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Everything posted by Vilmah

  1. I've been reading through Amoola's writing since I heard the news. She was a great writer and a good friend and guild mate. May the eternal sun shine upon her.
  2. Well, Darkshore is a warzone again. A real one, this time. The Night Elves have invoked their goddess and the Horde has asked that we defend the land that we attempted to take. Sylvanas has been plaguing it, so I'm not sure what the point of it all is. Survival? How are we supposed to survive on plagued land? Does she expect us all to go there for the glory of battle and nothing else? We're not that stupid, Sylvanas. The Alliance is expected to attack Andorhol, soon. With them, the Night Vanguard. I can't say I'm at all surprised. Ever since we broke our treaty they've somehow managed to pop up in places where conflict is imminent, so what's one more battle? They outnumber us, that's for sure. They have superior numbers and Margoz can pull dozens of troops out of his ass if he so chooses. We're not going to win this fight by throwing bodies at him and I won't sacrifice my men that way. I have a better idea, one that utilizes the strengths that the Horde has and the Alliance doesn't. No, it's not the plague.
  3. The sky was a pale grey blue, empty of clouds. In spite of the brightness, and the small yellow sun, there was no warmth. White painful cold radiated through her skin, chilling her to the bone. Vilmah Bloodborne lie still, covered in the snow she remembered without much fondness. Somewhere in her memory, she recalled nights alone in exile, her only company the same wolfdog that she was tricked into buying so long ago. Where was he now? Edmund was big enough for her to ride, but only just so. He didn't have the toothy maw of a wolf that most orcs would consider passable, but a constantly wagging tongue and ears that flopped at the tips. He was a sweet creature, more likely to nuzzle an enemy than to attack unless firmly guided. When he did clamp his jaws down on someone, however, he did not let go. He could crush bones with those jaws, but he had little to no desire to do so. Not unless she really needed him to. He was a misfit from the beginning, and she loved him. Where was he, now? She knew that in the snow she would be numb, eventually, but for the moment it was only pain. The cold was slowly freezing her skin, layer by layer, killing the nerves within. Trapped. An avalanche? The weight of it would not allow her to move. Attempting to flex the fingers of her left hand, she realized quickly there was no response. Her mechanical arm was gone, and all she was left with was the heavy snow that covered her up to her chin, burying her within. All she could see is the sky, and all she could hear was the silence. Help! She tried to shout, but her voice would not work. Did something destroy it, before? Has she been yelling all this time? Is anyone there? I'm going to die here, she understands. This was her fate, for some reason. She was alone, cold, and no one would come for her. The clouds drift in, and once again, snow began to fall, burying her alive. ---------------------------------------- Vilmah awoke from her nightmare without much noise, her eyes opening in the dark to stare wordlessly at the stone ceiling of her bedroom in Razor Hill. The orcess was still wearing the same under armor she had on the day before; plain gray linen pants and a shirt. The gray almost matched the stone walls of her room, and with her furs tossed to the floor at some point, it was no wonder she dreamed of freezing to death. Idly, she wondered how long it took Garinth to pick away at that stone, to create each individual room, and what it must have felt like to see it filled with so many new people. She remembered the shy blind half orc she met as a young girl, and recalled just how surprised she was to see him again during the war against the Legion. Surprised and relieved. That relief felt like it happened ages ago. He was gone again, and his partner, Greywind, was dead. Sleeping at her side and taking up half of her bed, Edmund snored noisily. At her feat and at her head, Greywind's puppies joined him in the chorus. Surrounded by canines, there was a certain comfort and familiarity that tugged at a smile in the corners of her mouth. It didn't get very far. The magic time piece on her wall indicated that she had been sleeping less than two hours, and her body wanted her up. Careful not to disturb the puppies, Vilmah pushed herself from her back and slid both legs from the bed. The puppies didn't seem to mind, but Edmund's eyes opened to watch her climb out of bed and move toward her desk. She was nearly silent on bare feet, and the puppies dozed on. Fuzzbutt, finding the warmth of Vilmah's head missing, rolled into Edmund instead. The wolfdog snorted but didn't object. Meditate, she thought to herself, pulling out a sheet of paper and a quill. I need to meditate, and I can't do it if I can't clear my mind. Staring at the blank sheet, Vilmah waited for the words to come to her. They were one part prayer, one part an emptying of thoughts. The words were jumbled and not as coherent as she would have liked, but she poured every thought trapped inside of her on to the page. Before long, it was full of her anger and frustration, and tears blurred her vision. When she finished emptying every thought, Vilmah blew on the page to help the ink dry, and folded it. Edmund raised his head, and the puppies yawned simultaneously. With all three canines at her feet, she went outside. ---------------------------------------- The sun hadn't begun to rise as Vilmah stepped on to the sand, still barefoot, with two huge puppies and Edmund behind her. They were still sleepy enough not to cause a fuss, though Edmund made sure to keep an eye on them both as Vilmah found the small cactus garden cultivated by their other resident shaman, Alinah. Sitting down crosslegged in the sand, Edmund lay down a few feet away and was joined by Furface and Fuzzbutt. The cold desert air chilled Vilmah enough that she briefly considered going back in to grab a sweater, but the prickling of her skin reminded her of the dream, and it settled her. Reaching into one of her pockets, she pulled out a stick of incense and flint. Sticking the incense into the ground in front of her, she then retrieved the piece of paper that she wrote before, and struck the flint to light it. With the folded paper's flame, she lit the incense and sat the burning paper down on the sand. Quickly, it burned to black ashes as the smoke joined the wafting thread of incense. The sight of her words burning away into nothingness drew a strange calm over her, and Vilmah finally closed her eyes to meditate.
  4. Had a nice talk with Gun. He seems pretty happy, he was visiting his family and introducing them to his new girlfriend just before we spoke. I feel a little guilty about throwing my troubles at him, considering how well he's been doing. He's always been good to me, I'm not sure it's been very even. Right now he's just about the only person I feel like I can be honest with, and even then, I can't really tell him everything now can I? To think, I felt isolated when I was in exile. I thought it was because I was in exile that I felt that way. Now I wonder if maybe it had nothing to do with me being exiled at all. Maybe I'm just meant to be the lonely type? Frostwolves are supposed to be like pack animals, but I'm not exactly feeling that way lately. I'm not sure what changed about me. I used to have a lot of friends. Now I find it hard to talk to people, especially about anything too personal. I just let it build up instead. Is that what I'm supposed to do? Just keep all of it inside? I should be meditating. I've been trying to, but every time it seems like my inner voice just wants to scream at me. I can't really blame her, I want to scream too. I want to scream. I want to be angry. But what do I have to be angry at? Sylvannas? The void? The Night Vanguard? Myself? I don't have any one person to blame for all the things I'm feeling, just a big soup of shit I have to keep eating. It used to be that being alone was a choice I made, to keep myself from getting too attached. What was I thinking? It wasn't a choice. It never was.
  5. The Blood War is raging. Garinth is missing. Ridan's mother is dead. Sorathan is dead. Greywind is dead. My chest is heavy and I'm having trouble sleeping. There are things you can't stop from happening, but that doesn't mean I don't feel guilt. I have a duty to serve these people, and I'm failing them. I have tried being conservative with our limited resources, but there are dissenting voices that crave war and revenge. I can't blame them. I want more than anything to find Garinth, and whoever killed Greywind, and tear them apart until my fingers are bloody and I don't feel this guilt anymore. I know that isn't possible, so I have to be patient and wait. Nika is still in Andorhal, and the Alliance wants to march. Soon I might need to bring the few volunteers I have and stand at the front lines. Maybe it will all end there, in glorious battle. A soldier's death, defending my people. It's all I could ever hope for, it's all I should want. I feel selfish for wanting more. Selfish and wrong. At least if I die in battle, I die with honor. Honor is getting so rare these days, it's like trying to keep hold of a slippery fish. Or a slippery shark. I'm chomping at the bit to get back at those bastards who plagued us and killed Ridan's mother, but it's a wildly irresponsible desire. I have Kenton to worry about, now. With a worgen at my heels, I'm practically swimming in wolves. Kenton is kind and thoughtful, but I wonder how much of that is the spell he's under. When you have someone who's been programmed to serve you, it's difficult to tell where the sincerity is. It's so lonely. I have to go through Garinth's journal to find some kind of clue as to his whereabouts and I hate that. I hate that I need to breach his privacy, but I know it's the right thing to do. Greywind's saddle is sitting alone in his room and Razor Hill feels empty. I have to remind myself to eat and sleep, or the headaches chase me down and force my hand. I can't let that happen. So much to do. I hear the embassy is ready. I'll have an office there, a place to work where I can help people away from the war. Is it wrong that I want to stay here instead?
  6. Thought I'd take some time and visit the cantina tonight. Had an alright time catching up with Tahzani, telling him all about what's happening on Zandalar. I'm not exactly an expert on what's happening, but from what I've seen, I think we can expect big trouble in the future. Killing a loa.. that's something beyond my understanding. If there's one thing Nojinbu taught me, it's to respect the loa, even if you don't understand them. They're powerful, and some might not be in your corner, but there's a certain logic to them so its best to let them be. Gods know I don't have the balls to make an enemy of any loa.. The night was going alright until Cobrak showed up, which kind of soured the conversation we were having about Tul'urak. Apparently Tahz and a friend of his were helping him pay tribute to his loa, which is definitely a good idea considering how much abuse he takes. I hope he's doing well. I haven't heard from him since Alinah blew up at him, and I'm not keen on talking to her about that either. They're both strong willed and at the perfect age for anger and hormones to take over their brains, so really I'm not surprised. I just hope he's okay. Supposedly he left Borrowed Time, so he's on his own now. I don't know why I'm so worried. Well, sure I do. He's Nomeni's kid, and Nomeni would have wanted him to be safe. I'm just really shitty at looking after people, especially when they're not even a part of Sanctuary. I can't very well make someone accept my advice or accept the fact that I want them to be safe. I'm sure from his perspective, I sound ridiculous. I am ridiculous. Hearing Cobrak call him a coward, and all his blustering about killing humans, I would have given just about anything to be able to give him a good punch in the face. Just. One. But what does that do? Nothing, and I've got to be the cool headed one, and I can't just start fights anymore, so I have to keep my big mouth shut. I left. Cobrak wanted to go on and on about killing and war and all the bullshit I've been trying to avoid contributing to, and I knew it was just going to upset me. Last thing I need is to let it go to my head. I'm supposed to be the calm one. Sometimes I wish I could actually just be the bitch they think I am.
  7. Looks like we'll be working with Andorhal in the near future. I'm sending the Colonel a few men to start things off, and it's a good feeling knowing that we have just the kind of people we need for this sort of mission. I'm being noticeably vague, just in case. If I ever read this in the future, know, future me, that I did this for a good reason. Besides, I'm sure you can figure out what it is I'm talking about. You're me, after all. It turns out my father decided to try and communicate with me through my necklace. Lucky for me, I have a shaman to help guide me through this realm of ghosts and anger. My mother never get a proper burial in Hammerfall. He never told me that while I was alive. I shouldn't have assumed they would have treated us with any kind of respect, but, her spirit is still there, and it's a warfront now. Garinth said he'd go and try to find where she might have been buried. Hopefully he'll have better luck than the ones who looked for her before, if they even looked at all.. but he took some of my blood with him, so. We'll see. She's a Frostwolf. This is part of his responsibility as one of our shaman to do right by the clan. I keep telling myself that, but I want to be there. No wonder I've been chomping at the bit to get to that warfront. My father must have been trying to reach me through my necklace for weeks now, and I had no idea. Makes me wonder what else he kept from me.
  8. That's an interesting way to think about it. I also played humans more than I did orcs (when playing the campaign, anyway), back in my WC2 days. But what really drew me to the Horde was the art from that WC2 manual. I was in middle school and I would draw my own banners, and of course I wanted to make an ORCISH banner because they had SKULLS AND BONES! Funny how our feelings about that game shaped what we would become, later.
  9. I've accepted an assignment from Horde High Command. I'm sure that sentence would look confusing to anyone who would read this (and if anyone is reading this, I am going to find you), but the thing is, I actually believe in the mission. Some refugees from Undercity have tried to make a place for themselves in Andorhol. I'm putting a team together to offer assistance, then I'll go and speak to their leader. It seems fairly cut and dry. They're just trying to survive, right? They have the right, and Andorhal was a ruin. Maybe the Forsaken there can actually rebuild. I'm willing to help if it means giving them a place to just be. After what the Warchief did, I can understand why they'd feel a little disillusioned with her. To be honest, I'm surprised more aren't, but that's what sets us apart I guess. Allycia visited. Apparently she's been interrogated by SI:7? Well there's a shocker.. someone with Horde ties being interrogated by the Alliance. I'm surprised nobody on our side has tried to same thing with one of us. Maybe they're biding their time, but this is exactly why I didn't promote her. I told her this sort of thing could happen. The last thing we need is for her to talk about our plans, even if they have to rip it out of her by force. The less she knows, the safer she is. And us, for that matter. Baern came to talk to me, too. That was not the best conversation. He kept bringing up Nojinbu, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to talk about it. I mean, I don't want to talk about it. It still hurts. I know he's out there, somewhere. Doing what he needs to do. So am I, and to be honest, it's a relief. At least when he's not around, I know why, now. And for once I feel like I have everything I need, even if it's not how I pictured having it. Things feel right, and even if I feel guilty for admitting it, I'm not going to keep beating myself up for doing what's right for me.
  10. Hey Scoobs!! I remember Brakogar! The Frostwolf Brotherhood eventually became Sanctuary, which is still going strong after... uh... has it been 12 years?? Something like that.. but if you're interested in something akin to what the Frostwolf Brotherhood was, give me a holla!
  11. Let's try this again, before someone else comes to see me. I haven't written anything in a while. I used to just dump all of my emotions into these journals and in the end I'd feel a little better, but I don't know if it ever solved anything. Lately I think I've been dumping most of those emotions into Garinth, poor guy. He doesn't deserve that, even if he is my shaman. He talked through the Night Vanguard business, the fact that our connection to them makes us a target, and that was important for me to keep in mind when I broke our ties with them. Unfortunately, it goes a lot deeper then that. Because as much as I don't want to put us all at risk, I might consider it if I knew the Vanguard would have our best interests in mind. As it is, I don't think they do, and that's troubling. I don't want to alarm our "in-betweeners", but I think the war is drawing closer to us than we can fight off for much longer. I've already received a request to the warfront in Arathi. The Horde is attempting to gain a foothold in the north. A strategic move, supposedly, but I don't see the benefit of us being there. That's my head talking. My heart wants me to go for stupid reasons, pride especially. If the Alliance does away with our bases in Arathi, Hammerall will go. I have no good memories of Hammefall, really. Nothing but the day Thrall came and liberated us. My father is dead. There's nothing left for me, so why do I want to protect it? Because my mother is buried there, somewhere? It's just earth. It means nothing, except for some stupid reason it means something. I keep trying to remember something, anything good that might make me want to go back, but even my mother trying to protect me is painful. I'm the reason she died. I suppose going to war over bad memories would be a shit way to show my gratitude. Still, there's something in me that wants it. That pride. I know there will be fighting, that brutal bloody warfare that we sing about. I refuse to believe there is honor in attempting to conquer someone else's home, but the Trollbanes aren't weak. They would put up a good fight, and there would be shouts and metal and brutality to remember forever. Just thinking about me gets me anxious. I want what I know is the wrong thing. I just have to distract myself with worthy causes and try to ignore the fact that my birthplace is a battlefield. It's difficult. I miss having someone to talk to. At least the pups are here. They're terrible at cuddling, so I'm teaching them. I hope their new partners appreciate all the work I'm putting into their cuddle training.
  12. "Warchief.. why?" The voice was frail, and then it was gone. Vilmah stood on the ramparts looking down, following the voices toward the sound of chaos and calamity that erupted outside of the city walls. Down in the field, spreading among the already yellow grass and weeds, a green gas was billowing toward the Alliance. In its wake, bodies were falling. It can't be, Vilmah thought to herself, watching the large bodies hit the ground, horns and antlers of the tauren digging into the dirt. The orcs stumbled a few feet, and fell on their faces. The trolls pinned themselves with their tusks. The goblins fell so quickly, like flies almost, and the elves in all their bravery reached for the sky for a few final words she could not hear. But those orcs were loud, and even as they died they asked; "Warchief, why?" Until the breath left them and the plague continued to cover their corpses, which grew thin and frail as flesh appeared to melt from their bones. Vilmah watched in horror as soldiers of the Horde stumbled, died, and fell apart. The yellowish bones of their corpses lay like stones among the armor and weapons. There wasn't even any blood, really. Just the swift decay of muscle and organs, falling to the earth in graying clumps that disappeared into the dirt. How did she even witness such a thing? She heard the call to arms. Ridan spoke to her through the hearthstone, hours before. "Undercity is under attack!" With Nika and Einar, the three snuck into Undercity disguised as Forsaken. It was chaotic inside, and the Alliance's SI:7 assassins had already stolen into the deepest parts of Lordaeron's crypts. Their mission was simple; rescue Steinburg as Infection rallied to defend their city. Nika and Einar proved a capable duo, and led the Warboss down toward Infection's guildhall. They were briefly intercepted by a priest, though Vilmah's shouting managed to stave off whatever mind control she was capable of. Then he arrived. The High Warlord of Infection. Vilmah had known Keraph since she was old enough to enlist. He saw most orcs as filthy creatures unfit to live on his world and treated Vilmah with only the barest of respect. Back then, they drank together. Traded insults. She called him 'old man', and never considered that someday they might be on sides so opposed that they would actually face one another in battle. Yet here he was, approaching her with a massive axe that seemed almost too big for his bony hands. Nika and Einar were already on their way to getting Steinburg released. "I'll hold him off!" Vilmah had told them. "Don't wait for me!" Nika wanted to argue, but gave Vilmah some smoke bombs instead. It was all she could do when Vilmah was that serious and wanted no argument, but Keraph wasn't going to be distracted by a few smoke bombs. Sanctuary was breaking into his home and retrieving one of his "guests", and that would not stand. "Bloodborne!" He shouted, snarling with yellow decaying teeth. "You traitorous green mongrel!! Have you truly abandoned the Horde so thoroughly as to betray the Warchief while we are under attack!?" "I'm not betraying anyone, Keraph," Vilmah argued, her sword drawn. It was long and thin, nothing compared to Keraph's axe but fluid in Vilmah's slender hands. "I'm just picking up a friend. You can get in my way or you can let me take him home, but I don't think you want to be dealing with me while the Alliance attacks from the outside." The rage in Keraph's face was readable, even from behind his helmet. The Warlord's mouth twisted into a deep frown, the wrinkles and flaking skin of decay contorting with rage. "If you do this there will be no peace for you, or Sanctuary! Do you hear me, Vilmah?" He shouted, using her name now. What did that mean? "You and your little group are going to pay. You will suffer. These are not empty threats, little girl." Her eyes narrowed. The last time someone called her little girls was... "I'm not letting you bully me and my men, Keraph!" The orcess shouted, moving into an offensive stance. Left arm forward, right arm back; Vilmah's thin blade was poised to slash and her knees bent, ready to spring. She and Keraph were both warriors, but their disciplines were different, and hers was fairly new. How long has she been training like that? He thought, raising his axe. "The Alliance has marched forward! their siege weapons are attacking the gates!!" Shouted a voice nearby. Both Keraph and Vilmah's attention were stolen. The Warboss felt a buzzing in her pocket, heard the familiar voice of Nika from afar. We have Steinburg, Warboss! We're going home! Mission complete, Vilmah thought, but Keraph still glared at her. A decision was being made. "Watch yourself, Vilmah," he said finally, through rotting teeth. "The end of your days grows near. You, Sanctuary, and all you hold dear. The Dark Lady will not accept failure, and I will not accept this--" "The boy king has arrived!!" Keraph pursed his crusted lips and pointed the axe at Vilmah. "Soon." And then he was gone. Vilmah stood in position, waiting. Part of her wondered if this was some sort of trick, but that wasn't possible. Keraph's home was being attacked from the outside, surely he wanted nothing more than to cut through the Alliance more than defend his honor against Vilmah. Then again, what honor does he have? She watched him go and ran in another direction, through the sewers, sheathing her blade on the way. The splashing of putrid liquid at her boots was something that no longer reviled her, nor did the smell. She followed the sewers to a secret entrance, one that brought back so many memories. The Alliance attacked from there, once. Led by an ally. A shaman. Outside of the crypts, the Undercity was much louder. The cries of battle were loud and told the tale of a battle still raging. She wanted to help her allies, but from where? Scrambling to the broken bricks and stones of Lordaeron's past, Vilmah climbed up as high as her hands and feet would allow her. Once she climbed high enough to see what was happening outside, Vilmah crouched down and looked for an opportunity to join the Horde in the defense of their city. To join her brothers and sisters as they defended their home. What she saw was poisoned orcs, trolls, tauren and elves. Goblins, too. As she leaned forward to understand, they all fell like sacks of meat, flesh falling from their bones to hit the ground like liquid. "Warchief.. why?" Vilmah hesitated. If she joined them, she too would die. Heart pounding in her chest, she reached for her blade and heard a voice telling her to stop. Be safe, and try to stay out of trouble ha'rega. Clenching her teeth, she made a pained sound and let the sword slide back into it's sheath as a dark presence made itself known. Near the wall, she watched as Sylvanas, their own Warchief, cast what looked like some strange spell. Vilmah was too distracted by Sylvanas to notice that beneath her, bones were stirring. A chattering sound, like the tiny tapping of seashells rattling caught her attention only when it grew so loud that it mimicked a strange music. Turning toward the unsettling noise, her hazel eyes widened in horror at the sight unfolding before her. The soldiers she saw fall in battle were standing. Gone was their flesh, and any semblance of life. They were skeletal, gnarled and twisted, and walked forward with a singular purpose. ..has she killed them just to raise them? Did she become everything she hated about the Lich King? Battle waged below, and Vilmah knew she couldn't stay. She would either enter the fray with the blight at her feet, or escape. Neither seemed both intelligent and honorable. Which to choose? Be safe... "Oh... fine," the orcess muttered, looking into the courtyard. Clenching her jaw, she climbed back down the ramparts and made her way into what looked like a gathering of Horde soldiers. Some of them gave her a curious look, but that look was forgotten when a nearby explosion drew their attention. "They're inside!!" Vilmah shouted, finally drawing her blade. The Alliance was flooding in from the outside. She caught sight of some strange faces in the fray, but was thrown from her concentration as a human soldier caught her attention. He attacked her with a massive broadsword, and while she could defend herself, Vilmah wondered just how much she actually wanted to defeat him. After everything they had done, after watching the war machines torch Teldrassil, why was she fighting for Sylvanas' broken kingdom? Because it was still the Horde. Because Steinburg worked so hard to make it a home, and was nearly killed for it. Because years ago, she came to Undercity as a child, and was welcomed as a friend. Without considering these things outright, Vilmah fought. She was accompanied by other Horde military, but there went enough to hold them all off. She went blow to blow with the human before her, an overhead swing meeting an underhand thrust, steel against steel, honorable combat between two living beings. She swung her blade forward and bit into armor, then flesh. It was a well placed blow and pierced the surface, ripping through muscle to open the human's throat. There was no time to consider this though, and soon enough she was engaged in combat with another human. Then another. Then another. Vilmah was small, but she was experienced. The foot soldiers didn't know what to make of the blademaster in her skant armor, and made the mistake of aiming for her bare torso. Surely it would be easy to slay her by piercing the orcess' stomach, chest, neck. Anything. But they never came close enough. She was fast, and she was willing to accept an injury in exchange for a kill. A few cuts to her shoulder or side were nothing compared to the way her sword slid into someone's lungs. Blood flowed, the smell intoxicating and almost enough to overpower the stench of rot. After an exhausting fight, Vilmah stood among a pile of bodies covered in cuts, her mind cloudy with blood loss. Then she heard the horn. Behind the human she was fighting, a morningstar struck his skull. The human went down in a heap and Vilmah looked into the eyes of her assistance, a Forsaken woman in plate armor. One quick salute and she was gone. Vilmah looked toward the horn and saw that the Horde was retreating. Baine waved his massive arms, calling the remaining Horde soldiers to follow. Without questioning why, Vilmah followed the call to a goblin airship, praying that there were more on the way. But there were no more ships. Huddled among the Horde soldiers gathered by Baine, Vilmah watched as below them, the Undercity became engulfed in green smoke. She knew what that smoke would do to anyone nearby; orc, tauren, goblin, elf, it didn't matter. They all died, and without Sylvanas to raise them, they all remained dead. Still breathing heavily, her wounds began to sting. The adrenaline was fading and the reality of what happened slowly crept into her thoughts. She killed them.. she killed them and raised them, and for what? Undercity is gone.. Undercity is gone.
  13. What else can we do.. what else can we do.. what else... The Kaldorei looked at Vilmah Bloodborne with accusing eyes. She spoke of mercy in Common, promised them safety, but what safety could an orc ensure these people? How could she tell an elf who watched the slaughter of her loved ones that orcs were honorable at all? What honor was there in this conquest, this brutality? Where was Saurfang? How could he let this happen again? Blood on their faces, blood in their tears. The Kaldorei would not forget this affront to their forest, their people, their dignity-- "Do you have those crates ready, Warboss?" "Huh?" Vilmah looked up from the wooden crate in front of her, and a bright-eyed death knight looked back. Strands of dark purple hair, still damp with sweat from the night before, hung over Vilmah's eyes. She didn't bother to swipe them away. The two women exchanged a look of mutual dread, though the latter cracked a hopeful smile. "The crate, ma'am. Is it ready?" Looking back down, Vilmah hadn't noticed that she'd been overpacking the crate in front of her for the past few minutes. Thick bandages nearly spilled out from the top, so she stood and pressed down on them with her mechanical arm to ensure they all fit. "It's ready, Cat," she answered distractedly. They had been packing crates with medical supplies since the sun rose. The smell of smoke still haunted Vilmah's nose and she couldn't shake the faces of night elves, horrified, terrified, or expressionless in death. The tree was too far to hear them screaming, but she knew what that sounded like. A wave of nausea caught her when she realized that she knew exactly what it was like to have her home burned to the ground by the Warchief of the Horde, innocents be damned. Catalinetta grabbed the wooden lid and carried it to Vilmah's crate. Though the blood elf death knight was small, almost frail looking, the heavy wooden lid appeared almost weightless in her hands. The power of the Lich King, Vilmah thought offhandedly, vaguely ashamed for thinking it. Cat was loyal to Sanctuary, and to their cause. If the Lich King cursed or blessed her with unnatural strength, it didn't remove her optimism. "Thanks boss," she said before hammering in nails to secure the crate. It was the last of them, a series of crates with all of the medical supplies in Razor Hill that could be spared. They would be passed through a portal to Ashtotem and distributed to the wounded there, many of whom were night elves, some blinded by the flames that left them not realizing exactly who was helping them but grateful all the same. What happens when they realize who some of us are? Vilmah thought to herself. Will they hate the Horde who helped them? Will they understand? She knew she was hurting her, this Kaldorei in her arms. The elf was so much taller than Vilmah, but she carried her anyway. The fire from her burning home had blinded the once beautiful woman, turning pale lavender flesh into a mess of red and black. It was unlikely that she would ever see again, but still she breathed and still she stared at Vilmah with the dead eyes of a-- "Hey, so, if you need I might be able to get the Kingfisher to deliver some more stuff," Cat suggested, referencing the flying elvish yacht she shared with Kreyen. Vilmah blinked slowly, as if trying to get whatever Cat was trying to tell her to make sense. When it finally clicked, she shook her head. "I wouldn't risk it right now. Airspace might be compromised. Just use the portal networks for now. Moving things by hand may be slower, but, it's going to be safer in the long run." One of Cat's ears twitched as the Warboss spoke. She had always known Vilmah to be a very capable, if not confident orc, who had the strength to keep up a brave face during these hard times. But after the burning of Teldrassil, she could see that brave face was cracking under the pressure, and if this was a good or a bad thing, the death knight couldn't be sure. "Okay, boss. I'm just gonna.. maybe go see if I can be of any help in Ashtotem, then," she suggested, trying to keep her spirits lifted. Swallowing down some apprehension, she nodded ventured another tactic. "I um.. it's been kind of hard to forget what we saw out there. I was thinking that.. maybe.. if the Alliance does come for us--" "You mean when," Vilmah interrupted, not coldly but certainly not happy. "..r-right, when the Alliance attacks, I was thinking.. maybe we could um.. have groups created? With a healer, and a vanguard, this way everyone has what they need?" It wasn't a bad idea, but Vilmah felt herself grow distracted with other thoughts regarding the Alliance's inevitable attack. "A good plan. I'll look into it." Again, Cat noticed the Warboss staring off into space. Had she slept since they saw the tree? Could anyone? Cat considered herself lucky, sometimes, that she didn't need sleep. As a death knight, sleep came only when she wanted it to, and right now all she wanted was to hold Kreyen somewhere dark and let sleep take her somewhere that wasn't quite so cruel. The Kaldorei struggled in Vilmah's arms. The smell of orc was strong, how could she know she was being taken to safety and not a cage? How could she know that Vilmah couldn't bear to see her this way? They couldn't communicate with words, but Vilmah tried. She spoke as soothingly as she could in Common, tried to reassure her, tried her best to convince her-- "Are you okay, ma'am?" The Warboss was squeezing a roll of bandages. She cleared her throat and turned to Cat, biting her lips anxiously. "Did you see it, Cat?" The death knight's long thin ears twitched. "..the tree, ma'am?" "Yes," Vilmah said dourly. "The tree." In truth, she was trying to forget it. Cat knew about casualties, she had been one herself. "I-I did, ma'am. I was trying to see if there were any more civilians to help. When they started setting up those catapults, I was.. I guess I was confused, but.. then the Warchief gave the order and Saurfang--" "Did nothing," Vilmah finished for her. Cat shook her head quickly. "N-no ma'am, he was *yelling*. At the guys manning the catapults. He tried to get them to stop, but, the Warchief--" "What?" Vilmah took a few heavy steps toward Catalinetta, her eyes wide and disbelieving and shiny with tears. There was still some ash in her hair, on her skin, and beneath her fingernails. It made the Warboss look slightly ashen herself, brownish green skin dull and almost lifeless. Stopping herself from grabbing the death knight, Vilmah looked pointedly at Catalinetta from just a step away. "What are you talking about?" "W-well.. I saw him try to stop them," Cat explained nervously. So close, she could smell the smoke still lingering on Vilmah's skin and hair. "I saw him say something to the Warchief, but, I couldn't make it out. I was so far away and there were so many of us, but, I saw him try ma'am. Then she left, and.. they just left him there. I didn't see him leave." She remembered his face, so proud and yet so old. Mournful. None of the strength he usually exuded was present in his slumped posture, his usually rigid back and chest curved like a peon. Saurfang was broken. Hadn't she seen it? The revelation that Saurfang did indeed make the attempt to stop Sylvanas practically stopped Vilmah's heart, but what was effort, really? He hadn't stopped her. He, like the rest of the Horde, were complicit in their actions. They stood behind the Warchief as she watched the world tree and its inhabitants burn, like a maniacal warlord taking pride in the suffering and not the banshee queen whose followers saw hope in her. In Sylvanas, hope is a disease, and she is the cure. "Thank you, Cat," Vilmah said a little more spirited than before, her tusks pressing gently against each cheek as she tried to smile. "Thank you for your help. I've got to make some plans." "Aye aye, ma'am!" The death knight said brightly, happy she could be of some assistance but confused about what that assistance even was. Vilmah watched the death knight go and looked back toward the entrance to Razor Hill. At that moment she had no shaman to ask for guidance, but he was not the only orc whose wisdom she could depend on.
  14. "You heard the High Overlord," the orcish grunt said with an arm pointed toward their target. "Find the civilians. Get them out." Vilmah had answered the call, and already she was uneasy. It was almost a relief when the Warchief sent her and a few hundred others to find Saurfang, the one orc she trusted to speak his mind in this madness. He was gone when they attacked Astranaar, but he wouldn't allow things to escalate to that level on his watch. When she arrived to his orders that they find night elf civilians and bring them in for questioning, part of her stomach settled. It was still nauseating that the Horde was attacking the Kaldorei, that they marched toward their tree in an effort to secure it for their own purposes, but at least no civilians would be killed this time. It was, of course, difficult to get them to trust her. She was an orc, and a strange looking one at that. Smaller than most, her robot arm and purple tabard did little to soothe the fears of the citizens that she found huddled and hidden. They stared at her with horrified eyes that had already witnessed the savage butchery of the Horde, and in their eyes she saw her fears; that the Horde would always be known for this, their cruelty, and how easy it was to show them just how cruel they could be. Why in the world would the trust her, after seeing other orcs like herself tear down their walls and burn their homes? All around, she heard shouts of conflict; trolls yelling in Zandali, relishing in the slaughter of elves. The Forsaken she saw wore mangled grins as they ripped apart guards with magic and blades, and even the noble blood elves covered bodies with arrows like some strange artistic display. She couldn't just extend her hand and ask these people to trust her, not when she knew what awaited them. "I take you safety," she said in broken Common, though it was clear by Vilmah's expression that hope was fading fast. The elves she found were a mother and daughter, hidden in the corner of their store room. The older of the two was already stained with blood, perhaps from the child's father. Their glowing eyes were rimmed with red and tears were still glistening on their cheeks as they looked at this small orc with her extended hand and broken Common in disbelief. The mother turned to her daughter and nodded sadly, then said something in their language that Vilmah could not understand. Choking back a sob, she and the little girl put something in their mouths, which Vilmah couldn't quite understand until it was too late. "No, wait!!" But they already swallowed, and the effects of the pill didn't take long. The mother clutched her child and sobbed, and the child looked strangely serene as she stated at Vilmah accusingly. Her eyes said "you did this", and in that moment, Vilmah would not have been able to argue otherwise. Leaving the little family to their peaceful death, the blademaster stepped out of their house and looked for more civilians. By then, most of the houses were on fire and there would be few she could find in the wreckage, but she went in anyway. The bare skin of her shoulders and torso blistered with the heat of the burning buildings, and her metal arm grew uncomfortably hot as she used it to break open doors. A few civilians she found were less intent on taking their own lives, but at least half a dozen saw Vilmah as a threat, and whatever "mercy" the Horde would grant as a torture worse than death. In those situations, Vilmah wanted to stop them. Surely, hope was still a possibility? But she knew imprisonment, she knew what sort of life awaited them in the shackles of the Horde, and even with his greatest attempts at mercy, Saurfang could not protect them. Maybe they are better off dead.. she thought with a sick feeling, the nausea returning. When she gathered as many as she could find, Vilmah returned to where she last saw Saurfang. He had already mounted his wolf long ago and was gone. She was going to ask what was wrong, but another orcish grunt pointed over her shoulder. "Look!" When she turned, the sound of Saurfang riding ahead echoed in her ears. The tree was aflame. In the distance, across the water, the home of thousands of elves burned without any sign of stopping. From such a distance, she could not see the people's faces, but she understood their predicament. There weren't enough boats, enough portals, for all of them to escape. There would be casualties, and they would be massive. Vilmah's heart felt like a stone in her chest, cold and heavy, as she listened to the cheers around her. Most of the Horde celebrated their victory as the civilians, some of whom Vilmah saved, looked on in horror as their tree grew bright red and lit the sky like a giant torch. A few Horde did not celebrate. They passed each other worried glances, perhaps ashamed of this act, perhaps afraid of the retaliation that would surely meet them. Vilmah just stared. Saurfang.. Whistling for her wolf, Edmund answered her almost immediately. He had been waiting for her nearby, hidden in the forest among the other animals that somehow escaped the wrath of war. Climbing on his back, Vilmah kicked him into a run and followed the path left behind by Saurfang. She had to see him, she had to see his face. When she did, she noticed that his face was contorted, enraged. He had been screaming something, but now it had passed. What did she miss? Saurfang, she thought to herself, tears blinding her. You coward.. you fucking coward.. you knew that was going to happen, didn't you? You knew, and you didn't even try to stop her.. Was any of it true? Maybe not, but the anger burned in her chest and when she arrived to the scene of the Warchief, Nathanos and Saurfang staring at their handiwork, she thought perhaps that she caught a glimpse of the High Overlord's face displaying regret. Shame. I should kill her, she thought to herself. I should kill her, now. I may not get through the dark rangers, I may not get through Nathanos, hell I may not get through Saurfang but I should try.. The thoughts were almost as comforting as they were impossible. Vilmah remained yards behind them, hidden among the rest of the Horde as they celebrated or mourned their "victory". As much as she wanted to make the attempt, she knew it would fail. Whatever skill she had as a blademaster was no match for the banshee. Not alone, and not with so many allies surrounding her. Sylvanas was untouchable, and unchallenged. Again, she looked at Saurfang, but he seemed lost in his own thoughts. in his face, Vilmah remembered the look she saw in Thrall when last she saw him; broken by his own decisions. Saurfang wanted to die in battle, that much was known to the Horde, and his age showed with every line in his face and the silver of his hair, but never before had he seemed so very old to her. Even his muscles felt smaller, weaker, and with none of the taut energy that the High Warlord often displayed. Here was an orc she respected, trusted even, but once again that trust was burned to ash. Like the world tree, Vilmah felt her faith in the Horde burn once again. Her desire to bring peace to her people went up in smoke like the thousands of screaming elves, and she had to remind herself that somewhere, her own people would be waiting for her. Waiting for something. Hesitantly, she looked away from Saurfang. Another hero gone.
  15. She was panting, now. Purple lips trembled as she attempted to scan the treeline for her foe, but in spite of her skills and whatever natural affinity she had for tracking, Kalyra could not find any trace of the creature stalking her. She continued running, Booty Bay just a few miles up ahead. Kalyra was a good runner, she had long muscular legs and long purple hair that flowed like a ribbon behind her. She was pretty, and that amused Syreena. Why would someone so pretty and so dumb be in Stranglethorn Vale? Doesn't she know that's where the fun happens? the Forsaken rogue thought to herself from the bough of a tree, hidden within the shadows that Night Elves were so good at seeing. Surely, Kalyra should have spotted her by now, but she was in a panic. Syreena had already leaped from the branches to stab her once, with her tiniest knife, just to get the poison in and watch her run. She wasn't accompanied by any animals, Syreena noticed when the night elf first happened past her, which she supposed was unusual. By now most night elves would have jumped on a big cat and run away, but not Kalyra. "I knew.. I should have.. waited.. a bit longer.. before coming here.." the elf said between pants, pumping her long legs as fast as they would carry her. A raptor happened past her and snarled, lunging toward Kalyra's body to sink its jaws into her lovely purple flesh. Oh no! Thought Syreena, leaping to another branch. He's going to ruin them!! But Kalyra was fast, and without hesitation she drew a sword from her side and stabbed into the raptor's mouth. Blood gushed from the creature's wound as the sword penetrated its skull. Kalyra was a novice, but she could push a sword into meat and bone with the best of them. She waited for the raptor to go limp before sliding out the blade, letting its body hit the ground in a heap. Whew.. sighed the little rogue, relaxing again to watch her prey leap back on to the main road and run for Booty Bay and breakneck speed, her bloody sword still in one hand. Syreena followed her closely, jumping from branch to branch as the night elf's running gradually slowed. She smiled with pointy teeth as Kalyra stumbled over a root, flying face first into the ground. "Oof!!" She said with a mouth full of dirt, picking her self back up to keep running. The rustling of branches behind her told Kalyra the truth of the matter; she was still being followed. Wiping her mouth, she turned to look behind her, picking herself up off the ground to shriek into the sky. "What do you want from me!?" There was no verbal response. The sound of birds and her own breathing was all that Kalyra heard, the latter of which grew heavier and more ragged with each breath. Groaning irritably, she turned to run again, discovering that her legs were so heavy she could only manage a slow trot. Now her sword felt like a huge weight in her palm, and try as she might she couldn't keep a solid grip on it. The sword fell to the ground with a loud clatter, eliciting another grunt from Kalyra. Still, Syreena watched and waited. Won't be too long, now.. And down she went. The night elf tripped over another root and fell face first into the dirt. When she didn't immediately get up, Syreena knew this was her opportunity. Jumping down to the ground, she kept to the shadows, just in case. The night elf struggled to roll off of her stomach, only to push herself to one side and shriek with horror at the sight before her. Syreena was a ghastly sight for anyone who wasn't used to seeing the Forsaken; her skin was made up of different colors and sewn together haphazardly, and her teeth had been filed down into razor sharp points. Of course, human teeth were not designed for this shape, so they were jagged and discolored, displaying dead nerve endings and rotted cavities. Holding up two daggers, she grinned at Kalyra and spun them around her wrists. "..w...why..." the night elf whimpered helplessly, hardly able to lift a hand from the ground. She considered briefly how stupid she'd been to forget to pack health potions. Syreena tilted her head to one side. She didn't speak Darnassian, but she assumed that the elf was asking something. "Ears," she replied, tugging her own for effect, then pointing at Kalyra's. "For my collection!" The night elf couldn't understand this strange language. As Syreena pulled her earlobe, she considered that perhaps the Forsaken couldn't hear her? "WHY?!" She shouted louder. Syreena raised a patchy eyebrow. Again, she pointed to the elf. "EAAAARS." Kalyra shook her head in disbelief. That this would be how she'd die was not something she could have imagined, not in a million years. Bracing herself for a killing blow, she shut her eyes tightly and waited. Syreena watched her prepare. Out of all of the elves she killed, this one didn't seem particularly different or even particularly interesting. Under most circumstances, she would have just cut off an ear and finish the job her poison started. Today was different, though. Today, she was feeling...merciful? No, that wasn't it. Shaking her head at such a silly thought, she grabbed one of Kalyra's ears and yanked it to the side, her other hand swooping down to carve off the long tip of her purple ear. With a quick tearing sound, the hunk of flesh was removed and Syreena had a new addition to her collection. Kalyra let out a pained moan, her limbs too heavy to move, but the pain visibly overwhelming. "This is one of the biggest ones I've ever seen!" Syreena said proudly, patting the night elf's cheek. "You did a good job growing it." Again, Kalyra moaned. Behind them both, the sudden sound of voices could be heard approaching. Syreena turned to listen, but heard only the weird elf language. Turning back to Kalyra, she considered killing her quickly with a single slash to the throat. It could be quick, and she could be out of there before the other arrived. The slow trail of blood, however, signaled that she didn't have long to live anyway. The poison will get to her heart, soon. Scrambling away, Syreena waited in a tree to watch as three night elves on black sabers ran to the scene and immediately went to Kalyra's aid. The night elf writhed in their arms, close to death, but babbling in her own language. "..undead... in the trees... they... they're in the trees.. they're in the trees!" she moaned before they made her choke down a healing potion. Syreena grinned. She couldn't understand what the elf said, but one of the words in Darnassian caught her ear. Aman.. she repeated in her head, then frowned. But I'm not a man... I'm a girl! How dare she! What happened next could only be described as a full on massacre. Syreena leaped from the trees and carved into the night elf bodies as if they were soft butter. Her daggers tore through the light leather armor, finding sweet warm flesh that she might gorge on later. Of course, she would save the ears. When the bodies fell, she stomped over to the already bleeding Kalyra and pressed a boot against the other girl's chest. "I AM NO MAN!" She shouted triumphantly. The birds sung, and somewhere nearby, a tiger roared. Then Kalyra died.
  16. Update as of 7/3/18 After the war against the Legion, Sanctuary's leadership role changed from Julilee Liene to Vilmah Bloodborne. With Julilee (and her husband Kex'ti) gone, the guild ultimately decided to move from the hall they procured in Dalaran to three distinctive locations: Shattrath The Sanctuary embassy on Shattrath is a small building with rooms for offices and meetings. Managed by Cerryan Vyel, it stands as a meeting place for different representatives to speak diplomatically and also serves as a guild meeting point. Ashtotem Village Ashtotem is a small village on the eastern mesas of the Thousand Needles, ironically constructed in the same fashion as Thunder Bluff; one large central mesas with a few others, connected by rope bridges. There are a few winding paths to the water below, as well as a large cave entrance to the main bluff. Unlike the Bloodhoof capiital, however, most of the other mesas are used for farming with only a few tents, teepees, and longhouses occupying them. Ashtotem is home to Sanctuary's hospital, a large structure that accepts patients from both factions. The village itself considers itself neutral, and serves all people regardless of their affiliation. Ashtotem's chieftan is Baern Ashtotem. Razor Hill The Sanctuary barracks lie just outside of Razor Hill. It consists of a two level artificial cave system armed with runic wards. There is ad dark iron gate set into the stone facing Razor Hill itself, with living spaces that includes a communal dorm style bathroom, showers, office space, a kitchen, and bedrooms on the first floow. Workshops and training rooms are on the floor below. The guardian and creator of this space is Garinth Thunderhammer. Officers of Sanctuary: Warboss Vilmah Bloodborne Guardian Baern Ashtotem Guardian Cerryan Vyel Guardian Garinth Thunderhammer Field Commander Mardalius Anterius Quartermaster Hadara Consul Rhakash
  17. By the time Vilmah returned to Wor’gol, it was past midnight. Most of the village was already asleep, and the moon cast a bright blue sheen over the snow covered ground that crunched as Edmund bounded through the snow. Attached to his back was a rudimentary sled slapped together with wood and rope, something Vilmah constructed to carry the corpse of her kill. She had strapped down the large she-wolf with yet more rope, but in the moonlight its fur appeared eerily blue, like a brightly colored creature from the jungles of Azeroth rather than a wolf on Draenor. As she approached the village, a few of their still awake warriors waved to her. She waved back and was soon met with Tuyya, who rode out to meet her with sleepy eyes on the back of her black wolf. “That was fast!” She said sarcastically. “I was hoping you wouldn’t need to spend all night out there. Did she hurt you?” Holding up her right arm, Vilmah let Tuyya see the hastily wrapped wound of her right arm. The purple sweater had been stashed in her saddle bag just a mile before reaching the village. “I hope one of your shaman is awake,” she said with a weary smile. “I got her worse than she got me, though. I don’t think she was very interested in living.” “Grief does that to people,” Tuyya agreed, turning her wolf to walk back beside Vilmah. “And animals too, strangely. You brought back the body, though? I would have thought you only needed the fur.” “Can’t let good meat go to waste,” Vilmah reasoned, shrugging. “Even if it’s just dog meat.” Tuyya grinned. “You’re learning quickly. When you first came to us you would have eaten the meat raw on your own, like some crazed animal.” Vilmah’s lip twitched as she lowered her eyes to the snow. “When you first met me I was still very much a crazed animal,” the smaller orc explained, embarrassed. “I’m not exactly proud of that.” “There aren’t many of us who are proud of ourselves at our lowest point. It brought you to us, though, didn’t it?” “War brought me to you,” Vilmah argued gently. “..but I think my grief is what made me stay. And the fact that you all didn’t just kick me out. I’m sure I didn’t make for an impressive prospective new clan member.” “You think we love everyone in the clan?” Tuyya laughed. “Your blood ties you to us, regardless of whatever it is that took you away to begin with. You told me that your mother was one of us. That’s enough for us to give you a chance, and you earned your place.” An uncomfortable silence followed Tuyya’s words, as if Vilmah wanted to agree but couldn’t bring herself to. In truth, she was having trouble not telling Tuyya that she was Vilmah’s mother, and if the portal to Azeroth hadn’t been opened, if Tuyya’s thirst for adventure hadn’t brought her to the arms of a Blackrock orc, Vilmah never would have existed to begin with. “Thanks Tuyya,” she said gratefully, smiling a little in spite of the conversation. “Thanks for being my friend.” “Don’t get all dramatic,” Tuyya chuckled. “I just hate seeing the little guy get stepped on. Or in your case, the little girl. And you looked so sad, like a kicked puppy. Who would kick a puppy? Don’t worry, guura kad dok mara. You’re one of us, now. That means you’ll never really be alone again,” she said reassuringly, punching Vilmah in the left shoulder. “..for better or worse.” "Sounds like quite the commitment," Vilmah said sarcastically, smirking. Tuyya rolled her eyes. "Believe me, it can be a pain in the ass. Any time I even suggest leaving for a long hunt, my family comes up with some reason to make me stay. Commitments, the need to find a mate, it's like they've forgotten what it's like to explore past the forest sometimes. Makes me want to get my hands dirty somewhere new." Vilmah bit the inside of her cheek. It was that wanderlust that caused the Tuyya that she knew to leave through the portal in the first place, and die starving in a cage. "They have a point. I mean.. you have everything you need here, don't you? People love you, here." "I don't disagree with that, but there's more to life than being loved," the orcess argued. "There's adventure, and you can't get that here. Not anymore, anyway. I treasure my clan, but there's more out there than this place. I want to see it." A feeling of dread overcame Vilmah's stomach, like she'd swallowed a mouthful of bees. Tuyya wasn't the type to let anyone hold her back, and she would eventually leave, even if it meant leaving everything behind. The idea of losing her for a second time, this person who, in another lifetime, gave her life for Vilmah's, made the Warboss pale with fear. "..you could come with me," she found herself saying. "Come to Azeroth, help me with Sanctuary. There's a few Frostwolves in Razor Hill, I'm sure you'll feel right at home. Even if it's in a desert.." Tuyya's eyes widened. "Really? You want me to come with you?" In truth, Vilmah would have preferred that this version of her mother stayed in Draenor, pure in her own way, and untouched by Azeroth's brutality. Knowing that it wasn't in her nature to stay in one place, however, the Warboss nodded quickly. "Yeah, of course. It'd be nice having you there. Plus, plenty of orcs in Azeroth," she joked, smiling a little more. "If your family is worried about you finding a mate." "Can you imagine if I were to bring home one of your green friends??" The orcess laughed, bouncing on her wolf. "Oh they would have an absolute fit! Yes, let's do it! I'll go with you to Azeroth and help your Sanctuary! Right after we clean your blue wolf, of course. You can bring home a wolf pelt and a Frostwolf!" Smiling at her excitement, Vilmah nodded in agreement. Whether or not this was for the best, she couldn't say, but at the very least she'd be able to keep an eye on Tuyya.
  18. It was dusk by the time Vilmah reached the she-wolf’s den, and the Warboss was hungry. She brought a few rations for the trip, some dried meat and and water, but the fight had already taken a lot out of her and in the back of her mind she dreamed of a full meal back in Razor Hill. “We’re gonna make the biggest sandwich,” she said quietly to Edmund, examining the trail of wolf blood as it led into a narrow cave once camouflaged with snow. “Maybe... wild boar with lettuce and tomatoes and that thick toasted bread... I wonder if the goblins in Dalaran made any of that good wheat bread? I hope they didn’t burn down our kitchen... I must be out of my mind…” Edmund shook his shaggy head and snorted. Whether this was in agreement or not was up for debate. Inside of the cave, Vilmah felt more than a little exposed. The walls were narrow and taking the lead, if the she-wolf decided to attack, there would be no room to maneuver. She let out a sigh of relief as the cave opened up, the deeper they went. Rounding a corner, Vilmah was slow and silent enough to be able to catch a glimpse of their prey in the middle of her den, attempting to lick the wounds that she herself inflicted. The blue wolf had created a nest from leaves and bark, which she lay in now, her wounds still bleeding slowly on to the ground. A few feet away, the bones of her kills lie in another pile. Beside her, their fur matted and dull, the dead bodies of her pups had been bundled together, huddled as if they were sleeping and not dead. The she wolf gave them a brief nuzzle, whining sadly. Vilmah’s heart ached for the mother she had to put down, knowing that in spite of the tender moment it was not in its right mind, and would only continue to damage an already damaged ecosystem if left to her own devices. Unsheathing her blade, Vilmah pat Edmund’s head and whispered “stay”. Her arm and leg still ached, something she would address later. The she-wolf knew they would come for her. Her nose was superior to Vilmah’s, and it was obvious she had been waiting. Perhaps she just wanted to die here, with her children. Perhaps she wanted Vilmah to die with her. Either way, the wolf stood from her place on the ground and growled, jaws bared, warning Vilmah that any wrong move would result in a death with no burial or funeral pyre. “Easy girl,” Vilmah said quietly, walking slowly now toward her prey. The Warboss voice was quiet and soothing, a tactic that didn’t work as well on people as it did with animals. How it would do on a crazed wolf, she couldn’t know. “I know you’re in pain… I know. Believe me, I know…” The she wolf lowered herself to the ground, as if preparing to spring forward. Still, Vilmah approached her. “I’ve been there,” she continued, her sword tilted to one side in a defensive position. “I know what it’s like to lose family… people you wanted to protect… young ones, even. I know. I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry it hurt you. You’ll be with them, soon.” The she wolf sprung forward, her jaws open wide to snap Vilmah in two. In a flash of fur and metal, the Warboss knelt down and pushed her sword up, right through the wolf’s throat. There wasn’t time for a whine or a growl, just the quick death of a sad animal as her blade pierced its spine. It was a faster kill than she anticipated, one moment swift action, and the next a heavy weight as the wolf’s dead body fell directly on top of her. Sliding the sword from the severed brainstem, Vilmah rolled out from under her kill and regarded the body. The she wolf was big, too big to carry out on Edmund’s back, and would require some real muscle to even get out of the cave. Understanding that the Frostwolves would appreciate her meat, however, Vilmah made the decision to take her out of there. With the meat quickly souring the longer it remained dead and unbutchered, she sighed and nodded to Edmund. “Wait here where it’s warm, Ed. I’ll go build a sled.” The wolf dog nodded and sat down next to Vilmah’s kill. Though she had attempted to kill him earlier, he sniffed at her, his eyebrows tilted down sadly at the sight of a mutt like him, dead to his master’s sword. A sad howl fell from his small mouth, a call to the ancestors of their blood, both on Draenor and Azeroth.
  19. “I really should have dressed warmer..” It was only a few miles into the snow covered mountainrange and Vilmah had already begun talking to herself. Far away from Wor’gol’s fires, the Blademaster’s green skin was chapped from cold, a sacrifice she made to honor the Blademasters that had come before her. Typically, wearing little armor was supposed to strike fear into her enemies, or at least lead them to believe that she was completely insane. Realizing that a wolf wouldn’t care either way, she eventually brought Edmund to a halt and dug around in her saddle bags for a sweater. It was dyed purple wool with a gold trim, something she knit specifically for emergencies, and she thanked whatever spirits existed that she didn’t forget to bring it. In a purple sweater she might not have looked like a Blademaster, but the sword on her back said differently. First she removed her sword, then gauntlet, then slid on the sweater over the simple white fabric she used to bind her chest. After replacing her sword, gauntlet, and knotting the empty left sleeve, she re-mounted Edmund and continued on through the snow. Tracking was not one of Vilmah’s greatest skills. It had been years since she last hunted a wolf there, in Frostfire Ridge, to solidify her standing with the clan. Back then it felt more like a hunt for her own survival, battered as she was during the Cataclysm, when assassins tracked her in a similar way. She couldn’t help but feel for the wolf in question, a heart broken mother lost in her grief, her mixed blood having created an ugly animal that nobody wanted. It saddened her to think that an animal like this were better off dead, and the act of killing it seemed almost barbaric. A wolf like this, however, could not be tamed no matter how much she would want to. Putting her own selfish desires aside, Vilmah pet Edmund’s fur and spoke to the wolf dog soothingly. “Do you smell her?” She asked, as if he could understand her perfectly. “Do you smell the lady? She smells like you maybe, Ed.” The runt of his mixed breed litter, Edmund wasn’t earned by the Warboss as most Frostwolves make their connections. He was sold in Orgrimmar, a joke to the breeders who saw Vilmah as a worthless runt, deserving of an equally worthless mutt with small teeth and a desire to cuddle rather than kill. She gave him a human name, something that sounded sweet on the tongue, and since then he was just as sweet to her. Growling affirmatively, Edmund put his nose to the snow. The way he could “see” things with his nose was a marvel to Vilmah, something that always fascinated her about animals. He’d been following a trail for the past few miles, and it led them deeper into a heavily wooded area. She could see now why none of the other Frostwolves bothered to track the blue wolf now, considering how deep she’d gone. The most recent blizzard had not just wreaked havoc on the wildlife, but it also done irreparable damage to Wor’gol. Most of the orcs there were too busy rebuilding their own homes to have the time to venture into the snow for a hunt, tempted as they might be. It was startlingly quiet the deeper she went, and in spite of the clear sky, the leafless canopy blocked enough of the light that even mid-day it appeared to be dusk. Every so often, the crunch of snow could be heard somewhere nearby. A squirrel or a white rabbit might have seen them, only to hide. Vilmah didn’t see any wolves yet, but she understood that they avoided orcs if they could. As the already dim light grew dimmer, however, Vilmah began to notice signs of their prey. “Good boy,” she whispered, sliding off of Edmund’s back to walk beside him. Though the mixed breed wolf dog was small, it suited her. He was able to slip through trees that larger worgs couldn’t, and his speed, like Vilmah’s, was surprisingly helpful. Even on the hunt, he was quiet and light on his feet, leaving lighter footprints than the giant ones that they suddenly came across. “Oh..” Vilmah murmured. “..she’s a big one, alright.” Edmund gave a quiet growl. It was different from his usual growl, the affirmative sound he made when answering Vilmah. This was a warning. “That was quick,” Vilmah said to herself, unsheathing the sword at her back. It slid out smooth, making no sound at all but shining brightly in the slowly darkening woods. The only thing shinier, Vilmah surmised as it happened, were the eyes of the wolf who suddenly burst forth from a dark crevice in the snow with open jaws. “Edmund!!” The orcess shouted, rushing forward to intercept the massive blue animal that had set her mount in his sights. She was larger than Vilmah anticipated, larger even than Greywind and shaggier. True to her reputation, the she-wolf was a strange gray color that appeared blue in the dimming light, but her eyes were actually blue, a strange trait inherited from her mixed blood. There was already blood in her maw, possibly from a more recent kill, and it dripped from the she-wolf’s foaming mouth as she went after the smaller wolf. Luckily for them both, Edmund was faster than his full-blooded brethren and managed to dodge the attack. He rolled in the snow and leaped forward, maneuvering his body away from the enormous jaws of the she-wolf. Not to be outdone by the pup, she rushed for him, splashing snow every which way, her blue eyes bloodshot and furious. Vilmah used the opportunity to rush the bitch from behind, stabbing her from behind with a single clean incision at the she-wolf’s hindquarters. Blood shot into the snow, spraying forward like a geyser, but it did little to slow the blue creature’s attack or soften her rage. A loud howl of fury followed the freeing of Vilmah’s blade, and before she could bring it up to block the wolf lunged forward and snapped her jaws around the Warboss’ leg. “Oh you bitch,” Vilmah said through grit teeth, the armor strong enough to keep the wolf jaws from puncturing her skin, but not strong enough to keep her from squeezing and denting the armor into her bone. Seeing no blood, the wolf instantly recoiled, taking a moment to assess the lack of blood before lunging forward again. This time, Vilmah was ready. As the wolf’s jaws came for her unprotected torso, she stabbed her sword into its chest, burying the blade to the hilt before pulling it back out. Large as she was, the deep wound bled heavily, but still the bitch fought. Before Vilmah had the chance to attack again, the blue wolf bit down on her arm, her only arm, and while protected by the gauntlet it managed to get a tooth right into the Warboss’ forearm. This might have been big trouble. If she hit a jugular with her tooth, it would have taken Vilmah out of the hunt immediately. It might have taken her out of her life too, but she didn’t think about that right away. Rather, she slammed an armored knee into the wolf’s face, stunning her enough that she let go of her prey and stumbled back. With both of them bleeding, Vilmah and the wolf assessed themselves. It impressed Vilmah that the animal, in spite of her madness, had enough of a mind to want to live. Growling through the orc’s blood in her mouth, the bitch winced and bounded off into the woods. Edmund whined and bounded for Vilmah, whose arm was bleeding but thankfully wasn’t broken. “Times like this I really wish I had two hands,” she muttered to the wolf dog, watching the she-wolf run off, leaving a trail of blood behind. She would be weak, now, and easy to track, but Vilmah’s leg was sore from the bite and she had to wrap her arm first. “This is gonna be a long night, Ed,” she said while using the wolf to slide her sweater sleeve, the purple discolored with blood, and examine the wound. It was deep enough to be troublesome if not seen to, so Vilmah plunged it into the snow to clean it before grabbing a bandage from her saddlebags. With teeth and determination, she managed to wrap it haphazardly, tight enough to stop it from bleeding all over her. It would need attention later, but for now she had a wolf to kill. “Alright Edmund,” she sighed, hopping back on her friend’s back. “Follow her. She won’t last long out there, and I’m not about to become food for whatever friends she has left.”
  20. “..so gray it’s almost blue, so they call it the blue wolf.” Vilmah blinked once and shook her head, lost in her own thoughts. “Sorry, can you repeat that?” The Frostwolf grinned at her with a mouth full of white teeth, her bottom canines impressively large. They pressed into her cheeks to create dimples, far deeper than Vilmah’s but no less similar. Tiny designs engraved in her tusks reminded Vilmah of the troll totems she’d seen on Azeroth, and it distracted her for a moment as she considered how different their cultures were, yet how many similarities they shared. Most of the other clan members did a double-take when she entered Wor’gol, though a few remembered her from less-than recent battles on Draenor, when many adventurers came and went. This one, “guura kad dok mara” the “one-armed green runt”, came to Wor’gol covered in scars that went deeper than her flesh. She remained longer than the others, helping the Frostwolves as they healed her with the culture her late mother could not share on Azeroth. She fought with the ferocity of an injured wolf, something the clan understood. It was not often that the Azerothian orcs made their way back to Draenor these days, so her presence was news. Tuyya was more than happy to greet her, having been aided by Vilmah the first time she stepped into their village. The ‘Warboss’ seemed better now, well muscled and clean, her eyes clear and bright in spite of the horrors witnessed throughout the years. It was no wonder she came to Draenor to clear her mind. “Welcome back, guura kad dok mara!” she said with a grin, as if this were an honorable title. These days, Vilmah didn’t take offense. “You’ve got a head full of thoughts,” Tuyya noted playfully, nudging the smaller greener orcess’ shoulder with one hand. Noticeably, the Frostwolf made it a point only to touch her right shoulder, far away from the metal monstrosity on Vilmah’s left side. “What brings you here to hunt, anyway?” It was a good question, but one that the Warboss wasn’t keen on answering in detail. “A friend of mine is injured. I was feeling a little restless, now that the Legion has been defeated. I thought maybe a hunt could clear my head, and he’d appreciate a new fur.” “To keep him warm on cold nights I imagine,” the Frostwolf said knowingly, smirking. Tuyya was nothing if not forward and her frank nature made it easy to talk too much. Just inside of Wor’gol, she and Vilmah stood near a large fire that illuminated the bright hazel eyes that the smaller orcess looked to for guidance. They were the same age, and yet this was exactly how she remembered her mother. Tuyya stood a half head taller than she did, with a broad frame and thick black braids. She even remembered her tusks, though those memories were clouded with fear and hunger. Except this Tuyya was most certainly not her mother. This Tuyya was well-fed, bold, eager for adventure, and had no qualms about discussing her own courtships with the new one-armed member of their clan. “Well, he’s bedridden right now,” Vilmah said awkwardly, rubbing the back of her neck as it prickled from the cold. Mentally she kicked herself for being so stubborn about her Blademaster attire, the bare skin of her shoulders and torso visibly reddened by the cold weather of Frostfire Ridge. “I just wanted something to cheer him up when he wakes, and I figured a fur from Frostfire would do the trick.” “A generous endeavor,” Tuyya noted dramatically. “Furs like this aren’t usually given to subordinates, ‘Warboss’.” “He’s my shaman,” Vilmah specified. Tuyya paused in her teasing and pursed her lips. “..ah. Well, this will be an appropriate gift, then.” “You said he was grayish-blue?” Vilmah asked, hurriedly returning to the subject of the hunt. Both hands clutched her sides eagerly, though her mechanical one noticeably had a looser grip. “Yes, it seems some of your less than lucky adventurers from Azeroth left their wolves here when they perished. They’re not from our world, but they bred with our worgs and created some ugly monstrosities,” she chuckled. “Mixed breeds. You need to watch out for those ones the most.” Vilmah’s lip twitched. “It’s grayish-blue, this one,” Tuyya continued. “A big she-wolf, she’s been wreaking havoc with the others. I think her pups might have been killed by the last blizzard and it’s driven her mad. None of us has had the time or the desire to go out and track her down yet, especially after the winter we’ve had. Too busy tending to what needs to be done, here. So if you can nab the bitch, we’d be grateful.” “I’ll do what I can,” Vilmah said hopefully, smiling a little at the endeavor. She wasn’t as much of a hunter as her predecessors, but the art of the hunt was something that went deep in her blood and she could full the pull and excitement tugging at her heartstrings. “Ah, just one thing,” Tuyya said quickly, lowering her voice. “About your toy. I would suggest leaving it.” “My..? Oh...” Glancing down at her mechanical arm, the Warboss smiled at the thought of just how offended Gunheya would be if he heard someone refer to it as a ‘toy’. “The rest of the village sees that sort of thing as a.. a crutch. Weakness, you know? Maybe you don’t care, but—“ “I don’t,” Vilmah agreed, reaching for the attachment on her left bicep. With a twist and a click, it disengaged from the stump of her left arm, the scar tissue dark and wrinkled. It was ugly, but uglier still to the Frostwolves was the idea that she might hide the scars that made her. The metal itself was enough of a Blackrock looking monstrosity, perhaps a strange callback to Vilmah’s own mixed blood, whether she admitted to it or not. Handing the arm toward Tuyya with her one hand, Vilmah appeared even smaller. “Hold on to it for me? I’ll be back for it soon enough.” Tuyya took the arm without protest, holding it like a precious artifact in both hands. While it may have bothered the rest of her kin, to Tuyya it was a marvel of mechanical genius, and a perfect representation of the wonders that awaited outside of Wor’gol. “Good luck, guura kad dok mara,” she said with a grin. “I still say you should dress a little warmer.” Smirking at the idea, good as it was, Vilmah shrugged it off and whistled for her own mixed breed wolf dog. “Nobody ever feared the Blademasters because they were sane,” she argued. “Yeah but they had fire swords to keep them warm!” Tuyya laughed, holding up the arm to wave it limply as Vilmah and Edmund bounded off into the snow.
  21. "Mardalius is a strong and confident battlemage," Alinah says proudly. "I think he will prove himself to be a great asset to the Horde and Sanctuary, if he hasn't already. I'm glad I met him when I did, or I might never have had the courage to leave my old life behind. I hope we have a long life together."
  22. He's a good person to have on your team, though he seems a little green for an elf.