Syreena

The Prisoner

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continued from http://wow-tng.org/showthread.php?23552-The-Search-for-Information

((Warning: graphic violence in the following posts in this thread.))

Syreena Shadowblade rode through the night skies on a black drake with the human draped and tied behind her saddle. After she was certain she'd gotten away and was not being followed, the little rogue pulled out her hearthstone. She ran her finger over the rune on its surface, and then spoke into it, informing the High Inquisitor that she'd obtained what he'd requested. He knew where she was going with it.

The human was still unconscious from the potion. Syreena dragged her up the stairs of a structure. The residents here had been well paid to keep quiet about what they might see or hear in this place, so the little rogue had no need to worry about stealth. If the prisoner bumped and banged along the way up the steps, Syreena wasnt concerned about it. She dropped the human woman in a stone cell that had a chest on the floor, and a wooden table along one wall but was otherwise mostly bare.

After a while, Skylah began to stir on the floor, a hand raising slowly to grip her head. She sat up slowly while still holding her head in her hands, her eyes looking towards the stone walls. She placed a hand on the stone floor. "Wha...that's not right..."

Syreena was watching the human closely, with her daggers in her hands when the High Inquisitor arrived. He nodded in return to her salute. Like Syreena, Khorvis also wore a helm that covered most of his face and did not wear his guild tabard. They had previously predicted that if the prisoner knew they were Grim, she would know her death was certain and might refuse to talk without believing in the possibility of release contingent on her cooperation.

"What do we have here?" the orc asked.

"The prisoner you requested," Syreena answered.

"Where did you find her?"

"With that caravan at some little outpost. Honor's Stand." The little rogue paused before adding, "That elf, Siane, was with her. I had to kill her to get this one out."

"Dabu. Worthless elf, that one," Khorvis commented of Siane. He peered at Skylah. She had scooted herself back against the wall when the large orc had entered the room. Her eyes were darting back and forth a bit frantically. "Does it speak orcish?"

"I don't know yet. It just woke up from my sleeping potion," she answered. Then she took a few steps towards the prisoner. "Speak. Oh, wait, I remember. I spoke with it once before. It does speak some orcish."

Skylah looked up at the approaching undead, her gaze to linger before switching to the hulking orc to her right. "Who...who are you?"

Khorvis crossed his arms, allowing the rogue to take the lead. Syreena noticed the gesture, and continued. "That's not important. And we'll ask the questions. “What is that caravan doing in the Barrens?"

Khorvis moved to a nearby table and laid out a series of tools normally meant for engineers and bladesmiths. Tongs. Vices. Clamps. Awls and whetstones.

The human clenched her jaw shut as she attempted to back even further away, though there was no where to move. She shifted her gaze again to take in the cell around her. "A dream...the drink, yes, this must be a dream."

"A dream? No." Syreena asked, cackling in amusement. "No. A nightmare..."

Khorvis handed Syreena a set of pincers meant for setting small clockwork gears. The rogue looked at the tool in her hand, then smiled sweetly to Skylah. "Now...what is that caravan doing so far into Horde territory?"

Skylah put her head back in her hands, shaking them side to side. "No no no...wake up, Skylah. Wake...up. It isn't real!"

Khorvis yelled down the stairs at the locals, "Keep its down, you lot! The Commander paid you bloody well enough!"

Syreena swung her fist, with the pincers in her hand, at the shaking head. "Pay attention! This is real, silly human.”

"Pinkskins, when stuck, they bleed out after nearly an hour, aye?" Khorvis held up a serrated knife, the blade nearly a foot long and designed for bleeding out hogs.

"That long?" Syreena asked.

"The ones we hunted in the Morass did, when stuck in the side."

Skylah's eyes darted back and forth between the two before she finally speaks up. "What do you want?!"

"We want you to answer our questions. We also want to make you cry." Syreena giggled, snapping the pincers at the air in front of Skylah's face.

Skylah set her jaw, looking up towards the pincers. Pushing back against the wall did she slowly stand. "Cry? Did you steal that from a children's book?"

"No," Syreena answered with a smile, "but I may have stolen the children. Now, what was that group of Alliance doing so far into Horde territory?"

"Well I can tell you they sure weren't here for your lovely company." Skylah looked to the barred gate, searching for a way out.

Khorvis set out the burning coals of an aged shaman's totem and heated the pigsticker's blade in its molten warmth.

"So why were they there then?" the Shadowblade demanded. The human only stared into the rogue's eyes, still not answering the question. Syreena snapped the pincers again. "Do you want us to hurt you, or do you want to answer the question?"

Khorvis moved towards Skylah with the red hot poker. "This do not get any prettier, pinkskin. Best start talking."

Skylah looked to the hulking figure once more, uncertainty showing as he spoke. Her gaze dropped to her dress as indistinct chatter could be heard coming from a pocket. Syreena tilted her head at the noise. She moved forward, reaching for the pocket where the noise was coming from. Skylah grabbed at Syreena's hand, a bluish light encompassing her hand as she did so. "Get away from me!"

"Bloody fel, I TOLD you to strip the mark!" the orc cursed at Syreena.

The Forsaken rogue hissed at the priest, drawing a dagger with her free hand. She laid the blade along Skylah's side. The human stiffened at the press of the blade, but still she was defiant. "Afraid of a little priestess are you?"

"Afraid of you? No." Syreena pointed at the orc. "Afraid of him, if I kill you before he's done with you."

"Keep this one under lock and key, Shadowblade. See what secrets she can yet spill." Khorvis took Skylah’s communication stone and marched off down the stairs.

"Sleep tight," Syreena said to the prisoner. She giggled as she closed and locked the iron barred door.

"Light. Brianna is going to kill me."

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Two days later, Syreena returned to Honor’s Stand, to see if any of Skylah’s friends were still there. She didn’t see them at first, so she assassinated a couple tower guards. It was their own fault, really. They deserved it for not being as attentive as guards really should be.

Shortly after she arrived, a large shadow passed over her. She looked up and saw a drake hovering overhead, though from her angle, she couldn’t tell if there was a rider on its back. Then she saw a human woman standing near the campfire. The rogue grinned.

Staying hidden in shadows, Syreena made her way to the human. A glance to the sky confirmed the drake was still up there. She hadn’t been spotted, so she focused on the human. With a thick, short stick in hand, the Shadowblade slunk directly behind the human, and struck at the side of her head. The human stumbled, dazed, and Syreena took to the shadows again, darting a few yards away. She took cover behind a cart of supplies just as the drake descended. A large Draenei woman checked on the human, who seemed to be recovering. They looked all around, but their gazes never lingered near Syreena’s hiding spot.

As much as Syreena would have enjoyed actually killing the human and the Draenei, she couldn’t take a chance of endangering her mission with the prisoner. If Syreena attacked in earnest, and if the battle turned against her, she’d be in serious trouble. If the two Alliance women didn’t kill her, she feared Khorvis would. So she wouldn’t take the time to actually kill them.

But she would play.

Syreena watched for a few minutes, until the Draenei woman took to the skies again, either on or as the drake; evening sunlight glaring in her eyes made it difficult for the rogue to be sure which. The human had moved closer to a small tower. She floated a few feet in the air with her back to the tower. Syreena stood on the ramp of the tower and struck again. A few running steps on the ramp led to a leap through the air towards the human, and twin daggers ripped across the woman’s back. The wound bled profusely, but it wouldn’t be fatal if it received attention soon. The Draenei woman came down from the sky again.

A Draenei male arrived, and the two women stood with him. Syreena perched on a small wagon nearby, shadows clinging to her as she remained hidden. She listened to them talk, but she couldn’t understand their language, and was soon bored. The playful rogue allowed the shadows to slide from her. She counted the seconds before any of the three showed any sign of noticing her.

One. Two. Three. Four.

The Draenei woman turned half a step in Syreena’s direction to fully face her. The little rogue grinned as she rolled off the backside of the wagon and vanished back into the shadows.

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Khorvis nodded in response to Syreena’s salute. They stood at the top of the stairs, just outside the prisoner’s cell. “I do want information of worth this very night, Shadowblade.”

“The Clandestine is on her way to help with that,” the rogue answered. “She should be here any minute.”

Khorvis grunted darkly, both tired and glad to be about his work.

“There she is,” Syreena said as a red-haired troll skipped up the stairs, humming something to herself. She didn’t stop until she was at the very top.

“Clandestine, your cause does need your talents,” the orc stated, gesturing to the cell.

Syreena unlocked the iron gate and stepped inside the cell with Lilliana beside her. Khorvis stepped in behind them. Skylah was watching them from where she sat on the wooden chest.

“Had to bring another friend tonight, hrm?” the prisoner asked.

“I like having my friends around. Don't you?” the rogue countered. She looked around the cell, feigning a frown as she seemed to notice Skylah’s lack of friends present. “Oh.”

“Not really. The only person you can trust is yourself,” the prisoner answered.

“What the hell is that?” Lilliana asked, her gentle blue eyes looking the human over.

“It’s our new toy,” the rogue answered happily. “I get to eat her ears when we’re done with her.”

Skylah hopped off the chest, standing as tall as her height would allow. The troll frowned and stepped close to the ‘toy’. Her expression seemed one of utmost concern, perhaps even worry, as she looked Skylah over. The human eyed the troll in return, recognition showing in her expression.

“The big man wants information from her,” Syreena continued. She was leaning against the wall, rubbing poison onto a blade. “So far, she hasn’t wanted to chat with us.”

Lilliana's gentle gaze remained on the human girl. It took a moment before recognition also flashed across her face.

“Well, fate truly is a cruel mistress. Tell me, does the threat to kill me later still stand?” Skylah asked of the troll.

Lilliana looked at Khorvis and Syreena who still stood on guard near the door. Then she began to shake her head as she turned back to look at Skylah, "I'm not going to kill you. Not now, anyway." Her voice was soft, almost comforting....in some sense.

Khorvis handed Syreena a small bundle wrapped in a soft blanket. The rogue lifted a corner of the blanket to reveal a basket with a bowl, several day’s rations, and assorted fruits and pastries. She made sure to hold the basket clearly in the prisoner’s line of sight.

Skylah shifted her weight to the other foot. "If death be imminent, perhaps these lips will remain sealed." The human appeared distracted as the scent of the food within the basket traveled her way; she to peek around the troll to see its source.

Lilliana moved so that her back was to the human, "I can do what I want....?" She asked,her gaze going to the food that Skylah would be so ready to pounce on.

Syreena turned to Khorvis, and spoke softly, but not so softly that the words wouldn't carry through the cell. "Did I tell you I went back last night to where the Caravan was?"

“Aye? Do they still sit within our borders?”

“Sit...lay in pieces....,” Syreena lied with a grin. Khorvis cackled maniacally, and Syreena continued the story for the prisoner’s benefit. “The biggest draenei woman I've ever seen, and a big draenei man too.”

“Mohan's hounds do require feeding with their master absent so long,” Khorvis stated.

Lilliana rolled her eyes at Khorvis and Syreena. She pulled the basket of food closer to her and the human with her foot, but not close enough. She touched Skylah's arm, "How long you've been here...and you haven't said a word to questions they've asked?"

Skylah eyed the food longingly, her gaze to snap up to meet the troll's. "Oh, a cruel game you play. You would ask my cooperation so that I might acquire that within the basket?"

Lilliana shook her head, indicating a no. "Not exactly why I was asking."

Khorvis unsheathed a particularly wicked looking blade. The entire thing was decorated with skulls and from the crossguard extend painful looking spikes that hummed with dark intent. “Do you be bloody finished yet, Clandestine? You did beg for this one chance before we begin our work.”

"Remember, you promised her ears to me,” Syreena reminded the orc, tilting her head as she regarded the woman. She studied Skylah's ears as she licked her lips.

Lilliana turned quickly, "Put that thing away, Khorvis!"

Khorvis glared at Lilliana furiously for using his name. The troll didn’t seem bothered.

Skylah absentmindely tugged at one of her ears hearing the rogue’s comment, her eyes to snap back and focus on Lilliana. Lilliana had come so close to Skylah that her breath was warm against the human's skin. The human could feel something that wasn't quite right, something tugging at the edges of her mind, fuzzy...unclear. Lilliana’s gentle eyes also fixed on Skylah's own gaze. What a welcoming warmth within the priestesses eyes. It was always there, and now was no exception. "I want you to speak with me..." Her voice embraced Skylah, and for a moment that is all she can hear or concentrate on.

Skylah reluctantly shook her head, a slight laugh to herself. "Oh, a priestess...a clever lot."

“I am a priestess, you already knew that,” Lilliana’s nose touched Skylah’s as she spoke. “And I just want to talk to you.” The priestess had placed tendrils within Skylah's mind...it would not feel comfortable, but it is to work on breaking one down and confusing them.

Khorvis dragged his blade over a worn whetstone. The noise was rhythmic... soothing ... constant.

"I want to know where your friends are," Lilliana cooed to Skylah.

Skylah's body tensed, her head to tilt to the side as if in an unseen battle. "My friends? Friends...they are...they...are...everywhere."

“Ask her about the attacks on Vol'mar,” Syreena suggested.

Lilliana frowned when the human gave her that wise guy answer. She blasted a lightening stroke of unseen pain through Skyah's mind. It was right at the front of her forehead....hateful enough to make her think that for just this moment that her head may explode. "In a second."

Skylah's jaw clenched tightly, her hands to ball into fists. With a small growl did she manage to echo the Troll. “Yea, in a second ear lover.”

Khorvis sheathed his blade. The echo and movement caused a pastry on the blanket to tumble and come to a rest. The sugary top stared back silently as a small army of ants slowly marched towards it.

Lilliana smiled at Skylah, "You heard her....answer it. Or I'll do more of that, and pull all your damned memories from your head til you go mad and are no more than a vegetable." She grinned at the human, but the expression in her eyes still seemed so gentle.

“She's done it before, you know,” Syreena warned. It was a lie, as far as she knew, but she was willing to take the chance Skylah didn’t know that. “How do you think Vionora....or Siane....lost all her memories?”

Khorvis squatted in the doorway, resting his blade upon his knees. The ant army fully swarmed over the fallen pastry, cleaving into its sugary surface and carting the goods away into the crevices and cracks of the stronghold.

Skylah looked the troll in the eyes, she to take a deep breath to steady her breathing. She spared a brief look over her shoulder to the undead woman before responding. "What is this, Vol'mar?"

“The Horde equivalent of your Lion's Watch in Tanaan.” Syreena found it hard to believe a member of the Alliance in such standing as Skylah didn’t know what Vol’mar was, but she wouldn’t waste time arguing that point.

“The attacks on Vol'mar, my dear,” Lilliana prompted, her breath still warm on Skylah's face as she remains so close. Her dark magics still at work, pulling at her mind...trying to shift through here, and shove into there. The battle within Skylah's mind would feel relentless. Suddenly, Lilliana’s eyes narrowed faintly, and whatever it was she was doing, should make Skylah's stomach churn and her eyes spin with dizziness.

Skylah leveled a cold gaze at the troll. "You want a truth?!” She paused for a moment as if locked in an inner battle. "I know nothing of this Tanaan!" The human closed her eyes, taking a small but steadying step. After a long, deep breath did she open them.

The troll's voice remained quite soft and soothing, "Yes you do, you know plenty." She touched Skylah, her palm resting against the side of the human's head. As Lilliana made contact, a feeling of terror would spread through Skylah, leaving her raw once her eyes open.

Khorvis began to grow restless in his position as guardian. “Goatsucking Alliance scumbreathers,” he complained.

Syreena grinned at his insult. She remembered that Skylah seemed to be intimated by the large orc the first time they visited her here. “She seems to like you the other night, Kh....orc. Maybe you should come up close and personal with her.”

Lilliana whispered sharply to Skylah, "If he touches you, my crap with you right now will be nothing." Her hand still remained on the side of Skylah's head, but she ran her fingers down through her hair, and the horrid discomfort was gone.

Skylah shook slightly, caught off guard by the outburst from Khorvis; her eyes to refocus on the priestess. "I know plenty. Yess....no, no, I know plenty? Do I?" She finished sounding rather confused.

Khorvis moved slinkingly behind Skylah. The movement was very odd for his size and custom, but in the shadowed recesses of this stronghold, there was an eerie disquiet.

Lilliana hadn't released any part of Skylah's mind...but the pain she had inflicted seemed to have withdrawn.....it didn't leave visible scars, like what Khorvis can do. It did leave one in a state of weakened confusion, however. Without releasing the hold she had upon Skylah, Lilliana glanced at Khorvis. "If you want more info out of her, beat her up, then I'll break her mind into itty bitty pieces." She giggled and actually sounded rather playful.

Khorvis took Skylah's hair in hand and began braiding it with his thick fingers. "The greatmothers of my Clan did do this for our young orcesses, pinkskin. They did so with such great care that the sun would rise and fall on the same weaving fingers. Tireless.”

The orc jerked as the servos and clockwork gears of his newly constructed hand locked up and clenched. Skylah's head was pulled back roughly. "The greatmothers braided the scalps of our little female dead, slain in ogre raids. Dead before their time. Now. I do need to know the location and command tents of the Eternal Aegis who do camp in Tanaan, before you do own a little braid of your own, pinkskin.”

Skylah gasped as she was pulled backwards, a wild and confused look to be upon her. Her hands reached back to try and fight against Khorvis' grip a bit frantically. Lilliana looked at the human’s struggling hands, and she concentrated with attempt to force the human to loose control of any command she would give to her hands, forcing them to fall to her sides uselessly. What a helpless feeling that would be!

The braiding orc breathed his foul breath into the human’s ear. It reeked of rotten talbuk and coarse ale. Lilliana's breath that was in Skylah's face was much more pleasant. She should have spoken openly to the troll. Skylah tried to focus her frantic eyes on the troll as the fight in her arms ceased. Turning her head slightly to the side did she begin to find her words.

“Aegis...Eternal Aegis in Tanaan. They...no, no, I can't...patrols, something about patrols...,” Skylah began. “No, no you foul wench! Get out of my mind!"

Lilliana kept her priestly 'attentions' on the human. She was all around her, and there was no where that Skylah could go to escape from the unseen control from the priestess....or the taunting physical presence of the orc. Khorvis shifted behind the woman. His armor pressed against her flesh through the robes - it was the antithesis of closeness. Only the cold imperviousness of inevitability. Skylah stiffened. From the door, Syreena grinned wickedly at the human’s helplessness.

“The tonic. Now,” Khorvis ordered suddenly, snapping his fingers at Syreena.

Syreena moved to the prisoner, pulling a small vial of yellow liquid from a hidden pocket in her armor. Skylah did her best to pull her chin down to her chest. Syreena uncorked the vial and requested Khorvis to hold the human’s head. He yanked back on the woman's new braid, and Skylah’s mouth popped open, overcome by surprise. The little rogue reached up and tipped the vial into the human’s mouth.

Lilliana seemed to do nothing through this, but she maintained some mental control over the prisoner. She would not dare to allow the human to raise her arms as Syreena pulled the drink down...only, unlike Khorvis's fierce hold, her control was unseen. No marks would be left. She wondered if Khorvis would end up pulling her hair out.

Skylah coughed, spitting some of the fluid out to run down her chin and throat, though some of it was ingested. Khrovis reached around Skylah’s neck and gripped her chin, sealing her mouth shut and pinching her nose. He did this with his left hand, otherwise the newly forged right hand would completely crush her skull.

“It will probably take several hours to get to full effect, but if it works, it will loosen her tongue and weaken her resolve to stay quiet,” Syreena informed them. She tilted her head and smiled. "Maybe we should find one of her friends. Bring it here. Slice it up in front her until she talks. Too bad I killed all the people I found from that caravan.”

The prisoner struggled against Khorvis' grip, though much weaker than she would have before. She breathed heavily, her gaze to fall on the rogue. Syreena offered her a sweet smile. Khorvis snorted wickedly at Syreena’s bloodlust. He dropped Skylah’s braid after tying a metal wire into it to keep it in place and kneed her in the back, releasing the pinkskin. Skylah fell to the floor, the air to gush out of her, and the rogue giggled softly. Khorvis stomped off into the main foyer.

Lilliana folded her arms, and as she did so, Skylah could feel the priestess's intrusion into her mind withdraw. But, the disgust and feeling that she has been more than violated would remain. Skylah, in an unladylike fashion, spit on the ground; she looked up to ecompass Syreena and Lilliana in her sight.

“Pray,” the human gasped. “Pray that I am never freed.... “

“Not at this rate, you won't be,” Syreena assured her. “Not until you tell us what we want to know.” The rogue smiled, then turned to follow Khorvis out.

Lilliana paused for a moment, seeming as if she was uncertain. With her arms remaining crossed, she spoke softly to Skylah. “I should pray that you are freed, for what awaits you in here…well…I guess it doesn’t even matter.” She paused again, and stepped to the door. “Even if you were freed, by that point, you won’t be who you were before you came in here. Not if you don’t tell us what we want to know.”

“Make certain the bitch cannot escape,” Khorvis ordered. “We will see if the serum loosens her tongue by the next nightfall.” After Syreena acknowledged the order, the orc marched out of the stronghold, wherever it is. The ants continued their consumption of the fallen pastry only some few feet from Skylah’s prostrate nose.

Syreena picked up the basket of food. She tossed one apple and a single pastry to the floor, and she took the rest of the provisions with hr out of the cell. She closed and locked the door as Skylah was crawling reluctantly toward the food left behind.

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Sunday evening, co-authored by Syreena and Skylah

Syreena arrived at Skylah’s cell accompanied by an orc guard. The guard stood watch at the door as the little rogue entered the cell. She held in her hand a small white oval stone. Syreena assumed it was for communication, much like The Grim’s hearthstones, but she had been unable to get it to work. Someone suggested it might be specifically attuned to its owner. Tonight, she planned to test that.

Skylah was sitting on the crate. She was exhausted and famished, but upon seeing the gate open, she forced herself to her feet and held her head high as she stared at the Forsaken woman. Looking the worse for wear, her once fine dress torn and soiled, Skylah still refused to give in.

“I was beginning to think you had forgotten about me,” Skylah said with a grin. “None of the others wanted to play this evening?”

“I’ll let you speak into this,” Syreena promised, “if you let me say something in it first.”

Skylah's eyes immediately went to the guild stone, her eyes to somewhat brighten at the chance to speak into it, to get a message to her friends.

“Fine, I'll agree to your terms,” she spoke the words, though inside she knew this was too good to be true.

The little rogue drew a dagger in her free hand and charged at the priestess, pinning her against the wall with the blade at her throat. She held the stone up in front of Skylah’s face.

“Make it work,” she ordered, drawing a thin stream of blood on the human’s neck as the blade parted skin.

With a deep breath, Skylah gingerly took the stone from Syreena, and it came to life at the human’s touch. Voices came from the stone, as if a meeting were occuring. The speaking to be mainly gibberish to the rogue’s ears.

Syreena tilted her head as she regarded the stone, though her blade remained steady at Skylah’s throat. She reached up and hooked her fingers into claw shapes, then slowly drew her thick Forsaken fingernails across the stone. The resulting screech silenced the voices in the stone, and Syreena spoke to it.

“Your human lady has pretty ears,” she said in Forsaken, giggling.

Most of the people on the other end of the stone heard, “Odes nagan lars wos rothas dana!”

“Your turn,” the rogue said, her giggling turning into a sinister little grin. “Say something to your friends.”

“Brianna-,” Skylah began, her words cutting off in a scream as Syreena slid her blade down across her chest, leaving a bright red gash. She twisted the tip of the blade at the end, the pain to pull yet another scream from the small woman.

“Peace through annihilation,” Syreena exclaimed over the screaming woman. Those on the other end of the stone to hear “Barad nostyec golvelbarad!”

After a minute of screaming, Syreena plucked the stone out of Skylah’s hand and it went silent. The little rogue leaned in to the priestess and licked along the entire edge of one ear. Skylah pushed at her, revolted, but weakened, and the little rogue stepped away, grinning.

“Sleep tight,” Syreena said sweetly as she stepped out and locked the door.

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Shaelie--a Grim blood elf in mail armor--and Syreena saluted to Khorvis when he arrived at the top of the stairs. He nodded back to them. All three wore helms that covered their faces, and none of them wore tabards or other guild colors.

“This do be the third night of trial. I do require results, Shadowblade,” the orc said impatiently. “Fel-sodding RESULTS!”

Syreena nodded as she took a key from a chain around her neck and unlocked the barred door. Khorvis was still talking as they stepped in. Syreena went straight to the prisoner. Shaelie scowled behind her helm as she regarded the human.

“If there do be no information coming from this pinkskinned scumsucker’s tongue, her lifeblood do be watering the Barrens.”

“The Jade Lion, Eternal Aegis,” Syreena began. She toyed with a small pair of pliers in her hand. “What other guilds are set on destroying the Horde?”

“You ask this of one who seeks peace with the Horde?” Skylah responded. Shaelie had circled around to the side of the human.

“Do you refuse to answer?” the rogue demanded.

Skylah spared a look to the new member of their group before answering. “For once it isn’t a smart ass answer. I deal in peace, not destruction.”

“Peace has a sister, and her name do be desolation,” Khorvis informed them.

Syreena gestured to the ill-tempered green hydra behind her, suddenly smiling. “This is Rabble. The last time I had him in a cave with me where I was holding a prisoner, he had quite a feast. I think it’s your turn to feed him tonight.”

Syreena stepped closer to the human and grabbed Skylah’s wrist. The priestess pulled against her grip, trying to free herself. Syreena shoved an elbow against her chest, and Shaelie stepped forward sending a fist swinging at Skylah’s face. Skylah stumbled from the heavy blow, a blood trickle to come from her lip. Her struggles lessened against the grip of the rogue. Shaelie stepped behind the human and locked her free arm behind her in a vice-like grip, while Syreena secured her other hand.

Syreena shifted her grip to the human’s pinky finger. She shoved one end of the little pliers roughly down the inside of the nail, closed the tool tightly, and yanked. Skylah flinched, then screamed as the nail was ripped loose, her breaths to come heavier as she stares in disbelief. Syreena tossed the fingernail to the hydra, whose three heads snapped at each other as they each tried to catch it.

“I do be certain you remember the wreckage that did become of Theramore, human?” Khorvis asked. He hefted a small orb of pulsing arcane energy. Facing the gate, he heaved the orb against a nearby wall. It embedded itself and the air collapsed around itself.

“Let’s try this again,” Syreena suggested. “Who are the leaders of the Jade Lion and Eternal Aegis?”

Skylah’s body shook. She shifted her gaze for a moment to Khorvis as he spoke, then looked back to her bleeding finger.

Shaelie bend the human’s wrist, forcing it into a painful position. “Take your time, human. There are plenty of things that can be pulled from your body.”

Skylah mumbled to herself, repeating the names “Jade Lion” and “Eternal Aegis” for a moment. Her eyes closed, and her breathing slowed slightly as she attempted to heal some of the wounds inflicted.

“Hey!” the rogue shouted when she realized what the priestess was trying to do.

She reached up with a fist closed around the pliers and punched Skylah in the jaw. The human’s knees buckled from the blow, the blood flow to increase from her mouth. Shaelie roughly hauled the woman upwards again, and, seizing her hand, snapped one of her fingers in half. Skylah screamed and panted, as she tried to manage the pain, sweat to bead across her face.

“I did not wish to resort to this,” Khorvis said as he stepped closer. He unclasped some chains from his blade and a length of metal slithered forth. The Lash was once nine lengths of chain, used to discipline Supplicants of The Grim with barbed ends and lightning coils. Most of the weapon had been previously destroyed. Khorvis raised a fist and the ninth and final cord of the Lash raised itself towards Skylah. “The names! Or your flesh will paper this tower!”

Upon seeing the Lash, Syreena took a step to the side, still holding Skylah’s wrist. Shaelie thrust the woman forward, using the priestess’s body to shield herself from the Lash, causing Skylah to fall forward. She kept that arm pinned behind her so she couldn’t fend off the blows that were to come.

Khorvis clutched the midsection of the chain. It seemed to have a life of its own; the end barbed and flailed at the human, who withered slightly as she looked at the Lash.

“The leaders…” Skylah started. She shook her head to clear her vision of fallen strands and licked the blood on her lips. “A dancing panda leads them last I knew.”

“Leads which one?” Syreena questioned. “And what of the other?”

“The Lion,” Skylah answered. She laughed ever so slightly to herself, more out of desperation than anything else. “A panda leads the lion.”

“His name.” The rogue stared at the prisoner, and so did the hydra. It smelled the blood on her and was hungry.

Skylah closed her eyes, knowing what would come after her answer. “I will not betray the name to you. He is my friend.”

Shaelie spoke closely into Skylah’s ear. “Good,” she said coldly, and then she bent Skylah’s thumb back slowly until it popped from its socket, laying flat against her wrist. The priestess cried out in agony. Small sobs escaped her lips. A line of blood and drool fell from her mouth as she stared at the ground, fighting against the pain.

“His name,” Syreena repeated.

“Flames may make her speak,” Shaelie suggested. “If we burn her an inch at a time, from the feet up.”

“I cannot contain the Lash much longer! It will shred her flesh asunder!” Khorvis growled. He strained with all of his frame as the chains went wild, licking forth at Skylah.

The priestess managed to lift her head and look at the Lash one more time before replying. “Light save my soul, but I will not give up a friend.”

Knowing what was to come, Shaelie stepped away from Skylah but kept hold of her arm and stretched it out, nodding to Syreena who did the same. They held the prisoner trapped between them with her arms spread wide to allow Khorvis to do his worst. Skylah tried her best to stand tall, though she was close to dead weight by this point.

“You bloody foolish woman,” Khorvis growled as the Lash escaped his grip. “You did this to yourself.”

The chain whipped forward and slammed into the human’s shoulder, beneath the collarbone, knocking the air from its victim. It embedded itself in the stone wall some ten feet above the woman and dragged Skylah. The priestess released a horrific scream when she collided with the wall and pain soared through her body, and she convulsed from the electric shock. She was dragged upwards until the balls of her feet barely touched the floor, but all of the lightning seemed to have disappeared from the Lash. The two Grim women finally released Skylah’s wrists; the Lash held her now.

“Know what would be even better?” Shaelie asked, watching the human dance. “We should make an image recording of this and send it to them with the promise to send more, regularly, until these leaders surrender themselves.”

“Keep your scorpid recording, Keeper,” Khorvis said as he rubbed his raw hand with his mechanical one. “That do be your duty, no?”

Skylah’s breathing was labored. She tried to grab at the blade, though her broken fingers would not allow her. She quietly sobbed, her feet still dancing to support her.

“I’m always recording,” Shaelie answered. “Now would be a good time to state the terms of surrender. Unless they want more movies.”

Khorvis knelt before the blood elf’s mechanical scorpid and prepared a short speech. Skylah looked at the scorpid wearily.

“Adherents of the Jade Lion! Members of the Eternal Aegis! Here these words!” the orc’s called. “Your goatsucking fel-sodding arses will bend the neck and lay down your arms before the Gates of Orgrimmar! Your vaunted priestess do be our gust!”

He stepped back and gestured to Skylah to show the wounded wench to the camera.

Shaelie pressed a small dagger just beneath Skylah’s eye, digging in the tip until a trickle of blood began to redden the crease of her lower eyelid.

“The next recording may be accompanied by her pretty eye,” she warned the viewers.

“Don’t move,” Syreena said softly on the other side. “You’ll cut your eye out.” She jammed a pair of pliers at one of Skylah’s fingers, forcing one tip between nail and flesh. A vicious pull yanked the nail free, and the priestess’s hoarse yell followed.

Khorvis knelt down in front of the scorpid again.

“These do be your terms. All of your arms on the docks of Bladefist Bay,” the orc demanded. “All of your ships lit and kindled as tinder. We do wish to see a blazing horizon in seven night’s time.”

“And if you attack Vol’mar again, you’ll find her head in Lion’s Watch the next day!” Syreena called out from somewhere in the background.

“Jade Lion and Eternal Aegis,” the orc continued. “Complete surrender or this wench do be split open like an oyster on my midsummer’s feast table!”

Khorvis nodded at Shaelie as Skylah tried to shy away from her. Barely above a whisper did the priestess try to speak as she tilted her head toward the scorpid.

“Bri…I..” Her voice trialed off as her head fell.

Shaelie sent the scorpid to the other side of the room, in case anything else good happened.

“I’ll edit the footage and give it to you to do…whatever with,” she said to Khorvis. Skylah let out a small cry, hearing that her message would not get through.

“Zug zug,” Khorvis answered. “The Wordbearer will want to know of this. Those two foolish pinkskin guilds will fall right into our Scalp Hunt!” He bared his teeth and snarled at Skylah. “Enjoy the Lash, wench. It might be the last bit of iron you do battle with.”

“Still think this is a game?” Shaelie asked the priestess as she threw a bag at Skylah. The bag opened when it landed and several spiders crawled out of it. They began creeping around the cell, along the floors, up the walls, over the prisoner’s feet.

Skylah looked up just enough to see the three make their way to the gate. Once they were out, Syreena pulled the door closed and locked it. “Sleep tight.”

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[[ Things I have learned from this roleplay:

1. Skylah must be one tough bitch to hold out after three nights of torture.

2. Shaelie is far more sadistic than I had previously thought.

3. Syreena is frighteningly methodical.

4. Khorvis is, at his core, erratic in his violence. It is a character flaw that continuously gets him and the Grim in trouble. I love it. ]]

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After having a conversation with Syreena the night before, Shaelie decided that she and Skylah needed to have a bit of a chat. There was further information she required. Topics that had not quite been touched on, yet. After contacting Syreena, the two agreed to meet at the cell where the prisoner was being held. The two exchanged nods, once they arrived.

"You're speedy," commented Shaelie.

Syreena unlocked the gate and stepped in, shrugging. "I have secret ways." She winked slyly.

Shaelie stepped into the cell, and looked up at the hanging prisoner. "She gonna die from that?"

"Possibly."

Shaelie looked up at Skylah and grabbed her leg, giving it a tug. "I got questions."

Skylah up to her two visitors, her body and dress covered in blood. She winced only slightly, as if her body is numbing from the pain. "Always with the questions...," she spoke barely above a whisper.

Shaelie folded her arms. "I hear that a caravan travels through horde territory. Why?"

"To trade...and pillage." Came the weak response.

Shaelie narrowed her eyes. She reached to her belt and pulled a canteen of water free. Uncapping it, she handed it up to Skylah. "Drink. But know that I'm not giving you water out of kindness. Just so you won't die. You can't answer questions if you're dead."

Skylah reached a weak arm out to take the canteen in hand, her once broken and dislocated fingers set, but stiff and unmoving in their current position. She attempted to lift the canteen to her lips, struggling to take a drink.

Shaelie allowed her to keep the canteen and drink her fill. There was nothing wrong with the water, it was fresh and clean. She watched the human drink before continuing. "Who leads the caravan?"

Skylah coughed, some of the water spilling. "I thought...I thought you wanted the Lion?"

Shaelie's expression was largely impassive. "They want the Lion. I want to know about the caravan."

Syreena tilted her head with narrowed eyes as she stared at Skylah, but she remained quiet for the moment.

Skylah closed her eyes, breath coming somewhat labored. "And...you want the leader?"

Shaelie unslung her rifle,letting it hang down at her side. "You are stalling. I want to know who leads the caravan, and what it's route is. If I have to ask again, you'll regret it."

Syreena eyed Skylah, deciding she's not threat to Shaelie in her current state, and headed out to take care of some things.

Skylah coughed lightly, her body to shake as it triggered the pain from the hook. "Not...stalling. My mind...so foggy."

Shaelie cocked the rifle and aimed it at Skylah's knee. "Bullshit! Your mind is just fine. Answer The Question!"

Skylah looked to the woman with the gun, her head to sag after a moment. "The leader...," she swallows hard. "She..." Skylah cuts off as if in defeat.

Shaelie butted Skylah's knee with the muzzle of the rifle. "He." She clarified. "I would be very careful about lying. And think very carefully about the consequences. If you don't answer my questions, I will shoot you in the kneecap. The bone will shatter, and the pain will be intolerable. Now tell me. Where does the caravan travel? Where can it be found? Along what roads or outposts?"

Skylah stared at the ground. "He...huh. Do...do you believe everything you hear...or see?" The question asked amidst a series of deep breaths.

Shaelie looked up at Skylah, her lips pressing together. "As I said the other night. This is not a game." With that, she squeezed the trigger, firing off a blast into Skylah's kneecap, which would pulverize that knee. The bullet slammed into her kneecap, shattering the bone and leaving the flesh a manged mess.

Skylah howled in pain, her breathing to become erratic as her scream continues. She looks down to her mangled leg, thankful that everything is still intact. After a couple minutes of wailing does she manage to speak two words. "She...warlock."

Shaelie watched Skylah scream. She lowered her gun and stood there for awhile, not speaking. She let Skylah sit with the agony for awhile, giving her little else to focus on. She listened to the pained whisper, and nodded to herself. "Where do they travel?"

Skylah sobbed as she stared at her leg. She tried to find movement in it but her wails only increased more at the failure. Briefly does she manage to look at the woman. "Gold.. that is all they seek."

.

Shaelie stared at Skylah. "You can only protect your friends so much. You have plenty of other body parts to shoot. And I have a lot of bullets." She paused, listening. Then repeated her question, firmly. "Where do they travel? What areas?"

Skylah coughed, a small amount of blood to be expelled. "I..told you. Gold is...what drives them. I had...just joined them."

"Tell me about the draenei pirate."

Skylah closed her eyes, her breath extremely labored. "He...is but a distraction..."

Shaelie narrowed her eyes. "A distraction from what?"

Skylah's body hung there, nearly lifeless. "The 'he' you speak of," she took a beep breath. "He is merely a figurehead."

Shaelie listened, and looked thoughtful. But her eyes shifted back to Skylah's. "Last question. You can answer it, and I'll leave. Or you can dance around the topic some more, and I'll shoot out your other kneecap. You'll probably end up crippled. When you joined with them- where did you join them, and where were they traveling to?"

"Northwatch hold... I joined...at the hold."

"And where was their next destination?"

Skylah gasped, her breath short. "My job...," she began. "My job was to observe."

Shaelie waited.

"Crossing the chasm...that was their goal." Skylah finished, after that pause.

Shaelie watched Skylah, and slowly slung the rifle back over her shoulder. "It's better for you when you answer directly. Because sooner or later, you have to answer." She warned. "You have no choice. I can do a whole lot worse to you." With that, she turned, striding out the door.

Once outside, Shaelie pulled her maps from their scroll case and studied them. Her eyes moved immediately to Ratchet. Of course.. it was common for Alliance to be sniffing around that neutral port. So that was the first place she would look.

Climbing aboard her rocket, she headed south. After an initial fly over of the little port, she didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Mostly goblins. I'll just take a look around, she thought. Maybe ask in the tavern if there have been any draenei through, recently.

Landing her rocket, she climbed off and headed towards the tavern. Rounding a corner, she stopped short when she nearly walked right into two of them. Casually, she altered her course and entered a shop. Either the two had not noticed her, or she hadn't drawn their attention. After a moment she saunted back out and moved to the far end of the port. Once she was a safe distance away, she turned and sent her scorpid back in for a closer look. When it was in range, she pressed the button in her glove, capturing an image.

afcc99a792d9293a85cc39d4e4116a72.png

Recalling the mechanical beast to her side again, she climbed aboard her rocket and quickly returned to Orgimmar.

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(( Cringe-worthy, yet necessary for her current position. I am thankful that Syreena and Shae and everyone else are so quick at getting posts up, and that you are enjoying the story. Unfortunately the worst my be yet to come if lil Sky keeps trying to fabricate information.))

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((I don't know what the limits of magical healing are, but under normal circumstances, I don't think Skylah's ever walking again without crutches or a prosthetic. Also I don't think that bullet went through clean, so lead poisoning could cause some other complications. Plus with the hook in the shoulder, she'll be lucky to be able to use her arm after this is over. So, yeah, I would not want to be Sky right about now.))

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Shaelie entered the cell, again. This time she was alone. She squinted, peering up at Skylah and guaging her condition.

Skylah rolled her head enough to glance up as she hears the gate open.

Shaelie had a small bag at her side, which she dropped to the floor. Scowling, she shoved the crate that was near Skylah's feet and stepped up onto it. "You are going to die of shock and exposure if you continue to hang like that."

Skylah spoke barely above a whisper, and even that sounding strained. "Isn't that...the point?" She said while taking a breath.

Shaelie studied the other end of the chain where it had somehow gotten embedded into the wall. "No. If the point was for you to die, you wouldn't be sitting in this cell. Or hanging. We need information." She reached up and began to work the chain free. This wouldn't be pleasant for Skylah, as the jarring of the chain would aggrevated where the hook was embedded under her collar bone. But Shaelie gave a hard yank, finally freeing the end from the wall and letting Skylah drop to the ground.

Skylah opened her mouth in silent protest as the movement causes her pain, her body to quickly fall to the ground in a heap; her head to bounce off the hard flooring.

Shaelie hopped down. She didn't actually intend for the human to smack it's head, but she realized Skylah was in quite a weakened state. She stood there, looking down at the human and waiting to see if she still lived.

Skylah slowly attempted to roll from her side, the blade still peircing through her left shoulder; she to groan all the while.

Shaelie studied the metal that pierced through Skylah's shoulder. It was pretty severe, having gotten wedged under the bone itself. "I'm not going to try to take that out. Maybe I'll find a healer that can come take a look. It'll require a bit of surgery, and you are at risk of infection." She turned and scooped up the cloth bag and tossed it into Skylah's lap.

Skylah managed to sit up with the aid of the wall. She stared back at the woman, breathing in a heavy rhythm, giving a nod when a healer was mentioned. Her gaze fell to the bag. "A gift?"

Shaelie shrugged. "Enough to keep you alive." Her voice was flat, though this whole conversation. There was no kindness or sympathy offered. Shaelie was very matter of fact. "There's more water in there. A loaf of bread and some dried meat. It's enough."

Skylah closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the wall. She to appear as pleased as one could in her situation. "My...thanks,"she said in a cold manner.

Shaelie turned on her heel and stalked back out of the cell, without another word. It had occurred to her the moment that she walked in that she had forgotten to remove her tabard or put on her helm. But she didn't bother to correct or even acknowledge it. It didn't matter. They would fight whoever came. And she was proud to be Grim.

Skylah moved her shaky hand to grab at the bag. Her shaky fingers making it hard to untie the bag. Frustratingly she manages to finally get to the water.

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Syreena, Lupinum, and Tesonii met Shaelie on the stairs outside the prisoner’s cell. Syreena had told the other two to wear helms or masks to hide their faces, and to wear no Grim tabards or other items with the guild symbol. Lupinum was able to comply easily. Tesonii had only a pumpkin mask with her, so she donned that, looking a bit silly for the seriousness of the situation.

They stepped into the cell after Syreena unlocked the door with the key she kept around her neck. The others followed. Tesonii stood at the edge of the room, rocking on her heels. Lupinum looked around the dwelling, taking in the reek scent of captivity. Shaelie gestured at the prisoner, who looked to be in pretty rough shape. “Lasher wants it alive. So.”

“What’s the dancing panda’s name?” Syreena asked as Skylah stirred at the ruckus of her visitors’ entrance, her head barely lifting to take in those who entered. When the prisoner didn’t answer immediately, the rogue nudged her roughly with her foot and repeated the question. “What is the name of the panda that leads the Jade Lion?”

Skylah snorted to herself, an almost laugh, but very short. Speaking very low did she respond, “His name…”, she coughed, cutting off momentarily. “Fa….Zhii Fa.” She dropped her head into her lap as soon as the words left her lips.

“Zhii Fa,” the rogue repeated, committing the name to memory. She bent down and took hold of the hook still in Skylah’s shoulder, twisting it ever so slightly. “Tel me again. And don’t lie. The Jade Lion’s leader?”

Skylah’s body tensed, a hoarse cry to echo, cutting in and out. After a short sob did she respond once more. “It is Zhii…” Syreena stared at Skylah. “A friend,” the human added, breathing deeply, trying to fight a round of tears.

Lupinum folded his arms, peering from underneath his hood. Tesonii, not a fan of torture, twisted her lips to the side under her mask, looking between Skylah and the rogue. Shaelie just watched with mild interest, seeming very focused and not at all disturbed by what was happening.

Syreena tightened her grip on the hook a bit more. "And Eternal Aegis? The name of their leader?"

Lupinum leaned forward eagerly now. Shaelie turned her head to eye Tesonii, who looked a bit antsy. She frowned and spoke to her in a low voice. “Do not interfere. If you can’t handle this, you shouldn’t be here.”

When Skylah didn’t answer fast enough, Syreena motioned to Lupinum behind her. “See this priest? I brought him here to ease your pain and make sure you survive a while yet. You want your pain eased, right?”

Skylah cried out, the pain in her shoulder still unbearable. Through sobs and heavy breathing did she look up to Lupinum, whose burning yellow eyes locked onto the girl’s face. Skylah whispered, “I do…”

“Then ANSWER ME!” Syreena shouted. She blinked and seemed to compose herself, smiling sweetly before twisting the hook in the prisoner’s shoulder some more. "Eternal Aegis...leader's name."

Skylah sobbed, her eyes closed and pain evident on her face as the sweat dripped from her chin. “I don’t know,” she exclaimed with a small jump from her evident frustration, the movement to aggravate her shoulder. “I know names, but…” Skylah’s voice lowered to a whisper once more. “But I am unsure who leads.”

“Then give me the names you know, and the priest will mend you some,” Syreena promised.

Tesonii just stared forward. Shaelie told her, “This is what the Mandate demands. This is our duty.” Tesonii looked at Shaelie then she rolled up her sleeve and wrote on her arm. After Shaelie read it, Tesonii switched arms and wrote on her bandages. Shaelie nodded. “I mostly agree. But, this is what’s been ordered. Even though I think it’s dumb,” she added in a low mutter, at the end.

Lupinum ignored the other goings on, continuing to stare silently at the prisoner.

Skylah punched the ground lightly a couple times, the internal fight evident. "I, uh...I cannot," she trailed off, fearing the repercussions.

Syreena shook her head slowly, still holding the hook in one hand. Her free hand disappeared into her armor, withdrawing a vial of bright green liquid. She popped off the vial’s cork with her thumb, then poured the poison over Skylah’s shoulder wound. Lupinum watched; his mouth would have twitched, if half wasn’t made from iron.

Skylah turned her face as the liquid was poured, a brief look of confusion to show. “Wha…what did you do?”

“It’ll start to burn in a few seconds,” Syreena answered, “and continue to burn until the priest heals you, which he will do after you give me the names.”

Tesonii wrote something else on her arm for Shaelie. Shaelie nodded, leaning to whisper to the other blood elf. “I know. But, orders are orders." Tesonii nodded, but groaned, clearly frustrated, scribbling on her bandages some more. "But the fact remains. Orders are orders. And I'll uphold those orders to the death." Tesonii looked really antsy, writing more on her arm. Shaelie shrugged. “You’d have to ask her.” Tesonii sighed, and then took a seat in the corner and started writing on her blades.

Skylah’s right leg began to twitch and her teeth clench as the poison began to take effect. Syreena slowly twisted the hook back and forth in the human’s shoulder. “Eternal Aegis names,” the rogue prompted. Skylah’s upper body began to shake as the pain began to set in. Her jaw set and eyes clamped shut, another cry escaped her. Lupinum folded his arms, watching. He would not move without Syreena’s order.

"Okay!" Skylah exclaimed barely above a whisper. "Sym...Symorick..."

“And?”

Skylah let out a sigh of defeat. "Marrus." Syreena stared at her a moment longer. Skylah added, “Moriggy, that…that is all I know.”

Syreena glanced at Lupinum to make sure he was ready. The priest’s jaw squealed as he moved it into a smirk. The rogue tugged on the hook in the human’s shoulder, trying to remove it. She succeeded only in making Skylah arch her back in pain. The hook was lodged tight. Syreena stepped back and motioned for Tesonii to step forward. The death knight cocked her head to the side as she stepped up.

“See if you can pull the hook out. I think it’s stuck,” the rogue said to Tesonii. Then Syreena turned to Lupinum. “Be ready. Don’t let her die.” Of course, it wasn’t the prisoner the rogue was concerned about; Khorvis wanted the prisoner alive, and Syreena didn’t intend to be the one to let him down.

“By your command,” the Forsaken priest answered as he stepped forward. Holy words were ready to leave his lips as he crouched down beside the prisoner.

“Remember,” Shaelie warned Tes from the other side of the room, “if you’re too kind to her, I’ll just have to shoot her again so she remembers”

Tesonii looked up at the ceiling and groaned. She knelt down in front of Skylah and studied the embedded hook. Skylah’s breathing became more labored in anticipation. Tesonii dabbed her fingertips in some of the copious blood on Skylah’s wounds. She thought to herself, and scribed a rune on the skin near the hook and the hook itself. When Tesonii grabbed the hook, skin and metal first blackened then turned white as they froze solid. It was painful for the prisoner, but then just felt empty. Tesonii ripped the hook out, along with the frozen bits of flesh. Skylah lost all the breath within her as the blade was removed. She turned her head to look at the wound, but quickly looked away again in disgust. It wasn’t painful now--until it thawed--but it was very big.

"Well, that'll do it,” Syreena said, her head tilted as she eyed the frozen wound. Shaelie also looked at it. The gaping wound was rimmed with flesh blackened from blood, dead tissue, and Tesonii’s spell.

After Tesonii dusted off her hands and let the metal clatter to the floor, she stepped back and gestured to Lupinum. The Forsaken priest cocked his head as he leaned forward to place a hand over the wound.

“I shot her in the kneecap last night, too,” Shaelie told Lupinum. “Not sure if that’s anything that’ll kill her or not, without treatment.” Tesonii frowned under her pumpkin mask.

Lupinum whispered while Skylah’s skin, bone, and muscle slowly began to shift back to their original places. Light shone between his fingers, obscuring the knitting of tissue back together. Bone fused back into a malformed shape. Lupinum pulled his hand away before it completely finished. A gnarled mess of scar tissue remained where the hook had been. Skylah spared a glance at the Forsaken priest before she looked at the scarred shoulder, tears welling up in her eyes.

Tesonii paces through the process. Syreena watched her suspiciously. Shalei leaned in to remind her, “They aren’t people.” Tesonii sighed and wrote on her arm, hiding the words from Syreena. Shaelie read the words and grunted, conceding that point, just a bit. The death knight rolled her sleeve back up and crossed her arm.

“She is mended,” Lupinum said, turning to his comrades. “But she will die without water.”

“I gave her water and food,” Shaelie answered, gesturing at the bag near Skylah, who was slumped against the wall behind her, her body exhausted and she unable to support herself any longer.

Lupinum growled and looked through his bag for a moment. He stood, having found nothing but shards of gems and empty flasks of alchohol.

Shaelie, remembering something, dug around in her own satchel. Then she handed three small devices to Syreena. The rogue took them and looked at them curiously before looking up at the blood elf. “The recording devices for Ratchet?”

Shaelie nodded. The devices were each about the size of a walnut, and had a tacky substance on the backside, making them able to stick to a surface. “Maybe plant a couple in the tavern. And there’ sa spare, in case you think of another place. We can monitor them remotely,” the huntress informed the rogue. “But be careful--the area is hot.”

Syreena nodded to Shaelie, then looked at Skylah. "We're going to record your Caravan friends, so we can gather information to more easily slaughter them and anyone they associate with." Syreena smiled at the prisoner. Tesonii crossed her arms as she listened.

Skylah’s breathing slowed for a moment, she to look up with pure hatred in her eyes. Syreena paid no mind to the human’s anger and instead turned to Lupinum. “Finished?”

“With her shoulder, yes,” the Forsaken priest answered. “I imagine you want to keep her lame?”

“I don’t care,” Shaelie answered as she watched Skylah slump in a defeated manner, a short, crazed laugh to herself. “Alive is alive.”

Syreena nodded. “If it won’t kill her. She’ll live another few days then?”

“The wound is clotted, barring any infections, she'll live,” Lupinum assured them.

After Syreena carefully collected the Lash chain and hook, she turned to Tesonii. The death knight cocked her head to the side as Syreena spoke. “I’m sure I don’t have to remind you this place is secret from any outsiders.” Tesonii nodded mutely, and after a moment of consideration, the rogue nodded as well.

“I'm going to Ratchet,” Syreena said. Then she grinned. “Stay and play if you like.”

"Are you going to try to plant the devices now? We may be able to cover you if things go south,” Shaelie said. After Syreena nodded, the huntress added, “Just don't take unnecessary chances. I'm sure they are on alert, if they are there. Ideally, it'll be empty for now."

“What fun would that be?” the rogue countered with a wink.

Shaelie chuckled and walked out of the cell. Lupinum looked down at the mess of blood and tears on the floor. There may have been a hint of pity behind his hood, but it was gone in a flash, and he followed Shaelie. Tesonii wrote on a the label of a bottle “For helping,” and then set the bottle down by Skylah before she also stepped out. Syreena was last to leave, pulling the door shut and locking it.

“Sleep tight,” the rogue said before she headed off to Ratchet where, watched over by Shaelie and Lupinum, she would plant two recording devices in the inn and a third one watching the docks.

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[[ Friday, November 13th, 2015 ]]

Khorvis sat at his usual table in the Wyvern's Tail on the second floor, shrouded in smoke and the stale stench of sweat. It was a Friday night, but most of the patrons had cleared out when the large armored orc had entered the tavern. Now he sat alone while Gravy absentmindedly cleaned a beer glass with a dirty rag. The old troll wouldn't mind the loss of business - the High Inquisitor made certain that the establishment was well reimbursed. Khorvis barked into his hearthstone:

[Khorvis]: Dreadweaver Bloodshine!!!

[Bloodscream]: Shiny's here?

[Shaelie]: Khorvis is drunk again

[Lilliana]: I like him like that. *giggles*

[Khorvis]: Like fel I am. I do hear your voices. Both of you. In my presence, immediately.

[Lilliana]: ................

[Lilliana]: *there is a blast, she's kind of fighting*

[Khorvis]: What? Where is that coming from?!

[Shaelie]: On my way.

[Khorvis]: Lilliana, I do not give a bloody kobold's arse what scrap you do be in, I do need your ears Now!

[Lilliana]: *sounds angry....she hisses.....* I'm freaking coming, where the frack is your big damned orc ass?

[Khorvis]: My table at the Wyvern's tale, getting numb by the fracking moment.

Shaelie salutes you with respect.

You nod at Shaelie.

[Shaelie]: Lilly is..coming

[Shaelie]: YOU are not invited, outsider!

Drakzone puts his hands in the air and waves them "yah yah, Snackmeat"

Lilliana rolls her eyes, "He has been helping me fight and kill alliance, Shaelie."

[Khorvis]: No no, bring him back

Drakzone waits at the door smirking to himself

Shaelie frowns with disappointment at you.

Lilliana grins evilly at Drakzone, "Hehe, I'm so stronger than you!"

Drakzone smirks slyly at Lilliana.

[Khorvis]: If he does like to hunt Alliance, then this news DO be important to him as well.

Lilliana wanders over to Khorvis, and she sticks her tongue out at Shaelie.

[Drakzone]: Sure yah awh Desert flowah.

Lilliana agrees with Drakzone.

Shaelie tucked in the corner of her mouth, but didn't protest it further.

[Lilliana]: So like, why are you bugging me, I'm killing shit. *she eyes Khorvis, being a defiant little brat....but maybe not so defiant, she's here, isn't she?*

Khorvis slams a paper down on his usual table. Upon it are written two names.

Drakzone grins at Shaelle with full trollish fangs, licking his lips with dilating eyes.

Shaelie looked at the paper.

Lilliana goes to look at the paper too.

[Khorvis]: Because we do have a morsel of information, Clandestine. And it be YOUR turn to find out more.

Khorvis points to the names.

Shaelie is looking!

[Khorvis]: Zhii Fa of the Jade Lion. Marcus Luminus of Eternal Aegis.

[Drakzone]: Dah fat one?

Khorvis coughs, Marrus.

[Shaelie]: Oh yes. We heard those names spoken last night.

[Drakzone]: He gone.

Khorvis makes a throat cutting motion at Shaelie and a hushing sound.

[Lilliana]: Cause I found out so much last time.... *she is smiling pleasantly as she states this..... Then she considers the two names* Ooooooooooo, Zhii Fa....Marcus Luminus. *she repeats* Stupidheaded Alliance that need to be turned into a bloody mess right...?

[Khorvis]: Gone? What do you mean, troll?

Lilliana turns to look at Drak'zon.

[Drakzone]: He gone- Been replaced.

Drakzone shrugs taking his three inch tusk sharpener.

[Lilliana]: Ooo, you know stuff! *bounds over to Drak'zon* You're my new best friend!

Drakzone cocks his head back squinting at her "Riiight."

Shaelie gave Khorvis a narrow look. She had not elaborated, and didn't intend to.

[Khorvis]: Replaced by whom? And how do you come by this information, troll? I do not even know your name.

[Lilliana]: Can you explain what you mean by replaced, to Khorvis? Please?

Lilliana speaks at the same time Khorvis does.

Shaelie folded her arms.

Lilliana is very polite.

Khorvis is an asshole.

[Drakzone]: He gone, no longer on dah green boat.

[Drakzone]: Where he gone, honestly I don't give enough shits tah listen. But kiff yah want tah know more welll..

Khorvis turns red with impatience.

Drakzone takes the tusk sharping blade and scratches it under his neck.

Lilliana glances at Khorvis....and sends him a thought of the troll's name, 'Drak'zon'.....without speaking it as the troll explains. That will probably confuse Khorvis, but whatever.

[Drakzone]: Sure yah could ask boss lady but she not to fond of yah type.

Lilliana looks at Drakzone.

[Lilliana]: What if I asked her?

Drakzone raises his eyebrow inquisitively at Lilliana.

[Lilliana]: Oooooooooo, what if YOU asked her for us!

Drakzone frowns with disappointment at Lilliana.

[Khorvis]: Who the goatsucking nethertit is the boss lady?!

[Lilliana]: Come on Drak'zon..... I'll kill more Alliance with you..... I'll kill all day! *as if she doesn't do this already*

Shaelie glanced at Khorvis and smirked. Nethertit..

[Drakzone]: She who she vant tah be today, yah met 'er once- at yah "inquisition"

Lilliana looks to Khorvis and Shaelie, and provides some information, since Drak'zon is being....limited in what he says, "Semir....something. The elf girl."

Khorvis darkens in demeanor. "I do remember that name..."

Drakzone smirks slyly at you.

Lilliana points a thumb at Drakzone, "He works for her." She makes a face, obviously she doesn't think that's a good job to have.

[Drakzone]: Kiff yah ask nicely she may find kit in 'er heart tah help yah. but admittedly she not too fond.

Khorvis clenches his new mechanical fist at his side. The gears grind audibly. "FINE! Here do be the plan."

You point at Shaelie.

Lilliana eyes Shaelie up and down.

Shaelie opened her mouth to comment, then shut it again,not looking pleased. She faced Khorvis.

[Khorvis]: YOU, Keeper, will begin learning of this Marrus Luminus of the Eternal Aegis. Everything. His birthplace, his living relatives, his comrades, the color of his bloody underoos!

Shaelie nodded. "It will be done."

Lilliana holds her hands together in front of her, and stands quietly listening as she eyes Shaelie.

You nod at Shaelie.

Khorvis begins penning a note on an ale-stained slip of parchment.

Khorvis growls out of the side of his mouth while he scribbles furiously.

Drakzone grins to himself, letting his eyes refocus.

Shaelie was annoyed that they were devoting so much time and energy to the details of individual alliance rather than just slaughtering them all. But she would follow orders.

[Khorvis]: You ... Clandestine ... and your new sandy friend ... will discover the fate of Zhii Fa ... and who now steers. the. SHIP!

Drakzone chuckles under his breath

Khorvis shoves the paper into Drak'zon's hands.

[Drakzone]: Kiff I may offer ah suggestion?

Lilliana 's expression changes a bit as she continues to eye Shaelie....perhaps she picked up on her thought. "Hey, " To Khorvis as her attentions change.... "Okay. But Drak'zon ain't Sandfury, he's cool, but not that cool." She has to point out, tribal pride and

Lilliana > all.

Drakzone looks at the paper but refuses to grasp it, reclining in his position.

Lilliana takes the paper from Khorvis and freaking sticks it onto Drak'zon's left tusk.

[Drakzone]: She anit gunna take dat, kiff any thang kit just hurt yah cause.. they might receive warning then.

Khorvis yanks at his goatee passively with annoyance.

Drakzone takes the paper off his tusks crumbling it and tossing it over his shoulder shaking his head. "We anit one of yah lap dogs, yah haven't earned our respect or interest"

[Shaelie]: We don't need the help of these outsiders anyway. We can do this ourselves!

[Drakzone]: Gib me dat one over der, put 'er kin something civil and have 'er talk to me boss.

Drakzone flicks his tusks towards Shaelie.

[Drakzone]: Win 'er over and me trust yah have all yah want tah know, maybe even a bit on dah magus. No promises

Lilliana looks dubiously at Shaelie, "You want her to win your bosses trust?"

Drakzone teeth are unable to hide the fervors grin. "Perhaps" his eyes dilating at the word.

Khorvis begins to look doubtful, remembering the time Grif'tah liberated him of three weeks pay for a bone trinket promising to calm his bottom-terrors.

Lilliana looks uncertain, "Drak'zon, you aren't being very nice."

Shaelie was about to suggest something very crude that 'boss lady' could go do with herself. But instead, she looked at Khorvis. "We don't need them. And we certainly don't want to be indebted to them. For anything."

[Drakzone]: She knows -everything- about what happend to tah fat cap'tan.. infact shes even met the new one.

[Drakzone]: in a way.

[Khorvis]: You will not have the Keeper Shaelie. Already she be tasked with many important undertakings. You will have Lilliana... and myself.

Lilliana sticks her hands in her pockets. She is staring at Drak'zon, "Please, Drak'zon?"

Drakzone shakes his head tisking. "I fear yah two lack the cosmetic for the appeasement yah wish. Gib dah dragonhawk, if one thing me will assure kis she will return.

Lilliana narrows her ey es, "Lack the cosmetic......." She looks sharply at Shaelie and then at Drak'zon, "What exactly are you saying you want her for?"

[Drakzone]: No need tah think today mmm? Perhaps by tomorrow we reach accord, yah git yer information for effectively free and meet a new friend.

Shaelie isn't really hiding, that was a misclick and now I can't unhide.

Drakzone shrugs at Lilliana. Who knows?

[Drakzone]: Maybe she can tell yah afterward.

Lilliana 's jaw drops. She looks at Khorvis, expecting him to punch the male troll in the face or something.

[Shaelie]: I'm not going with you, I have far more important things to do and NONE of it concerns you.

Khorvis thinks for a moment. Suddenly, like a rare sunray in Northrend, an idea comes to his mind. "I do know just the pair."

[Drakzone]: Tisk tsik, and I thought yer group was doubt tah do anything fer each other- appearently talking be to much eh?

Drakzone raises his eyebrow inquisitively at you.

[Khorvis]: Fine, Drak'zon. With time, your mistress might have some new guests.

[Shaelie]: we love you Yemana

[Drakzone]: Shaelie and one other dragonhawk- at dah most. Tomorrow evening at the latest or the boss lady does what she like.

Shaelie makes a rude gesture at Drakzone.

[Khorvis]: Forget Shaelie. She cannot hold a candle to the duo I will bring before your lady.

[Drakzone]: Names.

[Khorvis]: The Executioner and the Tactician.

Lilliana looks at Khorvis with quite the expression of protest. Her hands come out of her pockets and she makes a 'what the fuck' kind of gesture after Drak'zon again demands Shaelie....and then ANOTHER elf for whatever games....? But then...when Khorvis >

[Drakzone]: Are they dragonhawks?

Lilliana > suggest those two names....she stops and grins, nodding enthusasitically at Drak'zon.

[Khorvis]: Sin'dorei, blooded through.

[Drakzone]: They'll do then- Let them dress something pretending tah be fancy and be ready to have patience of steel.

[Drakzone]: Kit gunna be an uphill battle fer dem tah want to gain her aid in dis and only offer my own fer distrub'en yah ritual in time past.

[Lilliana]: Drak'zon, can't we all just get along?

Drakzone looks at Lilliana.

[Drakzone]: No,

Lilliana looks back at Drak'zon. Like the little priestess doens't know that. She keeps a stupid look on her face though.

[Khorvis]: Enough idle banter. You all do have your orders. Expect our ambassadors soon, troll.

Shaelie leaned to whisper something to Khorvis.

Khorvis returns to his table to enjoy the rest of his ale while listening to Shaelie's report.

Drakzone looks over a Shaelie before turning to leave, the eyes dilating once more "Anothah chance then Dragonhawk". His trollish fangs jsut barely catch the light giving off their cut form.

Lilliana eyes both Shaelie and Khorvis, as if expectant. She kind of picked up what was swimming around in Shaelie's head though, cause she's annoying and nosey.

Drakzone looks at Lilliana.

[Drakzone]: See yah then Desert flower, me have words to spread. things tah do

[Drakzone]: The keeling can wait,

Lilliana ignores Drak'zon and his perservation on bloodelves.....and she ignores him as he leaves!

[Lilliana]: Male trolls really are the scum of the earth, *she smiles and creeps up to Shaelie and Shaelie*

Shaelie nods at you.

[Shaelie]: Oh, hi Syreena.

Shaelie waves at Syreena.

Syreena nods at Shaelie.

Lilliana nods to Shaelie, as if Shaelie had also been whispering to her. She has a bright smile for Syreena.

Syreena waves at Lilliana.

Shaelie salutes you with respect.

Shaelie turned and headed out to seek this vermin-with-a-name.

Lilliana glances at Khorvis, somewhat apolgetically.

[Khorvis]: That troll did be a mad one, Lilliana.

Lilliana sticks her hands into her pockets, "I have no control over him....not any. I can't really get into his head." Openly stated with some level of what sounds like remorse.

[Khorvis]: Then focus on Zhii Fa. I do retire for now.

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((I don't do a good of job as Syreena does in remaking these rp's, but Lilly went to visit Skylah since she was bored, later joined by a disapproving Syreena and exceptionally disapproving Shaelie. I don't think Syreena or Shaelie should have disapproved though, right? <3 I took some liberties, like assuming there were Grim trusted guards at the cell, as you'll see in the beginning...and of course at the end))

Lilliana is heard coming up the stairs, but she's taking her time. Humming like last time, perhaps dancing up and down a stair or two as something catches her eye. The priestess gestures to the guards to leave as she continues spinning around at the top of the stairs. The two orc guards chuckle at her, and make their way down the stairs to leave the priestess with the Grim's honored houseguest. Within the cell, Skylah is lying down and appears to be sleeping. Barely audible moans can be heard coming from her. The red headed troll steps up to the iron bars and places her hands on either side and rests her face in between the cold metal. Her soft blue eyes are staring at the human on the floor.

Skylåh stirs in her sleep, her left arm laying limply across her body as she tosses slightly.

Lilliana closes her eyes and mutters something that sounds like a prayer. It is only idly said, as if a young student is repeating something that they are told they have to repeat while in church, and Skylah feels (if she wakens) a faint healing wave come across her. It's not strong, but...it isn't held back either.

Skylåh starts, the jump to elicit a yelp as it shifts her arm. She lays her head back on the ground, her hair to cover most of her face. Whispering does she call out. "Who...who is there?"

Lilliana notices how that caused pain across Skylah's limb arm. Perhaps that was her plan disguised in a gentle heal....to cause pain? "Hi." She doesn’t introduce herself, but perhaps the girl will remember her smooth voice.

Skylåh swallows deeply. "The priestess...," she cuts off to take another breath. "Have you come to play?"

Lilliana is quiet for a few moments, and Skylah can feel her eyes fixed upon her and although her gaze may be gentle it seems to hold the human there. "No."

Skylåh closes her eyes gently, she to shift her body slightly on the ground. "Have any come with you?"

Lilliana shakes her head, "No. It's just me." She pauses, her face still pressed against the bars, "You look like total shit." As if that is an observation she really needs to make. But, the tone in her voice carries concern, and it seems more than sincere.

Skylåh breathes a short sigh of relief, her body to visibly relax a bit. Pushing with one arm does she struggle to sit up so she can better see the troll woman.

Skylåh asks, “Have they...have they told you of their 'sessions'?”

Lilliana stretches out her arms, which she leaves hanging through the bars lazily. She doesn't answer Skylah, instead she asks a question, "Have you told them what they wanna know yet?"

Skylåh lets her head fall, a look of shame to cross her face. "Some...and may I burn for giving them that."

Lilliana slides down, and then rests her back against the bars. Her pony tail sticks through. "Oh yeah?" She starts talking to Skylah like it is really a casual conversation, her tone interested. "Who would burn you?"

Skylåh replies, “The friends of those I have betrayed...and who could blame them?”

Lilliana turns her head, her gaze once more settling on Skylah, "You really think that's betrayal?". She takes her staff and places it on the ground beside her. She begins fixing the cloth that is wrapped around the two outstretched horns.

Skylåh sighs, her manner one of defeat. "A small betrayal is still just that, a betrayal. I painted a target on friends."

Lilliana shrugs her shoulders, "No one can blame you, human. I mean, look at you." Her eyes scan her, "Why isn't like, your head broken?"

Skylåh tilts her head to the side, her face changing to a look of confusion. "I suppose if my head was broke, they couldn't get the answers they want."

Lilliana suddenly winks at Skylåh, and states in the most childishly yet rather confident manner, "That doesn't matter, I still could. It would probably easier for me." Was the priestess taunting her?

Skylåh lets out a small laugh, the troll woman's behavior confusing her completely. "You are right, I suppose it would be easier for you if I was unable to resist. Lets not inform this 'Khorvis' of that, hrm?"

Skylåh stretches her legs out in front of her, the left one appearing quite stiff. With her right arm does she begin to massage around her knee. Lilliana smiles at Skylah. The troll had made a mistake in stating Khorvis's name, and she was impressed that Skylah had been able to retain memory of that, "I don't usually tell anyone anything." She states.

Skylåh actually manages a small grin. "Knowledge is a substantial source of power...though, I suppose it isn't doing me much good at the moment."

Lilliana seems to consider that, her look thoughtful while she faintly returns the tortured human girl's grin, meanwhile, Skylåh dares an observation to the troll, “You are a bit of an enigma to me. A horrific blend of sweet and evil.”

Lilliana gets the giggles, "You're so nice."

Skylåh shakes her head, somewhat in amazement at the unexpected reaction. She states, “Exactly.”, then lays her head against the stone wall behind her. "Can I ask you something?"

Lilliana picks at her robes. She finds a loose string and pulls on it gently. "Yeah." She sounds like she hadn't even noticed Shylah's somewhat baffled expression.

The human continues, “I understand information being wanted on Eternal Aegis and the Jade Lion...but why the Caravan?”

Lilliana stops picking at her robes. She grins much too brightly at Skylåh, but doesn't answer.

Skylåh lets out a long sigh. "I assume the question to be left unanswered?"

Lilliana shrugs, smiling, “Well, I don't know.”. Skylah can consider for herself if that statement is truth or not. “What's so special about them....?” the troll asks, still smiling.

Skylåh laughs lightly. "And now we ask the same question. Perhaps we are doomed to wonder."

Lilliana giggles gently, "Probably." She reaches her hand in through the bars, "Do you think I should have killed you at the masquerade?" Her tone sounds quite playful, but not in a vicious manner...almost like a joke you have to make when there is nothing else to be done.

Skylåh pauses from what she was going to say from the surprise question. "No, I don't think you should have. Though, perhaps my friends would be safer if you had."

As the human girl stops speaking, Syreena suddenly appears, her decepit form easing into site where she had chosen to sit beside Lilliana. It was almost as if she had always been there. She replies to Skylah’s earlier question about the Caravan, “Because they are too far into Horde territory.”

Skylåh stares hard through the cells barred gate at the 'new' arrival. "I was wondering how long it would take."

Lilliana looks sharply at Syreena when she appears in her magical rogue manner beside her. She does not look pleased, "You sneaky butt.....!" Her unpleased look swiftly transfers into a grin. "Hi. Me and the hooman are chillling." She explains to the rogue.

Syreena grins at Skylah, then turns to Lilly. "Chilling..."

Lilliana pats the covering on Syreena's head, "What's this, a new fashion statement?" She teases as Syreena is wearing a hood that covers all by the glowing of her eyes.

Syreena shrugs one shoulder. "Orders."

Syreena notices that Lilliana isn’t wearing any sort of covering or mask, she’s quite exposed as she had been the first time she came with Syreena and Khorvis to this cell. “Where's yours? The mute didn't have one on her, so she had to wear a pumpkin mask last night.”

Lilliana cracks up laughing, and seems to ignore Skylah as she speaks with Syreena, "Ha ha ha, a pumpkin?!" She fluffs out her brilliant red hair, "That one would recognize me with or without something on my head. Even if it was a pumpkin. Hey, was there pumpkin bits still in it? Like, did it get in her hair?"

Skylåh shakes her head while listening to Lilly speak, mumbling under her breath. "Like a child possessed by the old gods..."

SyreenaI don't think so. I didn't check it afterwards.

Syreena giggles and peers at Skylåh searchingly, adding in a dark manner “Four days....”

Skylåh replies “You will miss me.”

Syreena doesn’t look impressed, “Uh huh.”

Lilliana pauses for a short moment to look at Skylah. She now thinks that the other priest knows she was a shadow priest. She flashes a little fang filled grin at her, as she caught her mumble - of course.

Syreena draws a dagger and busies herself with sharpening it.

Skylåh catches the grin out of the corner of her eye, she to furrow her eyebrows as if in thought. She switches her gaze to Syreena. "Am I target practice tonight? Y our arm is looking a little scrawny...doubt you could even throw it this far.”

Syreena lifts her gaze briefly to the human, then looks back down at her blade. "Wasn't planning on that, but I can throw that far if I wanted to. And if I wanted to leave a bladed weapon so close to you, unattended for the time it would take me to open the door and come in and retrieve it.”

Lilliana's expression actually seems to dim to one which was solemn. She looks quickly from Skylah to Syreena. She even frowns at Skylah, as if to 'warn' her. "Hey, insults aren't nice."

Skylåh is bold enough to continue, “I've barely function of my limbs, I am sure you would be quite alright.” Then as if to prove a point, moves her left arm slightly; the pain evident on her face.

Syreena says “Then why do you want me to throw it? Are you hoping I'll kill you quickly so you're not forced to speak against your friends again?”

It is during this banter that Shaelie came up the stairs. Her approach is silent, and when she stopped at the door, a bit surprised to see Lilliana there. She exchanged nods with Syreena as she rolled up her tabard and pulled on her helm. Syreena nodded back.

Lillian’s expression seems somewhat strained. She looks to Shaelie when the elf joins them and states to Syreena regarding her last question to the human, "I actually don't think she's at that point yet...."

Skylåh's gaze snaps to the forsaken. "Would it be so silly of me?"

Shaelie didn't seem particularly inclined to enter the cell, for the moment. She gazed through the bars to the prisoner, gauging her condition today. Though a frown tugged the corners of her lips as she listened to the banter.

Syreena replies blandly, “That would be so silly of me. If I wanted you dead, I would not have brought the priest last night.”

Lilliana looks hurt, “Heeeeeeeeeeeeey, why didn't you ask me last...........! I'm a priest!” And she is completely whining.

Syreena and Shaelie reply, almost in unison, “I would have. I couldn't find you.” And Shaelie, “You werne’t here”.

Skylåh chuckles. "Probably afraid you would help braid my hair again."

Syreena looks at Skylah, then at Lilly while Shaelie's eyes narrowed dangerously.

Lilliana mutters to Syreena very quietly, Syreena can just make it out...'You never seem to have trouble finding me any other time...' Which is true in Lilly's mind...that rogue has turned up in the most surprising places that Lilly has gone.

Lilliana giggles at Skylah's comment. Yes, giggles.

Lilliana looks at Skylåh, her eyes twinkling, "I could now though, you know. I bet they'd let me." Lilly hadn't braided Skylah's hair, but she most certainly made it possible for Khorvis to get in a rather beautiful braid by keeping control of poor Skyah's body evil priest mind control magics.

Syreena still looks at Lilly. "You braided her hair?"

Skylåh grins as she watches the three, clearly noticing that during this Shaelie was radiating disapproval.

Skylåh reaches a hand up to run it through her hair, it to get stuck in the tangled mess her locks had become. “A braid might not be so bad.”

Syreena announces, “I'm going to check on Ratchet. I did't see anything useful on the monitors today.” Shaelie nods at Syreena and Lilliana pulls out her bone and the brown twin that holds her pony tail up. She starts braiding it. "Yeah?" She looks up at Syreena.

Syreena moves to leave, and only says, “Peace.”

Lilliana may only have two fingers and a thumb, but she does just fine with her hair. Her braid is better than Khorvis's braid.

Skylåh analyzes the Troll's work. "I would have to say, you look much cuter with your hair the way it was before."

Shaelie stared at Skylah.

Lilliana looks to Skylah, and then to Shaelie. She quickly tugs out her braid, almost frantically fixing it back as it had been, pony tail sticking out like the tail of an excited horse. "Oh!"

Lilliana starts giggling as she observes Shaelie's stare. She claps her hand over her mouth to stop herself, and looks serious.

Shaelie was far from amused, and Lilliana could probably sense that the more she and Skylah chit chatted and giggled and made nice, the more likely it was that Shaelie would feel compelled to enter the cell and remind the prisoner who The Grim were.

Skylåh nods, more to herself. "Better, wouldn't you say, trigger finger?"

Shaelie stared at Skylah, her expression hard. "You are using your tongue too much. Be silent, or I'll cut it from your head."

Lilliana makes a sound, almost like she's whining.

Skylåh sits still, she to stare through the bars at the elf. Without a word spoken did she take a moment to massage her knee once more.

Shaelie leaned down and muttered something to Lilliana, then stalked back down the stairs.

Lilliana only replied to Shaelie with one of her typical and ridiculous grins.

Skylåh speaks quietly. "Did we scare them off?"

Lilliana turns to look at Skylåh after Shaelie had left, "They were probably told you had the night off, or something." She winks, suppling the human with some feigned safety for the evening.

Skylåh manages a weak smile, she to understand what the future might hold. "Perhaps my answers to questions will come more swift."

Lilliana continues grinning, "That would be the smart thing to do! Yup yup! Cause like, you're going to give stuff up....like...how long have you been here?”

SkylåhI says, “round a week, or close to that.”

Lilliana pushes herself up, "Yeah, you're probably about that. And that's nothing...." She twirls around a couple times after picking up her staff. A door creeks from below, and there are heavy footfalls rising up the stairs. The guards are returning, "Like, seriously....that's nothing. You have no idea." The priestess smiles at Skylah as the two guards step up on either side of Lilliana to look at the human girl within.

Skylåh nods and says, “On account that I have a four day timer on my head, I am not sure how much longer I shall be able to grace you with my company.”

“Hmmm.....” The priestess grins, “Then you really have nothing to worry about.” She giggles, flashes a flirtatious grin at one of the orc guards....then skips away down the stairs" Bye! I gotta go!!!!"

As the red headed troll leaves....one of the guards enters Skyah's cell....

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Syreena unlocked the cell door after handing a reflecting prism to Tesonii. They went inside the cell, and Shaelie remained outside, watching through the bars.

An orc guard lay dead on the floor. Skylah was was unconscious, her dress in tatters, her skin covered in dried blood and scratch marks.

Tesonii frowned and looked at Syreena. Shaelie’s expression twisted to anger when she saw the slain guard. Syreena frowned. “What the fel…?”

Tesonii pulled a dress from her bag and went to cover the prisoner. Shaelie marched in though and snatched the dress away, hurling it to the other side of the cell. Tesonii sighed, her lips twisting to one side, looking at Shaelie as the huntress shouted, “THE PRISONER IS NOT A PERSON. It doesn’t need to be covered! It’s the ENEMY!”

The two blood elves argued while Syreena ordered one of the resident goblins to dispose of the guard’s body. Eventually, Tesonii managed to convince Shaelie to let the prisoner dress herself.

“FINE.” Shaelie said before she reached down and gathered a fistful of Skylah’s hair. She dashed her head against the wall. She grit her teeth. "I should do worse for her killing one of our guards."

Skylah groaned, her body to tense up on the floor. She opened her eyes slowly, as Tesonii shook her shoulder. The human woman shook her head, her hand to massage her temples as she backed away toward the wall. “…good morning to you.”

Tesonii smiled under mask and dropped a dress into Skylah’s lap and took a step back. It was red and black. Horde colors. The prisoner took the dress in hand, she to stand up and stretch before trying to fit into the dress.

“One of your people decided to try to punish the Horde for your capture,” Syreena told her.

Skylah looked to the Forsaken, taking a deep breath as the dress is quite tight. “What people?”

Shaelie stood stiffly in the middle of the cell, her entire being radiating hate and anger like a storm clodu with violence brewing just below the surface.

Tesonii grabbed Skylah’s wrist and pulled her away from the wall. She took out a measuring tape and rolled up her own sleeves before beginning to take the prisoner’s measurements. She made small notes on her own arm as she measured. She was clearly jealous and wasn’t gentle.

Syreena shrugged. “An Alliance person. Likely a death knight. It referred to you as family. They slaughtered a village of peaceful Tauren and then raised them up as undead minions.”

“I have no family other than my sister,” Skylah answered. “But I am sure you know that.”

“We answered the attack though, don't worry,” Syreena informed her.

“I am sure you did you foul wench,” the human spat, peering hatefully at the rogue.

“There’s a logging camp in Elwynn Forest now that is not going to be very productive for a while, considering all the residents there have been chopped up like logs.”

Khorvis stomped into the cell. “Report, Shadowblade.”

“It seems one of the guards came into her cell and had his way with her,” Syreena reported in a flat tone.

Shaelie, with murder in her eyes, rocketed forward to violently attack Skylah. Khorvis stopped her, extending his blade, which was wrapped with the Lash, in front of the huntress. “We need this one alive, Keeper.” Shaelie stepped back, seething, as the prisoner stared at her.

“Now. What became of the guard who thought to despoil our prize?” Khorvis continued, keeping a dark eye on Shaelie.

“He was dead when we arrived,” Syreena answered. “I told the goblins to dispose of the corpse.”

Khorvis nodded. Tesonii finished her evaluation, and made a small portrait on the back of her palm. She blew her ink dry, and made notes, continuing to study Skylah's face and gestures.

“’The Corpse’ was horde, and will be given a proper and respectful burial,” Shaelie insisted angrily. Tesonii turned to look at the other elf, clearly disappointed.

“A rapist deserves no burial,” Skylah argued.

Khorvis stepped over to Skylah and set his right gauntlet on her shoulder. The mechanical device squeezed ungently. “Do you be hurt, little thing?”

Skylah winced in pain. Her left leg shook under the weight of the arm, her teeth to clench tightly. Tesonii continued to make notes, having switched to parchment.

Khorvis demanded an answer. “Answer me. Are you now unclean?”

Skylah looked to the ground, uncertain how to answer. "You want the truth? The beast was on top of me...and now he is dead!"

Tesonii took a seat, studying Skylah’s pained expression. Khorvis nodded sadly. “Aye, we must all protect and defend that which do be our own. That which is ours by right,

which no other force can take from us." The orc turned to the guard outside the door. “Fetch her a bucket of water, and some soap.”

Skylah cocked her head, looking a bit uncertain as she limped back towards the cell’s wall. Tesonii made a note on a piece of paper and handed it to Skylah, who gave her an appreciative look after reading it.

Khorvis thanked the guard and took the bucket of water with a greening bar of soap. He turned and kicked the vessel towards the human. “The goblin who sullied our prisoner will not be given a burial under the honor of the Horde. His corpse can float rotting down the Southfury for all I do care.”

Tesonii couldn’t help but smile at Khorvis. Shaelie sneered. Nobody bothered to correct Khorvis that the guard was an orc and not a goblin.

“And .. oh, almost I did forget,” Khorvis added, digging around in his side pouch. He produced the fleshy jaw of a Draenei, replete with a full beard of tentacles and tossed it to Skylah. That made Shaelie grin, at least. Khorvis said, “A sponge for your bathing. This one did also threaten that which we Grim know ours to be by right.”

Shaelie’s face fell, "Oh. I thought that was to be her dinner."

“Continue with your questions. I will guard the door,” the orc said as he took a seat at the entrance.

Skylah shook her head. "I suppose being covered in dried blood isn't so bad.” Tesonii held a hand to her mouth and giggled.

Syreena turned to Skylah. “Tomorrow's the deadline.”

“For my head?”

“Will they come for you? Will they surrender? Or will they forfeit your life?” Syreena fired the questions one after the other. Khorvis grunted at her bluntness.

“I doubt they will forfeit, so I assume my life is as such,” Skylah answered.

“I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.”

Filora arrived, and Khorvis admitted her to see the prisoner. Filora looked at Skylah. “Was she pretty once?”

Syreena shrugged. “She’s a human. Are any of them pretty?”

“Eh, some of them don't make me want to vomit at first sight, but apparently not this one,” Filora answered.

Skylah looked to the ground with a smile. "Says the woman who looks to be skipping a few meals.”

Tesonii snorted, then held a hand to her mouth, trying not to laugh. Syreena also bit back a snicker as she glanced at plus-sized Filora. Shaelie just cracked her knuckles, staring at Skylah.

“Is that sarcasm?” Filora asked, smirking at the human. “Or envy?”

“Fact,” Skylah answered.

Khorvis settled into the jointed structure of his armor. It actually supported him like a standing bed as he relaxes at guard.

“Anyway, what are we doing here? Reveling in its misery? Which is fun enough, if you don't have anything else to do, but..” Filora askded, looking at Syreena and Shaelie.

Shaelie opted to remove herself at this time, and went outside the cell to stand by Khorvis. “It’s being shown too much kindness,” she complained.

“It will not serve a purpose once the pinkskins are drawn deeper into the Barrens, away from their ships,” Khorvis assured her.

The huntress nodded. “Can I hurt it tomorrow, if it gets lippy again?”

“So long as it can draw breath, hope, and fear, aye.”

Shaelie nodded again, appeased by his answer. “Good.”

Tesonii knew it was probably best to leave if Filora was there. She stepped out into the hall and slipped by Shaelie. She nodded to Khorvis and handed a note to Shaelie. Shaelie read the note and stared up at Tesonii.

“Do you have the information you do require for tomorrow evening, Tesonii Reaper?” Khorvis asked. Tesonii nodded.

Syreena and Filora looked at each other. “I bet you can’t get information from her,” the rogue challenged. Skylah sighed, leaning against the chest.

“What kind of information?”

“How many Alliance will show up tomorrow to fight for her.”

Filora looked at Skylah, but spoke to Syreena still. “What’d you say her club was called?”

“Twilight Empire,” Syreena answered, rolling her eyes at the elf.

“Right. And you said she was an officer?”

“A flier said Chancellor,” the rogue said, referring to a flier she found about the cancellation of a scheduled tournament.

“Can't be that important if they've let her sit here and rot all this time.”

“Hm, good point.”

“Maybe they've replaced her already,” Filora mused. “Written her off, as they should.”

“One of them destroyed a Tauren village in retaliation.”

Skylah leaned against the chest all the while, listening to the conversing around her and waiting to see if any questions might be asked of her.

“Oh, so a temper tantrum, but no real effort,” Filora said. “Yeah, guessing not that many are going to come for her.” The elf watched the prisoner’s expression very closely, while appearing to be casually dismissive. “Maybe we should just dump her in the snowplains to die of exposure like Siane. Don't bother with all this hostage nonsense.”

Syreena scowled. “Siane lived through that. I found her the night I took this one. Had to strangle her to get away undetected.”

“Did you get her ears?”

“Of course.” The rogue grinned and licked her lips. Skylah watched, not quite convinced.

Filora snorted and glanced at Skylah. "Human ears not to your taste?"

“Not as much as yours,” Syreena said as she let her gaze roam the length of the elf’s ears.

Filora turned back to Skylah, regarding her thoughtfully. "She's a confident little bitch isn't she."

“Filora, I did receive word from the Jade Lion,” Khorvis interrupted, stepping back into the cell. “The did respond to our message to Lion's Watch. The ransom do be too high, and they do decline our offer.”

Filora looked at Khorvis. “I suppose we'll just have to make an example of her, then.”

Skylah shook her head. "It's like a dysfunctional family here."

“The prisoner will be moved from this cell come the 'morrow,” Khorvis informed them. “We will put her to work in the fields.”

“She'll fit right in with all the other dirty slaves,” Filora observed.

“A long life of toil awaits her. So be it, keep her under guard. The information she gave will still be of some use.”

“If you give me an hour alone with her, I'll get her to talk,” Filora offered.

Khorvis glanced at Skylah for a moment. "Why do you ask me for permission? I have no more use for this wretch. Mok'rah."

Filora smirked. Shaelie wrapped her fingers around the bar and watched, hoping to see Filora remind the prisoner just who they were. Syreena looked at Filora doubtfully.

Skylah looked to the ground, obviously not fully healed, but her confidence seemed strong. "So I am of no use?"

“It could still be fun to watch you cry,” Filora suggested.

“What is with this crying bit?” Skylah asked, eyeing Syreena who grinned.

“We could cut a piece of her off....give it to the Alliance tomorrow if they don't surrender...”

Skylah glared at the little Forsaken. Shaelie asked, “Can it please be her tongue?”

“You have a lover, human?” Filora asked.

Skylah looked over Filora’s shoulder to Shaelie before looking at Filora. The huntress planted her feet, where she stood at the door of the cell. She had a feeling things were about to get ugly, and she would not let Tesonii intervene.

“And why would I give you a yes or no?” Skylah asked. Filora backhanded her with a gauntleted hand. The human stumbled slightly, reaching a hand to her lips to check for blood.

Khorvis leaned back against a pillar while he made several calls through his hearthstone n mumbled tones. Tesonii moved beside Shaelie. The huntress kept a grip on the cell door, glancing at the other elf. “If you can’t stomach this, you shouldn’t be here.” Tes sighed and shook her head.

“Because depending on how you sway me, I might leave your face intact for him or her,” Filora answered Skylah. “Now answer the question.”

Skylah looked to Syreena, watching as the rogue drew near. "I give no answer to you."

Filora grabbed Skylah’s hair with one hand. The other produced a dagger from her side. “How about her nose, then, Syreena? Would her love recognize it?”

“Then how would she look down at us so well?” the rogue answered, leaning against the wall to watch.

“You know me so well,” the human answered. She resisted as much as her body would allow against the pull from Filora. Syreena narrowed her eyes.

The elf laid the knife’s blade alongside Skylah’s nose. She watched curiously, dispassionate but sporting, rather like a cat with its mouse. “Male or female, your love?”

The prisoner looked over top the blade at the elf, watching for her reaction. "Both."

“So you're a whore. I wouldn't think you'd attract anyone with your looks, but maybe you pay them well.” Filora slide the blade across Skylah’s nose, not cutting, but letting her feel the cold steel. The fist in the human’s hair tightened as Filora readied the knife. “You’ll have to pay them much more after this.”

Skylah snickered, a very short laugh. "Trust me. Only a few are brave enough to play with fire."

Filora looked at her, holding the knife close. "With fire? More like dirt. I'd use you up in an hour. Can't say I enjoy having an audience, though."

“Oh? But an audience can be so exhilarating,” Skylah said with a smile, knowing she was pushing it.

“Wow. And I thought the sin'dorei were bad,” Filora said. “You're really enjoying this, aren't you? You want me to punish you.” She nicked the bridge of Skylah's nose when she pulled on her hair, drawing her onto the blade.

Skylah struggled slightly, her smile to persist. "And I thought they were going to bring more pain." A small trickle of blood makes its way to her lips, her to lick the spot away.

"I don't see her crying yet,” Shaelie called to Filora from outside the barred door of the cell.

Filora smirked, her predatory gaze not leaving Skylah as she responded to Shaelie. "You'd be crying too if you were watching what I did to make her cry."

“From here, it looks too much like you two are just flirting,” Shaelie said with a scowl.

Skylah looked towards the woman at the gate. "She is a cute one." She returned her gaze to Filora.

“Are you done playing, elf, or are you going to really do something to her?” Syreena asked. Shaelie agreed.

“Yeah,” Filora answered. “I’m not big on pain.” She suddenly released Skylah with a shove to send her back. “The way to show her who’s in charge isn’t threats or torture. Memories fade.”

“But that will still make her cry,” Syreena argued. Shaelie tucked in a corner of her mouth, skeptically. Khorvis growled into his hearthstone and disappeared into the shadows on the stairs. Tesonii walked out shortly after to accompany the orc.

“Tears are unfortunately transient too,” Filora answered. “Let’s leave her face intact in case we decide to sell her to a whore-slaver later.”

Syreena stepped behind Skylah and kicked her in the back of her knees. Skylah tried to remain standing, but her left knee buckled and she dropped. Filora seized Skylah’s left arm and slammed it down across the wooden chest. The rogue planted a dagger into the hand, deep enough to embed it into the wood beneath. Then she twisted Skylah’s right arm up behind her back to hold her still. Shaelie nodded in satisfaction as she watched. “That’s how you do it.”

“It’ll make her a little less useful in the fields, but….” Filora said, drawing her sword. “You only really need one hand to do most things. Unless there is something you’d like to tell us?”

Skylah struggled, but uselessly. She blinked in disbelief at the dagger piercing her hand, then looked up at the elf. “And what do you want to know?!” She breathed heavily as her gaze returned to her hand.

“How many would come to save you from your guild?” Filora kept the sword pointed down at the floor, casually, almost forgotten.

Skylah’s gaze never left the dagger through her hand. "That...I have no idea. Two I would say for sure."

“Who else are officers?”

Skylah laughed somewhat crazily. “Within the Empire?”

“Yes.”

The prisoner tried to pull her arm, and the dagger, towards her, a grimace of pain to follow. Syreena twisted her arm behind her back a notch higher, and Filora reached down to push and hold the dagger in place in the wooden chest below Skylah’s hand.

“I deserve death for the names I have already given. I'll not give you more!”

“You don't deserve death. Yet. You'll earn that in time - right now that would be merciful, wouldn't it?” Filora said, seeming to get bored. “Now speak.”

But Skylah began pulling her arm again, apparent that she wished the dagger to cut completely through so that she might be free. "I have nothing to say."

“Ugly, slutty, and stupid? What a catch.”

Syreena leaned down to whisper into Skylah's hair. "I have more blades if you cut yourself off that one...." The Forsaken licked the human’s ear since her mouth was so close to it anyway.

Filora raised her sword and brought it down through Skylah's wrist just as she seemed to be cutting herself free. Skylah fell backwards towards Syreena as her hand was cut free. Shock overcame Skylah as blood flowed forth, her to stare at the end of her arm. Syreena looked at the unattached hand stuck to the chest by the dagger. "Huh."

“Hey, Shaelie, got a flamethrower?” Filora called. “I'd rather not waste the Light on it.”

Shaelie blinked on the other side of the bars. Even she looked shocked. She watched the blood spurting across the cell. "Oh." She started digging around in her satchel.

Syreena took a step back, releasing the human. She plucked her dagger out of hand and chest, and then picked up the hand as well. "This may come in handy tomorrow."

Filora looked at Syreena and snorted. "Really? Did you just make that pun?"

“What?” Syreena asked, blinking at the elf.

“Of course,” Filora said. She leaned over Skylah and wiped her sword off on the human’s new dress.

Shaelie tossed out a Tazik Hand Attachment. Then found a wand. She tossed the Torch of Austen into the cell. “Will that do?”

Filora picked up the torch. “Thanks.”

Skylah’s eyes did not leave where her hand once was, a much delayed scream to follow as the pain finally sets in.

Syreena scowled at the screaming, and then she held the severed hand over Rabble’s head, letting the hydra take a few bites of the bloodied flesh. She wrapped the hand and stuffed it into her pack, then headed out of the cell. “Sleep tight.”

Filora looked at Skylah. “Are you done?”

Skylah rolled on the ground as the pain still ran its course through her body. She closed her eyes trying to cope, her answer to come reluctantly. "...no"

“Good.” Filora used her foot to kick out Skylah's left arm and then stepped on her forearm to pin it. “This is where you thank me.” Skylah reached for Filora’s boot with her other arm instinctively, but Filora ignored her. With her weight, better condition, and position, Skylah couldn’t do much to budge the elf.

“Let me hear you be gracious, now,” Filora instructed. “That could have been your nose.” She flicked on the torch, esperimenting with its settings to make the fire go from small flame to intense short blaze. Skylah sighed while breathing heavily. She did not look at the elf, but continually stared at the place where her hand used to be. Her eyes became transfixed on the blood loss once more.

“Ugly, slutty, stupid, and stubborn,” Filora said of the human. She leaned down to apply the torch to the amputated wrist. However, she used its lowest setting only, so that it slowly began to burn. Skylah was mumbling under her breath, she to revert to a scream as Filora burns her with the torch.

Shaelie rested her forehead against the bars, silently watching. Despite what others might think, she didn't enjoy the torture being inflicted on Skylah. That was simply driven by rage for her insolence. As long as she showed no sign of confidence or comfort, Shaelie was content to leave her be. She turned, and moved away from the bars, descending down the stairs. Filora had it under control. And Skylah remembered, now.

Filora eased up, straightening and looking at Skylah again. "Say 'thank you'."

Skylah closed her eyes, tears dripping from her nose to the ground. “Light burn you!"

“The Light doesn't give a damn about you or me. It only cares about strength and conviction. Looks like I'm in charge of the burning, anyway,” the elf said as she leaned down to apply the torch again.

The human panted before letting forth another scream as the flame touches her arm. "My Light will end you some day!"

Filora looked down at the woman. With Shaelie gone, she eased back on the torch, perhaps finding it less fun without an audience. "I could do this all night, you know. And they've left me alone with you, so I could really do a lot worse."

Skylah’s breaths came deep and somewhat labored. "Dare you chance what 'Khorvis' wants?"

Filora quirked a brow, briefly confused. "What does Khorvis want?"

"A willing informant,” the human said, falling to her back.

Filora kept her foot on Skylah's arm. The wound would still be bleeding, a little sluggishly. "And how does Khorvis intend to accomplish that?" Her head tilted, and she flicked the torch back on, though not yet applying it.

Through gritted teeth did Skylah answer. "His pains failed in questioning." She rolled to her back once more, her to struggle to get her arm free from under Filora’s boot.

“You take so long to say anything, and when you do, it's nothing. Your screams are more interesting.” The elf applied the torch again, this time hot and long enough to cauterize, and then a little extra. She stepped back off Skylah’s arm, allowing the human to pull her arm back to herself, rolling away from the elf.

“I personally find it more fun when they're unwilling,” Filora told her.

Skylah spoke through the pain while holding her arm. "You must be having a ball." Her body rocked back and forth as if to comfort.

“I really do love how mouthy you are.” She looked down at Skylah thoughtfully, sticking the torch in her belt. Then she turned and walked out, only to return a few moments later, carrying two buckets.

The elf set one bucked down on the floor, lifted the other, and upended freezing-cold water over Skylah. The human cringed. “Dammit woman!” she exclaimed while still clutching her arm.

Filora repeated the process with the second bucket. “I’m doing you another favor. Ugly, slutty, stupid, stubborn, and ungrateful. The list just keeps growing.”

Skylah did not speak this time, her teeth to chatter as the water was poured over her. Filora looked around the cell to ensure that when she leaves, she won't be leaving anything useful behind. She looked back at Skylah, a pitiful, bloody, soaking wet cold heap on the cold stone ground.

“Two, huh?” the elf questioned, leaning down close. “Name one officer in your guild and I'll leave you one of these buckets to crap in.”

“I will not!”

Filora shrugged. "All right. I'll let you stew in your own juices a little while, then, and I'll be back tomorrow. Your resolve won't last forever. It'll be disappointing when it finally does break, but at least I'll enjoy things up till then." She turned to go.

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The past Friday evening……

Summoned to the Wyvern’s Tail, Syreena walked in, frowning and cursing at one of her rings. She went up the steps to the High Inquisitor’s table and saluted. Khorvis grunted in swarmy greeting.

“Good of your to come,” the orc said. “Our time does grow short, now that events do be in motion.” He offered her a hunk of half-chewed jerky, which she took after looking it over.

“Did you get the package I left in the garrison for you?” the rogue asked before biting off a chunk of jerky.

Khorvis took the coil of the Lash out form his pouch and quickly re-wrapped it around his blade. “Aye, but you did not have the knowledge to tame the Lash, sister. All I did find of your note was shredded confetii!”

“Oh,” she frowned, then changed the subject. “I got some information from the prisoner last night.”

“Really? Do speak of it.”

“The leader of the Jade Lion is a pandaren by the name of Zhii Fa,” she began. “And the leader of Eternal Aegis is a Marrus Luminus. Two others are prominent there as well, Symorick and Moriggy.”

Khorvis rolled the name over in his mouth. "Zhii Fa.... that name do be foreign to me. Never seen, nor heard of such a pandaren. Nor this Luminus. Smorick, aye, we've met on the battlefield.”

“Lupinum confirmed Marrus Luminus.”

“And that the bitch did not be lying?”

“I don't think so,” Syreena assured him. “She was desperate to please me.”

“Then good work, Shadowblade. This time our techniques did pay off.”

Syreena nodded. “Lupinum healed her, just enough to keep her from dying in the next few days.”

Khorvis grunted and raised his chin a centimeter at that. Though he had little care for the human life, he considered her beating heart an asset. “We will need to begin training assassins with knowledge of this Fa and Luminus. But there do be a closer threat - our ultimatum for the Lion and Aegis.”

“They have only a few days left, I believe.”

“The way I do see it, they have four choices, Syreena.” Khorvis began to speak as a strategist and not as himself. “They can do the truly unlikely and burn their ships and dump their weapons on the docks of Bladefist Bay. I do think this the least believable outcome.”

“I agree. They're not that sensible.”

“We both do know these foes to be tenacious and full of guile,” Khorvis added before continuing to list possible options for the Alliance. “Secondly, they may bring battle to the docks, seeking our heads and to free their comrade.”

Syreena nodded. "That's quite possible."

“Third, they do nothing at all, and watch their sister die. A smart move on their end. But smarter would be the fourth - to ignore the docks and savage another target under our noses.”

“They still forfeit the prisoner's life with that option,” the rogue predicted.

“We all do know she is the walking dead. Only the vainglorious dreamers would believe they will see her again,” Khorvis stated. “Now, what will we do with knowing their four options? I say this - a simple ruse.”

"What do you have in mind?" Syreena asked, tilting her head curiously.

“Disguise one of our own as the priestess Skylah McKenzie. You will take 'her' to the docks and be ready for their force to arrive. If they do surrender? Lok'tar! We will drink deeply over their graves. But we both do know what is coming.”

Syreena thought about that for a moment, then frowned slightly. "Just me and the imposter?"

Khorvis set his mug of ale down on the table and stared daggers at the rogue. "Yes. Just the two of you. I do know you will make well your escape. As for our imposter... choose someone with tight lips and keen eyes."

“Sure, I can escape, but I can’t guarantee the safety of the other Grim if it's not another assassin who can hide in the shadows.”

“The Mandate do be a harsh mistress. We too must be harsh as well. The choice do be your, to take of the Reapers.”

Syreena stared at him, but she knew there was no point arguing. She nodded slowly. "I understand."

“I will speak with the Commander or the Wordbearer and secure two fists of Grim to strike another target while the Alliance fools dally upon the Bladefist docks.”

Syreena simply nodded again, already busy trying to select a Reaper in her mind.

The orc must have known what she was thinking. "Send the Reaper Tesonii. If she does believe in mercy to prisoners, then may be some time in the Alliance cells can disabuse her of this notion! If this mission does play out as we have planned, then I do think the Shadowblade is in line for a Commendation.”

Syreena looked at him, arching a brow. "After we get the other Grim back, right?"

“The fog of war do be thick these days. If we do manage to get our Reaper back, imagine the bloody knowledge they will bring. And if not? Another hero to rally Horde to the Mandate.” Khorvis looked completely self-assured in this twisted logic. Syreena simply nodded, not interested in arguing with him.

He set his empty mug down on the table and wiped foam from his feedbag. "Enough for one evening, Shadowblade. Bloody dismissed."

“Of course,” Syreena answered, and she saluted him. He returned the salute, and she left the tavern.

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[[ Especially gratuitous torture ahead. ]]

They were still upstairs in the somewhat dilapidated Thel’Nadras manor, half going through an after-action review, half bickering about the choices that had been made. Khorvis had already backhanded Shaelie once and probably would have Filora too for her snappy comeback if she’d been standing close enough, but the paladin was nothing if not good at learning from others’ mistakes. Eventually Khorvis sent Kharthak and Filora downstairs to question the prisoner, as there was little else the Grim could do that evening. Filora descended the stairs still simmering with anger at having been caught exposed, embarrassment at their sound thrashing, and with numerous aches and pain to stoke her temper further.

Considering this was a Sin’dorei manor, a certain type of dungeon was to be expected. But the fact that Skylah had been bound to a whipping cross didn’t make the restraints any less secure. Only one limb remained free – the arm that ended at the wrist, making binding that limb impractical. The human woman hung there, dazed and disoriented, apparently only just regaining consciousness. Filora walked over to her and slapped her soundly across the face with a plated hand. “Wake up, whore,” she snapped. Then she slapped her again, for good measure. “How did they find you?!” she demanded.

Skylah winced then cringed as Kharthak reached out to grasp her face with a long glare. Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth. Her eyes moved to Filora. “I was in my cell… and now here. I… don’t even know of whom you ask.”

“The red-haired priestess,” Filora said. She’d realized that one of the four who had come after them had looked suspiciously like their prisoner. “Who is she? Your sister?”

Kharthak stared for a moment at Filora, then watched the prisoner’s reaction. Skylah tried to hide it, but a small curl came to the corners of her lips. It was all Filora had to see to punch the human woman in the gut.

Kharthak let Skylah go as she gasped for air, blood spilling from her mouth. She tried to put her free hand over her stomach, but it only served to remind her that it was gone. The pain of her face was evident.

“Gods, you’re useless,” Filora said.

Kharthak stared discerningly at their prisoner as she struggled to catch her breath. “Did you say that hand dismemberment didn’t work?” he said.

“Khar—” Filora remembered she probably shouldn’t use his name. “You, shaman, can you, like, fuse her stump to her stomach?”

“Let me see…” Kharthak said softly. He moved up to Skylah again. “I am Kharthak,” he said – so much for keeping his name a secret – “shaman of the Mandate, as such I have both a duty to maintain spiritual guidance and warrior skills. Within our ranks, especially recently, false information has gotten out. These ‘leaks’ are best handled with a plug. Perhaps we can bind up that hand, prevent you from bleeding, if you tell us what’s been happening.”

Filora looked at Kharthak in disbelief. He was offering something to her? He had no idea how this worked. “Oh, wow. Really?” she said, and turned and punched Skylah in the throat. The woman’s head knocked into the wooden cross behind her, and she fell into a coughing fit as she once again struggled for air. Filora looked on in satisfaction.

Kharthak leaned over to murmur in her ear. “She’ll bleed to death, we still have things we need to know.”

Filora looked at the stump. It bled sluggishly, apparently some strenuous efforts having stressed the wound, but to her eye the woman would last long enough for their purposes. “I cauterized it. It’s fine.”

“Fool!” Kharthak grumbled. “We could have used that as a tool for extracting information, as a reward. Fine.” He turned back to the prisoner.

In a cracked voice, Skylah spoke to him. “You… I talk.”

Filora narrowed her eyes at the human woman. She probably thought she could play him, get him to give up niceties without ever turning over anything in return, and odds were she was right. Filora had seen how stubborn Skylah was and knew there was no way she would be tempted by kindnesses, but Kharthak would have no idea.

“Let’s see, a series of misfortunes have struck us lately,” Khathak said. “One of our people have gone missing. Our movements are always elusive. Perhaps you learned something, no?”

Skylah’s gaze had dropped to Filora. “…Alone,” she rasped.

That simply wasn’t happening. Luckily, Kharthak seemed too dense to realize that she hadn’t been responding to his query, so Filora didn’t have to worry about it. “Alone, so you do know something,” he said. “What were you doing, alone?”

“She’s been in our custody for like a week now,” Filora said. She looked at Skylah, remembering the point she’d originally been after. “But somehow, they found her.”

“Yet you believe she knows something?” Kharthak addressed Filora skeptically.

“She must know how they found her.”

“Right.” Kharthak turned back to the prisoner again. “Oh, I had hoped you’d tell us.”

Skylah dropped her head, shaking it slightly. “How… would I… know?”

“Exactly!” Kharthak said. “How would you know? That’s what we’ve been asking this whole time.”

Filora lacked the insight to realize Kharthak was deliberately trying to disorient the prisoner and play on her exhausted state. Frustrated with the lack of progress, she decided to kick Skylah in the skin with one steel-toed boot. Skylah let out a hoarse wail of pain. Filora didn’t notice the veins pop out on Kharthak’s temple.

“If you’re really this stupid, we have no reason to keep you alive!” Filora snapped.

“I know not,” Skylah managed. “Perhaps a guard was bribed.”

Filora hissed, “A bribe wouldn’t have led them to the exact place in the countryside we were riding through.”

Because they’d been a distance away from the tower before they were attacked. Even flying, their pursuers should have taken longer to find the tiny party in the rolling hills than they did. Barring extreme luck, something had led them right to Skylah. Filora was sure of it.

Kharthak’s eye twitched, and he said, “Filora, do the Alliance care about this one?”

“She said two of them would come, but apparently there were four,” Filora said with a touch of sarcasm. Then she looked at the human priestess speculatively. “Then whoever was at Bladefist Bay…”

“Hah! I’d say we’re halfway there. Bladefist Bay was a petty shame.”

Skylah looked up with a questioning glance. “Four… came for me?” she said.

This was getting nowhere. The woman was going to end up with more leads and hope than before they’d come downstairs. Filora grabbed Skylah’s mutilated arm and pinned it against the open plank of the cross. “I’m going to cut off the rest of your arm bit by bit,” she said.

“Yet I wonder…” Kharthak was musing to himself, “what value, no… just a lowly peon.”

Skylah glared at Filora. Through a clenched jaw and heavy breathing she spoke. “Because you failed… you blame me? Shaman… would not… the ones watching me… be in question?”

“No,” Kharthak stated, the first smart thing he’d said all night, in Filora’s opinion. “The ones watching you have done their duty.”

“You’re not even smart enough to invent something,” Filora told the human woman. She drew her sword from its scabbard at her hip.

“And you’re not strong enough to beat pacifists—” Skylah’s words cut off with a horrid scream as Filora set her sword against Skylah’s forearm and began to apply pressure, sinking the blade into flesh.

“Shame, shame, shame…” Kharthak mused. “If you’d told us what you did that makes you worth such a rescue party, or even how they knew, maybe you’d have regained your strength if a glint of hope shined.”

“This bitch knows why they look for me!” Skylah snapped, through a pained expression. “I am their beacon for peace!”

In response, Filora let the blade hit bone and began sawing against it. “You’re more insufferable than Sanctuary,” she told her over her renewed screams.

Kharthak was wincing. “Hey Filora, chill,” he said.

She glanced back at him, irritated. He clearly didn’t have the stomach for a real interrogation. To prove it, she started cutting a chunk of flesh from Skylah’s arm. Skylah couldn’t pull her arm free and wept.

Kharthak mumbled something about honor and clean consciences, and said, “I’ve seen enough of this. No new information is coming out her except… whatever new information you make, Filora.” He stepped away and headed for the stairs.

It was just as well. Let Skylah see that no one here was going to stop Filora from doing whatever she damn well pleased to the woman. Filora took her time finishing the several-inch cut of flesh, then put away her sword and grabbed the hanging meat with her gauntleted fingers and tore it off the rest of the way. Skylah’s mouth opened but she had no voice left to cry out; only her body shook in pain.

“How did they find you?” Filora asked gently, holding onto the chunk of flesh.

Skylah eventually managed tp speak, through low, restrained sobbing. “I told you. I don’t know.” After a few moments, she said, “But you say you saw a red headed priestess?”

“Yes. Who is she?” Filora asked calmly.

A crazed grin formed on Skylah’s bloody face. “Then I feel sorry for you,” she said instead of answering. “She will never stop looking.”

Without preamble, Filora took the hunk of flesh and shoved it in Skylah’s mouth. She covered the woman’s mouth with her hand so she couldn’t spit it out. “You know, I’m doing you another favor,” Filora said. “You must be hungry by now. Maybe you’ll thank me properly this time?”

Skylah managed to jerk her head away from Filora’s hand as she began vomiting. Due a lack of food recently, it was more like dry heaving, but it could not have felt anything other than awful.

“You really are useless for anything but being made to scream, aren’t you,” Filora said conversationally as she watched.

After her heaving ended, Skylah glared at her. “Or you are too ignorant to realize I had nothing to do with this!”

“No one is this self-righteous who isn’t clinging to it for their own defense,” Filora said factually.

It was the woman’s last vestige of strength, this self-righteousness. But it wouldn’t last her forever. A couple more sessions like these, and Filora was sure she would crumble. Her work for the evening done, and some satisfaction earned, Filora turned and ascended the stairs.

“By the way,” Filora said, pausing near the top, “this is my manor, and I decide who comes and goes. The guards here are under no order to leave you alone.”

Skylah coughed lightly. “And may the meet the fate of the last guard,” she said.

Filora smirked. Rumors abounded about the guard who had been found in Skylah’s cell. “Not when they come in groups,” she said. The truth was, she had no guards, but she’d let Skylah hang there in anticipation. She turned back toward the door.

“You want the truth?” Skylah said suddenly.

Filora looked back at her. “Sure, if you’re actually going to give it,” she said.

“…the stone. It was returned by the Grim’s own hand. It tracks me still.”

“How?” Filora said.

Skylah looked to the floor, a look of defeat on her face. “I know not its functions, but they are linked to each new member of the Empire.”

“All right,” Filora said after a moment. She wasn’t sure what to make of this sudden volunteering of information. It didn’t seem like the threat of abuse by guards could have been the straw that finally broke this stubborn camel’s back. But it sounded feasible enough. In a show of false generosity, she took the waterskin off her belt and tossed it down to land at Skylah’s feet, where the woman had no hope of reaching it. “There you go,” she said.

She opened the door, voices upstairs suddenly filtering into the soundproofed room before it closed behind her, leaving Skylah with only a couple lamps for light and the waterskin at her feet.

Only for a small incantation of a levitation spell to bring it up to Skylah’s lips. A faint, triumphant smile came to her face.

At some point over the next few days as she was left alone to rot there, however, the lamps burning out and no sounds to be heard, it probably faded.

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After the meeting of the Inquisition came to a close upon the Echo Isles, Commander Stonespire took his leave and a flight to Silvermoon City in order to make the acquaintance of Skylah McKenzie, prisoner of the Grim. The twin issues of what to do with the human priestess and how to free the Shadowblade constantly seemed to confound each other, but at the very least it could be seen if Skylah was of any more use to the Mandate.

Hot on Awatu’s heels was the rocket of Keeper Shaelie and her passenger, the High Inquisitor. Despite the stoic temperament of the Commander, Khorvis had his own worries about the prisoner and her tricksome tongue. Yelling over the wind in his beard, he shouted “the Commander will be interrogating the prisoner! We must be a second set of eyes and ears for him!”

The orc could not see it, but the huntress likely rolled her eyes. “Oh… this should be good…” The pair made all of the haste possible and arrived breathless at the front gate of the Thel’Nadras manor. Khorvis began hammering on the door with his fist demanding entry. Shaelie glanced up at Khorvis. “All this fuss over a human.” The pounding continued until Filora Livlet came to call – “Peace through?” she intoned.

“Goatsucking annihilation!” Khorvis howled and then barged through the foyer as Filora unbolted and opened the door. Without even greeting the elf, the High Inquisitor strode through the manor and made his way to the dungeons. Shaelie turned to her host and extended a warm hello. Filora nodded and gestured, “The Commander is downstairs with ‘her.’” Keeper Brightwing drifted along after Khorvis. She had not been downstairs to the dungeon, last time. She descended the stairs, the voice of Awatu growing clear as they approached.

“Speak as if you are speaking to an uneducated congregation,” the massive Tauren soothed with a shrug. Skylah remained silent for a moment, stirring in her shackles at the ruckus behind them. “I was never one for the Cathedral honestly.” Awatu frowned at the evasive answer. “Then the basics.”

Marching up beside his superior, Khorvis growled, “Beware this one, Commander. She does have a honeyed tongue.” Awatu simply continued to watch the human, awaiting a response to his theological questioning. The sin’dorei dungeon contained all of the implements one would expect, given some of their artful tastes, and yet the Grim master had so far eschewed their use, wielding only words.

The prisoner shook her head. “It is energy based on will. Some have the belief in themselves, and some don’t, the Light to reflect in that belief.” The woman appeared to be tired, having spent a month in chains, first as Syreena’s toy and then subject to Filora’s wickedness. The latter looked at Awatu a little curiously while Khorvis inspected her with a sideways glance, checking for signs of blood or struggle, knowing of the woman’s lust for the switch and blade.

Stonespire scratched his chin, appearing somewhat disappointed in the lack of a more in-depth answer, but prepared to switch his line of questioning now that more Grim had arrived as an audience. “Very well. Do you know who we are?”

McKenzie looked around the room. “Well… there is trigger finger over there,” she said tipping her head towards Shaelie. “And Khorvis… yes I remember. And this blonde devil…” she took a moment to rotate her head. “Well, I don’t have a name for her yet.”

Shaelie moved back to slouch against a wall and watched Awatu, wondering at the intent of his questions. Filora, her usual self, stood with a look of bored insolence and Khorvis straightened his tabard which was somewhat marred with bloodstains and… mustard?

The Commander continued. “Do you know what group we represent?” Skylah moved her eyes to take in the tabards worn by three of them. “I am aware… you are of the Grim.” Hunkering down a little, Awatu leered in above the prisoner. “What can you tell me of The Grim?” he continued with the steady march of questions.

Restraining himself from followed the usual gamut of Inquisitorial jabs, Khorvis attempted to occupy himself with wandering the dungeon, inspecting various implements and devices of curious intent. Filora’s gaze moved to Khorvis, her lips quirking in amusement. She pondered what he would think upon finding the assortment of whips, though none of them so dangerous as the Lash.

Skylah retorted with a level gaze. “Nothing good,” she responded. Awatu’s eyes kept an even kilter with the woman. “And I have never heard anything good in regards to the Twilight Empire. So it seems we are on equal footing, yes?” The human struggled against her bindings, earning a look of approval from Shaelie directed at Filora’s handiwork. “Not quite,” said the priestess almost wryly. Awatu was unmoved. “Explain, then.” Shifting her body weight, she continued, “I am the one confined… and beaten. It would appear that you have more footing than I.”

Khorvis, in his explorations, came across a whip of interest. Holding it up, he inspected the handle which was shaped like a foot-long night elf phallus. “You have got to be bloody kidding… Titan-tits!” He helped as the handle clicked and out sprung a spiral of nine metal spikes. Filora issued a snicker as Khorvis dropped the icky whip and returned to his Commander’s side.

Ignoring the commotion behind him, Awatu dissembled as if to a child. “You misunderstand. I mean our organizations. Unless you are the sole member… which I know you are not.” Growing impatient with the prisoner’s answers, Khorvis spoke up: “Commander, this one responds well to pain and the torment of flesh.”

Skylah snorted, “We don’t capture and torture people.” Shaelie took a moment to quip, “Looks like she’s running out of flesh.”

The Sunwalker chuckled darkly. “Your empire does not need to. You cultivate your own terror among our citizens just fine.” Leaning forward, he held out a dirty and wrinkled scrap of a note. A note declaring the immediate massacre of civilians in Bloodhoof Village. “One of yours.”

Filora blinked as Skylah stared at the note, squinting and attempting to read it. “I don’t believe you,” the woman spat. “He never lies,” replied the blonde devil.

Khorvis leaned against the wall and rested his right gauntlet against the stone above his shoulder. A small clasp extruded from a hidden compartment of the mechanical hand and clipped onto the last link of the Lash wrapped round his blade’s crossguard.

Continuing to hold the note, Awatu spoke. “But you do know the hand of this writing.” It was not a question. “They seek you, and in their desperation, they act to draw you out. Even the high and mighty fall.” Filora snorted with a soft grace. “Do you desire to know what they did to the civilians? The children?” Awatu finished with a question.

In a quiet voice, Skylah responded, “No one of the Empire could hope to remain and commit such crimes. I do not recognize the writing of this letter.”

“So,” Filora retorted. “Like, a Saphiara? Convenient.” Khorvis chuckled into his feedbag as the bracer of his hand began to twist unnaturally, winding the Lash.

Awatu dropped the note next to the denier and stood up straight, not pressing her. “They were never high and mighty. They only imagined they were,” he said. Filora mumbled something about that usually being the case when you call someone that, but not very loudly. “Do you know why The Grim exists?”

“To terrorize?” said the Twilight Chancellor matter-of-factly.

“No. To survive. The Alliance and the Horde can not coexist. One must fall and one must rise.” The Commander continued as if instructing a pupil. “The Alliance would see my people bound as livestock, the Orcs interred, and the Blood Elves branded as traitors.” He leaned in close again. “The Horde is just a bunch of ‘monsters’ to you, isn’t it?”

Khorvis nodded in complete agreement with his Commander’s logic. The bracer clicked, having finished extracting the rowdy chain from his sword and winding it round his wrist. Filora watched the entire spectacle with continued interest.

Skylah shook her head. “I do not believe that. Any person, no matter the race, can be a monster. Horde or Alliance, there is good in both.” Filora rolled her eyes as Awatu pondered for a moment. “A very… non-answering answer. Very vague. Nothing to really agree or disagree with…” Nearly talking over the Tauren, Khorvis barked, “Phaw! So she would see gnomes and dwarves branded and interred with my kind. That do be all!” Skylah only shrugged and remained silent.

“Would the Humans ever let the Orcs live side-by-side with them? In happiness and peace? Doubtful.” Awatu continued as Filora flexed her hands in her new fingerless gauntlets. “The peace we make is what we carve for ourselves. We fight for the survival of our people. So that our younglings sleep safe at night. So that constant war is no longer a threat. So that resources are available. So that we can live.”

Filora looked from Awatu back to Skylah. “Easy to lay blames at the human’s feet,” Skylah uttered, “but would the Orcs ever allow such?”

Awatu spread his arms wide. “If the Humans see the errors of their ways, and the High King of Stormwind steps forward in a mutual attonement for the sins committed, then perhaps Humans could walk alongside Orcs within the streets of Ogrimmar. But I doubt they would look out from their ivory towers and see us for what we really are.”

At that, Shaelie squined while Filora quietly snickered, “Never.” Khorvis looked at Awatu doubtfully. The Commander finished his thought. “I welcome the day when Stormwind is Horde territory.”

Looking down, the prisoner breathed, “Take it. Stormwind means nothing to me.” Bluntly, Awatu noted, “it is not yours to give.”

“But is it yours to take?” Skylah said, receiving a sneer and an eye from Khorvis and Shaelie. Awatu explained, “I do not want it for the sake of wanting it. I want it for what it would mean. An end to the conflict. The survival of the Horde. Victory.”

“As the Scourge taking Lordaeron thought, but that didn’t work out so well.”

“She’ll sass you all night long, Commander,” Filora complained. “It’s pointless.”

Awatu grinned, just slightly. “The Scourge does not think. Much like ants. Then again, the Forsaken work with the Horde. Only because those living do not consider them… human. It is all merely a matter of how much humanity one has, is it not?”

The High Inquisitor noted the arrival of Ul’rezaj, having snuck down into the dungeon recently. In turn, his acknowledgement received a nod. The orc moved over to Filora to show her the enchanted chain, its barbed tip wiggling at the joint of his gauntlet. He hissed at the woman, explaining its hunger. Filora looked down at the chain and her eyebrows rose in approval. Standing near Khorvis and whispering quietly, but not directly at, Khorvis with a grumbling intonation, Ul’rezaj said, “Took me a buncha maps to be findin’ dis glitterin’ place, hurts my eyes a bit.”

“It remembers her scent… odd.” Khorvis muttered. “I did not craft it so. May be some relic of the Sha.” Filora looked at the chain curiously, glancing over at Ul’rezaj to see if he’s inspecting it as well. The troll shrugged and sighed at Khorvis’ revelation and the distilled conversation. He picked up on Filora’s rapid glances but did not know what she was indicating.

Lowering her head, eyes to close, Skylah sighed, “Yet I would still fight for peace given the opportunity.”

“As do I. Every day of my life,” Awatu responded. “I seek a day where there is no armor to shine or a blade to sharpen. No matter how much you look at it, we are both similar.”

“A day I would like a chance to see,” Skylah hummed as her head lay still, eyes still closed.

Looking back up with a faintly perturbed expression crossing her face, Filora came to the point where she would get tired of the fruitless conversation and start hurting someone. Catching the same feeling, Khorvis barked, “Bah! Give her the peace that she so desires, then. A trip to the gallows! That broken body will not carry her much further at any rate!”

Turning his head slightly, watching her, Awatu agreed. “Yes. She is no more use to us.”

“So, we dispose of her now?” Filora might have seemed disappointed at losing her plaything. Shaelie looked quickly at Awatu with some surprise, and relief. Coughing, Ul’rezaj began, “So uh, does day mean what ah think it means o’ are we jus’ flappin’ jaws?”

Kneeling down, the priestess laughed very lightly, it to end in a cough. “So you wished to debate with one you wished to simply kill?”

“Debate?” Awatu said. “No. simply understand.” Turning to Khorvis, as did the rest of the assembled, the Commander questioned. “You said ‘gallows.’ Why?”

“Hrmph. Make a show of it!” Khorvis responded enthusiastically. “If our Inquisition do be travelling to this corner of Azeroth… fel, why not see who gathers?” The Inquisitor raised his eyebrow at the dual possibilities.

Awatu nodded, thinking. “Possibly.” He then glanced about the room, only just now noticing it. “This place is no longer safe.”

Skylah’s body grew still for a moment, an inner struggle apparent on her face. “Your true colors shine.”

“And you shit your bloody robe,” Khorvis snorted.

“We never hid behind anything, child.” Awatu spoke over Filora’s quiet smirking. “We accept the truths of this world. The survival of my kin is more important than yours. Papers signed by royals are useless for true peace.”

The Twilight Chancellor struggled to take a deep breath. “Well… then I see the time for talking has met its end.”

Already ignoring the human, Awatu spoke with his associates. “What location can she be moved to?”

“How about somewhere in the plaguelands?” suggested Filora. “No one visits those if they can help it.”

“So be it,” ordered the Commander. “Move her at midnight. Find a suitable spot. We will go from there.”

Complaining in unison, Filora and Shaelie recalled their previous experience with prisoner transfer. “We’ll need at least two fists,” said Filora. “I’m not getting beat again.” Tucked in a corner of her mouth, Shaelie quipped, “Maybe more than last time.” Filora nodded at Shaelie, with Khorvis darkening at the mention of that failure.

“The Wordbearer will be informed of this,” Awatu stated with a nod from Livlet. “Our forces shall be prepared. I leave her now to your… caring and gentle hands.” He nodded at the human who was slowly drifting off to sleep.

Filora looks at Skylåh.

[Khorvis]: Reaper Filora, do you know how to braid hair?

Ulrezaj rubs his hands together and chuckles under his breath, "Sleep tight, little'un."

Filora blinks at you.

[Filora]: I'm not touching your beard.

Awatu is oddly wary of Khorvis, him being covered in hair.

[Khorvis]: Bah! That task do be sacred and given to my own hands. I do mean the prisoner. I do be certain she remembers...

You grin wickedly at Skylåh.

Filora looks at Skylåh with a confused look.

[Filora]: She's falling asleep.

Filora slaps Skylåh across the face. Ouch!

Shaelie peers at you searchingly.

Skylåh 's body tenses, her eyes to quickly open. "Could I not get one final nap?"

[Filora]: You'll be having a nice, long sleep soon enough.

Awatu tilts his head, simply watching the human with idle curiosity.

Filora looks back at Khorvis.

Skylåh rolls her head to view the Blood Elf. "So long as I am rid of your ugly face."

You nod at Filora.

Awatu grins just a little at that one.

Filora twists her lips. "I prefer not to perform in front of an audience," she says. She flicks Skylah under her chin and steps back. "Maybe Ul-Rezaj wants a chance at her."

Awatu watches the others gather around her, and quietly takes his leave.

[Ulrezaj]: Eh, ah dun' see what more ah kin do den what othehs already finished.

Khorvis sits crosslegged before the prisoner and hums an old ogre battle hymn to keep the woman awake during his watch.

[Filora]: By the way, the other day, Skylah, was pure crap. I was just testing you.

Ulrezaj approaches the prisoner and sits near Khorvis.

Skylåh stares at the seated Orc. "Could you try to carry a decent tune?" She looks to regard Filora. "What do you mean?"

[Ulrezaj]: So... 'ave you fallen off o' your cliff yet, so to speak?

Shaelie folded her arms and leaned with her shoulder against the wall, watching. She seemed much calmer tonight, and in a better state of mood

Skylåh eyes the Troll. "Unfortunately, my faculties are intact."

[Filora]: Not really worth explaining to you anymore, if it ever was.

Skylåh coughs. "Well, you brought it up."

Ulrezaj rubs his chin. "Eh, what a shame. Ah'd love to see what'chu'd be like changed into a ravin' mongrel. It'd make silencin' you like a Mad a bit more propeh."

Skylåh looks around to those gathered. "I didn't think you lot were big on being proper anyhow."

Filora speaks quietly to Shaelie. "We need to scout out a good spot."

[Ulrezaj]: Oh, mebbe we've got our customs and rites.

[Ulrezaj]: But, unfortunately, we kinna do dis fo' you, so...

Ulrezaj reaches into his bags for an item and withdraws several bottles of grog. "Mebbe," he says with a chuckle, "Dis'll help you pass along."

Ulrezaj hands over [spectral Grog]

Shaelie grimaced. "I suppose. Easier to put a bullet between her eyes right now, but it's not my call."

Khorvis ceases his tune and gets to his feet.

[Ulrezaj]: It'll keep ye from noticin' too much-

Ulrezaj looks up at Khorvis.

Skylåh looks at the bottle. "I may require some aid if I am to partake of that."

[Khorvis]: Oh, of bloody course, princess.

Ulrezaj looks down and sighs.

Filora shrugs at Shaelie. "A spectacle has its uses."

Khorvis lifts up the bottle and dumps it into his feedbag. The liquid seeps through and permeates his fetid beard. He rings it out over the woman's head.

Shaelie leaned to confide to Filora. "If I spent all these hours conversing with every talbuk before I had a steak, I'd waste away."

Filora laughs at Shaelie.

[Ulrezaj]: Ahh, Khorvis, dis business be outta de Grim's function. We shoulda jus' killed and moved on.

Filora looks at Ulrezaj.

[Ulrezaj]: What makes dis case so sentimental?

Shaelie nods at Ulrezaj.

[Shaelie]: I hope this was the last time.

Khorvis snarls at Ul'rezaj. "Did you spend your best years rotting in a pinkskin camp, shackled to your brothers?"

Skylåh gasps lightly as the liquid covers her head, she to look up at the large Orc. "A charmer you are."

Shaelie dragged her helmet off her head, and pulled her tabard back on.

[Filora]: Let's go. They'll keep watch.

[Ulrezaj]: No, but de bes' retribution, ah think, should be against de whole o' de Alliance - not jus' one - since it took de entire Orc race captive.

Shaelie nodded.

[Ulrezaj]: We squabble oveh dis'n like a prized cockroach sold by Jeremiah Payson.

Skylåh closes her eyes once more, pushing the voices out of her head.

Khorvis backhands Skylah with his mechanical fist, the Lash still squirming at the wrist and crackling with runed lightning. "The pinkskins still must fall one by one, Reaper! Why not savor them?!"

Skylåh immediately wakes, a trickle of blood to flow from her mouth.

[Ulrezaj]: Ahh, ah kinna say ah disagree, <he watches Skylah bleed> ah've got no basis fo' rejectin' it.

[Ulrezaj]: Jus' look at human traditions, dey all lead to folly and de thrivin' o' lettin' every deed go fo'... nothin', a vain notion o' 'peace'.

Ulrezaj looks at Skylåh.

Khorvis turns to Skylah and holds her down with his left hand while raising his right titansteel fist. "My brother. My Clan. All of it gone and rotten, thanks to her kind!"

[Ulrezaj]: But one mus' wondeh why?

Khorvis breathes heavily into Skylah's face, his eyes gleaming red and the bloodlust hot in his cheeks.

Ulrezaj gives Khorvis a confused look.

[Ulrezaj]: Khorvis, wait.

[Ulrezaj]: Didju be wantin' justice afteh what de Alliance did to ye?

Skylåh struggled as best she could under the weight of his grip.

Khorvis moves to bring his fist down in a crushing blow onto Skylah's skull but the Lash catches onto the hilt of his blade and winds itself tight while Ul'rezaj intones the truth of the Mandate.

[Ulrezaj]: If ye want true justice to be done, den you'd not kill, ... not yet. It'd feel good, ah know, but dis ain't how executions be performed.

[Ulrezaj]: 'lest dis'un had direct cooperation wit' ye sufferin', den she be killed in vain. Howeveh, we kin alleviate dis innocence by using her as a public symbol lateh on. We should execute her, den use it...

[Ulrezaj]: ...use it as an icon fo' de justice o' de Mandate to renew its glorious campaign. Morale shall be higher den eveh, and a great cry shall be unleashed.

[Ulrezaj]: Such as de world has not seen o' eveh will see again!

Skylåh still struggled against his grip, even though she had not the energy to fight him off.

Khorvis looks desperately conflicted, then snarls and takes to his feet, shoving the woman away. The Lash detatches from his bracer and winds back round the blade fully.

[Khorvis]: You speak wisdom, felmancer.

Ulrezaj rubs his hands together.

Skylåh 's breath comes ragged as she is pushed away.

[Khorvis]: Swobu. She can feed the ravens from a gibbet. Her blood will not rust my gauntlet.

Ulrezaj nods slowly.

Khorvis turns from the prisoner and marches out of the dungeon with the sweep of his wide, dark cloak.

[Ulrezaj]: It be fo' de bes' to utilize de propeh temperment since we've got such a unique opportunity before us.

[Ulrezaj]: Ah look for ward to whateveh follows dis encounteh.

Ulrezaj looks at Skylåh.

[Ulrezaj]: Readin' 'bout'chu kinda borin', jus' a few tings here, a few der by Filora's materialistic ravings.

[Ulrezaj]: And, what's worse, you don' even say any'thin' except sass and mockery. Has captivity taught you nothin'?

Ulrezaj narrows his eyes.

[Ulrezaj]: And what be worth clingin' to so desperately dat'chu kinna see reason?

Khorvis flew south to inspect the new holding area secured by Filora and Shaelie. Northdale.

Shaelie greets you warmly.

[Filora]: Nice, huh?

[Shaelie]: Your gallows.

[Khorvis]: Zug zug. Well done, long ears.

Filora snorts derisively at you.

[Khorvis]: Do there be enough holes for our snipers to aim from?

Shaelie scowled and pointed upwards.

[Shaelie]: We have company.

[Khorvis]: I do swear, cowards them all.

Shaelie nodded.

[Shaelie]: Maybe we should talk to him about it for several weeks.

Shaelie quietly snickers to herself.

You cackle maniacally at Shaelie.

[Filora]: Ugh. No more talking.

Shaelie laughed.

You cackle maniacally at Filora.

The prisoner arrived, escorted by more Grim.

Khorvis nods at a nearby shack.

[Khorvis]: Secure the prisoner in that pathetic excuse for a hut.

[Khorvis]: The Commander will want her breathing for the display.

Filora hauls Skylah to the decrepit house.

Filora points over yonder.

[Filora]: See there?

[Filora]: That noose is for you.

You cheer at Skylåh.

[Khorvis]: Never let it be said that we Grim do not be generous.

[Shaelie]: If it was up to me, we'd have run you through with a sword already.

Skylåh eyes the noose, taking a deep breath as she stares.

[Ulrezaj]: And merciful, Khorvis.

[Filora]: Her suffering will weaken the Alliance.

Filora pulls Skylah inside.

Filora throws her in the corner.

[Shaelie]: I will take sentry post.

[Filora]: We've got eveyr ward we can think of on this place. Your friends won't even be able to find you. Any of the four of them.

Skylåh smiles weakly. "Perhaps it is for the best."

[Filora]: Yeah, I suppose if your sister showed up, we could hang her next to you.

Khorvis rigs a [N.U.K.U.L.A.R. Target Painter] up inside of the chimney.

Filora secures Skylah's wrist to the beam.

Skylåh glares at Filora for mentioning her sister, her knees growing weary as she tried to remain standing in the corner. After another moment does she collapse in the floor.

Khorvis takes the detonator outside and hands the switch to Shaelie.

Shaelie leaned down and took the item from Khorvis, then returned to watching the area.

Filora looks down at Skylah.

[Khorvis]: Enjoy your watch with the pinkskin, Reaper.

You snicker at Filora.

Ulrezaj nods slowly.

[Filora]: What? I don't want to...

Filora grumbles.

[Ulrezaj]: It does have a fascinating appeal to it, the plaguelands.

Khorvis grunts at Ul'rezaj, failing to share the sentiment.

Filora looks at Skylåh.

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