Qabian

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  1. Full Name: Qabian Grimfire (pronounced K-B-N, né Amberlight) Nicknames: Q (sometimes used as a signature, not commonly addressed as such) Date of Birth: About 70 years before the destruction of the Sunwell. He does not make his birthdate common knowledge. Age: Early 80s (young adult) Race: Blood Elf Gender: Male Hair: Copper, kept long. Eyes: Bright fel green. Height: 6’0” (assuming average human heights) Weight: 165lbs Physical Features: Typical Sin’dorei, angled features, tanned, fencer’s build, missing most of his left ear. Place of Residence: Dalaran Place of Birth: Silvermoon Known Relatives: Qynda Amberlight (mother - murdered) M_____ Amberlight (father – dead) A_____ Amberlight (sister – Farstrider, missing, presumed dead) Ashtyn Amberlight (cousin) Marniel Amberlight (distant relative - innkeeper at Fairbreeze Village) Religion/Philosophy: Typical Sin’dorei, never truly convinced that Kael'thas was entirely in the wrong, refuses to submit to or consort with demons but content to abuse fel magic otherwise. Generally pragmatist, individualist, fatalist, determinist. He cares little for higher powers and more about power in practice. Occupation: Magister Group/Guild Affiliation: The Grim Guild Rank: Reaper Enemies: Any and all humans, the Alliance at large. No love for Trolls, but he will leave them to their business provided they leave him to his. Weapons of Choice: Fire. Also magical blades. Likes: Himself, fire, magic, power, crushing humans, cleanliness. Dislikes: Humans, anything related to humans, gore, filth, wasting time. Also demons, and the obnoxiousness of the Light. Favorite Foods: Sagefish cooked any way, lobster dinners are also appreciated, and exquisite cheeses Favorite Drinks: Suntouched Special Reserve, a good vintage Port, coffee Favorite Colors: Red and gold Hobbies: Researching, jewelcrafting, book binding, fencing, pyromania Special Abilities: Talented mage, some minor fencing skills Positive Personality Traits: Pride, narcissism, dedication, determination, intensity, loyalty (selectively), diplomacy (selectively), carefulness Negative Personality Traits: Pride, narcissism, arrogance, cruelty, deviousness, insensitivity, wrath, fury, single-mindedness, cowardice Misc. Quirks: Definitely a pyromaniac, highly fastidious outside of the heat of combat. After a run-in with the Bronze dragonflight for an indeterminate amount of time, all of Qabian's previousness scars and illnesses were seemingly removed, with the exception of the loss of the better part of his left ear. Played by What Famous Person: Cillian Murphy a la Dr. Jonathan Crane Theme Songs: The Dandy Warhols - Godless: "I said you're heartless and I swear you're godless." Fischerspooner - We Need A War: "A war to make us feel safe, a war to make them feel sorry, whoever they are, we need a war." Mobile - See Right Through Me: "I live to justify to say the reason why you might sense my fear but you won't see right through me." Basic History: Once old enough to walk, Qabian was sent by his parents to work with the priests of a small chapel in Silvermoon in order to be taught and have access to a library. His affinity for magic was discovered there and he was sent as an apprentice to the Magisters. He studied with the Magisters, spending time alternately in Silvermoon and Dalaran until the destruction of the Sunwell. He lost his father, younger sister, and friends in the conflict and subsequent loss. He channeled that loss into a formidable hatred for the Alliance, and an intense hope for Kael’thas' eventual return and the supremacy of the Sin’dorei. Qabian’s efforts during the reconstruction of Silvermoon have earned him the title of Magister after many decades of apprenticeship. In his youth he was something of a social butterfly, interested in parties and dances and attending important events with friends, but with the past years of hardship in Silvermoon, Qabian’s attitude has become considerably hardened to the society he once considered important. His priority shifted to the destruction of the Alliance and anything that does not involve advancing that goal is no longer worth his time. After getting involved with a certain young Duchess and being asked to kill the Wretched who was once his best friend, Qabian was accused of the Duchess' murder and removed from the Magisters. Thanks to connections made through the Grim, and the aid of the Dawnspire family, Qabian was able to manipulate a wide variety of people, resulting in the death of said Duchess' husband and nephew, and the estate being left to himself. However, while engaged in those machinations, he also fell in with an unknown young woman who left him with a scar across his face that refused to heal properly. Initial History with the Grim: Having heard of the Grim's purpose and motivations, Qabian sought them out, eventually speaking with Lascivious and agreeing to do whatever was necessary to follow the Mandate. Within the Grim, Qabian has worked with all styles of magic in several different fields, although his preferences remain rooted in his past, as was made clear as his history continued to interfere with his attempts to construct himself as Grim first and foremost. Qabian's mother, already in poor health after an encounter with a certain rogue, was murdered at Winter Veil by an unknown assailant with a candy cane. He had his suspicions about who was guilty of it, but was more concerned about improving the security of the manor than avenging someone he insisted he never cared about. An incident involving an Alliance witch and the tearing of his soul led him to seek help from a few fellow Grim and affected his opinions on such things as the nature of souls. Qabian's involvement with Nymare Sunfire was difficult to define, especially based on their extended complex history over Qabian's years with the Grim. Over time he seemed to have embraced the idea of a fellow narcissist who was capable of both improving and adding to his own actions, motivations, and considerations, and of maintaining a very real interest in himself and his thoughts. Though he remains reticent to discuss the matter openly on the basis that it is no one's business but his own, their relationship was hardly a secret. Qabian was made a Dreadweaver for bureaucratic reasons early in his time with the Grim. He eventually carved a niche for himself among the Grim leadership that went beyond the specific challenges of the arcane. Though Lascivious as the Mistress had a way of keeping him in line, he found her departure incredibly disappointing in terms of his original impressions and beliefs about her as a leader, and her absence left him less inclined to submission and more likely to speak his mind and take control whenever he deemed himself capable. Abric, it seems, recognized a certain capacity and created the new position of the Keeper which Qabian then took up. Recent History with the Grim: Qabian left the Grim without warning in the dead of night, no explanations made. He slowly became more and more reclusive, eventually disappearing for several years. He returned suddenly, alongside one of the Araun's occasional appearances, but clearly a great deal about the mage had changed in the intervening time, including a loss of strength with which he continues to struggle. Qabian approached the Grim alone and repentant. While he was accepted back without question, the former Keeper volunteered to take the Supplicant trials again in order to learn how the Grim had changed in the years of his absence. After completing his trials, he was accepted fully back into the ranks, but at his final Inquisition, Syreena suddenly demanded his ears. To the surprise of those in attendance, Qabian took a knee and accepted the Forsaken's demand. She sliced off one of his ears, and today Qabian wears the mutilation as a badge of pride, a symbol of his willingness to do whatever the Grim demand of him, something that he acknowledges has not always been the case. Old Stories: Worse than Defeat (Interior Monologuing): It's like a journal except it's in his brain. And it's just words. Nothing fancy. Generally summarizes his many thought trains. The Value of a Curse: Qabian takes a research trip to Hyjal. Some backstory. Questioning A Beginning: A letter he doesn't intend to send. Some backstory. The Mark of a Fool: An encounter with a human rogue. Necessity's Game: Qabian meets with an old friend and a new one, and things change drastically. A cursed dagger involves the Grim. News From Home: Qabian receives a letter from his mother and meets Ninorra, though not for the first time. Dinner Conversation: Ninorra invites Qabian over. High Strung: Qabian's trainer sends him to Silvermoon University for Anger Management training. (incomplete) The Power of Fear: Ninorra shows Qabian a different side of her world. Machinations: Qabian arranges matters to conveniently find himself in possession of land and a title. Let It Burn: Qabian's notable first encounter with Shigana Barov, and the reason he will never be able to entirely dismiss Mahakali. Her Voice (Rated Adults Only, heh): How he got that scar. Chance Encounter: With the rogue from The Mark of a Fool, Qabian arranges a particularly sweet vengeance. Escape: Qabian thinks Ninorra has finally changed for the better. He learns just how wrong he is. Disease: Shigana attempts to break Qabian. A Simple Letter: Qabian enlists the Grim to help him recover what Shigana stole. The Sum of One's Thoughts: Qabian fights back to keep his mind his own. The Easy Part: Qabian and Acherontia take down Shigana, short and sweet. Qabian and the Mistress: Lascivious shows Qabian just how far she can push him. A Better Brew: Malorii introduces Qabian to coffee. Chasing Memory: Qabian takes a trip through time, looking for someone or something. Nightmare: Just a nightmare. Company's Coming: Malorii moves in. Dying for a Soul: Acherontia finally manages to put the soul Shigana broke back together, but it's not quite that simple. Personal Inquisitions: A short discussion with Melchisedech. Dark Shadow: Qabian's mother meets an unfortunate end. To Catch a Firefly: Qabian's under arrest. Again. (incomplete) Petals Falling: Malorii's back and wants something from Qabian. Collecting a Debt: Qabian pisses off Heidenreich. Music Theory: Qabian and Ninorra talk too much. Really. Stronger than magician ever spoke: Qabian sets up a fountain, but don't expect him to admit it wasn't his idea. Champagne Supernova: Last day of midsummer gets a little extended, but turns out just the way it should. Bliss: Wedding, bwahahaha! Worlds Apart: A study on disaster And these are stories generally belonging to others or about others into which Qabian managed to add his two cents: The Lovely Hell (Response): Ninorra's personal hell. Taken (Response): Nymare's kidnapped. A Night at the Ball (Response): The Harvest Ball. Reactions to Heresy (Response): Street preaching in Silvermoon Remnants of Reflection (Response): Evanthe's dreams of Malorii The Twisting Path of Sabachthan Ghant (Response): Getting involved again Correspondence (Response): Intercepting Nymare's mail. In the Service of the Horde (Response): From his side. Acta Sanctorum (Response): Trying to ditch some drugs. Misdirections (Response): A messenger from the Prince? The Defense of Refuge Point and Southshore by the Fabled Paladin Order (Response): A long night of fighting makes people write letters. Wretched: Karazhan abuse to keep out warlocks. Curse of Flesh: Nymare does what in the cellar? Il Notte Eterna: Another nightmare The morning after.: Dealing with Mordria NEW STORIES: Time Shattered (Interior Monologuing): Current quote unquote journal, not actually written anywhere. Things That Cannot Be: Qabian's return Clock Strikes: Qabian explores the cave where he was found Design Flaw: Inspired by the hidden artifact appearance Piece of Mind: What he's up to in his spare time Curious Craft: A plan to create a weapon doesn't quite turn out like he expects (unfinished) Playing with Fire: Traditional orphanage burning in honor of Children's Week (unfinished?)
  2. Qabian stood in the shadows beneath a tree across the square from Stormwind’s orphanage, watching the soft yellow light in its windows keep the night from slipping completely into darkness. Wearing a heavily hooded cloak that hid his ears and pulled low enough over his face to shade the glow from his eyes, he could have been any ordinary human citizen that hadn’t needed to deftly avoid gryphon rider patrols to access the city. The time of year and other things had compelled the mage to spend time considering the Grim’s overall policies on enemy non-combatants. Generally, those policies seemed to be “no one cares.” In reality, any given Grim could hold any idea somewhere between “it’s best to destroy the enemy in their cradles before they get the opportunity to become a problem” and “none of them are innocent, but fighting babies is dishonorable.” Most seemed to lean toward the former, as did Qabian. But for the mage, the issue was not as simple as a policy. There were reasons, none of them rational, why all this talk of children sparked his anger. Orphans should have the good sense to die alongside their parents. Propagating youth into this world was irresponsible and everyone who did so should be reminded of that as frequently and harshly as possible. Any of a dozen other nonsensical pronouncements that excused or even encouraged destroying those who most needed protection. His aversion to children was far more deep-seated than simple proselytizing, but each time Qabian’s thoughts threatened to dwell on the true reasons for his rage, he redirected the emotion into action rather than let honesty and introspection lead to anything more subtle than burning buildings. His hands itched and he flexed his fingers as he tried to decide exactly what actions he would take. It wouldn’t be the first time the Grim had torched this building. They did so fairly regularly. In fact, they had done it together a matter of months ago. Qabian never learned if there were any actual casualties as a result of such actions. He doubted it. If a stampede of Alliance boots trampled through Orgrimmar, he was fairly certain the orphanage could be warned and the children spirited away to some underground hiding place until the danger passed. Expecting the Alliance couldn’t do the same for their children seemed shortsighted, even if he made a point never to overestimate human intelligence. He even remembered attacking the institution several times alone during his early days in the Grim, but it was usually just a side stop on a destructive rampage of his own making. But on this occasion, it was the sole reason he was in Stormwind at all. The door to the orphanage creaked open, allowing a beam of light to fall across Qabian’s hooded form. The matron stepped out and set something loose on the step, a small creature, perhaps a mouse, no doubt some child’s pet not hidden stealthily enough from the authorities at bedtime and turned out into the danger of the city. The blood elf in the shadows seized the opportunity. He blinked across the short span of the square, grabbed the woman, one arm across her face to stifle screams, then pushed her roughly back inside the building and kicked the door closed behind him. A dozen shocked children in various states of preparing for bed stared at their frantically struggling caregiver and the cloaked man that held her. The matron bit down on his arm. An expected reaction, the mage didn't flinch, but he did burst into flames, then so did she. The children screamed and the chaos began in earnest. The matron’s blazing body collapsed to the floor at Qabian's feet. The spectre of flame that was a mage under combustion fired a blast at the nearest child. The child ducked under the bed which immediately went up in flames itself. Sparks leapt from the burning bed to loose sheets nearby catching the next bed on fire as the conflagration quickly spread. Most of the children, seemingly well-trained for such villainy, rushed to the far corner of the room where a panel of the wall slid away. Qabian stalked forward. Crackling ice spread across the floor, ensnaring the ankles of three of the running children. He grabbed the nearest by the wrist when suddenly the door creaked open behind him. Qabian spun around and his hood slipped back. There shouldn't have been time for help to arrive yet. The night matron was a smoldering pile of nothing. The children hadn't escaped yet. The screams should have been muffled by the enclosed location. Who could have sent help already? “Matron, it seems one of your young charges thought to go exploring--” A strong but gentle voice explained as the door slowly swung open to reveal a knight in armor, looking down at a little girl whose small hand disappeared in his gauntleted grip. The knight gasped as he took in the scene of chaos and destruction, and immediately pushed the little girl behind him protectively. The flames enveloping Qabian’s body died away, revealing a highly unpleasant grin of recognition on his elven face. “You!” the knight shouted. “Expecting someone else?” Qabian tossed the child he had grabbed at the knight for a moment's distraction, then blinked into the middle of the group of children gathered around their escape route, causing them to shriek and scatter around the burning room. The knight gently caught the flung child and set it gently to the side. “Everyone! Out the front door!” he bellowed. “I’ll take care of this.” Qabian laughed as the children rushed to obey. “Of course you will. Think you can actually kill me this time, Cavanaugh?” The blood elf spat the knight’s name. A hammer of light slammed down onto the mage, stunning him. He knew it was coming and that he’d have to wait it out. Cavanaugh calmly crossed the room toward the mage, pushing a burning chair to one side to clear a path for the fleeing orphans. He grabbed the dazed mage by the throat, lifting him off his feet, crushing the life out of him. “I know I can, Grim.” Qabian’s eyes turned upward and he felt consciousness slipping away. He willed himself to focus on his attacker as the hammer’s effects diminished. Another slight crackle was heard before a loud snap as Cavanaugh’s grip was knocked away and the mage was encased in a massive block of ice. “You can't hide in there for long, felspawn.” Cavanaugh snarled. “Help!” cried a tiny voice amidst the roar of the fire. The first child that had dodged Qabian's attack was pinned under the flaming furniture that had initially saved his life. A little girl was pulling on his arm, futilely trying to free him before the mass of fire and char collapsed on both of them. Cavanaugh hesitated a moment, weighing those two children's lives against the dozens or hundreds that would be saved if the blood elf could be permanently ended right then. The hesitation was enough for the mage. The ice block shimmered away and Qabian blinked to the exit. “Better luck next time, hero.” Cavanaugh quickly freed the child and dashed to the door, holding the boy in his arms. The little girl rescuer hid behind the knight's strong form in the doorway. Cavanaugh sighed. The elf was long gone. “The bad guy just vanished! Disappeared! Poof!” said one of the orphans that had gathered in the square. “Do not concern yourself with that, little one,” Cavanaugh said, kneeling as he made certain each of the children was all right. A patrol was already approaching from the cathedral. “Why did he attack us, Sir?” another small voice piped up. “Because there are evil monsters, ones that wish to do only harm. You are safe now, and I will stay close to make sure you are safe, Light willing.” “Will he come back?” Cavanaugh smiled at the child and patted his head. “Don't worry. I will catch him. And I will make sure he gets what he deserves.” “Easier said than done, friend,” Qabian murmured from his hiding place around the corner, the last word intoned like a slur before he teleported away.
  3. This is the worst holiday. There are objectively worse holidays. But subjectively, qualitatively, personally... this one is the worst.
  4. Don't ask. Just... Don't. That... thing is to blame for this. That thing and the Infinite. Or the Bronze. They're the same, yes? I was trying... I was... We were...? What was it? I hate him. I have always hated him. I will always hate him. It's refreshing. This hate. Everything and all the rest of dulled fragments of reflection. Hate is what slices through. Sweet, small, slicing through shadows, tiny candleflame hate. Nothing else. The rest is gone. Not even darkness. No shadow. Only blank, empty nothing. The rest is scattered, irretrievable, swept into a delirium vortex, unreal in every sense, and yet all of what is gone, what is lost, what is missing is the only real there is, ever has been, or ever will be. Except the hate. The hate burns through. I've missed this. Haven't I? I hate that, too.
  5. That was interesting. It at least confirmed again why I go to such things. I doubt I'll use the information I gained, but the simple act of gaining it is comforting. And I learned my lesson about showing up on time. Punctuality is important for combat. It's terrible for social functions. Unfortunately, I somehow spent most of the time waxing eloquent and arrogant myself, rather than listening to others, spouting my truths like all those flag bearers I claim to hate so much. I suppose I don't mind my own hypocrisy because, as far as I know, I hold my flag alone. The bartender never had the audacity to disagree with me, but that may simply be a demonstration of his skill in his work. He also had more coffee varieties than I've ever seen at a single vendor. I wonder who those individuals the bartender has such distaste for really are. I must say I do enjoy so many of the things that have changed in my absence. For someone who is so often criticized for being too serious, I felt like I was laughing the whole time. Being called a sycophant of all things. What? I absolutely bent my knee consistently when it was appropriate, when I was being judged. Perhaps giving my ear as I did was a sycophant's act, but my judgment has passed, and I have since bent my knee to no one. Flattery is not in my nature. Given who I was readily criticizing at that bar, that should have been immediately apparent. Constant opportunity for schadenfreude also helped, and attacking those who were not present to defend themselves, though I doubt Kiannis even would, which is why I was attacking him in the first place. He'll defend the Mandate and his pack until his dying breath, certainly, but his own identity? He seems ready to subsume that in any nearby shadow at any moment. Perhaps my few conversations with him have not revealed enough, but until that changes, I don't particularly care if I'm wrong. I also neglected to mention that if I did take any concerns to Awatu, if he acted like any past Grim leadership I knew, he would sensibly put me in charge of addressing those concerns, and that is so much less amusing than simply laughing at the struggles of others. Syreena got in a very accurate slice at me, but I'm not sure she noticed, or she did and was reluctant to give me the opportunity to shut my mouth, so pulled back the inquiry when it could have done the most damage. It is rather difficult for me to dig my own grave when I'm busy acting the wallflower, hm?
  6. There was once a time when if you wanted to harass humans, you didn't have to venture quite so far from Silvermoon's gates. These days, everything between the Ghostlands and the Hinterlands was under the flag of either the dead or trolls. With one exception. Qabian stepped out from behind one of Hearthglen's many towers. The flag of the Argent Crusade was far from enough to stymie racially motivated mischief. Even when Lordaeron had been close enough to toy with, technically they had been allies. What was a little silver between frenemies? Qabian carried a small wooden crate under one arm that occasionally made scratching noises. The panther cub followed at the mage's heels, nearly invisible in the night's shadows. Occasionally the creature bounced on its hindlegs, trying to reach Qabian's crate. Qabian waited as a pair of patrolling guards holding a single lamp between them passed by, then walked calmly up the ramp to the tower. He took a handful of something from a pouch at his belt, tossed it in the open doorway, then knelt, placing one hand on the cub's shoulders, forcing it down as he set the crate on the ground to his other side. "Shh," Qabian hissed quietly as he flicked a latch on the crate. A half dozen rats scurried into the darkness of the tower. The cub fought against the hand holding him down, its haunches tensed as it focused intensely on the fleeing rats. "One... Two..." Qabian whispered, then flames flickered between his fingers, setting the cub's fur alight. Apparently unconcerned with being on fire, the flaming cat wriggled free of the mage's loosening grip and dashed into the tower. Qabian couldn't help but chuckle as he slipped back into the shadows, sliding completely out of view where he stood to watch flames spread through the greyscale tower and listen to the shouts and emerging chaos. Something icy slipped down the side of his neck as he watched, and the mage instinctively raised an arm, scanning the scene for the source. Further ice bounced harmlessly off a translucent, fiery shield, but he was no longer hidden from view. He narrowed his eyes. A night elf stood at the top of the tower, her arms held over her head as she cast her spell. "Kal'dorei?" Qabian said under his breath. There were some among the Tirisgarde, but it still struck him as odd every time he saw them using magic. No different than orcs allowing each other to be warlocks, perhaps, but it had been frowned upon among them for so long. Had there always been Highborne among the Argent? Or were they just teaching each other once forbidden spells? He flicked a gesture and the night elf's spell cut short. She put a hand to her throat, glaring down at Qabian. He bowed dramatically, then gave her a lazy salute and a smirk. Flames shot up from somewhere behind her, followed by an indistinct yowl. She was not distracted. The effect of the silencing wore off and she shouted, pointing in Qabian's direction. He laughed, vanishing in a flash of arcane mist as dazed Argent guardsmen stumbled toward where he had been standing, but he was long gone.
  7. Qabian pulled the hood of his plain, dark robes down over his face as he leaned against the cleanest wall he could find in the lower section of the Apothecarium. He didn't want to be recognized, and his distaste for the locale made him even more tense than necessary. Three days past, the banshee had directed him to wait here for a shadow hunter. Waiting for some unknown troll likely to ruin everything he was planning only added to his irritation, but Qabian was determined to at least see this part through. The expected shadow hunter strolled in, carrying herself with a sort of tall formality, but her skin was drawn and wrinkled and her hair thin, showing age in a way Qabian rarely encountered in trolls. Skulls of varying sizes clicked where they hung around her robes at her hips and shoulders. She saw him immediately and nodded toward him, grinning around her tusks while somehow seeming serious. "Elf." Qabian bowed his hooded head slightly lower and stood forward from the wall by way of acknowledgment. "I heard you have a request for me." Qabian took a deep breath, managing not to sigh overtly, and held out a scroll from his heavy sleeve. The troll took the scroll from him, then unrolled the parchment and narrowed her eyes at the script. "Who wrote this?" "I did," Qabian said without looking up. "You know this tongue?" She sounded incredulous. "I do." "How--" "It's a long story," Qabian interrupted. "I have time." "I don't." The troll cocked a hip, then shrugged and tucked the scroll under one of the skulls at her waist. "What do you want?" "To forge a weapon," Qabian explained. "What weapon?" The troll's tone shifted to suspicion. "A weapon of collective will." "That needs more than this." She tapped the scroll. "I was told it does not, at least--" He stopped mid-explanation, waving one hand in a dismissive gesture. The mage finally looked up and pulled back his hood, revealing his missing ear. "The collective cannot be gathered in the usual capacity. I will do what it takes with what I have." The troll paused, then nodded, her fingers still on the scroll. "You want to make these words a weapon." "Yes," Qabian confirmed. "But this is, as I'm sure you understand, experimental. This will be the first of many." She shook her head. "No. Not from me, but a favor is owed. You will get your first... experiment." Qabian tensed his jaw, not willing to push the argument. With one result, perhaps he could reverse engineer the spellwork, unravel it until he understood it enough to continue on his own. "Fine." "I will need blood." Qabian flinched. Toying with his blood had a history of ending badly. "Whose?" The troll grinned, less serious, more devious. "Not yours. Yet. Dragon blood is best." Slowly, Qabian's lips stretched in a grin that mirrored the shadow hunter's before him. "That I can happily provide."
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I also did a thing.
  11. 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.
  12. 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..." "...one 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."
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.”
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. Excerpts from a notebook 2.DL.inc.001 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Qabian sat backwards in his desk chair, arms folded on top of the chair back, chin resting on his wrists, and glared at the black panther cub curled up asleep on his bed. It was a curious thing. He'd had a "pet" once before, and it wasn't in childhood. He had a blue dragon whelp that needed regular feeding or it had fainting spells and crapped everywhere, but this thing was tidy and while it bothered him whenever he was around the apartment, acted as though it owned the place, and ate anything edible that ever passed into its vicinity, it didn't seem stressed when the mage left it alone most of the time, and it hadn't changed the smell of the place. He wondered if it had found a way out of the apartment and stalked the sewers for rats while he was gone, but if that's what it was doing, it always returned before Qabian did. It almost seemed more likely that it just wasn't quite real. Qabian narrowed his eyes. "I'm going to dissect you," he muttered in the animal's general direction. It kept sleeping. He considered whether he should tell any Grim about this at all. It was their words that created this thing, technically, their words and his interference. But he was no longer playing the silly game of pretending he was new to the organization. He no longer reported to anyone, and short of someone with a title demanding to know what had come of his little project, there was no reason to keep anyone informed. It seemed everyone had forgotten or had never cared in the first place, and that was for the best. "I'm going to inject mana into your veins, then slice you up into little pieces." The cub rolled over in its sleep with a mrr. Qabian raised an eyebrow. "Then I'm going to set you on fire." A high pitched nose whistle started up from the indistinguishable black lump of fur. "As long as we're both agreed."
  24. The pandaren had the opportunity to call me out for my nonstandard views on the Mandate, but he did not -- another sign of there being an actual intellect behind that jovial, improper facade. I do wonder if he would have said something else had I not been there watching, but the point stands. He tried to share the other lesson I taught him, but I don't think he conveyed it well enough to cause understanding in others. Nevertheless, I believe he understood it and may even take it to heart. There is hope for him yet. I sought out that Cantina. I don't drink, but the very act of seeking it out made me reflect on the reasons I ever attended such events. I learn so much more about others when they are not speaking with me. Participating in conversations has never been my forté. Deriving meaning and opportunity from the conversations of others, however, has always been worthwhile.
  25. All my character names were randomly generated. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, even though it's occasionally a blatant lie. I give them the stories after the names, not before.

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

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