Aaren

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  1. (Editorial) Living the Oaths Aaren sat on the counter in her small shack-apartment’s kitchen. It was early in Outland’s Shattrath on a particularly stuffy, though not necessarily warm morning. She was drinking a delightful hot tea, a dark and strong mixture of pomegranate and two kinds of mint, with a modest amount of bloodthistle mixed in during steeping. It wasn’t an ingredient she often used, and the stash it came from was untouched for quite some time until this past week. She was certainly glad to have it at this moment. Her head ached from the altercation. Her right eye was puffy and her cheekbone sore and swollen. Her throat was red like cheeks in a winter wind and her jaw felt a little more loose than it should feel, and she moved it slowly from side to side between sips of her tea. She could hear the slightest clicking sound inside her head from the movement, but it was nothing that wouldn’t go away in a day or two. She lifted her hand to wipe a dribble of tea from her lip onto the sleeve of her robe, though she had to rotate her wrist unnaturally to keep from wiping blood on her face in its place. Through the doorway into the other room, she watched as Quelhir Daybrook, one of her oldest contacts and friends within the Scryers, inspected the body of a man laying dead on the floor and in the raw as the day he was born. He was covered in naught but a white silk sheet, his dull eyes staring straight up at the ceiling as if looking through it into the stars. The fatal wound was made from a dagger, hardly bigger but much prettier than a regular kitchen knife, stabbed into the center of his chest all the way to the guard and still lodged in place as he was examined by the summoned magister. Quelhir looked on in disgust at the wound. Poison was very clearly one agent, the skin around the wound showing a sickly pale green in the flesh, and darker in the veins leading away from the planted blade like vines climbing stonework. If he didn’t know better, he’d see it as a concoction of, or including, plague. Did he know better? Wisps of shadow wafted up from the hilt to dissipate in the air like smoke. Aaren twisted her lips to the side while looking into her cup. She wished she had bothered to buy some sort of cereal to go with her tea. “Definitely him, alright,” his voice interrupted her thoughts. “How in heavens did you go about even getting him here, much less in the city at all? And in… such a… defenseless state?” Her friend spoke without any accusation, though there was a mixture of wonder and pity in his voice. His own thoughts were a mess, surely Aaren’s own were at least just as wild having slain the man, he thought. A high-level fugitive from the era of the first Legion invasion, long thought dead, was right here. Very thoroughly and very recently dead. Quelhir replaced the sheet over the body and approached Aaren after he made sure he got none of the blood on himself or the soles of his shoes. He would kindly give her all the time she needed to answer. By the time he came to stand beside her at his slow pace, her eyes glistened, even as she grinned slyly with an audibly imprudent sigh and chuckle. "Don't… make me answer that," she said, and shook her head. Almost begged, if more with her eyes than her voice. “Very well, dear,” the magister said, quietly. “I’ll just have to pull every trick in my book to make sure you don’t have to answer to a soul, either. I hardly believe that will be an issue, given who it is. I’ll also ensure it is all cleaned up with no one the wiser. I’ll even get you somewhere nice and comfortable to rest until you can’t even tell someone was dead in here.” He smirked, then tried to change the subject, if only for a moment. “You’re looking tired these days,” is what he came up with. Aaren raised an eyebrow, as if to ask ’is that how you greet old friends?’ “Yeah? You’re looking old,” she replied, grin widening. It worked. They laughed. He lifted a hand to self-consciously rub at the wrinkles beginning to form in his forehead. A little more at ease, Aaren breathed in deeply as she could and finished the tea in her cup. It was a little too hot for that, but the mild burn was welcome as a distraction from the situation for a few seconds. “Spritely. Good to know that some things - or people - never change,” he said. The two stood staring at each other for several moments. Or perhaps the better word is simply watched. It was a less confrontational (in)action, while they each considered things that could have been, or things that were, or all the reasons they shouldn’t have been, all in the space of moments. They each felt a little silly for it, given the time passed and the very real issue in the other room. “Good to see that you don’t change, Aaren,” he finally punctuated the long silence. “In that event, the world may surely end.” “I can’t tell you how often you could have had a world without me, but everyone makes amateur mistakes these days it seems,” she said, as a boast more than anything. Quelhir nodded, as if a thing as that could be expected from one such as her. The attempts on her life, or the bragging equally. “Why even take the chance with this one?” he asked more quietly. Maybe even in chiding for her confrontation of a dangerous person all on her own. It was a personal question, asked before his associates arrived to make the current and more important problem go away. It took her a long while to gather the words to form a proper answer. “I will heal where others may wound,” Aaren started, not much unlike a prayer or mantra she chanted for communing with the Light, for healing and protection. She continued with words sounding less rehearsed. “But when I cannot restore, I will harm. Being nice and holding hands and painting rainbows doesn't get you anywhere in the real world. There will never be justice for anyone until we take it for ourselves, but it must be done with temperance. Or you become a monster, no matter how pure your intentions. Maybe… when someone insists you act as a paragon, you learn get brave real quick.” She looked over at the body laying the floor with a long and uncomfortable pause, in which neither of them moved. “Luckily, restoration can and does come out of harm. And he deserved leagues worse than what he got.” Quelhir made no motion, expression, nor statement to suggest he agreed or disagreed, but merely rested his hand on her arm and let her say her piece. Aaren smiled, a near sinister expression, and slipped down onto her feet to go clean up and find her favorite dress to wear.
  2. Visions of Torment

    Rituals of the personal sort were always peculiar. More so to those watching with no context even if only for the very nature of it. Or, more plausibly, people either kept those types of things private enough to not conjure an audience or people cared much less about the things going on around them than they liked to pretend they did. Aaren was always very observant of things around her whether she seemed it or not. Overly so at times. She often read too deeply into some actions for better or for worse. She caught looks, unspoken meanings, plans and ideas that perhaps weren't meant to be noticed. With years of practice, if someone noticed her eavesdropping, it was almost always entirely because she meant them to. Often it was only to entice them to wonder about her, and her intent. She never cared for lazy blackmail, but listening and watching for secrets kept her on her toes. Sly enough to hopefully learn useful things, grounded enough to remember that generally the people around her were not her friends and to tread cautiously. Remembering to stay suspicious at all times kept her alive, especially living alone so often. Her own rituals kept her centered and level while burdening herself with onuses and troubles that were ofttimes not her business to begin with. Very little of what filled her quarters in Shattrath was really her own. While her wealth allowed her to buy things as she needed, her need for stuff lead her to sell or abandon it all almost at whim when it was time to go somewhere else, whatever the reason. Here in Shattrath, she went out of her way and chose a place with rooms that were much more humble than the typical elf might prefer. The simplicity was comforting. She neither had nor wanted anyone to entertain, not that she would care so much if she did. Her residence was out of the way enough that random idiots didn't come knocking on her door, and visible enough that it wouldn't likely encourage anyone to think to try to rob the place. Not that they would get anything from it than a furious priestess tracking them down for the dare to inconvenience her. She could gather her reagents and rest comfortably assured that she wouldn't be disturbed. On this particular day, Aaren wouldn't be leaving before late afternoon, if at all. The door was bolted shut tight to the windowless den. The few things she required that the quaint city couldn't provide she sent for discretely. Small packages were delivered by ordinary courier, covered by boring brown paper and secured with twine. Aaren piled them into the corner behind the door as they arrived, as out of the way as she could leave them in the weeks that passed and she went about her business almost purposefully irritating herself with the past, perceived and definitive wrongs, and the strange pine smell in the air she was starting to grow tired of. The parcel she had left most visible on her desk was one filled with candles. One of the first packages that arrived, she knew it by its weight and the familiar and faint dull clinking they made when shuffled. She untied and unwrapped this box first. Half of the candles were tall, white, and thin. The other half, short and thick with a blue hue swirled in with the white. She snipped the wicks of them all as she separated the tall from the short, and placed the tall in old dated holders installed on the walls. The candles were carried in the crook of her left arm, while lifted, lit from the lamp, and carried to the fixtures with her right hand. Each one was set and watched for long moments before she uttered Anar'alah and the process was repeated, until each had arrived in its home. The light coverage was not optimal for normal situations, but she liked the variation in the dancing of flame when she snuffed the lamp and moved on.
  3. Visions of Torment

    Time passes by much more slowly when one does nothing with it. Whether the nothing is done sitting among branches of trees, in the somewhat-secluded corner of a terrace, on the edge of a raised platform looking off towards infernal meteors falling from the sky. After several days of trying, Aaren had given up on any type of real meditation because her trance always abruptly ended just as it seemed to commence. The feeling of inhaling fog choked her up. The stench of damp, fishy-smelling Broken plodding by was offensive, and she was already highly irritable just in her regular being. Not for lack of trying, she gave up and kept herself attentive and observant of everything that went on around her. No one came looking for her, so she wasn't very needed and was free to waste her days in thought. Several times she did see a mage from Sanctuary show up in the city now and then. She had only met him once or twice, didn't remember actually talking to him. She never approached him, and didn't leave herself in plain sight to be stumbled upon. She liked feeling sneaky under her hood until she realized that he only probably merely spent time living here. It made her upset with herself, and expecting that there would be a reason for anyone to come find her? She kind of hoped that it would come true just so she could say no. Instead of continuing to leave herself in plain sight, she again chose her spot on the back of the Scryer's Tier that pointed into the direction of Shadowmoon Valley. What else could she do with her thoughts? She carried a heavy burden of secrets and mysteries, most her own but some that belonged to others. She guarded those that were not her own with her life, though she would share, or attempt to share, those that were her own from time to time. Many she tried to share things with. People that had seemed to try hard to convince her to open up to them until she actually made the move to. Most of them disappeared off of the face of the planet to re-show their faces when entirely convenient for them alone. Aaren had confided in Shokkra, of all people. Not something so dark and dangerous, but a loss so extraordinarily personal. Shokkra, of all people, simply because the crazed orc seemed to inwardly care more about certain others than she did for her image and had proven herself to be dependable again and again to the priestess. Aaren should have expected what she would have in Ashenvale, and should have done everything completely different. It was almost a relief to stop thinking about others and what they have done, what they were not doing now, and just replay nightmares of her own while watching fel rain in the distance.
  4. Visions of Torment

    The Arakkoa of the Lower City didn't seem to mind too much that a priestess not of their own chose one of their platforms for her own personal rumination. Maybe they did. She didn't notice. Didn't care was much more likely. They didn't know or inquire as to why she was there, and she was no more comfortable around them as they were with her there, but the Birds left well enough alone. A sack of shiny stones were payment for the space she occupied anyway, so they kept their beaks shut and went about their business. Even if they did look at her a bit strangely when inspecting the baubles. Maybe that's just how they always looked at everything. She didn't know, couldn't tell and couldn't be bothered for a second to find out. She wasn't there for them. She planted herself in the most sheltered spot she could find: between a lectern and a shrine that each seemed hardly used, facing the cliffs where saplings tried their luck of sprouting. The skies were cloudy, the air damp. Perhaps she chose that spot because of its discomfort, combined with its relative safety, to think on things unfortunate and traumatic from the recent and distant past as she had all around the city for some time. Refugees the Arakkoa were, but Aaren felt much less imperiled around them than she did around the humans and orcs down below. They were less likely to try to talk to her, sell her things, beg for money. Stalk her. It was enough so she didn't have to think on these things, at least. How many things she guarded in her mind. Of course in the past few years many things have happened to traumatize her, warp her slowly into a new person as time generally does. The attack that nearly finally killed her had left her an entirely different person, on the inside. For years she had developed ways to shield her mind from those that wished to peek in and ruin her secrets. For years she guarded herself from often painful prying. The hidden benefit of her techniques was the capability to suppress her own memories so that the most excruciating trials of her past would not be so readily recalled. The attack had left her entirely vulnerable, and what will she had used to keep those barriers in place had fallen in a crash. For weeks her emotions and her psyche were at best a mess. Once or twice she did reach out to another, but ultimately she was completely alone to mend it herself. So many questionable choices plagued her, but everyone has those regrets. The suffering she had caused, even if in the line of duty, that was more unique. As much as she appeared to hide the scars on her face and on her body, she wasn't ashamed of them. She deserved them, if even in her own mind. She still missed her mother as the day she learned she was gone. Keltares and Casean, those were cruel sources of seemingly infinite pain. Losing one before she even really had him, and even now plagued by the abuse of the other. She wouldn't ignore the more recent harassment from cartoonish creeps, enough to make her roll her eyes on the outside and dread on the inside if another would come to copy their wickedness with her as their target. Watching the dwarf die in front of her, such a pleasant man he was. He was only trying to protect her. She would go back at any moment to take charge and do things another way. Regrettably, she couldn't fall into a deep enough transfixion. As it seemed to finally come, the foggy, misty air felt oppressive as she breathed. Her chest tightened and jarred her back into focus. Perhaps only because the location was just all wrong for the meditation she wanted to achieve, or the discomfort of a strange people surrounding her being too great and artificially magnifying the cool, humid breeze. She departed as silently as she arrived. The feeling of eyes fixated upon her was unshakable, even in her meditation, and history had taught her time and time again that temping fate was generally a dire mistake. She departed for the Scryer's Tier. Her heavy hood was drawn over her head to hide her face as she returned to her quarters, knowing it very well possible that several people she knew could be in the area at any given time and she didn't want a single one to find or approach her. Tonight she would drink herself to sleep again and try to catch the elusive tomorrow.
  5. Legion: War's Wake

    They lived. Somehow. Light, shadow, even flame worked together to smite and burn the enemy. It wasn't enough. It was miraculous that her healing was enough. Undoubtedly someone else picked up the slack. Probably the goblin that came with Cobrak's people. But they were safe now. Safe? Numbers were counted while standing on the docks. Cobrak's people stuck together and tended to one another. Aaren stood next to Cerryan, who seemed to have the same blank look in his face that she felt she had herself. She wanted to reach out and touch his arm. Shake him from his daze? Assure herself that this was real? She didn't. She rushed off to the city when she felt she could breathe again, when she felt could take a step again without using her staff as a crutch. Horde soldiers rushed off to the Crossroads to fight back against an attack by massive demons yet again. They were successful in repelling them, if anyone could call any action a success, now. Julilee, Cerryan, and Aaren stood across from one another in a triangle almost, looking at each other and the aftermath of the battle. "Are you holding up all right?" Juli looked directly at the priestess. Aaren was slow to turn her head and look back at her. "Are you alright, Commander?" Cerryan asked the Commander, having been the front line of defense in the fight. "I faltered...the attacks were overwhelming." Julilee shook her head at Cerryan, dismissing his question. Aaren sighed and her shoulders drooped. "I'll take that as a yes," she said with an unmoving gaze. Almost reassuring, as if telling Aaren that she was alright. Her voice was strong, as would be expected of any commander. And she spoke with all the kindness and patience that could be expected out of the best in this situation, but Juli didn't have time to stand around and wait. "Not gonna get any easier... so..." Aaren shrugged and swallowed, and nodded her head slowly. Her breath was shallow and she looked horridly tired after it all, but otherwise she was probably fine? She was fine. "I'll manage." "Let me know if there's anything I can do." "What... what do we do now?" Cerryan finally spoke up, again. Julilee checked her hearthstone. Cerryan's green eyes flickered almost manically as he scanned the horizon of the town for the injured. "Pretty much everywhere needs help. I'm going to head to Tanaris." Cerryan nodded at Julilee in response. "I trust you two to use your abilities to best effect where you see fit." "I need to return to the Manor. Knowing what we face....there are more defenses to activate," Cerryan finally said. Julilee nodded, and studied Aaren for a moment when she began coughing into her hand, but was swiftly on her way to the desert. He spoke into his hearthstone, asking the Commander to alert the Doctor of his intent to meet with him. "I might go find him, soon." Aaren spoke up, in response. The two of them stood dumbly for several moments. Each trying to catch their breath for different, yet exact reasons. "Yes, you were... injured recently, yes? I'm sorry that I did not take the time to see how you were doing..." Aaren looked at Cerryan blankly and shook her head. "Was nothing," she lied. She cleared her throat, and there were several more moments of silence. "Right... well, there are larger things at stake now... I knew that we could not rely on time to be on our side..." Aaren nodded her head silently. She wanted to talk to him, of course. She wanted to thank him for watching her, having been the one asking if she was alright when she fell down to her knees while they fought for their lives. Even when she ignored him to force herself to her feet and rush past him to call upon the Light again for the sake of another. But there were no words, now. She only frowned. "Take care of yourself, then..." she said, hoarsely. There was no time for standing around. She would be even more useless without rest, and went on her way. "You as well, Aaren..."
  6. Editing Chat Logs with Excel

    This is really cool!
  7. Aaren Anastasis

    (( Updates, revisions, musics, etc. ))
  8. The Unfortunate Bounty

    Aaren had only taken one of the posters merely because she saw Zanas' name on it. She didn't care to take time to read it right away, and it sat folded into a small square for some time in her bag. It wasn't until several days later that it was retrieved and inspected over a mug (and a bottle) of rum while hidden away in her room in Shattrath. Her own Shattrath, at least. She didn't recognize this name, or hear of the events that were indicated. Aaren stared long and hard at the location of Booty Bay on the parchment as her lip slowly curled in reservation. Caution. Maybe, instead, she would send him a note and meet him at another place should she find the time. Somewhere less seedy. More reputable. Much less anxiety-inducing. He did still owe her a date, after all.
  9. This whole thing is just making me sad. Especially when one mentions something that doesn't seem quite right, they get the response of "Its not ME or MY friends doing it" or "how dare you!" I read the new player's first few lines a few times and there is no evidence that this person was going to insult the server before they found the state of things (being told they were not invited to an RP community channel), which in the moment confirmed their fears of a fragmented and elitist community. Sometimes when you try to be optimistic, and then learn something like that? Especially if you get no context, you get discouraged. It happens to anyone and everyone. Unless you're a space alien that never gets hurt. I unsubscribed myself because the cliqueishness and exclusivity weighed on me a lot. I've tried forcing my way in, then talking about it with several people to the point that I just don't care to try any more. I have been on Ravenholdt as my home and role playing since The Burning Crusade. I loved and love my server but I am honestly considering finding a new circle of people and transferring somewhere else, even a place that isn't nearly as close as we all were and even though at this point it almost feels like it's not nearly worth the trouble. Everyone had pride in our tiny community and it was amazing, but it has fallen to pointing fingers at who is to blame for slights or for one's 'wrongfully' perceived ideas of the state of the community as a whole. I think I have demonstrated I am a rather patient person, but I know what it's like for the things I see going on in my days to be brushed off as I merely "feel that way" or I "don't try hard enough" while being vocal about people joining me or being available in the channel, or being "too attached" to people I have jumped to do stuff for and with in the past because they wanted it. There's more to it than that, but I'm exhausted from making attempts over and over again to feel included. Can we please just work together and have some empathy? Sometimes you don't see something that is wrong until someone on the outside says it. Have you ever had or seen someone with a nervous tic that you/they didn't know about until someone else said so? And I don't mean people that willingly try to continually upset others in IC and OOC ways. Stop being offended because someone else wants a fair chance at being a part of things. We are all here to have fun, and in a social way. And none of us would be doing it (or trying to) if we didn't want others to have fun with us too. Moving forward is always better than the alternative.
  10. Stuff like this shouldn't be happening.
  11. <p>BREYBLADE HOW THAT TATTOO COMING HOME DOG *gang sign*</p>

  12. Also reserved for just in case.
  13. Oh man this is linked to bnet people. WELP GUESS I GOT SOME WORK TO DO Edits and stuff done and also inc and all that. Some sections will be done before others but they'll be inserted into the correct places, because I'm pretending to be organized! Also this space reserved for later sections. Profiles Now, if you click on Profiles right above your character's name, this is the type of thing you get, with your currently selected profile outlined in green: All of your characters from every realm is included in this list, in alphabetical order. So, if you'd like to use a character's profile for someone else, even on another server, you can switch here. Either borrow it for a little while or duplicate it completely, and name it so you can find that copied profile easily. Your chatbox will tell you when you've switched between profiles, but otherwise it's instant and easy.