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  1. Sarah ran ahead, her armor clanking. Everyone was in good cheer. She was covered in blood, but none of it was hers. Daniel had made sure of that. They were deep in the depths of Blackrock's spires, clearing the place of cultists and ogres for honor and profit. Even the usually morose Oliver seemed to walk with a lighter step. Sarah suddenly put up her hand in warning and a finger to her lips to urge silence. Terand crouched low and moved to the shadows to scout ahead. A clear chanting harmony floated through the stone passage toward them and the party hugged the wall as they advanced slowly toward what they gradually understood to be a ceremony of some sort. At the edge of a pool of lava whose deep yellow softly moving light made eerie shadows around the cavern, a massive orc in dark robes stood behind an altar with his arms in the air and his face to the stone ceiling so high above that it was lost in the darkness. All around the altar were similarly robed but far more ordinarily sized folks of varied races voicing the chant in obviously practiced tones that would have been almost pleasant if they weren't so ominous. Atop the altar was a smaller female orc dressed in almost nothing, a few strategically placed strips of cloth. With a blank expression, she stared up at the huge orc leading the ceremony. Terand tiptoed silently into place behind the leader, unnoticed by any of the cultists, but was forced to draw back when the huge orc turned around and dipped a black stone cup into the lava. The chanting continued, increasing in volume as the huge orc handed the cup to the small one on the altar. Daniel hissed in sympathy as he realized what was about to happen and Sarah's plate gloves clanked as she put a hand on his arm to calm him. The nearest cultist stopped their chant to look over their shoulder, and Sarah shouted and dashed forward. "Now!" Terand was already in place an stunned the massive orc with the a swift leap that ended with the hilt of his blade driving into the base of the orc's skull. But even as the party scattered the ceremony and cut down the cultists, the small orc on the altar brought the stone cup to her mouth and drank down the molten rock within. Even if she had thought to scream, there was doubtless nothing to scream with. She made a slight gurgling sound as she collapsed onto the stone, flesh of her throat melting as she did. Despite Terand's interruption, the orc leader's transformation happened anyway. His already imposing form liquified and expanded, becoming part fire part body with an echoing roar that was both a voice and an explosion. Sarah took control of the monstrous orc elemental's attention, holding up her shield as her enchanted blade slashed at every weak point she could see. Oliver and Terand made sure none of the cultists escaped. Daniel, though, was entirely focused on the orc on the altar. His healing magic flowed through her, but he seriously doubted whether the damage she had done to herself could be repaired. Sarah would have to hold her own, as he was confident she could, while he saw to the dying girl. His work was so difficult and required so much of his attention, that he paid no notice to the fight around him as it waxed and waned and finally ended, the cult leader's lavabeast corpse oozing slowly back into the pool behind them. When Sarah approached, wiping her sweat off her brow with the soft leather protecting the inside of her elbow, her shield was half gone, destroyed. She had a burn on the space on her chin that her helmet didn't quite reach, and Oliver was bleeding from a gash on his leg, but they had managed without their healer. "Is she going to make it?" Sarah asked as she pulled off her helmet. "I'm not sure," Daniel answered. "We have to take her back to the city. We have to try." Oliver and Terand shared a look. Daniel knew what it meant. He knew they wondered what made this orc any different than the ones whose bodies littered the path they had taken down the spire, but they all knew better than to ask. They all knew Daniel's heart bled freely for any he perceived to be victims and they put up with it for the sake of his skills. "All right," Sarah said. "We've been in here long enough for one day as it is. Let's head back." A pair of ogre spears and Daniel's own shield as well as some of the cultist robes were pressed into service as the makeshift stretcher they used to take the orc girl back to Stormwind. Sarah smiled at Daniel as they made their way up through the spire, taking the long way. He smiled back. Their work was good for both of them, and at the end of the day, he always made sure he could sleep well knowing he had done his best to make the world a better place. ((Kumai - Twisting Nether))
  2. Kumai


    Full Name: Kumai Race: Orc Gender: Female Hair: Long, henna colored. Eyes: Light brown Height: A little on the short side Weight: A little on the round side. Notable Physical Features: A massive burn scar covers most of the left side of her body, including most of her neck down to her hips, though it is usually only visible if intentionally uncovered by clothing She refuses to speak, though whether she actually can or not is debatable, and instead either creates images with ash and heat or signs with her hands Place of Residence: Dalaran Place of Birth: Nagrand Known Relatives: None Occupation: Errandmage, apprentice enchanter Guild Affiliation: Sanctuary Known Associates: Qabian Grimfire Known Nemesis: Always wary of Twilight cultists and current members of The Grim, but no sincere enemies Special Skills: Extremely delicate manipulations of fire and heat, especially shadow, light, and ash directly within a flame source. Positive Personality Traits: Determined, independent, intellectual, curious, carefree, easygoing, tenacious Negative Personality Traits: Overly cautious, naive, proud, selfish, stubborn History: When Kumai joined the Grim, she confessed her Bleeding Hollow clan origins and her past interaction with the Twilight cult that resulted in her scarring and her disconnection from the elements. She was born and raised in Nagrand, but she is very far from Mag'har. She just had her rite of passage into adulthood when the portal to Azeroth was opened permanently, and ended up with the Twilight not long after. She was only with them a very brief time before being rescued from Blackrock, though her rescue did not go smoothly. After a slightly awkward admission interview with the Grim, she faded into the background quickly and remained there, hidden and untested. Not long after Qabian returned during the campaign in the Broken Isles, Kumai asked him to teach her. He took her under his wing and became unusually protective of her. Eventually, he cut ties with her publicly when her capacity to follow The Grim's Mandate became questionable. In the present, Kumai has fully abandoned all of her connections and past with the Grim and the Twilight. She seeks knowledge and companionship with Sanctuary, a hard turn from her previous associations, but she tries not to belabor her past too much, looking instead to the future. STORIES: Beginnings and Beginnings: Letters to a friend, current character journal ((Letters Unsent: Kumai's old Grim journal)) What Friends Are For: It's hard to know sometimes Rescuers: Not the main character
  3. Kumai placed the small pile of books on the plain wooden table she set up in her new room in Sanctuary's Razor Hill quarters. She frowned as she pulled a sheaf of blank papers from inside the cover of one of the books. She was doing her best and didn't regret the decision she had made, but she questioned herself, her capacity, her correctness, as people do. She was a quiet person. She made it seem as though this was forced on her, but in truth, it was by choice. It was all by choice. She had been given a voice on a few occasions since the original loss, and technically, she still had the last, but she hated it. New voices never sounded like hers, never felt like hers. It always seemed like an outside force moved her mouth and she hated it. She had grown to feel most like herself when using her hands and the light and shadow that was hers. The voice was not hers. There were times she felt forced into it, but when she had the option, she chose. She looked around the room. It was so different than what she had become used to in Dalaran. Dalaran oddly suited her. It was full of people who tended to be so different from her on the surface, but somehow so very like her within their minds, curious and analytical, easily forgetting the world around them when they were lost in their own thoughts, few of them truly gregarious because they were too busy with the things they believed were important, things that might affect the entire world but were not individual people. Unfortunately, Razor Hill reminded her of people who were like her on the outside, but whose minds never worked like hers, people she had abandoned, people she did not miss. But this was the Horde, wasn't it? Dalaran had separated her from the Horde, creating an illusion of a world where only magic mattered. The Grim's version of the Horde was incompatible with a world everyone who wanted to share could share. The Twilight's version of the Horde was, well, a mess. Kumai wanted to know the Horde as it really was. Qabian thought maybe here, or at least with these people, she could learn about a Horde that he did not himself believe in. Kumai leaned over the table to put her hand to the wall, carved by the elements. A toxic mixture of rage and despair welled up in her, but she was achingly familiar with the sensation now and waited patiently for her acquired knowledge to dissolve her reflexive pain with no more action on her part than a few contemplative moments. She pulled a quill and ink from the pack on the floor and finally sat down to write. - I know you said we would not see each other again, but I don't believe you. I might believe you if Dalaran crashes into the sea one day, but you have too much history there to avoid it forever. I'm going to see you in its streets one of these days. Your Violet have me living in Razor Hill. This is nothing I'm used to. I've lived on rolling plains. I've lived in the molten depths of a great mountain. I've lived in a thriving city of magic. I suppose the word for this place is quaint. There's a simplicity to it that reminds me of where I started, but if there's anywhere I never wanted to go again, it is back where I started. But then the Horde started where I started, didn't it? It makes sense to go back if I am to understand them. This is what I wanted, what I asked for, but it isn't what I expected. Not that I know what I expected, something more brutal perhaps, more stoic grunting, less awkward smiling. Despite my discomfort, there is a sweetness here. I trust everyone's intentions, which is new for me. I think Dalaran will always be more comfortable because it suits me, suits my authentic voice, but this place seems like it will be better for me in the end, more wholesome, more healing, and will help me find the things about myself that I abandoned long ago. This was the right decision. If I sound like I'm trying to convince myself, I am. I know that you do not worry about me, and that was not a lie, but I also know you will be curious. Consider these letters my gift to that curiosity. You will be tempted to keep them, but you should burn them. For both of us. ~K - Rather than address the letter, she tucked it away. Later, she would slip it under an unremarkable door in a Dalaran alley.