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  1. Last week
  2. What am I doing? What am I... There aren't regrets. Not per se. There was never enough there to make it worth questioning the decisions I made. It's not about what's right. It's not about morality. What do I care about doing the right thing? It's about the value of what I have. It's worth too much to put at risk, so I draw my lines where I need them drawn. I can't help but wonder, though, if I'm falling apart. If the lessons the Bronze imparted have not stuck. I am weak and vulnerable, and I have been preyed on yet again. Have I? I question myself more since then, since everything. It makes me more honest, oddly enough. Still, no one should believe anything I say. They should know better. They should always know better. I've never been comfortable with this, but who else can do it correctly? If someone else tried, I would chafe and want it fixed, want it done my way, so perhaps I need to simply stop fighting. I am more stable when I'm lying. When I'm honest, I am crumbling. Be wary when my words ring true. Falsehood should be reassuring. She wants what she cannot have. We always do, don't we? I don't even know what I want anymore. I want quiet, and that is unlike me. I don't have friends, nor do I want them. Strange things happen when people call themselves my friends if I fail to disagree. Keep them all at arms' length. Am I proud? Beyond narcissism, at least? I take pride where it's earned, but it seems earned so rarely. I think I expressed my ambivalence. I am proud of who we were. I am proud of what we are capable of, should we actually make the effort. But am I proud of who we are at the moment? I don't know about that. All the best of us died to the Scourge. Those of us who were passable then followed Kael'thas and died with him. Only the idiots who left him for the Scryers survived. The idiots and the double agents. Dar'khan steals from us to this day, long after returning to ash. The sin'dorei I don't find vastly unimpressive are few and far between. Lor'themar has so little ambition he hardly deserves to be called a regent. The Windrunners all chose the humans over their own people long ago. Only Rommath keeps me from giving up on us entirely. If she needs pride to see her through, I hope she finds it stronger than mine. Given what she's said of the situation, I doubt there's anything in it to be proud of, but I wouldn't put it past whatever serves for justice in Silvermoon today to fail me utterly and give mercy where it's undeserved. Our nation is ruled by the pathetic. But I've never been a good example. Even when I had the pride, I toyed with it in others to get my own way. I have always put my self above everyone and everything else. I still do, though my methods have taken on different subtleties. And still I wonder. Have I squandered the gift of the Bronze? Have I fallen too far to avoid drowning? Is that why I'm so tired?
  3. Full Name: Renka Glittersnap Nicknames: — Date of Birth: Year 5, After the Fall of Stormwind, before the start of the Second War Age: 26 Race: Goblin Gender: Female Hair: Pink Skin: Chartreuse Eyes: Gold Height: 3'1" Weight: Medium (slim but curvy) Place of residence: Travels a lot for business, recently acquired a beachfront property in Gadgetzan. Place of Birth: Booty Bay Known Relatives: Sold by bio-parents to her "Auntie" around age 5. Parents identities unknown. Religion/Philosophy: Renka personally perceives the Light as something of a contemplative guide. In her early life, she saw it as an actual force that exists and can actively help her achieve her goals. She doesn't especially worship the Light as a god entity but thinks that there is a driving force behind her decisions and intuition that always provides. Sort of like Lady Luck. Occupation: Entrepreneur. (Mainly jewellery and furs. Has a mining/hunting operation currently active in Stranglethorn Vale, a shop open in Gadgetzan and looking to expand into both Horde and Alliance cities.) Group/Guild affiliation: Guild Rank: Enemies: Venture Co., Bloodsail Pirates Likes: Travelling, gold, bling, acquiring assets, making new business partners Dislikes: Losing, Manual labour, indecisiveness, fake jewellery/furs/luxuries Favourite Foods: Rare steak (any), never turns down a good barbecue Favourite Drinks: Darkmoon Special Reserve, Steamwheedle Fizzy Spirits, Anything Elven Favourite Colors: Pink, Gold Weapons of Choice: Not big on melee. Can whack someone real good with a mace if she has to. Hobbies: Gambling, Reading, Buying useless crap at Auction Houses (it’s not a “PROBLEM” she can stop whenever she wants) Physical Features: Small of stature but loud of mouth. Ostentatious pink hair pulled into two pigtails, wears a moderate amount of bling (goggles, earrings, bracelets, anklets, and rings) Special Abilities: Perceptive as all heck Positive Personality Traits: Open minded, confident, a “doer” Negative Personality Traits: Calculating, Holds grudges, Can be patronizing Misc. Quirks: Can’t resist a mystery, Is more charitable than she likes to admit, Never actually puts on the goggles she has strapped on. History: Renka is a smalltime cartel owner who wants to grow a legitimate business empire. She is like most goblins money oriented, but she's more of an entrepreneur than an engineer or tinkerer. She was sold as a kid to her “Auntie”, a Steamwheedle goblin who put her to work on a trade ship as a deckhand. As a neutral cartel, Steamwheedle ships went all over Azeroth and Renka got a taste for travel. She rose up through the ranks on the ship by making her own deals on the side, and eventually skimmed enough money from this to put together a small crew and acquire her first mine at a good price from some contacts in Booty Bay; an investment that panned out and earned her enough to set up a hunting operation for exotic furs. She is striking out independently and starting her own business under the Neutral banner of the Glittersnap Cartel. Ultimately her goal is to become a big name in goblin society. They say dream big, and Renka dreams of becoming a Trade Prince- and living long enough to enjoy it.
  4. Earlier
  5. Hey there Sowell,

    It's been a long time! I used to be Rahnzakh back in vanilla/tbc, orc hunter in the cartel. So glad to see you're still around in some form; I haven't checked this site in like a decade. Hope things are going well.

    As classic wow approaches I was thinking about that guild and how fun and unique it was. Some of my favorite WoW memories are from our cross faction events, selling arena chests and bareknuckle fights  back when I was a cringeworthy 14-year old lmao. I found one pic of those days on an old hard drive, in glorious 4:3. https://imgur.com/a/DhM6TVt

    Hope you're doing well. Any plans for Classic? I've been playing on and off on vanilla private servers for the last few years and had a blast with some of my roleplayer friends. If you haven't, you might give one a try for a nostalgia trip.

    Rahnzakh

    P.S. Maybe you don't remember this, but you suggested I read Basic Economics back in the day, and I did. I didn't understand most of the nuance when I was in 8th grade, but maybe you'll be glad to learn you influenced a young, impressionable mind to become a fan of Sowell, lol.

  6. Hey all, I did a fairly major upgrade to the site this morning. One of things you might want to do is update your bookmarks so they link to https:// instead of http://. The site will auto-redirect you, but it might save you a fraction of a second in loading the site if you change your bookmark. The site should run a bit faster now, and I've got some options for speeding it up more that I might test. The forum software that this site runs on, https://invisioncommunity.com/ is leased for a fee every 6 months. The next renewal day is in late May. The one after that is in November. I will likely be going with a newer, cheaper forum option in November. Why? You might ask? Because Invision forums are like sports cars, and TNG is being used by grandma to drive herself to church and back home once or twice a week. The lease renewal fee is pretty reasonable for a sports car, but more than I want to pay for only a few posts per week level of activity. This isn't a cry for money, by the way. It's just a recognition that, while TN RP isn't completely dead, what RP that is happening has mostly moved to Discord. This isn't a TN specific probably either. I've checked around and where I used to find a few other servers that had something similar, I can't find anything anymore. But Discord servers? They are everywhere. And the truth of the matter is it's a better interactive medium than forums are. But forums are still better for permanence and stability. The purpose of this site was always to preserve the fanfiction of RPers on the Twisting Nether server (and later for Ravenholdt too!). That isn't going away. Things the *might* be going away: the front "news" page, private messages, old discussion posts, leaderboards, clubs, and profile public messages. But November would be the earliest that that would happen. Hey, who knows, maybe they'll merge TN with another RP server and life here will get crazy again and make that sports car lease worthwhile. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if you find a bug with the new version of the forum. --Mortica
  7. I said too much, gave away too many truths. There was a lie anchoring it all, though. Nothing wrong with that. I'm honest about who I am. She knows I can't be trusted. What disturbs me about that lie is the whiteness of it. I could rationalize, make my excuses, that I needed the lie for some other blacker, more sensible reason, but the whiteness of the lie is behind the gifts, too. Maybe I shouldn't have toyed with her, but curiously, I don't regret that at all. It might make her kill me in my sleep, but she wouldn't be the first to try, and good luck guessing where I am any given night. I have my freedom. I never relinquished it. That would be a line drawn that I refuse to cross. However, my curiosity to see how the game plays out, intense as it might be, is nowhere near sufficient. She has earned things from me enough. She has earned abridged tales of tables she could turn. She has not earned me. I suppose, if she were determined, she could make the attempt, but better to break her of that hope at the expense of the game, better to make her think I'm something else, better to make her turn away. Better for everyone. Better for the Grim. I've chosen treason. Treason keeps me loyal. I like how that works. I wonder if she'll hide now, or if she'll make good on her threats, vices and silence. Her problem. Not mine. And the rat lives. She thinks she killed her heart. Hilarious. I don't remember telling her that, but it does seem like something I would do. I wonder if I can get her to admit that in front of Syreena, have Syreena add a heart to her ear collection. I should have killed her the moment she showed her face. Instead, I showed her history and gave her hope. Since when am I an agent of hope? There is chaos in it, I suppose. Hopefully it'll direct itself away from me. I'm failing to do rather a lot of things I should do, not enough to blow up in my face yet, but that is a distinct possibility, growing more distinct by the hour. I spoke with the boy's mother. I don't know what I thought would happen. Maybe I thought I could fix an old problem with a new solution. She thinks she was once broken and is now fixed. I think she was once fixed and is now broken. The best thing for her now, and everyone involved in that tale, would be the quick release of death. Yes, even the replacement. The things we do are objectively harmful, and we will just keep doing them, won't we? Because we want to, and we are selfish.
  8. All the feels. Thanks for everything, guys! You were the best, nothing but love!
  9. I've been reading through Amoola's writing since I heard the news. She was a great writer and a good friend and guild mate. May the eternal sun shine upon her.
  10. Julilee dropped into a crouch, thrusting her empty hand toward the larger beast. The force of her will focused the Light into a stunning cascade that fell onto the creature, knocked it off course, and stunned it for valuable seconds. At the same time, her sword came up in a thrust at the smaller beast as it pounced from her other side. It twisted to avoid the blade and Juli tried to lunge in the complementary direction, but one of its paws still struck the back of her shoulder, and she was knocked to the sand. She immediately rolled onto her back, bringing Mercy in between her and her foe, but the animal did not truly respect the blade, perceiving it as an impediment more than anything, and pounced heedlessly. Catching its claws with the sword earned a reprieve barely in name as the thing's sheer weight pinned the weapon across her body, only held away by the width of the blade. The outer edge of Mercy digging into her armor was the least of her concerns as the sabertusk bent down, fangs snapping toward her neck, while leaning further onto its front paws, ready to start ripping and shredding. Death stared her in the face, but she had seen worse. Jagged golden lines burst into illumination down Mercy's hilt, crossguard, and blade, and in one motion Julilee heaved the large beast off her in a feat of strength beyond what even her well-developed athletic abilities could do alone. The beast hissed in pain and the smell of burning filled the air as it backed away, while she rose to her feet again, gripping Mercy with both hands. Light wreathed her weapon and forearms. The crowd was cheering loudly now. While the larger beast had recovered, it similarly backed away with newfound respect for its prey. The two seemed to visibly reconsider. "Shoo," she said to them. "Ya gotta kill 'em, Juli!" Tetsujin yelled down from the bleachers nearest to her. Though he couldn't have heard her, and she hadn't gestured at all, he knew her well enough to know what would make her hesitate. Despite her presence in the arena, she barely had the stomach to participate in any of this to begin with, much less when the beasts didn't even want to fight. At least, when she thought about it, which she couldn't help but do as the beasts stared at her uncertainly. Then the trappings of an ethical quandary were, at least ostensibly, shattered as more rocks began to fall. This time they were aimed at the sabertusks, and a few hit. The smaller one snarled up at the audience and turned to look at Juli again. Its rising aggression chose the only target available, and it lunged across the sands for her again, the larger one right behind. This time she didn't try to dodge; she lunged forward instead, Mercy leaving trailing ribbons of Light as she swung it, two-handed, down at the oncoming beast. It ducked its head as they met so she only scored across its back, but its true strategy quickly became apparent as it tossed its head in the next moment, scooping her up with its tusks and sending her flying. The crowds shrieked. The second beast was there to catch her. It leapt and its jaws closed around her arm, nearly dislocating her shoulder as she landed heavily. But it wasn't her main sword arm, her sword was free, and its neck was exposed. Pulling against its grip to keep it occupied, she brought Mercy across and opened its throat with one clean slice. A river of red joined the spatters on her armor. The thing gurgled, jerked away, and fell. Pain raked down her legs. The smaller beast had pounced her again and its wicked claws, finally put to full use, pierced the metal of her armor like a tin can. Juli gritted her teeth and tried to kick at it unsuccessfully. It seized her leg in its mouth and started dragging her. Juli swung Mercy but it flinched away without relinquishing its grip, and placed a giant paw on her side, ready to try to tear her apart by brute force. It probably had the strength to do so. She didn't want to use any more Light, but she had to. She closed her eyes. A brilliant flash directly beside its head blinded and disconcerted the beast, making it drop her leg and flinch away. Juli opened her eyes and swung Mercy to cut deeply into its front leg. With a snarl it snapped at the blade and achieved a grip on it that almost took it out of Juli's hands, but not quite. Instead she let the beast's strength pull her toward it and help her plant an armored boot in its jaw. There was an audible crack as a tooth snapped, and she jerked Mercy free, then thrust its point into the beast's chest as it reared. She must have found its heart as it collapsed on her immediately. "Juriel! Juriel!" It took some effort to shove the beast's heavy body off and rise to her feet, bleeding, but she did. She closed her eyes again as she listened to the crowd's chanting. She wanted it to feel exciting, glorious, or even at least satisfying to have triumphed once more and be standing under the weight of the crowd's adulation, but instead, it didn't feel like anything. All she could feel was that the reservoir of Light inside of her was lower than before. Tetsujin jumped down to the sounds next to her. She knew it was him without looking. "Good job, Juli," her manager said. He chuckled. "Hope ya ain't too mad at me for the surprise, but I knew ya could handle it." "Yeah," she said, after a moment, opening her eyes again. Her gaze fell on the two downed beasts. Arena organizers were coming to drag the bodies away. "I can handle anything." She turned to walk away, back toward the backstage area. "Hey!" Tetsujin called after her. "Don't sound so happy about it!" "I'm going to go meditate," she replied without turning. "Make sure no one bothers me, please." "Ya and yer meditation," he said without bitterness. She could barely hear him over the crowd as she walked away. "Should celebrate more, what's the point if ya don't enjoy it!" Wasn't that the question. He would be enjoying his portion of the proceeds from today's fight quite thoroughly later tonight. Juli looked down at her red-streaked armor and weapon. If she'd still worn a tabard, it would have been soaked and shredded. With nothing to fight for now, she found herself fighting anyway. "Because I'll never give up," she said, her voice not nearly loud enough to carry back to him over the crowd. He didn't seem to be expecting a response and didn't miss one, busying himself talking to the arena organizers. She left the roaring arena and went to be alone.
  11. Amoola's IRL lifemate and husband asked me to let the World of Warcraft members who knew her but don't have her on social media know that Amoola passed away on March 18th, 2019. Amoola is deeply loved and deeply missed and her family has asked for space as they grieve. Walk with the Earth Mother, Amoola. May the eternal sun shine upon you.
  12. You guys were great, thanks for all the memories and such! Sowell/Dobzhansky
  13. Hello old friend!  I hope you're doing very well.

    I'm getting excited about Classic WoW and figured I'd stop by and see how things are going here.  I'll take a look around.

    How have you been?  I spent 8 years in Australia with terrible lag; eventually quit WoW.  Haven't played BFA or Legion.  

    Sowell/Dobzahnsky

    1. Mortica

      Mortica

      Hey there!

      Things are going pretty well.  Twisting Nether is pretty quiet these days.  I heard today they will have RP servers in Classic, but they haven't said whether they will have RP-PVP servers yet.

      We were just talking about the "good old days" the other day and your name came up.

      Glad to hear you are doing well. :)

  14. "They're animals! Scare them!" Tetsujin tried to yell at her. He'd learned a long time ago that she ignored most of his directions, but that didn't stop him from trying. Lately, she couldn't even hear him over the crowd - or at least that was her excuse. "Hit that belly spot again, it's already bleeding! Don't give it time to heal! Smash it in the head or something!" He could barely hear himself yelling over the sound of the crowd. When the drums got faster, Tetsujin turned his deafened shouting at them in frustration. "SHUT UP!"
  15. The constant pounding filled her ears. Julilee lifted her head as the wind rose for a moment, letting it catch the loose strands of pale hair around her face. Beneath her feet, the coarse sand shifted, cut into strange shapes and angles. It was dyed orange and red in the early morning light, and she turned her head to look behind her briefly at the rising sun. The sky, also red and orange and pink, was always a welcome sight, even after having been back aboveground this long. Then she turned her attention back to what lay before her. The pounding was the combination of the screaming, stomping audience and drums. The sands were the floor of the arena and weren't just red from the sunrise, but from dried blood, and were grooved not by the elements but by battles. The sun was rising over the bleachers and the match was about to begin. She drew Mercy. The sword gave away her identity to those who recognized its jagged silhouette, but that turned out to be vanishingly few. So far, she could count them on one hand. Memories were short in war. The white mask that covered the lower half of her face did enough to disguise her identity otherwise, along with the absence of any of the other features that had once marked her identity, such as her once-dark hair, former purple armor, and tabard. Mostly the tabard. That had been the majority of what people had ever seen when they looked at her anyway. To be fair, she was the one who had redesigned it and raised its banner once more. "Juriel! Juriel!" Now she let her image become whatever it may. The gate across the arena opened with slow, menacing clanks that were nearly drowned out as the crowd rose in volume commensurately. Juli stood waiting, the tip of Mercy pointed at the sand. She held it in one hand and nothing in the other. Carrying a shield would only burden her now. The creature that came out was not one of the largest she had faced. The mad brutosaur had been that, and it had cemented her as the preeminent fighter in this arena circuit. But it was one she had never fought before. It slunk out, wary of the noisy crowd and bright, open space, but soon focused on Juli. And then it was followed by another. Two adversaries. The crowd, thrilled by this twist, became all but deafening. The creatures' blue-gray bodies were lined from nose to tail-tip in spikes, and long tusks protruded from their mouths. Their forequarters were heavily muscled for digging, pouncing, and shredding, but their lean bodies were built for speed nonetheless. Lean, but at least twice her size in weight and mass each. Sabertusks. Julilee was given pause as she studied them, knowing that Zandalari druids took on the same form, but in a few moments it became apparent that there was no hint of sentience in these beasts. They circled her warily, moving instinctively as a pack to take down the first edible thing they had seen in days. Juli continued standing still, only turning her head slightly as one circled behind her. When it thought it had the advantage, it pounced. She heard the crunch of sand and moved as it did. She threw herself into a backwards roll that was diagonal to the beast's trajectory. Tucked low to the ground, her relatively small size played to her advantage as she passed underneath the beast. As she rolled, she whipped her blade up and across its belly. There wasn't enough clearance to get the strength behind the thrust to disembowel the thing, but bright red blood spattered over her white, gold, and dark gray armor. The beast shrieked. As it landed and whipped around with shocking speed to lunge for her, paws as massive as her head with claws that long again coming at her face, she was only just pushing herself into a crouch on the sand. There simply wasn't enough time to dodge again. Her empty arm came up to block. It would have done absolutely nothing to save her if not for the Light that blazed into existence around it. The crowd roared in vicious delight as the large beast collided with the shining barrier, its sheer mass pushing her back a dozen meters and leaving a deep furrow in the sand, but she kept her feet under her. After the beast jumped away to seek a new opening, the creature not yet slowed by the shallow gash that bled fresh red onto the sands, she rose unharmed and allowed the shield to dissipate. The other beast, more cautious than its partner, did not yet make a move, only prowling along the side of the clash. The horn on its nose was broken, it was a darker blue-gray, and it was slightly smaller, though not by much. As Juli watched them stalk her, she wondered what had brought them to the attention of the arena organizers. Had they preyed on townspeople? Ravaged local livestock? Or had it just been the appeal of a matched pair? "Juriel! Juriel!" The crowd was insistent. It wanted blood, hers or the beasts', it didn't care. She had learned it thrilled to either, though this had not really come as a surprise. As much as they had loved her rise to underground fame, it would love her downfall just as much. She had seen the betting odds and knew many had no qualms about betting on the latter every match, if not more and more eagerly with every victory. She made good money off those bets. The sabertusks were too fast for her to try to take the offensive. Unlike the brutosaur, they could turn on a dime and rend with those deadly claws as fast as she could blink. If she gave them the slightest opening, they would seize it, and her by the throat. She would have to wait for them to come to her to try to find an opening, and the crowd communicated its disapproval of her patience as she continued to let the beasts circle her, though this time she slowly turned to keep them in sight as much as possible. Trying to urge action, the drum players increased the tempo. It was effective on everyone but those battling in the arena. The crowd grew more frenzied; someone threw a rock that landed with a thud in the sand not far from Juli. From somewhere, she could hear Tetsujin hollering directions at her. She didn't take her eyes off the beasts, nor they theirs off her. The two beasts started to circle closer. She knew the moment they decided to attack. This time, the sabertusks moved together.
  16. Welcome! Seconding joining Discord. There's more activity there, and you can meet folks, find a guild, and some great groups.
  17. Welcome back Most of the out-of-game activity has moved to the Discord server, so if you are feeling lonely, click the JOIN US link on the top right side of the forums page
  18. Behruutz

    Behruutz

    Full Name: Behruutz Date of Birth: Winter Age: 2.714e4-33 Race: Draenei Gender: Male Hair: Black (dyed) Skin: White Eyes: Blue Height: 7'4" Weight: 265 lbs Place of residence: Exodar, Azeroth Place of Birth: Mac'Aree, Argus Known Relatives: none Religion/Philosophy: The Light Occupation: Wandering Mendicant Group/Guild affiliation: None Guild Rank: None Enemies: Hegraaht (he knows what he did) Likes: Food, Drink, Discussion, and Traveling Favorite Foods: Herb Baked Eggs Favorite Drinks: Dalaran Noir Favorite Color: Purple Weapons of Choice: Staff Dislikes: Pomposity, Intolerance, Hastiness Hobbies: Tailoring, Enchanting, Fishing, Cooking Physical Features: Thin and pale, with a ready smile Special Abilities: Can laugh on command Positive Personality Traits: Patient, Diplomatic, Friendly Negative Personality Traits: Patient, Diplomatic, Friendly Misc. Quirks: distractedly loses things Played by What Famous Person: Sir Alec Guinness (circa "Kind Hearts and Coronets") Theme Songs: "A Horse with No Name" by America History: Born to a semi-prosperous tailor and an magically inept engineer on Argus in the capitol city, Behruutz took part in the original exodus from Argus with the Prophet Velen. Having had an affinity for the light and a desire to help, he choose the life of a wandering priest, moving from town to town to preach and serve. ]
  19. Hello everyone, I'm a returning player who has been gone for so long I don't even remember my old toon's name (lvl 60 Belf Lock). I played vanilla way too much and left right around six months into BC. Now that I've achieved a better work-life balance, I'm back. I started over from the beginning because the process for recovering my account seemed really daunting; it has been so long that an alt whose name I did remember, isn't showing up in the Armory anymore. Currently, I'm playing a level 23 Draenei priest and have decided to take the scenic route of playing through all of the Azeroth new content rather than using the level-up. Does anyone still use the RP and OOC channels?
  20. “We require more than your feeble mewing, Raeventus.” One of the Illuminated silhouettes spoke. The Magister in question need not see the face, he could feel the dissatisfaction dripping from the Council’s voices. Each meeting since the loss of the Shattered Son was a beratement. It had gotten beyond tiresome. “Need we remind you what is at stake outside your walls?” “Not at all.” Raeventus shook his head as his unseen hand fidgeted with the grey cube that he usually kept upon his desk, his fingertips drawing the runic patterns common upon its vistage. It helped keep him balanced, focused. “I have read plenty of Intel reports that are delivered upon my desk. I’m well informed on the situations regarding the invasion.” “Unacceptable Casualties are on the rise.” Spoke another of the four. “I know, my lords,” Raeventus tried once more to get a word in. Even if simply to end these ceaseless criticisms on the job he was doing. “SOL-ONE is dedicated to finding a solution to the threat.” “Is that so?” The third of the Council spoke up. “Is this why Frostwhisper sought out one of our retired agents to fight with a Mercenary Company?” “He likely sought an alternative to Sanctuary, he has neglected to deliver an assessment on the organization. He’s even gone so far as to stop reporting in his logs altogether.” “Doubtful.” “Is that so?” The scarlet brow of the Director raised. “He has secured the Sanctuary-Scryer Accords. We have our army now.” The fourth of the silhouettes finally spoke up, the voice raising a challenge. “Was this not within your reports?” “...My apologies, it appears that report has yet to reach my desk.” His grip tightened upon the cube as he forced a pleasant smile upon his hawkish face. “I will be sure to keep an eye out for it. I’m eager to see the details.” “I see.” A dismissal. Silence left the Director to stew in his anger, the mask of civility threatened to crack all the while. What was likely merely seconds felt like minutes dragging into hours until one of the Illuminated Council mercifully stepped in. “We have made an important step in turning the tides of this conflict into more favorable circumstances. Alas, we cannot rest as the enemy continues their crusade of annihilation. We may have an army, that which we will work to properly equip for times ahead-- what we need now is our key operative to serve as the weapon we designed him to be. What is the Shattered Son situation?” “All our leads point towards Suramar. From trajectory of last known location to his psychological profile. There are far too many similarities of the civil war raging within their streets and the Shattered Son’s involvement in the ending of the Sunstrider regime. Their tactics similarly mirror the talents of insurrection he is best known for. Furthermore, given his… previous interests in the past, we think it probable that if the nationalist ideals hadn’t recruited him, the female element very well may have.” “Have you received visual confirmation?” “Not yet. His paranoia may be forcing him to act from the shadows. That being said… Our rangers in the area are devising a solution of drawing the Shattered Son from whatever hole he has hidden himself in. We will have him returned into our custody soon.”
  21. Of new-Juli Artist's dA: https://www.deviantart.com/loch-tess
  22. It should be enough. It should be enough just to hate. I shouldn't need reasons. Garithos was the reason I offered whenever a reason was demanded. He was reason enough, too. I shouldn't She doesn't understand. Hate is easy. It is warm and strong. It protects from all manner of harm. I didn't need reasons to hate. We were just predators, preying on the weak, the lesser, those who would grow and learn and die too fast to remember the techniques we could focus on for decades. We didn't need reasons. Yes, they gave us reasons, but we didn't need them. They weren't my friends. I didn't lose anyone close to me. Not to them. The only thing that killed them was the Scourge, and the Scourge was what? A disease of the world? Arthas and Kel'thuzad can take a lot of blame for being weak and lesser, for falling for trap after trap after trap. Dar'khan can take some blame, for being power hungry, a grand failing of our kind, and his sweet little mutant children overrunning Stormwind now are what happen when you open the gates for death. But even though they weren't my friends, I was too close to what happened to them. It changed me. It changed what made me hesitate. I was always more violent than not, and though I was never demanding, I resolved I never would be. I would never be like them. I would never take the way they did. I would only destroy. She doesn't understand. How could she? Who does understand? A wolf without its pack is prey, and I've been without my pack for too long. The Grim stands in for them, but the Grim failed me. I was prey. More than once. I've learned not to rely on them. The Grim feed the hate, but they do not understand it. They don't need to. I shouldn't need to. She shouldn't need to. Hate should be enough, in and of itself. It does not need reasons to exist. It only needs to burn. It only needs to consume everything in its path. That's all it needs. She is an obsession, a dangerous path with no way to turn from it. Even if I try, I'll always find myself back on the same road. And I have given her everything. Of my own free will. Everything. Prey again, without my pack. The other needs to ask better questions. I don't think she wants to ask better questions. I don't think she wants what she says she wants, to do something for me, which is good, because she won't get it, but I'll get what I want, words and questions, the sound of my own voice, amusement at what nothing can cause. Be careful giving words too much power. They don't have any of their own. The cat disagrees, but also puts a point on the possibility that the only power they have is mischief. I need to spend a week in Suramar to remember what we should have been, but Feralas calls. I don't need brothers, but I'm glad of them, nonetheless, if only for the hope they give. Yes, hope. I like that people assume I know nothing but ruthless cruelty. I like knowing I can drive hate so easily. That doesn't mean I know nothing of things outside hatred. What do I know? I know more than those who worship at its feet. I know more than those who wear it on their sleeves and on their banners. I know because I run from it and it hunts me down. I know because I do not want it, do not need it, and yet I have it. Killing me with kindness would be much more difficult than even the ridiculousness of the cliché implies. Boring me with kindness might be manageable. I suppose maybe you could bore me to death with it? But even then, either you're the sort of kind hearted person I either destroy or walk away from, or you're not a kind hearted person and I take the opportunity to dismantle your kindness, find the motive in it, make you regret ever having plied me with it in the first place. Or you're the kind of person who's better at playing my games than I am. There aren't many of those, so I don't fear them though I probably should. The team building silliness at least takes my mind off the menacing truths running deep under everything I do these days. I would definitely prefer to watch from the sidelines, but that's better managed when other people are on the dais than when I am. And if it makes them stronger, then so be it. I'll take my loss of dignity and chalk it up to forging bonds or some other useless lie. That Eye is pointless. It saw the obvious but not the dexterous. You can tell the truth and not tell the truth at the same time, and how can one device detect that nuance? You can tell the truths that don't matter and neglect the ones that do. There is a way to get every truth from me, and it is actually quite simple, but who actually finds that much value in truth?
  23. Oh no. Oh no no no no. I just realized. The other possibilities. None of this is good. None of it. I think I can keep it from... going entirely off the rails? But it's a mess. Don't they know nothing comes of this? I learned my lesson. I'll play the games and say the words all I want, but it's going nowhere. Besides, behind closed doors, I'm worse. In every possible way. Mm, almost every possible way. They have no idea how much worse I really am. There's only one place I go for truth.
  24. It was a beautiful day in Elwynn Forest. The birds were chirping, the cows were mooing as they wandered about unfettered... and the sewer crocodiles that had escaped to the sewage pond outside of Stormwind dragged a particularly careless one to its untimely death. At one of the local farmsteads, a seasonal worker was getting fired. Amidst the relative tranquility and the goings on of the kingdom's residents, a newcomer marched with purpose down the road. With eyes that gleamed with ferocity, upturned nose held high, and scales that shined in the sun, a brown spotted colored Sethrak moved towards the city's gates with purpose! Only to come face to face with a patrol of mounted riders, tasked with protecting the kingdom from the Horde and other threats who had, as of late, invaded and sowed chaos at an unacceptable rate. "HALT, SNAKE!" The patrol's captain motioned for his soldiers to stop, and halfway surround them, "You will go no further!" "HOW DARE!" The Sethrak yelled back, its neck instinctively flattening to make the back of its head and neck wider... presumably to look fierce, "Hoomans go away! I has messij for king!" There was an awkward moment of silence as the captain was... in essence dumbstruck with how spoken words could somehow be misspelled, but he pushed the befuddlement aside, "Stand down and surrender, and you will not b-" "GO 'WAY HOOMAN! AM DANGRUS!" The Sethrak huffed and puffed breaths in, and began to hiss, "EMPIRE DEMANZ SURR-ENDR!" "...um, sir?" One of the rookie patrolman spoke up after another few moments of awkward, befuddled silence, "What is it doing?" "How am I supposed to know? You and you, get off your horses and arrest it." The captain pointed to the rookie and one other guard, who looked at each other, shrugged, and dismounted. "NO TUCH!" The Sethrak hissed louder, tensing a puffing up even more, "I BITE!" The rookie and his partner, despite being faced with this... weird unknown, couldn't help but snort as a laugh escaped them. Undeterred, they began to approach, which caused the Sethrak to become even more defensive, coiling back into a defensive posture until!... ...it collapsed to the ground in a hissing, writhing heap. "What in the... Sir?!" One of the still mounted guards looked alarmed, concerned, but ultimately confounded as she watched the snake man flail about in the dirt in what looked to be a horribly acted death-throe. The guards backed up their horses, but otherwise all stayed where they were, as for the next minute or so the snake person kept on its death act, until finally laying still in a contorted pose... mouth agape, and forked tongue lolling off to the side. "I've had enough of this. Get that damn thing to the stockades and make SI:7 deal with it." The captain annoyedly ordered, turning his steed around back to the city gates, and motioning for the other mounted guards to follow. "You heard 'im." One of the dismounted guards went over, grabbing the Sethrak by its robe collar to try and force it to stand up, but finding it floppy and limp, though not in an actually dead way. Starting to get irritated, he tried to force it to turn over, only to express further frustration as it flipped back belly up, and did it again when he tried to right it once again. "For the love of the light, just throw it over your horse and let's go." "arrrggghh.... no tuch!" The Sethrak quietly hissed and muttered, oofing as it did get thrown over the back of one of the patrol horses, to be carted away into the city's gates, oggled at by the city's denizens, and then locked up to be attended to later.
  25. Such embolden courage would be set to a test as his lord was slow to answer, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper would be forced to undergo an ordeal of tentative silence before there was at long last an answer. When it did finally give way to his lord’s voice, there was a sense of suspicion that tainted it. “Who is there?” “My Lord, it is I--” This was not the welcome he had expected, but it mattered not. He would subject himself to this final trail. It’s results determined the fate of this alliance. If he could not convince his lord, he would have to forgo the use of Sanctuary. He would have to improvise. He prayed it didn’t come to that. “--your ever faithful servant, Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper.” “Vathelan! Please, do come in, I’ve been hoping to speak with you!” That was closer to what he was hoping for, why the previous contention? Strange. But not something he could dwell upon. He had to keep focus. Rolling his sleeve back into place, he frowned at the white hairs that inevitably did linger from his visit to his office. A small silent sigh at the flaw in his presentation before he opened the door, barely remembering to put his glove back on as well as he presented his practiced pleasant demeanor worn over his face that infected his very tone-- no matter how much he truly meant the words. “I am pleased to see that you have returned, My Lord.” He, in turn, was greeted with the warmest smile that his lord’s marred face could muster. Marring that had come from his assistant, Miss Cat D’Aragon. “I am pleased to be back, there’s far too much to be done for me to be idle any longer. And I’d like to apologize to you, Vathlean. I know that I have not been terribly present for much of the time you have been here as liaison to the Scryers, and I believe that you’ve suffered for that. I am sorry; I hope to amend that going forward, especially once these Accords are ratified and we can start moving on some of the plans they detail.” “I have suffered worse in my lifetime, My Lord.” Vathelan shot his response as quickly as he could, bowing his head both in terms of respect and as to hide his true emotions from view as his mask of pleasantry threatened to crack. He may have told the truth, but that didn’t diminish the treatment and the insults he had been forced to endure in his lord’s absence. The fact that the Commander had allowed an Orcess to go unpunished for all her threats to his life and well being. The threats of removal from service. The lives such stonewalling threw away in the meantime. All of it. But, in the end… “I do appreciate the concern, but I don’t matter. What matters is the cost if we should fail our world.” Lord Cerryan responded with a stoic nod, making it impossible to tell if he bought the implications of Vathelan’s words. Or if he had seen beyond the persona the Magister was putting forward. “I don’t intend to see that happen, under any circumstances. That that end, I’d like to discuss finalizing the Accords with you so that by my authority as Marshal of Sanctuary I can sign the documents and make them official.” “Good. I am glad to see a voice of reason has returned to Sanctuary.” His pleasant tone remained as he lifted his gaze from his bow towards his lord once more. But at the pursing of Cerryan’s lips, he could tell it wasn’t enough to hide the bile from his mistreatment. So instead he would continue on to business proper as he moved to take out a folder with a sizable amount of paper within it from his satchel. He spoke as he set the numerous pages upon his lord’s desk. “I have revised a new draft of the document, it allows you an official direct line between us-- Warboss Bloodborne where applicable as well. I can go over all the changes with you, if that is your desire, my lord?” There was a slight widening of his lord’s eyes at the Accords, paperwork was never something of his strong suit. That was one of the reasons he was brought in, after all. After a moment Cerryan nodded, and Vathelan awarded him a small reassuring smile as a reward. “Yes, it seems we should go over anything you might have changed. I trust that outside of expanding the points of contact you will be working with, you haven’t modified any of the points that you and the Commander specifically agreed to. I am still working under her authority and intend on keeping the intent of her conditions, in the interests of Sanctuary’s sovereignty.” “The alterations are to allow efficiently and security of the war assets we will be granting you in light of recent events in order to ensure I was able to secure the Other, more final, signature required to make this document pass and in an attempt to make up for some of the wasted time it took to get this far-- but I assure you, my lord, my role has not changed. Nor am I interested in threatening sovereignty.” Vathelan set the new, revised edition of the document to the next one for comparison. It was mercifully shorter. And try as he might, he was unable to prevent himself from commenting on the implication made. “...Though one could quite reasonably take offense to such an insinuation. I am a professional. Not that she would particularly care, I am sure. She hasn’t seemed to in the past.” “I am really only interested in moving forward, in securing the assets that will help us win this war and empowering our people to better defend it. Enough time has been spent on indecision, for good reason to some extent, but at this point we need the extra resources. Both here and in Suramar.” Lord Cerryan picked up the new document and began to page through it for an initial scanning read. “I’ve no appetite for contentious personal opinions right now though, and will appreciate sticking to business until we’ve come to the signing.” Very Well. “You will noticed I removed much of the preface, that which stated the history of both groups to prove the point as to why we are compatible in terms of an alliance between us. The term of the Accords’ validity stay the same-- thirty days after an officially declared victory of this conflict as a sort of grace period should we seek to renegotiate terms of a continued partnership. It was fluff that may have been misconstrued in terms of legality. I will remain the Delegate-Ambassador that will serve as a representative of both organizations for the other. As such I will serve to fulfill Scryer interests here, and will serve to fulfill Sanctuary interests there.” He continued to recite his run down of the basics of the contract while Cerryan was allotted his chance to skim the Accords. “My service, besides ensuring both sides are treated fairly in terms of this treaty, will be in terms of requisitions for this war effort-- sadly, this will be incredibly costly and time consuming thanks to the insistence of running everything internally here rather than taking advantage of the larger infrastructure developed by the Scryers over their years as an organization. I must inform one of your officership of alterations and/or additions to anything relating to your new infrastructure that we will be required to construct. I am to manage these assets to ensure efficiency and security for all parties involved, but must follow command and will surrender reports should such be requested. Assets provided may or may not be limited to resources or weaponry for use on the field as per decided by said parties involved.” “We will be needing a diverse range of assets, to reinforce our own forces and resources against the Legion. Securing the final Pillar will open the path to stopping the invasion, but I grow ever more worried over how quiet the Broken Shore has been in the months since we arrived on the Isles. The accountability is a necessary facet of working with a third party, though my own experiences with the Scryers does not have me terribly worried.” Cerryan nodded as he continued working through the pages of the document. Smaller as it may be, it wasn’t short in length still. “There is… I believe it has already been discussed, but the insurance that sensitive information pertinent to Sanctuary remain within Sanctuary first, to be disseminated at our discretion. Our mission with the Relics and keeping them secure and not widely known is critical, and that aside; were there something like the a situation like miss Rylie, before she was sent off to board for her education, the sort of thing where the fewer external parties know the better. I have enough faith that it won’t arise as a point of concern, but assurance only fortifies faith.” “You will notice that the Vault and any mentions that could be related to such are entirely absent from the Accords. This is intentional.” An affirmation, a sign of faith. “The Scryers will, obviously, require tactical Intel however in order to further our battle-plans as we work the angles afforded to us that we have in play. This will keep our strategy running smoothly. That being said, I am both well aware as well as sympathetic to Sanctuary’s needs and desires for privacy in non-essential matters. This brings us to the compromise for both idealism and function in this ongoing crisis: To ensure the efficiency and satisfaction for both parties, I am to oversee and manage the assets brought in with a certain level of autonomy within reason. For example: All plausible services will be ran internally as well as I will be running under the officerships related to my duties. This requires me to submit to their authority and surrender anything in terms of collected Intelligence upon request. I must also inform you should I apply new or altered assets.” “I find that to be more than an acceptable compromise, and I trust you genuinely in the role you’ll be playing in this. For the most part I think that you reporting primarily to me makes sense, given my authority here and my relationship with the Scryers, unless I become unavailable or the criticality of a given matter requires the direct attention of the Commander. I will otherwise still be reporting Scryer-Sanctuary interactions with her, but at least for the Suramar campaign I will be in control of assets deployed to the front.” “And I will be reporting applicable concerns and solutions to the officership that is responsible for the relevant issue. Cooperation is required for us to with this war. None of us will be effective on their own, my lord.” Magister Vathelan presented the final page for his lord, an set of lines ready to be filled laid before Cerryan. One for Vathelan, One for him. The final was already filled out by a great man, the Seer who lead the Scryers to victory since their foundation. “And in that spirit, I would appreciate you calling a meeting of Sanctuary’s officership in the near future-- at their convenience of course-- as to ensure we are all on the same page in terms of what I plan to install within the coming months.” The Paladin nodded in agreement with the Magister. ‘I think that is a wise idea. I know both Baern and Vilmah have vested interest in the resources afforded by the Accords, and I think that after finally signing, it will be good to circle up and discuss how it’s going to impact things going forward.” “And I shall be happy to serve them.” Frostwhisper removed a pen from a case within his pocket and pressed with a gently but firm finger tip upon the back to make the vial inside bleed its enchanted ink upon the bladed edge. “If there is nothing else…” He offered the writing utensil to his lord. With a final sweep through the last few pages of the slimmer revised version of the Accords, Lord Cerryan Vyel was silent for a moments as he left Vathelan’s pen to awkwardly linger. He took a breath. Was something wrong? Vathelan tried to banish the creeping doubts. And then, at last, Lord Cerryan nodded and took the pen. He pressed it to the paper, his name coming out as a flowing script upon the line designated for him. “There, it is done, after much ado.” “Indeed. I already have the paperwork for the first series of orders pre-written. Considering the time it is going to take to synthesize the Arcane Communications Relay Crystal for the required infrastructure upgrades, I thought it prudent to cut out as much delay as possible.” His heart raced as he held his hand out back for his pen, he was so close to his second major victory in this entire campaign. “...So much to do, but at long last… We are finally upon the right path. We can do it, Sir. We can save this world.” “That is the goal, Vathelan. That is the dream.” He handed the pen back to the awaiting Magister. “That is everything.” “And it is my job to make such a dream possible, sir.” Vathelan smiled as he took the pen, at long last signing a document he had spent what had felt like an eternity to push through. His expression betrayed the joy and pride he felt in this hard earned victory as he pulled the pen from paper to admire the proof of his little footnote in history. Magister Vathelan Frostwhisper, the poor bastard of an orphan all those years ago, the author of a document that would help lead to this world’s salvation from oblivion. If he could help it, this would be merely the beginning. He would prove he was worth more than anyone had bargained for. “And for the Arcane Notary…” His hand raised, his fingers forming a snap. It was a simple spell, but with it the ink’s magic ignited to make the document official. “There. I will need to deliver the treaty back to Headquarters, so that it can be secured so we can finally begin to realize our goal. Was there anything else you needed from me while I’m still here, my lord?” “For now, all I need is for these Accords to be submitted and made official as soon as possible. Afterwards I’d like to talk with you about involvement in the Suramar campaign, but I would put nothing above your current task.” Cerryan placed a hand upon the Magister’s shoulder. “Thank you for the work you’ve done, Vathlean. We will be better for it, and I’m sure it’s something Draco would’ve been proud of. Now. Be off, then. And come back as soon as you can. Oh, and send my warmest regards to Voren’thal. It has been some time since I’ve visited the old Seer.” “Y-you’re most welcome, Sir. That means… more than you know, coming from you, Sir-- My Lord, Sir.” Vathelan flushed with both embarrassment and the lingering shame. The touch of one of his heroes, his kind words, Vathlean deserved none of them as far as he was concerned. He bowed his head before trying to excuse himself before he ruined the moment further with his blustering as he collected the document. He needed air, air away from a man he admired so. Before leaving he halted at the door. “I will be around-- of course-- should you… should you need me, my office is the small one next to Praetor Baern’s. In case you didn’t know.” And with one final bow he made his departure from a hard fought victory. With Sanctuary, and the protection provisions he had put in place to buy him some more time, he knew he had significantly raised their chances of winning this war. But would it be enough? He didn’t know. He could only keep working to make it so.
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