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  1. 2 points
    Today was the day: the day Draquesha would turn ten years of age! At ten she would be able to finally say which family job she would pursue -- whether she would join her father's family as hunters or follow after her mother as a shaman. Though they knew long before that she, unlike her brothers, lacked the magical aptitude to follow in her mother's footsteps, she finally had the opportunity to become more than her failings. She had spent the last week, no the last month, looking forward to her birthday. Her birthday meant that there was finally a day for JUST her! No brothers, no parents. No. This was her time. Finally! She didn't have to worry about rocks being thrown at her face or wayward magic used to encase her bow and arrows. No. Today, she could relax. She could enjoy today. She had stayed up all night, waiting eagerly as the moon came and went. She lay in her little pile of blankets on the ground, staring up at the ceiling of their thatched hut giddily. Father would let her use his bow today! Father would take her out to hunts now! She could stand in the spotlight now, as the only hunter in the family now! The little troll shoots up immediately, blankets tossed aside, pillows thrown asunder, as the light of the sun finally begins to stream into her room. Little Draq had risen before anyone else had, setting out to get her daily chores finished. She whistled a cheerful tune, brushing the dirt away from their front walk and dancing in the rising sun. As she was spinning, arms out around her, and kicking up more dirt than she was intending to sweep away, a pair of strong, adult arms picks the tiny troll up and pulls her in for the biggest, warmest hug she had ever remembered. The tiny troll found herself erupting into a sea of giggles, arms wriggling to try getting out of the hold that had her. Who was it? Who had a hold of her? Was it her shitty brother? Was it one of her parents? Maybe it was an uncle or an aunt. She never did find out. Without another word, the arms carry Draquesha inside to their little worn hut. The hut is simple, with two three rooms: one for her parents, one for her, and one for her brothers. Somehow she'd managed to luck out at get a room alone. Somehow. She figured it was because she was the only girl. Or maybe because she was the nonmagical child. The center room was well decorated, with many handmade ornaments and knickknacks collected throughout her family's many years on the Isles. Bright red and blue masks with white accents, the skull of an old murloc long since killed, beads, and stone carvings. On the walls hung a long bow with a quiver of arrows, a fair few more lain upon a nearby table that were being worked on. It was simple, rustic, but it screamed of home to the little troll. As the adult holding her brought her inside, Draquesha couldn't help but smile when she saw the baked desserts sitting on their meager dining table. The family hadn't much, but they always did their best for special occasions. Her mother had sent her away the night before to play at a family friend's home to allow her to make the birthday treats without a little troll managing to get her little fingers in every single pie. Once she were finally free of the horrid adult's arms, Draquesha ran up to the table that she was finally taller than, and got a good look and smell of what was waiting in her near future: a pie with a pinched crust, filled with a sweet and sticky coconut mix; a warm coconut cake with spices that her mother had gathered the week before; and a sort of sugary sweet, sticky, and coconutty bar that was dyed bright green (the little troll's favorite color!). Excited, wiggly fingers reach out, trying to steal a few of the treats, before being carefully swatted away. A finger is waggled in her face, 'no, not yet'. First, she had family to greet and gifts to receive! She had always hated this part. The same conversation, over and over and over again. The well-wishes followed by the simple, shallow words exchanged between parties. Were they really interested in her? Did they actually want to know how she were doing or were they posturing for her parents' sake? She had been given paper and furs, a skull headdress, a necklace made of shells. It was all the same thing every year! Nobody knew her or they would have known she didn't need this! As she finally rounded on the last relative, she found a man holding a small, wooden cage. He was an uncle, one of her father's many brothers from the Echo Isles. Her mother's family were never able to attend, not that little Draquesha minded. It meant less gifts, but it also meant less talking. Her uncle looked at her from where he sat upon the floor, legs crossed near the center of the room. In the cooler months, they might have had a fire here, but in the heat of the summer that was unheard of. As all in her father's family were, the man was a hunter and the injuries he sported proved as much: a patch over an eye he had lost from his son's missed arrow; a nose broken so many times it looked like it an angry zigzag; and a missing finger on his already few fingered left hand. Draquesha bowed respectfully to her uncle, taking a seat in front of him and crossing her legs. The cage is slid towards her and she looked at it curiously. The cage makes a sort of excited chirping, clicking noise. Draquesha gasps, holding her head closer to the cage and poking a finger inside... only for it to get bitten by whatever was inside! She yelps in surprise, trying to get the finger back from the little creature inside. When she finally gets the finger back, she waggles it at the creature inside the cage, 'no, don't do that! That was mean!". She finally gets a closer look inside the cage, finding a newly hatched raptor: bright red with blue and green accents. Fluorescent blue eyes stared back at her, sizing her up. Assessing if she were worthy of it. She stared back, determined. They kept this little staring contest up for what seemed like ages, until a hand tapped at her shoulder and she looked up to see that same uncle gesturing for the cage. When she gives it back, he cracks it open and the little raptor she'd just had a staring contest with began to run around the room, chirping at everyone present, before returning to Draquesha and squeaking at her loudly. As she tries to pick the little monster up, her little monster now, it would try biting at her again. She smiled brightly, the most genuine smile she had sported since she'd begun speaking to the relatives. The little raptor bites at her legs as she finally stuffs her face with coconutty cakes, fingers covered in the shredded fruit when suddenly ouch! That one had hurt! He'd grabbed hold of her ankle and scratched her. Uphill battle with this little one, it seemed. She would work on that. No, they would work on that.
  2. 1 point
    9.16.20 Fifteen years. That’s how old The Grim is now. Only four months after it was formed, I joined them. I never thought it would take this long to achieve the goal of peace through annihilation. I never thought I would last this long either. We all got together tonight, those of us that are still here, and listened to Awatu talk about The Grim anniversary. I told the story of the King of Rats. And then we all named people we remembered who were lost to us. So many lost to us. I have felt that loss keenly over the years, but to hear those names in so many other voices….. Sometimes, as I find myself looking more to the past than to the future, I wonder if I’ve been here too long. Muatah would scold me for wasting time dwelling on the past. Yichimet would give me wise words of solace. Mohan and his wolf Ohoye would give comfort just in their strong, steady presence. I still miss them all. So much. Sammuel, the first Grim I ever met. Ravovich, The Bear, who taught me how to fight as part of a team. Abric, the Enforcer, who trained me to be a better rogue. Grolish, who taught me how to read. Chavi, who showed me that even in undeath, there could still be wonder and joy. Cessily and the other early elves who formed my hatred of the race. Kiannis, Elek, Cen, and Orphyn, who proved there could be exceptions to that. Bloodscream. Skash. Malstrom. Maurt. Regna’netah. Warneshi. Leyu’jin. Cristok. Laughingcrow. Chaindog. Hektar. Kaz. Emmons. Inzema. Atticus. Drinn. Trilok. The Triplets. Gex. Thrysta. Gazreeth. So many others. Even my own twin, Anaie, hasn’t been seen in several months. So many good Grims come and gone. Dead or in some other way, lost to us now. And yet, the Mandate still stands as long as there are those who still believe in it’s purpose. The Grim who remain, and the new ones who have joined in recent years, have taken up the call. “PEACE THROUGH ANNIHILATION” still rings through the land. And always will.
  3. 1 point
    September 12th: "It wasn't my fault" The statement was as short as reminding me to pick up onions before leaving the city. Our child was a boy, he died. It's not my fault. Years ago, Lilliana stepped out of my life without a word. At a time when she could have gone into labor at any second. She stepped out and I did not hear anything but vague mentions of her for years. I tried to reach out but nothing came of it. I received no word of his birth, I received no word of how she has been throughout these years. Nothing. I thought I had gotten over it. I had moved on, I had found love again and finally built what I thought I would have had with her. Then she appears for a drink with Khorvis. The two stay a while and chat as I struggle to come up with anything to say... What could I have even said? Would it have mattered with her? She would have laughed it off or ducked the question. Yet that isn't fair to her. I could see the mask cracking. The fact that she reached out then spoke something of how she had changed. Even if slightly. But right now I can't think about it. I can't praise how she still seems to care when all I have is an aching void. I never even got to meet him and now I never will. It hurts. I hurts because I know of all the things she's ever told me. This is the truth. Payback List: Me: If I had not driven her away, would I have been there to stop it from happening?
  4. 1 point
    I slammed the door behind me and blocked it with my back. My heart was racing so fast I thought it would leap from my throat. "I did it. I killed him," I managed between panting breaths. "Killed who?" he asked, not even looking up from his book. "You know who," I hissed. He calmly closed his book, laid it on the side table, then sat forward with his hands on his knees and grinned at me. "No," he said with an exaggerated tone of disbelief. "You don't have that in you. You're too good and obedient, choir boy. You couldn't kill someone, no matter how much you hate them." I covered my ears with my hands. "Shut up shut up shut up. I did kill him. He's dead. What am I going to do?" I could hear the pleading in my voice and it made me feel sick, but desperation kept me standing. He sighed and stood up. "Don't beg, choir boy. Never beg. It's gross. Let's go see what kind of mess you made." I wanted to shout him down, to tell him he was wrong, but I was too relieved that he agreed to help me. It was difficult to feel anything other than worthless as I followed behind him. --- I folded my arms across my chest. He was clearly being obtuse. "Listen," he said. He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees and steepled his fingers. "This is not something I am ever going to understand. I know people say they hear the elements, but as far as I'm concerned the only voices they are actually hearing are their own." I rolled my eyes. "I have never heard the elements in my life, yet fire and water do as I ask." I slammed my hand down on the page between us. The words "Because you abuse them" formed. He leaned back. "If you truly believe that, why did you ever ask for my help?" I opened my mouth, both in shock and that old habit, a reaction when not having anything to say. I had no answer for him. He sighed. "The voices you heard then were the voices of the world, yes, but they were the magic that lives within it, magic you can know, and understand, and use, magic you can take apart and put back together, magic you can analyze, categorize, and calculate. It was magic speaking to you, not some sort of being with thoughts of its own. It was the world and yourself." I frowned and looked down at the page between us. "If that's true, then no one cut me off from anything, and vengeance is pointless," I made it say. He didn't answer immediately, and I held my silence, staring down at my words. When I looked up at him, he was staring at me, a deep frown etching his arrogant face. "Yes," he said. "But then everything..." He waved at me dismissively, simultaneously cutting me off and sparking anger in me. "You will need time. Do not do anything rash," he ordered, though his tone was more conciliatory than commanding. "I will help you with whatever you need. You will prove me right or prove me wrong before you choose what to do with this knowledge." --- "Stop crying," his father demanded. We were in a cramped white room, me, him, his father. I was having a mental breakdown. I was sure my life was over. They would demand I suffer. If they didn't kill me outright, they would clap me in chains for the rest of my life. "Did you mean to do this?" "N-no! Of course not!" I stammered. "Why would I--" His father crouched down, put his hands on my shoulders, and spoke very slowly. "Take a deep breath, then ask yourself the question again. Did you mean to do this?" I did as he asked, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and thought about the sequence of events that led me to this place. "Yes," I said quietly. The calm that settled in place of his father's hands when he took them from my shoulders was eerie and cold. "Why?" his father asked. "Because I hate him." His father stared me down. "Even now that he is gone forever?" "Yes," I answered clearly. There was silence from everyone in the room. He was quiet, then looked up at his father and said, "Thank you." His father nodded curtly, then opened the door and issued orders to whoever was outside. "There was an unfortunate accident. There was no crime here," his father said in a commanding voice. The door closed, leaving the two of us behind. I fell against the wall and slid to the ground. He put his hands on my shoulders as his father had. "You'll be fine," he said with a smile. "I know, because I always am." My face was still wet with tears when I looked at him, but I smiled back. "You're right," I said. "We'll be fine. Thank you." --- I stared in awe as the city opened up before me. I had never seen anything like it. I could see he was trying not to smile at my reaction. The corner of his mouth twitched in that way it does. "Beautiful," I signed. "All of it is yours," he said. "Liar," I signed back at him, but I knew what he meant. The libraries, the people, the freedom to learn who I was, to decide who I was, and all of it without burning any bridges yet, all of it with the excuse of self-betterment for the cause. Not that anyone would ask. Like him, I did not make friends. But this place, this city that floated above the violence would keep me safe. No, he would keep me safe. If anything went wrong, he would put himself at risk to help me, as he had now several times. I stared up at him. I couldn't help but wonder what he gained, but the first time he agreed to help me, I decided then never to ask him why. Just in case the knowing broke the spell. I learned that knowing could break a lot of spells. He just nodded. "Let's get you moved in, shall we?" I nodded back, then looked at my feet as I followed him.
  5. 1 point
    Qabian stood leaning against the back wall of the embassy with a handful of other hangers-on as the so-called leadership of the Horde discussed their armistice. How he had managed to get there or what right he had to be there, no one seemed to question in the moment. A little peace between the Horde and the Alliance never stopped the Grim. Never stopped him, either, although other things did, now and then. Lor'themar acting as the speaker made Qabian feel vaguely ill. He wondered where Rommath was. The Grand Magister probably knew the whole debacle would provoke physical disgust, especially given what was going on with Dar'khan's little gang of disciples multiplying through Stormwind, and had the good sense to stay home. But peace and co-operation came in waves, ebbed and flowed. The more co-operation between the Horde and the Alliance, the greater the threat on the horizon seemed to be, and Qabian couldn't help notice the sense of foreboding, not just in himself, but in everyone in the room, and outside in the city beyond. Sylvanas' disappearance exacerbated that. Whatever was coming next was going to be bad, and she was either going to be the catalyst or woven inextricably into it, as Garrosh had been before her. The story was getting tired, but the necessity of survival superseded everything else. Qabian stepped quietly outside before the ambassadors finished speaking, once he realized Thrall was going to force a council on them. Seeing how well that had worked out for the Forsaken recently, clearly it needed to be modeled. Kumai waited for him near the gate. "You and I aren't to speak to each other anymore, remember?" Qabian said with a frown as he approached her. Kumai smirked at him. "Haha, very funny," he answered her smirk with a roll of his eyes and a scowl. They had taken on each other's mannerisms and their ability to communicate without saying anything was useful. Kumai reached into a pouch at her side, then tossed a pinch of soft dust in the air, before using her fingers and a shimmer of heat to weave it into a shape: the knives and shadows of the Grim. Behind the floating image, Kumai raised an eyebrow at Qabian. Qabian shook his head. "I don't know. There is always an ebb and flow to such work, and in theory, now is the time to prepare as the horizon promises there will be much to do, but..." He hesitated, looking past Kumai around the rough, omnipresent browns of Durotar stone. "Nazjatar has changed everything irrevocably. For me," he amended. "I may continue my project in Northrend, pretend it can hold my attention indefinitely when there is really no way that it can, but at least it is something to occupy my mind between the everyday struggles while we await that horizon's approach." He turned away from the embassy and the orc he was speaking to. She was one of the few people he could consider a friend without them ever insisting he address them as such, but the urge to pull away from even those few seemed to increase every day. She stepped up behind him and put her hand on his arm. "You have not yet found your Nazjatar. Or you have and you have already moved beyond it," Qabian said quietly. He didn't flinch from her touch, but he spoke to Kumai without looking at her. "I think I may need to find my way on my own." Kumai held her palm out in front of Qabian's chest with the Grim symbol still floating above it. The dust shifted its shape, showing a series of figures, all of them women: a shorter proportioned elf figure with a lot of curves, a tall figure with much longer ears and that characteristic shal'dorei arrogance in her stance, a small raggedy bony figure with knives aggressively stabbing at the air, a few other elves of varying shapes in various stances suggesting violence, then a small copy of herself right down to the little dust figure floating above her copy's hand. Qabian watched the series of images, then sighed. "I know. I am not alone. But I should be." He sidestepped Kumai's incoming punch with a curt laugh. "I know, I know. I know where to find help if I need it, but I don't even know if I want help at this point. We must wait and see. No, I must wait and see. I will grow into my role as a wizard locking himself away in a tower. You must go ahead without me." Kumai nodded. She let her dust lose its magic and gather in her palm, then closed her fist around it. The two Horde mages gave each other simultaneous lazy salutes, as if they'd practiced synchronizing the gesture and the mirrored smirks that followed before they turned away from each other, walking separate ways out into the city.
  6. 1 point
    Many would claim it is not even a house anymore. While technically correct... Who cares? Welcome to The House: Season 3, an Azerothian reality show created by Razz Blastwhistle and seized by Flashlens entertainment, now forfeited into the hands of a new collaborative team. The House is an RP event that will take place entirely in discord whose events will reflect a day by day passage of time. It welcomes both the Horde and the Alliance as contestants or as Audience members. The main focus of the show is to broaden horizons and put characters into a place to interact with others they would not normally be around. More information about the house is available on the Discord channel as well as the channel to apply for a spot on the show! All applications are due by July 16th with Day 1 to begin on July 17th! https://discord.gg/WZkPMb