Filora

A Week of Skirmishes

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[[ You can use this thread to post summaries of this week's events and mini-events pertaining to the ongoing strife between the Grim and the Coalition. ]]

11/17/15 - The 7th Day

The Surprise Prisoner Rescue Operation - Horde Perspective

Filora and Shaelie had only just started moving the prisoner across the Barrens, flanked by the pair of bodyguards Khorvis had arranged, when the transmitter Shaelie had left at the guard tower went off with voices speaking Common. Filora's Common was rusty at best, but she didn't have to understand what the Alliance were saying to grasp the meaning of hearing their voices. Somehow, their location had been blown.

The party took off at speed across the plains. Their only hope was to outrange the search party that would inevitably spread out from the tower. But despite making it almost two-thirds to the safehouse that was their destination, they were discovered.

Filora didn't have time then to think about how unfeasible it was that the small group of Alliance, totaling four, had found them in the wide swathes of the Barrens so quickly; or to realize that the initiation of hostilities was perhaps a shade too quick, considering the colors the Alliance wore. That would come later. At that moment, there was only time to fight.

Unfortunately, fighting was not her strong suit; avoiding battle altogether more was. Nor was fighting a strength of Shaelie's, the hunter more suited to reconnaissance. Their two bodyguards, at least, fought nearly well enough on their own to hold the Alliance off... but not quite.

When an arrow took her in the knee, Filora hit the ground, and started figuring it was time to get out of there. Fumbling, she managed to pull a crystal shard out of her pocket. She only had the one, but she had been saving it for circumstances just like these ever since Saphiara's attack. She'd learned from that that you never knew when it would pay to just be able to get the hell out of someplace.

When she activated the crystal, a glowing rift appeared, and the red, gold, and white spires of Silvermoon appeared within. Filora turned and hauled the unconscious prisoner off the back of her mount and yelled for Shaelie to follow as she dove in. One last arrow followed them through the portal to embed itself in her pauldron as they tumbled onto smooth paving stones.

They emerged in Silvermoon's Court of the Sun bruised, battered, bleeding, and beaten, but alive, and still in possession of the prisoner. They quickly moved to Filora's father's manor -- not the nicest estate in Silvermoon, but one that was more than sufficient for the moment's needs. The prisoner was thrown in the dungeon and soon other Grim arrived to discuss the other events of the evening.

More than a little angered by the painful and humiliating beating they'd taken, Filora questioned the prisoner again, but learned nothing about how allies had found the prisoner's location... except for something the prisoner strangely volunteered when Filora started to leave. Filora reported it to Khorvis. They would have to follow up and see if it were true, or otherwise figure out how to prevent the prisoner's allies from tracking them down again.

This time, they didn't hire guards. The Grim stood guard themselves.

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Syreena waited on horseback on the docks of Bladefist Bay. She was alone, at first, cursing Khorvis as she waiting for both Tesonii and whatever Alliance would show up. She hoped Tesonii got there first. She was disappointed.

Two men, a fat panda, and a murloc stepped onto the dock. That sounds like the start of a bad joke, the little rogue thought. They all faced off for a few minutes, then one of the humans she presumed was Marrus stepped forward and, in rough Orcish, asked where Skylah was. Syreena assured him the prisoner was on her way. Worried about Tesonii, she silently realized the likelihood of her statement becoming the actual truth.

She murmured to Khorvis into her hearthstone, asking him what she was supposed to do here, then cursed at his unhelpful answer about distract and delay. She glanced around for Tesonii, cursing her for taking too long in getting ready for this.

Marrus bent down and laid his staff on the dock. Then the other human and the panda also laid their weapons down. The panda identified himself as Zhii and offered Syreena a scroll, signed by his officers, of their surrender. The little rogue was not expecting that, and immediately became suspicious.

Finally, Tesonii arrived, looking exactly like Skylah, and called out for help. Syreena dismounted and moved behind "Skylah," placing a blade at her neck. She shoved an invisibility potion into Tes's hand. Then she just stood there. There was nothing else to do. She didn't like the way they were looking at "Skylah." Stall them--that's all her purpose was here--for as long as they would be stalled. As it turned out, that wasn't very long.

The attack came without warning, with more Alliance coming out from their hiding places. Syreena vanished into the shadows. If Tesonii used one of the invisibility potions, Syreena didn't notice. When she looked back, Tes was surrounded by Alliance.

From the shadows, Syreena caught a glimpse of a few Borrowed Time mercs, engaging the Alliance in battle. She joined in until the outcome was certain, then she vanished again. She watched from the shadows as the victorious Alliance took Tesonii through a portal. Just before it closed, Syreena threw Skylah's hand through it after them.

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11/17/15 – The 7th Day

Meeting of Sanctuary & Eternal Aegis – Horde Perspective

Alarin was a new member of Sanctuary, and one Julilee hadn’t had a chance to gauge yet, but it appeared she’d learn a little more about him tonight.

She did already know that he had family members in the Alliance, and that was a strong factor toward what swayed him to peace. She wasn’t expecting to have a message relayed through him from Alliance members, though; Siané usually served that function, but Juli supposed there was no reason Alarin couldn’t too.

However, she definitely was not expecting a message that Tesonii had been taken prisoner by Eternal Aegis and was asking for them.

Julilee ran through what she knew about Eternal Aegis as they made their way to Fenris Keep. With her were Kex’ti, Kargron, Alarin, and Aaren, who had heard of Tesonii’s capture from the Grim and intended to visit the Keep herself with or without company. As far as Juli knew, Eternal Aegis was a relatively new guild, but one that had developed a reputation for honorable combat against the Horde. Her Alliance contacts had once mentioned its leader’s name – Marrus Luminus, a mage.

She guessed that was the scholarly man waiting for them when they walked up to the keep. There was also a man in an eyepatch and leather, and a woman with a watchful eye. Various other guards and residents of the Keep were about as well, but these three appeared to make their main escort. After introductions, Juli and her companions were asked to disarm before being led inside. They complied, though Kex’ti kept his staff to help him walk.

Tesonii was being held under magical wards, and nearly burst into tears of relief to see Aaren. Several languages floated through the room as they discussed what had happened – Common, Orcish, and Thalassian – many of those present appearing to understand more than one, if not all three. Juli made clear that Sanctuary was not allied with or even on speaking terms with the Grim as they learned what had transpired that evening and Eternal Aegis’ stake in Skylah’s kidnapping. As for Tesonii, soon the narrative emerged that she hadn’t known what the Grim intended and was essentially innocent; but Juli could not be anything other than honest, and while she vouched that she had not seen Tesonii do evil with her own eyes, she stated that Tesonii had in fact left Sanctuary to join the Grim.

Kex’ti started to take Juli aside to tell her something of Tesonii’s motivations for joining the Grim – but the conversation became abruptly sidetracked when the male Eternal Aegis rogue discovered and apprehended another skulking rogue. It proved to be Syreena, who at first tried to imply Sanctuary was working with her, but who was quickly disavowed by the other Horde present. Syreena was in for a shock when she realized Sanctuary was not going to interfere with Eternal Aegis taking her prisoner, either; especially not when Marrus agreed to release Tesonii.

Julilee reiterated to Marrus that she and Sanctuary were allies of Twilight Empire and were invested in Skylah’s safe return… so long as the actions Sanctuary could take were within the parameters of the Horde’s justice. Marrus declared that Sanctuary had earned allies of Eternal Aegis. Collecting Tesonii, Juli and her companions departed, leaving Syreena to her captors.

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11/17/15

Assault on Northwatch and an operation gone awry

The winds of Mulgore whistled over the towers of the Great Gate. An'she had begun her descent and the blinding embers of her departure would shield onlookers from the Grim fist's assault. Khorvis Bloodstar sat upon his grinning reaver and grumbled his worries towards his comrades, Dreadweaver Lupinum, the shaman Kharthak, and the Shadowblade, who hid upon the docks of Bladefist Bay.

[Khorvis]: Syreena. You must let us know when the Alliance dogs arrive at the docks.

[Syreena]: Will do. I don't see anything yet.

[Khorvis]: Hrmph. That Tesonii Reaper do be late.

[Khorvis]: Luckily so do be the Aegis?

[Syreena]: Still not sign of them.

[Syreena]: Maybe that elf changed her mind....

[Kharthak]: Alas, they probably gathered up their lot and shriveled up in fear.

[Lupinum]: We can only hope.

[Kharthak]: No, I don't hope that at all. That means somewhere in the sea a bunch of Alliance set adrift.

[Kharthak]: This feels like... a trap. As if we have taken false bait, yet...

[Khorvis]: How could they trap us? If do be we who lured them onto dry ground!

[Kharthak]: Perhaps they recognized our patterns and look to flank us?

[Khorvis]: Then here do be a secret. I have set the mercenaries of Borrowed Time to the South, North, and East.

[Khorvis]: They will strike at the same time that we do,

[Kharthak]: Well and good, so long as our scouts do not find a better-highering hand.

[Khorvis]: The course do be set, Kharthak. Now we can only swing the blade.

[Kharthak]: Aye, your words ring true.

[Khorvis]: *grumbles in the tense calm before the storm*

[Khorvis]: When we do reach Northwatch Hold, we must secure the main keep.

[Khorvis]: Once that do be done, plant whatever explosives you possess and retreat to the walls.

[Lupinum]: I have more than enough warheads to plant, if you two need some.

[Kharthak]: Bottled flame has its uses.

[Kharthak]: Send me one so that I can express my capacity for ingenuity.

[Kharthak]: Ahh, precisely what I needed.

[Lupinum]: -munching can be heard over the communicator-

[Khorvis]: Mount up, Grim.

[Khorvis]: Grim, we ride East, within range of Northwatch.

The fist took to the skies and raced over the landscape of the Barrens, beelining for the Alliance fortress upon the shore. Enroute, Khorvis continued his communications with Syreena via hearthstone.

[Syreena]: I see them.

[Khorvis]: We have no prisoner?

[Syreena]: No.

[Khorvis]: Stall them. Tell them that the prisoner is enroute.

[Syreena]: Uh...sure...

[Syreena]: I see two humans, a panda, and....a murloc.

[Khorvis]: A what?!

Realizing that no more time remained, Khorvis switched channels and gave the signal to Vipra, the hired contact within Borrowed Time. "Hit it." He shut off the frequency as soon as the affirmation returned with the sounds of pitched battle in several alternate locations, including Astranaar.

[Khorvis]: GRIM, ATTACK!

Lupinum and Kharthak dove immediately down to land upon the uppermost ramparts of Northwatch Hold, dispatching the flatfooted Alliance guards with a roar of violence. Spells of shadow and earth began to rend the mortar and flesh of the outpost with equal ease, and a wave of fear broke the ranks of human marines. Crashing through the fleeing pinkskins, the High Inquisitor spun his blade through the panic with the practiced patience of a woodsman clearing bramble. As the fist reached the walls of the Hold, Syreena's communications grew more frantic.

[Syreena]: Khorvis....what am I supposed to do with them? Still no prisoner!

[Khorvis]: *sound of battle* Slay them or flee!

[Khorvis]: PLANT THE EXPLOSIVES!

As one, the three Grim attached their devices of choosing to the brick and stone of Northwatch - bottled flame, goblin warheads, and even a N.U.K.U.L.A.R. Target Painter. Calling down their mounts, the fist again took to the sky and watched as timers ticked down.

3... 2... 1...

A series of massive blasts ripped through the towers and walls, sending a titanic spray of stone into the air. The cascade tumbled down in a deafening roar to the Great Sea below. but before the dust had even settled, new transmissions screeched from the main Grim channel:

[Filora]: <Sounds of fighting and yelling>

[Shaelie]: WE ARE UNDER ATTACK

[Khorvis]: What the fel?!

[Khorvis]: What do be your location?!

[Kharthak]: Where are you?

[Lupinum]: Shaelie!

[Shaelie]: Durotar north of crossroads

[Shaelie]: 4 alliance

[Shaelie]: near road south of ramparts

Wasting no time, the three Grim sped Northwards, leaving behind the ruin of Northwatch Hold, only a skeleton of its former self. Khorvis cursed his ill luck, now certain that some information had been leaked and the prisoner now at risk. Despite their haste, the trio arrived only in time to see Filora and Skylah vanish through a portal to the fel-knew where and the Alliance raiders riding off. Behind were left Shaelie and two Horde mercenaries, beaten and bloody. Quick administrations of healing by brother Lupinum brought the group to consciousness, but the demoralized contingent was left adrift. Bloodstar once again contacted Syreena.

[Syreena]: Umm....they laid down their weapons...

[Khorvis]: They did?

[Kharthak]: IDIOTS!

[Bloodscream]: It's a trick! Get an axe!

[Syreena]: Uh huh... *sounds suspicious* And the fat one has a scroll he says is signed by officers of Jade Lion, giving up their positions...

Another ruse? thought Khorvis. Probably, but he could not let any more Grim face this Alliance threat alone. Already the scales of the evening were teetering dangerously towards the blue, and Awatu would have his head if he lost both the prisoner AND the Shadowblade. Signaling to his battleready host, the orc once again took to the sky and tore to the East. Midflight, he contacted his mercenary assets (Vipra and Cobrak). The Grim fist waited upon some rocky cliff-face, watching the interaction between the Coalition agents, Syreena, and "Skylah." Meanwhile, the bronzed hires moved to flank.

[Vipra] whispers: Cobrak has visual on Sy at the moment. We have no other signs from the enemy at the moment beyond whom she's facing. Orders?

To [Vipra]: Hold the trigger.... almost ready.

It was at that moment that the Coalition forces dropped their cloaks and rushed the Grim duo. "Now," Khorvis uttered into his link with Vipra. All hell erupted upon the docks.

Despite the best efforts, it was some hours later that Khorvis regained consciousness back in Orgrimmar, reeling from the news of their defeat.

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((The following was recorded the night of 11/17, at precisely the same time as the events that were unfolding that evening. The transcript and recording were sent the next day.))

Commander Awatu and High Inquisitor Khorvis,

As you know, Syreena and I planted some recording devices in the Ratchet tavern in order to try and gather information about the Caravan that intrudes on our territory as well as information about Marrus, the leader or Eternal Ageis. (As ordered by Khorvis.) Enclosed with this letter is a recording from Ratchet tonight that took place during the battle plans Khorvis put in place. Everything on the recording is in common, so I have translated it into a transcript which you will find with this letter. The information was useful. Apparently, the Caravan has had a run in with The Grim a few years ago, when we destroyed their ships and a village during the March Of The Mandate. They also mention uniting with Jade Lion, Eternal Ageis, Twilight Empire and Invictus Sanctum. There are details of their travel route and talk of leaving the caravan in the Barrens to supply the above mentioned guilds. If I can find it, I will bomb it to splinters.

-Shaelie

*The sound of scraping of chairs and the rustling of armor as people are seated around a table.*

Male Draenei: So, regarding ze Chancellor. As you know, ze Twlight Empire, ze Jade Lion, ze Inviiictus Sanctum, and ze Eternal Aegis are all in hot pursuit of ze Grim. Thus, it becomes question if ve ought to meddle as vell.

*There is the sound of cards being shuffled.*

Female Draenei: Meddle? How is rescue meddle?

Human Male 1: I'm confused...

*A deep sigh*

Male Draenei: I am just... hesitant is all, dah. Zhis is ze GRIM ve're talkin' about.

Human Male 1: We made a promise we'd help find whoever was behind this.

Female Draenei: We must help.

Male Draenei: Dah... but I also made a promise I vouldn't jeopardize your lives over zometiiing zhat ve 'ave chance to valk avay from.

Human Male 1: Yeah but...

Human Male 2: Tuuroto, if you do not wish to risk your life in the rescue of Skylah, that is your decision. Personally however, I will be going after Skylah.

Male Draenei: Ze others... zhey 'ave zhis settled. Ve don't NEED to fight zhis var.

Female Draenei: If walk away, how will you feel tomorrow?

*A long, drawn-out sigh.*

Human Male 2: I feel a little responsible for this, If I had been watchin' the camp instead of drinkin' ...

Female Draenei: You feel bad now. We were guard Chancellor.

Male Draenei: But vhat if ze zhey ask us to go on suicide mission into Orgrimmar.

Female Draenei: Chancellor stolen, now we must find.

Human Male 1: Look, Tuuro... We're not talking about Eversong, about persuing something trivial. This is about what's right! This is about justice...

Male Draenei: Are you all.... *clears throat* are you all prepared to go through vith zhat?

Human Male 2: I'm not looking for a suicide mission, If they have her in Orgrimmar she is already dead.

Human Male 1: Sorry, Tuuro, I don't want to make this hard... But ... I joined the Caravan to make the world a better place.

Female Draenei: We all want better place.

Human Male 1: The chancellor of one of our greatest allies has been taken.

Human Male 2: While under our watch ...

Human Male 1: If the Grim gets away with that, who knows who's next?

Human Male 2: Or what.

Female Draenei: One person will not make world better, but...Yes, what you all say.

Male Draenei: Very vell... zhen.

Female Draenei: If we give inch, they take whole field.

Human Male 2: I'm not saying everyone has to help in the search, but someone has to be there to represent for the Caravan.

Male Draenei: Zhen I zuppose I need to explain ze full story.

*There was a long pause, and some rustling.*

Female Draenei: What is this?

Human Male 2: You weren't serious about the suicide mission, where you??

Male Draenei: Few years ago...Ze Grim 'ad attacked Redblade shiiips and territories. Zhey killed over 30% of ze Draenei/Broken population in ze Black Morass. And 75% of our ship and property assets. Ve... never 'ad ze resources to fight back. And even if ve did, ve surely vould've been outmatched by zheir brute strength and skill for assassination. 'March of ze Mandate' ze massacre has been dubed. And it vas our organization zhat suffered ze most. And, vhile I applaud how brave you all are bein', I 'ave to remind how zerious ze matter is."

Female Draenei: This Grim killed Krokul?

Male Draenei: Zhat vone of us present in zhis tavern right now may not make it alive come next veek if ve vere to fight alongzide ze others.

Female Draenei: But why Krokul? Have they not suffer enough?

Male Draenei: And thus... are villing to save Skylah... only to zee somevone 'ere perish instead?

Female Draenei: But if we can find and save, and not die?

Male Draenei: Perhaps, though it is quite optimiistic, even for me. Dah, but zhis is not my choice. It is all of your choices. If you all choose to go, zhen I shall zupport.

Human Male 1: So, Tuuro... You say that the Empire, the Jade Lion, Eternal Aegis, and us... Could we take on the Grim?

Male Dranei: I do not know, in all honesty. My fear is zhat ze others take ze Grim too lightly, for zhey did not 'ave zheir homes destroyed by zhem before like ve have.

Human Male 2: Could we prevent that?

Male Draenei: Ze Tragedy back zhen vas a surprised; ve veren't even in ze area.

Human Male 1: I think he meant, prevent the others from taking them lightly...

Male Draenei: Vell... no ve can't prevent zhat either.

Human Male 2: Actually, both are great ideas. Prepare for an attack like that, set up some kind of defense?

Male Draenei: Ve vould have to consult ze others in ze varfront, especially Sir Therrien and Lady Brianna.

Human Male 2: If they have done something like that in the past, what's stopping them from trying it again?

Female Draenei: I think they do not like me. You did not see faces.

Male Draenei: Dah, zhey are ruthless, and indeed zhey vill keep comin' for us. I believe zhey do recognize Beryl's and myzelf's faces. But in any rate.

Human Male 1: I think it comes down which carries the more risk... Us fighting them and losing, or us not getting involved and they attack us.

Male Draenei: I zuppose ze latter is more riiisk. Since, at least by joinin' ze offensive, ve'll 'ave allies.

Female Draenei: If angry, they attack swamp again.

Human Male 2: And defenses to protect ourselves from their shifty attacks

Male Draenei: But if we continue through vith our caravan trade route to Ashenvale, zhey could ambush us vhile ve are isolated from ze other groups.

Human Male 1: And if we don't join in, I have doubts that the other crews will help us...

Male Draneie: Dah, you are all correct.

Female Draenei: We need the allies.

Male Draenei: Zhen I zuppose ve are in agreement, and zhis is all settled, yes?

Human Male 2: Can we take the Caravan in a Different route for now?

Male Draenei: I tiiink ve should keep ze caravan 'ere until ze whole ordeal blows over.

Female Draenei: But we also want Chancellor back.

Male Draenei: In case our allies need our supplies.

Female Draenei: Yes.

Male Draenei: Ve can be an accessible place of civilization, and not in ze middle of zome jungle.

Human Male 2: This isn't a little close to a very populated horde city?

Male Draenei: I could portal our tiiings back to Stormvind? And Stormvind is LEGAL portal location, so no need to fret Miiister Kirin Tor. *He chuckles*

Female Draenei: We could. But will that help? What if allies need wares?

Male Draenei: Oh right...

Female Draenei: Is up to you.

Male Draenei: Vell, I am vorried zhat zince ve are right in ze middle of Horde lands, zhere really is not safe Alliance settlement, at least no safer zhan 'ere.

Human Male 1: Stormwind is the biggest city in Azeroth. We can make this work.

Female Draenei: We can help, even in the city.We can travel here, fairly fast.

Human Male 1: The travelling to and from Stormwind is a breeze.

Male Draenei: Very vell, keep your supplies 'ere, but I'll move our products and caravan supplies back to Stormvind.

*A lull in conversation.*

Male Draenei: Hmm... ... it zeems zhat ze other groups are not too far from 'ere.

Female Draenei: Where?

Male Draenei: Geo mentioned zometiiing about a task he vas meetin' up ze others for.

*Some shuffling around, the clatter of armor.*

Male Draenei: Dah, I vould need to do a full scrying circle outside.

Female Draenei: We find? Help?

Male Draenei: Dah, ve should.

*Chairs scrape against the floor and the sounds of the group getting up from the table can be heard. Then fading footsteps and voices as they leave the tavern.*

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