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Vilmah

Throwing a Wrench into the War Machine

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A letter has appeared in Tuuroto's mailbox. It has been wrapped carefully in bright purple paper.

Tuuroto,

Long time no see. Sorry for the cryptic message, but I might have some information regarding the Legion that will directly impact you and your allies. I've heard a pretty disturbing account regarding something that could bring in enough Legion to wipe out Stormwind. Can you meet me somewhere? I think we can help. Meet me in the Underbelly, in Dalaran.

-V

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"Who ze fel is 'V' again?"

The eccentric Draenei tarot reader stared at the parchment letter, scratching his pale forehead scrunched up from utter confusion. With the Caravan recently relocated to the Broken Isles, Tuuroto was already bombarded with numerous new faces and business requests. One would think that a race with such an expansive lifespan would equate to an impressive memory, but Tuuro defies the odds in more ways than one.

"Viriichi? Vladamere? Venedict? No, zhose can't be it."

Meanwhile, a line of gnomish men angrily tapped their feet and cursed to themselves, disgruntled by the Draenei who was taking too much time in front of the public mailbox. Scowling at them for their impatience, Tuuro hastily scribbled out his response letter.

"Consider it done, Miiister V. I shall see you in ze Underbelly tonight."

The Draenei tarot reader stashed the letter into the mailbox, tugged together the drawstrings of his cowl, and casually made his way to a deserted alleyway in the Kirin Tor Capital that would lead to the sewers. Smirking naively and not telling his caravan comrades of this foreboding letter, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

 

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The Underbelly was a mess.

As if some horrible battle had taken place only moments before, bodies lie rotting in piles on the ground. Vilmah hadn't really given the place much thought before, as rumor had it that the Underbelly was mostly home to undesireables and warlocks. Not really a place for a warrior without a good reason, which was why she asked to see Turroto there. In the years since she'd seen the Draenei, Vilmah had grown an inch or two taller and sported more scars than smiles, but she was still easy to spot with her stunted height and mechanical arm glistening beneath mis-matched armor. Pulling off her helmet, she held it to one side so that the Draenei could spot her better standing amongst the corpses as rogues and warlocks casually passed through. A few of them gave Vilmah a curious glance.

Better a glance than another fight breaking out, she thought to herself.

Going over what she might say in her head, the orcess considered the language barrier. She and Tuuro had been able to communicate well enough in the past, but she remembered being amused by his accent.

I really need to learn another language.

Eventually, he came into view. Draenei had a way of stealing Vilmah's attention, as a people who's history were so closely entwined with her own. Though supposed enemies, she couldn't help but feel as if there was still hope for the two races, that maybe someday they could put aside their differences.

One at a time.

"Hey, Tuuro!" She called, waving her good hand, smiling in spite of herself.

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Tuuroto never explicitly told his caravan comrades how often he frequented the sewers of Dalaran. The reason for his trips varied, whether it was meeting with Horde clients looking to trade, buying rare Mogu artifacts from Madam Goya, a date with a certain female of the Twilight Empire, practicing conjuration spells banned by the Kirin Tor, and other reasons that warranted a place away from curious eyes.

The sewer reeked of vomit, blood, and dead rats, but Tuuro was used to that. Growing up in the bogs of the Zangar Coast and the Swamp of Sorrows granted the Draenei tarot reader a relative immunity to pungent odors, including his own. Whatever prejudices Tuuro had towards the unsavory sensations within the foul place known as the Underbelly, the starseer kept to himself.  That, he attributed to his years among Madam Stormguarde's privateering crew.

Tugging on his cowl to conceal his face, Tuuroto maintained a quick pace as he walked through the sewers, his hoofs not minding the occasional puddle of sewage splatter. Turning the corner in one of the dark, stony corridors, he spotted the orc woman waving at him and calling out his name.

"Do I know zhis voman?" Tuuro thought to himself as he rubbed his chin tendril. He didn't personally know many orc women besides his former apprentice and the Shadowmoon Orcs he lived with during the Order of the Redblade's tenure in Shadowmoon Valley. However, he knew this orc looked familiar.

Tuuroto stared at the woman for a few seconds, which may have come across as a socially-awkward eternity. Scouring his memories, the Starseer started to recollect images of a tar-filled marshland covered with bones and feathers. Images of Arakkoa then come into view. The Arakkoa started screeching and swinging daggers, aiming towards an orc woman. More images flooded into his brain. A splash of blood. A bright strobe of light. Screaming. Crying. A heavy weight. Darkness.

Tuuro snapped back to reality.

"Miiis Vilmah. It is good to zee you. You are more beautiful zhan I remembered, dah."

With a flick of his wrist, a tarot card deck was conjured in his palm.

 

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Vilmah grinned at the recognition (and the compliment), as if to show off her tusks which had grown slightly larger than before.

"Thanks, Tuuro," she said happily, looking him over. "You're not so bad yourself, you know. Glad you're still alive. I might have some info for you."

Looking around cautiously, she motioned with her chin for the Draenei to follow her deeper within the Underbelly. Walking over the dead bodies made for some interesting steps, but she tried her best not to crush any of the bloated flesh beneath her feet. It didn't take long for Vilmah to find a secluded place, somewhere dark enough that she had trouble seeing Tuuroclearly if not for the white of his eyes. Clearing her throat, she spoke in a low voice.

"I don't know how reliable this information is, but I've been told there might be someone within the Alliance working for the Legion who's working on something big," she whispered, her eyes darting around, looking for anyone who might overhear. "A machine that can summon the Legion. It's different from the usual portals. It's not arcane based so it's harder to find, you know? That's what I've heard. Also..."

Vilmah moved in a step closer.

"It may be being built beneath Stormwind."

 

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"Vith all due respect, Miiis Vilmah, I tiiink you are mistaking me as someone who is actually responsible for ze vell-being of ze human capital city."

Tuuro gave a wide, glowing smirk to the orc, the juxtaposition of his friendly demeanor and the cynical words he just uttered creating an uncharacteristically eerie aura from the bare-chested Draenei tarot reader. He began to nonchalantly pace around the sewer room, rhythmically shuffling the cards of his tarot deck with each clop of his hooves. At one point, Tuuro had inadvertently stepped on the decaying head of a slain Kirin Tor guard,  but not even the squish of rotten flesh and bone could throw off the beat of the Starseer's card shuffling. He started to talk as he walked.

"Do not get me wrong. Ze Legion is terrible force zhat must be dealt vith," the Draenei continued, "However, may I remind you zhat my comrades and I are merely merchants and servicevolks."

A pause.

"Ve are not ze dogs of ze Alliance, blindly following ze King's vars. If you vant soldiers, ask ze Twilight Empire, ze Dusk Vatch, Invictus Sanctum, ze Eternal Aegis, ze Ninth Legion, ze Red Powder Keg... I'm sure you'll find zome bloodthirsty assassins among zhose ranks who vill happily take on ze job."

Tuuro rattled off more organizations until he suddenly stopped pacing, now standing an inch away from Vilmah's person and looking down at her, his eyes meeting hers.

"Besides, vhy do YOU care if dangerous demon portal is under Stormvind, ze city of your enemies?"

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The orc opened her mouth to speak, but could find no immediate words. The draenei had surprised her, not only with his disregard for Stormwind, but for his accusation. Collecting her thoughts, she rubbed the back of her head and attempted to make senseof things.

"I suppose I thought you might be interested in the wellbeing of your allies," she admitted. "I mean.. I don't know the nuances if the Alliance, but, to the Horde we watch out for eachother. If something were to attack Silvermoon, or Undercity, I'd want to know. I guess.."

Still seemingly confused, Vilmah looked away. 

"I guess I just don't see the point in a lot of people dying for no reason. I don't care if they're part of the Alliance, that's a city full of innocent people. I didn'treally know who else to tell."

Vilmah shifted uncomfortably. 

"Most of my Alliance connections have died. I don't have many connections, anymore. Garrosh Hellscream put an end to that.. I just wanted to help."

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Tuuroto pulled down the crimson-colored cowl obscuring his face.

The Draenei Starseer fully knew how harsh his reply to Vilmah was. Had the Orc maiden made her plea two years ago, Tuuro would've answered more humbly and with more virtue. But, it was clear now that Tuuro was not the same Draenei that Vilmah was rescued by at the Spires of Arak. A sort of transformation must have happened since then.

Like a professional casino gambler, Tuuro swiped two forefingers over his tarot card deck, swiftly drawing the top card from the deck. Slowly and dramaticaly drawing out his hand gesture, he flipped the card over and released it, letting the card levitate in air in a sparkling mist of arcane energy.

On the card was the image of a white, luminescent cescent moon; behind it was a barely visible silhouette of the full moon. Below the moon was the roaring waves of the Great Sea. The moon's reflection was visible on the surface of the water, but the reflection was that of a perfect half-moon. Three different moon phases in one picture. In the distance, there was a white sand beach. Along the beach, there were ferocious, black furred worgs and fancy, Gilnean-clothed Worgen both howling at the moon.

"Ze Moon. Ze twentieth card of ze major arcana."

Seemingly derailing Vilmah from the conversation, the Draenei beckoned her to gaze upon the card.

"Vhat do you zee, Miiis Vilmah? Vhat speaks to you in zhis card, dah?"

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Vilmah looked apprehensively at the card, her hazel eyes squinting slightly as she tried to decipher some sort of meaning. Prior to meeting Tuuroto, her only other exposure to cards were at the Darkmoon Faire, and even then she typically wasn't interested in what they had to say. The card he held had pretty art, something she appreciated, but beyond that the orc couldn't find anything particularly insightful.

Was that the point?

"Uh.." She began, feeling more than a little embarrassed. "I'm sorry. I'm not really good at this sort of thing," she admitted, holding up her hands apologetically.

Vilmah noticed then that Tuuroto's face had changed since the last time she saw him, but in what way she couldn't name. They hadn't been particularly close friends, but there was an air about him that seemed different from the first time they met. It made her consider that perhaps his troubles might have echoed her own.

"I... I guess the moon. In the sky. It seems important? It's not a full moon, it's partially in shadow. The rest is hidden. That's the important part. Maybe?"

Edited by Vilmah
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Tuuro subtly nods.

"Ze Moon is peculiar tiiing, quite ze enigmatic celestial body, I must say," the Draenei continues, his pace hastening and his accenting thickening, "Although ze moon has only vone physical form, its appearance constantly changes. It looks diff'rent depending on ze time, ze circumstances, and ze location of ze viewer."

Tuuroto pointed to the image of the moon on the card and then slowly dragged his finger towards the image of the ocean, "Vater is symbol for tiiings of emotional importance in our lives: ze tiiings zhat make our spiiirits content." Tuuroto paused, lifting his finger before Vilmah, "However, zee how ze vater's surface can play triiicks. Zee how it alters ze image of ze moon in ze vater's reflection. This adds yet another layer of distortion and obscured truth."

Finally, the tarot-reading Draenei gestured  to the worg and Worgen depicted in the card, "Similar tiiing for ze beasts on ze shore. I ask you: Vorg or Vorgen, vhich vone is ze loyal, honorable creature and vhich vone is ze bloodthirsty beast?"

Having given his unnecessarily monologue explanation of the tarot card, Tuuroto looked up Vilmah.  The Draenei was still smirking as usual. The two must have been standing in the sewers for hours now.

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"Well... In my experience, worg are loyal," Vilmah said simply, but thought on her answer for a moment. "..though, my clan forms special relationships with their packmates. I don't know much about worgen," the orcess admitted. "I don't even know if I've ever spoken to one, really."

She looked up carefully at the draenei, still confused but at a loss for what else to do. 

"..should I go to someone else with what I know? I didn't mean to bother you, if you don't want this. I'm sorry. I don't know if something happened, but.. anyway, I'll go if you want."

 

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"My point, comrade, is you are jumping to conclusions too quiiickly," the Draenei quickly snapped.

Lifting his hand with a surprising amount of agility for a Draenei as large as himself, he manages to give a light, playful karate-chop boop to Vilmahs forehead, exhibiting the true full capacity of the tarot reader's ability to chastise.
 
"First, you come to me vith hasty letter vithout telling me vhy.  You do not have valid proof zhat your claims are true. You assume zhat ze Caravan does front line combat, vhen ve certainly do not. You assume I am honest man whom you can trust valking into dark alleyvay and sewer vith, vhen I am of ze ALLIANCE mind you.  And, vhen I show you tarot card, you are quiiick to assume I have no iiinterest in helping you."
 
Tuuroto gives Vilmah a deliberate stare, his eyes meeting hers even if she were to flinch and look away. The Draenei's words were undoubtedly perplexing, giving the impression that he was, to some extent, playing devil's advocate with Vilmah.
 
"You zeem very confused, very volatile. If you vish to be a leader to your comardes, to be in charge of your own emotions, zhen you need to slow down."
 
A loud metal creak echoed through sewers. Some Underbelly troublemaker must have gotten hold of the key that unlocked the crocolisk holding pen again. Besides the skittering pitter-patter of rat feet and the wailing of foolish adventurers breathing their last, the sewer was surprisingly quiet, to the point that the rhythmic shuffling of Tuuro's tarot cards could still be heard admist all the Underbelly chaos.
 
"Ze Alliance may vonder how ze Fel I've been able to lead organizations, albeit small, for so many years. But my secret has been in ze tarot," Tuuro grins with a less ominous aura, "For ze Tarot has taught me zhat meditation and retrospect are key elements vhen it comes to strategically making plans of action."

Tuuroto ceases his shuffling.

"Now zhen, Miiis Vilmah. Let us assume, for ze sake of giiiggles, zhat zhis demon powered var-machine does exist underneath Stormvind. Vhat do you plan for us to do? Vhat do YOU plan to do?"
Edited by Tuuroto

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"First off," Vilmah said, taking in a deep breath. "I'm not the leader of Sanctuary anymore. I sent you a cryptic letter because my name isn't a safe one. During Garrosh's reign, my guild was hunted, some of us killed. There was a price on my head. There are still some out there who'd be happy to kill me. I've had to live these past few years watching over my shoulder, always,  because I never knew who to trust. I didn't give my name because I didn't want it disrupted by someone and you mixed up with it. That's all."

Looking around for a moment, she uncomfortably shifted her stance. "I'm not here to tell you what you should do. We were hunted for things like this, because I tried to help the other side. I obviously haven't learned my lesson, but I guess I'm too stubborn. Or stupid. Either way, I just wanted to ket you know what I know because it seemed like.." the orc rubbed her forehead. "It seemed like the right thing to do. Even if it's not true. It could be nothing, but at least someone on your side knows. That's all I wanted to do."

Vilmah tried to stand up straight but found herself glancing around again, as if looking for someone.

"I assumed too much, maybe. But I remembered you, and I remembered your kindness. So if I remembered wrong, then I apologize, but if I assumed you'd be interested it's because I got the impression you'd care. If you don't, it's fine. Just tell me and I'll go."

Edited by Vilmah

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