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*** The Mad must've been let loose on a retarded field trip to the Brokenspear Tavern... *** *** ...so Derecho buys her drink and takes it elsewhere to enjoy. *** Shokkra grunts. [Derecho]: Hi dere [Shokkra]: Hey. Shokkra eyes you up and down. [Derecho]: Did ya be thinkin to get drinks for yaself before leavin da bar? [Shokkra]: Nah. Good for now. Drink after I fight. Aaren tilts her head to the side. [Derecho]: Oh ay [Derecho]: WHo ya be fightin? [Shokkra]: Alliance tonight. [Derecho]: Be picturing that bull's head on a few o dem for me, okie dokie? [Shokkra]: ...what? [Shokkra]: OH. [Shokkra]: Right, yeah. [Derecho]: And be punching him hard. You cackle maniacally at Shokkra. [Shokkra]: Sure thing. [Derecho]: Who ya be? [Shokkra]: Shokkra Deathrage, Guardian of Sanctuary. You? [Derecho]: I be not havin shuch fancy titles. Just Derecho. [Shokkra]: Aka'magosh, Derecho. Aaren smiles a little and nods. "Aaren." You greet Aaren warmly. [Derecho]: Ya be fightin too elfie? [Aaren]: Nah. Not tonight. [Derecho]: Ya can be sittin here by me den. [Derecho]: Ya got ya a drink? [Aaren]: Yeah, I always got a drink. [Aaren]: Drink's better too when it's quiet, like over here. Aaren looks around at the fog covering the ground, but she refrains mentioning it. [Shokkra]: Prefer places where I can fuckin' see my feet at least. Aaren quietly snickers to herself. [Derecho]: It being better than wit sourpusses like dat oder guy. [Derecho]: What, ya be fearing they run off witout ya? Aaren grins wickedly. [Shokkra]: I weigh these fuckers down too much. Wouldn't get very far in the boots. [Derecho]: Best not be falling in any deep water holes [Aaren]: Plate and water don't sound like friends. You cackle maniacally at Aaren. [Shokkra]: Bah, we get trained to swim in fuckin' plate. Shokkra flexes her muscles. Oooooh so strong! [Derecho]: Be f-fallin to da bottom like ya be an anchor. [Aaren]: Well, always a use! Aaren taps her foot on the ground a couple times before sitting down. [Derecho]: Ya be fightin alliance all of de time? [Shokkra]: Eh, gives me shit to do. Good training. [Derecho]: May it be I be doin dat after I get de idea o tings better. [Aaren]: I don't really fight much myself. But I never stood on the front line either. Shokkra grunts. Aaren points to Shokkra. "That one just gets mad when people hit her." She follows her comment with a snicker. [Shokkra]: Like any normal fuckin' person. [Derecho]: Ya be gettin mad too bitty elfie! It be hurtin [Derecho]: Want me be showin ya? You cackle maniacally at the situation. [Aaren]: I'm always mad, though! [Derecho]: Really? [Derecho]: Why dat be? [Aaren]: Probably. That's what I hear, anyway. [Shokkra]: You mean bitchy, Aaren. [Shokkra]: I'm always angry. [Aaren]: Same thing! [Derecho]: No no NO [Shokkra]: Bitchy's more elf-y. [Aaren]: Hey, I know this one troll that's pretty bitchy! [Derecho]: Who be? [Shokkra]: Oh yeah? Who? [Aaren]: I ain't shayin any names. Then they'll find out and come try to cave my face in. Shokkra snorts. [Shokkra]: Coward. [Aaren]: I'm not a coward. I'm shmart. [Derecho]: Hmm Aaren grins wickedly. [Derecho]: Ya be sayin anyting ya want. It not like words be sticks an stones, ya be knowin? [Shokkra]: Yeah, coward. [Aaren]: The words are harmless until the wrong people hear them. Shokkra snorts. [Derecho]: People be offended by every stray word flying in dere ears, may it be dey should stuff dem full of cotton balls. [Aaren]: Oh I don't give a fuck about people being offended. Sometimes they just want to act on it and I don't feel like dealing with it. [Aaren]: I got enough bullshit to deal with, enough people to watch my back around. [Derecho]: Let dem be tryin! You growl menacingly. [Shokkra]: Most of 'em are good at it. You peer at Shokkra searchingly. Aaren shrugs. Who knows? [Derecho]: Ya be tinkin like an orc. [Shokkra]: Well I am a fuckin' orc. Aaren quietly snickers to herself. [Aaren]: A damn good one to pay some gold and throw at your problems, sometimes. [Derecho]: I be knowin! Always so fixed on de enemy ya be seein right afore ya eyes. Ya be missin da rapta dat come at ya from de shadows. [Shokkra]: If a raptor comes from the fuckin' shadows I'll throw it at the fuckers in front of me. You smile at War Raptor. You cackle maniacally at Shokkra. [Derecho]: If ya be livin long enough to be seein it. [Shokkra]: That's what the damn armor's for. You eye Shokkra up and down. [Derecho]: Relax mon. [Derecho]: No raptas be huntin ya here. Shokkra grunts and rolls her shoulders. [Aaren]: Beasts, demons, what else have you been killing lately? A sly smirk spreads across Aaren's face. [Shokkra]: Eh, my liver. [Aaren]: That one'sh easy though. [Aaren]: Maybe the rest of it too. Shokkra shrugs. Who knows? Aaren peers at Shokkra searchingly. Aaren shrugs. Who knows? [Derecho]: Ya be lookin bitty. What ya got to be drinkin hard enough to hurt ya liver for? Ya don't be regeneratin like I be doin. Aaren waves. You wave goodbye to Aaren. Farewell! [Shokkra]: Just a joke. But mostly firewater, slammers, Blackrock Ale, Cherry Grog, Nitro-Fuel. [Derecho]: Sure ting, but why? [Shokkra]: Helps take my mind off shit mostly. [Derecho]: What ya be avoidin wit ya mind? May it be talkin can help just as good as da drink. [Shokkra]: Crushing stress. The threat of mortality. Normal shit. [Derecho]: Ya not be likin de idea of d-dyin someday? [Shokkra]: Not anymore. [Derecho]: Ya be not likin de idea anymore, or ye be meaning not anymore like it be okay now, it don't be botherin ya anymore? [Shokkra]: Don't like the fuckin' idea of dying anymore. Glorious death in combat seems... not worth it. Derecho snorts. [Derecho]: Death be not glorious. [Shokkra]: Sure as hell is sometimes. [Derecho]: May it be the act dat got ya dere was, but dyin itself be lonely and just bad, mon. [Derecho]: I can be seein why dat be a reason for drinkin [Shokkra]: Yeah. [Derecho]: But everybody dies, okie dokie? [Derecho]: Why worry? [Shokkra]: Too many people I care about. I want to live, with them. For them. [Derecho]: Well den, what da spirits ya be doin gettin drunk den? Knock it off, pour it out, and go get to bein wit dem! Dumb orc. [Shokkra]: Well I fuckin' can't be with them every fuckin' second of my life and when I'm not I think about all the crazy shit and start drinking again. Derecho mimes crying. [Derecho]: Oh boohoo! [Derecho]: I be so sad I can't be findin new friends to be fillin me time wit, so I be so sad I drink meself to my death dat I be so scared of! [Shokkra]: Oh fuck off. I get enough of this shit from other fucking people. Last thing I care about is some random fuckin' troll's opinion on my damn life. [Derecho]: Well ya either be wantin ta fix it, or ya not be. Not like one random troll bitty gonna start spouting wisdom ya be listenin to if ya don't be wantin to hear it. [Derecho]: I be hearin way worse tings to be drivin moods low, any how. [Shokkra]: I get all the fuckin' wisdom I need from every other self proclaimed philosopher. You cackle maniacally at the situation. [Derecho]: I not bein any philo what ever. [Derecho]: I just be talkin. [Derecho]: Just be words, mon. [Shokkra]: And giving out advice like everyone else. [Derecho]: Ya want be confirmin a rumor for me? [Derecho]: Oh ay. I can be shuttin up. [Derecho]: Me momma be sayin I talk too much. You shrug. Who knows? [Shokkra]: Might be. Derecho stays quiet for a long while, sipping her cocktails, but it's quite obvious she's itching to open her pie hole. [Shokkra]: That doesn't mean you have to completely shut up. [Derecho]: Okie dokie. [Derecho]: Well be tellin me true- dere really be like a legion of demons comin for us all? [Shokkra]: Yeah. [Derecho]: And den [Derecho]: Hmm [Derecho]: Ya be Sanctuary, ya said. Ya really be gettin fought on by dat odder guild? I be forgettin which [Shokkra]: The Grim? Yeah, almost a year ago. [Derecho]: A whole year ya two been goin at it?! Shokkra laughs. [Shokkra]: No no, almost a year since we made a treaty. [Derecho]: Oh [Derecho]: So dey be playin nice like now? [Shokkra]: No. Just not open warfare. [Derecho]: I be hearin bad tings, mon, and I not be knowin what all to be believin [Derecho]: Hmm Lupinum points at Shokkra. [Shokkra]: My turn? Lupinum nods at Shokkra. [Shokkra]: Attune me bitch. [Lupinum]: Make me proud, you worthless, dried gronnsack. [Derecho]: Oh ay! [Derecho]: It be de voodoo peeper. You grin wickedly at Lupinum. Lupinum blinks at you. [Shokkra]: I always fuckin' do you fucking piece of shit. Lupinum snorts derisively at Shokkra. [Derecho]: I sorry I be makin her grumpy I tink. [Lupinum]: Her? [Shokkra]: I'm always fuckin' grumpy. [Lupinum]: Took the words out of my mouth. [Derecho]: She be fighin better dough, most like. You shrug at Shokkra. Who knows? [Derecho]: Ya be havin any advice for a bitty troll den, afore ya be l-leavin? Lupinum blinks at you. [Shokkra]: Kill shit quick. [Lupinum]: Keep your tusks sharp? You salute Shokkra with respect. [Lupinum]: That's a thing you people do, right? You cackle maniacally at Lupinum. Shokkra salutes you with respect. [Shokkra]: Mok'rah, Derecho. [Derecho]: I be strikin like a rapta soon, don't ya be worrin none. [Lupinum]: Like a raptor? Lupinum giggles at you. [Derecho]: Tell ya friend. She be knowin Lupinum raises an eyebrow. [Lupinum]: Alright. Stay safe. Lupinum smiles at you. Lupinum turns on his heel.
Kerala had found him in Thunder Bluff waiting for her. It made her happy to see him, even at a distance. But it was at a distance, and the fastest way to fix it was also the most fun. The druid in sparrowhawk form folded her wings and plummeted, aiming for Lupinum like an arrow to his heart. Fast and faster, the gap shrank and he grew in her vision. Better! The tiny falcon dive-bombed her partner like a bluejay, buzzing so close that she felt her wingtip brush his face. He smiled at her, not startled at all. Perhaps he was used to this type of greeting now from his mate. Undaunted, Kerala instead burned away more of the chemical rush in aerial displays. She barrel-rolled, she flared, she made another racing stoop down to the very grasses of the plains far below, dipping into the contours and then letting the rise of a hill throw her back skyward. She changed the angle of her wings to let momentum and a gentle thermal carry her back up to meet him. She almost made it, but weight finally outmatched speed. The druid flapped twice, propelling herself up the rest of the way. She shifted, landing in a crouch at the bluff's edge grinning. He clapped for her. "Impressive, Kerala." He smiled and chuckled as she spun a circle with her arms held up, the triumphant performer. "My bat can only do so much, I can't imagine what it's like to fly... yourself." "It's fun!" she said immediately. Then she let herself plop down to the ground. It was also tiring. She'd been gone all day. As her heartbeat began to recover, the real answer to his pondering surfaced, so she blurted it aloud too. "Freedom.... The only thing I have to worry about up there is a storm... or bigger birds." "Bigger birds?" Lupinum giggled again. "Eagles are scary!" she told him, indignant. "I'm faster, though." "I can see that, and very mobile." She nodded. She liked the form of the kestrel much better than the crow, and said as much. "Do you get to... choose? What you become?" he asked. Her head tilted, sending the curls of her mane off-kilter. "...sort of? I don't really know how it works, just that some forms come easily, and some take ...work." A lot of work. Lupinum nodded slowly, remembering the demonstration she'd given him. "Maybe that's part of the magic," she said, still playful. "Perhaps somewhere along the way, a crow, a lion, and a bear all got together and said 'Druids, we like you, we'll teach you how to do it'.... and creatures like wolves or... I don't know, kodos... didn't." Another thought occurred to her. "...I bet I could be a kodo." Lupinum giggled. "Would you WANT to?" "I'd lead a stampede! We would awesomely go... somewhere. In a hurry, and dare anyone try to stop us!" she laughed, and he did too. She asked him what he would shift to, and his answer of ogre was surprising. Of all the creatures... an ogre? It was funny though, that he'd want two heads to drink with. The imagery of him with a jiggling ogre beer belly and a smelly loincloth set them both laughing, and she was happy. "You got new clothes, I see," she remarked. He wore deep red robes and a dark mantle, even his staff was different. His attire was built to frame and showcase the tabard worn over it, it seemed to her. "And so did you you, they look very nice." This made Kerala pause, blinking, because she had no idea what he was talking about. She looked down. Oh. She stood. "Oh." She considered the minimalist covering wrapped across her core. It was poorly constructed, homemade. She waited a moment, but memory did not bubble up to the surface. "Yeah... I lost my other ones." she finally said, dodging the gaping hole in her mind. "Lost?" Lupinum stifled a giggle. "And you decided to put on... a harness?" "What? I'm all covered! It's hot," she complained. WHY was it so hot all the time? She briefly considered the merits of bedding down in a snowbank, before recalling that she hated snow. Still... the siren song of powdered ice was powerful. He cracked another smile and soothed. "You're right, I'm sorry, sit down." She refocused and obeyed. He let her steer the discussion of clothes away from her own mysterious ones and back to his own. It was sobering to hear that he'd changed himself based on whispered comments. The red apparently showed outward proof of his new office as an Irredeemable of the Grim. She didn't like it. She pointed out that Khorvis didn't wear a uniform, and she was fairly certain Awatu wore whatever he wanted too. Her dislike for the new ensemble was more than plain. "Are you going to throw these into some lava too?" "Hmm. Only if you provoke me into biting your head off." Her reply was meant to be as light-hearted as before, but she didn't quite manage it. Sure, she disliked the clothes enough to destroy them if given the opportunity, but what was even more terrifying was the reality of the words themselves. She wasn't sure, but she thought maybe she could become that irrationally angry, and the discovery of that potential fact terrified her. She didn't want to hurt him, or anyone. If he noticed the slip in tone, he chuckled anyway. "I'll keep that in mind." The silence stretched. Her happiness was ruined, even here with him. It wasn't enough. Her gaze went up as she tried to catch that fleeting feeling again. When she failed, her eyes were drawn West, to the lands she could not see beyond the mountain walls. Lupinum followed her aim. "What's on your mind?" Many things. Frantic things, tumbling in and out of focus one after the other at a dizzying rate. She snatched at one. "Lupinum, do you know how to grow plants?" "I uh... I can't say that I do, beside the basics." he answered. "Seed in ground, water and sunlight." He chuckled. Kerala nodded. "That's about all I know too. I might go to Pandaria. Besides, they have such giant vegetables there...." "What for?" "To learn how to grow things. Better, I mean." "Oh." Then he giggled. "You could grow a whole meal for yourself." "I could grow me a house! Have you SEEN the size of some of those things?" She recalled the fields viewed from aloft as she followed Kex'ti to the titan complex in the mountains. Vegetables large enough to be seen individually, even from that far. It was mind-boggling. "I can't say that I have... I spent very little time in the Jade Forest before coming to Draenor." "How many pandas are there? They need melons and lettuce and gourds that size?" she pondered. "They're also... large." The skinny tauren giggled. "You mean fat." He corrected and agreed that they were very fat, but Kerala was already on another track, following one of the many ideas she'd thought up. "Maybe I just need some of their dirt.... or their worms, maybe their worms make their dirt special, and that's how they grow such big crops." "Worms!" Lupinum exclaimed, "Who cares about worms!" His mate tilted her head at him. She blinked long-lashed eyes, just staring silently. He began to feel uncomfortable. She was wondering too. Who cared about worms? She needed them, but she couldn't remember why. Worms... and crops.... vegetables? She couldn't believe she'd lost it so fast. She didn't have a lot of time. Under her wordless stare, Lupinum decided he must have erred somewhere, that the fault was his and not hers. "I suppose you do, I'm sorry" he apologized. "I don't care about worms. They are little squishy tubes of gross meat," she told him. He frowned a little, scratching his head while she tried to logic it out loud. "They're for the dirt. The dirt is for the plants." These remembered things were true, she felt, but there was more to it.... Lupinum nodded, unsure about the pause. "And plants are good, so worms are good for something!" he finished for her, somewhat sheepishly. Kerala didn't look up to smile at him and end the awkwardness, or show him any reaction at all. For a moment she seemed to be ignoring him, then he saw the insect. An ant wandered up onto her fingers as they hung idly down from her lap. She was watching it crawl higher, becoming hopelessly lost in the curly wurls of fur. He watched her while also feeling lost, like the ant.