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A Day In The Garrison (Semi-open)

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(This thread is open to anyone who has access to the Borrowed Time/Sanctuary Garrison. Note- this RP takes place while Sanctuary is still in the process of moving out, so members of Sanctuary may still be in the Garrison for this RP.) :)

The sound of young laughter and playful shouting could often be heard within the walls of the garrison. The rambunctious sound of kids at play, mock sword fighting with wooden swords, sticks, or whatever they could get their hands on. Recently, another had joined the group. The girl was not quite as young as some of the rest, but far from grown. She teetered on the the edge that separates child from young adolescent. Rylie was the name she went by- or sometimes Ry-Ry, depending on who you asked. The human child was the newest of the orphans that resided in the Borrowed Time garrison. By a first passing glimpse, one might write her off as shy or delicate. She was quiet and polite, particularly to the adults. She could often be found helping out in the kitchens or cleaning the common areas, when she wasn't involved in her studies with Taozhu, who was gradually teaching her the Orcish language. She was of average height, for a girl of her age. Perhaps a bit on the small side. With mid-length blonde hair and sky blue eyes, one might get the first impression that she was more suited to cooking or mending torn clothing. But she could always be found in the midst of the playful, rough-and-tumble scraps with the rest of the children. And she held her own. Most of the time.

More recently, she had procured a mop handle from the kitchen and often used the makeshift staff in rowdy 'sword battles' with some of the other children. As of yet untrained, she still copied what she had obviously seen others do and fought valiantly against a young orc boy who was easily twice her size. Her technique wasn't bad for one still undisciplined. Still, she was at a distinct disadvantage by the larger child and lacked the leverage or strength to knock him from his feet.

The play session eventually died off as the other kids were called away to dinner or other evening chores. Exhausted, but in a cheerful mood, Rylie dropped down to sit on the steps leading down towards the communal fire pit at the center of the garrison. Leaning her 'staff' against the wooden steps next to her, she rubbed at her bruised knee.

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((Takes place after Sanctuary moved out completely, I think.))

Shortly after his bout with Naheal, Parigan stalked into the Borrowed Time barracks, ignoring the sharp looks tossed his way. Most of the bunks seemed to be filled already, and the last thing he wanted was to be near anyone that was liable to attack him again. Parigan tossed his meager belongings into a dark corner that no one seemed to care much for, considering the cobwebs. After removing the satchels of gunpowder, grapeshot, and various other engineering items from his belt, Parigan untied the straps of his greatsword with his good hand, laying it carefully against the wall. Slumping down on the floor beside the mighty weapon, the warrior drew medical supplies from his kit and spent the next hour repairing the stitches that had popped during his fight with the death knight. All the while, he was keenly aware of the whispers and glares directed at him.

After he had finished his work, Parigan decided he would rather not spend any time sitting still, so he removed what he had left on of his armor, scooped up his greatsword, and marched out into the frigid air to search for the fighting pits. He spent the rest of the night and the day following practicing his arm or sparring with eager combatants. Talk spread around the garrison of the undead’s skill. Some whispers went around that he was bound and determined to defeat Naheal in combat. This talk brought more challengers to face Parigan’s blade. Few were truly ready to face his deadly ferocity, fewer still managed to get the better of him. The undead made a note of the ones who gave him trouble. Those challengers he was always happy to fight again.

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(To clarify again, this thread is a few days before Sanctuary moves out, not after. This is partly to encourage members of Sanctuary to join in this RP, so Rylie gets a chance to meet them before they leave!) :)

Rylie tugged on the leather lacings of her boot, retying it tightly, then paused to glance over at the ringing of steel from the fighting pits nearby. She paused when she saw Parigan there. She had seen the forsaken around the Garrison. Truth be told, he made her nervous, and she wasn't quite sure what to make of him. He didn't seem entirely friendly. Her witnessing part of the fight and 'argument' between him and Nahael did little to assure her that he would not harm her. Plus, she had not seen many forsaken before.

She slowly lowered her foot back to the step and eyed the death knight as his latest challenger stomped away.

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Kex'ti woke up, and leaned over to kiss Julilee. It was before dawn, and the faint torchlight outside was the only guiding light. He moved the blankets to Julilee's side of the bed. She tended not to stir, but he wanted to make sure she was warm. He did not appreciate that the bed was smaller than the one in their own garrison, where they could sprawl freely.

He limped over to the armor stand, and rubbed his leg. He coughed, twice, the medicine worn off over his sleep. He took a pull from his medicinal jug by the bed, and tied the knot wrapped around the mouth of the ceramic to his belt on the truss.

His armor was heavier than most monks, but he appreciated the protection it afforded him, and he strapped and tied it on over his bedclothes. He would take a bath later, he decided. The leather had lasted him far longer than any of sets he'd worn previously. Choosing to trade out one set for a next at earliest convenience as a gladiator, then continually adapting the armor after he left Kun-Lai, this set was the first he'd worn as its own whole for quite some time.

He flexed his hands, and drew his staff, weaving a fragment of the mists into it, so the book resting at its tip hovered carefully. It was ostentatious, but the staff had been recovered with no small effort by a Sanctuary agent from the Sunreavers. By no means was he an arcanist. But he liked the way it look, and the way the book's lore was easily accessed for specific healing techniques in combat; how he could correct his mistweaving at glance from his own manual.

His sword, too, fit easily into its sheathe opposite the jug on his belt. He closed the door quietly. When he wanted to, he had a lot of practice in remaining unseen, stemming from a long childhood as an innkeeper's son, and a shorter career as a scout and assassin.

Kex'ti made his way out to the practice yard, and began to set up for today's lesson. After the sun rose, he smirked as a human girl made her way up the path to his narrow ring of stones and wood. She carried something with her. A mop handle? He chuckled.

"Hoi! Rylie, welcome to your first lesson. Today, we practice the basics of center line defense."

She wore the armor he had made for her. Good. It meant he wouldn't need to go easy.

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Rylie was indeed wearing the new set of armor, crafted just for her by Kex'ti. He had promised that he would, but she was delighted one morning to wake up and find the box left unseen, at the foot of her bed. Inside was the leather tunic, breeches and gloves that fit her perfectly. It took some getting used to- she had never worn armor of any sort before. It was stiff and heavy at first, but after several hours of wearing it, she quickly grew accustomed to the weight and feel of it. And the leather naturally softened with some use, allowing her to bend and move much more fluidly.

She stopped just outside the practice ring and grinned up at Kex'ti, planting the end of her 'staff' against the ground. "Good day, Kex'ti." She recited in orcish. "How are you today?" Her grasp of the Orcish language was slowly improving. Although she still had a long, long way to go before she could carry a conversation, she was at least learning the basics.

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He responded in kind, with Orcish, then Common.

"It is coming along well, your conversation."

He smirked, and tapped the base of his staff against her broomstick.

"You do realize that it is a tradition for a teacher to give a student their first staff," Kex'ti said, reflecting on the first few months he had spent under Yu-Ting's tutelage.

"Well, I had to make due," said Rylie, returning the smirk. "So, I'm ready to learn this center line defense stuff. If, you know, you still want to teach me."

The elf nodded, and drove his staff into the earth. He took a breath and swept his hands together, upward. He steadied his legs, and lowered his center of gravity, making a straight stance, as though he was riding a horse. Finally, he put one hand in line with his sternum, and the other out in front of it. He flexed his hands once, and Rylie could hear the bones crack. He flattened them into an open palm, and drew the outstretched one across the line his ribs, and then the closer one back. Then he repeated the motion, coming to stand in the stance with his hands at his side.

"There are many stances in Pandaren martial arts, and this is the very first. Feng stance."

"Fang stance? Like, a snake or a tiger?" said Rylie, studying his positioning.

"Feng stance, the Pandaren word for wind. The wind is formless, and this stance will help you master your breathing and cultivate your taiji."

She looked at him, straight in the eyes.

"Taiji is your physical energy. It is not quite stamina, but that is part of it. Did you study the scroll?"

"Well, of course I did. I could follow the motions but I didn't understand the writing. That's Pandaren, right?"

He nodded, and stood up straight.

"And you have practiced the motions?"

"Well...I wanted to make sure I was doing them right, first," she lied.

He chuckled and leaned over, and ruffled her hair. Then he pinched her ear, firmly, but just enough to surprise, not to cause pain. He smirks.

"First thing is that you need to wear your helmet. Your head is your strongest muscle, and if you can not use it, then you have failed. Second, I will teach you the forms and help you adjust them. Afterwards, we will go celebrate your progress with a meal."

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With a final, powerful swing, the orc’s axe was flung from his hands, narrowly avoiding cutting several watchful bystanders in the seats around the fighting pits. Parigan’s black blade pressed close to his neck, warning the warrior to submit. Roaring with laughter, the orc put his hands up in a sign of surrender. “Excellent strike, Berserker!” The undead lifted his blade from the orc’s shoulder to his own, exhaling a puff of wispy air into the cold atmosphere. The title of Berserker had been passed around the garrison after his display of great rage when fighting with Naheal the day of his arrival. Since then, he had only shown a propensity to harness that rage in focused bursts: still enough to shock the heartiest of warriors to their bones.

“You almost had me, old timer,” the younger fighter replied. “A second later and I would have missed my chance. You sure don’t let up.” The orc, a seasoned war veteran by the name of Morag, grinned widely, displaying his uneven tusks. “Gotta keep sharp. You young ones are all gonna surpass me if I don’t.” Someone in the audience tossed Morag his axe, which he scooped out of the air with all the grace of a jungle cat. Parigan scoffed. “You’ll outlive half the lowlifes in this place, Skullcrusher.” Morag nodded in appreciation of his opponent’s display of honor, and ceded the arena floor for the next challenger. On his way out, however, he seemed to notice something in the crowd.

“Oi, peacock feathers! You gonna spend all day watching or are you planning on giving the Berserker a real fight?!” Parigan followed the old man’s gaze to a blood elf in the stands above. His metal jaw nearly dropped at the sight. It was odd enough for Morag to call anyone a challenge, but the one he spoke to was a frail-looking adolescent elf covered in a bright green feather-cloak, a bit of frostweed stuck in his teeth. A skinny blade was draped over his shoulder, curved with a long hilt. A mat of long silver hair draped over half his face, and an expression of detached care adorned his long, lithe face. The boy shrugged back at the orc. “It’s a cold day for it, don’tcha think?”

The orc sighed disappointingly at the elf. “Every day’s cold here, and besides, I’ve seen you move like a demon in even colder weather than this!” He looked back at Parigan. “This one’s tougher than he looks. Faster than a rogue wind spirit, too.” Parigan’s eyebrow rose. He looked up at the elf and called out, “You been watching me all day, kid?”

The elf scratched his head, apparently uncomfortable with all the attention. “It’s my day off, so…” Parigan snorted, flashing a snarling grin at him. “Come on down and see how my blade looks close-up. I assure you it’s no prettier.” The elf shrugged up out of his seat. The stands were deathly quiet for once, whispers flying about like flies on a maggot pile. Apparently they were interested in seeing the outcome of this match. Morag laughed under his breath, hastily rejoining the other onlookers, eager to get a good seat for himself. As he entered the stands, the elf’s cloak billowed, flapping in the wind like geese feathers. Underneath, he wore silver and green cloth over chainmail, both expertly crafted by skilled elven hands. By Parigan’s estimate, the thread alone must have taken at least a decade to sew to completion. He could not fathom having that sort of time to waste on trivial matters.

The elf stepped into the ring, barely opening his eyes to look at his opponent. His hands stuck to his belt casually, as if taking a stroll in the woods. Parigan kept the boy in his sights, turning as he neared the center of the ring. “So,” the undead said, “What do I call you, kid?”

“Kyre Starfall, knight of Eversong and guardian of Azeroth, at your service, oh tall and dark one.” The elf gave his opponent a mockingly low bow, sweeping his cloak to the side in a gentlemanly fashion. Parigan flinched at the name. Starfall, Alleda’s surname. He’d heard about her younger brother, but nothing too telling of what to expect from the kid. “So what’s your deal? You seem quick on your feet, but that sword isn’t exactly a rogue’s poking stick,” Parigan asked, pointing at Kyre’s blade.

“Guess you’ll just have to wait and see, eh? I’ll admit, direct confrontation isn’t exactly my style.” He drew his blade slowly. Parigan shifted into a combat stance. The crowd’s whispers had grown into roars, egging the two fighters on. Parigan didn’t want to keep them waiting too long. Plenty of time to ask questions later, anyway. “Your move,” he told Kyre. The elf smirked.

Then the air around him shifted. His face grew intense, his fel green eyes widening and sharpening their focus on Parigan. He lunged, a green and white blur with snow flowing all around. Parigan swung to ward off the elf’s attack, but Kyre merely leapt over the blade. He swiped at Parigan’s face, the tip of his own sword leaving a cut on the larger warrior’s cheek. The two regained their footing, then came at each other again. The silver-haired youth ducked under an early swing and he clipped Parigan’s leg before moving two paces behind the undead. Cursing silently, Parigan whirled, this time holding his blade back a second longer than before. The kid anticipated it, and stuck his sword in Parigan’s exposed shoulder, between his breastplate and pauldron. Parigan roared, ducking low before rushing his foe, only to find nothing but air in his wake. A piercing blow to the back told him he’d been outmaneuvered again.

The warrior fell to his knees, his wounded leg somehow unable to carry his weight as his back went rigid from the last thrust. It did not seem possible that from only a few blows, his body was going numb. Then it hit him; the kid was a paladin! Parigan forced his body to turn. He tried to lift his blade, but his right arm was unresponsive. The Light constricted his muscles, forcing him rigid and useless. Kyre set his blade on his shoulder, taking a cocky stance while staring at the undead with eyes half-shut. “Ah, guess you found me out, bummer,” he said nonchalantly. “Suppose a warning would have been nicer. Ah well, live and learn, right?”

“YAAAAH!” Parigan forced his arm to bend, despite the tremendous weight he seemed to be under. The youthful paladin’s face twisted in surprise as the undead’s blade closed in on him with blazing speed. Parigan was sure he’d gotten the better of him now. But Kyre’s own sword moved faster. With a quick parry and a twist, the great sword flew off to the side. Parigan roared with great effort, bringing his blade back for another strike the paladin could not parry in time. Instead, he ducked again, grabbed the warrior’s leg, and pulled sharply, producing a length of chain made of holy light. Parigan was willed to move, and fell flat on his face in the snow. Kyre took the greatsword out of his grasp as the Light paralyzed him. Parigan seethed as the arrogant elf tossed his blade aside; the elf was barely able to even lift the thing. Huffing from the effort, Kyre looked down at Parigan and said, “I think I’ve had my fill of fighting for one day.” He sheathed his blade and walked away, leaving the defeated Parigan to be slowly covered in snow.

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Parigan's body was weak and trembling by the time the sun set after a long day of fighting in the pits. His typically limitless strength had been somehow used up after weeks of nonstop training. He took his things from the fighting pits, and wandered out of the garrison to a nearby lava pit where he could collapse and let the snow and warm air soak into his bones. He lay there for an hour, his one eye staring into the drifting clouds of the endless blue aether above. The flame buried deep in his soul flickered faintly. Short a heartbeat, his undead body had seemingly replaced the constant beat of blood in his chest with a flickering flame. It often made him feel more restless than he had been in life. His actions were in line with a less rigid tune. It was especially potent when the rage took over. He could unleash greater feats of brutality than any living soul he had met in combat, but every second of it seemed to burn away what remained.

You are better off...

A voice rumbled in the back of his mind.

There is no rest, no peace. There is only the struggle...

A wolf's snarl reverberated in his ears, as if he were surrounded by a pack of them. The undead stood so suddenly that piled snow on his body flew in all directions. He wrenched his blade from the ground beside him and aimed it at the nearest growl. Just outside the range of his blade, a worgen stood, wearing the colors of Gilneas. His furry hands shot into the air, a roll of paper clutched tightly in one. "Oi! Put that bloody thing away, why don'tch?!" The worgen growled, his gruff voice betraying his fear of the undead. Parigan blew air out his nose and lowered the sword.

"You shouldn't sneak up on someone like that. Least of all a man half-made with metal," Parigan grumbled, his metal arm creaking as he withdrew his weapon. "What do you want, dog?"

The worgen handed the roll of paper to Parigan, who accepted it wordlessly. "My lady claims this message to be of vital importance. Truth be told, I weren't too eager to charge off into this frozen hellhole." Parigan removed the black wolf-head stamp sealing the letter and read what was written there.

We need all our strength.

It's time to come home.


Parigan read the three lines several times before saying, "You can go." The worgen snorted and gave the undead a mock bow before racing off into the white distance. Parigan quickly returned to the barracks to claim the rest of his gear. Brin was summoning him. It was time to get back to work.

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