Mavis Audrapel

Heart of a Monster

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Small feet tapped out a rhythm on the cobblestones, skipping over the cracks as the small child wandered through the streets of Dalaran, lost in the bustle that was clearly new to her. The child looked to be around five with tangled black hair and wearing a brown jumper that seemed more at home on a farm then in the big city. She stopped briefly, distracted by the fountain and leaning over to stare into the water and the various coins at the bottom.

                

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Dalaran children ran about the city all the time. But this one…she didn’t fit. Maikull had just emerged from the Guardians Vault under the Central Spire, and once again got turned around, walking out near Grayfang’s Enclave. As he made the trip around the city to head back to Windrunners Sanctuary, he noticed the little girl by the water fountain next to the Glorious Goods shop. Most of the children who ran around were not far off from their citizen parents, he leaned against the staircase to the Curiosities and Moore shop across the street and watched the little one for a moment.

 

Emily didn't seem to pay notice to anyone around her as she leaned in, trying to reach one coin at the bottom that was nearest and dipping her arm into the water as far as she could manage. For a moment it looked as if she would fall in, but the child stabilized, hooking feet and legs onto the lip of the fountain until she was able to reach deep enough to grasp the coin, from there she appeared stuck, flailing without sufficient support to lean back out.

 

Mai’kull watched the events unfold, and was slightly disheartened. The bustle of city life, grown ass people going on about there day and not one of them stopped or took notice of the child’s plight. Granted, the little beasty shouldn’t be snagging coins from the well, but that was a discussion for later. Giving a deep sigh, he hoisted himself off the wall and headed towards the small human child. His hand slipping into his pocket activating the powers of his [Orb of Sin’Dorei]. He was going to help the child, not give it a heart attack. As she struggled amongst the edge of the well, a Water elemental reached out taking hold of the coin. It slowly rose to full form, giving the girl the leverage she needed to get down, but not letting go of the coin in the process. A Black and Red Clad Blood Elf stood behind her with a small smirk, “I think he wants his coin back…” he said to the girl in a semi-off version of Common.

 

The water elemental seemed to be a shock for the poor girl and there was a gasp of part surprise and part wonder, her hand closed as she tried to reach the coin to no avail and but any further attempts were halted by the interruption of the elf. The child spun around, looking like every bit the guilty party as her eyes fell on the stranger, she seemed shy but appeared to be doing her best to put up a front of not being afraid, not even in the face of water elementals.

 

Her head darted around as if seeking someone out and then seemed to realize she had no idea where she was, having lost track around five shops ago, the tangled mess of hair that must have one been a sloppy braid continued to dip on the stones from it's recent dip into water.

 

 “You know, people drop coins in the well to make a wish upon, for a better day or for luck…Taking the coins out takes away their wish.” The Elf said to the little girl. He studied her for a moment, pathetic little thing. “Tell me…where are your parents?”

 

There was a slight pout on her face, it might have been that she was trying to be mean or intimidating but the effect was no where near what was desired. When he mentioned her parents she seemed to get something of a panicked look, eyes darting as she tried to search the crowd. To her credit the child appeared to hold most of her panic in on not locating what she was looking for and adopted a poorly attempted poker face that was reduced in its effectiveness by the occasional repressed sniffle. " ... Around." Emily straightened, trying to look tougher and taller than she was actually feeling

 

He sighed at her attempts to save face. She was lost, and by now, if her parents were around they would be rushing to her at the sight of talking with a stranger. “You have no Idea where they are…do you?” he asked, an ‘I know your lying’ look was on his face, but so too was a humorous grin. Children…a tricky subject. Since his undeath, he lost the ability to have one of his own, and even with this one being a human, he held no ill will towards it. It was a child, a true innocent.

He saw no reason to bring the mandate to bear over the child as some of his brethren might have.

 

Emily stared up at the elf, making some last ditch effort to maintain some dignity that was quickly faltering before finally dissolving into tears and full on crying.

 

Great, now he had TWO water elementals to deal with. He looked around for a moment, at the sound of a crying child a parent, even one not paying attention would rush to aid…but nothing. Mai’kull took a seat at the edge of the water fountain, waiting for the child to finish its tantrum, his face was unimpressed. Using his magic he manipulated the water elemental in the fountain to shrink down to the child’s size, and in a mimicking fashion, the elemental began to cover its ‘face’ as water droplets fell into the fountain. “Oh now...look here, you made bubbles cry too.”

 

At the sight of the blubbering water elemental Emily stopped, clearly not something she had seen before the construct distracted her from her tears. There was a general sniff as she tried to reclaim the leaky snot caused by her blubbering but for the most part curiosity had overtaken her sadness. "...Bubbles?" The voice was hesitant, still uncertain how she was supposed to feel..

 

Continuing to manipulate the element, 'Bubbles' stopped it's weeping and looked at the girl with a nod. "The more you cry, the more water goes into these elementals, until their so big no one wants to play with them anymore."

 

"Come, let's go find your family, I'm sure their not far off" Maikull said, holding out his hand to the little girl.

 

Emily nodded, giving one last big sniff as she uncertainly took the mage's hand, wrapping it mostly around his fingers. "I'm Emily"

 

"I am..." He hesitated for a moment, giving her his real name, "I am Mai'kull...and you have met bubbles." he motioned behind him at the Water Elemental who was now blobbing along behind them. He took the little girls hand and lead her away from the water fountain, "Now...I think i know where we can start looking for your parents." he said with a small smile, leading her towards the toy shop “The Wonderworks” He had hoped parading her around in front of the Alliance Enclave might warrant an eye or two.

 

Emily stared, lingering around at the toyshop, she seemed to stop in her tracks as she was fascinated by the moving trains and floating zeppelins

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"That one looks nice..." Maikull said pointing at the Carousel Gryphon. He took notice of her interest in the paper zepplins with a smile. He stood in the doorway carefully watching the child, and looking out for any outside who may have been paying attention.

 

"Emily!" It was a gruff, growling voice laced with worry that called, something that came from deep in the throat and stayed there. The enormously sized creature followed, black fur and sharp teeth protruding from a long snout. It looked as if he had been running on more than two feet but had chosen to rise up in a bipedal run as he achieved visual of the small child. As usual for floating above the broken isles he wore minimal armor that looked vaguely similar to Stormwind Militia but had rusted and dented as a result of its owner either not having the funds or no longer caring to maintain it. The worgen was of average height as far as the race went but appeared to be of leaner build with a muscle build that suggested the creature possessed more athleticism than strength, capable of moving quickly and efficiently. He didn't seem to be even looking at Maikull at the moment, indicating he had sniffed the child down rather than seen her cavorting with the enemy.

 

Emily turned at the sound of her father and reached her arms out as the worgen scooped her up in a display of relief. "Don't wander off like that"

 

The small pink haired gnome approached the embracing couple, with a small package in his hand. "Excuse me sir, I do believe this is yours!" he said offering the paper zeppelin kit to Emily.

 

Mavis looked with confusion at the package. "I'm sorry, you must be mistaken"

 

"Oh no Sir, the Kind Elf who brought your child in had purchased it, hes right ov..." the Gnome turned to the doorway where Mai'kull was standing, but he was allready gone. Though relived that she found her way, Mai'kull felt it no longer nessessary to linger, Worgan and Forsaken did not get along well and he did not want confrontation in front of the child. His elemental remained int he doorway briefly, giving the little girl one lazy wave before evaporating into the air.

Emily giggled as Mavis stared in the direction of the vanished elemental, he sniffed the air, catching the lingering scent of undeath. His brow furrowed in confusion as he tried to seek out the elven scent, but there was nothing recent and Dalaran was full of them that it would be impossible to know. He turned back to the Gnome, still bothered by the mystery as he accepted the box. "Uh, thank you."

 

Emily stared at the object, appearing to fully know the gift was hers or at least behaving as any child in the assumption that all boxes brought from a toy shop were theirs by default. "I wanna open it!"

 

The shop keeper wiggled his nose as he handed her the kit. And underneath the initial package was a single gold coin, the same one that Emily had fished up originally in the pond.

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Some habits never die and the nature of the Stormwind Guard was to make quick assessments and handle investigations on a solo level, Guardsmen were taught to not only be reactionary but also responsive to upcoming problems in order to avoid larger issues. Stormwind Guards were taught to be curious. The nagging feeling that something didn’t fit with the normal gnawed at Mavis like a starved flea, Brianna’s strange reaction when he relayed Emily’s meeting with the mage in Dalaran ignited further curiosity in the worgen with a desire to seek out the mysterious mage within a floating city crowded with people.

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Armed with only a name and knowledge of Maikull’s ability Mavis began his search in the usual places he knew mages to congregate, surprised when he was met with resistance, the reasoning he suspected due to his cursed form and the assumed race of his quarry, Worgen and Forsaken were assumed to be natural enemies and he doubted anyone wanted to be responsible, even indirectly for causing an incident.

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He was met with better luck in the shopping district where the top alchemists pointed him to Deucus Valdera, an arrogant mumbling forsaken who was making adjustments on what appeared to be brand new equipment even as the liquids brewed inside the glass. Deucus ignored Mavis for a quarter of an hour until he figured out the worgen wasn’t going to simply leave and even then continued to remain only half focused on the inquiry as he continued his work. “I don’t see how it involves you to know about any undead mages that come by here and even if it did I don’t discuss my clients freely.”

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Mavis watched the alchemist closely to gauge his intent, but it was immediately obvious that Deucus was too focused on his current project to pay any attention to what he was saying.  “You know this mage?”

“Stop!”  Mavis removed his hands from the alchemy table as he forsaken snatched a tiny blue vial from the edge of it. “That’s gloomsweed mixed with the precise measurements of at least six other ingredients of which their identity I plan to take to my next grave, it’s a powerful painkiller and sedative at half its dose and it’s surgical applications will revolutionize the medical profession. I won’t allow your oafish claws to risk damaging it!” The alchemist muttered, securing the vial on a nearby shelf  before turning back to his work, he turned a screw as he carefully counted out the dropss of liquid that descended through the valve. “You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know Grim Maleficar Maikull, unless you found a nice rock to sit under around here. What I can’t figure out is why you’re bothering me about it.”

“Grim? He may have not known who Maikull was, but the name Grim had instant recognition.

“Genocide isn’t exactly a motto I can get behind myself but each his own. Now scram, I’m very busy. If you’re looking for information on one of my clients do the normal thing and pay off a goblin.”

Mavis thanked the alchemist and showed himself out, He had been curious and even grateful earlier, but knowing Maikull was a grim raised several troubling questions. The Grim were never known for their mercy and that any of them would show kindness to a human child seemed completely out of pattern with their operation. If Maikull was Grim then he certainly wasn’t acting like one.

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Mai’kull stood by with Deucus as they mixed various potions. Still hoping to master his craft, the Forsaken Pair had been toying with various recipes, seeing if they could increase potency if their creations. “Pass me the wolf’s bane?” Mai’kull said, as he juggled vials between his fingers. Deucus scanned the mess of a table and took a pinch of the regent to hand to the Archmage.

 

“OH, that reminds me, some hellish mutt came sniffing around in here looking for you. Refused to leave until I told it you come here occasionally. You would do best to keep your personal life out of my lab!” the apothecary snapped. Mai’kull would have reacted to this information had he not been in the mist of mixing volatile substances in his hands. But he knew who the other alchemist was talking about. His friend from the Pond had found him again.

 

After he wrapped up at the Alchemy station, Mai’kull ventured across the street to ‘Like Clockwork’. As he anticipated, both Didi and Hobart had a run in with a Worgen asking about him as well. It looked like Round 2 was going to happen sooner than anticipated. Mai’kull paid both goblins for maintaining their silence to the Worgen and left, heading  for the bank.

 

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Gazrix and his Bruisers were waiting outside the bank, “Mai’kull, my old friend! How are you doing?!” Gazrix responded, arms open for a hug he knew the forsaken would not reciprocate. Instead, Mai’kull only tossed the Goblin a medium sized bag of gold. “There is a Worgen looking for me…Arrange the meeting.” “SEE?! This is why I love this guy! Always upfront with the gold, and straight to business! Man is a Goblin at heart!” Gaz said as he absentmindedly counted what was in the bag.

 

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His next stop was the Black Market. Though The Widow was a Worgen herself, she was one to ask little in questions when gold was flashed. There were no words exchanged between the two, as Mai’kull handed the woman a bag filled with Sightless Eye emblems, and in turn she handed him a contract scroll. Mai’kull reviewed the contract and nodded, heading back into the Underbelly.

 

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Looking towards the small tavern where the shopkeeper sits Mai’kull set up his Portable Bullet Dispenser underneath the staircase. A second was set up not far off from the first, and the last was installed inside the pipe exit inside the open arena. All three were calibrated to focus fire on the small tavern, and all three had a Stealthman unit installed, keeping them disguised until activated.

 

Only a few more minor details to be in place…but he was ready to face his Hunter.

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Before Mavis had begun to consider a deeper search for Mai’kull he was approached by a Steamwheel bruiser and handed five gold before being told to speak with Captain Raethan in the Underbelly. Looking at the coins in confusion he nevertheless proceeded to the sewers where law and order was merely a suggestion rather than a state of being. Captain Raethan was easy enough to find, when he approached the elven mage held out an outstretched palm and taking the hint, Mavis deposited the five gold. The captain nodded to one of his underlings then who took up position at Mavis’ side. “Make your way to the small Bar in the Underbelly run by a One eyed Tauren named Thuni. There the Maleficar will be waiting for you.”

 

So far so good, though Mavis had begun to question just how much influence the mage must have to exact this much pull he didn’t really start to question his choice until he reached the ring of fire. Someone had chosen at some point to dump a crate of fireworks in the ring and true to nature there was a race to shoot them off.  He didn’t really remember when he started thinking it, but the battle felt real enough to touch as the canons exploded in front of him, he ducked after giving a warning to the Kirin Tor guard but when she didn’t seem to register his pleas he reached up and tried to pull her down with him. That was when he started to feel lightheaded and his vision blurred.

 

Mai’kull was sitting at the bar with his own Kirin Tor Guard, a Sonic Environment Enhancer had maked the sounds of the firecrackers as the forsaken sat on the bar playing the music roll: Ghost.

 

Mavis was dressed surprisingly simple in a leather jerkin and trousers, unaccompanied save for the bodyguard that had been hired upon suggestion by the bruiser. Though he came unarmed it looked like he was more than capable of handling a fight if things turned violent, half an ear was missing and with a large jagged scar still present on his chest it looked like he had scene combat, including this the Worgen appeared build for battle, his lithe muscular form a more than capable weapon of its own. He didn't look dangerous, though strangely enough he didn't look like anything as he approached, at some point the Kirin Tor had cast a targeted illusion spell on the worgen and so Mavis approached on the opposite side of the ring of fire, staring at nothing that was visible to anyone else and looking emotionally smaller. The bodyguard shrugged apologetically at the other guard as they approached. "Sorry, we had a little bit of trouble with the fireworks coming down. He started acting all funny and went a bit" She mimiced a twirling finger around her ear and then dropped the illusion. "Were going to turn back and send apologies but, he insisted."

 

Mavis blinked back into awareness, whatever the illusion had been it must have been a powerful one and it took him a few moments to get his bearings, he looked tired, as if he was overdue for a nap and fighting sleep as he focused on Maikull.

"You're Michael?"

 

 

The light tune of ‘Ghost’ played from the Sonic Environment Enhancer behind the bar. Mai’kull sat at the bar, with a Glass of Dalaran White in his hand. The Bar was set with a variety of foods, Mead Basted Caribou, Briny Hardcheese, Sweet Potato Bread, with a pot of Honeymint Tea and a cask of wine behind the bar. His Guardian tapped him on the shoulder as the Worgen approached. He had his contacts in the Steamwheel Cartel ship crates of Fireworks into the Underbelly. And like moths to the flame, the mad flocked to the free toys and began firing them off. This was going to drive the Worgen bitch mad with all the noise, and fill the underbelly with the scent of gunpowder, making her enhanced senses worthless. But as he turned to face his opponent, he was staggered. Standing before him was not the slim female figure he had face before but someone else. Several scenarios flashed in his mind, maybe he was a decoy sent by the female rogue to distract him, but he had gnomish alarm-o-bots set at all the entrances. It took a moment before his memory jogged him to who this was. The Forsaken Archmage stood and held out his hand to the Worgen, his Blackened Bloodmage Regalia was in pristine condition, and showed little wear and tear one would normally see on a Forsaken. His Firelord Hood pressed to his face so that every facial detail was highlighted. “Mai’kull Fireweaver” he corrected. The common pronunciation of his name was almost archaic. This was the Worgen father of little Emily he had found in the city a few days ago.

 

Mavis nodded appropriately at the Mage, though he remained hesitant to shake the Forsaken's hand, he finally exhaled and with two claws carefully shook Mai'kull's hand. "I'm sorry, I had to take some medication and it's meant for sleep. If I nod off I apologize." He was secretly hoping he wouldn't though, the Kirin Tor Guard was playing it down but the fireworks had really bothered him to the point he had been forced to assert himself with the bodyguard in order to keep the appointment, he was starting to think he should have followed the advice.

 

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 “So…YOU were seeking me? Why?” Mai’kull asked, taking his seat once more and sipping at his glass, but keeping his eye on the Worgen before him.

 

The worgen squeezed himself onto a stool, different sizes were available for larger customers but it still looked awkward when the eight foot tall Lupine creature chose to sit. He folded his paws together, regarding Mai'kull with a curious gaze. "Because you're Grim. There isn't a single person around who isn't aware of the fanatical ambitions of your group." He looked around for anyone else then sniffed the air as he sought out anyone who may have been stealthed and when he confirmed neither, lowered his head and looked at Mai'kull. "You helped a child when you had no reason to, a little girl. Then you bought her a toy. At first I was only looking for a Forsaken, I wanted to know who you were and to...thank you. It's what I was taught to do. Now I'm just confused. It's not pattern for the Grim to be merciful"

 

A sly grin formed on the Mage’s face as he downed the last of his drink and set it down for a refill. He motioned to the Worgen to help himself, the Bartender snorting about how the food isn’t poisoned. “Are you familiar with a human known as Othmar Garithos?” Maikull asked, taking a sample of the cheese.

 

Mavis shook his head at the Bartender "just water." He didn't want any of the drinks to cause a bad reaction to the medications, he was barely staying awake as it was. When Mai'kull mentioned Othmar Mavis frowned in confusion, or at least seemed to frown, it was impossible to tell with the lupine features. "No, I haven’t"

 

He picked at a sample of cheese, hoping that eating something might help him to stay awake.

 

“Darkmoon Faire…you look around, and you will see children of different races running around playing together. Human, Draenei, Orcs, Blood Elves…Just having fun and enjoying. Because hate is inert in children. It’s something that has to be awakened or taught, though personal experiences or upbringing. General Garithos was that to me. I watched as he disregarded, humiliated, and imprisoned my people after we had just suffered the near genocide of our people, and all under the guise of an alliance. That’s who taught me hatred for your kind.” “That little girl of yours doesn’t know hatred…and I see no reason to be the one who teaches her that. However I won’t be the only one to remind you of just how lucky you were -I- was the one who happen upon her. I hear the soul of a child runs high in the black market to Demon Worshipers…”

 

A low threatening growl escaped the Worgen's throat in the mere suggestion that a child's soul was a high commodity or that even Mai'kull could bring it up, he had begun baring his teeth when he was reminded where he was."Sorry." He took a measured breath as he calmed himself down, as reasonable as he seemed the instinctual nature of the wolf appeared to run strongly through him. "I'm new at this...and Emily has not been easy to handle. She gets upset and sometimes she wanders off....I'm probably not cut out for this." He hesitated "My kind used to be your kind...not now but" He swallowed "I mean we both used to be human. I don't think it's right to hate someone because they look like somebody who hurt you once, but that still doesn't answer my question...It's not that I am ungrateful, but the Grim have...children are not normally off limits to Grim, no matter their innocence."

 

Mai’kull nodded at his comment, “Just because you find a spec of diamond in the ground, doesn’t mean your not still in a coal mine. -I- don’t go after children. However my comrades don’t share the same belief as I do in that regard. As fanatic as we are, we do believe in peace. War is fire, and fire may burn everything in its path, but the brighter it burns, the quicker it puts itself out, leaving the next generation the peace to build a life off the ashes of our ignorance.” “Just because my monster is on the inside, does not mean I am a bleeding heart.” The undead raped his knuckles across the bar table. Taking her Que, the bartender took her leave. The Gun Turrets uncloaked and honed in on their location. The Kirin-Tor Guards ported out in unison, and in their place, several female Rogue Worgen appeared out of the shadows. One of them having pick-pocketed Mavis of his Hearthstone.

 

Mavis tensed visibly as the trap was sprung, he was too tired, normally his nose would have caught onto the other worgen. He growled unconsciously as the mages ported out, Mai’kull had prepared in advance and he had done it at expense, that much was clear. His muscles prepared to spring at a moment, instinct overtaking him as the beast discarded any consideration of flight and readied to defend and attack if needed. He couldn’t think that the forsaken had gone to this much trouble to spring a trap for someone he’d never met and the surprise on his face when he’d arrived had been genuine, Mai’kull had been expecting someone else. “Peace should never be used as an excuse for destruction.” His eyes darted over to the turrets, his next words were measured as he seemed to accept his situation in contract with the desires of his beast. “Do you plan to kill me here?”

 

The Widow assassin handed Mai’kull the Warriors hearthstone, who in turn placed it calmly on the table in front of Mavis. “If I did that, then how would you be able to tell little Emily that Bubbles said hello?” the mage stated, referring to the water elemental that was now looming up the stairs towards them from the Alchemy Lab. The Forsaken turned back towards the bar, taking another casual sip from his glass. “My my…meeting with a kind-hearted Grim. What is IN those sleeping drugs you take? Seems to be making you hallucinate. I’d go lie down if I were you. Go talking around town about this, and they will think you’ve gone mad…” Mai’Kull hinted towards the Warrior.

 

Mavis growled at the hearthstone, he hadn't even noticed it had been taken, his tension appeared to ease though as Mai'kull continued to speakm to the point where his own reply was calm and measured. "I used to be a Guard in Stormwind, we did everything from protecting the peace, finding lost children and investigating crimes. I wasn't great at reading people, but it's difficult not to pick things up as you go, sometimes we had people that talked, nothing important they just were trying to make themselves look scarier, it was posturing mostly. I know you're trying to protect yourself...you’re postruing.  know I'm sorry but those kind of threats don't scare me anymore, my nightmares are worse, I've been through worse and the scariest thing you can do to me is letting me live.” He lowered his voice. “I never planned to tell anyone about this meeting, or the kindness you showed to my daughter. If I start talking about what you did there's a chance your friends might think there was truth to it." He shook his head. "I don't know how the Grim treats their own when they find out someone has been speaking with the enemy. It wouldn't be right to risk your safety." There was a surprising amount of sincerity in his words, he seemed to actually care what happened to Mai-Kull.

 

The Worgen reached out and took his hearthstone back, enclosing it around his paw. “I’m sorry for bothering you.” He didn’t use the stone, instead turning to leave by foot. It was important even with non-beasts to show strength and using a teleportation stone to leave would have meant he felt threatened. It was strange that he actually pitied the forsaken.

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