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  1. 3 points
    A wonder that the Nightborne joined the Horde, Kex'ti Dalendala thought to himself. Telemancy has certainly made getting around easier. He hated portal magic. It always left him nauseated for hours, and for a man of his size, it was a deeply unpleasant experience. The elf monk hobbled through the moor, his boots slick with grime. He could sense the chi of nothing living. But in Tirisfal Glades, dead rarely meant gone. Rarer still did it mean non-hostile. He'd run off the drink from the morning while he rode his raptor from Ratchet to the Crossroads. From there, a wyvern flew him to Orgrimmar, and from there, a portal to the Undercity had brought him to Lordaeron. The sky here always felt low to the ground. Nowhere else on Azeroth, even Northrend, had ever felt so oppressive. The way that fog and cobwebs mixed in the sparse pines did little to relieve the feeling of slow suffocation. He shuddered, and pulled his coat closer. He'd left his armor, or most of it, in the bank of Ratchet. Now, part of him wished he'd brought something, anything besides his stubbornness as protection along on the journey. He carried his staff and limped along with it in one hand, and cradled a small box in the crook of the other. He put his foot on a stone, and heard a voice rasp from the mist. "Not many quick out here, sin'dorei." With a smirk and a chuckle, Kex'ti locked eyes with the glowing yellows of the Forsaken. "Do not worry, friend. I promise that I will keep moving for some time to come." He'd expected a laugh, and received a grunt. Kex'ti took a deep breath of the rot that surrounded him. I suppose I am a slower learner than I would like in lowering my expectations, he thought. "I am here to visit a grave." "Why?" asked the graveguard. Now that he'd arrived, he found he'd never really considered that. This just felt like the right thing to do. "It felt like the right thing to do," he said. The guard lit a lantern. The graveyard flickered in the wan light as the oil spattered against the glass and iron cage. It wasn't nightfall yet, but that made little difference. The lantern was for his benefit, and it sufficed as permission. Kex'ti nodded to the guard, a Forsaken man in dark leathers, a deep hood, and with two wicked scimitars that hung on hooks from his belt. "Augustus Krowne?" The elf asked the undead. The guard moved. The soles of his boots whispered against the peaty soil. The grave was covered in growth. Kex'ti raised an eyebrow to the guard. The Forsaken responded by setting the lantern by the tombstone. "I'm a guard," he answered, "not a groundskeeper." Kex'ti nodded, and knelt. He had worn gloves, and buckled the magewoven coat closer. The wool in the coat would keep him warm, at least. His stomach growled. He knew he wouldn't be eating for a while, given the... Strong flavors preferred by the residents of Tirisfal. The monk removed his gloves, and laid them on the chest he'd carried along. He gripped the moss and branches wrapping the grave, and began to tear them loose. The guard stayed close, and offered no help. A blade would've made the process simple, but Kex'ti wanted to do this manually. He wanted to pull the roots loose, he wanted to work his skin raw, he wanted to feel the mists tingle and itch as he knit and tore and reknit the skin and blood on his hands as the thorns of the vine gnashed into his hands. Hands that had gripped reins of cloud serpents and nether rays. That reached out for people falling away. That had choked the life from a sin'dorei scout in the wrong place. That had maimed, crippled, and killed for sport, for justice, and in madness. Hands which had healed the wounded, that had caressed the skins of the few people he'd loved, and had gripped hands with his closest friends. He didn't want to feel that. He wanted to feel his hands hurt, he wanted to remember the pain of his pinky being bitten loose. He wanted to hurt. He just didn't want to be left alone with it. And who could listen like the dead? He wove the mists into his raw and sliced fingers and palms, channeling chi to the wounds, mending them, and feeling the burn as he stole the life from the bacteria that would try to thrive at his expense. A touch of gray leaked into the spiritual matter from the surrounding mist. The monk rolled his hands, feeling the joints crack. He coughed, but couldn't taste blood. That was good, at least. He reached over to the box, undid the latch, and pulled out a wineskin. He poured it over the grave, the firewater washing off his own blood, the dust of the years since the Wrathgate. "I am sorry, Aug. I know you were more of a wine or a beer guy," Kex'ti whispered in Thalassian. "I can, at least, try to speak your own tongue," Kex'ti said, in halting gutterspeak. He smiled. "Yeah, I know. You always used to say you were a poet before you were an alchemist, and that just happened to be the tongue they put in your mouth." Kex'ti sat into the dirt. The coat would be dirty. So what? He clipped his words, flowing between whatever he knew, whether Krowne would speak it or not. "I wonder if that was the excuse you used: someone put words in your mouth. Aug, I've had a bit of a trip since I dragged you out of that quagmire." "You were right there, but it was like you couldn't decide if you wanted to throw that vial at me, or Putress' defectors. I still don't know why you did that. I would've thought that our time together would've been enough to help you make your choice. Maybe I should've given you the chance. But I didn't want you to go on like that. I didn't want to die like that, and I didn't want your memory to just get...stained like that." "But I wonder, if you just let something go on, does that actually make it better? Did I save you a lot of suffering? Or did I deny you the chance to fix it?" "I think about that a lot. I did up until recently, anyway." "There's a woman. Not... That kind. A Forsaken. Her name is Syreena. She's one of those I can never figure out. For a long time, I'd hoped that patience, a stern hand, might lead her to a nobler path. I mean, I think that's how my life worked. Or how I thought it did. You pulled me out of Silvermoon. Remi helped me see a bigger picture. But... Without the two of you..." Kex'ti looked at his hands, the crisscrossed scars of years of fighting, and the scratches he'd tried to erase with mistweaving. "Have I ever really been my own person? Is that really what I've wanted? Before you, I always listened to mother and father, and they never really gave me much hope. You gave me a chance to do something different, but when I left to go out on my own, I wasn't even alone then. I was doing it for someone else." "Maybe I just make bad decisions when it involves myself." He glanced down to the firewater. "I had my last drink this morning. Or, at least last one for a while. I know what happens when I try and distract myself, whether it's with drugs, or a cause, or just combat. I make bad choices. I hurt people. And... I can't keep doing that. Nobody else deserves to live with that but me." Kex'ti looked up at the sky, or Krowne's presence above, or just to avoid looking at the tombstone. He turned back to find the guard gone, or lurking. What did it matter? The guard could attack him, report the story, or do nothing. Making a mess to be cleaned up later, Kex'ti went on with his monologue. "I ran away, again." "After the Wrathgate, I went to go be with Remiaan, at the Argent Tournament. She died, so I ran away. I went and found a place in the Twilight's Hammer. I can spare you those stories. It was... I may have been selfish in the Arena. I may have been heartbroken when I lost you. When I lost Rem. But what I did to dull that pain... That's what haunts me. That's what makes me wish I just wasn't... Alive, or aware, or whatever oblivion means." He smirked. "That's kind of the sick bit of it. I got exactly what I wanted, there. I didn't have to think about what I was doing. I didn't have to look behind the curtain. I was behind the curtain, and in the dark, you don't really care about it. When someone pulls the curtain aside, it's not what's hidden that you look in on that scars you. It's not what's lurking in the dark. It's that when someone lets the light in, you can see what you've actually been doing, when you've been just doing it blindly, or doing it without much fear." "The horrible thing is that the ignorance is what I miss most. It's not that the truths the Twilight's Hammer and Old Gods preach that burn the mind, or make you hopeless. It's just that when you're following along, they don't matter. You don't matter. You're just matter." He coughed and took a sip from his jug, unknotting a piece of twine he'd tied around it. Without Zhanhao's yao grass, he'd need to go back to Pandaria for it. The twine would remind him when he needed to restock. "That's what scares me most about the Void, I think. Is that knowledge that it's exactly what I wanted: to be nothing. To think nothing. To feel nothing. From nothing, you can be anything. Instead of a cripple. Instead of sick. Instead of a murderer. Instead of a coward." He rested a hand on the tombstone. "I'm sorry you're dead, August. I'm sorry I didn't make good on the life you gave me," he said. "I'm sorry I killed you. I'm sorry.... I didn't make good on either of our lives." Kex'ti rubbed his face. "After that... I just went back to Ratchet. That's where life got good for me, I think. Where we started winning fights. Where I stopped being just a sick kid in Silvermoon. I think that's why I'll always go back there, because it's where I can start over. I've gotten really good at starting over. It's not a fun skill to have." He told the grave about how he met Wei Xo. How he traveled to Pandaria, and made his medicine with the help of Yu-Ting. How he came down the mountain reborn as a mistweaver, and he met Baern Grimtotem, Tauranor, Billamong, and Rabbic Ohen in the Thunder-Pan company. How being an actual mercenary taught him to think as a member of a group, rather than just a small group. How he'd gone to Draenor in hopes of a second chance with Remiaan. How he'd ended up in Sanctuary instead. He smiled, and recounted stories of Vilmah, Cerryan, Nojinbu, and Baern, now Baern Ashtotem. "Those were the best years of my life, August. The time with you, then with Rem, those were great. But Sanctuary... I felt happy. Like I had purpose." He smiled, but his eyes clenched bittersweet. "I knew an orc woman. I saw a lot of myself in her. I hoped that I could help her, that I could push her off the path I'd walked, and spare her the suffering. But..." He coughed. "Sometimes I wonder if me being sick was a sign from the universe. That I'm so poisonous that I can't even live with myself. Sanctuary went to... I guess you'd call it a war. Against a corrupted ancient named Accalia. Twice, in fact. The first time, I had a nightmare. A long, long nightmare. And the thing that I remember is that it was drawn out from myself: It was my fears. My worries, my anxieties, put on display to torment me. I... I remember bits of it, now and then. But what I always remember is that, somewhere in it, I told myself that 'I'm poison.'" "I couldn't keep Shokkra from making the choices she makes. That are so close to the ones I've made, and are going to be just as destructive." "I fought against the Legion, the last year. I helped the victims of a place called Suramar. The elves there were similar to the Sin'dorei, but descended more directly from the kaldorei. I spent a little time on Argus, too, believe it or not." He gripped his hands together. "I met a woman. I fell in love. And, she gave me part of her life, to save me from my illness. There's a lot to love about her. But part of that love is... I destroyed Remi. I destroyed you, and I've destroyed myself and countless others. She made a choice, recently, that she would give trust to those who needed it. I think they're far from deserving it. I think they'll fail. I think they'll fall to madness and worse. But trust? They need that. I know I did. I failed to go where I wanted. But everyone gave me a chance to try." "She trusted them. But I never could. I... Never can. They associated with the Void, and that association was too tempting to ignore. And after everything, I can't make the same choices I've made. When she made that choice, I was angry. I still am, and I'm still hurt that... It felt like my pain was ignored. But pain passes. Pain can heal. It just won't heal in time to make a difference. But part of me has always known what her choices meant for me." "I never stopped loving her. I don't think I can, and I think it would be wrong to try. But that love means I'm not going to destroy her. I'm not going to poison anything else." "Once you acquire a taste for poison, it's a part of you. I might destroy myself, over, and over, and over again. But, this time, I won't drag anyone else into the Void with me."
  2. 3 points
    Qabian stepped into Shattrath, his brow pre-emptively raised as he approached the girl's form, slumped awkwardly up against a wall not far from where he teleported in, as though she were simply drunk. He hadn't thought they would actually catch the girl. She had been so slippery up to this point, he just assumed she would get away again. Now that he had her, he wasn't entirely sure what to do with her. His mission was simply to torment, hurt, terrorize, not acquire, not dismember. He considered thoughtfully. Dismemberment would fill all of the above categories. Qabian shook his head entirely to himself, then nodded at the rough looking Pandaren. "Pack her up." "Sir?" The Pandaren seemed confused. "Don't you have a... crate or something? I need her shipped to Tirisfal." Qabian held up a hand as the Pandaren shrugged helplessly. "Nevermind. Just stand guard a few minutes. I'll set it up. Good work. I'll double the pay, as agreed." The Pandaren nodded and leaned back against the wall. ~~ Just inside the Grim guild hall, Qabian awkwardly shoves a decent-sized wooden crate off a floating disc onto the floor with a heavy thud. He stops the first person who passes and says, "Is Syreena around? Bring her here if she is. Now." Though the crate is perfectly still, it makes a soft shuffling sound. Some time later, Syreena arrives. Her steps are shuffling and staggered, and she's grinning as she plays tug-of-war with Ber and Rabble as she comes in. "No fair, Rabble. You have three heads to pull it with!" Qabian straightens up as she enters. "Syreena. Delivery for you. I could continue my campaign, but thought you might want to offer your opinion before I drop this into Brightwater and see how long it takes the bubbles to stop,” he says, knocking on the top of the crate with his knuckles. The little rogue leaves the tug toy to the undead worg and hydra and turns to the crate as a muffled noise comes in protest at Qabian's words. "What is it?" she asks, looking to the mage. Qabian lifts the top of the crate by one corner and bows with a ridiculous flourish. "Someone you know." Inside, a human girl is bound and gagged, conscious but groggy, and not particularly otherwise harmed, except perhaps slightly bruised due to no one particularly attempting to be careful with the crate at any point. "The opportunity presented itself." Syreena tilts her head curiously, stepping away from her pets to peer into the crate. After some initial surprise, a cruel grin twists her patchwork stitched features. She reaches into the box with a dagger, placing the tip of the blade under the girl's chin to make her lift her head. "Well, well, if it isn't the Professor's little pet," she croons wickedly. "And how are those sick and twisted friends of yours doing these days, hm?" Anee blinks slowly, still groggy, and makes weak muffled noises behind her gag. Syreena moves her blade to cut a lock of the human's red hair, and then bashes her in the side of the head with the hilt of her dagger in her fist. As the girls slumps further into her box, the Shadowblade looks back at Qabian. "Now what to do with her....." she says with a grin, twirling the lock of hair between her fingers. "I know this wasn't part of your... request. I can set her loose, chase her down again, if you like, keep the game going, although she did manage to go underground for quite some time and may do that again. I do wonder where she would go. She must be learning that nowhere is safe forever and that everyone she turns to for help is likely to be killed or worse. Setting her free, perhaps with one less limb, may be the worst thing we could do to her." Qabian smirks. "But given just how vulnerable she is at this precise moment, I considered you might have other ideas." Reaching down to pet the girl's hair, Syreena tilts her head as she considers. "Well, I do owe a gift to a particular someone who likes making....'projects'....out of people." Qabian raises an eyebrow. To be fair, that could probably describe several Grim, but he decides against inquiring about who she means. “As you wish,” he says. “Just let me know if she ends up finished with this world. Then I’ll shift my focus to murdering those friends of hers that I’ve left simply wishing they were dead.” "She won't be around long enough for you to worry about again." A pause, and then she grins. "Unless you want to play with her some more first. Or you can get her friends." Her golden eyes narrow as she traces a finger along the unconscious girl's ear. "If you find any of her friends from the Eternal Aegis, I'd consider it a personal favor if they suffer horribly before you murder them." Qabian laughs. "All I want is the fire, for her or any of them. I'll be sure to let them know any screaming they're granted the opportunity to do is a gift from a friend and they're oh so lucky to get the chance. Will you need help with the crate?" "Can you have it delivered to Andorhal?" she asks, withdrawing her hand and closing the lid again. "Absolutely." Qabian rolls the disc he'd used earlier off a nearby wall. He jams the edge of the disc under the crate and begins kicking it. It's all very crude for someone who's usually so pretentious. "I can take it myself. Will there be someone waiting? Though I doubt there are many in Andorhal who would give it much thought if I just leave it in a corner, even with the sounds." She tilts her head again, eyeing him closely before finally answering. "The alchemy lab there sometimes receives packages for me... Thank you. I owe you," she adds. He grins horribly as he kicks the edge of the disc and it begins to float, carrying the crate a foot or so off the ground. "Don't thank me. After all, helping you helps me. I'm hardly being that generous," he says in a tone that's less than serious. "But I will remember that you owe me." He flicks the floating crate lightly with one hand and he follows behind as the disc carries it away. The little rogue watches him leave. She's pleased that the girl can no longer cause any trouble for her, but at the same time, she's not thrilled about being in a debt to an elf. However, at the same time, in her experience, people she owed favors to rarely called them in. Turning away, she goes off to finish her business in the guild hall so she can soon head out to Andorhal.
  3. 2 points
    Warning: Mature content The air out in the Plaguelands was thick enough to taste, a pungent mixture of rotting meat and plantlife amongst a myriad of even less pleasant odors. He shuddered in revulsion and urged his dreadsteed to pick up its pace as he rode through the parched, grassy hills. The path he had chosen was not the easiest but it was less likely to draw attention from the living who had established dominion over the main roads. Even after a decade of warfare, the wilds still belonged to the dead and the diseased. The diseased were the reason that he had come in the first place. When the plague began to spread amongst the humans, the Mossflayer tribe had rejoiced. What group wouldn't be happy to see such misfortune befall a hated enemy? Yet their joy did not last as the very land they sought to reclaim turned into a spoiled prize. As the sickness spread amongst the humans, the land itself became tainted. The desperate need for untainted game drove the tribe into a trap created by the Scourge and their followers, leaving them as another casualty in the developing conflict. The tribe had fallen, but until their dying day they had lived on this doomed soil. If any spirits knew of disease and ruination, it was the trolls who had shuffled off their mortal coil here. For the hundredth time that hour alone he checked the charm he had crafted before beginning his voyage. The knucklebones had been taken from a human corpse and left to soak in a jar; in a cocktail of rotting sludge of plant matter, the venom of the local fauna, and strips of diseased flesh taken from the living dead themselves. He had vomited immediately when the bones had been withdrawn from the muck and even hours later with several layers of leather separating his skin from the stained bone he still felt unclean. It had taken him far too long to realize that that was how he knew it was working. When the charm no longer made him uncomfortable, he was getting further away from the entity he was tracking. A ring of dead trees surrounded a patch of yellowed grass that had been trampled flat with long dead firepit had been dug in the center. Surrounded by bones lying flat on their backs or sides it was easy to guess what had happened. No weapons had been drawn and there were no tracks leading back out of the area. The adventurers had simply gone to sleep, never to wake again. A chill up his spine followed by a wave of nausea left him dizzy. He had arrived at his destination and the momentary relief was soon buried beneath the dread of what came next. He knew not the name of the spirit he wished to bargain with nor did he have a piece of his target; all he had was the charm he used to sense it and what would ultimately be used to contain its blessing. The Amani trolls had a sense of superiority that could not be removed. The spirits here would surely be darkened by the magic that hung over the land like a shroud. His appeal would be blind and filled with guesswork and if that failed he would be at the mercy of the offended spirit. With that sobering thought, he set to work to prepare the area to appeal to the dead. The bones were not cleared from the campsite but repositioned until they were groveling before the firepit. The humiliation of a former enemy would have to be enough to stroke its ego. He withdrew a pair of vials from his pocket, one green and one red. The contents of the green vial were thick and bitter to the point that he had to force his mouth shut and swallow. His body reflexively tried to stop him, a survival instinct against ingesting poison. He would prove he was suffering and unwell, just like the land. He stripped down to his loincloth and reached into the ashes of the firepit. HIs black stained fingers were moist with some unknown filth that had mixed into the ashes. The combination of death and filth was perfect for his means, but it still made his flesh crawl as he painted patterns and symbols in black across his bare chest, arms, and legs. His body became a canvas telling a story of his desire to destroy, the spirit would know this and choose whether or not to make an appearance. He flicked a hand and reignited the firepit with a sickly green flame. Fel was almost universally despised, but the spirits of the land wallowed in sickness and corruption. The magic was merely another form of suffering for them to enjoy. The final piece of his performance came from his pack. Two curved, sickle-like knives with freshly sharpened edges. He held one in each hand, one in a reverse grip, the other in an upright grasp. To mark oneself was to pay tribute, to bleed was to pay tribute. The Loa would see just how far he was willing to go just to draw its attention. He would be damned if he did not make a lasating first impression. There was no need for subtelty. His dance began with a scream of pain as he drew the blade across his shoulder and drew a strip of hide away as easily as one would peel a carrot. The agony did not die with time, it only grew worse as the poison took hold. His veins were growing heavier and itched maddeningly from the inside. Every beat of his heart sent fire through his veins as Syreena's mixture began to spread. His movements were shaky as he high stepped and screamed around the circular clearing. He threw in a spin here and there as he drew the blades across his exposed skin. More bloody lines were dug across his body, more strips of flesh were pulled away and dropped onto the blood moistened earth and speckled the bones. His blood mixed with the filthy ash paint, rendering the symbols difficult to read and meaningless as they ran and smeared across his flesh. It soon became all he could do do stay upright as he throatily wailed a song without words, rhythm, or even meaning. His nonsensical verse was puncuated randomly by shouts of pain as he looked for another unmarred patch of skin to cut open. The flame rose and hissed as he flicked the blood from his blades onto it with violent motions and spins. Unbeknownst to him, the flames had begun to twist and another shadow stretched away from the light. He had practiced the dance and the motions he would take well in advance, but even if he knew the steps it became impossible to follow as his senses became dulled and his body grew weaker. The poison Syreena had given him him left him dizzy and nauseous; he should have expected such a high-quality agent from his friend. He began laughing hysterically as he realized that the one time he would have accepted someone giving him an inferior product was the one time they went above and beyond his requirements, and it was all to hurt him. His steps faltered, his legs wobbled on bones made of jelly, and soon afterwards he crashed to the ground. " Ya try too hard." An amused, wet sounding voice gurgled from behind him. It had worked! Relief washed over him, indistinguishable from the waves of nausea as he struggled to rise. He looked upon the spirit he had called and immediately fell into another fit of dry heaving with his eyes tightly shut. He had seen war, he had seen the dead, he had seen mass graves and mutilation, but the form the spirit had taken was indescribable. His reaction earned another gurgling, wet noise that was nothing short of a violation of what laughter should be. " Well little hexer, ya put on a show to call me an' I be flattered. Now ya can't even look at me? Don't have the stomach ta look upon the dead anymo?" Tahzani forced his head up with sweat stinging his eyes and blurring his vision. The hindrance made the horrid form before him barely tolerable; brown, bloated skin whose surface crawled was all he could make out. He gulped down his bile and spoke with the strongest voice he could manage, " Loa of de Mossflayah. He who embodies this blighted land. I have come to bargain." " As it has been and always will be. Ya honor the traditions calling upon the ancestors... Though ya be far away from home, Revantusk." " Dis land reflects the soul of the one I want exposed." The creature before him let out an intrigued noise and leaned forward, silently commanding him to continue. " She waves her banners and preaches ideals that she forces others to follow, but none of her army does. She be a hypocrite... A tyrant... Irredeemable scum surrounded by filth. I want her to suffer, I want her to scream an' weep, I want her fair features to mirror the rotten core dat i've seen!" " Talkin' about dirty insides, look at yaself. Ah can taste de poison in ya veins, the dirt in ya blood... De taint on jah very SOUL!" It released another gurgling mockery of amusement at the flare of anger that crossed Tahzani's features. " I can do that for ya, but what be in it for me?" The jovial attitude took on an edge of greed and an unspoken threat. If he failed to please this one, the debilitating illness he felt would be a candle to a bonfire. " Ya tribe lay dead or enslaved by de Cult a de Damned an' what remains a de Scourge in dis area. Even as we speak dere be a sect of human holy warriors workin' ta purge de lands of what remains of jah tribe." The amused air that surrounded the plague ridden being disappeared, for a moment he feared he would not get the chance to finish his statement. " Wah be comin'. De Alliance an' de Horde been workin' ta rid dis land a de Legion but it ain't gonna last, it nevah does. An' ah know someone just as eagah as jah ta see Humanity fall. Jah gimme jah blessin', an' de sickness dat brought de Mossflayah such joy can be used against jah enemies once moah. Jah gimme jah blessin' fah dis one elf, an' i'll make suah it gets ta de right people ta be spread amongst de humans. I will give jah vengeance beyond de grave." He could no longer meet the Loa's gaze and his head dropped towards the ground in a gesture of submission. His heart was laboring to beat as the blood rushed in his ears. Every pulse of the organ sent a wave of nausea through his guts and a surge of fresh pain through his blackened veins. " Half for you, half for humanity." The warning was delivered and quickly followed by a violent surge of nausea that sent him to the bloodied mud in a thrashing heap. He vaguely registered his own muffled screaming and the feeling of his heel being brought down upon the brittle skull of one of the begging skeletons. The poison in his veins no longer registered as a cold lump settled in his gut and a feeling of wrongness permeated his very being. The charm found its way to his hands once more; the knucklebones were gone, more accurately they had become part of the liquid. The unnatural, magically induced disease had reduced them to a gelatinous slurry that settled into the bottom of the vial, the amber-brown liquid had become cloudy and threaded with wisps of darker energy that squirmed and wriggled like worms made of smoke. He could taste blood and bile as he reached a violently shaking limb for his bag to grab the antidote. Even as he downed the thick, red liquid he knew that it would only take the edge off of what had become a minor pain. He dropped the empty antidote and reached for his hearthstone. " Get me outta heah..." He whispered hoarsely, invoking the spell. Within moments, he disappeared, leaving behind a sodden, bloodstained, and fel tainted campsite. ***** His skin crawled, cold and slimy in contrast to the burning dryness of his veins and throat. He squirmed on his bed in the grip of a fever dream and pleaded with the unseen as his heels dragged and kicked at the soiled sheets at the foot of the bed. The Forsaken watched him with unease. His wrists and ankles had been strapped down to prevent him from thrashing out of the sweat and blood stained bed. He was covered in maggots that had immediately taken to removing the diseased, dead flesh from around the peeled sections of hide. His wounds were inflicted by tools that had to be wrestled away from the delirious bartender before treatment could even begin. Such wounds were painful but rarely fatal for trolls, but the effects of the wound went far beyond simple bleeding. He had already sent for more maggots as several of the plump white creatures had already curled in on themselves and fallen still. The dead flesh itself seemed cursed. Tahzani's former profession was known to him but he had never witnessed the cost with his own eyes. He had been successful, the tainted trinket was proof of that and had been removed from his person to allow him to recover. Hooked up to tubes and bags of fluid, the pale, dark-veined troll was a sad sight. " Will this solve anything?" He asked the insensate troll. Feeling a dim surge of anger at the carelessness of the hexer. " Will this make either of you happy? ANYONE?" He sighed as the troll released another pathetic whimper and shuddered. The next question pierced the haze of the troll's mind. Everything he had suffered through because of her and for *her*. His ultimate reward for the act was most likely a prison cell for the rest of his days if he was not slain immediately. "Is it worth it?" Selris asked quietly. " No." Tahzani answered with a weak croak. The answer meant for a far broader question than what had been asked. The realization of what he had said sincerely was worse than the pain that left him bedridden for the rest of the night.
  4. 2 points
    "Those who have not given themselves over to the Light, are mere servants of Evil... they must be destroyed." - Kirrik the Awakened The Scarlet Hand Who we are? The Scarlet Hand is a human only RP-PvP guild formed to combat both the Horde and any other threats that arise to threaten the citizens of the Alliance. What we do? We take part in all aspects of the game, our leadership has every AoTC achievement during the Legion Expansion, as well as titles for Arena and RBG's. We are looking for like minded players who want to not only partake in some fun RP, but also all aspects of the game! We are also looking to push a more fully immersive RP experience that carries over into some raiding / BG / and world PvP events as well as coordinating other RP events. Our Goals ( IC ) 1) To Spread the teachings of the Holy Light - As a guild that is based on a "pure" version of the Scarlet Crusade, one thing we want to do is spread the word of the Light. While our organization was formed after some rather disastrous events, our goal isn't just to change the outcome, we are not just a machine of war. When we are not on the front lines, our members must remain dedicated to spreading the word of the Holy Light. 2) To rid Lordearon of all Enemies of the Alliance - Our goal as a military unit that is based out of Tyr's Hand, is to help purify the former Kingdom of Lordearon from the corruption that currently infests it. From the Scourge remnants, to the Forsaken outposts, anything within the former Kingdom must be freed from the grip of terror that currently resides there, and made ready for the return of the sons and daughters of Lordearon. 3) To Eliminate the Plague of Undeath across all of Azeroth - As the former citizens of Lordearon experienced first hand, the terror that overtook the land due to the plague of undeath still hangs over Azeroth. As a member of the Scarlet Hand we seek to bring this threat to an end and have a light-bound duty to achieve this goal at all costs. 4) Cleanse the lands of corruption - As we know, the plague of undeath, corruption of the Legion, and many other nefarious threats to Azeroth damage the lands they infect. It is our goal to work with the power of the Holy Light to help in purifying these lands, including the Capital City of Lordearon, from the corruption that has taken hold. IC Details: We are a human only guild that is based on a "pure" Scarlet Crusade. 1) Even alts must be Human, exceptions can be made to the "Human only" rule with our Emissary rank. We will allow any 1 class of any race, who wants to RP as an emissary to our organization. While technically not an IC member of the guild, and IC unable to wear the tabard, it provides for some fun RP / exception possibilities with players that enjoy the idea / ambassador type RPers, who also want to take part in content with our members. ( Aka 1 Worgen 1 Gnome, etc... can be any class ) 2) Because we are a religious and Light based organization we do not currently accept Warlocks or Death Knights. ( They -MAY- be accepted as emissaries... but this relationship will at best be hostile... ) 3) An IC interview is required 4) RP name is a must - We don't love special characters, but as long as the name is RP friendly we will consider it! Our IC Relationships: The Alliance: As a human organization we see ourselves as protectors of the Alliance. While other races are not permitted into our Order, we do not dislike any particular race within the Alliance and can work with any organization ( * ) that shares our goals and ideals. We also will protect all innocents of the Alliance whenever we can. The Horde: Openly hostile. There is no room for peace of discussion so long as they protect and aid the defilers of Azeroth. Even further disgracing themselves by allowing the Banshee Queen to become their Warchief, we must do all that we can to defeat this threat to our people. The Forsaken continue to raze the fallen of Lordearon, and elsewhere, to serve the Banshee Queen and whatever nefarious goals she maintains. Not until the Horde separates itself from the Forsaken, and joins in our cause to put the fallen to rest and purify Lordearon, can there be any hopes for peace. The Silver Hand: A former bastion of the Light, this organization has allowed itself to become polluted by the Agents of the Banshee Queen and no longer is worthy to bare the name. The new Highlord has shown to be weak, and the lack of a response after the assault on Light's Hope by the Ebon Blade proved this. While there are some noble Knights that still remain out of a sense of duty and honor, the ends do not justify the means, and so long as the Banshee Queen's soldiers remain, they cannot be fully trusted. The Ebon Blade: As would be expected, because this organization is filled entirely with the Undead, it must be purified. It also seems to bend to the will of the Jailor of the Damned, and his goals have already proven to be as vile as the former Lich King, his attempt to raise Tirion Fordring and the assault on Light's Hope Chapel requires justice. Even those who have sworn allegiance to the Alliance cannot fully be trusted. The Scarlet Crusade: The members of the Scarlet Crusade were corrupted by the very same force that brought the plague of undeath to Azeroth... the Burning Legion. While there are still some men and women with pure hearts and true goals, the ways of the original Crusade must be halted. Should any former members of the Crusade approach, they must be given a chance to repent for their actions, and if they refuse, will be brought to justice. Our goal is to purify the name of the Scarlet Crusade and it's heroes, not tolerate the corruption that took control of it. It is true we admire their fervor and dedication to eradicating the plague of undeath, but trading one dark fate for another is unacceptable. (( OOC )) We have IC and OOC channels for communication and encourage all sorts of RP across both factions! RP events are a must for us, and combining our RP with PvE and PvP is something we really want to push for, not just bar or tavern RP. IC interview is required and an oath will be taken to join! :-) If you are interested send any officer an in game mail, or in game message, you may also message us on the TnG! 18+ As we are definitely an older guild, usually looking for like aged members! Be ok with RPing with and as a Scarlet Crusader! IC drama of course will occur, but keep it that way! Keep it to the IC and not the OOC :-) If we come off like jerks, its because well... we are! Obviously evil characters who come off as insane likely won't fit! We are based on the Holy Light and a military organization so discipline is something that a character should generally have. We have a discord channel / and are always willing to help and / or come to anyone's aid! --- Recruitment - Right now as long as you are human - alts included, and not a DK or Warlock, we are recruiting! ( We also have an alt rank for other human chars who have mains in the guild - Converts- ) Emissary Rank - for non humans - Recruiting 1 of each Race - Special Privilege given to more worthy applicants - Having a major in game achievement ( Challenger or better, AoTC of the current expansion, of the Alliance, etc ) will certainly help! We are also looking for officers right now, we have several in place but if you want to step into a role and help us grow we are certainly interested!
  5. 2 points
    " Syreena be a sad story if jah stop screamin' about all de bad she's done. Ah ain't a Grim... Ain't got a desire ta do what she does an' a lotta people say jah eithah gotta be Grim or like de Grim fah her tah warm up. But she likes me, why?" He puts the rag he had been wiping the bar with down and sighs " Because ah treated her like a person. Do dat, an she gonna return jah kindness ten fold. If jah be an elf it be a lot hardah but she got her scars an' trauma same as errybody else. Ah see de trust she puts in me as a sign a what she coulda been. She be hated an' feared because she WAS hated an' feared since she came back. If someone had just been kindah ta her when she first rose would she be as sadistic an' horrible as people say? Makes me tink. Ain't excusin' what she's done, ah undahstand where de path she walkin' on leads. She gonna be how she be until de day her unlife runs out. Be a shame though, because fah all her faults, Syreena be a bettah friend den jah deserve once she decides ta trust jah."
  6. 2 points
    I wasn't certain, not at all. It was entirely my paranoia, and I know it. I was paranoid as soon as I heard that Vyalis took my advice to heart a little stronger than I might have hoped. So to send out a warning only to have that warning become useful? How could I not make the leap? But if she were innocent, her initial reaction should have been outrage, rather than suspicion. Even then, though her initial reaction was convincing, it was not enough to make me certain. What made me certain was her saying she didn't know where the money went. If she were innocent, she would have signed that paper herself. If she were innocent, she would have taken the gold in coin rather than paper. Now I can accuse her of anything, provided it's not something she can easily disprove herself, and even without proof of my own, I have the upper hand. The only question remaining is how long to play the new game. And when I do put an end to it, I think my message will be quite clear. Don't fuck with me. I imagine she thinks she could turn me in for my financial games, but those are both false and warranted in ways her intentions to hurt me are not. Amusing that she didn't understand how our relationship worked, given the nature of the correspondence she stole from me. I'm sure his name was mentioned several times. I could easily have brought him to the Grim instead, if he weren't so obsessed with Suramar and its well-being as a nation-state. She's one of the ones who always thought I was better because I am not like the rest of them. Really? Do you not remember why I left? How I left? How long have you held onto that mythology? Maybe they will finally lose the lie. I doubt it, though. You act cold enough long enough, and people will forget what they already know about you. The only way I am different than the rest of my people is that I am superior. I am just as arrogant, but I am more arrogant and my arrogance is of higher quality. I am just as deviant, only more so, and again, higher quality. I don't feel the need to shout it in the streets the way the less self-assured do. I don't feel the need to appraise everyone who walks past as Malkaris does. But on my own time, behind closed doors, with a touch of common sense? I am exactly what they are. The only difference between them and me is I am not cheap. So if being "elfy" as she would say is a crime, and I am not different, only greater, then I should get the harshest sentence, hm? She would say Kiannis was different, but catch him when he thinks no one's looking and he's behind the shrubbery in Dalaran with his hand up someone's dress, too. We are none of us different. We are all of us exactly the same. I am merely better at it.
  7. 2 points
    03.04.18 I don’t go to the cabin much anymore. Not while the girl is still there. However, sources say she is seen around Dalaran sometimes, so she’s not there all the time. Baal came to Cantina last night though. What he wants to do is crazy. Some things just can’t be made whole again after they’re broken apart, and we were broken long before she was taken away. I nearly destroyed her then. If this happens, I can probably still do that. But I’m not going to take that risk. I need to change his mind. And if I can’t talk him out of it, I’ll have to go against his wishes. If she’s dead, it won’t be an option anymore. I’m sure Qabian would help with that. But maybe I’ll give the task to Vyalis and give him a chance to save his other ear. The topic of family came up tonight. I don’t even know what it means anymore. I have a sister that I don’t know these days, but we were close once, and we killed the rest of them. They deserved it. But that wasn’t the kind of family he was talking about. He was talking about the family you choose. I’ve had family like that before too. But what’s the point? Eventually, one by one, they all die or leave or betray you. I once had many people I considered close enough to call family. I used to think of all the Grims as one big family. Now there are only two, and oddly enough neither are Grim. Umbral asked Baal why he’s so big, and he started telling her how he was infected with fel. Then he asked me to explain. So I told Umbral how Baal used to be a Grim, and when he was a Supplicant, one of the warlocks experimented on him with a drug called Wreave. I know Baal still hates Ul’rezaj for that. And I still silently carry the guilt with me for my part in it. Does he know? Can he feel my guilt when the subject comes up? Does he already know? Is that why he asked me to explain it? Will he shut me out if he learns the truth? But he was just a cocky Supplicant elf back then. Apparently, Commander Stick-Up-Her-Butt let herself be goaded into a fight with Nero. I’d love to know what he said to get under her skin enough to make her throw the first punch. The fight was bad enough that Fhenrir stepped in, and she punched him too! I wish I had seen it. Miss High and Mighty lowering herself enough to start a barfight. Justice and mercy and blah blah blah.
  8. 2 points
    Happy Lunar Festival, Alliance friends! The Twilight Empire invites you to an evening celebration beneath the sky and stars of Stormwind City. This time of year is traditionally one for reflection, and the Legion’s defeat on Azeroth and Argus has given us all a great deal to contemplate. Loss and love, friends and family, growth and gain—all sentiments have a place in our hearts, but some weigh heavier than others. Join with friends new and old as we commit our wishes or regrets to parchment and send them up in the bonfire’s flames with hopes of mutual catharsis. The night can’t all be meditation, of course. With reflection comes recreation! We will raffle off three fabulous door prizes throughout the night. What might you win? Attend to find out! Finally, what Lunar Festival celebration is complete without a rousing round of fireworks? Bring your own or fire off ours and watch as we light up the city sky! (Anti-fire wards are already in place. Don’t worry—nobody will set anything dangerously aflame!) Who: Alliance Where: Stormwind Keep Gardens When: Sunday, February 25th, 7:30pm Server Time Contact Ketani-Ravenholdt or Aryänna-Ravenholdt (alt-code +0228) for questions!
  9. 2 points
    " By de time ah was Mariz's age ah was already fightin' fah my village, doin' stupid tings dat ah would regret latah. By comparison, sneakin' outta de orphanage just cause she tired a walkin' de drag be... It be downright adorable." Tahzani folds his arms across the bar and leans against it with a troubled expression. " Ah helped her out, gave her a job ta learn a bit of responsibility, earn a little money an' get de matron off her back so she can do what she really wants ta do, explore. But even seein' her be like a slap in de face. Since we settled in dese lands an' entire generation grown to adulthood. A generation raised in a mixed populace, a generation apaht from tradition an' family. Ah been helpin' Mariz as ah can... An' prayin' she lets me continue ta do so. Let me know dat de world in good hands... Bettah hands den de ones dat shaped what she inheritin'. Still, she a smaht kid. Smaht enough ta disobey an' learn." He grins wryly. " Ah got high hopes fah her... An' hopin' ah can keep mah fat mouth shut ta not drag her down."
  10. 2 points
    ((It has apparently been a bit since I had a story to post here haha! Lil delayed but a Mya story from the Finale of the Feleclipse storyline!)) Myaka glared up at the orc warlock. Though various attacks bombarded his shield it still held firm. There has to be a way to break through. Despite what this blowhard thinks he can't be unbeatable. The idea struck almost as a gift granted by the Light. The Scales could traverse realms, she used that ability all the time just to store it. Could I use that to attack? She called back to Xandric, nearly ignoring his recommendation to fall back to fight a nearby Pitlord. She would need cover against the naga and chaos warriors if she were to send away her mode of defense. Trusting the giant paladin to watch her back she dropped her focus far into her battlerage seeking the connection with the Scales. She would need to maintain it more than normal if she attacked this way. It was strange and unfamiliar like testing a muscle not used. The connection flared and she pushed against it like she would throwing a weapon. She grinned in triumph as the shield appeared within Karthok's barrier. Shadowflame roared from the front coating him in fire. She could tell the attack had at least irritated him if not hurting outright. She pulled the shield back before Karthok could retaliate and pushed it again. The shield reappeared in a different place and blasted him again. She lost track of the push and pulls, she didn't pay attention to the feeling of draining. Her connection to the shield and battlerage pushed to the limit. She smirked as the repeated attacks from her and the others brought the barrier down and the orc was forced on the defensive. Then he was gone. Where-?! She barely had time to wonder long, everything next happened in quick succession. Terror that was not hers flared through her connection with the Scales and something strong grabbed onto her. She tried to grapple with the orc’s grip and the world darkened into twilight. Pain exploded around her as shadowflame erupted along her body. The world lightened again, the twilight realm fading as a scream of pain ripped out from her scorching throat. As the world faded to black she couldn't help but be thankful that she had not been conscious the last time she burned to death. ---------------------------------- She felt as if she was floating, even though as she looked around she appeared to be standing somewhere in an empty blackness. This had not been what she expected at the end. She expected the Halls, a shining Val’kyr standing before her to remake her soul as a stormforged. I promised Kate I would live on as a Valarjar if something ever happened. Light I… What did she want? Her gut twisted as she remembered what had happened to her family after her 'death’. How Kate had deteriorated, how Olson had meant to find someone battle where he could go out in a blaze of glory. What would happen to them now? She had to hope her final act would be enough for them to beat Karthok. “You are safe here.” A rich rumbling voice murmured softly behind her. She turned quickly, dropping into a defensive stance despite knowing she had no weapons to fight with. The being before her was like nothing she had ever seen. He towered over her, in spite of her impressive height. He looked like an elf, dark skin that looked purple in the dark expanse of nothing around them. Horns curled out from dark purple hair. His armor nearly reminded her of her own demonsteel only in purple and black tones. Spikes lined the ridges of his armor in a somehow familiar way even though she has never seen this man before. “Who the fel are you, what happened?” She didn't drop her defensive stance. The colors and horns marked him as either a twilight or black dragon, neither of which boded well for her. “I mean you no harm.” His purple eyes twinkled with barely contained amusement. “Had I wanted to harm you, severing the connection would have allowed your death to be finalized.” Connection? Suddenly, she realized something was familiar. The voice was familiar. “Are you...Are you the Scales?” His mouth formed a grin. “Your wits aren't dulled, even with your second brush with a pyre.” He starts to circle her. It's not calculating, not a predator circling prey. It's nearly parental, a dragon checking a whelp for injury. “I didn't have the time to phase to you, nor did I know if I could pull you from danger. It seems all I managed to do is pull your soul to safety.” She stared dumbfounded at the man. “When...you’ve never-” She shook her head, “How the fel do you have a body?!” She finally was able to say. “You’ve never manifested before.” “You’ve never allowed our connection as close as you did.” The man pointed out. “That was a dangerous choice. You used more than just your battlerage. The connected attached to your soul, not just your battlerage.” He stopped his pacing. “I understand the situation, but you should learn to temper the connection if you do that again.” She shook her head, the words reminding her of Karthok. A flash of silver light distracted her. Words filtered to her, but she couldn’t understand them. “You tried to save me?” The man cocks his horned head, “Aye, yes. One does not normally enjoy being immolated.” “Forgive my surprise,” she states wryly. “I remember a fight in Helhiem where you flashed away and abandoned me because you were ‘wrong about my potential.’” The words are not as accusatory as they might have been had he heard them from Kate, she had somewhat forgiven the shield. She had needed the push to realise she could beat Dominic. She was surprised to see shame flit across his face. “Yes, this would be a change from then. I do maintain that you needed that victory. However, there might have been a better way to give it to you.” He stepped up towards her, his tall height even more apparent. “For lack of a better way to state it, you've changed me.” He says with a slight grin. “ A part of her knew she should be confused. She should be afraid or traumatized, she died. Well died again. The conversation after the guild meeting flitted through her mind, there was a reason she had not promised either Kate or Olson she'd come home. There was always a chance a well placed attack would take her life without any chance to avoid it. Light flashed again, pulling her concentration, the man in front of her pulled a face at the bright flash. “Val’kyr do not give in easily.” He muttered. She turned her attention back to him. Her mouth opened to speak and she stopped. The thought passing through her head blurting out instead. “What in the Fel do I call you.” He cocked his head to the side, violet eyes watching her. “Call? I am the Twilight Scales. You prefer to shorten it to The Scales.” She shook her head, “that's the name of the shield, an object, you are a person. At least right now. That's just... strange, to call someone that.” He let out a rumbling laugh. “You find out you have died, again, and that your weaponry has a sentient mind. And the thing you find strange is the name you call me?” She grinned sheepishly. “Put like that is maybe a small thing compared to everything else. It still doesn't seem right to call you the name of an object.” He shook his head, a fond smile on his face. “While I do enjoy the Twilight Scales moniker. If it would help…” his voice trailed as he thought a moment before nodding sharply to himself. “Arcath. It's a draconic word, the rough translation is 'spellscale’” “Arcath.” She repeated slowly, testing the name. “Fits,” she says with a light laugh after a moment. “So the Light, you think that's a Val'kyr?” “It's specifically trying for your soul. I don't know for sure what it is. But I don't want to risk it.” He grinned, “just because you couldn't promise your return to your family, doesn't mean I can't try to keep that promise myself.” She blinked, taken aback that he was aware of that conversation. The blackness lightened around them, amber light flaring around them before streaking towards her. Arcath started forward, his shout drowned out by a howl that filled her with a frenetic energy… Pain lanced through her, so sharp that it brought air rushing through her in a harsh gasp. Her sight slowly focused. She was out of the dark blackness of Arcath’s realm. The dragon himself was gone and Resileaf’s relieved face looked down at her. Energy filled her even as the pain faded to a dull ache. She felt the connection with the Scales reassert itself and relief flooded her, both her own and something else. She saw a large wolf fighting a pit lord as the rest of the forces swarmed Karthok. She forced herself to her feet, walking forward to join the melee around Karthok. She knew after a few moments she would not be able to. He still vanished and reappeared, she didn't have the energy to keep up. There was one way to fight still, she ignored the concern flowing through the connection with the Scales and started the jumps again. The healing from the ancient bolstered her and made her exhaustion less noticeable. Pain ricocheted down the bond, tearing a scream of pain from her mouth and forcing her to her knees. She growled and forced through it just in time to see a wave of black flowing from Karthok's decimated body… ------------------ She fell forward, as if she had been running. She pulled in air in great gulps, wide eyes staring at the ground. A false vision, a nightmare, thank the Light. A nightmare; the destroyed city, her sister dead because she felt so sure it was a false clone or dreadlord. And Olson; sweet, loving and caring Olson, decrying her as Kate's murderer. More willing to stay and be slaughtered by the enemy than leave with her. A nightmare, just a nightmare. Kathok cackled and spoke, the words washing over as she tried to come to grips with what she had just seen. “Fitting that I should fall amongst such titans, isn't it?" Karthok stands, looking over the massive corpses of Accalia and Arkhorne, holding his stomach with one arm. "After all I've gone through, all I've accomplished, dying with gods is the least I deserve." He turns towards the others, looking them all over. "You people... I tore you apart... broke you. Even if you don't show it, I know. I know you all better than anyone else in your lives. I know what you're all made of, what you're really like. Creatures of chaos, of choice." He chuckles. "Order... you hate it. Loathe it. Even if you don't admit it. In order you have no choice, no options. But in the chaos, you're free. Just like me." Shokkra shakes herself off from her own nightmare and starts up towards where Karthok is. "I'm a part of you now. I'm your fear, your doubt, your choices. You'll carry me until the day you die and beyond. You'll never forget me, never forget what I did, who I was, what you are because of me." He laughs again, louder this time. "I'm the chaos inside you, now and forever." The orcess comes up behind him, pulling her revolver. She grabs him by the shoulder and pulls him into her arms, holding him tightly. She shuts her eyes, handing him the gun. He hugs her back, taking the revolver in hand and casting a shadow over Shokkra for an instant. Karthok looks towards the others, pointing the gun at them and flipping it open to check how many rounds he has. He laughs. "I earned this." He aims the revolver back to himself, lifts his chin, and fires.* The shot rings through the air and she looks up, a low growl of fury rumbling through her. She wanted to destroy him, to prove every cackling word wrong. He had ended it and taken that away. Everyone was tired, emotionally and physically. Tense arguments and standoffs browled around her. She barely paid attention. She wanted to go home. She wanted to leave this Light forsaken rock and forget everything. She wanted to see Kate, to know she was alive. She wanted to see Olson and know he didn't hate her. She wanted away. She breathed a sigh of relief when the airship they arrived on made it back and docked to allow them on board. She could go home. _________________________________ She should be used to issue with sleep. Night terrors threaded themselves through her life for as long as she had remembered. From the nightmares spawned of her uncertainty regarding her parents death right after Strathome, to the ones of Dominic until she finally was able to slay his specter herself. She let out a strangled sound, somewhere between a sob and a gasp for air, and sat up in bed. Her sheets tangled around sweat soaked limbs and her nightgown. She breathed in deeply, lavender oil filling the air and soothing the frazzled nerves from the dream. Had she escaped Karthok’s nightmare truly? Or was she just granted a reprieve in her waking moments? Were they waking? There were moments when she wasn't sure if she had ever left the battle torn rock in the Maelstrom. She tried to calm her racing heart, feeling the incoming panic attack. Those she should also be used too, while it had been a while since a full flash back it didn't mean there hadn't been smaller bouts of anxiety. She bent over in a fetal position, her breaths came in harsh gasps as the pain of the nightmare raced through her. Harsh sobs threaded through the gasps of air. She gave up on trying to hold back the attack and riding it so she could try to regain her ability to breath. Black started to creep into the edge of her vision as the sobs quieted and her breathing evened. Sleep of course was still well out of reach. She stood, climbing out of bed and walking to a window. She grinned, the expression both tired and fond, as she remembered teasing words to Kate. “Do I have to worry about leaving the blinds on my bedroom window? It does face your bedroom.” She knew she'd regret the question as soon as it was asked. Kate said nothing, her only answer was a wicked grin that reflected the mischievous glint in her eyes. “That's a yes.” Myaka said with a bark of a laugh. The fond grin faded sharply. Anxiety rose again, was she sure her death was a nightmare? A want to go to the house and bang on the door swelled in her, she forced it down. Light knew that would just wake up Zak and Kate, not to mention the three children. The stone was an option, but would also wake the two up. She glanced at a clock and let out a breathless sigh. Far too early for anyone to be awake. All this worry was for nothing, morning would come and she'd see that. She was too wired to go back to sleep, soft padding footsteps took her downstairs. Her latest smithing project sat on her table, it would be a good way to calm down and hopefully get back to sleep. She ignored the fact that this was the second time in so many nights that she had been unable to sleep halfway through the night, she'd didn't have time to worry with the fight in Antorus nearing it's end. __________________________________ The months past sped their way through, december bleeding into January that then gave into the warming months of spring. Winter’s veil danced into Love is In The Air and soon the Lunar Festival loomed on the horizon. Myaka let out a low breath, brown eyes traveling up the sword left by Sargaras. It had nearly stopped her heart when she saw his sword flying towards Azeroth. They had won, a long fought battle that pushed everyone as far as they could go. The combined forces of the Horde and Alliance needed to bring the fallen titan to ruin. Was it all for nothing? She shook her head, pulling her thoughts from the dark path they went down. Her mind wandered easily recently. She reached up, plated hand rubbing absentmindedly against her chest. The strange pain was back, there had been a twinge of pain when she flew home to see to Kate after the end of the fight. A slight scraping sound of metal on metal played through the infested air. She supposed it didn’t matter that she couldn’t actually touch anything though the plate. She never actually felt a wound or anything that was causing the pain. Exhaustion pulled at her mind momentarily. The nightmares had not lightened, if anything, they got worse. Sleep only came in the first few hours of the night and after she made do with naps. Silithus became an easy distraction, one she hoped would give her enough time until the nightmares went away. She tried to believe that, she wouldn’t let Karthok have his victory. She wouldn’t let him win. She could almost make herself believe it. ((*Karthok's speech is word for word from the RP, because I didn't want to mess up it's malice by paraphrasing haha))
  11. 2 points
    It's the recognition that there are more of us than I've seen evidence of in the past few months. Often, it seems like it's Syreena and I against the world. Not last night, though. Last night, we were the world, all of us, Syreena and her pet, and Vyalis, and the Grimtotem shadow, and the quiet wolf, and the knight with her broken mechanical voice accidentally screaming about horrible stereotypes. Even Malkaris, I suppose. He's worse in that skin. At least when he was more clearly falling apart, no one took him quite as seriously. Now, well, he keeps everyone entertained with his clown show, but I'm not sure we should have let him out of the guild hall. I don't think I ever want to see him and Nathandiel in the same room. But even those who weren't us weren't the usual, weren't the kind who push me to despair of any future for the Horde. There were the Luna I've worked with before, the sensible yet angry from across the spectrum, the smug and the smart. Even the one with the reputation for collecting boyfriends, who apparently has both the lizard man from last week and Our Lord Gustblade checked off her list, seemed practically an intellectual compared to the usual crowds. Even Kahlan gives me hope. There's something I like about her, and not just because she made the mistake of giving me a compliment once. Maybe it's her penchant for jumping immediately to violence. Maybe it's her utter dismissal of the continuous pathetic attempts to encroach on feelings she clearly doesn't have. Maybe it's her seemingly equal hatred of nearly everyone around her. She's not quite right in the head, being so defensive of the parents she was apparently avoiding, who I will ever doubt are actually related to her in any way, even through mere kindness. She doesn't seem to realize that everything she hates about men is all her father has to offer the world. He is the very pinnacle of what she detests most, and yet she leaps ferociously to his defense if anyone so much as sneezes in his direction. But if Kahlan were the worst the Horde had to offer, we would be well-equipped for whatever lies ahead. Unfortunately, there are those like her parents, and the monstrous rabbit who put up with Malkaris' lechery with nothing but blushes and yet ran off in a panic at the sight of that half-demon I know nothing about and want to know nothing about but who I know has enough propensity for violence to be on the side of hope. But last night, they were outnumbered in a way that felt incredibly satisfying. So yes, hope. Even at our meeting. It was small, yes, but not as small as it's been when the future has seemed darkest. We grow, slow but steady. The pendulum swings as it always does. I've been out of sync with the clock for too long to recognize its motions, but time tells its tales whether we want it to or not.
  12. 2 points
    The poster above is hung in Alliance cities and the Alliance quarter of Dalaran. Alliance friends, join the Twilight Empire for its annual Winter Veil celebration! Wear your holiday best (or your worst!), bring a wrapped gift for the gift exchange, and enjoy good food, warm drink, and merry company! Who: Alliance What: Winter Veil RP Celebration Where: Thunderbrew Distillery, Kharanos When: Saturday, December 30th, 7:30PM ST Contact Aryänna-Ravenholdt (alt code ALT+0228) or Ketani-Ravenholdt with questions!
  13. 2 points
    The bartender may be correct. If I am playing their game, I may be helping them, at least in the short term. I don't believe I am, yet. But if I am to get what I want, I will have to eventually. I must reconsider this. I am always reconsidering this. It made sense in days gone by. It does not make sense any longer. But if it works? If it plays out well? If it plays out in our favor? Even if I help them in the short term, if it ultimately erases them, or even just sows chaos and discord within them? It could be worth years upon years of toil and agony. I will move slowly. I will keep this to the edges. I will not ingratiate myself with their core, only with the periphery. A step here, a greeting there, a gift here, a compliment there, but all the while being who I have always been, insulting them profusely, never letting them think I've truly changed, only that I have a side they did not know, without ever betraying myself and my truths. I can do that. Can't I? Maybe I can't. I still don't know that this is worth the risk. If I were sensible, I would put it all aside while I still can. Unfortunately, it seems I want the possible outcome of it all more than an appeal to good sense would say is reasonable. Not so bad, hm? Oh, how wrong you are. If you can be offended by someone as ludicrous as Nathandiel, I am far, far worse, because I don't use lies to cause offense. I use the truth, and it stings much harder. That in itself is a lie. I do the same as the lunatic. I use lies to provoke, to cause and abuse reactions. I'm simply less vile and more arrogant in the play. To detest all men to the point of violence and not love women in their stead is a curious place for a woman to be? I can understand it, but in my experience, such people have been rare indeed. She only thinks I'm not as bad because I offered to help her kill him if the situation should arise. And because she didn't hear what I would have said of her father after knowing the rest of the story. I never expected to end up discussing the Barov witch ever again. I hadn't even noticed the parallels-- How could I have noticed the parallels? She never informed me of them. In retrospect, those seem like important details, but also in retrospect, I actively avoided asking her connections to the victim she sent me after. I knew something was off, but I expected family or friendship, not... this. Did we kill the Barov? We must have killed the Barov. The Bronze stole this from me. We did. We did, yes? We did. How else could we have retrieved the shard? But I didn't? I wasn't there. Acherontia did it for me. I remember Karazhan. I remember the spellwork to keep her silenced and hearing only silence. I remember the intensity and the difficulty of maintaining it week after week. Wait, I was there. We did it together? I told her I would come alone and then did not. Was that how it went? There was someone else there? No, that was something else. Why can't I remember? I know why I can't remember. I hate fishing for these vague fractured memories that promise nothing. I regained some of what Ninorra did, but this is still lost. Yet... Didn't they happen at the same time? In the same...
  14. 2 points
    The previous afternoon, Syreena had run out of grave moss while working on an alchemy project. She’d already harvested what was in the Andorhal graveyard, but the moss didn’t grow anywhere in abundance, not even in graveyards, and Andorhal did not provide enough of the stuff to meet the needs of her project. Now, shortly after midnight, she searched for moss in the cemetery of the Scarlet Monastery. Although she was on her guard, she moved with ease. What little that might remain of the fanatical organization here were mostly asleep inside, and she was not disturbed as she pulled moss from tree trunks and gravestones in the moonlight. As she reached for a bit of the fuzzy plant from one headstone, however, her hand paused inches from the stone, and her head tilted to the side as she stared at the carved words before her, her expression suddenly grown cold with hatred. Symorick O. Tyrrell Paladin of the Light ~He burned brightest so we did not have to~ The date on the stone indicated that the man died just before the Legion invasions started. “I’m not even going to feel bad about what Sym’s going to do to you,” a smug human voice echoed in her mind. It was followed by an elven voice, laden with the usual arrogance along with something that might have been awe. “Ah…The famed Scarlet Inquisitor.” Her memories of that time had been scrambled, erased, retrieved, and repaired with varying degrees of success. But the Forsaken were a willful race, and with great effort, she could recall some of the details of her time spent as a prisoner of the Alliance. Now, as she stared with mounting rage at the name before her, she heard the Inquisitor’s own voice, cold and hard and lacking any empathy. “The next time I see you, I will not be so kind.” “Well, here I am, you fellin’, torturing, monster of the Light,” Syreena growled. “And there you are.” Although she was not actually tortured or questioned by the dead man that lay under the stone she was crouched in front of, the threat of him was used often against her during her imprisonment. The threat alone was effective though, especially after meeting him one night there. He towered over her, so she was face to face with a Scarlet tabard worn over a shirt that still bore the red splatter marks of his recent work. “See something you like?” he asked when he noticed her staring at the tabard. “Nothing I haven’t seen before,” she replied simply, minding her tongue. She knew firsthand what Scarlet Inquisitors were capable of, and this one could wield the Light. In the graveyard, Syreena muttered to herself. “Two down, three to go.” And one of those three was indirectly under her influence, even if she couldn’t outright kill her right now. She gripped and regripped her daggers in agitation. It pleased her to know yet another of her tormentors was dead. She wondered how he died. She hoped it was a horrible, painful death, and she was disappointed that she didn’t get to see it. Now, he lay at rest in a peaceful cemetery, under a tree with moonlight filtering down to his grave. She felt cheated. The man was dead, true, but her desire for vengeance on him was left unfulfilled. Or was it? Her eyes narrowed, a telltale sign that the little rogue’s brain was working. After some time had passed, a slow grin twisted her patchwork face and bared her filed pointy teeth as she stood up. “Paladin of the Light, Inquisitor of the Crusade, Doctor of the Aegis,” she crooned wickedly. “You will rest in peace no longer.” Satisfied with her idea, she made her way out of the cemetery and headed for Brill to put her plan into motion.
  15. 2 points
    “Malkaris, report to the Inquisitor’s office. Now.” Syreena’s voice over the hearthstone carried a sense of urgency and authority not often heard from the little rogue. She was pacing behind her desk when the warlock arrived. Despite her impatience, she resisted the urge to just drag him with her to the Monastery and order him to do what she wanted. After all, this wasn’t a typical Grim task she was about to ask him for. Instead, she thanked him for coming and told him she needed a favor. Malkaris raised a brow curiously and there was a playful twinge at the corner of his mouth. “I see by your look, you’re willing to listen to it.” “I’m all ears,” the elf said. And with that, he pulled out a pouch containing a few elf ears. “Qabian wanted me to give that to you, by the way.” For once, Syreena was more interested in the task at hand than in adding to her collection of ears, so she got straight to the point. “If I remember correctly, you have some skills in…making the dead live again.” The warlock stiffened slightly, glancing around unconsciously but slowly, but his curiosity deepened, and his smile widened. “I’ve been known to dabble….” “What is your success rate?” the Shadowblade asked him. “Depends on the task. What would you like me to do?” Syreena arched a brow, feeling her impatience rising again. “Isn’t it obvious?” Malkaris grinned and shrugged. “Well. There’s m ore to the art than just making dead things walk or do a dance. There are requirements, depending. Do you want whatever it is that you’re looking to raise to feel? To remember figments, not enough to know, but enough to torment?” “Oh, I definitely want to torment,” she confirmed. A frost gale blustered through to the office. The tinkle of bone chimes resounded with the sound of footsteps. Syreena looked up and nodded to Khorvis. “Lasher,” she said in the way of greeting. Malkaris also nodded to the orc. “Shadowblade,” he grunted, with a mix of admiration and vitriol. Syreena and Malkaris continued the conversation, going over details. Then Khorvis, having watched the two concoct their plot with an obvious air of distaste, spoke up. “That does sound like something unnatural to me, felmancer. Of whom the fel do you speak?” But it was Syreena who answered. “Symorick Tyrrell. I found his grave. Will you help us dig him up?” “Let me be clear,” Khorvis answered, as he stroked the twin braids of his beard. “I do not know who the fel you still speak of. Will this aid the Mandate?” Although Syreena was disappointed that Khorvis didn’t remember the name, she answered confidently. “Yes. He will kill many Alliance.” Malkaris looked between the two. “For the record, I don’t particularly care if it does or not. It’ll be nice to raise a corpse or two for a change.” Khorvis stomped to his feet. “Fine. Even after so many years here on Azeroth, my Common still do be the stuff of hellboar shit. Tyrrell sounds like a name we may have crossed. I will find a shovel.” Khorvis went off to find a shovel, and the other two left the office as well, still talking details. “Can you do anything to make him be my pet and do whatever I say?” she asked. “That I can,” the warlock answered. “But if you want absolute obedience, I need something of you. A piece of you—a memory, body part, something with meaning…” He pointed at her one remaining ear. “No,” she said quickly. He held up his hands in a “don’t stab the messenger” fashion. “Necromancy ever has been an art of give and take. The more you give, or…borrow, the more you can take.” The little rogue bit off a chunk of a fingernail and gave it to Malkaris. “That do?” Khorvis returned with a shovel. “Where do be the grave of this Tyrrell?” “The Scarlet Monestary cemetery.” “Shall we then?” Malkaris suggested, and the three departed to go gravedigging.
  16. 2 points
    The small farm outside of Andorhal was coming along nicely. Syreena was pleased with the progress she was making on the herb gardens, and the workers were scheduled to start tomorrow on digging out a room under the barn for her alchemy lab. As she tended her growing herb garden, she paused to look over her land. Finally, after so many years of living in sewers and tents and inns and the guild hall, the little rogue had finally decided to buy her own place with some of the vast amounts of gold she’d accumulated over the years through various means, most of them questionable if not outright illegal. It was peaceful here, she thought, and although peaceful wasn’t normally her preferred atmosphere, it was a nice change of pace at times. It was especially welcome at her own home when she was working on her personal projects. Just as she was musing about how much progress she could make in her alchemy projects, she heard a strange tearing noise nearby and turned to see what it was. A dark purple portal was opening just a few yards away. A man stepped through the void portal, wearing dark leathers, light hair and facial hair, and a black eyepatch. One of his arms was made of an odd metal now, but Syreena’s undead flesh crawled as she recognized Geodorik Deepwater, the halfling of few words who seemed to oversee security for Eternal Aegis when she was a prisoner there. Her memories of that time were still fuzzy and incomplete, despite all attempts to remedy that, but she did have broken and distorted recollections of Geo’s hands on her as he bound her wrists behind her back, or tied her legs together so she couldn’t run, or shoved her into a cell. Now, judging by the look in his eye and the pistol in his hand, he was here for only one reason, and he wasn’t planning to wait to see it through. Armed with only a garden trowel in her hand, Syreena didn’t hesitate. She threw the little spade at Geo’s face, which was just enough distraction to jolt the revolver’s aim away from her head. She grunted as the bullet pierced her stomach instead, flowing right through her leather armor as if it weren’t even there, but at least that wouldn’t kill her there. Neither rogue wasted any energy on words. Syreena did not bother with asking why he was here, or trying to taunt him with insults, or attempting to intimidate him with threats. Though details were fuzzy, she knew without question that he was all business when dealing with her, thorough, and more than competent. As he raised the revolver for a second shot, Syreena was already in motion, rocking back on one heel to kick her other foot at Geo’s wrist. She felt the impact all the way to her hip, but the gun went sailing through the air. With the pistol gone, Geo drew two swords. As Syreena spun away, she pulled three small throwing knives from slots on her chest armor and flung them at him with deadly precision. He was quick with his swords though, and managed to deflect one of the blades. Another stuck in his armor and did no harm. The third blade, however, landed in the exposed flesh of his living arm. Syreena saw the reassuring sight of crimson blood running down his forearm as she drew two long daggers from her belt. Geo barely winced as he yanked the blade from his arm. Blood sprayed in an arc with the movement. The two stared at each other, and as one, moved in, both raising their blades for attack. Geo had the reach with the swords, but one of his arms was injured, and Syreena quickly took advantage of that, striking that arm again and again until it was near useless to the halfling. Her success did not come without a cost, however. One of her own arms was missing a chunk of flesh, her torso was pierced and sliced, and now Geo had her effectively pinned against the stone wall of the house. His demonsteel arm was raised, ready to pummel her head. He knew that was the only way to do permanent damage to a Forsaken. She ducked at the last second though, and his mechanical fist went through the wall, damaging the arm at the wrist in the process. Geo raised his sword and brought it down at Syreena’s neck, in a strike meant to decapitate the Forsaken. Her own dagger, however, had found its way under his chest piece and pierced the skin there, taking the momentum out of his swing just as it cut through the skin of her neck. Syreena thought this wound to her neck felt different somehow, but she would deal with that later. “I told you I would kill you someday,” Syreena hissed at him. In truth, she couldn’t remember saying such a thing to him, but it sounded like something she would say. Her golden glowing eyes were fixed on his face as she drove the dagger deeper up under his armor, and the tip of the blade went through his heart. This was something she would not forget. She studied him like that for a few minutes before pulling her weapon from his chest. She sheathed one dagger, but kept the other in hand, just in case of...anything. Going through Geo’s armor and pockets, she took any coins she found, as well as any other items that looked useful. The wrist of the mechanical arm was severely damaged after going through the stone wall. She was certain that house was severely damaged as well, but right now, she was more interested in the Eternal Aegis man that lay dead before her. “One down, four to go,” she said softly to herself. She finally put her dagger away and picked up one of Geo’s swords. She lifted it high and brought it down with all her strength at the weak point in the demonsteel wrist. After several tries, the blade finally cut through all the metal and the hand was free for her to take as a trophy. With the hand safely tucked into her armor, she moved to cut off Geo’s head, thinking she was way overdue in sending presents to Marrus and the rest of the Aegis. Before she had the chance to collect his head though, purple flames engulfed the body. The body was quickly consumed by the flames. When the void flames finally died out, nothing remained on the ground except a dark purple burn patch on the ground. Syreena reached up to scratch the side of her neck where Geo had cut her. She was no stranger to a variety of injuries, but this felt different. It was itchy, and, although she couldn’t see it, the color of the wound matched the purple of the patch on the ground. ((Story by Geodorik and Syreena))
  17. 2 points
    [H] WINTER VEIL IN WINTERSPRING((A Cross Realm Horde Holiday RP Party Spectacular))December 16th, the first Day of Winter Veil, at 5pm PST | 6 MT | 7 CST | 8 ESTCome and join us in celebrating the feast of Winter Veil in snowy Winterspring! Meet people you've never met, hailing from across Azeroth! In addition to good food, booze and company, we will be hosting a number of exciting activities throughout the night! Sign up now to participate! ((This event will have people and groups from at least 3 different servers in attendance!))Blind Date Auction - Polar Bear Brawl - Group PerformancesBlind Date Auction: Sign up with one of the sheets in the envelope below between now and the party to be an auctionee! Auctionees will be given anonymous descriptions and bid on by partygoers, agreeing to spend some time with the winner (although they are neither expected or required to do more than that)! Buyers are limited to spending only 5000gp overall (you cannot just buy every auction if you're rich). All proceeds will be used as prize money for future events. ((If you are interested in being bid on, please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/byYMUe8bQVl4sLmZ2 ))Polar Bear Brawl: They say nothing warms the soul like a fight in the frigid cold! A seasonal tradition, this dueling tournament involves stripping down to the bear minimums and duking it out in the frigid snow! While weapons are allowed, nothing else is. Contestents will be inspected before matches to ensure they aren't carrying any jewlery or other items which might afford them an advantage. Bystanders are encouraged to throw snowballs, to add an extra element of chilly fun! Winner gets a special mystery gift! ((If you wish to participate in the Polar Bear Brawl please submit this form: https://goo.gl/forms/lEzh80OhTMwCmDXk2 ))Group Performances: Everyone has a different way of celebrating the season, and we want to give you a platform to show everyone yours! We want to encourage different organizations to sign up and show off. Have a few people recite a story, or sing a song or something entirely different! ((Limit one performance per Guild. We will coordinate with you about the performance itself. Performances should be roughly Winter Veil themed in nature, no longer than 15 minutes and be relatively non-offensive, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/q42lTedg1nsgs3553 ))((As this is a cross realm event, we will need to group everyone. You must whisper Ohee-Ravenholdt, Kejala-Ravenholdt, or Raelanaa-Twisting Nether for a group invite at the time of the event. If you are planning on attending please comment on this thread so we can get a rough tally of who's coming.))
  18. 2 points
    10.19.17 Well, I never heard anything more about stealing any rare spellbooks or Borghul planning anything. Maybe the note was just a practical joke from someone? The guard at Dragonsroost Port is still alive and well. I still take him cookies every now and then to try out a new concoction, or just to get the news there. It seems their base was recently attacked by gnomes who were intent on killing Cobrak. Can’t say I blame them, but it’s still a bit comical to picture little gnomes attacking the Borrowed Time base to try to kill that grumpy orc. The guard has come to look forward to my visits, and cookies, I think. He even invited me on a mission to a haunted house to look for treasure, though his elf partner doesn’t seem too thrilled about having me along. Qabian caught the girl and gave her to me. I gave her to Baal’themar, as a gift since he made me that pretty elf-skin suit a while back. I’m sure he’ll make a pretty project out of her in his basement before he kills her. I’ll go out and see in a few days, just how pretty her human insides are. As payback, I recommended Qabian for the position of High Inquisitor when I was asked for my opinion. Nevermind that I would have recommended him anyway, even if I didn’t owe him a favor. He’s the only Grim who seems to care about doing anything other than fighting demons these days. But if I can use this recommendation as payment for the favor I owed him, then I’m fine with being in the clear. Unfortunately, immediately after, he named me as his assistant. I couldn’t very well refuse after the Commander had just punched Qabian in the face for being flippant about the position and serving the Mandate. So now it’s back to doing paperwork and babysitting Supplicants. It’s not all bad though. I can make applicants being me presents, and make Supplicants to my bidding, and watch their reactions when Awatu tells them never to kneel after I’ve instructed them to always kneel to show respect to Grim officers. I’m not thrilled about answering to an elf, but at least it’s Qabian. He’s not that bad. I went with Karthok’s soldiers and ransacked an Alliance base. I got a strange book from the office there. The cover feels like flesh and looks like it has tattoos on it. It’s called “The Twilight Canticle.” I didn’t give it to the soldiers I was with, or the annoying ogre who went with us. Karthok would probably want it if he knew I had it, but he doesn’t. I wonder if the book is worth anything, and to who.
  19. 2 points
    “Snake-suckin’ son of a - “ Tirien whispers in a harsh tone as his lock-pick snaps. A magnificent rug runs the length of the hallway and does little to muffle the plated footfalls approaching the corner. His hands shake from the rising adrenaline as he pulls out another lock-pick. One, two, ignore the third tumbler, half on the fourth and… Click. Tirien sweeps into the room as a duo of Silvermoon guards walk past the hallway, none the wiser to the Human who finds himself in the heart of the Sin'dorei capitol. A soft metallic grind whines from the door handle as Tirien gently eases off the pressure. It quietly locks shut and he takes what feels like his first breath in years. He even has a moment to appreciate the fine quality of the door and the various avian engravings carved into --- “You have five seconds to either leave or explain yourself before I adorn my door with your corpse.” A Sin’dorei Magistrate, short and lithe and in comfortable robes as red as the sunset, announces in a shrill, commanding, and distinctly feminine voice. Tirien turns, only to stare down the length of a sword wreathed in magical fire and then to the Sin'dorei holding it. If the situation were any different, he has a mind to ask this fiery lady what her favorite drink is and what she’d like for breakfast. Slowly, hands raising, Tirien burns the first three seconds of his allotted time in this fantasy and stands. “Answerin’ yer newspaper add,” Tirien drawls, “about needin’ a Sneak.” The lie is obvious and the Magistrate looks at him like he’s an idiot. Why is she here, though? He wonders this as the Magistrate's contempt tightens her face about as much as her hair in that bun. Her schedule says she should be at --- Time-zones. Tirien forgot to calculate the timezone difference between Silvermoon and Dalaran and groans with a roll of his eyes. If he could smack his forehead, he would, though the Magistrate and her blade seem happy to oblige his wish. His meeting with the other Elf, Ardyan, replays in his mind as the flames licking the Magistrate's blade intensify. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Mister Forewell?” Ardyan guesses as he approaches the back corner of the Legerdemain Lounge. Seeing as no other Human appears to be here, the gentleman sitting near the bookshelf would then be his contact. Human, born in Westfall, resides in Stormwind, dependable, reliable… All are things that summarize the man who now stands from his seat to offer a friendly hand to shake, as is custom for his kind. Ardyan flicks his eyes up from the extended glove to Tirien’s face and notes the wide, friendly smile the dossier on him warns about. Tirien is, as expected, armored in leathers of dark reds and golds with his identity completely hidden. Excellent. The color scheme in Silvermoon allows for nothing else if one wishes to sneak in. The glint of a dagger’s pommel shines from under the cloak and is something Ardyan keeps note of as he shakes the man’s hand. “Yep. I’m assumin’ yer th’ Ardyan that Siane mentioned?” Tirien looks the Elf up and down and appreciates his smooth and clean taste in clothes. Others of his race tend to be more… flamboyant. The Elf has a sturdy shake too, which gets a tiny nod of respect. At this point, most folks would’ve given away a hint at what’s on their mind but with Ardyan, Tirien suspects the Elf knows this game well enough to hide it. Siane, it seems, has friends in high places seeing as how it’s through Ardyan he’ll be able to perform as she asks and retrieve some files from Silvermoon. “Indeed.” Ardyan makes a lovely smile, Tirien thinks, and distracts him as the Elf retrieves an envelope from his robe. “In here you will find Magistrate Flamewind’s schedule and office location. This should suffice, as anything further would have too great a chance to implicate - “ “Yeah, yeah. It’s more’n enough.” Tirien snatches the envelope from Ardyan’s hand, interrupting the Elf. It gives Tirien a glimpse at something that might get past the Elf’s supreme composure with how it made his eye twitch a little. On any other Elf it would come off as snobbish, but Ardyan somehow makes it cute. “Good. Then our business is concluded.” Ardyan makes a customary bow before departing from the Cafe. Tirien takes a moment and appreciates the Elf’s other ‘assets’ as well as he watches him leave. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Magistrate Flamewind’s incantation snaps his attention out of the reverie. Tirien ducks the oncoming firebolt and rolls to take cover behind a lounge chair. Another firebolt soars overhead, leaving scorch marks on the alabaster painted wall. Flamewind makes a frustrated huff as she waits for Tirien to move. The chair is, after all, her favorite furniture piece to nap on. “Hey now, settle down.” Tirien shuffles to the higher end of the lounge chair. Like it, the room boasts the haughty supremity that is Sin’dorei decor. The modest size of the office is hidden in swaths of red fabric, gaudy portraiture, and bookshelves filled with elegant tomes and scrolls. Tirien awkwardly scoots the lounge chair with him, scratching the floor as he does. The Magistrate enrages. “Do NOT!” She side steps his path, thrusting her hand out to trap Tirien’s feet in a spell of ice. He rolls over the chair in time to dodge. Tirien burns through his precious time as fast as she burns her office space. Incanting another spell, her hand conjures a crystal. It thrums with soft magic and lights up as she begins to speak into it. The crystal hits the floor when a desperate knife, thrown on reflex, sinks into her forearm. Tirien’s face pales seeing his aim for the crystal was off. His record of a clean infiltration goes up in smoke. All bets are off. Terse shouting comes in through the open windows along the breeze. The Magistrate regains her composure and conjures fire under his feet. A column of it sends him up high to the ceiling and sets his cloak ablaze. Perfect. When the cloak lands, two more firebolts pierce the hide, though Tirien is nowhere to be seen. She regains her composure, twisting her eyes to find the man. “Sorry darlin’.” Tirien cups her mouth with a chemical-laced cloth. The Magistrate loses consciousness and slumps in his arms. Using that is something he hates, even as a last resort, but at least she’ll wake up on her lounge chair. Making sure she’s comfortable, Tirien looks to the desk. Heavy footfalls pound closer to the door. Scrambling, Tirien jumps up to get a hold onto a book case. With a heave, he topples the thing in front of the door then gets back to the task at hand. While the guards struggle with the lock, Tirien rummages through the top-most drawers. Magistrate Flamewind, it seems, isn’t as orderly with her private affairs. The drawers are an utter mess, as are the filing cabinets nearby. “How th’ shit can she find anythin’? Gotta be a system here…” He paces around the desk, scanning it and this half of the office to get an idea for how she works. Brinnea’s capture and movement is likely secret, so, keeping documents on that wouldn’t be kept in such an obvious...Wait. Next to Magistrate Flamewind snoozing on the lounge chair is a petite end table with a small letter drawer on the underside. Tirien dashes to it and finds that it’s locked. Feeling under the table for the key, his search yields nothing. As his mind races, he spares a glance to the Magistrate and her robes. Aside her waist are pockets and suddenly his morals are placed in jeopardy. He has to find that key. Surely the Magistrate wouldn’t mind his hands carefully slipping into her pockets, he reasons. “Damn, if Mema caught me doin’ this…Light rest ‘er soul,” He mutters. The outer one, like the table, yields nothing and as he reaches around to search the other, a guardsmen clears his throat at the door. With only the upper half of the guard’s face showing over the fallen bookcase, Tirien remembers that the door swings out, not in. The key falls into his hand as the bookcase crashes down. It sends scrolls and journals scattering over the scarlet and gold rug and buys Tirien a few seconds to open the tiny drawer. Within is a letter bearing the wax seal he’s looking for. That letter has Brinnea’s location in it as well as Tirien’s paych - “I’m doin’ this fer free…” Tirien reminds himself as he draws in a breath. All this trouble for a trusted friend. When the guards close in, he pulls out a smoke bomb. It’s amazing, to him, at how such a small thing will save his blundering ass. The guards cough and sputter as they scour the room, though only a breeze and a groggy Magistrate remain after the wind filters out the smoke.
  20. 2 points
    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.
  21. 1 point
    Been a little while, but I'm geeting new work up. This last one is called 'Choppy', link to image on my site. http://mockrabbitart.wixsite.com/nick-louma/illustration?lightbox=dataItem-je53a60i
  22. 1 point
    The night was cold. All around Thunder Bluff, folks were still active. They gathered, some for early revelry, some for the warmth of friendships. They clustered and they drew together around flickering flames. Like moths. Amietia kept on. One hoof in front of the other. They knew the way on their own. The pattern of rounded paving stones fell away beyond her steps homeward bound. Her mind was free to focus on other things besides the empty tent awaiting her. The Longwalker had disturbed her, of course. She had spent so much time on her own, isolated and cocooned within the solitude of the passing moons that she had forgotten the cold cruelty of the world. It was a bad habit, she supposed. She still felt, niggling at the roots of her mane, guilt at having so abruptly abandoned her duties to her people. It had been her job to be so optimistic. It had been her calling to look through the uncertain mists and know that beyond them somewhere was Light. She was the Seer. A snort exploded from her nose, half composed of impotent fury and dark humor. The Seer who could no longer See. How useless was she? That still did not excuse that young bull for his infuriatingly close-minded ignorance! Purple monkeys indeed! Where was the place for such prejudices anymore? How could such people still cling to their hatreds when the very world in which they lived was so threatened? Was there not enough evil to contend with that they could let go of their own? As always when on this path of thought, the imagery of a cracked skull, bloody and malicious, entered her mind. Grim, it was, and the multifaceted meaning of the word she also found ire in, as had her sister. Silly words. Familiar, the hem of her house crept into view of the ground. Amietia reached for the flap. Hesitated. She could not simply hide forever. This is what her old friend Bombina had been saying so repetitively. Amietia was not hiding. Her hand dropped. She swiveled to one side, taking pleasure in the way her hooves dug divots into the soil right in front of her home, marring the ground. Bombina did not understand. How could the old shaman comprehend? Even Amietia was not sure why she felt so broken. Despite her best attempts to cultivate a relationship with the woman she supposedly once shared a womb with, it was never as if she could pretend they were real sisters. Real twins. That Kerala was gone... why did it matter? What made this time any different than the others? Amietia trailed her fingers along the faded lines of dye decorating the exterior of her abode. Even were it not night, even if An'she shone brightly blazing in direct rays to light up the surface, she had lost the ability to distinguish color. The patterns appeared to her in varying shades of one hue. Gray. The world became gray for her the same day the visions ceased to change. Now there were only two. The colors had leeched, too, from these dreams. In her visions she watched the great tree burn white now, while the dark shapes of familiar people huddled around roots and the flickering light turned darkness at the edge of vision into seething shadowy evils. She looked upon a white stretch of land and down at the pair of gray stone doors. The once-pretty vines were black now, like veins in a dead landscape. And the doors always swung shut. Gray, even in her dreams. She missed rainbows, so. It made Amietia's chosen surname, Greydawn, so entirely funny, didn't it? What was not funny was the certainty that Amietia had seen her sister for the very last time. She felt bereft. Gutted. Something vital was missing, and she didn't know how to cope with the loss. Bombina had been sympathetic at first. Kerala had been absent a suspiciously long time this time. Then when that troll had appeared in Thunder Bluff with Kerala's stick... well all the Skytotem girls had gone to extra lengths in the search for their elusive friend. All of the people represented by the voodoo dolls had turned out to be perfectly fine and unharmed. Except for the staff, Amietia had no reason to connect the troll with her sister, but the coincidence was just too suspicious. As the months passed and no word came from the druid, Amietia became further and further depressed, and her friends no longer argued when she voiced the belief that her sister must be dead. It was hard enough to get up, get dressed, and go outside the quiet confines of her tent, and then when she does and meets one her own shu'halo brothers, that Oenn, who makes her question why she bothered...? Amietia sighed. She followed the pattern, tracing the paintwork and stitches around the tent wall to the backside and the open edge of the bluff. Black night air yawned cold and vast before her, a great void of nothingness that beckoned invitingly.
  23. 1 point
    Syreena watched Symorick as he showed some signs of life, or at least animation. Would it work? He had been a Paladin in life, and she had always thought that Paladins had some protection from things like this. Malkaris did mention that it would make this more difficult. But the Paladin had also been infested with fel, so the Light had failed him at least one point. Maybe the fel had left him corrupted enough that this would work. She studied him, waiting for him to wake up with an equal mixture of anticipation and concern. If this worked, would it be as planned? Would Symorick be docile and obedient as promised, or would he be as dangerous to her in undeath as he was in life? Or maybe he’d be completely mad after being dead for so long, his mind twisted beyond functioning. She could only wait and see, and hope that Malkaris’s skill in necromancy was as good as he claimed. She had no reason to doubt him, really. Although the Grim warlocks were notoriously untrustworthy and self-serving, most of them were also quite skilled at their job. Finally, Symorick suddenly let out a hacking cough and tried to move, fighting to get his joints to work. “And here I was thinking whatever it was wouldn’t work,” Qabian said with a smirk as his attention was drawn to the stirring corpse. “Then I would have had to kill Malkaris,” Syreena answered mildly, without taking her gaze from Symorick. “Necromancy, while not my favorite bag of toys to play with, is the one I’m most proficient in,” Malkaris argued. The ritual had obviously taken its toll on the warlock though. He seemed a bit wobbly on his feet, and his skin was a much paler shade of elf. “If you ever need a new dog, Qabian….” The mage shuddered. “I had one. Once was enough.” Symorick groaned, trying to open his eyes. “What…what is going on?” Syreena crouched over him, urging him to wake up and making sure her patchwork stitched face filled his field of vision before he managed to get his eyes open. “Do you remember me?” “How could I forget your gorgeous face,” he coughed, recognizing her unmistakable visage even through the changes it had undergone since he’d last seen her. Qabian glanced between Syreena and Symorick with a look of confusion. “You broke it,” he stage-whispered to Malkaris, who was confused as well, but also intrigued. “I’m not that out of practice….I think.” Malkaris used his reality ripping staff of destruction and mayhem as a leaning post, clearly tired from what he’d pulled off here. “Good. Because you are mine now,” Syreena informed Symorick. “And as you and your Professor once tried to make me kill my own people, so now you will hunt yours.” “As you wish,” the dead man responded automatically. A look of frustration grew on his face. He carefully examined his body. “What am I? What have you done to me?” “You’re dead, or I guess…undead. Just like a Forsaken.” “And I am to obey you?” “Without question,” Syreena confirmed. “If you resist, you’ll be filled with horrible pain.” She gave Malkaris a brief nod as he wearily took his leave. “And what if I were to try and kill you?” Symorick inquired. “You can’t. You missed your chance to torture and kill me years ago. You don’t get to do it now. You’re bound to me now.” Syreena grinned cruelly. “Now it’s my turn to torture you.” “You know nothing of torture,” Symorick stated. He actually laughed at her. “Then you will teach me,” she informed him. “Using yourself as the subject.” “I thought this was torture?” “Is it? How does it feel? A former Paladin, Scarlet…now you’re Forsaken.” “It…I feel like I lost something,” he admitted. “I can no longer hear the Light’s call.” “Good.” Syreena didn’t tell him she intended for him to be reacquainted with the Light again very soon. “You will hunt and kill Alliance every day. And once a day, you’ll report to the Grim guild hall to tell me how many you’ve killed.” Symorick nodded, but Syreena continued. “All Alliance. None are spared. Especially not the Aegis or the Empire, should you see any of them.” “That was easy,” Qabian said with a smirk at the new undead. Symorick looked at the elf, seeming to just notice him there. Syreena saw the look and issued further orders. “No hunting, hurting, or killing any Grim. Or any Horde, for that matter…except Sanctuary.” “I have lost everything twice in my life—friends family, and the Light," Symorick told her. "I need not a third chance, but I feel compelled…” “I don’t care what you lost,” Syreena hissed at him hatefully. “I nearly lost myself because of you and your friends.” “My ‘friends’ left me to die in the hands of demons. There is no love there any longer.” “Here’s a secret,” Qabian said with amusement. “There never was any.” “is that why you had so much fel in you…” Syreena mused. “I was possessed by some dreadlord, a passenger in my own body.” “I feel sorry for the dreadlord.” Syreena sneered. “I imagine he is dead, if I was buried, so I do too,” Symorick said. “A shame I had no hand in it.” “I’m glad it killed you.” Syreena thought a moment, then added, “Though I also regret it wasn’t me that killed you.” “Is that why you didn’t leave it in the ground?” Qabian asked. Syreena didn’t answer him, but thought sometimes the elf was too perceptive for his own good. “The Alliance heads will be yours, Syreena," Symorick promised. "Please do leave the method to me. I prefer to make it last. It has been quite a long time since I have tortured anyone.” “Do as you please with the Alliance. And with Sanctuary, if you catch any of them. Just save any elf ears for me.” “Of course,” Symorick said with a chuckle. “If this fails, and he leads some charge of filth to our doorstep, we kill Malkaris?” Qabian suggested to Syreena. The rogue considered and then nodded; the warlock would be a suitable scapegoat should this go badly. “How long have I been dead?” Symorick asked. Syreena pointed to the dates on the gravestone. “Geo is dead too, and I have the Shard.” Syreena briefly considered giving the Shard to Symorick, not even knowing that the girl once tried to use her influence to put Syreena herself into the former Inquisitor’s hands. “He was a fool, blind and careless,” Symorick said of Geo. “The others are smart and will be well hidden.” “That’s what they always think,” Qabian said. “If you ever find them, kill Morg quick if you want, but Marrus….. Make him suffer a slow and horrible death.” Bitterness laced her tone as she spoke of the professor. “Well, get to work. Unless Qabian has further business with you. I have work to do.” “Risky business, taking an enemy out of the ground. But I did it once, and she never did turn,” Qabian said to Syreena when she bid him goodnight. She made a mental note to ask him about that later. Then the mage turned to the undead man. “Go kill them all.” As Syreena took her leave, part of her was pleased to have a new tool for the Mandate that seemed to eager to kill her enemies. Another part of her felt cheated out of seeing him suffer. She'd expected him to hate his new self, or resist killing his former guildmates. Well, there were other ways to make him suffer, she assured herself.
  24. 1 point
    I've never had to spend much time with Awatu. Not that I had to spend much time with previous leaders, either, but it was occasionally forced on me. What few impressions of him I have are gentle and soft-spoken, stereotypical Tauren qualities. I've also seen him stubborn enough to be immobile once he has a notion in his head, so I've never had a reason to question his fitness for the role. Now I know he's completely insane and fits here perfectly. In the past, they've preferred deference, demanded it even. If you won't lick my boots, I'll crush you into the dirt and force you. Metaphorically, usually, but certainly by demanding your pride, rather than by simply pummeling your face. But they were always human corpses, not Tauren. Yichimet once tried to teach me something. He ended up... giving up. To this day I have no idea what he was trying to convey. Perhaps I'm simply ill-equipped to understand them. Somehow bowing angers the Commander. I... What? Why? I wasn't kneeling. I wasn't prostrating. I wasn't grovelling. I wasn't going overboard. I wasn't doing anything untoward. It was a gesture of respect. And for that, I should be punished? All right then. Perhaps he actually took offense to me telling him he was wrong. Because he was. I have never had this position. I began interviewing potentials shortly after I completed my own interview, yes, but I was never in charge. I was never in charge of anything beyond mages. They tried to force me to take charge of other people, other things, yes, but this position is not one I had. Poor dear, he was incorrect. Better beat the person informing him of the truth, yes? He accused me of mocking him. That... I was not doing, but I was -- still am, to a degree -- extremely amused, not by his words or even the situation, but by the sheer lunacy of trust, so I can admit my tone may have sounded much like mockery indeed. How am I not supposed to find this funny? I acknowledge it might be difficult to separate the fact that I find anyone asking for my help hilarious from the possibility that I believe he's inferior. On the contrary, while everyone is inferior, he is certainly less inferior than most. However, I acknowledge true subservience to no one and nothing, shu'halo nor sin'dorei, and yet I'm very good at making the pretence whenever necessary. What's the difference between pretence and actual subservience? I suppose that's for them to decide. My very reliability is itself a falsehood, but if I exercise it long enough, does it matter? Perhaps all of my time will be spent biding, but that doesn't make me hate them any less. Syreena said I was being "elfy." Exactly how am I supposed to prevent that? Does that mean he prefers corpse-like stiffness in his communications? Perhaps he prefers acknowledgment in the form of salutes? I'm sure whatever he prefers, he prefers it without the smug, barely stifled laughter that I certainly had, and that I can certainly avoid in the future. Further elfiness, however, that's an inevitable part of the package. I'd rather not continue to be pummeled for it, but maybe that's just going to be part of the job. I'll certainly endeavor to avoid it as much as possible, but I'm not going to die to be rid of who I am, or sacrifice my remaining ear to play human, sew my eyes shut and go back to Stormwind. I'll take the bruises if I must. Syreena said she wasn't simply repaying my favor, but some part of me resists that. We'll see, I suppose. And I had my revenge by making her my second, which perhaps means I now owe her, not that I've ever cared about repaying debts. I owed Acherontia rather a lot. I don't believe I ever repaid her anything. I am rather glad to see the game with Syreena's girl is over, at least my part of it. Unfortunately, other games remain. I'm not sure that hers was a good payment, at any rate. Yes, I have a taste for power, and if this were nothing more than decisions on worthiness, it would be power, but to me this is less power and more control. I dislike controlling others. If that were the kind of thing that appealed to me, I would have been a warlock when we were still allied with the humans. However, there are significant positive aspects to this opportunity, especially in terms of position and influence, despite Awatu's insistence I not treat this as a game of lords and ladies, as though nobility are any different than anyone else. And the truth remains that my intentions toward the Grim are absolutely to further its strength. In that respect, perhaps I am what is needed. I am capable enough of coping with those who have already made it this far, that much is true, but I wonder if I am at all capable of making new connections. I went to one of the dozens of Hallow's End celebrations around this time of year and it took all my willpower not to roll my eyes and shout them all down as morons, nevermind actually striking up conversation of any sort. It will be a challenge, at any rate, and that can only make me better. I hope.
  25. 1 point
    This is a guide on how to use addons to make your UI work for you, so that you can optimize your gameplay. Now, this is meant to help, not shame. You don’t have to feel bad if you don’t want to use addons, even if lots of people say they’re great. If you like these ideas, and the idea of putting in the time to learn them appeals to you, great. If not, don’t let it ruin the fun you’re having. Got it? Then let’s begin! The base UI you’re presented with when you first start the game is... sufficient. You have all the information there that you need. Your health, your target, your buffs and debuffs, members of your group or raid, your action bars, your minimap... And you can customize it to an extent. You can make it show target of target, buffs/debuffs on target or group members, extra action bars, etc. Some people get by just fine using the base UI; some even excel with it. But I am of the strong belief that customizing your UI can give you an edge, and if the huge selection of mods (a.k.a. addons) out there indicates anything, I’m far from the only one! Of course, having your UI altered takes getting used to. You have to unlearn reflexes and train yourself to take input differently. For many people, that’s a turn-off, and something they just don’t want to bother with, though there are rewards in the end. Mods also require learning how to actually implement them – how to install them, what all the terminology means, and how to configure their options. But fear not! I’m here to help! And you can start off small, and add things over time. Or, you can go for a mod pack, which are collections that overhaul the UI entirely for you, and which are designed to take the strain of learning how to configure mods off. Let’s talk about both options. Mod Packs There are several highly recommended mod packs out there. One of the most popular is ElvUI, which several very skilled players I know use (such as my husband, after grudgingly giving up the vanilla UI after some 8 years). Mods packs generally have all the addons preconfigured in a pleasing and helpful way, and some, such as ElvUI, even walk you through a couple of options you can set yourself. If you want to dive right into a fully customized UI, an option that is surprisingly easy and pleasant, I would recommend starting with ElvUI (tukui.org). Another popular option is SpartanUI (spartanui.net) if you want to check out how both look. Individual Mods Alternatively, you can tweak one thing at a time in your UI. A lot of people like to start out with one change – improved unitframes, for example. Those would be the player icon, target icon, party member icons, etc. You can make them look much cooler, such as with 3D models and nicer borders. Or maybe you want to have more action buttons, and in a more compact style. You can do that with an action bar mod. In this fashion, you can slowly add things to your UI as you get comfortable with them, and build a custom UI exactly to your liking. The rest of this guide will cover individual mods. If something piques your interest, try it out!