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Garinth last won the day on September 11 2018

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  1. The pitch black slowly began to fade. It was only a meager glow at first, a hazy brightening at the center of Garinth’s sight. As the darkness faded, it was shapes that began to takes shape next, and finally color. The shaman’s chest still heaved from the effort the fight had required, after needing to shift to tactics nearly forgotten in the time since his sight had returned. A dragobar, grey skinned and pallid lay dead on the ice nearby, a hole seared through his chest surrounded by a tree like lattice of burns. The storm Garinth had called began to rumble overhead. “Garinth, we need to move,” Holun called from nearby. As the younger shaman turned to look at the old tauren, he immediately spotted the broken ankle. Luckily, Greywind was big enough and strong enough to support the old bull. “Sorry,” Garinth called, getting back to his feet. He shook his head as he approached, still shaken from the fight. “Whatever he hit me with...I couldn’t see.” “Well, you dealt with it,” the tauren said gruffly, his demeanor changing as another of his ancestors took control temporarily. “But the storm you called is going to tear into us soon, and I would really prefer not to be out in the open.” “I can keep the strikes away from us,” the half-orc replied, “but as soon as it gets here we’re going to have more problems than just them.” The wind was already picking up as he spoke, scattering gravel and ice around the cave entrance they stood in front of. Near to the site of the wards placed long ago, Holun had thought they might find more of use within. Necrodark drogobar had poured out of the place during the conflict the Highmountain had weathered recently. Garinth knelt down and made a light Call for healing magics as he reached Holun, trying to tend enough to the tauren’s wound that he could walk with aid back to the long house. “The affliction you suffered is new,” the tauren said quickly, “I’ll make sure the entrance is sealed off after you leave. We don’t need anyone stumbling on more of them on a vision quest or the like.” “Agreed,” Garinth said quickly, the healing magics only just doing enough work before petering out. “I can wait to head home until after though, if you need.” He stood upright then, and watched as Holun tested his weight. The highmountain winced and leaned on Greywind again, but didn’t collapse. “I’m not yet so old that I need help with such a menial task, little wolf.” After bracing himself on his walking staff a little, he looked to the frostwolf and nodded back down the mountain. “Come on then, you got what you came for. Best we get to shelter so you can bring it back to your organization.” Geywind looked to Garinth for direction, and after receiving a nod set off while watching the old and injured tauren. “There’s not a lot to bring back, Holun,” the half-orc said with a shake of his head. “The wards here were for sealing, not anything like a protective barrier. Even then, I’d need some source of power for it. I was hoping to be able to find a better way to keep those under my watch safe.” The tauren grunted in response, wobbling for a moment on his bad leg. Above and in front of them, the thunderhead rumbled and began to blot out the sun. “You young types always worry about the...immediacy of your knowledge,” the tauren grumbled slowly, his demeanor shifting again as he appeared to take on a few extra decades, “Sometimes just the knowing is enough. You might be able to pass it on to someone else. So, perhaps you just need to be the custodian for a while.” The half-orc didn’t seem pleased by the advice, but nodded all the same. In advance of the storm he began the call to ward off the lightning that would be coming. “I need to be able to protect my people now, Holun,” he said dryly, merely holding onto the spell as they made their way back down the path. “I can’t wait for trouble to strike and trust that I...or we can fend it off.” That drew a deep belly laugh from the tauren, despite the pain and the looming misfortune creeping towards them. “Your duty is more than just preventing things from happening, little wolf. You’re going to have to break that line of thought and loosen up, or you’ll only end up more frustrated with things. That won’t going to help you keep anyone safe, and certainly won’t help with your duties to your ancestors.” “Spirits,” Garinth swore, trudging purposefully down the path. “That sort of advice is obnoxious to be on the receiving end of.” The statement drew another laugh from the tauren, ended abruptly as a false step sent shooting pains up Holun’s leg. Garinth paused and attempted to help with supporting him, but was waved off. “You are going to have to get comfortable with your talents at some point, Garinth,” the old tauren replied dryly. “Beyond...earthwork projects and wards, I mean. You can sit on the sidelines in your cave for as long as you want, but if this war rolls onto your shores it won’t do you much good. War on this scale doesn’t care how much you want to hide. If you don’t stand up and actively protect the things you care about, you’ll get ground down like everything else.” The half-orc’s expression seemed to sour further at the reprimand, but it gave him something to think about as they trudged down the mountain. They made the rest of the trek in silence, Holun focusing on not injuring himself further and Garinth mulling over what had been said. They were lucky to escape the drogobar further up the summit, but the storm wasn’t nearly as merciful. By the time they reached Holun’s longhouse the trio of travelers was soaked down to their bones.
  2. “How are you handling things, little wolf?” Holun asked curiously, not struggling on the hike nearly as much as either of the Frostwolf pair. There was little that Garinth could do to rush acclimating to the high altitude, but the work had to be done. All he could do was move slowly and try not to stress himself or Greywind too much. As he looked up to his white furred guide, the tauren added, “Generally, I mean. You seem...perhaps better off than last we met.” Chest heaving as they paused to take a break, Garinth gave a nod. “Your guidance helped,” he replied with a raise of his eyebrows. “I’m not...I’m not trying to use them to be something else anymore. I wasn’t ever going to be what my father was.” The shaman reached for his waterskin then, and took a long draw from the cool water within. “There’s more to it than that,” Holun replied with a wizened smile, his demeanor shifting subtly and growing more relaxed as he leaned against his walking staff. “You carry yourself differently, straighter perhaps. Even your grandmother seemed more at ease when we spoke last night.” That earned a weak smile from the half-orc, and a swift shake of his head. “That’s not entirely my own doing, Holun. I feel, lately at least, that I have been fulfilling my purpose. I’m training with the Winds, but most of my time has been occupied with offering guidance and shelter. The organization I belong to underwent a shuffle of leadership a few months back, and I was called to help with it.” The tauren gave a thoughtful hum in reply, and then made sure that his traveling companions were ready before starting to move up the mountain again. Mid stride, Holun’s shoulders seemed to hunch a little and his age grew more apparent. “Is that why you’re here then? More of this...guidance and shelter business?” “Everyone else is too consumed with the war,” Garinth replied, having to break up his sentences to breathe again as he trudged along behind. Greywind continued alongside him in silence, panting but otherwise seeming mostly at ease in the thing air. “They either want to avoid it or...join it. None of my ancestors have any experience with it. My position...involves keeping members safe so... someone needs to be looking for ways to protect ourselves from these things. And maybe...maybe it’ll help with what’s happening to Azeroth too.” “You’re not a member of the Ring anymore, little wolf,” Holun chided quickly, “If you were, you would know they had already been here to see what could be made of the wards. I doubt you will glean anything they have not already.” The reproach quieted the half-orc, and he resorted to following along in silence afterward. The was plenty enough to look at on the hike, so near to the mountain’s peak granting a broad vantage of the Broken Isles. It was nearly an hour later that they reached their destination, and the tauren stopped to point a a hollow ahead. “That stone in the center there, that marked the location of this ward. We should have a few hours up here before we need to head back down for the day.” The tauren paused then, and gave the shaman a quick look over. “Will that be long enough?” Garinth’s gaze drew distant then, but after a few moments he nodded. “It’ll have to be. Even if I wanted to set up camp here, there’s not enough shelter in that bowl to keep safe from the storms.” Holun gave a simple nod to the half-orc’s appraisal, and began to lead them down into depression.
  3. Bitterly cold winds whipped around the summit of Highmountain. Ice and rain kicked up by the storm tore into and around around the pair that was working their way towards the summit, struggling intermittently against the heavy gusts heavy rain. Despite the saddle that rested on the Frostwolf's back, Garinth trudged stoically alongside his partner. Wrapped in heavy armor and the thick furs traditional for his clan, his progress was slow in the thin air. It had been hours since they had set out on the last leg of their path, and the half-orc was grateful when the heavily built longhouse came into sight ahead. A flash of lightning illuminated the area more brightly, pulverizing the rock it struck and sending a crash of thunder across the crag. Undaunted, Garinth guided his partner through the storm and up to the heavy wooden door that protected the structure. His fist thudded against it three times, then again after a few moments without a response. Finally, a bar on the door could be heard being removed from the other side. An old highmountain tauren appeared a moment later, looking over the guest and scoffing. "I should have known," the elder said in taur'ahe, then moved out of the way. "Get inside little wolf, before your friend freezes." Garinth ushered the massive frostwolf inside, and then followed after. "He's fine," Garinth managed to reply from under the wrap covering his face, turning around to look at his host. "And I couldn't wait for the storm to pass." He pulled the helmet and scarf free of his face, watching as the door was barred again. "Things aren't in the greatest shape back home at the moment, and I need to be able to get back." “That seems a constant state for your or your home,” was the swift reply, followed immediately by a cautious study of the half-orc. “The letter said you wished to study the runes that sealed the nercodark and the abomination? Why?” “I don’t think what happened here was isolated Holun, and I don’t think I know anyone who is actively trying to work to protect against it.” Garinth moved quickly to shed the wet layers of fur from himself as he spoke, stacking the garments in a pile near the fire. “I know you can’t tell me anything without getting into some trouble, so I am just asking for a place to stay. I know some of the wards that were used were placed up here. I will try to stay out of your fur as much as possible.” The white furred tauren grumbled something incomprehensible in response, before shaking his head and moving to stoke the fire in the center of the structure. “You will try, but we both know that you won’t Garinth. You will need a guide, and likely…advice. From someone who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks anymore.” There was a subtle shift in the tauren’s manner and voice after the pause, seeming to find more humor in the idea than before. Strangely though, it fated just as abruptly as it came. “Maybe…” Garinth allowed, moving over to Greywind and starting to remove some of the packs that been attached to the frostwolf’s harness. “But at least I brought some compensation for you this time. Cured pork, whiskey, and some of the herbs you like to apply to your knees.” Thunder cracked again outside, interrupting the explanation briefly. It drew the half-orc’s attention to the door, but after a few heartbeats he resumed freeing his partner of the heavy burden he carried. “Honestly though, I’d give them to you just for letting me in.” The tauren chuckled at that, but let the young half-orc work. “We can discuss it after the two of you warm up some. The storm won’t let up until tomorrow morning anyway. We’ll have plenty of time.”
  4. Much has happened since my last entry. The ultimate conclusions are that I'm neither truly a part of either the Earthen Ring or of Sanctuary, but I am doing what I can to mend things. I had managed, briefly, to be able to find the time to speak with Julilee about the incidents of the Nightmare. Marg's suggestion that I document my work, and hand copies off to both Sanctuary and the Cenarions helped push that to fruition. The effort was useful, but was in no way enjoyable. I discovered that Kex'ti was dead during my meeting with the Commander, and then spent the better part of a day being grilled about my choices dealing with the Nightmare. Trying to explain that I had not, in fact, resurrected one of their druids wasn't a difficult sell, but that he had never truly been dead certainly proved to be. The real trouble came after. In between my meeting with the Commander and the Cenarion Circle, apparently Sanctuary was assaulted again. Again, the incident took place from within, and from a source that I had pointed out. The Infirmary was just about destroyed, again, and almost all of the medical staff were lost as a result of the attack. The culprit proved to be Shokkra's brother, who had been masquerading as a nurse. Despite my protests about his behavior previously, both Kex'ti and Baern did not see enough reason to remove him. News of this, of course, returned to Marg and Eadra, the healer who had been working with me on my arm. When I made my way back to the Maelstrom, the conversation went about as well as anyone should expect. Despite my protests about Sanctuary's ideals and the people within it who I believe follow them, I could convince neither that the leadership of the guild has the member's best interests at heart. Shokkra, almost certainly does not. Despite the sympathy I have for whatever complex life she has lived, she is not fit for leadership. I can say little of Baern, save for his mistakes cost the lives of at least six of our members, and I fear Juli too distracted with the loss of Kex'ti and having to navigate the guild's external relations. Cerryan, last I heard has not been seen for months, nor has his mate. Despite these facts, I chose not to renounce my affiliation. For it, Eadra refuses to work with or speak to me and Marg will only respond through written correspondence. Even this small gain was only achieved by finding a place of my own in Orgrimmar. It is small, and not particularly comfortable, but it is my own. At the moment though, I'm staying at the tavern in Dragon Roost Port. Juli recruited me to help deal with a problem Borrowed Time has, and I've no intention to leave until it's done. As always, I will go where I am needed. I just need to remember once this is over with, to get in touch with people to let them know I'm still around.
  5. A sheet of loose paper is folded up and placed inside the journal. The script is more difficult to read, seeming more like rough notes than an actual journal entry. Experiment has failed, miserably. Elemental water was enough of an improvement to abate symptoms temporarily, but the corruption had already gained some manner of physical form and sentience. It left the creature through the eye socket, and burrowed into my forearm before I could contain it in the water or otherwise protect myself. I was able to stop it's progress with a sealing fire rune, and at least kept it from moving into my chest. In retaliation, it appears to have just about destroyed my wrist, and then turned solid around the damage. If it can be removed, perhaps with significant magical healing and therapy I may gain use of it again. While attempting to get up however, I fell unconscious from the pain. Apparently even in this dormant form it can exert its influence on the dreams of others. I suffered rather graphic nightmares afterwards, all of which reminded me of time spent in the Nightmare. The information is not helpful, as without some other form of magic to remove it and some form of containment I believe amputation and disposal by incineration may be the only solution. Likewise, nothing should be extrapolated from the work with the rabbit, as the creature was wholly corrupted already. None in the guild show similar symptoms, but care should be taken. If this is found before I wake, then I would advise against moving me unless a solution has been found. The trance should last a few days, during which time I should be fine. Not to mention, the lab should function well enough for quarantine. Whatever you do, do not touch my arm without some sort of fail safe to protect yourself should the corruption reawaken for whatever reason. Under no circumstances should anyone sleep near me either. It is unclear how far the psychic reach extends, and it is not worth the risk.
  6. A half dozen short entries are logged between the first major one and this, mostly detailing brief struggles on the Isles and the outcomes of alchemical experiments. None have any real substance to them. The Maelstrom is still difficult to sleep near. The constant roar echoes through the caves and fills the air with noise. Likewise, the sporadic rumbling from the earth elementals makes things rather difficult to cope with. It was only after one of the draenei offered me a set of ear plugs that I was really able to get some rest. That was two nights ago. I still haven't returned to the guildhouse, and I'm not sure when I'll actually swing back by. For a while it was starting to feel like home, but I'm not sure at the moment. I know for certain it's not safe there. Between whatever our issues are with staff and the Nightmare corruption, I don't particularly want to spend any more time there than I have to. For now at least, that's keeping Marg relatively happy. Since I had the first vision he didn't want me to leave the Maelstrom, thinks the ability is too valuable to risk even if I can't interpret any of them. He doesn't say it, but I know he doesn't approve of the shift I've made in my focus or the fact that I've rejoined Sanctuary. The way he talks I think he believes that both with wind up putting me in over my head. With the first, I suppose it's a fair criticism. I didn't tell him about the second vision I had. About what happened to the girl, or my arm. I'm fairly certain that if I told him about the incident or Vadok I'm pretty sure I'd be kept here regardless of what I want. If I'm honest, the offer is starting to grow tempting. I wouldn't have to deal with the constant burns from arcane magic, or stitching myself back together on a daily basis. Likewise, spending more time here at the Maelstrom makes it feel more comfortable. The politics don't seem to stretch out here in the grander scheme, though there is still a fair share of people acting foolish. The younger acolytes can be rather irritating and short sighted, but neither of those things are surprising when you're not even twenty yet. Regardless, now that the elementals have agreed to cooperate with the Earthen Ring, it's actually gotten a little more relaxed. There's a confidence now that wasn't present before. I wish I could say that extended to my concerns about Sanctuary. It feels like other than the Commander and Ariavan, no one is even interested in the fact that we have Nightmare fueled corruption leaking in and infecting our members. Maybe it's just that no one has actually had something serious happen yet, but I'm not sure. If the corruption can be found, then at least we can prevent anyone else being affected. Alternatively, if a way to purge it could be found then we could more calmly look for the source. I'm not sure which is the better course, but it's nothing I can tackle on my own. I haven't been around enough to know where to look in the first case, and I'd need a few other healers to try the latter. For now, I'll just wait on Juli to let me know when Borrowed Time's support is coming by. Maybe they'll have some information I haven't been able to dig up.
  7. Garinth visibly relaxed when Vilmah spoke about her pride, but kept himself from sighing in relief. Things seemed to have ended well enough, even if he didn't understand at all how or why. His brow raised as he offered her a hand up, entirely uncertain what she meant by the fact that he'd set her straight. Had he been hit on the head in the fall, or just missed something? "Sounds like you set yourself straight, boss." Garinth said with an uncertain tone, "Last thing I remember is you yelling at me about it being your fault that people got hurt." He kept his expression even as he surveyed the way out of the caves. "If you hadn't decided to take a run at that outcrop, I would have told you that everyone chooses their own path. I know I did, and I damn made sure no one could follow. Not even Nomeni. Wasn't anything you could have done even if you'd wanted to." With a shrug, the half-orc began the short hike towards the air. "I am glad things worked out though." "I take it you met one of the spirits?" he asked once he cleared the the slope.
  8. There was a tremor in the fabric of the world around him before the physical ones began, and it was all the warning Garinth needed to back away from the tumbled barrier of stone and earth. He curled up into a ball and waited for them to pass, doing his best to ignore the crumbling wall in front of him. The tremors didn't last long, and somehow the shaman felt that the energy that drove the change was different than before. There was no urgency to it, and significantly more care. When the movements ceased, he was greeted with light, and an opening in front of him in the wall. The half-orc scrambled to his feet to look through, and quickly spotted Vilmah in the debris. "Hey!" he shouted, trying to make sure she was still conscious as he made his way over the now loose scree. "Are you hurt?"
  9. Silence was all that greeted him. Like clockwork, he began turning on his defense mechanisms. A deep breath filled his lungs, and then was slowly expelled. Fear and panic were poison, the slow death sentence the mind placed on itself. Their place lay in getting out of a situation before it happened, not once a thing was done. The shaman took another deep breath and focused on the feeling of the air moving through his nostrils, the basic functions he needed just to exist. The effort began slowly to push all other thoughts, all emotion from his mind. It was not an instant process, but like a tree breaks apart a stone over years the shaman gradually eroded the threats he posed to himself. Once his mind was finally clear, he shifted to his knees and place his palm on the stone beneath him. His ears strained for any hint of the orc warrior, but he heard no breathing and no heartbeat but his own. The easy task completed, softly and without fear or anger, he called out to the elements. The darkness was not his enemy. The words of his mentor, the Farseer Marg Firesong rang in his ears, 'Your lack of sight is merely an obstacle to be overcome. You merely need to ask for the aid to find your way.' The earth responded with gentle care, filling his inner eye with a vision of the cavern he'd fallen into. Vilmah was not with him, likely on the other side of the tumble of rock and dirt that had come with them from above. Cracks in the stone above made the surface weak, but allowed some air in. If nothing else, he would not suffocate. I know you, said a small feminine voice. The words snapped Garinth's eyes open, breaking off his connection with the stone. Nothing had changed in the room. You reached out to me before. Who are you? "My name is Garinth," said the shaman, as understanding slowly dawned on him. You're strange Garinth, said the little voice, aren't you afraid of the bad men? "No, child," Garinth said with sympathy in his voice, "I am only worried about my friend. Have you seen her?" She's safe. There was silence then, but the half-orc waited for the child to speak all the same. Hey...why aren't you scared? They're going to hurt us if they find us. "Because I know my worst enemy is here," The shaman said with a soft smile, his hand raising to tap at his heart. "It wasn't easy, but I learned how to fight him. No one and nothing else can do as much harm." I don't get it. The voice trailed off then, How does that make you safe from the bad men? "It doesn't. There will always be bad men little one, but who they are and what they do will pass." Garinth shifted, knowing he had enough room to stand. With care, he shuffled over to where he knew the rock and debris pile to be, and began the slow process of moving the stone. "All that I need is the strength to know that that is true. To trust in the Elements. The Light. To really believe it, and stand in front of the people who don't...or can't." Garinth waited, but the voice didn't return. The only sound in the cavern was the clinking of his mail, his own heavy breathing and the echoing thuds of the rocks hitting the floor behind him.
  10. The half-orc's teeth ground as Vilmah spoke, frustrated with how the woman was taking things. How she managed to bury her head in the sand about the issue was beyond him. It had likely taken years of work to construct such an image of herself, and now really wasn't the time to be trying to deal with it. The moment the thought crossed his mind though, was the moment everything fell apart. He was no longer calm, and the frustration he felt was all the opening the spirit needed to wrest control from him. Beaten back twice already, it returned with a vengeance beyond what Garinth could quickly repair. In his panic, he wasn't listening to Vilmah. He didn't see her charge until it was too late. "Vilmah stop!" he shouted, but it was too late. She cried out, and the earth devoured them both. ----------------- Garinth awoke with a start to total darkness. Panic threatened to set in on him for a moment, but he steadied himself with a few deep breaths. Nothing hurt aside from his rear, and he could move relatively freely. The ground beneath him was hard stone beneath the shallow layer of dirt that had come with them, rough and unworked. The air was stale and damp, leaving the shaman with an uneasy feeling. Rather than linger longer in the darkness, he groaned gingerly sat up, holding up a hand to insure that his head didn't strike a low ceiling. "Vilmah?" he asked with what calm he could summon, "Are you dead?"
  11. Garinth listened to Vilmah with an expression of more serious concern, frowning as she turned the blame for things onto herself. He went so far as to open his mouth to protest as she attempted to apologize, but stopped himself and let the orc warrior finish. He'd come to peace with what he'd been and what had happened during his absence, it wasn't something that he was concerned about telling old comrades about one way or the other. What he was concerned about, was making sure that neither of them got injured during this endeavor, and that his former commander started to take her own well being more seriously. His attention was drawn to her sharply when she covered her ears however, drawing a confused look out of the half-orc. The shaman was given only the briefest of warnings before the tremors started, as the strain echoed through his connection to the elements. Unlike before, he was fully alert though and able to react. The foreign nature of the assault made it all the easier to make his call to the earth however, and as he dropped a thrusting palm to the ground he received a ready response. One final shockwave reverberated through the earth around them and then there was quiet. Almost immediately, Garinth felt something pushing back against him, forcing the shaman to maintain his attention on the call. "So it would seem," he said once things reached a sort of equilibrium. Holding the call steady with his mind, he glanced up to the warrior to see how she was doing, "Listen Vilmah. What happened to me doesn't matter. Coming back does not mean being the same person. Even that's what you wanted, life doesn't work that way. We change, that's all there is." He swallowed hard as the power opposite his seemed to rally, looking down to refocus his concentration. "You won't make the same mistakes again because you've learned from them, and you didn't drag Sanctuary into anything with Garrosh. It doesn't matter if you don't like admitting it, it was forced upon you. On everyone who was still around." "Coming back also doesn't mean you have to like killing, or be constantly scared for your own safety." The half-orc grunted, and called to the elements with a far greater request. The response was immediate, giving him dominion over the small area the spirits held sway over and significantly easing his struggle and the strain in his voice. "Sanctuary is still there for you, if and when you need it. Neither you, nor Garrosh, nor the Kor'kron killed it. You're not giving orders anymore either, so those that show up for you are there of their own free will. What is really selfish is taking away their ability to choose to do so." He paused for a moment, and then spoke again in a somewhat strained voice. "And...not to be an ass, but I would appreciate it though if you took a few steps away from the cairn. I think it's you they're reacting to."
  12. As Vilmah's story was woven around him, a small voice whispered that he should have felt guilty for not being around when Sanctuary might have used him. That he might have helped. It was a dream at best, that much he knew for certain. The power of hindsight colored what he could have been capable as much as it did his vision of the former commander. The truth was, at that time he was as useless as those who judged him on his race thought him to be. Perhaps even more so. It had taken years of healing, the least of it physical to get him back to steady ground. All the same, the knowledge hardly made him feel any better about what happened. "You can come back from it, you know," He said after they'd they came to a halt, "There's always that opportunity." Despite the statement that she didn't desire any, sympathy was clearly evident in his features. "I'm not saying it will just happen in a heartbeat. It takes work, and a lot of it." There was a pause as he considered where to explain, "Speaking from experience, I will say this though... all of the talking you have to do, all the slow healing, and the work...it's worth it. And that has nothing to do with getting my sight back." He gave the smaller orc an even look then, showing that he'd meant every bit of what he'd said. "And, I know it might not seem relevant to this, but you have to understand how these things work." Garinth's arms crossed back over his chest then, and he moved a few paces further away from the rock pile. "Restless spirits often feed off of negative emotion. If there's a chance to bring them peace, we can't try to open a connection loaded up with fear or anger. Good shaman go into these rituals with clear heads, not giving them anything to latch onto and hurt us with. There are some that build up a bulwark of one emotion or another, but there's always a chance that there's a chink somewhere in that armor." "And to hear them without any training," Garinth started after taking a deep breath, his attention on the pile of stones, "it usually means that either these spirits are very powerful, or that on some instinctual level you're relating to the emotions they felt when they passed."
  13. Garinth studied the orc warrior as she spoke, the concern not ebbing from his features. He had a feeling he knew where the conversation was going before he'd even asked the question, but hadn't expected the twist Vilmah had managed to be able to get there. Garinth didn't argue with the conclusion, even if the warrior left he felt obligated to stay and do something about the issue. He stood and dusted himself off and surveyed the ground where the wrathful spirit had lashed out. "A shaman or a priest was going to have to deal with this at some point Vilmah," he said calmly, "Stumbling into this sort of thing blind is a good way to lose your sanity, or wind up dead." A sigh escaped him as he started to walk in the direction he'd felt the spirits, trusting that she'd follow behind. As he walked, the half-orc mused over what would have caused her to hear the voices to begin with, but quickly became uncertain with how to broach the subject with her. "I know it's not really my place to pry, but is everything alright, Vilmah?" He finally asked without looking at her, "I know we haven't discussed much about the last eight years, but they don't seem to have treated you as well as they did me." It was an odd enough statement to begin with, given the circumstances. Before his self-imposed exile Garinth hadn't even been able to see, and Vilmah's form had been whole. Now his malady, if it could be called that, had been remedied and the once plucky commander he'd known was down one fleshy arm and a great deal of her old energy. Garinth was glad to be of help, but the reunion had been strange for a number of reasons, not the least of which because of the image she'd managed to paint of herself in his mind all those years ago. She seemed...somehow smaller now.
  14. The journal itself is a well worn and weather beaten affair, bound in rugged clefthoof hide. Journal entries are interspersed with pressed herbs and flowers, accompanied by descriptions of alchemical and medicinal usage. The inside cover has a message of some sort, though its script is barely legible in comparison to that of the rest the journal's pages. The only thing easily discerned is the signature which reads 'Marg'. ------------------------------------- There was a strange conversation last night over the Sanctuary's hearthstone network. Strange not in the context of the guild's general demeanor but within the purview of my experience. It stemmed from Shokkra's referral to myself as a half-breed. Now, to be fair to those defending me she has told me previously that if I'd been born Warsong that I would have been killed at birth for my weakness, and that the clan would never accept me into its ranks as the Frostwolf have. The veracity of these statements I've no interest in debating, but it at least informs some of the reason for the quick defense that was raised around me. It was a comfort of sorts that it happened, but unnecessary. The opinions I have of myself are firmly entrenched, and one warrior's quick and common opinion will not alter them. The reason why I bring this up was a brief aside that happened after the exchange. A friend spoke to me in private, misunderstanding my ignoring the attempted insult. The fact that I am a half-breed is not a debate. I am not, and will never be a full blooded orc. That does not however make me less of a member of the Frostwolf Clan, or less a member of the Horde, or of Sanctuary for that matter. It certainly has no bearing on my abilities and skill as a shaman. It perhaps lends itself to the latter now through the budding connection I have to my ancestors, but they have already accepted what I am and what I have made myself. Thusly, Shokkra's judgment even at face value means little. It does not and will not interfere with my duties. The fundamental issue, I believe, is a misunderstanding of Shokkra herself. She is proud of her blood, and all that it represents. The strength of the Warsong and what Garrosh was able to accomplish with their might was impressive, regardless of the attitudes that came with it. There is an image there that she has found comfort in, but it is not the whole picture. She has shown that she respects those she believes deserves it, as seen in how she reacts to the Marshal or Commander. Likewise, she has shown that she cares about her comrades regardless of how she might treat them at face value. There was a glimmer of it during the invasions, when Atal'shi returned to the guildhall fel poisoned and bleeding out. So great was her concern, I was almost concerned Shokkra might hurt someone else just trying to get aid for the hakkari. I thought, at the time, that the two were close companions because of it. But subsequent experience leads me to the belief that such a conclusion would be false. She seems to treat Atal'shi no different than the rest. Most importantly, I think our officers are aware of this duality as they've certainly served together long enough to have seen the glimpses. I'm not sure about any of the other members, but it's not my place to speak about it and I'm sure she has her reasons. In the end, I will either earn the respect through deed or I won't. Perhaps, with a little luck, the nickname will be used with the same tone the comrades former unit, and the members of my clan do. It is, after all, what I am.
  15. Garinth tumbled backwards, going limp as his conscious came back to the fore. The sudden jerking had broken off his connection with the spirit abruptly, and it took the shaman a long moment to come to his senses. Still dazed, the half-orc groaned as the earth shook beneath him but failed to bring his focus to bear until after it had abated. It was Vilmah's frantic questions that managed to cut through the fog he'd been left in, causing the half-orc to shake his head. "It's alright," he said in a strained attempt at a soothing voice, "You're not hearing things." Garinth didn't say that he hadn't heard whatever other voices had been issued, but she was already starting to panic. "Just give me a moment, that was...not what I expected." The shaman righted himself fully as he spoke, rolling into a sitting position before rubbing his temples. There was a headache beginning to bud just behind his eyes, and it took a moment to soothe the sensation. "There's something nearby," he started, "I'm not sure. A cave, maybe?" Garinth raised his hand and pointed in the direction that he'd felt the connection coming from. After a long moment, his hand dropped from his face and he gave her a concerned look. "Look, I don't know if you want to investigate this further but we'll need to be careful if you want to continue investigating. The spirits are..uneasy." The shaman frowned, still recovering from the echoes of emotion that had been sent through him during the brief connection.