Ninorra

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About Ninorra

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  • Birthday 01/14/1984

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  1. Ninorra

    Hello there!

    Sounds good! The Discord channel I gave you is for all of our server's RPers so you'll be able to chat with people from many guilds!
  2. Ninorra

    Hello there!

    Hello! TN is indeed still active! Hordeside I'm GM of Sanctuary (honorable Horde!) and we have several great RP guilds still going including Infection (evil undead) and Borrowed Time (mercenary company). I know there are more so I'll let them chime in but feel free to jump into our Discord server to chat! https://discord.gg/GYHxax
  3. Ninorra

    Overcast

    All at once she found herself floating again. This time, the waters were cool and chilly, the cold seeped into her skin and bones and blood in a way that felt unnatural. No warm hands pulled her to a soft embrace, but icy pinpricks on her flesh carried Ninorra into darkness. Opening her mouth, she found that her voice was gone. She could not call for help, and try as she might. No breath entered her lungs. The blackness that enveloped her senses was thick and weighty, like molasses over her eyelids creeping into her mouth with the sweetness of silence. But silence was a nightmare, and the warlock struggled. Red hot pain spread from an ache in her side, a searing tear in her being that she yearned to reach for but couldn't touch. Her limbs were too heavy, and even the act of moving a finger was fruitless. She was limp, floating in a dark sea of hollow voices and emptiness. Somewhere in her mind, she searched for an escape. Surely there must be a way to pull herself out, to reach for the sun even as the night pulled at her toes and ankles, threatening to drag her silently screaming into abyss. A nothingness. A void. But where was the silence of the dark, now? Whispers tickled her heels, the tip of her nose. Like ants, they crawled up the length of her ebon hairs, each one carrying a tiny fraction of information. Each one asking to move past the oily scalp, to burrow into her skull and fill her brain with knowledge. It would be so easy, she thought, to let them in. No. Her mouth made the movement. Progress, she thought, as the whispers itched at her face, antennae tickling delicate earlobes. No. She did it again, and her voice was almost there. A whisper among chattering, hoarse and uncomfortable, thin as silk thread yet unbreakable. Real. No! The whispers were loud and angry, and now they dug at her flesh from the inside, crawling within her veins, eating at her as they spoke words of wisdom and creation. Her voice was insignificant but theirs were intimate, infinite, incredible. "No!" A flash of dawn, and the face of an elf. Two red eyes looked up to see the face of a friend, no, two friends, and the light of a place that felt safe. No more itchiness, only the healing Light. It only lasted a moment, and she was asleep again.
  4. Ninorra

    Overcast

    Ninorra did not like running. The warlock was built for few things that involved physical exertion. Her limbs were short and thick, used to walking or riding more than running, and her robes were too cumbersome to make the effort easy. They flailed about her as she pumped her limbs, sweat glistening on her skin despite Everson’s temperate weather. How did it get to this? She had been walking with Steinburg, recently returned from his time in Undercity. He shared the story of what happened to him there, a tale both of sadness and woe that showed itself in the way he spoke and moved; the once cheerful Forsaken, who long ago learned to ‘live’ with his new existence by working with Sanctuary as their official banker and record keeper, had gone to the Undercity recently to help a budding new government created in the Dark Lady’s absence. He sent Ninorra letters, sometimes, sharing what happened. He seemed proud of the work he did, proud of the men and women he worked with. However only a day ago, Steinburg returned to her home in Eversong a shadow of his former self. The once tidy Forsaken wore the tattered robes of a prisoner, and his hair, once so carefully taken care of, lay in limp strands over his face. He explained to Ninorra the situation, that anyone showing dissent in Undercity were “disappearing”. He considered leaving many times, but it wasn’t until Catalinetta saw him that he realized the time for his departure had come. A portal to Silvermoon was all it took, something he considered fortunate. The elves of Quel’thalas would never allow Sylvanas’ dark rangers to follow him there. Would they? Ninorra assured him that no, the Sin’dorei were a proud people. Loyal to the Warchief of course, but, the Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron would never allow her to— “Going somewhere, are we?” a deep voice said from the shadows. It was not a familiar voice. The scratchy hollow echo was similar to Steinburg’s, but it did not share the warm quality that he spoke with, in spite of his sorrow. Turning toward the voice, Ninorra gripped the scythe in her right hand. It was a monstrous weapon, known for stealing the souls of her victims and recycling them. Today it had a dark red glow, matching the red and black robes she had decided on that morning. Her own red eyes cast a faint color across her face, which was strangely relaxed. Steinburg took a step back. “Who are you?” Ninorra asked calmly. “If my friend and I have traipsed on private property, we do apologize. My own home is not far from here.” Of course, she knew that this part of the Eversong Woods was public property, a jurisdiction of Quel’thalas and under Silvermoon’s protection. Hoof beats signaled an approaching rider, but what came forward were three faces Ninorra did not entirely recognize. Two male Forsaken and one female, who, she could see, was a master of the fel arts not unlike herself. “The Warchief has requested that we apprehend this employee of the Desolate Council,” said the lead rider, a sword at his hip. Each wore a tabard of black and white. Steinburg grabbed Ninorra’s arm. “Infection,” he whispered to her. “Go, Lady. They only want me.” Ninorra frowned at the idea. Steinburg was her friend, after all. He helped raised Damian, he cared for her home while she and Vicailde were gone, and he never asked for much in return. “I am afraid that will not be happening,” she said boldly, red eyes flashing a little brighter for a moment. “Mister Steinburg is under my protection.” The Forsaken sneered terribly. “And why should that matter?” “Because I am Lady Ninorra Bloodstone,” she answered flippantly. “And my friend has committed no crimes. Our people do not simply allow strangers to walk in our land and take our friends without a damn good reason.” “The reason is that our Warchief wills it,” the lead rider said without a smile, approaching them on his skeletal horse. “And what our Warchief wills shall be done. Now. Hand over that wretch or you will also find yourself in an unpleasant situation.” Ninorra frowned deeply, her dark lipstick covered mouth turned downwards. “You cannot command me on this land. This is Quel’thalas. Not Undercity.” “This is Horde territory,” he muttered, sliding off of the horse. Drawing his sword, the Forsaken approached Ninorra and pointed it in her direction. He didn’t seem to have the patience or the desire to argue with her. “All of it.” A sudden explosion behind the other two Forsaken startled Ninorra, who turned to look at Steinburg. He was not a great mage, but in a panic he managed to conjure a big enough fireball to startle the skeletal horses of his antagonists. The one with the sword turned to snarl at his companions, who nearly fell off of their mounts. Steinburg didn’t mince words. “Run!!” Grabbing her wrist, the Forsaken made for the trees. He was faster than she would have imagined, but his plan was flawed. How could they outrun riders? Obviously, she could not. “Steinburg, what are you—“ “I will make a portal!” He shouted, running into a copse of trees. “You have to hold them off!” Of course, now this was a plan that made sense. However, if he made a portal, where would it go? If Sylvanas truly had a strangle hold on all Horde territory, where could they escape? Allowing Steinburg to work with panicked hands, Ninorra turned toward their adversaries and immediately began casting curses. They would work well against Forsaken, whose flesh was already rotting and corrupt. Unfortunately, she could only cast one at a time, and with all three of them approaching, she had no time to summon a demon to aid her. “Hurry, Steinburg!” She shouted. The first blast hit her squarely in the gut, a chaos bolt that rattled and sent blazing pain throughout her limbs. She returned the favor with a fresh bout of agony, and followed it by draining the life from her target. Forsaken may have had rotting bodies, but leeching from their soul could heal her for a time, and she only needed enough time to— “Lady!” Steinburg was shouting, the portal was finished. Waving her over, she released the soul drain and ran toward Steinburg's creation. “Don’t look back, Ninorra,” the Forsaken said hurredly, grabbing her arm to shove her through the portal. It was then that another chaos bolt hit him in the back, sending him reeling to the ground. “Steinburg!” She shouted, slamming the butt of her scythe to the ground to cast corruption at each of these attackers, each of these creatures that would dare harm her friend. They each seemed, under their armor, to writhe a bit. But what were Forsaken if not accustomed to pain and the reality of their undeath? They would keep moving until there was nothing left. The warrior who spoke before closed the gap between himself and the elf, and without a moments hesitation plunged his blade into Ninorra’s abdomen. She could hardly believe that she had let this happen, and even as shock set in and her limbs froze, she thought to herself how very silly she had been. Is this how it ends? She asked herself, falling backwards through the portal. Instantly, she found herself somewhere dark and warm, lying on her back. Pain radiated from the wound in her belly, a throbbing numbness that ached with each beat of her heart. Her back was wet, her clothes slowly soaking. That she was bleeding to death was obvious, and whatever place she was in seemed like the perfect place for it. The sound of gentle flowing water was nearby, and the rustling of robes. She heard voices somewhere, deep and concerned. A second later, the portal closed. Where was Steinburg? She couldn’t make sense of it, this rush of events. It was too quick and too well executed. Three Forsaken against one elf, who, regardless of any importance she might have imagined for herself, could not defend her friend against them. What a failure. She pictured Qabian somewhere, laughing at her. Then the world went dark.
  5. Ninorra

    A New Beginning

    So now we have a tentative plan. Vicailde is working on some sort of device, I have not asked him for the details. We are going to travel again, to that awful alternate world, and find Corvallis and Helnia. Yes, the Bronze will likely be displeased. Yes, we could be punished for all eternity. The entire situation sounds insane, and really, what do we gain from it? A demon, and a man so loyal to me he was willing to give his own life. Am I really willing to do the same? I suppose we will see. What of Damian, though? I might have to insist that Vicailde stay behind. He will fight me on it, but I can not risk leaving him an orphan. Not again. My little flesh puppet did not work as expected and I will not go down that path again. Everything else has been rather quiet. I hear there is going to be some kind of conflict regarding azurite. Steinburg still has not returned from his visit to Undercity. I am tempted to find him there, but I was informed that he is now working as a bookkeeper for the Desolate Council. Apparently some of their members were lost. That seems a shame to me, considering Silvermoon has its own government and council, I would not doubt that Undercity could very much be in need of their own governing body. I am proud of Steinburg for lending a hand, of course. I do hope he is alright.
  6. Ninorra

    A New Beginning

    Journal Entry 2 It has been over a year since I have decided to write in this thing. How very sad! It is a pretty journal, and I have had such adventures. Imagine me, never even writing down any of them, even as I traveled to Argus and aided my friends against the Legion. How many things have occurred since I wrote this first entry? - I allowed Damian to train with Qabian. What a disaster! He learned a lot, certainly, but at some point Qabian's ego got the better of him and he put Damian in life threatening danger. Even he thought Damian was killed and in my rage I removed one of his limbs. Damian was, of course, fine. So we have all learned a valuable lesson. - With the help of my friends, I was able to obtain my soul and defeat the demon my mother made a deal with so long ago. I am now fully whole, though the idea is still strange and the curse of my eyes remains. What, if any changes this will make to my personality, are yet to be seen. - During the ceremony in which I retrieved my soul, my dear subordinate Corvallis, as well as Helnia, were lost to us. I miss them both dearly, but Damian took it the hardest. I believe he and Corvallis bonded quite a bit, and I have promised to try and find him. - The guild is moving. We will no longer have a place in Dalaran, but in Razor Hill, Shattrath, and Ashtotem. This makes very little difference to me, but I do enjoy Shattrath! It brings back a lot of happy memories from the war in Outland. Imagine, happy memories and war! - Still no word from my large friend who was hidden with us for some time. I imagine he is somewhere out in the world, making trouble. Always so serious, that one. I do miss him. - Since bonding with my little soul, my memories have been a bit jumbled. Everything is coming back to me, especially with reminders, but a few things remain fuzzy. I have the strangest feeling that I am forgetting something important, but so far nothing has been made clear. - I have had the strangest craving for sparkling white wine, lately. Not at home, of course. I will have to find someone to share a bottle with. Maybe brunch?
  7. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    The past months had been ordinary. Qabian’s interested in politics had waned for various reasons, both positive and negative, but through it all, he taught his students their lessons. It felt strange simply accepting the role of instructor. He had resisted it for years since the Academy had let him go, but something about the act of teaching seemed to calm him. Perhaps that was only because the students he had were actively interested and behaved as such. If they were otherwise, they would not have lasted. Meeting with Damian at the Violet Citadel, Qabian greeted the boy by simply saying, “Today, we’re going back into the Underbelly.” Damian had grown more comfortable during his time in Dalaran. He still wore the same uniform that befitted a student of the Kirin Tor, but his white curls had been growing longer these days, and he was starting to sport a short ponytail at the base of his neck. His attitude too, had shifted. Rather than contest decisions made for him, he started listening more. Observing. Also gone was the little bag he once carried, changed instead for a bag sewn into his belt where he still kept a small notebook, a quill, and a strange gem gifted to him by his mother. "Yes sir," he said obediently. Qabian smirked at the lack of resistance or inquiry. "Good." He led the way through the city in serious, thoughtful silence without waiting to see if the boy was following. He exchanged nods with the Kirin Tor sentries stationed at the bottom of the ramp before moving to one side to open the particular keyed portal that led to the same useful little room he had used before. Damian kept most of his questions to himself these days. Having found that most of them went answered, eventually, he opted to wait for that to happen naturally. His curiosity regarding Qabian's consistent desire to get him out of the city had been met with an answer, albeit a rather vague one. Taking him into the Underbelly might have been another attempt, or perhaps a test. He was happy to find out. Qabian paused in front of the portal. "Heads up," he directed at the boy. At a gesture, a translucent shield of flames surrounded Qabian in the moment before he stepped through, again without waiting. Damian blinked a few times, frowning. He hadn't been instructed to shield himself, and he was skeptical about why he might have to. Following Qabian's example, however, he muttered something under his breath and surrounded himself with a shield before stepping through the portal as well. The room appeared empty, but the wood slats that made up the floor wobbled seemingly randomly on the surface of the water. Qabian stood a few steps in, the shield around him shimmering with heat effects. He held his hands out at his sides, readied. "Show yourself," he said calmly to the empty room. This was new. Damian wasn't sure what to expect, but for Qabian to speak with someone else he must have had something interesting planned. The mage rarely spoke to anyone, outside of his students or his mother, and with them it was usually with distain. Suddenly, a burly worgen stepped out of the shifting dim light of the room beside Damian, the barrel of a massive rifle inches away from the boy's head. "This is your idea of a challenge, elf?" the wolf man growled, grinning toothily at Qabian. "A little boy?" Qabian mirrored the grin with a simple "Yes," as he stepped to the side, watching Damian's reaction. Damian didn't move as he felt the air shift around him, though the sound of Common was foreign in his ears. He'd been learning it from the Kirin Tor, and picking up enough to understand the basics. "Little boy" in particular was somewhat irritating. "What are you doing?" He asked Qabian. "My friend here--" the term was dripping with venom, but the expression on Qabian's face was one of excitement "--wanted a fight and I promised to give him one. Seemed like a good opportunity for a test, hm?" Qabian explained to Damian. The worgen turned his gun on Qabian. "Enough talk," the worgen grunted. "Catch." He tossed something at Damian, something round and metal and making ticking noises, and in the next instant there was a deafening bang as the rifle fired. The fiery shield around Qabian flickered out, but he seemed otherwise unharmed as his hands filled with fire. Damian, while inexperienced with guns, was more than experienced with the idea of being distracted in a fight. His father had taught him that much, at least, in their sparring sessions. He let the ticking ball fly past his hands and blinked as it soared through the space he once inhabited, choosing instead to appear a few feet behind the worgen and send a ball of flame sailing into the base of his spine. The ticking metal ball rolled across the wooden slats and fell into the water. There was a whumph sound and the floor shifted as the little bomb exploded beneath it, causing waves, but the wood that made up the floor of the room was eerily sturdy and was back in place and steady very quickly. The worgen wrongly assumed his little explosive would take care of the distraction that was Damian, and focused all his attention on Qabian, firing again. The huge gun was not a particularly quick shot. Qabian's shoulder jerked backward at the sound, but otherwise, the mage didn't seem to react. He brought the fire in his hands forward, throwing a fireball that seemed to split into four as three copies of him suddenly appeared behind him. The worgen yelped as Damian's fireball caught him in the backside. With fire coming at him from all sides now, the worgen tucked and rolled, dodging what he could, but his fur smoldered nonetheless. "Ha! Of course you'd teach your babies pyromania, wouldn't you?" he taunted in Common. He brought up his rifle but wavered in choosing a target out of one of the several now available to him. "I am not a baby," Damian countered, frowning irritably at the worgen. He did not have much experience with the hairy dog people, but this one he decided he did not like. Another fireball leaped from his small hands, flying toward the creature's body. It was not the most that he could muster, but it was enough to at least distract him as he gathered more mana. The wolf laughed a laugh that sounded like gruff barking. He shot one of the Qabians, then another, each of which shattered into glittering fragments of light. A third, the real one, drew in shadows around itself and vanished from view. "Guess he's ditched you, pup," the worgen said, firing off another shot toward Damian but the fireball caused it to go wild, a spray of stone fragments spitting out from the wall. The worgen staggered backward a couple steps, shaking off the effects of Damian's spell. "Spicy," he said with a laugh. Damian frowned again, his little eyebrows scrunched between his forehead. "I'm not a pup," he said flatly, corrected the worgen before muttering something under his breath. The boy's voice was vaguely melodic, not unlike his mother. In the time the worgen took to make Qabian's clones disappear, he managed to gather enough mana for a fireblast from both hands. The blast made the worgen stagger back again, this time with a howl as he patted out a fire tenaciously burning through his shoulder, and in doing so took a hand off his gun. A massive pyroblast from behind the worgen knocked him bodily to the floor mid-howl, the rifle clattering across the wooden floor as Qabian shimmered back into view. "Not today, elf," the wolf growled. There was a clanking sound and a glowing green image of a turtle shell appeared over the wolf as he struggled to his knees. He took something from his back that he began swiftly constructing into what looked something like a mechanical turret in front of him. Qabian's eyes went wide. "What are you doing, you fool!" He blinked across the room toward Damian. "How well can you make an ice block?" Qabian hissed as he took the last few steps toward the boy. Damian didn't answer the question with words. There was no time to talk, so he answered by holding both hands in front of himself to conjure what looked like a thick shield that grew between himself and the worgen. The boy's face scrunched in concentration, as this clearly was not what he specialized in. Still, he tried. Qabian eyed the boy a moment, then stepped in between Damian and the worgen and encased himself in ice. Between his own block and the boy's shield, it would have to be enough. As the worgen finished his contraption and stood up straight, a massive explosion triggered at the center of the small room with a blinding white light and shrapnel flying everywhere, embedding itself in the walls, the ceiling, and Qabian's ice block. The floor rocked violently on its liquid foundation. Their eyes readjusted after the flash to see the worgen standing in the center of the room beside the smoking metal carcass of his explosive device, laughing as the turtle shell image around him faded, leaving him entirely unscathed. The worgen didn't seem to notice that the two elves behind their magical barriers were also unharmed. The ceiling, however, was not as lucky. As the worgen laughed his belief in his final victory, there was a loud crack and large part of the stone ceiling of the small room tilted inward. Qabian glanced toward the boy, but unable to speak within the ice, simply willed Damian to hold his shield steady. The center of the ceiling fractured then collapsed downward, directly onto the worgen's laughing face, filling the room with a massive cloud of dust from above. As the stonework smashed into the wooden floor, the slats rocked again, but somehow did not break, somehow holding up the massive weight of stone just as they had held against the earlier underwater blast. The ice around Qabian melted downward and he waved his hand in front of his face, coughing through the cloud of dust as it settled. Damian was more or less distracted by the worgen's antics, his annoying laughter, and the explosion. It wasn't until the ceiling was actually coming down on him that he turned his hands upward, moving the ice shield to cover himself. A brief moment of terror crossed his mind as he wondered about his shield, whether or not it would hold, and in that moment his red eyes glowed like two lamps as the shield covered him completely. It kept him covered until the dust settled, and in spite of his best efforts, the boy's breathing had become labored with leftover panic. As the dust finally cleared, Qabian looked over at the boy. Qabian acknowledged Damian's fear with nothing more than a nod, as the boy appeared to be otherwise unharmed, or at least still standing and not bleeding profusely. Qabian moved over to the rubble in the center of the room, kicking away pieces of stone and attempting to stand on large fragments that wobbled under his feet. It was a decidedly ungraceful procedure. A dark furred arm stuck out of the rubble at a violent angle, confirming that the worgen had not managed some sort of miraculous escape. "Hm," Qabian mused aloud. "That was not at all what I was expecting." He shielded his eyes from the dust that continued to slowly dribble from above as he looked up at the ceiling. "If I had considered this possibility, I would have--" He froze as he saw a violet glowing shield of some sort covering the hole in the ceiling. "Oh, no..." He glanced around the room. The portal they had entered from had closed during the shuffle of the fight. It was a simple enough procedure to open it again, but he hesitated. Damian swallowed in an attempt to calm himself, but the boy's hands were trembling. This may have been the most dangerous thing that he remembered happening, and his shield was the only thing that had saved him. It was a lesson in self preservation, a world where there was no one to save him but himself. Slowly, the ice melted and he finally regarded Qabian again. "Should we make a portal?" He asked, his voice slightly more subdued than usual. Rather than answer the question, Qabian asked another. "Do you know what's up there?" He pointed to the magic covering the hole above them. Damian's eyes followed Qabian's finger, but he the violet shield confused him. "Dalaran?" "Correct, but more importantly, we are under the Violet Hold. And that..." Qabian tilted his head as he stared upward. The magic flickered. Qabian flinched so hard he staggered backward from his precarious perch on a piece of rubble. "That is something being held below the front facing prison. If we--" The magic shield above suddenly vanished with a twang like a snapping guitar string, and Qabian scrambled backward off the rubble pile, muttering something that sounded suspiciously like "Shit shit shit shit shit." Damian, reached into his pocket and grabbed something. "Should we be getting out of here?" There's a sound of a decidedly female moan from above. "Yes, but--" Qabian begins to open a portal, then stops mid-cast, the half-formed portal fading. "Most of what they hold in that prison is highly arcane sensitive. If whatever that is can latch onto our magic and follow us, we risk not just ourselves but the entire city above or wherever we choose to go." His voice holds more confusion than fear, though there are elements of both, and his brow is tightly pinched as he tries to calculate the many risks in a highly volatile situation. He usually does a much better job of managing outcomes before problems arise. "It may... Can we deal with this here? They must have alarms. They must be..." He's clearly thinking out loud. "I believe the safest option is to hold, but be ready. Your test just got more interesting." Qabian can't resist a brief smirk, but it's quickly replaced by a determined upward glare. "Why did you think that testing me below a prison would be a good idea?" Damian asked, reaching instead for a mana potion to shove into one of his closer pockets. If one of their prisoners could follow him out, than his mother's 'get out of trouble' gift couldn't be used. The idea that he might not have a way out of something actually dangerous pricked at his skin, and a wave of goosebumps travelled from his legs to his arms. Qabian shook his head. "I didn't expect our dead friend to collapse a structure that should not be collapsible. And to be honest, I did not know. This city is..." He looked at the boy as if suddenly realizing he was there. A variety of emotions crossed Qabian's face, and he settled on, "It was a mistake," before turning his attention back to the ceiling. "If we can deal with this here, we deal with it here," Qabian continued, "and the Kirin Tor can consider how it happened and how to fix it. If we can't, if it takes a turn for the worse, you teleport out. Above is best. This is Dalaran's problem. No sense taking it anywhere else. Understood?" Qabian held his hands at his sides, each palm filled with fire, as a pair of red hooved legs slowly floated down through the hole in the ceiling, dark greenish black fabric swirling around them. "Ah, my daring rescuers. Wonderful to see you," the descending Eredar intoned in what sounded like thickly accented Orcish. Floating over her hands held out before her was a curiously canine skull. Damian was about to say his usual "yes sir" when another voice suddenly joined them. What followed was more than shocking to the somewhat sheltered boy. Having lived in Dalaran these past few months, Damian had seen his share of draenei, but eredar were something different and this one even more so than he expected. As an elf, he could feel the power surging from her, like a warm stove that radiated heat throughout the house. The power in her nearly filled their surroundings and his red eyes flashed with understanding of their plight. Qabian's voice echoed in his mind, If it takes a turn for the worse, you teleport out. There was no mention of what he himself would do, and that part was curious in itself. The eredar landed on the top of the pile of rubble with considerably more grace than Qabian had shown scrambling over it. As the magic that allowed her to float diminished, her ludicrously extravagant greenish black robes draped around her. Her horns and black hair glimmered with delicate strings of silver like a spider web. Her brilliant yellow eyes stared vaguely upward. She held the carnivorous looking skull out toward Qabian. "An elf mage? How delicious. And yet it wasn't magic that saved me. I would know. Curious." She turned, holding the skull toward Damian. "And a child of the same? Tell me, boy." She leaned forward, almost kneeling. "Do you like dogs?" He could feel the stone in his pocket, suddenly very heavy, like a reminder that he could vanish at any moment. He could have reached for it, escaped, and left the magister and this insane experience behind. It would have been easy, but his hand was frozen. The eredar's eyes bore into his own, as if she hypnotized him with her gaze. It wasn't often that he found himself panicking, but for some reason, he spoke. "No." “Ohh, that’s a shame,” she said, her face distorting in a frown so extreme it looked like a theater mask. “Perhaps you simply haven't met the right ones yet. Let me--” There was a loud bang as Qabian brought his hands together, flames rippling across the floor and over the pile of rubble from where he stood, singeing the edges of her skirts. “Hey!” he shouted. When the eredar turned her attention to him, he snarled, “Try someone your own size, hm?” The eredar towered over Qabian's perfectly reasonable elf height, but apparently he couldn't resist the cliché. “Of course, sweet mage. You do have more to offer my pets, after all,” she crooned. A pair of huge black felhunters stepped out from behind the black fabric pillar of her dress as though they had been there all along and began weaving sinuous paths toward the mage, all their stalks directed towards him. A third pushed between the eredar’s legs, rubbing up against her ankles like a monstrous cat, which would have been incongruously amusing if it weren't so outright menacing. “It had to be fucking felhunters,” Qabian hissed under his breath. The eredar laughed a peal of bright laughter that took on a dark demonic echo as she lifted her hands and the skull floating over them above her head. Qabian took a step back, then another as the creatures approached, a genuine fear on his face that he rarely ever experienced let alone showed. As he hit the wall behind him and had nowhere left to go, he shouted wordlessly, almost a roar. Accompanying the shout, a detailed dragon's head crafted entirely of fire appeared above him and blasted the felhunters, dizzying them and halting their sinuous march. In the next moment, Qabian’s entire body burst into flame and he began blasting a quick succession of intense spells at the eredar. A flick of one wrist and a sizzling sound followed by a massive pyroblast flung from his other hand. A punching motion ending in a blast of flame with enough force to cause the eredar to take a step back immediately followed by another pyroblast that sent waves of heat throughout the room. Over and over, spell after spell, without pause or loss of power. Though the magic seemed to impact her physically, in that she had to push against it, her arms crossed before her shielding her face, the ominous skull spinning slowly as it floated above her head, no matter how brutally huge and quickly the fire came, it had no effect. At the center of the barrage, her eerie laughter could be heard beneath the roaring flames, simultaneously high and low pitched. Between one pyroblast and the next, the felhunters regained their senses and suddenly, Qabian found himself without any magic at all. The flames that had surrounded him were entirely snuffed out, their power absorbed by the demons. He couldn't force so much as a candle flame from his fingertips. “No. No, no, no!” Qabian pressed his back against the wall, out of options, out of ideas, suffering all the crippling indecision that accompanies a personal nightmare come to life. But as the felhunters seemed about to set upon him, they turned instead toward Damian. Qabian's already panicked expression turned angry. “What? No! Leave him alone!” He had no fire to use but what limited access he had to the other schools was still available to him. He blinked across the short distance, putting himself between the felhunters and the boy. Qabian slammed a palm down on the wooden slats of the floor, a sheet of ice blasting out from his hand and freezing the felhunters in place. “Run!” Qabian snapped at Damian. “Cast a--” Any further warning was choked off as Qabian found himself struggling in the air, lifted off his feet, clawing at an invisible hand at his throat as the eredar stepped down off her dais of rubble toward them. The felhunters easily ate away the magic that held them in place and bore down on Damian’s fearstruck form. “N-no--” Qabian choked. The demons were too close. Even if the boy tried to teleport now, the creatures would silence him partway through the casting. There was nothing left that Qabian could do. He chose wrong. He made the wrong decisions. Just then, the lock on his fire dissipated. He mustered the last of his strength and clasped his hands in front of him as the world around him grew dark. A thundering meteor of fire crashed from the gap in the ceiling above down onto the three felhunters just as they reached the boy. Qabian heard a crack and a jolt of lightning shot through the back of his skull in the moment before everything ended. But it wasn't quite over for Damian. Even as the felhunters appeared, and began their cruel work of draining Qabian of his magic, the boy was making plans. He could teleport out, using the gift his mother gave him. He could run, and even if the woman followed him, he would have help above. That, however, would have left Qabian alone to meet his fate. Perhaps a month ago, this would not have mattered. Seeing him actually make the attempt to save him, however, proved something that even his mother would have a hard time believing. What could he do, though? At this point in his training, Damian could perhaps stand up to a foe a tenth her stregth. She was clearly locked up for a reason, and her felhunters would drain him dry before his first spell hit. So what was the solution? Time was running out. The demons were closing in on his teacher, someone he was always wary of, who may have in fact actually been his friend. And then the felhunters were on him. He could feel his mana drain instantly, a dry hunger consuming him of the likes he'd never experienced. The smell of their breath as they drew closer was like rancid sewage, and he knew that his flesh would soon meet their teeth. He muttered an apology to his mothe when the meteor materialized, and in the split second before it hit, the boy's body burst into flames that all but consumed him. And then he was gone. Qabian opened his eyes to a backlit human form crouching over him. The man got a face full of fire and fell backward before Qabian had his magic locked down again. The man wiped ash off his face with his Kirin Tor tabard. "Well, he's alive," the man shouted to someone off to the side. "Fucking Kirin Tor," Qabian groaned as he pushed himself to sitting with significant effort. He rubbed the back of his neck. It radiated heat outwardly and inwardly, an effect he recognized as the consequence of his magic stitching his body back together the way heat could from an otherwise fatal blow. His head was pounding and the rest of his body ached, probably from being slammed against the wall, at least that's what it felt like, but bruises he could deal with. Death was more difficult. He scanned the scene, seeing at first only dust lit by the eerie glow of Kirin Tor light globes, then the pile of rubble and the hole in the ceiling. Not much time could have passed if he still felt the heat at his neck, so it seemed the Kirin Tor were moments too late and the demon had been thoroughly convinced he was actually dead. He got to his feet, and one of the Kirin Tor examining the scene tried to help him. "I'm fine," he snapped at them. He walked the edge of the room until he found the circular pattern in the rubble. All that was left of the meteor's targets was the smoldering leg and tail of one of the three felhunters. He stared at the circle in the stone fragments and the dust for what felt like forever. Eventually, a hand touched his shoulder. "Fuck!" Qabian shouted, and slammed his fist into the wall beside him. "What happened?" the voice belonging to the hand asked. "What do you fucking think happened?" he snapped at them, shoving their arm away. "Your shoddy construction of this worthless pit of a city failed you. Again. It couldn't hold Kael'thas, and it couldn't hold whatever the fuck that was."(edited) "Did you see her get away?" the voice asked, calm and sensible. "Of course not. I wasn't conscious," Qabian said, his anger fading over the course of the sentence as he leaned against the wall. "Where are the exits here?" An interrogation proceeded for a few minutes while the Kirin Tor continued their attempts to clean up the mess. Qabian's answers were succinct but accurate, as he became more and more too tired to care. "Am I free to go?" he finally interjected. The Kirin Tor man nodded. Back in the halls of the Underbelly, Qabian held himself up with one hand against the wall for a long pause. When he finally moved, he took two steps, then dropped to his knees on the stonework slick with gutter filth, and held his face in his hands. To anyone passing by, he may have seemed to be weeping. He wasn't, but he was more frustrated, distraught, and uncomfortably emotional than he had been since he woke more than a year ago. When he finally stood up, he staggered, filthy and limping, he didn't even care in which direction.
  8. Ninorra

    Behind the Curtain

    Ninorra waited in the courtroom. A few people already started filing out; young Sin'dorei, a few older ones, one noticeably older elf with his daughter by his side seemed amused by the proceedings and indeed, the half-elf at the center of this debacle had been supremely entertaining. In what appeared to be an example of grace, the judge suggested that Mardalius Anterius, the half-elf exiled from Silvermoon for crimes of which he was not guilty of, actually regain citizenship by marrying a member of their society. Ninorra smirked to herself. Marriage had certainly changed her own circumstances, it was reasonable enough to imagine that they could change his. If he were interested, that is. "The Honorable Judge requested that I become a symbol for you all. She said that Silvermoon needed an outsider who was also one of you to break the mold of xenophobia that holds you like shackles and fetters. I have decided that I shall do so, but not by bowing before their mandates, for to do so would betray all that I am. I am an individual, a free man, and I will not let this court nor this government dictate how a lawful citizen may attain his rights, which were unlawfully stripped. I will do as she asks by showing you what we were, what I was raised to be. I stand tall and prideful, though I do not blindly do as I am bid by those who name themselves my betters, for that is the mark of a slave. If you, the people, yearn for change, I encourage you to demand it, by becoming the change you wish to see. Do not let them in their high spires determine your lives, for your lives do not belong to them. They belong to you, and those you choose to share them with. Not those you are instructed to share them with. Thank you." How sweet of him, the warlock thought to herself. That he would give up his chance to become a member of their community was a sweet sentiment. Surely he deserved the chance to be with his people, half-blood that he was. She waited, then, for the crowd to thin before making her move. Situated in the back of the courtroom, to the left of the judge and tucked in a corner, sat a Sin'dorei with a scroll and a quill. He was recording what happened in rapid scrapes, long blonde hair tied into a tight braid at the back of his neck so as not to obstruct his writing. She kept a close eye on him, and waited. Eventually, he stood and made his way toward another door opposite the judge's chambers. Ninorra took this as her opportunity and rose from her seat to follow him. There were no guards, no one to stop her from following the severe looking man to his cramped office, where scrolls lie in neat piles as he transcribed them. Decorative paintings hung on the too-small walls, tightly packed together, as if to hide the darkness of his windowless room. It would come to no surprise to most people that a court reporter would be given such meager trappings. He was surprised, however, when Ninorra walked inside of them. "Can I help you?" He asked with a raised eyebrow, thin and blonde and perhaps plucked too narrow. Ninorra grinned like a hungry cat and closed the door behind her. "Why yes, I believe you can. Lord Arryton Dawnbreeze, yes? My name is Lady Ninorra Bloodstone." The warlock introduced herself with a bow and a flourish of black robes, stylishly tailored after being pilfered from an eredar with enormous hips whose measurements were strangely similar to her own. Ninorra's appearance was more or less in fashion with what so many of her kin wore, with the exception that she somehow managed to convince her tailor to remove a few inches from the neckline and expose pillowy tanned breasts beneath a necklace of dark red gems. One of those gems seemed to glow in tandem with her eyes. "Lady Bloodstone," Lord Dawnbreeze said dryly, his eyes glancing from her robes to the ostentation of her chest. He didn't seem much impressed by the parade of flesh, but it certainly grabbed his attention for a split second. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" "Well I came for dear Mardalius' day in court," she explained, sitting down opposite of the man in a strangely plain chair. Obviously whoever furnished his office did not care to indulge the reporter's sense of style. "The poor dear, he really is a very kind boy. I have known him some time with Sanctuary." Dawnbreeze frowned. He was a reporter, not a judge. Any kind of information he had was trivial at best. "What about him?" "Well, I was wondering if you could give me a bit of insight," Ninorra explained, folding both hands over on knee as it crossed over her thigh. The warlock's hands were dainty, if not garishly decorated with gold rings and long fingernails painted gold and red. "You see, I was wondering why on Azeroth anyone would consider marriage a reasonable solution to his little problem. Especially considering the fact that it has, in my research, never been offered as a means of gaining citizenship before." Dawnbreeze sighed. "I can't give you the information you want, Lady Bloodstone. I'm a reporter. I'm not privvy to those sorts of--" "But you must heart things," she interrupted, leaning in forward. "I am certain that a man of your great perception must hear things. Am I right?" "Even if I did, you would not be entitled to them," he grunted, drumming a hand on his desk. Dawnbreeze's digits boasted a rather subdued manicure, but the care he took in his appearance was genuine. Ninorra smiled broadly and leaned forward a bit more. "Entitled? Surely not. I have never been the type to take advantage of entitlements." "Ha," the man said derisively, more of a statement than a laugh. "Please. I know all about your entitlements, 'lady' Bloodstone." "Then you know I'm the type of woman who gets what she wants by offering acts of kindness," Ninorra purred, smirking with ruby painted lips. "An act I can certainly pass your way." Dawnbreeze's jaw clenched. "I assure you, there is nothing you can give me that I am interested in." "Oh no?" Ninorra said with raised eyebrows, cocking her head to one side. "Well, that is not what I heard. In fact I heard that you might be very interested in something. Something that your wife is in desperate need of." A blonde eyebrow twitched, though he avoided her red gaze. "I don't know what you're talking about." "Oh don't you?" The warlock teased, reaching into her robes to retrieve a small drawstring bag, subtle in its size but boasting important cargo. "Because I could just take this home and she would never see it, or you could take it with you and be her hero. For a while." The deep sigh of consideration passed through Dawnbreeze's lips like a whistle, and while his face was red, he made no effort to argue. Finally, the elf sat back in his chair and waved a hand. "The boy is a mule. He will likely never breed. This whole idea to have him marry off someone in our society, the judge never intended for him to take it. It's an effort to keep the half-breed out, and even if he did manage to find someone who would take him, it isn't as if he could have children. His mixed blood will never be a part of our city.. but why did you come here to ask me this? You could have figured it out for yourself. This isn't official, it's off the record and has no bearing on his status." Ninorra sighed herself and placed the bag on his desk. "I suppose I was hoping for something a bit less simple. I can understand wanting to be a part of something you are barred from, as I am sure you know." "Please," Dawnbreeze muttered, grabbing the bag. "Everyone knows. Nobody cares. So you married above your station. Good. It's an archaic system, but you've done your part to keep your household. What would this boy do? He's half human, and his father is loyal to the Alliance. We didn't write off those mongrels just to bring in their half-breed children with open arms. Even if, someday, he were to find a woman capable of ignoring his disfigurements and marrying him, he would never be accepted. So what is the point of his citizenship? To see the city? To walk the streets like the freakish Horde delegation? They may be here but they are not our people. Nor would he be, even as a 'citizen'." Again, Ninorra smiled. This time, however, she chose to stand. "It is a shame that so many of our people can not overlook these little differences. I daresay we might even come to appreciate them, with time." "Appreciating the differences between us doesn't mean we need to lower ourselves to them," the man grumbled, running his fingers over the drawstring bag. "We may change what we call ourselves, but we will never change who we are. Even you, lowborn as you might be. You are one of us. Don't forget that." Ninorra smirked let a tendril of hair fall into her cleavage as she bowed before the court reporter. "My dear, how could I? May the eternal sun guide you, Lord Dawnbreeze." Dawnbreeze grunted a goodbye and waited for his door to close before opening the bag. Inside, he found that Ninorra had been true to her word. A limited edition Tiffany Cartier bracelet lie in his palm, something his wife had been obsessing over since she heard of its limited quantities. With another glance at the door, he considered just how much trouble Ninorra would have had to go through to retrieve it in exchange for such trivial information. Pocketing the jewelry, he also tucked away that tidbit of information.
  9. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    It was a breezy day in the Eversong Woods. Ninorra’s carefully tamed black hair drifted into her face as she sat on the stone bench beside the decorative pond on Bloodstone Manor’s grounds. Roaming the grass beside her, Damian’s mana saber kitten pounced butterflies. He seemed to get used to the grounds fairly quickly, especially after allowing him to hunt rabbits plaguing Ninorra’s garden. A few yards away, Damian knelt on the grass with one of his father’s toolboxes nearby. The boy was tinkering with one of the robots they encountered in Suramar, though what he was doing exactly, Ninorra could not say. “Damian, what do you think of your instructor?” His mother asked casually, watching him work as she lounged on the bench. “I think he’s very patient with me,” Damian answered easily. “Mm hmmm... and why do you think that is?” Damian didn’t answer right away. He used a screwdriver to tighten a nut before sitting up straight. “There are a few possible answers. The two most likely are that he either has grown to enjoy teaching me and actually wants me to learn, or that he wants us to trust him enough that he can eventually kill me.” Ninorra blinked slowly. Neither idea seemed to surprise her. “And why do you think he might want to kill you?” “Because I’m a liability,” he answered, lowering himself again to inspect the interior of the robot’s chest cavity. “Because if he actually is growing attached to me, it proves that he’s not what he says he is and he wouldn’t want anyone to think that. Especially not himself.” “Oh dear,” the warlock sighed. “You are very young to have allowed yourself to get mixed up with this sort of thing. You know I worry.” “I can’t ask you not to worry,” the boy said remorselessly. “You trust me, don’t you mother?” Ninorra’s face settled into a relaxed smile. If there was anyone in the world she trusted, it was her son. Though she feared for their relationship upon returning home a year ago, amount of time they spent separated had thankfully not broken the bond between them. “Of course, but you are still a child. You cannot expect me not to worry about your safety if Qabian decides that he wants to murder you.” “I’m not so arrogant to think it will be easy, mother. I know I’m a child, and I know I’m not even the smartest child to ever walk Azeroth, but,” he actually took the time to sit up and look at her. Bright red eyes that mimicked her own seemed far older than the eight years he lived. “I know more than just what I learned in books, or the council. I have the lessons from Corvallis, and from father too. That’s why I wasn’t upset about Corvallis when you told me he was banished. I know he’s still alive.” Turning her head to one side, Ninorra studied her son’s expression. He seemed less drawn to emotion these days, especially since Corvallis disappeared. The strangely handsome young man who tutored Damian in swordplay always seemed to take special care in Damian’s wellbeing. What had he taught the boy, exactly? “And how do you know that?” Damian smiled, and the same dimples his mother had showed in his cheeks. He immediately went back to working on the robot. “I just do.” Ninorra smiled to herself and seemed to relax. While she often found it difficult to cope with how much risk her son was willing to take, the strange connection he and Corvallis shared seemed to put her at ease. At least for now.
  10. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    The past month had been strange for Qabian. He had been distracted with projects other than Damian's education, and that had probably been noticeable to the child at their occasional meeting for lessons, but the effect had been almost calming for the Magister. Qabian took refuge and respite in sharing his knowledge, falling into a comfortable routine of helping Damian practice and improve for a few brief hours before returning to the far less simple work waiting for the Magister elsewhere. However, with said projects nearly completed to his satisfaction, Qabian remembered why he had agreed to do any of this apprenticeship business in the first place. He was disappointed in letting himself slip, but hoped he could at least count on the uneventful time that had passed to have made certain people let their guard down around him in a way he could abuse. Qabian himself had also become more complacent. He waited on the balcony of the Legerdemain Lounge, wearing his Grim tabard rather than a less conspicuous one, and without the company of any Kirin Tor guards, ready to meet Damian at the pre-arranged time. Damian arrived promptly. The little elf carried, as usual, a brown satchel bag slung over one shoulder, and wore the simple brown and white linen clothes of a student. There was a troubled expression on his typically stoic face as he approached Qabian, but the boy seemed intent on continuing with his lessons and stopped a few feet from Qabian to bow respectfully in greeting. "Sir." A shadow of a smile may have crossed Qabian's face, but he otherwise maintained a cold distance in his expression. He acknowledged the boy's arrival with a brief nod, then turned away from him to look out over the city. "How are you feeling?" the mage asked. Damian raised an eyebrow as the magister turned away. This may have been the first time he inquired about the boy's feelings, and it seemed suspect. "Fine, sir," he answered casually. Or as casually as an eight year old boy could answer. "Thank you." "How are your studies going? Are you getting enough from them? Do you feel like you're learning?" Qabian continued speaking toward the city, not the child. If it weren't for the focus of his words, his demeanor would seem either distracted or dismissive. "Was it worth leaving Silvermoon?" "I've been getting more instruction, yes," Damian explained, glad with the change in subject. "They're less inclined to treat me like a child. I've been learning about portals, and teleporting." "Good. Time-space is fickle. Losing control and making mistakes can have far more terrible consquences than simple elemental magic." Qabian's blank expression darkens into a frown, but again the emotion is a shadow that passes quickly. "Was there something you were hoping I could distract you from today?" Damian's hand clutched the bag at his side. He didn't carry much, just a book, a notebook, and a few quills. Peering curiously at Qabian's back, he stayed rooted to the spot. "..no. I came here to learn, like always." "Maybe we'll get there today. Maybe." Qabian shrugs idly. "How are your parents?" "They're fine," Damian said quickly. It wasn't a lie, but the boy wasn't sure how deeply the magister intended on digging. "Do you spend a lot of time with them here? Or are they often busy?" Qabian asked. "I'm busy," he corrected, perhaps a little cheeky. "I see both of my parents in the guildhall. My mother more than my father, but he's an officer with the military so he has more responsibility than she does." Qabian smirked at the response, though he continued to face away. "That was my next question. Who are you spending your time with when you're not studying? Or perhaps you're always studying?" Damian blinked uncomfortably and looked at the floor. "..mostly. I like to read." "How often are you in the guildhall? Do you see what goes on there? Perhaps while you're reading?" Qabian continued. "I eat, sleep and study there, sir," Damian explained dutifully. "So I don't see much of what goes on. I'm either in the library or my bedroom." Qabian remained silent for a time, watching the city, considering his options. Finally, he said, "If you were any ordinary child, I would say politics were simply beyond your purview. What eight-year-old cares one iota about politics? And perhaps you do not care, and that would be perfectly reasonable. But given what your parents' previous absence accomplished for you, perhaps you know more about politics than any child should, hm?" Damian considered the magister's words carefully. "..yes sir," he concurred with a slow nod. "I wasn't really interested in politics, before. Not until I sat on the council. They didn't let me do anything, but it was interesting to hear how decisions were made." Qabian grinned into the distance. "How much do you know about your parents' guild?" he asked. "I know about.. how it started. How they joined. What they do and what they're trying to do," Damian answered, dreading where this was going. "And have you heard that the guild has done some absolutely horrible things?" Qabian continued. One of Damian's long white eyebrows twitched. "What sort of horrible things?" "Take people apart, torture them, mutilate them, burn them until they scream." Qabian shrugged. "You tell me. You're closer to them than I am." He sighed, but the sound didn't affect his distant grin. "But I suspect neither of us are ever told the truth. Maybe it is all lies, but I do know one of the best, bravest people I know is absolutely terrified of the people your parents work with." "Well.." Damian blinked and looked back up toward the magister. Fear was something he mentioned often, but it was never as something to be avoided. "Good." Qabian laughed quite loud, and with that twisted grin, finally turned to face the child. "And what do you know of my guild, hm?" A loaded question. Damian heard plenty about the Grim, and for the most part, none of it was particularly good. "..I know your guild believes that peace will come through annihilation of your enemies." "Mmm. That precious Mandate of ours, hm? Wonderful propaganda, isn't it? You only need to hear it once and it echoes through your mind for years to come," Qabian mused. "Did you know we have people who do all the same horrible things I just accused your parents' guild of doing? Of course, we never pretend we don't do those things. Perhaps we should work together. Do you think that would be a good idea?" Damian furrowed his brow for a moment. "I know you already have. Because in war, ideals are compromised in favor of a winning strategy." He cocked his head to one side, studying Qabian from behind. "My mother told me that the Warboss and your leader helped each other on a mission, because they were both hired to accomplish something. They helped each other and the mission was successful. So sometimes, you have to work with people you don't agree with because that's how you get things done." Qabian raised a disbelieving eyebrow, then nodded appreciatively, his grin shifting to a bemused smirk. "Is that so? I knew I was right to bring this subject to you. I'll get straight answers from you that I could never get from my own people. Do you know the rest of that story? The names of the leaders? The nature of the mission?" "Something to do with the tauren in Highmountain," he answered with a shrug. "They were asked to do something for the chieftain. They did it, and then they left. That's all I know." Qabian blinked. "That doesn't sound right at all. I assumed you were referring to something that happened during my absence, but that can't be the case if it involved Highmountain." He looked off to one side thoughtfully. Apparently speaking to himself, he half-mumbled, "Simple mercenary work, then. That's not cooperation. That's forced. More reasonable than any possibility of actual mutual understanding, and yet, refusal seems more acceptable." He shrugged and turned back to the boy. "I've done as much myself, back in Outland, in the time before you were born, but I'm talking about something else. Do you think your parents' friends seek peace through the annihilation of their enemies as much as we do?" Damian raised an eyebrow. "Maybe. I don't know. I don't really speak to them very much. Though I'm pretty sure everyone kills, since we're at war. Nobody worries about annihilating the Legion." "No. Nobody does, do they?" Qabian's smirk returned. "If we could just convince them that Alliance fishing villages were actually full of demons, I'm sure they'd march alongside us in destroying entire families. To be honest, that's an absolutely excellent idea." The mage paused a moment, then changed tack. "Do you remember one of the earlier lessons I taught you? With the birds outside the tower?" "Yes sir," he answered easily, glancing past Qabian's back and into the sky. Beyond them both lie Argus, in all its imposing glowing green. Qabian followed the glance. "Your mother hasn't let you leave the city at all, has she?" "Not without her supervision," he said with a disappointed sigh. "Not with all the demons out there. She only likes the ones she can control." "It's understandable. You are very young, but..." Qabian eyed the child up and down. "When I was your age, I would have given my left arm for a chance to fight in a war like this, such imposing targets, such violence to defend against, survival as the greatest incentive for honing power and reaction times beyond my wildest dreams. I can only imagine what incredible opportunities are available to someone at the very precipice of life-altering discoveries." He grinned. "And of course, when I was your age, my mother made no decisions for me. My teachers made them all, such as they were capable of, at any rate. Are you any more eager to break the rules today?" Damian thought carefully about the question. Breaking the rules could have dire consequences, moreso for him than anyone else, but he genuinely wondered what lengths his parents would go to rescue him if things turned sour. His mother warned him to be smart. Was agreeing to break rules the smart thing to do? "It depends, sir. What rules are we breaking?" Qabian folded his arms across his chest, idly tapping his fingers as he spoke. "Your mother is correct. You should not go down to the Isles with me alone. I'm as likely to intentionally get you killed as accidentally, but perhaps eventually we can arrange something alongside her that will at least get you in the fray, if not unsupervised. "Today, however, I was thinking the Underbelly. There's a troll down there who sells portal keys, and we have... an arrangement. I have two keys, one for you and one for myself. We use a portal immediately behind the sentries and are never in an area that is not under Kirin Tor guard, and I give you today's lesson. I can guarantee that no harm will come to you, but you would still technically be breaking your mother's rules." Damian considered the proposition with a thoughtful expression. He seemed older than his short years when he thought like this, lips pursed and eyebrows tightly knit. Eventually, he stood straight and nodded. "Okay, sir." Qabian grinned horribly. "Excellent. That certainly opens up some possibilities. Follow me." He stepped past the child, walking briskly down the stairs and out into the city. Following Qabian, Damian kept his head down. He wasn't sure if his mother kept watch over him somehow, but if she did, they would almost certainly find out about this. He fell in step behind the magister and went over his options, just in case things took a turn for the worst. As promised, Qabian led the child through the streets of Dalaran, then down the ramp leading into the Underbelly. His pace was quick and he didn't pause to make certain Damian followed. The mage paused before the guard at the bottom of the ramp and handed something to the man who nodded once and stepped aside as a portal opened behind where he had been standing. Only then did Qabian confirm Damian was still with him before stepping into the portal. Damian followed Qabian closely behind. By the time he actually saw the portal, a wave of panic went through the boy as he considered his options. Stay and risk his life with a maniac, or run and be curious for the rest of his life. Taking a deep breath, he decided to chance it and stepped through the portal. Inside the small room the portal led to, Qabian stood to one side waiting, his arms folded across his chest, blinking as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. He half-expected Damian would not materialize, but the child dutifully appeared, as did the horrible grin on Qabian's face. The room was bare and open, wooden planks over water, not unlike the Underbelly's black market. In the very center of the room, a human man crouched on his knees, bedraggled and pale, his hands tied behind his back and a dirty brown cloth across his mouth, gagging him. He looked up when the elves entered, his eyes showing nothing but exhaustion. "As you can see," Qabian stated once the boy was fully in the room, "I lied, but not about everything." He looked pointedly at the portal behind the boy. "Shall we wait for your mother? I assume she'll be arriving shortly." Damian stared at the man in front of him. He'd seen humans before, in the city. He spoke with mages of the Kirin Tor, and saw men and women in armor and leather, all of them adventurers of great skill and power. Never before had he seen a human appear so powerless. This one seemed helpless. A victim, maybe? Some sort of captive? Eventually, Qabian's words registered. He looked up at the mage with a blank expression, not surprised to see him grinning like a madman. "Is that why you brought me here?" He asked curiously, his tone less accusing than it probably should have been. "To lure my mother?" Qabian chuckled, low and dark. "Of course not. I'm sure your mother would show herself at a simple request without any need for trickery. I simply assumed that if she's watching you as closely as she threatened she was that she would be behind us momentarily. This, however..." He motioned to the bound, disheveled man. "This is entirely for you." Taking a step forward, Damian studied the human a little more closely. He was tired, that much was certain, maybe starving. It was very possible that Qabian brought him here to kill this human, or at least torture him. What did that say about the magister? "What am I supposed to do with him?" Qabian raised an eyebrow at the question. "Kill him, of course. Teaching humans magic was our greatest error. We correct it at every given opportunity. This is the next step in denying empathy. The birds were the first. If you do not kill him, I will, and I will not make it quick." Qabian snapped his fingers, and the human shivered, but nothing else seemed to happen. It was difficult to tell if the man was afraid or simply shaking from the effort of not collapsing completely. Damian went over his options. Killing the birds was an exercise in pest control, and birds were plentiful. He wouldn't have argued that killing them was cruel, but they weren't people. During his time in Dalaran, his exposure to humans had grown from the few glances stolen with his mother. They trained him, and for the most part, they were kind. Approaching the man, he continued to study his tired face. "Who is he?" Qabian's expression shifted to one of calm as he accepted the child's reaction as both mildly disappointing and entirely natural given his circumstances. "He is no one," the mage explained. "His life has as much meaning as the lives of the birds, less even. I could give you a tale of how he sold his soul to the Legion and murdered his friends and family in exchange for promises of power or perhaps he's from one of the Twilight cults and drinks the blood of innocents, but none of that matters. His life has no value and it is already over. You can help him end it quickly, or you can draw out his pain, as you choose." Damian's brow furrowed, his "thinking face" familiar by now. He was being presented with two choices, both of which resulted in the same fate for the human in front of him. At the stage in which he was training, there were even fewer options available. He wasn't particularly strong yet, regardless of how hard he studied, which he was certain Qabian exploited with this "choice". Truthfully, it wasn't a choice at all. Both answers were the same, so what difference did the road travelled make? "Whichever of your options I take, he's going to die," he said finally, approaching the human. "I'm not strong enough to incinerate him so quick it would be painless, so either way he'll suffer. So it's not really a choice at all, to him. Just to me," he said, thinking out loud. Glancing back at Qabian, the boy took a moment to study his mentor and considered his methods. Damian wasn't there to be obedient, he realized, or Qabian wouldn't have brought him here. Just like magic, the paths before him weren't simply left or right. They could be whatever he willed them to be. Putting a hand on the man's wrist, Damian closed his eyes and spoke a word under his breath. Almost immediately, a portal appeared beneath them both. "I chose neither," he said, before both he and the human disappeared.(edited) Qabian frowned. That was an option he should have considered, but had not. The human was still dead either way. Short of keeping him under constant protection, Qabian knew where the man lived, his family, his business. The moment he was set free he would be snuffed out. But the child had made a decision that had closed several doors. Qabian suspected the boy knew that and had made the choice anyway. Qabian considered his own error. Perhaps he should have simply done the damage directly through his carefully crafted opportunity, but direct damage had never been the goal. Perhaps that would have to change. Qabian shrugged, leaving the room the same way he had entered. There was more than one way to leave an arrangement and the boy had made his choice.
  11. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    Damian returned home at the usual time. The sun was at its hottest point, and a short shadow was cast as he made his way to the stables to perform his afternoon chores. Vicailde was sat at a short stool seeing to Frank's shoes. The new hooves shimmered with a shimmering gold. Vicailde wore simply his linen pants and boots. His shirt hanging over the door to Frank's stable. "If it isn't the little Lord." Frank mused his tall ears twitched as he turned to see Damian approach. Vicailde turned in his seat, glancing over his shoulder. His hand resting in a loose fist on his leg. "Your school contacted me..." He trailed off as he turned fully in his chair to face his son. His face was stern, but seemed to be a bit conflicted. "...would you mind telling me your side of what happened?" Damian seemed hesitant to walk into the stable. He frowned at Frank, but didn't feel confident enough to cast the same expression to his father. Pursing his lips, he approached the older Bloodstone and lifted his chin to face him. "He wouldn't leave me alone. He never does," he argued. "I warned him before, and he didn't listen. He kept saying things, so I finally did something about it." Vicailde studied his son for a moment. "Tell me. What will you do if he returns looking to make you pay for what you've done? Returns with friends?" He waved Damian in closer to him. "There are other ways of making people shut up. I spent years perfecting that art. Fear is an easy weapon to weild.. but it's fleeting and it turns on you. Respect is a far better path." "I've tried that," Damian insisted, approaching his father cautiously. "I tried to ignore him. I tried asking nicely. He wouldn't listen, so I had to make him listen." Vicailde sighed and studied his son for a moment. "I never said you had to take the high road or that you should take it laying down. However, first why do his words mean anything to you? Are you worried others may agree with whatever he said? Tell me. If a Lord on the council had said something similar would you attempt to set him on fire?" Damian's eyes shot up toward Vicailde's, red and angry as the felsteed standing beside Frank. "They did say those things. About me, and mother. I didn't set them on fire because I had to be responsible for our home, but I don't need to take it from someone my own age. I had to make him see I'm not going to let him just get away with it." Vicailde's face remained unchanged and he stared back into his son's eyes. He stood up slowly, towering over his son. "Then let us go. Tell me which Lord said these things and you can burn them too." "...Vic..." Frank murmured quietly. Vicailde's hand opened quickly, causing the horse to fall silent. Damian shook his head, confused. "That won't do anything but hurt our family. I can't just set everyone on fire," he argued, his lip trembling. "I just wanted to teach him a lesson. That's all." Vicailde raised a brow looking down at his son. "So burning a defenseless child is fine but attacking someone who could fight back is out of the question?" Vicailde sighed and placed a hand on Damian's head comfortingly. "You are right. You can't set everyone on fire but, you can't teach idiots lessons; the world is full of them. They'll try to drag you down to the dirt because that's what they are. So you got a few options. Let them drag you down, ignore them and hide from their words, or you can reveal them for the idiots that they are. Knowing how to defend yourself if they attack you is helpful for any of them, but doing so in a way that embarrasses them is worth any physical pain you could inflict." Damian's left eyebrow twitched at the explanation. "..you don't think setting him on fire was embarrassing enough? After all the teasing? You don't know what it's like. You were gone. I had to take everyone's insults while you were away, and they think I can just go to school and be like all the other kids? While you and mother fight the Legion, I'm fighting off other kids who remind me how common my mother is, how you paid for her, and how all I am is a.. an agreement you had." Vicailde licked his lips slowly and sat back down. He placed a hand on Damian's shoulder. "No. There was nothing embarrassing about it. Everyone here remembers when the undead attacked and now the Legion is on their doorstep and they're too weak to fight them so they try to take their fear out on others. I didn't chose to leave you or your mother; I was taken." He took a slow breath and and shook his head. "As I said, they are dirt and their words are dirt. Do you doubt my love for your mother or you? They have these stupid rules about who should love who. I ignored those idiots. I rubbed their noses in it. I thought that I could protect you from it... that was my failing." "You can't protect me from everything," Damian said quietly, shame written across his young face. "I have to be able to protect myself. I know you and mother love me. I know you love eachother, but nobody cares about any of that. All they care about is that I look different, and she looks different, and you're important so they have to tolerate me but nobody really wants to. Nobody here." "I can't but I will try and I will try to teach you how to defend yourself." He took a slow breath and raised a hand to his own blue eyes. "They make fun of your eyes because they remind them what they lost. How the high elves look down on our people's green eyes. They want to drag those beneath them because they can't handle feeling 'tainted' but your eyes, your skin, your hair. These are all simply pieces. You can let them control you or you can own them and use them to your advantage." Vicailde ran a finger from the corner of his lip to his ear. "I used to have a scar that ran from my lip to my ear. At first people reeled at it. Imperfection was not tolerated back then as it isn't now. I would be lying if I didn't say it controlled me for awhile but, I learned to use it for apathy or fear as the situation called for it." Damian squinted at his father, as if attempting to imagine what he must have looked like with a scar that big. "Well.. if you could do that with your scar, couldn't I do that with my eyes? I'm not planning on setting anyone else on fire," he said quickly, as if to defend himself. "I figured once would be enough." Vicailde nodded slowly. "I would have traded my scar for eyes like thoses. However, no more burning. If you want to teach people a lesson you will have to do it with your tongue or your fists and if you want to learn to do that I can teach you." Damian looked down at his hands, frowning deeply at the prospect. "..someone from the Kirin Tor came to see me. He said I had potential. That I should be in Dalaran, training." There was a pause as he gathered his courage. "..may I go?" Vicailde paused and raised a brow. "We can go to Dalaran if you wish it. However, you will have to amend for what you did to this child first. If after that and a short visit you still wish to train there then you will have to prove it is something you wish to do. You will have to behave at school, do your chores, and... train with me." "..train? You mean learn to fight?" He asked, squinting. Damian seemed to consider the possibilities he was being offered, weighing them. "Corvallis taught me swordfighting. He practices with me, sometimes. Fighting like that?" Vicailde nodded and smiled softly. "Fighting, Survival, Politics, and other things. Forgive me. When I was taken you were just a baby and I couldn't handle how much you had grown on my return. I wanted you to be a child because I missed so much. I recognize now that I shouldn't treat you like a child. However, this means that it won't be easy. You could continue relaxing at school and home if you wish." "Relaxing? You think what I do is relaxing?" The boy said incredulously, more stressful in his motions than any child his age had the right to be. "There's nothing relaxing about being me," he said while looking toward Xanatos. "Not at school, not anywhere. " Vicailde frowned and took hold of Damian's shoulders. "Yes. In comparison this is relaxing. It will be hard work. However, if you would prefer we can find ways to help you relax." Vicailde glanced towards Ninorra's steed. "There are several wards we can look into that will help keep them from speaking to you... and if you wish to learn from home instead of school that can be arranged for a time." Vicailde cleared his throat. "However, if you wish to learn how to harness innate abilities you must also learn how to do things that do not com naturally to you as well." "..like fighting," Damian suggested quietly, looking down at his hands. "I'm not good at it like you are. I'm good at.. other things. Like studying, and casting spells, but.. that's why I do it. Because I know I'm not going to be a fighter like you were." There was a certin amount of shame in the boy's voice, as if he regretting this truth. "I was a terrible fighter. I kept my nose in a book and I absolutely loved watching plays. It is what I always wanted to do. My father made me learn. I hated it. However, I grew to enjoy it in my own way. As I said, it's important to learn to do things that don't come naturally... unless you want to end up like those spoiled people who try to take the easy way their entire lives and fear change and difficulty." "I don't want to be like them," Damian said defensively. He looked carefully at his father, as if confused. "..you hated fighting? Really? I thought you were always good at it.." he said thoughtfully, then shook his head. "But if you hated it, then why did grandfather make you do it?" Vicailde cleared his throat and avoided his son's eyes for a moment. "He... had an idea for what I should be. Much was expected of me." He turned towards his son and smiled softly. "I don't expect you to be good at it, but I did learn much from it and I think you can to." "I don't mind learning.." Damian relented. "I liked sword fighting with Corvallis. He's a really good fighter." Vicailde sighed and nodded. "Again, you may still continue learning from him." Vicailde scratched his cheek lightly. "I didn't think you would be so reluctant to spend more time together.." "..with you?" Damian asked, blinking. "I'm not.." he said carefully, looking for a way to explain his feelings. "..I didn't think you'd want to. With me." "Of course. I'll admit I have been preoccupied since my return with the Legion and explaining our return to the council... If you go off to Dalaran I'll see even less of you. I'm sure your mother will want to steal some of your time for herself. We simply have been focused on ending this war so that we can return home. I suppose we just hoped we would have a few more years." He scoffed lightly. "Maybe you'll find a way of forgiving me later but those are my terms." Damian lookes to his father thoughtfully, as if looking for something beyond his words. "I would have done it anyway," he said with a shrug, his own attempt at pride. "But if that's what I have to do for you to let me go to Dalaran, then I'll do whatever you say."(edited) Vicailde smirked thoughtfully. "One last thing before you go work on your school work, what do you wish to do in Dalaran? You have been asking to go for a while now. What do you intend to see or learn?" "I want to become a Magister," the smaller blonde explained, his eyes confident. "I want to learn from the best spellcasters in the world. I want to see Khadgar, and learn from the Kirin Tor. Archmage Grimfire was recruiting for them, he met me in Silvermoon." Vicailde raised a brow curiously. "Oh? Curious I hope your incident at school doesn't change his mind. They can be fairly rigid about discipline. It requires a steel resolve to be a Magister least you end up falling to tainted power like our Prince did." Vicailde cleared his throat. "What do you wish to do with your powers once you learn them?" "Defend our home," Damian answered easily, standing up a little straighter. "Take care of everyone." Vicailde leaned back in his seat. "Why do you want to do that and who do you want to take care of?" He smirked lightly. "Doesn't have anything to do with that girl you kissed does it?" "No!" Damian practically shouted, his face turning a shade of red. "No, it's just.. I don't know if something will happen to you and mother again. So if it does, I need to be ready. Just in case." Vicailde ticked his tongue lightly. "You can't prevent or predict what will happen, but I've learned you should pursue interests outside of self preservation. We have enough money to hire more guards for the homestead if you wished for protection. Either the armies will win or we won't but you pushing yourself for that goal probably won't resolve it." Vicailde shrugged lightly. "I'm not saying don't train for war but focus on something that makes you happy. Magisters do far more than fight. They studied our world to understand it for the sake of knowledge." "..I like studying," the boy admitted, shrugging. "I think.. maybe if I'm in a place where everyone else is studying, maybe I won't be so different." Vicailde nodded and gave his hair another ruffle. "Good. Now go see to your chores and don't forget to clean up for dinner." I'm sure your mother will have some words for you when she returns. Damian winced and turned to the door. "She's going to overreact.." Vicailde cleared his throat. "Go easy on your mother. She struggled with her powers when she was your age... and she had no one to help her. She simply does not want to lose you. To the fel or to Dalaran." The boy looked somewhat guilty with himself. "I'll be fine. She should be more worried about getting hurt on the Shore. I read about the demons there. They're huge, and they have ships firing beams from the sky at people below." "Well they're not just firing at the shore. They're firing at Dalaran and I have seen more than a few Demons on the pavilion from time to time. If you're worried about her then know the more she worries about you the less she'll be able to concentrate on her surroundings.... Besides there is nothing that will make her worry any less about you only more." Damian sighed heavily, as if the weight of the world were on his shoulders. "Even if she knows I can defend myself? If I were more powerful, I could fight back better than I can now." Vicailde chuckled. "You could become better than Khadgar and she would worry no less. I am not saying you shouldn't train. I am simply reminding you that your mother worries not because she doesn't trust you but because she loves you." Frowning in an all-too-familiar expression, Damian lowered his eyes back to the ground. "I love her too. I'll be good. I promise. Thank you, father." Vicailde nodded turning back to the task at hand. His steed looked down at him and Frank's lips parted in a toothy grin. "So sweet." "Shut it." Vicailde muttered in his breath as he lifted the hood back into his view.
  12. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    Qabian had just stepped through the portal into the Sunfury Spire when one of the mages there waved him down. "Qabian? Brightway's looking for you." "Hm?" Qabian cringed inwardly, not looking forward to meeting the overly jovial fellow again. "Why?" "I'm not sure, but he sounded... agitated," the stranger explained. Qabian smirked. "I see. I'll handle it." He nodded and made his way towards the school. Before he got quite that far, Qabian spotted a certain red-eyed child tossing lazy spells at an innocent planter that probably recently had a shrub in it, but for the moment sprouted only twigs. Qabian leaned over the hedge towards the kid. "Been working on your technique?" "What do you care?" "If you do this when you cast," Qabian held out his hand, showing the ring finger tucked in, "You can do twice the damage." "Oh?" Damian tried it. "Oh!" He turned to Qabian. "Do I know you?" "No. And that's probably for the best," Qabian said grinning. Damian squinted toward the older elf skeptically. He may have acted older than he was, but adults still had a lot of knowledge to impart. Especially the destructive kind he was starting to feel drawn to. “Are you a Magister? Before Qabian had a chance to answer, the planter exploded. It sent small shards of ceramic into every direction, one or two scratching Damian’s face as he was nearest to it. He seemed unusually calm as he wiped a trickle of blood from his cheek. “Sorry. That was supposed to go off later,” he muttered, turning once again to Qabian in spite of the sudden damage. “Are you a Magister?” Qabian laughed as he ducked flying planter pieces then picked one out of his hair. "Yes, I am. You're not in class right now?" "No," Damian answered, frowning distastefully. "One of the boys in my class was saying stupid things so I set him on fire." Qabian laughed again. "I can't imagine your teacher liked that." The mage grinned horribly. "Is the other kid badly hurt?" Damian shrugged, as if he wasn't entirely sure. "He was crying a lot. So maybe. Professor Brightway had to douse him with water twice so I must'v got him good." "And did he deserve it?" "I wouldn't have set him on fire if he didn't," Damian said matter-of-factly, as if this were a very stupid question for an adult to ask. "He was saying things about my mother. I don't think he'll say those things again." Qabian raised an eyebrow, then shrugged. "There's only one real way to be sure of that, but you're probably right. Do you think everyone else who saw it happen is afraid of you now, too, hm?" "I hope so," he muttered irritably, kicking one of the pieces of ceramic. "He's not the only one who says things about me. I haven't done anything like that before, though. Usually I just ignore them, but... I don't know. Maybe now they'll stop. Even if my parents are upset with me, at least I won't have to hear those idiots in class talk to me like that anymore." "Does it really matter what your parents think?" Damian looked up at Qabian and squinted, as if trying to pick apart his question. "I have to live with them, so yes." Qabian narrowed his eyes in turn, mirroring Damian's squint. "Well, seems like one of two things happens now. Either when you get back to class, you'll be in charge and can get anything you want from the other kids, because who's going to mess with someone that might kill them? Or you'll get kicked out of school entirely, and I'm sure your parents will be ecstatic." He smirked. Damian folded his arms, relaxing his expression. "I know what's going to happen. My mother will forgive me when I tell her what happened. My father will make me muck the stalls, but that's all he'll do. Then I'll go back to school, because there aren't enough children in Silvermoon to fill a classroom and they're not going to kick one out for one stupid spell. They need us. Especially me." "Well, then. Sounds like you're in charge, provided there's no one else who's actually better than you." Qabian's grin and tone implied there might be. There was a pause as Damian considered the idea. He appeared skeptical, but cautiously so. "Like who?" Qabian shrugged. "How would I know?" He leaned in closer as though sharing a secret. "But no matter where you are, it can be dangerous being the most powerful. There's always someone who wants to take you down. Unless of course you can make sure they stay afraid of you. After all, you don't have to stop at making sure they don't insult your mother. You can make them do things for you, give you things, anything you can think up, as long as they're afraid." Damian stared at Qabian's face, as if trying to pick apart his meaning. After a few seconds, he said just as quietly. "...I'm not dumb enough not to know that. I don't want them to give me anything. I just want to be left alone. They'll leave me alone, now. And if they don't.." glancing down at one of his hands, the boy drew his ring finger to the palm of his hand. "I'll figure it out." Qabian stood up, straightening his robes. "Just want to be left alone, hm? You could do anything, anything at all, and that's really all you want?" The boy furrowed his eyebrows thoughtfully. Nobody ever really asked him what he wanted. "..no. I want them to respect me. When they see my eyes, I don't want them to look at me like I'm weird." Damian frowned as he looked for the words to illustrate what he actually wanted. "I guess I want them to be afraid of me." Qabian looked even more smug, if that was possible. "Excellent. Sounds like you're well on your way." Damian raised a long silvery eyebrow. "You know it's kind of weird when a stranger stops to talk an adolescent into acts of violence. Who are you? And what's your deal?" Qabian blinked, surprised at the kid's perceptiveness. "It's not like there's anyone else doing anything interesting around here," he said, gesturing at the ordinary goings on. "And violence is just a side-effect of power, hm? But I'm also a recruiter for the Kirin Tor. I'm sure you'll forgive my interest being piqued by a seemingly promising young mage." Damian's face relaxed a little at the idea. "..that's what my mother said I should do," he said quietly, then frowned to himself, as if reminded by some kind of grim reality. "But demons talk to me. I try not to talk back, but they won't shut up. I want to become a Magister, but the fel won't leave me alone. So what do I do, there? If I make them afraid of me, I might as well be a warlock." "Demons talk to you? I suppose you mean when you wouldn't otherwise expect them to. Curious." Qabian ran his fingers over his thin beard, thoughtfully. "Well, I have no idea why your eyes are the color they are, but the rest of us, our eyes are this color because we're all a little fel. You can't avoid it, not in Silvermoon. If you try to avoid it, you've failed the sin'dorei. It's not that fel itself is the problem, but warlocks, they treat the fel lovingly, acting like demons are friends and companions, using it constantly, indulgently, rather than sparingly and only as an effective tool. Fel power should supplement the arcane, not supplant and surpass it." Qabian gestured with one hand as he crafted his speech. "And fear is absolutely a tool of mages, but we use it subtly, through shows of immense power, rather than as a hammer rammed directly through the heads of our opponents. The Kirin Tor could probably help you with your demon problem, but as a Magister, yes, we probably would encourage you to indulge in it rather than let your affinity go to waste." Damian blinked a few times, absorbing the information like a sponge. It seemed as if his situation had never been presented in such a way, though the idea of warlocks coddling their demons wasn't something he disagreed with. "..so.. it isn't bad, then. My mother said that sometimes, mages who work with fire a lot have eyes like us. She said that might be why I'm good at it, but I need to be careful or else.. I guess what happened today might happen.." He frowned to himself. "What's your specialty, mister?" Qabian grinned, holding out a hand, palm up, and letting a bright flame dance into life at its center. "Fire, of course. None of us would be alive today without a little fel influence. What happened today should probably happen every day, hm? The only reason to be careful is so you can get better at using this to get everything you want." He let the fire flicker over his fingers and across the back of his hand before closing his fist around it and snuffing it out. Damian's red eyes widened at the sight of the flame in Qabian's hand. As if to prove himself, the boy held up his own hand and produced a much smaller flame. It wasn't quite as a elegant as Qabian's, and it sputtered a little as he tried to keep focused, but it was big enough to start trouble if he willed it. "I can be careful." Qabian smirked. "Sometimes. Sometimes it's better not to be. Sometimes you just really need things to explode." "I'm not gonna kill my classmates," Damian muttered, letting the fire sputter out into a little plume of smoke. "They'd never let me back to class." Qabian nodded. "That's probably a good time to have practiced being careful, yes, so you can do exactly as much damage as you want, no more and no less. That's only if you really want to stay in that class, of course. But when I was a student, there were people who deserved no holding back. I wouldn't forget the importance of knowing how not to be careful, as well. Pure destruction can be its own reward." He raised an eyebrow at the Magister, clearly intrigued but a little concerned by his words of wisdom. "They were okay with your blowing things up in school?" "To a point," Qabian admitted. "I was encouraged in the right contexts, but I learned the basics in Dalaran. When there are human kids in your class, it's hard not to catch them behind the building after classes are over. No one who thought they were in charge would have let that happen, but smart students who are actually in charge can find ways around the people who only think they are." "Humans.." Damian repeated, shaking his head. "My mother won't let me anywhere near Dalaran. She says it's too dangerous, with how close the Legion is. I haven't left Quel'thalas in forever.. but I want to see Dalaran. I want to see Khadgar. Is he really as powerful as they say he is?" "Khadgar... has more help than he deserves, but for the moment, yes, he is extremely powerful," Qabian conceded. "It would be dangerous, but I would argue that you would learn faster there, closer to the action, able to observe the most powerful mages Azeroth has to offer. Although, it has changed a great deal. There are few sin'dorei where they should be, so you'd be more outnumbered by humans than I was, and it's more difficult to set your classmates on fire in Dalaran than it was in my day. Silvermoon has always been the best place to learn the most advanced techniques and finer points that escape humans' capacity to understand, but Dalaran certainly has its advantages today." Damian cockdd an eyebrow. "If Silvermoon is the best place to learn advanced techniques, why are they so slow to teach them? I've had to study most of the spells I know on my own, and most of the other kids in my class sant to be rangers. Or soldiers.." Qabian tapped a finger against his jaw, looking idly concerned. "Good question. That doesn't sound quite right. There has always been a tendency in Silvermoon to learn more slowly but more deeply because, well, we have more time to learn than the humans do. Humans have to learn things faster because they get old and die before they can learn the intricacies of how and why magic works. But avoiding teaching techniques to students who already have the skills to learn them? That doesn't serve anyone." "So what am I supposed to di?" Damian asked, impatience obvious in his voice. "Wait? What happens if my parents die in the field? I'd be alone again, and all those idiots in the council will go after our estate. I have to learn now, and protect my home. I'm not just some stupid kid whp wants to blow things up. I need to protect my home." "Why? What's in your home that you're protecting?" Damian opened his mouth to answer, but actually held back. "...just.. things. Important things." Qabian raised an eyebrow, curious. "There are reasons to protect this city, protect our people, protect our world from the Legion, but in that scope, an individual estate doesn't seem particularly important. Money is only money, and mobile, can be invested and reinvested anywhere. Your home is wherever you are, when you have the power to protect yourself, but I suspect you have other motives to want to keep people off your parents' property. That... is another matter. I could attempt to convince your professors that you need better instruction for your own well-being. Or you could attempt to convince your mother that your training should be happening in Dalaran, danger be damned." Damian furrowed his eyebrows thoughtfully. The choices laid out to him were both difficult, yet each had their merits. "After what I did... do you think they would listen to you? I can be patient, here. My mother has enough things to worry about," he added, remorse finally making an appearance. "I don't want to distract her." "Setting a fellow student on fire is probably already going to distract her. My mother was never a concern for me, so I have little advice for you there," Qabian said with a half-smile. "I can, of course, talk to your teachers. I'm sure I already know some of them, but being who I am and your... aptitude, they'll likely counter that you should be sent to the Kirin Tor, and then we're right back to your mother again." Damian twisted his mouth in consideration, though how much he cared for his mother's opinion was debatable. "...she'll have to understand, then. If that's the only way for me to be as strong as possible, then there's no reasonable argument to hold me back." "That's a good way to think of it." Qabian shrugged. He was a little disappointed that he hadn't simply convinced the boy to set his classmates on fire, as that had been the real goal. "After all, she can't live your life for you. Only you can do that." Damian folded his arms and shifted his feet. "So who are you, mister?" "My name is Grimfire. You know it?" "No," he answered honestly. "But you know me, and that's a little weird. I didn't know the Kirin Tor recruited kids my age." "I know you now, because I saw you out in the street casting spells instead of being a good student and I was amused." Qabian smirked. "And they don't usually, but they make a few exceptions, here and there. Given the far-too-many-humans state of Dalaran these days, I'd be remiss not to look in this city to attempt to fix that problem." "You don't like humans, do you?" Damian asked skeptically. "I've never seen one. Well, Steinburg, but he's Forsaken.. are they really as stupid as I heard? They can't all be, if Khadgar is so strong. Plus, Jaina Proudmoore. Right?" "Jaina tried to remove the sin'dorei from Dalaran entirely. She succeeded temporarily. Her people should be removed from the face of this planet entirely. And Khadgar, like I said, has help. Humans do nothing but degrade the quality of magic all across Azeroth. They do whatever they can to steal the power we've earned and keep us from attaining power that is rightfully ours. The day we agreed to share magic with them was a mistake we've been paying for ever since. They should have been left to wallow in the filth that birthed them." Qabian's expression turned dark as he ranted. Damian smiled a little. It was clear he touched a nerve in this adult, and the idea was strangely satisfying. "Yeah. So. You don't like humans," he said with a smug little smirk. "I guess the best thing to do is fix the mistakes we made and be stronger than they are. My mother said Proudmoore did what she did because she was afraid of us. Maybe the problem is they aren't scared enough." Distracted dwelling on his own anger, Qabian simply nodded. "Precisely, provided they were scared enough to go back underground where they belong and never emerge. Although, I would prefer they be less afraid and more dead, there is only so much that can be done about that at present." Damian's red eyes twinkled at the sight of the enraged Magister before him. "You really like killing people," he noted, looking him over again. "My mother kills people, too. Lots of people. She says it doesn't bother her because she does it so much. Is that what happened to you? Or do you just like it?" Qabian narrowed his eyes at the boy. The mage had his own thoughts about the boy's mother, but couldn't exactly express them to her own son. He hesitated a moment, then grinned. "I believe I confessed that I started early, hm? I always liked it." "Early?" Long pale eyebrows lifted, genuinely curious now. These were things his family would not discuss; actual carnage, and the possibility in taking joy in it. "How early? My age?" "Mmhm, or close at least." Damian swallowed. "..who'd you kill? Another student? How did you do it?" "Like I said, convinced him to meet us behind the school building. He had a terrible accident trying to cast magic he didn't know how to use." Qabian's grin was awful. "Of course, I wasn't alone, as I suspect you might be, if all your fellow students really are being funneled into careers without magic." Damian frowned at the idea. "Everyone wants to be a Paladin. Or a ranger. With the Burning Legion so close, they're afraid of the fel, and I don't think anyone has the patience to learn the arcane. I think our professor frightened them off when he said how long it took to really master the arts. But they're either lazy or stupid.. besides. My father is a soldier, and it never brought him any happiness. Just...a lot of trouble. I don't see the point." Qabian nodded, his hideous grin giving way to an odd, distant look. "Mm. My father was a soldier. I never met him. That's what being a soldier gets you, the losing side of the fights that matter. I suppose in a sense you'll get your kills that way if you stand aside so they can walk onto the front lines. It certainly doesn't feel as good as doing the job with your own hands." "Or with fire," he countered, frowning a little. "My father does everything with his hands. He even works outside. Makes me work outside so I'll know what it's like. I've seen what war does to soldiers, and I've seen what war does to Magisters.." Damian smirked again. "I think I'd rather not be the one with my head bashed in." Qabian makes an intricate gesture in the air, twisting his wrist, a series of tiny flames flickering around his upper arm and between his fingers. "Precisely. I use my hands, hm? But I don't have to touch a thing. They fall to their knees, then collapse, and they never stand again. A body can burn for hours, like a hundred candles at once. Or you add a little more heat, and there's nothing left at all. Whoever it was who stood in your way is nothing more than ash on the breeze. There's satisfaction to it you'll never find anywhere else." Damian watched the flames as if he were watching a dance, something beautiful to be admired. As he watched, the young Sin'dorei began to mimic the movements, raising one of his hands to imitate Qabian's gesture. Flames covered his hand like a glove, less beautiful than the Magister's, but bright as his eyes that seemed to glow with more intensity. It looked less like a dance and more like a small bonfire at the end of his wrist. "The fire didn't go out right away," he said quietly, staring at his hand. "The Professor had to douse him twice. It was stronger than normal fire." Qabian smiled, seeing memories he thought he'd lost in the boy's crude but earnest magic. Then his smile turned cruel, as it tended to do. "And you're sure you didn't want him to die?" Blinking slowly, Damian turned his gaze from his hand to the magister. "Just because you want something doesn't mean you should do it. There aren't a lot of us left. If I killed other children, there'd be even less. Even if he's stupid, he's still useful. I guess." Qabian frowned. His memories of the time the kid had been born were fragmented at best, and there was no real point in arguing the state of reality with a child. "The numbers are irrelevant. Ensuring a people continues by allowing the morons and mistakes," he paused on the word, "to continue simply because they're genetically correct is a sure path to disaster. His lack of importance might be a better reason. If he was merely annoying rather than offensive and simply needed to be taught a lesson rather than eliminated, fair enough. The best reason to avoid killing him, though, would be self-preservation. If you had murdered him in full view of everyone, you'd be facing far greater consequences than a temporary removal from the classroom and a stern talking-to from your parents, hm? Still, how badly you want something can have a measurable effect on the magnitude of your spells." "I guess I didn't really want to kill him," Damian admitted, shrugging. "Just hurt him enough to scare him. I don't know anyone I want to actually kill, yet." Qabian looked skeptical. "That seems difficult to believe. My implication was that you did, and that's why your magic was more powerful than expected, but that mitigating circumstances and lack of experience held you back." Damian rolled his eyes. "If I wanted to kill him, I would have set more than his clothes on fire. I'm not a complete idiot. But that wouldn't get me anywhere. I might be susprended for a few days, but when I get back, they'll think twice about talking about my mother that way." "And why do they talk about your mother that way?" "Because people are afraid of what they don't understand, and saying stupid things about things they're afraid of makes them feel better." He scratched his nose. "So simple childish malice directed at the easiest target, and not because she actually did something to earn the distaste of your peers?" Damian shrugged. "She's common, I guess. And my father is a lot older than her. I guess it looks strange, but only idiots without anything better to do worry about things like that." "So you never agree with anyone who says disparaging things about your mother?" "I guess it depends on what they say." Qabian smirked. "That's good. Wouldn't want to deny a truth just because you didn't like the way it sounded, hm?" Damian's red eyes drifted over Qabian's face. "What kind of truth?" Qabian shrugged. "Being common and marrying someone half in the grave might not be worth insulting, but having no integrity, or being a murderer out of repetitive laziness, or whatever incentive it is she has to prevent you from becoming more powerful might be worth criticizing, hm?" "I'm pretty sure she's just overprotective," Damian countered, tilting his head critically. "But she and my father have been fighting hard on the Broken Shore, so anyone who criticizes her integrity is just wrong. At least she's out there, fighting. She's got some really powerful things out there, too. I think they're just jealous of how powerful she's gotten." "That's possible. Are you?" "No. She's my mother," Damian said dismissively. "I like her scythe, though. She uses it to steal souls." "Hm. If my mother dropped me in a school where they failed to teach me proper spellwork then went around collecting powerful items without the slightest concern about my power, and helping me to be the best I can, I would have been rather frustrated." Damian smirked a little. "I'm seven years old, sir. I don't have any reason to be that frustrated with my mother. Especially not if she lets me go to Dalaran." "I suppose I can agree with that." Qabian folded his arms. "Do you know why they left you alone before?" Damian furrowed his brow. "..I know my father was missing in battle. My mother went after him. I guess it took them a while to find each other." "Were you angry?" The boy lowered his eyes. "..a little. Yes." Qabian grinned, slight this time, but just as smug. "Why?" "Because.. I think they care more about each other than they do about me," he admitted. "That's why she keeps me so close, now. To try and show me that's not true." Qabian's grin grew wider. "I think you're right, but she has to do her best to convince you it's not true, doesn't she? She can't just let you be angry, even if it's for a true and real reason." Damian ran a hand through his hair. "I guess. I guess she has to try. Or at least she feels like she does. I don't know.. how did you know they left me alone?" Qabian hesitated. "Didn't you say? When you mentioned why you needed power quickly? They might die and leave you alone again, hm?" Damian tilted his head to one side. "..yeah. I guess so. But I guess that could happen to anyone in wartime. Better to be prepared, just in case, right?" Qabian relaxed, then nodded with a smirk. "Next time they're forced to choose between you and each other, you need to be ready to be left alone. You convince your mother, hm?" "I will," he said with a nod. "Will you be in the field?" "I..." Qabian paused, only now recognizing he might have gotten into something more complicated than he intended. "Yes." "Oh," Damian seemed a little disappointed. "So you wouldn't be around to do any training yourself." Qabian grimaced, a bad attempt at hiding his complete distaste for the idea behind some kind of neutrality. "I... I'm sure I'll help with some of it. After all, there aren't many who can match my skill with fire and what's the point of any of it if you aren't learning from the best?" Why not pile lies upon more lies. It wouldn't be too long before it all blew up in his face. Damian smiled genuinely. "Well, then I guess I'll see you again soon. Sir. Thank you." Qabian bowed low. "I suppose I should ask your name, hm? Though I'm sure it'll be easy to tell which one is you." He made an offhand gesture at his eyes. "Damian Bloodstone," the boy answered easily, bowing respectfully. "Sir." "Right then." Qabian gave a lazy salute. "See you around." He turned on his heel to leave. Damian watched him leave, his smile once again growing into a skeptical frown. Qabian made his way back toward the school, figuring he should at least talk to Brightway. He couldn't help but laugh to himself. If nothing else, he'd made a mess. He doubted the kid would actually make it as far as murder any time soon, but it seemed some sort of disruption of the Bloodstone family's status quo was inevitable, which was all he'd really been after.
  13. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    The next day was an interesting one for Damian’s schoolmates. It began as usual; lectures as young Sin’dorei boys and girls forced themselves to sit and listen to Professor Brightway. Their instructor was loud enough for his voice to carry throughout the small room, but he seemed intent on being as loud as possible anyway. With so few children to teach, the volume was wholly unnecessary. Damian’s lip twitched, irate. “Hey Bloodsnatch,” came a whisper nearby, a boy Damian’s age who sat beside him. He had the ruddy face of a Farstrider, the kind of child who preferred to leap from trees than listen to the history of the troll wars. “Fix your mouth.” Damian’s red eyes turned to glance at the boy, but for the most part he tried to ignore him. Brightway’s back turned to his students as he wrote the names of famous military leaders on the board using his wand. “Hey Blood-fuck-face,” the boy continued, cupping both hands around his mouth, though it seemed Brightway wasn’t capable of hearing anyone’s voice outside of his own. “I like your mom’s tits.” Brightway wasn’t altogether sure how it happened, but the high pitched scream of a child was certainly not what he intended on hearing that morning. Turning to face the room of quickly scattering students, he watched in horror as young F'enahriel Sunwhisper’s clothes burst into flame and ran around the room in a circle. The other children screamed in a panic until Brightway had the good sense to cast a small torrent of water toward Sunwhisper, extinguishing the flames. Temporarily. In an instant, they were alight again, and the screaming continued. The professor sent another torrent of water through his wand, this time far more intense, creating a wave that covered nearly half the students and thoroughly soaking the flaming child. Sunwhisper stood with his arms outstretched, breathing heavily for a moment until a torrent of his own tears covered his face. “Someone get me a priest!!” Brightway shouted, rushing toward Sunwhisper, careful not to actually touch him. The other children backed away. Well, the other children with one exception. “Bloodstone!!” Brightway shouted, glaring at the only child in the room with a smile on his face. “Out! Now!!” The platinum blonde didn’t need any further instruction. He calmly left the school yard and walked into Silvermoon to spend the rest of his afternoon.
  14. Ninorra

    Spelling Trouble

    Despite the rumors, Damian wasn’t quite as much of an asshole as people insinuated. At least he didn’t think so, not when they said as much to his face. The Sin’dorei child was average as far as looks went; silvery blonde curls, a tan complexion, fit for a elven boy of seven years. What set him apart physically, making him the target of taunts and rumors, were his red eyes. Though not unheard of for fire mages or warlocks to have eyes of that color, especially when casting spells, it was certainly unusual for them to appear that way since birth. Having possessed them for all seven years of his life thus far, Damian Bloodstone had never known what it was like to disappear among the other children his age. Especially not after his parents disappeared. Two years of nothing. One moment they were perfectly happy, if not a little strange. His father an aging landlord with an estate worth more than he could comprehend, his mother a warlock with a hobby of singing bawdy songs to reprobates in taverns. At least, that’s what the other children told him. All Damian knew was that they loved him, and one day they were gone. That was the day his world changed, and rather than being a normal boy who went to school and studied with all the other surviving Sin’dorei children, he became the surviving Lord Bloodstone. Heir to his family’s estate, with a seat on a council. He had help, of course. Steinburg, their family’s Forsaken friend, educated Damian on what was being said when it was important. For two years he listened to adults bicker about land rights, encroaching trolls, constant war. It made school seem small. It made the other children look less like his peers, and more like children. He was not like them. It was more than his eyes. He was their superior, even if they didn’t understand why. But his parents did return, and with them, a semblance of normalcy. No longer required to attend council meetings, Damian went to school and went home to “play”. Except who was there to play with, now? Steinburg? He prefered to study. With both of his parents constantly summoned to the field, and the Legion attacking harder than ever, he knew there always was a threat of them not coming back. He knew he had to prepare, just in case. Which was why the package of books delivered to his desk by Steinburg came as no surprise. His mother understood his “hobbies” and would often purchase books for him, despite encouraging him to play outside once in a while. He waited until the evening to unwrap his package, forgetting about it until after dinner when he usually went upstairs to read. The Kirin Tor symbol was unexpected. As were the books’ topics. His mother wasn’t typically the sort to encourage destructive magic. In fact, most of the books she provided were historical in nature. These were different. Instructional. Something his teachers might have discouraged should he ask about them in class. Was it any surprise he spent the night reading them?
  15. It was midday in Quel'thalas when Ninorra and Draco appeared in the warlock's home. They materialized in the sitting room, still in robes and armor from their mission to Draenor. "Much better," Ninorra sighed, pulling down her hood to shake out her hair. The sitting room was obviously decorated by her, as leopard print throws lay on most of the red and black furniture. Draco scanned the room, ensuring that no one else was within the area. “Is it safe… to remove my helm now?” "Quite safe," Ninorra said as she leaned her scythe against the umbrella stand. "Damian is in school, and will be until the afternoon. As for my husband, I have an addition in my contract that allows him to know of you. I didn't want any unseemly rumors concerning me gallavanting about with another knight getting back to him." The Knight gave another sound acknowledging her before removing his helm. His cropped silvery white hair is slight disarray from the constant use of the armor. Oh how he missed the comfort of his own designs, empowered by modern Scryer advances, rather than the hunk of metal he had about him. He set the helm upon the coffee table before beginning to remove his gauntlets as he finally responded with a, “I do not wish to put your family at risk.” "My family is quite safe. We have security measures of our own. My husband is quite the accomplished engineer," she explained, removing her own gloves before retrieving the dreamcather artifact from one of her pockets. "Now, supposedly this little trinket has a way of blocking nightmares when worn. Useful, I'm certain.. but I wonder what else it can do? If there is some sort of connection to ones dreams. Tell me, Draco, are you up for a little experiment?" “…Are you that tired already?” He asked as a pale brow raised. Ninorra grinned. "Oh, I wasn't thinking of exploring my own dreams." “I am dead Ninorra, I do not dream.” He sighs as he seems to have to explain this again. “I do not even require sleep; it is terribly dull in those hours. I have meant to ask if you could get me records of what has happened since I was killed, actually.” Ninorra waved a hand dismissively. "I can get you the records that you require, but you are wrong about your not having dreams. Your mind still works, does it not? That means you still have a subconscious. You may not need to sleep, but that does not mean your dreams do not exist." “Who is to say I came back fully? I may be an echo of the man I was.” The Knight sat down on one of the sofas within the sitting room, specifically that in front of his armor. “I may only operate due to the Arcane Intelligence in my head, did you consider that?” Ninorra shrugged and sat opposite of him on one of the large cushy looking chairs. "Perhaps we should find out then. If at least to put your mind to rest." “What is the point at current? My mind is clear and at rest, I am focused on what I was brought back to do: End the Legion threat. I am a Weapon for our people, the only reason I was chosen specifically and allowed to think is because I serve best as a Smart Weapon. Not just a mindless killing machine. If we wanted that, we could carpet bomb the isles with Dreadlances—assuming they figured out the propellant problem.” "The point is to find out just how useful this artifact can be. Have you considered the possibilities of being able to invade someone's dream? Imagine a target of high importance. The secrets we could learn. Of course," she smirked at Draco and crossed one leg over the other. "I know you have no such secrets, which is why you would make a good test subject." “So that was your plan all along was it?” He gave a bitter laugh. “How did I not see this coming? You were assigned to me in order to learn what I kept from people. Who exactly are you working for?” The Knight began to stand. Ninorra cocked her head, amused. "I work for our people, of course. Who do you think I work for? I am the same girl you knew, all those years ago. I have not changed. Why not allow me to show you? Unless you are afraid I might find something less than savory in that mind of yours?" “But who exactly? I know things…” he shakes his head. “I am not worried IF you will find out something I have classified—and for good reason—but WHAT you will find. And I classified things for a reason. You do not walk the line I have without doing some things that you are not proud of.” Ninorra stood and looked Draco in the eye as best she could. "You know there is nothing I will judge you for. Whatever happened is in the past. This is a new day, and you have a new life. Even if it is not conventional, it is still a life of sorts. I know your heart, and I still believe it to be in the right place. If not a bit misguided.." she added with a smirk. "I am the last person you need to worry about judging you." “And yet you avoid telling me who it is you report to.” His eyes narrowed. "I report to Raeventus," she answered, shrugging. "You understand that I am supposed to be giving him updates. They needn't be anything of a personal nature, though. Your secrets are safe with me, but I fear you will not believe me until I prove myself, somehow. Hmm.." The warlock looked around for a moment, as if searching for something. She picked up one if the pillows and placed it on the sofa, sitting down on it to elevate herself. She beckoned him over with her palms facing upwards. "Take my hands. Let me show you exactly what has happened since you have been gone." His brows furrowed at the name. It was clear, from his confusion; he did not know this person. He was trying to find a delicate way of putting this as he processed this information. He would slowly do as she asked before he finally gave his rebuttal. “Personal information is not what I am worried about, I am dead, my history will eventually be dug into and explored. I am more concerned with my professional decisions, those with ripples that could affect our race, being discovered and put into jeopardy.” "Draco," Ninorra said firmly. "Sit down. I am not going to put our race in jeopardy. Your father trusted me, because he had the patience to listen. I am on your side. Let me prove it to you." “I never said you would do so willingly,” he sat down, taking the warlock’s hands. "Secrets are kept for a reason, however." "I have very few secrets," she admitted, her eyes glowing brightly. Ninorra sang a tune low in her voice, the glow of her eyes appearing in Draco's as she allowed him access to her memories. What Draco saw was a manic speed-through of portions of the warlock’s life. How hopeless and lonely she felt when Gladius died and Draco left, how she found hope in her ability to communicate with demons. How she met Vicailde in a bar while performing, and how cruel he was until they eventually fell in love. The war in Outland, her tireless work for the Scryers. The war in Northrend, the painful and difficult birth of her son. The Cataclysm, Sanctuary's betrayal. Ninorra aiding Vilmah, a fugitive of Garrosh's regime. Vicailde serving in the military as Ninorra remained behind during the campaign in Pandaria, researching her fel powers as she raised her son. The campaign in Draenor, Vicailde's disappearance, Ninorra and Corvallis traveling to another future to rescue him. The Legion's attack, the Isles. Her meeting with the Scryers, her instructions for handling Draco. In between all of this, her tumultuous romance with Vicailde, glimpses of violence, blood magic, and the overwhelming fear of eventually succumbing to the fel. It went by so fast that by the time she was finished, it was almost as if no time had lapsed. "As you can see," she said as the glow left Draco's eyes. "I am nothing if not loyal. Now you know everything." “…I never claimed you were disloyal. It is who you work for, the unknown factor, or a misstep that forces everything to collapse I fear. I have done things, ordered things to be done, that I would not allow others to know—including my widow and my adopted brother. Are you certain you wish to see these? I… am not proud of some of the things I have done to protect us, but I would do them all over again, to ensure the salvation of our people—even if through my own personal damnation.” Ninorra nodded, her hands in his were very warm, as if she'd been holding them close to a fire. "I am sure, and I want you to know that you are still yourself. You may not dream, but I imagine your dreams remain. I think that if I can use a similar spell, with the dreamcatcher as a guide, perhaps I can see them. Shall we try?" “How can you be certain, even if you find what you are looking for?” "I suppose we will find out together," she said with a calm smile. "That is what experiments are for." Draco still looked dubious at this idea. “…As you say…” Ninorra took a deep breath and held on to Draco's hands, singing a similar tune under her breath. Once again, the red of her eyes took over Draco's, but this time it also surrounded the dreamcatcher. Unlike before, Ninorra would find herself standing in a dark empty space. She seemed to have a physical form in this place, and was dressed as she was in life. "Draco?" She called, her voice echoing. "Draco, it's me. Are you there?" As soon as she made her presence known, the area exploded with the blue that emanated from his eyes. ‘Intruder’ her own mind would echo at her. But as she called him for a second time geometric shapes would form, slowly creating an image of the man she asked for. ‘Why are you here?’ The formed image would look at her, a brow raised. “Yes?” "I'm here to see your dreams," she answered earnestly. "To see if you still possess them." “I told you, I am dead. The dead do not dream.” The image shook his head sadly. “How are you even intending to make this work?” "Your mind is intact. That much is certain. Perhaps it is just a matter of letting yourself feel, again." She spread her arms. "This place is your mind. You can project any image you like. You are in full control." ‘He doesn’t want to cooperate.’ The Man sighed. ‘This is a fool’s errand.’ “And do what? Live out my failures once more? Reminisce on the bygone eras?” "Whatever it is you want to see," she shrugged. "What is it you would want to dream of, if you could? What are your happiest thoughts? The moments that brought you your greatest joy, that made you who you are. Remember them, and they will guide you." “Why? What is the point in this? I failed, I do not deserve Joy.” ‘He won’t listen, I should go.’ “Father would have done a much better job…” "Your father was so proud of you," she said gently, approaching the image. "He would still be proud of you, if he were here. You were his joy, even in the end." “’Was’ being to operative word, Ninorra. I am not the son he left behind, not any longer—nor, I fear, that I shall ever see him again.” ‘He’s too stubborn; I should leave him to his misery if that is what he desires.’ "Your father lives in you. In your memories of him, he is still alive. Perhaps that is what you should see," she suggested. "I think it is what you need, now. To see him again. Remember for me. Can you?" The Man looked at the Warlock a moment; with a sigh his hand move seemed dismissive as he faded away from existence. “Three against one is not fair.” The world of sapphire would fade to black… Ninorra remained within the dream, calling out to Draco as the world faded to black. "Draco? Draco!" She started to panic a little. "Don't leave me here, please," she pleaded. "Don't leave me alone.." “War is not fair, Draco.” Before Ninorra stood the massive Lord Gladius Visca, he was dressed in full combat regalia. In both arms he carried his legendary blades, those which had murdered thousands of trolls in the wars that made him Legend. His single remaining blue eye stared slightly downward at her… much less so than she would remember previously. “War is about winning or losing to the commanding officers, it is about little more than survival to the average solider. There is no room for the concept of fairness. They will do anything to survive, and even worse… Humans breed far faster than ourselves. Above you, yes, stand your brother and Voren—but your training provides you with the edge needed to counter them. You have been keeping up with your training, correct?” Ninorra watched the scene unfold around her. The sight of Gladius hale and hearty took the breath from her chest. "..yes," she found herself saying, an ache in her heart. “Of course, Father.” The voice of Draco would come out of… her mouth? In her right hand she carried a long tower shield, the other a twin edged Glaive. Her… His outfit would be one also resembling the Spellbreaker attire she had seen all the guards of Silvermoon wear. As she looked around the courtyard of Visca Manor, she would see two men on opposite sides of them. Both mages. “We’ll find out if you are lying soon enough, won’t we?” Gladius gave a mischievous grin before getting in a readied stance. Ninorra would find herself mirroring such with Glaive and Shield. “And… Begin!” Her… His body would barely have time to raise the shield before the first attack came. The force felt like the world was crashing down upon them, the shockwave ripping through their right arm. Ninorra tried to stay calm as the memory flowed through her, but could not help but feel exhilarated as she fought in Draco's body. The shock of Gladius' attack, combined with his ferocity, was impressive. She felt herself smile within the memory. Unable to withstand the sheer power of the strike head on, Draco’s arm would move to roll the blade away as he saw the second one coming in for the kill. It took fast thinking in order to move out of the way, the glaive being used to help ensure that the narrow escape worked as intended. Then came the assaults from the rooftops, the constant stinging barrage of frost magic. To counter this, he manipulated his mana to form a shield to defend him from its harmful effects. That would help him keep his focus where it needed to be, but it was too slow—he found himself checked by a knee to the chest. “You have to think and react faster than that, Son. I could have killed you right there.” Ninorra felt the wind knocked out of Draco's body and winced. The training seemed brutal from her perspective, but she understood the necceccity. “…I know. You do not have to remind me.” Grunted Draco from the pain, he tried to focus on his breath to recover as quickly as possible, as he moved to reset his guard. He moved his shield back into position. His mind focusing off the frost strikes above him as his mana guarded him. His target was his father, the main threat. The two would begin to circle, looking for any opening they could get against each other. Draco held his glaive out like one would a spear, beyond his shield. Gladius had his massive twin warblades at the ready for any sort of attack. All the while, the assault of frost continued, draining his supply of mana that was used to protect him. He could not simply remain this way; he would pass out of exhaustion first. He needed a plan. "He trained you well', Ninorra thought, studying the fighting style of both men, memories of Draco's thoughts drifting through her mind. 'There is no mercy in war, and war was in his blood.' Ninorra could feel his lips twist for just a moment into a smirk before his muscles prepped to spring into motion. The movement was sudden, a step forward as if to strike—prompting the giant of an elf to spring forward towards the challenge. In came the next wave of his devastating assault at the Spellbreaker’s form that had seemingly made a tactical error, striking too eagerly. Even worse, the young Draco seemed to step towards his doom. But rather than move out of the way, it proved to be a feint. The younger man’s muscles snapped into action, forcing his shield forward to greet both blades as he hid behind it for just a second before rolling with the move onto the right hand side of his father. His blind spot. Gladius tried to predict where exactly his son had moved, swung his blade; but missed. Even worse, it had given Draco just the opening he needed. His glaive quickly found itself resting at the side of his father’s neck. And for the first time ever, Draco uttered the words: “Dead, Father.” Ninorra grinned. The joy of Draco's first first time winning in combat against his father radiated through him. There was pride, but also accomplishment. 'Well done,' she thought warmly. 'I can see why he was so proud.' Lord Gladius Visca glared at the blade at his neck; the seriousness still remained upon his face. He did not look like the one who had just been bested, in spite of the glaive. His hands raised as he dropped his blades. One waved off the assaults from the men above—and then vibrations could be felt from the metal around the man’s neck down into Draco’s arm. For a moment, there would be uncertainly. This had never happened before, and then it became audible. A deep chuckle as a smile carved through Gladius’s stern face. “You used my old war injury against me, you’re learning. Well done Draco. Now put that away and give your old man a hug.” Ninorra laughed a little, happily watching the display. For a moment she felt her own emotions regarding Gladius, and longed to speak to him as herself. 'How I miss him,' she thought. 'You were so lucky, Draco. I never had a father, but I could tell yours was one of the best.' The scene would melt back into the blue abyss, her falling out of Draco’s form. “I did…. He was a great man, he warned me all my life of the Kirin Tor’s betrayal. He trained me to stop them when it came. Instead I fell for the lies, I worked with them, and they slaughtered our people.” "Their cruelty was not your doing. We all make mistakes, but you can not blame yourself for others' evil deeds. You have given your life for our people, and I am grateful." She looked around for his form again. "I want to help you. I want you to feel that pride, again. That joy. I know it is difficult, but your mind is alive, and though your heart is broken, we can mend it. I believe in you." “The most important thing is to stop the Legion. Pride and Joy will be meaningless if the world is consumed in Fel-fire. I need to do what I was brought back to do. Afterwards, when my duty is complete, then we can look at caring for old veterans if that is what you truly desire.” "You misunderstand. Stopping the Legion is my goal as well. I want peace for our people, and safety. But I know from experience what a broken heart can do to someone. It distracts you, it hurts those around you. If you are going to fight at your strongest, it must be with a clear mind and a whole heart. Do you understand? This is not frivolity. This is necceccity." “All the more reason for me to remain disconnected from my old life. I am fine, Ninorra, and while the concern is… touching, I suppose. We do not have time for this. Every second we waste is another second gained as an advantage against the Legion. We do not have time to mourn the dead or attempt to ‘heal’ the dead.” "On the contrary. If you do not give yourself time to mourn, you can not move forward. Besides.." She looked around in the darkness. "What do you have to lose? You will not defeat the Legion by yourself, not in your state. Your bloodlust is out of control, your anger could put you in danger. Put me in danger. I am doing this not just for you, but for both our sake. Can you not see this? Please, you saw my memories. You saw the consequences of uncontrollable savagery. Please." “I am not interested in a pity party; I kept going in life in spite of everything I lost… I will do the same in death. And we keep marching, we keep fighting… when we win, our sacrifices will hopefully not be in vain. War is not for mercy or kindness, it is not fair. It will keep taking from us; the only response is to fight back.” "And you will get us killed," she argued. "What then? What happens when one of us falls because you were too busy being a murderer, and can't remember what it means to be your father's son?" The image of the man glared at the Warlock. “I would not expect you to understand. Get out.” "You don't expect anything from me," she said spitefully. It was clear she felt hurt. "You never did. You think it's all about you and your fight, that you are the only one who can save us. But you've forgotten what you're even fighting for, and that is not the person Gladius was proud of." “Everyone I have ever trusted has either abandoned me or died.” She would feel herself being pushed away from him as he spoke. “I know what I fight for, Ninorra. I fight for a people I can no longer be part of. For a place that is no longer my home. I fight so others can live. I Died so that others could live.” "You are not dead!" She shouted. "You are here, all around me.. why do you want to be dead so badly?" “But I am! Look at me! I am but a revenant of who I was, stolen from the peace of the grave for my tireless work towards our people’s salvation! Stolen away from my family!” The force continued to push her away from him, “My father, my mother, my brother and sister… my wife, my two sons…” the vision of him dulled away into nothingness. "They live through you, Draco," she said gently "You remember them. Their love for you, this is their legacy. You cannot let that legacy die. You must live for them, for yourself. You are not dead." Ninorra would find herself returned back upon the sofa in her sitting room, his Spellbreaker training had forced the spell to being finished. Here should be face to face with a very pissed off Knight with sapphire eyes that peered at her. “Look at me. I was a man of righteousness, who fell in battle and was brought back by… whatever they did to me. I may look alive, but I am Dead and cursed to walk in the world of the living once more to fight your battles. I does not matter how I feel about it, these are the facts. I have gotten over them, as should you.” Ninorra looked tired. She lowered her head in defeat. "Alright, Draco. I will not argue with you. I can not make you do anything. I only thought.." She reached up and rubbed her forehead. "..I only thought you might like to see him, again. As much as I did." “I miss him, more than you can know… but it is over.” He sighed, “…It is all over. At least we have each other, for now." "For a long time," she corrected, grabbing his hands. This time she looked at him. "I do not intend on leaving this world anytime soon. I expect you to do the same." “We shall see.” He didn’t look at her. “…Eventually all die, and I shall be stuck here. To watch the Quel’thalas, alone.” "Perhaps. Until then," she reached for the dreamcatcher and pulled it off of her neck. "Stay here, with me. You don't have to be alone, and you can be yourself here. I have to take this artifact back to Baern, and tell the Scryers about our mission. Stay here. It can be a second home to you, if you like." “I put you too much at risk, Ninorra.” He shook his head. “If those who don’t know of my return stop by…” "Nobody just 'stops by'. We have security measures that I think would impress you. Besides," she stood and nodded toward the door. "My husband is allowed to know of you, per my contract, and my son will know you only as another knight. I know it is not your real home, but.. allow me to try." “When it comes to defenses and security measures, I am quite hard to impress.” He gave a teasing smirk, “However… I shall take your word that they will be adequate. I will allow you to try to house me, for the time being. I simply do not wish to cause your family harm. Intentional or not.” "I trust you won't burn it down, then," she said happily, beckoning him to follow her upstairs with a hand. "Come, I'll show you where you can stay. You can have your privacy, and I can fill one if these sad and empty rooms."