Mavis Audrapel

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Mavis Audrapel last won the day on January 2 2017

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About Mavis Audrapel

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  • Birthday 06/29/1982

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  1. Mavis looked at the note in his paw, scrawled hastily with a name and location, it had been years since he'd visited the Cathedral or even attended services at all and it felt strange to return. He flagged down an acolyte and nervously questioned him on the wherabouts of Aryanna. Aryanna could be found in one of the many small rooms that filled the Cathedral and housed those that learned or taught within its walls. Her room was rather spartan in its decor. A simple bed, a chest for her clothes, and a desk where she could write. It was at that desk that was was currently seated, a piece of parchment in front of her, on which she drew intricate lines, forming ornate shapes and glyphs on the parchment. She was dressed as simply as her room was decorated. A light linen robe, sandals, and nothing more. Her auburn hair hung down around her face as she worked, masking her as she bent down over the desk focusing intensely on her work. She would probably not react to any knock at the door, though it was partly ajar and would be easy to push open. The worgen was towering, a lean muscular build and wearing simple leathers, he hesitantly knocks on the foor frame, looking smaller emotionally as he begins to question his approach It would take a few knocks before Aryanna would look up from her work. "Yes? Come in." The knob turned and Mavis swallowed as he opened it, looking down at the woman hesitently. "My name is Mavis Audrapel, Katelle said I should speak with you" He sounded unsure, as if he didn't know if he was really supposed to be there The priestess turned, setting her quill down on the desk and smiling up at the worgen. "Yes, she had mentioned something to me. Please, have a seat. I'm sorry I don't have more comforts to offer you, but I'm very rarely back in Stormwind these days." Mavis shook his head. "It's alright, I'm used to roughing it." He looked for a seat that he felt might support his size and settled on the bed, the wood creaking from a weight not meant to support something so large. Aryanna turned her chair so that she could face the worgen. "Katelle gave me a brief idea of what has been going on, but why don't you tell me in your own words?" He hesitated, looking up. "I don't know, I'm tired. I lost my father a month ago, my mother was three years before that. I have a daughter and I don't ..nothing feels normal" She nodded. "Keep going. What's been going on lately that makes everything seem not normal?" "I have...dreams...bad dreams. I don't remember it all, e- do I have to talk about this?" Aryannah nodded, giving him a sad sort of smile. "Unfortunately. It's necessary for me to get a handle on what sort of help you require. And discussing what's happening to you or what's causing it--and confronting it--can be a big first step in making it go away." He growled unconsciously, a reaction to his own frustrations. "That's it. I. Don't. Know. I just have trouble....coping. Someone set off fireworks a week ago, just playing around I guess and I just...It was like I was living my nightmares, but awake. The mage said I didn't even look like I knew where I was. But, It's like I'm looking at the world as a stage play, one of those punch and judy shows and I'm watching in the back." Aryanna frowned. "I see. Well, has something happened to you in the past that may be triggering these events? Something particularly traumatic?" "I'm a worgen" he sighed "Nothing more than the usual. I mean, I joined the front lines after I left the guard, but that's just the usual day to day. You learn to cope with the chaos or you just suck it up and walk it off" She chuckled softly. "I can see that you're a worgen. I assume, though, that if this were nothing more than trauma concerning your curse, you would have no need to come speak to me. But you mentioned the guard. How have you been finding ways to cope with the chaos out on the front lines against the Legion?" He shook his head. "I never dealt with the legion. I was discharged before than, after the assault on Grommashar.” She blinked. "After the Siege? How long have you been having these issues, then?" He shrugged. "It didn't start until recently, trying to get back into society. After I got back from Draenor I just sort of...went into Darkshire and stayed there..." "I stayed there for a long time, a year maybe" She nodded. "So you were sequestered away from others after you returned from combat duty?" He looked down. "...voluntarily" "And why did you feel the need to sequester yourself?" "That day I walked home. I didn't run, didn't take a horse...I couldn't. When I saw my daughter outside playing, my dad watching from the door...I don't know, they looked so happy. I didn't want to ruin that. If I came home I would have just upset everyone's lives again. So I dropped everything, buried my armor and went into the woods." "You would have upset them? Why?" "Because they were happy. I wasn't, I wasn't even human" "Were you infected with the worgen curse after you were deployed?" He shook his head. "Before. Right before the Cataclysm." "So why would you not being human have alarmed them?" "Because I couldn't shift back." She raised an eyebrow. "You can't?" He shook his head. "Not since Draenor." "Any idea why?" He shook his head "I see. I'm not familiar enough with the worgen curse to speculate as to why, but perhaps there's something more there we need to explore. But you said you weren't happy either. What was wrong when you returned through the Portal?" "What was wrong?" "Why were you not happy? You said it felt wrong, so why?" Mavis growled "I don't know, it just...it just felt like nothing" He sighed. "I'm sorry, do we have to keep talking about this? can we take a break?" She nodded. "We can take a bit of a break if you need." "I...should get home." He stood up "I want you to come see me again soon." "..okay" "Shall we say in a couple days?" "..sure" He moved slowly to the door and gave one last passing glance to the woman "May the Light bring you serenity, Mr. Mavis. We'll speak again soon."
  2. Mavis first came back into awareness by shaking, though it was a full minute before he felt himself able to stir and focus on the still blurred image of his daughter Emily. He didn’t know how long she’d been shaking him but the light at least informed him it was midday and Emily was angry. “Sorry kid, I guess I overslept.” The five year old was still in pout mode, crossing her arms to express dissatisfaction. “Grandpa says it’s lazy to sleep in!” Mavis clutched his head in an attempt to suppress the sharp pounding pain in his skull, he glanced over to his mother’s hope chest, the only piece of furniture inside the tent, he’d forgotten to close it last night, it was probably luck that nothing was missing. “Emily why don’t you go see if there’s any soup? Then we can get going.” The child stomped her foot, still clearly angry, but hunger was an excellent motivator and she ran out of the tent to obey her father, Mavis kept an eye on her, making sure he could still see Emily as he attempted to recover from last night, he was lucky she hadn’t noticed. Forcing himself up he stepped over to the hope chest and examined the contents, taking note of the several empty vials that had been haphazardly stuck back into their case and hung his head as he tried to decide how he should be about his failure. Mavis set the empty vials right and shut the case, burying it down in the bottom underneath some old clothing and papers where it wasn’t likely to be found, reflecting back he had picked the worst night for this and he couldn’t even put off his meeting with Katelle if he wanted a re-stock. His head hurt, it was a logical side effect from last night but it made the pain no less worse. If he could have stayed in sleeping he would have, but missing an appointment would have just created more problems and so Mavis found himself in Stormwind again, standing outside of Katelle's shop and giving the usual three knocks. A slight "oof" can be heard, followed by footsteps dropping heavily onto the wooden floor from inside. A moment later, Katelle cracks the door open; she smiles when she sees Mavis, pulling the door open to admit the man to her office. "Good afternoon, Mr. Audrapel," she offers by way of greeting. "I'm glad to see you today. Can I get you something to drink?" "Water plaes." He looked around and then checked to see if Katelle was out of breath as he moved into the office. "Were you in a hurry?" She nods, shutting the door behind him. She doesn't seem out of breath at all, but the cabinets in the top part of the hutch she serves drinks from are both open. She reaches up on tip-toe to shut them before grabbing the water carafe and pouring two glasses (one of which is sized for Mavis). "Not in a hurry, no; just trying to reach the back of the cabinet. I'm not exactly blessed with great height," she says with a small laugh, murmuring for him to have a seat as she turns and offers him the water. "It took a bit of climbing, but I managed it." Mavis muttered a yes, staring at his drink as he tried to focus, intent on holding it together at least for this meeting. "We had a check up this week" "We did, yes." She studies him as she takes her own seat, the usual one during these meetings. "How are you feeling?" He muttered. "I'm not having the nightmares...but the dreams....they're weird. " He took a sip from his water, his nose wrinkling at the taste before forcing the rest down. "They should be nightmares but I don't feel how I should" Katelle raises an eyebrow at his expression, but doesn't immediately comment. "That's unsurprising, given how the potion works. Sometimes our minds just don't know how to react when they are barred from doing so as they normally would." She cocks her head to the side. "How are you feeling physically?" "...what do you mean? I wake up okay" "Are you experiencing any headaches? Stomach upset? Sensitivities to stimuli? Strange sensations in your chest--specifically lungs or heart?" "Uh. A little, it's not so bad. Just my stomach." He didn't want to mention the lighting, or that he was having trouble focusing. He didn't know how long Emily had been screaming at him but at least she only seemed to think he had overslept. He should have made sure she wasn't around. "It takes time to settle....do I need to eat before?" The rogue frowns; he'd asked this last time, and had seemed to understand her response. "Yes," she says slowly. "You should; that's the easiset way to prevent most stomach upsets caused by the ingredients." She cocks her head to the side, watching him carefully. "Of the doses you've taken so far, have you taken them as I instructed?" He stared at her, hopefully not lazily as he searched for an answer. "Not...always. I had to meet someone in Dalaran and...there was an issue with fireworks. The bodyguard said I had a panic attack and...I took a dose to finish up the meeting." He'd also taken several other doses later that night, but he was hoping to avoid that discussion Katelle is quiet for a moment as she tries to figure out if Mavis's pauses are a result of his hesitancy, or some sluggishness of the brain. "And when the evening came around, did you take a single dose as prescribed?" He hesitated before answering, He wasn't used to lieing, it wasn't normally in his nature, plus he was bad at it. Still, most people seemed to have trouble discerning intent from worgen faciel expressions and he wasn't about to come clean. "Yes. I had a mistake with the extra dose though....they were broken when I tried to put the empty ones away" Katelle frowns. "Mavis," she murmurs. "Those vials were enchanted to be indestructible." The worgen tensed, he'd forgotten about that, he scrambled to remedy his response. "We're camped near cliffs, I just assumed they were broken" "They were lost in the rocks" The next question is asked calmly, without judgment. "Are you lying to me?" He stared at her, the wheels in his head turning with possible responses from honesty to a bigger lie...he stuck with the basics. "I'm not a very good liar. Do you think I would do something I'm bad at?"" She smiles gently, blue eyes sad. "I think you would lie, or at least omit pertinent facts, if you were desperate to avoid discussing the truth." He'd done similar things in their prior discussions; evasiveness clearly came easy to him, if nothing else. "I...don't know what you're talking about" "Mavis," she repeats. Her tone is still gentle, but there is an undercurrent of steel to her voice--the kind of steel inherent in someone who is used to getting accurate answers to their questions. "I do not take kindly to being lied to. What happened to the other doses?" He avoided looking at Katelle, instead facing the door as he was suddenly filled with the desire to make his exit, the steel in her voice tugged at his memories of his mother and the same tone when her children had tried something they weren't supposed to. His voice came muffled, hesitant and small for his size, suddenly caught in the reality of his lie. "I used them" Even when he looks away, Katelle's gaze stays firmly pinned on the worgen next to her. "How many of them, and when?" Despite all, her voice is still soft. "All of them...Last night" Katelle's gaze turns sad. "Were you trying to get past the dreams, into a dreamless sleep? Or were you trying to kill yourself?" She doesn't falter on the last two words like many others might. "I don't know." Despite the sluggishness he squirmed uneasily under the questioning. "Both?" He didn't seem to know himself, struggling with the answer "I just wanted to stop thinking about it anymore." She nods as if having expected this answer; perhaps she expected any answer he would have given her. "I know you're probably going to balk at this," she says slowly, "but I want you to talk to my sister. She's a priestess at the Cathedral, but has seen her fair share of...things she thinks she should just swallow and get over." She uses as close to Mavis's own wording as she can recall. "I think you two have a lot in common, and I think she might be able to help you better than potions alone can. And I can promise you that she will not judge or break your privacy." Mavis bowed his head, lowering his muzzle into his paws as he covered his face, the wolf didn't create tears but the side effects of the overdose had created such apathy he didn't think he could if he had the ability. "I'm not getting anymore prescriptions am I?" "Not right now," she murmurs gently. "I want to trust that you won't do this again, Mavis, but I understand desperation...and I know that it drives us to do things we might not otherwise do. I want to see you heal, not hear of your grieving daughter." He shuddered at that, strangely he hadn't even considered Emily. In a second realization he understood that without the doses the night terrors were likely to return. "If I see your sister, will you help me again?" "If she thinks its safe to, yes." She frowns, cocking her head to the side. "I might be able to give you something for generalized anxiety to take the edge off, but it would just be that: the edge. I can't in good conscience give you something stronger for the time being." The Worgen nodded slowly. "I understand... Kate nods, setting her untouched water glass aside and rising. She pads over to the same cabinet drawer that she retrieved the previous potions from the week before. She kneels before it, placing a hand on wood. After a moment of intense concentration, the drawer glows gently; when the glow fades, she opens the drawer and retrieves another small case. "As needed," she states simply, rising from the floor with a soft exhalation. "They shouldn't have many side effects, and there aren't enough here to harm you much if you take all of them, even with alcohol and on an empty stomach. That's why they only take the edge off. The vials are the same type as before--indestructible, tamper proof, et cetera." She offers him the case; inside are many vials of a pastel-green liquid. He takes the case, staring at it, still looking considerably smaller than any worgen should. "What if I have another episode?" He remembered what he saw in the dalaran sewers. "They'll help with that, too," she says softly. "I know it can be hard to avoid things that set it off...something very similar to this helped me for a long time. It might not soothe the acute panic all the way, but it should still help gentle it some." He nodded, taking a deep breath. "Okay" Kate watches the man for another moment before resuming her seat. She shifts to face him fully, gaze still gentle. "My sister's name is Aryanna Anahi. I'm going to let her know that you'll be coming to see her in the near future. I'm also going to inform her of what we've discussed in our meetings, so that she has an idea of how to immediately proceed. As I said, she won't judge you or break your confidence." "i understand" his response was near a whisper "Hey." She cranes her neck to get a better look at him, trying to get into his line of sight. "We're going to try our best to make sure you come out of this okay, alright? All of us, you included." He nodedded, turning his head to look at Katelle, he looked weak, guilty, even ashamed as he forced himself to his feet. "I need to get to work." "I understand," she says, standing with him. "When you're done, go back to Emily. Spend some time with her, tell her you love her. Children need that, and sometimes we don't say it as often as we should." He nodded, head bowed as he slipped out of the office. Katelle watches the Worgen go until she loses sight of him on the streets of Stormwind.
  3. 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. “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.
  4. 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. 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. 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.” 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.
  5. Mavis stared into the case of individual blue vials, counting out thirteen doses. If everything worked as well as the last dose that meant that he was guaranteed at least two weeks of restful sleep but he’d need to ask Katelle it he wanted more. It was hard to complain about anything that wasn’t the night terrors he had grown accustomed to but his drugged dreams while not horrific, had been strange and uncomfortable. He didn’t feel any better, he just felt functional. Maybe this was the new normal he thought, I’ll need these medications to function. When he had joined the front his father had been upset, he hadn’t tried to talk him out of it but instead had made it clear to Mavis that he had prepared himself to lose another son. Until now he had thought it was a knee jerk reaction after his brother’s death, he hadn’t thought there were other ways to be lost, not until he started to sympathize with old drunk Farrell and realized that he understood why he drank. He looked over to Emily and reminded himself why he was accepting this help before forcing down the vial of blue liquid before laying down to sleep. Emily liked to curl up near his chest, snuggling into his fur on restful nights when the dreams were mild so he always made sure to create room and lay around her if she bedded down first. His daughter’s hair was a tangled mess that at this point would need a good pair of scissors and a decent stylist. He’d need to bring her to Dalaran for that. The Stormwind prison had been one of the few buildings that hadn’t been completely razed after the first war and many of the old cells constructed centuries ago still remained. The cells were meant to house multiple felons, usually up to five in the most economical way possible. The design was not necessarily flawed unless someone made a mistake and didn’t separate someone that was violently dangerous. The familiar scene played out in a crawling pace of every second, a prisoner floated suspended in air as crimson ribbons of blood flowed from his torso, Officer Graham torn to pieces, the remaining two cellmates either cowering in a corner or dead where they lay, their faces frozen in a silent scream as a twisted beast of man and wolf tore apart the guard before it. He felt the weight of his armor as he held his sword at guard, only realizing his ability to move as the beast broke from the pattern of his memories, turned its head and looked at him. “You haven’t dreamed of this in years.” The awareness surprised him and for a moment Mavis considered whether he should lower his sword or hold firm. The worgen snorted, rendering silent judgement. “Well if you’re awake is it alright if I let this go?” When Mavis offered no response the beast merely shrugged and removed his hands from the corpse, both sections of Officer Hutchins as the worgen approached. “I think you should take that pharmacist’s advice, it’s not healthy to keep avoiding this problem.” Mavis lowered his sword, no longer seeing the point, dimly he knew he was dreaming but everything was of such perfect clarity that he questioned his own reality. “No, I’m not really.” “What?” the answer took him by surprise. “That’s what you’re asking right? This is just another dream, actually…I think I died. In exactly thirty seconds five more guards will rush into this cell and I’ll be killed, you’ll be almost killed and that whimpering mess in the corner with the scratch will be dead with everyone else. It’s actually surprising that you don’t dream of this more often, it’s the exact moment where things went wrong, the precise second where your life took that turn and you became defined by a curse.” “The curse doesn’t define me.” “It does make a convenient excuse. I could tell you how many humans you ate if you’re still curious, or are we still pretending you didn’t do that?” “Who are you?” a part of him already suspected the answer. The worgen tilted his head. “In this dream I’m supposed to be the man who cursed you.” The terrified Gilnean stood before him, replacing what mavis had sworn had been the worgen the man had become. “I wonder how much screaming I did between when they locked me up and I started to change.” “You’re all in my head.” “I am your head; direct thought, no emotion, no barriers…we don’t get to talk much, but medications have side effects and you’re seeing your dreams with more clarity than what’s normal. I could go into more detail but you won’t remember. It doesn’t seem fair though, you have the option to forget things whereas I have to be the one to remember” The Gilnean outstretched his arms and gave the body a full examination. “I think I’ll keep this, is that okay with you?” The question took him by surprise. “sure…go ahead.” “great.” Arms still outstretched, he began to back away again as auburn fur populated his body and the worgen took its position behind the suspended halves of the guardsman. He hesitated. “Oh, you probably won’t listen, but I wanted to ask you not to” “Not to what?” “It’s just…not a good idea.” The worgen took hold of the guard again as the memory played itself out the usual way in a detached replay of events as the beast tore through his arm and hurled him at the wall before tearing open his insides and swallowing a chunk of flesh before its own blood was spilled by the edge of a sword.
  6. “It sounds like your nightmares stem from war.” Mavis let the Archdruid’s words play over in his head as the statue of Antonidas hovered above, the shadow changing shape as it rotated steadily. The park was a sanctuary from the crowds and bustle of Dalaran, allowing the worgen to decompress as he tried to gather his courage. Calavian’s interest in his nightmares had been solely on his daughter’s wishes, she had thought she had been helping and out of respect to the child the druid had sought to render what aid he could. For reasons he couldn’t explain Calavian’s admission that he couldn’t help with the problem had been relief but it still remained that his night terrors were disturbing the child and for that he needed to suppress them. Mavis ran his mind over the drugs he’d become familiar with during his guard duties but most of what he could remember about them were their side effects or if they made the user aggressive, nothing that was discretely manageable in sane doses. Katelle had been one of the first medical practitioners he had found in the Stormwind directory that Mavis hadn’t been force been called to investigate when he was still a guard and looked like she knew what she was doing. He was surprised to know that the woman already had two children and was expecting a third, putting him more at ease in terms of prescribing sedatives that would not be at risk of killing him Katelle’s concerns about prescribing the medication were heavily focused on abuse and though Mavis had insisted it was not going to be a concern she had wanted to consult with a medic for proper dosage, until then Mavis had busied himself with whatever he could to avoid sleep. As he sought out tasks to stay awake Mavis discovered there was no shortage of finding things to do around the Caravan, Tuuroto’s interpretation of repairs seemed to primarily involve a lot of sap, rope and optimism that everything would hold together and didn’t bother with anything else unless it had inevitably broken worse and it was beyond the usual stop gap measures. He had tried to explain the need to fix things before they were broken to the Draenei but was ultimately met with hand waving and more blind optimism until he gave up and just continued to handle it on his own. After following up with the maintenance he moved onto other errands, primarily making repairs to Margoz’s estate and following up with temporarily lodgings that would comfortably house two people during planting and harvest. He staggered, feeling a wave of exhaustion as he tried to hammer the next few boards into place. He couldn’t remember how long he’d been away at this point, was it three or two? Did it really matter? He’d at least lost track of why he was even bothering to keep himself awake. Emily. That’s right he didn’t want Emily to worry…but Emily wasn’t here today. He’d left her with Margoz while he was doing repairs…or Calavian or… The worgen lowered his head as he realized just how much the lack of sleep was starting to affect him and Emily wasn’t even there. Finally giving in he ducked into the stables and located a few seed sacks that would make a decent bed before succumbing to sleep. The dreams didn’t come immediately as he was welcomed into sweet oblivion but eventually they coalesced into the familiar farmhouse on the hill mixed with the sweet smells of baking bread that invited him home. His father’s failing health had prevented him from being able to make even basic repairs on the home but it seemed that he had finally managed to get the steps repaired and even done some weeding in the front of the house, making room for his mother’s beloved lavender blossoms that bloomed in the height of spring. Passing through the door Mavis moved to the side to avoid a collision as his daughter sped past him while the smells of baking become increasingly stronger. “Mom?” His mother poked her head out of the kitchen and smiled. “Welcome home Mavis, we’re just about to eat.” There was a relief as he felt the pleasant comfort of home and made his way to the table. “Is dad in the field?” When she didn’t answer he moved ahead toward the back door to check, looking out the back as he tried to catch sight of his father. The field looked different than he remembered, the air thick with the smoke of gunpowder and fire as rolling tanks cut a path of destruction through the siege. It took him a moment to realize he was shaking as he backed away and shut the door. “Mom?” “What’s wrong dear?” Her head slid down from her shoulders as she spoke bounding twice before it rolled at his feet, the soft serene smile looking up from a cold steel helmet as the canons burst around him. He put his hands to his ears as he tried to shut it out while his arms grew thick with dark black fur. He screamed as the fire burned around him and chunks of meat exploded in every direction, brought on by a burst of light. He tried to shut his eyes but the transformation forced them open again, bringing an added clarity to the chunks of meat that he didn’t want or ask for. His eyes fell on the hope chest with horror as the chunks of meat took shape into the image of a small dark haired child. Mavis screamed, only aware that he was awake again when he realized that he wasn’t burning with the fire. His fur felt wet and covered in sweat, brought on by the panic of the dream. She took several deep breaths, waiting for the shaking to subside before standing up and getting back to work.
  7. 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. 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 "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.
  8. ((updated info, filled in information regarding five year gap))
  9. It occurred to Mavis that he’d never actually been to a burial before, his brother’s body had been incinerated in Northrend and because he had left Lakeshire so soon after the Iron Horde’s massacre he had missed the services for his mother as well, leaving him with a child’s fantasy of funerals that consisted of dreary colors and bad weather. He felt cheated that even the weather was refusing to cooperate with this image with the mix of everyone’s best clothes making his father’s funeral look more like a fall festival than a morning service. Unable to focus on the casual appearance of the funeral Mavis lowered his head to the grave, it was amazing how small the cemetery was despite how much hardship Lakeshire had seen over thirty years . They were just markers He realized, the real cemetery was Redridge itself with mass graves dug into the hills and sometimes only marked by a few stones. The forsaken would salivate over Redridge. A shoveling of dirt rained down on the casket and brought Mavis out of his thoughts, he took the shovel when it was offered and lifted his own share of earth into the grave, the finality of the ritual threatening to overwhelm him. When he had finished he felt his sister place a re-assuring hand on his shoulder and felt some comfort that she was still there. “He was happy you came home, you know that.” A growl escaped unbidden from his throat, voicing his discomfort as he went through the motions. “I’m sorry for not coming sooner.” “I think dad understood Mavis. Where’s Emily?” “At home.” A look of surprise crossed his sister’s face that Mavis thought was unusual. “Oh Mavis, you didn’t leave her alone did you?” “She didn’t want to come Susan, I wasn’t going to make her.” “You can’t just leave a five year old home by themselves, It’s not safe.” “and you know dad’s health never left her unsupervised at all.” He realized only after that he had been baring his teeth but instead of the fear his sister instead looked hurt. “I’m sorry.” He slipped awa, heading back in the direction of the house. He waited until he was clear from sight before dropping into a run, coming fully around the back of the farm and letting the wolf run, it would have been better had he the chance to hunt but he didn’t want to leave Emily alone any longer than he needed. He found his daughter sleeping in his father’s old room, face-planted and hugging the pillows in a vaguely human shape that was probably meant to resemble Lucas, he let her be and instead moved to the kitchen to get dinner started. He hadn’t stopped to think much on how his father’s death was affecting Emily, he’d been there when Mavis had not and as such had likely been the closest thing to a father figure she’d recognized and now he was all that was left. Emily woke up just as Mavis was plating dinner and as a result was assaulted with the familiar smell of baked yams. The child first looked at her father with some level of confusion but didn’t question it otherwise, dessert for dinner seemed fine for her. Mavis watched her eat before settling down in the chair opposite and lowering his head so it was eye level to hers. “I was thinking that you might want to come with me.” Emily paused from eating the sweet potato and stared at Mavis, confused for a moment by his suggestion then she looked worried. “You’re going away? Like grandpa?” “No.” He shook his head. “Not like grandpa. My job makes me go to a lot of different places so I can’t always be here but you can come with me if you want?” The girl looked at Mavis skeptically as she mulled over his response, taking it apart and processing it as best she could. “Can I bring my toys?” “We’ll get a backpack so you can fit as much as you can carry.” Susan wasn’t happy, though it wasn’t as if Mavis had expected her to be even if a part of him had hoped for her to be more supportive of his decision. It still surprised him to see his little sister as a mother, much less someone who was so much more grounded than she had been in her youth. “I don’t understand why you have a problem with this Susan, Isn’t this what you and dad wanted? I’m tryint to be a parent.” “Mavis, she needs stability, not to be uprooted every week or month or however often that caravan moves around.” It was the same complaint he’d gotten from Solomon. “I wouldn’t call two months of missed payments away from losing the house a stable environment either Susan. She just lost dad, do you really want to see her watch the house being auctioned away?” “It’s not safe.” He forced down a growl. “And what place is Susan? The world isn’t short of hope chests and caves to hide in when trouble comes.” Susan looked taken aback as he referenced the devastation that cost their mother, he knew his dig on the attack hurt her, he didn’t care. “At least this way I can protect her.” Susan let go a long drawn out breath. “I just don’t think you’re in the best shape to make these decisions Mavis and no I don’t agree with it but I’m also not going to let you burn your bridges. Anytime you decide to come home you have a place with us, no questions asked.” “I’ll keep it in mind.” He stood there in silence with his sister, trying to think of something else to say that maybe meant something or improved his defense but in the end nothing came to mind and he was left mumbling a goodbye. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LoIvXMs3aM
  10. “You haven’t been sleeping well.” Mavis looked at his father as he folded over the covers of the bed, it was impossible to make everything look right, the wrinkles always showed up in the wrong places and he ended up having to do it over just so the covers would lay even. He couldn’t remember why his dad had just been standing there, reasoning that he was probably just there in case he needed a hand. “I can’t get this right, it just needs to look like mom’s then I’m done.” “Okay.” The casual way Lucas accepted his reasoning seemed out of place, but he had been sick, maybe it just didn’t matter anymore. “Do you want a glass of water?” Mavis stopped turning over the sheets and took the cup that was offered to him, forgetting the bed for a moment to sit down. “You know mom would have never allowed food in the bedroom.” “Why wouldn’t she do that?” That was an odd question, he was about to respond when the banging outside started to grow too loud to ignore. “You should get that.” It felt strange to awaken to something that felt less real than the dream itself, groaning Mavis rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up, pushing the door open and ducking out into the hall. Emily had gotten upset when he had first tried to put away her fortress of blocks and stones but she didn’t seem to have any trouble making the mess herself, Hearth and Kitchen had turned into a disaster zone of thrown blocks and river rocks, each making a pounding sound as they hit their mark on the floor and walls. Mavis looked with some concern at the scuffed and dented wood before shuffling his concerns aside as an errant rock found its way through the window. “You need to stop.” His daughter stopped midway through another wind up, though by the look on her face he suspected that this was more due to having a new target rather than any kind of respect. “I don’t need to.” “I…I just said you did.” He already knew in terms of negotiation his hesitation had been a serious error, what made it worse was Emily seemed to know that, her expression turning sour as she started back up again, this time throwing the stones harder out of spite. “Stop” “No.” Mavis flexed his claws, trying to contain the beast despite the growing frustration he felt as a low growl escape into his speech. “Emily.” Another loud thump as a stone nearly missed hitting the window again, the child now in open rebellion as she resorted to ignoring her father. “Stop it Emily.” “You can’t make me!” “I mean it.” The beast twitched, pulling on his fraying nerves as he stood there, trying to count to ten as Emily committed herself to throwing every single stone and block. If she had responded back maybe he could have tamed the wolf down, but the snarl had already been climbing its way up his vocal chords, turning his outburst more into a bestial roar than a command. “Emilia Margaret Audrapel…go to your room!” The stone dropped dead from his daughter’s hands as the look of angry defiance turned to abject terror. Dimly he realized that he was bearing his teeth which in combination with his puffed fur, made him seem larger and far more intimidating than he had meant to be. He could see Emily’s eyes welling up with tears and even as he felt an overwhelming guilt at losing his temper he felt even worse knowing he had won. Mavis did his best to force the beast back down, his voice still exhibiting a growl as he tried to diffuse the situation. “Go to your room.” Though the request was more muted then before, his daughter ran at full sprint to her room, heavily motivated by fear as she escaped what was now viewed as her sanctuary and slammed the door. Great job Mavis. The one good thing to come of the last few days was the overabundance of food delivered by friends and neighbors, it was a tradition that Mavis had never fully appreciated until he realized how much effort it took to complete the most basic tasks while the mind wasn’t operating at full strength. This made the following visit from the Magistrate exceedingly difficult. The lack of sleep caught up to him in waves, dragging Mavis down in occasional fits of drowsiness as he tried to listen to Solomon explain the details of his father’s debts. “What about the pension. There should be money in that.” Solomon shrugged his shoulders. “As you know your Father volunteered during the second war, there was no pension.” He growled. “I know about that, I’m talking about mine. I had paperwork to send it all home.” “It was suspended after you vanished, unable to verify or some bureaucratic nonsense. I’m sorry son but there’s nothing except the debt right now.” “And the farm?” Mavis asked, causing Solomon to lower his head apologetically. “At this point your option is to either sell it now and try to make some profit back or let them take it.” Neither were very good option and despite what solution Mavis chose to resolve the debt he knew that the blame would fall the same way. “I can’t ask Susan to crowd us in, that’s too many bodies for anything long term.” “Just keep in mind your sister isn’t your only option. “ Mavis mumbled. “could try to make it in the city or the frontier. I know, I’ve thought about it.” “Maybe. Look, you might not have a problem toughing it out yourself but Emily is different, you know that. I did discuss with your father before about me and the missus taking Emily in. We have the room, we’ll ensure she’s well provided for and you won’t have to worry about how to take care of her.” It was the wording that bothered him, he knew that the Magistrate meant well but it all just felt like a backhanded generosity, that somehow he was unfit or was going to take his child away. He managed to suppress a snarl, avoiding eye contact with Solomon as he forced his words out. “I think it’s time for you to leave.” “I think you should at least consider it Mavis.” The snarl was more pronounced, placing verbal emphasis that the Magistrate had overstayed his welcome. “We’re done talking Solomon. Go.” The Magistrate directed one last look of concern toward Mavis but he knew well enough when it was a good time to step back. “Your sister scheduled the funeral for tomorrow morning.” Once Solomon was gone Mavis leaned back and closed his eyes, trying to get in a few brief seconds of rest before resigning himself to confronting the mammoth In the room, or in this case the five year old child in the room. Mavis couldn’t help but be impressed by the resourcefulness of his daughter, not only had she concealed herself inside her room for the last day but she had managed to leave it with such stealth that the usual tactic of guarding the food left outside her door failed to meet with any success. He grudgingly conceded that part of her victory might have had something to do with his own lack of sleep and exhaustion but he was also willing to ignore any logic that disproved she had a knack. Since bribery and patience had failed though Mavis forced himself to resort to being more direct and knocked on the door with an accompaniment of his own apologetic pleas. “Emily?” When he didn’t get an answer he resorted to violating the code of bedrooms and forced the door open himself, the door had a little less give than he expected and when he looked down he realized that Emily had dragged whatever she could move over to block the door before climbing her way out the window. There was a strange sense of pride for the resourcefulness of his child before reality sunk in that she had run off and he no longer knew where she was. Adrenaline kicking in Mavis felt some relief that while she had figured out how to sneak off she hadn’t figured out how to hide her scent, providing an easy trail to follow. He found her near to the lake curled against an old tree and felt an overwhelming sense of relief, not realizing until then how much he had been worried about finding her. In his mind he ran over a dozen opening lines ranging from anger to sympathy and everything in between until she turned around and he was stricken with a sudden case of temporary amnesia. The look on her face was one of pure guilt, a gaze that suggested she knew she had done wrong and feared retribution. Left abandoned by his list of openings Mavis opted for the first non-threatening response that entered his mind. “Why did you run away?” “I don’t know.” He didn’t know what he had expected in terms of a conversation but he reasoned that at least it was something, he sat down in the grass next to her and prepared himself for an endless line of questioning that was likely to go nowhere. “Are you still upset with me?” “I dunno.” “Did you hear me and Sully talking?” “I dunno.” He swallowed. “Do you want to live with Uncle Sully?” This time he was rewarded with a wordless shrug accompanied by quavering. “Do you want to live with Aunt Susan?” No response, instead she appeared to close herself off further. “It’s okay to be scared.” Immediately Emily turned over to the side and instantly cocooned, bringing her knees up to her chest and hugging herself as she buried her head in the grass, watching this Mavis realized he was swiftly losing ground on his twenty question engagement with a five year old. “Don’t you want to talk to me?” “No.” “Why don’t you want to talk to me?” “You’re a liar.” Mavis sighed, taking a breath in as he tried to craft his next response. “Is it because of grandpa?” Despite the cocoon he could still see the vigorous nod of the head. “You said Grandpa wasn’t gonna die. You said he wasn’t gonna die for a long time.” “And that’s not what happened was it?” The muffled voice came barely audible from the cocoon. “It wasn’t a long time and you lied and they’re going to put grandpa away in the ground.” She wasn’t wrong. “I’m sorry. I was scared.” The cocoon unfurled as an emboldened Emily stared straight at her father. “You lied.” “I know.” “You’re not supposed to lie.” Mavis lowered his head as he tried to look for a way to repair the damage. “If I promise not to lie to you again can we start over?” The child looked at Mavis, studying his face as she tried to judge his sincerity. “Not ever?” “Never.” Emily pouted a little her lower lip jutting forward as she mulled over the deal. “I don’t want to live with Auntie Susan.” “Okay.” She paused then after several more seconds spoke again. “I don’t want to live with Sully either.” “You don’t have to.” She looked at Mavis, her eyes welling up with tears. “I want to live with grandpa.” Mavis extended his arm slowly, wrapping a comforting paw around Emily, ready to withdraw his support at the moment she began to protest. “I want to live with grandpa too.” She sniffed, turning her face into his fur. “I don’t wanna go to the funeral.” “It’s okay not to go if you don’t want to.” “That’s not what everyone else says.” “You let me worry about everyone else.” Emily nodded slowly, head still buried into his arm as the tears started to soak his fur.
  11. Any improvement with Lucas’ condition had quickly begun to deteriorate after returning home, causing a reversal of roles where Mavis found himself becoming caretaker to his mostly bedridden father. Despite her grandfather’s failing health, Emily didn’t show the kind of anxiety that she’d had during the incident with trying to clean up her toys. Mavis suspected Emily’s change in mood had something to do with their talk and while he felt guilty for telling her what would likely turn out to be a lie, he didn’t regret it. The lie was justified he reasoned, they both needed one less thing to worry about. He ducked his head as he moved through the door, shifting to the side in a reactionary move as Emily ran past his legs followed by two other children. He had to give Felonius credit, the poison master had successfully negotiated to have most of the town turn up to help harvest dad’s yield and the activity had swiftly become an event. Part of the eagerness he suspected had a lot to do with the close relationship Solomon and his father had as well as his father’s own standing in the community. Lucas would have been too stubborn to ask for help on his own but that didn’t mean Lakeshire ignored him when he needed it. Upon hearing the turn on Lucas’ health Solomon had come by with the crew to check in. After coordinating the logistics and checking in on his friend the Magistrate settled himself in one if the chairs near the hearth, occassionally glancing outside to check on the progress. “I’m actually a little impressed. When I put out the offer I didn’t expect much of a crowd to turn up.” Mavis shrugged his shoulders, searching the kitchen until he found the stash of Redridge Whiskey. “Dad’s always been pretty likeable, most of the town probably jumped when they heard it was for him.” Solomon held his cup out as Mavis poured the whiskey. “Well some of these folks are out here for you too.” Mavis winced at the comment, he had tried his best to stay inside while everyone else was in the field, he liked to tell himself that he was uncomfortable with his appearance to people he’d known for years, in reality he just felt uncomfortable among crowds and wasn’t looking to antagonize his nerves. Solomon seemed to at least realize Mavis’ discomfort and had worked as an in between for him, the volunteers and his sister, who didn’t actually seem to understand it at all despite her best intentions. “No one thinks of you differently Mavis.” Only their first reactions said otherwise. “You know that’s not true.” “Well not for everyone, but most folks in this town aren’t going to bust you for being a little hairier than most. We all remember you standing with us against the Iron Horde, people don’t forget that. Mavis shut his eyes, forcing the memory down again. Realizing he had stirred up the bad with the good Solomon appeared apologetic. “Sorry. You know your mother loved you.” A small growl escaped his throat in an unconscious reaction of his own discomfort. “Let’s just not talk about this okay?” Solomon backed down, realizing he had crossed a line somewhere. “That’s fair.” Mavis whipped his head around to the other end of the house, both men alerted by screaming. As both men moved towards the source Mavis silently cursed, forced to angle his body and duck his head through the narrow space that was ill suited to his form. By virtue of maneuverability Solomon reached Emily first, pulling her off the other child while the third stood a few feet apart in stunned silence. With Solomon still having a good grip on his daughter Mavis bent down to see to the screaming child’s bloody nose. “Mommmyy!” The panicked boy moved back from the encroaching paw and clutched his nose, scrambling for the door with the other a step behind. Mavis moved his paw to his face, pulling it down from forehead to muzzle. “That’s going to be fun to deal with.” Solomon looked equally grim, he released his grip on Emily and stood up, resigning himself to damage control. “I’ll see if I can talk to Shawn and smooth things over.” Mavis mumbled a thank you to Solomon and looked down at Emily and note she had defaulted to a guilty pout. “Did you hit your friend?” “He’s not my friend!” “Okay.” He crouched down so he was at her level, reducing the awkwardness of their size difference. “Why did you hit the Ashlock boy? “ “I don’t wanna live in a kennel!” She turned around and flopped on the bed, sinking her face so far into the covers Mavis was worried for a moment she might suffocate herself. Mavis hesitated for a moment, going back and forth between his options and half tempted to make an effort to comfort the child. He had gotten two steps closer before backing off and heading in the other direction, reasoning that the last thing Emily needed was reassurance from the same person who was probably just making her life more difficult. He continued his escape from his daughter and slipped into the safety of his father’s room. On most days his father liked to keep the window open, reasoning that despite the chill the fresh air did him far better good than any of the treatments to his illness thus far, today the windows were shuttered though to give Lucas privacy and prevent anyone from seeing how bad off the old farmer really was. Lucas had withered dramatically in the last several days and looked paper thin, a condition brought on by the excessive vomiting and diarrhea that had become side effects of his newest treatment, according to the doctor the medication was meant to make him sicker before making him better but Mavis had his doubts, he’d never seen anyone improve by getting worse. His father had been in between another fit of coughing when he had entered and had turned his head downward to the bucket to deposit blood and phlegm in between the gasping choking sounds that had become disturbingly normal over the last few days. Mavis waited until his father had finished before moving in and wiping his mouth clean before tending to the bedpan and making certain he hadn’t soiled himself again. “I heard shouting.” Mavis winced at the rasping sounds of his father’s voice, relieved as he was for the distraction every reminder of what was happening made the situation difficult. “Emily had a fight…something about kennels.” Lucas frowned, forcing himself to sit up in an attempt to force dignity back into his condition, it was made less effective by the hair that remained on the pillows even as his head moved away from it. “Is she alright?” “I don’t know…” Mavis worked to clean up the hair without comment as he tidied up his father’s living space. “She’s not hurt…unless you count emotional. Did you take your medicine?” “Don’t fuss.” Mavis’ ears dropped down in concern. “Susan will get after me if I don’t.” His father snorted and inadvertently turned the derisive gesture into another series of coughs. “She’s too much like her mother…your mother would have fussed too.” Hearing his father speak so casually dredged up several old memories he’d buried and forced him to pause from his ministrations. “Dad…about mom. I’m sorry.” “For what?” Lucas shook his head “Your mistake son, is thinking that you have the market cornered on guilt. You couldn’t have done more than what you did.” Easier said. “I’m going to see if there’s some broth left.” “Solid foods son, don’t go jumping on your sister’s wagon because I’m under the weather.” Despite his efforts not to a small smile cracked on his face. “I’ll see if I can sneak in some chicken.” “That’s my boy” Seeing his father in good spirits it was hard not to be more upbeat despite his old man’s illness. Solomon had smoothed over relations with Sean Ashlock over his son’s bloody nose and further improved the mood. Though he felt like he was half faking it with parenting as he waited for Lucas’ condition to improve and clean up the mess, Mavis found himself at least hopeful, even finding confidence to tuck Emily in for the night and try his hand at storytelling. Mavis knew he must have failed when he felt himself being shook awake by small hands in the early hours of the morning, when the shaking failed to rouse him the hands turned to vocal please, followed by shouting and by the time Emily had resorted to using ‘Daddy’ He was fully awake. Mavis growled, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as he focused his vision on his daughter, unable to help feeling impressed by her ability to navigate the darkness of the house without a single light. “Emily go back to bed.” “Grandpa won’t wake up.” There was a panicked urgency in her voice that was concerning, pushing the Worgen out of bed and outpacing his daughter as he strode directly to his father’s room while fearing the worst. He was relieved when he was able to track the breathing and could at least pick up the faint sounds of a heartbeat coming from his father’s chest but he could smell something wrong. Emily had climbed onto the bed and began to try pulling at her grandfather’s arm and though there was movement in the fingers the efforts didn’t seem to be of much use. The other hand that was still free seemed to feel out for his paw and as it weakly closed itself around one claw Mavis could see the tears glistening in the corners of Lucas’ eyes. Concern gave way to determination and he withdrew his paw, looking at his daughter. “Emily, you stay here with grandpa, I’m going to get Grandpa’s doctor. Emily sniffed and nodded weakly, still holding her grandfather’s hand as Mavis sprinted out of the house then broke into a dead run while weighing options on who was the better doctor and who was the closest. In the end he chose the closed, pushing himself into a full run as he headed for Doctor Paulsen’s.
  12. It was surprising the thoughts that entered Mavis’ head as he sat in silence, alone in the hall near Emily’s room with a closed door that could have easily been the Royal Vault. As much as he was aware of his reality as a parent he knew very little about how long a five year old child could conceivably hold out before succumbing to hunger. Mavis looked at the plate of food that he had strategically positioned in front of the door and wondered when she might get up the courage to come out, that he was unable to coax his child out spoke volumes about just how bad he was at this. After growing uncomfortable from the waiting Mavis pushed himself up and moved closer to the hearth, deliberately avoiding a look at his mother’s hope chest, it hadn’t been moved in three years. He did his best to clean up the toys which had been left strewn over the floor. He frowned a little at the broken train set and marveled at the speed of which it had been broken. He began separating blocks and toys before starting on clearing away the stones that had been pushed in behind the pile. It felt strangely therapeutic to be dealing with the monotony of the chore and he slowly began to forget his vigil at the door even as it creaked open. The child was surprisingly faster; much more than he expected and he was caught off guard when, first he was grabbed by the leg then small hands grasped his fur and the tiny fists began pounding at him. “Stop it! You’re wrecking it! You can’t move the stones!” Mavis immediately dropped what he was doing and turned around, instinctively he reached for Emily, who instead ducked away and hurriedly tried to put the blocks back. Stunned, Mavis could only stare at the child and fumbled as he tried to reach out to her while trying to find his words. “I was just cleaning up” “You can’t! They’ll hurt grandpa again. You’re going to hurt grandpa!” “I’m not…” He was at a loss for words, just watching as the blocks were returned to the pretend fortress around the stones. “I’m sorry.” The good news was that Emily was no longer hiding in her room but Mavis hadn’t yet decided if it was better that she had now moved to the hearth to play warden over the stones. At least she was eating, he thought. His nose sniffed at the aroma wafting from the stove, judging the readiness of the yams before grabbing a hot pad and extracting two of them from the chamber. He dropped both of the baked yams on the table and waved his paw in a fanning motion as he attempted to cool them down. He didn’t think his dad had changed his parenting skills much from when he was a child so he’d reasoned that the usual dessert for the Audrapel house was the same, luckily baked yams were easy to make. When he saw Emily look at the table with interest he knew he had guessed right, a small elation of triumph entered his thoughts over this victory and he moved quickly to follow it up with another. As he approached the five year old with the yams she shied away and the elated feeling sunk immediately as he realized naive idiocy of his thoughts, you don’t win victories with yams. Mavis kept his distance and opted instead to sit down, placing one of the baked yams as close to Emily as he could from his current position before carefully peeling away the wrapping from his own. “It’s hot.” He mumbled the warning as an afterthought, figuring it was best to say something so she wasn’t in danger of accidentally burning herself on the snack. Still, he watched her carefully to make sureand tried to provide an example, albeit an awkward one to follow. There was an awkward silence as both father and daughter watched each other with wary optimism, Mavis was certain he was going to make another mistake and ruin it. “Are the stones important?” Shyly the child ducked her head, trying to partially hide her face with the yam. “They’re bad stones” He wasn’t sure how to respond, to him they looked like normal stones, they even smelled like normal stones. “Does grandpa trip over them?” Emily shook her head quickly but didn’t offer any further response, forcing Mavis to continue his questioning. “Do they get in grandpa’s way a lot?” “They sneak in grandpa and make him sick.” Her response was uncertain, likely she suspected the logic was wrong but still clung to it because it made the most sense. Mavis frowned, his sister Susan had explained their father’s condition, it was likely the stones were just how Emily had interpreted it. “I’m sorry I tried to move the stones.” “It’s okay.” She kept staring down, drawing imaginary pictures with her finger with one hand while the other still held the yam. “Are you my daddy?” The answer caught Mavis off guard, he hadn’t known what the girl had been told but somehow the idea that his identity would be revealed to his daughter seemed foreign, Emily didn’t look like she knew herself, as if the suggestion had merely been a way to trick her. She looked like she didn’t believe that they were related at all. “What do you think?” “I think you’re too hairy, daddies aren’t supposed to be hairy.” He felt he had to defend this. “Daddies can be hairy.” “Yeah but you’re doggie hairy, my daddy looks different. I saw pictures.” “That’s very smart to remember that.” He picked at his yam, debating how far he wanted to carry this conversation. “Sometimes daddies get sick too and then they can look like doggies.” A look of worry crossed the child’s face. “Are you sick?” “Yes.” It felt like a lump in his throat as he admitted it, coming to terms with the truth as he related it to his daughter. “Will you get better?” “I don’t know.” “Will grandpa get better?” “I don’t know.” “Are you going to die?” “No.” “Is grandpa going to die?” “Not for a long time.” He didn’t know why he said it, maybe more as a comfort to himself then to Emily, he just couldn’t bring himself to admit his father’s mortality
  13. “Get up” Mavis looked from his book toward the door and stared at his sister. He hadn’t noticed when he had first woken up but Susan had changed in the three years since he’d seen her, she looked more mature and sure of herself that it made sense he had mistaken his younger sibling for his mother. Currently he was regretting that similarity as his sister had adopted the same no-argument look as their parent that was effective even with an infant cradled in her other arm. Mavis closed his book and gave his full attention to Susan, his ears flattening with the intimidating glare. “It’s-” “Half past noon. We need you to watch Emily for a few hours.” He groaned, rubbing his paw over his face. “Where’s dad?” “Where do you think Mavis? You think I would be asking you if dad was available.” A cold chill dropped down in his gut as a familiar panic began to set in. Dad wasn’t in the best of health to begin with but the man still was able to move about from what Mavis could only assume was sheer force of will and because of this it was easy to forget that Lucas was still very ill. Lucas was also the only force left that kept the Audrapel family from fracturing entirely, if something happened it would be devastating to everyone. His sister seemed to notice the panic despite his canine features and took pity. “Relax Mavis, he’s not dead he just collapsed. Jacob is taking him to Stormwind for better treatment.” Mavis nodded, allowing the words to sink in, he still felt weak but he was confident that he’d at least recovered enough to manage on his own. On his own was the key part, the difficulty felt like it would triple if he was forced to supervise a five year old on top, especially one that barely knew him. “Can’t you or Solomon take her for a few days?” “You’re kidding right? You realize its harvest right? I can’t watch four children on my own while making sure the fields are clear. You realize Solomon has the same problem? Then everyone has their hands full trying to clear out Gnoll corpses before the scavengers come sniffing around.” He growled, his sister’s lecture setting him off. “That didn’t seem to bother anyone the last three years.” His sister’s hands clenched into fists as she held back a roiling fury, forcing calm only out of favor for the infant she held, if anything it make her boiling anger look worse. “Well I’m sorry your grand return is such an inconvenience. Once you’re better you can run off and play the lone wolf again and me and dad won’t bother to spend any more time looking for you. We’ll wash our hands write you off and get on with our lives. Maybe while you’re here you can lift at least one little finger and get to know your blood before you run out on us again. I just thought that would be nice.” Surprise registered on the Worgen’s face as he processed his sister’s words, Susan had always been headstrong but he’d never known her to snap before and even hours after she was gone he remained stunned while he mulled over what he was going to do in the next few days. Though Mavis had been reluctant to leave his room he’d still managed to move around the house on evenings after everyone else had gone to sleep so he at least knew he was able to make it past the hall. As he headed to the kitchen his heightened senses detected Emily peeking out of her room and briefly he selfishly thought how much easier it would be if she remained there for the next few days. He had to duck his head moving around so he didn’t bump against the ceiling but there were still accidents when he forgot and along with the weakness in his muscles he knew the bruises to his head would be added on later. His sister had left such detailed instructions he was starting to think he’d have to actually make an effort to screw something up but it was nice that she’d tried to help and it was at least another weight off his shoulders. Emily hadn’t come out of her room since he’d dragged himself to the kitchen but by the time the smells of food began to waft through the house he could see her sneaking around for a glimpse. He pretended not to notice the five year old sneaking around the table, reasoning that it was easier for both of them and trying to fool himself that it was more for his benefit than hers. Regardless he dished out the bowls and set both at opposite ends of the table. The awkwardness of his size and the startlingly fearsome look of his form was ever-present but through the years he’d learned to adjust to the point where it didn’t bother him. Home was different, save for once he’d never brought the worgen inside and until now home had been where he’d felt most human. Now everything seemed alien to him and comically small, the property of a stranger in another life and all he wanted to do was run. His ears twitched to the sounds of movement as Emily drew closer to her meal and he realized that while he had never announced himself to the dark haired child she hadn’t either, opting instead to try to sneak around him and grab her food without making her presence known. Committing fully to the game Mavis allowed himself to look away, pretending to ignore the slide of the bowl from the table and the small quickened steps that broke into a mad dash back to the bedroom. His focus was brought into full alert when the steps turned into a thump followed by a loud crash and Mavis immediately pushed himself from the table just before the wailing began as instinct directed himself to the screaming child still covered in the backsplash of her now empty bowl. His paws immediately set to right her up even through the wailing as he hurried to inspect her for injuries while Emily switched her awareness to the stranger and began to push away, her fall soon forgotten as she struggled away from the animal “No!” The shriek was coupled with one last kick that finalized her demands and no sooner had he released the girl she completed the last length of the run back to her room, shutting the door with as much strength a five year old could muster. Mavis stared at the mess in the hall and covered his face with his paw, not even caring about the dripping stew that was smeared against his muzzle. He just wanted to go home but that was all wrong because he was home but nothing was going right.
  14. Mavis is currently spending time in Redridge recovering from an accidental poisoning.
  15. The hunger pains grew more insistent as Mavis tried to distract himself with the book, he hadn’t thought anything was wrong yet after having heard his father and then Emily wandering through the house but neither had entered. He wasn’t surprised that Emily hadn’t visited as his daughter only looked in when she thought he was sleeping but his father had made regular stops to his room to check in and bring food, something he had failed to do all day. The past several days had left Mavis confined to the bed and while he was making some real progress with his recovery the limited movement he was afforded had made him restless and irritable which was made no better by the fact that his father had forgotten to bring his meals. Unable to take it anymore he snapped the book shut and forced down a growl as he called towards the crack in his door. “Dad!” It took several minutes but after a while he was rewarded with the sound of shuffling feet followed by a creak as the door opened inward. The sharp intake of breath that came from the surprise at Lucas’ wasted appearance repeated itself for an encore. It was hard to accept the association between the image that remained in Mavis’ head and the frail looking man before him. The muscles had quickly atrophied out of weakness and he seemed weary inside and out, tired of fighting and barely mustering the strength to keep holding out. Mavis shut his eyes and refocused on his father, remembering his immediate needs and clinging to that instead of the sight of his ailing father. “When are we eating?” Lucas looked at his son, regarding him calmly. Despite the clearly wolfish appearance of his son he gave the boy an even look of patient authority and didn’t seem the least bothered by it. “I was thinking you could eat out here with us today.” The suggestion elicited a growl from his son. “I can barely walk.” The comment earned a piercing look from Lucas, who seemed to be commanding focus on his own compromised strength and forcing his son to break eye contact and focus instead toward the window. Lucas took a deep rasping breath. “I think you can make it far enough to the table today. There’s hot soup and fresh bread if you can manage it but I’d like for us to eat as a family.” “Emily isn’t at Susan’s” He mumbled it a little more than he desired to, his father barely seemed surprised. “I don’t think she needs to be. Do you think I look any better?“ He had a point even if it wasn’t something Mavis was willing to admit. “Look dad, if it’s alright with you I’m just not feeling well. Do you think we can skip the family dinner tonight?” For a moment it looked as if Lucas was about to say something but instead he held back and lowered his head as he gathered his thoughts. “I’ll leave a plate out in case you feel better later on.” Mavis winced visibly at the disappointment in his father’s tone and he turned away to try to hide the shame of his fib. They both knew he was lying but Lucas didn’t appear to let on as he backed out of the room and quietly closed the door with an audible click.