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Isadore last won the day on July 18 2016

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  1. After the Siege, Shokkra asks Dora if they can talk in private. With Shokkra in a wheelchair and Dora weak but on her feet, they journey outside of the infirmary tent. Uneven terrain adds an element of difficulty of navigating the chair. The wheels sink into the mud if Dora isn't constantly pushing, so she keeps going until she's able to get Shokkra on the path around the port where the dirt is packed tight. The port is still broken, but the moon hangs high anyway. Wheels squeak as Dora urges them along, near the southeast corner where they have a bay for dry docking. "Fresh air is nice, right?" "Yeah." Shokkra lets out a heavy breath, her eyes moving up and focusing on the stars. "Better than stuffy, sick air." She tries not to let the fact she's being pushed around in a wheelchair bother her. She's never relied on anyone else for something as simple as movement before. It takes a bite out of the courage she's mustered. "The harbor was undamaged right?" Shokkra asks, her eyes turning to the mud and puddles on the ground. "It took some hits, but we have carpenters already on it. Some of the Solsmite cousin crew too." When they reach the inlet, it's clear that it avoided the worst of the attacks. One piece of the port that didn't get pummeled by fel meteors; small victories. Dora bounces once on her toes, winces, and stops the chair just on a hilly knoll overlooking the sea near the dry dock station. "What did you need to talk about so badly that it couldn't wait?" "I did wait." Shokkra snaps, harsher than she meant. "I told you I needed to talk with you after the fight, and this is that." Her mostly undamaged hand crosses over to rub her other arm, taking a more closed position. She shakes some hair from her face, thinking. "I didn't dye my hair. So that's... one thing." Looking from the grass down to the sand and up to the water, she wonders how Orgrimmar must have looked after the siege, and how the ocean must have been red, like the river. "There's a lot, I guess." The grass crunches underneath flimsy thin slippers, tickling at Dora's ankles. She squats down in front of Shokkra, bracing her palms on her knees. "I'm listening," Dora tells her. "So talk." Shokkra takes a deep breath, clearing her throat out of nervousness. Her gaze turns to Dora, uncertain and wary. "So... I've talked to a lot of people. Actually not a lot. Four, I think. Because they ask what my problem is, or shit like that. Worried about me, maybe." She squeezes her own arm, supporting herself. "And every time, it always ends with 'talk to Dora'. But, over the past few months, ever since... the storm, we haven't seen each other much. So when I did get to see you, I just buried whatever else. Because when we were together, I wanted to be happy. I wanted you to be happy. I wanted to have that one safe harbor in everything going on, convince myself everything wasn't going to shit. That there was still a shred of- of summer, to hold onto." Green eyes, glowing like flameflies in the night, watch Shokkra with unerring focus. She waits for more, her body giving a small shiver as a breeze flies through carrying the smell of sulfur and salt. "So I kept burying and hiding and... lying to keep it that way." Was it lying to hide everything over those months? It felt like it. It felt like shit. "Even though everyone kept telling me to talk to you and- and even me telling them that I would, I didn't. I was scared. I still am. I'm scared of losing you to all my bullshit and problems. When we weren't talking after the storm, it hurt. It hurt so much to think that I had ruined the best thing I ever had with one night of my bullshit." Shokkra shifts her eyes back to the water, her voice shaking. "And- and with all the shit going on. The fucking hallucinations, the nightmares, the overwhelming stress and the fucking death all always around..." Shokkra bites into her lower lip. "It was summer when you told me you needed time to figure out what I meant to you." Her voice calms somewhat, looking to Dora, blatant fear evident. "Do you know, yet?" Silence. In the time Shokkra looked towards the bay and back, Dora's stare fell to the floor, thin slits of green casting the color of jade on her cheeks and touching the ends of her messy bangs. The curve of her hunched back speaks of vulnerability. Her steadiness on wounded feet mark her courage. She doesn't move, just gazes with narrowed eyes at the dirt. Her pink mouth, chapped and ripped in the middle, cuts from cheek to cheek in a severe line. Still as stone, without breath to give her the mimicry of life. A gargoyle of a figure set posed in thoughtful determination. "I do," Dora uttered. Shokkra's heart beat at the pace of a war drum charging into battle. Every broken bone and and cut and scrape felt like they were on fire, scorching through her body. She was so weak, so unprotected and undefendable. The robe felt constricting and closed, like a prison cell, holding her tight but protecting nothing. She felt the chilling cut of winter and the suffocating sea air blocking her lungs. She couldn't do anything if she tried. She couldn't run, or fight. She wasn't strong. "And?" Dora meets her eyes then. "I can't return your feelings. I love you, consider one of-" she pauses. Forces breath through her body. "- my closest friends. But I can't give more than that. I'm sorry." Shokkra was ready. She had steadied herself over every possible way the conversation could go. She had lain awake for hours at night, thinking, talking to herself, preparing herself. But none of it mattered. It felt like very bone shattered again, every cut had torn through her, every burn still alight. Her heart must have been shattered for how it felt. "W-" She could barely manage to speak. Tears burst from her eyes, running down her scar and onto her chest. "Fuck." Sobs destroyed whatever strength she had left. She was weak. She was always weak. She was broken and an idiot and nothing would change that. Shokkra wasn't an elegant cryer. She cried with the same kind of passion that characterized her fighting, her raging, her existing. Instead of sharing in it, or doing much of anything at all, Dora sat stone still and watched. Tears soaked into the bandages in pitter patter motions like raindrops on her front. The trees, turned to ashy charcoal from the wreckage, look skeletal from a distance like rooted corpses. The path cooled the soles of Dora’s shoes, heat leaking from her toes until she went numb. The ocean at her right lapped against the shoreline, like any other night. Why would Dora? Why would anyone? Shokkra was broken. Her sobs continued, her ribs felt like they were breaking again, curling over in her arms. Time seemed to stop. She couldn't tell how long she stayed like that. Once her sobs started to quiet, and throat was raw, she sniffled. "Dora-" She tried to calm herself, slowed her breaths. "That doesn't... it doesn't change how I feel. And it shouldn't change how- how we are." Tears run down her scar like a river through a canyon, making its mark on her features. "I told you before." She rubs her face slowly, trying to scrub off the pain. "I'm not giving up the best thing I ever had for anything. Your love... and friendship is the most important thing in the world to me." Her face twists into a paining silent plea. "And I need help." Dora didn't know how to mend a broken heart. She tends to hold on to them too tightly, surprised when they shatter. She collects shards of different cuts and sizes, from different people. When the cuts heal, she tries to pick at the callouses that they leave behind. She's hurt her friends, but most of them haven't abandoned her for her mistakes yet. She'd been terrified of Shokkra's unpredictability. But then, she should have known better. Shokkra is one of the most loyal people she's ever known in her life. She takes the hem of her shirt and lifts it up to wipe at the tears that have traveled a messy line down Shokkra's chin. "Whatever you need," Dora declared, soft. "Just tell me." Shokkra folds her broken arm across her stomach, holding it with her other. She winces, the pain is so fresh. When a hand is lifted up to her face, wiping at her tears, she nearly crumples into it, her broken form aching for affection. It takes a few moments, for her to calm her breathing, to get through the rest. Dora hasn't left yet. Maybe she won't. Please don't go. "I think I'm broken, inside." She mutters, her voice straining. "I'm scared of so much, of the future and how I'm going to end up. I'm terrified that... my mom screwed up so badly with just who I'm attracted to and I keep thinking that if she got that so, so wrong, maybe she got everything else wrong too. Maybe that's why I don't work outside the battlefield. Maybe that's why my hair turned white and I keep seeing things that aren't there, that I know aren't there but I can smell and hear and feel them like they were." She reaches up to hold the pendant on her neck, only to realize it's not there. Her hand clenches around nothing. "Maybe that's why I feel like dying." "I think you're Shokkra Deathrage, goddamn maw of the beast," Dora reminds her, making a swipe against Shokkra's scarred cheek. When the fabric falls against her belly, it sticks with moisture. Soaked through with tears. She takes Shokkra's hands as she did in the infirmary, crouched down again and speaking low. "Pretty sure that in all the time I've known you, you've done exactly what you wanted to do regardless of what other people think. You- you have values that you care about, otherwise you wouldn't Commissar of Sanctuary. And yeah, you're good in battle, but that's not all you are." "Isn't it?" Dora's words don't look as if they inspired much, or anything. "I treat the oaths like a joke. The smallest shit sets me off. Nobody in Sanctuary trusts me or likes me except for Juli. Even the ones that say they do lie, or leave, or die. Maybe it's because they see what I am. A broken soldier. Or a monster." She scratches at her chest where the shell casing would rest, clawing at it. She didn't lose it. She couldn't have lost it. "Would you still be here if you knew what I've done? If you knew more about what Garrosh did, or why the world thinks what it does about the Kor'kron? The things I did on orders, on instinct, or because I could?" "Alright," Dora concedes, looking directly at where Shokkra gropes for something that isn't there, "okay. Let me get through this cleanup. Let me make sure my people are safe. Then, after that, we're gonna sit in a bar and you're gonna either tell me everything that you've done so that you can believe me when I say you're my friend, or we're just gonna drink and be thankful we're alive. I don't care which. But right here and right now I need you to believe that I'm not abandoning you. Okay?" Shokkra needed to find it. She couldn't have lost it. She couldn't have. It had to be around. It had to be somewhere. What if it fell off in the fight? Maybe the doctors took it off when they healed her. She had to find it. Shokkra bites into her lip, hard, and closes her eyes. She shouldn't have brought any of it up. She should have stayed quiet. Dora couldn't deal with all her bullshit right now. Dora would be better off with her dead. "Where the fuck is it?" She whispers hoarsely, just loud enough that Dora might hear. Then she nods, opening her eyes. "Okay." Dora’s eyes widen, realization dawning. "Shokkra, stop looking for something that isn't there and listen to me," Dora seethes, taking Shokkra's face in her hands. "Listen. Stop calling my friend a monster. Stop calling my friend broken. Stop insulting this person that I care about. I'll make you a thousand fucking necklaces if you just realize for a goddamn minute that I wasn't just giving you lip service. I love you, you idiot. I was about to keel over sitting at your bedside thinking you'd never wake up again." Ragged breaths, her voice gone hoarse. Shokkra breathes. Looking into Dora's eyes, she sees all the anger there, and the pain. She cares. She always does. Stupid. So fucking stupid. Shokkra moves her forehead to Dora's, closing her eyes. "Gods I miss the summer." She manages, breathing out. Her hand drops back to her lap, scratch marks fading on her chest. "Okay." She takes a breath. "Okay." Shokkra's forehead feels feverish against Dora. The sweat of the orcess’ brow clings to Dora's skin. They breathe together. "Summer was good. We can make next summer better." Dora’s grip slips away, with her drawing back to resume her squat. Shokkra nods, glad to have made the physical connection. "Okay." Shokkra adds once more. "I love you, Dora." She says, the same emotion and intensity she'd had ever since her hunt ended plain in her voice. She might hurt a lot of the time, hate the world, hate herself. But she felt good, now. Dora smiles, as artless as ever. She feels dirt creep into her thin shoes. Her shirt has a stain from where she wiped tears, discolored. Moonlight and her slow slip into recovery make her pale and tired looking. Maybe that's why her eyes seem so much brighter in comparison."I love you too, Shokk." She stands to survey their position. The chill starts to settle in her fatigued muscles, making her dream of a warm bed. "Ready to head back?" "Yeah." Shokkra nods, taking another long look at the ocean. Her lungs feel clearer, and her robe less constricting. "Let's go."
  2. “So, it’s been a while. A lot has happened since I last put in an audio log...too much to sift through really. Day five hundred and thirty two of my exile.” “I haven’t kept up with this’s been a hundred and ninety nine days since my last entry. Gosh, maybe I should have waited until tomorrow! But...there’s something kind of interesting about a number that’s so close to a completion of a set. It’s got potential, right?” “...uhm. Okay. So! Let’s see...I guess, since then, we’ve been working non-stop on taking Lazhio down. I led a few more missions. Found Vyzelok’s old house abandoned out in Stranglethorn with a bunker and a bunch of cool artifacts from all the different schools of magic. There was even a talking head! Phyruss and I went on that mission together. We weren’t alone, though.” “Morinth was there, or some approximation of her. She had Vyzelok’s reconstructed corpse under her control. I fought her...the details are a little fuzzy...but in the end she escaped and Vyzelok was pinned to the wall with Phyruss’ runesabers. We learned what Lazhio plans to do with the stones.” “Then we cut Vyzelok’s throat. Phy’s hand was on mine when I ripped the blade through the skin. Phyruss never lets me carry my burdens alone if he can help it.” “ we got the stone! We were one step closer to a plan! Woo!” “...theeeeen Uncle Cobrak and Faelenor had to go and get kidnapped, and Amalyn is in the infirmary recovering. Sooo...that’s the boss gone. Second in command gone. According to Uncle’s wishes, that puts me in charge of Borrowed Time.” “I’ve been interim leader of Borrowed Time for a while now. A few weeks, at least. I’ve held my first meeting in the war room...I’ve been delegating tasks to as many trusted hands as I get. Thankfully, I haven’t had any shortage of those. Though uh, that’s also causing some problems.” “So many people from Sanctuary are in our walls. I know it’s causing...uhm...a lot of tension. It’s like in the books my dad made me read about the influence of power. If an our company, if it- if it relies on outside sources for it’s defenses then it demonstrates weakness to our members. Makes them feel less secure, like- it destroys morale.” “The problem is that we are weak. We’re missing our lead tactician, our commander. If we want them back, our best odds are throwing our lot in with Sanctuary and”- a laugh - “only one or two are here on orders from Julilee. The rest are here for the same reasons that are, like. The cornerstones of what makes up Borrowed Time. Cat has family here! She’s marrying my cousin Kreyen. Well, first cousin once removed, but that’s- uhm, kind of a mouthful so just cousin Krey is fine I think?” “Anyway, so Cat is here compiling numbers for the defenses. Shokkra is here...cause of me and Julilee. I’m her best friend. She acted as my tactician before. Back during the first mission to take down Lazhio at the bordello. She’s the reason I have a plan at all when we go up against Lazhio again.” “Now there’s a woman named Lady Bloodstone who is talking to Ophinnia about fel magic. Plus there’s, Lord Autumnvale? He’s come back, acting as her bodyguard.” “Vathelan has a bodyguard too, because of Shokkra.” Silence. “So. I’ve been trained all my life to be a leader. That part isn’t actually so hard. I can handle the meetings, and I’ve got the trust of my company. There’s a lot of communication...I like listening to their ideas. I’m so lucky to have so many talented people who buoy me up. Without them...without my family, I’m nothing. I’m thankful every. day. that I have so much trust from so many people who are way passionate about their crafts and that they give me the privilege of directing them.” “...but even with all that’s not an easy job. I have to stay firm to my convictions while keeping an open mind to suggestions. It's a balance of being as available as I can while having the confidence stick with the plan. No one needs a teetering leadership, and I don’t want to let them down, not any of them.” Silence. “I’ve not really been sleeping all that much. My brother worries I’m running myself into the ground, and he’s not alone in that concern. Mom is actually popping her head up every once in awhile to tell me to eat, which...yeah, that says a lot. It’s sleep. When I feel like I can be doing more.” “ uncle...not my real uncle. The closest...person I have to him. Uhm. His life depends on this working. Shan’do too. I’m making calls that are going to kill people no matter what I choose. This is the least I can do for them. This is all I can do.” “Vathelan came to offer his help. Last I heard from him was months ago. I wasn’t even sure he remembered who I was? But then he was there at the door with this body guard. I mentioned that, right? He has a bodyguard because of Shokkra. Well,” a laugh “he did say he was good at making enemies and Shokkra is pretty easy to rile up. You can get on the wrong side of her in a heartbeat if you don’t get her or why she acts the way she does. I’m sure that there’s stuff even I don’t know about Shokkra that defines her or how she acts.” “Anyway. So Vathelan comes and he offers his help. He quotes something I said to him, like...almost a year ago. That the...uhm. ‘The price of inaction is worse than the price of a mistake.’ Or something like that at least. It was one part of the conversation, but not all of it.” Silence. A ‘glik’ of swallowed water. “He calls me the hero. That I’m all these things he seems certain about...what, like...courageous, I think. Smart, brave, stuff like that. But it’s like he forgot the rest of what I had said being a hero meant to me. That being a hero is about luck and being put in a position to make difficult decisions and then a lot about the aftermath.” “Those people who get the title ‘hero’...they coulda just as easily become the villain, or they are the villain in someone else’s book. It depends on which side you're on or who tells your story. The only person I’m accountable for at the end of the day is myself, and if I’ve done everything I could reasonably do to protect my family, then...I mean, I’m not gonna ask more out of myself.” “...still. When you’re staring down at the end of an unpredictable tunnel and someone is there to tell you that you’re all the things you need to be in order to save everyone that you love and care about...?” Silence. “So. I’m not as big of an idiot as I used to be. I know that there’s this...person who has talked to me maybe a total of three times in the span of a year puts me on a pedestal. Maybe a year ago I wouldn’t have given it much thought, except I’ve had plenty of people in my life put me in that same spot on a high shelf and then I, uhm. I disappoint them when I don’t live up to their standards.” “That’s. You know, okay by me. Now it is, anyway. I figure I have my own standard to live by, and as long as it’s enough to protect my family then I’m alright.” “Looking back on that conversation between Vath and I...Erm. Hmmm. I’ve been trying to tear that apart ‘cause it bothers me so much! I just- uhm, recently learned to read the cues! You know, when someone is interested? Normally by the time I figure it out, it's already too late and the friendship is falling apart or changing and I don’t- uh, have a clue how to handle it. And I don’t think anything that Vath and I said between us made very much sense. Little to no sleep and a day between meals does that, I guess.” “So, okay, I’m improving in reading people at least. Step two is a little more complicated, I guess. Handling that information afterwards, I mean. Be nice if I coulda practice it when the world wasn’t on fire, but that’s okay. I have a chance to try again and talk to him. To...erm. I guess clear up whatever confusion is between us and set some boundaries.” “...the battle is still on the horizon. I still have so many assignments left to go through. New Sanctuary people filtering in, I need to put them somewhere. I’m sure I can talk to Shokkra and figure it out. I’ve talked long enough, I think.” “End log.”
  3. Shokkra, Wondering where you are now. It’s been a few days since your last letter, so I’m guessing you might have reached Shadowmoon by now. I haven’t heard anything from my Legacy Corps crew in a long while. Most of the communication has gone dead. Everyone is off on their own adventures, so I’m left with a hollow base in Broden’ar. I’m considering doing renovations to it. I’m not sure yet; I’ll probably hold off until I hear back from at least Tsuyi, or Mit or Geryal. I took Eiverlyn out to breakfast the other day. We talked for a while, and she’s going to help me out with the vineyard and those old decaying crystals I found in the dirt. I didn’t even have to offer the job- she just leapt at the chance to help. It gets her out of her apartment and into some sunshine. We’re both going to learn how to run a vineyard, apparently! Maybe by the time you get back we’ll have a few casks ready to start aging in storage. Did you know Eiverlyn had two moms? A Blood Knight and a Farstrider. I didn’t even realize something like that was a possibility. Sorry, I don’t have anymore cookies or anything. Phy’s been dealing with a lot of his own problems lately and we haven’t had time for baking lessons. I have jerky though, and that’s probably better for you anyway. Dora
  4. Shokkra, So I have to be the one to tell mom that the old arcane system used to provide water to the vineyards has actually over watered the soil. We’d have to get maybe a shaman out here or someone who knows anything about elemental control and check for diseases and help with the drowned earth before I can put a shovel into this thing. And get rid of all these frost crystals that were buried under the rot. It’s affected the magic and now we’re got a whole host of problems that I don’t know jack about. You want a sapper-grade explosive capsule that can take out an entire fortification wall, no problem. Dealing with mutated magical crystals? This is work for Tao Zhu, or someone with the right knowledge base. At least this is way more interesting of a challenge than I thought it would be! I went to go take care of your plants, by the way. I set up a prototype system of what I want to implement in mom’s vineyards, so at least I have a place to test in the meanwhile. I spoke with the Commander about it. There is an abandoned start to a sentence , scribbled out. I really see why you respect her. She’s not much older than me, but she’s so wise. We have a really different style of leadership, and I appreciate what I can learn from her. She gave me some advice. I don’t know if it is relevant to you, but it’s helped me more than I think Commander Julilee can understand. She said it’s easy to question yourself after realizing you were wrong when you thought you had no reason to suspect you were. You lose confidence in yourself, in your ability to make decisions. But, she said, being too afraid to make decisions will only lead to grief. Start small and make yourself decide. Your confidence will return. Your confidence will return. It was the conviction in the way she said it that made me believe with complete certainty that she experienced something just like what I’m going through right now. It was such a relief to see the path in front of me again when it felt like I’d come up against a wall. She gave me a direction forward, steps that are measurable. Already I feel a lot stronger for the advice. Determination can get you through more than you could ever suspect, but I should have known that! Hah! I’m just glad the Commander could help me find my footing again. I don’t know how I’m going to repay her, but I’m confident that the opportunity will present itself and that I will be there to answer the call. Speaking of people being lost, Phyruss is having a rough time. He’d been a little storm cloud lately. I thought he was just being cranky at first, but then I made him sit down and talk with me. He and Saralis are taking a break. He was trying to keep it from me because he was worried about bumming me out. Breakups. He asked me if I was okay. I remember I was talking to Shaelie not too long ago, a few days after the Dalaran mission. She was worried, asking me if something was going on or wrong with me. I told her about what happened with me and Nok, that it affected my focus on the assignment on Lazhio and that’s why I’ve been out of it lately. She smiled and looked a little relieved, glad that it wasn’t anything more world-shattering than a break up but she said she knows how that is. It can be a real kick in the gut. But it did help a little with perspective. I have an obligation to my team, and to my company. To the people of the Fiend’s Den, who need help and supplies to get them back on their feet again. I heard that Coldstar is handling a lot of the relief initiative, which is great. I’ll be heading back to the port to be debriefed on our next move. They give me a reason to fight. I’ll take what I learned from that attempt in Dalaran and move forward. The operation in the bordello wouldn’t have gone half as smooth without you acting as my tactician. With you gone, I’m starting to realize just how much I rely on you. Scribbled out fragments of words, unreadable. I sent you double-chocolate brownie cookies this time, per Isa’s insistence. She hasn’t reached that point in her life yet where she pukes an entire cake’s worth of chocolate before she’s sick for almost a week, so I’ll let her enjoy it even though just the smell makes me gag. I made extra for you to share with your crew. Hope I can spread a little bit more peace in the form of dubious baked goods. Love, Dora PS: I showed Isa that picture of us that September drew. She strapped pillows around her arms so that she could look as muscled and huge as my friend in the picture. I made a batch of cookies just for her.
  5. Shokkra, There are three acolytes here from the Seminary of the Sunflare working on the corrupted acreage. One of them has strong opinions about the Light, and he has some sort of authority over the other two. This morning, there was this big metal tank-looking vehicle that drives up to the front gates. It kind of looked like a big armored wagon, or a giant metal box rolling on wheels as tall as me. So the acolytes are out on the patio having breakfast when this giant monster of a machine rolls in. They all set their breakfast down to watch. Then from out of the cockpit of this machine hops out goblins in full-body suits like ants climbing out of an ant hill. So the acolytes get curious and start pretending to work, heading out on the grass and throwing half-hearted consecration spells. It was like watching a little gaggle of ducks slowly make their way over. Eventually they get within a few feet of the truck. The goblins open the door to the back of their metal wagon- then a whole team of them take a crate and dump it in the yard. The crate is covered in labels that read ‘Warning: Fel-Enriched Materials”. Then they start dumping more of these crates on the lawn. The minute the first one hits the ground the acolytes scatter and look SO CONFUSED, fluttering back to the main house with their robes billowing behind them like frightened little ducklings. I explained to them why I have bits of fel reaver on my lawn to reassure them, but it was just funny to watch their confusion. So thanks for that; I laughed! You’ve never mentioned your mom before! A Greatmother! I’d love to spend time with her and talk about the ceremony. Maybe she could teach me some of the songs? I don’t know- I just know I’d really like to learn more about her and meet her. I’m glad that you have a bigger team, and potentially more healers. You know, for a long time I actually dreamed of becoming a Paladin? When I trained swordsmanship with my dad, I’d pretend that I could infuse Light into my sword, that I had the blessing of the Sunwell at my back. At that point, I was just starting to get interested in the culture of my origins. It’s probably the most traditionally Sin’dorei thing I’ve ever done, actually! But I appreciate the skills that have been handed down to me, and the rifle along with it. It’s one of the greatest gifts that I’ve ever been given, and I have Uncle Cobrak to thank for that. The first time I lost him, I made a promise to never take what he gave me for granted. I think you’d make a badass Paladin. You’d still stomp on things, but now you’d get to burn them with holy fire at the same time. I think you have enough passion to wield the Light to great effect. Be awesome to watch. A different kind of awesome, you know? You could even come up with cool things to say as you smite your foes like “Know the taste of blessed steel, you sons a bitches!” Or I’ve been hanging around Phyruss too much now. If you want to just send him a letter, I think he’d appreciate it. He could have something physical to look back on; proof of your sincerity, or something like that. He’s not grooming me for anything, I promise- he’s a fantastic cook and I think this is his way of spending time with me in a way that is slightly more relaxed than training and duking it out over water delivery system implementation. We tried baking today, which would have turned out great if I hadn’t mixed up the sugar and salt containers! But the second batch came out much better. I’ll send you some and you can tell me what you think. They’re cinnamon with goldenbark apple pieces in them. I’ll also send some dried sausage, because I at least KNOW how to make that. Isa would volunteer to help make the scene as gorey as possible. Remember how I told you that the manor, while pretty safe, had a lot of the surrounding land scarred by the undead? My very first obsession was zombies. I used to draw doodles of skeletons and guts all the time. I was sort of a morbid kid. I almost crossed the barrier mom set up when I was about five to try and touch one of the ghouls that was wandering up to the property. My mom (the one from my timeline) loved to tell that story when she could. I think I accidentally summoned Isa. I can hear her banging on my bedroom door. I guess she couldn’t find Phyruss this morning- she likes making him miserable almost as much as I do. Or maybe she wants backup to go pester him. You send me fel reaver parts, I send you dried sausage and cookies. I think that’s a fair trade. Love, Dora Arath’dorei PS. I don’t want to know anything about the Commander’s beautiful blooming flower, but I want to ask now just to see if her expression changes. I’ll report my findings in my next letter.
  6. Shokkra, I lived in a manor for the first eight years of my life. But the estate property sits sort of on the boundaries where a lot of the ground is still rotted from the Fall. Mom had some sort of system up to ward away as much undead as possible, but I remember that the manor was always under some sort of construction. Yes there were maids; I never payed attention to their outfits, so I can’t tell you about their alleged cuteness. I’ll take a picture when the explosion happens and send it your way, how about that? Hopefully Phyruss will be there and I can catch his expression when it’s happening. I can’t believe you made nice with my mom. She said she appreciates anyone with good taste in literature, which I think means she likes you. I really, really want to know how you pulled that one off, but I also think I’m afraid of the answer so for Light’s sake, don’t tell me. Also, I feel like I should add that you shouldn’t be drunk while operating heavy machinery (LIKE A FEL REAVER) but your eyes are probably glossing over this part now so I’ll just cross my fingers. If you send me fel reaver bits, I’m going to turn them into metalwork sculptures for the estate gardens. I’ll even make little plaques that acknowledge you as a source for the materials. That wasn’t when we first met, though I remember that night with the plum wine pretty well. We actually met earlier, still in a tavern though. World’s End Tavern, in Outlands. I was against the bar. You made fun of me because I dated a dragon, and I think I was a little drunk at that point because I thought it was just the funniest thing to talk about my ex dragon boyfriend. Even writing that down felt ridiculous. I agreed with you almost instantly about everything. Those were the strangest three weeks of my life, I think. I almost became a dragon consort or something. Anyway, we talked about that for a while. You swore worse than Uncle Cobrak, which made me laugh. I thought you were cool. Phyruss is here, trying to help me with the irrigation system problem or at least that is what he claims. I bounce ideas off him, then he quibbles with me over semantics and I just sort of want to cover his head with a pail and then throw him in a ditch. But he’s really trying to be helpful, which I appreciate. He keeps me company in the workshop, makes me smile. He’s also decided that I needed to learn how to cook for some reason, which I don’t understand. We’ve tried this before, and I always end up burning everything. But he hasn’t given up on me yet, so that’s heartening! I’ll find time between training and this headache of a project to talk with Eiverlyn. She seems like a really nice girl. She’s affectionate without reservation, like giving me hugs when I don’t expect them. I’ll find a way to get her mind off work somehow, promise. What’s your favorite food? I’m snacking on some leftover pudding and it made me wonder. Hope your mission goes well. Love, Dora Arath’dorei P.S. Do you think the Commander will give me a funny look if I ask about her plants? P.S.S. I MEANT LIKE DIRT OR SOMETHING. It’s not my fault your mind is a filthy place; you interpret things how you want anyway, regardless of how a thought is framed!
  7. Hey Dora Day three. Fuck me right? Ughhhh. So, moving back home eh? Got enough of the mean real world and scurried back to home with your baby bows. Irrigation systems. Fun. Should throw in a slide for little Isa. Also damn woman you lived on a mansion? That is insaaaaane. I bet you had servants. OOH I bet they wore cute little maid outfits. Probably a fuckin’ huge place. Though if anyone could blow it up when designing an irritation system, it’s definitely you. Just be sure to make the inevitable KABOOM as fuckin’ sweet as possible. Throw in some red colouring and make it look like there’s blood spouting from the premises. Hehe. Good you’re spending more time with your, well, relative. She’s pretty cool, even got me a SIGNED COPY OF THE LATEST ROMANCE NOVEL I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR AHHHH. Give her a hug from me. Pretty good book too, saucy stuff. But I’ll refrain from the details for your sake. Okay, uh my stuff. Attacked the Fel Forge today. Surprised a bunch of Warlocks. Stormreaver Clan. Most of ‘em were the felblooded ones, black and brimming with their sick power. I think they were training some new recruits, the last piece of hope for the bastards to survive. Powerful pieces of shit. Low in numbers though. We have about the same amount of people as they did. Killed a couple of ‘em before they retreated through demonic gateways. Can’t pinpoint where they went, but from the scenery we saw we’re guessing the Citadel. They still have a mostly built Fel Reaver here so we moved camp to here for the night. I can see Vol’mar from here. Almost want to run over and grab a beer. But, I gotta help finish assembling this bitch with the eggheads. Plan is to locate where they went to inside the Citadel and bust through the wall with the Reaver. I’ll be piloting. Can’t be much harder than driving a tank right? Whatever we salvage from the sumbitch I’ll have sent to you. Could probably make some cool shit with the remains. Make a good souvenir, half-intact Fel Reaver core. But anyway, Eive sent me some chocolates and a bottle of Pandaren Plum Wine. Reminded me of you, first time we met. We went to that bar at the Shrine and bet who could stuff the most food in their mouth. I won, of course. Sitting here in the glow of the Forge with the Citadel in the distance as we prepare a war machine seems so bleak and ominous, but this fine wine reminding me of drinking away my appetite away with you makes it seem so much easier. With love, -Shokkra Deathrage P.S When you say “sticky substance” I can only think of you doing one thing with that recorder alone in your room and these thoughts are ENTIRELY your fault stupid.
  8. Shokkra, I got your first two letters! I need to save you from yourself and those awful novels. So here is my attempt, though I don’t have anything half as exciting to write as your demon-slaughter fest bonanza. So Phyruss said that I needed to go visit mom. He told me that she basically made him heir to the Arath’dorei Estate and all the responsibility that comes with it. He seemed upset that mom didn’t even approach me about it, but I think she knew I had no interest. Or, at least, I’m not really a proper candidate for that sort of thing at the moment. I did live the first 8 years of my life on those grounds, so a part of me understands that it’s home. It was pretty cool to walk into my old bedroom and see my first bow collection hung up on the wall. I mean, it’s Isa’s collection, so it’s actually in really good shape! Anyway, Phyruss told me that mom needed help restructuring the irrigation system she had in place for the vineyards. I decided now would be a great time to spend a few weeks or so at the Estate. Get my head into other projects and be useful to someone else at the same time! So far all I’ve done is unpack things in the room where I am sleeping and haul a lot of my tools into a spare room that I’m using as a workshop. I might insist on building a separate shed away from the main manor just because I’m a little worried that there will be some casualties to the house. Standard fare when it comes to working with explosives, you know? Not to say that I have anything dangerous in there right now, but who knows about the future. The most dangerous thing in that workspace right now seems to be my recorder. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but it keeps turning on without my influence. I think there must be sticky residue on the switch that is keeping the thing depressed, which means I have to go in and clean it out. Not a big deal, but I need a sterile workspace first. It’s a little weird, being here with mom. The Sinlanna of this timeline and I have never really gotten along. We only share about a decade’s worth of memories between us; we’re strangers trying to figure out how we fit into each other’s lives. I might get into that more in my next letter. For now, I have a few more boxes to unpack. I miss you, stupid. Love, Dora Arath’dorei
  9. Hey, Dora Day two of my demon hunting diaries. Woot. Miss me yet? I definitely don’t miss you because I’m back with my old bad ass military friends who totally kick your elven ass out of the water(just kidding these fuckers are all assholes and you’re my best friend and I love you hugs and kisses booboo). Today we attacked the draenei place(which I still cannot remember the name of) and totally fucked shit up. There were these huge Felguards everywhere and even a few Terrorguards, you know the ones who like shoot demon bolts or whatever? The magical fucks. Anyway yeah those guys and we just murdered a whole ton of ‘em, took down a couple buildings and a staircase with us. Olgoth got the Fel Hound he wanted, got it in a cage next to Fury’s chain who, turns out, loves the taste of demonic draenei! Who would’ve thought eh? We made a pile of the corpses and torched ‘em once Fury had his fill. Another demon site bites the dust right? Didn’t find anything worthy of souvenirs but I’ll keep my eye out. No major injuries except Kodlak thinks he saw a demon’s dick so he might be scarred for life. Anywho, tomorrow we’re gonna hit up the Fel Forge, one of our scouts thinks he saw some shady shit going on. Day after that we’re gonna do some clean up of the Citadel and then move on to the next demonic locale, probably Ashenvale. Let me know if anything cool happens while I’m gone! REMEMBER TO WRITE BACK I CAN ONLY READ SO MUCH ROMANCE NOVEL A DAY AHHHHH. -Love, Shokkra Deathrage
  10. Hey, Dora. Day one of my demon hunting adventures out and about the worlds. I left Dalaran and met up with my friends at Brokenspear in Warspear before heading out to Taanan. We've made camp in the jungle close to the Saberstalkers, figure we wouldn't risk attack from demons this close to the Saberon. Spent most of the day doing recon. Looking for the best places we could hit. First target is the corrupted Draenei Eredar fucks. One of the guys, Olgoth, wants a fel hound for a pet too so that kinda swayed the decision. We've got a healer, don't worry. Old shaman buddy of mine. He can handle any wounds we might get from the demons, except for like, losing limbs and eyes and shit. But like, what are the chances of that happening? Anyway, you should talk to Eive more. Get her out of the workplace and her apartment and out to the beach or the bar or something. Around friends. She really needs it. I think that's like, all I got right now. I'll have some more exciting shit tomorrow hopefully. -Love, Shokkra Deathrage P.S. Water the plants at Sanctuary's place in Dalaran because apparently EVERYONE JUST ASSUMES THEY'RE MAGIC
  11. Beep. Beep. Beep. “...the fel?” Beep. Beep. Flash! “...huh.” The padding of feet. A whirring sound. A click. “Weird.” Tapping. The hollow sound of wood scraping against wood. “...I have NO idea what is wrong with you….” A muffled voice, as if from a far distance. “No, I’m talking to one of my projects. The one that records stuff. It started acting up.” Unintelligible speaking. “Mom, if you wanna talk to me you have to come in here.” Silence. Creaking. “Are you almost finished? It’s nearly time for dinner.” “I have a lot of boxes, mom. It’s gonna take a while before I get it all organized.” “Hmm. It doesn’t have to be tonight that you get everything put away, Dora.” “I-” A sigh. “I realize that. The unpacking helps, though. Keeps my hands busy.” Silence. “...what is that blinking light?” “Oh- it’s that recorder I was just telling you about. I need to take it apart later. It just started recording on it’s own.” “How curious.” Silence. “I’ll leave you to-” “Did you wanna-” Silence. A little laugh. “Uhm. Thanks again for letting me use this room for a temp workshop.” “This is your home, child. If you are in need of more space, we’ll make arrangements.” “Right.” Silence. “I’ll be in the dining room in a few minutes.” “Oh good. The honeyed yogurt won’t go to waste, then.” “What! You’re bribing me to head to the dining room with my favorite dessert?” “Is it working?” “Yes!” “Then I am. I’ll meet you there, Dora.” “Okay mom. Thanks again.” A hum, the sound of breath released after giving something a squeeze, or a hug. Clattering sounds for several minutes, then shuffled steps. The creak of hinges. A door snapping shut.
  12. “Day three hundred thirty three of my exile. Three three three. Is that special? Series of numbers…” Pause. A tapping sound, like fingers drumming against wood. “Shokkra-” A pause. A huff of annoyance, a bark of laughter. “...damnit...” Silence. “ I went to go help her with Fury. I tried to teach her how to tame him the way that I know, which is to earn an animal’s trust slowly over time. I gave her some ground up firebloom mixed with something extra, kinda like catnip for drakes. I convinced her to take him out of the sewers finally, ‘cause there’s no way there’d be any trust built between them if she kept him locked up somewhere dark and dank. But then he had an adverse reaction to what we fed him, so he went a little wild. She hopped on his back as he flew out of the sewers, with me and Galika tailing after them. He struggled for a while until he finally crashed into the trees. Friggin’ idiot gave me a thumbs up before she slid off his back and fell into a snowbank.” “She told me she’s leaving for a long training mission. She promised to send letters.” “Training. Phy and I had our first training session together with Faelenor and Amalyn. It was a lot of fun, honestly. He had to protect a coin from me while I had to try and shoot it off a dummy. Of course he was really clever about it and chopped up the dummy so that he could move the coin around. Still technically on the dummy...and then he won ‘cause I couldn’t shoot the coin off in time.” “It was a little tense. Phy doesn’t like Faelenor at all, but I guess I get it. Phyruss doesn’t do well with listening to authority, and Faelenor expects complete respect if you’re going to train under him. Otherwise, it’s a waste of his time. I deferred to Faelenor because I feel like he has a lot to teach me and he was kind enough to take me on as a student. And I really know, to spend time with Phy. It feels like we don’t do enough together. Team building exercises, I mean. And I think he could use some discipline, honestly. He’s bull-headedness has gotten him into a lot of trouble and he needs to learn some restraint. He’s coming to the lessons to appease me for now, but soon he has to decide to come because he sees the training as worthwhile. Otherwise it’s just a big slap in the face to Faelenor and the time he’s willing to give us. But...I think Phy had fun, so I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that they can resolve their differences.” “Uncle assigned me my first team and my first mission under the Borrowed Time banner. We’re supposed to protect the bordello’s new location in Dalaran while Lazhio is running loose. He gave me a handful of people I’ve never worked with before and not a single healer or medic. It’s okay though, because-” A beat. “...gah....BECAUSE. Because Shokkra helped me come up with a plan. She was my tactician. We talked about it while I was walking the streets, getting myself familiar with the faces that pass by outside the bordello. Also I was babysitting Isa’s cat, but that’s- you know, not really important.” “...why didn’t I ask Nok what he thought of the team I was given? I used to go to him for everything.” “...I’ve never heard him yell at me like that before except for when I pull stunts that nearly get me killed. Even then, it’s not wasn’t the same. This wasn’t him yelling at me for being dumb. Or maybe it was.” “And then I yelled back. I felt like I was possessed, like there was just...this angry, ugly thing in my chest and I just- just wanted to lash out. I think I was frustrated? But I don’t...I don’t act that way when I’m frustrated. I can keep my cool. Maybe I was reacting weirdly because I’d never seen Nok act like that towards me. Weird for weird.” “He said it was a Saelyx thing all over again. I’m still trying to understand what that means. But I at least get a part of it. I was never around, and I don’t know why. I was hurting him without even realizing it.” “So now I don’t get to have him at all, cause he- left. Me.” Silence. “I’m...looking for the silver lining. But I just hurt. Maybe later. I’ll find it later.”
  13. Isadore


    "Nero?" Dora asks, lifting up her welding helmet to assess the interviewer. She smiles. "He was a little off-putting at first, calling my nicknames and being crude...but," she shrugs, "he's so much more than just his blustering. He's a good person that genuinely cares about his brothers and sisters. He's got a lot of patience for them, deep down." Her smile dampens some, eyes falling to the project on her worktable, "He's also suffered a lot of loss. I can't help feeling empathetic towards him." The corner of her mouth upticks in a wry grin. "He's really a lot of fun once you get past the crustiness." With that, she brings the helmet down to cover her face before returning back to work.
  14. “Day three hundred eighteen of my exile.” “...” Silence. “...” A clearing of the throat. “...I went training with Faelenor. He’s a really patient teacher. He’s also the kind of teacher that lets you pay for your mistakes. I appreciate that he lets me mess up. He know. What I need. I mean, I forgot my trap bag somehow when we went out into the field. I was at a big disadvantage. But he didn’t mock me- he just...taught me what he could with what I had. I’m almost never this sloppy, but...I’m not sure what it is with me right now. I feel like I’m getting sloppier all the time. But this is why I’m training. And training with a member of the Order of Eversong...I mean, that’s pretty cool. More than cool.” “I wonder about magister Vathelan. I haven’t heard or spoken with him in a while. I haven’t seen Tsu, or Rhyze, or Phy in a few weeks.” “...I looked at the logs, trying to figure out where the past days have gone. I keep the journal for a few reasons. One of them is because, as a Time Walker, you wanna keep a count of your days. You need your own personal calendar. There’s no other way to keep track of your hours. The years of the timeline calendar and the years of my body’s existence...none of it will ever match up nicely.” “There’s been time sunk into the school. Time with my projects. I’ve had a lot of freedom to order imports for parts, so I can tinker with stuff. I want the schematic for the wolf Shaelie uses.” Silence. An exhale. “So I looked at the logs. I kept noticing that...there are all these days when I just talk about Shokkra.” Silence. Tapping. “I think Mit tried to explain this to me once. That I tend to latch onto things that interest me until the shiny wears off.” “There’s still so much stuff we’re planning to do, like getting Fury trained and I’m still not sure what is going on with her brother. She needed her stitches taken out, and then she wants us to get matching tattoos.” “She wants Pai to do them. Wings and jaws on our backs. They’re mates now, I think. She said Pai said so, and she’s rolling with it.” More tapping. “We were talking about her eulogy after her stitches. That I’d make sure she’d get a great one, that they’d do her justice.” “There’s a lot of pain that comes with shorter-lived races. I’ve already made as much peace as I can considering that each death is different and hurts just as much as the first one. I know that I’m going to put a lot of them in the ground. Or, at least, the likelihood is a lot higher. I know that. I accept it. They’re still worth loving anyway.” “So. I took out her stitches. It’s dusk out, on the mesa we found in the Barrens. The fire’s giving us the only light around for miles. I was still able to take out the stitches anyway, and clean her up. She reminded me of how short her life is. I think she saw it in my face. The way it hurt. She started crying, and…” Quiet sobbing. It lasts for minutes. There’s a ragged snifle. When she speaks again, her voice is hoarse. “I just hugged her. She-” A cough. “-she messed up her fucking bandage crying.” “I don’t regret- don’t regret having her in my life. I had no idea that when I met her, she’d become so important to me.” Silence. When she speaks again, she’s composed. “It seems like...everything is centered around her right now. It’s all so intense. We’ve had our difference. We’ve fought but we still find ways to reach an agreement. Even when things seem like they’re constantly trying to test us, we’ve managed. Like with my uncle and with Syreena. That stuff between her and my brother. She says she still wants to apologize to him, which- fel, that still means so much to me, that she’d do that. I was there to watch her fight her way out of corners against trolls and drakes.” Her voice goes uneven. “I’ve seen her when the rage hits; she looks so alive when it happens and I’ve seen her looks feminine and vulnerable in her dress. She can be all these things at once; she can be womanly and a fighter and she has these cigars that smell like tar. She doesn’t care. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her but she cares about me. I’m her best friend, I’ve seen all this stuff that no one else has seen, I’ve seen her fucking fall apart, I’ve seen her look so completely lost and crying and - and- I want her to be happy-” Something clatters, like the sound of several pounds of nuts and bolts hitting a wooden floor. Silence. “...I don’t know what I’m doing.” "I don't know what I'm doing."
  15. <p>HAVE ALL THE FEELS <3</p>