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Everything posted by RiktheRed21

  1. I submit Brinnea Velmon for this raffle. Good luck.
  2. The mission statement of the Magic Protection Service is “To observe, inform, and secure the study of magic for the benefit of all.” Magic is tool, and like all tools it must be used responsibly. The MPS exists to secure the use of magic so that all may coexist. The MPS is not an enemy of magic. The founding member of the Service is renowned mage, Fjalla Gladstone, who has seen the magical society grow and adapt much over her seventy years. She has seen magic used and abused aimed at both the protection and destruction of life throughout Azeroth and beyond. Gladstone and her associates strive to encourage protection and discourage destruction, while keeping the magical community thriving. Similarly, the Service takes responsibility for the abuse of non-magical people by magic users. Rogue mages presenting a danger to society are not tolerated by the MPS. The MPS recruits from all walks of life. Be you mage or layperson, you can provide to the Service, and provide to Azeroth. Join, and Serve. ((Feel free to contact me by personal message here, on Discord at RikTheRed21#0639, or in game at Fjalla-Ravenholdt if you are interested in joining.))
  3. ((Warning: sexual themes and language)) The wolf followed her for ten miles before she lost sight of it. By then, she was nearing the northern crossing at Dun Modr. Brinnea swung west from the highlands down to the cobblestone road leading onto the Thandol Span. From there, she would continue north. But for how long? How far would she go? Brinnea had lain awake the night prior, unable to close her eyes for fear of nightmares, thinking about her destination. Or rather, her lack thereof. Once upon a time, she had lived in Lordaeron, at a well-travelled town called Andorhal. But now, Andorhal was deep within Forsaken lands, and any Forsaken would attack her on sight. Yet, she felt unavoidably drawn to Lordaeron, as if called home by something familiar. Five more miles passed, and the wolf padded out into sight again, carrying a half-eaten squirrel. Brinnea realized then that she must have slowed her pace, else the beast would not have caught up again. She groaned at herself for wasting precious time before she realized that time didn’t mean much to a soldier with no war to fight. Night began to fall when Dun Modr appeared on the horizon, just around a tall hill. The dwarven fortress had once guarded the border between dwarven Khaz Modan and the human kingdoms to the north. But since the Second War, Dun Modr had fallen into disrepair, and after the Scourge and Forsaken invasions, the bordering human kingdom Arathor was almost entirely wiped out. That made the crossing a hub for oddities, wayfarers, and vagrants of all sorts. Brinnea meandered into the town square beneath the dwarven fortress. If she was to travel north, she needed to prepare. Glancing back, she saw no sign of the wolf following her here. The throng of people all about explained that. Humans, gnomes, dwarves, worgen, and even elves wandered about the mossy ruins of Dun Modr wearing largely threadbare clothes in hundreds of styles. Even now, nearly twenty years after the Scourge attacked the northern kingdoms, people were still reluctant to let go of their homelands. Yet, the people here all looked filthy and gaunt. Food and clean water was scarce in these hills, it seemed. Brinnea dismounted at a squat wooden structure. A sign nailed to the unsteady beam serving as a roof marked it as a stable in both Common and Dwarven script. Brin searched for the owner of the meager establishment while fishing coins from her purse, and settled for handing a couple silvers to a mud-speckled boy who might have been a very young human or a ten-year-old dwarf. He muttered a half-hearted thanks and took to her steed as she instructed. Brinnea kept a hand on her purse as she walked through the town, not enchanted by the idea of having it cut from her belt by some desperate soul. The crowd was brimming with folks who looked down on their luck, but also with merchants crying wares marked at ten times the price Brinnea would expect at Greenwarden’s Grove or Menethil Harbor. Typical of merchants to exploit the poor in such a way. She set her sights on the stone buildings up the hillside. They looked less ramshackle than the lower square, so she hoped for better wares than down where she was. At the very least, she expected better security. Wandering eyes latched on her for uncomfortable lengths of time. Rough looking men and women sat, squatted, or leaned along the sides of the road, carrying weapons auspiciously. There were no guards about wearing Ironforge badges, nor the mountaineers that the dwarves of Khaz Modan used to patrol the far reaches of their clans’ holds. No, this land was ruled by those with the coin to pay for protection. Brinnea noted that the mercenaries mostly flocked near merchants, taverns, and whorehouses. Any of the three would have enough coin to pay for them with the times as they were. She moved quickly to get away from their vulturelike gazes. In the upper part of the town, Brinnea finally found some of the garrison. Most were milling about as if there was no job to do. A pair of them sat at a Hearthstone board drinking cheap ale and laughing raucously. She felt the need to smack their heads together and yell, “You are defenders of the weak, now act like it!” But then again, who was she to judge? The shops she passed had more potential than the merchant stalls in the lower square, but that didn’t make the prices any fairer. Criers announced goods in stock at exorbitant prices. Brin shook her head, gazing down at her half-empty purse. For these people, this much is a fortune, she thought to herself, And yet I still may beggar myself before I depart north. Ludicrous! Brinnea finally settled on a humble shop built into the hillside. The crier outside welcomed her with a sly smile that made her nervous. She kept a tight hold on her purse until she was finished with her purchases. By the time she exited the shop, her purse was light, but her pack was full. She had enough cloth to make bandages, rope for various uses, bits of leather and metal for repairs, a couple tools to replace old and rusted pieces of hers, paper and ink for letters, (though she had only picked them with great reluctance), and a cleaver for chopping firewood. The store owner had looked at her skeptically and asked, “No food for your travels?” Brinnea had answered, “My horse and I don’t eat much.” Outside the store, the sun had sunk below the hills and night began to set in. Chirps from a million crickets filled the air in chorus, heralding the end of the day. People stepped quickly about their final business. Brinnea followed suit; it would not do to be out and about at night in a place like this. She noticed the thugs following her almost immediately. They weren’t trying to be stealthy about it. Three men, a dwarf and two humans, followed her loosely down the hill path. They had swords on their belts and leather on their bodies. Tattoos marked them as belonging to some mercenary band, unless Brinnea’s eyes deceived her in the dim light. That was trouble. Kill three thugs and you might be safe from further violence, but kill three members of a band of hundreds and you had better skip town before the sun rises. She tried to lose them by ducking into a tavern, but she misread a sign and ended up standing in the front room filled with fox fur decorations, soft-looking fox fur couches, contented and eager looking men fiddling with their coin purses, and mostly naked women. The sight of it all brought back uncomfortable memories for Brinnea, but at least the three men hadn’t followed her inside. The matron of the establishment approached her, carrying a board with a stack of papers and a candle in one hand and a quill in the other. She examined Brinnea skeptically. She was a dwarven women of freckled complexion and coppery hair tied up in businesslike braids. Her green eyes were stern and unwavering. When she spoke, she sounded very much like a man. “Good ‘eve, lass. My name is Sionnach, though you can call me Sio. What can the Foxy Sisters provide ye tonight?” Brinnea cleared her throat awkwardly. “Nothing, miss. I was only…passing through.” Sio’s eyebrow rose at that. She did not seem the type to enjoy having her time wasted. “Just passing through me house? Well, sorry to say, there’s no back door, so ye’ll have to pass back the way ye came.” Brinnea did not welcome the thought of searching for a tavern with the streets the way they were. Before the matron could walk away, she said, “Perhaps I could stay here tonight? I have coin.” Sio wheeled about, twirling her quill between her fat fingers. “My rooms are reserved for my daughters’ company. I’m afraid I have no gentlemen to provide you entertainment. So, unless you are—” Brinnea cut her off there, “I am not interested in that. But perhaps we could come to some arrangement for a place to lay my head tonight.” “What sort of arrangement?” Brinnea tapped the hilt of her longsword. “I could provide protection for your establishment tonight.” Sio pursed her lips thoughtfully. “And ye’d charge nothin’ so long as ye’re allowed to stay the night?” Brinnea nodded. Sio made some marks in her papers and waved for Brinnea to follow her. “Ye’ll stand guard in the corner. Swords make men nervous before a tumble, which isn’t good fer business. Stay here, out of sight.” She directed Brin to a chair, which the death knight sat in happily. Her joints ached from a long day of riding and walking. Sio went on describing the sort of things to look out for to aid security before she waddled off to see to other guests. Brin settled in to watch her surroundings. Her mind wandered back in time all the while. Brinnea, her mother Maria, and her sister Christa had lived in a run-down hut outside the walls of Lordaeron City after they left home to escape her father. While their mother fought a nasty fever, Christa and Brin had to look for ways to bring in coin, lest they all starve. Weeks went by with little work to be found, and their bellies grew emptier with each passing day. Christa had been the one to come up with the idea. “The brothels always pay their girls well,” she had explained to their mother as she lay in bed, “And Matron Kathy said I could start so long as I tell people I’m fourteen. They’ll never notice I’m younger by two years.” Maria had been adamant they never whore themselves out in such a way. “You are my daughter, Christa,” Maria said sternly despite her weak state, “You are not a piece of meat for men to buy and sell.” Brinnea had spoken up then, “But mother, we have nothing else to sell. And besides, we’re all girls.” She looked about now at the scantily-clad women, some no older than twelve as her sister had been. She saw through the masks they wore. They put on brave faces, even managed to look pleased to do their work. Perhaps some of them really were. A few hours of pleasure, a few hours of soreness, and at the end of the day, you had enough food and water and rest to feel comfortable. But none of them looked truly alive underneath those masks. Brinnea sighed softly. Not for the first time in her life, she felt powerless. “What do you mean, ‘you owe me?’ You charge silver for that sort of tumble?” A man, red-faced and drunk, stumbled out of a back room shouting and waving his fists wildly as Sio tried to calm him. He wore the same leathers and tattoos as the men who had followed Brin down the street. She watched him carefully. “What did the girl do wrong, Vic? Jessaya’s never made a mistake large enough fer such anger before!” The red-faced man looked all the wilder for Sio’s words. “Well clearly your standards are lax, Matron! That little slut just up and bit me! Like a fucking mutt, she just bit me!” The girl he pointed at with his angry red finger was in tears, holing sheets about her body to cover herself. She looked a teenager to Brin, though on the younger side. Her hair was a pretty shade of yellow, like a honey bee’s hair. Brinnea placed a hand on her sword’s hilt, eyes fixed on the escalating situation. Sio remained calm, unperturbed to be looking up at the angry man. “Vic, please! ‘twas a small mistake. Nothin’ to get so wild about! And ye will not storm out of me house without settling yer debt again!” A vein popped out of the side of Vic’s head. “A small mistake? She could have taken my bloody cock off! I ought to knock her teeth in!” “Please, sir,” the honey-haired girl wept, “I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to!” Vic took a step forward, and his eyes said everything Brinnea needed to hear. In a flash, she was between the two, sword unsheathed. She held the point to his throat and flashed an icy glare at him. The man shrunk back in horror, though not too far, for Brin’s sword followed. “Pay what you owe and get the fuck out of here,” Brinnea snarled. Vic fumbled for his purse, a little too slow for Brin’s liking. She yanked it off his loose belt and tossed it behind her to rest at Jessaya’s feet. Then she kicked the red-faced man to the door. “That was…excessive,” Sio said quietly. “Vic’s a lout, but he’s never hit one o’ my girls before.” Brinnea sheathed her blade, still eyeing the door. “People change,” she said icily. Jessaya tackled Brinnea with a hug. The death knight held her arms outwards in surprise. “Thank you, miss!” the girl said tearfully, “Thank you so much!” Sio pocketed Vic’s purse and tugged at Jessaya’s sheets. “A’right, girl, enough. Go clean yerself up and eat some supper.” The girl obeyed, glancing back at Brin with thanks in her eyes. Brinnea returned to her chair as Sio muttered to herself about death knights and bringing down the mood and losing clients. Brin’s thoughts were on the man she had threatened. He must have been a member of a mercenary band, and a tight-knit one to have tattoos on even a lowly member like him. Killing him might have brought worse wrath upon her, but if she had hidden the corpse, the rest of the band may have never found out. Now, though, he was likely to run straight to his friends and stir them up with his drunken, red-faced fury. As the night went on, Brinnea became more convinced she would have to leave town before dawn.
  4. Full Name: Lanette Wetwhistle Date of Birth: September 4 Age: 32 Race: Goblin, Formerly Steamwheedle Cartel Gender: Female Hair: Cyan, shoulder-length Eyes: Blue Height: 3 feet Weight: 40 lbs Place of residence: Dragonsroost Port Place of Birth: Booty Bay Known Relatives: Not among the living Religion/Philosophy: Money Occupation: Goblin Engineer, Pet Tamer, Sailor, Gun for Hire Group/Guild affiliation: Borrowed Time Enemies: Bloodsail Buccaneers, Southsea Freebooters, any and all slavers, some warlocks, the naga, the Venture Company Likes: The smell of the sea, animals, sleeping under the stars, tinkering, the tropics, photography Dislikes: Snow, ice, the color white, Northrend, snow cones, and ice cream Favorite Foods: Pineapple Favorite Drinks: Piña colada Favorite Colors: Teal, Brown Weapons of Choice: Rifles, Grenades, Rockets, Traps, Tasers, Knives Physical Features: Angular facial features. Sharp eyes. Messy hair tied up with skull-pattern pendants. Special Abilities: Wild imagination. Can put together workable contraptions quickly and with limited supplies. Can tame just about any beast, given enough time and resources. Trained in wilderness survival, specialized in tropical jungles. A spirited climber and excellent swimmer. Positive Personality Traits: Open-minded and logical. Easygoing. Can keep a secret. Negative Personality Traits: Aloof, disinterested. A natural liar. Lacking in social graces. Misc. Quirks: Loves to spend as much time around the water as possible. Seems to hate everything cold and related to ice or snow. Paints all her gear bright and tropical colors. Photographs everything. Music: Escape -- Rupert Holmes History: She spent her early life growing up in Booty Bay with her parents, both fishers. Pirates raided the bay and killed her parents. She was taken as a slave and sold to a plantation, where a warlock stripped away her ability to think for herself. A hero saved her and the other slaves from the plantation and gave them kaja kola, which restored their minds slowly. She still relies on the kola to keep her mind from being addled, since she was brainwashed from such a young age. Reliance on kaja kola has made her brain move twice normal speed. She’s able to hold a conversation while also rapidly coming up with complex plans in her mind. This makes her a natural improvisor, and made her a natural engineer. After the hero dropped her off back at her home, she felt lost and out of place. She got a sailing job with the cartel, but disliked all the rules and structure. Eventually, she left the cartel in pursuit of her own self-image. Though she is still looking, she has managed to gather numerous skills she enjoys practicing, including pet taming, hunting, survival skills, photography, and exploring. Nowadays, she drifts between jobs. In fact, she heard of a really nice job, just the other day. Something about a mercenary company in the Twilight Highlands…
  5. She woke from an unrestful sleep beneath a tree that seemed doubled-over in pain. Dry leaves fell about her and rain pattered on the moist ground. Brinnea wiped damp hair from her eyes and stood to greet the new day. Dreary and grey, the day seemed unwilling to return her hello. She gathered her meager supplies – a sword belt and a satchel with some money and first-aid kit – and hopped on the back of her last loyal companion. The deathcharger stood still, its eyes vacant as a corpse’s. When she gave it a kick, it moved, but there was little evidence otherwise that it was even conscious. On they went, kicking up moisture from the summer rain and crossing long, desolate miles of the Wetlands in silence. Brinnea slowed as they approached a small farm. She gazed at it longingly, catching sight of a family at work. The eldest man appeared to be complaining bitterly about the rain while the youngest children frolicked about without a care in the world. By instinct, she began riding towards it. Once she realized what she was doing, she quickly yanked the reins and spurred the charger into a gallop northward. The farm shrank into a dot behind her, though she never looked back to see it. The rainclouds gave way to thunderstorms. Winds shrieked across the wavy hills and sent droplets scraping across Brinnea’s bare flesh. Drops tinned against her armor. She wondered if the soldiers back at Greenwarden’s Grove would be able to keep the rain out of their tents tonight. She wondered if somewhere on the passage into the mountains far to the south Charlotte and August were dressed in their warm clothes for the journey to Ironforge. Would they like it there? Would they make new friends? Would they ever forget about her? The wind picked up further until even the undead charger balked at carrying on at full gallop. The death knight eased her mount towards the dense hills where they might find some cover from the storm. Lighting crashed somewhere nearby. She couldn’t see where it had struck home. She imagined a fire trying to survive in a storm like this, but her imagination failed her. The horse and rider strode through clefts populated with fleeing deer and rodents, squirrels and birds of every sort. Plantlife was abundant here, ranging from flowers to fungi, small shrubs to huge trees spreading wide canopies. Thinking of the tree she had slept at the night prior, Brinnea decided to continue searching for better cover. A wolf’s lonely howl took to the air. Brinnea waited, but heard no response. She counted it a blessing without thinking. A pack of wolves is dangerous, after all. But then she got to thinking of the lone beast out all alone. What had happened to its pack? Was it cast out, as she had been? Perhaps it had hoped too greatly, and tried too hard to further itself and its pups. The alpha could only tolerate so much before he had to act. At last, Brinnea found a cave gashed into the rocks and hurried toward it. She dismounted, for the ceiling was too low to fit on horseback. The deathcharger squeezed into the cave and stood resolute at the back, facing a wall. Charlotte had named the horse Spaklehoof for its bright hooves, but the beast was far from intelligent. Brinnea guessed it was evening. The sky seemed a little less bright than it had when she first entered the hilly area. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. Last night’s dreams had confirmed it. Brinnea had never been able to sleep well as a death knight, but after a while living in Greenwarden’s Grove, she found she was able to have more restful nights than she used to. Despite being an overgrown, swampy backwater, the Grove had started to feel a little like a home. The wolf’s howl shook her back to her senses. Again, it sounded lonely and sad, and again it garnered no reply save for the roaring wind, the screeching rain, and the thundering storm. Brinnea had removed her armor and began polishing it, but every time she started to lose herself in the monotony of work, the howl returned. Somehow, it seemed to be growing both louder and weaker. She tossed her pauldron into a pile of armor and yanked her sword belt about her waist. After tying her cloak and lifting her hood, she stalked out into the storm. Brinnea was by no means an expert tracker, but she figured in this case it would be easy to find what she was looking for. The wolf howled every few minutes, so she used it as a guide. It became more difficult every time the thunder and wind deafened her, and for many hours, she felt as though she were wandering in circles about the hills. Then she spotted it – the wolf huddled under a tree with its leg caught in a trap. A kill was decomposing nearby, swamped by rain and eaten through by all manner of bugs. Odd that the wolf would remain trapped for so long without the hunter whose trap was laid coming to check on it. Brinnea thought as much, until she found whom she presumed to be the hunter in question lodged under a fallen tree stump. The char pattern was rippled like tree roots, but more jagged like hands with too many fingers and fingers with too many joints. Brinnea searched the man for weapons and found a knife, a bow, a length of rope, and arrows. She left the bow, but added the knife to her belt beside her own, and pulled the rope over her shoulder. The wolf had awoken while Brinnea was investigating. It sniffed and growled at her weakly, but made no attempts to move. Brin approached carefully, and eased herself to a crouch beside the beast. She reached out to touch the trap, but the wolf barked at her warningly. She pulled her hand back. Taking the rope from her shoulder, she measured a section of it and cut it with the hunter’s knife. Then she deftly clamped the wolf’s snout shut and forced the rope around and tied it tight. The wolf tried to paw it off, but otherwise acted with meek acceptance. Brin grabbed hold of the clamped trap, the leather of her handwraps thick enough to keep her hands from getting shredded by the sharp metal. She pulled with all her strength. The metal creaked, and the wolf whimpered. Blood spurted from the reopened wound, but the wolf pulled itself loose. Brin yanked her hands free and left the trap clamped and bloody where it was. The wolf tried to nuzzle the wounded hind leg, but was impeded by the ropes. Brinnea retrieved bandages from her medical kit and carefully grappled the wolf, then applied the cloth to the bleeding leg. After, she drew her knife and carefully cut the rope muzzle free, then pulled back. The wolf growled at her bitterly before madly licking its newly bandaged leg. “There, mangy mutt,” Brinnea said, “I saved you. Now scamper off and don’t do anything stupid.” The wolf watched her and continued to nibble at the bandages. In time, they would rot away, but that would be long after the wound healed. “You should be more worried about predators than a little cloth, idiot.” The wolf ignored her advice. Shaking her head, she turned to head back to her cave. It wasn’t until she was halfway back that she realized the beast was following her.
  6. Full Name: Kimba Goldfield Date of Birth: July 21 Age: 42 Race: Shu'halo, Tauren of Thunder Bluff Gender: Male Hair: Black mane and fur Eyes: Gold Height: 8 feet, 2.4384 meters Weight: Approximately 1000 pounds, ~453.592 kg Place of residence: Ashtotem Village Place of Birth: The Barrens, in a small canyon between two mountains where the sound echoes like a boom of thunder Known Relatives: Qarn (Older Brother, deceased), Rumba (younger brother), Cassowary (younger brother), Nagoda (nephew), Fasha (sister-in-law via Qarn), Magooma (mother-in-law via Fasha), Mayha, Laika, and Rhoma (his dead mates, all tauren women), Draquesha (promised mate) Religion/Philosophy: An'she, the sun god Occupation: Thunder Bluff Brave, Escort to Barrens Refugees Group/Guild affiliation: Guest of Ashtotem Village Enemies: The Alliance, Scourge Affiliates, Brinnea Velmon, the Barrens centaur tribes Likes: Wide-open spaces, flat landscapes, large gatherings, parties, playing the drums, racing, javelin toss, fishing, swimming Favorite Foods: Kodo roast, grilled salmon Favorite Drinks: Mulgore firewater Favorite Colors: Leathery Brown and Shiny Gold Weapons of Choice: Battleaxe, Hunting Spear, War Club, Throwing Axes, Javelins Dislikes: Confinement, tight spaces, restrictions to movement, diet, or activities, the smell of death, quiet places, abstract studies such as complex math, magic, social sciences, politics, etc. Physical Features: Average tauren height, black fur all across his body, black horns tipped with gold ornaments, facial hair tied in three braids, has two gold teeth, and rippling muscle across his body criss-crossed with scars Special Abilities: Peak physical fitness, hugely powerful legs and arms, expert tracker, and can run for several days without tiring. Positive Personality Traits: Boisterous and optimistic. He tends to go with the flow without concerning or stressing about the future or the past. Can liven up any situation with a fun story, song, or joke. Bold and brave, never one to shy from a fight. Highly objective; will confront someone if he senses the need. Perceptive, and takes note of people's mannerisms or interests. Reveres the elderly for their experience, and prizes the youth for their energy and potential. Has strong control over his rage, so he can use it as a tool without it getting the better of him. Negative Personality Traits: Insensitive and easily bored. Impatient and likely to take risks even when unnecessary or clearly dangerous. Finds it difficult to grasp a bigger picture or pat attention to abstract ideas or feelings. Often if there is an emotional matter at stake, he'll ignore it or find a way to move away from it. Defiant and resistant to criticism. Misc. Quirks: Shows a flagrant disregard for nature whenever possible. He'll kill critters for sport, pelts, and food if they cross his path, chop his way through foliage that annoys him, and grows vindictive at his surroundings if they restrict or confine him. Sharpens and polishes his weapons every morning, first thing. Always carries a skin of firewater with him, and gets in an intolerable mood when he's run out. Music: "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC History: Ever since his birth, Kimba has had an uncommonly strong set of lungs. He cried the most out of his three siblings, and was the most likely to cause trouble for the family. His father often told him that he had a responsibility to his people and to his family to uphold their honor and legacy, just as his older brother Qarn understood intuitively. Kimba eventually understood what his father meant after both his parents were butchered in Camp Taurajo. Qarn was devastated and went on a rampage against the humans of Northwatch that nearly got him killed. Kimba pulled Qarn, who was usually the responsible one, from the fires of hate. Kimba understood loss and felt sad too, but he understood how to control anger until the right moment, and could always find a way to enjoy the now rather than get hung up on the past or future. That way, he could always look out for his family's honor and legacy, even if he couldn't make as significant strides to a glorious future like his older brother could. Qarn was grateful to his brother from then on, and trusted him with his own family. When Qarn perished in a hunt for fugitive undead Parigan Blackmane and Brinnea Velmon, Kimba took upon himself all his brother's former responsibilities that he could. Though he could not be a visionary and a diplomat, Kimba could still be a warrior and a guardian for the family. He took in Qarn's wife and son, Fasha and Nagoda. Nagoda resented Kimba for trying to step in where his father had left, but Kimba never understood how to make the child accept the new reality. The boy wanted to be just like his father, but didn't know how to. Kimba tried to teach him as best as he could, but found the boy more hateful with every passing day. To fulfill one of his brother's final tasks, Kimba led some refugees displaced by the war in the Barrens south to Thousand Needles, to the neutral territory of the Ashtotem Tribe. They were accepted as residents, though the people had to cut their ties with the Horde. Kimba and his brothers continued to serve the Horde and uphold their duties to the refugees. Though they did not join Ashtotem, they were allowed to stay as guests. Kimba shortly afterwards led his nephew on a pilgrimage to one of Qarn's favorite holy sites, Wyrmrest Temple, to offer service to the dragons and continue their ties to the Light as Qarn would have wanted. Kimba was given a task to slay a void beast lurking in the center of Sholozar Basin, and there he found Draquesha, a Darkspear troll living alone with a multitude of animal companions. The two grew fond of one another and engaged in several sexual encounters, until the tauren asked the troll to be his mate. Drunk on firewater and lust, she accepted.
  7. Sometimes he stood at their graves. The ones he'd lost. The stones sat there looking up at him questioningly. They still waited to hear his diagnosis. Every one of them stood stock still like a soldier should and watched him with the utmost attention. It was a tremendous weight to see them all look at him. He stood at each one he could remember, and he had a long memory. When he had had time away from the war, Sanjay found his way to the graveyards eventually. Now the war was over, and there was nothing to do but stand. He counted them back in his head, but couldn't. He wished he'd never learned to count past ten. Or one hundred. Or a thousand. The graveyard had to be extended to fit them all. New earth was put into place for them to be buried. How ironic was that? Sanjay thought about the earth beind ripped apart a hundred miles away to be toted here, surrounded by walls and sad, grey stone. All that, only to be dug up again and filled with bodies. Filled with dreams and thoughts. Hopes and loves. Husbands, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, and everything else. He thought about the ones without names. They sat and watched, too, but silently. The others shouted in his mind. A name to a memory. The nameless were the ones that kept him awake at night. They crept through the crevices of his mind like errant shadows without a source of light. They wandered aimlessly, silently. His overactive mind put faces to their lack of names. He invented names only to discard them, calling himself stupid fir disrespecting them. But he had a long memory. The discarded were not filled by new memories so quickly. And so they built up, one atop the others and so on until the nameless names outnumbered the true names. He tried to set the weight of their gaze down in his mind. He needed something physical, like a talisman, to embody the weight. So one time he spent a week weaving little leather dolls. He had meant them to look like soldiers, strong and proud. Once he'd placed them on the graves they looked more like children -- huddled, alone, and frightened. Sanjay thought about his legs sometimes. He'd told himself it didn't matter anymore, that old wound. It was the new wounds that really mattered. With new wounds, you couldn't be certain if you'd recover. If the patient would ever walk or talk or live again. Sanjay's legs had recovered. His back had mended and his spirit reformed from the ashes of the cannon that buried him alive. But he still thought about them. He had even named them. His mother had told him that names made the monsters less scary. Torque was what he'd named one. He liked giving it a powerful name, something that carried weight. It was his right leg, the one he unconsciously considered his dominant leg. When it had stopped working years ago, it sat limply in a chair and melted away like an old flower blown to dust by a brisk wind. Only, he didn't notice the wind had taken it from him until one day he'd woken up alone. There had been girlfriends -- dozens of them. They came and went, but his memory was long. He recalled them straddling his unmoving waist lovingly, swaying as if to a song. At least that part of him had still worked. The other leg he'd called Panic. It was the leg that reacted when he needed to react fast. Where Torque carried the weight, Panic pushed him past it. Sanjay remembered pushing past the time when he was alone. He had decided he wouldn't live on without legs. He had decided he wanted to sway to the music he couldn't hear. Dancing was something he'd been good at. He'd wanted to be a dancer once before his father had given him his duty. Sanjay had looked for a cure everywhere cures could be found. A broken spinal cord was tricky business, something no amount of potions, Light, magic water, experimental surgery, or happy thoughts could cure him of. His vast knowledge of medicine and fixing broken things didn't help. He had been convinced it only made matters worse because there was no more room for hope. But in the end, he'd found his cure. He'd been made whole. And so he was graced with the chance to make others whole too. But making some whole meant burying those whose pieces wouldn't fit back together. That meant names, and the nameless. It meant moving earth to fill it with bodies and wishes. It meant standing and weaving talismans and finding ways to lift the weight. It meant standing before a grave on the outskirts of Lakeshire on a dry evening as the sun fell dead in the west, biting back tears as they escaped at last from their long sentence behind the bars of shame. They were the only names that could make him cry anymore. It was bizarre what time could do to a man. Time could heal his wounds and change him into something new. But it could also make grief weigh heavier, and guilt burn deeper. The names stared up at him as a talisman of past failure, a weight that couldn't be set down. He stared down at the blurred carvings and the piles upon piles of woven children and felt time's effect on him. "Hi Dad," he told the children, "Hi Mom. Alex. John. Brom. Hi Saphir. It's me again." He wiped away his bitter tears to do his duty, as Father had always wanted. "I didn't think I'd ever come back, you know. I don't just mean to Redridge. I thought Pandaria was where I was meant to be. I thought home meant making something for myself and never looking back. I didn't think I'd have a reason. As it turns out, I was right. There was nothing to come back to." He thought it was true. They were all dead. Every last one of them. Broken pieces that couldn't be mended. No sense in dwelling on old wounds. Yet he had come back. "I'm still patching up soldiers like you would have wanted, Dad. Guess you got your wish, somewhat. I don't win any glory for the family name like you wanted, but at least I'm keeping the army you helped build keep its feet." Sanjay looked at the dolls seated carefully about the graves and sighed in frustration. "This is stupid. I'm stupid for ever thinking this would help." He bent over to pick a doll up and tossed it off into the distance. He lost sight of it behind a dry, dead bush. "You're all dead. There's no point to it. My words won't comfort you, and your lack of presence won't make me feel any better. I screwed up. I left and didn't look back until you were all gone. Ducking around the truth is pointlessly stupid. You are dead, but there are others that I can keep from the grave with the gifts you gave me. That's legacy. That's what will make me feel better. Don't any of you ever catch me getting weepy around you again, got it?" None of them answered. Sanjay told himself he was still being stupid, yet there he stood. Sanjay. Sander Redjay. The firstborn son of Alexander II Redjay, a hero of the Alliance. Taken by war before his time, and dying far too old. Beside him was his family, the ones who had stood by him. And standing above him, still breathing and crying was the one who had left. "I'm not using your name anymore, Dad. It belongs exactly where you put it. My name is Sanjay now. I never got to tell you before you died. It means Conqueror." He about-faced and walked off, his stride long and stiff. Torque and Panic carried him back down the road to town. The old house belonged to him now, so he intended to give it away to someone who needed it. That, or burn it down and light a cigar in the flames. He hadn't decided.
  8. "So let me get this straight, you jumped off the top of the Temple of the Moon, relying on a glider with a torn wing to slow your fall?" "I didn't know it was torn until after I jumped, but yes that is how it went." The young man with the ponytail winced as Sanjay investigated the damage resulting from the younger man's escapade. "You are lucky you survived. The Kal'dorei take matters of religion very seriously. That Temple is as tall as any castle I've seen." "It wasn't that bad, really." Sanjay eyed the broken leg skeptically. His educated mind told him to be open-minded, but this case seemed rather open-and-shut. "Your femur is cracked in five places," the doctor replied, "Your tibia has a solid dent in it, too. Plus your nose from where you most likely faceplanted, that's seven fractures." "Seven is a lucky number." The boy gave Sanjay a weak smile. Sweat dripped down his forehead in rivers. "Not today, it isn't. I have a question, though, unless you don't want to receive treatment." Moors sighed and lie back on the cot, staring up at the bottom of the top bunk. "Ask away. I'm an open book." "Why did you contact me, and not send a message out to the whole guild?" From what Sanjay had been told about the Empire's guildstones, the default function was to address the entire guild. It took some fiddling in a way Sanjay hadn't bothered to uncover to address only one particular stone. Usually he just kept his on mute. Moors shrugged. "I've never sent a message to one person before." "That doesn't answer the question." "It's late, people are sleeping." "You don't think they mute their stones before bed?" "People tend to forget things. Maybe not as much as I do, but still." The doctor exhaled through his nose and scratched his beard. Though he'd committed to growing it out in Pandaria, the hair was starting to get itchy. He briefly considered shaving it, or at least trimming it down some. "Right. I'm sure that's what went through your head while you writhed about at the steps of the Temple of Elune with bones broken in seven places." Moors' leg twitched in its fresh splint. Sanjay was more interested in that hair of his. It was yellow like straw, and held back in a ponytail. A slash of white lie along his scalp from above the right eye, as well. That was uncommon in one this boy's age. It reminded Sanjay of some old patients. The kid probably rubbed some warlock the wrong way at some point. "I try to be considerate." Or you just wanted to avoid the embarrassment of telling the whole guild you jumped off a building. Sanjay had been aware of some event going on tonight. Given the wine stains on the boy's cotton shirt, he figured Moors had attended. He tried not to jump to conclusions about the alcohol's affect on the boy's actions leading up to his injury. "I'll lend you potions for regrowing the bones and to suppress the pain. It'll be a week or two before you're back on your feet. I'll check in daily until you can get back to work." Luckily for you, I'm on vacation for that long. I could use a break from my break. "Thank you, Doctor. That's really nice of you." He seemed sincere. Sanjay never knew for certain. "Don't jump off anymore buildings, and I'll consider it even. And get some sleep." He stood up to leave. The elves were giving him odd looks. "Hey Doc?" "What is it?" "You won't tell anyone about this, will you?" So it is as I thought. "Not a word, kid. Rest easy." "I got three dates coming up. This won't keep me from any of that, will it?" Sanjay scoffed. That's right, it was about that time of year. Pretty boys like him would be breaking hearts left and right for the next few weeks. "I hope you weren't planning to take any of them for long walks. Or on that deathtrap of a glider. In fact, stay away from anything goblin-made for a while." "Alright. You're the Doc, Doc." He lie back and shut his shiny, baby blue eyes. Sanjay took a breath. After so long spent patching men and women condemned to die of fel poisoning or self-inflicted wounds of despair, this felt utterly mundane. It was a strange thought that such normalcy would feel unwelcome. He strode out of the medical ward of the Temple across soft grass that tickled his feet through his sandals. The elves out here watched him too. Sanjay had grown used to it. When the face of your people is a boy who looks eerily similar to Moors Hawthorne, seeing someone with skin and demeanor as dark as Sanjay's would be rather curious. Maybe I should shave the damn beard.
  9. "Gall's name says it all. He's got guts and doesn't shirk from a fight. I didn't know him long, but I'd probably have lost my head if I hadn't met him. I'd watch his back anytime," -Brinnea.
  10. RiktheRed21

    Rest

    Brinnea Velmon carried a sack over the shoulder with a stooped back, slowed by the weight, but sped by her resolve. She stomped eastward and north from Greenwarden's Grove, into the wild green lands in which only winding, grasping creepers grew and watched. She found a spot beneath an old, wide tree that stooped as she did. There she set down her burden, far enough away from the Grove to be out of sight, but close enough to reach within a twenty minute walk. Inside the sack lie stones she had spent the last week carving at her desk. The runes she had found in a tome she kept in her Thelsamar home. It was a memento of sorts, from her time under the boot of the Scourge. One she had stolen from a pile meant for burning by the Argent Crusade. She set the stones in a precise way, arranging them to make a shrine of sorts up against the stooped tree. Then she drew her blade, Paragon. The runes etched in the side glowed a familiar icy blue as she plunged it into the earth before her shrine of stones. The freshly etched runes glowed a dark purple hue, and wisps of shadow riddled their way up into the old tree like the creepers upon the ground. Bark withered in seconds and high above, leaves fell blackened and dying from the lowest branches. Whispers echoed all around, though it was impossible to discern their meaning. An unkeen ear might mistake it for an odd breeze. Brinnea knelt, her head lowered to the earth. She uttered an incantation that darkened the ground at her feet. Even the heat of the sun felt dimmer as she spoke. When she finished, she uttered one phrase in the low speech that meant, "Show to me the spirit of the dead: the spirit of Parigan Blackmane!" The whispers ceased, as did the dark creepers up the tree and the darkening shadow in the dirt and grass. A single voice pierced the silence -- strong, resolute, yet mocking it was. "Hello Brin. Long time, no see." Brinnea lifted her head to look up at the shade that now hovered over her wicked shrine. "Pari," she breathed softly, "I'm sorry to have to call you like this. You deserve a long, undisturbed rest." "Ha! No rest for me. I've been wandering for some time, here in Azeroth. Without a body, the spirit is free to see whatever sights it wishes, without a care in the world." He seemed utterly content and without a care in this form. He looked as she remembered him before his first death: a young man with shoulder-length black hair left uncombed and wild, brown eyes regarding the world with a fascinated bewilderment, and a body built strong, sturdy, and casually balanced. "That sounds right for you," she replied with a sad smile. "I only wish I could go with you." "In a way, you have. I see you everywhere I go. Your soul still tugs at mine. Sometimes I come back to watch you or Charlotte. She's seen me a time or two, I'd wager. A keen sense, our girl has." "Yes, she's going to make a fine mage someday. She still wants to be a hero, like you. Or me, I suppose." "A hero like us? That won't do. Teach her how to stay alive for longer than twenty years first." Brinnea laughed, tears forming frozen in her eyes. "I should be the one dead, and you the one alive. You could have taught her so much more than I ever can." "And I say," he said as his phantom hand urged her head upwards, "The only true knowledge worth having is earned yourself. She'll learn one way or another, from hundreds and thousands of teachers, living and dead. But you can give her something that I could not. You can be a mother to her. There is no replacing one's own mother." "And the same can't be said of fathers?" "A father puts life in a mother's body, but the mother carries that life with her. They are truly one for he longest time. It's a bond that transcends biology or psychology. I've seen it, you know. The bond between you two. With my own eyes, I can see it like a tether between you two. I truly believe you will never be apart. Not for long." She felt for his hand fondly, though it slipped through her fingers like smoke. "Oh you foolish, clever man! What did I ever do to deserve a you? To deserve any of what I still have?" "You were yourself. Always you were, and forever you will be. Nothing will ever really change you." "I'm not so sure..." "What is it that pains you now? There's always something, but I can feel agony within you. Something in your mind." She sighed, remembering that which urged her to contact him in the first place. "A nightmare. But this one felt real. An illusion, perhaps, but you know I've never been good at sorting reality from fantasy." "What sort of illusion?" "I saw..." she spoke reluctantly. She had been dreading that she would relive the memory again. "I saw the future. Charlotte and the boy, August, grown into a woman and man. I led them astray. They wanted to be heroes...like me." "So they died and became Death Knights," he concluded. "Yes." "Now that's bullshit." "Pari..." "No, you'd never let them do that to themselves in a million years.You wouldn't even let me get a dog when we couldn't afford it. You're stubborn as an old mule when you want to be." "It felt too real to disregard so easily." "That's the thing about illusions." "Don't you think I know that! But what if it becomes real? What if they do try to be just like me?" "Charlotte is what, six years old now? I think you've got enough time to teach her that isn't such a good idea." "It just feels as though I am leading her astray. People I meet believe a Death Knight could never be a true mother to living children. Even if they don't say it, I can see it on their faces." "When has that ever stopped you before? You spent years trying to get adoptions rights in Stormwind, and now you have two children to take care of. Stop worrying over whether it is right and just do the best with what you have." "You're right," she said, still unsure, "But that doesn't make the feelings go away." "Well, I can't control your feelings, though I believe there are drugs that could help with that." "Parigan!" He laughed -- a wispy sound that was a shadow of the irksome chuckle it had once been. "You'll find a way to get through this. You've wanted to be a mother for so long, I know you won't screw it up now." "I hope you're right, Pari. I want to believe it." "Then do that. I'm gonna go on some more adventures. Maybe possess someone along the way. Ah, to feel young and alive again!" "That's just awful," Brinnea said with a laugh and a cry. "You don't have to forget me, Brin. But you have to accept that I'm gone now." "And if you were in my shoes?" "I'd never let you leave me, obviously." "You're such a hypocrite." "And you don't need me to protect you anymore. I may have seemed strong and handsome and dashing when I was around, but it's only because I had you to inspire me. Now you do the same for our daughter, and your boy. Show this world it doesn't get to beat you." With that, he vanished with a puff of smoke. The sun grew brighter, and the silence faded into the breeze. She stood and removed the blade from the ground. Paragon. He would have said it was a funny joke to name it that. "But that's why I did it," she said to herself, "Always carry a smile into battle. Isn't that right, Pari?" Only the wind gave any reply.
  11. "Has to be the most persistent son of an elf I ever met. Everyone I know who knows him berates him constantly, and yet he keeps on at it regardless. Making him blush has become a hobby of mine. He may have trouble adapting to Alliance life, but he's got a big heart wrapped in his thin purple skin. I wouldn't trade him for a legion of Sentinels," -Jenivyr.
  12. "He is a strong and wise chieftain. My father would have trusted him with his life, so I will trust him with my family," -Nagoda.
  13. "A dutiful knight with a strong sense of responsibility. I would have liked to work with him more when I had the chance," -Brinnea.
  14. "I heard about her. What happened in Eastvale...I can't help but feel responsible. I hope her new family treats her well, and she goes on to do great things. My mother once said the most beautiful flowers bloom in adversity. I pray every day that she was right," -Brinnea.
  15. "I haven't seen her in a while, but I remember enjoying her company. She was a staunch companion in battle, and knew how to unwind otherwise. Not so many people had their lives so well put-together," -Brinnea.
  16. "She seems a strong and capable leader, full of fire. Reminds me of a certain General I know. I hope she finds a happy ending wherever her life takes her," -Brinnea.
  17. "I've never met someone so willing to put others ahead of herself. I sure was glad to hear she survived the knife," -Brinnea.
  18. "He's a fighter and an idealist. He reminds me of what I want to be," -Brinnea. "He stood up for a people who needed him. I hope to be like him someday," -Nagoda.
  19. "She's a soldier with the mind of a healer. She doesn't fight to kill, she fights to save and protect. And she has a fine taste in tea," -Sanjay.
  20. "The most innocent and caring person I've ever met. She'd try to save a rampaging ogre if it kicked her down the road a hundred miles. Too good for her own good," -Brinnea.
  21. "A killer, a torturer, and an all-around terrorist. When I think of the enemy, her face comes to mind. Her face and that damn rocket of hers..." -Brinnea.
  22. "Hotheaded and thinks he can solve everything himself, from what I heard. My daughter seemed to adore him, so he must come off as...heroic," -Brinnea.
  23. Full Name: Jenivyr Vayne Date of Birth: April 2 Age: 28 Race: Gilnean Human Gender: Female Hair: Blonde, curly and usually tied back in a tail Skin: Pale, decent complexion Eyes: Light green Height: 5'5'' Weight: 125 lbs Place of residence: Greenwarden's Grove, Wetlands Place of Birth: Gilneas City Known Relatives: Lord Walther Vayne (father), Olivia Vayne (mother, deceased) Religion/Philosophy: Church of the Holy Light Occupation: Mistress of Scouts for the Night Vanguard Group/Guild affiliation: Steward of Night Vanguard Enemies: The Horde, House Hunter of Gilneas, Witherbark Trolls of Arathi Likes: Parties and various social gatherings, hunting trips, fishing trips, planning trips and events Favorite Foods: Fish Favorite Drinks: Ale and wine Favorite Colors: Green and Yellow Weapons of Choice: Bow and arrow Dislikes: Quiet places, being alone, discussions about abstract or unnecessary things (foreign politics, ideology, scholarly or artistic things), sudden and poorly-planned adventures, insensitivity, fighting people. Physical Features: Angular features, somewhat sharp nose and chin, prominent cheekbones. Thin lips with bright gloss. Small eyelashes and thin eyebrows. B-cup breasts. Special Abilities: Excellent at planning and tactics, or navigating intrigue and political plots. An excellent shot with a bow and handy with a spear. Spectacular horse rider. Positive Personality Traits: Strong practical skills, has a sense of duty and loyalty, sensitive and warm, always trying to connect people. Negative Personality Traits: Overly concerned about her social status, inflexible and wants things her way, reluctant to usher in change for the sake of change, vulnerable to criticism, very needy, and possessive. Misc. Quirks: Flirts with just about anyone -- male, female, single, married, human or otherwise. History: Born the first and last child of Walther and Olivia Vayne. Her father was lowborn and earned his lordship through his friendship with one Mayes Blackmane. Jenivyr was born the second generation in this new dynasty, and her mother lived not long to carry on the name through a male heir. With this in mind, Walther allowed his daughter great freedom, hoping she would strike her own path. Even so, he nagged her often for her laziness and disregard for social conventions. Jenivyr never fit in with the noble ladies of court, and garnered many insults and taunts for her tomboyishness and general awkwardness. As it turned out, she was awkward in large part because of her interest in women above men. Though, to impress both, she often flirted with just about everyone. Due to the utter rejection by the women, she preferred the company of men and learned to track, ride, and shoot a bow from a string of short-lived boyfriends. When Gilneas fell, she avoided the Worgen using her survival skills, though her father was bitten and she looked after him throughout the ordeal. She even managed to subdue him long enough for the elixir to be finished. She moved with her father to Stormwind for a time, then to Duskwood after Walther purchased a plot of land for them to settle on. Jenivyr hated the area. The people were grim and disliked her as much as those in Gilneas did. The game were mostly mangy or inedible, and in all she grew stir-crazy before too long. Walther was kidnapped while investigating a plot of treason against the crown, so Jenivyr used the chance to take some time away from his nagging. She set into drinking too much ale and wine, until the day the Night Vanguard arrived at her doorstep. Recruiting their aid, she managed to free her father, unveil the conspiracy, and earn herself a position in the Vanguard's base of operations leading the men who formerly worked for the conspirator. She found her true calling leading others, organizing events, and even fell in love with the woman of her dreams -- Justica Anterius. Theme Songs: "Jupiter," by Gustav Holst "England Peace Theme," Sid Meyer's Civilization 5 "I Vow to Thee, My Country," from a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice and the music of Gustav Holst ((Justica and Jenivyr))
  24. Soft leather boots squished against wet cobblestones in the dank, dark depths of the Stormwind City Stockades. Looking around and seeing the agonized faces of prisoners of every race, height, age, and build imaginable, Baron felt the heat in his chest rising at the thought of his father's unjust imprisonment. Locking him up amongst thieves, rapers, and murderers...if I make it out of this dungeon without snapping someone's neck, it'll be a miracle. His own men had learned not to provoke him for any reason. They knew enough to fear his wrath, his sword, and his beasts of war. But these false knights that led him to his father's cell knew not of him. They had never heard of the Bloody Baron. That made this situation all the more dangerous. "Here we are," the portly man in shimmering plate armor announced boredly as he unlocked a simple wooden door. I bet this fat man has never had a scratch put in that armor of his, Baron thought to himself bitterly. It was insulting how easy it would be to free Lord Walden Hunter from his captivity. Clearly these southerners had lost all respect for Gilneas' nobility in their years of isolation. "About damn time," Baron barked, shoving the man out of the way. He entered the cell and the door slammed shut behind him. He heard the two knights snickering and whispering insults as they stood outside. He sniffed angrily and bit back a taunt of his own. "Calm yourself, son," a man in rags and tattered from head to toe said, "Save your rage for the true foes. The living are not worth the effort." Baron almost didn't recognize his father looking to disheveled. His hair was ordinarily well-groomed and a slick light brown color, but now it was a ratty tangle and more the color of dirt or dung. His dark brown eyes were still sharp and skeptical as always, but now they were bloodshot from the gloom. Baron spied a small pile of books in the corner of the cell. "You convinced them to give you reading material," Baron said with no humor in his voice, "With guards as stupid as those, you ought to have just asked them to leave the door unlocked so you could visit a library yourself." "Nonsense, I don't have to ask for anything. I tell them to get me books, and they bring them. Just because Greymane saw fit to strip me of my title, I have not lost my noble blood. Those wretches know how to grovel to a man of power when they hear him call." The man rose to his feet, and Baron felt foolish for having not recognized him. The man held himself in that same self-assured manner as ever, as thought he already knew what the result of the conversation would be and was thinking about some other scheme. If he truly knew what I was about to say, he wouldn't look so pleased with himself. He nearly growled in response, "Can you not escape this prison, then? I did not ask to become the head of the household! Every morning one of your bootlickers comes to me looking for favors or loan repayments. I cannot even return to Stranglethorn to see my wives with all the 'important matters' to deal with in Stormwind!" Walden struck his son. The backhanded slap echoed in the small space, though Baron hardly moved when hit. Its true force was the power to silence him. "You will not complain to me about your duties again. You are my eldest son. It is unbecoming of you to whine like a sullen child. You will appease every last one of the House's allies and you will not leave the capital until Greymane gives you my former position in the army. That is all you must do for now. If I hear a word of ill report about you from those back-country fools outside the door, you will be forced to give up the sword and sit at a desk the rest of your life. Do I make myself clear?" Baron's fists clenched furiously, but he knew he was trapped. "Yes, Father," was all he managed to say from between his teeth. "And if you ever mention those whores you call wives again, I'll send Grant to hang them all." "Yes, Father." Baron had to bite his tongue to keep himself from saying any more. "Now then, tell me what I summoned you here for." Baron took a deep breath and relaxed his body. He would definitely kill someone tonight. "We received word back from the Wetlands. The treasury was looted without a hitch, Grant got it all down into the tunnels before the Vanguard even knew it was being taken. It was all in place down in the cave Creighton picked out, but something happened." Walden's eyebrow rose. "Something happened?" "Walther's brat managed to sniff out the cave through Creighton's traps. Grant wasn't at the rendezvous when our people got there. Our spy says he was toted into the cells by some elf mage named Alcabus or something. They say Creighton's locked up, too." Walden's eyes narrowed only slightly, but it was more than enough to tell Baron he was displeased by the news. "They have your brother and Grant in cells, and all of my money?" A dangerous silence followed. Baron felt no fear, but he was anxious about what new plan his father would cook up now that his first had fallen through. "Have the spy summoned to Stormwind and cut her throat. Throw the body in the canals, but make certain you take any and all valuables off her corpse first. Make it look like a robbery and there won't be any suspicions." Baron risked a question, "Why kill the spy?" "There must have been an information leak. Creighton is too careful to be captured, and the cave would have been concealed too well to find by the time the Vayne girl looked for it. Someone talked, it's the only possibility." "Very well then." Baron was more than happy to clean up the mess. At least he would get to kill someone soon. "But how are we going to carry on without that money? I have your debts to pay and new friends to keep happy, after all." He didn't conceal his resentment well. "Pay them from your own coffers." "You cannot be serious!" Baron stomped madly. "Don't argue, and don't complain. If you do your job well, there will be plenty of reward. You will also need to ransom Creighton and Grant from Greenwarden's Grove. Don't even think of raising your voice at me again. Neither of them will spill any information, I am certain, but we need to smooth over our difficulties with the Night Vanguard sooner rather than later. We cannot hope to get to the girl otherwise." "As long as her Scourge mother is alive, we'll never get close. You could at least let me kill her. It would save us all trouble." He forced himself to say this calmly, though his insides boiled with rage. "No. It is clear now that removing Velmon is not as easy a solution as I once hoped. The child is too attached to her to be separated willingly, and now Gilneas has pardoned her. For now, Brinnea Velmon is off-limits." "Then how are we to take the girl as a ward? The blue-eyed she-devil watches her constantly, and trusts no one she doesn't know." "You've nearly hit the nail on the head, boy. We cannot hope to get close without someone Velmon knows, someone the Vanguard trusts. Someone who hates the undead as much as we, and cares for the child's well-being." Baron huffed quietly. "Who then?" "In due time. For now, focus on winning allies and freeing Creighton and Grant. Make certain that when you ransom them, you send someone who can act with a shred of diplomatic temper. And don't forget about the spy." He sat down and opened a book. The conversation was clearly over. But Baron wasn't finished. "So that's it? No thanks or apologies? Not even so much as a 'goodbye?' Am I not still your son? Am I only a tool for your schemes?" Walden replied without looking up, "All I do is for you and your brother. And for Gilneas. Remember that the hunter does not require praise to catch his prey. Only focus. Now go." Baron went, slamming the door behind him. He ignored the two bumbling guards and their poorly concealed snickers as they locked his father's cell up again. I'll do your dirty work, Father. But once you are free to take back the reins, I will never be slave to your whims again!
  25. Full Name: Nagoda Goldfield, son of Quaran Date of Birth: September 20 Age: 14 Race: Tauren Gender: Male Hair: Brown mane Skin: Brown fur, spotted white Eyes: Brown Height: Short Tauren Weight: Hefty Tauren Place of residence: Ashtotem Village, Thousand Needles Place of Birth: An Oasis in the Barrens Known Relatives: Quaran Sunwalker, (father, deceased), Fasha Sunseer, (mother), Magooma, (maternal grandmother), Kimba [the commander], Rumba [the muscle], and Cassowary [the logistician], (paternal uncles) Religion/Philosophy: An'she and the Earth Mother Occupation: Healer's apprentice at Ashtotem's Healer Hut Group/Guild affiliation: New recruit of Sanctuary Enemies: The White Hawk of Silvermoon, Nakama's pirate crew (presumed dead), Brinnea, the Butcher of Kaur'he Likes: Quiet walks in the wilderness, praying to the sun god in private, reading, singing, watching bugs and critters, tending to plants Favorite Foods: Any veggies or fruits (vegetarian) Favorite Drinks: Shamed to admit he loves firewater (it helps him be more social), more commonly admits to liking kodo milk Favorite Colors: Brown and gold Weapons of Choice: A spear or staff Dislikes: Being cooped up indoors, restraints, (claustrophobic) Physical Features: Chubby, white-faced, brown furred. His horns are small and young, his hooves well-trod upon for his age. Keeps his left hand covered to hide a brand in the shape of a red dragon. Special Abilities: Talented at healing with herbs and medical supplies. Knows how to set snares and traps for game. Positive Personality Traits: Idealistic, seeks value and harmony in all things. Respectful of others' cultures and opinions. Open-minded and flexible, willing to try new things even when afraid of the consequences. Highly creative, passionate, and dedicated. Works hard and complains little. Negative Personality Traits: Too selfless for his own good, lets others take advantage of him. Takes any insult to heart, internalizing them until his self-esteem is at a deep low. Poor at practical skills and unfocused so as to leave him unable to master any trade. Very distant and hard to get to know. Misc. Quirks: Rubs his left hand and bows with his horns to most everyone elder to him Theme Songs: "The Farthest Land," Shadow of the Colossus History: Born to the warrior Quaran and his wife Fasha in the Barrens. Watched his father transform from an implacable warrior with bloodthirst and ravenous thirst for revenge turn to a life of piety and devotion to An'she. Fasha was the first to take to An'she as a Seer, and Quaran followed to become among the first Sunwalkers. This transformation began with a miracle: the Light saved Quaran's life from a mortal wound delivered by Grimtotem axe at Thunder Bluff. Since then, Nagoda has been in love with the sun god, and pious to a fault. Nagoda grew only occasionally in his father's eyes. The elder warrior was normally away at war, a dutiful bull. Nagoda became much like his mother and grandmother because of this, and followed the path of a healer for some time. He was poor at fighting, and did not want to eat meat or even harm wildlife, so he was no huntsman. Since his family had turned to An'she, he did not follow the path of a druid or shaman either. He seemed destined to become a Seer, if not for his uncles' constant insults about his femininity. His father, though he hid his disappointment well, accepted his son's inability to take up the mantle of warrior, which made it sting all the worse for Nagoda. He wanted to make his father proud, and so he would wander from home often to reflect, pray, and try to practice. He could never bring himself to swing a spear or staff at anything alive, or even any practice target he pretended was alive. Quaran Sunwalker died hunting after the Butcher of Kaur'he. The death knight had to die to see justice done, Quaran had been convinced when he left home. Nagoda's heart fluttered nervously the day his father left -- the man had faced the death knight once and still carried a scar on the face where she had smashed him with his own maul. The news came not as a surprise, but it was enough to cast a lasting shadow on the family of the Gold Plain. Nagoda ran from home not long after. His uncles wanted to whisk him away and make a true warrior out of him, but at that moment all the boy wanted was to avenge his father and prove himself at long last. He knew he needed help, so he asked a friend of his father's to hunt the death knight down. The troll was an expert at the hunt, using the elements themselves to bolster his weapons and senses. Yet even he did not return to hunt after the death knight. For a time, Nagoda believed the Butcher was impossible to kill, and that An'she intended for him never to be like his father. But then the sun god sent him a new chance -- the Butcher was imprisoned in Silvermoon, and would soon be sent across the sea to Kalimdor. The boy ran again from his people, this time to total strangers. He approached a pirate captain called Nakama, a trolless with her own ship docked at Ratchet. He paid her with money left behind by Quaran, and arranged for the ship carrying the Butcher to be hijacked at sea. The gold was not all his father had left behind, though. A priceless relic from Northred, a gift from the Wyrmrest dragons themselves, accompanied him on his task. He believed it was a gift from An'she as well -- the instrument of justice. His father had called it a brand once, though Nagoda had been too young to understand what it was for. He knew only that it carried the dragon's fire somehow. Fire that might cleanse the world of the death knight he thought unkillable. The White Hawk, a mysterious elven task force, warned Nagoda not to do what he intended, but he stubbornly ignored them. He had to avenge his father. The Hawk were prepared for this, though, since Brinnea the Butcher was not on the ship as the pirates had been informed. It was set up as a trap, and the pirate ship was surrounded by war vessels to be taken in by the Hawks. Nagoda was stunned, and with the brand in hand, his emotions exploded outward at last. It was enough for the dragon fire to erupt and burn the ship around him. As far as the young tauren knew, no one by he survived the explosion. It left a lasting mark on his left hand, a reminder of his failure. After that, he decided he had shamed himself too much to return home again. He tried to find a new path, and An'she sent him a vision of a golden hawk on a purple sky. Sanctuary. He followed his vision, remembering that it was Kex'ti of Sanctuary who stood against the Butcher and lived. Nagoda sought a chance at redemption and escape from his failure, but he never forgot his duty. One day, he knew, he would have to face the Butcher, and only one of them would walk away alive.