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About Qabian

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  1. Qabian sat turned around in his chair, chin resting on his arms folded across the back, and stared at the panther cub sprawled out across the dark pillows of the once neatly made bed. In other lighting, it would have been nearly invisible in the rumpled mess, but the sunbeam from the half-drawn drapes lay right across the creature. It wasn't irritating enough to do anything about, but it was more of a problem than the solution he had initially hoped for. When he had first come across the spellwork to create a weapon, he had envisioned something far more literal. Ruuki was no longer High Inquisitor, so Qabian hardly felt indebted to her for his theoretical failure regarding this project, but he had still wanted something more than this lump of an inconvenient cat. Lately, he had considered offering it to Syreena. She seemed to always have some task or other that needed doing, someone who had legitimately offended her in some way. Maybe she could find a use for a cat that you could set on fire and send into a building only to have it return a few hours later. But then there was the issue of the words. Qabian didn't believe he had ever put words to paper that he would regret, that might come back to haunt him, but that didn't mean he wanted just anyone having the capacity to read and connect anything he had written back to him. Given the nature of the magic that had created the thing, the possibility existed that a change of ownership would result in a change of words, but what if it didn't? That wasn't something he particularly wanted to risk. Qabian sighed. Nothing was going quite right lately, but nothing was going wrong enough to make trouble about either. He had missed the opportunity to simultaneously confess to murder and grind the new supplicant into the dirt. On the one hand, it always felt better when they came to understand themselves before the trouble started. On the other, it would have been good, clarifying, to have been the one responsible. Perhaps it had been a mistake to want to show him that there were those who truly believed in the Mandate before laying out how it was all bullshit but worth every ounce of chaos.
  2. Recent developments in the Tirisgarde are curious. Sunreaver has made so many awkward decisions. He has always been far too cooperative and diplomatic for his own good. He still is. All the decent things that happened under his guidance have happened despite his actions and intentions, if history represents him correctly. And yet, it is better to at least have a presence if we can no longer have the command we deserve. Isn't it? Despite all his problems and significant weaknesses, I confess he has good taste in some respects, especially when the louder Grim rant about felsuckers while surrounded by orcs and sin'dorei who have sucked more fel than the nightborne collectively have even seen. No one needs to be in league with the Legion to understand how to use and abuse power to one's own ends.
  3. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I also did a thing.
  4. I've learned rather a lot of disappointing things this week. Disappointing as they are, though, they are things I needed to know. Knowledge doesn't need to be good or encouraging to be important and useful. Sanctuary is not what I remember. The warlock implied a great deal happened while I was away, though he gave no details. I should have judged the truth from the things Ninorra said, but it took Syreena to make me understand. It is, however, hilarious to me that they are now essentially everything they once hated. May they fester and burn under that pious golden lion they sweetly worship. The new supplicant, his family name sounds familiar, but my research has afforded nothing of note. Perhaps it is just a similarity. Or perhaps it is a remnant of days long past, given those he mentioned he once worked for. I shouldn't have difficulty believing what he said, but I do. The man was an outright fool, too stupid to dress himself I'm sure. And no one else could see that and turn him away when he showed his face on their doorstep? The Grim have made errors. But I also made errors while I was Grim. They correct them in the end. The supplicant himself has made an error if he underestimated Syreena. That may cost him more than he bargained for. The shaman's insistence on inviting everyone within earshot to some sort of strange orcish springtime fertility orgy was concerning at best, horrifying at worst. If it's as bad as it sounded, there may be considerable opportunity for blackmail. I suspect it will be far more innocent than innuendo would imply, and simple curiosity and an observation post at some distance will be sufficient.
  5. Excerpts from a notebook 3.TI.P2.017 "...expected to learn self-sufficiency shortly after I had..." "...despite their determination to defeat Kael'thas because of..." "...stands between us and our peace, we will stop at nothing to see..." "...have the opportunity to correct my assumption..." " of necessity. Theirs was simple spite and malice..." "...Garithos' actions did not teach me fear. Those events..." "...intrinsic property in all of our important decisons, individually and..." No, no, no. This isn't right. These are not the words I gave to the troll. These are not Grim words. I know all these words. They are mine. All at one time were committed to paper, but most were burnt or destroyed in water years ago. Divested of its fur, these are the marks that move across its flesh. Why? I did not give her my blood. Did she take it somehow? This makes no sense. I've never been incompetent enough to leave anything incriminating to paper, but this development is highly unsettling. == Qabian flipped the notebook closed with a little more energy than he intended when he finished recording his notes, pinning the quill between the pages. With the crater that was once the city of Theramore at his back, Qabian placed the notebook in a satchel and removed what appeared to be a fist-sized ball of glass set into a stand decorated with a curling bronze dragon. He snapped his fingers before the ball and for a long time, stood motionless, watching tiny shadowy figures moving inside it. Eventually, he slowly took a knee, and held the glass ball out to the greyish, hairless panther cub with the curious purple scrawl trailing over its skin. The creature sniffed at the relic, then stared up at the mage, its curious pale eyes blinking. "This," Qabian explained to the animal as if it could understand, "is who I used to be." He stood meaningfully, then threw the glass ball as far as he could out to sea. The cub leapt out into the water with a splash and paddled after it. "You idiot!" the mage called out, then sighed. "I thought cats didn't like water."
  6. I am arrogant. That is not in question. However, I immediately distrust anyone who shows humility in response to my arrogance. I wish to be responded to with equal or greater arrogance at all times. I realize now that this is projection. Early in my life, I learned that responding to the arrogant with false humility is a highly effective manipulation tactic. I used it frequently when I first joined the Grim, and gained power much more quickly than was reasonable, until the point that I no longer felt the need for false humility. Even my recent application to the Grim, I donated an ear to the cause of false humility, and now that I have what I want, I find no need for it. The mindlessly arrogant are more likely to grant requests and let down their guard around you if they believe you know your place, especially if they believe they are the ones to have shown you your place. I am not so thoughtless. How else then should I react to those who show me humility, except to assume attempted manipulation? I think that is why I responded well to the Pandaren. While he was not arrogant, he also showed no weakness, no deference, no humility, only responsiveness, and a willingness to learn. Or perhaps I was simply inclined to give him the respect he had earned in advance with the Legionbreakers and he managed to avoid simpering in front of me. Chasing the dragon, indeed. True humility is worthless, and if you show it to me, I lose all faith in you. You are either attempting to manipulate me or you are pathetic, neither of which speak in your favor.
  7. Qabian was far from a surgeon, but he was an academic, so he was willing to give a laparotomy the old college try. Given everything he'd subjected the creature to so far, he was confident that it would survive anything he did to it. After the application of a carefully dosed piece of meat, by the time the mage had made his way to the laboratory facilities someone had set up in the basement of the Grim Halls in Tirisfal, the panther cub was sleeping soundly. The wide, low-ceilinged room's lighting was a disturbing cold white, despite the dark stone of the walls. The available equipment was a strangely random assortment, but Qabian brought his own kit, a set of scalpels, forceps, syringes full of liquid mana, pins, needles, and some thread, cleaned and disinfected, then rolled up in a leather case. With the sleeping cat laid out on its side on a table, Qabian tugged on a pair of specially coated white cotton gloves. Leaning carefully over his victim, the mage pressed his fingers below the creature's jaw, then slid one of the syringes into its neck. The slightest draw on the plunger and a flash of red pulsed through the blue liquid in the syringe. Qabian tilted his head, surprised at the ordinariness of the creature's blood. He pushed some of the mana into the creature, and violet flickers shimmered beneath the black pelt. He gently turned the creature onto its back, leaving the syringe dangling from its neck. When the mage touched the scalpel blade to the creature's torso, a jolt of violet lightning knocked the knife out of his hand and across the room. Qabian sighed and retrieved the blade from the floor. He moved to the sink to rinse it, only to find no taps. A sink with no taps? Just a basin? Who builds a lab without running water? No one. That couldn't be right. "I hate this place," he muttered. There must have been some water somewhere, but he didn't have the time to figure it out. He flicked the dirty blade into the basin and grabbed a new one from his kit. With a firmer grip on the instrument, Qabian sliced into the creature's flesh. Excerpts from a notebook 2.TG.P1.011 The symbols on the creature's insides are expected and familiar, part of the ritual I had hoped the troll would perform. In the future, I must make a better inspection of the facilities before engaging in surgical exploration. In the future, I don't intend to ever explore surgically again, but this is my project and I remain uncertain of its value. It would not suit me to have hired someone else for this particular task. I do what I must. I could not force my way past its bones. I expect they have been enhanced with arcane power, but I don't believe I would learn much more if I could, though it's possible that what hides there has value if the rest of the project ultimately fails. Its healing capacity provides further evidence of its unnatural origins. Stitches were not required. And yet, its blood appears normal in color and consistency.
  8. Qabian had ingratiated himself with a certain circle of the Suramar elite. While the rest of the Horde and Alliance busied themselves aiding the needy shal’dorei affected by Legion rationing, Qabian positioned himself as a provider of new indulgences to those who needed no help. It wasn't that he had found the open-minded crowd. Far from it. They looked down on him as all good xenophobes do those they aren't raised alongside. But there was something comforting in their arrogance, like a childhood blanket. This was a world he knew and that he could operate within, reminding him of the days when he was not an orphan but said he was to make himself seem more exotic. What he brought them was bloodthistle. There were other sources, of course, but few as accommodating. And for those with a masochistic bent, higher in number amongst the powerful and bored, he showed them what Kael’thas taught Rommath the last time the Legion had been so destructive. Most found it horrifying, but a few asked for subsequent demonstrations. Repeatedly. The mage took to accepting every invitation that came his way from the city below, and they were frequent, having him in Suramar nearly as often as Dalaran. Any time he entered a room, even when his presence had been directly requested, half of the courtiers would leave, looks of disgust not remotely disguised. But those who remained would treat him to lavish feasts of seafood and abundant arcwine. It was the baths, though, fragranced, salted, and laced with ancient mana, that drew him back time and again, encouraging the mage to keep his thistle supply well stocked. Each time he indulged, the repeating nightmare of suffocating in a world without mana was deliciously reversed for several days. It was after one such bathing session when he was wrapped in a soft robe, a thistle leaf under his tongue, lounging on a balcony overlooking the city, that a shal’dorei woman approached him. She perched on the arm of his chaise, but did not touch him, breaking from the deviance he had grown to expect from those who dared to get so close. “Is it true? What they're saying about the Nightwell?” she asked. “Hm?” The heat of the steam still clung to him, and he found himself thinking through a pleasant, mana-heavy haze. “Most likely.” “What will become of us?” Not all of those eager for his services understood what was happening outside the city. They were sheltered, believing that those who had always held the power would continue to protect them. “You will adapt,” Qabian said matter-of-factly. “Will our eyes change? Like yours?” She was a grown woman, but Qabian found her childish questions off putting. “Don't you think that would have already happened?” She shrugged. “I don't think it will. Though I suppose that chapter is not yet over.” “Will we starve?” Qabian sighed. “Do you want to?” Given the sort who kept his company, the answer was not a given. “No.” “Then you won't.” “Will we have to do what you do?” Qabian grinned wickedly. “You mean feed on each other?” She nodded, looking away. He laughed cruelly. “Perhaps.” He knew the truth, but he saw no reason to correct her misconception. “My people have not needed to do that for some time, but some of us, most of us, continue. Why do you think that is?” He reached for the glass of arcwine on the small table beside him and took a sip. She took a while to answer. “Because you're horrible.” He laughed again. “And so are you. Everything will change, and nothing. In the end, you will always be who you are.” She glared at him, then her expression softened. She was, after all, willing to get close to him, to be alone with him, to inquire as to his thoughts. She was already one of the deviants. She knew he spoke the truth. “Thank you.” Usually he found those words distasteful, but not in this place. He lifted his glass in salute. “Any time.”
  9. Excerpts from a notebook 2.NS.P2.004 There are memories in this place. I'm not certain which of them are real. Some of them I know are not, cannot be. They're distracting. I used to speak of memories as ghosts, but then they actually involved the dead. These ghosts are not dead. Or they never lived. Somehow, that's worse. The creature is reacting. Something changes, flickers of arcane, violet sparks when it walks through the fractured ley lines. Parting the coat shows there are patterns in motion, but they are impossible to distinguish. The fur will need to be removed to get a better look. I left it with a tracker to see what would happen over an extended period of time. The hunter expected I would kill him when he told me he lost his target. Perhaps I should have. But I had foreseen such an outcome, and merely docked his pay. I found the creature back in the apartment, sleeping as though it had never left, able to vanish while under observation, cross portals, and return through a locked door in a floating city. I am at least reassured that the troll didn't simply toss an ordinary animal into a crate to get me to leave her alone.
  10. It's not my business anymore. I'm not going to make it my business. I'm going to follow my own sun damned advice for once in my life. Not my business. Let it burn.
  11. I've always been of the feeling that a community is what you make it. If you want it to be better than it is, you add to it yourself, and I think any addition, no matter how small, is good. As a result, I'm frequently mulling over ideas for events in my head, but the way real life goes for me right now, I'm extremely unlikely to get the opportunity to make any of them happen. Even my forum postings around here don't happen nearly as often as I have the ideas for them, because life gets in the way. When I'm thinking up ideas, they're usually events my character would run, which... is not necessarily the same thing as what I would like to see or attend. Academic presentations, historical tours, PvP mischief, that kind of thing. I would of course like to see more events in general, with for me the only qualification being that I have the opportunity to attend them, which... gets stomped on by real life more often than not. I don't even care if they're the kind of event I enjoy or that my character would reasonably go to. I can force him to go to almost anything. Hell, I'd even attend Cavanaugh's if I could, either as a secret Alliance or to add to the mess. All I really need is the block of time to participate. In an attempt to be more fruitful, back in FFXIV, the pantheon had 12 gods, each one associated with a month, and each also had a shrine somewhere out in the world, so each month for a year an unaffiliated RP group would go out to a stone and characters would volunteer to do presentations (poems, sermons, stories, songs, dances, whatever) related to the particular god. WoW doesn't offer anything I can think of that's so brazenly obvious, but I suppose a series of 12 anythings could be a jumping off point for something for someone.
  12. This artist I've commissioned a few times is asking for signal boosts, so I thought I'd toss this out. Feel free to hop on the thread with other artists if anyone wants. TenNine deviantArt She does batches of cheap $10-$15 portrait sketches fairly regularly and currently has one on the go. TenNine tumblr These are some of the things I've gotten from her: $15 color sketch of Kiannis $15 color sketch of my emo Miqo'te assassin from FFXIV $30 color portrait of Q with his ear cut off
  13. Excerpts from a notebook Considerations The Broken Isles are where the magic is. I've known this for quite some time. Even the briefest analysis of history would make that clear. I believe it is why I spent so many hours staring at the horizon. I knew it was there. When you search for magic, you hunt the Blue. And the Highborne. That means Azshara, Winterspring, Quel'thalas, Coldarra, and the Isles. I have wondered if that is why the Bronze hold on me broke when it did. Perhaps the Legion's latest ventures prompted the Messenger to act as the hand of Malygos. The Isles have become unchained. Movement is not restricted to the shores. And what remains of Azshara's city is open to be explored. The Nightborne mean a great deal more to me than I would let on in public. Logically, the best place to take this thing would be the Isles, run it alongside the Kirin Tor's manasabers, toss it in the Blue's pools in Azsuna, or use it to trace the ley maps in Suramar. However, given the Alliance seem to find earned but inordinate joy in trying to crack my skull lately, spending any length of time on the Isles will require extensive planning to be certain of any results whatsoever. So all other tests will be made first.
  14. I chose my words carefully, and I meant them, but I am not sure the nuance I intended can be understood without explanation. Still, he did not argue. Did the Commander... cow him so much that refutation was not required? He doesn't seem like the type to take a thinly veiled insult with only the slightest sound of retort. I know little of him, having met him once, maybe twice at the Inquisition before his disappearance, maybe briefly on occasion before, but I'm under the impression that in all the time of my absence, he was a presence, built and molded by the Mandate. The Grim archives are useful and should be maintained if they are in disarray, but they are not a place I would spend any time more than necessary. The archives are needed, but they are not enticing, no. They are not intriguing. They are not entertaining. They are required, like laundry or dusting. You have them, because when you do not, life itself begins to fall to pieces, but you do not have them because they bring you joy. Unless you are odd. There are enough bookish Grim who may enjoy surrounding themselves with the curious words of those who wore the tabard before them. I am not one of them. Bookish, yes. A lover of Grim lore for the sake of Grim lore? No. There are far more fascinating stories and far more intriguing powers to be discovered outside of the Mandate's halls. Then they can be brought into the Grim and stored for the future. I would rather create and construct Grim lore. It would certainly be productive to add to the archives, but to constantly review and rework what already exists? I would tire of the exercise quickly. I'm not sure if he was hoping I would volunteer. I'm more than capable of such a task, but it is one that I would do upon request, rather than conjure of my own free will.
  15. I hate this holiday. Given that I hate all the holidays save one, that's not much of a statement. But this one I've hated since the first time I tripped across its vile scented pink sugar decor and nearly vomited in the street. Now at this distance, at this vantage, I only have more and stronger reasons to hate it. But there has been one light this season. I am at least slightly more proud to be Grim than I was yesterday. Very slightly. I've had the opportunity to listen uninvited to two sets of sin'dorei while they make eyes at each other, one set Grim, the other not. The not-Grim made me ill. The way they spoke, I suspect all those wearing their tabard are infected with the diseases once rampant in the streets of Silvermoon. They clearly do nothing but bed each other in all directions, all the time, all day long. It's a wonder they haven't all wasted away, forgetting to eat or breathe. But the Grim, while I absolutely question Kiannis' sanity and would have recommended that his "comfortable companion" -- I'm not sure he has the slightest idea what a compliment is -- give him a hard slap across the face if not a knee to the groin for the indignity of his presumption, they at least took the holiday in stride, were polite, relatively solemn, and dare I say even, by the sun, witty? And I felt transported back to a time when keeping an ear open for blackmail material was one of my greatest joys. I suppose therein lies the silver lining to celebrating the worst society has to offer.

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