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Micael

The Bar at the Top of the World (Open)

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Glancing at Eve, Micael silently asked for her input. Venedict was a destructive force. Micael had only met him in person once or twice, and never had a very fun experience. That was the problem with enemies like Venedict. He believed himself a visionary, the person to reshape the world in his own glorious image. Micael was idealistic enough to believe the world could use fixing, but not Venedict's way. Not at the cost of the freedom of the people he had defended for years. Part of him wondered what Venedict was doing. Who was teaching him, what was he plotting, what was motivating him? He was curious about it, he couldn't focus on anything else. Still obsessing over it.

Even now he wished Venedict would walk in, knowing if he did the Light would come back, he'd blast him to the other side of Dalaran, and the world would be better. Porter wouldn't have died in vain, Nika would come back to the Alliance, Branngas and the rest of the 73rd would be alive, and the damn nightmares would stop. Every night Micael dreamed of Venedict. Following him, whispering in his ear. Calling him to join him...

"Eve, thoughts?"

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Eve blinked at the utter lack of response to her own words. She looked at Micael even as Micael looked at her- or straight bloody through her, apparently.

"Venedict is dead and gone," she said flatly. "Best not to dwell on ghosts, no?" To which she promptly contradicted herself, looked the paladin straight in the eye, and spoke with a dead serious tone. "I killed Urivial. The man you knew died to my blade. I killed him. Dead."

It appeared that the Death Knight was trying to be quite candid... and spelling it out slowly and deliberately. She shifted her attention back to the bar and took a long drink of luke-warm coffee.

"Thought you ought to know."

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"Father is not dead, he's just missing." The lich muttered in an annoyed tone. He had nothing else to input. It was best to watch Evelyn dig her own grave. Even if it wasn't the real Urivial that Micael interacted with in the past, that imposer was still a friend to him at least. Now it was just a waiting game, to see if the Paladin would lose his mind after the pirate blatantly confessed to his murder.

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Through his haze, Micael looked at Evellin. "Why?" It was a simple question. Evellin was a criminal, a pirate whose actions had damaged the economy of the Alliance several times over. She was a Death Knight, generally his natural enemy. But, there was one thing Evellin was not, and that was a cold blooded murderer. As for Ranavos, he'd obviously have a tale to tell, but first the Captain would have her story told. "You're not a murderer, Evellin, so what happened?"

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"I followed him to a cave," she said slowly. "Where I caught him alone, and killed him. Granted, you never knew the real Urivial. Your little friend that you believed was Urivial was nothing short of a asshole who did a lot of bad things and deserved the gutting I gave him. His name was also Carlos Sanchez, a notoriously bad paladin Urivial was sent to kill."

Eve paused to suck in some air in order continue. "He'd been holding the real Urivial hostage in that cave and using him, combined with what I believe were... alchemical solutions used to alter appearances, and essentially turned himself into Urivial and lived that life." She shrugged. "Not that I was aware up until I saw the solution wear off and watched him speak to the real Urivial- up until that point I'd just been stalking him with the full intention of mounting his head on a wall whether anyone liked it or not."

The Death Knight resumed looking at her coffee mug and rotating it this way and that, slowly.

"Moral of the story, anyway, is that you have an awful taste in friends, Micael. The Seventy Third, Urivial... oh yes, please, continue to interrogate the wretched deader who affiliates with awful people, but when you're done, be a dear and go interrogate yourself straight up your ass."

Was that... protectiveness for the Lich? Maybe... but Eve wasn't done. Oh no- not yet. Her eyes glowed a shade brighter as she narrowed them at Micael.

"Losing people is the worst feeling there is. I know. But look at yourself, half-wit. If your dead friends could see you now, what would they think? You may as well be as dead as they are- where's the courageous idiot who'd charge into a group of enemies just to help out a friend, huh? Where's the headstrong fool with the crazy notion that there's a right and wrong way to do things?" She reached over and attempted to poke him in the chest, perhaps a taunting gesture.

"Pick yourself up, kid. Clean yourself up. For Light's sake sober up, and toughen up. You've had months to mourn. If you think you're still capable of dealing with problems, man up and prove it. Do something about it. Don't sit here pointing fingers you can't hardly keep still because you're so damned full of this shit!"

The Death Knight was probably trying to be helpful... in, well, the only way she knew how.

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The bar went silent, and Micael knew the bartender had her terrified little hand wrapped around the hilt of a rather large table leg, ready for a fight to break out so she could break it up until the guards could throw them out. Micael also felt the slightly nasty feeling as an undead finger poked him. His head was buzzing. Part of him knew Eve was right. Knew making a scene meant Si:7 would figure out where he was, bring him back in, and put him back to work. They'd let him drink, because it would make him function, and in the end they'd get their use out of him and he'd die. Whether it be when the Navy put him on a raiding party and an Orc stabbed him in the chest, or Venedict or another lunatic blew up half the world before Goerin could stop him, he would die.

Another part of him was different. It wanted to hit the bar tender with the Light, stun her. It wanted to hit Evellin in the throat with a punch, tackle her off her stool and Exorcise her soul with the Light. She had been redeemed, but it would feel like hell. If Ranavos got involved, Micael would blast him in the chest towards the left wall. While Eve was still down he'd get up and behead her. And yet there was a third threat. The threat Porter had always taught couldn't be seen or felt. The third threat popped out of the bush and killed Porter. It could pop out of the shadows and kill Goerin too. But not today. Peace wasn't his today. He didn't deserve it. He deserved the pain of fighting on a little while longer. Slowly he sat up straight, an unusual fire in his eyes. He was still an imposing figure, and one would have to assume he had been making money either fighting or working security, although it didn't matter. Tall, leaned, and well muscled, with sharp, handsome features that the whiskey had dulled, but still existed. Pointing slightly past Eve's face, he spoke quietly and clearly. "You don't know." A bolt of Light fired from his hand, past her face, exploding a bottle on the wall, sending a shower of vodka and glass and making the bartender scream and dive for cover.

"You dont get it, Eve. You start your career young, and idealist. A Paladin, a warrior for Justice." A second beam shot from his hand, reflecting off a wall and flying towards where Nika stood hidden. "You join the military because you're a kid and you want to fight the enemy of your fathers and grandfathers, and they cut you orders for training. Your first battle you're so damn scared you piss your pants everywhere. By your fourth or fifth you're a stone cold fighter, resupplying your guys, helping the wounded, fighting fires on the ship. Then you get cornered and you need to fight, so you fight, and you kill."

"And you know what sucks about killing as a Paladin? Its not that you kill, because you didn't have a choice, its not that. Its not that you just robbed a woman of her husband, a kid of their father. Its not that you just wanted someone to die. You know what it is? Its that no matter what training you have, its that part of you really, really likes it. You dream about it. Dream about the Church finding out. So you lock it away."

"Then you make a name for yourself. The Church knights you, you become Sir Micael Goerin. You get specialized training and become good at what you do. SI:7 brings you in for a special project, and you begin hunting the worst of the worst but they always win and you wind up killing a man that looked at you like a son, you wind up fighting the most horrific enemy you cant beat. You wind up losing plans to a super weapon."

"You get shot and stabbed and blown up and poisoned because you are the only thing holding the world together. Your girlfriend betrays everyone she knows for the enemy and you break up with the oath you'll kill her next time. Your leaders are pseudo-noble with ends to justify the means. Your friends die. A lot. You kill some of them. And in the end, you wind up alone against the current. Now, Eve, does that sound like a life worth fighting for? Because my job took my friends, family, girlfriend, and colleagues and left me here. Alone." A last beam of Light blasted straight towards the Liches head.

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Ranavos was not expecting such a backlash like this, and Eve was the one to blame for this burning pain caused by the Light. The lich knew that Micaels speech would lead to violence soon enough. lo and behold, it did. The blast of Holy Light hit the side of his head, almost forcing him to black out. Again, he withheld his cry of agony and instead hissed loudly to show his disapproval. Ranavos stood up from his seat and slowly backed away from the Paladin. Fighting was prohibited in Dalaran, but the lich would defend himself if needed. It was Evellins turn to talk to the Paladin down into a calm state, if Ranavos had said anything it would most likely aggravate the Holy User even more.

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The double-doors to the saloon of the western entrance to The Ledger burst open! A gnome girl steps in, with a leather holster and a wide-brim cap and cool-blue and silver goggles, holding two X42 Colt Pistol Extrapolaters.

"THIS IS A ONE GNOME TOWN AND NOT ONE OF YOU ARE GNOMES! PUT YER HANDS UP BEFORE I FILL YOU FULL OF HOLES SO FAST YOU COULDN'T COUNT TO GRANDMA!"

She fires two shots into the ceiling, one shot ricocheted, flying out into the busy Dalaran street outside, a scream of death can be heard, it was the fruit vendor! "EEEYYAAAHHHGGGH!!"

(Suddenly a group of Arcane Sentries show up, the gnome, however, was gnomewhere to be found.)

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Evellin bristled more and more as the paladin went on, remembering with clarity why she'd always wanted to run Micael's face into the dirt repeatedly. He wasn't capable of using his mouth alone, he had to emphasize everything with a point of violence- but she didn't give him the satisfaction of flinching as he shot the light here and there like bullets from a gun. On the contrary, she stood, inches away from the paladin and meeting his gaze fearlessly. Whatever grudging pity she'd tried to extend was gone, replaced by unbridled anger.

Still, she did not fall to violence- her chin lifted, her eyes blazed, and before the paladin's eyes she shifted to strike quite an imposing figure herself. "Ohh, Micael," the Death Knight growled, her nose extending to a snout, grey, torn up fur sprouting all around her, her armor creaking and groaning in protest as she grew and stretched it to its limit. Claws flexed and curled at her sides, and the Worgen bared her teeth in emphasis to her words. "Maybe you should have thought about that before you went around hurting people, which isn't even the part that sucks for you. You think I don't know? You have the balls to tell me that to my face?!"

The Death Knight's pointed, ratty ears flattened to her skull. Unlike many of the worgen running around, it was clear that death had not left her in good health. Her fur was grey and missing in many places where scars knotted the flesh, unable to grow back on a corpse. There was no shine, no luster, only a dull and muted color throughout. Just a dead dog. "What do you think it's like? Being a warrior who always tried to fight for the right thing, only to lose all family? Friends? To go mad with grief, to be alone and to go out alone in a fit of rage to find the beasts who'd killed your father and run them through or die trying?"

Eve snorted, frost exhaling from her snout. "To fail, to be bitten, to go back to camp with a death wish because you don't know what else to do, knowing you have little time before you're nothing more than a monster? To go out looking for a friend and get slaughtered by the undead you were trying so damned hard to kill in the first place? To wake up, not knowing who you are or what you are, just that you're a damned puppet to a so-called King who betrays you and your kind?"

"Then you end up free and alone yet again, knowing you're a monster, knowing you're twice the monster, knowing you have to hide half of that because it's bad enough being one kind of damnable creature?! Being persecuted through the streets and not having the will to defend yourself because you know they're right? Joining a cult because evil must be all you're good for, evil is all that will embrace you! And when you finally make just one little friend, the cult you foolishly joined turns around and murders that friend, and you don't even get the chance to avenge him."

"Then you're alone again. All alone, and still people kick you. They sneer at you. They shrink in fear from you. And one day you save a man's life and he treats you like you're human... but he dies too, and you're so maddened by grief, by this ill luck the gods have probably wrought on you because you deserve it, that you try to just end it. Kill yourself. And you keep getting stopped by a fellow who seems to be your friend, but he ends up stabbing you in the back... and you find someone who ends up caring for you so much, she actually invites you... you, the undead monstrosity... to be her maid of honor. But then some bitch elf kills her, and you're at a loss- because it must be you, you're the one who hurts anyone who gets close to you, it has to be you. And when things finally start looking up, when you befriend the local law enforcement and they're sort've decent to you, it should be good..."

"But when you see them beat a young man to near death... you finally make your choice. To do the right thing. To intervene. And you realize these friends you had made, they are not friends at all- they are just as brutal as your once-King, your once-Cult... these once-Friends are nothing more than cruel bastards. And you take your stand against them. You won't settle for the injustice anymore, even if you die trying. And you fall in love with the man whose life you saved. And he looks at you, not as inhuman, but as a friend... as someone he loves... as a wife... and he accepts what you are, he accepts the secret you've been hiding from the rest of the world for far too long... you're not a monster to him. And for some reason everyone keeps trying to hurt him, to kill him, and those monsters in that law force put a hit on his soul... and when he's undead, everyone who was once friend tries to kill him. Everyone."

Evellin Stormguarde inhaled, drawing up to her full height. "And you learn your lesson. That law and crime do not dictate morality. That you should do the right thing, no matter what. And you stick to your guns when nobody listens to you that the deader with the soul-stealing axe is slaughtering innocents- when you're the only one who fights him. And you stick to your guns when nobody listens that the tyrants of Theramore are savage brutes, and you're condemned for fighting them. And you stick to your guns to protect the man you love, even when all others say he's lost to the other side. And you stick to your guns when your brother, a hero of the Alliance, is hailed as a righteous man... even though you know better... when you alone must track him down, slay him and reveal the truth. You alone grieve for so many good, lost souls that other people were too quick to dismiss. You grieve, for trying to give your husband a family knowing you cannot provide children... you grieve for when you agreed to adoption, but your husband was slain... you grieve because it would be irresponsible for two deaders to raise a child. You grieve for those chances lost at a normal life."

With one last growl, Evellin leaned forward, prepared to backhand the living daylights out of Micael if he dared zap her with the Light. "Don't talk to me about standing alone against the current. Don't you dare tell me I don't know what it feels like. I've had many years to suffer through it, Micael, more than you could know. Don't you mistake the pain of those around you for something less. Don't you dare think you've suffered more than they have. Take a walk through Westfall sometime, you insolent pup, and see what they have all lost. Talk with those you'd so quickly condemn, asshole, and maybe you'd understand that everyone stands alone at some point or another... but if you wait long enough..."

Evellin exhaled, shrinking back down to her human state as quickly as she'd turned otherwise. "If you wait long enough... if you wade through all that shit, someday you'll find just one person who will stand by you no matter what, who takes your side instead of leaving you to frolic with abusers. Someone who always has your back when everyone else tries to stab it. Someone to come back home to...."

The Death Knight calmed a bit, resting back on her heels. "Every storm passes, Micael. I know that, too, and there's nothing to do but wait them out. You can't do that by drinking away all the memories. And you can't do that by lashing out at people trying to show you that you're not alone."

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There he was, all comfortable in his chair in the very same room as all these agitating humanoids. He'd been fixing his glass for... well he doesn't quite know himself (time was irrelevant to him now), wondering how he would do it. A straw would had been the easiest way to do, and the most "normal" way as well ("what is normal anyway?" he would often tell himself). But why do it like others when you can do it in your own style!

Tension was rising among the people at the bar, some ol ' drunk holy priest or something was getting more angry or afraid or in need of more ale... probably the latest. Then, a shot was heard... some crazed gnome did it which then "tried" to vanish... It wasn't long before city guards came in to investigate, and as they did an idea -poped- in the forsaken's head.

He poured his drink all over the table and slammed his bottom part of his head on it (which resulted for a few splash of liquor around him, some going toward the shady person in the stairs) ... and then.. and then he drank with a lovely noises. "Shhllurp!" He had no lower jaw after all. Now that he was enjoying his ale, his eyes were set on the paladin. What was his next move?

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Micael's hand fired off another beam of Light, breaking a candle. It was apparent that the Paladin had not only lost his way, but he had lost his control over the Light. He was dangerous, essentially a 9 year old training to be a Paladin, only much more powerful. As a kid he would often lose control, not because he couldn't summon the Light, but he couldn't direct the Light. It would just fire off little stinging bolts. But he had mastered it, it had grown stronger. But it didn't matter. He was retired. "I know." He mumbled quietly. "You're right..." Instead of going at it with Eve for longer, attacking the undead guy at the table, punching Ranavos in the jaw, anything he once would've done, he changed the subject, rather abruptly. "Has anyone heard from Nika?"

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Ranavos perked up at Micaels question, he had been laying low during Eves speech in fear that the Paladin might lash out yet again... "N-Nika? Y-yes, I've seen her a few times." He inhaled and sighed, reaching into his satchel and pulling out a vial of Mana to drink. "She was making good progress in the past few months. She was slowly breaking away from the influence of the Grim... More or less, she was hanging out with a gang of criminals, I guess that's an upgrade from those mindless savages." He took a sip of Mana. "But recently, the Grim have been acting up, doing their normal thing and slaughtering innocents, men, women and children, none were spared. The Redblades wanted to combat this threat since no one else would. A bandit came to them, saying that he would help eliminate the Grim, sadly, Nika was present and heard about it and I fear that she may join the Grim again to protect the ones who have completely brainwashed her."

His shoulders slouched. "I wanted to give Nika to Venedict. I know he's a master of mental magics.... And perhaps he could reverse this brainwashing that the Grim have done to her... I just want...To get her back..."

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Evellin blinked, confused by the muted response by the paladin, and the following abrupt change of topic. She opened her mouth to say something, anything in response, but Ranavos started speaking, and so she changed her mind and listened instead.

And blinked again.

The Death Knight pinched the bridge of her nose and kicked off her seat, moving out of Micael's way should he proceed to attack Ranavos, and making a fair bit of room so as not to appear involved. It just wasn't worth the extra effort.

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At that moment Muuta Arlimier walked in, making a pointed gesture to stand directly in the center of the room. The tall night elf poet and minstrel, carried with him, a mandolin, a stringed instrument from the very heart of Elune.

"Please, allow me the honor of providing this evening's poetic intercourse, with a phrase I learned whilst tending to the Nagas of Feralas. Without further adieu, I assure you." The purple elf strummed, gently at first, a simple series of chords, gracefully accentuating his upcoming phrase. Strummed.

The eve'ning's pinnacle, doth sway, a swishing fey beguiles, cancer comme, and defile's

The minstrels harp is strummed

In heaps they lay, piles of meat, decay, a feathered array and then the beasts comes

and The minstrels harp is strummed

Bartering for trade and ships that sail, won't you come back, to the wayward ways? oh say you will come

when The minstrel's harp is strummed

Given 'til dusk, the grim watch for the shores, of distant, pained moores and The Kings won

'Aye, The minstrels harp is strummed

As he sung and strummed, the night elf, ever watchful, took a discerning interest in the players as they played. And took upon himself the dischordant note, to despair is not to wane. Finally he sat, by the corner, alone, away from the others as the lasts vibrato faded into distant memory?

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Scratching his beard, which would've been decent if he combed it and trimmed it. But it looked pretty gnarly at this point. Reaching into a pocket out of sight, he removed a graphite pencil. "Can you get a message to her?" He asked quietly, his mind racing to plan out his next move. What could he say? Would he just kill her? He wasn't really part of the Alliance, but at the same time anyone who knew him would know he'd go down to the fighting end under the fabled blue flag. But right now? He needed to find a way to be whole again. Eve was right, there was still a war to fight.

"Eve's right, I HICCUP oh, fuck me..."

And then for the first time in months he laughed. A thick, booming laugh. The ridiculous situation was impossible. A Paladin who was once an elite warrior, an anointed knight, a spy, an accountant, was now a hiccuping bearded drunk that no longer killed enemies with chairs to the head. And the world kept turning. It was a ridiculous idea it would stop for him.

"I need to get back to work. I assume there's still Horde to kill, and Ogrimmar is still a fun place to attack." He almost sounded high spirited as he prepared to write a note to Nika. "Evellin has a point. As long as theres a war to fight, I should be fighting it."

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Evellin arched a brow at the paladin's change in behavior, and his apparent amusement, wondering not for the first time if he was high as a kite in addition to being mind-numbingly drunk.

"Actually..."

The Death Knight folded her arms across her chest, half a mind ready to grab the elven bard by the scruff and dump him over Dalaran's edge. Something to do with an innate distaste of elves, no doubt.

"I was more or less suggesting you, I don't know... find a wife or a husband, settle down, have kids or adopt kids. Move to a quiet farm somewhere, retire, loosen up. It does wonders for a mind. Trust me."

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Ranavos huffed as Eve spoke. Micael was finally out of the gutter and now the flea ridden puppy is changing his mind. "How can he settle down where there is a threat, unchecked, wandering the wilds KILLING everything they see?!" The Lich crossed his arms and huffed again. "Micael has to fight to secure his and others freedom and peace! If the Horde are left to their own devices, NO ONE would be able to relax and retire!"

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Evellin fired back, "What do you care? You didn't care when it was Altherion. You didn't care when it was Venedict. The only reason the Grim have you snapping your teeth is because your own sorry hide is on the line too. Freedom and peace my ass."

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Ranavos hissed. "For your information, Altherion abused me just as much as the Alliance did in the past, and I STILL Defend the Alliance. And I also didn't help Venedict murder... Anything!, in fact I'm against him harming the Alliance! So don't give me that sorry excuse!"

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At these heightened emotions, the night elf motioned for the nearest maid, "Excuse me, maid, please, I need spoons, lots of them." The maid seemed very puzzled by the night elf's request, retrieving the spoons hastily, never the less. Once gathered, the Night Elf stood up in his 'inconspicuous' corner, and in a lazy arc, began to juggle: first three spoons, then five, and then nine spoons!

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Micael drunkenly listened to this exchange. Evellin did bring up a very valid point. "Wait... Hey, Ranavos, why DID you work HICCUP with Venedict? He's a lunatic, he wants to destroy everything you loved. The scariest thing about fanatics like him are that they want to destroy all of humanity, and that sucks as an alternative to what we have going now... You know, the whole being alive thing... Well, at least me."

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"Sorry excuse?" Eve growled. "The abuse against you should have been clue enough for you to stop working for monsters, but no, not when there's a chance of power in it for you! You can't even argue using them as a means for an end, because your end is just shitting out more mechanics and becoming some fancy lord, not helping other people!"

She wheeled on Micael. "And please, you worked for the Seventy Third. They went around abusing civilians, plotting assassinations and throwing around their power, and you still think they were worthwhile, and you still think you were doing the 'right' thing. I commend you wanting to do the right thing, Micael, but you're really bad at it. Ranavos has an excuse- he's a soulless, mindless puppet. What's your excuse, paladin?"

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"Father does not want to destroy the world, far from it. He wishes to re-order it and to help others to become Ascended like me." Ranavos stood up proudly. "Do I look like the mindless undead fodder that the Forsaken are composed of?" He huffed yet again, shooting a glare at Evellin for her remarks. "Father just wants to help humanity, but being a psychopath, he doesn't show it well. First things first, we get rid of the Horde. We can all agree that the world would be a much better place without them..." The lich then looked at Miacel. "...And Nika would of never switched sides to begin with if they where exterminated a long time ago."

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Micael flinched at the mention of Nika's betrayal. The problem was people like Venedict wanted to kill everyone, not realizing that most of the people he'd be killing were civilians. That was something everyone knew Micael hated. The 73rd was often extremely rigid in defending the law, but it was always for the general idea of good. Evellin, like most people, would also know that Micael wasn't as violent as many of them. But regardless. The problem was part of defending humanity, the part Mack had died teaching him, was that defending humanity also meant defending his enemy sometimes. Turning to Eve again, he gave a quick assessment. "Evellin, you still fighting the enemy? And do you want to punch some sense into Ranavos or should I? Because the only way to defeat your enemy is to make them allies, and he seems to want genocide."

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Drinking, well I would not call it like so... imagine whats left of his mouth being a snail having fun in a puddle of water. Either way, the walking corpse was done sucking it all up but he craved for me. Not caring one bit for the whole mess he had done, he rose up marched quickly to the counter. [He just had to get an other]. At the counter, "the threesome couple" [That was their new nickname] was still arguing over probably who performed best in the bed or something stupid like that. He didn't quite pay attention to them anymore, but the paladin did reek of alcohol. [Well that wasn't too bad, it certainly did hide the stench of a dead].

He made sign to the bartender for an other. "Shhlurphhh..." was the only word, or noise, one could had heard coming out of the forsaken. Fortunately the high elf knew what he was asking. [He did spend a good hour earlier trying to figure out the undead, however, good thing he didn't notice the table's current state]. As the barkeep prepared the mix of ales again for him, the jaw-less one heard glimpse of the couple's conversation. "Father just want to help..." "Father does not want to" "The abuse against you" "and Nika would never switch sides" [Oh my, time for a name change. "The foursome couple with a father involved"]

The drink was ready and on the counter. By the tip of his claws the forsaken grabbed the top of the glass and lifted it in the air. He staired at the liquid inside and started shaking the glass a little. [something not right, he told himself] "Shhhlurf!" and he dropped the glass. [The mix was all wrong! It was missing 3 drops of honey] The glass containing the ale did not break on impact, on the table that is, but it sure did a mess.. splashing over the undead and the paladin.

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