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Everything posted by Qabian

  1. Aaren Anastasis

    “I know of her, yes. She’s been to the Cantina a few times when I have, but I only recently put a name to her. Based on those who recognize and speak to her and what I've heard about her second hand, she's just another part of the garbage heap awaiting the fire. But from what little I've actually heard her say herself? She’s interesting and I haven't entirely dismissed her, but ultimately I expect very little.”
  2. Kahlan Gustblade

    “Poor girl. There's really so much to pity about her and she clearly has no clue how the world works, but I have to say I admire both her hair trigger temper and her lack of patience for social overtures and outright lunacy.”
  3. Qabian Grimfire

    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: Silvermoon 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: High Inquisitor 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, fine cheeses Favorite Drinks: Coffee spiked with bloodthistle Favorite Colors: Red and gold Hobbies: Researching, jewelcraft, fencing, bloodthistle, 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 previous 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: Nothing More - Go To War: "Remember everything that we died for" Greg Laswell - Dodged a Bullet: "Everyone thinks I dodged a bullet, but I think I shot the gun." Hozier - Arsonist's Lullaby: "My peace has always depended on the ashes in my wake." 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. With shifts in the structure of the Grim, Qabian once again found himself in a position of power, managing those interested in joining. While he had in truth never been High Inquisitor before, he had interrogated a certain number of prospectives before the Inquisition structure had been developed, and so others seemed to believe he had simply been reinstated in an old position. In the process of being named Inquisitor, Qabian learned just how serious Awatu is as the Grim's Commander, and came to have both greater respect and resentment for the Tauren. Qabian called in a favor and made Syreena his second, and for the present, they stand as the gatekeepers for those who think they have what it takes to become Grim. 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 (to be continued) Playing with Fire: Traditional orphanage burning in honor of Children's Week goes awry Spelling Trouble: Qabian tries to teach some lessons (to be continued) Fire Wolf: What if Qabian were a worgen. Let's never speak of this again. New being annoying to other people: Keeping Secrets: Innocent people who did nothing wrong.
  4. Time Shattered

    I... Is it possible to have too much coffee? No. No, it is not. Well, it is possible to drink too much coffee, but it isn't possible to own too much. The number of people who could have sent this is very small. The number of people who are likely to have sent it is... But she must be dead. There's no way... Maybe I should switch to arcwine for a while.
  5. Time Shattered

    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.
  6. Tahzani Tallfisher (H)

    "I wouldn't trust him with anything important, but he's surprised me by having a good head on his shoulders. One of the few outside the Grim with whom I'm capable of holding an extended conversation. It helps that we have some opinions in common, not many, but some."
  7. Siané Dawnlight

    "There's something deeply, monstrously wrong with her. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but she's showed herself to be so pathetic that I'm sure she'll be one of the first to die when the tides turn anyway."
  8. Mardalius Anterius, Battlemage Extraordinaire

    "I don't know why he hasn't been cut down in the street for crimes far worse than mine, but I also don't feel like I need to be the one to give him what's coming to him. It's not that he has no skills. He would have value if his existence weren't itself treason. Time and the Mandate will take care of the problem he presents."
  9. Syreena

    "Occasionally, I think I give her more credit than she deserves, but in getting to know again the Grim I once abandoned, she has acted as my reassurance that they have not changed and will not change. I think I may be the only elf who has willingly given her an ear, but her request was thoroughly reasonable and I had no reason to protest. While I certainly don't admit it to her, I rely on this patched up dead girl to keep me in check."
  10. Time Shattered

    It's the recognition that there are more of us than I've seen evidence of in the past few months. Often, it seems like it's Syreena and I against the world. Not last night, though. Last night, we were the world, all of us, Syreena and her pet, and Vyalis, and the Grimtotem shadow, and the quiet wolf, and the knight with her broken mechanical voice accidentally screaming about horrible stereotypes. Even Malkaris, I suppose. He's worse in that skin. At least when he was more clearly falling apart, no one took him quite as seriously. Now, well, he keeps everyone entertained with his clown show, but I'm not sure we should have let him out of the guild hall. I don't think I ever want to see him and Nathandiel in the same room. But even those who weren't us weren't the usual, weren't the kind who push me to despair of any future for the Horde. There were the Luna I've worked with before, the sensible yet angry from across the spectrum, the smug and the smart. Even the one with the reputation for collecting boyfriends, who apparently has both the lizard man from last week and Our Lord Gustblade checked off her list, seemed practically an intellectual compared to the usual crowds. Even Kahlan gives me hope. There's something I like about her, and not just because she made the mistake of giving me a compliment once. Maybe it's her penchant for jumping immediately to violence. Maybe it's her utter dismissal of the continuous pathetic attempts to encroach on feelings she clearly doesn't have. Maybe it's her seemingly equal hatred of nearly everyone around her. She's not quite right in the head, being so defensive of the parents she was apparently avoiding, who I will ever doubt are actually related to her in any way, even through mere kindness. She doesn't seem to realize that everything she hates about men is all her father has to offer the world. He is the very pinnacle of what she detests most, and yet she leaps ferociously to his defense if anyone so much as sneezes in his direction. But if Kahlan were the worst the Horde had to offer, we would be well-equipped for whatever lies ahead. Unfortunately, there are those like her parents, and the monstrous rabbit who put up with Malkaris' lechery with nothing but blushes and yet ran off in a panic at the sight of that half-demon I know nothing about and want to know nothing about but who I know has enough propensity for violence to be on the side of hope. But last night, they were outnumbered in a way that felt incredibly satisfying. So yes, hope. Even at our meeting. It was small, yes, but not as small as it's been when the future has seemed darkest. We grow, slow but steady. The pendulum swings as it always does. I've been out of sync with the clock for too long to recognize its motions, but time tells its tales whether we want it to or not.
  11. Time Shattered

    That... gave me hope, hope I thought was dead or at least dying. And yet. For so many reasons, hope. None of which involve Malkaris. There I have only regret.
  12. Time Shattered

    It certainly felt illicit, though it was nothing more than conversation. Perhaps she was right, I could only speak those things among large numbers. Where else would there be no questioning of both proximity and silence? Everyone was engaged in proximity and silence. There I can speak things I would never speak if anyone might overhear or even simply question. We certainly couldn't have that conversation in Dalaran or Silvermoon, and somewhere private is not viable, nor should it be. What is left but a large crowd with a focus on a stage? Why even bother? That's a more difficult question, but given the rare opportunity, apparently I couldn't pass it up. She practically had her fingers interlaced with those of Grim the entire night, to the abandonment of even her monstrous partner for a performance never performed. Given who she is relative to her so-called friends, her predilections and obsessions, given our numbers in comparison, and given that she approached us not the other way around, it rather seemed she was the one playing traitor, which is amusing in itself. What do we do if not proselytize to each other, continually trying to convince the other that they are in the wrong? Perhaps I should not have left Vyalis to her clutches. His fight with his brother took much out of him, I think. But I trusted him to either hold his own or show himself unworthy, either of which were valuable, and it seems he did the former. He shouldn't have offered me a ring and a quiet explanation, though. Something else and a quiet explanation, or a ring and a clearly audible explanation, either would have saved us both looking foolish. He was tired. Maybe the main reason I am Grim is all of them fall outside the usual stories. None of them put family above violence. Whereas everyone she works with is extremely usual, so usual that they inspire yawns so expansive they suffocate. Khorvis... Ah well, none of it could have been avoided. I am concerned it will make him quiet, though. Khorvis is at his best when he is both loud and sharp. I am curious how it would have played out. I believe I would have had the advantage, but there were too many reasons to leave it be. The first being not giving filth the opportunity to spread. The second being the importance of continued access. The rest being no desire whatsoever to interact in any way that would not guarantee permanence. I don't take joy in the pain, the humiliation, the pieces in between. I take my joy in the finality. There was none of that to be had. I'm not sure why everyone I speak to is automatically deemed a romantic interest. Apparently, if I speak to anyone a second time, the non-existent interest has already developed into a full blown non-existent relationship. I have vague memories of the same happening in the time before, and it being just as distasteful. It's because of the usual stories. When all your concerns are pathetic, all your assumptions are as well. In line with that, there are apparently only two explanations for my mutilation. The first is I lost to her in combat, which I did not, but I would prefer if I have to choose. The second is some sort of act of romantic submission. The truth is neither, but who would care to hear the explanation? The truth is a combination of pride and necessity. The truth is the culmination of months of agonizing over what I can sacrifice to prove myself after the sheer extent of my failure, only to be offered the clearest, most obvious answer in the last moments. My wholeness, that I regained at great cost to myself, was really the only thing of value to myself that I could have given, short of my very life. Why would I have said no to an ear when what I should have given was my throat? I did not give it to her, but to the Grim, and she stands as their representative better than any. She even knows the Mandate as I know it. But no one outside the Grim sees that. All they see is the stitched up dead girl who collects pieces of elves as trophies and snacks, so I'm just another trophy and a snack. Fine. Let them see their worthless lie. Let them speak it and spread it, even. It'll leave them underestimating both of us until the day the tides finally turn.
  13. Time Shattered

    The bartender may be correct. If I am playing their game, I may be helping them, at least in the short term. I don't believe I am, yet. But if I am to get what I want, I will have to eventually. I must reconsider this. I am always reconsidering this. It made sense in days gone by. It does not make sense any longer. But if it works? If it plays out well? If it plays out in our favor? Even if I help them in the short term, if it ultimately erases them, or even just sows chaos and discord within them? It could be worth years upon years of toil and agony. I will move slowly. I will keep this to the edges. I will not ingratiate myself with their core, only with the periphery. A step here, a greeting there, a gift here, a compliment there, but all the while being who I have always been, insulting them profusely, never letting them think I've truly changed, only that I have a side they did not know, without ever betraying myself and my truths. I can do that. Can't I? Maybe I can't. I still don't know that this is worth the risk. If I were sensible, I would put it all aside while I still can. Unfortunately, it seems I want the possible outcome of it all more than an appeal to good sense would say is reasonable. Not so bad, hm? Oh, how wrong you are. If you can be offended by someone as ludicrous as Nathandiel, I am far, far worse, because I don't use lies to cause offense. I use the truth, and it stings much harder. That in itself is a lie. I do the same as the lunatic. I use lies to provoke, to cause and abuse reactions. I'm simply less vile and more arrogant in the play. To detest all men to the point of violence and not love women in their stead is a curious place for a woman to be? I can understand it, but in my experience, such people have been rare indeed. She only thinks I'm not as bad because I offered to help her kill him if the situation should arise. And because she didn't hear what I would have said of her father after knowing the rest of the story. I never expected to end up discussing the Barov witch ever again. I hadn't even noticed the parallels-- How could I have noticed the parallels? She never informed me of them. In retrospect, those seem like important details, but also in retrospect, I actively avoided asking her connections to the victim she sent me after. I knew something was off, but I expected family or friendship, not... this. Did we kill the Barov? We must have killed the Barov. The Bronze stole this from me. We did. We did, yes? We did. How else could we have retrieved the shard? But I didn't? I wasn't there. Acherontia did it for me. I remember Karazhan. I remember the spellwork to keep her silenced and hearing only silence. I remember the intensity and the difficulty of maintaining it week after week. Wait, I was there. We did it together? I told her I would come alone and then did not. Was that how it went? There was someone else there? No, that was something else. Why can't I remember? I know why I can't remember. I hate fishing for these vague fractured memories that promise nothing. I regained some of what Ninorra did, but this is still lost. Yet... Didn't they happen at the same time? In the same...
  14. Time Shattered

    I'm more concerned than I expressed. There is so much risk to raising an enemy that is otherwise comfortably harmless as a corpse. And this one has retained far more of its memory and self than the one I did. Mine was nothing, an empty headed marionette, a body, mindless but mobile, a joke to be had at her expense, not a lesson for her to learn. This one has a taste for something, knows who it was. He might not think they'll listen to him, but they don't need to see what he's become to be manipulated by him. Perhaps he's not smart enough to do that. Perhaps he won't feel the desire. Perhaps Malkaris' work will be sufficient. Too much perhaps. These matters should have a certainty to them or be left alone. But who am I to tell her what to do? I can understand that she wouldn't see death as an impediment to revenge, especially if she didn't get to deal it herself. After all, she wasn't allowed to rest. Why should he be? Then there's the whole idea that burying mostly whole corpses in this world, in that ground especially, is asking for a sequel. If you want it to be dead and stay dead, ashes on the wind or at least a thousand pieces that can't be sewn back together, especially the insides of the skull. But not this one, no. It's not like anyone in their right mind is bothered by desecration. Better to put it through a meat grinder than risk the necromancers getting their hands on it, hm? Especially when the corpse once held a dreadlord? If he speaks the truth, whoever buried him was stupid beyond stupid, or planning for this, neither of which are particularly heartening regarding this turning out well in the end. When I die, I'm coming back to torture whoever's responsible for failing to burn the body. With luck, I'll have the chance to be sure of it myself before it's too late. Curious to see if she'll enjoy my puzzle or hate it. I'm rather more afraid of the former than the latter. Always better to be underestimated.
  15. Time Shattered

    I'm not entirely sure why I went back. After the dead man left, I expected there to be nothing worth hearing, just a rambling goblin that apparently some Grim paid a handsome sum at one time or another despite his complete lack of good sense and a terrified illusion, jumping at her own shadow. And I did have to go watch that ridiculous play. It was interesting, but yes, ridiculous. But hours later after checking the auction house, thinking I'd move to the top level and eavesdrop without anyone noticing, there was already drama unfolding. Apparently already over, but unfolding for me at least. I didn't intend to appear as some sort of protector. I've been accused of that with some frequency in the past, but I dislike it and it has never been my role. I did want to make them think twice about attacking, but not because I planned to get between her and danger. If anything, I intended to play the amplifier. If there was about to be chaos, I intended to double it. That is all. But the shadow rabbit wasn't wrong. The Grim do tend to protect their own. No, not protect, but come to their aid. Fanatics know they need other fanatics to ensure their ideals thrive. I only denied confirmation because I know when we fight amongst ourselves, whatever loyalty we have to each other may as well be ash on the wind. I don't know why she seemed to think I would reveal the answers to questions she wasn't even going to ask. I don't know her. She's with Sanctuary. She's not even sin'dorei. I'd rather answer her by filling her skull with fire, but I try not to give the bartender unnecessary work. I've revealed more than is reasonable to Ninorra's child, yes, but for all that is wrong with him, and there is plenty, he is a blood elf. I had to be convinced of that, but I am now. Mostly. The illusion is no such thing. I am often inclined to admit more than I intend when someone asks me questions, but I don't simply ramble endlessly without some point to speak on. The truth is no matter how often Syreena and I trade favors, I will always owe her more than she could ever owe me. I'm the one who left. Does that mean I'll always appear at her back? Hardly. For one thing, I can't usually see her. But I also won't avoid a fray that she's involved in. I hate regrets. I hate that I have them. But I do. They're there. And that's what makes me stand beside her when someone else tries to steal property that she earned, or when someone else tries to placate anger that she earned, or whatever. And she's been through enough. I haven't. Pick on someone you haven't tortured repeatedly yet, hm? The world's worst heroes. They make us look good, and we're too busy being correct to even pretend to be good. The cow's little fire was cute, though. Red dragons, hah. All dragons are a menace to this world. Set them on fire and ride their bones. I was slightly surprised how allergic he seemed to the actual meanings of strength and courage, despite how much he babbled about them, but given how self-deprecating he was, I'm sure he's hopeless. Chooses bad company, at any rate. I... honestly didn't think Syreena's party auction was supposed to amount to anything. I thought it was simply for the amusement at the time. Get her prize money, hand out her prizes, which I then walked away with, so why would I care beyond that. She acknowledged that, too, or at least she said she didn't care what happened afterward either. I know I only paid so that the people I paid for would get nothing out of it. Apparently, the bartender thinks otherwise and believes I owe him? Coffee and books? At least give me a reason to say no outright. I was tempted to simply... play avoidance until he forgets about it, but Syreena thinks I should meet with him. Something dangerous going on? He shouldn't want my advice. He knows what kind of person I am. If he didn't before last night, he does now. I told him. I also told him I wouldn't wear the dress. Given all of that and what came up in the discussion with the Commander, maybe I should cash in on the warlock I paid for. At least get some words out of him, find out what he was thinking, if Syreena and I further consider taking over his project. The rogue is... He'll do. He's determined, intellectually curious, holds his own in a fight, and seems right in the head. He's a little too forgiving in... at least one way, but he's been advised to keep that to himself, and been advised that he might be forced to move past it to move forward, so he's prepared. He seemed a bit quick to offer his brother's life. If you want it yourself, then it's not a sacrifice, is it? That was my problem. What can I sacrifice when they already have everything of mine? But I had instructed him to think on it, so perhaps he's done that. He's already tortured himself, and he's ready to get it over with. We'll see. Moving too fast, though. There may be other tasks waiting for him. I was surprised he wanted to speak to Awatu. It fits the Trial we've decided to forego, and on his own initiative. Good for both of us. I suppose if you view the enemy as a disease to be cured, then peace at the other side seems perfectly reasonable. Syreena, however, doesn't see that any more than I do. She and I were both Alliance once. We know better. We know this doesn't have an end. We know the Mandate is just one word, not three.
  16. Role-Play Guides and Add-ons

    Don't know if I have the gumption to create real guides, but these are some other current oforum stickies? Roleplaying 101: A crash course on characters Roleplaying 102: The Revenge of Society Master Post - Racial Lore Guides: Horde They're... also ancient, and might not apply as much to a quieter place like ours, but they're there.
  17. Time Shattered

    Well, that was... an evening. I assume the bartender was talking about Hallow's End when he mentioned my appearance, but when he failed to explain it, he just made both of us look like fools. Then again, given the crowd that gathered, we fit right in, I suppose. Thankfully, I know him just well enough to believe he won't take my parting gift the wrong way. Services rendered, perhaps, but only by virtue of being the only other sane person in a room full of idiots. Strange to hear the guild lunatic describe Syreena in exactly the same terms I described her to the "new boy" just the day before, but given that he mentioned he had already seen her in the time between, perhaps it was not an accident. In my defense, not that I need defending, I described her so in reference to how to choose gifts for her, not in general, but I suppose the description stands, at least in relation to me as the one who gave it to her. Doing what's necessary without turning the world into a smoking crater, hm? If anything, tonight was proof that a smoking crater is absolutely what is necessary. It's not what the Grim want, no, but it should be. I choose to believe they're all lies and bad illusions, and as the truth comes forward, then just cut his throat. Problem solved. The sea of blood we'll drown them all in lies through the middle of Eversong. It won't be tomorrow, but it will be soon. I've waited ten years. I can wait ten more if I must. After all that, I found it difficult to focus at the following event. It remained refined, but there was something not quite right this time. I'm amused that I was not recognized. I do keep a low profile. But I wonder how many times I can be in attendance before that is no longer the case. I've attempted to tail the troll through the goblins, so I believe he is continuing to work on his first assignment. We had best see more of him soon.
  18. Time Shattered

    I am acclimating to the new role, taking it slowly. Three events over the Hallow's End holiday. The first was not oriented around the holiday, simple entertainment, and went as expected. No one so much as noticed my presence, but I was able to gain impressions of the others in attendance. The second I expected to be horrible, seeing as it was by invitation only and my method of obtaining an invitation was less than straightforward. It was extremely sin'dorei, advertised as something I should have found awful, but it turned out surprisingly tasteful and thoroughly impressive. It was an experience I will seek to repeat, as long as it maintains at least a surface level of refinement. The third was traditional. I made an ass of myself, though not overly so, and it seemed appropriate at the time. I was, however, grateful that there wasn't greater attendance. If I'm going to intentionally be an idiot, best to keep it to a smaller audience. Finally met that orc that someone told me was dead, what, a year ago now? Curious which of the dead refuse to stay that way. Thankfully, the vast majority of mine have remained buried. And the bartender seemed so happy back then. No wonder he was clearly annoyed every time she opened her mouth. Offered to make her cry. I don't expect that will ever happen. To be fair, I'd prefer Khorvis came back and repeated the process. Curious to learn she's the sibling to that name I encountered months ago now. Still not sure anything can or will come of that, but it's an interesting thing to hold. I'm certainly disappointed in the bartender's lack of action on his statements, but if anyone understands that achieving what you really want can be more difficult than initially assumed, I certainly can at that. I found a troll. It is difficult to tell how that will end, but we shall see. Revenge is generally a strong motive, especially when those you are avenging are thoroughly gone and the ones who killed them can never truly be known, so the revenge is intended to be applied liberally and eternally. Cessation of hostilities, ha! Must keep the propaganda moving forward. Also disappointing yet somehow unsurprising that the girl has weaseled her way out from under us yet again. Hard to kill a target that's been reserved for torment, so escape is one of many paths she'll no doubt come across. Still, escape means the game continues. The longer she breathes, the more she will have to fear. She may be able to coax friendship out of her, but it would take eons. The only reason I considered the false pleasantry path for my own project was because there was one single person who seemed to want to believe the lie. With that as a base to build on, possibilities exist. Without that much, the problem may be insurmountable. I've been considering amassing tales to tell, but thus far have not collected any that seem sufficient. They have to be just the right style if I'm to ply them on a crowd of tauren, and while I have a lifetime of academia behind me, I am no storyteller. I will continue the search.
  19. Time Shattered

    It's not about the boy. Not anymore. It was at the beginning. It was supposed to be a harmless -- no, not at all harmless, but a simple, hilarious lesson about why children are a terrible idea. Now, though... Now, it's something else. At first, if he died, I gained something -- a laugh. Now if he dies, well, I’d still get the laugh, but I’d lose more than I’d gain. It’s not worth it. If his mother dies, it’s the same situation. She has more sins, more flaws to answer for than the boy does, but I would not gain much more than a laugh, and I’d lose the investment. It started as a prank, almost. Now, though... Now, it’s a game. Now, it’s politics. I missed politics. Kael’thas ruined them for me, at least when he finally met destruction. Toying with Pathaleon was incredibly entertaining. But those days are long over. Perhaps that’s the reason to keep going, to move through the discomfort, to keep playing, to keep the pieces on the board, to avoid flipping the table. Politics. To give just enough that I’m not entirely turned away. To give just enough that I’m given a little more in return, and a little more in return, and a little more in return, until I can smash all of it at once. There’s the reason. It’s not about pleasure. It’s not about enjoyment. It’s not about romance. It’s not about ownership. It’s not about belonging. It’s sure as the sun not about love. But it is about respect. If you only indulge with people you respect who respect you in turn, how does that possibly leave you open for exploitation? I suppose there’s the possibility for respectable exploitation, but that benefits everyone involved, hm? It takes a certain kind of person to find me respectable. The miniscule size of that population means my standards appear exceedingly high, and even, perhaps, inscrutable, when they are in fact simple, but rare. I admit I... moved more quickly than rational on a few encounters, but Suramar is unique, and now that I have carved my niche there, it is not the sort of experience that will ever be repeated.
  20. Spelling Trouble

    Qabian sat on the bed in his new Silvermoon apartment, leaning back on a high stack of pillows and reading, surrounded by scrolls, loose papers, and books, a black panther cub slept heavily over one leg, cutting off circulation to that foot. When he wasn't indulging in Suramar's "culture" or out with the Grim doing Grim work, Qabian spent time learning what he had missed. There was a lot of it between Pandaria, Garrosh, Khadgar's lunacy, as well as the interguild politics and drama that was not well documented. Since he found himself back in Quel'thalas after the debacle in Stormwind, Qabian decided to direct his focus on the minutiae in Silvermoon politics. It seemed that short of the Sunreaver debacle and Garrosh's general chaos, there had not been too much upheaval. Lor'themar and Rommath were still who they had always been. With Sylvanas as Warchief, Silvermoon seemed almost comfortable with their relationship to the Horde, so Qabian found himself delving into the smaller details of politics and scandals. He read one report of a child attending council meetings and shifted his position, causing the panther cub to mrr in its sleep. Stranger things happened in Silvermoon politics everyday, but with elven lifespans, it hardly seemed necessary. That's what interregnum was for, after all. He read further. The child, with his strange red eyes... Qabian frowned. "Oh no," he murmured. ...acted as the heir to the Bloodstone estate, sitting with the Council in preparation for his future role in the management of... "This must be some kind of joke," he said to himself. He pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose. Qabian finished reading and tossed the offensive page to one side where it floated to the floor. The panther cub lifted its head, blinking up at him sleepily. "People are idiots. You know that, cat? Complete and utter morons. All of them," Qabian informed the creature. The mage tilted his head thoughtfully, staring at the cub, or more accurately, through the cub. "I think it's time to look up an old acquaintance." Qabian grinned wickedly as he gathered his papers and books together, ungently kicking the cub to one side. Qabian stumbled as he stood, his foot having fallen asleep. Loud Thalassian curses caused the cub to scramble under the bed.
  21. Spelling Trouble

    Qabian stepped into the large, hot bath, its waters imbued with arcane energy and herbal infusions. He rested his arms on the sides of the bath as he sank down into the water up to his chest. He closed his eyes and relaxed for what felt like the first time in weeks. After a few minutes, the small sounds of someone else approaching came distant through the steam, echoes off the tiled walls and floor, quiet splashing as they entered the water across from him. He didn't open his eyes, even when they spoke. A woman's voice asked, "How did you spend your day?" "An excursion on the other side of the tracks," he said, keeping his eyes closed. "Taunting the Duskwatch again?" she asked. "Yes. They need to realize they chose the losing side." "They know," she said. "So you say. And yet." "They keep dying at your hands." "Mmhm. I also told an eight-year-old I'd rather suck cock than eat sausage." She burst out laughing, long, raucous laughter. "You're joking," she said when she could finally breathe again. "No." He remained entirely neutral, calm. "How did that happen?" She giggled. "It's complicated." "No shit. An eight-year-old? Oh, that apprentice?" "Yes." "You took him to fight Duskwatch?" "Yes." "And he held his own?" "He did, but his mother was also there. Speaking of which, Reinna's probably gone." Her tone changed, darkened. "Gone? What did you do to her?" "Nothing. I told her I was going to kill her." "You do that all the time." "I know." "So why is she gone?" "The mother tortured her." There was a long pause before she said, "I see. Did she deserve it?" "Reinna? No. But she attacked the boy, so what did she expect?" "She attacked another child, but you don't think she deserved to be harmed?" the woman's voice asked, her tone critical. "Of course not. She did not hurt him. She never intended to hurt him. She knew she couldn't do any real damage. She was innocent. The mother jumped immediately to murder." "You have a curious amount of faith in Reinna, especially considering how often you threaten to kill her yourself." "She's not stupid," Qabian said. "I beg to differ," the woman countered. "I know you do." "It worked then?" she asked. "Hm?" "Reinna's game." "No. If I see her again, I'll have to kill her," Qabian said. "Don't do that," the woman insisted. "Then don't let me see her again." "Fine," she said. There was a long silence before Qabian finally asked, "Do you know any Nightborne who speak to outsiders with an affectation?" "An affectation?" was her response. "Yes, like archaic sentence structure, deliberately obtuse language," he explained. "No. Anyone who actually bothers to speak to outsiders quickly learns how to do it understandably. Anyone who might bother with an affectation simply doesn't bother to speak to outsiders." "That's what I thought," Qabian said, frowning, his eyes still closed. "You met one such Nightborne." "Mm." "Curious." "Indeed. Either she's too stupid to speak properly, or..." "So rude as to be malicious?" the woman asked. Qabian grinned. "Exactly. I do a similar thing when I have to speak Common. I hate the human language. I mangle it intentionally. Hearing a Nightborne do that after everything, all the times I lost all hope of ever finding you, made me want to burn her to ash." "What stopped you?" "Politics," he said. "What? Oh, the boy and his mother?" she asked. "Mm." "That doesn't sound like you." Qabian sunk lower into the water, up to his neck. He finally opened his eyes to look at the woman across from him. "It isn't." "And you hated every second of it," she said, her white grin shining against her dark slate-colored skin. "I actually enjoyed some of the conversation with his mother, but..." Qabian hesitated. "But what?" she asked. "Trying to be friendly was agony. I don't think I can keep doing this," Qabian said, sinking lower still, the water up to his chin. "You've been saying that since you started. What are you going to do about it?" she asked, still grinning. "I'm going to have to kill the boy," Qabian said, then let himself slip beneath the water entirely. "Sure you are," she said, though he could no longer hear her.
  22. Time Shattered

    I've never had to spend much time with Awatu. Not that I had to spend much time with previous leaders, either, but it was occasionally forced on me. What few impressions of him I have are gentle and soft-spoken, stereotypical Tauren qualities. I've also seen him stubborn enough to be immobile once he has a notion in his head, so I've never had a reason to question his fitness for the role. Now I know he's completely insane and fits here perfectly. In the past, they've preferred deference, demanded it even. If you won't lick my boots, I'll crush you into the dirt and force you. Metaphorically, usually, but certainly by demanding your pride, rather than by simply pummeling your face. But they were always human corpses, not Tauren. Yichimet once tried to teach me something. He ended up... giving up. To this day I have no idea what he was trying to convey. Perhaps I'm simply ill-equipped to understand them. Somehow bowing angers the Commander. I... What? Why? I wasn't kneeling. I wasn't prostrating. I wasn't grovelling. I wasn't going overboard. I wasn't doing anything untoward. It was a gesture of respect. And for that, I should be punished? All right then. Perhaps he actually took offense to me telling him he was wrong. Because he was. I have never had this position. I began interviewing potentials shortly after I completed my own interview, yes, but I was never in charge. I was never in charge of anything beyond mages. They tried to force me to take charge of other people, other things, yes, but this position is not one I had. Poor dear, he was incorrect. Better beat the person informing him of the truth, yes? He accused me of mocking him. That... I was not doing, but I was -- still am, to a degree -- extremely amused, not by his words or even the situation, but by the sheer lunacy of trust, so I can admit my tone may have sounded much like mockery indeed. How am I not supposed to find this funny? I acknowledge it might be difficult to separate the fact that I find anyone asking for my help hilarious from the possibility that I believe he's inferior. On the contrary, while everyone is inferior, he is certainly less inferior than most. However, I acknowledge true subservience to no one and nothing, shu'halo nor sin'dorei, and yet I'm very good at making the pretence whenever necessary. What's the difference between pretence and actual subservience? I suppose that's for them to decide. My very reliability is itself a falsehood, but if I exercise it long enough, does it matter? Perhaps all of my time will be spent biding, but that doesn't make me hate them any less. Syreena said I was being "elfy." Exactly how am I supposed to prevent that? Does that mean he prefers corpse-like stiffness in his communications? Perhaps he prefers acknowledgment in the form of salutes? I'm sure whatever he prefers, he prefers it without the smug, barely stifled laughter that I certainly had, and that I can certainly avoid in the future. Further elfiness, however, that's an inevitable part of the package. I'd rather not continue to be pummeled for it, but maybe that's just going to be part of the job. I'll certainly endeavor to avoid it as much as possible, but I'm not going to die to be rid of who I am, or sacrifice my remaining ear to play human, sew my eyes shut and go back to Stormwind. I'll take the bruises if I must. Syreena said she wasn't simply repaying my favor, but some part of me resists that. We'll see, I suppose. And I had my revenge by making her my second, which perhaps means I now owe her, not that I've ever cared about repaying debts. I owed Acherontia rather a lot. I don't believe I ever repaid her anything. I am rather glad to see the game with Syreena's girl is over, at least my part of it. Unfortunately, other games remain. I'm not sure that hers was a good payment, at any rate. Yes, I have a taste for power, and if this were nothing more than decisions on worthiness, it would be power, but to me this is less power and more control. I dislike controlling others. If that were the kind of thing that appealed to me, I would have been a warlock when we were still allied with the humans. However, there are significant positive aspects to this opportunity, especially in terms of position and influence, despite Awatu's insistence I not treat this as a game of lords and ladies, as though nobility are any different than anyone else. And the truth remains that my intentions toward the Grim are absolutely to further its strength. In that respect, perhaps I am what is needed. I am capable enough of coping with those who have already made it this far, that much is true, but I wonder if I am at all capable of making new connections. I went to one of the dozens of Hallow's End celebrations around this time of year and it took all my willpower not to roll my eyes and shout them all down as morons, nevermind actually striking up conversation of any sort. It will be a challenge, at any rate, and that can only make me better. I hope.
  23. Artist doing commissions

    Got this fun $20 portrait today and seems like the artist's gonna have commissions for 'em open for a little while if there's interest~ Shithowdy on the tumbls.
  24. 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
  25. Keeping Secrets

    Qabian stepped into Shattrath, his brow pre-emptively raised as he approached the girl's form, slumped awkwardly up against a wall not far from where he teleported in, as though she were simply drunk. He hadn't thought they would actually catch the girl. She had been so slippery up to this point, he just assumed she would get away again. Now that he had her, he wasn't entirely sure what to do with her. His mission was simply to torment, hurt, terrorize, not acquire, not dismember. He considered thoughtfully. Dismemberment would fill all of the above categories. Qabian shook his head entirely to himself, then nodded at the rough looking Pandaren. "Pack her up." "Sir?" The Pandaren seemed confused. "Don't you have a... crate or something? I need her shipped to Tirisfal." Qabian held up a hand as the Pandaren shrugged helplessly. "Nevermind. Just stand guard a few minutes. I'll set it up. Good work. I'll double the pay, as agreed." The Pandaren nodded and leaned back against the wall. ~~ Just inside the Grim guild hall, Qabian awkwardly shoves a decent-sized wooden crate off a floating disc onto the floor with a heavy thud. He stops the first person who passes and says, "Is Syreena around? Bring her here if she is. Now." Though the crate is perfectly still, it makes a soft shuffling sound. Some time later, Syreena arrives. Her steps are shuffling and staggered, and she's grinning as she plays tug-of-war with Ber and Rabble as she comes in. "No fair, Rabble. You have three heads to pull it with!" Qabian straightens up as she enters. "Syreena. Delivery for you. I could continue my campaign, but thought you might want to offer your opinion before I drop this into Brightwater and see how long it takes the bubbles to stop,” he says, knocking on the top of the crate with his knuckles. The little rogue leaves the tug toy to the undead worg and hydra and turns to the crate as a muffled noise comes in protest at Qabian's words. "What is it?" she asks, looking to the mage. Qabian lifts the top of the crate by one corner and bows with a ridiculous flourish. "Someone you know." Inside, a human girl is bound and gagged, conscious but groggy, and not particularly otherwise harmed, except perhaps slightly bruised due to no one particularly attempting to be careful with the crate at any point. "The opportunity presented itself." Syreena tilts her head curiously, stepping away from her pets to peer into the crate. After some initial surprise, a cruel grin twists her patchwork stitched features. She reaches into the box with a dagger, placing the tip of the blade under the girl's chin to make her lift her head. "Well, well, if it isn't the Professor's little pet," she croons wickedly. "And how are those sick and twisted friends of yours doing these days, hm?" Anee blinks slowly, still groggy, and makes weak muffled noises behind her gag. Syreena moves her blade to cut a lock of the human's red hair, and then bashes her in the side of the head with the hilt of her dagger in her fist. As the girls slumps further into her box, the Shadowblade looks back at Qabian. "Now what to do with her....." she says with a grin, twirling the lock of hair between her fingers. "I know this wasn't part of your... request. I can set her loose, chase her down again, if you like, keep the game going, although she did manage to go underground for quite some time and may do that again. I do wonder where she would go. She must be learning that nowhere is safe forever and that everyone she turns to for help is likely to be killed or worse. Setting her free, perhaps with one less limb, may be the worst thing we could do to her." Qabian smirks. "But given just how vulnerable she is at this precise moment, I considered you might have other ideas." Reaching down to pet the girl's hair, Syreena tilts her head as she considers. "Well, I do owe a gift to a particular someone who likes making....'projects'....out of people." Qabian raises an eyebrow. To be fair, that could probably describe several Grim, but he decides against inquiring about who she means. “As you wish,” he says. “Just let me know if she ends up finished with this world. Then I’ll shift my focus to murdering those friends of hers that I’ve left simply wishing they were dead.” "She won't be around long enough for you to worry about again." A pause, and then she grins. "Unless you want to play with her some more first. Or you can get her friends." Her golden eyes narrow as she traces a finger along the unconscious girl's ear. "If you find any of her friends from the Eternal Aegis, I'd consider it a personal favor if they suffer horribly before you murder them." Qabian laughs. "All I want is the fire, for her or any of them. I'll be sure to let them know any screaming they're granted the opportunity to do is a gift from a friend and they're oh so lucky to get the chance. Will you need help with the crate?" "Can you have it delivered to Andorhal?" she asks, withdrawing her hand and closing the lid again. "Absolutely." Qabian rolls the disc he'd used earlier off a nearby wall. He jams the edge of the disc under the crate and begins kicking it. It's all very crude for someone who's usually so pretentious. "I can take it myself. Will there be someone waiting? Though I doubt there are many in Andorhal who would give it much thought if I just leave it in a corner, even with the sounds." She tilts her head again, eyeing him closely before finally answering. "The alchemy lab there sometimes receives packages for me... Thank you. I owe you," she adds. He grins horribly as he kicks the edge of the disc and it begins to float, carrying the crate a foot or so off the ground. "Don't thank me. After all, helping you helps me. I'm hardly being that generous," he says in a tone that's less than serious. "But I will remember that you owe me." He flicks the floating crate lightly with one hand and he follows behind as the disc carries it away. The little rogue watches him leave. She's pleased that the girl can no longer cause any trouble for her, but at the same time, she's not thrilled about being in a debt to an elf. However, at the same time, in her experience, people she owed favors to rarely called them in. Turning away, she goes off to finish her business in the guild hall so she can soon head out to Andorhal.