the Empire. Aryanna and I agreed that I could stand to be more social, and such was part of how I would detail my efforts.” The elf watched Ketani with pensive eyes as she spoke, remaining silent for a few moments after before replying. “She’s right. You could stand to be less of a recluse.” “If you’re about to give me a lecture, old man, you can march yourself right out that--” “Oh, pish.” Trelorian scoffed, red locks shimmering in the soft light as he shook his head. “I’m not about to lecture you, little one. You come by your seclusion honestly; both of your parents are much the same.” He smiled, Fel-green eyes bright even in the dimness of the room. “And both of them are hardly inclined to journal their innermost thoughts and emotions, either. I am happy to see you breaking the mold.” Ketani sighed, the wind mostly taken out of her sails. “I’m going to bed. Put that back when you are finished, will you?” she asked, indicating the cannister of fruit. “If I get ants because of your slovenliness, you will be the one to get rid of them.” “Yes, yes, yes, I know. Don’t you fret your angry little head over a nonexistent pest problem.” Trelorian’s lips quirked with amusement, and Ketani shook her head. She stood, and the elf reached out to gently grab her arm as she made to pass. “I am happy to see you doing this,” he murmured earnestly. “If you let it, I think it will do you a world of good.” Ketani merely stared at him for a moment, copper eyes gauging his sincerity, before squeezing his hand with her own. She dropped it a moment later, and Trelorian released her arm. “I will see you in the morning,” she murmured. The elf flashed her a small smile, the expression fading as she crossed into her bedchamber and shut the door.
  9. 1 point
    “Talk vith me.” “About what?” “About vhat has been bothering you.” “Nothing has been bothering me, Rheena. I am fine.” “I am not being stupid, Ketani, unlike you!” “Pardon me? Stupid?” “Ai! Stupid! Vith your brooding silence! You are like...like...vhat I do not know, but angry! And being stupid vhen you vill not talk!” Ketani stared at the flustered soul-priestess, her uncertainty mixed with shock. She had never seen the woman resort to such base insults as “stupid” before, but then--what word might she have used if she were speaking in her native tongue? The warlock opened her mouth to issue a reply, but Rheena cut her off. “And do not give me any of zhees denials! You have brood since you talk to your stone, a veek ago!” Her pale, glowing eyes stared accusingly at Ketani. “And you never tell me vhat happened! Ve are--vhat you say--friend! Ve are friend, no? Friends talk!” Ketani worked her jaw for several moments before she finally gave in to the woman's demands, Aryanna’s wry admonishments about her disconnection with other people ringing in her ears. “An... acquaintance of mine was kidnapped from her encampment and is now apparently being held hostage by a hostile organization,” she said lowly. Impotent anger edged her words. Rheena gasped, hands flying to her blue lips, and Ketani continued. “The situation calls for delicate tact, even with regards to potential combat, and thus leaves me impotent. And when I think about the position her older sister is in now…” Both of the warlock's long-fingered hands curled into fists. “My heart aches for her.” Her final words were lies by omission, but truthful in content. Rheena issued a moue of distress before laying a hand on Ketani's shoulder. “You should go to her and tell her zhat. Let her know you grieve vith her. Even if you cannot help.” “Perhaps,” Ketani allowed. She offered her companion a smile. November, 2015 I do not know how Brianna has managed to keep an outward show of sanity. I may very well have stormed the bastards’ stronghold if it were Kate in Skylah’s position, my own impending death be damned. It is good that Brianna has not attempted to do so...perhaps she has far greater personal control than I do, or perhaps I underestimate myself. Anger bubbles up inside of me with every beat of my heart. There is nothing I can do. My strongest skills would draw too much attention and put young Skylah's life in greater jeopardy, and my weaker, more subtle ones would not be enough. I am impotent. Rheena suggests that I meet with Brianna and “let her know she does not grieve alone,” but what good would that do? Truly? I have nothing to offer the woman but my own useless emotions, and I wager she has enough of her own emotions to deal with already. If I am perfectly honest with myself...and with you, sweet Seneschal...I am forced to admit that I am afraid to speak so candidly with young Lady Mackinzie. I hold no fear of her personally, but what her situation reminds me of. Your sister has never been stolen away from me, but she has faced numerous situations that have left her injured and hurting. Numerous times in which I should have been there to help her, but that I wasn't because she was capable of making her own decisions. Numerous times in which she left me no choice but to be unaware or uninvolved. Numerous times in which I wished I would have been there, despite the impossibility of such, to protect her. Is that how Brianna feels? Or has she moved beyond that, into a more productive mindset? I am afraid to discover either one. I am too weak to offer my condolences, and that weakness disgusts me.
  10. 1 point
    Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 I have learned much about Draenic enchanting practices during these last two weeks, and have amassed a sizeable stockpile of raw materials with which to practice for my work on Myaka’s shield. The days with the caravan are long and tiresome, but it still feels good to travel again. I used to travel often, in my youth, when I could get time away from my mother’s--your paternal aunt’s--tavern, before I left for good to continue my magical studies. Sometimes I still wonder if she would have allowed me to leave without a fight if we had not already arranged for Katelle to take my place at the tavern. Have I offered, yet, to introduce you to your aunt? I am unsure. If not, consider the offer made. But I digress. Rheena has taken it upon herself to teach me some of the Draenic language. It is not what I am used to, having learned Thalassian alongside my Common, but it is beautiful nonetheless and a difficult (but pleasurable) experience. The others we travel with seem to have gotten used to our presence, such as we are, and no longer cast mistrustful looks our way...that they realize we notice. They cannot afford to alienate either of us, however, and everybody knows it--so we have come to find a new sort of peace, one that allows Rheena and I to openly share in the conversation about the nightly campfire. I thought I saw Sylvathil--my...estranged? lover--two nights ago. A young, leather-clad elf with dark hair and a sand-hued feline companion--how many of those can there be, one might ask? Alas, Sylvathil was the second that I know of...the first was many years ago, more than I wish to count or reflect upon. And yet, this man was not either of them, making him the third. Perhaps it is for the better. I have too much to do, too much to think about, to allow myself such a distraction. Does it please you to know I smiled in greeting when we made eye contact, as any sociable individual might when crossing paths with a stranger? It should, because such an instinctive action came as a shock to me. I grow tired. Farewell for now, cousin.
  11. 1 point
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 I’ve secured a temporary place with a caravan traveling the length and breadth of Draenor. They welcome my abilities as an enchantress and a seamstress, and do not appear too outwardly discomfited when I must use my offensive abilities in defense of the caravan against whichever enemies happen to be assaulting us. While I have not lived on the road in a long time, it is a refreshing change from my quarters in the current Shattrath. I have “befriended” a young Soul Priestess named Rheena who also rides with the caravan. The others, many of them made up of Azerothian races, often look askance at her as many do me, without true understanding and often a hint of fear. We often speak of our crafting abilities--she too is an enchantress, and strongly desires to learn to sew--but there is an undercurrent of companionship that springs from our mutual position as “outsiders.” “Vhat are you vriting?” Ketani looked up from her journal, safe in the knowledge that the Draenei woman could not read Common. “See you vriting in other book, yes? Scribbles and diagrams for enchanting!” Rheena made a gesture in the air with both hands, mimicking the creation of enchanting runes. “But zhis is different book!” Ketani chuckled a little and laid her pen in between the bound pages of the journal. “It is like a letter and a diary combined. I write for my cousin back home.” Rheena nodded emphatically, “Oooo”ing her understanding. “Vhen you finish, ve talk about your magic book, yes? I had thought!” The warlock cocked an eyebrow and offered the priestess a smile, closing her journal. “I am ready now, Rheena. And after, I’ll show you how to mend that tear in the tent we found earlier today.” The dark-haired woman clapped her hands together enthusiastically. “Ai! Yes! And zhen, I teach you some Draenei over meal! Is much better zhan your Common. So pretty!” She laughed, and despite herself, Ketani laughed with her.
  12. 1 point
    “Do you understand now, that when I say I cannot use a different foci I mean I cannot use a different foci? The matrix just won’t support it.” “Hmmmmm.” The prolonged hum of contemplation made her jaw clench. If he kept to pattern, another annoying hum would sound right about… “Hmmmm.” Now. “Will you stop that?” The red-haired man looked up from his inspection of the crystalline module that would fuel Ketani’s ambitious, enchantment-driven compendium. “My my, you’re getting awfully touchy as the years go by,” he chastised, his lilting Thalassian accent barely noticeable in his use of Common. “Need I remind you that I have been at this for far longer than your years in this universe, my dear?” The condescension in his tone made her shoulders stiffen. “No. I am quite aware—such is why I wrote to you for assistance, Trelorian.” The two shared a look for a moment before the elf—Trelorian—chuckled and pulled off his spectacles, tucking them safely in a pocket of his robes. “Ah, sweet girl. You’re so much like your dear old mother.” He straightened and sighed. “And you’re quite right—the matrix as is won’t support a different material, which means we’ll just have to keep digging.” He meandered around her workspace, picking up various odds and ends and inspecting them as he spoke. “Perhaps a different composite form of your median layer—” “Don’t touch that.” Ketani snatched the eternium rose out of the man’s hands as she snapped the warning, gently returning it to its simple vase on her desk. “…my, my,” Trelorian mused, eyeing her reaction curiously. “Touchy indeed.” He clapped his hands together and continued. “Well then! First things first. I am simply famished, Ketani, and once we’ve eaten and I’ve procured a place to sleep, we can really get to work.” She blinked owlishly at the man. “You’re staying here?” “Indeed, for as long as it takes us to figure this out. Tut, tut,” he shushed her when she opened her mouth to protest. “I know you, child, and I know you would not have sought my assistance if you were not in dire need of it. So let us proceed in the most efficient manner.” When no further objection appeared to be coming, Trelorian smiled. “Good girl. Now, then—supper?” Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 I have sought the assistance of an old colleague in “working out the kinks” of my compendium. The phrasing belongs to him, mind you. He agrees with my assertion of the problem, and is making arrangements to stay nearby until such a time as we can identify and implement a solution together. My trials and errors have thus far been...explosive, to say the least, and so I cannot offer a timeline until the issue has been resolved for safety reasons. I will also be leaving for Draenor within the coming weeks, to gather what materials I need for the enchantments to Myaka’s shield. My colleague believes the answer to the compendium’s enchantment problems lie in the use of purer materials from Draenor as well; thus, I hope to “kill two birds with one stone,” as they say. Perhaps I shall meet yet more associates in Draenor. Wouldn’t that be exciting?
  13. 1 point
    "Father, this is dull." A single brown eyebrow arched itself above a straight nose and high cheekbones, the man's visage gazing curiously at the young girl before him. "Dull, pet? You are learning the core of power, lessons that will stay with you until the day you draw your last breath. How is that dull?" Ketani pouted, copper eyes flickering with annoyance and lips petulant. "This is bookwork! I'm not a baby anymore, but you won't let me cast anything!" Her father laid down his book and looked straight at her, nut-colored hair falling down around his shoulders. "You are not ready." The simple statement caused the girl to scowl. "I am too!" The man chuckled, causing her to scowl even deeper. "What's so funny?!" "You're just like your mother," he said with another small laugh. "She acts just the same when she doesn't get her way. No, my dear. You are not ready for the castings." "But why not?" Childish anger colored her words, impotent under the weight of her young age. "I've studied so much, Father." "And continue to study you will, until I say otherwise." Her scowl turned into a glare. "But why?" The man sighed, shifting in his seat to better face his daughter. He waved her forward, and she obeyed without a word. Already, her steps held a hint of the grace she inherited from both parents. "Do you want power, Ketani?" She nodded in response, stance firm even as her father met her at eye level like he did when he was about to make a point she wouldn't like. "Power is only for the strong. It is meant to be taken, my little love, but only by those who are able to do so." She opened her mouth to protest that she could take it, that she would--but she was silenced by her father's long-fingered hand cupping her cheek. "And you will be strong enough--but not yet. You are not strong enough to take this power without it consuming you. And so--" He patted her cheek lovingly and allowed his pale hand to fall away. "We must make you strong. Do you understand?" "Yes." The single syllable held some lingering petulance, but the man seemed to accept it. "Good girl," he murmured. "Your mother would kill me if I let you begin before ensuring you are prepared. Just be patient, little one, and we will prepare you together." Ketani sighed, nodding her small face in acknowledgement, and went back to her desk and her books and her quills. Her father did not see the look she cast at her left hand, remembering the shadowy energy she had summoned forth not a week prior...nor did Ketani see the look her father cast at her, knowledge of his only child's burgeoning power--and her active seeking of it--burning a hole in his heart. ~~~ "Auntie Ket, this is boring." Ketani raised a red eyebrow at her "nephew," sitting back in her seat and placing a bookmark in the tome she had been purusing. "Boring? You've never complained about bookwork before, Marzano. What's boring about it?" The young boy shrugged, flicking his quill back and forth. "I dunno. I just can't focus on it right now. And we used to work with spells, do you remember? Not lately though. This is just...dull." Ketani sighed softly, and her full lips curved into a gentle smile. "We'll take a break, then. Come here, child." Marzano stepped forward without hesitation, climbing onto the loveseat next to his aunt and leaning against her side. The woman wrapped an arm about his shoulders and bent down to kiss his bright copper hair. "Do you know why I have you study so much, Marzano?" She felt his disgruntled sigh before she heard it. "Because this power is dangerous to people who don't know how to use it." Ketani squeezed his shoulder gently. "But it is also dangerous to those who do know how to use it, and that is why we must all strive to maintain our knowledge of core lessons. I was made to study just like you, dear one, and I still do today. Without that foundation, I may have been consumed a long time ago." Marzano shifted slightly and looked up at her. "But we used to cast. Why did we stop?" Ketani smiled ruefully, running her long fingers through the boy's hair affectionately. "Because you learned some things from your parents that you did not know how to control, Marzano. What happens if we cannot control our power?" Both knew that "parents" did not refer to Katelle and Zakarnas, but rather the boy's birth parents. Ketani knew they had been powerful warlocks before their death during the Cataclysm. She was unsure if an aptitude for nethermancy was passed through the blood--her own father was one, but her interests had been initially fostered elsewhere--and yet by all accounts, Marzano's parents had fused a part of their souls with the gem the boy carried in his late father's staff. She strongly suspected this was the source of his abilities, unnaturally strong for one of such a tender age. "We risk being overpowered by it, and that can hurt ourselves and the people we love." Ketani nodded approvingly. "When you are ready, we will begin practicing again. We will start with basic magics, those that stem from the Arcane; these will help you more than you realize now. Power must be earned, dear one; those who take it without having earned the right to do so will suffer the consequences. But you must be patient. Do you promise, Marzano?" Copper eyes met violet ones as the boy considered the request. Ketani knew he understood the trust implicit in a promise, and knew he would take it seriously. If she could just keep him from the temptations of the Fel, his life would be vastly improved. He had already been looked down upon by many of his mother's comrades. One--Resileaf Ravenwing--had called for his death some years ago. He was a boy of not even ten summers, and already he was feeling the pressures of society, being punished for the lives of his birth parents and his inheritance from them. It sickened her. They all sickened her. "I promise, Auntie Ket." She smiled softly, and bent to kiss her nephew's hair once more. A bit later, when Marzano went back to his studies, Ketani retrieved her journal and quill. Wednesday, August 26th This week has proven to be uneventful after my return from the Citadel. I am taking care of Katelle’s two children, overseeing Marzano’s theoretical studies as normal and attempting to keep little Sophie happy. I am unsure when I will return to my normal routine--such depends on if the newlyweds return to theirs at the appointed time or not.
  14. 1 point
    Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 Last night proved to hold a pleasurable distraction from my preparations for the Citadel. As requested, I lead the Steward’s Meeting—such as it was, that is, with a mere single attendant other than myself. Autumn and I discussed her upcoming “TE Talks” events, I to offer what suggestions and encouragement I could here and there. She asked if I wanted to discuss my own assignment, to which I agreed, and we passed a pleasant half-hour or so in conversation on not only my compendium but Keeper Velmon’s upcoming foray as well. It seems Autumn does not feel a compulsion to aid the souls of the dead—simple ghosts, as she calls them—against their unfortunate fate. In truth, I cannot blame her. One who does not dabble in soul magic, or the study thereof, or who has never experienced the death of themselves, would not understand. She seems too young to understand the sort of mindset it takes to put oneself at risk for the dead without that sort of knowledge; but of course, that is hardly her fault. I would rather someone so young not know what it means to understand than curse them for that lack. If she is lucky, young Autumn Delenay will never know the answer to her own question: what does it feel like to become a ghost? Ketani allowed her quill to drop as she surveyed her home. Everything was in order for her departure, from the perishables in her cabinets being put under a stasis spell to her research being tucked away in orderly neatness. A note for Sylvathil was resting under his rose should she not return, or return incomplete. Brewbies had been informed of the possibility that she would need to watch the children for a second week. Her prepared robes—the one Katelle affectionately referred to as her “stealth regalia”—hung ready in her bedroom. A number of potions were tucked away in her enchanted pouch for emergency purposes. Ketani had even procured a number of empty, unbreakable soul shards in case any of her party wished to safeguard themselves in that way. The only thing left now was to ensure her own soul was properly protected. The warlock surveyed the sapphire-tinged sphere she now held in her hand. Soon the inky void at its center would glow with her soul—not for the first time, and not for the last. Some time later, the dispassionate figure lazily scrawled a message upon the final page of her journal: All preparations for the joint foray from Lion’s Watch to the Hellfire Citadel are complete. This journal is finished for this reporting period and will be sent via courier to your person, that you may have access to it in the likely event of an unfortunate turn of luck.
  15. 1 point
    "This is why I keep to myself." Full lips twisted in displeasure as their owner stared down at the parchment before her. The utterance continued with the same disgruntled heat as before. "How am I supposed to focus with these--these--these idiocies?" Jhaafenn did not bother to look up at his Mistress, familiar by now with her habit of speaking aloud to inanimate objects. Monday, August 17th, 2015 Katelle's wedding was lovely. If not for shy Marzano and infant Sophronia in my care, I would have seen for to mingle more. I met the newlyweds sometime after their departure from the reception to return their children. Brewbies Stoutbeard will care for them this week and I will have them the week after, provided everything goes as planned in the Citadel. I sought the advice of Enchantress Andiala regarding Myaka's shield this afternoon, and intended to spend some time in the Seer's Library to cross-reference their works with the tome the Enchantress lent me. The silence was immediately shattered by a young sin'dorei arguing quite vehemently with Enchanter Salias, one of many Apprentices, about her uncle's need of bandages and the lack of hazard payment he had received from the Scryers for services incompletely rendered due to an attack. Perhaps against my better judgement I followed the girl--what she was doing arguing with a fully-fledged Scryer I have no idea, but she could not have seen more than fourteen summers--and would have offered my assistance if she had not been called at that very moment. It seems the girl is niece-by-honor to my newest associate, and that Demetri can be effectively cowed by a mere teenaged girl. His wounds were minor, resulting from an orc attack on his person while attempting to single handedly run supplies from Hellfire Peninsula to Shattrath City. Once I procured bandages and saw his niece (a young magistrix named Eliyah, who seems to think I am "nice") departed, I assisted in redressing said wounds with the bandages and the herbal salve Katelle was able to recreate. We have tentatively agreed to meet again late next week under less pressing circumstances. "Nice" indeed. Eliyah seemed to be under the impression that there was some involvement between her uncle and this "nice" woman. Ketani scowled. What had he been telling the girl? Was she simply romanticizing things where there was nothing to be romanticized? The warlock had taken their playful banter as exactly that, and nothing more. But his embarrassment was still palpable hours later, and his thanks of her assistance had been almost too profuse. Perhaps he had merely been uncomfortable being caught in such a state, being fussed over by Eliyah like that? Ketani allowed her gaze to lose its focus as she ran snippets of conversation through her mind once more. One in particular stood out, though not for any relevant reason. "Were that I a Hydromancer..." The utterance had been soft and unintended, and she hadn't noticed the thought had left her lips. "Is that so? Why a Hydromancer?" The small jar of salve accompanied his query, and she took it without thinking on his question. Long-fingered hands unscrewed the jar as he spoke. "Thank you for this, by the way. Umn...you didn't have to do all this, but yeah...I already told you I appreciate it, so I'll say it again. Thanks." She was too busy studying his wounds to pay much attention to her own response. "Water is better for wound-cleaning than Fel Fire." The frown that marred her face was not one of concentration, as she made it seem, but consternation: what in the Nether had possessed her to openly admit to nethermancy? She covered her discomfiture with a quick swipe of two fingertips into the jar and the subsequent application to one of the wounds on the elf's scarred back. "And if it makes you feel better about accepting the help, consider it for your niece's piece of mind, hm?" Demetri laughed nervously, and the knowing dismay blossoming in her chest grew. Even the sin'dorei could uncomfortable when in close-quarters with a known warlock. This assignment for the Imperial Stewards had shown Ketani a great many responses in regards to her person. Some, who knew her as a warlock, did not seem to mind her presence so long as she kept her demeanor pleasant. Others were more reserved around her once they realized what she was, leaving quickly after their business was complete. Still others had no clue, and one had become outright defensive upon sensing a "Fel presence" nearby--and when Ketani casually stated that even the lack of active augmentations could not keep the presence hidden from one who is sensitive to it, the previously-friendly paladin had withdrawn and told her to keep her demons confined to the Nether while in her presence lest they two have...problems. Did the woman think her a complete idiot? Who in their right mind would have such companions present in the public eye, especially after having just said they were not upon the mortal plane? Honestly. And to think these people considered themselves beacons of tolerance and acceptance. Hypocrites. The familiar word danced in her mind. The sight of the eternium rose upon her desk jerked Ketani's musings back to their original thread. She scowled darkly, looking away and allowing her quill to fall listlessly to the desk. The rose was a gift from her lover, early in their...she hesitated to call it a relationship, but that was as good a word as any. Sylvathil had been absent for a month now, however, the sin'dorei having left in a stupendous huff during an argument. It began as a casual mention of her reconnecting with an old acquaintance and subsequent refusal to humor the elf's inane and jealous questions regarding the nature of hers and Demetri's association. Ketani stared again at her journal, copper eyes heavy with disgust at the entire situation. Demetri was pleasant to be around, but she desired nothing more. One romantic entanglement was plenty, thank you, and perhaps even too much. She would have to ask him if she was misreading their situation...that would be the proper thing to do, yes? "This is ridiculous," Ketani muttered viciously. "Absolutely ludicrous. This," she exclaimed suddenly, gaze turning towards Jhaafenn, "is exactly why I prefer dealing with you lot instead of...people." Her lip curled in something akin to anger, eyes casting a final look to her journal and the eternium rose. "I don't have time for this. There are preparations to be made before we infiltrate the Citadel." With a clipped wave of her hand, Ketani sent the journal floating back to its home on her bookshelf. A second and final wave brought forth a tome of grim content. If she were to be dealing with freeing souls in two days’ time, rather than their capture and storage, she needed to ensure she had not forgotten the proper rituals...Ketani huffed one last time before fully settling in to peruse the tome. Ludicrous.
  16. 1 point
    Ketani hugged the young red-haired boy to her side while watching the light of her life pledge her mortal soul and hand in marriage to the odd-haired elf some four centuries her senior. The boy was nervous around so many unknown people, but even still he only had eyes for his adopted parents. He sniffled as Katelle cited him as the catalyst for the love she shared with Zakarnas, and Ketani leaned down to press a kiss to the top of his head. “Are they really together because of me?” the boy asked her sometime later as they sat against the wall, quietly observing the wedding guests and talking gently amongst themselves and little Sophronia. “They are, Marzano,” Ketani replied. “Your father saw how much this woman cared for his adopted son without ever being asked to, and it was their mutual love for you that brought them together.” The boy smiled, watching as his parents gazed up at each other. Katelle chose that moment to scan the room and catch their eyes, waving and smiling brightly before blowing a kiss to her son. Zakarnas followed his new wife’s gaze and grinned goofily, causing Marzano to grin right back. “That’s pretty neat. I did a thing, Auntie Ket.” The warlock chuckled, pecking the top of the boy’s head with a kiss and leaning across him to check on his infant sister as she lay in her basket. “Yes, my darling boy, you did.”
  17. 1 point
    August 13th, 2015 Myaka Winterborne came to me this night, inquiring after a gown of proper design for her role in Katelle’s wedding. I had assumed she would be doing so and took the liberty of beginning one I believed she would be comfortable in. Again, I was successful. It should be ready for her by tomorrow evening, aside from a few minor adjustments as needed. Of greater interest, she has requested my assistance in enchanting her father’s shield so that it will not shatter in combat. It seems she wishes to use this shield as part of her standard battle armaments, a very precarious position for an item of such sentimental value. We have arranged for her to provide me with several similar items that I may practice the enchantment before applying it to the real thing; however, I will need to first determine what materials such shall require and where I can get them. After relaying this to Myaka, she seemed pleased and indicated that my thoroughness in my craft, and respect for the value inherent in her shield, are the reasons she sought me out rather than another enchanter. I confess to surprise at the notion, given our…rocky association over the course of the past year, but am honored to be trusted with such nonetheless. If I am correct in my understanding of some Draenic enchanting practices, I may be making a trip to Draenor once Katelle and Zakarnas have returned from their honeymoon and my duties as that week’s sitter have ended. I will conduct some prior research before leaving, but perhaps the materials I need for Myaka’s shield reside in a dimension some decades past. Ketani tapped the feathered end of the quill against her lips. That wasn’t where their discussion had ended—indeed, while it was the first conversation of length the two had shared in almost a year since Myaka had participated in Katelle’s house arrest, they still held shared animosity for the rogue’s parents. Well. Her father, to be exact. Ketani’s Aunt Althea wasn’t a bad woman, but had merely caved to her husband’s vociferous demands regarding their daughter. And Jaxton himself… Jhaafenn was her most common companion, but he had not been the one to put her uncle in his proper place the first time. That honor had belonged to her twenty-something self and Bryyla, her smart-talking, whip-cracking succubus—but nobody needed to know the details of that little game. It would not be difficult to head him off before he potentially made a scene, though, should he make an appearance on Sunday. We spoke on your father somewhat, as well, dear Aryanna. As I told Myaka, my mother—your Aunt Shiree—still holds contact with him and Katelle’s mother both. They are aware that they are grandparents, but I believe my mother will wait to inform them of their daughter’s wedding until after the fact, lest they arrive uninvited. It is possible she has told your father about you and your other siblings as well, but I am uncertain. I will inquire if you wish me to do so.
  18. 1 point
    “Well? What do you think?” She watched as the rogue circled the mannequin, eyes wide and disbelieving. When Katelle reached out a hand to touch the fabric and hesitated, Ketani scoffed. “It’s yours. Touch it.” Her command was obeyed with the gentlest of touches against the soft cloth and the faintest of smiles, and pride at her success flared in the warlock’s chest. “I love it,” Katelle murmured. The awe in her voice was audible. “Go put it on.” “R-right now?” Ketani raised an eyebrow at the question. “Yes, right now. I need to make sure it fits.” With a sheepish smile, Katelle took the garment and padded off to the bedroom. Ketani sat, taking a quill to her journal while she waited. August 12th, 2015 I have done it again: Katelle adores the gown. But my musings on interactions with her, of all people, hardly qualify as ones “outside of my social circle,” so I shall move on to more relevant news. I have agreed to accompany Private First Class Brinnea Velmon and other Twilight Keepers to the Tanaan Jungle a week from now. If they are going after souls, who better to assist than a warlock? “You included dagger slits.” The observation caused the warlock to look up at her cousin standing in the doorway. “I know you,” Ketani murmured with a small smile, setting her quill aside. Katelle broke into a beaming grin and spun in place. “So you like it, then?” Ketani asked with a laugh. “I told you, I love it. It’s perfect, Ket.” The seamstress smiled knowingly and rose, striding past her cousin and beckoning the woman to follow. “Sit,” she murmured, indicating the chair in front of her dressing table. The rogue did as bid and Ketani stood behind her, working her hands through the woman’s blonde hair and removing the leather strap holding it in her customary ponytail. Ketani gently combed her fingers through the bride-to-be’s hair, arranging it across her shoulders gently as Katelle watched on in the mirror. “We can let your hair fall naturally, and weave those little blossoms you love so much in it. Hm?” Katelle’s only response was to smile tearfully at her cousin’s reflection in the mirror, and Ketani knew a moment of peace.
  19. 1 point
    August 11th, 2015 I met with Councilor Rednaxela Furyswipe this evening in the Blue Recluse of Stormwind’s Mage Quarter. He had been among the first to respond to my initial missives regarding my Steward’s assignment, and yet fatherhood has kept him quite busy. For someone who supposedly excels at storytelling, Councilor Furyswipe seems to be a man of few words. Perhaps I caught him on a difficult evening. It was not a long meeting, though in addition to discussing his tradeskills, crafting abilities, and hobbies, we spoke of the upcoming wedding and his own thoughts that perhaps he and Diplomat Skygazer should attend to one of their own soon. I offered my services as a seamstress if Julianaz should enjoy the work I have done on Katelle’s gown and took my leave soon after. Tomorrow will be busy. It will be Kate’s first look at her gown, though I am positive she will adore it. I have not learned nothing of her in her nearly three decades of life, after all.
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    Monday, August 10th, 2015 Some years ago, Katelle and I had the odd pleasure of meeting a sin’dorei from a group known as “The Jeweled Blood.” Some weeks after our initial (and separate) meetings, Kate visited me upon the Tier and we encountered this sin’dorei again. Plans were made at that point to meet regularly, as this fellow was keen on more friends within the Alliance. Even though he supposedly called Scryer’s Tier his home, as do I, we had not seen him since—until late last month, when I encountered him in the Seer’s Library. We again made plans to meet regularly, the first of such meetings having occurred earlier this evening within the World’s End Tavern. Ketani reached for a still-crisp apple slice, one of many remnants of the fruit platter she and Demetri had shared, and considered her next words while savoring the apple’s sweet crunch. Tonight, as well as at their last meeting, Demetri had been much as she remembered him: sweet, playful, and carefree. Perhaps there was some truth behind his claim that—how had he put it?—“This is why I did like talking to you in the first place, I can tease you and you don’t generally think I’m an asshole.” She chuckled, ignoring the questioning tilt of Jhaafenn’s head. The elf’s reaction to her response that she lived asshole regularly enough to identify one had been a refreshingly sheepish mix of shock and denial. The warlock reached for another piece of fruit, popping the morsel into her mouth and resolving to ask the tavern master where he acquired his produce. Quill met parchment once more. We spoke on a variety of topics over a light meal, ranging from Katelle’s upcoming wedding to social experiences. Demetri—surname Bloodstar, though he dislikes to be addressed by such—has always been jovial and playful in our admittedly limited acquaintance, and this night was no different. Contrary to myself, he seems to “wear his heart on his sleeve,” as it is said, and very obviously holds some level of emotional pain. This, coupled with his insistent, earnest naivety, is perhaps what drove me to match his ludicrous sentiment that we would both attempt to maintain the budding friendship rather than letting it fade to nothingness. That still troubled her. It was not in the warlock’s nature to agree to such things, but she hadn’t had it in her to rebuff his hopeful earnestness. “But I can make promise that I will do my best to not forgotten be. I and won’t ever forget you,” he’d said in broken Common—a habit, she noticed, he displayed when he meant to demonstrate his sincerity. Such words came on the tail of her admission that she often pushed people away…but it didn’t seem as though he understood the meaning behind her own words, if his response was any indication. Rejection of the friendly overture had been on her lips, the instinctual syllables on the tip of her tongue— “Do not make promises you may not be able to keep”—but instead she’d smiled and replied in kind, correcting his linguistic mistakes in the process. Ketani scowled and resumed her entry. Such is inconceivably far from my initial reaction, but perhaps it indicates an openness to accountability that may prevent me from inevitably allowing such an acquaintance to fall by the wayside in the future. My friends are few and far between. It will be nice, I think, to have another.
  21. 1 point
    “Dear Diary” sounds so…quaint. I am hardly a teenager keeping track of her day-to-day musings. Perhaps as a letter? “For the eyes of my cousin, Seneschal Aryanna Anahi” would be more on point, as you shall be my only reader. No? Then merely a scrawled date with which to indicate the passage of time. Such shall begin my journal of social encounters, as agreed upon to gauge my progression of both successes and failures as they relate to my objective: the all-encompassing "sociability." Ketani removed her quill from with page, a frown marring her face as the drying ink marred the parchment. “This is ludicrous,” she muttered, looking to where Jhaafenn lay. “A waste of time.” The Fel Hunter observed her with its eyeless face, silence its only other response. Ketani sighed and turned her gaze back to the journal. “But necessary. I know.” Friday, August 7th, 2015 I have always enjoyed casual banter, but it is rare I engage in such with individuals I am not already at ease with. Tonight, however, I made every effort to engage Chancellor Mackinzie over the guildstone, hoping to capitalize on her enthusiasm in announcing the meeting of her Ambassadors. I was not disappointed by her willingness to keep the banter going, though upon arrival at the meeting location it became increasingly apparent that she was— The warlock snorted at the memory. The young priestess had been overly-engaging in more ways than one. Ketani’s initial fears were that Skylah was intoxicated—a fear also voiced privately by Autumn Delenay—and then that she was under the influence of some recreational substance. Katelle assured her it was neither of those things, however, and she took her cousin at her word. It would not do to make such insinuations about one path leader to another, though… in an uncommonly good mood, and perhaps suffering a touch of sweets-induced hyperactivity, given the delightful array of edibles provided. Throughout the course of the meeting, I made it a point to actively engage in the event discussions and converse with participants when not strictly necessary. All told, it was a moderately enjoyable experience. The warlock frowned as another memory arose, this one of Skylah’s excited self making the rounds and raising her palm in anticipation of another’s slapping against it. Tentatively, she set her quill to parchment again. Tonight’s meeting also marked my first participation in a “high five.”
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  24. 1 point
    General Rogue Tips Pick Pocket Macros Pick Pocket with all openers for faster collection of Coins of Air. Example: #showtooltip Ambush /cast Pick Pocket /cast Ambush PVP Sap Macro Saps a PVP target in range. Can also be used to find other rogues/kitties and pull them from stealth if you spam it where another stealther might be. #showtooltip sap /cleartarget /targetenemyplayer /cast sap Tricks of the Trade Macro Puts tricks on a party member in the following order of priority: Target. If no target is selected, Focus. If no focus is selected, Target of Target. #showtooltip Tricks of the Trade /cast help][target=focus,help] [target=targettarget,help]Tricks of the Trade Weak Auras Import Strings - http://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23505-weak-auras-2-import-strings-for-rogues/#comment-397214 Outlaw Rogue Tips - For Leveling / World Quests Outlaw is my favorite spec to play this expansion for questing out in the world, and even some dungeon runs. However, for sustained single target DPS, as in raids, I can't get the numbers I can get with Assassination. So this post will focus on using Outlaw for quests, and it should work well enough in dungeons as well, especially on trash packs and bosses with adds. Artifact Weapon - The Dreadblades I usually work my way down to Greed for my first gold trait, then up to Blunderbuss, then Blurred Time. For relics, I go with the highest ilvl, and if I have a choice beyond that, I like the ones that have the Blade Dancer trait (Reduces the energy regeneration penalty of Blade Flurry.) Talents 1. Ghostly Strike is good damage, but I go with Swordmaster or Quick Draw, because I like passives when they're "close enough" to the active ability on the same tier. 2. Grappling Hook is one of my favorite talents in game. Use it to get to difficult places, or as a quick way to get a short distance ahead. Put it on your stealth bar! It is usable in stealth and does not break stealth. Acrobatic Strikes is recommended for more serious play, and Hit and Run is used for more damage if you have the legendary boots that benefit by increased run speed. 3. I like Vigor here, because I don't have to think about it too much, and the increased energy is great to start with. Deeper Stratagem is a favorite for more serious play, but you don't often need to get to six combo points on quest mobs. 4. Iron Stomach or Cheat Death. You don't have to think about either of them to benefit. With Elusiveness, it only helps you if you remember to press Feint when there's incoming damage. 5. Parley is like a longer Sap. I've never used it. Prey on the Weak does increased damage when your target is affected by certain spells, most of which break on damage, so I've never used it either. I go with Dirty Tricks for some energy-free spells. 6. Marked for Death is what I usually pick here, though Death from Above is fun for big numbers and closing gaps. On quest mobs and trash packs though, Marked for Death is usually a free five combo points on every mob, because the cooldown refreshes if you kill the mob within one minute of using it, which is nearly always. Fighting Easy Mobs (regular quest mobs, dungeon trash packs) 1. Start in stealth. 2. Ambush target (with Pick Pocket macro) 3. Run Through 4. Marked for Death 5. Run Through They're usually dead here, if not, just Saber Slash (or Pistol Shot when free ones proc) a few more times until you have enough combo points that you think one last Run Through will kill them. If it's a pack of easy mobs, or there are adds, activate Blade Flurry before step 1 above.... 6. Select next target. 7. Marked for Death 8 Run Through 9. If necessary, Saber Slash (or free Pistol Shots) a few times and Run Through until dead. Do not switch targets until dead, so Marked for Death refreshes. 10. For additional mobs, repeat from step 6. If you're taking damage from melee attacks, you can hit Riposte. Riposte lets you parry everything for a time, and strikes back at your attackers. If the attacks are magical, you can use Cloak of Shadows and interrupts (Gouge makes a good interrupt if Kick is on cooldown). If both are on cooldown, and you're taking a lot of damage, use Between the Eyes, Blind, Gouge, etc. to slow the incoming damage. If you're going to die, Vanish and run away. You can also Bribe a humanoid to help you fight for five minutes. Fighting Harder Mobs (rares, named mobs, bosses) 1. Start in stealth. 2. Cheap Shot or Ambush (with Pick Pocket macro) 3. Roll the Bones (doesn't really matter what buffs you get from it for questing and dungeons) 4. Marked for Death 5. Run Through 6. Curse of the Dreadblades and Adrenaline Rush 7. Saber Slash (or Pistol Shot if free) 8. Run Through 9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 until Curse of the Dreadblades buff expires 10. Saber Slash (or free Pistol Shots) to five combo points 11. Run Through 12. Repeat steps 10 & 11 until dead, using defensive cooldowns as needed, refreshing Roll the Bones when it drops off, and using cooldowns (Marked for Death, Curse of the Dreadblades, and Adrenaline Rush) as they become available again. If there are multiple mobs, activate Blade Flurry before starting, and use Marked for Death on each new mob if the cooldown has been refreshed. Once you get legendaries, some of them will change the way you play. There are pants that heal you when you use Feint, and several that may change your rotation or even talent choices.
  25. 1 point
    (Editorial) Living the Oaths Aaren sat on the counter in her small shack-apartment’s kitchen. It was early in Outland’s Shattrath on a particularly stuffy, though not necessarily warm morning. She was drinking a delightful hot tea, a dark and strong mixture of pomegranate and two kinds of mint, with a modest amount of bloodthistle mixed in during steeping. It wasn’t an ingredient she often used, and the stash it came from was untouched for quite some time until this past week. She was certainly glad to have it at this moment. Her head ached from the altercation. Her right eye was puffy and her cheekbone sore and swollen. Her throat was red like cheeks in a winter wind and her jaw felt a little more loose than it should feel, and she moved it slowly from side to side between sips of her tea. She could hear the slightest clicking sound inside her head from the movement, but it was nothing that wouldn’t go away in a day or two. She lifted her hand to wipe a dribble of tea from her lip onto the sleeve of her robe, though she had to rotate her wrist unnaturally to keep from wiping blood on her face in its place. Through the doorway into the other room, she watched as Quelhir Daybrook, one of her oldest contacts and friends within the Scryers, inspected the body of a man laying dead on the floor and in the raw as the day he was born. He was covered in naught but a white silk sheet, his dull eyes staring straight up at the ceiling as if looking through it into the stars. The fatal wound was made from a dagger, hardly bigger but much prettier than a regular kitchen knife, stabbed into the center of his chest all the way to the guard and still lodged in place as he was examined by the summoned magister. Quelhir looked on in disgust at the wound. Poison was very clearly one agent, the skin around the wound showing a sickly pale green in the flesh, and darker in the veins leading away from the planted blade like vines climbing stonework. If he didn’t know better, he’d see it as a concoction of, or including, plague. Did he know better? Wisps of shadow wafted up from the hilt to dissipate in the air like smoke. Aaren twisted her lips to the side while looking into her cup. She wished she had bothered to buy some sort of cereal to go with her tea. “Definitely him, alright,” his voice interrupted her thoughts. “How in heavens did you go about even getting him here, much less in the city at all? And in… such a… defenseless state?” Her friend spoke without any accusation, though there was a mixture of wonder and pity in his voice. His own thoughts were a mess, surely Aaren’s own were at least just as wild having slain the man, he thought. A high-level fugitive from the era of the first Legion invasion, long thought dead, was right here. Very thoroughly and very recently dead. Quelhir replaced the sheet over the body and approached Aaren after he made sure he got none of the blood on himself or the soles of his shoes. He would kindly give her all the time she needed to answer. By the time he came to stand beside her at his slow pace, her eyes glistened, even as she grinned slyly with an audibly imprudent sigh and chuckle. "Don't… make me answer that," she said, and shook her head. Almost begged, if more with her eyes than her voice. “Very well, dear,” the magister said, quietly. “I’ll just have to pull every trick in my book to make sure you don’t have to answer to a soul, either. I hardly believe that will be an issue, given who it is. I’ll also ensure it is all cleaned up with no one the wiser. I’ll even get you somewhere nice and comfortable to rest until you can’t even tell someone was dead in here.” He smirked, then tried to change the subject, if only for a moment. “You’re looking tired these days,” is what he came up with. Aaren raised an eyebrow, as if to ask ’is that how you greet old friends?’ “Yeah? You’re looking old,” she replied, grin widening. It worked. They laughed. He lifted a hand to self-consciously rub at the wrinkles beginning to form in his forehead. A little more at ease, Aaren breathed in deeply as she could and finished the tea in her cup. It was a little too hot for that, but the mild burn was welcome as a distraction from the situation for a few seconds. “Spritely. Good to know that some things - or people - never change,” he said. The two stood staring at each other for several moments. Or perhaps the better word is simply watched. It was a less confrontational (in)action, while they each considered things that could have been, or things that were, or all the reasons they shouldn’t have been, all in the space of moments. They each felt a little silly for it, given the time passed and the very real issue in the other room. “Good to see that you don’t change, Aaren,” he finally punctuated the long silence. “In that event, the world may surely end.” “I can’t tell you how often you could have had a world without me, but everyone makes amateur mistakes these days it seems,” she said, as a boast more than anything. Quelhir nodded, as if a thing as that could be expected from one such as her. The attempts on her life, or the bragging equally. “Why even take the chance with this one?” he asked more quietly. Maybe even in chiding for her confrontation of a dangerous person all on her own. It was a personal question, asked before his associates arrived to make the current and more important problem go away. It took her a long while to gather the words to form a proper answer. “I will heal where others may wound,” Aaren started, not much unlike a prayer or mantra she chanted for communing with the Light, for healing and protection. She continued with words sounding less rehearsed. “But when I cannot restore, I will harm. Being nice and holding hands and painting rainbows doesn't get you anywhere in the real world. There will never be justice for anyone until we take it for ourselves, but it must be done with temperance. Or you become a monster, no matter how pure your intentions. Maybe… when someone insists you act as a paragon, you learn get brave real quick.” She looked over at the body laying the floor with a long and uncomfortable pause, in which neither of them moved. “Luckily, restoration can and does come out of harm. And he deserved leagues worse than what he got.” Quelhir made no motion, expression, nor statement to suggest he agreed or disagreed, but merely rested his hand on her arm and let her say her piece. Aaren smiled, a near sinister expression, and slipped down onto her feet to go clean up and find her favorite dress to wear.
  26. 1 point
    K0LD X 8:07:48 PM With her energy spent, the assassin pants, falling to both knees, her chest rising and falling as she works to simply catch her breath and regain at least some of her stamina. Kexti 8:12:59 PM Kex'ti angrily retrieves his sword and walks back to Harbinger/Shokkra. Shizari 8:14:31 PM T'suro can barely stop, the target of his charge now gone. The elf slams his spear into the ground, and the energy built up around him dissipates in a bright flash. The elf collapses to the ground, bits of armor sagging and falling off of his frame as he collapses, his body noticeably thinner. Rabblerouser 8:14:51 PM Ignazh, ignorant of whatever was happening, was busy trying to keep Harbinger from rising again. The kor'kron have begun keeping it pinned and downed. Kexti 8:16:41 PM "You're Ignazh Deathrage, I assume," Kex'ti says, limping over as the adrenaline of combat wears off. He coughs, and mends his wounds. Konro 8:21:20 PM Harbinger strains under the pressure, barely conscious. The Dark Iron begin to cheer but are quickly silenced by the bloodied Harrowmont. "We still got one to take lads." He points his hammer at the balcony, and the blood trail leading down the hall. Rabblerouser 8:22:39 PM "Hey, hey! Commandant, you in there?! Hellscream's ass, give us somethin'!" The orc growled, turning his yellowed gaze to Kex'ti disinterestedly. "Yeah that's me." Yuki 8:23:57 PM Kejala listens to the howls and screams of fury around her as their prey disappears in an instant. She lends her voice to the cacophony, howling... laughter. The troll bends over with it, feeling every wound and bruise and pulsing ache but unable to suppress the fit of inappropriate mirth. It takes her quite some time to quiet down. Kexti 8:24:47 PM "This is your cousin. Just so you know. Rabblerouser 8:26:12 PM "Yeah I heard the shitstain say it too." He says flippantly, staring back down into Harbinger's face. "...Dunno if he's right or another lie. Hope's a dangerous thing." Kexti 8:28:36 PM "It is her." Yuki 8:30:29 PM At last she wipes tears from her eyes and catches her breath. "So. Ya rescued da mutant orc 'n lost da pretty elf. Dat 'bout right?" Rabblerouser 8:32:41 PM Ignazh snorted, turning the gaze to Harbinger once more. "Even so, this much fel an' she ain't the same." Rabblerouser 8:34:17 PM Cobrak collapses to his side, his injuries catching up to him finally as he lowly growls his displeasure at everything. The testosterone had worn off and he was a panting mess. "S...shite..." He grumbles, looking for once distraught. Konro 8:35:10 PM The Dark Iron quickly make their way up the balcony and down the hallway. A couple minutes later they come back, holding the Fel Iron Commander Bhelen, and a large demonic looking mechanical device with several documents in Harrowmont's hands. They throw down the still breathing Bhelen and delicately drop the device next to @Xara . Harrowmont hands over the documents. "Here, only things worth something we could find. Along with Bhelen and-" He kicks the device. "This monstrosity." K0LD X 8:35:31 PM Kahlan moves to her boss's side, making her way in a slight limp, "What now, boss?" She asks through bared teeth, in pain, but fighting through it. Kexti 8:36:33 PM Kex'ti sighs. "Keep her safe while we make our plans for her. I will return." Kexti 8:36:37 PM Kex'ti moves to Cobrak. Xara 8:38:09 PM Juli had turned and punched the wall, once, twice, three times. Her hand was most certainly broken by the time she stops. With a supreme effort of will, she turns to look over the others, focusing on Kex;'ti and Shokkra first before looking over the others. Injuries, everywhere; but no one else dead. She takes the documents from Harrowmont automatically but doesn't look at the device. Nor does she speak, not trusting herself to not simply start screaming again. Rabblerouser 8:40:06 PM Cobrak keeps his gaze to the ground, not answering Kahlan as he absorbs more death. More pain. He'd have to tell Tsuyi. That thought alone made the orc's heart wither somewhat, such news after just having woken up. She hadn't even gotten the chance to see her father since. The orc closed his eye as he sat in the filth of the battle, his armor bloodstained and torn as he looked sorrowfully at the floor. Kexti 8:40:09 PM Kex'ti stares down at Cobrak, and feels the weight of his sword in his hand. He sheathes the blade, and kneels down. Kexti 8:40:27 PM "You fought well. Taozhu's passing is a loss for all of us. Shall I tend your wounds?" Shizari 8:40:43 PM T'suro pants heavily on the ground, his frame almost looking sickly, as he tries to pick himself up... but can't. "Dammit... damn him..." Arahe 8:41:20 PM Ohee continues to be outside Grim Batol, petting the mounts sent to her with a fully equipped medical tent. K0LD X 8:42:09 PM Kahlan falls to a knee again with a sound, the blood from the stab on her thigh far more noticeable now, making a sound as she kneels, pausing before sheathing her weapons to clutch the wound. Rabblerouser 8:42:55 PM Cobrak gulped down everything, looking up at Kex'ti. For once, it is not a hateful or sarcastic one, it’s an understanding one. The gaze shifts to Julilee then, a silent message as he shakes his head. His gaze shifts to Kahlan then, the orc struggles to stand, falling to his knee but once before rising up to hobble his way to the elfess. Yuki 8:43:39 PM "Well. I be leavin' da lotta ya t'sort out da mess. Gonna go get patched up 'n check on Kit." After collecting her used fetishes and totems, the troll saunters her way out of the room before someone decides she needs to be punched. K0LD X 8:44:03 PM Kahlan would look up at her commander. Though her face was hidden, it was easy to sense her insecurity for a change. She didn't understand what just happened or the significance of who they fought. Arahe 8:48:08 PM Ohee can also be called to move up to their current location, like she established when she said "Give me a shout if you need me to move up at any point!" before they even went into Grim Batol. Xara 8:50:03 PM Juli meets Cobrak's gaze, her eyes more than flinty. She clearly wants to murder and Cobrak would understand why. She looks back at Harrowmont. "Let's gather everyone and leave this damned place. We have a medical station outside at a recovery point." Arahe 8:52:20 PM Ohee comes jogging in moments later, per Kex'ti's call on the hearthstone. She has the mounts of whomever left or sent them outside in tow. Her eyes widen slightly at the level of carnage but immediately scans for who among their allies was most wounded. She addresses Kex'ti and Juli. "Who is most in need of attention?" Konro 8:54:24 PM Harrowmont frowns, barking to one of his boys that rushes up. "My lad here can teleport us outside if ye like. Away from... all this." He watches his soldiers mourn their fallen comrades. Arahe 8:55:53 PM Ohee whips a finger up at Harrowmont as if to stop his speech without losing any of her chipper attitude. "We should ensure everyone is at least stable enough to move via portal transport." Yuki 8:56:28 PM So much for escaping. Kejala sighs as she moves over to check on her cantankerous panther. He gets the rest of her jerky. Baern 8:56:54 PM Baern, watches the fury unleashed around him a profound sense of understanding. He knew this rage and this frustration. He had been victim to it for years. Or, a few months ago, in the case of Karthok, specifically. But even in his understanding, he does not share it. To that, he is numb. For Lohd, he is worried. "The first you need to check on is Lohd," Baern says with commanding attention. "He suffered a back injury and I don't want to attempt to move him any further until we know the extent of it." Konro 8:57:18 PM "Nobody's stable while they're looking at this mess, and that was before we got here." Harrowmont runs his hand through his blood soaked beard. Baern 8:58:19 PM To the rest of the gathered group, he rises to his full height and intones swiftly and decisively. "If you are not in need of medical attention, use your hearthstone and return to the guildhall. There will be a full debriefing of this all, soon, and your attendance may be necessary. But for now, we need to focus on the wounded." Arahe 8:58:52 PM "HAH-SHUSH. Unless you're about to tell me who is the most physically injured here, I dont want to hear it mister!" She declares as she trots over to Lohd and begins a quick examination. Tirien 8:59:25 PM Lohd lays on his front and breathes slow and deep. His magical reserves have run dry from up keeping a renewal on his injuries. Arahe 9:03:48 PM Rubbing her hands together causes them to emit a soft glow. She runs them along the giant, probably naked Tauren's back, frowning as she does so. "Oh. Oh An'she." Her hands stretch along his ribcage, soft, healing light suffusing the area. "What in the Earthmother's graces happened to him?" Xara 9:09:06 PM To Harrowmont Juli says, "We need to talk about your nephew. Come to Sanctuary's guildhouse in Dalaran when you're available." She walks off to go see what is being done to restrain Harbinger -- Shokkra. W A N D E R 9:09:55 PM Sarrak peered at the group before he turned to attend to his own wounds... And fret over Gar'mok. He sat himself down with the wolf, working his boot knife out, he cleaned the blood from his skin, hissing softly as he went about digging shrapnel and fel iron rounds from his flesh. "Is that her?" He called out, turning his head. "I promised Shana I'd find my niece." Baern 9:13:17 PM "That's Kex'ti's read and I trust his judgment more than anyone's," Baern answers. "We're going to bring her back to the guildhall in Dalaran, see what we can do about relieving some of this corruption. We have one of the Cenarion Circle's best on staff, so she'll be in the best hands. Specializes in fel corruption, as a matter of fact." It's more matter of fact than reassuring, but he wants to be as clear as possible with Sarrak, given his pulling Baern's tail literally out of the fire. Arahe 9:16:18 PM Ohee gently pats the hulking, broken form of Lohd, his fur glowing softly with the energy. "That should... hold him together enough so we can get him to Miss Maralah. As a druid she's going to be better equipped to help him." She moves on to the next most injured looking patient, which is an elf laying facedown on the floor. "Excuse me, sir?" She begins rolling T’suro over. Konro 9:16:35 PM "You'll have more luck with this." Harrowmont kicks the device again. "Nasty piece of work it is, but it could help." He whistles to his mages and points at the Fel Iron corpses, as well as all the test subjects. "Burn it." Shizari 9:17:17 PM T'suro gets rolled onto his back, his armor continuing to sage and slip around on his frame, plates and straps looking as if they were never tightened to begin with, even though they were. Xara 9:18:17 PM Julilee ensured Harbinger is secured. As transportation is arranged, first getting the injured back to the recovery area, then from there transportation back to Sanctuary guildhall, she moves back to the device, hearing what Harrowmont said about it. She looks at it, having no clue what it is or its purpose. "How will it help?" she asks him. Arahe 9:20:53 PM The plump priestess huffs in a breath, light brimming around her fingertips before she paps them onto the sides of T’suro's face, the most accessible part of him outside of armor, letting the healing light flow into him and at least alleviate his wounds. Konro 9:24:42 PM The corpses burn brightly in the sick torture room, something finally being done about the monstrosities this place creates. "We call it the Hell Ripper. Far as we can tell it was built by a demon. It'll take the fel, every last bit it can muster, out of whatever you point it at. And it can fill something with fel as well, like this bastard." He kicks Bhelen in the jaw. "He'll know more." Shizari 9:26:50 PM T'suro gasps as he feels light flow into his body. His wounds close up and start to heal, but his body does not start to fill back out. Arahe 9:27:57 PM "Good morning sunshine!" Ohee chirps with a smile. "Can you describe to me the problem?" Shizari 9:30:21 PM T'suro huffs and tries to lift himself up. "I used too much power at once... this tends to happen..." Arahe 9:31:33 PM Helping him sit up, she scrutinizes the loose fitting armor. "Would removing the armor help? It looks heavy for you." Shizari 9:32:06 PM T'suro sighs and flops back down. "I'd be able to move at least..." W A N D E R 9:34:31 PM The orc's eyes met Baern and stuck on him for some time before he snorted, returning to licking his wounds. "I'll take your word for it." He said. "What about you, Tauren. You alright?" He asked, not bothering to bring his head up as he dug a piece of metal from his hide, inspecting it for a moment. Hmmph. Arahe 9:36:03 PM Ohee sets to work making another member of Sanctuary naked, not that she was responsible for Lohd, and begins removing some of T’suro's armor stopping whenever he indicated he was light enough to move again. Baern 9:36:45 PM "Burns," Baern says, without yet demonstrating them. "The fire heated my superheated my armor, so I doubt I'm going to have much in the way of fur or skin once I decide to peel it off. I bought like four fire resist enchantments too, just never got them applies to the plate." He is bitter about that. Shizari 9:37:59 PM T'suro is left in a crimson shirt and black pants, with no boots after Ohee strips him of his armor. He slowly stands, using his weapon as leverage. "Thank you... I'll be fine in a day, I hope." Xara 9:38:52 PM Juli continues making arrangements, shepherding everyone out, ensuring Harbinger, the devices, and the documents are seen to safely. It wasn't safe here, and as soon as everyone could move, they'd be put on mounts, in litters, or teleported out as abilities allowed. Arahe 9:39:21 PM She helps him up as best she can, stepping back when she’s confident he won't just fall over again. "Well, you let me know if you need any more of my help sunshine." Shizari 9:41:51 PM "I... should be fine, thank you." T'suro nods at Ohee and smiles. Arahe 9:42:41 PM She beams back at him before exiting with the rest under Juli's guidance. Kexti 9:42:52 PM Kex'ti stares at the fortress. "I hate this place." Shizari 9:43:10 PM T'suro marches through, resting on his spear as a walking stick. Xara 9:44:37 PM "Should have bombed it flat," Juli mutters, though it's in rather poor taste considering what nearly happened the last time Sanctuary was here. Konro 9:44:54 PM Harrowmont, his troops, their comrades' corpses, and the Fel Iron commander march through a portal, letting the fire scorch Grim Batol clean. Rabblerouser 9:55:51 PM Cobrak takes one final look as this hellhole burned, making one final move to take Taozhu's cowl, taking it with him before vanishing into the portal.
  27. 1 point
    Chanchu sat outside the infirmary, fingers busy weaving a loop of string into a repetitive series of shapes. She'd woken Maralah as requested and sent the healer out to deal with the broken huntress Arahe in their village. She'd ignored when the disappearing orc snuck out from his bed. The restless glint in his eyes was a familiar one. She had sent him off with a wink, but wasn't sure if he'd seen. Or cared. She wasn't sure why she stayed. Chanchu could have gone rummaging in the kitchens to find something tasty. She might have even come across someone else doing the same, and they could have exchanged stories. Chanchu didn't feel much like spinning a story. The tauren dipped her thumbs, dropping the loop strung across them and then her hands swiveled so she could hook the yarn over the top and stretch it backward. She jumped the middle fingers and pulled the shape taut. Travois. The monk didn't pause, but began the series of steps to take the string on into the next shape. No, she didn't feel much like lying. That's what would happen, if she were to go to the kitchen, find something tasty, and meet someone. It might be someone who didn't matter. Or it might be someone she knew. Kolu, maybe. She wouldn't mind a verbal sparring with that cantankerous cow. She was so easy to rile, too. She carried the weight of the Grimtotem tribe on her shoulders and while it was true Chanchu held some prejudices there, they were no where near so prohibitive as Kolu expected and therefor perceived them to be. How much longer could she poke those buttons and still expect it to be fun? She didn't really know what else to do but poke, but doing so usually led to enemies made. Chanchu liked Kolu. She didn't want to do that. By the same token, the tauren did not feel like retracing her steps back to the room she'd claimed as her own. The maze of shelves held many interesting things, but all of them made for poor company. Chanchu was tired of being alone. She was tired of her cushy soft pouf of a bed, and she was tired of the puzzle boxes and the combination locks and all the usual distractions. She wanted... She wanted to be useful for once. So what did she do? She went and let someone snatch one patient, and then she abandoned her other patient because she didn't work well with others. Chanchu yanked the string. So what if Kolu had yelled at her? So what if she had called Chanchu useless? Just because that was precisely how the monk felt, why did that make her react so strongly? She should have done something to prove she wasn't. That's what she should have done. Instead she'd retreated like a coward. And not even a proper one! Here she was, still sitting outside the infirmary. Her leg hurt. The string flowed back through the travois configuration and continued on. Chanchu thought about the infirmary, and the things she had seen there. It was all so different from everything else she had known. People came in with weird unexplained ailments. The healers flung spells about with abandon. Where did that Maralah even get her energy from? The sheer scope of magics that had been wasted, in only a short time of observing, was astounding. Chanchu wondered if maybe the healers of Sanctuary had found a way to use the city itself as their source. Chanchu had only her own self. Maybe that was the difference. You're not useless, she told herself sternly, frowning at the yarn strung through her fingers. She could heal. She knew she could. She had a little carved totem back in her room that proved somebody else thought she could too. Skytotem tauren were supposed to be some of the very best healers among all the tribes. Coqui had obviously seen something in her that made it worthwhile to bring the monk into the group. The seer Lomani had looked with her pale creepy eyes and judged her. She must have seen something. Something that Chanchu still had yet to recognize as truth. Lies were always easier. Easier to tell, easier to believe. Chanchu was not useless. She knew that. But, she might not ever be able to do what they did around the corner, in that room. She wasn't sure she wanted to. The sheer amount of pain those two healers had caused! Chanchu's fingers missed a loop and her hands pulled tight before she caught the error. The monk frowned. She unmounted the string form from her other fingers and began picking patiently at the knot she'd made. It was only one day, she told herself. She could sit and watch over many more days. She could try very hard to not backtalk the other healers. Kolu. She would try not to backtalk Kolu. And she could learn. Theoretically. Kex'ti had even hinted at training, when he'd recruited her to Sanctuary. Though she scoffed at the time, the idea was tantalizing. Chanchu hadn't done well with any of her other teachers. She was a bad student, as a general rule, confirmed twice so far. The elf didn't seem typical for his kind, though. Maybe he'd fare better. Or not. Glumly, Chanchu rewound the string around her fingers.
  28. 1 point
    July Pandaria is pretty. I stay mostly in the Shrine, but sometimes I go for a ride around the Vale. It’s peaceful here, mostly. Every now and then a couple or so Horde will attack out on the terrace, but they rarely make it inside. I haven’t seen any sign of Qabian here. I guess I lost him. Sometimes it’s too peaceful. Too quiet. Even with Buster here, our little room in the inn here sometimes feels more like a tomb. I miss the apartment in Dalaran. I hung some crystals in the window here, and got a soft blanket, but it’s still missing something. It’s a hideout, not a home. I guess I don’t have a home anymore. Well, it was nice while it lasted. I miss Daerek. I know I did the right thing though. He’s safer without me, and I don’t want him to get hurt…in any way. If they know I care about him, they’d hurt him just because of that. And I don’t want to hurt him anymore than I already have. The General says he wouldn’t care about my past. Still, I don’t want to think about what he might think of me if he knew the things I’ve done. He was already upset when I fought that demon. That was nothing compared to….. That one couple still fights every week in cooking class. What could anyone have to fight over so much? If they fight that much, maybe they shouldn’t be together. I’ve learned how to make fish cakes and rice pudding. My fish cakes were too dry, but the pudding was good. I got a new cooking partner in class. Her name is Chi’u Driftbrew. Her family brews ales, as many Pandaren do, and she experiments in class by adding it to every recipe. She says the plants the brew is made from held powerful spirits, and distilling them makes their power more concentrated. I don’t know about all that, but I think her ale tastes good. I wonder if they have Pandaren ale at the Recluse or the Shady Lady.
  29. 1 point
    It feels like I do less and less. I've always tried to be a relatively hands-off commander. I let people find and choose their own assignments, to put their talents to use where they believe they'll be the most effective in upholding our virtues. We all have directives to support the Horde and the Legionfall offensive to give us opportunities to make a difference. But sometimes I'm not sure if things are running smoothly or slowing to a halt. I feel like if I can't tell the difference, it's probably the latter. At least I was able to make a difference in the Borrowed Time/Twilight Empire matter. I'm not naive enough to think Cobrak will go any easier on them because of what I said, but one of their people being returned safely and sooner is definitely a victory in my book. I also hope that by speaking to Katelle, she will see Cobrak as more of a person and less as an obstacle. She would be more likely to than most already, as would any called to Twilight Empire's cause I think, but a little encouragement might help keep things smoother than they might go otherwise. It'll be a long time, if ever, before I can hope to sway Cobrak the same, but at least in respecting my personhood he finds himself obligated to respect the things I care about, and that's a start. Another matter weighing on my mind is Karthok, as it has for... how many months now? How long has Shokkra been missing? I haven't even kept track. Her being gone has just become... normal. It's terrible, and it makes me feel terrible to say that. I continue to believe she must be safe and that Karthok wouldn't harm her. And I won't stop looking for her. But all this time away has put some things into perspective. When she's back, and recovered enough, I'll have to talk to her about what she wants to do with her life. And not just accept what she says if it's what I want to hear when it might not be true to what's in her heart and soul. Some people are just angry. Some people just believe in vengeance, in its necessity. I don't agree. But I respect that some people feel that way, and don't want to shame them for it, not really. Encourage them to open their hearts. But not shame them for doing what they think they need to do to survive. Shokkra tries so hard to be Sanctuary, but I don't think she really is inside; she just feels like she should be. I should let her go and not let her keep torturing herself, and everyone else around her, by trying to be something she's not. It's sad it took me this long to come to that conclusion. I can't count how many people would laugh and scoff at me for finally getting to it. But I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe in what Shokkra wanted to believe. I just wanted to support her. And she needed it, so badly, something the people that would scoff just don't care about because they can't see past their own pain to another's. The fourth oath is always the hardest to uphold. We leave soon to brace Karthok in his den. I hope we are in time to save her.
  30. 1 point
    Qabian was working at his desk when a small pale blue crystal he had set to one side dimmed. He sighed, watching as the light went out of it completely, then a crack formed through its center, then it dissolved into dust. "So much for that," he muttered, making a space to arrange agreed-upon hazard pay. Later, he made a trip to Dalaran. As much as he wanted to talk to the thief himself, he knew that couldn't happen. There was still too much heat in the city. However, he did manage to find one of the legitimate Kirin Tor guards involved in apprethending the thief, pull them to one side, and inquire into details. Back in Silvermoon, he sat down to write a letter. Syreena, I have succeeded in making her afraid. That took very little effort. Simply inquiring into her existence and a few small threats were enough to send her on the run. Unfortunately, finding information that would lead to easily causing further misery has been far more difficult than I expected. She does not fit into the predictable pattern most ordinary humans fit. I do not believe I have yet succeeded in causing her actual harm. I may need to back off long enough for her to think she is safe to come out of hiding if my resources prove insufficient to track her down. In the meantime, I will see about causing harm indirectly through those she is connected to. I've also been told to relay the message that you're a bully. These people are children. ~Q
  31. 1 point
    A blood elf dressed as a Kirin Tor guardian, complete with fancy mask and spiky shoulders, quietly made sure no one was home. He then quietly slipped the lock on a window. He also quietly went about searching the place for what he'd been sent to find, filling hidden bags strapped about his person with various items. However, part of his contract was to leave as much mess as possible, so when he was just about ready to leave, he started making noise, a lot of noise, smashing chairs, pushing all the dishes out of the cupboards onto the floor. No amount of stealth or trickery was a match for the resident busybody of the small apartment complex currently seeing one of its units looted. The plump, silver-haired human woman that served as landlady made a quiet little "oooo" of a growl under her breath from her position in the hallway when wood started cracking and ceramic started breaking. It had been some time since she'd had to sneak anywhere, but nonetheless Gracie McClintock found herself trying to nudge open the apartment door with a cast iron frying skillet in-hand. Admittedly, a true professional would have been paying more attention, but with his back to the door as he tore open cushions and scattered the stuffing, the burglar was oblivious to the sound of the door opening or anything else. He didn't turn around until it was too late, just in time to see the skillet before it collided with his head. "Hmph," Gracie huffed, thwacking the downed elf with the skillet one more time for good measure before searching out something to bind him with. "Break into one of my apartments, why don't you!" She returned with some rope, kneeling down to bind the elf's hands and feet with skill that simply did not match her appearance. "These poor kids. They'll be so upset. Hmph." Once he was secured, the woman scowled down at him and popped him with the skillet a final time. She stepped out into the hallway, just for a few minutes, and when she returned, it was to stand guard over the man's prone form with her skillet in hand. The thief groaned only once over the next hour or so, shifting against his bonds, but he didn't put any effort into fighting. Whether or not he fully regained consciousness or not was difficult to tell with his Kirin Tor mask in place. Once he did come to and realized the predicament he was in, he kept very still, listening and waiting to see if at any point he would be left on his own before even attempting escape. The landlady stayed on guard until two more people arrived. The woman, apparently a female sin'dorei of average height, was clothed head to toe in nondescript leather. Her face was hidden by a mask. The man who joined her was tall and slim, human by build, wearing dark clothing. He wasn't masked at first, and from behind his own mask, the thief recognized the man by description as Daerek Smythe, one of the tenants. Daerek took Gracie out into the hall. Their low voices could be heard but their words could not before he stepped back in, tugging a mask over his own face. He took up a place by the doorway while the woman stalked quietly around the room. She came to stand next to the thief's body at one point, staring down at him from behind his body. "You're not Kirin Tor," she commented lightly, speaking faintly-accented Thalassian. "What gives you that idea?" the thief responded sarcastically in the same language, his voice hoarse. His whole body flinched as if just trying to talk hurt. The woman laughed, the sound bright and delighted. "She got you good, didn't she? Cast iron is nothing to play around with." The thief groaned, rolling to face away from her. "Whatever. Ya caught me. I got it. Ya want the stuff back? Gonna lock me up? What?" The woman chuckled and allowed him to face away from her, but she crouched slightly and made to tug off his mask. "Not yet. I want to know who you work for, first." The removed mask revealed a scarred face, one side burned at some point years ago, but young. His hair was close-cropped and blond. A few red welts were threatening to turn into huge bruises on his forehead and cheek. "That's nice, but he didn' give a name. They rarely do." The woman made a sound like she was sucking her teeth, reaching out to grab his jaw. She turned his face this way and that. "Oof. That had to have hurt." The thief winced again, but otherwise let the woman manhandle his face. After a moment of inspection, she spoke again. "And no name? That's fine. I didn't expect one. What'd he look like?" "White hair. Blue eyes," he continued only after she lets him go. "One o' them traitor types. Gave me this get-up, but..." He shrugged, then regretted it. "Ow! By the sun," he muttered. "Don' think he was in charge." "What makes you say that?" She shifted to crouch in front of him, cocking her head to the side. So long as he kept talking, she seemed inclined to refrain from causing him further pain. The man, meanwhile, kept silent and stiff by the door. If not for the way his chest moved to indicate his breathing, one might think he was a statue. "Just not my first tournament, y'know. Something seemed off, stiff, seemed more scared than anything," he said by way of explanation, closing his eyes. "Anyway, doesn' matter. It's all over now. Least I got the advance half." "Sure it matters," she said cajolingly. "What's your name, kid? Maybe I'll get you some pain relief potion if you tell me all polite-like." "My name? Lady, whatever you think's going on here, I don' matter. This hurts, but I been through so much worse, sure you can tell." He smirked at her. "Y'can have my name, though. I don' care. It's Jun. I'd say look me up if you need my services, but I'm not selling myself so well today." He chuckled, then winced again. The woman moved to begin patting him down, making it obvious that this wasn't her first tournament, either. "You never know what you might need, Jun. You got family?" He let her do what she wanted. "Me? No. Jus' the usual story." She found various odds and ends in pockets of various depths sewn into his Kirin Tor uniform, mostly anything he thought he might be able to pawn off. "Everybody's dead. Got to steal to live. Nobody gets hurt. 'Cept with the occasional frying pan." The woman still seemed to be taking care to not hurt him unnecessarily. "I guess I don't have to see about making sure anyone's taken care of in the event that you don't return home then," she said lightly, seeming to peer at his face again. A single hand raised and she snapped her fingers expectantly; the man jerked somewhat and strode forward, handing her a vial of red liquid he fished out of a small bag. "So this traitor type. Elf? Human? Other? What'd he wear? What'd he hire you to do?" She uncorked the vial and gently dabbed little bits of the potion onto his skillet wounds. The thief frowned at the implication, but showed no signs of hesitating with giving information. "Eh? Elf-type traitor. Y'know, the ones who didn't take the fel help and got kicked out of Silvermoon. Dressed like a mage, same tabard." He glanced down at his own impostor's uniform. "Out of place in the Underbelly, but those types are always looking to hire. Said to look for any information on the people living in here. Mail, documents, journals, anything with names on it, awards, medals. And anything else I found, I could keep." "You think he was real Kirin Tor?" she asked, admiring her handiwork on his face before gently patting an uninjured spot and tossing the recorked vial over her shoulder. The man scrambled to catch it before returning to his place at the door. The woman made to roll the thief over, allowing him the opportunity to do it on his own steam with a gentle coaxing shove. He shifted willingly, but a twisted grin crossed his face, for the first time looking like he might actually be a bad guy and not just an unfortunate accomplice. She found his fist behind his back tightly closed around something. She cocked her head to the side. "Youuuu wanna tell me what this is, sugar?" He slowly opened his fingers revealing a small dark crystal with cracks running through it. As he opened his hand, the crystal crumbled into dust that ran through his fingers. "This is how he knows the whole thing went south and not to bother meeting up with me." "Huh. Neat." She didn't seem bothered. "I don't suppose I can trust anything that came out of those pretty lips of yours?" The thief's nasty grin shifted to a sheepish smile. "Eh, I haven't lied, but probably best not to trust anyone in my line of work, yeah? Not unless the pay is good, anyway." The woman laughed that delighted laugh again, shifting yet again to peer at his face. After a moment, she tapped his lips almost playfully. "Anything else you want to share with me, sweetheart?" He laid back and relaxed, seeming curiously reassured. "Nah. Whoever actually wanted this junk was either super careful or is running something bigger, cartel maybe. You find the guy who hired me, maybe he can tell you what you really want to know, but I won' be pointing him out. Good luck, lady." "Thanks, handsome. I think I've got just what I need." She patted his face one more time before extending her hand out behind her once again. "That scar is rather dashing," she confessed as she waited. "Maybe in another life." The man took a few jerky steps forward and put a different object in her hand, taking care to not poke her with what was soon revealed to be a syringe. She adjusted it deftly in her gloved hand then plunged the needle into Jun's exposed skin. The thief looked confused at the syringe, then looked alarmed as he was injected. He made a questioning sound but said no words before his eyes rolled back in his head and he slipped into unconsciousness, falling into a deep, long-lasting sleep. "Nighty-night, darling." The woman sighed and stood, handing the emptied syringe back to her companion as she did so. He remained silent as she nudged the unconscious elf with her foot, considering him for a few moments. Voices sounded from the hallway, Gracie's among them, and the woman turned her masked face to look at her companion. She jerked her head towards the window, and he started towards it while she tugged the mask back over Jun's face. When she rose to join the other man, he made a quick gesture with his hand; a faint light glowed around them for a moment before fading, and one after the other they jumped out of the window. Gracie hurried into the room followed by a handful of legitimate Kirin Tor guards. "He's the intruder!" she wailed. "I got him good with my skillet, but ooooh he made a mess!" The guards exchanged glances before assuring the landlady that they'd handle the situation and began dragging the unconscious blood elf off the premises.
  32. 1 point
    A few days earlier... Ironforge wasn’t anything like Dalaran, but Daerek kind of liked the coziness of the mountain stronghold. It was closed and warm, like a blanket or a hug, and if not for the dire circumstances he and Anee found themselves in, he might have particularly enjoyed staying there. As it was, their relocation here had been the idea of a mutual friend, one they knew they could trust. It wasn’t optimal, but it was something—and he planned to try and keep morale up as much as possible, if only for Anee’s sake. Keys jangled outside of the door to the small Ironforge apartment as Daerek tried to balance the bags in his arms and open the door. The reinforced wood lurched open under the force of the young man’s shoulder, and he kicked it shut with his foot. “Anee?” he called, setting his bags on the kitchen counters. “Hey, I found some peach fizzy wine too…I got us a couple of bottles to try.” The newly-brown-haired mage kept unpacking the bags, peering up at the unfamiliar cabinets as he went. There were already some basic foodstuffs and kitchen supplies stored there, but maybe they could rearrange things to make it a little more like home. Daerek pulled a small wrapped package out of the bag next, smiling down at its weighty presence in his palm. He’d found a few strings of magma crystals that he thought his roommate might like, hoping the surprise would be enough to bring a smile to her face. “Anee?” he called again, taking the small package with him to peer into the cozy sitting room. A frown cut across his face when no answer was forthcoming for a second time. He crossed to her bedroom, rapping his knuckles against the door. “Hey…are you sleeping?” There was nothing but silence to respond to him, and Daerek gently tried the doorknob. It gave easily, allowing the mage to poke his head inside with slowly mounting panic. “Anee?” he asked softly. His breath left him in a rush when he saw her room: bare of her belongings, only a few articles of clothing strewn across her bed and a couple of odds and ends elsewise. Daerek spun away from the door and bounded to the bathroom. The door was open, nobody inside to have closed it. He shouted an uncharacteristic curse and turned in place, body jerking this way and that as his mind seemingly short-circuited from the sudden fear crushing his chest. There wasn’t a sign of a break-in. Had she gone out on her own? Did somebody take her and cover their tracks? Was there another room he hadn’t discovered yet that she was occupying? “Anee?” he called again, almost shouting the dual syllables. It was on his third aborted attempt at moving one direction or another that he laid on the bare table and the folded parchment with his name scrawled on it. “No…oh, tell me you didn’t…” He rushed to the table with lead feet and set the small package down before picking up the parchment with trembling hands. He swore again at seeing her handwriting on the inside, emotion choking his voice. Daerek, I am so sorry that you are in danger because of me. I’m sorry you had to leave your home and your sister. And what about your work? Your sister needs you. You said yourself there’s a reason she came to Dalaran. She’s your sister, and she needs your help. It’s not fair for you or her for you to have to drop that because of my troubles. You have been kinder to me than anyone ever has. I want you to know that I appreciate it. And that’s why I must go. If anything happened to you because of me, I couldn’t stand it. Go help your sister, have a happy life. I’ll come back when this is over if I can. Please don’t try to find me. Be safe. Your friend, Anee The young mage stared blankly at the letter for several minutes, body still except for his ragged breathing and quaking muscles. Finally, after what felt like a small eternity, he pulled out a chair and sat heavily in it. He pitched forward and let his head rest in his hands, elbows on the table, letter still clutched in one fist. Daerek stayed like that for hours, and when he finally moved it was to plod blankly back to Anee’s room. He stood as near to the middle as he could, turning in a slow circle to take stock of what was missing and what remained. He hoped he could determine maybe where she went…if he’d been smart, if he’d been able to control himself, he would have gone after her as soon as he found the letter. She couldn’t have gotten that much of a head start on him at that point, but now it was impossible to say where she had gone. What if she got hurt? What if she got killed? What if…what if… Daerek paused to stare at a light blue hair ribbon left on the dresser. It was just a stupid ribbon, but sentimentality got the better of him and he picked it up to tuck away in his pocket. He left the room then, stopping by the table in the sitting room to retrieve the wrapped gift he’d bought for the missing woman. He dropped that into his pocket too, followed by the folded letter, before lifting his hands and channeling a portal to Stormwind—and to the only person he knew could help him now.
  33. 1 point
    *considering the question of the Goblin reporter, the Paladin maintains his composure but his eyes narrow a bit* "You know, for years I had fought against the Grim, even this particular elf...", he took a deep breath, shaking his head a bit, "and I had always considered them misguided, short sighted, perhaps foolish... many things, and knew their goals were the eradication of the Alliance. I understood that... and have bled many times to help prevent them from achieving this goal, their mandate." Looking down at the ground for a moment, gritting his teeth, "I always had a modicum of respect for them however as a worthy fighting force... even perhaps with members who had some honor fighting alongside the deranged, because in their eyes perhaps the ends justified the means, no longer. The actions that took place at the Stormwind Orphanage by this blight on the landscape has drained all possible respect that any could possess for this organization and its members. Killing an innocent matron who looked after children, and had it not been for the grace of the Light, the children themselves... there is nothing more that needs to be said. Light have mercy on him." Dismisses the Goblin with a wave of his hand and heads toward the entrance to Stormwind Keep.