Kexti

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  1. Kexti

    Hope in Shadows

    A wonder that the Nightborne joined the Horde, Kex'ti Dalendala thought to himself. Telemancy has certainly made getting around easier. He hated portal magic. It always left him nauseated for hours, and for a man of his size, it was a deeply unpleasant experience. The elf monk hobbled through the moor, his boots slick with grime. He could sense the chi of nothing living. But in Tirisfal Glades, dead rarely meant gone. Rarer still did it mean non-hostile. He'd run off the drink from the morning while he rode his raptor from Ratchet to the Crossroads. From there, a wyvern flew him to Orgrimmar, and from there, a portal to the Undercity had brought him to Lordaeron. The sky here always felt low to the ground. Nowhere else on Azeroth, even Northrend, had ever felt so oppressive. The way that fog and cobwebs mixed in the sparse pines did little to relieve the feeling of slow suffocation. He shuddered, and pulled his coat closer. He'd left his armor, or most of it, in the bank of Ratchet. Now, part of him wished he'd brought something, anything besides his stubbornness as protection along on the journey. He carried his staff and limped along with it in one hand, and cradled a small box in the crook of the other. He put his foot on a stone, and heard a voice rasp from the mist. "Not many quick out here, sin'dorei." With a smirk and a chuckle, Kex'ti locked eyes with the glowing yellows of the Forsaken. "Do not worry, friend. I promise that I will keep moving for some time to come." He'd expected a laugh, and received a grunt. Kex'ti took a deep breath of the rot that surrounded him. I suppose I am a slower learner than I would like in lowering my expectations, he thought. "I am here to visit a grave." "Why?" asked the graveguard. Now that he'd arrived, he found he'd never really considered that. This just felt like the right thing to do. "It felt like the right thing to do," he said. The guard lit a lantern. The graveyard flickered in the wan light as the oil spattered against the glass and iron cage. It wasn't nightfall yet, but that made little difference. The lantern was for his benefit, and it sufficed as permission. Kex'ti nodded to the guard, a Forsaken man in dark leathers, a deep hood, and with two wicked scimitars that hung on hooks from his belt. "Augustus Krowne?" The elf asked the undead. The guard moved. The soles of his boots whispered against the peaty soil. The grave was covered in growth. Kex'ti raised an eyebrow to the guard. The Forsaken responded by setting the lantern by the tombstone. "I'm a guard," he answered, "not a groundskeeper." Kex'ti nodded, and knelt. He had worn gloves, and buckled the magewoven coat closer. The wool in the coat would keep him warm, at least. His stomach growled. He knew he wouldn't be eating for a while, given the... Strong flavors preferred by the residents of Tirisfal. The monk removed his gloves, and laid them on the chest he'd carried along. He gripped the moss and branches wrapping the grave, and began to tear them loose. The guard stayed close, and offered no help. A blade would've made the process simple, but Kex'ti wanted to do this manually. He wanted to pull the roots loose, he wanted to work his skin raw, he wanted to feel the mists tingle and itch as he knit and tore and reknit the skin and blood on his hands as the thorns of the vine gnashed into his hands. Hands that had gripped reins of cloud serpents and nether rays. That reached out for people falling away. That had choked the life from a sin'dorei scout in the wrong place. That had maimed, crippled, and killed for sport, for justice, and in madness. Hands which had healed the wounded, that had caressed the skins of the few people he'd loved, and had gripped hands with his closest friends. He didn't want to feel that. He wanted to feel his hands hurt, he wanted to remember the pain of his pinky being bitten loose. He wanted to hurt. He just didn't want to be left alone with it. And who could listen like the dead? He wove the mists into his raw and sliced fingers and palms, channeling chi to the wounds, mending them, and feeling the burn as he stole the life from the bacteria that would try to thrive at his expense. A touch of gray leaked into the spiritual matter from the surrounding mist. The monk rolled his hands, feeling the joints crack. He coughed, but couldn't taste blood. That was good, at least. He reached over to the box, undid the latch, and pulled out a wineskin. He poured it over the grave, the firewater washing off his own blood, the dust of the years since the Wrathgate. "I am sorry, Aug. I know you were more of a wine or a beer guy," Kex'ti whispered in Thalassian. "I can, at least, try to speak your own tongue," Kex'ti said, in halting gutterspeak. He smiled. "Yeah, I know. You always used to say you were a poet before you were an alchemist, and that just happened to be the tongue they put in your mouth." Kex'ti sat into the dirt. The coat would be dirty. So what? He clipped his words, flowing between whatever he knew, whether Krowne would speak it or not. "I wonder if that was the excuse you used: someone put words in your mouth. Aug, I've had a bit of a trip since I dragged you out of that quagmire." "You were right there, but it was like you couldn't decide if you wanted to throw that vial at me, or Putress' defectors. I still don't know why you did that. I would've thought that our time together would've been enough to help you make your choice. Maybe I should've given you the chance. But I didn't want you to go on like that. I didn't want to die like that, and I didn't want your memory to just get...stained like that." "But I wonder, if you just let something go on, does that actually make it better? Did I save you a lot of suffering? Or did I deny you the chance to fix it?" "I think about that a lot. I did up until recently, anyway." "There's a woman. Not... That kind. A Forsaken. Her name is Syreena. She's one of those I can never figure out. For a long time, I'd hoped that patience, a stern hand, might lead her to a nobler path. I mean, I think that's how my life worked. Or how I thought it did. You pulled me out of Silvermoon. Remi helped me see a bigger picture. But... Without the two of you..." Kex'ti looked at his hands, the crisscrossed scars of years of fighting, and the scratches he'd tried to erase with mistweaving. "Have I ever really been my own person? Is that really what I've wanted? Before you, I always listened to mother and father, and they never really gave me much hope. You gave me a chance to do something different, but when I left to go out on my own, I wasn't even alone then. I was doing it for someone else." "Maybe I just make bad decisions when it involves myself." He glanced down to the firewater. "I had my last drink this morning. Or, at least last one for a while. I know what happens when I try and distract myself, whether it's with drugs, or a cause, or just combat. I make bad choices. I hurt people. And... I can't keep doing that. Nobody else deserves to live with that but me." Kex'ti looked up at the sky, or Krowne's presence above, or just to avoid looking at the tombstone. He turned back to find the guard gone, or lurking. What did it matter? The guard could attack him, report the story, or do nothing. Making a mess to be cleaned up later, Kex'ti went on with his monologue. "I ran away, again." "After the Wrathgate, I went to go be with Remiaan, at the Argent Tournament. She died, so I ran away. I went and found a place in the Twilight's Hammer. I can spare you those stories. It was... I may have been selfish in the Arena. I may have been heartbroken when I lost you. When I lost Rem. But what I did to dull that pain... That's what haunts me. That's what makes me wish I just wasn't... Alive, or aware, or whatever oblivion means." He smirked. "That's kind of the sick bit of it. I got exactly what I wanted, there. I didn't have to think about what I was doing. I didn't have to look behind the curtain. I was behind the curtain, and in the dark, you don't really care about it. When someone pulls the curtain aside, it's not what's hidden that you look in on that scars you. It's not what's lurking in the dark. It's that when someone lets the light in, you can see what you've actually been doing, when you've been just doing it blindly, or doing it without much fear." "The horrible thing is that the ignorance is what I miss most. It's not that the truths the Twilight's Hammer and Old Gods preach that burn the mind, or make you hopeless. It's just that when you're following along, they don't matter. You don't matter. You're just matter." He coughed and took a sip from his jug, unknotting a piece of twine he'd tied around it. Without Zhanhao's yao grass, he'd need to go back to Pandaria for it. The twine would remind him when he needed to restock. "That's what scares me most about the Void, I think. Is that knowledge that it's exactly what I wanted: to be nothing. To think nothing. To feel nothing. From nothing, you can be anything. Instead of a cripple. Instead of sick. Instead of a murderer. Instead of a coward." He rested a hand on the tombstone. "I'm sorry you're dead, August. I'm sorry I didn't make good on the life you gave me," he said. "I'm sorry I killed you. I'm sorry.... I didn't make good on either of our lives." Kex'ti rubbed his face. "After that... I just went back to Ratchet. That's where life got good for me, I think. Where we started winning fights. Where I stopped being just a sick kid in Silvermoon. I think that's why I'll always go back there, because it's where I can start over. I've gotten really good at starting over. It's not a fun skill to have." He told the grave about how he met Wei Xo. How he traveled to Pandaria, and made his medicine with the help of Yu-Ting. How he came down the mountain reborn as a mistweaver, and he met Baern Grimtotem, Tauranor, Billamong, and Rabbic Ohen in the Thunder-Pan company. How being an actual mercenary taught him to think as a member of a group, rather than just a small group. How he'd gone to Draenor in hopes of a second chance with Remiaan. How he'd ended up in Sanctuary instead. He smiled, and recounted stories of Vilmah, Cerryan, Nojinbu, and Baern, now Baern Ashtotem. "Those were the best years of my life, August. The time with you, then with Rem, those were great. But Sanctuary... I felt happy. Like I had purpose." He smiled, but his eyes clenched bittersweet. "I knew an orc woman. I saw a lot of myself in her. I hoped that I could help her, that I could push her off the path I'd walked, and spare her the suffering. But..." He coughed. "Sometimes I wonder if me being sick was a sign from the universe. That I'm so poisonous that I can't even live with myself. Sanctuary went to... I guess you'd call it a war. Against a corrupted ancient named Accalia. Twice, in fact. The first time, I had a nightmare. A long, long nightmare. And the thing that I remember is that it was drawn out from myself: It was my fears. My worries, my anxieties, put on display to torment me. I... I remember bits of it, now and then. But what I always remember is that, somewhere in it, I told myself that 'I'm poison.'" "I couldn't keep Shokkra from making the choices she makes. That are so close to the ones I've made, and are going to be just as destructive." "I fought against the Legion, the last year. I helped the victims of a place called Suramar. The elves there were similar to the Sin'dorei, but descended more directly from the kaldorei. I spent a little time on Argus, too, believe it or not." He gripped his hands together. "I met a woman. I fell in love. And, she gave me part of her life, to save me from my illness. There's a lot to love about her. But part of that love is... I destroyed Remi. I destroyed you, and I've destroyed myself and countless others. She made a choice, recently, that she would give trust to those who needed it. I think they're far from deserving it. I think they'll fail. I think they'll fall to madness and worse. But trust? They need that. I know I did. I failed to go where I wanted. But everyone gave me a chance to try." "She trusted them. But I never could. I... Never can. They associated with the Void, and that association was too tempting to ignore. And after everything, I can't make the same choices I've made. When she made that choice, I was angry. I still am, and I'm still hurt that... It felt like my pain was ignored. But pain passes. Pain can heal. It just won't heal in time to make a difference. But part of me has always known what her choices meant for me." "I never stopped loving her. I don't think I can, and I think it would be wrong to try. But that love means I'm not going to destroy her. I'm not going to poison anything else." "Once you acquire a taste for poison, it's a part of you. I might destroy myself, over, and over, and over again. But, this time, I won't drag anyone else into the Void with me."
  2. Kexti

    TNG Con... 2018!

    New Orleans sounds fun, and I'd like to get away from anything that's "local" to most people. Vegas there's a lot to do, and I think Puerto Rico could also be a lot of fun, or a beach house in Florida, or even Texas.
  3. Kexti

    RHTN Usability Poll

    Hi all, could you take 5 minutes and answer a short survey so I can gather data to send to the RP community managers at Blizzard? Thanks. https://goo.gl/forms/4uGixZr8NVCILLEo2
  4. Kexti

    Moonglow Goodbye

    At one moment in time, Kex’ti would have found the arrangement pragmatic. As he walked hand in hand with Julilee, Rylie meters beyond, he would have found peace in the security of the way they moved together. Rylie just far enough away to not be obviously affiliated with them, close enough to be safe, but not near enough, for long enough in public, to draw scrutiny. Sanctuary was beset by scandal enough. His own assertions that the girl was half-Sin’dorei did much to quell any real dissent; the monk’s vague allusions to prior discretion fueled enough of the rumor mill to keep prying questions away from the simpler truth that she was not Julilee’s nor his by blood, that she was never born in the Horde, and that for political means “belonged” elsewhere. The girl once flitted between the booths at the fair. Now, she ambled. An adolescent gait offset by his personal training of her. He was proud as much of how she took to her lessons as he was of her as a person. She had faced much of the same horrors he had, with less to rely on. The monk was happy her story had come as far as it did. But the realities of his, and his wife’s, differences, were quickly catching up. Where a year before, she had sat with rapt attention on his lessons in swordplay, on stances, on center-line defense, her gaze often wandered to the uproars of the young men studying under the Kirin Tor, or the knights of Stormwind or Silvermoon that traversed Dalaran’s cobbles. She asked questions that made him uncomfortable, and argued with him on truths that were once met with easy acceptance. Her combativeness frustrated him, in truth. As much of him believed that it was part of growing up. And he believed it was for the best. He believed he was proud of her. But he was nonetheless frustrated. Julilee’s insistence on tutoring Rylie in “practical” areas of study in a time of war were proving to be the correct choice. While he certainly wanted his erstwhile daughter to be armed for the inevitable conflicts she would face, there was no denying the simple facts of politics and history would teach her to be better than he ever would have been. He was no diplomat; he could only hope that Rylie would be able to fight her battles in courts, and in the realm of public ideas rather than with blood and iron. He watched her casually drop a few tokens and walked back with three glowing mugs. Her hands shook a little bit, and she tried to avoid his gaze. “Moonglow?” He asked, in Orcish. The girl responded, trying to make the choice to bring back cups of liquor a foregone, casual rite of acceptance. Julilee looked up to him. He coughed, and smirked. Julilee and the monk often took roles of discipline and liberty in turn. She played bad cop. He played good cop. It worked for their daughter. It sometimes worked for their guild. But he knew that she had enough of the senselessness of endless debate of late, and it was his turn to tell Rylie no. Kex’ti began to correct the girl’s Orcish, teasing her even as it was better than his. Almost flawlessly unaccented. Or, rather, accented in the same way Shokkra spoke it. The fireworks of the Lunar Festival were going to start soon. The monk knew how the conversation would go. “No,” “Orcs are considered adults at 14,” “No,” Then the fireworks would start. She would raise her glass, she would drink. When he scolded her, she would say, perhaps hurt, perhaps because she knew the response would deliver a jab to him he could never block, perhaps a jab she would feel bad about later, she would say: “I’m not an elf. I can’t hear as well as you can.” His heart beat. He glanced up to the first barrage of explosions, the first in so many years to celebrate, rather than warn or explode amongst cavalry formations or swaths of soldiers. Even with the Legion descending, there were always moments to celebrate. Kex’ti chuckled, and took a pull from the drink. He bumped the bottom of the cup against the rim of Rylie’s glass, spilling some of the glowing alcohol down over her hand. She scoffed, but Julilee joined in with his laughing. “Orcs are considered adults at 14,” he said. “But if you are going to hold your liquor…it is best to start with holding the cup.” She took a sip, outrage and surprise mixing on her face. She grimaced. Then took a longer sip. “Just for now,” he said to Julilee, who raised an eyebrow, and began to sip her own drink. Rylie hugged the Commander and the monk, taking care not to spill. She would leave, after the Festival, to board in Stormwind. She could visit them in Dalaran without much trouble. But that moment was far away.
  5. Red Tea I once wielded a scholar's weapon. It was a beautiful tool. The scrolls that rolled about it, the way my tome of notes rocked in its mooring. It was inscribed with hints of knowledge and dripped with insight and the illuminating power of the mind at work. It was heavy, and it was long, and it parted my enemies before me like a sieve. It became a symbol of my failure, and my own lack of foresight. I once wielded a missionary's blade. This was a long sword, resplendent with inner light. It curved and shimmered, and it danced in my hands. I used it to quell my foes and leave them alive, afraid, and in enough pain to remind them to not cross my path. It whispered when I yelled on the dusty world of Draenor. I named it Mercy, and I gave it to my beloved. I once wielded little more than a ceramic mug, for many years. I tended bar with it at first, and kept it for only myself. I never shared it. I never trusted what poison could go within when I was not the one pouring it. I tried to clean it of its stains. I wanted to obliterate the haze of lost days with cleansing medicine and vivifying tea. I could not. I still cannot. I once wielded the worn blade of a murderer. I obeyed without question, and slayed without pause. I stained the Saronite with gallons of blood. I remember their surprise, their rage and their misery. When I wake in the night, Julilee's calm gaze on me, I still wonder if even now this is a dream and respite from the nightmares best forgotten and so viciously first in my mind. They remained buried in the chest of a man whose name I never learned. I once wielded the knives of a duelist. I fought with bravo and flair, and dabbled in crowds more scandalous than I ever would have overheard in my parents' Silvermoon inn. I fought for the Horde with those weapons against the Lich King, for Tirion Fordring and his Argent Tournament. I once wielded maces, and daggers, and swords from the best armories Ethereal hands could pillage and goblin coin could buy. In the pits of Outland and obscure arenas of Azeroth, I fought with Augustus Krowne, and ventured forth from my homeland with a thirst for life and vigor in my limbs I could hardly imagine. I once wielded the utensils of a sous chef, in Murder Row. I once wielded these. I will certainly wield others. But now I wield Red Tea, an ancient staff touched by Chi-ji Himself. Carved from bamboo, set with ghost iron. It is a weapon that draws and restores blood. It is a weapon I will paint, and carry, and come to know as my own. The story of this staff? That too, I will wield, to captivate you. As I teach you what can be done with such a weapon.
  6. Kexti

    Grand New Year Story Contest 2017

    *cries and rolls around in that artifact thread*
  7. Kexti

    Mists of Helheim

    The figure uses a chipped moonglaive, like a warden would. They wear a dark, travelstained cloak. Under it, a bandolier holds several shimmering vials. They look around, and continue searching for Kerala through the day... Kerala eventually gets antsy. Even though the centaur said he was magrami and didn't trigger any bad vibes in her instincts, he's still a stranger. She makes her way back to ask him if he heard the voice again in her absence, trying to think of what she'll say to convince him to leave. Well aware of her own tendency to strike first and ask questions later, the druid materializes a little distance away and calls out to the sleeping centaur to wake him. "Armagh?" The centaur has been cleanly killed by a single slash across the throat. Seeing this instantly sets her on edge, and she looks around trying to sense if there is still someone in the area, or perhaps any signs of a trap or ambush. She sees a faint green glimmer as if from a gem. The figure steps lightly out from the shadows. A pendant hangs from her hand. "Dan'binoir?" Kerala keeps her distance. "Did you do this?" she demands. The figure twists her head to the side and peers, as if listening. She nods her head. "Why?!" "Xaxus." She has a strange lilt to her voice, and steps forward, slowly. She keeps the gem extended. "Falah'thas Shal'dorei mirt-talniai." She gives it a gentle shake at Kerala. Kerala does not like this at all. "I don't know what you're saying." she announces, just in case that wasn't clear from her expression. She backpedals until it seems as if the woman is trying to give her the gem. She's got some experience with warlocks and soul shards, but this is green... she hesitates though, trying to decide whether or not accepting such a thing is dangerous. The person is heavily shrouded buty seemingly elven. You don't believe her to be overly tainted by fel...but the arcane suffuses her. "What is that?" Kerala still doesn't reach for the gem yet. The woman insistently holds it out and advances on Kerala. The Broken Ring Blade at her side held loose in her grip. The Kerala of a few months ago might have put up more objection. She might have fought a random killer showing up out of no where. She might have done something different, but the Kerala here now thinks along the lines of 'what the hell, why not', says "Fine," with a shrug, and decides to accept this gem, whatever it is. The elf tugs a bit on the hanging pendant as Kerala pulls it, but with a wince lets it yield. A voice enters Kerala's mind. <Hello, little druid.> Kerala almost drops the thing. She glares at the strange elf woman, for a second thinking the voice was hers but... there's something about it... maybe familiar? "What is this?" <My soulstone. I didn't want to get trapped in the Dream. Fortunately, Ilduria managed to find me.> Kerala manages to resist a pretty powerful urge to fling the gem, no the soulstone, away from her. "You're supposed to be dead." She looks at the elf "Ilduria, is it? Why are you HERE?" Back to Xelkorak "How are you here? What do you want with me?" Kerala doesn't do well with being confronted with yet more proof (after Konro) that ghosts and spirits are very real. "And why is HE dead?!" she demands, pointing in the direction of Armagh's corpse. <I am dead, little druid.> The thought seems clipped. <I couldn't survive that entanglement with you and your...friends? Which brings me to the topic at hand.> <It would seem that Ilduria is in need of a favor from you.> <One of the Horde elves who stood against me was apparently quite helpful in Suramar. This surprises me very little. But what did surprise me is that Ilduria knew of him. And that I did as well.> <This one has been taken.> Kerala blinks. Thus far she has not been to the Broken Isles and so Suramar is a foreign term. "Who?" <The fat one with the purple shirt. The one that I killed. That one that you somehow managed to salvage in a manner I can barely fathom.> There is only one elf to fit that description. Kexti. "Where has he been taken?" <I do not know. But for Ilduria, and the Shal'dorei, I implore you to help. You could find his essence, given your familiarity with it.> "His... ESSENCE?" Kerala pauses, peering at Ilduria. "What do you want with him? And you still have not answered my other questions. I suppose with the Vult... with Xelkorak's involvement how you found me is answered, but why kill the boy?" Ilduria simply looks confused. <She is very clever but not in speech. She does not ken your tongue.> <He was helping her people. His absence was noted. And a former guard was suspect at best to the Insurrection.> <Ilduria has traveled at great risk to find you.> Kerala listens while staring at Ilduria, judging for herself as best she can by stance and nonverbal cues the truthfulness of the Vulture's mental explanation. Ilduria seems patient but a little shaky. The vials at her chest are nearly empty. Her only weapon is a clearly stolen moonglaive. "Hmm. And what about you? You're going to help her find the elf that you hate?" To Ilduria, Kerala points firmly at the centaur's corpse and frowns, then jerks her hands in a pretty universal 'what the hell?' gesture. Ilduria bows cursorily. <My appreciation of lack thereof is irrelevant. I do this for her.> Ilduria speaks confidently but quietly in Shal'dorei. She gestures to the corpse then the cavern. "What did she say?" <The savage was distracting you and time is of the essence. More or less.> Kerala's jaw tightens for just a moment. The tauren steps over to Armagh's body. She doesn't look at his face, but drags his torso in line with his body, then steps to his belly. She lifts front and rear leg pairs and uses them as leverage to easily roll the centaur's body over the edge. The hydras and gators will take care of him. "Fine. Let's go then. I will help you find Kex'ti." Ilduria, seemingly understanding, nods. Then she stands for a moment, thinking.
  8. Kexti

    Call of the Scarab

    until
    To commemorate the first ringing of the Scarab Gong on January 23, 2006, players will be able to relive a portion of the Ahn’Qiraj gate opening by collecting items for turn-in. The winning faction will then be able to claim bragging rights and have their faction flag hang over the gates until the next Call of the Scarab micro-holiday event. Hey Everyone! Let's show some server pride and get together on a night or two to fight it out in the sands of Silthus!
  9. Kexti

    Mists of Helheim

    She snorted. After a minute, though, her horns tilted as she stared at the ground. "Do you know, druids were myths among my people when I was a child? When we were young, the most mystical magical things we aspired to be were shaman. My sister always lied and said she could almost hear the rocks speak, and the waters. She tried so hard to be what she was not. A shaman. A druid. Do you know what she is, what she truly is? Neither of those things, at all." She looked over at Armagh. "If you hear the rocks, if you are not lying to yourself or afflicted of the mind, you will find the way. If that is who you are." "I found my way here with a bit of guidance...did I not?" He shuffled and settled down to the floor, and closed his eyes to consider his circumstances. "They say the satyrs have begun attacking the world." "Satyrs have always been an evil species corrupting things." Kerala doesn't point out that centaur have, too. No need to state the obvious. "I hope my people can fight back, in some way. The druids have retreated from the wilds...but our eldest father is a druid. Zaetar was son of Cenarius, after all. It...is curious we did not follow that path." "'Curious'... that's the strangest way I've heard yet to refer to murder. And let me tell you, I'm Grim. They are creative in that particular endeavor." "You're what?" He asked, perplexed more so than denying. "Grim. It's... nevermind. What I mean is- the centaur murdered their father. So the story goes. It's no mystery to me why the sons of Zaetar cannot hear the wilds, for they cannot listen. Look around you, Armagh, at what your people have done to the land here. Everywhere trodden by centaur hooves withers and dies. And they don't care. If you do..." Kerala shrugged. "you are a rare creature." "It was not we who did this. It was elemental forces. We have the power of both the wilds and elements in our veins. We can be so much stronger if we stopped to think for-" he curses. "I did not even listen and yet I hear. And here I hear nothing at all. Why?: "Maybe you followed me too far. I never claimed to know what I am doing. Perhaps the voice is mad you listened to me instead?" Kerala looked back up the stone archway in the direction they came. "I suppose if you heard it before, and don't now, it could be that I've led you astray. I imagine I'm not well liked by many spirits. My best guess is to go back to where you last heard it and listen again. I won't intrude this time." Armagh nodded vaguely and curled into a pile to sleep or meditate. Kerala sighed, confused. She took a few steps back from the centaur, fading as she did. The lushness of Maraudon doesn't change much from reality to the Dream, but in the Dream her companion isn't invisible. He smiles at her. "You didn't call him, did you?" She asked Keth. The answer is no, of course. She lead them away to keep her word and give the odd centaur some time and space without her interference. The centaur shifted uncomfortably in his slumber. He murmured. "Why are the satyrs here?" A blade raked across his throat in the shadows. "Dan'binoir Quel?" questions the bloodstained murderer.
  10. Kexti

    Mists of Helheim

    Kerala stopped. "Look around you." She gestured at the majesty of inner Maraudon, with sunlight filtering down through the crack of skyline high up the stone walls, with giant beautiful flowers and clear waters that turtles swim in and hydra, at the waterfalls, at the upper pathways where creatures of stone still do whatever it is they do. "What do you see?" He pondered this. "I see a holy place. Revered by my ancestors. Haunted by them. The grave of my sires." "What are you truly, spirit?" he asked. "Certainly not an ancestor, nor even revered." She continued along toward the place where the Stone Princess fell. "I am called a druid. I go where I please, and this place pleases me." "But you are a tauren...Your Horde drove us to this place. For that I am strangely thankful." Armagh looked around the cavern. "These voices speak to our women. Not men. I hope through the power of this place can teach me power I can call my own." "Why?" "So I can be strong, and so I can lead my people. Our way..." He stopped. "We won't survive it. We must listen to our ancestors. Our first ancestors." The tauren crossed her arms and waits to see what Armagh will do now that he is here. "Power from without is flawed, and itself a weakness. True strength comes from within and no where else." Kerala stops at the bottom of a rocky span where there is a large verdant clearing (where the princess roamed and died). She gestured to the place. "I support your ideals, young one. I have stood where you stand. I hope you have better luck than I." He kneels to the spill, and puts his fingers into the thick earth. "I do not want the power of the elements," he says, quietly. "I just want the power to repair these burnt Plains, or to fly away, like those elves and tauren. "But I only hear the voice of stones." "You." Kerala states flatly. "You want to be a druid?"
  11. Kexti

    Mists of Helheim

    "Desert heat-dreams perhaps? I have certainly not called you. You are disturbing my rest." Kerala cocks her head at the centaur. "Be about your quest quickly then," she told him. Her gesture invites him deeper into the tunnels. Even if her tone had been suffering or maybe slightly mocking. Her opinion of the centaur's errand has been made clear. Armagh raised his chest proudly, carrying the bone in a loose grip. He descended into the tunnels with Kerala. "Are you with the circle of the great father?" "I heard a voice on the wind, that sounded of stones..." As Armagh rounded the next corner, he found himself alone and speaking to no one. The centaur rubbed course dust on his hands, and continued his aimless wandering among crystals. He's surprisingly deft at avoiding combat. Kerala was not gone, only no longer making the effort to appear. She followed, accompanied by a spherical essence. Kethrenorean didn't have the skill yet to appear as he willed, even in the Dream. She answered his questions though as if he spoke them to her. "He won't find us. Even if he could get that far, I don't intend to let him. ... because I'm curious. Well look at him! He wears the green, but he didn't know me. An exile, maybe? Hes Magrami, but not.... . I'm going to watch for a minute. ...don't call me that." The centaur continued his scramble, and took weary rest by a pool. Luck had seem him this far, but he grew weary. His hand bled on a sharp crystal and he cracked it off. He embedded it into the earth before him, and focused. Kerala watched, intrigued. He grunted and kicked over the crystal. "This was pointless. Now I am lost. We are lost." He sidled to the ground and grunted. Kerala spoke behind the centaur. "Well that was fast. Do you always give up so easily?" "My will is at its end, spirit. I have come so far and can't go further," he sighs. "I had hoped to hear the voice again." "The one that sounded of stones," Kerala murmured "Sounds like a Gelkis pet. Perhaps you should go to their cavern instead of this one. I am not lost. I can lead you out from here." "No...not Gelkis...even older than that..." He seems dejected. "But I will accept your guidance." Kerala didn't hear the mumbled second comment, and became annoyed. "Right, so let's just listen to mysterious voices from the deep places of the earth. How could THAT go wrong in any way? After all, it's not as if the entire tauren race theoretically fell from grace by doing that. Or that the bastard spawn of a stone princess happened to be set loose on the world tantruming, and now some lost little runt is here whining like a packrunner pup." She snorted. "My heritage is of the wild places of this world. Yet we are weak for it. I know little of Tauren save that they were driven almost to destruction when I was a child. Then the Horde came..." He waited to follow Kerala. Kerala surveyed the centaur. He's stubborn, if nothing else. Sometimes that is enough. "Fine. You've come this far. I can show you the supposed tomb of Zaetar. Rumors say some adventurers came and murdered the Stonemother's daughter here. Perhaps it was she who called you. Stay close, there are still some simple elementals, plus the basilisks and lashers. This may be a holy place for your people, but it has meaning for me as well." She offers a hand to help Armagh to his feet, and this time there is no disappearing funny business. He walks respectfully behind her and bows his head. He smells foul, as centaur do. "What meaning?"
  12. Kexti

    Mists of Helheim

    It had been some time since Armagh had ventured into the ancestral burial grounds. The cataclysm had been unkind to his people, to say nothing of their own predilection of violence. He had come to...he was not certain. The centaur centered, and stopped. Kerala's form manifested silently behind the glowing shards of a crystal formation. She was near enough to spook the intruder, but just out of reach should his reaction be physically violent. She stepped out into view at the same time that she called out to him. "Lost, runt?" Armagh started and looked to the shadowy figure. "No runt am I." He puffed up his chest and stamps his hooves. "I am Armagh, son of Kotarg, and I have come to seek wisdom of my ancestors and you do not frighten me." Kerala cocked her head, taking in the centaur's appearance and posture. She looks for indications of clan membership. "You speak well enough," she said, surprise evident in her tone, "but you must be stupid, to come here, or lost. Your ancestors have nothing for you." "No, they have everything I could need, ghost." The centaur trembled a bit, unsure. He appeared to be Magram, or a sect thereof. "Are you a cherished ancestor, or something else?" Kerala laughed. "You lie, little runt. You are dry of blood (terrified), I can see the quiver in your limbs. Turn back, lost one, before you find the spirits you seek and they make you one of them." "No. I seek their knowledge. Seek to correct their course." He grunted, taking a step back. Kerala eyed the boy. "What secrets do you think they can share with you?" She advanced the distance he gave up. He took another step back. "Why they fought the wars they did. Why they wield the magic they do. Our traditions are flawed, and have split like rivers from the source." Kerala cast her senses out to see if perhaps she was mistaken, and this lone centaur is not alone? But he was. Nothing living or dead followed his footsteps. "How did you get through the Maraudine? Who are you?" He grabbed a nearby bone. "As I said, I am Armagh, son of Kotarg, and I have come to seek wisdom of my ancestors and you do not frighten me. I have done as many have, and I walked in." Kerala's form darkened, and she leaped at Armagh, her expression furious and full of hate. He made a clumsy swing with his improvised weapon, a meager strike of lean skill. Kerala easily ducked away from the swing and made as if to backhand Armagh. She stopped before contact might be made. "Dead," she announced. "Tell me again how you will survive to ask anything of the spirits roaming these caverns." "May your prey be infested," he cursed. "Bravery must see me through. And why do you rest in these tombs?" Kerala ignored the question again, highly amused that this centaur who is not afraid of her clearly just nearly soiled himself. "You are weak. Begone. You waste your time here. The khans wander this tomb, yes, but they cannot see you. They will not hear you. They cannot help you." She waved dismissively, and backed off a step, half-turning away. "Then what magic has called me here? I heard a voice calling me to my ancestors."
  13. Kexti

    October story contest 2.0

    Here's my entry:
  14. “Who were you talking to?” asked Ilduria, slinking her way down the hall. Seledyne turned, quickly, but did not jump. A pale green flash faded from the room, leaving only a dark basin before Seledyne. Ilduria stood in the doorway, the purple light of false dawn behind her. In Suramar, behind the shield wall, time moved differently. It flowed and ebb at behest of magisters, and sleep was more of a formality than a predicted time of day. The Shal’dorei had long dismissed notions of day and night, and had come to simply engage in activities of necessity without respect to a common schedule. Ilduria was wearing her guard uniform, a mix of the most delicate of white silks and the hardest of reinforced steel. The blade at her side flickered with bluish starlight. She took off her helmet to get a better look at Seledyne’s room. They shared a small villa off the Market district. Seledyne’s room (or the library, as Ilduria tried to assert, wanting to assimilate Seledyne into her life as much as possible) was surprisingly sparse. The common tomes of the zeitgeist rested in nooks along the curved walls, and the shelves were more full of dust and all matter of arcane reagents more so than novels or studied texts. “Nobody,” said Seledyne. The woman turned, linking her fingers together, and setting them in her lap. “Just reviewing some formula.” Ilduria nodded, slowly. “You’ve been teaching me magic for a while...I don’t think I’ve ever heard you use that cadence except when we’re talking.” “Maybe you just don’t listen very carefully?” offered Seledyne with a small smile. “You know if I listened carefully we wouldn’t be together now, right?” Ilduria made her way to Seledyne, kneeled, and rested her head on the other elf’s shoulder. She smelled faintly of...Ilduria’s mind tried to figure out what. The mixed delights of Suramar lended themselves to a scintillating array of aromas, to say nothing of the odd side effects of arcane magic. It was familiar...but where… Ilduria sighed. “Do you want me to bring anything home after patrol?” Seledyne shook her head, then laughed, a dark, chipped sound. “Just yourself. It’s so dangerous here without you.” “In our house? The guard surely must do a better job,” responded Ilduria, wryly. Seledyne unfolded her hands and ran them through Ilduria’s hair. The smell was stronger by her hands, the guard noted. “Very dangerous....” muttered Seledyne. Seledyne’s pulse quickened. Ilduria could feel, if not hear, her heartbeat. “Are you sure you weren’t talking to anyone?” Seledyne nodded, easily. “Reaching beyond the barrier is forbidden, isn’t it?” “Why would you say that?” said Ilduria, rising to her feet. “You could just be talking across the city...to…Seledyne, no, you weren’t, were you?” Seledyne shook her head. “No, of course not. Do you want me to show you what I was doing? Would that make you feel better?” She took Ilduria by the hand and walked over to the dark basin. The mage muttered a few words, and the basin flared purple. But something wasn’t right. Where was the green? The magic felt differently, even to Ilduria’s relatively untrained sixth senses. The words too. Then Seledyne began to speak, conversationally. The bowl repeated back her words. “See. Just a diary. I’d share more but…” Ilduria didn’t feel better. Seledyne was fiercely protective of her privacy, even the little details, for reasons she could not quite articulate to Ilduria. Ilduria was suspicious and stubborn by nature. You had to be, in Nightborne politics. It had been a long road, to come this far with Seledyne. And the moments she cherished were worth the differences between the women, so Ilduria thought. But there was something strange about this. Seledyne dismissed the sheen on the bowl, which faded without a flicker of energy or light. “How long have we been together, Sele?” The mage smiled. “Long enough that you don’t know the answer.” “Then why don’t you trust me more?” The smile didn’t slip. It folded gracefully downward into a practiced frown. The lanterns in the room were low, and the feral angles of Seledyne’s kaldorei heritage, from long before the Nightwell changed them, were pronounced. “You don’t need to know everything. If we’re stuck behind this barrier forever, shouldn’t we take our time in sharing our secrets?” “But what secrets could you have? What do you do here that I don’t know about? Is there something you’re hiding from me?” Seledyne took a deep breath. “I was...cut off from my family when the barrier went up. I…” “So you were reaching beyond…” “No, let me finish. You can’t ask for me to tell you a secret and then just interrupt.” Ilduria gripped her sword, and then took a deep breath, and nodded. “I was...trying to find out where they went. Not beyond the barrier, but back through time. The Grand Magistrix and her chronomancers are encouraging research...I thought maybe I could help, at least for my own peace of mind.” Seledyne’s hands had folded together like spiders in her lap. Ilduria watched her partner. She asked, again, if Seledyne was talking to anyone else. “No,” said Seledyne. “My family is gone, after all.” She pulled Ilduria into an embrace, the sudden warmth of her lips and the tightness of the hug startling Ilduria. The guard sighed and rested her eyes in the crook of the mage’s neck. “But...What if they did try to reach me? What if they reached through the barrier?” Ilduria tried to raise her head to look Seledyne in the eyes, but the mage’s hold prevented her from moving. It was more forceful than Ilduria was used to. Much, much stronger besides. “What if I knew they wanted to come back?” asked Seledyne. She released Ilduria, who rose to her feet, the blood in her face drained by the sudden mania in Seledyne’s voice. She paused, and considered her choices. “Don’t do it again,” was all she said. She turned, and hurried her way out into the corridor, down to the landing, and out to the street like she had so many times before. In the darkness of the library, Seledyne’s eyes flashed green as she returned to the basin. A tear slipped down her face into the black water, images swirling within. “Honestly, my love,” she muttered, looking at the gathering fel in the depths of the well. “I wish I didn’t have to.”
  15. I think a casual option is just to have characters you want to RP not get hit by the time stop. Like Elisande is a badass in her own right, and using a pillar of creation, also amped up by the Nightwell is doubtless a huge deal. But people get skipped over for all kinds of reasons. After all, it's a pretty big, complex spell, so even someone with her status isn't likely to just apply it to every peon and soldier; taking down heads of command and their honor guards is probably a solid enough tactical move to let the Duskwatch deal with whoever is left.