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  1. Earlier
  2. Hey all, I did a fairly major upgrade to the site this morning. One of things you might want to do is update your bookmarks so they link to https:// instead of http://. The site will auto-redirect you, but it might save you a fraction of a second in loading the site if you change your bookmark. The site should run a bit faster now, and I've got some options for speeding it up more that I might test. The forum software that this site runs on, https://invisioncommunity.com/ is leased for a fee every 6 months. The next renewal day is in late May. The one after that is in November. I will likely be going with a newer, cheaper forum option in November. Why? You might ask? Because Invision forums are like sports cars, and TNG is being used by grandma to drive herself to church and back home once or twice a week. The lease renewal fee is pretty reasonable for a sports car, but more than I want to pay for only a few posts per week level of activity. This isn't a cry for money, by the way. It's just a recognition that, while TN RP isn't completely dead, what RP that is happening has mostly moved to Discord. This isn't a TN specific probably either. I've checked around and where I used to find a few other servers that had something similar, I can't find anything anymore. But Discord servers? They are everywhere. And the truth of the matter is it's a better interactive medium than forums are. But forums are still better for permanence and stability. The purpose of this site was always to preserve the fanfiction of RPers on the Twisting Nether server (and later for Ravenholdt too!). That isn't going away. Things the *might* be going away: the front "news" page, private messages, old discussion posts, leaderboards, clubs, and profile public messages. But November would be the earliest that that would happen. Hey, who knows, maybe they'll merge TN with another RP server and life here will get crazy again and make that sports car lease worthwhile. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if you find a bug with the new version of the forum. --Mortica
  3. I said too much, gave away too many truths. There was a lie anchoring it all, though. Nothing wrong with that. I'm honest about who I am. She knows I can't be trusted. What disturbs me about that lie is the whiteness of it. I could rationalize, make my excuses, that I needed the lie for some other blacker, more sensible reason, but the whiteness of the lie is behind the gifts, too. Maybe I shouldn't have toyed with her, but curiously, I don't regret that at all. It might make her kill me in my sleep, but she wouldn't be the first to try, and good luck guessing where I am any given night. I have my freedom. I never relinquished it. That would be a line drawn that I refuse to cross. However, my curiosity to see how the game plays out, intense as it might be, is nowhere near sufficient. She has earned things from me enough. She has earned abridged tales of tables she could turn. She has not earned me. I suppose, if she were determined, she could make the attempt, but better to break her of that hope at the expense of the game, better to make her think I'm something else, better to make her turn away. Better for everyone. Better for the Grim. I've chosen treason. Treason keeps me loyal. I like how that works. I wonder if she'll hide now, or if she'll make good on her threats, vices and silence. Her problem. Not mine. And the rat lives. She thinks she killed her heart. Hilarious. I don't remember telling her that, but it does seem like something I would do. I wonder if I can get her to admit that in front of Syreena, have Syreena add a heart to her ear collection. I should have killed her the moment she showed her face. Instead, I showed her history and gave her hope. Since when am I an agent of hope? There is chaos in it, I suppose. Hopefully it'll direct itself away from me. I'm failing to do rather a lot of things I should do, not enough to blow up in my face yet, but that is a distinct possibility, growing more distinct by the hour. I spoke with the boy's mother. I don't know what I thought would happen. Maybe I thought I could fix an old problem with a new solution. She thinks she was once broken and is now fixed. I think she was once fixed and is now broken. The best thing for her now, and everyone involved in that tale, would be the quick release of death. Yes, even the replacement. The things we do are objectively harmful, and we will just keep doing them, won't we? Because we want to, and we are selfish.
  4. All the feels. Thanks for everything, guys! You were the best, nothing but love!
  5. I've been reading through Amoola's writing since I heard the news. She was a great writer and a good friend and guild mate. May the eternal sun shine upon her.
  6. Julilee dropped into a crouch, thrusting her empty hand toward the larger beast. The force of her will focused the Light into a stunning cascade that fell onto the creature, knocked it off course, and stunned it for valuable seconds. At the same time, her sword came up in a thrust at the smaller beast as it pounced from her other side. It twisted to avoid the blade and Juli tried to lunge in the complementary direction, but one of its paws still struck the back of her shoulder, and she was knocked to the sand. She immediately rolled onto her back, bringing Mercy in between her and her foe, but the animal did not truly respect the blade, perceiving it as an impediment more than anything, and pounced heedlessly. Catching its claws with the sword earned a reprieve barely in name as the thing's sheer weight pinned the weapon across her body, only held away by the width of the blade. The outer edge of Mercy digging into her armor was the least of her concerns as the sabertusk bent down, fangs snapping toward her neck, while leaning further onto its front paws, ready to start ripping and shredding. Death stared her in the face, but she had seen worse. Jagged golden lines burst into illumination down Mercy's hilt, crossguard, and blade, and in one motion Julilee heaved the large beast off her in a feat of strength beyond what even her well-developed athletic abilities could do alone. The beast hissed in pain and the smell of burning filled the air as it backed away, while she rose to her feet again, gripping Mercy with both hands. Light wreathed her weapon and forearms. The crowd was cheering loudly now. While the larger beast had recovered, it similarly backed away with newfound respect for its prey. The two seemed to visibly reconsider. "Shoo," she said to them. "Ya gotta kill 'em, Juli!" Tetsujin yelled down from the bleachers nearest to her. Though he couldn't have heard her, and she hadn't gestured at all, he knew her well enough to know what would make her hesitate. Despite her presence in the arena, she barely had the stomach to participate in any of this to begin with, much less when the beasts didn't even want to fight. At least, when she thought about it, which she couldn't help but do as the beasts stared at her uncertainly. Then the trappings of an ethical quandary were, at least ostensibly, shattered as more rocks began to fall. This time they were aimed at the sabertusks, and a few hit. The smaller one snarled up at the audience and turned to look at Juli again. Its rising aggression chose the only target available, and it lunged across the sands for her again, the larger one right behind. This time she didn't try to dodge; she lunged forward instead, Mercy leaving trailing ribbons of Light as she swung it, two-handed, down at the oncoming beast. It ducked its head as they met so she only scored across its back, but its true strategy quickly became apparent as it tossed its head in the next moment, scooping her up with its tusks and sending her flying. The crowds shrieked. The second beast was there to catch her. It leapt and its jaws closed around her arm, nearly dislocating her shoulder as she landed heavily. But it wasn't her main sword arm, her sword was free, and its neck was exposed. Pulling against its grip to keep it occupied, she brought Mercy across and opened its throat with one clean slice. A river of red joined the spatters on her armor. The thing gurgled, jerked away, and fell. Pain raked down her legs. The smaller beast had pounced her again and its wicked claws, finally put to full use, pierced the metal of her armor like a tin can. Juli gritted her teeth and tried to kick at it unsuccessfully. It seized her leg in its mouth and started dragging her. Juli swung Mercy but it flinched away without relinquishing its grip, and placed a giant paw on her side, ready to try to tear her apart by brute force. It probably had the strength to do so. She didn't want to use any more Light, but she had to. She closed her eyes. A brilliant flash directly beside its head blinded and disconcerted the beast, making it drop her leg and flinch away. Juli opened her eyes and swung Mercy to cut deeply into its front leg. With a snarl it snapped at the blade and achieved a grip on it that almost took it out of Juli's hands, but not quite. Instead she let the beast's strength pull her toward it and help her plant an armored boot in its jaw. There was an audible crack as a tooth snapped, and she jerked Mercy free, then thrust its point into the beast's chest as it reared. She must have found its heart as it collapsed on her immediately. "Juriel! Juriel!" It took some effort to shove the beast's heavy body off and rise to her feet, bleeding, but she did. She closed her eyes again as she listened to the crowd's chanting. She wanted it to feel exciting, glorious, or even at least satisfying to have triumphed once more and be standing under the weight of the crowd's adulation, but instead, it didn't feel like anything. All she could feel was that the reservoir of Light inside of her was lower than before. Tetsujin jumped down to the sounds next to her. She knew it was him without looking. "Good job, Juli," her manager said. He chuckled. "Hope ya ain't too mad at me for the surprise, but I knew ya could handle it." "Yeah," she said, after a moment, opening her eyes again. Her gaze fell on the two downed beasts. Arena organizers were coming to drag the bodies away. "I can handle anything." She turned to walk away, back toward the backstage area. "Hey!" Tetsujin called after her. "Don't sound so happy about it!" "I'm going to go meditate," she replied without turning. "Make sure no one bothers me, please." "Ya and yer meditation," he said without bitterness. She could barely hear him over the crowd as she walked away. "Should celebrate more, what's the point if ya don't enjoy it!" Wasn't that the question. He would be enjoying his portion of the proceeds from today's fight quite thoroughly later tonight. Juli looked down at her red-streaked armor and weapon. If she'd still worn a tabard, it would have been soaked and shredded. With nothing to fight for now, she found herself fighting anyway. "Because I'll never give up," she said, her voice not nearly loud enough to carry back to him over the crowd. He didn't seem to be expecting a response and didn't miss one, busying himself talking to the arena organizers. She left the roaring arena and went to be alone.
  7. Amoola's IRL lifemate and husband asked me to let the World of Warcraft members who knew her but don't have her on social media know that Amoola passed away on March 18th, 2019. Amoola is deeply loved and deeply missed and her family has asked for space as they grieve. Walk with the Earth Mother, Amoola. May the eternal sun shine upon you.
  8. You guys were great, thanks for all the memories and such! Sowell/Dobzhansky
  9. Hello old friend!  I hope you're doing very well.

    I'm getting excited about Classic WoW and figured I'd stop by and see how things are going here.  I'll take a look around.

    How have you been?  I spent 8 years in Australia with terrible lag; eventually quit WoW.  Haven't played BFA or Legion.  

    Sowell/Dobzahnsky

    1. Mortica

      Mortica

      Hey there!

      Things are going pretty well.  Twisting Nether is pretty quiet these days.  I heard today they will have RP servers in Classic, but they haven't said whether they will have RP-PVP servers yet.

      We were just talking about the "good old days" the other day and your name came up.

      Glad to hear you are doing well. :)

  10. "They're animals! Scare them!" Tetsujin tried to yell at her. He'd learned a long time ago that she ignored most of his directions, but that didn't stop him from trying. Lately, she couldn't even hear him over the crowd - or at least that was her excuse. "Hit that belly spot again, it's already bleeding! Don't give it time to heal! Smash it in the head or something!" He could barely hear himself yelling over the sound of the crowd. When the drums got faster, Tetsujin turned his deafened shouting at them in frustration. "SHUT UP!"
  11. The constant pounding filled her ears. Julilee lifted her head as the wind rose for a moment, letting it catch the loose strands of pale hair around her face. Beneath her feet, the coarse sand shifted, cut into strange shapes and angles. It was dyed orange and red in the early morning light, and she turned her head to look behind her briefly at the rising sun. The sky, also red and orange and pink, was always a welcome sight, even after having been back aboveground this long. Then she turned her attention back to what lay before her. The pounding was the combination of the screaming, stomping audience and drums. The sands were the floor of the arena and weren't just red from the sunrise, but from dried blood, and were grooved not by the elements but by battles. The sun was rising over the bleachers and the match was about to begin. She drew Mercy. The sword gave away her identity to those who recognized its jagged silhouette, but that turned out to be vanishingly few. So far, she could count them on one hand. Memories were short in war. The white mask that covered the lower half of her face did enough to disguise her identity otherwise, along with the absence of any of the other features that had once marked her identity, such as her once-dark hair, former purple armor, and tabard. Mostly the tabard. That had been the majority of what people had ever seen when they looked at her anyway. To be fair, she was the one who had redesigned it and raised its banner once more. "Juriel! Juriel!" Now she let her image become whatever it may. The gate across the arena opened with slow, menacing clanks that were nearly drowned out as the crowd rose in volume commensurately. Juli stood waiting, the tip of Mercy pointed at the sand. She held it in one hand and nothing in the other. Carrying a shield would only burden her now. The creature that came out was not one of the largest she had faced. The mad brutosaur had been that, and it had cemented her as the preeminent fighter in this arena circuit. But it was one she had never fought before. It slunk out, wary of the noisy crowd and bright, open space, but soon focused on Juli. And then it was followed by another. Two adversaries. The crowd, thrilled by this twist, became all but deafening. The creatures' blue-gray bodies were lined from nose to tail-tip in spikes, and long tusks protruded from their mouths. Their forequarters were heavily muscled for digging, pouncing, and shredding, but their lean bodies were built for speed nonetheless. Lean, but at least twice her size in weight and mass each. Sabertusks. Julilee was given pause as she studied them, knowing that Zandalari druids took on the same form, but in a few moments it became apparent that there was no hint of sentience in these beasts. They circled her warily, moving instinctively as a pack to take down the first edible thing they had seen in days. Juli continued standing still, only turning her head slightly as one circled behind her. When it thought it had the advantage, it pounced. She heard the crunch of sand and moved as it did. She threw herself into a backwards roll that was diagonal to the beast's trajectory. Tucked low to the ground, her relatively small size played to her advantage as she passed underneath the beast. As she rolled, she whipped her blade up and across its belly. There wasn't enough clearance to get the strength behind the thrust to disembowel the thing, but bright red blood spattered over her white, gold, and dark gray armor. The beast shrieked. As it landed and whipped around with shocking speed to lunge for her, paws as massive as her head with claws that long again coming at her face, she was only just pushing herself into a crouch on the sand. There simply wasn't enough time to dodge again. Her empty arm came up to block. It would have done absolutely nothing to save her if not for the Light that blazed into existence around it. The crowd roared in vicious delight as the large beast collided with the shining barrier, its sheer mass pushing her back a dozen meters and leaving a deep furrow in the sand, but she kept her feet under her. After the beast jumped away to seek a new opening, the creature not yet slowed by the shallow gash that bled fresh red onto the sands, she rose unharmed and allowed the shield to dissipate. The other beast, more cautious than its partner, did not yet make a move, only prowling along the side of the clash. The horn on its nose was broken, it was a darker blue-gray, and it was slightly smaller, though not by much. As Juli watched them stalk her, she wondered what had brought them to the attention of the arena organizers. Had they preyed on townspeople? Ravaged local livestock? Or had it just been the appeal of a matched pair? "Juriel! Juriel!" The crowd was insistent. It wanted blood, hers or the beasts', it didn't care. She had learned it thrilled to either, though this had not really come as a surprise. As much as they had loved her rise to underground fame, it would love her downfall just as much. She had seen the betting odds and knew many had no qualms about betting on the latter every match, if not more and more eagerly with every victory. She made good money off those bets. The sabertusks were too fast for her to try to take the offensive. Unlike the brutosaur, they could turn on a dime and rend with those deadly claws as fast as she could blink. If she gave them the slightest opening, they would seize it, and her by the throat. She would have to wait for them to come to her to try to find an opening, and the crowd communicated its disapproval of her patience as she continued to let the beasts circle her, though this time she slowly turned to keep them in sight as much as possible. Trying to urge action, the drum players increased the tempo. It was effective on everyone but those battling in the arena. The crowd grew more frenzied; someone threw a rock that landed with a thud in the sand not far from Juli. From somewhere, she could hear Tetsujin hollering directions at her. She didn't take her eyes off the beasts, nor they theirs off her. The two beasts started to circle closer. She knew the moment they decided to attack. This time, the sabertusks moved together.
  12. Welcome! Seconding joining Discord. There's more activity there, and you can meet folks, find a guild, and some great groups.
  13. Welcome back Most of the out-of-game activity has moved to the Discord server, so if you are feeling lonely, click the JOIN US link on the top right side of the forums page
  14. Behruutz

    Behruutz

    Full Name: Behruutz Date of Birth: Winter Age: 2.714e4-33 Race: Draenei Gender: Male Hair: Black (dyed) Skin: White Eyes: Blue Height: 7'4" Weight: 265 lbs Place of residence: Exodar, Azeroth Place of Birth: Mac'Aree, Argus Known Relatives: none Religion/Philosophy: The Light Occupation: Wandering Mendicant Group/Guild affiliation: None Guild Rank: None Enemies: Hegraaht (he knows what he did) Likes: Food, Drink, Discussion, and Traveling Favorite Foods: Herb Baked Eggs Favorite Drinks: Dalaran Noir Favorite Color: Purple Weapons of Choice: Staff Dislikes: Pomposity, Intolerance, Hastiness Hobbies: Tailoring, Enchanting, Fishing, Cooking Physical Features: Thin and pale, with a ready smile Special Abilities: Can laugh on command Positive Personality Traits: Patient, Diplomatic, Friendly Negative Personality Traits: Patient, Diplomatic, Friendly Misc. Quirks: distractedly loses things Played by What Famous Person: Sir Alec Guinness (circa "Kind Hearts and Coronets") Theme Songs: "A Horse with No Name" by America History: Born to a semi-prosperous tailor and an magically inept engineer on Argus in the capitol city, Behruutz took part in the original exodus from Argus with the Prophet Velen. Having had an affinity for the light and a desire to help, he choose the life of a wandering priest, moving from town to town to preach and serve. ]
  15. Hello everyone, I'm a returning player who has been gone for so long I don't even remember my old toon's name (lvl 60 Belf Lock). I played vanilla way too much and left right around six months into BC. Now that I've achieved a better work-life balance, I'm back. I started over from the beginning because the process for recovering my account seemed really daunting; it has been so long that an alt whose name I did remember, isn't showing up in the Armory anymore. Currently, I'm playing a level 23 Draenei priest and have decided to take the scenic route of playing through all of the Azeroth new content rather than using the level-up. Does anyone still use the RP and OOC channels?
  16. “We require more than your feeble mewing, Raeventus.” One of the Illuminated silhouettes spoke. The Magister in question need not see the face, he could feel the dissatisfaction dripping from the Council’s voices. Each meeting since the loss of the Shattered Son was a beratement. It had gotten beyond tiresome. “Need we remind you what is at stake outside your walls?” “Not at all.” Raeventus shook his head as his unseen hand fidgeted with the grey cube that he usually kept upon his desk, his fingertips drawing the runic patterns common upon its vistage. It helped keep him balanced, focused. “I have read plenty of Intel reports that are delivered upon my desk. I’m well informed on the situations regarding the invasion.” “Unacceptable Casualties are on the rise.” Spoke another of the four. “I know, my lords,” Raeventus tried once more to get a word in. Even if simply to end these ceaseless criticisms on the job he was doing. “SOL-ONE is dedicated to finding a solution to the threat.” “Is that so?” The third of the Council spoke up. “Is this why Frostwhisper sought out one of our retired agents to fight with a Mercenary Company?” “He likely sought an alternative to Sanctuary, he has neglected to deliver an assessment on the organization. He’s even gone so far as to stop reporting in his logs altogether.” “Doubtful.” “Is that so?” The scarlet brow of the Director raised. “He has secured the Sanctuary-Scryer Accords. We have our army now.” The fourth of the silhouettes finally spoke up, the voice raising a challenge. “Was this not within your reports?” “...My apologies, it appears that report has yet to reach my desk.” His grip tightened upon the cube as he forced a pleasant smile upon his hawkish face. “I will be sure to keep an eye out for it. I’m eager to see the details.” “I see.” A dismissal. Silence left the Director to stew in his anger, the mask of civility threatened to crack all the while. What was likely merely seconds felt like minutes dragging into hours until one of the Illuminated Council mercifully stepped in. “We have made an important step in turning the tides of this conflict into more favorable circumstances. Alas, we cannot rest as the enemy continues their crusade of annihilation. We may have an army, that which we will work to properly equip for times ahead-- what we need now is our key operative to serve as the weapon we designed him to be. What is the Shattered Son situation?” “All our leads point towards Suramar. From trajectory of last known location to his psychological profile. There are far too many similarities of the civil war raging within their streets and the Shattered Son’s involvement in the ending of the Sunstrider regime. Their tactics similarly mirror the talents of insurrection he is best known for. Furthermore, given his… previous interests in the past, we think it probable that if the nationalist ideals hadn’t recruited him, the female element very well may have.” “Have you received visual confirmation?” “Not yet. His paranoia may be forcing him to act from the shadows. That being said… Our rangers in the area are devising a solution of drawing the Shattered Son from whatever hole he has hidden himself in. We will have him returned into our custody soon.”
  17. Of new-Juli Artist's dA: https://www.deviantart.com/loch-tess
  18. It should be enough. It should be enough just to hate. I shouldn't need reasons. Garithos was the reason I offered whenever a reason was demanded. He was reason enough, too. I shouldn't She doesn't understand. Hate is easy. It is warm and strong. It protects from all manner of harm. I didn't need reasons to hate. We were just predators, preying on the weak, the lesser, those who would grow and learn and die too fast to remember the techniques we could focus on for decades. We didn't need reasons. Yes, they gave us reasons, but we didn't need them. They weren't my friends. I didn't lose anyone close to me. Not to them. The only thing that killed them was the Scourge, and the Scourge was what? A disease of the world? Arthas and Kel'thuzad can take a lot of blame for being weak and lesser, for falling for trap after trap after trap. Dar'khan can take some blame, for being power hungry, a grand failing of our kind, and his sweet little mutant children overrunning Stormwind now are what happen when you open the gates for death. But even though they weren't my friends, I was too close to what happened to them. It changed me. It changed what made me hesitate. I was always more violent than not, and though I was never demanding, I resolved I never would be. I would never be like them. I would never take the way they did. I would only destroy. She doesn't understand. How could she? Who does understand? A wolf without its pack is prey, and I've been without my pack for too long. The Grim stands in for them, but the Grim failed me. I was prey. More than once. I've learned not to rely on them. The Grim feed the hate, but they do not understand it. They don't need to. I shouldn't need to. She shouldn't need to. Hate should be enough, in and of itself. It does not need reasons to exist. It only needs to burn. It only needs to consume everything in its path. That's all it needs. She is an obsession, a dangerous path with no way to turn from it. Even if I try, I'll always find myself back on the same road. And I have given her everything. Of my own free will. Everything. Prey again, without my pack. The other needs to ask better questions. I don't think she wants to ask better questions. I don't think she wants what she says she wants, to do something for me, which is good, because she won't get it, but I'll get what I want, words and questions, the sound of my own voice, amusement at what nothing can cause. Be careful giving words too much power. They don't have any of their own. The cat disagrees, but also puts a point on the possibility that the only power they have is mischief. I need to spend a week in Suramar to remember what we should have been, but Feralas calls. I don't need brothers, but I'm glad of them, nonetheless, if only for the hope they give. Yes, hope. I like that people assume I know nothing but ruthless cruelty. I like knowing I can drive hate so easily. That doesn't mean I know nothing of things outside hatred. What do I know? I know more than those who worship at its feet. I know more than those who wear it on their sleeves and on their banners. I know because I run from it and it hunts me down. I know because I do not want it, do not need it, and yet I have it. Killing me with kindness would be much more difficult than even the ridiculousness of the cliché implies. Boring me with kindness might be manageable. I suppose maybe you could bore me to death with it? But even then, either you're the sort of kind hearted person I either destroy or walk away from, or you're not a kind hearted person and I take the opportunity to dismantle your kindness, find the motive in it, make you regret ever having plied me with it in the first place. Or you're the kind of person who's better at playing my games than I am. There aren't many of those, so I don't fear them though I probably should. The team building silliness at least takes my mind off the menacing truths running deep under everything I do these days. I would definitely prefer to watch from the sidelines, but that's better managed when other people are on the dais than when I am. And if it makes them stronger, then so be it. I'll take my loss of dignity and chalk it up to forging bonds or some other useless lie. That Eye is pointless. It saw the obvious but not the dexterous. You can tell the truth and not tell the truth at the same time, and how can one device detect that nuance? You can tell the truths that don't matter and neglect the ones that do. There is a way to get every truth from me, and it is actually quite simple, but who actually finds that much value in truth?
  19. Oh no. Oh no no no no. I just realized. The other possibilities. None of this is good. None of it. I think I can keep it from... going entirely off the rails? But it's a mess. Don't they know nothing comes of this? I learned my lesson. I'll play the games and say the words all I want, but it's going nowhere. Besides, behind closed doors, I'm worse. In every possible way. Mm, almost every possible way. They have no idea how much worse I really am. There's only one place I go for truth.
  20. It was a beautiful day in Elwynn Forest. The birds were chirping, the cows were mooing as they wandered about unfettered... and the sewer crocodiles that had escaped to the sewage pond outside of Stormwind dragged a particularly careless one to its untimely death. At one of the local farmsteads, a seasonal worker was getting fired. Amidst the relative tranquility and the goings on of the kingdom's residents, a newcomer marched with purpose down the road. With eyes that gleamed with ferocity, upturned nose held high, and scales that shined in the sun, a brown spotted colored Sethrak moved towards the city's gates with purpose! Only to come face to face with a patrol of mounted riders, tasked with protecting the kingdom from the Horde and other threats who had, as of late, invaded and sowed chaos at an unacceptable rate. "HALT, SNAKE!" The patrol's captain motioned for his soldiers to stop, and halfway surround them, "You will go no further!" "HOW DARE!" The Sethrak yelled back, its neck instinctively flattening to make the back of its head and neck wider... presumably to look fierce, "Hoomans go away! I has messij for king!" There was an awkward moment of silence as the captain was... in essence dumbstruck with how spoken words could somehow be misspelled, but he pushed the befuddlement aside, "Stand down and surrender, and you will not b-" "GO 'WAY HOOMAN! AM DANGRUS!" The Sethrak huffed and puffed breaths in, and began to hiss, "EMPIRE DEMANZ SURR-ENDR!" "...um, sir?" One of the rookie patrolman spoke up after another few moments of awkward, befuddled silence, "What is it doing?" "How am I supposed to know? You and you, get off your horses and arrest it." The captain pointed to the rookie and one other guard, who looked at each other, shrugged, and dismounted. "NO TUCH!" The Sethrak hissed louder, tensing a puffing up even more, "I BITE!" The rookie and his partner, despite being faced with this... weird unknown, couldn't help but snort as a laugh escaped them. Undeterred, they began to approach, which caused the Sethrak to become even more defensive, coiling back into a defensive posture until!... ...it collapsed to the ground in a hissing, writhing heap. "What in the... Sir?!" One of the still mounted guards looked alarmed, concerned, but ultimately confounded as she watched the snake man flail about in the dirt in what looked to be a horribly acted death-throe. The guards backed up their horses, but otherwise all stayed where they were, as for the next minute or so the snake person kept on its death act, until finally laying still in a contorted pose... mouth agape, and forked tongue lolling off to the side. "I've had enough of this. Get that damn thing to the stockades and make SI:7 deal with it." The captain annoyedly ordered, turning his steed around back to the city gates, and motioning for the other mounted guards to follow. "You heard 'im." One of the dismounted guards went over, grabbing the Sethrak by its robe collar to try and force it to stand up, but finding it floppy and limp, though not in an actually dead way. Starting to get irritated, he tried to force it to turn over, only to express further frustration as it flipped back belly up, and did it again when he tried to right it once again. "For the love of the light, just throw it over your horse and let's go." "arrrggghh.... no tuch!" The Sethrak quietly hissed and muttered, oofing as it did get thrown over the back of one of the patrol horses, to be carted away into the city's gates, oggled at by the city's denizens, and then locked up to be attended to later.
  21. Such embolden courage would be set to a test as his lord was slow to answer, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper would be forced to undergo an ordeal of tentative silence before there was at long last an answer. When it did finally give way to his lord’s voice, there was a sense of suspicion that tainted it. “Who is there?” “My Lord, it is I--” This was not the welcome he had expected, but it mattered not. He would subject himself to this final trail. It’s results determined the fate of this alliance. If he could not convince his lord, he would have to forgo the use of Sanctuary. He would have to improvise. He prayed it didn’t come to that. “--your ever faithful servant, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper.” “Vathelan! Please, do come in, I’ve been hoping to speak with you!” That was closer to what he was hoping for, why the previous contention? Strange. But not something he could dwell upon. He had to keep focus. Rolling his sleeve back into place, he frowned at the white hairs that inevitably did linger from his visit to his office. A small silent sigh at the flaw in his presentation before he opened the door, barely remembering to put his glove back on as well as he presented his practiced pleasant demeanor worn over his face that infected his very tone-- no matter how much he truly meant the words. “I am pleased to see that you have returned, My Lord.” He, in turn, was greeted with the warmest smile that his lord’s marred face could muster. Marring that had come from his assistant, Miss Cat D’Aragon. “I am pleased to be back, there’s far too much to be done for me to be idle any longer. And I’d like to apologize to you, Vathlean. I know that I have not been terribly present for much of the time you have been here as liaison to the Scryers, and I believe that you’ve suffered for that. I am sorry; I hope to amend that going forward, especially once these Accords are ratified and we can start moving on some of the plans they detail.” “I have suffered worse in my lifetime, My Lord.” Vathelan shot his response as quickly as he could, bowing his head both in terms of respect and as to hide his true emotions from view as his mask of pleasantry threatened to crack. He may have told the truth, but that didn’t diminish the treatment and the insults he had been forced to endure in his lord’s absence. The fact that the Commander had allowed an Orcess to go unpunished for all her threats to his life and well being. The threats of removal from service. The lives such stonewalling threw away in the meantime. All of it. But, in the end… “I do appreciate the concern, but I don’t matter. What matters is the cost if we should fail our world.” Lord Cerryan responded with a stoic nod, making it impossible to tell if he bought the implications of Vathelan’s words. Or if he had seen beyond the persona the Magister was putting forward. “I don’t intend to see that happen, under any circumstances. That that end, I’d like to discuss finalizing the Accords with you so that by my authority as Marshal of Sanctuary I can sign the documents and make them official.” “Good. I am glad to see a voice of reason has returned to Sanctuary.” His pleasant tone remained as he lifted his gaze from his bow towards his lord once more. But at the pursing of Cerryan’s lips, he could tell it wasn’t enough to hide the bile from his mistreatment. So instead he would continue on to business proper as he moved to take out a folder with a sizable amount of paper within it from his satchel. He spoke as he set the numerous pages upon his lord’s desk. “I have revised a new draft of the document, it allows you an official direct line between us-- Warboss Bloodborne where applicable as well. I can go over all the changes with you, if that is your desire, my lord?” There was a slight widening of his lord’s eyes at the Accords, paperwork was never something of his strong suit. That was one of the reasons he was brought in, after all. After a moment Cerryan nodded, and Vathelan awarded him a small reassuring smile as a reward. “Yes, it seems we should go over anything you might have changed. I trust that outside of expanding the points of contact you will be working with, you haven’t modified any of the points that you and the Commander specifically agreed to. I am still working under her authority and intend on keeping the intent of her conditions, in the interests of Sanctuary’s sovereignty.” “The alterations are to allow efficiently and security of the war assets we will be granting you in light of recent events in order to ensure I was able to secure the Other, more final, signature required to make this document pass and in an attempt to make up for some of the wasted time it took to get this far-- but I assure you, my lord, my role has not changed. Nor am I interested in threatening sovereignty.” Vathelan set the new, revised edition of the document to the next one for comparison. It was mercifully shorter. And try as he might, he was unable to prevent himself from commenting on the implication made. “...Though one could quite reasonably take offense to such an insinuation. I am a professional. Not that she would particularly care, I am sure. She hasn’t seemed to in the past.” “I am really only interested in moving forward, in securing the assets that will help us win this war and empowering our people to better defend it. Enough time has been spent on indecision, for good reason to some extent, but at this point we need the extra resources. Both here and in Suramar.” Lord Cerryan picked up the new document and began to page through it for an initial scanning read. “I’ve no appetite for contentious personal opinions right now though, and will appreciate sticking to business until we’ve come to the signing.” Very Well. “You will noticed I removed much of the preface, that which stated the history of both groups to prove the point as to why we are compatible in terms of an alliance between us. The term of the Accords’ validity stay the same-- thirty days after an officially declared victory of this conflict as a sort of grace period should we seek to renegotiate terms of a continued partnership. It was fluff that may have been misconstrued in terms of legality. I will remain the Delegate-Ambassador that will serve as a representative of both organizations for the other. As such I will serve to fulfill Scryer interests here, and will serve to fulfill Sanctuary interests there.” He continued to recite his run down of the basics of the contract while Cerryan was allotted his chance to skim the Accords. “My service, besides ensuring both sides are treated fairly in terms of this treaty, will be in terms of requisitions for this war effort-- sadly, this will be incredibly costly and time consuming thanks to the insistence of running everything internally here rather than taking advantage of the larger infrastructure developed by the Scryers over their years as an organization. I must inform one of your officership of alterations and/or additions to anything relating to your new infrastructure that we will be required to construct. I am to manage these assets to ensure efficiency and security for all parties involved, but must follow command and will surrender reports should such be requested. Assets provided may or may not be limited to resources or weaponry for use on the field as per decided by said parties involved.” “We will be needing a diverse range of assets, to reinforce our own forces and resources against the Legion. Securing the final Pillar will open the path to stopping the invasion, but I grow ever more worried over how quiet the Broken Shore has been in the months since we arrived on the Isles. The accountability is a necessary facet of working with a third party, though my own experiences with the Scryers does not have me terribly worried.” Cerryan nodded as he continued working through the pages of the document. Smaller as it may be, it wasn’t short in length still. “There is… I believe it has already been discussed, but the insurance that sensitive information pertinent to Sanctuary remain within Sanctuary first, to be disseminated at our discretion. Our mission with the Relics and keeping them secure and not widely known is critical, and that aside; were there something like the a situation like miss Rylie, before she was sent off to board for her education, the sort of thing where the fewer external parties know the better. I have enough faith that it won’t arise as a point of concern, but assurance only fortifies faith.” “You will notice that the Vault and any mentions that could be related to such are entirely absent from the Accords. This is intentional.” An affirmation, a sign of faith. “The Scryers will, obviously, require tactical Intel however in order to further our battle-plans as we work the angles afforded to us that we have in play. This will keep our strategy running smoothly. That being said, I am both well aware as well as sympathetic to Sanctuary’s needs and desires for privacy in non-essential matters. This brings us to the compromise for both idealism and function in this ongoing crisis: To ensure the efficiency and satisfaction for both parties, I am to oversee and manage the assets brought in with a certain level of autonomy within reason. For example: All plausible services will be ran internally as well as I will be running under the officerships related to my duties. This requires me to submit to their authority and surrender anything in terms of collected Intelligence upon request. I must also inform you should I apply new or altered assets.” “I find that to be more than an acceptable compromise, and I trust you genuinely in the role you’ll be playing in this. For the most part I think that you reporting primarily to me makes sense, given my authority here and my relationship with the Scryers, unless I become unavailable or the criticality of a given matter requires the direct attention of the Commander. I will otherwise still be reporting Scryer-Sanctuary interactions with her, but at least for the Suramar campaign I will be in control of assets deployed to the front.” “And I will be reporting applicable concerns and solutions to the officership that is responsible for the relevant issue. Cooperation is required for us to with this war. None of us will be effective on their own, my lord.” Magister Vathelan presented the final page for his lord, an set of lines ready to be filled laid before Cerryan. One for Vathelan, One for him. The final was already filled out by a great man, the Seer who lead the Scryers to victory since their foundation. “And in that spirit, I would appreciate you calling a meeting of Sanctuary’s officership in the near future-- at their convenience of course-- as to ensure we are all on the same page in terms of what I plan to install within the coming months.” The Paladin nodded in agreement with the Magister. ‘I think that is a wise idea. I know both Baern and Vilmah have vested interest in the resources afforded by the Accords, and I think that after finally signing, it will be good to circle up and discuss how it’s going to impact things going forward.” “And I shall be happy to serve them.” Frostwhisper removed a pen from a case within his pocket and pressed with a gently but firm finger tip upon the back to make the vial inside bleed its enchanted ink upon the bladed edge. “If there is nothing else…” He offered the writing utensil to his lord. With a final sweep through the last few pages of the slimmer revised version of the Accords, Lord Cerryan Vyel was silent for a moments as he left Vathelan’s pen to awkwardly linger. He took a breath. Was something wrong? Vathelan tried to banish the creeping doubts. And then, at last, Lord Cerryan nodded and took the pen. He pressed it to the paper, his name coming out as a flowing script upon the line designated for him. “There, it is done, after much ado.” “Indeed. I already have the paperwork for the first series of orders pre-written. Considering the time it is going to take to synthesize the Arcane Communications Relay Crystal for the required infrastructure upgrades, I thought it prudent to cut out as much delay as possible.” His heart raced as he held his hand out back for his pen, he was so close to his second major victory in this entire campaign. “...So much to do, but at long last… We are finally upon the right path. We can do it, Sir. We can save this world.” “That is the goal, Vathelan. That is the dream.” He handed the pen back to the awaiting Magister. “That is everything.” “And it is my job to make such a dream possible, sir.” Vathelan smiled as he took the pen, at long last signing a document he had spent what had felt like an eternity to push through. His expression betrayed the joy and pride he felt in this hard earned victory as he pulled the pen from paper to admire the proof of his little footnote in history. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper, the poor bastard of an orphan all those years ago, the author of a document that would help lead to this world’s salvation from oblivion. If he could help it, this would be merely the beginning. He would prove he was worth more than anyone had bargained for. “And for the Arcane Notary…” His hand raised, his fingers forming a snap. It was a simple spell, but with it the ink’s magic ignited to make the document official. “There. I will need to deliver the treaty back to Headquarters, so that it can be secured so we can finally begin to realize our goal. Was there anything else you needed from me while I’m still here, my lord?” “For now, all I need is for these Accords to be submitted and made official as soon as possible. Afterwards I’d like to talk with you about involvement in the Suramar campaign, but I would put nothing above your current task.” Cerryan placed a hand upon the Magister’s shoulder. “Thank you for the work you’ve done, Vathlean. We will be better for it, and I’m sure it’s something Draco would’ve been proud of. Now. Be off, then. And come back as soon as you can. Oh, and send my warmest regards to Voren’thal. It has been some time since I’ve visited the old Seer.” “Y-you’re most welcome, Sir. That means… more than you know, coming from you, Sir-- My Lord, Sir.” Vathelan flushed with both embarrassment and the lingering shame. The touch of one of his heroes, his kind words, Vathlean deserved none of them as far as he was concerned. He bowed his head before trying to excuse himself before he ruined the moment further with his blustering as he collected the document. He needed air, air away from a man he admired so. Before leaving he halted at the door. “I will be around-- of course-- should you… should you need me, my office is the small one next to Praetor Baern’s. In case you didn’t know.” And with one final bow he made his departure from a hard fought victory. With Sanctuary, and the protection provisions he had put in place to buy him some more time, he knew he had significantly raised their chances of winning this war. But would it be enough? He didn’t know. He could only keep working to make it so.
  22. “Vathelan, there is no more time. The Legion is here, laying siege to our world and threatening our people like never before. We need to utilize every resource we have to stop them. You know that Draco would agree, if he could see how high the stakes were.” The scene from the night previous played within his mind over and over as Magister Frostwhisper marched up to his office with a black coffee in hand. How perfect that moment had felt, like out of some novel he would have written in the decades after this was all over, where the golden light of the setting sun was captured within the paladin’s armor. So perfect Vath had forgotten to ask about the recent scars that marred his lord’s once beautiful face. “The Accords. Bring them to my office as soon as you can. We are finishing this, so that our real work can begin.” Vathlean fished out the key to his office from his satchel that held the precious document he was promised would finally be signed. He set it within the door-- only to pause as he felt it was unlocked already. He felt a sense of dread sink within his stomach. Had his lord acted too late? Had they caught on to Vath’s plots already? Cautiously he removed his key from the door to his office, attempting to make as little noise as possible. He didn’t want to alert the intruder on the other side of the door to his presence. While his motions to set his key back into his satchel were slow and controlled, his mind raced. Who was it? What did they want? What had they found? Where had he made the mistake that had gotten him caught? He stood there for nearly a minute as he deliberated, eventually coming to the conclusion that he was only going to make himself more suspicious as he stood in front of his door like this. Instead he would have to brave whatever lay before him, His arm went behind his back, conjuring water and drastically dropping the temperature to make a makeshift weapon to defend himself with as used his hand with the half cup of coffee to turn the door knob. He was not prepared for what was on the other side of the door. Where he had expected one of Raeventus’s Inquisitors, he instead found a tiny ball of white fluff trot towards him. It mewed expectantly, forcing the Magister to smile and bite back a small chuckle at his paranoia as he dismissed the spell… the chunk of ice dropping to the floor as he removed his glove and pulled up on of the sleeves of his uniform so that he could pick up the tiny creature while trying to prevent her white hairs from scattering all upon him before his important meeting. If little Munchkin was here, then her owner should be nearby as well. It didn’t take long for his eyes to spy the form of the scrunched up Death Knight who was still like a corpse. Carrying the little creature in one hand, he approached the woman before nudging her with his foot as he set the cup where it would be at her eye level. “You look like you could use this more than I.” She was slow to stir, it took a few seconds for her to even respond to the nudge. Blearily she halfway opened her eyes to look up in his direction. “Hnnwha…?” Oh, sir… sorry, sir…” she muttered as she yawned. “I must’ve fallen asleep after feeding Munchkin… I wanted to see you, but you weren’t here.” “It must have been important, if it was after business hours.” A smile that had formed naturally from seeing the kitten only grew as rolled his wrist to swish the coffee within its cup, still warm. “What can I do for you, Miss Cat?” Cat shakily stood and took the cup from his hands. She held it in her palms to warm them before she spoke. “...I’ve been in a pickle, sir. I’m just starting to climb out of it, but I figured you ought to know everything since it affects the way I’ll be helping you out in the future.” She looked down into the coffee, not daring to take a sip yet. “You know I was with the Ebon Blade when they attacked Light’s Hope Chapel. I’m sure everyone does… What I didn’t know is that Cerryan was one of the paladins that I injured, that day.” She continued before Vathelan had the chance to process this new information. “I didn’t know until T’suro told me, because I tried turning myself in. T’suro suggested I turn myself in to Cerryan, since he’s one of the people I hurt. I figured it was the right thing to do, so I did, but… he didn’t want to spare a moment on me. Like at all. That’s my judgement, I guess, that I wasn’t worth judgement. So… all I can do now to make up for the wrongs I’ve done is try and do good deeds. That’s why I wanted to see you. To see if maybe there’s anything I can do for you, to help save people. Like you always say you’re trying to do.” “...I...see…” The smile was gone, instead the cool mask of the Magister he used to hold to so often since he started trying to get get this alliance forged took its place. With a couple steps he found himself to where his chair was within his tiny office where he took his seat as he let the new information and its implications sink it. At the change in tone and demeanor, Cat lowered her eyes towards the dark liquid in the cup. The silence must have been deafening. “...I know I’ve done terrible things, sir. I don’t have any excuses for myself. All I can do is offer my services, and hope that I can help people. I’m a death knight, people hate me. I’ve already died more than once, so I know what death is. I also know I’m expendable.” That phrase lingered between them as she swallowed. “...so… whatever that means to you… I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to do some good before whatever is going to happen to me happens.” For minutes that felt like hours after she finished her plea, he remained silent as his stare lingered upon her. He was conflicted as the realization that those marrings upon his lord were her doing, and yet… that was nothing compared to what he had sent her to. Was such pettiness worth the fate of the world from neglecting such an asset? Of course not. He had a mission. A purpose that needed to be fulfilled, by any means necessary. He would continue his narrative, he had to. And at last, he finally spoke with a low and quiet tone. “...I know all too well what it means to be hated. If you are sincere in your desire to make amends; to dedicate your service to saving the world… I can’t do it alone, so I will accept this as your atonement. As it will be mine as well.” Miss Cat nodded slowly, but otherwise remained silent as she ventured a step toward to put down the cup he had offered her. “Then it is settled.” The Magister returned his own nod. “We’ll save this world. Together. And in doing so we’ll spurn those who hate us, who wish us to fail. Through this act, through our sacrifice we shall find our redemption. Are you with me?” She raised her eyes to meet his own. There was a determined look upon her face, clouded from her grief as it may be. “Always, sir.” “Good.” He forced a smile on his face as he raised from his chair. He knew well what awaited him at the end of the path he was following, but he wasn’t going to stop him! He couldn’t let it. Even more so, he needed to banish away the doubts and fears of those who followed him. And so he struck a dramatic pose as he pointed to the heavens. The cat in his arm climbed upon his shoulder to keep her perch. “Then save the world together we shall!” He nearly shouted, lying to himself enough to believe it as his smile became more genuine. “First the Accords, then the Shattered Son! Together we’ll get through this! Together we’ll stop the Legion!” The response to his attempts was less than stellar as Miss Cat tried to smile in spite of herself. She cleared her throat, nodded and raised a fist into the air. “...w-woo!” Close enough. At least she tried. The Magister gave a small smile to reassure her as he bowed his head. “Alas, I must apologize for my short stay. It is my hope that today is the day that at long last we solidify the ties between Sanctuary and the Scryers. May it be today that we finally take the steps required to take the fight to the enemy rather than being backed into the corners of the world.” He gently plucked the kitten from his shoulder and handed her back to her rightful owner. “But if you wish to stay here until I return, you are welcome to do so.” And with that Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper of the Scryers marched from his office from the courage he had summoned down the hall towards where his lord would be awaiting him. Courage gave way to determination. He would make this work. For he had to. Not just for himself, this was beyond him. He would do this for the Sin’dorei. He would do this for Azeroth. And with that, his knuckles would grace the door of Lord Cerryan Vyel of House Visca, the second in command of Sanctuary-- an organization where he never felt belonged, but he kept fighting for. An organization he was going to use to bring salvation to the world with.
  23. That unknown location that Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper had selected for their privacy was quickly apparent: The Crater where Dalaran had originally once rested in the days before the Wars of Northrend. The very instant they popped back into reality, one of the natural forces of the universe, Gravity once more tried to claim them as its prizes. Miss Cat gripped harder upon the Magister’s arms as the cloth of his robe billowed out like a malfunctioning parachute. Fortunately, the Magister had anticipated this, and the freefall was cut short with a Slow Fall spell. The two looked as if they were dancing as they floated towards the ground, twirling as Vathelan guided them to a particularly nice section of the clearing below them. Vathelan was taller, allowing him to find his feet gently planted on the ground first. He used this leverage in an attempt to better manipulate her descension further in hopes of securing as gentle a landing for her. What he didn’t account for was how much her armor and axe weighed, nor her newfound fear of falling-- in spite of her warning him when she spoke of the Ebon Blade. Instead with a small thud her boots hit the ground and she threatened to fall backwards even as the Magister reeled her back in. When she was secure upon the ground, Vathelan was the first to speak. “You wished to talk in private?” The trip had clearly been jarring for the poor woman, and he felt a tinge of guilt as she blinked and tried to steady her breath. “Woah… uh…. Yeah. Uh… About Suramar.” She carefully looked at their surroundings before she began her report. Such a use of caution warmed the Magister’s heart. “I couldn’t get very far. I tried to find him, your friend, but… I couldn’t. I wanted to know what you want me to do next. I don’t know if the Ebon Blade will try and get me again.” “That… does complicate things, yes.” The news wasn’t great, troubling even. But it wasn’t exactly unexpected on many fronts. His dark brows furrowed as he considers this information and calculates it against a multitude of variables. Both known and unknown, he makes the best educated guesses he could with the information he had and suspected. Did this mean the Lord-General was being cautious? Or had something happened? He tried to think of something to say, Miss Cat had been so faithful to his mission. “...The meeting should give us a better ideas as to what is going on there in Suramar. I’m hoping with something like this being called, there are some promising developments. Also, with the Captain keeping an eye on Borrowed Time for me, I should be able to return my gaze back upon Sanctuary.” For better or worse. “It is my hope that they might be able to present new opportunities in bringing a favorable end to this war. But… for now, we’ll have to figure out how to better protect you.” At this comment Cat lowered her eyes to the ground, the guilt that ate her from the inside covering her face like a veil. “I hate that I’ve put people in this position. That I’ve become a liability. I… I owe you in more ways than I can admit. I don’t know how, but I promise I’ll make it up to you. However I can.” Now it was his turn to have guilt stab him in the chest. He had sent her into a situation of horrible experimentation just for the off chance to free one of his personal heroes. Sure, he told himself it was because he believed that the Lord-General was key to defeating the Legion… But was that all it was? But for now he would have to keep up his lies, for the greater good of the world. He allowed his mask of warmth to cover his face with a gentle smile. “Hey.” His right hand guided itself onto her cheek and to her chin, forcing her to look back at him and that smile. “We’ll figure this out together. I’m just... Glad I could do some good.” Not an entire lie. He was very thankful for the results of the Magister’s Gambit. “I… just need need some time to devise something. I know that’s a luxury we’re quickly running out of… but I can figure something out. I always do.” Her lips trembled. Whether it be from the touch or his words, he couldn’t be sure. Either way the effect was a good indicator to him as she spoke. “Well, I’m not going anywhere. ...I mean, I’ll go somewhere…” She bit at her lips. “I’ll be at the guild hall. It would be weird for me to stay at the port without Kreyen… I guess… I’m on my own, now. Again.” “You’re not alone, Miss Cat.” He corrected as he shook his head. “You’re part of my team. And together we’re going to support the Late Lord-General. We’re going to help him save this world.” The warmth of Frostwhisper became much more genuine, radiating at higher degrees with each sentence. He believed every word he said, he had to. This was his purpose in life, he was sure of it. He wouldn’t fail. He couldn’t. Instead, for her as much as himself he reiterated their goal to make it manifest itself as their destiny. “We’re going to save the world.”
  24. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper had taken little to no time to savor his recent victories; neither that of stopping the Mad Illidari or leveraging his influence to install one of his personal agents within their ranks. The rebuilding efforts were already proving costly in terms of supplies and in time estimates. Nothing could be done about this, clearly, but the Legion wasn’t going to wait for them. So he went back to work from the dining table of the apartment that now belonged to his agent. Paperwork remained scattered about it, sorted into piles. To his left were those which he had received, to the right were those he was to send out. Each faction had their own separate pile, the most urgent matter on the top. In the center before him was a singular envelope of distinct stationary addressed to him: that of the scorning organization of Sanctuary. Out of his perfirals he saw his agent, Captain Raphael Vanderzee, stand from his seat at the table as he set his bottle back upon the table. “Gotta take a piss.” Vulgar as he was, Vath couldn’t deny the man got the jobs required of him done. As such the Magister gave him nothing more than an absent minded nod as he continued his calculation on funds to direct towards one of the forward teams on the field. He hardly registered the sounds of running water, nor did he let the ensuing shouting distract him. A knock at the door mercifully drew the shouting further away to allow the Magister to finish this segment of the budgets he was charged with. What followed were murmurings from the front door, the first clear thing to him was the shouting of his dependable bodyguard, Kirital. “No you don’t get to just break off and answer the door like everything is fine! Who the fuck just barges into the bathroom and-” The voice went too quiet for Vathelan to hear, merciful as he totaled up the sum this would cost the Scryers and House Visca. All it needed was his signature now. “Frosty? Ye--” The Captain started, his voice getting highly agitated by something. “--MY Bathroom. And yeh were takin’ ta long. And I told yeh ta put on some bloody clothes! No one wants ta see yeh naked!” “Know who never complained until you came along? Vathelan.” The Magister nearly choked on the air he swallowed from this comment. What in the world was going on out there? “Besides, no ones to wake up at three in the morning and hear you with whoever you brought home for the night.” “...is Vathelan not here, then?” A feminine voice raised to be heard over the arguing pair of half-elves. She sounded familiar, but he couldn’t figure out exactly who it was over the two men arguing. “That be because the boy’s meek. An’ then it’s a damn good thin’ yeh be leavin’ soon, ain’t it? Though… I know a liar when I see ‘un. Not me fault yeh be jealous of me catches.” All right, that’s far more than enough. The Magister set down his paperwork and finally made himself known. “Gentlemen, would you kindly refrain from embarrassing me in public? Allow our guest in.” Kirital had the last word, scoffing at the notion as the trio entered back into the apartment proper. “I ain’t beddin’ anyone ‘cuz I don’t want Vathelan t’ feel awkward.” Further adding to the embarrassment of his charge. The slightly larger of the half-elves ran a hand through his damp hair before swaggering away towards one of the bedrooms. “I’ll go get fuckin’ dressed, then.” “Uh… Vath?” With one of them gone, their guest came into full view. Miss Cat was at least a foot shorter than both of the men, making it understandable as to why he hadn’t gotten a chance to greet her as of yet. Though her current state was enough to concern him. She looked utterly exhausted, and she had obviously gone through some sort of major conflict recently. The regenerative powers of the blood of the Shattered Son that flowed through her hadn’t set her back to her base state as of yet. Bruises littered what parts of her body he could see. Even still, he tried to give her a warm and reassuring smile. “Good Evening, Miss Cat.” From behind the woman, Captain Van wove out of eyesight to find his seat back to his place at the table, marked with a half empty bottle of liquor of some sort and his pack of smokes. Kirital was surprising not far behind, reclothing himself and setting a thick sandwich down on the table along with a heavy glass of milk. Normally this would bring up questions, but the Magister was too focused on other matters instead. “Uh… h-hi. Umm….” The Death Knight woman looked at the men before her at the table. A Magister, a pirate and a hairy brawler in short shorts. Vath could only guess what she must be thinking right about now. His smile widened in an attempt to re-encourage her. “I… uh… I went to Suramar. It… I-it didn’t go well.” “Suramar is a warzone, from what I have gathered.” The smile faded, the Magister hiding any hint of understanding of the deeper meaning behind her words from all those gathered at the table. “I am saddened to hear a friend of mine had hardship there, but I am glad to see you returned to us still in one piece.” He hoped that was enough for her to catch his double meaning here, but his attention would be ripped away from the task at hand momentarily. The Captain had set a cigarette to his lips and shifted his body weight as he fished for his mechanical lighter to light it. “I would appreciate it if you refrained from that habit while I’m in the room.” “I… yeah. I guess… I guess it’s pretty bad there…” Miss Cat lowered her eyes to the table, all the while the scolded Half-elf grumbled as he put the lighter away. “...A-actually… the Ebon Blade got me… and I escaped, but, I had to jump out of the Acherus. So I broke like… every bone in my body, but I got back. And I’m pretty sure they’ll try again.” A pause before Vathelan responded, his framed eyes making it a point to make direct eye contact. “That is troubling news, indeed.” His tone sounded uninterested, as if merely humoring her. But his eyes spoke a different story. As if he needed to talk to her later in private. His hand rested upon the envelope that rested before him. “Are you coming to the meeting that was called for tonight?” “Um… um yeah.” The tiny Death Knight tugged on her pigtails in distress. “Also… Kreyen got hurt real bad. Lost his memory. He doesn’t know who I am.” Her eyes filled with tears. “I’m having a really bad day.” “...I’m really sorry to hear that.” Vathelan abandoned his paperwork before him as he slid his chair from the table. As he stood the robe, not being tailored to be a proper fit, billowed outwards in the air. The Magister moved closer to her, opening his arms to offer her a gentle and reassuring hug. ...This is what normal people did to comfort friends, correct? He certainly hoped this was the right course of action. Upon embrace the woman burst into tears as she clung to his arms. “Being a death knight sucks so bad!” Frostwhisper held her close, maneuvering where he could look at his companions as he sought advice as to what he was supposed to do in this situation. The look of confusion was obvious. Kirital gave a gentle smile of reassurance, the Captain only rewarded an amused smirk as he propped his legs back upon the table. The look of confusion briefly turned into ire at the man before his attention refocused on his friend. He tried to soothe her with a cooing, “I know, I know.” Even if he clearly had no experience as a Death Knight himself. “Cat, can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee?” Kirital was a Light-send as he offered his aid, taking some of the pressure of this emotional situation off the ill-equipped Vathelan. “N...no… thanks Kit. I just… W-what should I do?” She leaned into one of the Half-elf’s arms, her bruised face twisted with the ugly crying. “The Ebon Blade wants to kill me because I left… my fiancé doesn’t know who I am… Cerryan hates me… why does everything suck so bad??” “We’ll find a way to protect you from the Ebon Bla-- wait. Cerryan?” Now Vathelan’s mind was racing with a hundred questions. Did this mean his lord had returned from his unexplained absence? Maybe there was a sliver of hope that the Sanctuary situation could still be salvaged? “Ah, the Ol’ Drunk is still around, eh?” The Captain smiled, presumably from some memory. But Vathelan didn’t know of any battles with alcoholism that this hero had. None of it was in any reports he knew of. “...I wonder if he’ll finally let me buy ‘im a whore fer o’ night now, get ‘im ta relax fer once.” Okay make that a Hundred and Five questions now. And counting. At this comment Miss Cat erupted into a renewed rampage of tears. Kirital smirked as he bit back his newfound ire for the Captain, and he retaliated with a quick kick to the remaining tips of the other half-elf’s chair that remained upon the ground in an attempt to startle him. Van’s quickdraw grip upon the table to keep his balance himself was impressive, if not a little worrisome, as he returned the chair to be back on all fours. It would take some time for the comforting of the two men, but eventually they were able to talk the distraught woman down enough for her to collect her thoughts. Sniffling as she wiped her face with the backs of her hands, she steadied her breathing. “...Sir… Can… Can I talk to you alone?” “Of course. Is there somewhere specific you wish to go?” Vathelan offered an encouraging smile. “Uh, no… no, just…” She shook her head slowly, before her eyes darted towards the half-elf men in the room. Then her gaze drifted back down towards the floor. “...Wherever we can go to be alone. Somewhere we won’t have to worry about anyone else listening.” “I see…” The Magister considered various locations that he could whisk them away to quickly, yet would fulfill this need. Somewhere he wouldn’t be expected to go would be best. “...Do you still have business here? Something that you cannot be delayed from?” Her response was quick. A shake of her head. “No. My only business here is… I guess… somewhere else.” “I see.” Excellent. “One moment then, please allow me to gather my things and we shall be on our way.” And he did just that as he relinquished his embrace from his friend. Collecting each pile and setting them into various folders, casing his writing pen, retrieving the ruined robe from the battle; all of it would once again find itself in his trusty satchel. Before returning to the woman, his bespectacled gaze rested upon his bodyguard. “I will see you at the meeting, Kirital.” And with that a portal flared up between the two parties. A way for him to return back to Dalaran. When the Magister was satisfied he offered his embrace to the Death Knight once more, “Ready?” Cat nodded as she accepted the offer, “I’m ready.” She glanced back at the portal that divided the room, where Kirtial and Captain Van would still be lingering as magic began to swell and flow around them before stealing them away from that apartment and to some unknown location.
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