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About Vathelan

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  • Birthday 07/31/1989

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  1. For a brief moment, one that felt longer than it truly lasted, there was a silence that fell between the two people that remained within this office. The sigh from Dora as she sunk within the chair that was too big for her was all that was heard as seconds ticked in what felt like minutes. Vathelan cast his gaze away, uncertain if it was really wise to bring up something so meaningless. He pondered if this was truly a mistake-- but that train of thought was shattered when she once again broke the silence. “Right!” She clapped, drawing his attention back to reality as she jolted in her seat. The act of that of the Boss of Borrowed Time was no more, instead sat before him was the woman he admired once more. “So, Vath- that was your first big battle, huh? How are you doing?” “I suppose… that would be accurate.” He couldn’t look directly at her still, the melancholy was far too apparent. If his voice or gaze didn’t give it away, he was sure his ears did. Even still he tried to press on. “...I will continue to do what I must to save this world, even if that requires me to use a more hands-on approach. Dora…” Here it goes. He inwardly braced himself for what was to come as he took a breath, though the frosted exterior from earlier melted away. “...I thought I lost you. I thought-- I thought Hope had been lost.” His head turned away now, leaving her to study the burn of color upon his cheeks. “...All before…” He left the words linger, not daring to finish that sentence. “There’s always that risk of losing people in war. It doesn’t get any easier when you do lose them. It just hurts differently.” “And that is what I am here to do, Dora. To reduce the risk for your people.” His voice surged with another desperate determination. These two sentences were declarations as he tried to stay focused, the next part served as an attempt to reassure them both in the face of the danger. “I… will endure. Until the end. For you, for the Lord-General.” “...Maybe find a reason to endure for more than just your ideals.” It took her a moment to word her concern, his notable lack of self preservation. “Look around you, Vath. We’re more than just our dreams. There’s an entire present that’s happening around you. Stop and embrace it every once in a while, okay? Promise?” “A present I have no future in.” All Vathelan could muster was a sad smile as he shook his head. “I wish I could make such promises, but, I understand the harsh reality before us. This will not end well for me in the end. I knew this, and I still acted-- I had to. As consequence, I’m well aware that I’m running out of time. I’m not a hero. Far from it.” They have had this conversation in the past, on Heroism and the philosophy regarding the concept. And a repeat of it loomed above the duo, until it was cast aside. “Time will tell. Life’s going to keep testing all of us.” She shrugged as she stood and rounded the desk. “Thanks, though. For being there when you could have taken a step back.” “We both know I couldn’t do that.” Was his retort as he stood.“...Not while you were in danger. You’re far too valuable, both professionally and in personal terms.” She paused as she was, caught in the motion of preparing to escort him to the door. Instead she peered at the Magister, in the robes that are just slightly too big for his frame and the little quirk of the corner of his mouth. “Right.” She laughed, her feet taking her back near his chair. “I think your negotiations with the Boss of Borrowed Time would look very different without me.” Her hands slipped into the pockets of her trousers. “As for- personal… well. I’m a bit lost, still, when things get more complicated.” A pause. “Really terrible at that, actually. And, alright, to be honest, a bit exhausted by it all? Not- not really in the business of bothering with it.” “I see…” His face kept that same melancholy smile from earlier, as if the rejection hadn’t come as a surprise. “I’m not particularly… familiar with these types of scenarios either. I do not want to cause any additional stressors to your situation here, nor do I… expect anything to come from this. Dora, I’m a commoner, I don’t own an acre of land, a troop to command nor an ounce of fame to my name. I’m not a hero-- how could I ever think you would…?” He sighed as he shook his head. “Vath… if you knew me, you’d know that none of that stuff matters much.” She unfolded herself from the unsure, hunched figure she had bent into while she tentatively smiled in his direction. “I don’t need money, or- or a legacy. But, I could use friends. And that’s… you know, enough for me right now.” “I figured, but this is the reality of the situation. I will remain your friend so long as you will have me… but would you please forgive me for this selfish indulgence?” His green eyes behind his glasses look at her as he summoned the courage to continue when she made no objections. “I’ve been hated my entire life, and I expect it to continue well after my short bitter life comes to an end. No matter what I have done, it has always the wrong decision. And-- I digress.” He shook his head as he offered his hand in a similar fashion upon the night before the battle. It lingered as she hesitates. Until she at last took it, though timid in her action. His hand wraps around her in hopes of reassurance before he continued this one time indulgence. “I want to, first, thank you for being my first friend in this miserable word. And I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that, I don’t want you to feel pressured by my actions… I… I want to be worthy of your trust. And for that to happen, I feel I should be completely honest. Or as honest as my profession allows, at least.” He talked, keeping best as he could to his train of thought as the words finally flow. “...I love you, Dora Arath’dorei. I tell you this, not because I expect you to love me back. Not because I want something from you. No. I say this… I say this because I loathe the idea of holding onto this. To regret every word I never said while I had the chance.” Dora gaped at the confession, surreal as her hand remained still within his. “I-” She attempted, only to trip on her own words and thoughts. For once since he had known her, she seems stunned and wordless. “...But, as I said, I don’t expect you to reciprocate such a notion.” He gave a small shrug as he offered a reassuring smile as he fought against the urge to avert his eyes in embarrassment. “...I simply figured that I should say it. While I have my chance. Before the consequences of my actions catch up to me.” “Wait,” she blurted. “What consequences? What actions?” “All of them.” His smile faded, a grim expression took its place. “There are things I have done, more of which I shall do. And I am… pardon the expression… living on borrowed time. Someone such as myself ‘playing hero’? ...Well…” He forced a laugh, it was hollow. His caressing grasp of his hands loosened in spite of his attempt to hide his fear. “It never ends well. If I’m lucky to survive this war, then I’m sure my court martial will finish me off. But, if I can save the world, if I can save you… then it’ll be worth it.” “You’re expecting me to listen to all that and take a step back?” Where his grasp may have loosened, she now gripped at his hand like an anchor. “I let you walk into a fight where the odds were stacked against us, heavily, but I did that because I knew if I was in your position I wouldn’t have taken no for an answer! Vath, you can’t expect me to just let you march into whatever it is you’re up against without telling me what’s going on!” “I wish it were that simple…” The Magister lowered his head, both flattered at her passion for him and shamed in how right she was in how unfair this seemed. “What’s most important is saving Azeroth right now. It’s better you don’t know, not before I have a plan at least.” “How long are you going to keep me in the dark?” She insisted, her form looming into his space. “How many times am I going to be side-stepped before you can give me an answer, Vathelan? Because this isn’t the first time you’ve brushed me off.” “It’s the nature of working with classified infor…” His tone started off defeated at first as his eyes found themselves planted upon where their hands met, unable to look her in the face as the guilt was eating at him. Then he noticed a seemingly meaningless detail to the untrained eye, but important to those who knew the significance: his cufflinks were missing from his person. His brows knit at this detail, did this mean he really could speak freely? Maybe more so than he usually would given his need for subterfuge against his own organization. “...A lot is going on, and more still. Do you remember what I told you I did fun on our first outing? After the hunting trip?” “You worked for fun,” she sighed as she released him to slouch into a backwards lean with the desk lip hitting her hip. Her impatience leaked within her words as he strained her limits, her arms folded across her chest. “Read articles, right?” “Yes.” He had to weigh his word choice, even if he could trust her. Even if he couldn’t be spied on through his cufflinks, who knew what other ways they could discover what he divulged? “...I’ve read articles I shouldn’t have been able to. My security clearance in terms of information is, well, higher than it should be expected given my position.” “You flagrantly disobeyed the hierarchy.” Worried for her friend as she may be, she couldn’t help but crack an amused smile. “Spirits, but this is why I don’t mess with the bureaucracy of organizations like the Scryers. Would do my head right in, and I’ve got an awful poker face.” “I… know things I shouldn’t.” How he envied her levity, that bright light in these darkest nights. “We knew the Legion would return someday, and we have been preparing for it. We’ve developed things for such a scenario. And… I was on one of these projects, before I was sent to Sanctuary.” That got her attention. “So what happened?” “He escaped.” He could see the vague intel he had just divulged work its way into her expression, that realization of the implications exonerating him--at least partially--in his dodginess in telling her exactly what was wrong, what he had done. How it would paint a target on her back. “And you can’t find him.” “...I helped facilitate his escape.” Vathelan shifted to take his place beside her, leaning on the desk as he tried to figure out how much he could feed her in terms of information. “Admittedly, I didn’t think she’d actually be able to cause it… but…” “Before we start needing to label persons A and B, I need to know why you felt you had to release a- a ‘Project’ into the world without authorization. What were your justifications?” “...Because of whom he is.” Vathelan looked back at the door, feelings of discomfort and outrage waring within his chest. His voice got heated as he tried to explain his reasonings, while not disclosing the identity on the man.“The Legion is here, at our very doorsteps, and they didn’t even want to use him. So I forced their hand. When I did that they wanted to hinder him. They’re risking… everything. He may very well be our best hope, we should be supporting him. Not chaining him down so he can’t do what needs to be done to bring about our salvation.” “...alright. Okay. Okay okay.” Dora reached up to scrub furiously at her hair, her shaggy black mane that she tosses back with a hint of the Wild in her. “Okay. The second,” she pivoted in his direction, her finger pointed like a gun. “The moment I can help, you’re gonna call me. I mean it. Private channel on my comm. No excuses. You’ve given me probably way more than you should have, and I’m not going to ask anymore, but promise that when you have a plan you fill me in.” “As much as I loathe the idea of putting you in danger of my actions… you may very well be right. This might be too big for me to do alone.” He sighed. “I am working on a plan, and I do have a lead on how to find him. I’m sending Her back where he said they would beet. The problem is… this is extremely delicate. I have to use the utmost subtly, lest I get all of us caught. If that happens, they’ll probably just sedate him again. And as for me… I’ll be…” In a fate worse than death. He swallowed air, unable to finish the sentence. He knew what happened to traitors. It would be as if he had never existed. “Then don’t get caught. Do what you have to, and when the time is right, you’ll seek me out.” “Of course.” Vath nodded, a hint of a smile gracing his features only to vanish as the threats of the past once more began to echo through his mind. If things went sour, which was most likely the probable course of action, he was going to put her directly within harm’s way. Was he really okay with this? “Okay,” she repeated as her finger lowered. Again, a little softer. “Okay. We’ll get it figured out. Just… try to get some sleep, alright? And send Captain Vanderzee into my office in the morning to go over his contract.” Could he really do this to her? She wanted to get closer, not minding to see the first hints of his sins-- of his shame, and the threat he posed to those who dared get close to him. And yet she remained as loyal and steadfast as ever, wanting to help. Was it not fair to let her in on his suicide of a crusade? He stood upright and headed for the door. He wasn’t sure this was a promise he could keep. Even still he smiled back at her. “...You know, you really should visit me in Shattrath one of these days.” She returned the smile, a very glad one at that. “When things calm down here, I...I can probably get away. Be nice to finally see that memorabilia collection you’re so proud of.” “I would love to show you, there’s a lot of history there. Assuming things ever calm down enough to allow it.” He stretched the smile into the biggest, most winning look he could muster over his shoulder before exiting into the moonlit port. When the door closed, his facade finally broke. Raeventus’s voice echoed through his mind as his pulse began to race, his body threatening to keel over in a panic attack all the way back to the apartment. He would barely manage it. “Where you have treaded, death will follow. I will burn down the entirety of House Visca: His wife, son, brothers and niece… all of them will pay for your trespass. I will erase Sanctuary from existence. I will bomb Dalaran out of the sky, I will return their last bastion of hope in Orgrimmar back to the ashes from whence it raised from. I will imprison your little friend… the Arath’dorei girl, she will learn the truth of you, she will learn why she will be brought to her fate was because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut. And then you will Beg me to end your life, what I will do to you once I am done will become a merciful killing, have I made myself clear?”
  2. “All I’m sayin’, Lad, is all work and no play makes Vath a dull boy.” Since the Magister had cleaned up and dressed in robes of his usual uniform—albeit now a size or so too big for him—the Captain had deemed it appropriate to counsel his employer with his ‘worldly advice’. It wasn’t entirely welcome. “Might be why she rejected yeh for another suitor.” “…Thank you, Captain.” He spoke through gritted teeth as they stood before the door to the office, his hand hovered before the door as he gave his employee a pointed look. “But for now, we have a task at hand. Please stay focused.” Vathelan awaited some sort of rebuttal, which thankfully seemed to not come forward. Instead the Captain nodded, and at this indication of him finally falling into line, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper knocked upon the door of the office. The meeting could at last begin, and their dealings could proceed. "Enter!" He forced aside the feelings that lingered within as he opened the door, retreating back into the mask of the Magister persona. It mattered not their history, he reminded himself, what mattered was coming to a compromise that would benefit Azeroth. Cleaned and groomed, he looked as a man of his station should. Now he just had to act it. Which was harder as he saw her, adorned in a military uniform. His heart faltered for a mere moment before he redoubled his efforts. When he managed to speak, his voice came out more cold, the distance so palpable that it would concern them both. “Lady Arath’dorei.” “Magister, Captain.” She smiled as she gestured towards the chairs before taking her own behind the desk. “Evening, you two.” “Evenin’, Miss.” The Captain remained in the doorway, respectfully tipping his hat in the Lady’s direction, even if refusing to take the offered seat for the time being. Vathelan hesitated for a moment before finally complying. His voice still carried the clinical tone as he tried to focus on business, not what his heart yearned for. “I am sure you remember why this meeting was scheduled?” “We’re here to talk about resources, or at least the allocation of them.” She nodded in the Captain’s direction before setting her forearms upon the desktop as she leaned in; closing the circle to create a space where it is just them now, where nothing would interfere with the topic at hand. “I explained the kind of situation I’m in, with the developing the morale of the company. We need that now more than ever, but we also certainly could use resources. You sounded like you had a suggestion that would satisfy the both of us.” “Hope is a precious resource, though not finite.” He echoed the same notions he had written to her in recent weeks leading up to this all, his eyes averted for a moment before once again focusing on the matter at hand. “But to do so requires careful cultivation. We spoke of your hesitance to take our aid, as it may damage morale, and I suggested that we may have ways around that-- a few, actually, at least in the eyes of your company.” “Go ahead and lay ‘em out for me, then.” Her dimpled smile threatened to melt his demeanor even now. “I’m listening.” “Either way, it appears to me that we must make the aid acquired to seem as if it comes from an internal source. This will require new perceived origins. For starters, the Arath’dorei and Rayfeather families are well invested into your Company, are they not?” Dora took a moment to respond, the leather of the chair seat stretched as she leaned back a scant inch. “Faelenor is Second in Command. I’m not sure about his reputation among the rest of the company, really. He has a strong network and his name certainly gets around. Amalyn has earned a lot of trust among the ranks as a healer and a person to seek for counsel. As for the Arath’doreis… my mom has been a member for a while now. I know some of our company members look at her as a Veteran. She’s fought in enough battles that she’s earned some clout. She’s MIA, though.” Another pause. She sucked in her bottom lip for a brief moment. “So is Amalyn.” “That… was not my intent. I am sorry to hear about this, and should you wish, I am willing to lend you aide as a personal favor in finding them-- unofficially obviously. Their reputation, should we able to find them, or… if need be, your own, gives us an opportunity. No one is likely to question such a prestigious family that is well recognized as the leadership for this company in supplying resources you require to get back on your feet.” He paused, allowing her to absorb the offer and to mentally working out a way to address the next part. He knew of at least some of the Scryer financial operations, that which helped fund their missions across both worlds in which they operated. He also knew how it would look to some. “...Furthermore should you, ah, purchase from certain companies-- we can ensure they send you more than you paid for. And then… there is one final route I have devised.” “Okay,” she mumbled as she scribbled something quick within the margin of her day’s logs before her eyes lifted to meet him once more. “And the other route?” Vathelan couldn’t help but stare back into her eyes as they once again made contact, his mind threatening to veer off course into some romantic fantasy. His face turned, giving him a moment away as he addresses the man behind him. “Captain, would you please have a seat?” From behind the Magister the Half-elf Captain watched their display, seeming less interested in their politics than in the body language of the two. He shifted from the door frame, taking little more than a step before came an unceremonious rattling of the office’s door as it swung open. It revealed an elf with raven hair that flowed around his shoulders. His eyes shifted from the acting Boss of Borrowed Time, to the Magister and then to the Half-elf who practically stood at his side and greeted with a cocked brow before calling with a snarky tone, “Is this a bad time? Or should I come back when you do not have a pair of gentlemen callers oh Boss Sister?” He chortles, swaggering his way in with a lackadaisical stride. “In the middle of a serious meeting, Phy.” The sister in question frowned as her gaze shifted from Magister to her brother. The brother’s eyes darted between the three in the room, seeming to measure each in turn as a hand rested upon one of the twin pommels of his deferentially-runed blades at his waist. He moved closer to the desk, aiming for behind the desk and towards the windowsill. “Allriiight…” “The kind where you walk out of the room and lock the door behind you,” Dora adds. The look of shock was obvious upon the young man’s face before it faded as his gaze shifted away and his mouth hard-lined. “Fine.” He managed to mumble out before making good on her order, leaving the room back to their meeting. When the door clicked shut, the signs of sudden weariness were obvious upon the the woman’s expression. She rubbed the back of her neck and took some time to gather herself back into the conversation. “I’m sorry,” she said as she let her hand drop. “You were saying?” “Ah… so that was the Phyruss you spoke of when we met.” Vathelan gave a small smile, both to reassure her and at the memories of that night played within his head. “Yeah, my brother. He’s- I wish you’d meet him at a better time. He’s very sweet, and really clever…” The moment hung for both of them, it seemed. That which was shattered as Captain Van cleared his throat behind them. “...But back to business?” Her quill raised again at the suggestion. “Okay, so we were discussing various routes to take for this supply. Using family reputations is one idea. What was the other you were going to suggest?” “Yes. We discussed utilizing your and the listed family’s reputation to remove doubt, or using certain companies in order to to maximize your resource gains-- the final is a new recruit.” He motioned once more to the Captain, giving him the floor. “I was contracted by yeh, ‘is contract is offically over.” He eyed the Magister before looking back at the his potential new boss. “Buy me out. I’ve got a bit ‘o history wit’... shall we say ‘requisitions’, yer boss man will be sure to find that. So I’ll just be deliverin’ on that by hittin’ up the ol’ business, from teh look o’ it… it’ll be part as me o’ membership, aye?” “It’s a thought,” she conceded, “But if you’re suggesting that we have one new recruit provide a substantial amount of provisions, enough to make an impact on an entire company, it might raise some suspicions. I don’t think it could hurt to… maybe have a balance of the suggestions. Have sources trickle in from various outlets. As long as we don’t have any more strangers to prop us up, no one loses face.” She looked at the both of the men. Vathelan seemed as serious as always when it came to work; the Captain merely shrugged. “We can sign you on, Captain Vanderzee. And I’ll talk to some of our suppliers to clear the new source of shipments. But,” she notified the pair, “If anyone asks, I’ll be transparent about where the supplies are coming from.” “I would have to agree with you that, yes, it would be wise not to use one avenue exclusively. Nor will we be granting everything in one massive sum as to avoid such suspicions, if it pleases you.” Magister Frostwhisper gave a small diplomatic nod. “If you wish to reveal your source should you be asked, well, that is your prerogative. With the current plan in place, we will have to resort to supplying you with resources alone, unfortunately, but… it should be enough to get you back upon your feet and ready for what is to come.” “Great, am I keepin’ the room we’ve been stayin’ in… or…?” “If you’re settled there already, I don’t see why not.” She addressed the Captain with a little amused grin. “Unless there’s a problem with it?” “Ain’t ever really settled anywhere.” The Captain returned his most fetching grin. “But I can move in, soon as teh roommates take their leave.” “Now… what I ask in return is, relatively simple. We are fine remaining anonymous, all we ask is once you are recovered and supplied that you take the fight to the Legion. They threaten us all. And… should they find out we were behind your supply, you paint a favorable picture for us as to keep your company on the right path and keep them open to continuing to accept our donations and perhaps even greater boons in the future. We’re in the business of defending and preserving our people, I would like to think that saving the world would fall under that.” “Right. Look,” she sighed. “I’m glad we have some terms that we can come to that look agreeable on paper. Here’s the thing. The actual Boss needs to sign off on this. The only precedent we have for decision making and extreme shifts of power like this was when my… when my dad left. He was declared KIA, and that was it. Cobrak took over. But Cobrak is alive and here, just not… responsive yet.” She swayed forward, her eyes held an ernest approach to them. This was much more pleasant than any conversations he had with Commander Laine in terms of Sanctuary accepting Scryer Aid. “All I can promise right now is that when Faelenor and Cobrak wake up, I’ll present your case to the both of them. If it’s from me, they’ll hear me out. I know that much.” “That is all I can hope for then, Dora.” Vathelan smiled, “the Legion is a threat to us all. He would be a fool not to see this. We are not asking for an official allegiance should he not trust us, we are simply trying to enable the right organizations to be the most effective against a threat that seeks total annihilation of all life. As for Lord-General Rayfeather of a branch of the Scryers, when he wakes… I would like to speak to him. But that is neither here nor there at current.” “I’ll notify you as soon as I can, when Faelenor wakes up.” “That should help this partnership in… considerable measures.” The smile lingered, only to falter when he looked back at his employee. One that was going to set him back more than he cared to entertain the thought of. Even a Magister’s salary was far from unlimited. Even still he forced his smile to return as he addressed the Captain. “ Congratulations, consider yourself hired on a full time salary.” All he was rewarded for his efforts was a noncommittal grunt. Well, that certainly wasn’t encouraging. Vathelan tried to push that thought aside, however, “Anything else, Dora?” She shook her head. Some of her long, luscious, locks spilled down her front. He was reminded of statues of a certain goddess that he had seen in Reliquary files. “Nothing business-wise. I wonder how you’re holding up.” “Pardon?” He raised a brow, taken by surprise. A moment of recovery, and then he looked back at the Captain. Who was smiling at him. “Should… we have some privacy?” “Hah, well- I guess this is a sort of sensitive topic. Uhm,” her smile at the captain may have been hard to decipher for Vathelan. But Vanderzee knew what it meant. “For a few moments, I guess.” “Then you are dismissed, Captain.” Vathelan mimicked the tone of a military official, though he was uncertain who he may have fooled within the room as his gaze returned to the lovely woman before him. There was a clouded uncertainty upon his face, tempered by the struggling mask of the professional he tried to hide behind. So many conflicting emotions, and here he worried they may finally be addressed-- for better or worse. “Yeah, I could stand a smoke.” The Captain nodded as he raised from his seat, his singlar eye wandered to both of them with a knowing smile before he made his way towards the exit of the room. He stopped before opening the door as he gave a sidelong glance back at the two. “Yeh kids ‘ave fun now, we’ll worry about tha paperwork later.” And with that, he left before either had a chance to retort.
  3. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper couldn’t sleep. This proved another disturbing pattern he seemed to be developing as the war for the very survival of Azeroth itself progressed. With every inaction more people died, the chances at failure exponentially increased—and at times he felt alone in fighting for it. He looked down at the cup he had found within their temporary lodgings; he knew it was a foolish notion. He wasn’t a hero. He knew this. They made it all too clear to him. He bitterly set the glass to his lips once more, allowing the revitalizing fluids from the glass to grace the interior of his form. More and more died as people refused to accept his solution. He was beginning to understand why the late Lord-General had delved into the bottle after the battle which secured his seat in history. A coping mechanism, earned by the blood spilt upon both sides—the cost of being a hero, surely it had earned some perks? Was this is why he was so scorned? Unblooded, Untested. He was not a hero. But the greats were being picked off one by one. Lord Cerryan was likely dead. Lord-General Rayfeather was horribly wounded, he hadn’t gotten any word as to if he would actually be able to continue the good fight. The Shattered Son was missing; his only lead to find him was too preoccupied with her betrothed’s condition. And then there was Dora. Lady Dora Arath’dorei… where did he begin? Here in these late hours, when his companion was finally slumbering, when he could stop the act of being as if he was well—He took another drink of his iced water as he tried to focus his mind as he chided himself. There was too much to worry over, the fate of an entire world was at stake, and yet he tried to nurse the cracks within his heart. He tried to help them here, he was rejected. He followed her words and example, and still one of his more violent political rivals won her heart. …But that was to be expected. She was a Hero. He was not. He was foolish to think he had a chance, was he not? He was shoved aside, something he should well be used to at this point, and yet— His thoughts would find themselves interrupted by the sound of the knocking at his door. Returned to reality, his spiraling depression interrupted, he opened his eyes to find his forehead resting upon the table. Slowly he raised himself from his seat as his brow quirked, curious as to who would bother him in this late hour. His question would be answered before the Magister even got the chance to reach the wooden barrier from the outside world, as it opened anyways. From the other side came his lost hire, his missing mercenary. Gone was the hardened leather chassis he was last seen in. In its place was a long leather coat, accompanied with a wide brim hat concealing even more of his face. He gave a small nod as he closed the door behind him; Vathelan couldn’t help but notice he was still armed as the coat flourished ever so slightly in his movements. “Where have you been?” “Don’ worry ‘bout it.” The Captain said as he looked over the room. “Jus’ been busy.” “That doesn’t answer the question.” The Magister shook his head at the attempt to brush off the question. “Fer yeh? It’ll ‘ave ta do.” He shrugged as he moved passed the young full-blooded elf to take a seat at the table. He eyed the glass with a smirk as he procured a bottle of whiskey from his coat, taking a swig before tossing it at the Magister’s direction. “Yeh look stressed, take a load off.” Vathelan used a blink spell upon the bottle, returning it to the table before the rogue. It spun as it tried to correct itself from the alteration of momentum. The Magister gave a small sigh as he glared from behind his spectacles as he leaned upon the table. “No, it shall not have to. As such, I’ll ask once again. This time as your employer. Where have you been?” At the insistence from the Magister, the Captain smirked. It made Vathelan uneasy, the singular eye proving hard to read if it was a threat or simple amusement. In spite of the thuggish half-elf only have a couple inches on the Magister, it worked way too much in the accused favor. It didn’t help that the rogue dropped his accent. “…Big words from a man with the lack of experience to back it up. But if we wish to speak of employment, you owe me the second half of my pay—on top of a retainer fee if you should wish to hold that over me. So, for now at least, ‘I have been busy’ will have to do, eh?” “You will get your money.” The Magister looked towards the sleeping monk, cursing his lack of foresight. He needed to deescalate the situation, this man before him could likely kill him before the slumbering monk even had knowledge of what happened. “…In fact, assuming Lady Arath’dorei agrees to our my proposal, I will be requiring your continued services.” The Captain grinned as he set his boots upon the table. “I’m listenin’. And how does yer little courtship go with ‘er?” “That’s… not important. She made another choice.” He shakes his head. Before he can continue his train of thought, he was once again interrupted. “Yanno… I do Assin—" “No. That won’t be necessary.” Vathelan was quick to respond, his brow rose. He couldn’t help but wonder just who exactly he had hired at this point. “We just… need to convince her that our aide is undeniable. We have the technology, the research, and resources to make this work. But we Need an army. A single blade in the right place doesn’t work here. Even if bombing the entirety of the Isles repelled the enemy, it would just gather the ire of the rest of the world—still ensuring our extinction as a species.” “Save yer speeches.” The half-elf shrugged. “As long as I git paid, I dun really care. But if yer serious about this…” He procured another item from his coat. A robe iconic of the Scryers, neatly folded and packaged, now presented upon the table. “Go git cleaned up, yeh look like yeh been through the Nether an’ back. Ain’t much a good look fer someone tryin’ ta present ‘imself. Shower, put this on, an’ we’ll go see about gitten this deal here workin’, eh?” Vathelan looked at the robe, then at the Half-elf, dumbfounded. He slowly nodded before excusing himself to the restroom to get cleaned up. No matter what emotional attachments he had, he had a job to do. He had a world to save; he may as well look the part.
  4. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper made his slow march through the wartorn port, his eyes scanned the devastation as he made his way to the Infirmary. The entire area looked as it had been through a hurricane of Shadow and Fel. The winds from the sea helped to illustrate this further. He calculated the estimated property damage against the last numbers he had seen on the market value for resources required-- numbers that had been rising ever higher since this war had began. The gusts buffeted the Magister as he continued his stroll, straining his already damaged and worn attire he had insisted on wearing. To say that the costs accrued from this conflict would be significant was… quite the understatement, potentially insulting even. As he neared the doorstep of the infirmary a particularly strong gale proved rough enough to rip one of the weaker buttons from its place, the robe flapping in the wind as a cloak more than its intended purpose-- revealing the paler grey-blue undershirt that hugged his swimmer’s form. And as he stood at the precipice of the doorway into his destination, he found himself faltering for a moment. Doubts and fear lingered between him and this glimmer of hope. What if Miss Cat was mistaken? What if what he had done wasn’t enough to impress her, making this a waste of everyone’s time while the threat of oblivion loomed over all their heads? His head hung low as he contemplated what he had hoped to achieve. Behind him he could hear Kirital closing the gap. With his eyes closed he took a breath. No, there was still Hope. He had to remind himself, he could help them; that was the very reason he stood here. He only needed to convince them. But that is the problem... “Vathelan?” “I’m fine.” The Magister reopened his eyes, focusing on the door before them as his hand rested on them. No point in lingering, is there? He summoned the courage he required. No, I suppose there isn’t. And he opened the door, inspecting the scene as he entered. Miss Cat sat at one end by her fiance's side, giving a small wave as he walked by, rewarded a small nod in hopes of reassuring her as he continued to scout the area. His first stop being the grey eyed medic. She was certainly elven, though it seemed hard to pin down particularly what kind-- given she had features of both Quel and Kaldorei. But that wasn’t any of his concern; especially not right now. He kept his voice low, both out of respect for those injured she attended to and to hide his weakness as he spoke through cracked and split lips. “Is there anything you need for these people?” “We’re pretty behind on clean linens.” The Medic spoke as she finished changing out the bandages of one of those who had been injured in the battle from the day before. As she looked over him once more she picked up a nearby pitcher and poured a glass of water before handing it to the Magister. “You look parched. Here, take this.” “I’ll see what I can have routed here, either from the Scryers or personally.” He instinctively took what was offered to him. A glass of water? For but a moment he considered protesting that others, such as the patients or the Medic herself, would need it more. But he remembers that just like the Medic, hydration would be something they needed to keep functioning, so that they could help others. So he relents, after taking a drink he speak again. “Thank you. If you have the time, please get me a list-- I’ll pass it on.” As he drank the water, he continued to scan the room. Every detail he could find he tried to pick apart and commit to memory. If the Scryers were to choose the Borrowed Time mercenary company as their champions, they would need to be optimized for the war ahead. But that all quieted down in his head when his eyes finally laid their eyes upon her. Dora Arath’dorei was already out of her cot, instead straddling a chair with her arms slung over the back. Her chin dug into one of her arms as she seemed to skirt the edges of consciousness. A book within her hands threatened to fall loose from her grip and onto the floor. Vath set the glass down as he muttered a polite departing to the Ashen-eyed woman to go to greet the very woman he had sought here, a spring in his step--until he saw who laid in the bed next to her. The psychopathic Orcess that had been allowed to run wild and threatened his life on multiple occasions. Perhaps this is a bad time? He hesitated, his mind devising excuses as to abort this approach. In spite of the water he had consumed, his mouth once more went dry. Get a hold of yourself, Vath. This is the whole reason you came out here… is it not? Attempt to steel himself as he may, when he worked the courage to continue his steps became lighter and far less certain than they once were. When he finally reached her side, despite the mental protests, he choked out two words. “...Lady Arath’dorei?” The chair feet scuffed the floor as she jerked within it. Her disorientation was obvious, it seemed he had taken too long to muster the courage and she had fallen to one of the sides after all. “Oh,” Dora murmured. She hissed at the bite of cold fingertips as she pressed her balms against her lower back in a stretch within her loose linen attire. Afterwards, she regarded Vathelan with remnants of sleep in her eyes, alertness swimming against the current. “Magister-” Her tone more formal, setting the pace of the conversation, “-I’m glad to see you.” “My apologies if I woke you.” The solemn look was distorted by the hint of warmth within the frost mage’s small smile. This would be short lived as his eyes once more caught the image of whom she was visiting. He takes a moment to consider on just how to continue. “...I… was worried you hadn’t made it. I am heartened to see that my subordinate was wrong on this matter. One in my profession is…” he tried to lighten the mood, though he fumbled. “...It is hard to imagine me repeating that phrase.” “I’m fine,” she assures him, likely remembering his mention of not being trained for field work from past conversations. Her eyes try to focus on him, unused to having to look up at the Magister when they talk. They were of similar height. “Minor damage to my legs, so you’ll have to forgive me for staying in my seat.” “I am… relieved to hear you say such.” The tip of his lips surrendered to a small twitch. ‘You’re relieved to hear she was hurt’? How kind of you, Vath. He was stumbling over his words, he knew it. This is why you don’t get emotionally compromised, it makes things messy. He likely seemed to be excessively quiet. Enough. “Shall I take a seat, or…?” His hand hovered over one of the chairs next to the despicable Shokkra Deathrage. “I will try not to take up much of your time.” Dark hair obscured her features before being cascaded to her side. Her back remained hunched for a moment before she unfurled to sit straight within her chair as she mentally shifted gears. Her eyes spotted the figure of Kirital behind the Magister and then a smile floated to the surface as she gestured for him to take a seat beside her. “It’s clearly important to you, Vath. Take however much time you need.” The Magister gave a small nod, his motions were slow and gentle as he sat beside her. He tried to quite his thoughts and emotions as he focused on the task at hand. They may have won here, but this was but the start. “...We have a lot to talk about, Dora. And to try to impress all of it upon you given what surrounds us is, admittedly, unfair.” He took a breath. “So, I am suggesting we do this in stages. The most dire being handed fist. And we shall go from there. Are we in agreement?” The medic from earlier made her way to examine the bandages for the Orcess before them, this was sure to split the attention of the acting Boss of Borrowed Time. Even still as her hands turn in slow revolutions between pinched thumbs and forefingers she responds. “Yes.” “Very well… Good.” He reaffirmed as he reorganized his thoughts, he prioritized them best he could. In spite of his personal needs and desires that nagged at him, he shoved them aside once more in favor of the fate of the world. He tried to ignore the feeling in his stomach that fell to the fear he wouldn’t get another chance-- but he would have to make due. In the grand scheme of things, he was meaningless save what he could provide to the world in this war effort. “I… feel it is prudent that we support you in your reconstruction efforts after this conflict. Were you able to recover Lord-General Rayfeather?” The notebook stilled in her hands, then began once more in the same rhythmic turns. A trench appeared between her brows. “Shan’do… Faelenor is still recovering, but he’s alive.” “That is a relief. I haven’t failed this one entirely then as of yet.” Vathelan considers this approach for another moment. “And for this to work… I am going to need both of you.” It seemed he had her full attention now, though the regard he gave him is peppered with reluctance that nipped at the heels of her curiosity. Her body angled towards him as she shifted in her chair. She slipped her notebook back into her pocket. “Need us both for what, exactly?” “The same reason I came here in the first place.” He paused. He wasn’t being entirely honest with that statement. “That may be slightly misleading.” He corrected. “One of the major reasons I fought in this battle: to save the world.” “You’re talking about the Scryers.” “And Borrowed Time.” He clarified before his eyes cast back upon the ground. He gave a small sigh before he continued. “The war continues, the Legion threat is barely being held back while the world worried over the Emerald Nightmare. To make matters worse, Sanctuary drags their feet in accepting our aide. I have worked tirelessly to try to make this work. Months have gone by, with far too many nights where I collapse out of exhaustion as I keep seeking any logistical advantage to buy us time. But no matter how hard I work, Commander Liene won’t talk to me. So that’s a non-starter. We’re running out of time. Countless are dying needlessly. We have the resources, the technology and the research. But we simply don’t have the numbers.” The healers around them tended to the sick and wounded, the footfalls lead in the direction of their passing. She took in the ambience of her comrades, friends and family in such dire situations. All the while she sat taller within her chair after these moments of silence; which further accentuated the distance between them when she finally spoke. “Magister Frostwhisper. When I sent a response to your letter as acting leader of Borrowed Time, I wrote that now wasn’t the best time. Maybe I should have been a lot more clear.” She pointed in Cobrak’s direction; she didn’t even need look to know where his cot was. “Our current Boss is our priority. My people are my priority. When they’re recovered, then… Then we can talk.” “And if you would hear me out, Lady Arath’dorei,” Magister Frostwhisper gritted his teeth. He would not be stonewalled again, he would not be denied or dismissed. He had secured a retired Scryer tactical agent at great cost to himself for them. He had fought for them. He had faced death for them. He had Made his shot, he refused to throw it away. He was determined to save all of Azeroth, no matter what it cost him. “You would take note that I mentioned offering aide in reconstruction efforts to make sure your people come out on top of this. I can direct this to happen, I can lend support in your time of need. We are not asking you to wade into war Tomorrow. That would be both immoral and tactically unsound.” Before her very eyes, it seemed Vathelan Frostwhisper had underwent a change. He claimed he was not a hero, and yet the lengths the Magister showed he would go for the sake of his beliefs reveal themselves to her. Her mind wandered back to one of their early conversations. In stunned disbelief, she smiled. “I understand.” She bridged the distance between them with her taking hold of his shoulder, scrunching the elegant but tattered fabric of his robe turned cloak. At her touch, the iced demeanor of her friend melted once more. She felt as if she understood him much better now. “Listen, Vath. I’m not saying no to what you’re proposing, but I do have to decline your offer for assistance right now. The company needs to start believing in themselves again. We’ve got too many outsiders here as it is; I’ve had concerns brought to my attention already. It’s bad for morale, to have more strange hands trying to prop us up.” “...What if it came from one of your own?” After a pause he shot back. “I am not looking for favors. I don’t care for any sort of esteem. I gave up on that, in what seems like a lifetime ago.” “Well,” she quirked a corner of her moth, releasing him to fold her arms along the chair back once more. “That’s a bit different, isn’t it? I’m open to whatever you have in--” The conversation was cut short as the Orcess stirred once more. “Vath, look, we’ll take later, just---” the chair clatters to the floor as she clambers out of it, nearly leaping for the cot. “In my office, later,” a hasty assurance, “Just- Shokk…” “I--” As always the Orcess shattered all he worked for. The moment, their planning… gone. He was forced to watch as his first friend in his life, someone he had been willing to go to war for, clung to someone who had tried to kill him on multiple occasions. And like still wanted to. He felt as if his head had leapt from his chest and shattered itself upon the floor. "...Of course." Be barely managed to mumble as he was dismissed, feeling cast aside. He stood, his body felt numb. And he slunk his way out of the infirmary, defeated-- helpless as he heard the women in their reunion behind him.
  5. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper would finally wake, though he gave no signs of doing so. He had no notion as to how much time had passed. But what did it matter anyways? He remained curled up in the bed, unwilling to face the day and results of his failures. Kirital knocked out of habit before letting himself in the room. On the night stand he sets a tray with a biscuit, three sausages, a ham/cheese/pepper omelette, two halves of cantaloupe, and some jam. "So these are the extras from my meal. I dunno exactly what you like and it's really missing grits, but, hey," Kirital looked at the magister expecting some sign of life. When none showed, he shook Vath's shoulder gently, but with a firm grip. "Hey. Food?" The Magister was clearly awake, but doesn't particularly respond. Through his mind he reviewed what he could have done better, how he could have prepared more wisely, and scolded himself constantly for each mistake. If he couldn't even protect his very capable heroes, then what was the point? How could he expect to save the world? He mumbled something before trying to curl himself into a ball even further. "What are you thinking?" Kirital sat on the end of the bed. He couldn't resist the sausage and took one to eat. Taking interest in Vathelan's thoughts, he hoped, could help him out of the metaphorical shell he seemed intent on curling into. "...I'm a fuckup." Vathelan murmured, not one for such language as he kept his back to his companion. He couldn't face anyone today. "All my heroes are now dead, thanks to my negligence." "I wouldn't be so quick to conclusions, Vathelan." Kirital's voice was quiet, similarly unusual coming from him. "We didn't think you could handle visiting the infirmary and you're not a fuck-up." He smiled softly at the Magister of questionable dress; brow creasing up in concern for the man. "Besides, your wall - " He sighed as a knock cut him off. As he stood into a brief stretch and grunt, the bed lifted back into its original height. "It worked. I know it did." He closed the door to the bedroom behind him then opened the front door to whomever knocked. Cat stood behind the door wearing an oversized man's shirt and a pair of old pants. Her hair looked damp from a recent shower, and her fading bruises had taken on a greenish color. On her shoulder was a white kitten. Her downcast expression was heightened by the dim glow of her eyes, who's once vibrant bright blue were so faded that they revealed the naturally dark colored eyes underneath. "...I heard you guys were staying here," she said weakly. "Is Vath okay?" Kirital leaned against the door frame and rests a hand on his hip. The sobriety of his eyes betrayed the jovial smile of his mouth. The battle taxed him, though his worry for Vathelan is evident. "He's recovering. I'm not sure how many large scale battles he's been in but...How's Dora?" "Uhm.. still sleeping, from what I last saw. She's in the infirmary. Her brother was with her." The kitten on her shoulder batted at Cat's pigtail, but was otherwise ignored. "I think she'll be okay," Cat suggested, her voice lower than usual. "They're taking good care of everyone." "Glad to hear it." He rested a hand on the side of Cat's arm. "And hey, I'll tell Vathelan. I don't know if he wants to see anyone just yet." The kitten suddenly saw its chance, and ran up Kirital's arm toward the half-elf's long hair. Cat raised her eyebrows in alarm and reached for her, but it was too late. The white ball of fluff disappeared underneath Kirital's ponytail. "Munchkin!" Kirital froze once the kitten begins exploring the expanse of his neck and upper back. The occasional twitch from the dagger-like claws threatened to unbalance him. "Excitable." He jerks at a nip on his ear. "Fella." He tried to snatch the kitten, succeeding only to be met with a face full of claws. "Gotcha-ahhhh!" All the while he is gentle with the tiny creature. Cat winced at the sight, reaching for Munchkin as swiftly as her grace (which was zero) allowed. Cat stumbled against Kirital instead, prompting Munchkin to leap from his back and make a run for Vathelan. The ungraceful attempt to retrieve the kitten nearly knocked them both over, though one might consider their her body on his somewhat scandalous. Kirital barked after the kitten, oblivious to it. "Hey! Don't wake Vathelan you fuzzball." As Catalinetta and Kirital fumbled in their attempts to catch the little furball, it took the opportunity to further explore. With little bounding paws it delved further into the temporary lodging, it’s snow white fur quickly disappearing from view as it turned the corner into the bedroom where the Magister refused to rise. With tiny claws the creature bounded and climbed the bed until it found itself beside the man and lay upon him. After a few moments, Vathelan’s hand would rise to greet the little creature, giving a gentle scratch behind the ears. Cat followed Kirital inside, unphased by the brief physical contact. The death knight seemed more or less concerned that Munchkin might bother Vathelan, but she seemed to be doing the opposite. She curled up somewhere between the magister's shoulder and chin to bury her head against the crook of his neck, seeking warmth. The Magister rhythmically stroked the tiny kitten’s head, other than that he remained laying bundled under the sheets. Kirital smiled at the disgruntled, blanket hidden Elf. "Cat's got some news for you, Vathelan. I'll be outside. Your food's getting cold." He exited the bedroom and leans against the wall just outside of it. Cat approached Vathelan carefully and sat down next to him on the bed. She put a gentle hand in his shoulder. "..s..sir? Are you.. are you okay?" The man mumbles something in response to Kirital’s announcement. The entirety of the man was hidden from view underneath the sheets. Though that was likely for the best. Before the battle had even started, the man had lost his usual luster. As the woman sat next to him, his motions of affection for the feline had not stopped—though his voice weakly spoke a single word through the cloth. “No.” Cat pet Vathelan as she might have pet the cat. Her voice wasn't as chipper as usual, though she seemed genuinely concerned for the magister. "..I know.. it was a bad day, sir.. but you really did good out there. With the wall. You saved those casters, a-and... only a f-f... f... few c-c... casual... casualties.." The death knight seemed to have a hard time saying the words. "..b-but.. m... most of us s..survived. All of K-kreyen's" The hand paused at the mention of the fate of the Arath’dorei family. For a moment nothing more happened; a hesitation. And then slowly the now greasy ebon hair of the Magister poked out of the bundle. Soon thereafter came his fel-stained eyes behind their glasses to peer up at the death knight beside him. His voice somehow more muffled than before as the sheets rested up against his lips. “…All of them?” Cat looked down toward Vathelan's face. She tried to smile reassuringly, but could only offer a nod. " hmm.. b-but... Ari.. Ari d-din't make it.. a-and.. and K... K... Kreyen lost a l..leg." The dark brows of the Magister knitted as he processed the news. And then he began to stir, much to the known chagrin of the poor fuzzy creature that had been resting on him. He murmured an apology to the kitten before fully sitting up, still wrapped in the sheets. “I… see.” Kirital stood in the doorway now, leaning against the frame with his arms folded. A light hearted smile met Vathelan as he watches and listens. "Morning, blanket slug." Cat reached for Munchkin and held the sleepy kitten to her chest before standing up from the bed. "I was gonna go back to the inf.. infirmary.. some of them are th-there." Moving away from the bed, she finally gave the best smile that she could to Kirital and pat his shoulder. "Take care of him. I'll be around." The Magister moved to stand, the sheet giving way to fully reveal his face. His lips were chapped from dehydration, his lip split and his face covered in grime from the night before. Other than that, he seemed to have gotten off—quite well, considering the reports of the death of one and the loss of limb of another. Both had done him wrong in spite of his goals, but he hadn’t wished them ill will. He started to move towards the door. “I’ll go too. I need to make sure.” The Sheet dragged with him as he made his way towards the door. Kirital remained in the doorway. "You may wanna reconsider your outfit." There is a smirk to him. "Also, I'd like for you to at least...something? You decimated your mana yesterday, which was inspiring granted, but I'm not moving till you down this sausage at least." He held a plate with two sausages and some biscuits in one hand and a glass of water in the other. “Hm?” He looked over at the mirror and saw how the sheets clung to him. With an ‘Oh Right.’ He takes off the sheets to reveal tattered robes from the chaos of the day before. “…This… won’t do. Not if I’m going to play the part of dignitary.” He ignored the comment about food. He still wasn't hungry. Kirital, at least, set the glass of water down in front of Vathelan with a pointed look as if to insist on consuming it. Retrieving the food from earlier he idly munched on some of it as he moved to the kitchen. "Whenever you're ready, then." The Magister looked over the robes, taking the glass of water gratefully. His head was starting to pound from from the lack of proper hydration. "Kirital," His voice only able to rise ever so slightly. "The robes or my undershirt? We did fight in a battle... do you think it appropriate I visit looking like this?" Kirital did his best to not giggle or laugh when he suggests going in his wrinkled and ripped attire. Folding his arms he rubbed his chin and thinks. "A friend of my brother and I conjured clothing sometimes. I'd say an undershirt if you don't have anything to go over it. It's kinda cold though, which is fine for..." Kirital got an idea. "Here." He took off his jacket and offered it to Vathelan. "Thankfully your build can fill this out a little, but I think it's more appropriate for you to be the more clothed one. I'm your bodyguard afterall, not a dignitary." He couldn’t keep a grin off his face. "Are you certain that this would not be perceived as... offensive? Not to have proof of my participation of this battle?" His brows furrowed as he takes the jacket. "We fought to defend them. Maybe we can use that as leverage?" "Leverage for what? You're visiting friends and making sure folks are all right. You don't need to prove anything." Kirital ran a hand through his hair to put it behind an ear. "Everyone knows that wall was yours and that it stopped that demon dead in its tracks." He found Vathelan's diplomatic sensibilities cute in this situation and smiled. "Besides. If something happened to you, I wouldn't be doing my job very well." "Kirital..." Vathelan gave a small frown. "Nothing is ever so simple or easy in my line of work. I... forgive me, I am new to this position. And sometimes I hate it. I am sure they have better diplomats. But I was sent." Kirital rubbed the back of his head and sighs a little. "That's just my two cents. I just...recommend checking up on people, you know?" Grappling this line of thinking took a moment. He really didn’t consider his actions and tried to see them from Vathelan's side. "Though I guess in the future maybe? Bringing up our involvement might seem like we're holding it over them and uh, I really don't think now's the time for that?" A slight embarrassment overcame him from speaking his mind about something not his specialty. His hand rested on the back of his neck as he blushed. "I... plan on giving them some time to recover. Lady Arath'dorei knows how to contact me. But it needs to be addressed." He looked back into the mirror with a frown. "I have wasted too much time on Sanctuary, we can't afford to waste more." Kirital felt rather disappointed to hear that. It's not his place to apologize for the guild or anything that's happened, but he could understand some of the frustrations that lingered afterwards. "Yeah there's a time and place for politics, but tact is equally as important. Who knows? Maybe if you're in need of help, helping here could be a way to get it. Favor for a favor, you know?" As he spoke he paced about the room, hands behind his head. The sleeveless shirt over his torso thankfully is well fitted. He regarded Vathelan for a moment in thought. “I’m not looking for Favors.” The Magister spoke as he still debated what sort of appearance he should provide for this encounter. He set the coat over his chest as he tries to picture what that would look like, and its implications. “I don’t understand why this is so hard for people to come to terms with. I want nothing more than to do my part to save the world, to fulfill my purpose in Lord-General Visca’s teachings. The Scryers have and are still developing the technology to give the world a fighting chance. We have been preparing for this day… for a long time. But we’re too few in number to stop the Legion ourselves.” He decides against it as he sets the coat down. They would respect him more if he showed his willingness to fight, he decided. The tattered robes would remain. “So we’re looking for an army. Someone we can trust to take the fight to the Legion with our backing and blessings. Someone we are sure will not become a threat to us or our mission later.” Kirital folded his jacket over an arm without a desire to put it back on. "I mean, it doesn't hurt to be courteous though. You can do both. Besides, it helps to have folks think they owe ya one. Sure helped me leverage my brother to do things for me." The thought brought up a few memories which bring out a laugh from him. Throughout the course of the conversation he had yet to make it feel like an argument. He enjoyed the discussion and, if anything, helped him understand Vathelan more. "I'll ask you more about the Lord-General later, if you'd like?" "He was... a great man." The Magister’s voice got quiet once more, his eyes averting themselves from his reflection. "I cannot express my shame in failing him... or his family." He looks back to his companion. "...Are you ready?" "Yup." Kirital is as he was during the battle. Tank-top, cloth bound waist and forearms, loose cloth pants, and heavy boots. His jacket stays draped over his arm. "I'll be right behind you."
  6. As the walls before them collapsed from a tremendous unseen show of power, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper felt so exposed as he saw the state of the port. He had heard the sounds of war descend upon them as the struggled played out, but to actually see it... His mouth felt dry as he swallowed a lungful of air. “Now, Vath! Put up the shield!” His dear friend and assistant Miss Cat shouted with her axe at the ready as she bravely charged into the battle. He nodded, trying to summon the courage to move. He was a pacifist, he had no place here in the middle of a warzone. His Half-elf companion at his side, too, was quick to react as a support beam knocked loose from the blast started to fall before them. He couldn’t even keep track at how fast the monk moved, deflecting the metal with a single kick before returning to his side. “Down here!!” Shouted Miss Cat as she created a ghastly rune upon the ground to keep the massive Demon Hunter at bay to buy them time. “...I do believe that is our queue.” Vathelan finally sprang into action as he forced a nervous smile. They’re doing their best, they deserve your own. His mind sharpened from all his training snapped into focus as the air around them began to chill. Drawing power from the spires of frost, those etched with the most powerful runes he knew and wards he could muster, he unleashed their potential with a single snap. Before they could seal away the outside world for as long as he could manage, he shouted to those brave defenders beyond. “I’ll hold it for as long as I can, I won’t let you down!” He felt pangs of regret as he sealed them away, fearing how many casualties he would hear of at the end of the battle as they grew more distant as he put more and more ice between him and the monster beyond this new wall. These were his orders, and he was not about to let these combined forces down. Not when so much was at stake. Determined, he channeled power to keep them steadfast as promised. “Summoners!” The ritual leader called to her group behind the Magister. She had come to some sort of realization. “Reverse the spell! Hurry, follow my lead!” Vathelan couldn’t spare the focus to look behind him to see what had changed her mind, but he didn’t need to in order to understand that they had complied. Magically sensitive as his race was, he could feel it. No longer was the spell meant to drain, but instead a vortex of energy sprouted. And this certainly got the Demon Hunter’s attention. For even beyond the wall his roars could be heard. The first blow landed upon the barrier, the magics within the ice lighting up as they absorbed the brunt of the attack. Lazhio’s strength was impressive, and it worried Vath on how long they could last. Muffled shouting could still be heard through the ice, as well as what sounded like gunfire. Vathelan’s imagination ran rampant of what violence had to be occuring beyond, it made him want to hurl. But such thoughts would last long as another mighty strike landed upon the frostwall. Still the wards held strong. But the assault continued. Three, four down the line with force that rivaled the brunt of siege engine finally began to overwhelm his enchantments-- a couple of reinforcement runes burning out. To keep the wall standing defiantly against its attacker, the Magister was rapidly expending his mana reserves. This isn’t sustainable. He gritted his teeth as he ran through solutions in his mind. Limited resources rapidly depleting… Only ten minutes worth at this rate, if I’m lucky...Frost will not last against another blast of flame… All his lines of thought lead him to once single, unpleasant and horribly dangerous potential answer to this riddle. He hated to put it in practice, but he saw no other option. His eyes shifted towards his companion. “...Kirital… do you… have… a knife?” “No. I’ve got my hands and feet. Why?” “...Not sure… how long… hold…” He spoke through labored breaths. Another blow against the wall drove home the strain he was putting himself under. He didn’t have the time, energy or desire to explain his plan. He doubted that the Half-elf would agree with this plan, even in the middle of a warzone. “...I… ugh… Have… an idea… Need… something… Sharp.” It was a blessing, then, that Kirital did not argue or question the need for such. Instead he searched the area of ruin until he found a splintered piece of metal with a dull enough area to act as a handle. It looked to be shrapnel from one of the destroyed Copters. “Will this work?” It was not ideal, but neither as this plan of his. His free hand gripped at the makeshift implement. This was the price of his poor planning, his priorities being that of scrolls to evacuate in spite of being told they wouldn’t be used rather than managems to keep him going. “...That’ll do…” His jaw clenched as he winced at what he was planning as his fingers wrapped around the dull side. He positioned the sharper edge behind the back of the hand that continued to pump the last of his reserves into the wall. He hated blood, and yet here he was trying to talk himself into employing the darkest and most powerful magics he theortically knew. Time is running out. We need more power. This is the only way. “Vath, what are you thinking?” Had Kirital been tipped off? Or were the ever increasing sounds of battle starting to alarm him instead? “Because, honestly, once that wall goes down; I’m gonna grab you and get the hell back.” This was going to hurt. Pain is a sacrifice worth making to gain these allies. Not just the stabbing, but what was to come afterwards. Others offer up their lives. His fel-green eyes stared at the shard through his glasses. For Dora. His hand trembled. For the Sin’dorei. He prepped for the agony that was to come, taking rapid breaths. For Azeroth! Nearly hyperventilating he drew the shard back, his stomach churned from the dark energies he started to summon. This was it! He would become the hero they needed! He steadied his nerves enough as he imagined the transmutation of the ice in front of him into something greater as he forced a confident smile for his companion. “I’m sav--” This surge of courage was for naught as before he could even finish his sentence, the wall of ice exploded into little more than moisture and steam as the horrifying figure of the Lazhio burst through wreathed in flame. The force wrested the shard from Vathelan’s grip as he tried his hardest to simply remain standing. Before the Demonic entity could get his hands on the Magister, Kirital sprung into action as he swooped his charge within his arms and sprung out of harm’s reach. “Light…” Those that had been sealed outside to contend with this Demon Hunter were in quick pursuit. He was smaller than he had been when Vath last saw him, were they actually exhausting him? It also seemed that those beyond the frostwall had all survived so far. This would normally have heartened him, but despair was starting to take hold. “...Can we work with what’s here for what you wanted to do?” Kirital’s voice pulled him back to reality. The Magister looked up at the monk, the question slowly sinking in as he remained within the Half-elf’s arms. Vathelan shook his head as he scolded himself. “...I… no… i-it’s too late, he got through my barrier. My one duty. Even with-- Even with my research, I fear I wouldn’t be able to get it back up in time to make a difference.” He watched as these men and women, some he knew-- like his dear friend Miss Cat, or the stonewalling Commander Laine of Sanctuary-- others he didn’t, they all continued to fight with all their might. He didn’t deserve to be counted within their number. If they died here, it was his fault. “It was the last line of defense, I have failed them.” “Vathelan. Focus on what you can do. Right now.” Kirital spoke in a kind but urgent tone. He had refused to give up on him. Why? “Observe. Use your magic. Support your allies. Think, Vath. You’re good at that.” Miss Cat struck true into the Demon Hunter’s flesh, forcing him to give a pained howl as his bones began to shatter. The infection of the move started to claim his corrupted blood. They were still fighting. A tauren struck with divine light that formed spikes that erupted upon Lazhio’s skin. Why? Couldn’t they see how hopeless this was? Commander Laine barreled her shield into him, forcing him backwards where they could continue to hold him back for as long they needed. Was this the true face of heroism? “All casters… Push everything you have left into the stone!” The leader of the Ritual Team commanded. Vath’s eyes looked back at them for a moment, noting how the runic array of stones deteriorated before collapsing entirely as it formed a dark singularity in the midst of the pentagram. “What were you planning on doing? Tell me and I’ll help.” Kirital still tried to coax action out of the Magister. From behind Lazhio, as he reached out his his arm trying to draw magic from the singularity, the Gustblade and a woman that looked similar enough to be a relative fired into him. Vath felt so small in comparison to these brave soldiers. Miss Cat continued to hack at the monster’s spine, blood spraying everywhere upon her as her axe continued to feed. The raging Orcess that was allowed to torment him within Sanctuary’s halls let out a piercing scream as she severed his wing from his shoulder. “Something dangerous.” The blood was already starting to make the pacifist of a Magister, forcing him to avert his eyes lest he disgrace himself further than he already had. His exhaustion was obvious as he made eye contact with the monk as he confessed. “I’m… spent. There is another resource I could tap into. But… it’s a bit more… precious. And I don’t think I can cast fast enough to make the sacrifice worthwhile.” “All right.” Kirital clicked his tongue as he looked around. Thankfully not pushing for info as to what exactly the Magister meant. “That thing isn’t going down easy. Do you know their plan here? How can we help with that?” “Everyone! Get away from him!” The Tauren shouted as he caught on as to what the ritual was doing. “It… seems the plan has changed.” Vathelan shook his head. The dehydration was kicking in, the first clue being how his lips had grown dry and chapped. He rolled out of the monk’s arms and staggered in an attempt to stand. He could feel the magics of the ritual reaching a climax. “The battle… it’s drawing to a close. Whatever is going to happen next, it’s going to be soon.” Each of the five stones consumed by this ritual claimed an extremity of Lazhio’s form. Slowly it ripped him apart, unravelling him bit by bit as his ethereal soul was pulled into each of them. “F...Fools… I… was… y-our… sal...vation…” He howled in fury as he was forced a slow and terrible death, his voice a baleful cry that filled the entire base for several moments as those who remained alive from his siege upon Dragonroost Port witnessed his final moments until he was at long last silent. He had been slain, the battle was over. And they had won. Now they would have to pick up the pieces.
  7. At the designated time, Kirital comes out of his mediation and looks over to the bed, checking on Vathelan. It's takes a minute for his senses to catch up, but the brief rest leaves his mind sharper than ever. He hopes for the same with Vathelan. The Magister’s eyes snapped open. He took a deep breath as he took account on his location. Why was he in the bed? He murmured something about no time as he headed back towards the table of melting spires. "Hey, feel better?" Kirital gets to his feet with a hop to his step as he rests a hand between his shoulder blades. "I moved you to the bed, you've been out for about an hour and a half." "I've lost an hour and a half of work then." He starts creating another orb of water. "We're under siege tomorrow. We need to be prepared." Kirital sets out to make a fresh batch of tea. Being in the other room he raises his voice a little to be heard clearly. "You were rather fatigued. Unless there's a spell to keep you sharp and focused." He opts to let Vathelan's tea steep longer for added strength. Working through the night is the likeliest of outcomes and being Vathelan's assistant means he needs to keep the magister productive. “I can rest when I—” Vathelan Frostwhisper paused at the Half-elf’s words. A spell that would make him sharper, more focused. “…Actually…” He froze the orb and left it on the table as he marched towards his satchel. Please let me have those notes on me…. Kirital gets a bad feeling in his gut. While the tea steeps he moves to the make-shift study to see what grabbed Vathelan's attention. Seeing the man rummage through the backpack, Kirital asks, "Struck by an idea? Anything I can help you find?" “As I have stated, before I was assigned to investigate Lord Cerryan and Sanctuary, I was part of our Research and Development Department.” The Magister starts rummaging through his satchel. “I never did fully give up my love for such. Anyways, when I still had some off time—where we weren’t being invaded by the threat of the Legion, I was trying to develop something on my off time in order to aid other projects.” He shifted away his Glass Scroll in favor of a notebook. “I was researching something… impressive, to say the least. And I may be able to alter it to fit our current needs.” Kirital laughs at Vathelan's display of enthusiasm. It's a quality he likes about the man. "Oh? Tell me about it while I go grab our drinks." Taking the old mugs, Kirital returns to the kitchen. The guestroom is open with only a few doors separating rooms. “I’m afraid I cannot discuss the details in too much length. Needless to say, however, that as a group dedicated to the Defense and Preservation of the Sin’dorei—a dying race—we have multiple projects in the works at any given time. Some are quality of life in order to improve the lives of our people, others are innovations in hopes that we can continue to have a cutting edge against others and to open pathways to new ideas for a brighter tomorrow. Others are… well, are designed with a much more Defensive notion in mind.” He grabs the notebook and starts heading back to the table. “We have created a wondrous creation that could revolutionize the Golem technology; I was trying to find a way to do so in a more cost effective way in order to ensure it was viable so that it could be utilized in future endeavors.” The Magister opened the notebook as if searching for something. “…I haven’t perfected the spell as of yet, however. There are always… complications.” "Oh. I thought you meant a spell for keeping yourself awake and sharp." He brings Vathelan a strong tea while sipping his own. "At any rate, let me know what I can do to help out? I'll be doing my own preparations in the meantime." “I am saying that I can use this spell, if I can find it, and augment it to enhance my mental capacities beyond my usual standard. I intended to work out the kinks and submit this spell so that it could be used to make smarter equipment.” He paused at a page before going back to his satchel, pulling out specialized paper, a mechanical quill and a few vials of ink. “It could save lives, revolutionize well… Everything. If it works, I could bolster both my magical abilities and thought processes.” He finally takes the mug and starts to drink from it. Kirital removes his tunic and tosses a flat pillow onto the floor. Moving some of the furniture to open the space, he stands in the center if it. "What happens when the spell wears off, though?" He begins to go through various poses and stretches, occupying the majority of their conversation. “Ideally?” The Magister looks over his notes, his tone obviously one of speculation. “One of two scenarios: The spell proves to have a lasting effect and I retain some partial benefits to it thanks to how it has opened new lines of thought; OR the spell simply wears off and we simply reap the benefits of that short timeframe it works. We can save Dora, we can save Borrowed Time, and then we can save the world.” Kirital is doing something upside-down now with his arms supporting most of his weight. "So there's no...lack of energy or feedback? Would someone so accelerated need food to compensate?" A thought comes to him. "Or does," he grunts as only one arm supports him now, "The magic carry the load?" “I’ve not tried it on anything organic before.” He admits as he reviews the notes. His jaw sets as he debates whether he should go into details on the experiments he Had performed. Seeing the hesitance, Kirital whirls on a palm and lands on a foot, keeping atop the flat pillow. The angle shifts his center of gravity forward, putting strain on his legs and lower back. He holds the taxing position. "Well, from what I do know, you don't get things for free." A quick huff of a laugh escapes his steady breathing. "This research of yours, is it personal or under the Scryers?" “Both… I guess?” He thinks on how to explain it. “It’s a personal project of mine, in hopes that I could submit it when I was sure it was safe and worthy of use in hopes that it could be used to save lives. It started from the inspiration I gathered from arguably one of our most impressive creations—though it was so costly, we cannot make them on any sort of massive scale as it is. And it’s not as… efficient as it could be. So I started… This. The biggest problem I have stumbled upon is it both has to ramp up, and then it—um—decays over time, I think it’s a quirk in the amount of mana required to make and sustain something that can actually think. As the power source diminishes… well, the spell begins to fail. In unpredictable ways.” "Does it need t'always be on?" The honest question comes with a slight drawl to his voice. It doesn't sound out of place, but hasn't come from him before. "When I'm training, I take frequent breaks to recharge. Helps performance." That last word had a devious grin to accentuate it. He stops his stretching and light exercise to bind his hair back and grab some water. "Like now. One minute and I'm going to get back to it." “I am afraid I am not entirely sure I understand the question.” Vathelan wiped away the moisture from the melting ice as best as he could with his sleeve, also pushing the remaining chunks and shards onto the ground. Normally he would be more concerned with the cleanliness in the area—but it being clean wouldn’t matter soon, especially if they were dead or failed their mission here. “I should be able to function without the effects, it putting me into a vegetative state is… unlikely, if that is what you are asking? If you are asking if I can suspend the spell while it is active; then the answer is no. Once active it will stay so—and dispelling it and recasting it is not only inefficient as the spell… grows in power as the mind continues to expand, it adds its own problems.” "Seems it's on a larger scale that I thought." Kirital drinks a few more sips of water. "I was thinking something more mild, like how you feel during exercise or when you're riding a high." The topic has gone out of his expertise, but, he can find some ways to relate. "But given these risks, I don't feel it's worth it unless you can dumb it down a little?" “Dumbing it down would defeat the purpose.” The Magister shook his head. “With this increasing edge, I could make everything click into place. I could craft the guardian, I could… remove my inhibitions for the violence we are going to require today. I could… no longer be helpless. I could save those we are here for. We could win this, and then we could prepare against the greater threat.” He takes a sigh as he looks over the notes. “…I just need to be brave enough to take these risks…” "Or." Kirital pauses his stretch and resumes a normal posture. "You can be really brave and not take the easy way out.I don't believe in an easy fix. Nothing is easy, especially this." He drinks a bit more water. A towel slings over his shoulder as he watches the man sift through his notes."If the original spell is meant for an inanimate object, and not something alive, maybe a weaker version is best? A boost is a boost. Why crank it past eleven when a notch at three or four would do?" “This has been years of research, I would Hardly call it an easy fix or way out.” His voice got terse in defense. His hands grasped at the specialized parchment paper. “With the world on the brink of total annihilation, we have to worry about what Works. Not philosophical debates. Idealistic minds may very well be the death of us, we cannot afford inaction.” He takes another drink of his tea before giving a sigh, his voice softening again. “…But, perhaps I should place more trust in our friend and her company. A radical experiment may not be required, and may cost us more in the long run… for now.” Kirital sighs, more in relief. "That's what I was getting at. I want you in top condition for the upcoming battle since you're going to participate and saw this as... an unnecessary risk, considering all the good you've done so far." A smile returns to him as does a light hearted tone. "I'm your assistant slash bodyguard, afterall." Approaching Vathelan, he extends his hand. "And friend above that." The Magister took the Half-elf’s hand, though did not return the smile. Instead there was a certain determination beyond his glasses. “…This is only the beginning, Kirital.” "Do what you need to do on the battlefield, Vathelan. I'll support you." His grip tightens as he keeps his nerves from it. Bringing attention to tomorrow's battle refreshes his energy and brings a wide grin to him. "Now, while you make your preparations, I'll be doing mine." Stepping away, Kirital resumes his stretching, though an Amery is felt within the room. At the center of it, Kirital focuses and draws it in. The aura subsides as he goes through his martial motions.
  8. Within the guestroom that Magister Frostwhisper and his half-elf entourage had been assigned to until the conflict was resolved, Vathlean was hard at work at the table he turned into a makeshift desk for his preparations. Preparations for war, from a pacifist. The irony and developing pattern were not lost on him. First he intervened in the conflict with Karthok, which wasn’t his fight. Now he practically begged to be here in the middle of a warzone in order to protect someone close to him. But he was not built for this. His nerves were getting to him. Anyone who saw him or his workstation would be able to see it. Dark rings started to form under his eyes, his robes had lost the pristine creases that usually were ever-present—forcing the entire ensemble to look flat, his hair was disheveled. Surrounding him were disfigured spires and partial spheres of ice. In between his hands a basketball sized orb of water whirled as it floated in the air, suspended between his hands. “Come on…” He growled in exhausted frustration as he gritted his teeth, his eyes locked upon the ball. The orb wobbled. Vathelan’s eyes remained focused on it. The perfection of the shape began to wane. The Magister’s thumbs pressed into the air like one would clay. The Orb started to indent. A small smile crept upon the exhausted man’s face. And then frost began to form within his misshaped globe. “…No… Don’t do—” The Orb turned into solid ice. “…That.” His teeth grinded against each other. He felt the frustration rise in him once again, boiling to an anger as he threw the globe back upon the ground. “NOT AGAIN!” He balled up his fists and set his forehead to the table giving an aggravated sigh. A soft knock comes from the door frame. Kirital stands within it. He lacks his jacket and instead wears a sleeveless shirt and slack pants bound at the waist with cloth. He is barefoot and his knuckles look raw. Held in a large hand are two mugs, a pleasant scent coming from both of tea. A disarming smile softens the edges of his face. He tries to not interfere with Vathelan's concentration knowing how devoted he is to helping Dora. The magisters frustration, however, is louder and more concerning as of late. Kirital fears the man is slipping and is certain he needs to relax. The tea, he feels, should act as an icebreaker. "Please tell me you've slept?" Kirital's even baritone voice dips to concern as he approaches one side of the desk. Vathelan slowly straightened his posture once more, his weary eyes looking back to his friend as he released his breath in speech, “…Yesterday. We’re too short on time, too much riding on the outcome.” Kirital pulls up a chair; its back facing Vathelan. Straddling it, he folds his arms atop the back and hunches forward a little to rest his chin in an upraised palm. His stubble is unkempt and just on the verge of becoming a fiery beard to match his hair. "So what have you managed to do since yesterday?" He looks to Vathelan's work. Its sprawling across the table and is disheveled enough to deepen Kirital's concern. "The Scrolls are done." He doesn't elaborate. This doesn't explain the ice all around him either. "We just need to get her to agree to use one if things get too out of hand." Kirital races out to grip Vathelan's shoulder to give a reassuring squeeze. "Preparations are going well then. What is it you're working on now?" Keeping the conversation light while focusing on his task at hand might help refocus the man and relax him. His grip is strong and warm. Kneading his fingers through Vathelan's tired shoulder works out its tension. "With the ice?" "Protection." Vathelan sounds weary. "Dor--Lady Arath'dorei can't fall. We need her alive." He tries to look at this objectively and professionally. Emotions made people sloppy. Scooting closer, Kirital sees full well how exhausted Vathelan is. "And what are you stuck on?" He asks. The question is innocent, as is the second hand moving to Vathelan's other shoulder to mimic the motions of the other. Nearby, on a spot left free of tomes and papers and ink, their tea cools. The soothing mint scent replaces the dry, musty parchment and adds a sense of welcome to this nook of the guest room. "Making a guardian." Vathelan was usually a man of a certain flourish in the way he spoke, kept it short in his frustration as he tried to look away from his failures in digest. The problem is the reminder was all around him. Kirital notes the hateful glances toward the ice and magic around them. He sighs and stands, positioning behind Vathelan. "Would you say no to a break? Thirty minutes is enough for a reset, but, no one will blame you for taking a nap." Continuing to massage the man's shoulders, Kirital applies more pressure. Occasionally he finds a knot in Vathelan's upper back and, when pressed, would pinch sharply at first. As the maneuver continues, the pinch fades to a warm burn, a good burn, one of soothing and rest. "How many days until the siege?" Kirital's voice remains calm, breathing rhythmic and slow. Even the tempo to his speech is soft to the senses. It's as if these subtleties coerce Vathelan into a relaxed state without directly asking him to do so. The topic of conversation serves to distract while everything else, hopefully, helps slip him into slumber. Kirital glances to the clock and times his actions. There is a delicacy to this and, if unsuccessful, has a chance to backfire. Should Vathelan slump or snooze, he'll need to keep track of the time otherwise the magister would be rather groggy after being woken up. “Can’t nap. Too much to do…” He tries to protest, a yawn escapes in spite of himself. “…We have to protect her, Kirital. If… Dora…” He loses his focus, the world drifts away for a moment. “…Dora… needs to live…” Another lull, stronger than the first. “…She’s the reason we’re here… If she dies, we lose everything…” His body starts to slump over on the table. With his last breaths of consciousness he makes one more protest. “…She’s our… in… we need… to… save….” Kirital smiles when Vathelan slips off into sleep. Glancing at the clock, he wonders how long he should let this nap be. Gently, he frees him from the chair to carry him in his arms. He doesn't tuck him into the bed, instead laying Vathelan atop the comforter and making sure no bumps or wrinkles disturb the rest. Within a nearby chair he sits and relaxes. Ninety minutes for this one, he concludes.
  9. The knock threatens to teeter the bulk of her thoughts off their railing. She goes through the rigmarole of standing for a new guest, calling out a clear "Enter!" Kirital slips in. He figured they were in discussion, so his body language reflects a quiet respectfulness. Offering Dora a quick smile, he slips to the wall just beside the door; hands moving behind his lower back. Like before he wears a dense cloth jacket lined with a short fur for cold, slack pants bound with cloth at his waist and ankles, and heavy boots layered with dense disks of metal. Oh right...well, shoot, she's going to have to remember this guy's name eventually. The bodyguard that shadows Vathelan for reasons that Dora doesn't have knowledge about...and she's starting to worry that she really ought to have looked into that before hand. Too late now. She gives the male a nod of acknowledgement and a smile of similar briefness before she sits back down again, her posture changed into a rigidity that makes her back ache. "Weeell," she drawls, drumming a beat, "think of him like a felhunter. Any spellcasters are fair game. According to old mission logs on him, he can only possess bodies that are heavily tainted by fel...the body he's using now...I really don't know how he managed to reconstruct it, but it's a close approximation of his original if the testaments from retired Rough Raiders are anything to go by." The Magister looked back at his bodyguard with a small nod before turning his attention back to the task at hand. “I see. And we are assuming he will strike here? What does he have to gain from such? Is it revenge? All this preparation for one Demon Hunter…” "Not just any demon hunter...if it was that simple, well," she shrugs. "I mentioned before that he has a history of working with Scryers who defected to his cause. Artifacts in exchange for power." A twist of a frown, a shift of her shoulder blades like a predator cat out in the Barrens that makes the gilded piping of her military-style jacket shimmer. "He knows how to network and build a following. He's got two other known enemies on his side with incredible shadow powers. Like," she barks a short laugh, "like, they both outclass my mom in Void control and she's no slouch. Besides that...we have a plan. He wants these stones we have, that the Rough Raiders used to create a pocket dimension where they trapped him initially." She pauses, the windows of her stare darkening like the shadow of a bird across a dusty plain, there and gone. "So we want to lure him close enough to activate the stones again. We won't have the element of surprise on our side, but we have strategies for dealing with his army and his techniques. When we start the ritual, he'll sense it and he won't be able to resist." “So, you are essentially trying to lure him into a trap.” The Magister looked over the report. Defecting Scryers. He could use this to gain Borrowed Time more favor from his organization after the battle was won. “You’re sending my Agent to lead your air force. And I am sure that you will brief him further later. What of your other forces? Are you well supplied, are you in need of anything I can acquire for you?” From the conversation, Kirital attempts to catch up. It seems they're planning to counter a foe of strength...with powerful allies...and who they plan to trap instead of defeat. A look of concern turns toward Vath; brow turning outward until he steels himself against his wandering mind. Vathelan is no combatant. Besides that's what Kirital is for. Through Dora's explanation, he moves his focus onto her and listens. She seems tense, though confident. It brings a subtle smirk of interest to his stubbly face. "We've got help pouring in on all fronts!" There's a little bit of that cheer in Dora that bears the marks of authentic if a bit worn down. It's too difficult for her to stay down for very long, goes against what comes naturally to her so she doesn't fight the sudden tide of good humor. "Honestly, it's been kind of a windfall of support from unexpected places, all of them vetted. We've got ships in the dock, we've got people diggin trenches, we've got out weapons specialist working on landmines, the tanks. Fel!" she grins, eyes going crescent with her mirth, "I've got my cousin up in the zeppelin tower working on a damn canon that oughta put a sizable dent in anything Lazhio tries to bring to the table." In her excitement, she brandishes a copy of the map that details their plans, with red markings of adjustments in the margins. She points to the square marking the command center, hovering over the map while her long ebon hair slips off her shoulders, messy and wild. "We have shamans who can detect underground tremors in case of tunneling. We have ballistas set up along the eastern and southern facing walls," her finger drags a line down, "and that's not accounting for the mines placed here, or the oil that will be set aflame by our rangers." Kirital gets to his tip toes and peers to the map from the wall. It seems rather complex and there are a lot of lines and words. Instead he returns to ogling Vathelan's back view with a subtle once over. If Vathelan resolves to be here for this intense siege, he'll kick the shit out of whatever tries to attack him. The hunter in Dora reacts to the movement in her peripheral; she notices the half-elf in his less than discreet attempt at satiating his curiosity. She'd be doing the exact same thing in his position. She shoots off a look towards him, that same enthusiastic and artless grin tossed in his direction like a bomb. She's pure energy in her element, explosive like the weapons she enjoys tinkering on in her spare time. It's like sharing a secret, a little understanding between him and her, before she returns her attention to the map. Kirital grins. He had a feeling Dora was into him. That look confirms it to him. He makes a mental note to ask her to go clubbing in the Dalaran nightlife and maybe bring Vathelan along. It'll be a celebration. Resting against the wall, he lets himself daydream a moment. “Your tactician seems to have done an adequate enough job devising a solid plan of defense, save potentially warding the area to ensure that the enemy cannot simply teleport within.” Despite his studious tone, her usual liveliness is infectious. He cannot help but smile at how her excitement bubbles to the surface. “I am willing to lend my aid there if you so wish, and while I am not normally a combatant—I can provide support in terms of altering the flow of battle in our favor, or I can lend my prowess in keeping up the barrier if you would have me at either station. Unless you have something else in mind?” Vathelan's offer sobers Kirital and his wandering mind. He approaches the table and stands behind Vathelan with crossed arms and a raised brow at the man. "It's not outlined here," she confides, "but we do have plans for an arcane barrier. Those magic users who can use light will be fighting against what are basically sha-puppets..." the movement gives her pause. Vathelan stands in the shadow of what Dora realizes is a giant of a half-elf. He might actually be the same size as Nokh, managing to loom in their space and her just shy of meeting his eyes. He might have had an inch on her, she'd have to guess. She gives his size a notice, a mental 'huh' before she continues on. "I can put you on the team with the'd be closest to the inner circle where we're protecting the stones, but arguably that would be the safest place in the base." “If you think my talents would be best suited there, then so be it.” He has his suspicions, but he doesn’t verbalize them. He understood the value of such a position tactically, and if she sought to protect him… he would have to take that as a good sign. “Where will you be?” "Erm," she verbalizes, internally wincing while she keeps her eyes down, pinned to the map. "I'll be with the rest of the ranged fighters and fall back after they breach the wall." "Where Vathelan goes, I'll be there as well." Kirital adds. Looking over Dora, he smiles, demeanor turning friendly and a little scrutinizing. It's almost as if he sizes her up in the least offensive way. "Should I get with you to see where I fit in? Vathelan is my priority, but that doesn't mean I can't help defend others nearby." The Magister’s lips thin as the briefing declared her positioning. His frosty gaze glared within the woman’s scalp. He looked about to protest at any moment. His brows knitting at his bodyguard’s declaration next. He obviously wasn’t pleased, and yet he said nothing at current. What he sees is what he gets, that much is obvious just looking at her. If imagined lined up against other elven women considered typical in stature and grace, they'd probably try to gently direct her out and maybe hang up her femininity card as she left. She had the height that made her tower over most of her gender and race, and a thicker build beneath the jacket and trousers. Feminine demure was traded for the sort of free-spirited will of a younger mind who really just cared about what was practical. She was freshly scrubbed, at least, but bare-faced and curious. She considered the man and his question, rubbing thoughtfully at her chin. "Honestly," she starts, head canted, "I'd just like to know why Vathelan has a bodyguard in the first place. I don't wanna compromise your job, but I am wondering." Kirital's grin turns toothy. He's clearly proud of the position. "Sure yeah! We can go over that and Vathelan's body over drinks." He soon catches what he said and attempts to recover despite a small blush. "Ah, why I'm assigned to be his body guard, that is." “It’s a bit comple—” The Magister had finally spoken up, his frigid concern had not yet thawed in this distraction. And then he heard that slip up and froze in place, his eyes slowly looking back up at the half-elf, before looking back at the woman before him. The correction did nothing to stop his flustering however, as a red hue slowly began to emanate upon the man in glasses. There is a titan of a male blushing in front of her. What he'd said had caught her notice, but she wasn't going to give it much thought; at least until Vathelan cut himself off and his discomfort radiated off of him in a deep blush across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose. She runs the words in her head again, niggling loose the meaning, and hates that she feels her own face go hot when she isn't even sure why they are blushing (though she's got ideas, but they're distracting from the point!). Her hands splay flat across her desk, with her stare roving from Kirital to Vathelan. "I'd- uh. Rather just hear it now." "I'm a uh," Kirital clears his throat and slides a step away from Vathelan, similarly drifting his gaze to the far wall. "A member of Sanctuary charged with stopping threats to Vathelan's person." He shrugs. "Simple as that, really." He gives a somewhat desperate look to Vathelan to extrapolate, and hides it behind a smile. "Who?" Dora is forced to ask, concerned, her focus on Vathelan. “There have been… incidents, which were left unchecked. Some of the leadership thought this acceptable; others did not and understood the risk it posed to my delicate work in negotiations.” "That's not the answer to my question," Dora frowns. "You know her quite well, and I loathe the thought of being a wedge between your friendship." Kirital nods during Vathelan's explanation. Clearly the Magister is better at describing delicate situations. Once the conversation continues he stops. "I dunno. Haven't had any incidents, really." He arcs a brow toward Vathelan. Really he is oblivious to what harm merited Baern's order to bodyguard the mage. The truth hits her with enough force to make her groan. She scrubs at her face, her reluctant little smile peeking from behind the gaps of her fingers. "Well," she sighs, laughter hiding in her eyes as she glances between them both, "yeah, I can see why you need a bodyguard. That's an entire set of problems I'd like to address later, when we're not dealing with a magic-sucking maniac." "Shall we add it to the list of things we need to discuss after this scenario?" "Yeah I can cover the first round but you're on your own after that." Kirital teased, or at least that was how Vathelan took it. Her stomach freefalls, the gently amused curve of her lips wiped clean. There's too much in the unspoken to pick apart. When she tries to catch murmurs of a conversation in the dark, she hears her own voice but not his. Apologies and backpedaling. Clarification; a small perk that laid at the end of the unknown. "Sure," she offers, straightening. The buttons of her coat gleam in the light. “I didn’t mean…” The Magister gave a small sigh, he seems slightly flustered. “We have much to discuss when this is over. I have hope that the majority of it will prove quite pleasant.” He manages to calm his fussing to give her a small smile. “…All we need do is survive.” Dora probably does this to spite herself. It's her playing cards against her brother all over again, revealing her hand just by breathing or something. She lacks the ability to hide, to disguise. She feels like the air blares loud with the undercurrent of their conversation. Vathelan was going to read it just like Eiverlyn could read a person's history just by analyzing their clothes. Unable to stop herself, her stare flickers to Kirital. Was it written all over her face, the uncertainty? She takes up the map, a safe port in a storm. "We've got good odds. Surviving, I mean." “Indeed.” The Magister gives a small nod, it was uncertain if he could see through her weak façade or not. “Thank you for your time, Lady Arath’dorei.” He moves to stand up from his chair. His eyes looked over his dear first friend. “We’ll get through this. Together. And… perhaps we can have our discussions over dinner?” "I'm starving." Kirital laughs. Overall he seems to not own a care in the world, or at least doesn't let such bother him. There is a disarming quality that hangs about him as loosely as his attire. "So I'm game for anything." He does take a few steps back as his input ends. Just like that, the bubble of tension breaks. Unconsciously, she aims a half grin Kirital's way. "Well, you're free to have dinner in the mess hall if you want. We've got a pretty decent chef...and yeah," she meets Vathelan's eyes, easy confidence returned to her. "Dinner after the battle is fine too." Vathelan held the door open for the bodyguard, his eyes glancing back at his first and dear friend. The smile started warm, encouraging as she regained her confidence. “Thank you, Lady Arath’dorei.” The gaze lingered for a moment, the smile faded before contact was completely broken. He shut the door behind him and his companion without a word further.
  10. In his own preparations for the battle to come, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper had kept finding himself at a loss any time the Captain asked for an explanation of the details of the job not listed in the contract—when he wasn’t leaving at the bar to get drunk on the Magister’s silver, of course. Not liking having a decidedly lacking understanding of the situation, he had decided it prudent to return to the office. Each step had him questioning his preparations. Should he bring flowers? Too forward. This was work, after all. And Dora had too much on her plate as it was—the whole reason he decided against actually getting an answer or saying the words. His hands hovered at the door of the office. He took a deep breath, only exhaling as he finally announced his presence. How many more adjustments did this plan need? How many more hands volunteered for the sake of a fight that counted on so many factors outside of their control? Earlier, opportunities ran abundant out of the mouths of those in attendance at the meetings. Now that they put those plans into action, she kept running into new logistic problems. Most tedious part; the part she liked dealing with the least. She skimmed the end of her quill across her mouth, the feathery end chewed while she came up with what she was going to do for Cat in thanks for all of her assistance. Shokkra too. Cat fought for Kreyen, Shokkra for her best friend. Julilee for her support in everything, reliable even at all-time lows. Though they all bent their heads to their tasks for different reasons, they all bore the same banner and it made Dora speculate on just how much Sanctuary aided them now without question. Not because they were Sanctuary and allies...or maybe the term 'ally' meant more than it ever had before.... With the startle from the knock, she ends up with the feather end of the quill tip up one nostril. She sets it aside, brings her wrist to her nose to stop her sneeze, and beckons them with a muffled "Come in!" After hearing her invitation, the young Magister gently opened the door and saw himself in with a warm smile. “Good evening, Lady Arath’dorei. How does the planning fare?” She peers past a sea of parchment, catches sight of Vathelan. The sincere if tired half-smile reaches her eyes, just partially hidden under a heavy black fringe that always seemed to need cutting. She stands, throws a hand in the direction of one of the chairs in front of the desk. "It's a little fiddly," she admits, "but promising at least." “I could help, if you would allow it?” He seems slightly better rested than the woman before him. Though the robe he was in was less pristine than she had ever seen, save perhaps the end of their little hunting trip almost a year ago. “My specialties tend to be catching and managing the little details so that heroes such are yourself can worry about the bigger picture. You slay the dragon, I figure out how to make sure your men don’t go hungry during the venture.” "You're restless," she decides, a dimple deepening as her smile hitches up further. If Dora Arath'dorei carried the confidence to claim any sort of expertise in anything at all, restlessness ranked at the top of the list. She knew the signs. “I am worried.” He corrects, his eyes looking pointedly in direction and at all the paperwork. He sat down before her, gently moving to try to smooth out the wrinkles in his uniform as he did so. And then he eased his demeanor, back to a more familiar than the professional as he teased. “Do not tell me you were so quick to forget our conversation?” Their last conversation; it's like staring into a dense fog in her own head where glimpses reveal themselves of their own accord, never to her satisfaction or to complete the picture. Vague notions, an awful lot of confusion. Her bottom lip attempts to roll back for her teeth to chew, but she manages to refrain. "You can be worried and restless," Dora counters, sitting when he does. "I learned that those two tend to go hand in hand." She looks like she might tip out of her chair, perched on the very edge, but her feet are solidly beneath her. “I suppose it is difficult to get adequate rest when there is a threat of certain doom, or when your employee deems to claim the bed within the guestroom as his own.” The playful smirk continued to grow for a moment before it settled back down into his professional side threatened to overcome him once more. “Lady Arath’dorei… I know the eagerness to spill oneself into their work, the fear that someone else may get it wrong. But I am here. For you. Please do not hesitate to utilize my talents.” "I- yeah, I know that Vath." Zakael can only do so much between his own exhaustion and taking care of his daughter. Amalyn...Dora passes by the infirmary to get updates on her status. At least Amalyn's recovering, but she won't set the burden of more paperwork on the woman. Or maybe Amalyn needs the work to feel included in the fight, to save her husband (or vengeance, but Dora moves right along past that possibility). "If I gave you anything, it would be a lot of grunt work. Giving the numbers another check, reporting directly to me." A ruffle of her hair, a mild furrow of her brows. Her smile carries a note of sardonic, like it's an uncomfortable sentiment that can't stand to land on her expression for any longer than an eye blink. "We've got...a lot of Sanctuary here filling a lotta roles. As much help as they provide, there's also been tension because of it. It's hard to keep up morale when it looks like we're handing off a lot of our control to an outside source, no matter how closely we might be allied." “If running numbers will help alleviate some of the burden you bear upon your shoulders, then please, by all means.” His face remained in the twilight of both personas, each sentence seemed to play a different note in his mannerisms. “Though… I must admit, I am surprised to see Sanctuary actually acting.” The amount left unsaid fills the room, forcing her attention. She's always been told that, as a leader, you're always listening for the unspoken. You're balancing multiple conversations with each word capable of changing the outcome. You can tuck meaning into phrases like cards up a sleeve. She's never once won a card game against her brother. She works on her strengths to make up the difference. "They're not acting under orders. A lot of the members that are here came on their own, because of family or friendship." “I suppose the reasons are irrelevant at current. What must be focused on is how to achieve victory in order to fight another day.” He adjusts the conversation as he does his glasses. “…Speaking of which, I feel I am at a loss of an understanding of the specifics." The specifics? She gets another chance at trying to narrow down months of events into a succinct summary. The problem of information sharing among BT's own people buzzes around her head, with half-baked ideas that she's considered in those meandering moments where she's drifting between one problem and another. Better kept mission logs, maybe a little more bureaucracy. Not enough to stifle, just to smooth out their operations... Oh, right. Debriefing first. She tries to keep details relevant. "Alright," she starts, handing him off one of the reports passed around in their earlier meetings detailing the victims in Dalaran whose remains appeared no more than husks. Bodies of Sunreavers and stray mages. "These were found in the sewers a few months ago. We didn't get a confirmed ID until Aaren was attacked. Then Uncl-..Cobrak recognized Lazhio, not just from Aaren but from events prior...he borrowed a body of one of our own, using it like transport. I'm not sure about the form he's using now beyond the fact that it's strong." She picks up another loose sheaf with the pitlord-esque form of Lazio in the background, with the Rough Raiders to the front. "He breathed out a wave of felfire and had our best fighters retreating with just a word." “You said he is devouring… essence of those Magically inclined, those trained in the classic arts specifically? Or are those using natural magics or the Divine for example also at risk of this?” His first question as he reads the reports. No one he knew sticks out within them, if there are names.”He… borrows forms? Does he kill his host? Does killing the host neutralize him?” A soft knock comes from the door.
  11. The men are lead out of the office. Vathelan keeps his eyes on the shorter of the two half-elves until he is surely going where intended. Then he holds back, looking up at the woman at the door frame as he stood at the bottom of the steps. He could tell she was stressed; he tried to think of something encouraging and yet appropriate to say given this strange dynamic in play. “I’m… sorry if he crossed a line.” He starts. “Do… you want me to stay here too? My offer to aide you still stands, just tell me what you need.” He's offered his help time and time again. Realistically, she knew that every hand available meant a better fighting chance for her uncle and for her shan'do. For beating Lazhio and for the continued survival of the world as they knew it. The reservations that hold her back fade in importance. "It was just unexpected, but it's fine. Uhm." What does she need? What does the company need? She wants to explain the risks...and since when did Vathelan have a bodyguard? What for? Just what kind of danger was he already in? “Dora…” His voice is low, meant just for them. The formality dropped. He is worried for her, this much is evident. “I understand the perils of leadership; I understand the impulse to work yourself beyond the point of exhaustion. At least let me do some of your paperwork? It’ll allow you to focus better on the upcoming battle. Also… have you seen Lord-General Rayfeather around? If I can get him to help me to lean on Headquarters, I may be able to requisition some Golems at least to help.” At the mention of the Lord-General, the cracks in her professionalism start to deepen. Her shan'do, who had put time and effort into her with training, had been dangling as a limp puppet with no way to help him. The images of his head caught in the claws come to her unbidden. She goes very still, and very quiet. She just needs a moment. Just a moment. She'll be fine, she can do this. She has to do this. "Faelenor was captured," she admits, voice whisper quiet and wavering. "It's part of the mission detail." Not another one. Vathelan’s jaw tightens, his eyes express a deep sense of regret beyond the glass before them. “…I… didn’t know.” He looks behind him, to the group travelling to the guestrooms. His mind starts calculating. “If you want to take me up on the paperwork offer, let me know… you know how to contact me. For now… I-I’ll see if I can use that information to our advantage.” She wavers. She needs to tell him. "...this monster that we're facing, Lazhio. He targets magic users, Vath. I...can ask my company to stay back and fight for our leader and for taking him down. He poses tremendous risk, but...if we fail, then all of our hope goes to surviving organizations who know about the threat and can do something." The shadows of the hallway outside her office press against her on all sides. She takes a deep breath through her nose, exhales. "I don't want to take you away from the Scryers. Not when you could be doing a lot of good in their service." “…I see.” He pauses, seeming to process this new information. “I will respect your wishes. But have you considered the alternative? What if I lose you, Dora? Do… you know how much you mean to me? And how much shame I have from failing the first Lord-General? What… how do I live with myself with another failure like that? With having you taken from my world?” He shakes his head before leaning in to give her a hug. An unusual gesture from a man who seems to tend to shy away from physical contact. It's not the first hug he's ever initiated with her. She's transported to a hillside just outside of Durotar, close to the crossroads where she witnessed Legion-infested ships flying overhead. She remembers warm arms and silly promises. As dark clouds filled the sky so that it looked like evening when the sun was at its highest point in the sky, they'd found a moment to laugh. Was he...putting her before his duty? Her arms hang on either side of him until, finally, they settled around his waist. "It's not about me," she murmurs. "You- Vath, you know the price of peace." “And who do you think has a better shot at it? You or me?” She was so close to him, he wasn’t sure if his heart was racing from her touch or the fear of losing her. He was getting emotional. Emotions were always messy. “I… cannot ask you not to do this. For many reasons. But you—you cannot expect me to just walk away? To leave you to die without a moment’s thought?” Desperation hounded her for the entirety of her life. If they lived in the same place for the length of a season, the company considered the event a miracle. Years of watching her mother's back, wondering if this was the mission that killed her. Being sent on missions of her own and wondering if she'd ever see her brother's face again. It was either hunt or be hunted. Hopelessness returns to lie in wait at her back, waiting patiently for her to take notice. She hears it in his questions. The back of his robes crinkle under her clenching fist. "The world is more important than just me," she reminds him, breathless. “You say that…” The retort starts, but the logic is with her. So he simply holds her, in fear that this may be the last time. His clever mind, the one that had gotten him here against all odds, races for an answer. The missing piece of the puzzle. The solution to all their problems. After minutes, he finally admits it. “…I don’t know if I’m strong enough this time.” She draws back, with the curtain of her black hair slipping to fall against the front of her coat. Just far back enough that she could meet his stare with her own. Her eyes glow a muted jade in the gloom. This was the man who forged credentials for the authorization of the Order of Eversong. He'd risked his career, his future for what he thought was right. She'd been so proud. "I believe in you, Vathelan." “There has to be a way. I… believe in you too. I believe in both of us too much for this to be the end. I’ve yet to fulfill my promises to you.” His gaze reflected into her own, his mind still trying to whirl in a way to find a solution. “…I’ll keep looking for support to send you. If I can spin this as a rescue mission, maybe I can garner something greater than a single agent. Dora… if the battle… goes too far, if it proves a suicide mission… If I can give you a way out, would you take it?” "No," she answers. "I die with my company." "...And you will not reconsider? So that you can help me fight for the peace we so desire?" She laughs, a single little sound trapped between them. "I think there's something you don't know about me. I care about peace, like my dad. It was all he wanted, and my mom died for his cause. I'm fighting for peace, but not for the world." Another shaky exhale. Gods, she's trembling now, nerves rattled. "I just want peace for my family. They come first. If I lose them, I have nothing to fight for. So yeah," she laughs again, a little reckless, "It's hypocritical to have me ask you to leave. But I don't think this is the end, and I don't," she gives him a tiny shake, her grip on his arms, "want to risk more people." Then her face clears with sudden realization. "Wait. You're a Scryer." He heard her words. Her mention of family. Family. Something he never had. How could he relate? In her little speech, the only piece he could take solace in was her denial of this being the end. His beacon of hope had not yet run dry. “…Yes, Dora. I have been since before I met you. What are you…? Should we get you somewhere to rest?” "No no," she mumbles, then drags him towards the interior of the office. She might be half-way to delirium, but she knows she's onto something. She shuts the door behind them, starts to scrub again at her hair as she paces to a stack of papers and flips through them until… "There's intel here that claims...yeah, that during his first surge into power, there were Scryers who defected to aid him. Fed him information and artifacts in exchange for promises of power. There was a Crosys Falirin, he was a magister...and he had help." “And do you want me to go researching on what they found?” He sounded skeptical, wondering if she was just trying to humor him to get him away. "Maybe?" she answers, dropping the papers back on the pile. Suddenly what she thought might have been a good lead evaporates. She leans against her desk with the small of her back resting against the lip, sinks a few inches with her boots skidding ahead of her, and groans into her palm. "I don't know. I just- gods, Vath," she lifts her face up, "You ask how I can expect you to just stand by and let me walk into this fight when you'd be one of the first that he'd seek out if you were anywhere near the base. I'm not even magical, I'm some sort of elfish dud!" “If you think it’ll actually help, I’ll do it.” The Magister moves to reorganize the papers so that he can try to get a better look at them. “And… maybe I was a little off base there. If I’m going to be… a part of your life, I’m going to have to get used to this notion. You’re a hero, this is what heroes do. I just—I care about you, Dora. You’re my first friend, ever. And—” He cuts himself off as he gets close to her, his eyes likely say what he won’t. “…This is hard for me. You’ve taught me that the price of inaction is worse than that of making a mistake, remember?” She following two different conversations. She hears what Vathelan says, but she's also interpreting the rest in a way that she was slowing learning to decode. She couldn't play ignorant, not after all the mistakes she made in the past year. Not after seeing those same eyes from several different people and recounting what happened afterward, all the shattered promises that cling to her like emotional shrapnel. "Vathelan," she says very carefully, "I care about you too. You barely know me. I barely-" she stops, lets out a frustrated sigh. Takes up his hands to hold in her own, like they were children about to swing them from side to side. "...maybe you have this idealized version of me in your head that I'm never gonna live up to." “None of us are perfect, Dora Arath’dorei. I’ve read too many reports and profiles to not realize this. And I don’t mean to stress you out any further than you already are…” He gives a small sigh, kneeled as he was to be on her level. “I’m sorry if this is unfair given the circumstances. But… we’re, pardon the expression, if we’re living on Borrowed Time—what if we don’t get the chance? Which will be worse; the not knowing because we didn’t act, or learning from our mistakes?” It's abysmally unfair of him to do this to her now. She has a company to hold together, putting the skills she learned into practical use for the first time. She's managed alright thus far; no major mistakes she feels like in her planning or the choices she's made in assignments. Emotionally, she's stable enough. Having a plan and putting into motion creates that stability that she needs to focus on the task at hand. But he's flinging her own argument against her. She's a day and some change away from leading her company into a war. She doesn't get to choose who lives or who dies under her command. She knows in her heart what would be worse. "You're using my own philosophy against me," she responds, her smile a little broken. “It’s a solid argument, and it’s been something I’ve been thinking over… a lot.” He gave a small smile to try to reassure her, his voice is even and gentle as the words play past his tongue. “I’m not asking you to decide tonight, nor am I planning on asking you to be exclusive with me. Certainly not while we try to figure things out. I just… wanted you to know, just in case the worst does happen. At least I said something.” His hands gently rub her own in his grip. “…And, if I’m lucky, maybe you’ll consider it.” She gives him a squeeze in return. "I've considered it," she admits. Tonight was a night for confessions, she supposes. She's running on food from about fourteen hours ago, an apple she scarfed down while she was examining the gates. Blood roars in her ears. Her heart is leaping ahead of her, confused but barreling forward without her consent. Crazy infects everyone the night before a battle. She's never been one to be satisfied with standing still. "I'm considering it right now," she says like a challenge. “I do not mean to rush you, my lady.” He gives a small nervous smile. Part of him wants to retreat, another wants so desperately to know. “And I apologize for the intrusion...” Surprise splashes across her face, completely bare. For Dora to hide her own heart was doable, with effort. But she'd tried to fight against what had been lying between them according to her better judgement, eventually gave in...and for what? The whiplash stuns her. "Oh," she says, her grip going slack. "...alright," she murmurs in a daze. Then she lets him go entirely so that she can turn away to look down at the piles of her notes. She plants her hands on the desktop, hunched over it. The faint color of her eartips go a deep red. Well… that reaction wasn’t encouraging. He had made a mistake. “…Unless you’re sure?” He thought he was starting to catch on. Lady Bloodstone had criticized him for this. “I just… I’m nervous for your answer. Please forgive me.” He started to fuss over her, trying to get her in a much more comfortable position. "I'm just-" she halts, gathers her thoughts. She senses him at her back, but she's collected herself enough to angle herself slightly in his direction and allow him the right to have a face-to-face conversation. "I'm confused, I guess. You talk about acting and learning from mistakes, when there's a battle looming over our heads and then you ask me to take my time deciding...maybe," a wrinkle creases the place between her long brows, "maybe I don't know what you want from me." “Honestly? I panicked.” He frowns for a moment, silently scolding himself. “But… can you blame me? Dora, you’re amazing. You’re smart, you’ve got a great sense of humor, you’re brave—ready to die for your family. You’re talented, you’ve got the markings of a great leader… and I’ve not even touched on your beauty. I admire and care about you so much… it’s a little intimidating.” He sighs as he tries to collect his thoughts. “Look… what I want from you is simple, I want you safe and happy. Preferably with me. And I’m willing to take the risk on that—but I also understand what’s coming for us.” "I'm not sure I'm all that," Dora smiles, fondling a gold button on her jacket. She's going to get herself cleaned up and presentable soon, for the next meeting. Maybe get food in her too. "You can ask my brother, my humor is awful. I really really like puns." The point of the conversation is getting away from her. She chews on her bottom lip, considering. "...alright. I can add you to the roster of arcane casters. We'll fight this thing together. Then after that," she peers at him, wary but curious. She notices moonlight across his glasses. "...after the battle, we'll see what happens." “Excellent. And… I am sorry for the confusion.” His lips twist in another nervous smile. He was relieved to hear she was considering it still, in spite of his horrible grasp of emotions. And he was even more thankful that he had the chance to oversee her safety through the oncoming chaos. “I just… I want to make sure I’m doing this right with you. You may not believe me, but you are all the bit amazing as I say.” He leans over to give her a joking whisper, “I like puns too.” She broke into a laugh then, covering her mouth like they were sharing a dirty secret between themselves. The laughing felt good. This moment hung suspended in that otherworld of night where only they exist and death is forced to wait for it's harvest. She's relieved that she can laugh, even now. When they die away, she seems at least a bit refreshed. "Alright," she giggles, "okay. Then...yes. I guess we have a plan."
  12. Following an escort came three men of Elven descent. The central one, the leader of this gathering, was the shortest—At Six Foot Even. Their escort could tell it was the man expected, he had all the markings: The finely pressed Scryer uniform, the short dark hair, the satchel at his side and the glasses. He was Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper of the Scryers. To his left was his rugged half-elf companion, the tallest and burliest of the three—Kirital. To his right was, what one could assume, was his newest employee. An inch shorter than the bodyguard, the man had his own imposing demeanor. He too, was likely a half-elf. He was well armed, twin blades at his hips, a revolver, a couple of grenades and a flask. Before their escort could knock, the door flew open. The new-hire, dodged the incoming Tauren. He glared with his singular eye, his lip slight in a curl underneath his stubble. He said nothing, however. He’d let the Magister take the floor as ordered. Dora barely had a moment between Megeda leaving and three elves at her doorstep. She'd been just about to sit down in the chair, to deal with the scrolls that laid in her bag, but the motion goes aborted before she's straightening up again and running a shaky hand through her long, ebon hair. "Va-" she halts, noticing the other two that dwarf him, and her body goes stiff. The jacket is open, you look sloppy- Her expression goes mildly pinched, exhaustion making it's impressions on the creases near her eyes. She considers fixing her jacket. She motions them inside instead, the sound of her boots heavy as she rounds her desk. "Evening, gentlemen," she greets them. “Good Evening, Lady Arath’dorei.” The Magister gives a small bow, his voice and smile warmer than those who know his professional stances to be. “I am sure I need no introduction. To my left is Mister Kirital, my bodyguard. To the right is Agent—” “Captain, sir.” The thug of an elf corrected. His singular eye seemed to inspect the woman before him. His inflections spoke of a seafarer. “Captain Raphael Vanderzee. You can call me Van if you wish, my Lady.” "Nice to meet you both," her mouth twists uncomfortably, "though I really wish it'd been under better circumstances. And always good to see you too, Vath." She tried to toe that line between professional and friendly. When she'd seen Vathelan's face, there'd been a brief moment of relief to sweep away the thoughtful furrowing of her brow as she mentally leapt to one end of the battle across the other. Now she invites them to take seats on the many chairs parked just in front of the desk with a sweeping hand. "But I appreciate your assistance, no doubt about that." “Woulda liked to meet you in better circumstances too.” The Captain smirks. “But, I doubt it. I only get called in when shit starts rolling uphill.” He stops as he sees the glare of his employer shoot beside him, slowly leaning into the offered chair. “Always a pleasure, Madam.” The Magister gently takes his seat, trying to calm his own battle between the personal and professional personas that roared within him. This could get messy if he weren’t careful. “I am thankful you trust me enough to allow me to help you and your organization.” She occupies the desk chair, finally. It's clearly built to house a bigger body, but she fills it out well enough. This is one of those times where she actually considers her own physical presence and is actually thankful that she's larger than the average female, tall and sturdy in build. At least the chair doesn't dwarf her. Life was so much simpler when she wasn't thinking about the kind of intimidation she creates in a damn chair! She'd rather be tinkering on the prosthetics she left in her private workshop. C'mon Dora, you can do better than this! "I trust your judgement, Vathelan, and frankly we're pretty low on resources. We've reached out to only one other organization- working with Sanctuary and using their aid." She turns her stare on the new-hire then, with her rubbing at her chin. "Captain, can you tell me a bit about your history?" “A trust I hope you will find well founded.” The Magister smiles. “I will support you to the best of my ability, all you need do is ask.” “What kind of history? And where do you want me to start?” As the Magister wasn’t glaring at him, a mischievous smirk crossed his lips. The smirk isn't lost on her, or the potential implications. A tug at the corner of her mouth hitching up, like a fish tugging on a line. It smoothes out into a more relaxed smile, with her steepling her fingers and allowing her chin to rest on the tops of them. "The kind of history that is relevant, Captain. How familiar are you with gyrocopters, or a position of leadership? Your title suggests a lot, but I'd rather hear it from you." “Business it is then.” He nudged the Magister once more, a glare his reward. “So… let’s keep this short, eh? I’ve been a sailor of sorts since I was but a boy, rose in power until I ran me own ship. Fought in yer Civil War—Yes, I met Glow-face.” He said as he looked at his employer. Who gave him a confused look. “But that ain’t important right now. I also ran and requisitioned supplies in the war in the North. Tried to retire, didn’t go so well. Ended up working on and flying ‘copters and bigger for awhile. Among other jobs.” She probably shouldn't laugh. Somehow, that didn't strike her as behavior suited to acting leader, or maybe for this situation. She's awfully tempted though. The mouth corner tugs again, provoked. "Sounds like you've been awfully busy." “You have no idea, Miss…” He gave another grin. And a… blink or was it a wink? A singular eye made it hard to tell. “Bar tabs don’t pay themselves, after all. Lucky for the Dress over here, I got myself some free time and a need for another tab to pay, eh?” Spirits, this man really is a kind of scoundrel isn't he? She realizes she thought the word scoundrel to herself, like she's in one of those horrible novels that Phyruss likes to shove in her direction to make her uncomfortable. She looks pointedly down at a stack of contracts just in front of her, starting to rifle through the papers. "Then I'll just need you to sign on with us, as outlined here on this document. Standard jargon, adapted for this particular mission. You'll get a file on our target and you'll be expected to meet with one of our heavy weapons engineers to talk about the details of the fleet you're leading." “Leading you say?” He grins as he looks over the contract. Specifically what was in it for him. He knew why the Magister had hired him, despite his heavy fee—even if the damn wizard denied it. Vathelan looked over at the woman on the other side of the desk apologetically. He was stunned; he didn’t even know what to say. Dora glances to Vathelan then, her eyes offering a chance for them to speak later if he wished it. She almost shrugged, but these were the measures they resorted to taking. Any modicum of assistance that she could unearth was valuable. "Yup, leading. You're in charge of our air force during the battle. This is our target." Another slip of paper inches across the desk towards the man, depicting Lazhio at his full strength during the time of the old Rough Raiders campaign against him. Vathelan gave a small smile as she looked at him, nervous and uncertain. Was this a ‘We Need To Talk For Bringing This Scoundrel To Me’? Or was it a ‘I Missed You And Want To Chat’ look? Either way, he supposed he would take her up on her offer—away from prying ears if he could help it. But his concentration would be interrupted as the Captain took the photo and gave a small whistle, before showing it to the Magister. “Yeh know what this means, right?” Dora leaned forward, holding her breath. “…Yes. I know. We’ll talk about it later.” The Magister nodded, feeling his pocketbook screaming at him for even more abuse that it was about to take. The frown deepened upon his expression. The Captain gave a small grin before taking the writing utensil. “…I’ll hold you to your word. I know where you sleep after all, Wizard.” He was awarded a glare from Kirital, not that he seemed to notice as he signed his name upon the contract. Oh, poor Vathelan! Dora shot him an encouraging little grin, secret. She tried not to enjoy the situation at his expense, and failed while she collected the documents. "Perfect. There's lodging here in the port with space for you during the length of your contract. I'll be assembling all leaders to discuss coordination." She hands Van a communicator for his use, a pile of them set in a bowl for convenient reach. "Be ready to rise to the call when it comes." “And a bar?” The Captain smiled. “I would enjoy buying you a drink at some point.” The hand that extends the communicator freezes in mid air, with the rest of her to follow."Oh," Dora says, pointlessly, before she places the communicators within Van's reaching grasp. Wildly, her stare flickers over to Vathelan's face and then retreat back to Van. Drop to her papers, which she collects and starts tapping the edges of them against the wood top though they couldn't be straighter or more neatly gathered. "Auhm. That- ah, it's flattering-" her mind erupts into various screams of outrage at her incompetence, "I'm- this mission is really important and I'd like to have as few distractions from it as possible." "So," she continues on because once she starts rambling she has no idea how to stop, it's a sickness, "now that we've gone over the details, I'll make sure that you get that mission briefing and someone will escort you to your new lodging! Are there any questions that you'd like me to answer for you before you're dismissed?" “No further questions.” The Magister says flatly as he glares at Van. “Thank you for your time, Captain. Be ready to do what we’re paying you for.” “…You heard the boss, I guess.” The smirk fading, the return of the look of a killer waxed back upon his features as he moved to stand up. “Guess I’ll take that escort before I start my little tour of the area.” Dora makes the call into her comm that is lodged in her ear, a quick mumble into the device. An orcess with chestnut hair loosely framing her face appears at the door, where she waits in silence for the Captain. "Thank you for your time," Dora says faintly, standing to walk with them out.
  13. Lady Arath’dorei, Hope is as much a resource as anything else. The irony being how much its validity proves tied into the basic concepts of economics: Considered useless when plentiful as people seem keen to overlooking it, but wholly precious when the jaws of despair grasp upon the throats of the world. It is fortunate then, is it not, that it proves renewable? And it is my personal belief, that our mission statement of the defense and preservation of the Sin’dorei should include planting the seeds of such a resource. I have found, and brought under my employment, a formally inactive agent of the Scryers that I am happy to direct to your service. And while not one whom actively works from the field, I too am willing to lend my mastery of the Arcane Arts to your defense wherever it is you need us. Consider it a personal favor from myself, and a professional act in confidence in hopes that we may find common ground against the greater threat at large in the future from the Scryers. Sincerely, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper Scryer Agent of Asset Protection and Acquisition
  14. “It seems you have a visitor, Captain.” A voice sneered in the darkness around Magister Frostwhisper, whom was clearly far beyond any shred of his element at current. “You know we don’t like the uninitiated poking their noses in our business.” Even in this dire of a situation, Vathelan struggled to recollect as to exactly how he got into this predicament. It had started with his search for the retired agent he had been eager to recruit. He couldn’t see anything. He had traveled into the Underbelly of Dalaran, looking for this bar his target was reported to frequent. Vath was forced into what felt to be a chair. The search proved to be fruitless, so he started asking around if anyone knew of this location. His back met the hard wood behind him. No one seemed to have wanted to give him a solid answer. “I’ll handle ‘im.” A second voice spoke, the accent was not one Vathelan was quite familiar with. It wasn’t Trollish… “‘e won’ be a problem. One way o’ ‘nother. Ain’t that right?” With the second voice claiming responsibility for the Magister, the first man seemed satisfied enough to remove the heavy sack from Frostwhisper’s head. He senses rushed back to him, and two things of note immediately caught his attention. The first was the wretched stench that reassured him he was still very much still within the sewer system of the Underbelly. The second was the man before him. Tanned skin, with short ebon hair. His right eye concealed by leather, his left was that of his own people; but without the glow of the proud magical heritage of the Sin’dorei. His build was too muscular for the average elf, but too lean and lithe to be considered entirely human either. This was further accentuated by the dark facial hair and the pointed ears that remained the size of a human’s. This had to be him as he stared impatiently for an answer. “Y-yes, Captain Vanderzee, sir.” “That’s just what I wanted ta hear.” The Half-elf smirked as he nodded to the man who brought the Elf in, who took the hint and faded into the shadows. “Yer gonna have ta tell me what a wizard such as yerself is doin’ in a place like this though.” “I...I don’t even know where this is. Is this the Cantrips and Crows bar? Why all the secrecy?” “Do yerself a favor, let me ask the questions.” The Captain pulled his revolver pistol and set it upon the table with one hand, his other motioning for one of the bartenders over. When he was sure he was seen, he turned to look back at his ‘guest’. “Let’s just say after Proudmoore’s tantrum, we all got a little bit o’ nervous so out in the open. Yer bein’ here is gonna put a few o’ these fellas on edge. Speakin’ o’… yeh still ain’t answer me question. What brings yeh down ‘ere?” “You, actually. We… I need your help.” The Magister’s throat was dry as he swallowed some air. “A… friend of mine is in danger. So I am looking to hire you.” “Couple o’ years too late there, mate.” Vanderzee stifled a chuckle. “I’m retired. Ain’t in tha killin’ business no more.” The bartender reached their table. “Another Mead, Dwarven.” His attention returned to the Fullblood in front of him. “Want anythin’? Me treat.” “No. I don’t drink.” Vathelan shook his head before struggling to take a deep breath, taking far too much of the chemical-ridden-body-refuse pugence that lingered in the air as he considered his next choice of words. Despite the smell of the location, the service was surprisingly quick. The goblin bartender returned with the Captain’s drink. “There is a war going on below us. And I assure you if the Legion wins, your drinking days will be over. That is, of course, assuming your funds don’t bleed dry first. The world needs you, my friend needs us. For her sake, I’m willing to foot the bill. So, please, name your price.” Vanderzee was content to nurse his drink, relatively ignoring the plea of the man in front of him. That was until the gender of the elf’s friend was mentioned. This caught his attention, he sat down the flagon. “Tell me ‘bout her.” “What?” “The girl yer doin’ this all fer. Wha’s she like?” The Captain leaned in slightly, a bit too interested in a discription for Vathelan’s liking. But if he wanted help, he suspected he would have to comply. An opening to negotiations was an opening afterall. “She’s the kindest person I’ve ever met. Brave and always with a smile, she--” “Yer borin’ me, kid. Come on, give me somethin’ ta work with.” Even as he spoke, a wolfish grin reached his lips. He was testing the Magister, and Vathelan knew it. “Try again, give me some feelin’, eh?” “...Where to begin? She’s not like most of our kind I’ve met, she’s certainly a cut above the rest. She is of heroic stature, her skin tanned from the warm embrace of the Sun.” The Captain went back to his drink, his boredom becoming even more prevalent. The Magister closed his eyes, trying to imagine her presence with him-- even in this horrible place. “...Her brilliant eyes, are like windows to her ever curious mind. When she smiles, the world lights up. And fortunately for the world, she smiles often. She is an endless supply of hope in a desperate world. She’s quick to see the silver lining of any given trouble, she always stands up for what she thinks is right… she has always been kind to me, she’s the first friend I’ve ever had. She sees so much in me, more than I can even fathom. And… I refuse to let her down.” “...Well, I’ll be damned.” The Captain spoke, setting his mug down. When Vathelan opened his eyes, he would see an approving smile on the half-elf’s face, much to his confusion. “What? I was young an’ dumb once too, an’ I know a lovebird when I see one. If yeh feel tha’ strongly ‘bout tha’ woman…” “Oh! Thank you Sir! I--” “Don’ thank me yet.” The Captain murmured as he took out a small booklet and wrote something on it. After sliding it over for the Magister, he then took out a small case and picked one of his Sultry Maiden cigarettes from it. “Jumpin’ tha gun ain’ gonna do yeh no good kid, we ain’t spoken ‘bout payment yet.” “Oh. Ofcourse.” The Magister gave a small smile before picking up the paper. His heart threatened to stop at the number listed. It was half his salary! His smile faltered, and the Captain picked up on it. “In gold pieces. I was one o’ tha best, which ain’ exactly cheap.” He set the cigarette in between his lips, lighting it. He took a puff and released before continuing. “An’ yeh’ll ‘ave ta pay ‘alf o’ tha’ a month as a retainer fee too, o’course.” He eyed the Magister who stared at the paper before giving a shrug. “Yeh did wanna bring me outta retirement.” “...If this what it takes to recruit you, then so be it.” Magister Frostwhisper accepted the terms with a conviction, that for a moment he thought he saw a look of surprise on the rogue’s face. “Welcome to the fight to save Azeroth, Captain Vanderzee.” He extended his hand. “Great.” But there was one more catch. If the Half-elf was shocked, that moment was gone. Instead the expression was replaced with that of amusement. “But it be customary fer me ta have a drink ta seal the deal with me new employer. Yeh don’t have any objections ta this, do yeh?” “If I must.” Emboldened by his resolve, he couldn’t afford to falter now. He reached for the mug to take a drink before the half-elf grabbed his wrist. The two men exchanged a glance for a moment, Vanderzee clearly had something else in mind as he motioned for the bartender to return. He whispered something in the goblin’s ear, who in turn nodded. What the Goblin returned with wasn’t something Vathelan would have expected. A single small stone container, the thing could not have held more than two ounces of liquid. However the liquid was on fire. The Magister looked at his new hire, who just gave him a smirk. This was his final test, it seemed. A trial by fire, he could almost her Dora say. He picked up the stone miniature cup with a smile at the imagined joke. He tried to blow the flames out. No avail. He tried again. The same result. He pondered this a moment before deciding there was no other option. He set the stone to his lips, he could feel the heat of the flames. He took in a breath of air, trying to prepare himself. Then he moved to down the shot of flaming liquor. To say it burned was an understatement. He wasn’t sure if he was imagining it or not, the fire that traveled down his throat. He grunted, his hand gripping the table as he tried to brace himself as the recreational poison’s effects took hold. He could feel the heat travel from his stomach, up his chest, and throughout his body until they reached the tips of his extremities. Flames temporarily licked his form, and only when they stopped could he even manage to cough and gag. It was dreadful! How did people do this for recreation?! “Seems we have a deal.”
  15. Another day, another cup of coffee. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper treaded the same commute, the same path. He had the same conversation with the guards of Sanctuary’s Guildhall, placating them with the same empty promises while he awaited the same abuse from the management that was passed down from the Commander herself. It filled him with endless frustration, knowing what was going on upon the Isles below and beyond. He sorted through the same paperwork sent to him, dreading the death toll and injury reports he would have to read as he eagerly awaited a response from his last set of letters-- a chance to do some real good, a chance to reduce the casualty rate. He ached for an advantage to exploit to help turn the tides. To his initial disappointment, he found only one of the two letters he eagerly awaited. That from Lady Dora Arath’dorei, not that from the leader of Borrowed Time. He frowned, yet he eagerly opened his consolation prize. To Vathelan Hope runs in short supply, but it exists. What you say is very true; we all face different threats of increasing magnitude with the passing years. Not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of the effects of the Legion or how it's opened doors for those of similar talents to reach out to each other despite race or faction. But right now my focus is on my people; that is, the people that comprise my company. We're looking into the mouth of a beast like I've never seen before. Every available hand is either digging a trench, delivering supplies, or making plans for an encounter scheduled to happen in five days time. We're woefully shorthand over here. If you have anyone you would recommend who knows anything about commanding an airfleet, direct them to me at your soonest convenience. Stay safe, my friend. I hope my next letter contains happier contents. Dora Arath'dorei, acting leader of Borrowed Time To those interested parties: The request comes at an unexpectedly difficult time for our company. We take the matter of your concerns with equaled concern. The threat of the Legion extends to every corner of Azeroth and beyond; as beings capable to fight against that power, we bear the responsibility of doing whatever measures required to defeat it. That said, we face a danger that requires our attention. Upon our success, we will revisit the request to join in your organization's efforts. With warm regards, Dora Arath'dorei, acting leader of Borrowed Time To say its contents were not quite what Magister Frostwhisper was expecting was an understatement, for it felt as if his blood would freeze within his veins in any given moment. His eyes raced across the page as he tried to process all the details within. His first and dearest friend was in a dire situation; she was the key. She was requesting aid; this was his opening. He had to help; this would give him quite the bargaining chip. His mind raced as he considered this gambit, his day’s priorities shifted as he abandoned the other stack of documentations of the ongoings down below. Vathelan’s fingers jumped upon the satchel he carried with him everywhere, rummaging through it. This window of opportunity was time sensitive, he only had five days to exploit it. He pulled out the pane of enchanted glass, it was about the size of the cover of a tome. After setting it upon his desk, his fingers grasped at one of his cuff-links. He removed what looked to be a golden coin with a twin headed phoenix upon it, leaving the cufflink bare of its usual iconography. He placed the quarter-sized emblem upon the bottom right corner of the pane of glass. The ‘Glass Scroll’ came alive with a brilliant light within the tiny room. He grabbed a writing instrument designed for the peculiar Scryer device and drew the command rune to search the Scryer Archives that his security clearance allowed him. Search: Scryer Agent Personnel. The Glass Scroll began to compile a list of all the Scryer Agents. He drew the Command Rune once again. Search: Air Command. The list rapidly shortened as per the new parameters. But Vathelan wasn’t finished, he drew the Command Rune a third time. Search: Unassigned. One result remained. He tapped upon the name: Raphael Vanderzee; Retired. The Magister’s eyes ran through the man’s bio and career history: Half-elf. Former Pirate. Infiltrated Alliance Military; Served as a Mechanic and Pilot on an Alliance Gunship. Lead Gyrocopter teams during the Panderia campaign. Retired after Lord-General Visca died. He seemed promising. Frostwhisper looked up his last known location, the Scryers were likely to keep an eye on someone so decorated in their service. He seemed to frequent the Underbelly bar here in Dalaran. Vathelan paused as he looked over all the paperwork he had as he weighed his options. If he could help turn the tides of war, he could save so many more lives than he could just sitting here as he had been; trying to make the strikes as efficient as possible in hopes to reduce casualties. ...But would the Half-elf really be there at such an early time of day? He looked back at the Glass Scroll, the Agent in question seemed to frequent the bar around the clock. He could finish his paperwork when he returned, could he not? He stood up from his desk. Worse case scenario, he could find a lead as to when he would be back, or where the man stayed. The world needed all the heroes they could get right now, to have such a decorated war veteran sitting out of the conflict was nothing more than a waste. The Magister folded the letter away on his person, smoothing the cloth as he departed from his office. He had a world to save. And with long and swift strides, he would head towards what he would have considered one of the most unlikely of places: The underbelly of Dalaran, a hive of scum and villainy; but potentially even more ludicrous, a bar.