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  1. Last week
  2. I especially love when the Arcane Guardians almost say "Kael'Thas" and have to quickly change over to "Lor'Themar."
  3. So... this thread is from 2012. But It's really interesting to me. Silvermoon *has* changed a little in BfA, especially with the *literal* changing of the guard, Theron's new and improved skin (which makes him even more regent-lordly) and with Sylvanas even more on the out, Silvermoon is probably looking mighty good to the Horde right about now. Of course, there was that strange business with the Alliance and the Horde banding together against Sylvanas and, I think Undercity's actually gone now, but yeah. What do we all think about this now?
  4. Earlier
  5. SHOW RULES 1. This event is open to all Horde and Alliance RPers. 2. This event will take place entirely in the designated Discord Server 3. You may apply on as many characters as you want. Please list your main/player name to ensure that only one of your characters is selected at the beginning. Prize will be distributed as available (Given contestants can be spread across multiple servers or not even have an active subscription) 4. Most of the Show will be freeform RP in the House. The main goal of this event is to KILL have fun and put characters in a different situation while giving people a chance to rp with others that they would never meet with otherwise. 5. There will be occasional IC challenges. The day and time of the challenges will vary, to give opportunity for everyone to participate. The challenges will take place in Discord, but will start and complete within set time frame, so participants will be expected to be able to be active and attentive during it. Winners of the challenges may be determined by dice rolls, contestant votes, audience votes, or possibly other means. Winners will receive points and/or some other meaningful award. 6. IC, applications have been left in all major taverns with instructions to leave nominations and volunteering in drop boxes located in neutral towns. If your character would have no reason to join the show but you wish for them to participate, claim anonymous submission by a friend/enemy. 7. The contestants will NOT be all from one race or one guild. Such balancing will be kept in mind as contestants are selected to ensure variety in the household population.(edited) 8. Each contestant will earn points through various challenges and means, part of it will be luck based, but participation will lead to a higher chance of prizes. 9. Security has been employed to keep the peace within the house and around the property. They will not interfere with minor fights but anyone attacking with deadly intent will be detained. Please respect their authority and if your character does get violent, play along with getting arrested. Punishments will range from loss of points to imprisonment to other means. Repeated offenses will lead to a ban. 10. If you are interested in participating in The House, please see the #applications channel. 11. All House RP rooms are "open" meaning anyone in the house can enter and join in the RP there at any time. Bedrooms might be an exception depending on the RP. (Please do NOT RP any explicit content on this server) -------------------------------------------- AUDIENCE Anyone may participate in special Audience events. These may include voting on winners of events and other issues, being a special guest star in the House for a short period of time. Suggestions for events, and even running an event may also be options for audience members. Anyone in the Discord server who is not a contestant will be given the Audience role. This is another opportunity to RP outside of your character's usual circles as they watch the show and talk to other fans and viewers(edited) --------------------------------------- SECURITY ANYONE may play a member of the security team (A member of Livewire or a Mook) if one is needed to break up a fight, except for the people involved in that particular fight. Security will only break up fights that look deadly in nature. They may lock the offender(s) up in the cells. They may also step in if someone is trying to cause harm/theft to the House or the support staff or any other serious violation. Livewire Security Co.: Well trained, beefy, intimidating, and surprisingly affordable, members of Livewire are trained to be observant and well versed in a number of non-lethal takedown techniques and the use of a variety of tools to apprehend and subdue those who become too rowdy such as pepper spray, nets, manacles, stun guns, and a variety of small arms. They are best noted for their eye-catching, bright uniforms. Mooks: Mooks are not very bright, but they are large, strong, and very durable. They are also equipped with a variety of weapons including nets, stun guns, and the heavier armaments that may do more than knock someone out. Players are expected to play along with any member of the security team trying to apprehend them. RPing resistance is allowed, as long as the player allows security to "win" in subduing the character.(edited)
  6. If it worked once, they'll hit it, shape it, and hope it works again! Welcome to the Second Season of The House, an Azerothian reality show created by Razz Blastwhizzle! (Link to previous show here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23841-the-house/?tab=comments#comment-399372) The House is an RP event that will take place entirely in Discord and welcomes both Horde and Alliance participants as contestants or audience members. There will be chances for the audience to participate and help guide the challenges for the contestants. The main goal of this event is to put your character into a setting with other characters they might not normally interact with, for some fun RP! More information about the house is available on the Discord channel as well as the channel to apply for a spot on the show! All applications are due by December 29th! Discord link: https://discord.gg/YaqFYx
  7. “Thank you for the work you’ve done, Vathelan” It had been a week since the Accords were signed, and yet his Lord’s words still echoed through his mind here within the selected section of the Guildhall’s underbelly where he and his half-elf bodyguard took measurements for the housing of the Scryer Communications Relay Crystal. A week passed and yet he could feel the phantom touch of Cerryan linger upon his shoulder. “We will be better for it, and I’m sure it’s something Draco would’ve been proud of.” This, as likely expected, had served well to motivate the young Magister even further-- though perhaps not for the reasons his lord would have anticipated. It was in these depths of Sanctuary’s halls that Frostwhisper worked to hide his shame of the secrets he still kept. Jotting another note within his Glass Scroll, he worked to silence the nagging doubts within his mind as he turned his attention back to his companion. “Kirital, if you would please pace the steps again for confirmation?” “Sure, yeah.” The burly man hosted a long create above his head as he carefully paced out the distance again, a quizzical look of focus pinched his features. “It’s what you had before. So these… uh…” He continued as he began to low the crate and its heavy contents, reaching about chest hight before he found the words for his question. “...These things. Do we need to build this thing now, or where you’re done with…” A nod towards the pane of glass Vath was working on, “That?” For a moment the Magister was silent as he looked over the measurements and calculations. When satisfied he nodded before answering the questions set before him. “These measurements are required in order to build the chassis for the central communications hub for Sanctuary's improvements. Thanks to some preliminary paperwork, the actual synthesis of the crystal should have already been started. Given the necessity of it all… I’m hoping it should be done within a month or so.” His eyes traveled back from his work and to his assistant who was still carrying the crate assigned to him, the last of the ones set in a particular order to help ensure accurate markings. “You can set that down where you are standing, please. We need to ensure that the measurements are accurate and fit to the schematic’s specifications to ensure its stability… considering some of the materials required in the process are… um… Volatile if not handled appropriately.” Kirital moved with even more caution at the news, providing his form ample opportunity to show off as they flexed and tensed in a smooth motion as the crate sets to the ground with a soft ‘paff’. “Volatile. Right.” His head swiveled to look at the others he set in place, with even more near the Magister. “All of this for housing a crystal?” “We’re only in pre-production. In time we’ll be organizing a team of engineers to do the more complex sections as well as Golems to do the heavy lifting. I warned the Commander that her requirements would prove quite costly and time-consuming.” A small sigh left the lips of Vathelan as he tried to let the comments go, his smile not given the chance to waver. “Think of this Crystal as both the Heart and brain of the network we are establishing. Would a visual demonstration aid in your understanding of what we’re about to build?” Kirital took a seat on one of the larger crates, his hands resting together on the edge between his thighs. One situated he gave several eager nods, “I also have some questions later too.” Frostwhisper’s smile grew a measure more at the enthusiasm before fading as he concentrated on the mathematical equations he had been reading on the Glass Scroll as he converted them into the sub-thermal spell required for such an accurate frost-model. “The entire housing chassis will be built into the floor, but for the sake of the model…” As he applied his mana, water would be conjured and frozen simultaneously. Its mass grew with each breath as he poured more into the spell. First grew the outer wall in a circular fashion, when completed the spell would work inwards. Various bumps grew within the bowl-shaped structure before bridges of ice culminated into a central hub. For the majority of the time, which was of growing minutes, not seconds thanks to the size and intricacy, all the while the room chilled further and further from the display… there was silence between them. One focused on the spellcraft, the other staring in amazement before he finally breathed an “...Awesome…” When at last the structure was complete with what looked to be some crystal in the center, Vath ignited some of the mana within to allow it to glow forming a dazzling and soothing illumination as its radiance echoed through the entire structure. It was only now that the Magister was able to speak again. “So, the Brain Metaphor is more literal in terms of design. All communications will not only be relayed through here-- it will also support the processing of such. To do this, we have developed an elixir of sorts to both amplify and stabilize these transactions.” With another gesture, the Magister conjured water that flowed within the inside the hollow section of the structure. Filling it like water in a bowl. “As this is a newer creation, we have had time to learn from the previous incarnation of this Magi-technology to allow Sanctuary the bleeding edge of what we have to offer. The fluid is also designed to facilitate growth of the Crystal overtime to allow it organically grow with the most efficient reactions developed within to better suit Sanctuary’s needs as it too continues to swell in numbers and responsibilities they wish to tackle. It is my hope, should Sanctuary prove to be the invaluable ally I have sold them as, that we can continue our partnership after the war-- and that this will help alleviate costs in the long run. For both parties.” “So can it...uh… talk to people?” A pause before another rapid sentence. “I had a nice chat with a blood golem once.” “At current, I am not planning on giving it the intelligence processes required for it to carry on a conversation-- I fear that may make certain key members of Sanctuary nervous, and I feel that overstepping my bounds so early in this relationship would be… ill-advised.” With a glance over to the ice-forged model, his mind began to consider the possibilities. “But… theoretically… with those processes added, it would be able to talk through us through the Emblems or other technologies we shall be using. Quite an interesting venture indeed. Hm.” “I was being generous describing it as a ‘conversation’, really. More like…” Kirital stiffened his limbs in mimicry of the golem in question. “‘Affirmative, Kirital’” He took a step and relaxed his posture. “Must be exhausting, doing this patrol all the time.” A step back to where he was previous, and the stiff mimicry continued. “‘Affirmative, Kirital’” With a long full-body stretch, the half-elf relaxed into his normal carefree persona. “It was a tired sounding affirmative, I think.” All the while Vathelan watched his companion enact his story, he struggled to bite back his amusement. “...Ah yes…” His composure returned. “The Golem technology tends to have enough semblance of intelligence as to ensure effectiveness in terms of autonomy. Speech aids them in their use as security, even. This, however-- I fear may be taken poorly if it spoke to people as you or I would, even if the research into such fields would be… quite fascinating. The potential in the ramifications for our people would be--” The Magister cut himself off as he shook his head. “...But I digress. I need to file these measurements still, shall we take this conversation back to my office?” Kirital was quick to grab both his pack and Vathelan’s. “Yeah that’s fine. Whenever you’re ready!” He was quite eager it seemed, though Vath tried not to put too much thought into it. With a nod, the Magister snapped his fingers. This action set forth a chain reaction behind him as he followed his bodyguard up the stairs, the miniature arcane explosion within the ice structure was just strong enough to send it crashing down in a portal that would send the frozen ice and its watery contents to safely plummet down below into the sea that rest beneath the floating city. They had plenty more work to do, and the Legion waited for no one.
  8. Cobrak

    To Ash

    “Here, the prisoner has given us the location of their supply caravans. Utilize the mountain passes, burn everything we cannot take.” The form of Grand Marshal Sakainu Redmoon towered over a sprawled map laid before him, the armored kaldorei traced an invisible line through one corner of the parchment as he spoke. Hunched over the map as well was a pandaren fellow in heavy plate, stroking a thickened auburn beard; at his side was a female Dark Iron woman, wreathed in reinforced ebonweave that glimmered but slightly with innate magical defenses woven in. “That will cripple the local garrison, and we can take-” The door to his room suddenly burst open, startling all but the night elven commander, who merely lifted his gaze to regard the newcomer. Red hair disheveled, helmet at his side, was the young spellsword Thoel, hand clutched tight around a missive bearing the royal seal. He did not bother with commentary on the matter, it was little wonder Thoel broke into the conversation without the standard procedural greetings. Skainu merely held out a hand, the order silent. Little heed was needed, as Thoel practically slammed the letter into his commander’s hand. “...Orders from Stormwind.” Not ordinary orders if his tone had anything to do with it, Sakainu mused to himself as he read the notice himself. Thoel gulped, “...An armistice has been signed, we’re to cease hostilities with the Horde.” His teeth ground against each other with every word, fists clenching as though clutching onto reins to steer his growing temper away. Letting his captain stew, Sakainu focused on the orders at hand; to indeed halt operations against the Horde, and to return to Stormwind posthaste; commands to hand over all his gains and return to the status quo like an obedient hound. “Captain.” The sudden word caught Thoel out of his trance, him rigidily snapping to attention. “Assemble every soldier on the island.” His hands found the edges of the decree, and in one swift motion tore it in two, then four, the into eights. The process repeated itself until it was naught but confetti in his palm. Slowly he paced to the blazing hearth nearby, firelight reflecting in the lone ebony stare. “What naivete.” The torn shreds of paper drifted into the fire, piece by piece slowly consumed with each twist of his hand. “Peace. What peace can there be while our enemies still linger? The disease remains whilst the sheep cry out that the body is healthy enough.” The final shred sifts into the fire, devoured to the last, yet still he stares at the fire’s dance. “There will be no peace, not until justice has been meted out.” Drawing from the hearth, he turned to his officers and strode forward. “We are the Ashen Legion, we are those who carry the colors of those who came before,” The strolling pace became a stride, making to glide past those in the room, as though leading them beyond the confines of the room. “We are sworn to vengeance, no matter the cost, no matter the price.” His face was awash in moonlight then, the fires of the room replaced with white glow from Elune’s grace above them; yet still it burned within his gaze, staring down at the soldiers who had gathered in the twilight. His officers and more stood behind him on the terrace, stone-faced and resolute. “Victory will come when Orgrimmar suffers the fate of Teldrassil...when Thunder Bluff is a ruin...when Silvermoon begs for the days of Arthas after what we have wrought...when Suramar and Highmountain tremble in fear when they see the horizon turn gray with our numbers.” Redmoon’s fist shot into the air, as though clutching a sword that would not relent in its brutality. “Look to the skies of Darkshore! Look upon the wrathful gaze of Mother Moon herself! The Black Moon has risen, and it WILL NOT SET...UNTIL THE DAWN IS STAINED RED!” The rallying cry setting forth a mimicking pattern of hands rising in unison to salute the speech rendered unto them. Along with it, the crashing of a thousand voices yelling their approval.
  9. I cannot be "of the people." I do not have any people. I put myself above all others and always have for as long as I can remember. Any I could once claim as mine were erased at the hands of Arthas. Any people who were both of like mind and understood me are long since dead. There are some -- two, at my count, perhaps three -- who understand me, who know me, but they are not of like mind. The Grim, they are of like mind, but they do not understand me. The Grim are not my people. The Grim hold similar ideals, but not identical. The Grim open the path to endless violence, accepted and encouraged. They know and appreciate hate that consumes all. I wonder how many of them actually hold the Mandate closest to their heart, though. How many of them actually hold the Horde on the pedestal the Mandate demands? Their Mandate is a strong banner. It is easy to follow, durable, a strong moral core to uphold the violence, difficult to crack short of the crumbling of the Horde itself, but we all seem to fall under it for different reasons, none of which are actually the Horde. For me and I believe for Syreena, it is the humans. For Awatu, it is the dwarves. For most, it is likely one or two individuals who need to die, or the ephemerality that is love for chaos itself. For all of us, it is the death we need to bring to a few or to many. We accept Horde protection and supremacy as a stand-in for what we truly crave. But the way the Mandate is written, it survives despots and lunacy. It should also survive the fragility of being led by a company connected only by treason. How often does one have to betray the people one claims as their own before they realize what they have become, before they understand their truth? You have no people. You are all you have. It will not be for the elite, no, but it will be exclusive and I will decide who can have it. Wealth is an insufficient indicator of acceptability. It is a good one. Those who have amassed large amounts clearly hold themselves of highest import, but they do not necessarily have sense as well. With the rumors I hear, Northrend may be the only place I can stand to be awake without walking back into the clutches of the Bronze, a place I can survive while the Horde decides if it even wants to exist in the future, or if our precious factions are as meaningless as those who believe themselves heroes would like to claim. I know who I will bring here, and they are not the Grim. They are not my people.
  10. Cobrak tore from his two guardsmen to survey the fight, or rather, the toying of Sylvanas with a ragdoll. She was fast, faster than she was at Undercity; either that or the old orc was letting his age get to him. Unlikely, Cobrak thought to himself; Saurfang was as Vyzelok was, too stubborn to let age slow them down. Then, a clean shot on the Banshee; her reeling back. "You are all nothing!" That one cry broke the tension all around the field, and Cobrak couldn't help but stare forward at where the Warchief now doubled down on her condemnation. Deep down, he knew that's what they all were to her; nothing but pawns ever since she gassed her own people during the Battle for Undercity. It was an entirely different thing to hear it screamed as a tantrum, tying into a grand monologue about their idiocy. Cobrak merely lowered his head, unable to watch even as Saurfang fell and the Banshee took off...Shame had twisted his guts into a knot. The bald orc's initial cheer at the charge died in his throat as the first clash saw the High overlord struck twice and nearly fall from that alone. The follow up was easily thwarted and punished again until the Veteran fell to his knees. He stayed there with his back bared as an open invitation that the Warchief refused to take as she said something else. He could not hear her words but he could make out the look of disgust on her face. Saurfang was one of the strongest orcs he had ever seen in combat and she was making him look like.... HIM. He perked up notably when the blade split into two and finally struck the Undead but it was quickly turned around with the woman's declaration. He could not decide what hurt more, seeing the orc reduced to such a state or having one of the higher ups in Command repeat the same words he had heard a thousand times before. He was nothing. When the deathblow came, all he could do was stare in mute horror. Alaur shut his eyes and bowed his head, ignorant of the spell used but all too aware of what it meant. The Mak'gora had reached its conclusion. Before they could even speak of what happened, Sylvanas was gone. The anxiety in Vilmah's stomach reached its apex as Saurfang's body lay in the ground, his battle finally over. He had been a staple of the Horde for so long, the one voice she knew that they could always depend on, and now it was gone. Vilmah's voice was, too. It cracked as she heaved a mournful sob, shaking her head at the image before her. "For the Horde," she whispered, gripping both fists at her sides. Her hazel eyes focused on King Anduin, who with Thrall and their allies, picked up the body of Varok Saurfang. TINK TINK! Sylvanas' flag bearer signaled the others, inside. TINK TINK! "We really just letting the Allies in?" Gruk muttered in disbelief as the body of the orc was hefted onto the shoulders of many and slowly marched through the gates. The procession was heralded by the synchronized rapping of metal banners upon stone and iron, a pause and then two strikes, a pause and then two strikes. "Everyone has lost today." Alaur murmured. "Let there be solidarity, if even for a short time." Cobrak stared ahead, his mouth shut tight as he followed the tide of soldiers flooding in after the body of Saurfang. The chorus of flag strikes resounding around them as they passed through The gates into the city proper. "'E got us in." He finally spoke, staring ahead at the corpse through the throng of people from both sides. "Wit' jus' one life given." "Just one life," Vilmah repeated, wiping her eyes with the back of one gauntlet, her voice shaky and hoarse. "One important life, and.. one he gave, willingly." Swallowing down another mournful groan, the blademaster sheathed her sword and stepped toward the throng of soldiers following what was now a funeral procession. "He gave his life for all of us. Let's not waste it." "But what now?" Alaur asked quietly, casting a side eye at the line of Kal'dorei archers far to the left before looking at the line of banner and now wielding Forsaken atop the wall. "He exposed Sylvanas ... That does not change what has happened. That does not change how many agreed with what she did." "We keep goin', keep livin'." Cobrak spoke up, looking through the throng ahead of them into Orgrimmar proper, the streets packed with soldiers and civilians both. "Thar'll always be scars..." A glance over to Vilmah before he directs it forward, "Some...will ne'er let them heal, best we kin do is mend wut we kin an' keep walkin' forward." "It won't be enough." Alaur murmured as the crowd trudged through the tunnel into Ogrimmar's valley. A slab had already been raised to rest the remains of the High warlord upon and those that followed began to fan out and make room for the flood of mourners. "Why you gotta be such a pessimist?" Gruk hissed. "One of the visitors at this funeral is the biggest war criminals the Alliance ever decided to promote and so many others are traitors to the state. Once the feeling of loss and relief at the end of Sylvanas's reign dissipates we will be back in arms for past transgressions and downplaying our own. That's how its been, that's how it will be. Saurfang spoke many pretty words but at the end of the day, they will ring hollow." "Now isn't the time for your bullshit," Vilmah spat toward the elf, shouldering past him toward Saurfang's remains. She turned to look at him for a moment, her bloodshot eyes narrowed. "If you want to talk about what you think the future will bring, do it somewhere else. We're here to mourn someone who just gave his life for the people in this city, not listen to you talk about how futile you think his sacrifice was." Clenching her jaw, she turned back from him and marched with the others, hands shaking with both rage and loss and everything in between. At some point, she reached back for the flag on her back and unmounted it, sliding the flagpole back into the leather holster at her thigh. There was a long march to Saurfang, as members of the Horde (and some of the Alliance) shuffled past to pay their respects. It was surreal to imagine that just moments before, these same people had gathered to storm the gates and fight whatever stood between them and Sylvanas. Now they stood together, their voices quiet and for the most part respectful, as they waited their turn to see the legendary Varok Saurfang one last time. When it was finally her turn, Vilmah took the opportunity to take a knee and put her good hand into the soul beneath his body. This was the earth of Durotar, the earth of the city he gave his life to save. Saurfang had made many mistakes in his long life, but in the end, he was willing to give that life for the lives of others. That was a kind of bravery and honor Vilmah couldn't fathom most people capable of, and she searched her heart in wonder of what it meant. Maybe it was futile. Or maybe it was the last in a long line of sacrifices the Horde would need in order to rebuild itself. Seeing him dead in front of her, the same age as her father, the same clan even, she saw a father who not only lost his son, but also his Horde. Now, it was his again. "Your spirit will be with us always," she said quietly, clutching the earth in her hand before letting it fall back to the ground. Her respects paid, she stood and fell back into the crowd. There was more to do.
  11. he story of Hellscream tore at him. It was an too familiar feeling. "It be an empty victory. I knew that already...tha dead willnae be brought back by their deaths." His scowl deepened, feeling the air cook around him. He could feel the scratches of her nails on his face, bloody tears made out of desperation. His hands pushed downward, deeper towards an orange pit of molten slag that lit the depths of Grim Batol. The face below was contorted with rage and fury, her shrieking cries of hatred fueling the baleful glare she locked onto him with. The sparkle of lavender light from one such eye began to fray and sputter as it was pushed underneath the pool's surface. Her screams of agony as she was cooked alive rang out in an echo that brought him no peace afterward. "Morinth. She burned alive by my hand, screamin' bloody murder as she did." He spoke, brought to the present once more. "A part of me relished that. Loved that she suffered as I 'ad. I willnae say she got wut she deserved, but..." A snort, "I willnae say she didnae git wot she deserved...but...it still rings hollow, er'rytime I look at Broden's statue. When I kill a human, I see 'er again. I see tha Lord who whipped me senseless. They still color me world after all this time." He looks back up at those gathered upon the gates, readying for the siege. All peoples of the Horde rallied around the Warchief. "I'm already broken. I 'ave been fer a good long while. Best I kin do is not let...this...all this that I be...break the Horde. Break tha next ones ta come along." "An honorable goal," Vilmah said quietly, but her attention had moved toward their leaders and their discussion. She couldn't hear them speaking, but Thrall and Saurfang were exchanging words. Then Saurfang and Anduin. Then.. "Oh no," she whispered, as Saurfang walked, alone, toward the gates. His shouting could be heard from far away, but as soon as the words left his mouth they travelled through the soldiers and volunteers. The word made Vilmah's blood run cold as she realized what was about to happen. "Mak'gora," she repeated, shaking her head, eyes wide with terror. "He's going to.. he's going to get himself killed! They can't let him do this! Saurfang is strong, but he can't.. if he dies.." Cobrak folded his arms, watching the going-on's with a mask of neutrality. Only an eyebrow quirked at the High Warlord's display, bearing the arms of both Horde and Alliance's leaders. "Wut is 'e playin' at?" Cobrak muttered under his breath, fighting the urge to tap his foot in thought. "'E's jus' gonna-...huh." A thought sprang to life, his eye subconsciously trailing after it like a flighty prey flushed from hiding. Snatching it, he looked back at the veteran orc with a new realization. "S'a con. 'E knows 'e kinnae win." "What is he planning? A sacrifice to inspire the loyalists to defect? If he is slain in Mak'gora all that will do is cement the allegiance of those who stand with her now." A red haired far strider commented with a hardened grimace. He glanced at the two next to him, before forcing his attention forward. In that awkward moment he thought he had been speaking to a riflemen, not his boss. Gruk leaned back slightly to peer past his friend and offered a wave. Vilmah shook her head at the voice. He could be right, of course, but wouldn't Saurfamg know that? She knew as much as anyone that he wanted his warrior's death, but at the cost of the Horde? He couldn't be that cruel, that selfish. He would never.. "He has a plan," she said confidently. He has to, she thought, even as Saurfang spoke to Anduin, and she watched the human king give the High Overlord his own sword. Her eyes went wide. Cobrak's mouth opened to reply, and only then saw who it was at his side now. His mouth hung open for but a moment before he bellowed out, "Tha fuck ya damnnabbed' bloody-barned ijits doin' 'ere?! I shut tha damn portals down fer a reason!" His lone eye twitched out of an oncoming aneurysm, before it swapped over to where Saurfang stood before opening gates to reveal the banshee. "We'll talk about that later...One way or another someone is about to die here." Gruk grunted. Uncharacteristically terse as he saw the old orc turn, a cleaver of the Horde in one fist, and the beautiful human blade in the other. "And my money is on the toothpick who brought a knife to an axe-fight." The fight between Saurfang and Sylvanas was almost too quick to watch. From their vantage point, Vilmah, Cobrak, Gruk and.. some elf, could see that it was an uneven match. Saurfang was huge and powerful, but Sylvanas had the swiftness of a Farstrider combined with something... else. She moved too fast, her body was like a blur of smoke and it was difficult to focus on her. It wasn't until they saw Saurfang pull the sword apart that something shifted. "She's been struck," one of the orcs nearby said, excitement in their voices. So she can be harmed! Vilmah thought, hope swelling in her chest. It didn't last long. "..what did she say?" Another one of the soldiers asked, and a rumble of quiet voices chattered, passing down what they heard like a game of mailbox. "She said we're nothing?" "No, she said the Horde is nothing." "She said we were toys?" "Toy soldiers?" "She said--" But there wasn't time to discuss what she said. Sylvanas' banshee scream could be heard for miles away, as her rage tore through the ranks and Saurfang's tired body. Vilmah couldn't hear herself scream, but she knew she did as Saurfang fell to the ground. "No!!"
  12. The only sound in the recording is the dull roar of water for the first several seconds. I... My gut instinct... We made a mistake We had no other choice, that's what I have to tell myself. We had no choice. We could not get at her any other way but to follow her down. But there was a choice wasn't there? Get Jaina to do whatever she did to escape to Orgrimmar again, send the Champions and the Heart of Azeroth topside and forget about us. We could have died denying her her prize and delay her plan. But we didn't. The roar of water continues for several moments before he speaks again The palace was like Azshara herself, unsurprisingly. Beauty, power, and grace on the surface with grand armies, wonders that no one else could match, and magic on a whole other level. But the further down you go, the more twisted it becomes. The hatcheries, the devoted naga driven so mad as to revere her as a god, and that thing.... A faceless one that I had never seen before and now I can't unsee it or what it did. He was insistent that minds and eyes be opened... And I know that I am one of several who have been forced to observe. I've had my experience with the mentalists and creatures that attack the mind but this is different. Like a cold to the Plague. I have a guest now that I can't remove, ancestors forgive me but my eyes aren't my own. When we arrived, weary and battered,we were set upon a stage, a stage of Titan design. She made us fight for her amusement as the artifacts were drained and battered, abused by her lackies and defended by us. She did not need us to be there to break them, she just wanted us to witness it. We were extras in a play she wanted to watch and direct. It was not until too late that we realized that this, all of this, had been her plan. Getting the Heart of Azeroth down to the wards was the first step, and when it was there it didn't even need to be in her posession to be of use. The wards were drained and turned, a process I can't even begin to fathom yet performed at the same time that she finally stepped into the fray. To our surprise, and more surprising to her, she was beaten. But in those moments that I see every time I try to sleep, none of us could step up to take her head. Chains made of Starlight forged by hands the size of mountains and designed by minds older than our sun... Shattered. The sea turned red and an all-seeing monster finally opened its eyes. We could only watch as Azshara was forced back to life and dragged into the dark. She played us and it deemed us no more of a threat. Somehow we are still pawns in this game. The way home seems like a mocking gesture now. A pat on the shoulder and a 'you did your best' spoken in sympathy to the losers. We failed everyone and everything down here... And even if the world suddenly was turned right back on the surface it won't matter. They'll want me to spy, they'll want me to run, they'll want me to invent, and every step of the way he'll be watching, waiting, and whispering. Everything i've ever done has always been in service to someone else. The Horde, my parents, Dachi, Kalisto, Tirien, Vilmah... I'm always someone's servant. But now, I serve with no purpose. I serve because it wills it and whether I live or die is of no consequence because it has thousands of others who will serve it as well as I will. I have no choice except to do so, or do nothing. Even the choice of who or how has been taken away. I trudged out of that pilot surrounded by an army yet feeling alone and sick. What purpose do I even have anymore? I... Think i'm gonna go for a walk. To whoever finds this. I... Was Gunheya Darkhowl. If you see me, assume the worst. The recorder clacks as it hits the ground, the sound or roaring water is all that is heard for several more minutes before the recorder runs out of space and shuts off.
  13. The flyers were in disarray, the beasts’ minds were seeded with panic aplenty. This allowed him to wholly concentrate on the figure before him. The rifle is brought up once more, a scowl fitting his lips. “I’ll ne’er cow to tha Alliance! Ta traitors who suckle from tha lion’s tit!” He bellowed back, just as defiant as she was. “Look at those gathered at tha gates! Loyal Horde ready to fight ‘gainst scum who’d play nice ta tha people who’ve killed our kin fer years!” His arm swings to the northwest, as though he had picked up her baleful stare and had tossed it towards the gates lined with flags and soldiers. “Orgrimmar belongs to tha Horde, it is our home that you now march against!” His gaze hardens, looking over the assembled force outside. The rifle is kicked up, “Ya’re tha ones throwin’ a hissy fit, unable ta do wut needs ta be done ta secure our future!” A finger points threateningly forward, “Cowards, tha lotta you!” A sudden whirring sound caught his attention, as from the panicked riders came the familiar sound of a stormhammer racing for him. With a thunderous crash, it impacted the side of his rocky outcropping, the rock giving way like a tree before Warsong saws. Leaping from his ruined post, Cobrak landed but barely on his feet, rifle unable to be held on to and lost to the ground behind him. A griffon rushed from behind Vilmah, dwarf atop it hooting his battle cry as he sped just above the ground and bound for Cobrak. The orc’s eye widened in momentary fear, hands looking for the handle of his hooked axe at his back. The griffon’s charge was only halted when two more figures leapt from Cobrak’s flank, hidden much the same way the hunter was. Skoll and Hati made themselves known with ferocious howls and snarls, daring to leap at the Wildhammer and his mount to bring them down in defense of their master. Wolves, dwarf, and rider vanished into their own fight near the ruined hoodoo, the crash evident for all to hear. Cobrak drew his axe, refocusing on Vilmah, the more prominent threat on this field. “So do wutcha do best, run back ta Razor Hill an’ hide, while we who still remember wut it means ta be Horde clean up these blueblooded bastards ya brought wit ya!” Vilmah shook her head at the posturing, her rage momentarily quelled, and pointed her sword back at Cobrak. "Are you blind? Do you have any idea what's happening, here? Look around you! Our leaders have all backed the rebellion! What are you going to do? Fight against all of them?! Use your head! Sylvanas and her sycophants can't win against both the majority of the Horde and the Alliance! You're just killing for the sake of killing, now! What's the point?!" "And thar's tha biggest army in Azeroth behind those gates! Yer pittly lil' union now is jus' hurtin' tha Horde! Who do you help right now wit this?! You hurt tha Horde azza whole!" A step forward, axe spun to his shoulder. "A majority supports Sylvanas cuz she be wut we need right now ta end tha Alliance! Who be ye ta judge us?! Ya ne'er suffered under them! Ya have ne'er lost yer loved ones ta them!" Memories sprung to life, the fires of his camp warming his skin in phantom pain. "Ya jus' kinnae accept tha fact that we kin live free of them wit another few pushes! Wut of tomorrow if ya win? Wut of tha next war that breaks out when they inevitably turn us on as they did when tha Legion invaded?!" Vilmah's eyes narrowed as he ranted. He was wrong about too many things for any of what he said to make sense, but what was especially jarring was the accusation. He knew her, just as she knew him. He knew about the camps, how she watched her mother starve, how she was starved into the small stunted body standing in front of him. She wore her trauma as armor, free for all to see. "..you've lost your mind," she said calmly, straightening from her fighting stance. Vilmah looked at Cobrak and searched for the same person she met, years ago, and fought beside. "This is Azeroth. We will never be 'free' of them, and the longer you try, the more it will destroy you. You have a family, Cobrak. You have a home. If you go down this path, you could lose them both. Is that what you want? To throw your life away just to make people suffer the same way you have?" His mind became awash in every trauma he had been inflicted with; every lash that came for him, the flames that consumed his clan, the face of maddening evil that ended his dwarven father, the raiders who took his leader’s home, the slavers who clapped his countrymen in irons just a few weeks ago. There was only pain every time he thought of the Alliance. His sole eye narrowed, shifting his stance to prepare for combat. The axe’s handle fitted into his hands, the leather wrapping letting loose a squeak as his grip tightened. “Mebbe I ‘ave. Anuther casualty due ta tha Alliance.” He locked gazes with the runty orcess opposite him, a mirrored reflection of each other in that moment. Her words stung him where it hurt most, piercing the armor he bore around himself. “You know ‘ow many families I’ve already lost ta them.” His voice cracked; unable to hide anymore from the one person who knew him as well as his elven lover. The only person to see how deep his scars truly were. The screams he still heard within him, one of his mother shouting for him to live as he carried Pythral in his arms. Morinth bellowed bloody murder while she still stood over the fresh corpse of the man who gave him his rifle and accent. “I’ll tear tha world apart ta keep them safe. E’en if they hate me fer it.” “We kin end this right now...wit their king right there. Break tha lion’s back.” He spied the armies arraying, readying for battle beyond their standoff. “Move aside, Vilmah.” “Please...” As Cobrak spoke, Vilmah watched his face change. There was rage at first, anger and hatred, then slowly it shifted into something else entirely, and that was an emotion she was all too familiar with; fear. As long as she had known Cobrak, she knew that the one thing he valued was family, and it was something he would fight for with every ounce of his power. Yet he was alone here, fighting against an enemy that wore his own face, crippling his own people in the name of an ideal that he had grown to put his faith in. She knew the face of someone fighting a losing battle; it was hers, once. “What happens, then?” She asked carefully. “What happens when you kill the King of Stormwind? Do you think the humans, or the Alliance will just accept it? Do you think they'll go home and mourn? Or will they hunt you down for the rest of your life, and never allow you or your family a moment’s peace? That’s what you’re trying to defend, isn’t it?”(edited) Vilmah took another step forward, the movement allowing her flag to flap for a moment in the windless air. “You know me, Cobrak,” she began, her gaze focused on his single eye. “You know I don’t have what you have. I don’t have family. I lost my home a long time ago. But you do have a family, and you have a home. You have people who you care about, people who want to see you and be with you, and if you do this you will never see them again. Is that what you want? To keep killing until there’s nobody left? Even yourself? Do you want to die out here? I know what it’s like to want to die for something!” She reminded him, taking another step forward. “You know that! You’ve seen in my head, you know how I feel about dying! But we both have a reason to live now, and I don’t want to see you throw your life away for empty vengeance that will never see an end. This isn't about the Horde or the Alliance, this is about you, and what you're willing to live for. Don’t do this for me, or the Horde. Do it for them. See beyond your own pain, and start over. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. I promise you it’s worth it.” Voices raced in his head, a turbulent and dizzying cacophony of peoples both past and present to clash against or feed the emotions he felt in those moments. Every ounce of pain came rearing its ugly head at him, urging him forward to fuel the fire that fed him for so long. The stare he locked with her was one that betrayed increasing panic over his maelstrom of thought. Her words rang through the din, and forced him to do as he was taught so many years ago at Broden's side; to shove aside the emotion behind the rage, to see beyond it. To think not as a beast with needs, but with the strength of mind only a person could. Killing the Boy-King would inevitably rock the foundations of the Alliance, but for the better or worse? Would he be damning his home to a lifetime of worry over the man who took the golden king's head? Endless cycles of destruction and hatred, he thought throwing down the Grim's tabard would free him from it, allow him to pursue the dream of freedom he had for his people. The stare broke, and his gaze wandered to his own tabard bearing the bronzed hourglass and draconic wings of Borrowed Time, all stained red enough that it might as well be the very same cloth he had ripped off his chest those years ago in Frostfire, cursing Syreena's name while he did. How many had he driven away for that very same reason? How could he claim to keep them safe and protected when he- His eye relocks with Vilmah, her speech finding ground. "...never changed..." Dust flies at his feet, the hooked axe he bore hitting the ground next to him. The Horde soldiers could have taken him, then. The ones closest certainly did try. Vilmah closed the distance between herself and Cobrak, her heart beating like the drums of war. Maybe it was a trap? Maybe he would take the advantage and kill her, now. What a sad death that would be. It would be the sort of death I deserve. "Go home," Vilmah said quietly, glancing back at the Horde soldiers behind her. The flag of Sanctuary flapped with her movements, and for a moment, shaded them both. "They're probably wondering where you are." There, in the shade of Sanctuary's banner, Cobrak did not feel the usual sarcastic anger towards that symbol; he didn't feel anything at the moment, except just tired. It was though he had aged several years in these moments, seeing through the lens of hindsight without the emotional baggage for just once. Tiring it was, to be called out on everything that you once held so close, to think of how you had grown, only to realize that only thing that changed on that spectrum was the degree of hatred he called upon. Hers was not the first voice he knew to quell these thoughts, another one to join those of Faelenor and Megeda; the most prominent of his allies that tried to steer him forward as much as he had them. "I kinnae." He replied, weakly. Deflated almost, even the life draining he was subject to while crucified under Morinth, and later Lazhio, did not compare to how heavy everything felt in those moments. He had shut down the portal networks before he left, knowing deep down they couldn't be involved with what he was doing. They couldn't know. "...I came 'ere....to see this...." He looked around at the works of Horde intermingling with Alliance before the gates, readying for the attack at hand. "....See it through...an' I will....one way er tha otha...an' see whar....this path takes tha Horde." Venturing a glance behind her, Vilmah saw what Cobrak was referring to. The Horde and Alliance forces were gathering at the gates, their leaders at the front. Soon they would confront Sylvanas, storm the city, and take it back. Again. "Come with me, then," she suggested, turning back to look at him. "Orgrimmar is your city, too. I doubt you ever wanted to see it destroyed. There are still innocent people inside. We can at least make sure that they get out of this alive." Cobrak remained silent, thoughts still digesting this new epiphany. Before he made to follow her, he turned to fetch Broden's rifle; the one treasure that would never leave his side. The sand and grime were dusted off with a sweeping hand, staring hard at the double barrels. Returning to his side came his two lupine companions as well, Skoll and Hati jointly sensing their master's distress. Thoughts turned towards the lessons of his youth, of the same Dark Iron who gave him everything that was Cobrak's save his appearance. The same things repeated by the orcess just behind him. "How did ya forgive them..." He asked from his crouched place, back still to Vilmah. The question came not as the accusations of before, but tiredly desperate for an answer. Seeing that he was following her, Vilmah led Cobrak back to the front. She still wondered if this was all some trick, and how easily hope tended to exploit her. She held on to that hope anyway, and prayed it wouldn't return to bite her in the face later. "I didn't," she answered, shaking her head. "When Thrall and the others came to Hammerfall, most of the humans there were killed. The ones who kept us didn't survive. I didn't need to forgive them. They paid the price for their deeds, and I just.. I never really allowed myself to let the rest of the humans take credit for what they did to us. I knew the faces of my jailers. I saw their corpses. That was enough for me. I just wanted to be free, and Thrall did that for me. I trusted him then, and I trust him now. I would follow him anywhere. " Collecting the axe, Cobrak returned now once again fully armed with rifle and axe at his back with wolves at his side. Skoll, ever the anti-social one, growled along with a show of fangs at Vilmah, opting to travel at Cobrak's opposite side. His mate, Hati, was the polar opposite, casually sniffing the orcess as she trotted. The sun and moon they were, same as the two orcs they walked in tandem with. Cobrak took his gaze skyward, "He ne'er came fer us. Wuz too late. Word spread from tha guards, wot I 'eard in me cell after me lashin', wuz that a new Horde came ta tha camps...took down Dunholde in a single swoop." His grimace tightened, picturing the scene as vividly as one would a dream. " Them same men wot took away me first family...They escaped wit their lives while burnin' away my kin." He gave pause for a moment in their march, staring hard at something that hung in the afternoon breeze. The anchored flag of Kul Tiras hung above a collected assortment of their mages and footmen, barely twenty in total. The hackles rose, as though on instinct, even as the beastmaster remained eerily calm despite his body's innate want to destroy them. "I ne'er saw them git wut they deserve." Vilmah's brow furrowed at the thought. In retrospect, she had been lucky that the men responsible for what happened to her were killed in the liberation process. She was young enough to put those memories behind her and look toward the future. "I've never been any good at hating people," she said sincerely, clutching her sword instinctively, their movement allowing Sanctuary's banner to flutter behind her. "The only thing I learned from Hellscream is how to hate someone with every ounce of my being. I spent a long time in that exile just thinking about the ways I would kill him, and his Kor'kron, and make him suffer.. and when I finally did, it was one of the most.. it was the worst day of my life. Giving in to that hate, letting myself become the monster I never realized I could even be. I will never forgive myself for that day, and I wouldn't wish this kind of guilt on my worst enemy. Not even you, Cobrak." Glancing at him for a brief moment, she allowed herself the moment of vulnerability between them. "Even if you did manage to find those men who hurt you, it wouldn't bring your family back. It wouldn't heal any of the pain you've suffered. I had to learn that the hard way. You can't fix what's already broken, and the kind of people who do that.. the kind of people who enjoy the suffering of others? They're already broken. You don't need to join them." Finally they approached the larger group outside, a gathering of Horde forces made up of their many allies. Vilmah led Cobrak toward a group of orcs, where they would be less noticeable. Ahead, Anduin, Thrall and Saurfang stood together, ready to make their march. Vilmah looked up at the gates of Orgimmar, where Sylvanas stood amongst her Dark Rangers. A swell of apprehension built in the pit of her stomach.
  14. As the explosion rang through her ears, Vilmah dove for cover. There was bound to be shrapnel, and it came flying toward her in shards of metal that lodged themselves into everything they could find. She managed to get ahead of most of them, but a few pieces bit into her unarmored upper body, burying themselves into her flesh. White hot pain seared through her skin, traveling through her nervous system until they reached her very orcish brain. It responded naturally, pushing out adrenaline, pumping her veins with rage, and allowing her a strength to draw on that would otherwise be dormant. She focused her gaze on the distance, and seeing the havoc suddenly tear through their riders drew her toward another body that demanded attention. Standing at his post, Cobrak was using some kind of spell to send the riders into a frenzy, and if he did it to make himself known, she couldn't tell. It was effective enough, and the gathering forces were already cleaning up his other mess. Unsheathing her sword, she trudged forward. Her flag waving behind her, she was an obvious target, and it drew the attention of another saboteur. The Forsaken dove for her from behind with daggers, and she might have turned if the injured orc from before didn't swing his warhammer hard enough to crush its skull. "You're going to get yourself killed!" He shouted at the blademaster, who continued to march forward in spite of the chaos on land and air. She didn't respond to the suggestion, but as she drew closer to Cobrak, that familiar one-eyed hunter, Vilmah pointed her sword in his direction and shouted. "You've already lost, Cobrak! Your tantrum isn't going to stop us from taking back Ogrimmar! Go home!"
  15. The hornet’s nest was stirred, it seemed, as a trio of allied forces’ griffons and wyverns took after his position. He would be found out if he stayed put, and he would be found out if he moved; might as well make their charge to his advantage. Cobrak bared his teeth from behind his veil, an invisible challenge to those who dared move against the Horde. Sight dipping to the riders making for him, then to the saboteurs’ work nearby, then to a lone charging warrior beelining across an open field. What kind of nut job would charge a sniper over open ground? When the reticle hovered over the answer, he couldn’t help but snort. “Bloodborne.” Said as though a curse, the antithesis orcess was proving her folly once more by rushing headlong into a bullet. Tempting to put a round through her knee, blow it off halfway and watch her crawl. That festering contempt in his stomach was shoved down, allowing logic to take over. What was her plan here? She must know a sniper was lurking this way, looking for stragglers. A thought pinged into his brain, and upward went his scope. The flying units were holding a defensive formation, not charging for him as he initially thought. She was bait, and he almost took it. “Clever girl.” He growled through clenched teeth, moving his scope towards the siege weapons. A whispered word brought the runes on his gun to life, enchanting the bullet within its chamber. “Not clever enough.” The rifle rang out again, this time not finding not flesh and blood as its intended target; rather now what his explosive round hit were those special presents left behind by his forsaken ally earlier. The saboteur’s bundle went up with a cloud reminiscent of a goblin warhead, the explosive force of fire and shrapnel flying created a deafening cacophony for those near it. A perfect distraction to break the counterattack, as he made use of the disoriented flyers to employ another trick in his book. Atop his stand, Cobrak Deadeye began to phase into existence. Hands reached out to the flyers oncoming while bathed in the feral energies of the wilds, frenzied orange aura enveloping his grasp. He reached out to that group of airborne animals, carrying their riders but barely as they flapped their disgruntlement over the explosion and smoke. He preyed on that instinctual fear, trying to override their man-made conditioning to reach into the core at every animal. “Flee.” He commanded, forcing the beasts’ primal urges of flight to take over fight. Panic ensued in the skies, riders unable to control their mounts and leaving the two orcs to tend to this confrontation by themselves.
  16. Vilmah might have said something else to the warrior, but she was interrupted by a loud grunt of pain. The larger orc doubled over as his arm, protected though it was by armor, suddenly bent at an odd angle as something blew through it. "I'm hit!" He shouted, alerting those around him. Vilmah and the others ducked and if they had them, held up their shields. She turned her head to look in the direction from which the bullet came, but saw nothing beyond the shimmering horizon, wavy with the Durotar heat. "Snipers," she said under her breath. The retaliation was already underway, as mounted riders made off in search of their opponents. Without her own winged animal, Vilmah understood that she was vulnerable on the ground, and moved toward one of the Alliance tanks to use it as a shield. Beside her, the bleeding orc also moved to shield himself, holding on to his now dead-looking arm as it hung limply to one side. "Cowards," he said through his teeth. "Picking us off from afar though we outnumber them. Don't they realize this is already over?" "I think that's the point," Vilmah muttered, pulling bandages from her side bag. "They're just trying to take out as many as they can before this ends. Misery loves company, and they're not happy with the fact that all of our leaders have already moved against Sylvanas." The other orc pulled off the sleeve to his armor and revealed a deep bullet wound, lodged into his shoulder. It likely hit the joint, shattering the bone, and was unresponsive to his attempts at moving it. "You're an easy target in that getup, blademaster," he grunted as she wrapped the wound. "Best stay here or those bullets will have you looking like Alterac cheese." Vilmah shook her head. "Being a target is the point," she grunted, tying off the bandages. "Stay here. I'm going to help out our friends." "From way over here?" He asked incredulously. She reached for the wooden pole strapped to her thigh and unwrapped the flag secured to it. The purple and gold phoenix wasn't overly large, but the bright colors were enough to be seen from a distance. Vilmah secured the pole to a leather harness she pulled from her bag, and shrugged the contraption on. The flag itself remained lifeless against the still air, even as she stood. "Let them know to watch out for gunfire, and go in the direction it's coming from," she instructed. The orc shook his head and stood. "You're crazy," he said, then laughed and called toward the flyers. "HEY! WATCH THE RUNT! SHE'S GOING TO DRAW OUT THE SNIPER!" Smirking at his descriptor, Vilmah left the safety of the tank and ran out into the open. She'd need to run in order to make the flag visible, so she ran from tank to tank, the colors flying behind her, a wild expression on her face. "Come out and shoot me you son of a bitch!" She shouted, knowing that she was too far for him to hear her. "You cowardly shit! Let's see where you're hiding!"
  17. One thing taken from the first Siege those many years ago, Bladefist Bay was lousy with perfect sniper nests to pick off attackers. Where the Kor’kron of yesteryears rained bullets down upon rebels and Alliance alike, Cobrak would do the same. A prime spot was taken among the jags of several hoodoos, the peak of one of the lesser providing him ample angles to pick off loose targets. The scope is brought up once more, settling into a kneeling position with his form beginning to shimmer away, runic symbols upon his person gradually coming to reflect the area around it as though another mirage from the midday sun. The rebels had brought in their siege weaponry, aligning them threateningly towards the proud gates of his peoples’ city; brazenly defiant in their misguidance. Like ants they swarmed between their weaponry, trying to oust saboteurs. One such was found out, a forsaken man trying desperately to finish his work at disabling an Alliance tank; interrupted by a void elf in heavy plate who now hounded him with a greatsword wreathed in dark flame. Cobrak brought his rifle to bear, a shot finding the ren’dorei’s collar, disorienting him enough for the undead to plant a dagger in his throat. A new target was found, a pair of orcs just beyond the scene who seemed in conversation; a bad choice in a warzone. “Blasted fools.” He muttered, aligning the reticle just over the male’s shoulder. Taking out his sword arm would be another rebel sitting out of this fight. The trigger was squeezed.
  18. Cobrak

    Conflict

    Durotar’s sun was hot as always; the bright afternoon star baking the orange soil beneath it to a degree that to the naked eye it would play tricks in the distance, shaking and distorting the path ahead like running water. A foreign entity to the natural world distorted one such area, barely size enough to fit a man’s shadow. The stillness of the air was ruined by a few hundred echoes of shifting armor and weapons, wheels grinding through the rough dirt of the roads. War cries of all languages erupting in unison amongst the cacophonous din and carried through the winding paths of Drygulch, mimicking the sorted calls of the harpies that once infested it. The same ones Cobrak used to hunt for pittance in the days of his younger years, freshly divorced from the one man he truly called Father. Today, there was a different prey to be had. The dam had finally broken, and from Razor Hill, a tide of blue and red clad figures burst forth to crash onto the gates of his peoples’ home. Figures of the enemy forever sworn, and those who were misguided into naive notions of peace and harmony. One figure had her head replaced with a spray of blue and grey matter, the heavy armor she bore offered no protection from a high impact bullet. Not even a last prayer to the Light before she was sent to it, her hooves upturned into the air from the force of her death. The rifle’s cylinder clacked as it slid the next round into place. Green and red intermixed, flesh and blood splaying onto the ground as a figure collapsed to the ground, clutching the ruined remnant of his calf muscle. An orcish cry of pain of fury, unable to press on with the rest of his wayward brothers. Click, goes the rifle. A ram ceased its charge when its rider’s Dwarvish cries ceased, the grips loosened upon its reins and letting meander freely. A heavy thud behind the beast was ignored, a corpse now kicking up a small cloud of dust from its impact. Click. Thalassian curses were shouted, the feminine wail came with a freshly-bloodied hole through a scarlet silk boot. The tabard of Silvermoon dusted brown from the dirt she was forced to crawl in to tend this new injury. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Many times did that sound mix in with the chorus of two armies on the march. Many times a figure in blue lay in bloodied heaps, a body lost among hundreds for the undertakers to once the chaos ceased. Many times did a figure in red cry their pain to the sky, nursing a fresh wound that would leave them without the honor of battle. Many times did Cobrak wish these idiots had focused on the enemy at hand, the one they now willingly ran alongside. How many times must they be taught this lesson? How many times will they continue to trust these slaver, king-making dogs? They had signed this death pact already with Teldrassil, and already they were backing out of a deal they had made, scared of the ramifications that would come with a world free from the Alliance. No one had found him yet, perched high upon the rocks that dotted the canyon’s peaks, his very being shrouded in the runic magics laid into his armor. He was as one would perceive a mirage, a distortion of air that would one associate to the high noon sun rather than a rifleman in wait. His good eye filled the scope once more, a shot rang out a moment later, a Nightborne let loose a surprised cry of anguish. He would no longer fight with that wound in his thigh, but he would live. Live to learn from his mistake. Another shot, another human lying in the dirt, red pooling under his crawling belly. Destined to bleed out there, never again able to kill a Horde soldier when his Boy-King inevitably decided to wage war on them again, to loose his dogs on them. The Kul Tiran bitch and his mutt of a broken king, if only he could see them in this throng of soldiers; put a bullet in them to spare another disaster like what befell Zuldazaar. A new victim filled his vision, an orcish woman that knelt beside his last victim, a hand on her axe. He watched silently, to see if she would come to her senses and end him, as any proud soldier of the Horde would. The axe was lifted, a sense of hope came over him that she had realized her mistake. Instead of the biting claw of a feral beast that tore into the wound, the axe instead laid a spell upon it as though a tender kiss. Cobrak could barely see through the rage as the human stood up, nodded his thanks and pressed on. Why. Why didn’t you kill him?! Why are you helping each other?! Are they so blind to the truth he knows?! That each of them would gladly clap their children in irons as he had?! "The more you believe in your own reality, the further you step towards becoming the same monster you think you are fighting. I bet you believe that there are only Alliance slavers out there, or that the Horde is innocent of equivalent atrocity.” Naivety as its finest! These were steps that had to be made! To ensure that another family wouldn’t be lost to these self-righteous crusaders! There were bad ones in the Horde, of course, but that doesn’t compare to a fraction of the evils the Alliance has wrought! Of course, there were some- “I’m not your enemy.” "Because this whole thing is bullshit. Every last piece of it. If I had an army at my back, I'd take care of it on my own, gladly, without you." No, there was an angle for her. Something was there for her to take, something always is with women like that. Shouldn’t have trusted her, the whole operation was compromised because of it; or was it helped? The scope pulls away from the scene, its glass beginning to fog for some unknown reason. He reached a hand to his head, pulling back a slickened surface of sweat upon his brow. The sun must be getting to him, that was it. “Chieftain, I know you speak from pain and rage. Something you have more than earned in this lifetime, but using it to color your outlook on everything will only lead to further suffering.” A scowl fitted his face, eye trailing from the rifle to the encroaching army underneath, to follow it upward to the horizon just beyond; what little air support remained on the loyalist side was beginning to withdraw, and that would mean he would be exposed soon enough. Cobrak muttered a curse under his breath, the camouflage he bore fading away with each step in retreat, heading for Orgrimmar; or more likely, a more reasonable spot to ambush those who opposed his ideal of the Horde.
  19. Forget huffing, Azeroth is flat out injecting the crazy juice now. The day arrived, our forces gathered and were set to strike at the Tidestone with a recently acquired javelin that can pierce the shield surrounding it. In all of their wisdom, someone invited the Alliance. No, not just the Alliance, the worst of them. Greymane and Proudmore were leading the Alliance forces and that old son of a bitch was itching for a fight. We should have done the world a favor and given it to him but Thalyssra and Proudmoore advised cooler heads. The hypocrisy of that mage preaching patience and tolerance boils my blood. After Dalaran and Dazar'alor she has no right to advise others in anything, much less in how we should be calm and work together. So much self-righteous arrogance in one place I found myself looking for Xandric and Shokkra. For the time though, the two forces grudgingly agreed to work together and we began our assault. It seemed laid back by comparison to all the others. The fight against the Naga wasn't as chaotic or nearly as intense as Broken shore... or even the Iron Horde. But the two were able to play nice for the time and I finally got to see Lor'themar in action. He moves pretty well for a guy with one eye in robes, where the hell was he even keeping that harpoon? Between the two groups it was easy to get to the Tidestone, too easy. It took the combined power of Proudmoore and Thalyssra to seize control of it but we established a foothold at the door to the Palace. From there, we will lay siege to it, or more accurately, break down the door and flood in. We're taking on one of the oldest villains that Azeroth has ever known next to the Old Gods, and we're doing it without siege weapons or even proper equipment. But she backed us all into a corner and made it clear that the only way out was through her. We're going in and we'll either see dry land again or die trying. There's no other option.
  20. There's an air of relief in Newhome today that has me on edge. Yesterday, everyone was freaking out about Baine. Today? Nobody is even mentioning it, meaning that he either got released or the champion really did break him out of jail. This is not a thing to be celebrated! He attacked his own side, destroyed a weapon we could use to turn the tide of this war, and they're all happy that the acts of Horde on Horde violence continues to escalate! Feels like all of Azeroth is huffing something and nobody passed me the bowl. We've been established well enough in Newhome now that we're no longer surviving day to day, but also taking shots at the Naga. There are even whispers about taking a stab at the Palace. People are worried, the Tidestone of Gol'ganneth is what cause the ocean to part and the water to move in a way that water should NOT move. It's the reason we're all stuck down here and all of a sudden they're paranoid that Azshara will stop the spell. That much water comes flooding back into the space it would crush everyone except for the Gil-KELFIN... And the Naga themselves. It might also wipe out the buildings but they've existed for millenia buried beneath the ocean so who knows. Something about this does not add up though. If she could easily crush us just by dropping concentration, why didn't she? Why is she allowing us to run around, foil her plans and kill her soldiers? One thought is that in her legendary arrogance, she really is just that bored. But hell with as much magic power as she's rumored to have she could have conjured something, kidnapped gladiators... ANYTHING. No, I think she wants us here for her own agenda. Somehow our plans are tied up in hers. And I can't discount the possibility that Sylvanas's plans are tied in somehow. Nathanos still hasn't returned and thinking back to that day I can remember him at the head of the fleet, holding that blade as if it were a compass. Somehow he lead us straight into the one spot where the ocean would part. It seems insane that Sylvanas would have anything to do with Azshara but after Stormheim... Well it's not the first crazy water queen she's made a deal with. This sort of paranoia is enough to make me want to speak up. Maybe we should focus our efforts on escape rather than trying to take Azshara out. Call me a coward but my gut is squirming, something about this place, especially the North where the Tidestone is... Something is telling me not to go there. She's planning on it, I can feel it. I might just be tired and frustrated. No dry clothes for weeks, inadequate sleep, and constantly watching your back does the mind no good... Wonder if this is how Vilmah felt during her exile.
  21. I wish she weren't right. There are ways in which she isn't, but If she were anyone else, I would be disturbed. I might play along, but I would not Instead, I I don't like the idea that I may have had anything in common with them. It frustrates me to even consider such a thing, let alone concede it. The only nature I've accepted was theirs is narcissism. Everything else, the cruelty, the intellect, the power, I built with the help of those like me who never shared my blood. They get credit for nothing but selfishness. Yes, I respect the selfishness, enjoy the selfishness, but that is all they gave me, nothing more, and they used that gift so poorly for themselves. And yet. If there is space for me to act without it, perhaps they did the same, set it aside for something they wanted. I still hate the idea. I would rather be right. It's not like I'm going to fight this. It's not like I want to. But it has to end badly. There is no happy ending. You would think by now that I would be used to wanting things that aren't going to turn out well for me, that I would be used to chasing the present, the hedonism, that I would be used to considering the consequences and weighing them and deciding the future is a price worth the present. But this is such a different game from those I am used to playing. I am used to the cruelty being the song, not the silence. We have never answered to the leadership of the Horde. We answer only to our ideals. We have sometimes, often, failed them, but they have never failed us. We knew as well as she did that this moment wouldn't last. I made certain to ask every one of her loyalists that came to us what they would do when she turned on the Horde. I made certain they acknowledged this possibility. And yet, while she no longer stands for the Mandate, for the Horde, she has turned on us in nothing but words. Lordaeron frightened some, but what she did seemed natural in the pursuit of victory. And everyone else who has fallen at her hands turned against the Horde first, turned toward the enemy. She can no longer be followed, no, but perhaps she can be used? Not as a tool. She cannot be directed. But perhaps if we follow where she walks, where she makes her deals, there will be opportunities to be the destruction we crave. As long as we shield ourselves so that her violence is directed ever outward at others, she could still bring peace in her wake, the soft, ashen peace of Teldrassil. But it's a dangerous proposition, if what she says is true. Why would she bother with our trust? I don't think she needed it, and yet she had it, not from many it seems, but from some. We have been here before, no matter what decisions they make, at least as a whole. Silvermoon has not been here before. Silvermoon has not been without the Prince and the Queen both. Silvermoon has never been entirely at the mercy of someone with as little strength as Lor'themar. He has always marched to the tune of others, and now we need a king and have only a traitor. Rommath has strength, but I do not think he has the will to make things right. I have considered leaving it entirely, but there is always room in the shadows. Where would I go? In Dalaran, I need the shadows. Even in Suramar, I need the shadows. She can be my shadows.
  22. In short, got to a Naga operation, killed naga, and ran when more of them showed up. But shut up! This is more important...Nobody else is talking except me. Gunheya clears his throat One of the Seers that came with us, some tauren, I forget his name... He had a vision. It might all be smoke and mirrors and the images might just be that, something he crafted. But if what he said is true, things are BETTER down here. Sylvanas is going to execute Baine. Before I even left harbor, Baine had been taken in for treason. He was too obvious and rushed, left too many witnesses and the returned the ship he stole, who does that? All so he could return the reanimated remains of a Proudmoore to that bitch, Jaina. That was yet another divide between thinking that this year has been rife with, violating the one rule she had for raising them in order to get a leg up on the war. I don't like it. This sets a horrible precedent going forward. But Baine killed other Horde soldiers all to return a body to one of the biggest war criminals the Alliance have ever promoted. Debts are important but in the middle of all this you do not betray your own side because it "feels right". Of course nobody wants to hear my opinion so I kept my mouth shut. I don't know what they're doing but the champion, one of the few people who can leave this place has gone back to Orgrimmar. I don't know what he's planning on doing. Appealing to Sylvanas? No way, Baine removed her trump card that they spent weeks finding, plus she's cold as ice. Breaking him out?... Another divide. Some would support it, others would roar that they're a traitor too. But a traitor who has been working to save Azeroth as it bleeds. There are too many conflicting interests. They're a hero but also a traitor to the state, does that make them good? Bad? What does that make Sylvanas? An asshole, but an asshole with effective tactics while everyone else is hoping to win a war with good deeds. This is a lose-lose scenario. Regardless of what the Horde does next we're coming apart at the seams. If Baine is killed by Sylvanas, the tauren will riot. If the Champion saves Baine, they'll be on her shit list too and who knows which side the people will support. These decisions are made so quickly and without a thought by anyone considering the consequences. It's like a baby playing with a hand grenade... Trust me, I know.
  23. You know what saying I really hate? "Back in my day" It's the go to saying for every veteran whenever anyone without grey hair starts complaining. "Back in my day we had to sacrifice materials for our spells. Back in my day the rocks didn't summon people. Back in my day you had to work HARD for drinking money. Back in my day we had to mind our ammo." I hate the saying because this time they're freaking right. Dachi, Iisha, and I have been making these runs for days now. Hoof it up north for several hours to steal from the Bloodfin or the Naga or whoever thoughtfully started hoarding supply crates, kill them, take their stuff, and hoof it several hours back with our haul. I've replaced my blade and finally got to change out of soaked, torn leather into... Damp, sketchy leather... But ammunition is a problem, swords and axes will survive the rough landing and a thorough soaking, but ammo crates are another story. Every bullet has to be examined to make sure the powder didn't get moist. I don't miss often but i'm still used to having a few clips everytime I head out, now i'm lucky if I have a full one. I swear i'll never make fun of the tight-ass logistics officer again so long as they can keep me swimming in brass after this. Good news though, the supply runs are finally beginning to match demand. Sure they're always needing more and runs are a daily occurrence, we're always running low on flotsam, sea weed, food, conch shells... But we're running low instead of running out within minutes of delivery. Iisha is happy, though she always has been. She's saying that the flood of land dwellers is a blessing in disguise. Suddenly they have allies and so many more hands to help keep things running and supplied. The situation is shit but she sounds like it's Winter's veil every day. Think she pisses me off because I wish I could be that optimistic. Dachi is itching for a better hunt. We run into a fight every day but it's usually small fry and beasts of little consequence getting in our way as we make our way around. She wants to sink her teeth into a Naga commander I bet. We haven't had a decent fight in a while... And privacy has been nil. I'll put in the request for a change tomorrow. The ships only brought so much with them and only a bit of that survived the crash. We've been bringing back what we can but those crates are getting harder to find, it's inevitable that if we want to keep our food stores filled and our weapon racks ready we'll have to steal from those with the means, and the Naga have been gearing up for this fight for a long time. Their outposts are dangerous but ripe with supplies, like a juicy peach made out of knives... I miss sugar.
  24. The march to Orgrimmar wasn't long. Vilmah marched beside other Horde soldiers, orcs mostly. Many had been disillusioned by Sylvanas' battle plans, but almost all suffered at her command. They were quiet as they marched, but the gathering itself had been rowdy. The orcs there were primarily Vilmah's age, young male and female warriors who knew hunger and war and had grown up in or around Orgrimmar. They were all familiar with the place that they helped to build in some way or another, and the idea of yet another siege left them all feeling angry. War after war, their numbers grew thinner as the Horde army was sent all over the world, and by the time Sylvanas put them on the path to war with the Alliance again there were so few orcs left to farm that their food stores had grown noticeably low. The Horde was hungry, again. This time for food more than war, for some kind of stability. Sylvanas stood in the way of that, and the stories of Saurfang's heroism awoke a sort of inspiration in them that could keep them fueled at least until this last battle was won. He marched at the front, with Thrall and Anduin and every other leader Vilmah knew, as well as a few she didn't. He was too far to see, but she could feel the energy coming from Thrall. It felt like she was a child again, leaving the boats from the Eastern Kingdoms to sail for Durotar, claiming their place in Azeroth once more. "The night elves don't wear much, do they?" Vilmah's gaze moved from the leaders ahead of them to the orc beside her. He was an average sized male, wearing a mis-matched set of armor and carrying a well-worn warhammer. His helmet didn't reveal much of his face, but she could tell by his voice that he was probably not much older than she was. "They like their freedom," Vilmah suggested, glancing at the night elves marching not far from them. He was right, they were dressed in skimpy armor, but she considered how much more comfortable that must have felt in the Durotar sun as opposed to her own heavy plate. It suddenly dawned on her how surreal their situation was, marching side-by-side with Kaldorei toward the city she grew up in. It was the second time she fought beside the Alliance to infiltrate Orgrimmar, but this time she wore her own face. "So do we." The other orc grunted affirmatively. "Bloodborne," he said under his breath, as if sounding out the name. Vilmah's jaw twitched. "How did you guess?" "Mechanical squirrel for an arm, no chest plate," he answered gruffly. "I remember hearing about you in the arena. You and your 'Sanctuary'. I must have walked past your burned down building a hundred times." She could feel the earth move beneath her feet as memories of her exile came flooding back; the screams, the smell of burning hair and flesh, and the promise that she would return someday. "Yeah, well. We survived." "This is what you wanted, isn't it?" He asked with a nod to the night elves. Even as the dust was kicked up around their feet, she could tell what he was nodding toward. "Us and them?" It was an innocent enough question. She shrugged and shook her head, focusing her gaze forward again. "Well. Maybe not like this. But I have to say, the idea of not killing each other constantly has its merits. I'm sick of losing people, and I'm sick of fighting people who are sick of the same thing." "I guess," he acquiesced, shifting the weight of the warhammer on one shoulder to the other. "What are you gonna do after?" Vilmah blinked through the dust. "After what?" "After the war," he answered, as if this were obvious. "After there's nothing to fight, anymore." Vilmah snorted, but she was careful not to laugh too loud. "There'll never be nothing left to fight. This is Azeroth. There's always something, you know? Some god or.. enemy to our way of life. We're not running out of things to battle anytime soon, but at least we won't be at war with half the world. Hell, maybe they'll even keep helping us after this. Maybe we can work together." The other orc was quiet for a while, as if considering Vilmah's perspective. He rolled his shoulders and shrugged. "Maybe. Or maybe they decide that we're too dangerous to let live in Azeroth. Maybe they decide we're still the same monsters that came through the dark portal, and maybe they let our low numbers and weak position doom us. Maybe we just die, here." This time, Vilmah was quiet. Though her sword was on her back, her right palm itched as if it craved that familiar weight. Something about this orc didn't feel right, and the more he talked, the less comfortable he became. "Maybe," she agreed carefully. "Or maybe we work together. Maybe we create a whole new future for Azeroth, where we all succeed. Maybe the humans can forgive us of our past, and maybe we can forgive them of theirs. Maybe death isn't the answer." "Halt!" Came a deep cry from ahead. They had arrived at the gates of Orgrimmar. The large familiar entrance loomed ahead of them, and as they stood in its shade, Vilmah wondered just how much of her own blood and sweat had gone into those stones. As the commanding officers handed out orders, Vilmah remained standing in formation with the other orcs. They were nothing if not obedient, and perhaps a little eager to show their own strength compared to the visiting Alliance forces. She wore no helmet, so she raised her chin a little higher, and stood a little taller. "Death is always the answer," the orc beside her said under his breath, but he didn't move from his position. Rather, he stared ahead just as she did, and waited for orders. "The question is how we find it."
  25. Vilmah sat at Garinth's desk in Razor Hill, a dwindling stack of scrolls in front of her. To her right, a larger stack of finished scrolls were ready to be sent away; orders from Horde Command regarding taxes, which most guilds, especially one of Sanctuary's size, would be required to pay. She didn't mind filling out those scrolls. They usually meant that Sanctuary was doing well, and if they could afford to help pay for the Horde's defense budget she had no problem giving them a percentage of their earnings. They weren't often at the front lines themselves, after all. Someone had to pay for those soldiers who were, and Vilmah knew all too well how well "taken care of" they would be with Sylvanas as Warchief. "Probably just kill them and use the corpse," she muttered to herself, unrolling another scroll. Her mutters were interrupted by a knock on the door. "Wa'boss?" Came a distinctly Rahdaka accented voice before the door was pushed open. Vilmah looked up to find one of their guards, a young male troll with blue hair and an extremely agitated face. "Kayyu," she said with raised eyebrows, standing from Garinth's too-large chair. "What is it?" "Dey comin'," he said with large wide eyes. "D-de Alliance comin'!" Vilmah's own eyes widened, and before Kayyu could explain she already grabbed her sword from the side of the desk and was storming toward the entrance. "We will defend our home! Call all of the guards, tell them to get ready! We won't let the Alliance take what we've been working so hard to--" "No no, Wa'boss, dat ain't it!" Kayyu explained in a panic, following Vilmah until he could put a large hand on her small shoulder. "De Alliance, dey comin' he'a wit' de odda lead'as! Dey gonna siege O'grimma an' sack de Wa'chief!" The warrior stopped dead in her tracks. "Wait," she said after a few seconds, staring at the space in front of her. "Is... is this a joke?" "No, ma'am! Dey got de wo'gen, Greymane wit' dem, an' de king, an' Jaina Proodmo'e, an'.. one o' dem night elves, ah don' kno' ha name, but--" Vilmah held up her mechanical hand. "Kayyu," she said with forced calm. "Are you telling me that the Horde's leadership has come to a unanimous decision to both ally with the Alliance and depose the Warchief? Is that what you are telling me? And they are gathering, literally, right on our doorstep?" Kayyu blinked slowly. "..ya mon, da's what ah'm sayin'." There is a point in ones' life when, if one is lucky, everything seems to fall into place. The sacrifices, the sadness, all of it comes together. The pain seems, for even a brief moment, worth what it took to survive it. In that moment of Vilmah's life, she thought about all the losses, all the deaths and all the sneers. All of the people who looked at her as if she were crazy for even considering peace with the Alliance. All of those people, she knew, were not happy right now. But Vilmah? Vilmah laughed. She laughed like a madwoman, doubled over, tears streaming from her hazel eyes. She laughed until poor Kayyu had no idea what was happening, and then she turned around and hugged him so tightly that he wondered if the Warboss had, indeed, succumbed to her trauma and broke her entire brain. "..W...wa'boss?" He asked quietly, sweat gathering on the back of his neck. She was a very small orc, and her face had come to rest right in his sternum. It would be a compromising position to be caught in, had anyone seen them, or so he thought to himself. Be a good boy, Kayyu. Be a gentleman. "I have to go, Kayyu," Vilmah said finally, pulling away. She was grinning now, delighted by what was happening, and had to force herself into a deep breath to remove that grin from her face. "This fight will very likely be against many of our kinsmen. We're going to be fighting ourselves, but, I think the Horde is going to go in a direction we can all be proud of, again. And I need to be there to help. Tell the guards to stand watch. I wouldn't be surprised if some of Sylvanas' loyalists will see this as an opportunity to strike when we're distracted, so be extra vigilant." "Ya, boss," Kayyu said, giving Vilmah a hearty salute. "And Kayyu," she added, wiping the tears from her eyes. "Sorry for hugging you like that. I don't think I've ever felt this.. this..." Kayyu ventured a smile himself. "..'appy?" The orcess shook her head, calm enough to look like her usual self again. "More like.. relieved."
  26. “So… anyone wanna take bets on what our new orders are going to be?” Maurice, the sniper of their insurrectionist team was the first to mercifully break the silence that lingered as they awaited Commander Kal’une Danteur to return from his meeting. It had been hours that they sat in this ruin of a room with Arcwine beside them. He lit a match as he put a cigarette between his lips. "Only if we're not betting coin," Pelande laughed. Her arms were crossed, her body leaned against a wall and her feet were propped up on a table. She looked every bit the laborer she was in moments like this one where they could relax. The only poise she concerned herself with was with her spear. "Not all of us have much to throw around unless you're willing to work on credit." “Yeah, guess the pay isn’t really a perk of the job.” The sniper chuckled back as the smoke spilled from his lips. “At least the wine is good… for however long that lasts.” He fished out one of his cigarettes from its container and offered it to the laborer across from him. “To finding work when this finally blows over?” She held up a hand. "You caught my interest when you said 'bet', so how about this: if I'm right, you roll me a box of those," here she gestured to the cigarettes, "but if you win, I'll make you a new box to keep those in from scratch, complete with hidden chambers for, well," she gestured casually, "whatever you might need them for." The smile upon Maurice’s face grew into a full-on grin, his hand still outstretched in the offering of a sample of what could be Pelande’s prize. “Sounds like we have ourselves a bet then. What’s your call? More guard replacements, or are you thinking of something a bit more exciting?” Since he didn’t relent, she accepted it, looking over it and admiring the craftsmanship. “If it was going to be the usual I don’t think we’d be waiting this long, we’d be sent off by now. Personally? I hope it’s a target elimination. Someone important enough to bother with and well-guarded enough that it’s requiring a pretty extensive plan.” “Assassination? I like the way you think.” Maurice took another drag for his own as he lit a match, offering the flame towards Pelande. “It would be nice to actually shoot something again, rather than just being another set of eyes. Hey, Twitchy, you want one of these too?” “...Huh?” Isabeale halted in her pacing in the dimmer corners of the room, her lavender eyes glancing at the table. “..O-oh. No. My illusions can’t mask smells. Sorry.” Pelande pulled air through the cigarette to light it, leaning back again once she had a steady glow, and exhaled, her gaze moving over to Isabeale. “Twitchier than usual today, aren’t you? Do you know something about what kind of assignment we’re getting?” Pelande was met with a look of confusion for a couple of seconds from the youngest of the Nightborne. She opened her mouth to speak-- only for attention to be diverted away from Isabaele as a telemancy portal lit up the room. “Feet off the table, grab the map.” At last there came the dry voice of the man they long-awaited from what one had to guess was quite the exhaustive meeting. Each step towards the gathered Ebonfeathers burned away at the illusion of the nobleman face for the public, further returning him to his true form. And yet his stride never changed as it always commanded the respect of those within the room. Even as he turned more and more demonic in visage. “We have wasted enough time, there is work to be done.” Pelande held the cigarette between her lips as she rose, taking a large drag of it just in case it would be taken from her--after being scolded, she wasn't sure what he would and wouldn't tolerate. Leaving the map to the others, she asked, only slightly muffled, "I'm all for work being done. What have you got for us today, boss?" “The Dusklilies have made the last of their preparations, they claim they’re finally ready to make their move.” The demonic elf hybrid stood at attention at the front of the table, his burning sockets stared down at those gathered when the twitchy illusionist grabbed the map and unfurled it for their commander. “We approach the apex of the conflict,” his finger pressed into the paper where the Nighthold stood. His finger traced in a straight line outwards to some noble's home. “And we have our part to play.” Peering at the paper closely, Pelande moved the cigarette to her hand and squinted for a few moments before saying, "Oh! I know this place." She seemed to lose herself to memory for a bit. "Don't know why I kept taking jobs there, the owners were picky about the stupidest things and I always had to pester their household staff half to death to get the payments they owed me." “This time you have the chance to finish the job, your expertise will serve the cause well in the coming conflict.” The talon of a finger gently glided on the surface of the map. “Our role is to make as much noise as possible to give those infiltrating the Nighthold some piece. When we capture the manor, we’ll be able to watch from afar in case reinforcements are needed. Your Grand Magistrix’s reign draws near its bloody end.” Nodding and rubbing her hands together, Pelande seems to be hyping herself up for the task at hand. This was going to be cathartic. "Good, good. We raise hell, they split their forces. I put the gates on this place, it should be a rather simple matter to take them off again.” “Good. You take your partner and start at the bottom with some explosives. While they are more for the show we are putting on, do handle them with care still.” His hollow sockets burned as they scanned between the two women. “When you are done with your task, meet up with us at the apex of their building. Maurice will be covering us with his fire as Manuelle and I weave another portal into the city for reinforcements. Should the Dusklillies’ Chosen be as competent as they claim, then they should hold their end of the bargain as the knife to slip into the Grand Magistrix herself as we stand tall as their feint. “If not,” he concluded, “then the night will prove that much more interesting.”
  27. Adrenaline will have to keep it at bay. I know I need more time but we can't stop. Those that were able had to leave in the middle of the night to deal with a disastrous summoning coming from the north, and before they could even leave the camp they were split in half to handle another point to the east. Plenty of soldiers survived the crash thankfully but we've still stumbled into the heart of enemy territory and they're having fun stretching us taut already. Honestly, I feel that if the Naga are so plentiful they could have just stormed Newhome and wiped us out by now. We don't have any siege weapons or high-tier magic defending this cave, best we have is a few sea giants and Thalyssra. Instead, they continue about their business as if the combined forces of the two aren't inching towards their throats. Either they're so arrogant that they don't recognize us as a threat, or... I'm not sure. I awoke to insistent prodding today and some excited Gil-...Kelfin, babbling a stream of incomprehensible, excited gibberish in my face. Her named is Iisha and apparently she's going to be our guide down here.... As we scrounge through supplies and salvage what fell off the ships. Felt like Dachi was about to bite off the end of that too long nose of hers but she calmed down. Felt like it's going to be a constant clash of jaded and optimistic with these two but I at least know they'll have my back. Two campaigns of service under my belt and to High command i'm still nothing but a scout. I should have been grateful for light duty honestly, my shoulder is still aching something fierce, my ribs are tender, and my foot is cramping from whatever the medic did to it, but I can't help but feel I drew the shit end of the stick. *The recording cuts out, the next segment picks up soon after.* Turns out most of the shipwrecks' cargo fell into the Northwest corner of this watery canyon, right into a hydra lagoon and some murlocs' village. Haven't seen these things as a threat since before I hit puberty but one thing remains the same. When one makes a fuss and rushes you, there's another half-dozen of the slippery bastards who will hear it and join in. I was wrong, the shoulder isn't just aching, it's so stiff that I can barely use it for anything but a clumsy swing. When there's no grace to the fight, you just have to rely on speed and force. It was messy as hell but it did the job alright. Iisha knows how to use a the spear pretty well and Dachi has come a long ways with using claw and tooth effectively. We held our own and acquired quite a haul from the wreckage, mostly waterlogged weaponry but with these Gilb... Right right, Kelfin, and no way to receive supplies we need to cobble together every piece of scrap that can hold an edge or have a rock tied to it. Wish that wasn't the case because i'm already needing to steal from my own salvage supply to replace something. I put the sword down for two seconds to get a crate open and that's all it needed. Some murloc just ran off with my damn weapon. That stupid blade was nothing special but after over a dozen confirmed witch kills I was growing fond of it; now some red, scaly fuck is going to add it to a shinies hoard. Seems like i'm full of complaints lately but I think with how shit is going i'm allowed to snarl a few times. We armed a few more soldiers and supplied our new friends with crap that they insist they can use, guess that's all I can wring out of the day.
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