Kexti

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Everything posted by Kexti

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. *cries and rolls around in that artifact thread*
  5. 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!
  6. 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."
  7. 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. 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.
  9. 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?"
  10. "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?"
  11. Here's my entry:
  12. “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.”
  13. 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.
  14. “You are not performing your form correctly,” said the pandaren, Fong. Kex’ti seethed, and swung the butt of his staff upward, aiming for the other monk’s solar plexus. Fong stepped backward, out of the path of the attack, and threw his entire bodyweight behind a palm strike. The blood elf’s nose broke, and Kex’ti reeled backwards, bringing a hand to ward his face. The panderen expected the elf to yield. He expected the monk to bow, as others had. When the Wandering Isle had sent the Huojin and Tushui envoys towards the end of the Cataclysm, they had spread hints of Pandaren culture like petals drifting on the breeze. Ephemeral, transient, and easily missed. The Wanderers continued to wander across Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, and set up small encampments among their new Horde and Alliance allies. One of the simplest arts they passed along were the teachings and traditions of monasteries remembered only in ink and word, stories of a continent lost in the mists. But the memories and stories endured, and teaching farmers and warriors alike the virtues of meditation and unarmed combat translated beyond one’s race. Indeed, many of the people the Pandaren reached out to could relate to the monastic traditions of the Pandaren; the Forsaken and humans had orders of knights and priories to the Holy Light; the tauren had their druidic circles, and the blood elves would cling to any hope of calming the ever-present itch at the back of their minds. Fong expected this elf to be much the same as the others. The elves, particularly the sin’dorei, practiced the soft arts well, thought the monk. They could reflect, and they could show discipline. But they would never truly master the hard arts. Their bodies were frail, their thoughts alien to the tranquility necessary to truly be masters. To a one, Fong had found the trials easiest against elves. It wasn’t to say they weren’t capable. Just that so much of their technique, and so many of the “new” developments they brought to the Broken Temple were glamour rather than substance. One good hit was usually enough to put them down. Fong was Tushui, and knew only a little of blood elven culture. What he learned he had heard from a quel’dorei secessionist. The picture the high elf painted was arrogant and vain. Disdain huffed the monk’s black nose. At least the orcs and dwarves bothered to master some of the fighting. They attempted to be masters. They saw glory, and they saw opportunity, and they saw what it was to be a monk. The blood elves wanted something to distract them from their addiction to the arcane. That the urge was mostly abated by the Sunwell was little known and of less value to Fong. Fong was disappointed. So many pandaren, Huojin, Tushui, and Continental, could have been invited to the Wandering Isle. So many lost opportunities. Elves like this one were invited. So much wasted space. Pathetic. Kex’ti lunged back in, and was met by Fong’s guard. *** The elf first broached the subject to Baern Grimtotem. The pair sat in oak chairs in the Filthy Animal, a skin of whiskey flaccid between them. Their cups rattled each time they lifted them to their lips. “I have been invited to the Wandering Isle,” he said. The pair had been discussing Baern’s induction into the Valarjar, the elite warriors chosen by the Titan Keeper Odyn. A small hint of a smirk rattled and died at the corner of the monk’s lips. “Then why don’t you go?” Baern asked in as many words. Kex’ti had waited for that question. And he did not have a response. He made up a satchel for the journey. He packed and unpacked his cooking equipment, pondering if it would be met with open arms or with disregard. He reviewed scrolls and form diagrams he had all but crumbled into dust with his obsessive smoothing and study. It was not that he doubted his ability. Not really. He knew he had mastered his stances and his strikes, had the countless scars and calluses to prove his dedication to his style. His combat record, too, reflected this. But monks were not plentiful, not in his experience, at least. His lot for comparison was near to nonextant. And he wondered why he had been invited. Why were the monks gathering? He supposed the only way to find out was to go. He smirked to himself as he climbed aboard one of the cloud serpents corralled at Krasus’ Landing. His own, Shou-Kara, would wait behind. He gathered his cloak around himself, patted the serpent, and tried to doze. An hour later, he opened his eyes, and peered through the cloud cover. He smelled, over the sea, the mixture of many smells. Kex’ti gaped, taking it all in. The island itself was a massive turtle, its flippers and head rising and falling in the slate grey waves miles off the Broken Isles. As the serpent wheeled above and descended down to a clearing near the center of the turtle’s back, the tinge of fel met his nose, along with the clean trees and herbs of Pandaria, blended more still with the overwhelming aromas of food. Heat shimmered from a village that had been converted almost wholesale into an open kitchen. Near the massive temple, students of hundreds of disciplines engaged in duels. And among them walked venerable Pandaren, obvious even at a distance that they had forgotten more about the martial arts than Kex’ti could learn in his remaining lifetime. He grimaced at the though, and swallowed down a cough. The cloud serpent landed, dust whirling around the current that guided and suffused the creature. A pair of acolytes immediately began speaking to the monk in quick, dialectic Pandaren. Even after a year on the Continent with no other language to hear, Kex’ti still fumbled over the euphemism and tonal notes. “Om nom?” asked one of the acolytes, a pandaren man with stark white fur and black rings around his eyes. “Nom sze om,” said Kex’ti. The acolyte seemed confused and nodded, and helped remove Kex’ti’s belongings from the serpent. The pandaren paused, and spoke again, slowly, placing emphasis on the way the O’s left his mouth. The monk blinked, and nodded, bowing his head gratefully. He smirked, even still, drawing a neatly narrowed gaze from the attendant. Try as he might, Kex’ti could not get the tic to subside. Choice words in Thalassian crossed the monk’s mind. He dismounted, carefully, and used his staff to steady his stride. The limp was apparent, but not incredibly obvious. It was noticed, thought Kex’ti. He closed his eyes, inhaled, and raised his head high, speaking amicably in Pandaren--Huojin Pandaren--to the duo who aided him with his things. It would be impolite to not accept, he knew, and the conversation’s initial brusqueness gave way to something more honest. “Certain am I not to why here I have been invited,” he said, thinking carefully over the words. “Pardon. I am not certain to why here I invited I have been,” he attempted. The second pandaren, similar in most respects to the first, save that he had dyed the longer hair on his head to a vibrant purple answered. They were hesitant to give him their names, for whatever reason. “The Order of the Broken Temple was formed to bring together monks of as many styles and backgrounds as was feasible. Any who might have something to contribute against the fight against the Legion,” said Purple. Rings nodded. “Yes. The council of Grandmasters wanted to see what had happened to the teachings in the wake of of the diaspora.” “So they just invited everyone that drew anyone’s attentions…” Kex’ti asked. “Ah, not so simply,” said Rings. “It is also to collect and...gather the information people have made about monastic styles.” “For salad? Pardon, for grouping? For....” “Collection,” said Purple. “Just in case.” Kex’ti nodded, grimly. “I see. Is the council of Grandmasters that pessimistic about our odds?” “Not quite. It is also to make certain that those who have mastered a style or discipline are rewarded accordingly.” “Wait,” said the monk, pausing his steps. Around the three, Pandaren chittered and droned, while pandaren and other races mixed and talked amongst themselves, demonstrating strikes and stances. He almost lost track of his thoughts. “Does a master not get to make those choices? For their disciples?” “Yes, but the Order of the Broken Temple wants to provide an extra standard, so as not to lose the techniques of the ages. It is very precise, and incredibly exacting to meet their standards.” Kex’ti nodded. “I...think I understand.” Satisfied, the pandaren took him towards the Temple of Five Dawns. “You are a Serpent initiate, yes?” Kex’ti blinked. “I have learned quite a bit of Serpent teaching, but in truth I am much more of a Crane adept.” The pandaren shared a glance. “So you have learned a bit of Tiger style? What temple?” “The Crane temple in Kun-Lai,” Kex’ti said. The two shared another glance. “Ah, to the Crane grounds, then. And what of Ox style?” asked Purple, scanning the monk’s figure. “You don’t look typical for an elf.” Kex’ti hobbled along, the scrolls and tomes on his staff fluttering. He smirked. “I suppose that is true,” he chuckled. “I did study a bit of Ox style. All of the styles connect somehow, yes? Ox and Serpent both focus on leaves.” “Leaves? Oh, medicine?” Kex’ti nodded. “It was a lot of work, but pandaren martial arts...well, elves using them is newer than the arts being made for them, right?” The pair nodded in agreement, and led him through a red archway. They left him with his satchel and armor, and he hobbled in, looking about. He drew occasional glances. He coughed and took a pull from his jug. Kex’ti sat down next to a jinyu and a night elf. The Jinyu was dressed in simple black robes, and was, to his estimation, a woman? No, a man. The aura failed to give it away in either respect, not that it ever did. The kaldorei sipped at some ginger tea. “Hoi, friends,” Kex’ti said. The two gave him a cursory nod. “How do you fare?” The others turned towards the sin’dorei. “Well enough. How goes the Horde’s fight with the Legion?” Kex’ti gripped his leg. “It is slow progress,” he said. “And the Alliance’s?” “Considering we lost our High King, and the new Commander of Forces…” began the Jinyu. The night elf glared, but his expression softened, and he sighed. “Suzu, hush,” said the night elf. “What happened at the Broken Shore and our current factional leadership is inept on both sides, for many reasons. We should focus on what is happening here, today.” The Jinyu looked into Kex’ti’s eyes, noted his waiting disagreement, then looked down to Kex’ti’s tabard. “Sanctuary? I’ve heard of you.” The Pandaren language flowed between the three as they waited for what happened next. Tea was shared, and for a brief moment, Kex’ti’s heart soared. A stern, young Pandaren woman emerged from the temple at the end of the courtyard. Her robes were fine, if used, and her gaze was calculating. She refrained from any magic. Instead, when she spoke, the voice echoed throughout the court. “Crane adepts,” she began. “I am Number Eight Aiko, Shado-Pan and Crane Master. “Our world, our way of life, faces an unprecedented task ahead of us. It is not an orcish menace that stands before us…” she said, looking over the crowd, “...But the extinction of all life. Do not take your summons here lightly. “The council of Grandmasters has convened in an attempt to gather the various splinters and techniques developed from the original four styles. While many of you are Cranes, so many of your teachings have not come according to the original trainings. This is just as well, as we are more than what we were when the original sects were born.” She nodded. “Crane adepts are unique among the four styles. We strike hard like Tigers. We heal like Serpents. And we are more than willing to defend our allies like the Oxen. But we are bastions too of hope. And no matter who we once were, the Red Crane watches over us, as we must watch over our allies, no matter where they reside: Before us, behind us, or at our side.” “The Legion comes. We must have hope that we possess the skills, together, to overcome them. In the days to come, we will find out how this is possible.”
  15. The rogue’s ankle twisted as he fell back in the dirt. The kick had worked, and the vrykul before him struggled to catch his words and cthnonic syllables back in the shape of a spell. But Kex’ti was in trouble. His second dagger was embedded in the wood of the cliffside dwelling, a remnant from his long drop from the ravine above. Empty air to his left. To his right, an angry vrykul allied to the Lich King. He made his choice, and the elf spilled a sack at his waist into his palm. He threw the clump of white powder at the vrykul before him. The man yowled as he tried to scrape and cough the itchy dust out of his eyes and mouth. Kex’ti looked up and wondered if he could scramble to the other dagger, and looked down at his ankle. It could be worse, he thought. He grit his teeth, and vaulted himself back to his feet, biting down a gasp as he put his bad foot down. He sprinted towards the giant, and drove his dagger upward, leveraging it from his waist into the runecaster’s ribs. The daggers had come as a prize in one of his arena fights. Not a particularly memorable one save for the weapons, but he liked using them. And there was something wrong about keeping just the one. The rogue’s charge barreled the vrykul back towards the cliff, and a slug of the elf’s fist propelled the giant, dagger and all, backwards into the ravine. This one had been a sentry, but there would be others. He quickly pulled some frostweave from his field kit and made a makeshift splint with his boot. *** Fong chuffed and came forward, drawing a shortsword. The sheen of the living steel weapon blinded Kex’ti. If the elf was going to use dirty tricks, why shouldn’t I? Thought the pandaren. The light shining in Kex’ti’s eyes would’ve distracted him. But some cheap tricks worked on monks. Some of them didn’t. He focused his senses, and followed Fong’s aura. The red of anger, the bright pink of passion. To say that Fong didn’t care wouldn’t have done the other monk justice. He did, Kex’ti knew. But emotions had to be controlled. Either by yourself, or by your opponents. Kex’ti didn’t consider Fong a foe, not really. A threat? Perhaps. Few others fell into that category, mostly out of caution rather than any real concern on the monk’s behalf. Rorrek was one. Awatu, another. People who Kex’ti could not see himself fighting, but neither could he see befriending. Fong’s blade sang through the air, the mists guiding his strikes. Mistweaving among crane initiates involved focusing on both the external arts of healing, and the internal arts of qinggong. Using the mists allowed one to surpass physical limits and fight with greater endurance than one would imagine. Pain could be dulled, reflexes heightened. It wasn’t the longstanding training of wearing plate mail or the practiced incantations and summonings of others; but it could bridge the gap for a time. Fong’s strikes continued onward, the monks dancing in and out of the melee, their feet crossing, their arms jutting out to break offensive maneuvers, the staff and sword clanging and twisting. Sloppy or no, Kex’ti’s modified forms worked for him. He wouldn’t win. He knew it, Fong knew it, and most observers knew it. But he wouldn’t go down without a fight. *** The human had caught him by surprise. Not in ambush, but merely that it was the first he’d seen another non-pandaren monk out in the world. In the thick of combat in Ashran, he could spy glimpses and glances of unusual fighting styles, and occasionally the distinct green lightning and mists of other healing monks. But this monk was not a healer. His armor was more cloth than leather, and barely padded. And the power he could draw from his strikes, and the aggressiveness of his stance painted him as a tiger adept. The tiger adept’s strikes were quick, and deadly. Kex’ti had to roll and transcend more often than not just to catch his breath and mend his wounds. As the duel continued, Kex’ti’s medicine managed to keep his mana flowing. And eventually, the crane began to win. The tiger refused to yield. Kex’ti didn’t plan on killing him...But leaving him badly wounded might send a better message. With a quick series of palm and finger strikes, Kex’ti released his chi into the other monk. As a crane, Kex’ti never learned the tiger technique of the karmic touch. By aligning one’s chi with another’s, pain suffered by a monk could be transferred whole cloth to another. It was a difficult technique, but one that was almost essential to fragile, but nimble, tiger adepts. But the dim mak, the death touch, caused resonance in the target’s lifeforce, and dealt monstrous damage after its application. It required a focused mind and a weak foe; used too soon, the dim mak’s destructive effects would bounce back into the user. Tiger adepts, among all monks, were the most dispassionate. They could focus their emotions, and clear their minds to unleash their powers. While all monks could do this to some extent, most needed their emotions to draw on. Kex’ti channeled a moment of rage, and left the tiger shattered. *** He was not prepared for the same technique to be used against him. The elf could no longer dodge, no longer slip away. He bent his will and the turbulence roiling inside of him towards resisting the hostile invasion of chi. But this technique was different. It still manipulated life energy, but was not designed as one final blow. Fong was doubtless the better monk, and had adapted the dim mak to something new and superior to its original form. In all his many battles, Kex’ti had seen one single person shrug off a death touch: the orc rogue, Gnarrdog. The fight ended regardless shortly after, but it was a singular moment. Kex’ti knew he could not repeat the feat. He had a few seconds to go, and took a deep breath while he waited for the pain, or worse, to hit. *** Kex’ti took months before he could walk again. Remiaan’s last act had been to shield him from the collapsing pavilion at the Argent Tournament. With each step, he’d remember her. It chilled him more than any night he’d spent in Northrend. Without invitation, each itch and fork of pain would be accompanied by her smile, her smell, or the ripple of her hair in the wind. The only running he could do was away from the memories, and the cold. He left the formal Horde Offensive, his record one of failed efforts and disobedience. He went to Ratchet, and tried to forget. But even when he ran deeper into the dark, he was not content to simply stay still. *** Fong and Kex’ti watched each other, gauging the elf’s reaction to the dim mak. It coursed through his energy, painlessly at first, and the elf did his best to chase down the chi and expel it. It tore at him, splitting apart the balance of generating and consuming force in his essence. Kex’ti assumed a stance. He only had a few seconds left. And he smirked. *** The Nightmare oozed into Sanctuary’s guildhall. The relics collected there, the magic the guild relied on, all beckoned it like moths to a flame. Kex’ti had encountered it, and the dreamless sleep he experienced in the wake of his own attack by the Nightmare was more peaceful than he’d had in...months. Kex’ti never slept well, not since the Cataclysm, and the unspeakable company and acts he’d participated in. The guilt was never truly washed away, the blood on his hands stained too much to remove, much like his oft-quoted metaphor about teacups. But he managed it. He tried to do better. Chi, as Kex’ti understood it, was related to the elements that shaman could draw upon, and as elemental spirit, could be used to manipulate life itself. To him, mistweaving was about aligning the current state of one’s body with its idealized, pain and damage-free form, and bending the difference away, like smoothing out a wrinkle. It touched the Emerald Dream, elemental spirit did, in some way. And throughout his experiences with Sanctuary, he’d faced his own fears, and the fears of others, more times than he’d like to admit. The Nightmare would find something new to take from him, as it always would, in a world of infinite, horrific possibility, it doubtless would find a fault or crack to pick at. But Kex’ti thought, for once, he could take something back. *** He felt the energy separate, waiting to crash together. The flimsy avatar Kex’ti had summoned faded as he drew what spare energy he could from it, and he focused on the pathway the dim mak traced through his limbs. His discipline had taught him to focus his chi, and to commit fully to the acts he set out on. In this case, not dying would suffice. He reached into the stain within himself, into the miasma of the touch of the void on his soul, and let the corruption into the small gaps of separated chi. What he prepared himself to do would not be undone, and it would change the way he could mistweave, perhaps for the worse. The corruption, the pain and doubt and mistakes and loss and errors that hid in the corners of his mind and spirit were set loose. He released a lance of lightning at Fong at the moment the dim mak would have finished its reaction inside his body. The beam singed the pandaren’s fur, and knocked him to his back, ten yards back. The pain brought Kex’ti to his knees regardless, and he raised a hand in surrender. The other crane adepts stood by, and murmured amongst themselves. The chroniclers and masters looked on, processing what happened. Kex’ti had come to learn, to have anything he’d develop be recorded and evaluated by the true masters of Crane style. It was a simple discovery, albeit one that could be replicated. Even though it was simple, even though it had more an impact on Kex’ti than it would on other mistweavers, even though the technique had likely been practiced by others, he had chipped a sliver into the new disciplines taking shape on the Wandering Isle. He made red lightning.
  16. “Scout Dalendala, why don’t you help out with the mission in the Borean Tundra?” asked the orc, the wolf-fur on his armor at odds with the war wolf at his heels. “Has that area not been scouted already?” Kex’ti asked, a bit confused. He had been in Northrend for months, and wasn’t a first responder by any means. He had come to Northrend to see Remiaan, and while it didn’t always work out, he got to see her far more often here than he would on Outland, or in the Arena circuit. “We need persistent reconnaissance,” said the Lieutenant-General, glancing down at a scroll in his gauntleted fist. “With all due respect, sir,” said the elf, “I believe I can do more good on the front lines. In Icecrown.” He flushed, a mixture of embarrassment and frustration rising to his clean-shaven face. “And I believe you would do more good in Borean Tundra. Issuing timely reports is important for any tracker or any explorer…” “I have been relaying all relevant information as it is needed to be relayed.” The orc stared, and took a deep breath. He stopped petting his wolf, and set the paper down on his chair. He stood. “Your health has also been an issue. Since the Wrathgate, you haven’t been passing medical checks. This doubtless ties into your consistency of reports.” Kex’ti was stunned, and tried not to let it show. The commander’s eyes locked on his, as he tried to formulate a version of the truth that would let him slip loose from this. “I have been...having to cope somewhat on my own as far as medicine goes.” “It’s easy to disregard the Forsaken after what Putress and that bitch Sylvanas did but--” “I do not think it was the fault of the Forsaken at large--” started Kex’ti. The orc’s mouth hung open, his tusks jutting upward. The wolf growled low in his throat. “--But there are plenty of medics who can address your needs. Vanishing into the fields, not reporting, and returning increasingly unwell is a liability at best and treason at worst. I suggest you pack for Borean Tundra.” Kex’ti exploded. “Oh, I’m sorry. Would you rather we risk our forces in lost battles, or would you rather have one scout dispatch them silently in the night? The Scourge don’t rest, and I don’t need to move with a group. I don’t need to be watched. I don’t need help, I need to be let loose. In the Arena, it was often I was alone…” The orc stared, and sighed. “Pack your things. Go to Borean Tundra, and take the zeppelin back to Orgrimmar. You are dismissed, Scout Dalendala. You had a chance to learn your place, and it looks like that’s off the battlefield. Go back to the Arena, if it pleases you. But the Horde cannot afford disobedient combatants. ” *** “Why are you so angry?” asked Yuting. The pandaren woman asked him as they sat late one night. Kex’ti had been sparring, and had not fared well. “If you can control your anger, you could control your chi better.” Kex’ti coughed, and Yuting punched him in the shoulder. Hard. “And take your medicine on time. You lack discipline,” she said. The elf scowled and exhaled, then closed his eyes and nodded. “Maybe.” “That does not answer the question I asked you. And listen to your sifu. She only wants what’s best for you.” Yuting was a Serpent adept, and while she could certainly fight, she much prefered healing. She had been Kex’ti’s closest friend in Kun-Lai, and over the past six months, had taught him much about chi, geomancy, and the art of bending life energies as a mistweaver. Kex’ti took another deep breath. “Why do you think I am anger?” “Angry,” she corrected, “It is one of the easiest things to read in an aura.” “The only person I am anger--angry--at is myself. I do not understand why I cannot make faster progress.” “You cannot solve your problems in a day...or run away from guilt.” “So now I’m guilty? Why would I be guilty?” She put her hands in her lap, and inhaled. Normally, Kex’ti would expect her to exhale, but somehow Yuting managed to absorb the breath, or at least let it out so slowly Kex’ti didn’t notice. She said nothing. “People do not come here because they are happy, Kex’ti. Not if they are not from Pandaria. Do you find that strange? Those that are most likely to draw the sha come here. Whether it is pride and the desire to be powerful, or fear, or something else, those who come to the Temple do so to escape.” He looked at her. “Then why did you come here?” She laughed. “To brush up on what I learned as a cub.” “I do not understand how you can so easily go from sad to laughing.” “Life is laughter. If you don’t laugh, you give rise to the sha, do you not?” “I...suppose so.” He looked across the pools below, steaming in the setting sunlight. Roars and screeches from the Isle of Giants echoed up the mountain. The two were painted pink orange by the dying light. “I guess I feel ashamed. That this is supposed to make my life better. But I cannot even do it well.” “I think you do fine,” said Yuting. “Is that all?” “But the others…” He shook his head, either to her question, or to his own doubt. She shrugged. “Worry about yourself first. You need to focus and calm your chi before you can worry about theirs.” “I do not know how.” “And that is why you’re learning here.” *** Fong’s attacks battered the elf, who could barely put up a defense. He focused and tried to gather the mists into himself. Kex’ti tried to separate the damage inside himself from the healthy, and to align his chi so that his tissues and injuries could idealize themselves, so they could mend, and mend quickly. He hadn’t gone where he’d gone and come away uninformed for it. Kex’ti dispersed the negative chi building in his body and repelled Fong with a bluish ring of defense. In the circle, Kex’ti wove the mists, summoning a spirit avatar of his own. He had been familiar with invoking Xuen after intensive practice, but had never tried to incarnate Chi-ji...Nor had any other monk in his memory. But it had just been done. The white energy he had condensed burned red, and sprang into a hazy outline of a crimson crane. Fong was taken aback. “Sloppy,” he spat. Kex’ti raised his guard as the crane tended to his wounds, and Fong passed through the circle, its effectiveness diminished by time. The pandaren would beat him, sapping his mana down, and the elf knew he didn’t have a great deal to spare to begin with. Kex’ti swung his staff in a feint. Fong raised his arm in a wing stance to block it. Kex’ti drew the staff back and drove the flat of his foot into his opponent’s waist, driving him back.
  17. It began with a test. A duel between practitioners, and studied by masters and scribes. Fong fought, and he recovered, and he fought. The pandaren had learned at the feet of Chi-Ji himself, and had studied the celestial over years of practice, learning his stances and jabs and kicks without fault. He wove the mists easily, and the pooled within him, giving additional strength to his already formidable form. And then he was paired with Kex’ti. The elf was graceful, Fong would say. But the amount of brute force and low cunning the monk employed, consciously or no, told him all he needed to about the white-haired elf. When Fong spoke, it was not out of derision, but merely to help his sparring partner’s form improve. Not that it ever could rival his. Or another pandaren’s, thought Fong. It disappointed him, how little the new monks could bring. Especially not one from a backwater monastery, who fought as much or more with cheap tricks and dirty hits than fluid technique. This opponent’s attacks were jagged. His forms were all sloppy. They flowed together somewhat correctly, but they were all imperfect. Journeyman, certainly. But they were the sweeps and weaving of someone who had learned it wrong, and had been so ingrained with the incorrectness that even an expert couldn’t remedy it. Fong parried the elf’s attack, but was surprised when Kex’ti’s leg took his feet out from under him. He rolled easily out of the path of the falling heel Kex’ti attempted to hit him with, and responded with a brief invocation.Fong’s chi focused jade mists, and burned red as he shaped them into an avatar of Chi-Ji. The crane stood at his side, and he felt his fighting spirit rise. Perhaps the elf didn’t warrant a full response. Fong was being observed, though, as was Kex’ti. What better way to provide a contrast between a true master and an amateur? *** “You are doing it wrong,” said Tideriel. “Follow your sister, Kexerian.” He was following her hand motions and wording perfectly. But just when he thought he’d done it exactly, Kex’ti would see his father’s mouth twitch, just a little. Maybe he learned more from that than he did from his attempts at arcane magic. The smallest of arm movements. The most rigid, or most fluid of wordings. He understood it, or thought he did, but for whatever reason could not make it work. And throughout, all he felt was sick. Eventually, the attempts to instruct him stopped entirely. *** “The purpose of these sparring matches isn’t to see who is the best or most ideal master of our style. It is about seeing how the techniques have diverged and developed among so many splinter disciplines.” Kex’ti never felt very smart. Clever, or insightful at times perhaps. But he never had the same talent for book learning or abstract concepts that Tesonii or his sisters did. But he knew how to try things and wasn’t afraid to take risks. When Augustus Krowne had met with him in the lobby of the inn in Silvermoon, he had been willing to sell everything and travel as wandering arena fighters. Kex’ti’d accepted experimental potions to bring his strength up, and to make him feel better. He’d loved, and he’d fought, and he’d journeyed and lost because of his recklessness, or his curiosity, or something inbetween. When he had learning at the Kun-Lai monastery, he focused more on the somewhat familiar herbal medicine and anatomy lessons that all mistweavers learned. But he worked hard at mastering each and every elbow sweep and the accompanying backstep, the way a jutting hand depended on a turned forearm for defense; Kex’ti never felt very smart. He felt tenacious. Perfection was prized among most of the monk disciplines. But Kex’ti’s life was never perfect, and he tried to focus on what he could do. His body wasn’t as tall or stout like the monks who developed Crane style. His mindset he could adjust. But he knew that there were limits to what he could achieve in trying to emulate. So, for a year, he threw himself and his imperfect forms at better trained students. And slowly, he began to win, and if nothing else, the strikes and sweeps and spells became consistent, and just as good. The results he wanted, he got. And it did not go without notice. *** The Pandaren’s avatar leapt between injured monks as he honed it down to his own chi. Chi-ji stood at the monk’s side and mended his injuries. Kex’ti assumed his stance, dropping his hips low and holding his staff in a short guard before him, his other hand held low and back at his waist, waiting, and gathering air in his chest. Fong left the avatar to heal him at his back, and lunged for Kex’ti, his strikes too heavy and too fast to fully deflect. He turned more aggressive still, trapping the elf’s staff between the pair, using his knees and elbows to hammer at the monk. “Your attacks are imperfect, your defenses subpar...Why are you even here?” asked Fong. Kex’ti merely held the other monk at bay. He waited. He thought. And no cogent response came.
  18. Kex'ti smirks. "My favorite memory of Baern is the moment we were back to back on the Isle of Thunder, his weapons up, my mana drained, mogu coming down into the hollows..." He rubs his beard. "Actually, that is not true. It was after we liberated his village from the Legion. He was covered in Fel and blood and Light knows what else. But he stood there, quiet for a moment. The Grimtotem is not afraid to speak his mind, but to see him stand there, undaunted to what lay before him, told me all I need to know of Baern which I did not already." Kex'ti leans against his staff. "Baern is a good friend. Dependable, clever, resilient. I am proud to fight alongside him."
  19. "Garinth..." Kex'ti begins, rubbing his beard. "I do not claim to know much of him, but find his profession and character fitting. He straddles the spirit and material worlds along with his own heritage." "He is a strong elementalist and a gracious communicator. I know few half orcs, but I wish I knew more like him. He is most certainly Frostwolf, and he is certainly Sanctuary." Kex'tI pulls his notebook from his staff. "I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss elemental spirit with him, and I understand he is an alchemist as well." Kex'ti smirks. "I wonder if he uses the elements in his formulae..."
  20. Kex'ti nods and waves to the barista for another drink. "Katelle and I have met only rarely in person. But her letters, and the dignity and commitment she pens in them, say more than enough of the quality of her character." He coughs briefly. "She is a talented alchemist and a force for certain good in the world. I would hope to see her at the alchemy lab, maybe I could show her a few tricks I have learned." The monk smirks. "But in all honesty, I doubt there is much I could show her she does not already know."
  21. Kexerian Tideriel Dalendala, Janissary of Sanctuary Male Blood Elf Monk, Aged 135 (Human Equivalent 29) Description: Kex'ti's grey hair is kept short, if styled. His beard is patchy, and somewhat ill-kept. His armor is crafted from the hide of a Magnaron, a gift from his commander, Julilee Liene. It is well fitting, and seethes with energy. He carries himself well, but has a notable reliance on a walking staff for a limp. His monk training was designed for stouter, rounded bodies, and has made him strong and somewhat bulky, albeit with a bit of a paunch. He smells medicinal. Residence: Sanctaury Garrison, Dalaran Family: Julilee Liene (Wife), Tesonii Inbetween (Friend), Rylie Tattersail (Apprentice) Affiliation: Sanctuary, Formerly Thunder-Pan mercenary company ('Derpan colloquially) Occupation: Combat medic and forward tactician. Faith: Holy Light, emphasis on Pandaren geomancy Known Languages: Orcish, Thalassian, Pandaren, Draenei phrases, learning Common Weapon of Choice: Sindassi mageblade, greatstaff, fists. Proficient in many weapons. History: Kex’ti was born to an innkeeper and a spellbreaker. A sickly child who showed little aptitude for martial skill nor magical prowess, Kex'ti spent most of his youth listening to stories in the corner and watching his siblings squabble over esoteric texts and wooden swords. He learned how to attend to people, and to make sure their linens were clean and meals warm. His siblings learned to hunt monsters. His family died in defense of the Sunwell, and Kex’ti inherited the inn. After the sin’dorei joined the Horde, Kex’ti was approached by a Forsaken apothecary named August Krown regarding a possible remedy for his illness. The pair fought in the Steamwheedle Cartel’s arena circuit. When bolstered by Krown’s concoctions, Kex’ti reveled in racial agility he’d never known before. His blossoming confidence allowed Kex'ti to adopt a showy combat style reinforced by dirty fighting he’d seen in his family’s Murder Row inn. The Arena certainly promised new challenges in the exotic remains of Outland, but seeing a cure to his people’s magic addiction (and perhaps his own illnesses) was what inevitably drove Kex’ti to Outland. When his journey to Shattrath revealed Kael’thas’s duplicity, he joined the Skyguard in hopes of protecting the city of light from the traitor’s fel magic. While the Skyguard did little to diminish his Horde patriotism, it nevertheless tempered his views towards the races of the Alliance. Alongside other Sha’tari factions, Kex’ti journeyed to Quel’danas. The draenei in particular fascinated Kex’ti, a curiosity only bolstered when the Prophet Velen awoke the Sunwell with the Light. Although his body was still in dire need of Krown’s philters, the coursing power of the light renewed his will, and Kex’ti promised to fight against the darkness of Azeroth however he could. The duelist-come-soldier traveled with the Hand of Vengeance to Northrend, and served as a scout among the crevasses and ravines of the Howling Fjord. His service was relatively low-key, and found the pull of the arena ever more tempting under cold stars. With the organization of the Argent Tournament, his experience allowed him to continue to serve the Horde and to slake his competitive spirit. To his misfortune, Arthas’s forces overwhelmed the tournament grounds. The forces of the Crusade rallied, but Kex’ti’s friends, who he’d fought and loved beside for so long, did not survive. Kex’ti left the Expedition, and attempted to return to civilian life as a cook in Ratchet. Without Krown’s alchemy or the thrill of combat, his illness began to consume him once again. Arthas, who’d taken from him so much, fell. Deathwing the Destroyer shattered the world, and too was slain. And throughout it all, Kex’ti cooked at a dockside tavern, and wasted away. It was summer when Wei Xo arrived in Ratchet, and over a meal, Kex’ti became his combat instructor. Pouring his experience into the young Pandaren’s sword arm, the promoter and his student traveled between the same arenas that Kex’ti had fought in, a decade past. The two grew together, and Xo and Kex’ti parted ways as the blood elf boarded Garrosh’s fleet to the Krasarang Wilds. Seeking healing from the mystics of Kun Lai, Kex’ti wandered to the Peak of Serenity. In the thin mountain air and steaming pools, Kex’ti, for the final time, started over. Over the year, he hid away from the war. He meditated, trained, and focused. He threw away his daggers and his poisons, and in their stead learned to use his own body and common herbs. While the path of the mistweaver was a new one, Kex’ti found that, after decades, he finally appreciated his siblings’ affinity for arcane magic. As the Dark Portal turned red, Kex’ti finally decided to leave Pandaria. Joining up with a mercenary company which had formed on the Isle of Thunder, Kex’ti joined Thrall and Khadgar’s assault through the portal. Now, in a new world steeped in his old memories, Kex’ti sought answers to questions he’d long since stopped asking. In the process, he made a great many new friends, and joined his current guild, Sanctuary. As a member of Sanctuary, he aided in the infiltration of Highmaul, a storied tour of duty in Ashran, and organized communal defense efforts in Tanaan Jungle, as well as final assaults on Hellfire Citadel to free captives. His valor has been tested time and time again. He fought viciously against the herald of Accalia, Vionora, and has recently joined the efforts to research and cure the mysterious Silver Sickness affecting spellcasters all over Azeroth. Against the terrorist Morinth, Kex'ti eagerly avenged damage done to his two closest friends, though he has struggled now for some time with his place in the Horde. After long battles both internally and externally, Kex'ti and Julilee researched numerous means to alleviate his worsening illness, eventually settling on a risky ritual to balance out their lifespans. Though not cured, he certainly has a longer life ahead of him. His exposure to the orphaned human, Rylie Tattersail, has only increased his ties to Sanctuary and his hopes to continue onward. Of late, he has organized Sanctuary's efforts in gathering and preserving relics of power and risk. Initially settling on hiding them away to keep out of the hands of all others, he has grudgingly accepted a more observational role. One with the implicit agreement to take such things out of the hands of those who would use them for ill purposes. After shadowy engagements with a mysterious faction called the Quorum, Kex'ti has resumed active duty in ousting the returned Legion from Azeroth.
  22. Hey everyone, just a friendly headsup that /join tavern is an IC RP channel for people out and about in the Broken Isles, and takes place somewhere vaguely in Dalaran. Looking forward to seeing you all out in the world!
  23. @Following up on Cobrak's post Warlords of Draenor Garrosh's escape to the alternate universe (AU) Draenor leads to several divergences from the main timeline: Grommash, not Blackhand, becomes Warchief, and the clans forsake the fel. The Shadow Council still exists, but is hunted and reviled by the Iron Horde, the AU version of the Horde created under Garrosh's guidance. Garrosh instructs the Iron Horde in modern warfare and continues advancement of the technology seen in Siege of Orgrimmar, outfitting the orcs accordingly. The Iron Horde invades through their world's Dark Portal into our main universe (MU) Azeroth, prompting a response. Azerothian heroes push the Iron Horde back through the Dark Portal, and follow them into the AU, where various agendas are put into place. The Horde aligns with the Frostwolves, while the Alliance forms a union with the Draenei of Karabor. Khadgar, terrified of facing the Legion and Gul'dan again, aids adventurers in thwarting the Shadow Council's machinations. The combined efforts of the Horde and Alliance push back against the Iron Horde, defeating Garrosh and the Warlords of the various clans. With such a rampant string of failures, the Iron Horde loses faith in Grommash and turns to Gul'dan once again. Gul'dan empowers the Iron Horde with fel, and adds the Iron Horde's advanced technology to the Legion. The Legion gains a foothold in Tanaan Jungle, and plans on using Draenor as a backdoor into Azeroth. The adventurers prevail and stop Gul'dan, killing Archimonde in the process. Gul'dan makes it to Azeroth. RP History during Warlords 1. Eclipse: A corrupted ancient begins to stir on Azeroth, spreading a curse that drains the mana and life force of the afflicted. Through primarily Horde efforts, the ancient, Accalia, is defeated and overcome. 2. Hollow, Infinite: An Alliance terrorist in employ of a loyalist to the Infinite Dragonflight steals an develops an incredibly dangerous serious of poisons and technologies. 3. Silver Sickness: A magical illness appears in Dalaran and affects those using portals. It is eventually tracked to a rogue member of the Kirin Tor, who is of course slain. 4. Quorum: In the wake of Archimonde's defeat, a council of dreadlords implement a web of interlocked conspiracies designed to weaken and subvert Azeroth's mortal races. With months of work, the depth of Legion infiltration becomes apparent, and shortly after, the Legion invasions begin. Legion Prepatch Gul'dan goes to the Tomb of Sargeras at the behest of Kil'jaeden. Together, the eredar and warlock open a portal for the Legion. At the Broken Shore, the Horde and Alliance fail to stop Gul'dan from bringing the Legion in force to Azeroth. Invasions strike all over Azeroth as the Legion returns in force. The Alliance sees the Horde retreat, and considers them betrayers. Illidari demon hunters, trapped in stasis by the Wardens, are set free during the Legion's incursions into the Broken Isles. They seek out the Horde and Alliance for aid against the Legion. Khadgar attempts to mobilize the Alliance and Horde champions to find artifacts for use against the Legion's forces on the Broken Isles.
  24. I'm really flattered, everyone! Please feel free to use/bend the ideas I put up, they're there for your own RP.
  25. [[Post-Broken Shore reaction thread]] The air itself seemed to fight against Azeroth's defenders. Ash and fel swirled and danced on updrafts, and drifted down to a black-stained surf. In the water, the husks of ships smoldered. Weapons, bodies, and banners lay among the sand and rocks, forlorn and wind-whipped. The end was near.

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The Twisting Nether Gazette is a role play forum for characters on the RP-PVP servers Twisting Nether and Ravenholdt.  We have been active since November of 2005, a few months after the Twisting Nether server originally went live.  Our purpose is to provide a safe and inclusive environment where role players can meet and interact with each other, and, of course, post their amazing role play stories, art, bios, and journals.

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