Julilee

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Everything posted by Julilee

  1. Julilee's Journal

    A week ago It’s been weeks but I still find myself thinking about it. Naheal. How could he just show up at my doorstep with the slate wiped clean, completely ignorant of everything he’d done? I don’t care if it’s unfair to him, whatever version of him that was, it makes me angry. Especially suggesting as he did that he found the things the Naheal that we all knew did objectionable. Like he wouldn’t do the same under the same circumstances. He is him. And as far back as when we were children he always had this in him. It took me a long time to realize, and longer to understand, but he always did. In any case, I made clear that I wasn’t interested in having him in my life again. He left. I haven’t heard anything since. But now I feel on edge about it. I thought he was gone. I mean, I knew he’d been called back to service with the Bronze Dragonflight, and that didn’t mean gone gone. But... more gone than this. Whatever this maddening state of events is. Hopefully nothing will change, though. Kex’ti said he needed to go to Argus. He’d been staying out of action for awhile. I told him of course I wouldn’t stand in his way. I would never ask him to stop fighting, regardless of his health. He wouldn’t ask me either. As I told him before we went to the swamp... It’s not likely we’re going to live to a ripe old age anyway, not with the conflicts Azeroth regularly sees. We both hope for the best after the Legion is defeated, and we hope the Legion will be defeated, but for now, live like there’s no tomorrow, because there may not be. I’ve been busy working with Shokkra to track and outmaneuver Karthok. I’ve made a plan with Gunheya from Coldstar to free the demon hunter who has Accalia’s power from his grasp. Her name is Kalisto, and Gunheya seems sure she’ll be on our side once she’s freed. I just need to identify a time I’m sure she’ll be away from Karthok, as we learned from Twilight Empire’s excursion into Tirisfal that he definitely sends her away at times to accomplish things for him. Careless. Or maybe just arrogant. Or maybe he has a plan. He probably expects us to strike at him, though, not her. I’m betting a lot on this, but it’s vital. Karthok is nearly unstoppable with Accalia’s power on top of his other powers from the fel and the Old Gods, not to mention all his resources... We’ll do it. We have to. Sanctuary has been working a lot with Twilight Empire and Night Vanguard to counter Karthok. There have been others too who have been willing to help, like Rhaen, Kejala, and Yocelyn. Sanctuary isn’t the only place where there are people willing to make sacrifices for the good of others. I’ve never forgotten that, but it’s always heartening to see. I still haven’t told Shokkra about my plans for her. Right now she’s doing great dealing with the Karthok problem. I’m not sure she’ll understand. But if nothing else, after this, she needs a break. This might be the only thing keeping her going, but that’s not healthy. She needs to find the will within herself to be the person she wants to be. I wish more people would see in her what I do. It affects her more than she lets on when people dislike her or write her off. Who wouldn’t it affect, really? Heroes in stories aside, no one is really capable of believing in themselves if no one else does. Everyone has to start somewhere, a parent, a best friend, a lover. Someone to give them that seed of hope that they can then nurture into self-esteem. I’m trying to encourage her, but she has to take heart in it. I can’t do that for her. Lots of thoughts to gather. I think I’m doing okay handling everything. There was awhile where I doubted my ability to handle it all. Losing Taozhu... almost put me back there. I still miss him so much. He had been with me, with Sanctuary, through thick and thin. But now I’m just more determined to end Karthok. There will be no mercy. He has proven unworthy of it. The world has proven we can’t afford to give him any. For Taozhu, for Kanda, for everyone he’s hurt, he will pay.
  2. Julilee's Journal

    I returned Vilmah's journals to her... and after last night, it seems appropriate to start keeping my own. Sanctuary has risen. I wasn't the only one who believed justice should never die. And it never truly did -- Vilmah and Nojinbu were still fighting for it all along, even when Garrosh sought their lives. Compared to them, I am a mere initiate. Less, really... I already had no accomplishments to my name, no hardship under my belt. Except, now, for last night's endeavors. We met at the Blasted Lands base camp, as Nojinbu indicated. He was prepared to give orders, to lead the charge. But then Saphiara spoke up. I don't know, yet, her entire history with the guild, why she said what she did then, but she was right. I was the one who raised Sanctuary's banner. It fell to me to lead. And I told Nojinbu what I intended, and he accepted it. Several other members of the Horde who were at the base camp decided to join us. I organized the group, and we headed to the Red Portal. We came in too close, and were met with hostility. But then I had a chance to approach them under a flag of truce. I had expected... to be able to say my piece, at least. If nothing else, it would be a fair warning to this Iron Horde that Azeroth would not be an easy conquest. A show of strength and confidence. I'm no fool; I knew they were not here to make friends. But they just laughed and pulled me down before I had done more than announced my intentions. The others came, but so did ranks upon ranks of the Iron Horde. We were forced to retreat, barely escaping. I have never come so close to losing my life. It was a sobering experience. But not one that dimmed our will. We recouped, and I decided that we should return for a second strike, unexpected on the heels of the disastrous first. Some, including myself, were still injured, but none shirked the task. And the second foray was successful. We drove them back, routing nearly the entire camp. We let their dragonriders go, to bring word back to their superiors. There was much to discuss that evening. Between their armaments, Garrosh's escape on the back of a bronze dragon, and the presence of a younger Warlord Zaela at the portal, it seemed highly likely these Iron Horde came from some sort of alternate timeline. But much of the how, and the why, we cannot even begin to speculate on yet. At the end, Vilmah told me I was brave. I told her it was no less than she would have done. She agreed, if wryly. And then she and Nojinbu took up Sanctuary's banner one more. A wrong has been righted, I think. At least, it is begun to be. Later that evening, five more came to the banner, including the entire remaining regiment of the Order of Eversong. This after two joined earlier that day, before the assault. Sanctuary is now truly a force to be reckoned with again. I have promoted a number of officers to assist me, first among them Kargron, with Nojinbu and Vilmah of course holding honored positions, and Cerryan from the Order as well having proven himself. As our ranks grow, I may find more whom I can trust deeply. I am Julilee Liene of Sanctuary, and while I would not say I fear nothing... there is nothing I would not face for justice. For the Horde. And for Sanctuary.
  3. [ H ] Sanctuary

    Sanctuary and friends are 9/9 N ToS and 4/9 H ToS with more to come. We have two raid nights a week, with one focused on progression and the other on alts or prior expansion raids. In addition, many members run Mythic+ groups and other in-game activities. Meanwhile, there continues to be RP every day on Discord. Speak to any member or an officer if you're interested in joining!
  4. Horde RP Guild, Twisting Nether ~ Originally Founded 3-30-2006 Sanctuary was a storied guild, once. Its embrace of justice and peace for everyone, regardless of race or faction, made it respected by some and despised by others. But after Garrosh came to power, there was no room left in the new Horde for such ideals. Under the hostile regime, Sanctuary's members were hunted until the guild was a hollow, smoking ruin. Some of its former members managed to go underground, carrying on their cause, but by the time Garrosh was deposed, the guild was remembered only in hushed whispers. Then, the banner was bravely raised by a young newcomer. Members old and new took it up in an unprecedented revival. Since then, Sanctuary's tabard is once again worn, albeit slightly changed: its hammer has become a phoenix. Upholding the principles of justice and peace in a dangerous world still brings its share of controversy, but Sanctuary stands resolute in the face of doubt. While supporting the Horde's operations, Sanctuary also works to counter any threats that rise to the world, above all safeguarding the innocent – whether from those who would take advantage of them, or from those who believe none are innocent. The Vows Peace: I will not initiate hostilities. Justice: I will react with force only to defend the innocent, or in fair, consensual combat. Mercy: I will respond to hostility with the least amount of force required. Sacrifice: I will forgive mistakes, insults, and injuries to my person for the sake of peace, justice, and mercy. Please contact Julilee-TwistingNether, Kexti-Ravenholdt, Vilmah-TwistingNether, Cerryan-TwistingNether, Baern-Ravenholdt, or Arahe-Ravenholdt for more information or an in-character interview.
  5. Mardalius strolled out into the gardens. They were beautifully manicured, and glowing lampposts illuminated the area very well, growing brighter as the sun finished setting. The warm later afternoon was turning into a sultry evening that continued to be pleasant for outdoor socialization. Right outside the side exit from the ballroom was an open area where tables had been set up with food and drink, where most of the guests who were outside were milling, and several paths wound off through taller hedges and statuary arrangements. To one side there appeared to be a cleared space that, if Mardalius wasn’t mistaken, appeared to be reserved for duels, judging by the two attendants with cases standing nearby. He straightened his coat and looked around, considering where to begin and scrutinizing the area for illusions, only to be accosted immediately. “You! Boy! Are you an Anterius?!” It was a human man who called out to him, squinting at the sigil on Mardalius’ coat. Appearing to be an old soldier, the man wore traditional Stormwind military dress attire with his medals pinned to his chest and the rank of General on his collar. His hair was cut clean and short, his beard trimmed for the occasion, though he didn’t look too excited to be there. A younger man who could only be his son stood beside him. With a large beard, the sides and back of his hair shaved to keep a short cut on top, proud leonine features and a muscular build, the younger man embodied the image of the perfect Alliance soldier. It was enough to make the elven-tending Mardalius feel slightly inadequate. Nonetheless, he approached confidently. “Yes, sir. I’m Mardalius, Margoz Anterius’ son,” he said with a bow. “I take it you know my father?” “Comrades for as long as it lasts in times like these.” He extended his hand. “Josef Morozov, Son of Lothar.” The younger man stepped forward. “And this is my son, Ivan.” Mardalius took Josef’s hand firmly, shaking it briefly, then Ivan’s. “A pleasure to meet you both. I can’t help but notice your rank and honors, General. A prestigious career, and your son seems poised to follow in your footsteps.” “He’s a damn good soldier, sure as hell better than I ever was.” Josef grins, clapping his son on the back. Ivan just nodded politely and said, with gravitas, “Thank you, I’ve only done what I’ve felt was right for the Alliance.” “Sometimes, all it takes is the right man, in the right place, at the right time,” Mardalius said with a companionable smile. “Would you gentlemen care to join me for a glass of wine?” He beckoned them along as he started towards the wine table. It seemed to him that getting to know these two better couldn’t hurt. “Wouldn’t mind a couple. Get the taste of Horde air from my mouth,” Josef grunted. Mardalius choose one of the impressive wines on display on the table and procured three glasses. Once all three men had their drinks, he raised his glass. “To House Morozov, and House Anterius. May glory and honor shine on both.” The other men concurred, and Mardalius drank, savoring the wine for a moment before deciding where to go with the conversation. “So, what brings two honored Alliance soldiers to a Shal’dorei wedding, especially one attended by so many members of the Horde?” “I insisted my father come. It’s time he added more temperament to his life than his hate,” Ivan said. He turned to begin strolling, and the other two followed, Josef with a snort. “They took too much from me to make it up now. Nothing the Horde could do to redeem themselves, especially after getting King Wrynn killed.” Mardalius smiled agreeably, but stated none of his own opinions. “I see. And what of Argus? The last I heard, that was a joint operation. Some things are too big, too important for Azeroth to be divided on. Surely, General, there is some way the Horde could find redemption.” As they walked, he let his gaze move around them, ostensibly admiring the scenery, but in reality on the lookout for illusions. However, nothing was not as it seemed, including the two men with whom he conversed. The gardens were innocuous. “I’ll rely on the Army of the Light and my own soldiers for that, they’re preparing for it as we speak. Trusting the Horde to put their faith in the Light, or the Illidari…” Josef shook his head and took another sip as they continued strolling. “The heathens that created warlocks and death knights are not trustworthy creatures.” “I think you would find that the Horde today is very different from those of old, the likes that created Gorefiend.” Mardalius sipped his wine before continuing, “And what of the Shal’dorei? Are they trustworthy, General?” Josef wiped his mouth and turned down a path away from the hedges, into a slightly less maintained area of the gardens. There was a shed up ahead, and the path curved back around to the party area. “They’re dangerous, but Thalryssa and her advisors are good people. So long as she keeps her people in check, they’re fine in my book.” It didn’t sound like much motivation for disrupting a wedding, but Mardalius kept probing to be sure. “I see. Are you gentlemen acquainted with the groom, to have been invited this evening? He appeared to be a military man.” “We are,” Ivan said. He tucked the back of his suit down as though he were used to something being there. “We worked with him to quell the loyalist resistance.” Near the shed there appeared to be an exit from the gardens that looked like it was used by staff rather than guests. Mardalius began to wonder why they had brought him this direction. “A servant’s entrance? I hope this means one of you paid off a man to sneak in some good Lordaeron bourbon.” Both of them followed his gaze as though they hadn’t realized it was there. “Thought this was the way to the bathrooms…” Josef grunted. Ivan paused by the entrance, beside the shed. There were several boxes there that looked recently deposited. It was his father, however, who moved over and opened one to see what was inside. The old soldier took out a small bottle and sniffed it, then said, “Shit.” The scent wafted toward Mardalius from the open box. He smelled something he recognized from his father’s collection – a common kind of poison, one that had a strong scent, but no flavor. It could be put in aromatic food or drink and go undetected. There was another scent, too, he couldn’t quite place. He moved forward to open another box. “A dagger?” he said as he found one that had been left behind. “How did these things get smuggled past the guards?” He began looking around intently, sure something was going on. “Might’ve gotten paid off, might’ve killed ’em.” Josef said. He took out a rag and sniffed it. “Smells like oil for crossbow strings.” “We should probably tell security. We could prevent a tragedy, gentlemen.” He no longer believed the men were up to something. They seemed as disturbed by the find as he. Ivan nodded, lightly pulling his father up from the boxes. “You’re right. I’ll go alert security. Father, you go back to the gardens so it doesn’t look suspicious.” He looked to Mardalius. “You should go tell your friends about this.” It seemed Sanctuary’s presence here hadn’t gone unnoticed. “Indeed,” Mardalius said. “You gentlemen stay safe; the Legion likely has targets painted on your backs for the work you did digging them out of Suramar.” He headed back toward the ballroom to find Julilee.
  6. Julilee stepped out of the portal and looked around. It promised to be a beautiful evening, the late afternoon sun imbuing the normally twilit-hued Suramarian landscape with a warmer tone. The Valmont Estate where she had arrived was built on the outskirts of Suramar City to allow for a sizable building footprint and easy access to hunting grounds, and it was plain to see that no expense was spared for the Valmont family home. At the end of a wooded path stood a gilded gate, flanked by guards in ornate regalia, and beyond that rose the manor, several stories tall. Lights blazed from all around the grounds and music could be faintly heard playing. Other guests were arriving via portals, mounts, or other forms of transportation, all of them dressed as formally as Julilee and her companions. Aaren stepped through the portal moments after she did, also pausing to take in the sight. “Thank you, Mardalius,” Julilee said. She tried to keep a scowl off her face as she smoothed down her dress. The fabric was so thin and she felt distinctly uncomfortable without her armor or weapons. It seemed every time she put on a dress, someone tried to stab her, and with what she knew about tonight’s agenda, it seemed almost guaranteed. The one practical thing she’d been able to get away with was calf-high boots with sensible, sturdy heels. Her dress was purple satin, with a textured and an off-the-shoulder top, and slit to mid-thigh on the left side of the skirt. It was a simple but highly tasteful style, far less ostentatious than some Sin’dorei get-ups, for certain, but she had never cared for all of that. And of everything she had to worry about this evening, her appearance was very low in priority besides. “So these are the idiots we’re saving from their own idiocy?” Aaren remarked. The other Sin’dorei female’s gown was one Julilee hadn’t seen her wear before. Long and flowing, it was a very deep blue. The sleeves were made of, and bottom third of the skirts were decorated with, lace of the same color. A gold sash was tied around her waist, and a matching gold scarf wrapped around her head, tied in an elegant knot at the side of her neck. Mardalius, the third member of their party, closed the portal and took a moment to fix his hair, ensuring his auburn ponytail was perfectly centered and that the twin locks on either side were exactly where they were supposed to be. The half-Thalassian, half-human had forsaken his robes in exchange for something far more elegant this evening: A silver silk coat and form-fitting pants, both trimmed with deep blue accents and bound with a dyed blue leather belt. The sigil of House Anterius was embroidered in purple on the left of his breast, a shield bearing a stylized “A”. His boots, also dyed deep blue, came to the middle of his calf. Julilee spotted Shokkra waiting up by the gate. Clad in a fitted black military-style suit with red accents, the orc smoked a cigar while she waited for the rest of the guests from Sanctuary to arrive. The emaciated warrior still maintained her height advantage over many of the partygoers, a fact she likely took no small amount of joy in. Even if she was deprived of every inch of muscle in her once-perfect physique, she still had her height. Her ashen hair had been cut and styled cleanly, and the light of the cigar limned the savage scar that ran up the side of her face. She waved when she saw them. “Let’s head in. We can split up and mingle inside,” Julilee said. When they got to the gate, a night elf who had reached it just before them – appearing out of a blue mist – was apparently arguing with the guards about being allowed to take in her staff, which had appeared with her. Julilee caught snippets of the conversation as she passed her invitation over to the other guard, who inspected it and her companions, holding a wand over them to detect threats. Shokkra joined them, puffing on her cigar. “You want a mage to conjure this much catering without a tool to amplify their magic? Honest question. I can do it, but it will be far more dangerous to the people around me. Banning a staff from the event does nothing to prevent myself from using magic to harm people if I wished to harm people,” the night elf was arguing. She wore an elaborate gown in gradients of blue and purple, accented with cerulean gemstones which matched her long hair. “The hall has been warded to disable the use of magic,” the guard said dismissively. “Staff.” He held out his hand. “No weapons inside.” “Kitchen workers are expendable anyway,” snickered the guard who was inspecting the Sanctuary party. Satisfied that none of them were carrying weapons, he handed the invitation back over and allowed them to pass through. Mardalius’ eyes had widened at hearing the hall was warded. They’d anticipated it, but hoped not; now their hopes were dashed. “Julilee,” he muttered, “I’ve never been without my magic and my sword.” Julilee put her hand on his arm as they moved past, murmuring back to him. “It’s not exactly ideal, but hopefully we won’t miss either of them.” She was thinking about what their guard had said. The words were concerning, but Julilee had heard nobility express worse sentiments about lower classes, and wasn’t surprised to hear more of the same in Suramar. Briefly, she was distracted by the fact that Mardalius smelled like cinnamon. Who wore food-scented cologne? They entered an enclosed courtyard where some of the guests had stopped to talk amongst themselves. A grand fountain sat in the middle of it before a massive set of stairs leading up to the manor doors, with a smaller staircase on either side moving to a balcony. A lit path carved around the side of the manor to the rear, where it seemed the ceremony would be taking place. Guests continued to arrive. Without comment, Aaren split off to go mingle the guests, which from Juli’s observation appeared to mean walking up to them and inspecting them intently, but she didn’t question Aaren’s methods. Shokkra eyed the crowds derisively and moved off to the side to continue enjoying her cigar. Julilee and Mardalius lingered in the open area, observing what they could. “It seems overzealous, if you ask me. They have their reasons though,” came a voice from behind them, by the gate. Someone was talking to the night elf who had grudgingly dissipated her staff to be allowed to enter. Both Julilee and Mardalius reacted to the voice, Mardalius blanching, and Julilee spinning around. “Sorel Crescentsong. You are?” the second, male, night elf continued. Sorel wore ceremonial Kal’dorei garb, a rich, light blue haori tucked into dark blue hakama, tied with a white himo, with tabi over his feet, and zori sandals slipped into them. The night elf to whom he spoke sighed and looked him over before launching into a long-winded rant. “Niala Moonthorn. They call it overzealous. I call it having no clue what a mage can do to harm partygoers without stepping foot in that hall, let alone what a Sentinel can do barehanded. Half the people at this party are capable of killing countless people with their bare hands. They let me in and the moment I get to the kitchen, I can just... teleport it right back to my side. It’s like those guards are somehow the only two Nightborne in Suramar with no concept of what magic is and does. Now I have to conjure arcwine and this massive cake without a focus. Their kitchen is going to get trashed during the arcwine process.” Sorel, bemused, turned as he saw Julilee’s approach during the latter half of this. “My apologies for your situation,” he said to Niala. “It could be a lot worse, though. Speaking of…” He bowed to Julilee. “Hello, Liene.” Looking past her, he saw Mardalius and his expression changed to a glare. Julilee had no interest in either Niala’s peeve or the drama between Sorel and Mardalius right then. She took Sorel by the arm, and, without the slightest pause for explanation, hauled him off to the side of the courtyard with her. He just blinked and didn’t resist. Once they were there, positioned by the wall where they could speak privately, she let go and said to him, “Thank the Light you’re here.” “Why are you so excited that I’m here?” he asked blankly, completely thrown by the display. “Karthok,” Julilee hissed. “He’s planning something for this. I tried to tell them, but they insisted their protections were good enough and they wouldn’t cancel it. They wouldn’t even let me station more guards here, or bring in weapons! I don’t know what Karthok is planning, exactly, but we need to figure it out in time to stop it.” Sorel visibly tensed. “I have my radio still, but most of my men are still on Argus, and Mardalius’ father and adoptive mother are in Stormwind getting married.” “They wouldn’t let anyone else in anyway, without an invitation,” Julilee said. She swiped her hair back in frustration. Being so short, it wasn’t really styled anyway, though she had at least put on some makeup. Her appearance remained one of furthest things from her mind at the moment, however. “Just keep your eyes open, all right? Anything weird at all... Anyone acting suspiciously.... Don’t start a scene, you won’t be any help if you get thrown out or attract any attention, but if you can figure out what’s going on, so we can get evidence to show the guards, then we can foil whatever Karthok has planned.” Niala had moved forward to where Mardalius was standing. “What’s with them?” she asked curiously, looking toward Sorel and Julilee. Mardalius had been looking toward Sorel with shame plain on his face, but he started when Niala approached him. “I’m not sure,” he said cautiously. “There is a formal treaty between Sanctuary and the Night Vanguard, which Sorel heads. Might be something concerning that.” Back over at the wall, Sorel nodded at Julilee. “Right. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open. Sentinels are good at that.” “Everyone!” a crier announced above the mingling. “The wedding will be beginning soon! Please make your way to the seating area at the back of the manor!” He pointed to the lit path leading around the side of the building to the rear. Julilee started to step away, then paused. Everyone in the courtyard seemed to be pairing up for the entrance into the wedding ceremony area. Shokkra had found Aaren, who had taken the orc’s arm and was proceeding with her head held high. There was a draenei and a Nightborne couple nearby, gliding onward elegantly. And a tall demon hunter was being escorted by a blood elf with a leg brace. Reflexively, Julilee looked back at Sorel, not because she wanted him to offer an arm, but because he might. He seemed to observe the same thing, running a hand over his face and groaning quietly, then offered his arm. She was of noble enough lineage to handle this gracefully. Without comment, she took his arm and let him lead her to the ceremony. *****
  7. The wedding director, whom Shokkra had somehow identified, appeared to be fawning over a bard at the edge of the dance floor, an area where some additional mingling was happening. At least Aaren guessed the person the director was fawning over was a bard because of the heavy instrument case slung over her shoulder. Both were Nightborne, and exceptionally good-looking ones. If you liked that type. Aaren watched for awhile, until the two parted ways, and the director turned to look over the dance floor. The bride and the groom were taking their turn in a carefully choreographed piece with artfully romantic string music played by a host of other bards who were set up on the stage at the back of the room. The stage was almost unnoticeable, a small raised area about half-height to and directly across from the lofted banquet area, above the doorway everyone had come in through from the ceremony, but Aaren paid attention to such things. The director’s name was Laerye, or so Shokkra had told her. She had long hair arranged in three braids, looped elaborately. And she watched the bridal couple. Since Aaren was observing closely, she noticed that when the dance ended, the bride shot the director a strange glance before announcing she was going to go freshen up and departing for upstairs. It could mean anything, but it could also mean one thing. Aaren approached the director after that and offered one of the glasses of sparkling wine. “You’ve certainly outdone yourself. A beautiful union and ceremony. You are the director, yes? I am looking to begin planning my own wedding.” Laerye, the director, chuckled as she let her gaze drift lazily over the priestess. She took the offered glass and drank. “Shame to see one like you settling down,” she said. “Oh, I never settle, down or otherwise,” Aaren replied. “But there are reasons to get married besides that, no? I’m sure this bride and groom are similar in that way.” Laerye’s mouth twisted. “Of course,” she said. “Nobility.” She tossed back the rest of the glass then looked Aaren up and down again, this time with a more jaded, if still shameless, kind of eye, as she put her glass down on a nearby surface. “Would you care for a dance? The floor seems to have cleared up for a few more couples.” Aaren took a last sip of her glass and set it aside. She offered her hand with a smile. “That would be lovely, dear.” Laerye effortlessly took the lead as they stepped out onto the floor, joined by several others as the music began again. A waltz was a waltz in any culture and Aaren moved nimbly enough to more than keep up. Laerye’s lips curved in approval. “It’s good to see our distant cousins still know how to dance,” she says. “I’d go so far as to say we’d perfected it,” Aaren said, with disguising blandness meant to be seen right through, which Laerye did. The director grinned in approval. “So do you want help with your wedding? Or something before that?” Laerye said. Several minutes later, Laerye had gotten them past the guards and into a room on the upper level. Aaren paused inside the doorway as Laerye moved over to the mantle for a glass decanter. “Now what would Celene think of this?” Aaren said daringly. Laerye snorted. “You’ve heard of how she dumped me to marry Gaspard, then? She’d be in a tizzy if she heard about me sneaking up here with a blood elf in the middle of her wedding.” She smirked as she poured them two glasses. Aaren stepped inside, letting the door close behind her. “But what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her,” Laerye concluded, holding one of the glasses out. Aaren moved forward to take the glass, cupping it in both hands. It smelled of peat, like the stuff Juli drank. “What else doesn’t she know?” Aaren inquired. Laerye stepped up to Aaren, touching her glass to the other woman’s with a soft clink. “A lot of things,” she said, and drank. Aaren followed suit. The stuff was bitter, but she was used to it. “Since I’m just going to be a one-night stand, you should tell me, and I’ll tell you a secret,” Aaren said. Laerye looked at her speculatively. “Is there something I should tell you?” she says. “Or are you better off not knowing, too?” “I’m sure I could handle anything you’re capable of doing,” Aaren said, drinking some more from the glass. Laerye’s lips parted in a grin. “I wouldn’t be so sure.” The booze was starting to hit Aaren, and it was hitting hard. Too hard, actually. “Shit,” she muttered. “I like your style, beautiful, so I’ll leave you alive. But you can’t be allowed to interfere with tonight.” The glass dropped out of Aaren’s hand, hitting the carpet with a thunk, and she almost followed suit except that Laerye caught her. As darkness swallowed her, she heard Laerye say, “Such a shame, you seemed like such fun…”
  8. Sitting through the ceremony while trying to keep Mardalius and Sorel focused on the Karthok threat and not each other had not been fun. Once the ceremony was over, the three of them had decided to split up. Julilee would go up to the banquet area, Sorel would stay down in the ballroom area, and Mardalius would go out to the gardens which was another designated milling area for guests during the reception. Julilee wasn’t sure where Shokkra and Aaren had disappeared to in the crowd, but was sure they’d be keeping their eyes open as well. Julilee took a glass of sparkling drink that one of the attendants pressed on her, but didn’t drink from it. She wanted to keep her senses completely sharp. She glanced at the impressive spread of food with the gorgeous cake centerpiece, but didn’t help herself to that either. She didn’t have much of an appetite, and kept her gaze roaming over the other guests. A Nightborne man with a drink in either hand happened to be nearby. He had small spectacles on his nose and seemed to be at a bit of a loss. As they noticed each other, it became required to acknowledge each other. “Good evening, m’lady,” he said generously. “Did I hear from the herald that you were a Commander? There seem to be a few in attendance tonight.” “Yes, of Sanctuary, a guild of the Horde,” Julilee responded. She fiddled with her drink. “Julilee Liene.” “Haronne du Wistelin. It is a pleasure. I have heard the tale of Sanctuary’s saving of Shal’Aran. Is it true one of yours rode a beast into the sky to allow a mana bomb to explode harmlessly?” That made Juli smile, with pride. “Yes, Arahe is her name. She barely survived, and her wyvern too.” “Very noble, as matches what I have heard of Sanctuary,” he said. “My date is a member of another noble guild, Twilight Empire…” That got her attention. Hearing that was more than welcome news. “Who are they? Where are they?” she asked immediately. “Errr…” he said, taken aback. “Her name is Jaelantia. You are familiar with Twilight Empire, then? Hopefully not in an adverse capacity? They are of that Alliance faction…” “Not adverse at all,” Julilee assured him. “Sanctuary and Twilight are fast allies. I’d like to introduce myself to her… I assume she’ll be along shortly?” She noted the two drinks he was carrying. “One can hope,” he said with a weak chuckle, casting his gaze over the crowd. There was a dark-skinned human man standing nearby who seemed to be waiting for something, but who appeared to have taken an interest in their dialogue. Having obviously noticed him in return, Julilee felt obligated to include him in the conversation. “Hello,” she said at a diplomatic minimum. He grunted with vague discomfort. “Evening. Uh, fine dress you have there.” The clumsy compliment amused Julilee a little. A certain lack of eloquence was refreshing in situations like these. “Thank you.” “I heard you mention the Twilight Empire. As it happened, I’m a member myself. Fairly new. But, still a member.” His words were awkward, a bit stumbling, but sharpened her interest considerably nonetheless. “Oh, are you?” Julilee said. “What brings you here?” If there was more than one Twilight Empire person here, perhaps they’d been warned of a threat, as well. Reuvan would have been wise to not count on Sanctuary coming. They almost hadn’t, after all. “Invitation,” the man grunted, then sought to clarify in embarrassment. “I mean, I was invited. By a friend of… one of the families.” “Ah, I see,” Julilee said. She was about to introduce herself, but Haronne perked up then. He had spotted a set of polished horns above the crowd. “Ah, there she is! Jaelantia!” “I apologize, Haronne, I… ah, who is this?” the draenei said as she arrived. She looked at Julilee, then the human man. “Julilee Liene, Commander of Sanctuary,” Julilee introduced herself. “I understand you’re a member of Twilight Empire as well?” Jaelantia seemed to follow what Julilee meant by the ‘as well’, glancing toward the human man with a smile and a hint of recognition. “Sanctuary,” she repeated. “Ah, yes, I am! I am Jaelantia of the Twilight Empire… Good, Sanjay, there are a few of us here tonight, it seems.” “I wasn’t expecting to see a draenei tonight. I wasn’t sure if your kind celebrated marriages, what with the lack of surnames and all,” the human man, Sanjay, said. He looked like he regretted his words immediately. Jaelantia didn’t seem offended; in fact, she might have stifled a laugh. Haronne offered her one of the drinks and she took it. “Ah, thank you so much, Haronne.” She put the wine to her lips and drank politely before turning back to Juli. “Coincidentally – I needed to speak with you, a moment, Julilee. There is a demon hunter here who is also of our order. She urgently would like to make your acquaintance.” She frowned as she said this, seemingly signifying the seriousness of this urgent need. “I would love to,” Julilee said firmly. Haronne looked back and forth between the two females, obviously figuring out that something was going on, and beginning to look a little put out. Jaelantia drank deeply of the wine, then leaned in to Haronne and spoke in a quiet, reassuring tone, her words not quite audible to the others. Then she gently pressed her lips to his cheek and smiled. Haronne flushed. “Of course,” he murmured back. “Just let me know how I may be of assistance…” “You have done me a world of favors by bringing me here in the first place, Haronne. I promise I will be back soon.” Jaelantia set the empty glass on the refreshment table, and turned back to Julilee. “I think she is here, in the ballroom as well. We should join with her as soon as we can. Would you like to accompany us?” she asked Sanjay. Sanjay looked almost torn. “I am waiting on my dance partner. She’s speaking with some friends, but she’s expecting me to stay where I am. I’d rather not force her to search for me.” He turned to Julilee and said, “My name is Sanjay, by the way. It was… good to meet you, Julilee.” “I suppose I’ll head to the gardens, then,” Haronne said, with almost-concealed disappointment. He hesitated a bare moment longer, then departed. “This is important,” Julilee said to Sanjay. She lowered her voice. “There is a threat to this wedding.” Sanjay frowned. “What sort of threat?” he said distractedly. It wasn’t the level of cooperation Julilee was hoping for from a member of Twilight Empire. She glanced at Jaelantia, who was frowning. “A threat on someone’s life,” Jaelantia said. “We have a duty to act.” It seemed Twilight Empire did know something of the threat, although Julilee didn’t know the circuitous route that information had followed. She was about to say something herself when Sorel arrived with a demon hunter, or more accurately, the demon hunter did with him in tow. “Liene, Hervor here was looking for you,” he said by way of introduction. Julilee had noticed the demon hunter during the ceremony, looking around suspiciously, and seated next to Reuvan. It made sense, now. She looked up at the demon hunter, Hervor, who was considerably taller than she, and nodded. “Is this everyone from Twilight Empire who’s here?” she asked. “We should speak.” “No, we have one more,” Hervor said. “Niala, an arcanist and beast master… Though I don’t believe she brought any of her animal friends tonight. I heard Sanctuary is here to stop an assassination plot. We’re ready to give our full cooperation.” Julilee glanced around. It was a risk speaking to them like this. She had to act casual, and the best way to do that at the moment seemed to be to take a sip of her drink. It was stronger than she expected and she grimaced in regret before speaking quietly. “Yes. Sanctuary is tracking a nefarious criminal named Karthok, and sources indicated he had taken an interest in disrupting this event. Unfortunately, no specifics were discovered. I tried alerting them…” She sighed. “They refused to believe he was a significant enough threat to warrant canceling, or even much worry.” She was quiet for a moment, looking down into her drink as she considered what else to say, then spoke even more quietly. “Karthok has killed two Sanctuary members and is meddling with the Legion, and a mad Ancient bent on destroying all life on Azeroth.” Jaelantia’s frown deepened. “So there is a possible agent of the Burning Legion who seeks to disrupt the harmony this union represents.” “Liene reached out to my order to aid them in dealing with this madman, but so far he has not extended his wrath our way,” Sorel said. “Well, it’s a good thing we all found each other then,” Hervor said. She took a drink from an attendant who came by and waited until he had departed before continuing. “If he’s meddled with fel power, my Sight may prove useful. Any idea why this event would interest him? Is there someone of note here?” “He sows chaos, dissent, and despair wherever he can,” Julilee said. “He simply enjoys it, and it makes everyone and everything easier for him to work with. Stirring up unrest in Suramar of any kind with the Legion right over our heads would be right up his alley.” Hervor’s brow twitched. “So everyone here is at risk…” The idea seemed to bother her immensely. “It’s certainly harder if there’s no clear motive. We’ll have to spread our net as wide as we can.” “Exactly,” Julilee said. “We shouldn’t speak long. I’m doubtlessly being watched, as are the three I brought with me.” “I’ve been watching for traps and illusions all night already,” Sorel said with simmering frustration. “So far I’ve not picked up on anything.” Sanjay seemed tense, but distracted. He drifted back from the group. “I am sorry, but I’m afraid I cannot be of much help. I cannot disappoint my companion.” Abruptly, a night elf in purple and sky-blue robes appeared. She grabbed Hervor’s hand, beckoning her. “You need to come check this out, it’s hilarious,” she exclaimed. “Jaelantia, you too.” Hervor gave the newcomer a sour look. “I’m not quite in the mood for comedy, Niala…” Jaelantia was looking toward Sanjay, whose date, a Nightborne female, had arrived and was giggling at him. “If you see anything, please try and let one of us know as soon as possible,” she said to him. Sanjay didn’t respond as he and his date walked off. Julilee looked back at the group as Niala let out a light chuckle and looked Hervor dead in the fireorbs. “Seriously. You’ll love it. I know it. Come on. Come take a look. You’ll love it, I’m sure.” Jaelantia, who had been frowning, opened her eyes wide in sudden comprehension. “Go see whatever it is. Tell me about it. I love a good laugh.” Juli would have stayed to figure out what was going on, but just then Aaren arrived. They couldn’t all afford to be seen talking together. “Nice meeting you,” Julilee said loudly, and moved away, bringing Aaren with her. “They’re all allies,” she said to the priestess once they were in a different part of the banquet area. It had grown much noisier as more of the guests partook of food and drink, and easier for them to talk. “Twilight Empire. They’ve been alerted. One from Night Vanguard, too, another ally.” Sorel, seemingly abandoned, had petulantly moved off somewhere. Aaren took a deep breath. “I can try pressing the director for information, or do we have another plan?” Julilee considered. “The director should know everyone here. Especially the bride and groom. It’s their wedding; they must be significant. So that’s a good idea. Can you find out what you can about them?” Then, something else occurred to her, along with a wave of foreboding. “…Have you seen Shokkra lately?” Aaren nodded and turned. “She said she would chat up the crowd, pointed the director out to me.” She gestured in a direction. “Do you want me to find her first?” “No, I will. Let me know if you find out anything that seems important.” They two parted ways, Aaren scooping up two glasses of wine as she went. An attendant stopped Juli. “Refill, m’lady?” he asked. Juli realized she had drained her glass at some point, and reluctantly allowed it to be replaced. Need to pay more attention… she thought. There were going to be a great many things to pay attention to, and she couldn’t afford to miss any.
  9. It had been a lovely ceremony, but Jaelantia was quite ready for it to be over by the time the last of the wedding party had finally retreated back down the aisle. The party was apparently headed to another part of the grounds to partake in the newest wedding fad – goblin photography – while the rest of the guests would be shepherded into the ballroom. She clapped politely and endured until she could finally stand up and join the throng headed inside. The draenei paladin was more suited to the field than the social scene, though she could comport herself well enough, and itched to get on with things. It didn’t help that folks had seemed strangely tense before and during the ceremony. She had seen the short-haired blood elf haul the night elf off to the side in the courtyard for some sort of urgent conversation. Then, there had been several people seemingly looking around warily during the ceremony itself. Those same two elves, plus a demon hunter in the back, and another two blood elves and an orc too. All of them non-Nightborne, but their actions seemed more than just a discomfort born from a possible feeling of being out of place. Yet they made such a strange combination of individuals. Jaelantia couldn’t figure out what it meant, if anything, and it bothered her. The tension made her arm act up, a cramp running through her shoulder. She winced and rubbed it absently. Unfortunately, her very attentive date noticed. “Are you injured?” he asked with concern. Haronne du Wistelin was a Nightborne fellow of that middling elven age, neither old nor young. He had long hair tied back in a ponytail and wore small spectacles on his nose, giving him a scholarly appearance. His fine dark vest and pants with bowtie over a white shirt complemented Jaelantia’s own attire, which was an elaborate white dress with gold and blue trim. Her lower legs and hooves were wrapped in fine ribbon, and long white gloves covered both arms up to the shoulder, where the dress covered the remainder. Her hair was drawn up, bunched behind her head, and then allowed to cascade the rest of the way over her shoulders. Even her horns had been polished. It had been a lot of effort, and she wasn’t sure it was going to be worth it at this rate. “No, no, I am fine,” she said. “It is… simply a war wound which has been left slightly tender. Sometimes it flares up when the atmospheric pressure changes.” Or a host of other reasons, she thought to herself, but she left it at that. “It is no concern. Just a mild cramp.” “Ah, my aunt has a marvelous tincture for aches, or so she claims,” Haronne said. “I’ll have to send you some.” “That would be most appreciated,” she lied, turning her attention to the fore of the gathering. They were about to enter the ballroom/banquet hall. “Would you be willing to fetch us both a drink when we get inside?” she asked. “I would like to find a mirror and ensure my hair is the way I left it when we arrived.” “Absolutely,” Haronne said. She let go of his arm as they stepped inside. Immediately through the doors at the rear of the manor was the grand ballroom, extravagant to the extreme. Furnished with only the most expensive of materials, the room had been colored in shades of blue and hints of gold, rich drapes ensconcing the windows that showcased Suramar’s nobility in stained glass. A grand staircase landed on both ends of the ballroom floor that moved up to a lofted upper level where the guests could gossip and comment on the intrigue delivered to them. Guards were at all the doors, carrying traditional dress blades, while not another weapon was in sight. The lower floor appeared reserved for dancing, while the upper lofted area held room for socializing, as well as tables full of exotic and delectable food. Servants circulated, offering guests sparkling drinks. As they entered, a herald by the door holding a long scroll announced their names. “Archivist Haronne du Wistelin and escort Jaelantia!” More ready than ever to escape, Jaelantia looked around and spied a doorway to one side that looked promising. However, as she moved away, she noticed someone nearby. It was the demon hunter she’d seen looking around warily during the ceremony. Instinct made Jaelantia act. She approached and gently touched the demon hunter’s shoulder. “Excuse me,” she pardoned herself. “It was a lovely ceremony, was it not?” She smiled warmly, trying to keep worry from her eyes. Unfortunately, she had not quite lost Haronne. The man had started to move away, only to pause when Jaelantia stopped to strike up a conversation. He hovered nearby politely, not wanting to rudely leave as small talk was being exchanged. However, he leaned back ever so slightly from the demon hunter, despite his efforts to be polite. It was only to be expected, considering his people’s recent trauma at the hands of the Legion, Jaelantia supposed. However, she didn’t have much opportunity to reflect on such things, as the demon hunter all but jumped at her touch and whipped around to face her. “Yes it… It was…” The demon hunter let out a breath. “I apologize for being short, but was there something you needed?” Jaelantia frowned and shook her head. “No, I am sorry to bother you. I thought perhaps I recognized you,” she lied again. She couldn’t keep the concern entirely off her face. “I simply wanted to remark on what a lovely ceremony it was… that everything seemed to go well? And nothing was out of place?” She forced a smile again. “…Y…Yes, I supp—” Just then, the crier announced another name. “Julilee Liene, Commander of Sanctuary!” It was the short-haired blood elf who had hauled the night elf off for a hurried conversation earlier who had entered. The demon hunter’s attention snapped that way. “They rehearsed it for weeks, or so I understand,” Haronne chuckled, oblivious. “Hervor!” said a night elf who approached in pretty purple and cerulean regalia right at that moment. “You’ve changed… when did you get the uh… fel stuff?” The demon hunter, Hervor’s, attention was forced back to the immediate vicinity. “…Ah! Niala! I’m glad to see another member of the Empire… Listen, I’ll tell you all about it, but first I need to find some members of Sanctuary…” She stepped closer to the other night elf and whispered something to her. Jaelantia started. “Another member of the – ah, of course! We haven’t met after all, but I’ve heard your name. I am Jaelantia, also of the… Empire…” Her expression sank again as the more private exchange carried on. Something really was going on. Haronne looked back and forth between the two whispering and Jaelantia. He cleared his throat slightly. “Associates of yours?” he asked. Jaelantia smiled apologetically at Haronne. “Oh, forgive me, Haronne. We seem to be comrades under the same banner… I did not expect to find any here.” Hervor’s ears perked up as she looked back toward Jaelantia. “Seems I have more allies here than I thought. Come with me…” She grabbed both Jaelantia and Niala by the wrist and began walking off to the side with them. “Err, I’ll go fetch our drinks,” Haronne offered as he was left behind. “J-Just girl talk,” Jaelantia explained as was pulled away. “I will rejoin you shortly!” Once they had moved away from the entrance and the bulk of the crowd, Niala said, “I knew something was wrong the moment the guards wouldn’t even let me have my staff to help conjure all the arcwine and the cake. No one bans magic in a city of mages unless they’re trying to kill the mage. I might just be paranoid, but from the moment I entered, it felt off.” “Is something truly amiss, then?” Jaelantia whispered. Hervor let go of their wrists. “I don’t know if they’re aiming to kill any mages, Niala. It sounds more like the newlyweds. Why else choose a wedding? That’s just speculation, but I’ve been given a disturbing tip that something dangerous may indeed be going down here.” The demon hunter folded her arms, one black claw scratching a bit at her skin. “Apparently it’s the reason a group called Sanctuary is here. I think we should find them, hook up with them, and help solve this little issue before anyone gets hurt.” Jaelantia sighed. “So there is a danger here, possibly blended into the rest of the guests, or the wedding party itself – but they are waiting until after the ceremony? Perhaps it is somebody already within the manor itself. Whatever the case… we must combine our efforts, as you said.” Niala nodded once to Hervor, speaking for clarification. “I meant any of the guests. Most of them are mages. That’s all I meant. I’ll keep an eye out. Just...” A second copy of Niala walked up to the group, smiling at the two. “Don’t get worried when you see two of me. They are both me. I’ll look about the party. Long story. Magic involving my soul. Doesn’t seem to be blocked here.” Hervor nodded, seemingly accepting this without question. “Sanctuary may know more about what’s going on. I heard the commander’s name, Julilee. I’m going to go search for her… I caught a glance just before she went out of sight. I suppose of the three of us, I’ll be the easiest to pick out of a crowd… Come to me if you find out anything, okay?” “You may be the first to draw attention from our possible assassin, I hate to say,” Jaelantia said. “I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know the moment I find something. They did not make me surrender my guildstone, after all.” “I’d rather they come after me. I’m quite a bit hardier than I used to be.” Hervor cracked her knuckles, the light of her eyes flaring up, then looked to one of the Nialas. “I’ll be in the ballroom. Perhaps each of you should take another area... I’ll let you figure it out. For now, I need to get back right away… Good luck.” With that, she turned, and moved quite speedily back toward the entrance where Julilee had been. Jaelantia turned to the Nialas. “Well… I will see if I can enter the upper level of the manor. The two… or however many… of you, perhaps keep an eye in other areas as well.” With that, she turned toward the doorway which looked like it led to the upper levels. The two Nialas walked off in separate directions, wading into the crowd a ways before one of her copies veered back off to the kitchen. The other exited the room headed toward what looked like the foyer at the front of the manor. Unfortunately, Jaelantia was denied entry to the upper levels. “Wedding party only, ma’am,” the guards said. “Guests may refresh themselves in the designated area by the banquet.” Not having any other particular ideas, Jaelantia went up to the banquet area as directed. Of course, who should be encounter there but… “Ah, there she is! Jaelantia!” came Haronne’s voice. Jaelantia stifled a sigh and turned toward her date, only to find him standing with the short-haired blood elf – Julilee.
  10. Niala was directed to enter the manor and take the stairs down to the servants’ level as the rest of the guests began heading toward the ceremony. She had a lot of work to do before it ended, but she didn’t intend to miss it. The kitchens proved to be hustling and bustling as the main courses were being prepared, timed to be done as the ceremony ended. There was shouting and a couple of fires at this point. Niala surveyed it all and peered around, trying to find the head chef. Just then, a burly Nightborne in a stained chef’s apron with short-style hair threw a dirty pot at a scurrying servant and shouted, “WHERE’S THE LAMB SAUCE?!” It seemed to signify some sort of authority, so Niala approached hastily. “Pardon. I’m supplying the arcwine and the cake. Are there any powerful foci I can use? If not, I need about a twelve-foot square area for preparation. Please keep staff away from it. The guards refused to let me bring my staff in to focus my magic, so unless we have a powerful focus, it will be dangerous. Hurry or they won’t have their cake by the end of the ceremony!” The burly elf looked Niala up and down. “You’re the cake and arcwine provider? Take that rat bastard’s spot, whose meat was so rare, I COULD’VE USED IT AS A PILLAR OF CREATION!” He pointed to the station in the corner which had been quickly vacated by the pot-struck elf. Niala took her spot at the station without further ado and set to work. With a muttered word of power, a light blue wall of energy formed around the area. The arcane protective field would ensure that she could call upon massive amounts of energy without it splashing onto anyone else. Next, she formed energy into a needle-like spire, and thrust it downward. From it, mana began to well, drawn up from the leylines that ran underneath the estate. When she had gathered enough and it thoroughly permeated the space inside the field, she spun it into use. Instantly, she became a blur of motion, such that there appeared to be no less than three of her within the field, making an assembly line of wine. One was busy conjuring, the other was filling up bottles, and the last was popping out of the barrier to place them on a long empty table by the doorway leading up to the ballroom. In this fashion she conjured several dozens of bottles of arcwine in just a few, though very long-seeming, minutes. Throughout, the kitchen staff moved around Niala’s production line, swiveling and limboing underneath the bottles with platters of food destined for upstairs. The head chef continued shouting obscenities at the servants and cooking up a storm of entrees and appetizers the world had never seen nor would see ever again. And nearby, a blood elf that was handling the regular wines paused to study her movements and magic interestedly. Once she was done with the arcwine, Niala shifted tacks to start working on the cake. She’d already had the perfect image in her mind from as soon as she’d been invited to contribute to the catering, and now it was time to call it into existence. Mana was conjured into the base of the cake, the softest, purest-white, cloud-like matter, which she built up into several narrowing stacks. Though every layer was made with care and exacting precision, she continued to move at lightning speed so that in all but moments she was moving onto the next step. Silk-like layers of frosting began to wrap themselves around the cake, ribbons of smooth white, followed by additional layers of the same with added patterns and textures. Next came innumerable sparkling crystals of edible mana that arranged themselves in elaborate and meticulous patterns as Niala’s form blurred around all sides of the cake. This part took the longest, as each crystal had to be placed individually. As this went on, one of Niala’s forms stepped outside the barrier, and spoke almost confusedly. “I… uhm… Sorry… Doing… a lot at once… Uh… I’ll be… spacing out in the corner. Let me know if you…” She paused for a short moment to collect her thoughts. “…want help with anything else… from that me. In there.” The blood elf who’d been watching her looked to the head chef, who simply nodded and wiped his brow with a cloth before turning back to his staff to bellow instructions. Niala continued working on the cake until at last the glimmering confection was done. The welling of mana within the barrier was dispelled back into the leylines below, carefully, the spire removed, and finally the barrier came down, to reveal an exhausted but pleased looking mage. “Uuuugh… That took ages.” She slumped with a slight groan, then got up and started looking around for the head chef. Oddly, the second her remained outside the barrier, though it stared absently at nothing. Finding the head chef again, the active Niala said, “Do we have some people to carry the cake up? We’ll need at least six to lift it.” The head chef waved a hand and no less than six staff rushed over to pick up the cake by the crystal platter it rested upon and start bringing it upstairs. “By Elune’s neckbeard that was a damned farce of a cook,” the head chef commented, still occupied with the lamb sauce incident though it had been hours ago for Niala. “Luckily, of course, they had me.” He flipped the towel over his shoulder. “Shouldn’t need you again, at least until the ceremonial wine later if you’d like to help with that.” The blood elf glanced toward them again before moving on to attend to his duties. The other Niala sat down slowly in the corner. The active Niala nodded once to the head chef and smiled. “Sounds good. I’ll be amongst the crowd, yeah? Shouldn’t be too hard to spot me with clothes like these.” With that, she made her way out of the kitchen and headed upstairs, leaving the other her downstairs. There was a ceremony to catch… but she wanted to keep an eye on things down here, too.
  11. Hervor approached the gates with some trepidation. She felt rather out of place here. Her bright fel green glowing markings and tall horns made her an easy pick even from a distance, drawing exactly the kind of attention she didn’t want. No few stared at her as she handed her invitation to the guards. Lips pursed, she half expected to be turned away despite the document. Indeed, the guards began frowning at her excessively, and she started thinking she never should have listened to Bel and Vali… but then they stepped aside to allow her in. Silently, she bowed her head and walked past. That would doubtlessly only be the first of it. With an effort, she kept a scowl from her face. The night was young, and she wanted to see the child again, just to reaffirm in her head that she was safe and well. She glanced back once, then looked around the courtyard at all the fine, attractively dressed people. There was a surprising mix of races, no more than two-thirds present Nightborne. The rest were blood elves, humans, and night elves, and she saw at least one draenei and one orc as well. She had tried to make herself presentable for the occasion. The night elven demon hunter wore a long, very dark purple dress with small, silver accents along the top. Her long, platinum white hair was braided into a bun, with a small remainder hanging like a ponytail. She even had a new blindfold to match the dress, with a half-veil hanging over the right side of her face to help hide her horrible, fel-pocked scars. Her replacement eye piece was newly crafted as well, gilded with some small bejeweling and a more elegant look to it. “You made quite the entry, even if you didn’t mean to,” a deep elven voice spoke from behind Hervor. It proved to belong to a tall blood elf with a portly size to match. His face was uncommonly homely for one of his race, almost pig-like. “…Yes, well… I couldn’t really help it.” Her fangs flashed as she spoke. “These markings don’t exactly turn off.” Feeling like she ought to be polite, she decided to introduce herself. “…I’m Hervor. Hervor Ironfang.” She held out a hand to shake his. The blood elf extended his heavy hand to clasp hers, shifting his leg forward awkwardly as he did so. Said leg lay in a metal brace overtop his tight and expensive clothing. “Reuvan,” he said. His voice matched his size and features. His head was bald with a five o’clock shadow where a beard could have been, his pig-like face oddly compelling with steely eyes. “What got you invited?” Hervor’s gaze drifted down to the brace for a moment before she looked back up. “When the children were being rounded up, I freed a great many of them. Apparently one was a member of this family.” She paused, before speaking again. “Does that brace cause you a great deal of trouble?” “Makes combat near impossible, and makes fucking a great deal more painful. Other than that it’s a damn good conversation starter.” Reuvan grinned, holding his hands by his sides. Hervor actually cracked a smirk at that, some tension evaporating. Speaking so frankly had that effect. “I only ask because, well… I’m a bit of a tinkerer. I couldn’t help but wonder if, with the right tools, I could make it into something more manageable. …Of course, it might not be the best idea at such a fancy affair…” She sighed, glancing around again before looking back to him. “Saving family members is a good way to get invited to parties, especially if you’re someone like you in a place like Suramar. I took a more traditional route.” “Traditional, you say? Are you a member of one of the families?” she asked. “I’m a friend of the bride. Made sure her family and this estate was kept safe during the rebellion,” he replied. “You may not be able to fight, but you’re a noble warrior in my mind if that’s the case.” Just then, the crier made his announcement, and people started moving toward the rear of the estate. “Oh… Sounds like things are starting… We’d best get going,” she said. Reuvan nodded. “Indeed.” He offered his arm. “Join me?” Hervor paused a moment. “You might get the same nasty looks I do.” “With my looks, I’ll get them anyway.” His grin had a hint of a sneer in it, this time. “Well enough.” She took the man’s arm. Walking slowly enough to be easy on his leg, they rounded the manor and came to the ceremony area in its open backyard, ringed by trees. The main stage was a dais with a large bower, with flowers elaborately arranged in profusion around it. Rows of chairs filled the area, and ushers were guiding people to either the bride or groom’s side according to cryptic reasoning. A older Nightborne fellow in robes with fluffy facial hair stood at a podium on the dais, clearing his throat to himself and inspecting his notes. He looked a little worse for wear – a recently reversed Nightfallen, no doubt. Hervor and Reuvan were both shown to the bride’s side, so they were able to sit together. Due to their reduced speed, they wound up seated more toward the back, but that was plenty fine with the demon hunter. The last thing she needed was someone muttering behind her about how distracting her marks were, or that her horns were getting in their way. Crossing her legs, she leaned back into her chair a bit and tried to ignore the stares she was getting anyway. Reuvan had gotten a gaggle of looks as well, as predicted. Reuvan grunted and shifted his leg into a more comfortable position as the last few guests got seated. “Think someone’ll die?” he said. Hervor’s brow furrowed, a confused but amused look on her face. “I certainly hope not. It’s a wedding. Why would you ask?” “Because if Sanctuary thought the threat wasn’t genuine, they wouldn’t have taken me up on my invitation. But they did. Which means tonight’s going to be a lot more exciting than you bargained for.” A serious and dour look on was on his face. All amusement vanished. “…Sanctuary? You’re being serious?” At that moment, soft music started playing from an indeterminate location. The man at the podium cleared his throat, this time louder and distinctly, and began speaking. “Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today. Marriage, that blessed arrangement...” Reuvan held a finger up to his lips, then pointed forward. Hervor turned back toward the front, but now all her senses were on high alert, and she was tense. Her clawed fingers clutched at her dress. Sanctuary was here, and expecting serious trouble? The children… The officiator droned on. “That dream within a dream, and love, true love, forever and ever. So treasure your love…” Hervor debated with herself as the ceremony continued. She wanted to press Reuvan for information, but until she saw the girl coming up the aisle with the rest of the wedding party, she hesitated. But seeing that child, her face screwed up in concentration as she carefully deposited the flower petals exactly where she was supposed to, firmed Hervor’s resolve, even if she didn’t know exactly what to do. She leaned into Reuvan, speaking in a lower tone. “If you know something… If those kids are in danger… We have to warn someone…” Reuvan shook his head. “You’ll have more luck finding the would-be assassins. Find someone more able to help you do that, I’ll provide what information I can,” he whispered carefully. The green glow behind her blindfold and within that mechanical eye flared brighter. “Sanctuary, you said? They’re here to prevent it? Where are they?” A guest seated nearby ahemmed distinctly and glared at them. Reuvan did not respond. Hervor looked forward, noticing someone looking back her way. It was a blood elf with short dark hair near the front of the groom’s section. She wouldn’t have been more noticeable than anyone else present if she hadn’t then looked around at the rest of the crowd with just as much wariness as she had at Hervor. Sanctuary? Or one of the would-be assassins? Hervor would have to find out.
  12. [[ This is a log of an RP event that took place across two days on Sanctuary's Discord server, wherein Sanctuary confronts a villain they've been trying to stop for some time in order to rescue a Sanctuary officer who was kidnapped: Shokkra Deathrage. ]] Kexti 10:52:34 AM Kex'ti waited at the staging area with his staff, his sword, and his armor. A variety of medicines and potions rested at his waist. Kexti 11:56:08 AM He shuddered as he looked up at the Dark Iron fortress. "Are we all ready?" Konro 12:29:40 PM Grim Batol stood as a monument to chaos, corruption, and tragedy. Its original dwarven roots were barely visible now, only vague lingerings of the Wildhammer's gryphons had stood the test of time. More visible were the orcish improvements but even those were eclipsed by the crude ministrations of the Twilight's Hammer. The skeletons of those unfortunate enough to become victims of the cult adorned the ancient fortress. Drakonid statues acted as gargoyles among the parapets, and the malignant corruption of their meddling could be felt in the air. Konro 12:29:59 PM The main doors are unguarded. As are all the doors. Arahe 12:36:01 PM Ohee finishes setting up a small medical tent not far outside Grim Batol. It's a sort of Tauren-style tipi, easy to break down and move, with hides painted to help it blend in to its surroundings. She bows to the Commander. "If anyone should get hurt, I will be on duty right here. Give me a shout if you need me to move up at any point!" She announces with a smile and a crisp salute. Rabblerouser 12:38:09 PM Taozhu taps his staff, a crisp sheen of blue washing over the party after he had mass teleported them to the target location. His paws soon began weaving more spells, his staff drawing within the dirt around Ohee's tipi. Each pull through the ground causes the divots to begin alighting in arcane energy, like water following a divvy. "It would not do for Karthok to try and assault here, one moment my lady, and I shall prepare a shielding spell to hide from scrying eyes." Arahe 12:39:17 PM The plump, golden-furred Tauren claps her hands excitedly. "Oh, thank you, that is very helpful!" Yuki 12:39:58 PM Kejala checks her pack to make sure she has all the fetishes and totems they may need in this perilous assault. Instead of her usual light leathers, the shaman is clad in thicker layers of chain and scale with leather padding between. She certainly does not look like what most would picture for the Earthen Ring. "Dat be a good idea, ya," she replies absently. "Don't be wantin' our best Tauren t'get hurt." W A N D E R 12:46:48 PM He'd not made a sound, complaint nor introduction, he'd simply wrapped his hand around his wolf's reins all the tighter, the two of them pacing, highly agitated. The orc held something in his left hand; a hefty, carved piece of wood attached to a string, a bullroarer. He looked to be in his early forties, and had the appearance of something that had the misfortune of falling into a meat slicer. Warsong proud, judging by the tabard stretched across his chest. The wolf he rode kept low, whined and urged towards Grim Batol every now and again. "Not just yet, Gar'mak." Rabblerouser 12:47:57 PM Taozhu merely smiles and keeps at his work, until the whole of her staging area is pockmarked by small arcane trenches. The pandaren claps his paws together, before slamming them to the ground, almost in a bowing gesture as the trenches well up with energy to begin forming a large domed bubble of magical violet color around the tent. Arahe 12:59:12 PM Beaming at Kejala, she gives the troll a good luck hug while the Pandaren finishes his work. "Oh! And it's so pretty! I love purple!" Yuki 1:03:29 PM The troll lightly pats her friend's back in return. An actual hug would probably be uncomfortable, given the armor, but she still wants to reciprocate the sentiment. Moving to the entrance to the tent, she peeks outside to get a better view of their magical bubble. "Huh. Dat be somet'in'," she comments. Shizari 1:04:05 PM T'suro is grinding sharp the points of his multi-pronged spear with a whetstone, as he glances up to Grim Batol. "I hope we have enough for this to work." He states rather openly. Xara 1:05:14 PM Juli looks over those assembled. Many from Sanctuary had come, many of their friends, and many of those who had a stake in the battle versus Karthok themselves. No one that she didn't have reason to trust was present. "We have more than enough," she says. "We've stopped Karthok at his every endeavor. Now we've chased him back to his last bastion. Here, we'll stop him, and recover Shokkra, finally. Are we ready?" Rabblerouser 1:08:05 PM Taozhu dabbed a handkerchief at his head, wiping away the small beads of sweat that had appeared; such an endeavor so quickly formed did take a toll on him, he had long been removed from field work. "I am glad it suits your tastes!" He chuckles, turning to Julilee. "Ready as I shall ever be, Commander." Yuki 1:11:29 PM Observation complete, Kejala ducks back into the space and turns to face the Commander. "Ya, be ready here," she replies with a lazy grin. One hand settles onto the pommel of her chosen mace for the day; unlike the simple one usually favored by the mercenary, she sports one with a much broader head and carefully arranged ridges of blades. Good thing she had chosen armored leggings, or she would have one tattered thigh right now. Shizari 1:11:33 PM T'suro packs his whetstone away and sheaths his spear as he looks up the dark visage of the dwarves structure. "Ready as can be." W A N D E R 1:14:04 PM Sarrak dug his heels into Gar'mak's side, letting the bullroarer's rope slide a little, preparing it for his charge. He glanced at the assortment of strangers beside him. What an interesting warband. He gave the roarer a few half hearted swings. "My hound craves war. Let's go already." He snorted, motioning his head towards the fortress. Xara 1:18:16 PM "We have some scouts ahead already," she says. "The fortress is thickly inhabited ad not as lightly guarded as it looks, and we won't be going in subtly. Be prepared to fight as soon as we step inside." She turns toward the fortress entrance. "Let's go." Xara 1:19:25 PM [[ @everyone Those whose characters would be here are welcome to jump in after this point with the assumption they've been along the whole time (or are one of the aforementioned scouts up ahead!). Players may also lapse in and out of posting if you need to do other things and it will be assumed that your character is still there. Have fun! ]] Rabblerouser 1:26:14 PM From the mountainous slopes, lined with shrubs and deep brush, emerges the one-eyed orcish Boss of Borrowed Time as though he had suddenly teleported in from thin air. He takes a deep breath through his nose as Julilee leads her troops forward, nodding in greeting. He cradles the double-barreled rifle in his arms, letting it hang in his grasp idly. "Been 'ere since dawn." He says, turning towards the former Wildhammer capitol. "Ain't 'adda peep outta tha mountain, not su much a damn mouse skittered bout." Xara 1:27:22 PM Julilee nods at Cobrak. "Anything unusual?" she asks. Shizari 1:28:42 PM "Hopefully Karthok's forces are our only obstacle." T'suro said, motioning towards the rest of the Wetlands behind them, the massive mountain of Ironforge dominating the skyline. Quaotik 1:29:21 PM The white Tauren was having trouble with the multiple spirits in the area he concentrated to keep his head one strong spirit trying to take his body to attack the Wild hammer. The ice felt around him. The deathknight slid through the portal and looked around with his blue eyes his hooves clipping on the ground. He had basic deathknight armor on line he just came from arcurus. His two blades shirt swords and out of the deathlike ice if northrend to say the least he was intimidating the plate cowl concealing most of his face e crept his nose his mask protecting his cheeks and eyes. He was apparently ready for war. And by the chill in the air his magic was craving the fight it had so long been denied. Rabblerouser 1:32:31 PM Cobrak looked at Julilee, "Aye. S'quiet. Too quiet." He shrugs, obvious the orc was a cautious one in situations like these. "E'en Morinth needed supplies brought in wif guards....but this? T'ain't a soul we seen." Kexti 1:32:32 PM Kex'ti looked towards the entrance. "Let us find Shokkra. Mayhaps we can level this Light damned place in the process." Kexti 1:33:04 PM "Cobrak, have your mages found any temporal or Nether anomalies?" Kexti 1:33:25 PM "Doubtless Karthok will be drawing demons and worse to fight us." Yuki 1:37:31 PM "Means dey eider got a stockpile, or somet'in' mighty strange be goin' on in dere." Again the troll shrugs. "Let's be on our way, ya? Only way t'be findin' answers is to be goin' to look fer 'em." W A N D E R 1:39:19 PM Sarrak tugged at the reins, beginning their impatient pacing. Back and forth, side to side, the two of the sizing their target up, just straddling the inside line of the camp. Every swing of his roarer made a low, droning whistle. The wolf rider grumbled lowly, snorting. "Every second we sit here, there could be less and less of my niece to take back to her mother." He paused, the idea seemed to just add fuel to his roaring fire. His wolf barked; an abrasive, harsh sort, clearly more than ready for the hunt. Arahe 1:39:33 PM "Couldn't it just be a tunnel somewhere else?" Ohee offers, looking over in the direction of Iron Forge. Rabblerouser 1:40:41 PM Cobrak puts a finger to his ear, repeating Kex'ti's question to it, taking it off when he receives an answer. "Small bumps o' fel energy, thass all I got...Probably callin' demons er usin' lock portals." He looks over at Ohee, "Ya know wut be in Grim Batol's tunnels, aye? Not e'en Karthok be that stupid to go down that deep...leas' I 'ope 'e ain't, though me gut now says othawise." Xara 1:45:32 PM "All right," Julilee says. "That's as much as we're going to know before we get inside. Let's go." She mounts up on her zhevra and sets a hard pace to the unguarded gates. Kexti 1:46:46 PM "I know more than enough about Grim Batol. Trust me. I would not be here if Shokkra were not in danger." Shizari 1:47:03 PM T'suro climbs back into his Courser, grabbing hold of the reins and giving a small kick to its sides. "Onward!" He called out as he set off, following Julilee towards the gates Kexti 1:47:24 PM Kex'ti saddles up his venomhide and puts on his helmet. He hands his wife a potion and quaffs one himself. Yuki 1:49:05 PM "... Guess dat be da order t'charge." After waving farewell to Ohee, the troll heads out of the tent to mount up on her favored ride--a jet-black panther that must have been captured far away from her homeland. The big cat yowls irritation at being ridden, but at least he does not throw his rider. For that kindness, he earns a headpat and a chunk of dried meat from her saddlebag. Rabblerouser 1:49:50 PM "Shite...guess we're goin' in 'ard." He says, shrugging it off before letting loose a harsh whistle that shreds through the air. A massive armored proto drake screeches through the sky, landing just barely enough for the orc to swing himself into the saddle. Taozhu cocks his head, "Oh, a frontal assault? Well then!" He chuckles, only for talons to dig into his shoulders as the proto-drake hefts the pandaren up like an eagle snatching a rabbit. "WHO WHAT WOOOAAAH AHHHH!" Cobrak merely laughs, "C'mon, Tao! Be like ol' times!" W A N D E R 1:51:21 PM "Ha, about time!" Sarrak howled out, kicking into Gar'mak's sides, the pair took off like a bat out of hell, the orc energetically swinging his bullroarer. The air caught the divots in the wood, every swing produced a splitting, droning whistle. The Warsong was coming to break a foot off in an ass or two, and Sarrak had every intention of letting them know just who exactly was on their door stop. Kexti 1:57:55 PM Kex'ti grimaced at the cavalier nature of his allies.
  13. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    K0LD X 8:07:48 PM With her energy spent, the assassin pants, falling to both knees, her chest rising and falling as she works to simply catch her breath and regain at least some of her stamina. Kexti 8:12:59 PM Kex'ti angrily retrieves his sword and walks back to Harbinger/Shokkra. Shizari 8:14:31 PM T'suro can barely stop, the target of his charge now gone. The elf slams his spear into the ground, and the energy built up around him dissipates in a bright flash. The elf collapses to the ground, bits of armor sagging and falling off of his frame as he collapses, his body noticeably thinner. Rabblerouser 8:14:51 PM Ignazh, ignorant of whatever was happening, was busy trying to keep Harbinger from rising again. The kor'kron have begun keeping it pinned and downed. Kexti 8:16:41 PM "You're Ignazh Deathrage, I assume," Kex'ti says, limping over as the adrenaline of combat wears off. He coughs, and mends his wounds. Konro 8:21:20 PM Harbinger strains under the pressure, barely conscious. The Dark Iron begin to cheer but are quickly silenced by the bloodied Harrowmont. "We still got one to take lads." He points his hammer at the balcony, and the blood trail leading down the hall. Rabblerouser 8:22:39 PM "Hey, hey! Commandant, you in there?! Hellscream's ass, give us somethin'!" The orc growled, turning his yellowed gaze to Kex'ti disinterestedly. "Yeah that's me." Yuki 8:23:57 PM Kejala listens to the howls and screams of fury around her as their prey disappears in an instant. She lends her voice to the cacophony, howling... laughter. The troll bends over with it, feeling every wound and bruise and pulsing ache but unable to suppress the fit of inappropriate mirth. It takes her quite some time to quiet down. Kexti 8:24:47 PM "This is your cousin. Just so you know. Rabblerouser 8:26:12 PM "Yeah I heard the shitstain say it too." He says flippantly, staring back down into Harbinger's face. "...Dunno if he's right or another lie. Hope's a dangerous thing." Kexti 8:28:36 PM "It is her." Yuki 8:30:29 PM At last she wipes tears from her eyes and catches her breath. "So. Ya rescued da mutant orc 'n lost da pretty elf. Dat 'bout right?" Rabblerouser 8:32:41 PM Ignazh snorted, turning the gaze to Harbinger once more. "Even so, this much fel an' she ain't the same." Rabblerouser 8:34:17 PM Cobrak collapses to his side, his injuries catching up to him finally as he lowly growls his displeasure at everything. The testosterone had worn off and he was a panting mess. "S...shite..." He grumbles, looking for once distraught. Konro 8:35:10 PM The Dark Iron quickly make their way up the balcony and down the hallway. A couple minutes later they come back, holding the Fel Iron Commander Bhelen, and a large demonic looking mechanical device with several documents in Harrowmont's hands. They throw down the still breathing Bhelen and delicately drop the device next to @Xara . Harrowmont hands over the documents. "Here, only things worth something we could find. Along with Bhelen and-" He kicks the device. "This monstrosity." K0LD X 8:35:31 PM Kahlan moves to her boss's side, making her way in a slight limp, "What now, boss?" She asks through bared teeth, in pain, but fighting through it. Kexti 8:36:33 PM Kex'ti sighs. "Keep her safe while we make our plans for her. I will return." Kexti 8:36:37 PM Kex'ti moves to Cobrak. Xara 8:38:09 PM Juli had turned and punched the wall, once, twice, three times. Her hand was most certainly broken by the time she stops. With a supreme effort of will, she turns to look over the others, focusing on Kex;'ti and Shokkra first before looking over the others. Injuries, everywhere; but no one else dead. She takes the documents from Harrowmont automatically but doesn't look at the device. Nor does she speak, not trusting herself to not simply start screaming again. Rabblerouser 8:40:06 PM Cobrak keeps his gaze to the ground, not answering Kahlan as he absorbs more death. More pain. He'd have to tell Tsuyi. That thought alone made the orc's heart wither somewhat, such news after just having woken up. She hadn't even gotten the chance to see her father since. The orc closed his eye as he sat in the filth of the battle, his armor bloodstained and torn as he looked sorrowfully at the floor. Kexti 8:40:09 PM Kex'ti stares down at Cobrak, and feels the weight of his sword in his hand. He sheathes the blade, and kneels down. Kexti 8:40:27 PM "You fought well. Taozhu's passing is a loss for all of us. Shall I tend your wounds?" Shizari 8:40:43 PM T'suro pants heavily on the ground, his frame almost looking sickly, as he tries to pick himself up... but can't. "Dammit... damn him..." Arahe 8:41:20 PM Ohee continues to be outside Grim Batol, petting the mounts sent to her with a fully equipped medical tent. K0LD X 8:42:09 PM Kahlan falls to a knee again with a sound, the blood from the stab on her thigh far more noticeable now, making a sound as she kneels, pausing before sheathing her weapons to clutch the wound. Rabblerouser 8:42:55 PM Cobrak gulped down everything, looking up at Kex'ti. For once, it is not a hateful or sarcastic one, it’s an understanding one. The gaze shifts to Julilee then, a silent message as he shakes his head. His gaze shifts to Kahlan then, the orc struggles to stand, falling to his knee but once before rising up to hobble his way to the elfess. Yuki 8:43:39 PM "Well. I be leavin' da lotta ya t'sort out da mess. Gonna go get patched up 'n check on Kit." After collecting her used fetishes and totems, the troll saunters her way out of the room before someone decides she needs to be punched. K0LD X 8:44:03 PM Kahlan would look up at her commander. Though her face was hidden, it was easy to sense her insecurity for a change. She didn't understand what just happened or the significance of who they fought. Arahe 8:48:08 PM Ohee can also be called to move up to their current location, like she established when she said "Give me a shout if you need me to move up at any point!" before they even went into Grim Batol. Xara 8:50:03 PM Juli meets Cobrak's gaze, her eyes more than flinty. She clearly wants to murder and Cobrak would understand why. She looks back at Harrowmont. "Let's gather everyone and leave this damned place. We have a medical station outside at a recovery point." Arahe 8:52:20 PM Ohee comes jogging in moments later, per Kex'ti's call on the hearthstone. She has the mounts of whomever left or sent them outside in tow. Her eyes widen slightly at the level of carnage but immediately scans for who among their allies was most wounded. She addresses Kex'ti and Juli. "Who is most in need of attention?" Konro 8:54:24 PM Harrowmont frowns, barking to one of his boys that rushes up. "My lad here can teleport us outside if ye like. Away from... all this." He watches his soldiers mourn their fallen comrades. Arahe 8:55:53 PM Ohee whips a finger up at Harrowmont as if to stop his speech without losing any of her chipper attitude. "We should ensure everyone is at least stable enough to move via portal transport." Yuki 8:56:28 PM So much for escaping. Kejala sighs as she moves over to check on her cantankerous panther. He gets the rest of her jerky. Baern 8:56:54 PM Baern, watches the fury unleashed around him a profound sense of understanding. He knew this rage and this frustration. He had been victim to it for years. Or, a few months ago, in the case of Karthok, specifically. But even in his understanding, he does not share it. To that, he is numb. For Lohd, he is worried. "The first you need to check on is Lohd," Baern says with commanding attention. "He suffered a back injury and I don't want to attempt to move him any further until we know the extent of it." Konro 8:57:18 PM "Nobody's stable while they're looking at this mess, and that was before we got here." Harrowmont runs his hand through his blood soaked beard. Baern 8:58:19 PM To the rest of the gathered group, he rises to his full height and intones swiftly and decisively. "If you are not in need of medical attention, use your hearthstone and return to the guildhall. There will be a full debriefing of this all, soon, and your attendance may be necessary. But for now, we need to focus on the wounded." Arahe 8:58:52 PM "HAH-SHUSH. Unless you're about to tell me who is the most physically injured here, I dont want to hear it mister!" She declares as she trots over to Lohd and begins a quick examination. Tirien 8:59:25 PM Lohd lays on his front and breathes slow and deep. His magical reserves have run dry from up keeping a renewal on his injuries. Arahe 9:03:48 PM Rubbing her hands together causes them to emit a soft glow. She runs them along the giant, probably naked Tauren's back, frowning as she does so. "Oh. Oh An'she." Her hands stretch along his ribcage, soft, healing light suffusing the area. "What in the Earthmother's graces happened to him?" Xara 9:09:06 PM To Harrowmont Juli says, "We need to talk about your nephew. Come to Sanctuary's guildhouse in Dalaran when you're available." She walks off to go see what is being done to restrain Harbinger -- Shokkra. W A N D E R 9:09:55 PM Sarrak peered at the group before he turned to attend to his own wounds... And fret over Gar'mok. He sat himself down with the wolf, working his boot knife out, he cleaned the blood from his skin, hissing softly as he went about digging shrapnel and fel iron rounds from his flesh. "Is that her?" He called out, turning his head. "I promised Shana I'd find my niece." Baern 9:13:17 PM "That's Kex'ti's read and I trust his judgment more than anyone's," Baern answers. "We're going to bring her back to the guildhall in Dalaran, see what we can do about relieving some of this corruption. We have one of the Cenarion Circle's best on staff, so she'll be in the best hands. Specializes in fel corruption, as a matter of fact." It's more matter of fact than reassuring, but he wants to be as clear as possible with Sarrak, given his pulling Baern's tail literally out of the fire. Arahe 9:16:18 PM Ohee gently pats the hulking, broken form of Lohd, his fur glowing softly with the energy. "That should... hold him together enough so we can get him to Miss Maralah. As a druid she's going to be better equipped to help him." She moves on to the next most injured looking patient, which is an elf laying facedown on the floor. "Excuse me, sir?" She begins rolling T’suro over. Konro 9:16:35 PM "You'll have more luck with this." Harrowmont kicks the device again. "Nasty piece of work it is, but it could help." He whistles to his mages and points at the Fel Iron corpses, as well as all the test subjects. "Burn it." Shizari 9:17:17 PM T'suro gets rolled onto his back, his armor continuing to sage and slip around on his frame, plates and straps looking as if they were never tightened to begin with, even though they were. Xara 9:18:17 PM Julilee ensured Harbinger is secured. As transportation is arranged, first getting the injured back to the recovery area, then from there transportation back to Sanctuary guildhall, she moves back to the device, hearing what Harrowmont said about it. She looks at it, having no clue what it is or its purpose. "How will it help?" she asks him. Arahe 9:20:53 PM The plump priestess huffs in a breath, light brimming around her fingertips before she paps them onto the sides of T’suro's face, the most accessible part of him outside of armor, letting the healing light flow into him and at least alleviate his wounds. Konro 9:24:42 PM The corpses burn brightly in the sick torture room, something finally being done about the monstrosities this place creates. "We call it the Hell Ripper. Far as we can tell it was built by a demon. It'll take the fel, every last bit it can muster, out of whatever you point it at. And it can fill something with fel as well, like this bastard." He kicks Bhelen in the jaw. "He'll know more." Shizari 9:26:50 PM T'suro gasps as he feels light flow into his body. His wounds close up and start to heal, but his body does not start to fill back out. Arahe 9:27:57 PM "Good morning sunshine!" Ohee chirps with a smile. "Can you describe to me the problem?" Shizari 9:30:21 PM T'suro huffs and tries to lift himself up. "I used too much power at once... this tends to happen..." Arahe 9:31:33 PM Helping him sit up, she scrutinizes the loose fitting armor. "Would removing the armor help? It looks heavy for you." Shizari 9:32:06 PM T'suro sighs and flops back down. "I'd be able to move at least..." W A N D E R 9:34:31 PM The orc's eyes met Baern and stuck on him for some time before he snorted, returning to licking his wounds. "I'll take your word for it." He said. "What about you, Tauren. You alright?" He asked, not bothering to bring his head up as he dug a piece of metal from his hide, inspecting it for a moment. Hmmph. Arahe 9:36:03 PM Ohee sets to work making another member of Sanctuary naked, not that she was responsible for Lohd, and begins removing some of T’suro's armor stopping whenever he indicated he was light enough to move again. Baern 9:36:45 PM "Burns," Baern says, without yet demonstrating them. "The fire heated my superheated my armor, so I doubt I'm going to have much in the way of fur or skin once I decide to peel it off. I bought like four fire resist enchantments too, just never got them applies to the plate." He is bitter about that. Shizari 9:37:59 PM T'suro is left in a crimson shirt and black pants, with no boots after Ohee strips him of his armor. He slowly stands, using his weapon as leverage. "Thank you... I'll be fine in a day, I hope." Xara 9:38:52 PM Juli continues making arrangements, shepherding everyone out, ensuring Harbinger, the devices, and the documents are seen to safely. It wasn't safe here, and as soon as everyone could move, they'd be put on mounts, in litters, or teleported out as abilities allowed. Arahe 9:39:21 PM She helps him up as best she can, stepping back when she’s confident he won't just fall over again. "Well, you let me know if you need any more of my help sunshine." Shizari 9:41:51 PM "I... should be fine, thank you." T'suro nods at Ohee and smiles. Arahe 9:42:41 PM She beams back at him before exiting with the rest under Juli's guidance. Kexti 9:42:52 PM Kex'ti stares at the fortress. "I hate this place." Shizari 9:43:10 PM T'suro marches through, resting on his spear as a walking stick. Xara 9:44:37 PM "Should have bombed it flat," Juli mutters, though it's in rather poor taste considering what nearly happened the last time Sanctuary was here. Konro 9:44:54 PM Harrowmont, his troops, their comrades' corpses, and the Fel Iron commander march through a portal, letting the fire scorch Grim Batol clean. Rabblerouser 9:55:51 PM Cobrak takes one final look as this hellhole burned, making one final move to take Taozhu's cowl, taking it with him before vanishing into the portal.
  14. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    Xara 6:32:17 PM Julilee is swatted by Harbinger, knocking her head to the side. It's just in time to see Taozhu's fate. "TAOZHU!" she screams. Leaping off of Harbinger, she charges madly at Karthok, all injuries forgotten as she goes absolutely berserk. Whatever is thrown at her she ignores; all she wants to do is reach Karthok and take his head off with Mercy. Burg 6:33:59 PM Aaren is jarred to sense with the flashing light that destroyed the pandaren, thought she doesn't yet know its cause. She pushes herself up to sit, though her muscles refuse to cooperate very well. She finally rests down on her elbows and surveys who is where for when she can muster any type of spell. Aaren doesn't see Taozhu, and is honestly in the moment in awe of Juli once her vision straightens. Kexti 6:34:07 PM "TAOZHU!" Kexti 6:34:41 PM Kex'ti looks between Shokkra and Karthok. W A N D E R 6:38:20 PM The veteran orc paused as he watched the display. That sealed it. He charged forward, slipping from Gar'mak, his landing softened by a roll. His footsteps thundered, his axe unsheathed and held angled, ready to slam the pommel into his nephew. In the mean, Gar'mak bayed, trouncing over to the Tauren they'd nabbed earlier. His teeth sunk into a loose piece of armor, and he was pulled back to relative safety by the hulking wolf. Rabblerouser 6:40:57 PM Cobrak rolls up, glaring at Karthok with a growing rage, him and that bitch were going to get the business of his pistol shoved up their- "M'sorry." That catches Cobrak's attention, just in time to see his pandaren friend disappear into assorted pieces of a fluttering grey cloud. The orc sits there, stunned into disbelief as images race across his mind. Rhuune, Brammorn, Ny'shra...and now Taozhu... There was nothing to mourn, not even a body remained. It clenched the orc's heart like a vice, squeezing upon it s though to drain all of the growing sorrow to fuel the rage simmering below. Everything that he was, everything that he will be; will exist to kill Karthok now...as slowly and as painfully as possible. The orc roared his pain, the orange cloak around him igniting once more into a blur of fury as he raced on all fours to join Julilee's murder attempt on the warlock. Xara 6:43:54 PM "We should go," Kalisto repeats, laying her hand on Karthok's arm. Baern 6:49:11 PM Whipping through the air and dragged across the ground, Baern's armor cooled swiftly. Still, being trapped with the heat had fatigued him more than anything else. He gave a swift pet to the wolf before getting back to his hooves; a tall order given the weight that he was carrying. He wasn't in any shape to fight any longer, and dropped his axe to the ground. But he did need to check on someone. "Lohd," he says, clearly winded. "Can you hear me?" Tirien 6:52:22 PM Lohd stirs from his recovery. The Nightmare magics from earlier seep over his form and begin to shape his flesh. Eyes and tentacles shift and shambles across his form until it again takes on a monstrous form. His horn retain their purity, even as his rages locks onto Karthok. "I am fine," The mutates voice relays through a mouth on his ribcage. It sounds otherwordly, alien, yet distinctly Lohd's. Being so close, Baern can see the strenuous attachment of the chimera's flesh to its spiked spine. Burg 6:55:15 PM Aaren finally gets herself up to a sitting position, since it was made much more difficult by the chain wrapped around her legs. She grabs it to pull its barbs out of her, whichever end would allow that to happen first, and she gasps in pain when the first one or two come out through her gown dripping with blood. Her face suggests she is in much more pain than the gasp suggests. Fel lightning is still lightning, and she has a metal chain wrapped around her. Baern 7:06:20 PM Baern rips his helm off. He also doesn't have time to fuck around. "I don't believe you," Baern says bitterly. The helm becomes a blunt weapon, smashing into the mass of flesh on his spine. Tirien 7:14:11 PM Lohd yelps in surprise. The blow at such a weak spot cripples the thing and sends it to the stones. A shooting pain spikes up and clouds his vision in white, interrupting the channel of sinister magic. In a way it purges the sensation all together and offers the Druid clarity. Controlling his form, Lohd stabilizes into his normal, massive Tauren body. Baern 7:16:26 PM Baern drops the helm and stomps it into the stones. Tirien 7:16:27 PM He is still conscious, though wracked with pain. What little restorative magic he is capable of, he knits into his back. Kexti 7:18:36 PM "DO NOT LET THE DEMON HUNTER OR WARLOCK ESCAPE! THIS ENDS HERE!" Kexti 7:18:42 PM Kex'ti follows Julilee's charge. Shizari 7:19:30 PM T'suro sees the dusted remains of the pandaren mage. The elf pants and recoils in horror. Another loss, another dead... because of him.. that orc... that... DEMON. With a wild, feral scream, he purely explodes in the power of the Light, four wings of radiant power appearing on his back, as the radiant fury of the Sunwell swirls around him. "YOU WILL DIE, DEMON!" T'suro charges forward, his body, his eyes, his weapon all glowing a bright, imposing gold as he makes a mad dash. No games, not anymore. His goal is to stab the bastard through the neck and burn him from the inside out with Holy Light until he was reduced to the same piles of ash he left Taozhu in. "EVERY LIFE YOU'VE TAKEN, YOU WILL SUFFER FOR NOW! FOR THE HORDE! FOR QUEL'THALAS! FOR! SANCTUARY!" Konro 7:54:29 PM Karthok takes Kalisto's arm, grins, and in the split second before a sure death, he is gone. Kexti 7:55:29 PM Kex'ti hurls his sword ineffectually at the grin. Kexti 7:56:01 PM "Get back here you fucking coward so I can slit your throat and feed you your entrails! I will find you and fucking butcher you! You will never be safe again Karthok, as long as I draw breath, I will find you!" Kexti 7:56:14 PM Kex'ti howls in rage. Xara 7:57:19 PM Julilee skids to a stop. The target of her rage vanished, but her rage not, her scream joins Kex'ti's. K0LD X 7:58:06 PM Kahlan lines up her revolves at Kalisto to try and unleash a barrage of thunderous shots at her target, ceasing as they vanish before finally collapsing, the wound on her leg catching up to her as she falls to a knee with a sound of pain. Xara 7:58:07 PM A few moments later, Kalisto reappears, next to Aaren. "Those are mine," she says, grasping the hilts of her chain-swords still wrapped partly around Aaren. She gives them a swift jerk, bringing Aaren up against her. Burg 7:58:54 PM The threat is gone, so Aaren stops trying to rip the chain and barbs from her legs and just breathes, as difficult as that might be at the moment. The jerk tightens the grip again and Aaren screams in pain. Rabblerouser 7:59:41 PM Cobrak skids to a halt, his fists beating his chest and then the floor in an animalistic fury, his breath heaving in agonizing snarls. A baleful howl rings from his lips, draining the fury from him as he collapses to his knees, its almost mournful in how it bellows. K0LD X 7:59:56 PM Kahlan would look up at Kalisto, following her target as she manages to try to take one last swing at the demon hunter with her blades, quickly switching weapons again. Her voice letting out a pained yell, doing her best to avoid snagging Aaren in the attack. Kexti 7:59:57 PM Kex'ti turns back to Aaren's cry. Burg 7:59:57 PM Her face pales and she turns to grab onto Cobrak who was nearby moments before, forgetting that he had ran in rage at Karthok. Xara 8:01:00 PM Kalisto is forced to vanish again as Kahlan comes after her. Except this time, since she's touching Aaren, she takes her with her. And does not return.
  15. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    Xara 2:58:33 PM Kalisto blinks after Karthok, moving with the same impossible teleporting ability. Some have seen it before. Her amber tattoos glow brightly as she whips her chain swords forward, aiming at Aaren, the bladed lash meant to wrap around the priest's legs, dig in, and drag her down. Rabblerouser 2:59:08 PM Cobrak seethes as the tendons in his right leg are severed, forcing him to a knee. The fire has yet to burn out of his eye, as he focuses all he can on Karthok, tracing everywhere he blinks to. A pattern that he can see, this was not random but calculated. Taozhu gasps at Kex'ti, his hands quickly moving before the Harbinger and mumbling an incantation...maybe if he can dispel the magic around her... Ignazh makes it to the balcony, seeking the succubus. Kexti 3:02:17 PM "Get in the fight, Commander!" Kex'ti barks. "Shokkra! Wake up! I know you're in there, you can't let Karthok use you like this!" Burg 3:02:20 PM Aaren feels a small bit of satisfaction when the spell hits the demon and interrupts its own dark spell. It lasts only a second before seeing the beast-like orc turning its attention onto Julilee and Kex'ti. Kex'ti can heal himself, and has proven resilient enough, but Aaren casts a protective spell around Juli to help her suppress her pain and make the monk's healing more effective. Her chests nearly seizes at the revelation of Shokkra, but she doesn't quit casting even in her fatigue. Aaren gets one more cast of heavenly fire to fall onto the succubus before the chain grabs her and easily knocks the priestess into landing hard on her back. Rabblerouser 3:07:48 PM Cobrak tracks Karthok's movements still; he had attacked Cobrak due to the immediate threat, or the personal vendetta between the two, then he had moved to Kex'ti and Kejala, the menders and casters, he was going to aim for their backline as Cobrak would have... Which means his next target...would be Aaren or Taozhu. Cobrak struggled to get to his feet, soon leaping towards Aaren with knife in hand. Burg 3:15:22 PM The ground-hit knocks the air from Aaren's lungs, and she involuntarily tries to pull her legs from the chains while trying to catch her breath again. They don't loosen as she would wish, and even cause pain to shoot through her legs. Her first proper breath leads to her calling out characteristic obscenities. K0LD X 3:16:08 PM There would be a figure tracing Kalisto's movements unseen. As Kalisto would make an attempt to strike Aaren, a pair of darkened katana would thrust towards her back, looking to erupt through her chest, wielded by a feminine assassin in a skull-faced mask without warning appeared behind her. Shizari 3:16:18 PM T'suro picks himself up and charges towards the Commander. "Don't falter, commander!" He sticks his hand out, a shield of holy power encasing around her. Konro 3:17:40 PM As Ignazh gets up to the balcony, he meets Bhelen head on. The Dwarf Lord charges the mage, swinging his greatsword at the orc's legs. The succubus lies against the wall, barely breathing as she attempts to mend her burn wounds. Harbinger's armor protects it from Kex'ti's strike for the most part, a glancing blow at best. The orc makes to grab Kex'ti and smash him into the ground. Karthok appears behind Aaren as Kalisto is attacked, shooting fel lightning from his fingertips to wrack the elf's body. Xara 3:21:47 PM The katana impales Kalisto. The demon hunter staggers, turning around to strike an elbow at Kahlan's face. Somehow, she doesn't go down, and in fact, the strike is aimed with a shocking speed and strength behind it. Kexti 3:24:27 PM Kex'ti lets himself get grabbed, inhaling a potion in the process. "Shokkra, wake up! Remember who your friends are!" Burg 3:26:13 PM Aaren isn't yet ready to shield herself, much less sit up and take inventory of the situation. Her past troubles have left her still with little stamina despite her recovery. She isn't ready for the sudden appearance of the Karthok, or the lightning instantly coursing through her. Yuki 3:29:55 PM Kejala gets hit by a corpse, of all things, and that certainly knocks her sprawling onto the ground. She lies there for a moment, groaning, and tries to figure out where the fuck that even came from. K0LD X 3:30:35 PM The assassin would tumble away from Kalisto, abruptly taking the katanas out of Kalisto's chest and with her as she keeps them firm in her grip. She falters a moment as she finds her footing and gets back up, clutching the side of her head where she was struck before shaking it off and firing a quick distracting shot for the demon hunter's head with a quickly drawn revolver before rushing in again with a sprint, ready to clash blades. Rabblerouser 3:31:21 PM "LOK'TAR OGAR!" Ignazh, for the firs time showing passion, blazes his sword as he rushes to meet Bhelen's charge. The two blades clash in a bone-shattering flash of steel, sending sparks flying from their crossing. Ignazh tries to lock Bhelen in place with his blade then, forcing the dwarf to stay in place long enough for him to fill his lungs with air...and then exhale a plume of flame right for his face. Cobrak's gambit paid off as he collides with the sudden teleporting form of Karthok as he was electrocuting the priestess. The weight of the runty orc was enough to knock the two off course, tumbling around as their last brawl was. Cobrak felt the fel lightning upon him now, but fury kept him in check long enough to stab down with his knife, hopefully perforating one of the warlock's lungs. Baern 4:04:10 PM With the threat of the Dwarves out of the way and the threat of the Eredar bearing down on the others, Baern charges. The Dwarves were a painful lot to face and without Aaren's shield and the distractions of the others, he'd be far more injured, but going toe to toe with an Eredar was exactly the kind of combat that he excelled at. Launching off a table, Baern chokes up on his axe and swings for the back of the demon's head with the flat of it. He didn't mind sacrificing power for accuracy in this, and even though the blow wasn't intended to be debilitating or even painful, he hoped that it'd be enough to grab this thing's attention. Nothing is said. His eyes follow the movement of its muscles. His hands settle into position on his axe. His hooves shuffle into a defensive stance. He awaits the eredar's next move. Konro 4:19:25 PM Karthok grunts and teleports out from under Cobrak, the singed beastmaster dropping about half a foot to the ground. Blood dripped from Karthok's neck as he looks over the room and flexes his hands. He appears first behind Kahlan, stabbing a blade formed of shadow at the assassin's thigh and twisting, then moving to Julilee with a conflagration of fel flame. By the time it starts to burn, the neck wound has healed itself halfway. The Eredar turns as the back of Baern's axe hits its collar. It barks an insult about fel cows or somesuch. The smell of sulfur fills the brief space between eredar and tauren as the demon spouts a gout of flame from its maw. Harbinger stares at Kex’ti with a burning hatred. "You will break." It says, then smashes the monk down at the stone. Konro 4:20:56 PM Bhelen recoils as the flame burns his beard, the Fel Iron commander shrieking and making to run down the hall. K0LD X 4:22:55 PM Kahlan would grunt in pain as her sprint turns into a clumsy tumble, quickly reaching to pull the dagger out of her leg and stand again, resuming her sprint towards Kalisto. The one who stabbed her would be next. Xara 4:24:35 PM Kalisto had vanished as soon as Kahlan pulled the katana out of her. When she reappears, after a longer length of time than her teleporting had required before, it's beside Cobrak and Karthok just as Karthok teleports away. She reaches down to grab Cobrak and huck him over her head at the nearest enemy, whoever that might be. Xara 4:25:52 PM Julilee was trying to get between Harbinger and Kex'ti again when Karthok appeared with the fel conflagration. She cries out as it engulfs her, getting her shield up enough to deflect it partially, but not enough. Badly burned, she staggers and tries to swing at him. Kexti 4:25:59 PM Kex'ti hurdles to the stone. "This isn't your rage. You aren't this weak, Shokkra!" Kexti 4:26:25 PM He hits the stone, and coughs up blood. "This isn't you!" Burg 4:29:43 PM Several moments after the lightning is gone, however long it takes to catch her breath another time, Aaren curls up onto her side. She plants her hands as if she's going to try to sit up, but she is still for as long as she is left while waiting for the effects of the fel to subside, or to become accustomed to it enough to do something again. W A N D E R 4:43:03 PM Sarrak grunted, taking note of Baern and the Eredar. He furrowed his brow, glancing at the fel orc for a moment and- No, that couldn't be Shokkra. He rolled his lower jaw, drawing his tongue over the heavy iron bands on his fangs. Fine. He bounded onto Gar'mak, snapping an order. He howled out as they charged towards the Eredar, the orc's axe bradished, held low, skittering against the floor. They'd run a circle around the demon, Sarrak swinging, keen on hamstringing the beast. Rabblerouser 4:44:23 PM Ignazh would deal with the coward later, demons must always come first. He snarled towards the succubus, his sword blazing as he rushes forward to take off her head. Rabblerouser 4:45:58 PM Cobrak is winded and pained, yet still he tries to fight off Kalisto with his pistol firing off for her. Yet, he only manages to knick her ear before he tossed like a ball over her head and right into Aaren. The orc's landing isn't gentle on her nor his own injuries as he tries to roll off of her. Burg 4:50:12 PM Just when Aaren is starting to get a hold of herself, she is flattened onto her stomach by Cobrak being tossed onto her. The force and movement makes the chain tighten around her legs, but between that and being crushed and everything else she can't make sound. Baern 4:53:34 PM Sarrak caught Baern's eye immediately, so much so that he bore the brunt of the incoming firestorm to allow himself to be relieved. His armor sizzled in the heat, the enameling boiling and popping almost instantly. It wasn't enough to roast Baern for certain, but plenty to cause his muscles to seize up as the temperature rose. Sarrak and he spoke for all of ten minutes, and yet he was putting his life in the orc's hands. Sanctuary and battle forge quick bonds. Konro 5:05:28 PM "I told you I would have her, Liene." Karthok says, taking Julilee's slash in force across his chest. "But you didn't listen. Just like you didn't listen when poor Shokkra cried for help." He teleports behind her and smashes a demonbolt at the back of her head before disappearing. Harbinger raises its foot above Kex'ti's chest, its sneer amplified by the scar on its face. "Stronger than you." It stomps its armoured foot down. The Eredar's focus on Baern costs him, Sarrak swinging his axe clean through the tendons above his hooves. It falls down in agony, the fire spewing from its mouth flying around him in a rage. The succubus holds up a hand meekly to defend herself against Ignazh's blade, but it does nothing to help her as the fiery sword cleaves through her head and into the wall. Karthok reappears and sends a massive bolt of fel lightning towards the remaining Dark Iron, a strike that would likely turn them all to ash. Rabblerouser 5:10:53 PM There's a blink as Taozhu holds his paws to defend the remainder of the Dark Irons, in lieu of blocking the attack with a shield, his arms are drawn like he was pulling back an arrow for a bow. His arms are interspersed with runic symbols as he "catches" the lightning to slid down his arm like it were being conducted; a living emerald snake of energy that coils down and around his form. "Now now, none of that." He says like a teacher reprimanding a student. "I believe this belongs to you." The pandaren whirls around, drawing the energy around before igniting with his own pristine azure aura, empowering the fel lightning with his arcane flare and sending it hurtling back towards Karthok. W A N D E R 5:19:07 PM He kicked his heels into Gar'mak's side, the wolf scampering off, making a half circle before they charged back. His axe holstered, he held a hand out, hissing as the hair on his bare arm singed and burnt. He groped blindly as they sped past and- Got it. He'd hooked his fingers into Baern's armor, tearing him out of the way. Now, there was only so much he could really do while mounted, and while he'd pulled the Tauren out of harms' way, he'd need to let go, or be wrenched from the hound's back. Another half circle, turning back to face the combat. Sarrak panted, the smell of singed fur filled his nose. "Damnit." He huffed, his chest heaving. If he were lucky, he'd have just enough time to catch his breath. "Karthok, you dog." He grumbled under his breath. "Finish this." He said, his voice rising. "Nephew, let's finish this." Yuki 5:44:25 PM Kejala wriggles her way out from under the corpse, swearing to herself all the while. "Don't be payin' me enough fer dis, elf," she mutters once back on her feet. A quick survey of the room shows everyone embroiled in battle of some type, plus a face she had not noticed before. "Folk be comin' outta da air in dis place," she quips in an attempt to regain her usual good humor. Feeling a bit better, the troll fires up another spell and holds it baking in her palm until the teleporting madman stays still long enough for her to have a good shot. Then it would fly with precision at her intended target. Xara 5:46:22 PM Juli dodges the bolt aimed at her, mostly through sheer luck as she staggers. She turns around to look at Harbinger. "Shokkra...!" She racks her hazy mind, trying to think of what they can do to disable her safely. Seeing the foot coming down towards Kex'ti, she rushes in again, trying to tackle Harbinger. Though she's a fraction of her size, the force is able to muster is considerable, and Harbinger is on one foot. Xara 5:48:25 PM Kalisto looks around, clearly checking to see where Karthok is, and teleports beside him. The wound on her chest is not bleeding, though there is blood down her front and back. Like Karthok she heals damnably quickly. Vionora had gotten run through a time or two as well as some might recall. But Kalisto is definitely not moving nearly as fast as she did before, and her weapons are lost entangled in Aaren. "We should go," she says to Karthok. Shizari 5:58:01 PM T'suro runs up towards Harbinger and jumps into the air. With Juli's shield wrecking its equilibrium, T'suro elbows the beast in the gut to knock it over. Rabblerouser 6:15:49 PM Ignazh growls at the demonic bitch, the satisfying smell of burning flesh reaching his nose as lifts a hand to turn the whole of the demon ablaze in fire; couldn't be too safe with demons. The orc ran over to his Uncle's call, letting loose an affirmative grunt as he surveys the scene below. If Harbinger really was Shokkra...he'd have to use nonlethal force to bring her down, and that meant 99% of his spells. He took a sigh, maybe he can try an ice spell. Lifting his arms, he tried to do as his old master had taught, to visualize the spell forming, to bind the wayward energies of the universe into what you willed it to be. Harbinger's feet became slightly damp as a small layer of frost swept on them. The orc sighed, why did he bother? The orcish way it is then as he took a running leap for Harbinger to pummel the maybe Shokkra to submission. Konro 6:16:14 PM Harbinger is knocked off its feet as Julilee and T'suro tackle it, slamming down hard on the stone. The adrenaline starts to fade, and the pain starts to kick in. The fel orc groans as it swats at Julilee. The last few Fel Iron try to surrender, but are quickly cut down by the enraged Dark Iron, completely oblivious to the fact they were almost destroyed. Karthok is caught completely off guard by the redirection, his own lightning shocking and burning through his body. He screams, hitting the wall from the force of the blast. Karthok looks up at the pandaren, his features contorted into a mask of loathing. "How dare you usurp my power." He fires lightning back at the pandaren directly this time, catching the bear in his electrifying grip. Taozhu's skeleton in shown to all in the room in green flashes that alight Karthok's face. He starts to laugh in awe of his own ability, screaming his own praises. "My... unlimited... POWER!" Karthok shouts in sadistic glee, Taozhu screaming in agony as his body explodes into ash on the ground. Karthok steps forward, laughing gleefully. "What's the expression, Liene? From ashes we rise?" Rabblerouser 6:23:57 PM Taozhu initially struggles to block the incoming lightning, trying to redirect it once more...but somehow Karthok has changed the mystical frequency of his lightning. The pandaren struggled with this newfound dilemma, weaving it to the best of his ability. It raced and slashed across his person, tearing off bits and pieces of his fur in the process as it began to literally rip him apart. He struggles in vain, tossing off and redirecting as much lightning as he can, but he is a boulder before a tsunami, and can only divert so much. His azure cowl rips off his head in the struggle, blowing away as his body fails to finds the power needed to divert Karthok's onslaught. He groans, teeth clenching as he calls out a final, "M'sorry..." The penultimate flash of fel lightning seals his fate, all that is left of Taozhu Shi-Hen is scattered dust, and a forgotten cowl that is greyed from his remains. A pair of amethyst crystalline legs that served as his prosthetics became the marker for his grave, smoking still from the lightning.
  16. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    Shizari 7:38:23 PM T'suro huffs and twirls his spear over head before entering combat stance. Wings of light pop from behind his back as he charges at the Harbinger. As he charges, he hurls a bolt of Judgment at it, and stabs it in its side after charging his spear with holy power. Xara 7:39:01 PM Juli moves toward, raising her shield to catch the massive fel orc's strike. Its strength is considerable but she plants her feet and pushes back. Rabblerouser 7:39:48 PM Cobrak growls, as the Fel Iron suddenly strive to overwhelm the orcish Boss. Not an easy task for them at least as they try to dogpile him, but the orc is in too much of a frenzy to stop killing now. One unfortunate dwarf gets his throat bitten out by the savage orc, another receives a point blank rifle shot the forehead. Taozhu takes deep breaths, his paws forming quickened gestures that seek to counteract the fel wards. "Grl'zigog nuras trarl..." He mutters in the Demonic tongue, weaving another rune between his paws. "Shien sho ti guo pan..." The pandaren mutters in his native tongue, sn arcane rune materializes in his opposite pw before clashing the two together. One piece down... Rabblerouser 7:41:58 PM Ignazh snorts smoke, "Oh hey, its the Big Red Bitch." He takes several deep breaths, "Cover me." He orders, his arms weaving around a small living meteor that ignites into a dazzling blue fire. A pyroblast usually reserved for siege fortifications now being summoned to deal with Harbinger. Yuki 7:44:48 PM Kejala rolls her eyes and moves to the back of the room to watch. Fucking morons. Konro 7:45:16 PM Harrowmont whistles to his own Dark Iron, charging forward to meet the fel dwarves head on. Blood is spilled immediately, the Dark Iron forming a defensive blockade and letting the others smash against them. A few break off and charge towards Sanctuary, some throwing their weapons at the taller members wildly. Harbinger roars in rage, T'suro's spear impaling into the unarmored bit of its thigh and the fire billowing into its filled breastplate. It swipes at the elf with and smashes down at the spear to break it off. It howls piercingly through its full helm, loud enough to break eardrums as a few unfortunate Dark Iron learn, their ears bleeding before they're ripped apart by Fel Iron. Kexti 7:48:16 PM "Get to Karthok. This one is mine. Baern, cyclone!" Kexti 7:48:46 PM Kex'ti runs backwards, building momentum, and pivots. Baern 7:49:29 PM "On it!" Baern drops immediately to one knee and gets ready to toss his axe. "Now!" Kexti 7:49:45 PM Kex'ti runs and ascends Baern's armored form, leaping forward as the Tauren rises. Kexti 7:49:53 PM He vaults off the warrior's shoulderplate. Kexti 7:50:13 PM The monk lets his staff fall to the ground before the Grimtotem, one hand forward, the other extended back. Baern 7:50:15 PM On the first footstep that hits his back, he lobs the axe forward right into Kex'ti's arc. Kexti 7:51:04 PM His backward hand grabs the axe, and with a surge of mists, allows the momentum to propel him forward, bringing the weapon into both hands and spinning in a horrendous somersault of steel, using an axe heavier than even his ample frame. Baern 7:52:17 PM Baern, dutifully, picks up the staff and wades into the combat with Dwarves less than half his size. He swings the staff about with one hand, batting at them like a toddler playing with a stick. Kexti 7:53:23 PM Kex'ti whirls, taken by the enormous weapon, slamming it downward at Harbinger's shoulderplate. Yuki 7:56:34 PM Kejala eats a strip of beef jerky and wonders if her panther made it back to the base camp. Rabblerouser 8:01:54 PM Taozhu keeps switching between Demonic and Pandaren, each time clashing two runes against one another. Progress is being made, slowly but surely until Harbinger's battle cry near shatters the pandaren's eardrums, his sensitive ears rattling from such a cacophonous sound. Ignazh grabs his sword, lifting a Fel Iron off his feet as he plunges the blade into the dwarf's gullet and tossing him off like he were a poorly-made kebob. Cobrak's clicks uselessly as he prepares to blow another dwarf's head off, said Dark Iron flinching in fear before laughing at the orc's misfortune; he should have worried more about dodging the bayonet plunging between his eyes instead of thanking his newfound demonic gods that Cobrak was out of bullets. His knife in one hand, and rifle in the other, the orc becomes a maelstrom of death and steel amidst the Fel Iron. Yuki 8:06:03 PM The troll picks at her teeth with a sharp nail. Those stringy pieces of kodo can get really annoying. Tasty, though. Konro 8:09:44 PM The Fel Iron throw themselves at Cobrak and the rest without abandon, trying to do as much damage as possible before they're destroyed. Harbinger screams furiously as Kex'ti's whirlwind of death has through it, the momentum moving clean though its shoulder plate and into its shoulder meat. "Foolish elf!" It snarls, leaping up to try to grab Kex'ti and throw him into the ground. Karthok laughs from above, the smoke starting to fade. "Never learned, did you Kex'ti?" A dwarf warlock near one of the doors notices Kejala's vulnerability and lets loose a volley of shadow bolts at her. Kexti 8:12:06 PM Kex'ti vaults forward from the weapon, skidding low behind the dire orc. He cannot hear over the screeching, but manages to balance his chi enough not to go deaf. The sonic attack hurts him. Shizari 8:12:58 PM T'suro gets knocked back, having pulled his weapon back before it broke. the paladin shakes his head and shivers from the impact, before standing back up, grabbing at his chest. "Damn beast... you won't break me so easily..." With wings still glowing form his back, T'suro charges forward, and slashes his spear in a wide arc, sending a wave of holy energy that cuts down several fel iron and slices into the Harbinger. His ears are ringing, but he keeps himself pumped with holy energy to heal the damage. Burg 8:15:59 PM Aaren spends more time observing rather than fighting, since she's about as bit as a twig as it is. She can't worm into Karthok's head, and can't see the others to assault them, either. A shadowfiend is summoned and bursts from the ground, ordered to bite at Harbinger's ankles and legs, or what it can reach. Aaren hopes it is enough to fool the creature into thinking it's Kex'ti there, and give him time to escape. Yuki 8:17:23 PM So much for taking a break while the rest of the group handles the mess they made. The troll yells in pain as the first chaos bolt strikes home. That will hurt in the morning. Shoving a hand into her pack again, she draws out a fetish and brews a retaliatory spell. That warlock is not the only one who can throw magic around. Another ball of fire and stone rockets toward the warlock as she tries to buy herself a moment to recover. Burg 8:26:07 PM Aaren does her best to hide behind people, not wanting to dirty herself too much because elf instinct. After hearing Kejala, who she decided she liked at the previous meeting, cry out in pain, she throws a volley of healing into her direction without caring much what the source was. Just in time to be able to muster another reflective shield, which she directs onto the large handsome tauren that's mowing down dwarves. Konro 8:26:13 PM The warlock throws himself to the side, taking a scorch to his feet but otherwise fine, until the stones smash into him. Harbinger whirls around to stomp at the shadowfiend as T'suro's holy energy blazes into it. The light cuts across its helm and upper breastplate, nearly burning through its head. With the helm essentially useless, Harbinger rips it off, tossing it at the elven paladin. Underneath the helmet, Harbinger has strong features, increased by the fel corruption its body has suffered. Its hair is cut short enough to hide under the helm, white in colour. A scar runs from its lower jaw up its right cheek. Yuki 8:32:57 PM The healing energy is a welcome change to the pain, and she calls out a grateful, "T'anks!" to whomever provided it. As much as she wants to let the rest of the group clean up their own mess, being a bystander clearly is not an option. Sighing, she turns her focus toward any remaining casters and begins to pepper them with fireballs and eruptions of the ground beneath them to disrupt their spellcasting. Shizari 8:49:37 PM T'suro gets beaned with the helmet and falls onto his back. Blood oozes from his forehead and he reaches for his weapon. He manages to pick himself up, but the wings on his back vanish. "Dammit, time's up on that..." He huffs. The elf charges again, holding his spear to the air, a surge of light in the form of a blade stabs through the harbinger, coming up from beneath its feat Kexti 9:06:04 PM Kex'ti focuses on the creature's chi, underneath the fel and oozing stain of corruption, he finds something....familiar about the beast. Baern 9:19:25 PM Though the Fel Iron are short, that does not mean they don't pack a punch, and Baern finds himself in need of retreat when equipped just with Kex'ti's staff and without Aaren's shield. Even though he found it satisfying to swing away and pummel dwarves with the THWACK THWACK THWACK of it, he was built for 9 foot long axes that weighed hundreds of pounds. Freeing himself from the melee, he retrieves his axe from the ground near the brawl with Harbinger. Kex'ti seems to be taking the beast on one versus one. Should he help out? "Nah," he says to no one in particular, and wades back into the dwarves with wide, sweeping swings. Kexti 9:22:41 PM "T'suro! Fall back, let me handle this one, I have a bad feeling about it!" Kexti 9:22:46 PM He calls to the blood knight. Kexti 9:23:46 PM Kex'ti is unused to wielding a weapon longer than himself, and clears a path for T'suro by hurling the axe in Baern's vague direction. "Baern! Take your axe! " Konro 9:40:47 PM The holy sword blazes through Harbinger's foot, but at this point the pain only fuels the massive muscled orc's adrenaline. It takes a running stance before charging Kex'ti, making to pummel him into the wall. Many Fel Iron are knocked unconscious by Baern's thwacking of Kex'ti's staff, but more are laid down by his axe. The spellcasters are disrupted by Kejala's shamanistic talents though they soon recover, refocusing efforts on the Tauren. Shizari 9:52:24 PM T'suro hears Kex'ti's call and jumps backwards, only to see the hulking beast charge forward towards the commander's husband. "If you say so!" Yuki 9:56:06 PM "Time t'use da big ones..." After another moment of digging, Kejala draws out a couple of carved wooden pieces she quickly binds together with a strip of leather decorated with beads. Once it has been assembled, she mutters a few words and drops it to the ground. Instantly the floor begins to quake and roll, cracks forming in a line racing toward the casters. The crack bursts into a crevasse as four towering earth elementals break free and begin to crash toward the warlocks. Konro 12:15:12 PM Bhelen pales at the earth elementals. His remaining forces will be decimated in no time at all unless he does something. The Fel Dwarf shouts to a fleeing spellcaster to open the scorched door, to which the warlock sprints to accomplish. Opening up the door, he is greeted with the poignant smell of smoke. At the center of the room is a heavily scarred eredar with an enchanted collar around his neck, which if one can read demonic, translates to a spell blocking teleportation. Around the eredar the cell is scorched, looking as though he was attempting to burn through the stone. Upon seeing the open door he roars and charges, throwing forth a wall of flame to blast the toast the warlock. "He's been in there for weeks without food or water. He has quite a fiery temper, a real hotshot that one." Karthok cackles wildly even as the eredar throws a fireball towards him, nearly scorching the orc if not for the wards. Xara 12:17:55 PM Juli charges to intercept Harbinger. Instead of Kex'ti, the fel orc slams her into the wall and starts pummeling her. She catches some blows with her shield, but not all. Rabblerouser 12:39:45 PM Taozhu claps his paws again, sending out a wave of arcane from his paws now that he believes the wards have been depowered from his spellweaving. One more push was it needed. Cobrak is atop a veritable pile of Fel Iron corpses, beating his chest like a maddened gorilla; several stab wounds and burn marks marr his body and armor; it seems rage is all that's keeping him on his toes right now. Ignazh growls, making for Harbinger with sword alight in flame. Best to dogpile the one they've injured already. The kor'kron swings his blade, aiming for the back of the red orc's knee, hoping to cripple him. Kexti 12:40:10 PM "Juli!" Kex'ti yells. Kexti 12:40:43 PM "Who are you!?" Kex'ti yells at Harbinger? He sends a surge of renewing essence to Julilee, then turns to batter Harbinger with a series of slashes from his sword. Tirien 1:06:21 PM Those present feel a sickening pull in their gut. The lights dim just slightly as the air thickens. Something feels...wrong...despite the tortured Eredar, the hulking Orc, and the bloodshed thus far. It's as if the stones take on a fleshy texture as red veins crack and streak along them, winding and twisting through the stonework. Some would recognize the unnatural growths seeping up here and there, others would find it simply unnerving. Through Karthok's gloating, the veins skittering and slip past whatever ward is in place, for who can ever truly prepare against the Nightmare? The hulking form of some unholy mixture of cat, bear, and wyvern seeps up from the red veins pulsing behind Karthok. The sight of it sends a thread of terror to those who may be considered prey and a heightened sense of alarm for those who align with the predator. The chimeric beast utters a low guttural growl as its form rips from the fleshy tendrils on the ground. It's fur is black and thin, skin pocked and festering. Its horns, however, stand in stark contrast to its form. Their pristine carvings remain immaculate amidst the corruption and the white of them remains solid and stable. Savage claws and teeth lunge forward toward Karthok, intent upon claiming the Orc's head. Kexti 1:13:15 PM "Gods below..." Kex'ti utters. Yuki 1:31:10 PM "... Shango protect us," the troll whispers in awe of the thing that rises in the room. At least it seems to be on their side. They will deal with it if and when it becomes a problem. Taking a breath to steady herself, Kejala yanks a bundle of sticks and bones from her pack. Casting so many spells is exhausting, but she has to help going to protect herself if nothing else. Toward their latest enemy she slings a rock larger than Baern designed to splinter into shards that will dig deep into the monstrosity's flesh. Konro 1:48:16 PM Karthok's eyes widen in surprise as the chimera leaps onto him, clawing into his back and chest and chewing through his shoulder. The orc snarls, biting back a larger acknowledgement of the pain. Those beside him quickly sidestep him save for Kalisto, the demon huntress readying her chain swords. The Orcish Warlock grabs the Nightmare Druid by the paws and forcefully throws him over onto the railing, showing a tremendous amount of strength on the orc's part as the Chimera's spine lands with a sickening crunch as it smashes through the rail and onto the edge of the balcony. Karthok keeps hold of the paws and leaps forward into the air, flipping Lohd over and cracking his nightmarish back into the stone again. He drops the druid's battered form, fel sparks crackling at his fingertips before lighting the chimera's skeleton with green lightning, Karthok sneering maliciously as Lohd cries out in pain. Kalisto drops down next to Karthok, brandishing her chain swords defensively. Harbinger batters Julilee relentlessly, only stopping when Ignazh and Kex’ti hack into its legs. "I. AM. HARBINGER!" The fel orc shouts in a voice that's not as masculine as one would assume of it. The succubus on the balcony above strains as Harbinger continues to fight, her nose bleeding. Harbinger whirls and charges back at those striking at it, roaring. The Eredar is pelted with shards of stone, barely protecting itself enough to stay conscious. He curses in eredun and fires a volley of pyroblasts at the troll shaman. Kexti 1:49:34 PM "Somebody, kill that succubus! I do not think Harbinger is as she appears!" Burg 1:57:34 PM Aaren looks up when she hears Kex'ti call out. She had been more worried about keeping people up than attacking, and when she did attack it was fire descending from the heavens onto the enemy. Its damage wasn't enough to be obvious through the pain of the real fighting, but it fueled minor healing of those she was shielding. Her neck was itchy with sweat and her hair was getting matted to her forehead in the heat and the fighting, and for once it wasn't her top priority to fix it. Burg 1:58:07 PM She lifted her staff with focus on the succubus Kex'ti pointed out and began weaving a spell of shadow and light. Shizari 2:02:29 PM T'suro turns his gaze towards the succubus and growls. He slams his spear forward, the entire body of it glowing bright as he shoots a bolt of holy Judgement at the succubus on the balcony. Yuki 2:02:45 PM Great. Now she has made herself a target. Groaning, the shaman hurls herself out of the path of the blasts, but they clips her leg and side anyway. A hot howl bursts free, and she quickly tries to fashion a makeshift cooling spell to counter the pain and heat as best she can. A wave of her hand diverts one of the elementals to take on the eredar while Kejala recovers enough to throw another spell. Tirien 2:04:01 PM The chimera slumps over the side. Bloodied and battered, its form shifts and undulate as flesh and bone knit and stitch. Lohd emerges from the excess residue of Nightmare magic as it chars and disintegrates. The shift gets him away from the worst of the combat as he collapses. His shapeshifting magic, is seems, concentrates on recovery for now. Rabblerouser 2:04:32 PM Cobrak snarls, his nostrils flaring as he grabs a potion from his belt and practically drains the thing. His voice goes to a whisper, something hushed to someone unseen before darting for Karthok. His knife in one hand and a pistol in the other, he begins peppering the warlock with bullets to cover his charge. Should Kalisto interfere, Cobrak has an ace up his sleeve. Taozhu claps his hands, trying to produce a shield around Lohd to protect him from the lightning. Ignazh looks up when Harbinger howls, his eyes narrowing before he calls to the kor'kron; two of the males run over and use their shields as springboards, throwing the burly orc to the balcony. Konro 2:49:09 PM Kalisto didn't need to interfere, Karthok looked up as soon as the first bullet was fired and vanished. He reappeared less than a moment later behind Cobrak, slashing across the back of the hunter's legs before teleporting again, this time beside Kex'ti. He throws a punch at the elf's jaw then disappears only to reappear and slam his boots at the small of Kex'ti's back. Karthok continues this trend, moving across the battlefield at impossible speeds to sow chaos among Sanctuary's ranks. Kejela earns no respite as the warlock appears behind her, throwing the burning body of a Dark Iron at the troll. The eredar blasts at the elementals, his leg taking a good smashing before he torches the rock monster. The succubus is taken completely off guard, holy fire and shadow magics blasting her back against the wall. The loss of interference on her part sends Harbinger into a frenzy, tearing forward at Kex'ti and Julilee in a mad rage. Kexti 2:56:04 PM Kex'ti does his best to keep himself and Julilee in the fight. "Kill the succubus!" He yells again. "SHOKKRA, WAKE UP, YOU STUPID CHILD!" He roars and drives his blade in a painful stroke aimed at Harbinger's kneecap. Xara 2:57:07 PM "Shokkra?" Juli stares at Harbinger, frozen. "What... No, it can't be!" Her defenses falter.
  17. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    The room Sanctuary enters with Harrowmont is nothing less than horrifying. The Dark Iron Commander curses as he steps in, disgusted at the sights. It reeks of rot and chemicals. Both dried and fresh blood cakes the ground. Victims of savage experiments are strewn across the floors and tied to medical examination tables with enlarged maggots squirming through them. Some are twisted and contorted into half-mutated monsters, others are in different stages of fleshcrafting, skinned with grotesque new flesh being melded into them. A pile of dragon whelps lay dead in a corner, stripped of their wings. At the far side of the room three heavily reinforced doors stand with a balcony above them. Kexti 6:14:11 PM Kex'ti and Baern return from the fray. Kex'ti hobbles over to his wife, coughs up blood, swigs his medicine, and sets to work patching her up with a smirk. Shizari 6:14:48 PM "By the Light..." T'suro whispered, the horror palpable on his voice. He looks around the room and starts to retch and gag. Kexti 6:15:53 PM Kex'ti sighs at the sight. "Twilight cultist indeed." W A N D E R 6:17:59 PM Sarrak's victory grin faded and he tugged at Gar'mak's reins, easing the wolf away. "Don't look." He whispered, drawing in a deep breath. "That's a damned shame. Disgusting." He shook his head, easing his hound back towards Ignazh. "Burn the room. Nothing deserves to be buried in that state." He called out. Yuki 6:20:51 PM Kejala surveys the room with a frown, though her expression does not reflect the revulsion of the others'. "Should be lookin' 'fore we burn it all down, ya? Might be findin' somet'in' t'help us know what we be facin' ahead." Curiously, she starts to move about the space, nudging things aside with her mace when necessary. W A N D E R 6:24:17 PM "You'll find abominations, shaman." He growled out, waving his hand flippantly. He wasn't going to stop her, but he'd take no part in playing with the contents of that room. Rabblerouser 6:25:28 PM Cobrak grimaces, an all-too disgustingly sight for him to behold; it seems whoever so holds Grim Batol, so too do they invite the horrors wrought by warped curiosity for the sake of power lust. He takes in the sights with a scowl. He makes his way in cautiously, "An' be mindful, summa these may look dead...but I seen worse things stand up." Ignazh snorts, "That takes time we don't have." he spits out, "After we get Shokkra." Burg 6:26:18 PM Aaren steps forward to peer at the room. The stench was enough to tell her what would be inside, but she didn't expect this level of evil within. If she wasn't silent before, she is now. Completely consumed by the disgust, but unable to look away from it all. She covers her nose and mouth with the sleeve of the hand not holding her staff. Rabblerouser 6:27:09 PM Taozhu almost gags from the smell alone, it was at this point he did not relish refining his other senses to make up for lack of sight. He fought down the bile that crept up his throat, swallowing it down. Xara 6:27:25 PM After Kex'ti is done healing her, Juli enters the room, looking around warily. She doesn't like it. Besides the obvious evil that went on here, something is wrong. "Where is he?" she says. Konro 6:29:47 PM As if answering Julilee's call, Karthok steps out from the hallway coming to the balcony, a wicked grin plastered across his scarred face and wearing nothing from the waist up. The Fel Iron Commander Bhelen, a badly beaten succubus, and the Demon Hunter Kalisto flank him. He slides his rear onto the iron railing halfway and looks around the room as if he's just noticing it all for the first time. "Would you believe it if I said it wasn't all me?" He chuckles. "You'd be amazed what sick people come to live in this place. Or not, I’m sure a few of you have met some of them. Though at this point you'd think someone would have burnt it all down by now, or at least tried." He trails a finger across the dusty rail, then looks up to notice two of the orcs in the room. "Uncle, cousin, good to see you! Thought you would’ve died by now, Ignazh. Good thing your resistance is such a good meat shield. But I'm sure we'll get time enough to talk later. For now, I want to play a little game." He stands up off the railing, gesturing below him. "Below me are three doors, and behind them are three souls. Behind one, a dear friend of mine. Behind another, my favorite pet. And behind one door, my sweet sister." Karthok smiles maliciously. "Pick one." W A N D E R 6:30:49 PM Sarrak's hand brushed over the wolf's head, easing the hound. He drew in another breath, easing his glance down to Ignazh once more. "Throm'ka, boy." He held his tongue for a moment. "It's been some time. Odd circumstance brings us together, it seems." His attention was stolen, the voice kicked him into action and he charged into the room, staring up at Karthok. "What's all this, boy!? What are you doing!" Rabblerouser 6:33:32 PM The orc mage looks to speak at Sarrak more, until the grand entrance. Ignazh growls at Karthok, snorting smoke from his nostrils like an enraged dragon. "You always did like your games..." He says with a growl. Cobrak stares upward, "'E's lyin'. Alla these doors got death on them...why gives us a one outta three chance o' bein' right when 'e kin give a zero chance." Burg 6:36:08 PM Aaren gathers her senses again with the orc finally showing himself. Her eyes dart between those among the group he may have been referring to, people she didn't know. It seemed he didn't care, anyway. Her focus snaps to the doors when he suggests Shokkra would be behind one, but she didn't believe him. She expects he just wants them all to meet their deaths somehow first in whatever sick chore was prepared well ahead of time. Her nose it pinched closed under her sleeve, and she takes a deep breath through her mouth with the cloth as a filter before closing her eyes and doing her best to sense if Shokkra was even near. She had no connection with her as she had with Tes, so it was probably hopeless, until there was a need to act again. Xara 6:36:16 PM Kalisto looks down at those gathered expressionlessly. It's hard to read a demon hunter's expression anyway what with the blindfold, but she seems highly indifferent. Konro 6:40:55 PM "Cobrak, always the cynic. I admit I was tempted to have all three doors be a blatant lie, pondered filling one with explosives and just watching you all die horribly due to your hubris but, that wouldn't exactly be fair. Think of picking a door as an opportunity. You should know all about opportunity, like the one your mate took when she left you." Karthok turns his attention to Sarrak. "Surviving. Very difficult for someone like me, but I've gotten quite good at it. Now pick a door." Aaren can vaguely sense Shokkra's presence nearby. Perhaps behind one of the doors, perhaps not. Xara 6:42:31 PM "Someone get up there," Juli says. Rabblerouser 6:43:32 PM Cobrak's eye widens, blatant hate evident. "'E's mine." He growls at Julilee, and off like a cheetah he goes. "YE'RE GONNA WISH YA BURNED TA DEATH IN THAT ASH PILE I LEFT YA IN!" Yuki 6:43:37 PM Kejala calmly continues her study of the room. When the 'game' is mentioned, her focus turns upon the doors. Maybe there will be something around them--scraps of food or footprints or drag marks in the mess of entrails--to help pinpoint which door is the correct choice. Kexti 6:44:29 PM "Surrender, Karthok, and we will give you a fair trial." Kexti 6:44:34 PM "Where is Shokkra?" Burg 6:46:19 PM Aaren starts making her way from the back of the crowd. No doubt they all want to charge the orc at the first opportunity, and she's not going to be in the way when that happens. She wants to get closer to the doors. If finding Shokkra does prove being futile for now, she will at least be in good position to shield Juli when she moves. Konro 6:47:41 PM "Behind one of the doors Kex'ti. Hell even if you pick the wrong one, just open the other two, not like I can stop you." There's no direct path to the balcony, and upon closer inspection there appears to be some modicum of a ward on it. The door on the left has scorch marks around it, maybe from burnt food. The door in the middle has the most scrapes around and on it, suggesting it's used the most. The door on the right looks relatively clean, if a bit dusty but lacking the bugs that move around the rest of the room. W A N D E R 6:48:25 PM He stared, bearing his teeth for a moment. What happened between their last correspondence and now? Regardless, he knew where he stood, and likely, what he might have to do. Still, he peered at the doors, drawing in a slow, shaking breath as his rage built. Yuki 6:50:18 PM Kejala runs a hand over the ridge of her mohawk, frowning. "Left or right..." she muses to herself. "Gotta half chance." Burg 6:51:02 PM When Aaren is behind Juli, she gives up guarding her nose and mouth to rest her palm against her back. Not enough to push, enough to keep stable when she attempts to gain sight through Karthok's eyes. If she can, there may be something she can see that the others can't. Xara 6:51:06 PM "Taozhu, can you break that ward?" Juli asks. Shizari 6:55:25 PM T'suro steps forward, pointing his spear at the dark warlock. "Technically you can't stop us fro just opening all three at the same time, by your own logic." W A N D E R 6:57:21 PM "And then we can all deal with the trapped door. And kill Shokkra if she's here. Great idea." He grumbled, suddenly regretting acknowledging the Elf's prowess earlier. "If you get us killed..." He simply raised a hand, waving it as though he were going to deliver a backhanded slap. Shizari 6:59:09 PM "He could also be lying." T'suro stated. "We cannot trust a single word he says. We could open these doors and find nothing, or find prisoners other than Shokkra. Or hell, they could all be traps. Nothing this beast says holds any weight." T'suro turned to the other Deathrage. "He says he can't stop us, but he could throw fel at us the instant we moved for a door. We could even already be trapped." Konro 7:06:51 PM "Please, it's not as though I could kill you all at the same time. Some of you might live to get all three open." Konro 7:11:24 PM "Simply open one or two or three of them and let's get on with it." Burg 7:14:56 PM Aaren doesn't give up. She's not trying to be very obtrusive at the moment yet, without a distraction to allow her to work. She leans closer to Juli, and all she whispers to her is "I can't tell." Rabblerouser 7:15:53 PM Cobrak growls, whipping out his rifle and peppering the wards with bullets. When they deflect off he growls, taking something from his belt and tossing it. A plume of smoke obscures the balcony, so at least Karthok cannot try to stop his wards being depowered. Taozhu claps his hands, weaving the arcane to try and rip off the wards one by one. "I am on the job, Commander." Xara 7:16:36 PM Juli nods at Aaren slightly and watches Taozhu begin his work. "Guard Taozhu," she says to the others, staying where she is to guard those behind her. Burg 7:19:50 PM Aaren has a general idea of where Karthok is of course, but without being able to focus on him she can't very well steal his vision. She instead shields Taozhu for now, then peers through the smoke. If she catches a glimpse of any of Karthok's posse, whoever is visible, she will try to see through their eyes instead. Yuki 7:25:31 PM After observing the doors for a bit longer, Kejala returns to the group to relay her findings to the Commander. "So, da middle one looks like dey use it da most. Might mean dey take da orc in'n outta it all da time. Might mean he be takin' his favorite pet out for walks on da regular." She glances that way again. "Left door's got scorch marks on it. Dat makes me worry 'bout a weapon in dere. His toy, ya?" One hand lifts to gesture toward the right door. "Dat one ain't got much 'round it. No mess. Don't look like it be used much. Cleanest place in da room." Kexti 7:25:57 PM Kex'ti smirks. He moves calmly towards the second door. Kexti 7:26:18 PM "I will be fine. Let us bring this farce to completion. You had a chance to surrender, Karthok." Baern 7:26:54 PM "Whatever door we choose, be prepared for the worst," Baern says, brandishing his axe. Burg 7:27:47 PM Aaren gives up on her scrying and gets ready to shield Kex'ti the moment he reaches for the door. Konro 7:33:27 PM The door doesn't get halfway open before a massive red orc smashes through it. Harbinger roars as it gains freedom, the dark plate armor covering most of the monster clanking as it does so. Harbinger leaps forward, smashing and battering at the group around it, howling tremendously through its helmet. The succubus next to Karthok casts a spell as Harbinger enters combat, muttering all the while as her eyes turn foggy. Karthok grins, barely visible through the smoke. "Dear, sweet Harbinger. The perfect soldier." Karthok nods to Bhelen and the dwarf whistles piercingly. Out from the doorway on the balcony comes a sizeable force of Fel Iron dwarves clad in varying degrees of armor. They whoop and holler as they vault over the railing and through the smoke down onto the ground, immediately charging towards Sanctuary and the Dark Iron. Bhelen moves up to the railing and begins shouting orders on who to hit first and how to hit them. Kexti 7:34:40 PM Kex'ti scrutinizes this beast. Burg 7:36:13 PM Aaren, after having shielded Kex'ti, places a barrier onto the ground around Taozhu. Kexti 7:37:19 PM "This aura seems...familiar..."
  18. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    Moving over the bridge and through a series of wide streets, Harrowmont and his soldiers stop at a set of heavy iron doors. Tightening his grip on his warhammer he nods to his lieutenant and breaks open the doors. Turret barrels spin in anticipation before firing a storm of lead towards the attackers. Harrowmont's lieutenant and more than a few Dark Iron go down almost immediately. The rest form a blockade around Sanctuary, slowly advancing up the steps. A charge sounds from above. Fel Iron thunder down the steps towards Sanctuary and the Dark Iron, screaming madly as they throw themselves at the attackers. "Smash those turrets and break these bastards!" Harrowmont shouts as he storms into the fray. Kexti 4:06:58 PM Kex'ti tries to keep the press of dwarves alive, using his mana and ripping drinks from his jug to bolster their spirits and life energy long enough to secure a foothold. Yuki 4:10:29 PM Kejala finds herself quite happy she had tinkered with her supplies. As they charge forward, she beseeches the Elements to create a wall of wind strong enough to hopefully change the course of some of the bullets tearing through their ranks. Shizari 4:12:45 PM T'suro ties his courser to a post before they advance, he didn't want to risk losing his prized steed. When the charge breaks through, T'suro immediately calls forth a bubble of holy energy around him. He gives an almost mad laugh as he tanks turret fire through his advance, the rounds vanishing harmlessly into his shield. When he gets close enough to one of the turrets, he stabs through the barrel, breaking it apart before he lunged over to the other side, grabbing the fel iron dwarf by the neck and running him through. W A N D E R 4:19:54 PM Sarrak tugged the reins lightly. "Shadow him." He hissed to Gar'mak. The pair stuck behind T'suro, banking on the paladin's shield until the time was right. Once it dropped, they flew once more into the fray. "Thank you, friend!" There was a particular streak of malice in the laugh that followed. "Lok'tar ogar, elf! Match me!" He hopped off his wolf, the canid running rampant to gore and feed. "Match me in blood!" His attention was stolen by what he deemed to be a worthy opponent, and he was glad to run the dwarf down. Konro 4:21:18 PM The Fel Iron are not deterred, hacking against the Dark Iron through to Kex'ti and Kejala. The other turret crews notice T'suro's destruction of the first one and turn their lead towards him and Sarrak even as some of it shreds their own soldiers. Warlocks at the top of the stairs focus on breaking through the shields the paladin and throw chaos down towards the other members of Sanctuary. Rabblerouser 4:27:08 PM Ignazh and his kor'kron move in the throng of soldiers pressing forward, "Juggernaut formation!" He yells out, the four orcs bearing shields now hefting them above their heads in a protective manner as Ignazh runs into their center. "Ten o'clock high!" One of the orcs shout, for the shields to barely open in their center for Ignazh to send out a massive spiraling pyroblast towards a turret to blow it smithereens. At the forefront, Cobrak is in the fray with a flurry of bullets and claws. A frenzied orange aura envelops him as he practically tears a Fel Iron in half with his bare hands. Taozhu is in the backline, murmuring to himself as sends up what seem to flying wards around T'suro. Three of them whirl around the paladin, activating when one of the chaos bolts impacts against it, sending it careening back towards its caster; two more wards still yet remain on him. Yuki 4:33:16 PM The troll snorts to herself. Apparently brute force is the way of this group. Fine. She can play that game too. Switching to a slender piece of wood like a totem in miniature, the shaman again asks for aid--and receives it in short order. From within the shelter of the shields rockets a gout of pure flame aimed at the group in front of them. Upon impact, it would scatter into showers of flaming debris. Blast after blast finds openings in their protective detail to try to decimate those blocking their path. Shizari 4:41:42 PM T'suro dives behind the turret, listening to the rounds pelt re metal. He knew it was only a matter of time before they cut through the metal and killed him. He had to think of something quick! He clenched one of his fists, surrounding it in holy energy, before he quickly shot up from behind the cover, hurling a Judgment bolt at the other turret operator. Tirien 4:47:12 PM From the crags above soars a truly monstrous eagle with cared horns of stark white sweeping forward alongside its beak. The young drake-sized creature looses boulders from its talons; trajectory aiming at the Fel Iron operated turrets. Once released, it dives into the wide chasm separating the roads of Grim Batol, disappearing in the rising smoke from the fires below. Konro 4:55:21 PM The turret operator burns up in holy flame, throwing himself down the stairs, but is quickly replaced by another dwarf who starts lighting up the Kor'kron only to be crushed by a boulder. The two remaining turrets farther up the stairs turn their attention skyward, firing a barrage of pain towards the druid. The burning corpse is joined by several others as they tumble down the steps, shamanic rocks imbedded in their bodies. The Fel Iron start to become anxious, being pushed back up the stairs bit by bit. The warlocks at the top are quickly joined by more, along with mages and shaman. Fire, chaos and corrupted earth are flung down in equal measure at the attackers. Yuki 5:07:19 PM That simply will not do. Gritting her teeth as the violent earth begins to tear up the front lines, Kejala turns her will toward reversing the course of the enemy shaman's spells. The Elements generally do not enjoy this sort of manipulation, but this place has been tainted for so long that even the Spirits have grown mad. Her mind turns to the loa for aid in overcoming the twisted influence of the Fel dwarves to try to turn the spell back upon them, to make the earth violently rupture beneath their feet. Rabblerouser 5:10:41 PM Cobrak seethes as a bolt of fire lances through his shoulder, his lone red eye alights in a flame to make their spells looks like wisps before an inferno. The pain fueled his bloody fury, as he unleashed a howl. There were still animals here, ones that many people thought were not a threat..but in large numbers... The Fel Irons casters soon had to deal with a veritable swarm of rats that scurried out from every nook and crazzy to begin biting and tearing where they could, whipped into a frenzy by the beastmaster. Baern 5:18:03 PM Baern had the disadvantage of being twice the height of the dwarves offering them cover, but he had always trusted in thick armor to get him through and now wasn't the time to lose faith in it. But with the threat of automatic gunfire focused on Lohd, he didn't mind being the spearhead on the stairs that plunged deep into the dwarven lines. All he needed to do was bear the brunt of the magic storming down at them and, hopefully, his allies could weaken them enough to break through. He'd fought on plenty of occasions with this team, and now wasn't the time to lose faith in them. Kexti 5:25:08 PM "Baern! I have you! Thunder-Pan Hammer and Anvil!" Kexti 5:25:39 PM Kex'ti envelops Baern in a thick, obscuring cloud of spiritual energy. "I will follow you through! Break the line!" W A N D E R 5:26:11 PM Sarrak snorted as he yanked his axe from the remains of another dwarf. He ran his hand over his face to brush away the sweat, coming to realize he'd done so much as smearing blood onto his skin. He rolled his lower jaw, staring at his open palm for a moment. His attention was grabbed, swinging his axe out to drop a dwarf, the orc just as quickly lurched forward, slamming his foot down upon the being's head. His laughter was thunderous, booming. Baern 5:30:33 PM "Don't have to tell me twice!" Baern says, feeling the familiar power flow through him. Lodging his axe in the stairs before him, he cocks himself like a pistol and takes off up the stairs three or four at a time. The pauldrons he wore were curved and thick allowing him to shouldercheck right into one of the firing turrets without fear. Shizari 5:34:31 PM T'suro leaps out from the turret he was behind and bounds back up the stairs, behind the unstoppable juggernaut that was Baern. To assure Baern's safety, the elf reached out a hand. A crown of light formed above Baern, and sprouted wings. The Tauren felt himself enshrouded in a barrier that, while leaving him open to magical attacks, let him soak physical damage like a sponge Kexti 5:36:20 PM Kex'ti follows along, channeling mist with his hand and keeping on on his staff. He cracks the rod down butt first on any still moving adversaries. Rabblerouser 5:37:46 PM One of the Kor'kron orcs is unable to hold from the turret fire, her shield dropping and her succumbing to a barrage of bullets that has her perforated corpse fall down the stairs. Ignazh growls, "Keep together!" He shouts, picking up her shield and charging forward with the remainder of his forces. Konro 5:41:25 PM The Fel Iron spell casters are suddenly struck by trifles unbearable. The stone cracks open from beneath them, swallowing whole two warlocks and a mage before sealing shut again. The rest are assaulted by a swarm of rats, the miniature beasts scampering over and into their bodies, burrowing through the dwarf's eye sockets, ears, and in one case, a belly button. The remaining spell casters fling as much as they can before turning to run, only to be overtaken and slaughtered by Baern and Sarrak. The last turret is knocked over, the crew member smacked righteously by Kex'ti. "Retreat! Retreat!" The Fel Iron lieutenant shouts, fleeing from the top of the stairs as his forces wither to nothing. The few stragglers either escape or are crushed by Sanctuary's forces, felblood staining the massive flight of stairs. Harrowmont cheers, kicking a body down the stairs as he reaches the top. "We're almost in that bastard's britches! When I'm done with him he'll wish N'zoth himself had broke down his door!" The Dwarf commander laughs. Burg 5:47:20 PM Aaren skips the camp altogether, since from her vantage point it seemed sparsely populated at best. She sends her bird away after landing at the gate, but it takes several moments of long, deep breaths before she can bring herself to walk inside. She does so in no hurry, side stepping bodies and rubble and shrapnel and whatever else might litter the ground while making her way to the noise ahead. Burg 5:52:07 PM She takes her staff into her hands, but she doesn't need it to walk against anymore. Perhaps she just needs it for security. W A N D E R 5:54:21 PM Sarrak growled, bringing his fingers to his lips, uttering a piercing whistle, bounding onto his wolf, they ran back to the group, circling them for a moment. When they stopped, Gar'mak reared, posing almost proudly. "Destroy the door!" He screamed, raising his axe, motioning towards it. "Let's finish this! Gar'mak hungers for more!" Rabblerouser 5:54:34 PM Cobrak takes a deep breath, his aura dissipated as he feels the fatigue that comes after his rages. He looks down to the swarm of rats that scamper and trickle through the throng of corpses like water, their grey fur matted by blood. He waves his hand over them, dispelling their rage. "Good work, lil' lads." He says, soon picking up a corpse and hauling it off to a small alcove, tossing it in for the rats to now feast on. The orc himself is swathed in blood as he moves to rejoin the group. Yuki 5:55:16 PM Kejala stops her spell as the retreat begins, breathing hard from the exertion of redirecting the other casters' spells. No time to rest though. She gives herself only a moment to catch her breath and temporarily staunch the bleeding from the bullethole in her arm that she had not even noticed in the heat of battle. Once that is done, she looses her mace and starts forward again. "Someone be needin' a door gone?" she asks with a deep laugh. Xara 5:55:35 PM Juli is bloodied and bruised herself, having been lost amongst the throng of battle for most of the fight. Her zhevra had been abandoned or fallen or both at some point. She looks around to check and ensure everyone is still together. Rabblerouser 5:57:54 PM Taozhu jogs up, his staff alight in magic as he begins waving it before the door. He traces it for magical protections, time was of the essence after all. One of the Fel Irons lifts up an arm, on the verge of dying and begging for mercy. Ignazh delivers mercy in the form of a flaming sword impaling his chest, wrenching it for good measure. Shizari 6:03:44 PM T'suro walked up to the door, spear gripped tightly in his hand. "How soon can we get this damn thing down and get out of here?" Burg 6:04:08 PM Aaren creeps along the path of destruction, and even seeing the others ahead and hearing voices she recognizes, she still inspects every inch of the scenery in paranoia. She knows better than to suspect anything foul outside of what they were immediately prepared for, but it's not exactly something she can help. Granted that nothing appears to impede her advance, she meets up with the rest without a word, the only one of those gathered without a wound or single hair out of place. W A N D E R 6:05:22 PM Sarrak paced through the group, a critical eye on them. He'd reach down, patting roughly against Cobrak's shoulder, nodding approvingly as he wandered off, giving the same gesture to T'suro. His attention turned to Ignazh, his brow furrowed and he motioned him over. Yuki 6:07:33 PM "... Depends on what magical guards dey got in place." The shaman starts digging through her packs while she waits for the mage to finish his evaluation. "Gotta trick dat should be doin' da job if dey don't got a ward we can't be breakin'." Rabblerouser 6:10:36 PM Ignazh huffs, taking off his hat to wipe his brow to reveal the muddy brown hair underneath. He looked at Sarrak with a raised eyebrow, the orc seemed familiar somehow. Konro 6:12:56 PM "Or." Harrowmont smashes his hammer into the door lock, the doors swinging open with a crash. "The old fashioned way, heh." He chuckles, stepping into the room beyond.
  19. The Rescue of Shokkra Deathrage

    Konro 1:57:58 PM Immediately inside the gates, there's nothing but debris. Remnants from earlier fights in the castle's history and perhaps earlier in the day. A few dwarven bodies lie scattered as they move further in, some corrupted by fel, some looking like the usual Dark Iron warriors. Konro 1:58:22 PM Eventually, the party emerges into one of Grim Batol's massive caverns. Rivers of fire crack and burn far beneath them, and debris of the crumbling fortress lies smashed around them. Suddenly from farther down the open corridor a horn sounds three times. Looking out across a bridge spanning the gap between sections of the sculpted castle, charges forth a mass of dwarves in ornamented fel armor, and from the other side charges a mass of average looking Dark Irons. They clash in a cacophony of steel and flame, dwarves being thrown off the bridge or toasted in their plate. On the average dwarf side of the bridge, the end Sanctuary is closer to, a large dwarf in heavily detailed plate armor shouts commands to his fighters, while an orcish mage stands by his side slinging flame. Rabblerouser 2:08:17 PM The mage himself looks more like a fighter than a priss in a gown slinging spells, a massive two-handed sword alit with flames carves through the charging fel-infused Dark Irons like a hot knife through demon butter. His armor was aglow, much like his yellow eyes were now, a perpetual gleaming ember aura that punctuated his steel-plated. The mark of Hellscream's Kor'kron was emblazoned on his spiked pauldrons, similar marking on a small squad of orcs who also held the line. The orc drew in a deep breath, soon belching out a gout of orange flame from his mouth that erupting into a fireball amongst the charging dark irons. Kexti 2:10:15 PM "Well, the enemy of my enemy..." Kexti 2:10:43 PM Kex'ti utters, takes a swig from his jug, and charges his raptor down at the mass of dwarves, drawing his sword. Kexti 2:10:54 PM "Hoi, friend! We are here to help!" Yuki 2:14:22 PM "... Well dat ain't somet'in' ya be seein' most days..." Laughing, the troll spurs her cat forward with a dig of her heels. Better to get close before unleashing any spells, unless they want to be mistaken for a new enemy. Rabblerouser 2:14:47 PM The orcish pyromancer spits out a stream of smoke, turning back around to the reinforcements. "Grom's blood, about time." He says in a muttering to himself. Cobrak howls in a maddened fury, dropping Taozhu off at the door to tumble over himself with the sudden momentum granted to him before falling head over ass. The orc hoops and hollers as he steers Emberscale into the fel dwarves, taking potshots into the their throng as the proto-drake unleashes gouts of flame through their backline. W A N D E R 2:18:32 PM He gave a swing of his bullroarer, gladly announcing their presence before packing it away, a single hand producing his battle axe, holding it aloft with ease. "Sic!" He screamed, tugging his wolf's reins. And like that, the pair were off, seemingly more than happy to throw themselves into the thick of the fight. Wide cleaves of his axe, his hound gorging itself on the neck of an opponent held under foot. Shizari 2:20:13 PM T'suro charges towards the gap between the two sides, as obviously he was unable to cross the bridge. His courser gains momentum, and he pulls the reins. The armored unicorn jumps clean across tree gap, smashing into a fel dwarf on the other side with enough force to leave him severely concussed. T'suro stabs his spear through the heart of another fel dwarf, his blade glowing in holy fury as he does. Konro 2:24:00 PM The Dark Iron Commander gapes in surprise at the sudden aid, quickly shouting for his own troops to not immediately attack the newcomers. The Fel Iron, likewise, are taken completely by surprise. The cavalry charge decimates the front lines, bodies already piling up. After the initial smash, the dwarves start fighting back, hacking and blasting fel power at the mounts and riders. Kexti 2:26:45 PM Kex'ti sends Diel back to Ohee, not wanting to lose his prized ally in the bloodshed. He wades into the melee, severing tendons and sealing the wounds with enough mists to cripple, but not slay, the fel iron. Xara 2:28:12 PM Juli speaks briefly to the Dark Iron commander before joining the combat as well. Her zhevra is as deadly as she is in the melee, flattening with its hooves and impaling with its horn while she strikes to her left and right with sword and shield. Arahe 2:31:23 PM Away from the battle, Ohee checks the raptor for injuries before finding a spot in the bubble for Diel to rest. Kexti 2:32:06 PM The raptor settles down much as a chicken going to roost. Yuki 2:32:17 PM Kejala also dismounts and sends her panther back to a relatively safe area. She then starts pulling sticks and feathers out of her pouches, grinning to herself as she mutters prayers to the loa and elements for aid. Into the fray of fel dwarves she sends arcs of crackling lightning that should conduct well through their armored foes. With any luck, no allies will be hit in the chain reaction. Rabblerouser 2:32:50 PM Emberscale makes another run, before taking a chaos bolt to the wing. It causes the proto-drake to veer off his attack, Cobrak pulling on the reins to ease the beast from the battle. "Go on, git outta 'ere...too bigga target." Cobrak says, patting its snout before leaping off. The orc lands in the backlines, but doesn't stay there for long. His gun is almost more deadly up close than at range, using its bayonet to slash whilst unleashing wild flurries of bullets. Taozhu, after recovering from his dropoff, begins supporting counterspelling incoming magic, as well dispelling any enchantments en masse upon the enemy. Konro 2:38:33 PM The Fel Iron are stabbed and zapped, two or three of them turning into nothing but ash after the shaman's chain lightning strikes through them. They begin steadily moving backwards across the bridge, making coordinated strikes together every couple seconds while warlocks move to the edge of the bridge to throw chaos bolts at the spell casters. Shizari 2:40:41 PM T'suro manages to parry and block attacks with ease as he carves his way through to the commander, his Courser doing it's part and stabbing through any in its path. Whenever either managed to take a hit, T'suro would channel Holy light into himself or his steed to close the wounds. He felt a surge of power within him and swung his spear forward, sending a divine storm ripping through a group of fel dwarves ahead of him Yuki 2:45:17 PM Dodging chaos bolts makes casting a bit harder, so she tuts to herself and speaks to the spirits of Air to aid her next spell. Whipping across the bridge comes a fierce wind designed to target the warlocks and sweep down their throats so the words for their spells choke off into nothingness. Rabblerouser 2:45:29 PM The orc mage in the back sighs, looking up at an incoming chaos bolt boredly. "I hate warlocks." He comments before idly shifting a foot to the right, letting the magic crash into the ground where he was. Taozhu manages to interrupt one of their backline with a silencing spell, only for his barrier to come under assault by one of the bolts. It singes his fur as it shatters through his magic shell. "Aiyah!" He seethes in pain, grasping at his arm. His concentration is forced into reconstituting his shield for the moment. W A N D E R 2:47:33 PM Sarrak dropped his axe downwards, cleaving into the chest of a fel dwarf who'd closed the space between them to plunge a dagger into the thigh of the warrior. He huffed, as though simply inconvenienced, easing off of Gar'mak, he slammed a foot into the gut of the dwarf, tearing his axe free. Gar'mak bounded forward, catching the arm of another to tear him forward toward the pair. The orc took notice of their retreat, holding his arms aloft. "Done already?" He snarled. "I haven't even sated my lust yet. Come on." He slammed a fist against his breast plate, taking a step forward for every step back. He relished in the gore that coated his armor, whether his or theirs. He plucked the dagger from his thigh, humming softly. "Come. I'll clean my teeth with this after I finish chewing on your bones, dwarves." Kexti 2:48:46 PM Kex'ti senses Taozhu's disrupted chi and rushes to his side. He immediately sets to work aligning, and amplifying, Taozhu's nerves and tissues with the arcane energy sustaining his various prosthetics. Konro 2:55:49 PM Shouts of victory echo throughout the cavern from the Dark Iron. The Fel Iron dwarves across the bridge start to earnestly retreat before turning into an all-out rout, dozens dying as they attempt to flee the victorious Dark Iron and Sanctuary. The Dwarves cheer and quickly form a defensive perimeter on the other side of the bridge, one officer hustling back to report to the commander. The Dark Iron leader nods and claps the officer on the shoulder, suggesting he get water for the soldiers while they plotted their offense. Xara 3:03:23 PM Juli goes to speak to their commander and find out what's going on. She nods toward Kex'ti and looks over her other people to see who's hurt and everyone's condition. Rabblerouser 3:06:52 PM Cobrak heads after the retreating dwarves, not in bloodlust, but rather in curiosity. His form appears to fade from sight as he becomes a shimmering trick of the eyes, camouflaging himself further to scout ahead. Taozhu smiles up at Kex'ti, "Ah, thank you friend." The orcish mage saunter over, with the small cluster of Kor'kron at his back. He looks at Julilee, and then her tabard, and then back to her. "About time." He grunts, tipping his wide-rimmed grey hat, the only cloth material he had on his person. "Ignazh Deathrage, you ll-l..." He stammers briefly, soon taking an annoyed breath through his nose as he ceases talking. "You bunch here to finally rescue my cousin?" Konro 3:10:52 PM The Dark Iron Commander shoves Ignazh over, speaking to Julilee directly. "Nice work comin' out of nowhere to kill those bastards. You here for the orc? The Warlock, not the idiot." He dusts off his hands and offers one to Julilee. "Pyral Harrowmont of the Dark Iron." W A N D E R 3:15:11 PM He stood there, blood boiling in the face of cowardice. He whistled for his wolf before cupping his hands to his mouth. "I will come for you and yours!" He howled. "Sarrak Deathrage comes for you!" He glanced quickly behind his back, entertaining the idea of hunting down what was left, continuing his slaughter, but. No, he was here with purpose. Wanton assault could wait. He'd ease himself on to Gar'mak, the pair sauntering back towards the party, Sarrak wondering for a moment if the blood in his wolf's pelt was either of theirs. No matter. Yuki 3:17:34 PM The troll almost pouts as the enemy rushes away. With a sigh, she starts putting away her trinkets while naturally eavesdropping on any conversation within earshot. Best way to learn about this crew, after all, not to mention the 'why' of this battle in the middle of Grim Batol. Shizari 3:25:19 PM T'suro makes his way over to the others, green blood splashed on the armor of him and his courser. He eyes Julilee and the commander, letting her handle it Rabblerouser 3:26:54 PM Ignazh snorts, not bothering to retort before he folds his arms. Up close, one could see he was a brute of an orc, broad of shoulder and a neck so thick it looked like he had swallowed a boulder and it had gotten lodged in his throat. His gut was a bit overtly large, he must eat well. Kexti 3:31:01 PM Kex'ti surveys, and interrupts the conversation. "Where is Karthok hiding? I do not care if I need to reach my arm into the jaws of a worm below to wrench him from his hole, but I will find him." Kexti 3:32:35 PM "And Shokkra." Konro 3:33:24 PM Harrowmont snorts at Kex'ti, hooking a thumb towards the other side of the bridge. "Farther in, heavily fortified in with his lads in this shitehole. Got Bhelen and the rest of that bastards Fel Iron with him." W A N D E R 3:37:47 PM The sound of padding paws cut in, the wolf they came from bristled lightly as he was brought so close to the group. Sarrak leaned down, passing a critical eye over the group. "Whether we clean the fel rats out of this hole or not isn't our problem." He rolled his lower jaw. "I'm here for kin. We find her, we leave." He swung his hand flatly, speaking with quite the air of finality. Yuki 3:42:52 PM Keeping her head down, Kejala continues to listen. Seems this Shokkra has quite the family. Various levels of dedication to saving her too, though clearly they care enough to put themselves in harm's way. More than a lot of people can claim. With a grunt, she starts altering one of the fetishes she had brought to make it more effective against their current enemy. Konro 3:44:43 PM The Dwarf looks to Juli, folding his arms. "You gonna tell me what you're doing and what you want? Other than Karthok." Xara 3:45:54 PM "Karthok, and a prisoner he's holding," she replies. "Where would he be keeping prisoners, and where is he, if you have any idea?" Rabblerouser 3:49:03 PM Ignazh looks up, "I take it Ureda got my letter to you." He says with a sigh, taking a quaff from a mug at his side; which was empty before but suddenly produced some manner of liquid in the moment he had unhooked it from his hip. Ignazh casts his gaze at Julilee. "In his private cove...problem is, there's one safe passage in...and odds are...his dwarf shits have sealed it up tight." Konro 3:50:53 PM "Aye, we've been trying to hit through to that shitehole for weeks. But, if ye want to get to Karthok an' end this war today, me and my soldiers can smash through that prick Bhelen's defenses with your support. Cross the bridge, up a heavily fortified flight of stairs'n'corridor, we'll be at the ram doodler's throat." Harrowmont punches his fist into his hand and grins through his bushy black beard. Rabblerouser 3:52:57 PM It is then Cobrak reappears, phasing back with his camouflage wearing off. "Scouted a'ead. 'Eavy Mithril doors...probably a few feet thick...gonna need a goddamn nuke to blow through that." The orc spits, reattaching his rifle to his back. Baern 3:53:14 PM "What kind of cover will we have? If we cross the bridge without it, we'll be sitting ducks for their warlocks." Baern asks. His armor had taken some punishment from the destruction magic already, but not everyone was kitted out with the same heavy plate. Konro 3:54:48 PM "We got shields. Odds are those bastards have pulled back far enough that we won't take any fire until we bring the fight to them. Weren't expecting you the first time, won't expect us again this fast after their rout." Shizari 3:58:09 PM "So the plan is to madly charge at the doors in a surprise attack?" T'suro asked. Konro 3:58:41 PM "Got anything better?" He looks around, particularly at Juli. Kexti 3:58:46 PM "When in doubt..." Xara 3:59:34 PM "The only way in is through," Juli says. Shizari 4:02:20 PM "Let me take point then." T'suro offered. "Paladin protective Magic will allow me to completely soak any damage thrown at me, long enough to meet them face to face with my spear." Kexti 4:02:32 PM Kex'ti nods to Baern and Julilee and T'suro. "Let us take to the front. We have sufficient support from behind." Konro 4:04:25 PM "Good." The Dwarf laughs madly, pushing through the crowd towards the bridge. "Move out lads! We got demons to kill!"
  20. Julilee's Journal

    It feels like I do less and less. I've always tried to be a relatively hands-off commander. I let people find and choose their own assignments, to put their talents to use where they believe they'll be the most effective in upholding our virtues. We all have directives to support the Horde and the Legionfall offensive to give us opportunities to make a difference. But sometimes I'm not sure if things are running smoothly or slowing to a halt. I feel like if I can't tell the difference, it's probably the latter. At least I was able to make a difference in the Borrowed Time/Twilight Empire matter. I'm not naive enough to think Cobrak will go any easier on them because of what I said, but one of their people being returned safely and sooner is definitely a victory in my book. I also hope that by speaking to Katelle, she will see Cobrak as more of a person and less as an obstacle. She would be more likely to than most already, as would any called to Twilight Empire's cause I think, but a little encouragement might help keep things smoother than they might go otherwise. It'll be a long time, if ever, before I can hope to sway Cobrak the same, but at least in respecting my personhood he finds himself obligated to respect the things I care about, and that's a start. Another matter weighing on my mind is Karthok, as it has for... how many months now? How long has Shokkra been missing? I haven't even kept track. Her being gone has just become... normal. It's terrible, and it makes me feel terrible to say that. I continue to believe she must be safe and that Karthok wouldn't harm her. And I won't stop looking for her. But all this time away has put some things into perspective. When she's back, and recovered enough, I'll have to talk to her about what she wants to do with her life. And not just accept what she says if it's what I want to hear when it might not be true to what's in her heart and soul. Some people are just angry. Some people just believe in vengeance, in its necessity. I don't agree. But I respect that some people feel that way, and don't want to shame them for it, not really. Encourage them to open their hearts. But not shame them for doing what they think they need to do to survive. Shokkra tries so hard to be Sanctuary, but I don't think she really is inside; she just feels like she should be. I should let her go and not let her keep torturing herself, and everyone else around her, by trying to be something she's not. It's sad it took me this long to come to that conclusion. I can't count how many people would laugh and scoff at me for finally getting to it. But I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe in what Shokkra wanted to believe. I just wanted to support her. And she needed it, so badly, something the people that would scoff just don't care about because they can't see past their own pain to another's. The fourth oath is always the hardest to uphold. We leave soon to brace Karthok in his den. I hope we are in time to save her.
  21. Julilee's Journal

    And what would the me of only a year ago think of me now? I often think about writing in my journal, but then I never do. There’s too much to do. I barely get to go into the field anymore because I’m always busy delegating tasks and settling disputes. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Leads on Karthok. Coordinating with Twilight Empire and Night Vanguard. The whole Catalinetta mess. Speaking of the last… Of all people to walk into my office, I was not expecting Tammy. I thought she had moved on and made her own life. I don’t understand why she continues to resent me. If I can find it in me to not resent her and to put the blame where it belongs, she certainly should be able to. This whole Catalinetta thing really is a mess. I hate putting Cerryan in this position. I should just ask him to recuse himself from the matter. The truth is, I’m still bitter over what he did, and I’m putting insane expectations on him to try to win back my trust – and expecting him to fail. That’s what I’m doing. I need to figure out how to put it behind me. It’s just… hard to forgive and forget, sometimes. When you fully expect for the same thing to happen again. I should talk to Kex’ti about this. It’s been kind of hard to talk to him lately. I was actually glad when he pushed back about Cobrak. Sometimes I worry that I’m too strong-willed and that I just override his wishes. But how can I not insist on something I feel is absolutely true and necessary? I just can’t shake the feeling that more and more he agrees with whatever I say because pushing back isn’t worth it. That’s not the way I want it to be. I need to listen better. I miss Shokkra. It’s been so quiet without her. I still believe that she’s just fine, wherever she is – physically, at least. Karthok wanted her to be his and wouldn’t hurt her. But I can’t imagine what this forced confinement must be doing to her. I’m worried about her. When we have her back, I’m going to spend a lot of time with her. Guess I’d better get back to my paperwork for now, though. These requisitions won’t approve themselves.
  22. [ H ] Sanctuary

    Sanctuary and friends are now 10/10 N Nighthold. Our Suramar RP campaign storyline is running in tandem with our raids and there are a lot of other activities going on as well. Speak to an officer for more info!
  23. Between Hope and Despair

    In the set of rooms she had shared with her husband, Juli sits at a small table on one side of the generous living area. It had served as both a breakfast nook and a private dinner setting. The drapes on the window are pulled closed and the hearth beside it is cold, however, as it has served as neither for a while now. Without Kex'ti, it's been too much trouble to even eat most of the time. Not in her armor for once, she wears purple leggings and a loose shirt. The whiskey she drinks is peaty and almost sour. Half the bottle is gone. She eyes the remaining liquid and debates if she really wants to drink alone more tonight. Tomorrow is December. Two years ago that month, she met Kex'ti. She almost hadn't let him join Sanctuary because he couldn't swear one of the vows as it was written, viewing it as being in conflict with his monk ways. But something had made her hear him out and then agree to let him join. He was someone who had been many places not just physically but spiritually, and after all that, Sanctuary had been where he had wanted to call home. She had trusted him. Their relationship had been slow to develop. First, he had just been someone who was always there. With so many coming and going, having someone dependable was no small thing. Then, he was someone who always listened. Despite her inexperience, he always took her words seriously. The trust she showed him was returned in this way, Juli realizes then as she reminisces. He hadn't thought himself worthy of trust, so when she showed it to him, he repaid it. She had found out later about his past -- some parts of it. He had never gone into much detail about what he did in the arenas or in the cult. She knows enough to know it was bad. But she had told him then and still tells others now that it's what you do now that matters. Juli passes a hand over her face, remembering evenings spent at the garrison with him. Their relationship had been maybe a little silly at first. Puppy love. Two people who needed someone more than they loved each other. She can see that now, how she hadn't known at the start how a relationship really looked like, the kind of work it took. But Kex'ti had been patient; maybe happy to be in a relationship that was relatively juvenile for awhile after his past experiences. In time, it had deepened. They'd been tested by the war for peace with the Grim, by Saphiara's betrayal, and by the conflicts that arose around the Eclipse. Juli had made the best decisions she could and clung to them even when it drove some away, like Grimal, like Naheal. Throughout, though Kex'ti had often made his own decisions, he had stood by her. And she had come to realize she needed him for that. At the end, they had needed each other. Juli sips the whiskey, not remembering when she'd poured herself more. She doesn't often think about Accalia's nightmare. She and Kex'ti had overcome their demons there. Hers had been... relatively simple. She wasn't sure what his had been, not entirely. But after that, they had become much closer. After that, it had seemed like they could tell what the other was thinking simply by looking at each other. Then had come the fight with Kallavan, her near-death experience and lingering injury. Juli sighs. She had been too proud. Too afraid of being weak. And maybe she still is, but at least she knows the tendency in herself now. It wasn't enough to make her overcome her reluctance and show up at the monastery tonight, though she'd come to Vilmah's support group at least. But Kex'ti had been the first to push her to reveal weakness, and the first to convince her it was important to. He had told her that he didn't feel needed when she acted like she didn't need anyone. But even then it had seemed an impossible requirement. Until she nearly did lose him. His sickness had been catching up to him. The more he fought, the more he gave for Sanctuary, the worse it became. She'd realized she couldn't ask him to stop fighting. At the same time, she had been struggling with leading Sanctuary in the face of what seemed to be insurmountable challenges. Both things, Kex'ti's increasing illness and the pressures of leading Sanctuary, had combined to make her desperate for any solution she could find. She had ended up cutting out a piece of her soul, her determination, and giving it to Kex'ti for strength. He had been very dubious about the change in her and made her promise to keep looking for a better solution. Eventually, they had found one. An ancient rite had balanced their life forces. Even now she carries the everpresent ache in her chest, the same weight of the illness Kex'ti carried. Absently, she presses her free hand against her chest, drawing in a deep breath. She wishes it were evidence he still lived, but the rite had been a permanent, one-time transfer, and regardless of what happened to him she will always feel the consequences of the exchange. She remembers she had told him, when he hesitated to shorten her life to prolong his own, that it was unlikely either of them were going to live to old age anyway. Still... she thought they'd have more time than this. And Rylie. They hadn't gone looking to adopt. When Kex'ti had told her he couldn't have children, Juli hadn't known what to think at first, but eventually had concluded it was probably for the best. She hadn't imagined herself as a mother. But they had grown to love Rylie. She was truly extraordinary. To her Juli found she could give more than she could to anyone else except Kex'ti. And he had loved the girl too. Juli lowers her head. She hopes Kex'ti's legacy lives on in Rylie. She finds herself remembering their wedding. It had been a private affair. Cerryan had officiated. Their vows were spoken from the heart. He had liked her dress. She had spent far too long looking for the perfect one. She can't remember a day where she felt happier in her life. Juli raises her hand to swipe away tears from her eyes and tosses back the last of the whiskey. Getting up, she staggers into the bedroom. Tomorrow was another day. And soon, this battle between hope and despair would have a victor, one way or another.
  24. Extreme Justice

    “Because you won't stop hurting us!” Juli cried. “You won't.. stop... we have.. to...” The entropic shadows were overcoming her. She staggered and fell to her knees again, and this time couldn't get up. Lilliana pushed herself up, still clutching Syreena like a broken ragdoll, and stared at Juli in amazement. “Freaking psycho hypocrite,” the priestess managed. She began to weave shadowmending around her leg, and Juli couldn't stop her. “Cerryan comes and tortures my friend as revenge... You attack me when you demand I step aside after we, together, save her, and expect me to allow you to kill her in front of me... and like totally break... oh shit what are your vows again? First one! Peace! I will not initiate hostilities!” Lilliana got to her feet, supporting herself mostly on her one good leg, and threw a fresh blast of shadow at Juli. Juli flinched as it struck her. “Second one! Justice! I will react with force only to defend the innocent, or in fair, consensual combat! Err okay maybe you didn't break number two... But you did break number three... Mercy! I will respond to hostility with the least force required!” Another blast followed. Juli gritted her teeth as it hit, her eyes watering with pain, and Lilly continued. “And Julilee... Sacrifice! I will forgive mistakes, insults, and injuries to me person for the sake of peace, justice, and mercy!” The final oath was partnered with another blast. Bracing herself on the greatsword, it was all Juli could do to keep herself upright. The Light from the sword had entirely faded away, dissipated absorbing all the shadow attacks. Without its warm glow, the pain Juli was under was nearly unbearable. Lilly paced around her, limping. “You and that jerk face Cerryan don't even follow your own rules! At least I follow my order's rules! But noooo, it's totally okay for you to play the eye for an eye game!” “You.. don't... understand... the vows!” Juli pulled the greatsword back and hurled it at the priestess. The sheer unexpectedness of the attack took Lilliana by surprise and it knocked her down again. Juli fought her way to her feet and started moving toward the door. Putting her fingers to her lips, she blew a shrill whistle. In response, a red-gold cloudserpent came swirling down from the overcast sky. Shou-Yana, the loyal companion Kex'ti had helped her tame, landed outside in the courtyard. Juli turned back as Lilliana started shouting. The priestess had left Syreena inside and come to chase Juli down. “I understand your stupid vows! I understand you don't freaking follow them! Don't run away from me...! We're not done! You haven't taught me a lesson yet!” Juli forced her broken arm to work as she grabbed her shield off her back and held it up to deflect the new spells Lilliana was flinging at her. “Our vows don't tie our hands, Lilliana,” she said through gritted teeth as she backed away. “It's not our job to keep turning the other cheek. We are allowed to fight back! We don't have to roll over and die because someone wants to kill us! I'm not going to let you, or Syreena, or any of the Grim hurt us. You did learn something today. We're not who you think we are. I'm not.” Turning, she reached Shou-Yana and grabbed onto the saddle with her good arm. She coughed, hacking up black blood, and leveled a stare at the advancing priestess. “Take Syreena and go. I can't beat you this time... but remember... I might try again.” “You might try again? Do it, I fucking dare you!” Lilliana shrieked. “Try to get me, you two-faced...” She inhaled and released a psychic scream again. Shou-Yana writhed in protest. And Juli simply stared Lilliana down, fury radiating off of her. She was not one to lose her temper. She would never rage incoherently like Lilliana was doing right now. But she was a warrior, and though she kept her rage tightly controlled, it was there. “Be wise, Lilliana,” she said lowly, “and consider it even.” “Don't try to backpedal!” Lilliana hollered. She started throwing spells at Juli's mount. Shou-Yana snorted, her reflective scales immune to most of the attacks, but backed away, and Juli let her go. “You know it's not even!” Lilliana yelled. “No, it's not,” Juli said angrily. She drew her blade, Mercy. Its jagged, glowing lines flared with a new light as Juli pointed it at the priestess. “It's not even. I've overlooked so much... but the Grim has gone too far, Lilliana! And even now I don't want to kill you!” She gave a bark of laughter, of all things. “You're just trying to protect her, that's why I'm holding back, even though if Syreena recovers she'll hurt me and mine again...” “Oh yeah, well I'm trying to kill you! I think Awatu will forgive me for like, totally disob—” Whatever Lilliana was about to say was cut off as Juli stepped forward and took a swing at her. The priestess flinched away and the sword only grazed her arm, but Juli followed through with a reversal, plowing the curved hilt into the priestess's stomach. At the same time, however, the spell Lilliana had been preparing was loosed, and it knocked Juli down, sending her rolling along the dirt a distance. Somehow, she managed to maintain her grip on her sword and shield until she came to a stop. Looking at Mercy, she realized it was glowing more than it usually did. Had the Light from Cerryan's sword transferred to it? Shaking her head, she pushed herself up and whistled for Shou-Yana. This time, she was able to pull herself astride the cloudserpent with her good arm before Lilliana caught up. Lilly's screams quickly grew distant as Juli rose into the sky. Despite the loss, Juli felt relieved. She had done her best to enact justice. If Lilliana thought she was a hypocrite didn't matter. The point had been made. And Lilliana, and the rest of the Grim, would look a them with a lot more wariness from this point forward. The glow on Mercy had faded by the time she landed in Dalaran.
  25. Extreme Justice

    Lilliana’s head snapped up. She heard the quiet resolution in Juli’s voice, and her blue eyes blazed with immediate anger, all suspicions confirmed. “Why, Julilee?” she asked. Juli pointed the sword, Cerryan’s greatsword, at the priestess. It still glowed with the power Cerryan had infused it with, arcs of Light moving along its blade. “Step back, Lilliana,” she said again. “I can’t let you heal her. She didn’t deserve to suffer, but she doesn’t deserve to live, either.” Lilliana’s gaze trailed over the sword and moved back to Juli. “Get the fuck out of my face before I kill both you AND Cerryan… and then sic the rest of the Grim on your guild. You are not the Horde’s police,” she responded icily. Protectively, she put a hand on Syreena’s burned chest. In most of their fights, those in play and some in slightly more earnest, Juli had defeated Lilliana handily. But Lilliana had never honestly tried to kill her, barring Aerie Peak where both had been in groups with others. And Juli’s shield shoulder was injured, making it impossible for her to use her arms of choice. She held Cerryan’s greatsword, an unfamiliar weapon, but it wasn’t as hard to wield as she would have assumed it would be. She felt clear; resolute. “I will ask you one last time, Lilliana. Syreena tried to murder one of my own. If she is allowed to live, she will try again.” Juli raised the sword slightly. “I have no other option. If I did, I would take it. You can’t offer one, either. Step back.” “Oh yes, Julilee, I can offer options,” Lilliana said. Her childish voice had gone dead cold. “The option is, either you drop that sword and leave me and Syreena in peace… Or I make you drop it and I help you fucking find peace.” The words came out in a hiss. “As I said, you and your stupid guild are not the Horde police. Syreena goes back with me.” “What I am is a bringer of justice,” Juli said, and stepped forward to slice at the priestess with the greatsword. It was a calculated move, not overextending herself as she tested her ability to wield the blade, but it had strength behind it; no mere feint. It forced the priestess to scramble back, but Lilliana had grabbed onto Syreena and dragged her with her. “Julilee! I’m fucking serious! Go the fuck away!” Lilliana yelled. “You’re no bringer of justice… You’re just as bad as the Grim, and you know it!” She wrapped an arm around Syreena’s midsection and backpedaled as Juli moved on her. The words may as well have fallen on deaf ears. Even if what Lilliana thought wasn’t immaterial to her, Juli knew the priestess would say anything to try to achieve the effect she wanted; that she was willing to call her own guild bad just illustrated that fact. She aimed a low sweep to try to trip Lilliana up, and caught a glancing hit as the priestess tried to hold Syreena away from the strike. A shield of Light glimmered into existence around Lilliana in the next moment as she continued to back away, deeper into the barracks. “You’re a fucking hypocrite!” Lilliana said. “Are you seriously doing this right now? You let Cerryan do this and you speak of justice? He is so fucking dying… I’m going to make him into a drooling vegetable and leave him outside the Legion’s gates—” Juli concentrated on getting through Lilliana’s guard. She made a feint to the side that turned into a thrust. The commitment behind the strike was enough to have run Lilliana through if allowed to hit unprotected. She was not pulling her blows. The shock on Lilliana’s face when she felt the force of the blow bounce off the shield, weakening the barrier, meant she realized it. “Julilee, please don’t do this shit…” Her tone changed to begging, desperately. “Please… Not with me… Don’t!” “Then surrender Syreena and I’ll let you leave,” Juli responded implacably. She shifted her grip on the greatsword as she circled to cut Lilliana off from the exit. The Light that arced around the sword’s blade had moved into the hilt, coalescing around her hands. Somehow, Juli was able to sense that despite her pleas, Lilliana was reaching for the shadows. In the next moment, they returned to the priestess with an unearthly hiss, and the moment after that, the priestess loosed a blast aimed directly at Juli’s injured shoulder. Juli’s first instinct was to raise her shield to counter it, and having to readjust her instincts cost her. She tried to dodge but the blast still caught her with most of its force, spinning her and nearly knocking her down. She turned the momentum into a vault, completing the turn and lunging at Lilliana, the sword trailing behind her as she shoulder-checked the priestess with her good shoulder. As they collided, Lilliana loosed a piercing scream, one that burrowed into the deepest recesses of the mind and sent any enemy with a mind fleeing in blind panic. It was also a trick Lilliana had tried to use against Juli many times in their duels. Juli staggered but threw off the effect in mere moments. Letting go of the greatsword with one hand, she pummeled the priestess in the midsection to try to forestall the dark magics she sensed forthcoming, but they were loosed instantly nonetheless. A creeping shadow settled into the warrior, beginning to eat away at her strength and leaving behind considerable pain as it did. Her shoulder flared in renewed agony that she hadn’t noticed easing. Grasping the greatsword again, she took half a step back to bring up the sword between them in an upward slash. Lilliana, still burdened with the slight figure of the rogue in one arm at her side, took the slash shallowly up her stomach and chest. She screamed again, this time in pure anger, and released a serous of blasts with no pause in between. All three struck Juli, driving her back a good distance. Juli didn’t realize that the Light from the sword had crept all the way up to her shoulders. Her resolution kept her unfaltering. There was no other choice but this. As she charged forward to close the distance between them again, Lilliana had the few moments she needed to conjure up her shadowfiend. It launched itself for Juli’s bad shoulder, and though Juli twisted to try to slice the thing down, she was not fast enough with the heavier weapon to intercept it, and it latched on. She let go of the sword with one hand again to try to grab the thing and pull it off, but her hand passed right through its incorporeal form. Meanwhile, Lilliana was taking the time to work shadowmending on herself. Ignoring the shadowfiend for now, Juli set her sword and charged again. The shadows around Lilliana darkened into pure void. It was something Juli had never seen Lilliana do before. The blasts the priestess loosed were merciless and forced Juli to stop and raise the sword to put it between herself and the blasts. It seemed to buffer the impact somewhat, though the darkness still tore at Juli, so hard it forced her down to a knee. She grimaced in pain. “Lilliana,” she said between blasts, “Syreena tried to kill Kanda… the orphan she helped raise. Just for… joining Sanctuary. I can’t let her live.. and… be successful next time.” She pushed herself to her feet with an effort under the deluge of shadow. “You’d do the same in my position.” “Shokkra tried to kill Khorvis just to be an ass!” Lilliana screamed. She sounded nearly unhinged with anger, punctuating every sentence with another blast that pounded Juli remorselessly. “Your fucking ambassador… so fuck you! You and Sanctuary are not our police… You are not the judges… This is revenge and murder at this point… Maybe I’ll be the guilty one instead… Although at this point it’s kind of self defense! And WHY THE FUCK DID YOU CALL ME HERE ANYWAY?” “If I wanted revenge I would have left her here!” Juli shouted, fury overcoming her steely resolution. She swung heedlessly to parry a blast of shadow, the Light from the sword deflecting it, and began to advance, parrying Lilliana’s attacks. “I would have asked Kex’ti to help me instead of you!” She parried another blast, though her shoulder cried in agony. She didn’t know how she was even carrying on at this point. Strength suffused her. “I called you because I won’t hide… I won’t compromise… I can be PUSHED TOO FAR… and you and the Grim NEED TO SEE THAT!” “You brought me here to teach me a lesson?!” Lilliana said incredulously. Juli swung and struck the priestess with the flat of the blade in one knee. The crunching sound promised an injury as bad as her shoulder had been. Lilliana fell hard to the floor.