Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/30/2017 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    (Editorial) Living the Oaths Aaren sat on the counter in her small shack-apartment’s kitchen. It was early in Outland’s Shattrath on a particularly stuffy, though not necessarily warm morning. She was drinking a delightful hot tea, a dark and strong mixture of pomegranate and two kinds of mint, with a modest amount of bloodthistle mixed in during steeping. It wasn’t an ingredient she often used, and the stash it came from was untouched for quite some time until this past week. She was certainly glad to have it at this moment. Her head ached from the altercation. Her right eye was puffy and her cheekbone sore and swollen. Her throat was red like cheeks in a winter wind and her jaw felt a little more loose than it should feel, and she moved it slowly from side to side between sips of her tea. She could hear the slightest clicking sound inside her head from the movement, but it was nothing that wouldn’t go away in a day or two. She lifted her hand to wipe a dribble of tea from her lip onto the sleeve of her robe, though she had to rotate her wrist unnaturally to keep from wiping blood on her face in its place. Through the doorway into the other room, she watched as Quelhir Daybrook, one of her oldest contacts and friends within the Scryers, inspected the body of a man laying dead on the floor and in the raw as the day he was born. He was covered in naught but a white silk sheet, his dull eyes staring straight up at the ceiling as if looking through it into the stars. The fatal wound was made from a dagger, hardly bigger but much prettier than a regular kitchen knife, stabbed into the center of his chest all the way to the guard and still lodged in place as he was examined by the summoned magister. Quelhir looked on in disgust at the wound. Poison was very clearly one agent, the skin around the wound showing a sickly pale green in the flesh, and darker in the veins leading away from the planted blade like vines climbing stonework. If he didn’t know better, he’d see it as a concoction of, or including, plague. Did he know better? Wisps of shadow wafted up from the hilt to dissipate in the air like smoke. Aaren twisted her lips to the side while looking into her cup. She wished she had bothered to buy some sort of cereal to go with her tea. “Definitely him, alright,” his voice interrupted her thoughts. “How in heavens did you go about even getting him here, much less in the city at all? And in… such a… defenseless state?” Her friend spoke without any accusation, though there was a mixture of wonder and pity in his voice. His own thoughts were a mess, surely Aaren’s own were at least just as wild having slain the man, he thought. A high-level fugitive from the era of the first Legion invasion, long thought dead, was right here. Very thoroughly and very recently dead. Quelhir replaced the sheet over the body and approached Aaren after he made sure he got none of the blood on himself or the soles of his shoes. He would kindly give her all the time she needed to answer. By the time he came to stand beside her at his slow pace, her eyes glistened, even as she grinned slyly with an audibly imprudent sigh and chuckle. "Don't… make me answer that," she said, and shook her head. Almost begged, if more with her eyes than her voice. “Very well, dear,” the magister said, quietly. “I’ll just have to pull every trick in my book to make sure you don’t have to answer to a soul, either. I hardly believe that will be an issue, given who it is. I’ll also ensure it is all cleaned up with no one the wiser. I’ll even get you somewhere nice and comfortable to rest until you can’t even tell someone was dead in here.” He smirked, then tried to change the subject, if only for a moment. “You’re looking tired these days,” is what he came up with. Aaren raised an eyebrow, as if to ask ’is that how you greet old friends?’ “Yeah? You’re looking old,” she replied, grin widening. It worked. They laughed. He lifted a hand to self-consciously rub at the wrinkles beginning to form in his forehead. A little more at ease, Aaren breathed in deeply as she could and finished the tea in her cup. It was a little too hot for that, but the mild burn was welcome as a distraction from the situation for a few seconds. “Spritely. Good to know that some things - or people - never change,” he said. The two stood staring at each other for several moments. Or perhaps the better word is simply watched. It was a less confrontational (in)action, while they each considered things that could have been, or things that were, or all the reasons they shouldn’t have been, all in the space of moments. They each felt a little silly for it, given the time passed and the very real issue in the other room. “Good to see that you don’t change, Aaren,” he finally punctuated the long silence. “In that event, the world may surely end.” “I can’t tell you how often you could have had a world without me, but everyone makes amateur mistakes these days it seems,” she said, as a boast more than anything. Quelhir nodded, as if a thing as that could be expected from one such as her. The attempts on her life, or the bragging equally. “Why even take the chance with this one?” he asked more quietly. Maybe even in chiding for her confrontation of a dangerous person all on her own. It was a personal question, asked before his associates arrived to make the current and more important problem go away. It took her a long while to gather the words to form a proper answer. “I will heal where others may wound,” Aaren started, not much unlike a prayer or mantra she chanted for communing with the Light, for healing and protection. She continued with words sounding less rehearsed. “But when I cannot restore, I will harm. Being nice and holding hands and painting rainbows doesn't get you anywhere in the real world. There will never be justice for anyone until we take it for ourselves, but it must be done with temperance. Or you become a monster, no matter how pure your intentions. Maybe… when someone insists you act as a paragon, you learn get brave real quick.” She looked over at the body laying the floor with a long and uncomfortable pause, in which neither of them moved. “Luckily, restoration can and does come out of harm. And he deserved leagues worse than what he got.” Quelhir made no motion, expression, nor statement to suggest he agreed or disagreed, but merely rested his hand on her arm and let her say her piece. Aaren smiled, a near sinister expression, and slipped down onto her feet to go clean up and find her favorite dress to wear.