A Clandestine Rendezvous in Oribos

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Ellorian strode into the Oribos inn filled with purpose and determination. It had taken what felt like days of searching, tracking down rumors of the man he sought only to come up with dead ends. Apparently a half elf with a chip on his shoulder was hard to find in the afterlife. If only it were so back on Azeroth.

Further complicating matters was that the company had an office here, forcing the paladin to go undercover lest he be discovered and sent back to complete his treatment. A transmorphic tincture allowed Ellorian to become Ella, and a set of robes acquired from a Broker interested in his field rations combined with some hair dye to turn her crimson locks jet black had done well enough to keep the elf from being detected while making inquiries, but soon it would be time to move on.

Ella scanned the occupied tables, her eyes settling on one in the corner where the occupant had a view of each entrance. The armor was recognizable from being seen on The House, Seasons Two and Three, and the Sanctuary tabard worn over the breastplate was enough to confirm that this was her contact. She approached warily and stopped a few steps away, waiting to be acknowledged.

"It is good to see you, cousin," Mardalius said from within the helmet, the arcane glyphs that made up the face of 'Temp' moving as if speaking. His tone carried a hint of smugness, reflected in the slight smirk formed by the arcane lights dancing across the smooth face plate of his helm. "Though I don't understand why you're so obsessed with secrecy. You never were one for sneaking around. Or rather, you weren't any good at it."

"I only got caught once, Mardy-moo," Ella sneered as she took her seat. "Just because your father was a bastard doesn't mean I didn't listen when he tried to play cool and teach us his spy tricks. At least I had the sense to wear something nondescript. Your armor is practically screaming 'Look at me! I'm a big shot!'"

Before Mardalius could respond, a Broker arrived at their table bearing two glasses filled with a misty, clearish substance. "Your spirits," the Broker said before retreating to tend to other customers.

The half elf picked up his glass and swirled it before pouring it into a micro-portal that materialized at the front of his helmet, just about where his mouth would be under the smooth plate, emptying the glass in a single draft, before sitting it back down firmly on the table. "Well, cousin, aren't you going to enjoy your drink?"

Ella stared balefully at Mardalius for a long moment. "No. Do you have what I asked for or not?"

"It's impolite to say no to a drink, Ellorian. Especially one bought for you by a long-estranged family member."

The paladin huffed and made to stand. "I'm dry now, asshole. Just like you were. Thanks for wasting my time." Halfway out of her seat, she stopped and sat again as Mardalius produced a folder from air, conjuring it into being on the table between them.

"I'm still dry, but through the power of transmutation I'm able to enjoy a drink now and again. A simple matter of changing the alcohol to something non-intoxicating. Not that you'd understand the intricacies, so I won't bore you with the details. I have the information you asked for, but I had to be sure that you were serious about this before I was comfortable giving it to you. As far as I've been able to gather, her soul was sent to Bastion, but there are things you need to know. If you find her, she may not remember you."

The arcane glyphs covering the front of the helm twisted distastefully. "Part of the Kyrian ascension process removes the memories from a soul so that they may carry out their duties effectively. I'm also not entirely certain how helpful the Kyrian will be. Their secrets are difficult to penetrate without joining their ranks, and while you may have been attentive during Father's lessons, I never cared for that sort of work."

Ella reached towards the folder, but was stopped by Mardalius' gauntlet coming to rest on top of it. "Now, for your payment for all the work I put into this. I, too, require information. If you catch wind of any of my human kin, you're to send word immediately. Do not engage them, do not seek to trap them and deliver them to me, simply send me whatever information you find. Do we have a deal?"

"We have a deal." Mardalius lifted his gauntlet and Ella reached for the folder again, hesitating as her hand passed near the glass filled with that delicious, tempting alcohol. She shook her head firmly, reminding herself that this was too important to give in to that tantalizing numbness, and took the folder, then stood to leave. "Goodbye, Mardalius. And... thank you."

The half elf watched his wayward cousin depart, the arcane glyphs standing in for his face unreadable despite the sorrowful expression contained behind his face mask. "Light guide you, Ellorian Bloodvow," he said softly, not knowing what would be worse: If Ellorian found Roxanna or if his search bore no fruit at all.

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