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Everything posted by Vilmah

  1. Well, I guess I'm dead. Vilmah opened her eyes to complete and total darkness. She expected that this was what death would be like; the absence of light, of sound. Unfortunately, there was no absence of smell, and the air was repugnant. Nor was there an absence of pain, which radiated from her missing arm toward her spine. She reached for the appendage and found that her mechanical limb had come loose, and hung limp from the connective straps at her chest. Testing it, she found that only two of her fingers responded. "Shit. Still alive." Her voice echoed. Sitting up, the orcess used her good hand to rub her head. It throbbed like someone had struck her repeatedly with a hammer, which was a fairly common occurrence. Looking around for some kind of light, she cleared her throat. "...hello?" Again, her voice echoed. She stood and waited for something, anything, to indicate an exit. No breeze met her skin or lifted a hair from her head. The air felt stagnant and damp. Just stay here, came a familiar voice. It was calmer, now, and completely filled the chamber. Stay here, we'll be safe. Vilmah looked for the source of the voice, but still saw nothing. She felt her skin prickle with goosebumps and reached out with her one good arm to find something, anything. "Who are you??" She asked frantically, her voice echoing itself repeatedly. "What are you? What did you do with Garinth??" You're both safe, now, the voice answered soothingly, gently. They can't find us, here. "Garinth!!" The orcess shouted, panic in her voice. "Garinth, can you hear me?? Garinth!!" Her heart was pounding loud enough that she could feel it between her ears. Clutching her head with one hand, Vilmah tried to calm herself but found the darkness envelop her. You did it again, gods damn it, she thought to herself. And you dragged someone else down with you.
  2. "This is exactly what I'm talking about.." she said in a low voice, stepping away from the rock formation in front of them. "You think I'm scared for my own safety? That's the last thing I'm worried about. What worries me is exactly what's happening right now. I'm like a lure for trouble, and it only hurts other people. I shouldn't have called you here, and for that I apologize." Another tremor ran through the ground. Reaching behind her, Vilmah grabbed the enormous two-handed sword on her back. It appeared almost light in her hands, if not for the difference in strength between the mechanical one and the real thing. Giving it a few test swings, she pointed toward the rocks. "Thanks for leading me here, but I think whatever is causing this trouble is in there. So I'm going to knock down those rocks, find what's inside, and put an end to it the old fashioned way. Sorry to call you all this way, but it's probably safer if you leave before I start breaking this thing down." Before Vilmah had a chance to make good on her threat however, the ground beneath them cracked. With an angry snarl, the orcess ran for the rock formation and swung her weapon at the rocks in a massive cleave. The rocks shattered, but it didn't stop the tremors. Rather, the tremors became worse, and with them the voice returned. I told you I won't let you have them! "Who are you?!" Vilmah shouted at no one, as the ground behind her opened. No one answered but the earth itself, which opened large enough to swallow both orcs whole.
  3. Vilmah rubbed her forehead, willing herself to take in Garinth's wisdom and not fight it. Typically, spirits could be dealt with on a more metaphysical level; find a way to solidify them and kill them as if they were alive. This was different, and though she couldn't see them she trusted in the shaman's knowledge. "So I'm not just being followed, I'm being haunted," she said with a forced smile, attempting to bring some humor to the situation. "You're probably right. I probably could come back from this, but the truth is that I'm not sure I want to. I don't want to be the same warrior who made all those mistakes because she trusted too much. I refuse to get people hurt again. If something happens to me, so be it, but I won't drag the guild down with me for being stupid. Not again." After a few seconds, her voice lowered and she looked at the half-orc apologetically. "I'm sorry, Garinth. I've been so selfish since I came back. I didn't even stop to consider what happened to you, or how your eyesight returned." The orcess took a deep breath, willing calm into her chest. There was something telling her to go back, to stop walking toward the rock formation. It seemed to permeate through the ground. "If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine, but I'm glad it did. You seem a lot more confident than you were, before. Whatever happened to you, I hope it wasn't bad. The Horde, and especially Sanctuary, we're lucky to have you." You will not harm them! The voice returned, angry as ever, screaming with the kind of rage that could be felt in one's bones. Vilmah put her hands over her ears, as if she could muffle the sounds, but quickly realized that she was beeing foolish. Don't come any closer! I am warning you!! "Speaking of which.." She said between clenched teeth, as the ground beneath them once again shifted. "I think we might have found the source of our headache."
  4. The question itself set Vilmah's already hightened state of awareness on edge. It had been a while since anyone actually asked about her well-being, mostly since she attempted to keep things to herself. In this case, it was more difficult, and the idea that he could see that there was a problem deepend her discomfort. "I'm not okay," she admitted immediately. "I'm not going to deny it and I'm not going to ask for sympathy. I did a lot of stupid things when I was younger; put my trust in the wrong people, had faith in those who didn't deserve it.. I paid for my optimism. I lost my arm and my guild in the process. During Garrosh's reign of idiocy, Nojinbu and I were exiled from the Horde. I had to keep myself hidden, because honestly, how many growth stunted one armed orcs are there?" Following Garinth on the strange winding path, she kept a hand on Edmund to ground herself. "It's not easy hiding like that, especially when you still have to fight every day. I did a lot of killing and I'm not proud of any of it. After Garrosh, we were able to come back but now I can't seem to shake this feeling.. like they're still after me. I was right, too. Just the other day some Kor'kron leftover tried to kill me. I was lucky he wasn't much in the way of skills because I put him down, but that sort of thing just goes to show you how bad it's gotten. I can't go anywhere without someone after my blood. I don't think I ever will." Vilmah found her mouth going dry the longer she talked. Whether it was the subject or the strange presence in the air, she couldn't tell. Either way, her voice became shakier the closer they came to a rock formation in the hills nearby. "And you know what's strange about it, Garinth? I used to hate killing and fighting. I used to stand in the front line to take the brunt of it from everyone else because I hated doing the damage myself. Now, after having to do it for so long, that's all I want to do. I can't help myself, anymore. And it feels so natural that I don't even really know who I am, anymore." The two orcs came upon a pile of stones. They seemed to have been there for many years, with moss and plants growing through the cracks. A sapling bridged the gap between the largest stones in the middle, bearing faded flowers that fell to the ground as they approached. Vilmah licked her dry lips and wiped her clammy palms down the sides of her armor. A tightness wound inside of her stomach that felt like a combination of dread and rage. "Long story short, I'm not okay. Sorry to talk your ear off."
  5. "Spirits.." She repeated, both confused and angry. Edmund whimpered sympathetically and nuzzled his master until her breathing calmed. The voices seemed to mimic her own emotions, though she had no idea why. Standing up slowly, Vilmah looked over the damage. It wasn't like any earthquake she'd ever been in, the aftershocks echoed more in her head than in the ground itself. Rubbing her temples, she looked carefully at Garinth. The desire to leave was strong, and truthfully the entire homecoming experience had been, so far, not something she wanted to repeat. "..well, to tell you the truth, I don't. I'd rather leave." Edmund nosed toward the tree, sniffing at fallen leaves and branches. He steadied in on a crack in the ground that seemed to lead in another direction and looked back at the two orcs. A squirrel ran past the wolf in terror. "...but I also think if we don't I'm going to regret it," the orc sighed, angry with herself. "I hate leaving loose ends, and I can't shake the feeling that someone is in need of help. Sorry to drag you into it."
  6. Stay back. It was a female's voice, but not a child. She was an adult, strong and resilient, and her voice commanded respect. I will not let you harm them! As if to make her point clear, the ground shifted. It began with a gentle rumbling, but soon grew into a full-on earthquake. The tree swayed from side to side, reacting to the earth's shaking and parted with some of it's leaves. Vilmah grabbed Garinth by the cape and pulled him away from the tree, in defense of any branches that might fall and knock them both to oblivion. After a few moments, the rumbling stopped, leaving leaves and a few dead branches on the ground. Tears had appeared in the wild grass, as if the ground itself were cracked. Breathing heavily, Vilmah rubbed her temples. Her heart was pounding hard enough that she was sure one could hear it a mile away. "Did you hear that??" She asked frantically, looking around for the source of the voice. "It wasn't just me, right? You heard it. Tell me you heard it!"
  7. "Definitely," Vilmah replied uneasily. Edmund approached Garinth carefully and sniffed at the half-orc. His scent didn't seem to bother the enormous animal, but it did pique his curiousity. His wet black nose went from Garinth's feet to his legs to his groin to his chest until he was standing on his hind legs and sniffing at Garinth's hair. "Ed!" Vilmah said with surprise. "Down, boy! Get down! Sorry about that. He's not usually so nosy.." The wolf went down without argument, but continued to stare at Garinth with expressive brown eyes. Vilmah pointed toward the tree, where an axe had been placed handle-side-down into the ground. It was a fairly average tree, brown trunk, green leaves, but something about it felt off. As if it weren't supposed to be there. "Anyway, the reason I called you over," she said while removing her helmet. "I was asked to bring that axe here by a dying warrior in Stormheim. He said he wanted me to bring it to his son. It seems his son was one of those lost during the liberation of Hammerfall. I actually didn't really know there were many lost during the liberation, I was pretty young myself at the time and it's not something I like to think about.. but anyway, you know I'm not exactly gifted with spirits or listening to spirits or any of that stuff. Yet for some reason, whenever I come here I feel terrible and now I'm starting to hear voices. What I'm trying to say is..." She looked around to make sure they were alone. "Could you check this place out? See if something weird is going on? I just want to know if I'm going crazy or not."
  8. The sudden buzzing in her hearthstone surprised Vilmah. She hadn't moved from her place near the tree for some time, the strange voices in her head came and went with the wind. Recognizing the voice as Garinth, she grabbed the stone and spoke into it, unease in her voice. "Southeast. Head Southeast from the walls until you see a... tree. I'm with my wolf." Edmund had curled up beside Vilmah's feet protectively, his tail twitching every few minutes.
  9. Hammerfall. It was raining when she arrived, which only managed to extend Vilmah’s already spoiled mood. The journey had been long, involved several flights on her own windrider plus a zeppelin. By the time she made it to the Arathi Highlands, she remembered why she’d been so hesitant to think about it in the first place. It was cold, it was damp, it was everything she hated. It was home. Edmund, her wolf, whimpered as they approached the gates. He seemed to react to Vilmah’s own emotions, though she tried to hide her feelings by wearing a helmet large enough to cover her face. The orcs and trolls guarding the outside regarded her with a wave, visibly impressed by her superior armor and weapons. In comparison, Hammerfall’s guards seemed woefully unprepared for attacks, though most of their enemies were simple ogres and a few Witherbark trolls. Inside, the small town had little to offer besides a tradesmen or two. One of them, an orc selling cheap weapons, sat beside a row of empty cages while hammering chain maille back into place. Vilmah winced beneath her helmet. Why did they even keep those cages. “Throm’ka,” she said to the merchant, attempting to sound casual. “I’m looking for an orc by the name of Stonejaw. Do you know him?” The merchant looked up at her, confused. “Stonejaw? Never heard of him.” Vilmah frowned. “His father fell in battle, in Stormheim. He asked me to bring him his axe. You’re sure you’ve never heard of him?” The older orc shrugged. “Not since I’ve been here, and that’s since just after the third war. Though talk to Agrysha. She might know him. She’s been here since before the liberation.” Liberation. The word brought back a lot of memories, most of them bad. “Where can I find her?” Vilmah asked, patting her wolf as she conversed. He was visibly unhappy in this place, though not as much as his master. “She’ll be in the hospital. Doctor. Helping to heal,” he grunted, pointing toward a wooden building. “Dabu,” Vilmah replied, waving as she approached the building. The rain was subsiding a bit, so she took the opportunity to remove her helmet and shake out her damp purple hair. Inside of the hospital were only a few patients; two trolls and an orc lie on bedrolls, resting from injuries. Beside one of the trolls, an older female orc knelt and wrapped bandages over the thick right wrist of a troll. Not wishing to interrupt, Vilmah stood at the door and waited. It was silent but for the slow breathing, the gentle rustling of fabric, the rain. …I don't like it… it’s dark….. Vilmah gasped. “What?!” Agrysha turned to see the younger orc and narrowed her eyebrows. “Please announce yourself quietly,” she said quietly. “These warriors need rest.” Vilmah clutched her chest, breathing heavily. It was a voice she heard, but it seemed only she heard it. The voice was quiet and young, too young to be anyone in Hammerfall. A child? “I… sorry, I came to find someone named Agrysha?” She said quietly, approaching the other orcess. Agrysha stood from her patient and addressed Vilmah cautiously. “I am she. Can we take this outside?” The two females walked out of the hospital quietly, and closed the door behind them. Outside, the air was damp after the rain. The sun was beginning to warm the ground, causing mist to rise. Vilmah cleared her throat. “I uh… sorry. My name is Vilmah, and I’m looking for someone named Stonejaw. I was told you might know where he is?” Agrysha knit her eyebrows in thought. “That is a familiar name. Who is he?” “I’m not sure, he’s the son of a warrior who fell in battle. He asked that his axe,” she pointed to the weapon on her back. “Be brought to a tree? In Hammerfall? I thought that was weird.” “A tree?” The orcess repeated. “I know the tree. I planted it myself. Come, I’ll show you.” Vilmah followed Agrysha outside of Hammerfall’s walls. Edmund walked beside his master, the grey wolf calming at her touch. She scratched between his ears every so often, just to keep their connection calm. She needed him as much as he needed her in that regard. Eventually, they came to a small clearing, where a tree stood alone. Agrysha indicated toward the trunk. “This is it,” the orcess announced sadly. “This is the Tree of the Forgotten.” It wasn’t a particularly large or impressive tree. There were no intricate carvings, nothing to set it apart from the rest. Vilmah approached it apprehensively. “I’ve never heard of it. What is it exactly?” Agrysha shrugged. “Just a memorial. I planted it myself, for my sister, and for the rest.” Vilmah blinked. “The rest?” …can we go out now…. A cold sweat broke out on Vilmah’s skin. She felt her hands become clammy with the sound of a child’s voice in her ears. “Did you hear that!?” “Hear what?” “A… a voice…” she answered, looking around the tree. Edmund whimpered sympathetically. “I heard it… but what, what is this a memorial for? The rest of what?” Agrysha pointed toward Hammerfall. “During the liberation, there were many lives lost. Not just Doomhammer, but those who could not defend themselves. My sister amongst them. She was a shaman, but had no great skills. She and a few others, mostly children, fell during the fight. I planted this tree because… well, I don’t know. I’m not the spiritual type, but shamans commune with nature, right? I thought a tree would help me to remember her. Perhaps this Stonejaw’s son was one of those who were lost.” Vilmah felt her stomach turn. During the liberation, she was old enough to only remember a few things, mostly Thrall. His presence shone brightly amongst the battle and blood, and though she remembered her mother dying in an effort to bring Vilmah to freedom, she could not recall any other children. “…I didn’t know there were other children,” she said, feeling more than a little guilty. “I’m sorry for your sister.” Agrysha shook her head. “Don’t be sorry. Casualties happen in battle. Though we lost many, we gained our freedom. Go on, bring the axe to the tree. I don’t know how this spirit business works, but maybe the Stonejaws can be together.” Vilmah took the axe from her back and sunk the handle into the ground at the base of the tree. It stood straight, looking eerily like a grave marker. …father? “What was that??” Vilmah said, looking toward Agrysha. “You can’t possibly tell me you didn’t hear that??” Agrysha looked at Vilmah skeptically. “I think you must be hearing things, warrior. How long were you in battle?” The younger orc rubbed her forehead. “All my life.” “Well, like I said. I’m not the spiritual type. If you’re hearing voices, maybe you should speak with someone who is. Maybe the earth is trying to talk to you.” “I very much doubt it,” Vilmah grumbled, staring at the axe. “Then maybe,” Agrysha said as she turned from the tree. “You’re just hearing things. Either way, I’d be careful if I were you. A good warrior may not be able to hear the earth, but they can hear emotions. That’s what makes them good at what they do, they can read people, control themselves. There’s a lot of pain in Hammerfall. Maybe that’s what you’re hearing.” The warrior took a step toward the tree and stared. “Maybe it is.” The mist continued to rise as the heat of the morning sun swelled. Somewhere nearby, a troll fought an orc to the death. Vilmah felt her wolf nuzzle her hand, and the smell of wet grass permeated through the air. …I want to go home…
  10. The weather in Stormheim was not pleasant. The vrykul that she battled with constantly seemed accustomed to the elements, but Vilmah was not particularly fond of the rain. The moisture seeped into her armor, making the clothes she wore underneath damp and cold. Her mechanical arm creaked with hidden rust that grew inside of the contraption, despite her best efforts to keep it oiled and well-maintained. With each swing of her enormous two-handed sword, the sound of metal and the feeling of chaffed damp skin made the orcess grit her teeth. “I hate rain,” she said to herself, cleaving through a vrykul’s skull. The humanoid went down with a wet thud, still more rain pouring down on the corpse. He had been trailing her since she’d raided his village on a mission for Sylvannas, and she had no patience for stalkers. Not today. Not in this weather. Wiping off her sword on the wet grass, she heard a groan from nearby. “Hey, you!” Called a gruff voice from a few yards away. Vilmah peered toward the voice. It was coming from a group of bushes. A trap? Perhaps. A reason to continue to be out in the rain? Most definitely. With an irritated sigh, she approached the caller. “What?” Looking up toward the small warrior was another orc. He lay half-hidden in the bushes, a hand over his stomach, which Vilmah realized had been torn open. His intestines had spilled forth like a pile of thick ropes, and his lifeblood grew in a steady pool on the ground. “Heh... just my luck,” he coughed. “Another warrior. Wouldn’t happen to have a priest with you, huh?” She knelt down beside him, grabbing uselessly for some bandages. “No… sorry. Just me.” “Well, a fitting end,” he grunted, closing his eyes. “The glory of battle, ey warrior?” Vilmah tried to hide her scowl. “Sure.” “Listen…” the dying orc said quietly, his breathing slowed. “My name is Hak’gor Stonejaw. I need you to… do this for me. Take my axe,” he commanded. “Take it to Hammerfall. There’s a… a tree there. Leave it there.” The orcess blinked, confused. “Hammerfall?” She repeated. “But why a tree?” “No time…” Stonejaw muttered, his eyes glossing over. “Just… bring it to my son…” There was no more talking after that. Just rain, and the smell of orcish entrails. Vilmah waited until his breathing ended, and shut the orc’s eyelids. He seemed far older than her, his skin slack and weathered. A sick feeling overcame her as felt his dead flesh, but she swallowed the nausea and took up his axe. It was heavy.
  11. The sun was already high in the air as Vilmah walked through Orgimmar. Try as she might to return to the city that once stood as a beacon of hope, she could not get used to the changes. The sights and sounds were still unfamiliar, and harkened back to the dark days of Warchief Hellscream. When Sanctuary was regarded as a band of renegades and traitors, and their guild hall was burned to the ground. When members of their small group were murdered in the name of the Horde and it's justice. Vilmah could never forget the smell of burning flesh, or the sight of orcs mad with power subjugating their supposed allies to their will. Orgimmar would never be her home again after that. Not even as Vol'jin took up the helm, and for a few brief years the Horde seemed to grow stronger once more. That ended all too soon. Vol'jin dead, Thrall mortally wounded, and a new Warchief once again. Vilmah walked through the city that she once knew like an old friend and felt contempt. Still smaller than most orcs, she was at least a considerable enough size not to be disrespected by the citizens of Orgimmar. Her armor was not remarkable, but it was battle worn. They saw her tabard, her size, and her arm. They knew the story; how Vilmah Bloodborne, leader of a guild that fought for Thrall's desire to unite the Horde and Alliance, was thrown into the battle arena and tried as a criminal. How she fought against Laughing Brook, the cannibal tauren, and Blackfist, the orc who attempted to murder their warchief. How the tiny warrior lost her arm, and in a fit of unbridled rage tore into Blackfist's throat with her teeth until he bled to death. They knew her story, even if she tried to forget it. Walking toward the battle arena, she noticed the looks and tried to ignore them. I'm not a child anymore, she thought to herself, clutching the axe against her shoulder in a tight grip. The closer she came to the arena, the louder the memories became. The roar of the crowd demanding her head, the gurgling of Blackfist as he suffocated on his own blood. By the time she made it to the sand of the arena, her remaining hand was shaking. Stop letting it get to you, she repeated in her head, heart pounding. You are not the same orc you were when you fought here. A guard walked by her absently, an enormous orc wearing typical Orgimmar armor. He stopped short of her by a few feet, and though she could not remember his face, he seemed dumbfounded by her presense. "...Bloodborne?" Vilmah smiled. Many looked at her, but few actually spoke to her. "That's right." The orc put down his weapon and approached her carefully, looking around to see if anyone else was around. "What are you doing here? I haven't seen you since.." He nodded toward her arm. With a shrug, the smaller orc walked slowly toward the pens. There were no prisoners inside, and it smelled of sweat and blood. "I don't come back often. I just realized I hadn't been back here in a while. I thought maybe I should pay a visit." The guard nodded firmly. "You fought well. I remember. Your opponents were bigger, stronger even, but you had more will. It won you the day and your honor." "I just wanted to live," she said evenly. Vilmah knelt down to pick up a handfull of sand. It was wet, and crumbled between her fingers. "Which one were you? Which guard?" He shook his head. "I wasn't a guard. I was there for my father." Vilmah blinked and looked up at him. Wordlessly she stood, taking in his appearence. "Your father?" "Blackfist," he said calmly, taking another step toward her. "I am Kaxor Blackfist. You killed my father." The smaller orc did not move. She raised her eyes to meet Kaxor's, and kept her hand tightly wrapped around the handle of her axe. "Yes, I did." Kaxor frowned deeply. "I never thought I would see you again. They say that your left, ran into the mountains and hid. That you abandoned your guild when it was burned. Then I started seeing the purple tabards, again. I heard rumors about you coming back, but I never really thought we would meet. Not here." "Don't tell me," she said dryly. "You've been waiting for me. You want revenge." Without warning, Kaxor drew his axes. They were larger than Vilmah's entire upper body, and he handled them easily. It was then that she realized that by being there alone, there was no way to call for help. She was in the arena once again. "That's right, Bloodborne," he said carefully. "My father should have killed Thrall when he had the chance. That bastard who cheated at Mak'gora, who killed Warchief Hellscream. You know nothing of honor, you or your people. You know only of treachery. Well you won't be eating any part of me, whelp. I am going to take your head, and there is no one here to stop you." Vilmah sighed, her heartbeat steadying. Before, when she came to Orgimmar, it fluttered like a bird. Now, as she felt the rush of combat, a strange calm overtook her. "Well, that's where your wrong," she said with a smile. "See, none of that matters." Kaxor grit his teeth and closed the gap between them, axes shaking with rage. "You are going to die in the sand!" He shouted, cutting through the air toward her with a blinding speed. "Where you should have died, years ago!" His rage, however, was enough of an opportunity for Vilmah. Smaller than him by a head, she ducked his axes and slid between the larger orc's legs. With his massive bulk encumbering him, she had just enough time to swing her axe at his side. It was one of the quickest battles of her life, but he was inexperienced. "I told you," she said calmly, ripping the axe head from his body, blood and steaming entrails spilling into the sand. The red and black pile of innards hissed as they hit the hot ground. "None of it matters." Kaxor fell into the ground, reaching up toward her with a shaking hand as he bled out. "H... how...?" Chuckling awkwardly, Vilmah gave Kaxor a final smile. "How? You have the nerve to ask me how? It's easy. It's because there's nothing you or anyone can ever do to me that I haven't already felt before. My friends have died. My heart's been broken. I had to kill my own father. You think killing me would do anything? You're stupider than I was at your age. I almost wish you had a better chance, but one thing is for certain," she stepped on his throat, suffocating the bleeding orc as he faded. "I'm not going out like your idiot father. Or like you. Your name dies with you." After a few short moments, the struggling beneath her boot calmed. Kaxor's body was limp, and Vilmah lifted her foot. The fluttering of his eyelids gave her all the reason she needed to once again swing her axe toward his throat, and cleanly severed his head. Reaching down to pick it up, she threw it toward the middle of the arena. Only moments later, a troll warrior approached her, eyes wide with shock and recognition. "You--" "You saw what happened?" She asked him firmly. The troll nodded. "Y... ya mon. 'e tried ta cut ya down." "That's right," she said with a nod, hoisting her axe back on her shoulder. "Self defense, you know? He wasn't very smart to try and pick a fight with someone like me." "Y-ya but..." The troll followed her as she walked from the arena. "Why 'e gonna try an' do dat, anyway? Who you be?" Spinning on one foot, Vilmah turned to face the troll. She smiled, laughter erupting from her belly as she answered him. "That's an easy one. I'm Vilmah Bloodborne."
  12. Noj and I are coming. There will be much crazy.
  13. Vilmah stood at the precipice of a hill in Nagrand. She had been there for weeks, separated from her friends and family, her hearth stone hidden in a bag she left behind. Every once in a while, it struck her. The fire, screams and pain of a battle long since fought would erupt in her memory and demand that she remove herself from society. It was either that or bury herself in blood fury, allow the curse of Mannoroth to consume her and become the same orc that might have fought for supremacy in Nagrand. She had been close, this time. In highmaul, the fought ogres. An old foe of her race, it shouldn't have been any issue, but she witnessed the death of a comrade. Vilmah didn't even know the orc who fell beside her, his head smashed into the dirt like a ripe melon. It might not have phased her, but one of his eyes remained. It stared up at her in accusation. How is it I fell and you still stand? You're not half the warrior I was. The orc stepped back. The battle was over, and the group claimed their prize, but she did not join them. Nausea ate at her stomach and Edmund, whimpering despite his enormous size, nuzzled her hand. Without thinking of the consequences, she mounted the wolf and kicked his sides, prompting him to run. He ran through Highmaul, through bodies of the dead, through bones and blood until she couldn't smell their corpses any longer. Finally, with the sounds of steel and spells behind her, she stopped. Nagrand was beautiful, but her heart still raced. Sliding off of Edmund's back, she vomited into the grass and waited for the nausea to pass. "..it may take a while, this time," she said to the wolf. He lay down beside her, and waited for the orc to make camp.
  14. "Well.." The orc scratched her head, looking at the card. Self reflection? There hadn't been much time for that lately, but the card was pretty. She inspected it closely, trying to decipher it's meaning. A tauren and a lion? The tauren looked innocent, and the lion seemed tame. Was it a hunter? Vilmah was not a hunter, but she did like animals. The tauren seemed to have tamed the lion, and they were at peace with one another. Calmness and calmness, together, though Vilmah's experience with lions was anything but. They were usually aggressive and territorial beasts, as opposed to most of her tauren friends, who were always so warm and welcoming. So two opposites, working in harmony? It seemed like something she would have related to, before Garrosh. "Maybe," she attempted to answer, searching for the right words. "..this is the sort of thing I look for? Aggression turned peaceful? Though it's the nature of the lion to be aggressive, and for him to hold back is for him to deny his instinct." Vilmah twisted her mouth in thought. This was something she was told often. "Like orcs, I guess," she continued, looking to Tuuro as if she were confessing. "Like me. I've always been told that we're naturally aggressive, and that my goals for creating peace between races is just denying my instinct. I looked to people like the tauren for guidance, but maybe this is the truth. We're like lions on a leash. We may be gentle for a time, but sooner or later, something will happen, and.." Nervously, she combed back a few stray strands of purple hair. "Well, I wouldn't think of myself as a lion. I don't think I'm anywhere nearly as coordinated," she chuckled nervously.
  15. The orc's head bobbed as she listened, her ears unused to hearing the common language translated so well. It was both impressive and fascinating. "...Strong yet soft." She blushed awkwardly. "Uh.." She stammered. "..thanks." Vilmah wasn't expecting a compliment in this hostile environment, especially not from a Draenei. "...reminds me, I could use nice hot spriiings bath right 'bout now! Vouldn't you?" The orc blinked, caught off guard. "I.. uh--" "Zhese voods aren't nearly as comfortable as ze Redblades..." With so many questions and answers, Vilmah's head felt fuzzy. Was he trying to confuse her? Or did this Draenei simply enjoy talking? He seemed friendly enough, but she wondered if he may not have realized what a hostile territory they were in. "...you doin' in zuch dangerous place, anyvays?" She waited for him to answer himself, then realize that he expected her to talk. "What was.. oh! I was helping the Arakkoa Outcasts. You know, the uh.." She lifted one of her arms and mimicked it hanging uselessly. "The ones who can't fly? They're being horribly oppressed by the others. It's really sad, you know? They asked for help, so I came to help them. I really hate seeing people hurt like that.." Clearing her throat, she indicated toward the dead body a few feet away. "I was trying to save the ones they enslaved. Help them get to safety, but, I guess I was caught off guard. It was pretty stupid on my part. I apologize for getting you mixed up in it, but uhm.. can I ask you something?" Vilmah pointed toward the tarot cards. "..what's up with those?"
  16. This was perhaps the strangest draenei Vilmah had ever encountered. She understood that they would probably not be able to understand one another. In fact, she expected there to be some kind of animosity between them, despite the fact that he rescued her. Perhaps, she imagined, he did it for some sinister purpose. Years of mistrust had removed the kind thoughts that Vilmah usually projected on to strangers, leaving behind a skeptical paranoia. She was ready for a fight, even if she hoped that there would not be one, and found instead that he was smiling. He was smiling a lot! "Bur! Bo'kia, av fa bala aggra!" He said, gibberish in her mind, but clearly the language he was used to speaking. Then came his hands. Panic washed over the orc as he touched her throat, and both hands went to her weapons. Her axe was far from her, but there were still a few knives hidden on her person; in her belt, in her boot, under her sleeve. Her hand went for the boot knife, but he didn't seem to do anything violent. He simply turned her neck left and right, as if examining her. The feeling of someone else's hands on her felt awkward, and a thin layer of sweat appeared on her forehead. What is he doing? She asked herself, hand twitching for the knife. But he released her soon enough, and in a deep booming voice, chanted his language. Now, she thought to herself, grabbing the knife handle. Now is when the fight begins.. I can probably get to his throat with this, but I'll need to be quick. The artery on his thigh might be better. I'll have to get in low to bleed him out, and-- "Can you 'ear me now, dah?" She dropped the knife. Her brown eyes went wide with understanding. "I am called Tuuroto. Tuuroto ze Starseer. Varm pleasure smiles, dah." Vilmah was speechless, her mouth dry. For a few seconds, she stared at the draenei, the weapons forgotten, her mind racing. He might have killed her, or at least attacked. That he took the time to not only rescue her, but speak to her as well, was a sign that maybe things weren't so bad after all. "H.. hello, Turroto. I'm Vilmah Bloodborne," she said cautiously, finally standing up straight. Her head stilled throbbed, but she tried to push the pain from her mind. "Am I to assume that you helped me? Because it seems like you did, so.. thank you. I appreciate it. Are you okay?"
  17. Rose took her time getting back to Aerie Peak. The Wildhammers were typically welcoming of the young human, if not curious about her way of dressing. She walked inside easily enough, though she made certain to take extra precaution in avoiding Naheal's traps on the way. It was nearly nightfall by the time she walked inside, stealing a glance at the griffon riders. They had always excited and fascinated her. "Where ye been, lass?" Asked one of the guards, a male dwarf with bright red hair. He seemed genuinely concerned that she was out alone. "Track-ang," she answered, her accent still rough. Rose had often had trouble speaking Common, since spending much of her youth speaking Orcish with a Drakkari accent. "Trackin', aye?" The dwarf chuckled. "You should be more careful! There's all sorts o' nasty things out there, waitin' ta gobble a little lass like you right up! Why, I saw orcs out there not too recently! Big green naaaasty orcs," he chuckled, wiggling his hands for emphasis. Rose tried not to roll her eyes. "Found a man," she said quickly. "Said bad 'tings comin'. Grim. Got ta get ready." The guard furrowed his brow. "What do ye mean 'Grim'? Who told ye that word?" "Grim. Horde Grim," she said impatiently, pointing toward his hammer. "Gotta get ready. Outside. Gonna come." The guard's eyes went wide. "They.. they sent ye to tell us?" Rose shook her head. "No. Other man. Elf man. Good! He told me, warn you. Warn you all. Grim comin'." The dwarf grit his teeth. "Oh he did, did 'e? I'll bet 'ats the one been takin' shots at us! Ey lads!!" He shouted toward his fellow Wildhammers, walking the perimiter. :Looks like we got an elf outside causin' trouble! Lets show 'em what we can do, ay?" "No!" Rose shouted, stamping her foot. "Elf is GOOD! Grim is BAD! Grim coming, gotta get ready for GRIM!" "S'alright lass, nothin' ta worry about no more," the guard chuckled, patting her head. "Now you be a good girl an' stay inside! We're goin' ta find that nasty old elf an' show 'im who's boss!" Rose shouted at the Wildhammers, but they were too excited at the prospect of busting some heads to listen.
  18. The human smiled brightly and gave an embellished bow, a few stray hairs falling into her eyes. Rose swept them back with a hand and straightened her leather jerkin. "My name's Rosette, Mister Malster. Ya sure are fancy." Without caution, she approached the elf and began circling him. He seemed well-armed, but mostly covered. "I can make it back by myself. I ran away so I could learn to track. I'm not bad, s'why I dodged lots o' ya traps. They're okay, I guess. Whatcha doin' out here by ya'self, Mister Malster?" She asked at last. "And 'ow come ya warnin' 'em? The dwarves don' like elves too much.."
  19. The human stumbled back, clearly caught off guard. Landing back on her hands, she stared at the elf for a few seconds, mouth agape. He wasn't someone she recognized, but Rose had once known blood elves well. They were friends of her family, her real family. The one who had to let her go when things got too dangerous. What would they think of her now, she thought? Learning how to track like Ji. "It was you," she said in Orcish, ignoring his common tongue. The language felt more natural, the grunts and gutteral sounds familiar friends that she had to abandon. It warmed a part of her chest and reminder her of home. Rose felt for the beads around her neck and held them protectively. "Ya shot at the guards," she continued, standing up and dusting off her leathers. She seemed not only unafraid of the "enemy" race, but happy to see him. "But ya didn' kill 'em. Ho' come? Why'r you here?"
  20. There was a certain amount of patience required for tracking. Patience and silence, both things that children were not typically very good at. Rose understood this early on, and worked to maintain her silence. She had a mission; to track down the person shooting at the Wildhammer guards. Who had delivered this mission to the ten year old? Nobody. She decided on her own. Why? Because ten year olds can make their own missions. Or at least they seriously believe that they should, and Rose was no exception. She wore tight fitting leathers, all of them pilfered from her caretakers, or gifted by them. Whichever she felt like explaining, really. She doubted they expected her to use them for real tracking, or that they knew where she was at all. Having lived with her new family for the past several years, she developed a sudden urge to run. If the kept tabs on her without her knowing, she did not know, but she had made her way to Aerie Peak by herself and nobody had stopped her. All they really did was look at the human girl strangely. Rose was very strange, but she enjoyed the looks. She was small, but not skinny. Her brown hair was braided on the sides of her head, like a troll, and she wore strange beads. The strangest part of her appearance, however, was her face; scarred violently from what appeared to be a deep burn, the adolescent was missing one eye and missing some air on the left side of her head. In her leathers, she wore a mask that covered part of her face, but usually enjoyed the looks she received from others. Today, she wanted no looks. She wanted to look for herself at who was firing at the guards. It was her own curiosity, piqued by the fact that none of them had been really harmed. Certainly there were more hunters than her scouring the forest for this unknown assailant, but she had her hunches, and she had something they didn't; language. The human could speak orc. Throughout the forest, she began leaving messages. They were small, carefully written, and embedded in the top-most parts of the trees. She believed that the "assailant" was really not an assailant at all, but needed to say something. Or do something. Luckily, Rose had a voice, and carved it into the tops of the trees. Hello? Friend [] Foe []
  21. Traitor. Alliance sympathizer. What good are you to the Horde? Vilmah dreamed, but there only voices. They were deep, high, in between. Names cycled as their spoke; Abric, Nojinbu, Grisch, Bloodscream, and more she couldn't recall. All of them spoke the same cruel jeering words of Garrosh and his followers. It made no sense, but nightmares rarely did. Slowly, the voices and the blackness faded into the sound of a forest. Running water was nearby, and birdsong. And breathing. She attempted to open her eyes, but there was a pain deep in her skull that screamed the moment she tried. It was a dizzy and lethargic feeling, but she pushed through and forced her eyes open, finding herself on the ground still dressed in armor. Above her, the forest canopy seemed peaceful. Her body begged her to close her eyes again, but she ignored the request and fought to turn her head in the direction of the breathing. A draenei? He too seemed peaceful. Very pale, and as large as any orc male, he lie sleeping near her. Suddenly the memories returned; she'd been struck in a fight with the Arakkoa. Gritting her teeth with the pain of both broken pride and a broken head, she considered why this draenei might be so close. Were they prisoners? Or had he too been knocked out, she wondered? But there were no chains and no cages. Turning her head in the other direction, she saw the Arakkoa Outcast that she had attempted to save. He did not breathe. Did he try to save us? The thought was humiliating. A seasoned warrior should need no rescuing, and an orc would gladly die in battle, but a battle against some Arakkoa? That was unacceptable. This draenei might be owed a debt she could not repay, though she wondered how she might communicate that. She wondered more why he would save her kind, when the draenei and the orcs seemed to hate each other so. But not us. It took some effort to sit up, but with a strained grunt, Vilmah pushed herself forward. Her head throbbed like a storm behind her eyes, reminding her of the injury. Now that she was off the ground, she felt her head and discovered the culprit; a large bruised area on her skull, a little blood. The orc reached carefully into one of her pockets with a shaky hand, and retrieved a healing potion gifted to her by Naheal. It burned going down her throat, but the pain slowly dissipated. After a few sips, she felt well enough to shift on to her knees toward the draenei. At the very least, I owe him my thanks. While considering how long she should wait for him to wake up, she noticed the cards he left out. The card facing up revealed what looked like the Kirin Tor, and the number 16. They were jumping to their deaths. Tarot? After another moment of thinking, she decided that it would be best not to wait too long for the draenei to awaken. Very politely, she cleared her throat, and gave him a gentle tap on one shoulder with her fingertips. "...Mok'ra?"
  22. When the raven swallows the day... She had been tasked with bringing aid to the Arakkoa Outcasts. Vilmah had been on Draenor for weeks now, learning more and more about the home world of her ancestors. Though she had learned much from what they now called Outland, she had no idea of the vast rich history that this world contained, or of the people that Ner'zhul annihilated. On Outland, the Arakkoa Outcasts were all that remained of their people. Here, the High Arakkoa waged war against their cousins, often being the cause of their deformities, something that Vilmah could relate to. Earlier that day in Orgimmar, she had seen the fliers. It brought a reminiscent smile to her face, as she remembered the days when they said the same thing of her. “Traitor” was the least most insulting thing they called Vilmah, and those were the days before Garrosh. Though she no longer led, the weight of responsibility still lay heavy on her heart. There was no shame in serving the Warchief, but many of the Horde still held loyalty to Garrosh and his ideals. Surely they were the traitors, weren’t they? To blatantly disobey the peace that Thrall had worked so hard to create? At least on Draenor, it was obvious that many Horde and Alliance leaders were above their petty disagreements. Together, they worked to bring an end to the Iron Horde, though it was clearly with some difficulty that orcs battled orcs. Many could see their own faces, or those of their ancestors, amidst the would-be conquerors. Vilmah thought on this as she approached the Spires of Arak, her guiding her gray wolf Edmund through terrain that felt disappointingly alien. More and more reminded her that this was not her home, and was never meant to be. Her father a Blackrock, her mother a Frostwolf; only on Azeroth could she have existed. Only with the help of Ner’zhul, and the blood of demons. “You there,” came a raspy voice. Vilmah stopped Edmund short of an Arakkoa Outcast, his hunched figure a dead giveaway to his allegiance. “Yes?” “I would ask assistance of you,” he croaked, feathers twitching. “I will provide payment.” Though the Horde fostered a new alliance with these creatures, Vilmah remained wary of strangers offering payment in exchange for just about anything. She dismounted and approached him carefully. “What can I help you with?” “My people,” he wheezed, glassy yes turned to the ground. “Many have been chained and enslaved by the High Arakkoa, just to the north of us. I ask that you free them from their captors. If you can bring them to me, I will see them to freedom.” Vilmah nodded, relieved with the task. “I will do as you ask. Don’t worry about payment. It’s my honor to free your kin.” The Arakkoa cocked his head, as if confused by this, but said nothing. Vilmah pointed to the ground next to him, and spoke to her wolf. “Stay, Edmund. Protect.” Years before, the wolf would have willingly disobeyed. Now, he did as she commanded with an almost frightening reversal of attitude. She noticed a change in the wolf’s obedience when they escaped from Orgimmar, and the wolf saw other animals, his “friends”, executed by the Kor’kron. Often, Vilmah wondered if animals could know trauma the way orcs did. As the years passed, Edmund became less like a pet, and more like a fellow warrior, eager to obey her commands and follow her into battle. For now, he stayed behind, guarding the Arakkoa. Vilmah drew her sword, a massive two-handed monstrosity, and trudged up the hill toward a gathering of small buildings. What she saw annoyed her; High Arakkoa, guiding their crippled brethren toward ditches in the ground, where they would be commanded to dig. The Arakkoa Outcasts, their arms brittle and weak, would chip at the ground with picks until they were too exhausted to continue. Then they would be beaten until the pick came up again, only for the process to be repeated. It was a labor camp, not unlike the one Vilmah had been born in, except that here they were brothers. She had witnessed Arakkoa Exiles being pitched from Skyreach, the fall either killing them or maiming them beyond repair. Their wings stolen, they would never fly again. Now, to add more insult to injury, these creatures found themselves enslaved. It was a bitter cycle, easy enough for Vilmah to understand that she felt neither guilt nor pride as she approached one of the High Arakkoa with her axe. “Intruder!!” It squacked, attacking her with a fury of talons and magic. Vilmah’s armor absorbed most of the magic, but the talons she tore from her attacker with a quick swipe of her sword. Blood and body parts fell to the ground as the Arakkoa screeched in panic, now leg-less and bleeding out on the ground. “No..!!” “It’s not nice being crippled, is it?” Vilmah grunted, shoving the end of her sword into the Arakkoa’s throat. It was silenced soon after, allowing her to search the body for valuables. In its pockets, she found Apexis crystals, a few copper coins, and a single silver key. A few feet away, an Exile dug laboriously into the ground. He didn’t even seem to notice the violence that happened just behind him, until Vilmah located his chains and tried to key. It clicked. “Hnn..?” He grunted, looking at the orc questioningly. “Follow me,” Vilmah said quietly, pointing toward their escape route. “I will see you to freedom.” The Outcast dropped his axe without question. Vilmah led him toward where the other Outcast had spoken to her, but suddenly found the way blocked by two other High Arakkoa. “There!” One of them shouted, pointing at Vilmah. “Kill them!!” The Outcast followed Vilmah, unwilling to allow her to fight his kin alone. One of the High Arakkoa bombarded Vilmah with magic, causing the ends of her hair to catch fire. She tore off her helmet, beating the fire with one hand, then rushed the magic user and cleaved one of his wings off at the joint. “Filthy orc!” It cursed. Vilmah swung her sword, hacking off the other wing. She turned to the freed Outcast, but saw that he had been fatally stabbed by the other attacker. Enraged, Vilmah turned on the High Arakkoa and hacked at his body until feathers and meat flew in every direction. “What is the matter with you!?” She shouted, cutting off the creature’s limbs, bit by bit. “These are your brothers, your sisters! How can you do this to them!? How can you betray them like this, curse them, put them in chains...” The High Arakkoa would not answer. He squacked in pain, but made no words. Finally, Vilmah silenced him by severing his head. The sight of the Exile, dead on the ground so soon after being freed, pained her. It was a long enough distraction for one of the other High Arakkoa to launch a magic bombardment at her head, rendering the orc unconscious beside the Exile.
  23. Vilmah


    /cough http://sanctuary-tn.net/
  24. Vilmah


    "Grommashar. He is there." Vilmah overheard Thrall say this, but she nearly couldn't believe it. Garrosh Hellscream, son of Grom and former Warchief of the Horde, led the Warsong clan on Draenor from Grommashar. Finally. “Nagrand,” she said aloud, more to herself than anyone else. Though this was not the Nagrand that welcomed her, where she met her grandmother and discovered that orcs could have a different future. This was the Nagrand of the past. Thrall seemed conflicted with their decision, but that was not the case for those speaking with him. They were planning an assault that would silence the former warchief, something that clearly weighed heavily on Thrall’s heart. The guilt he felt for bringing Garrosh into their lives was obvious, and Vilmah still harbored both love and deep respect for the Warchief that liberated her. That anyone could betray him, or their people, still angered her more than she was willing to admit. Vol’jin may have led the Horde, but no one could replace Thrall. The difference between them was that Thrall’s desire to put an end to Garrosh was not vengeance; it was necessity. Given the chance, Garrosh would have destroyed everything that Thrall had built between the Horde and the Alliance, but his hatred was felt by more than the humans he despised. Trolls, Sin’dorei, they were all the same in his eyes and unwelcome. He could not be trusted to live, and Thrall understood this. Vilmah felt differently. True, his death was a necessity, but that wasn’t the only thing that the orcess desired. What truly fed Vilmah’s desire to travel to Grommashar, and help put an end to Garrosh’s life, was the desire to make him suffer. There would be no peace in her heart until he felt the same pain and humiliation that he gave her, three years ago. Smoke. The first thing that they smelled was smoke. It was a distraction, obviously, as the Sanctuary guild hall was not completely engulfed in flames. This would have been an easy feat, but the Kor’kron did not simply want to incinerate the guild. They wanted to cause them pain. Standing outside of the Sanctuary guild hall, they burned banners of purple and gold. One of the orcs kicked open the front doors and called out for those inside; “Come out, little mice!” He laughed, walking inside. He was disappointed to see that it was mostly empty. “Can I help you, sir?” He wasn’t quite what the Kor’kron was expecting. An Undead male, wearing no armor and holding several books tucked under one arm. Steinburg smiled graciously, as he had been trained to do back in the bank of Daleran when dealing with an unkind customer. “Why yes,” the orc chuckled, grabbing Steinburg by the throat and lifting him off the ground. The undead was nearly weightless in his grasp. “You can tell your traitorous ilk that the time has come for them to say goodbye.” “Put him down.” Several other Kor’kron entered through the destroyed doors as Vilmah walked down the stairs. She wore armor dented and damaged from battle, a familiar axe on her back. Though made larger by the armor, she still stood smaller than the other orcs, her youth obvious. The Kor’kron let Steinburg fall to the floor unceremoniously. “And who are you supposed to be?” “I’m Vilmah Bloodborne, and this is my guild,” she stated, approaching the Kor’kron. “We are proud members of the Horde and you have no business here.” The other orcs laughed. Steinburg scrambled to his feet and ran for another door as the banners burned outside. “We have business indeed, orcling. The Warchief has decreed that no traitors shall be allowed within these walls. You, and all your merchant weaklings are no longer welcome in Orgimmar, or with the Horde. The Warchief has commanded that we should place you under arrest, and have you put to work with the other peons, but I do so hope you try to fight back. Orgrimmar has plenty of peons, and I’d love to see that purple tabard of yours turned red.” Vilmah took a deep breath and reached for her axe. Pacifism was something taught to her by many people throughout Azeroth, and peace was a virtue that she wholeheartedly believed. “Pick up your axe,” she grunted, reaching back to slide the visor down on her helmet. “I am no one’s peon.” The Kor’kron laughed, but he stepped forward anyway. A swing toward Vilmah’s body was blocked by her axe, and as the two clashed, the rest of the Kor’kron made their way through the guild hall. One of them threw open the door Steinburg ran into and found what was left of his office; papers and books had been strewn about hastily, and an open window signaled the undead’s escape. Cursing, the Kor’kron ran with the others upstairs, and finding nothing living, ran back toward their leader as he fought the diminutive orcess. “Sergeant, they’re gone! Someone must have warned them!” The Sergeant shouted toward Vilmah’s face as he swung at her with his axe. She raised her own in response, her blocks growing weaker with each attack. “Burn it!!” He shouted. “Burn this place to the ground!” The helmet hid a look of rage in Vilmah’s face. Orgimmar was her home, and regardless of her differences with the orcs here, it was never hostile toward Sanctuary’s goals. This was different. This Sergeant had been sent to destroy them, her especially, and everything that she had built to create a safe haven. A heavy slam of axe against axe sent Vilmah to the floor. The Sergeant reared back and swung his axe down toward her torso, but the smaller orc was faster. She rolled out from under his attack and had just enough time to swing her own weapon at his legs. The Sergeant howled with pain and rage as blood gushed from his Achilles tendons. “Kill her!!” He shouted, though the other Kor’kron had already rushed to Vilmah with swords drawn. Fighting in such close quarters put her at a disadvantage, especially when they were twice her size. The young orc looked for an escape, but finding little to help her, ran toward the danger instead with faith that her armor could withstand a few blows. The axes and swords dented the plate mail, bruising her flesh underneath. A few bit through the joints of her armor, tearing a few new scars into her skin, but it was nothing she couldn’t bandage later. Her height finally an advantage, she managed to run through the Kor’kron as they swung their weapons, directly through the main doors and into the blazing fire they set outside. The Sergeant yelled in fury, ordering them to follow her, but it was too late. Vilmah’s windrider had been waiting for her call, and before the other orcs had a chance to run through the fire themselves, she was gone. The sun was rising over Sen’jin Village as Vilmah approached. She could see the Echo Isles in the distance, looking almost peaceful as the sky changed from purple to red. Down in the village, Master Gadrin stood with a large group, chanting over a small fire. Vilmah landed her windrider and ran for the group, immediately counting their numbers. “Vilmah!” Steinburg said with obvious relief. “You were right. They came immediately after you sent out the warning. Everyone was able to get out on time, but many of the animals were scattered.” She clasped the undead’s shoulder. “That’s alright. Is Nojinbu—“ “Gone,” Ninorra said, her red eyes glancing in the direction of Orgrimmar. “He took Rosette. Don’t worry, they’re both fine. He said that he would meet you tonight, but, he didn’t say where.” “I know where, thank you,” Vilmah sighed, looking at the group around her. They weren’t many, and they weren’t prepared to fight an entire Horde, but they were alive. “Thank you all. It looks like we’re in very big trouble.” Sanctuary looked upon one another with a sense of foreboding. “…does this mean we’re all criminals?” Asked one of the elves, a death knight female. “Yes, Catalinetta,” Vilmah answered sadly. “Which means that the safest thing to do is for us to split up, or Garrosh and his cronies will hunt us down. I know that we all have things to protect. Be it family, or a home… I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I couldn’t protect us better.” “Think nothing of it,” Ninorra said brightly. “This is not the end, Vilmah. This is only a pause. Perhaps we shall all return someday, and give that orc a taste of his own medicine.” The other guild members nodded, agreeing. Vilmah saw that not all members of Sanctuary were present, and held her hearthstone. “The safest thing now,” she said sadly. “Is that we not contact each other. At least, not for a while. If absolutely necessary, we can communicate through go-betweens. Stranglethorn Exports. But these,” she held up her hearthstone. “We have to destroy them.” Pulling each of their stones forward, Sanctuary placed them in a pile in the middle of their circle. Vilmah waited until she was last, and held the stone close to her mouth. “If you can hear me,” she said through their secret channel. “Please, listen. Don’t come looking for us. Find a place where you can be safe, and if you must fight, do it under another banner. The Horde wants us dead, but we will not die. Sanctuary will not go quietly into the dark. We may not have our hall, or our banners, but we will not lose our goal. We will fight.” The other members nodded solemnly. “Goodbye, my friends,” she said one last time, and placed her stone in the pile. Ninorra rubbed her hands together, and murmured something under her breath. The warlock’s red eyes glowed brighter as fel fire rose from the ground and enveloped the stones. Together, they crumbled, and returned to the earth.
  25. ((Grisch is so hot right now. Good stuff.))