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  1. Khorvis


    [[ A continuation from the finale of Dark Star Rising. ]] The old wooden door of the Gallow's End Tavern swung open with that same familiar creak. The last billows of the squall that had crashed into the Northern coast of Tirisfal whipped into the inn behind the trudging form of Khorvis Bloodstar until he pressed the door shut with a tired grunt. Brill had been only a short march from the Whispering Forests, and the old orc had needed some time and space to clear his head. Exhausted as he was, Khorvis did not fail to notice the guarded looks that the patrons and staff gave the newcomer. It had been nearly a year since the chaos he had caused while under the influence of Mannoroth's blood, but the citizens of Brill were unlikely so quickly forget. Fortunately for him, the immediate presence of the Grim Halls and the restorative work of the Mandate upon the Glades would likely prevent a stealthy dagger in his spine. Saddling up upon an empty stool, Khorvis rested his elbows upon the bar and cradled his forehead in his hands. The damage to his mechanical left eye had ceased sparking and twitching, but the gaping hole still ached. Another piece of him missing, lost to the Shadowlands. He had departed the ritual circle quickly after reassuring Lilliana that he was fine. The troll woman could exhibit such motherly tendencies, but Khorvis had been in no mood for it. The sight of Theira's corpse and the knowledge of what they had locked behind the closing gate had been simply too much for the warrior's heart. A tersely bitten thanks, an embrace or two, a stone-faced salute, and off Bloodstar wandered through the pines - anywhere, just away from that still Tauren and the odd flower that had sprouted from her chest. At first he had angled to the Northeast, towards the Grim Halls overlooking the North Sea, but the night and the elements slowly altered his course towards Brill. The entire debacle would require some explaining, and he was not in the right state of mind to confront Commander Stonespire. Not yet. A smart warchief knew he must fight on solid ground, on terrain of his choosing. The Commander was a hard, unfeeling plinth of stone. If Khorvis wanted to escape that encounter with his hide, he would need a clear mind. So the Inquisitor found himself staring at the worn wood of the Gallow's End bar. A rough clay mug of mulled wine was pushed between his elbows. Looking up, Khorvis gave Innkeeper Renee a lukewarm smile that failed to touch his tusks. The woman returned the look with a curt nod and swept away, her tattered skirts hissing over the stone floor like a worn straw broom. It was amazing that after all these years, Miss Lauer still kept the Gallow's End running at its efficient, if rickety, pace. Truly a stalwart and indispensable member of the Horde. The thought brought him back to recent events. Theira. Mai'kull. Why had they sacrificed themselves for him? The fools! Both were important pillars of the Horde, necessary for the war against the Legion. Against the Alliance! It was such a bloody waste... Khorvis was long past his prime. The gut wound delivered by Shokkrah and the mess of his eye ached in tandem, echoing the testament. These were dangerous times, when the Horde and the Mandate required every able body to muster. Damn those addled Mad! The bar shook under the blow of Khorvis's clenched fist. Fortunately for the inn, he was unarmored, only clad in leather, though the patrons cast souring glares at the Lasher. He offered them a grumpy, conciliatory wave, returning to his drink. Taking a long swig, he let the burning wine ride down his raw throat and set the mug down. Excess liquid dripped from his beard and jowls, splashing onto the waxed counter. The deep crimson hue caught the orc's eye. He could think only of the Matron, her broken and bloody body still in the grass of the Whispering Forest's floor. His own blood had mingled with the druidess's as he had wept above her corpse. Fate was cruel. Khorvis had allowed himself very few fantasies over the years since crossing the Dark Portal. The notion of a mate, nevermind a family, was for him always a forbidden prospect, a foolish dalliance that would have only left him weak and vulnerable. It was only later in life that cracks had begun to show in that armor, and not until he had encountered the Matron of Rutilus Luna. They had never expressed any oaths or commitments, beyond the professional pact between The Grim and the Rutilans upon Thunder Bluff. Only a mutual understanding of shared sacrifice. Of a similar wish for a more peaceful world. A glance here, in the lull of battle. A hand held there, at dusk above the Gurubashi Arena. Khorvis had never let the wish touch his tongue, for fear of the inevitable. That dream had died in the Shadowlands. He took another gulp of the wine, his throat choking up under the emotional duress, and nearly spat out his drink into the hearth. Coughing and hacking, the orc wiped away at his beard with the back of his wrist. He should have expected no less. Khorvis was not a mortal made for anything but warfare. Born behind catapults firing upon Shattrath and suckled upon the blood of draenei, Bloodstar was bred to orchestrate death. He was tailored for the Mandate. Bury those foolish fantasies down deep where they could never emerge. Staring morbidly about the tavern, Khorvis noticed several trophies donated by The Grim. A broken stormhammer hung above a sidetable. To the left of the liquor stores were encased in a dusty cabinet several medals for honor upon the Battlegrounds. And over the hearth was mounted the head of doomguard, its ebon horns spanning at least as wide as a prone human. Khorvis would need to report the death of Reaper Mai'kull. The mage had shown exceptional valor in the face of overwhelming odds. His name would enter the rolls with distinguished heroism. A final Grim trinket caught the warrior's eye. A pamphlet advertising the Mandate, nailed to a post in the center of the tavern. The next gathering was soon, here in Tirisfal. Clearly his subordinates were carrying on with the good work of the Inquisition, though Khorvis had had little reason to doubt Ruuki. In his mind, it was settled. The High Inquisitor would return to the Grim the following night, at the Inquisition, and hopefully buttressed from the wrath of Commander Stonespire.
  2. Theira lay sleeping face down in her private quarters with a stack of papers as a pillow. The sounds of peons shouting and the usual guilds training started to bustle outside the chambers and picked up in volume as the morning got on. The Matron groaned and began to stir as she sat up, one paper stuck to her muzzle. She reached to pull it off and then gripped her face as was customary after long nights outting. She reached for a bottle, any bottle within distance of her in search of fluid parched from the nights "activities." Theira hissed a curse "empty, empty.. oh wait.. another empty.. .. " she sighed as she examined bottles of spent Cenarion Spirits with squinted eyes. She leaned back into her arm chair basking in her hang over. She began to count the rays of light that seeped in from the leathery window covers. The specs of dust carelessly floating between the rays was captivating, almost therapeutic to watch. The dance of something so small and insignificant yet still so - *SMASH* The sound of a jar breaking on the floor had her nearly jump out of her hide as she looked to Agar who had begun bringing in soil from outside. The treant whom she helped rear was now mobile and had pretty well the run of her lodgings. Theira boggled at the Treant as it paced in and out with a new load of dirt to dump onto the floor making a mound for itself to root into. She had thought to scold the thing but decided the task was for later, for a much more awake less hung-over Theira to deal with. Instead the Matron sat back up at her desk shifting through papers to try and find herself a pack of cigarettes. While she searched through the messy and chaotic desk of unfiled reports and applications she came across an old letter she had received. It was from Khorvis of The Grim, dated back from the night he bought her from auction. She ran her fingers through her mane and stood up to reread the letter. She walked over to her window at a slow pace while reading it a half frown formed on her maw as she muttered "Khorvis.. " Recalling what news of the orc she'd received at cantina her concern prevalent. Once at the window Theira opened the leathery flaps to let the sunlight in to Agars delight. The treant applauded with the sunlight as the druid turned from it and groaned her headache fully formed now. She regarded the letter and began to pace soon shoving it into her belt back and rushing to a cabinet to pull some old scrolls from it. She laid one large scroll down on the mess of her desk and unfurled it. Theira studied the chart reaching for some red ink to mark on it with which she did and held up the parchment in front of her. She felt a strange sensation trickle up her spine like pins and needles as she turned the paper upside down. The sensation worsened as it made itself known in her gut to be dread. The type of panic she had felt in later months when she lost control of herself to a nightmare imp. The kind of fear that creeps into the bones when one has no control over anything around or inside of them self. The Arch Druid recalled being trapped inside her own realm and watched the Nightmare twist the dream around her and feel helpless to stop it. The Shadowlands she thought would be even less hospitable environment - and one she had little knowledge of and zero sway in. Theira shook her head breaking herself from the laps of fear and tossed the paper back down on her desk. The druids expression turned to her usual serious face as she started putting her armor on. She left Agar to make dirt angels on the floor as she went off in search of a death knight for Stormskys proposed ritual.
  3. His bout of Alchemical creations done for the day, Mai’kull headed over to the Dalaran’s Merchant Bank. He wasn’t fond of using this one, so close to Graymane’s Enclave, but the Bank of Dalaran he normally used had lines almost out the door, and he didn’t want to wait. Depositing his potions, he left the bank rummaging through his portable holes he stored his goods in, making sure he made plenty of room when he crossed a box he had all but forgotten about. A small True Steel Lockbox sat securely in his possession. He retrieved it and examined the container for a moment. He would need to find a Rogue, they were good with Lockpicking. Maybe they could help him discover what worthless artifacts lay in this nuisance waste of space. He contemplated blasting it open, but on the off chance it contained something remotely valuable, he didn’t want to chance damaging the contents…again.Just in luck, he saw a Rogue dart across the street and run into the “Glorious Goods” shop. ‘That’s convenient’ he thought to himself as he too made his way to the store. He had never been in here before, even back when Dalaran was positioned in Northrend, though he doubted THIS shop was there. So many people and places changed after the Legion assault. Looking around he could see the shopkeeper, and his assistant on the top tier, but no Rogue.“Excuse me…” Mai’kull began to the shopkeeper, “What can I do for you?” Jack Findle asked, in an almost hypnotic tone. “Yes…there was a Rogue who came in here a few moments ago…” Mai’kull began, but once again the shop keeper cut him off “Nope! No Rogues in here man, just me and the little lady.” Mai’kull looked at the human; was he serious, or just stupid? Mai’kull began to argue back but stopped himself, realizing there was probably more going on that the human was not going to volunteer without pain of death. Doing another scan of the shop, he could see the “Shelf” to his left was a fake. The paint, was different from the rest of the walls, and the book case sat inside a clearly crafted stone frame. Tired of the Shopkeepers games, Mai’kull intended to investigate this on his own, and with a grin the mage vanished from view, shimmering left through the wall and into a dark stone hallway.He had cloaked himself in invisibility just to be safe, but he did not make it very far down the stone corridor before feeing the all too familiar sap to the back of his head. He feel to one knee, the world around him in a spinning blur as a foreboding presence hovered over him, where ever this was, he had the feeling he was not welcome; And then the world went dark.Mai’kull awoke a few minutes later in the Legerdemain Lounge sitting at one of the back tables. He could not recall what transpired between the stone corridor and just now, but he could feel no loss of limb or organs, and all his possessions were still accounted for. ‘Odd…’ Whoever was down there clearly didn’t want intruders. Sadly, they drew on the crosshairs of the wrong Archmage.Mai’kull returned to Glorious Goods again, walking in as if nothing had transpired. He began to casualty browse the store, under the scrutinous eye of its shop keeper. He browsed the crates and bags, and various tools of trades they were for sale, striking up casual conversation with the attendant Susana about the savory flavor of Sweetened Goat’s Milk.He made his way downstairs after a good 10 minutes of faffing about and began to look at the farthest bookshelf from Jack, combing over the professional tomes and recipe scrolls that he had to offer. He knew better than to directly interact with the false wall door in front of him, least it or the human trigger another alarm of sorts. No he continues to muddle around, watching gleefully as the human eyed him, and attempted to discreetly watch the bookcase.His patience paid off, as he read an old copy of the Kirin Tor Monthly, there was a loud click, and gear grinding. Jack’s face began to sweat profusely as the bookshelf swung open, and out ran a leather clad rogue, as if nothing was wrong. The rogue didn’t even stop to register Mai’kull was standing there. And as the door closed once again, the Magisters eyes locked with the shop keepers.“Found my Rogue…” Mai’kull venomously exclaimed. He could tell the Human was at a loss for words, but at this point he didn’t care; He found his confirmation. “Let me go have a few words with him…” he stated, giving Jack a small bow before exiting the shop.He didn’t actually leave. As soon as he walked out, Mai’kull slipped into the arcane folds of invisibility and popped back into the shop, settling in the upper steps among the boxes and crates, well out of sight from Jack or his assistant. And there he waited for his next opportunity. He could hear the shop keeper whispering to himself, no-doubt some attempt to warn whoever was behind the wall that their secret had been discovered.Mai’kull spent a good hour behind the shop, watching, calculating. He would see the doorway open ever-so-often, expelling rogues out of its entrance. And a few times he would see rogues come into the shop, and took note of Jack doing something under the counter that would pop open the door. That was going to be his Que.As soon as a Kal’dorei rogue entered the shop, Mai’kull emerged from his hiding place. Susana had her back turned, and he did his best to keep quiet as he summoned his eye of the flame. Just as the door opened and the rogue entered, so too did his magical construct. Doing his best to maintain focus, Mai’kull teleported out of the shop and into his small apartment atop the Archmage’s Spire of the Violet citadel before fully binding his vision to the arcane construct. He had little time, and his powers were strained due to the distance, but at least he would be undisturbed as he channeled the magic.The Magically Cloaked Fire Orb descended down the once inaccessible stone corridor leading into a vaguely familiar archway. Banners hung from the stone arches bearing the mark of the uncrowned, the newly revived coalition of shadowy assassins and spies since the legions invasion, this was the Hall of the Shadows! As Mai’kull beckoned the eye forward, nostalgia filled his mind. He knew EXACTLY where he was now.Cantrips & Crows, the old underbelly tavern. He would frequent this bar when he was alive, back in the Northrend Expedition, he would come down here to escape the aristocracy of the city above. He had marked this area all but destroyed when the city was assaulted by the Legion. Looks like the Rogues here took advantage of the main tunnel collapse and fortified it as their own; Genius, if not selfish as fuck.Everything was still here, the old Circle of Wills was still being used, only now it was to hone the skills of the Uncrowned Rogues. Mai’kull reminisced getting drunk and watching fights, occasionally being intoxicatedly lured into the ring himself a time or two. Good old time…Mai’kull turned the eye down towards the long tunnel that lead to the opening underneath the city. He spent many hours reading at the ledge of that tunnel, poking out of the bottom of the floating city. It offered a beautiful view of Crystalsong Forest when he was younger. It was his main relaxation spot while he lived in Dalaran. The eye attempted to make the trek down the tunnel, but the magic began to dissipate. He had overextended his ability and could no longer channel the magic as the view changed back to his room.Mai’kull walked outside, leaning against the rail and looking down upon the city. This was his new “spot”. He reflected on his discovery as he watched the people below bustle around the city.
  4. Blizgroc stood atop the mountain range of Elwynn Forest, overlooking the Old Town of Stormwind City. Not two weeks ago, there was a mass of Horde Radicals who struck the city, rampaging about and causing all sorts of havoc. Now he had to sneak in to retrieve information, knowing damn well the city was on high alert, making his job ten times more difficult. The Shattered Hand had received a contract to Infiltrate SI:7 and the Stormwind Keep Library Records to gather census records on prominent Alliance Guilds. That kind of information could be gathered in so many more, less life-threatening means; but the contractor put down a hefty amount of gold to ensure he got the word “Straight from the Horse’s Mouth” so to speak. Had to respect the contractor’s attention to detail at least, even if it was HIS neck on the line, and not theirs… Blizgroc cloaked himself in the shadows as he made his way down the Cliffside into the courtyard of the Alliance Old Barracks. There was a monk in the courtyard pounding away at one of the target dummies, which caused Blizgroc to freeze for a moment before realizing it was too encompassed with its training to notice him. He watched the Guards patrol routine for a moment before slipping past and into the Headquarters of SI:7 Slipping in was easy enough, Renzik was outside also enthralled at the training monk, which made him easy enough to slip by. Bliz was not so worried about the others, and with Shaw out of commission from his recent encounter with the Nathrezim, his mission here was a piece of cake. He scanned the book shelves, noting the catalog cypher order he received from former contacts. They had a hand in here already, but deiced to pull them out after the attacks, which is why he was here now. He ran across a case dedicated to “Enemies of the State”. Several titles stood out, The Defias Brotherhood, the Syndicate, Various Factions within the Horde, one of the most recent books was on The Grim, the same faction that caused all this mess. Within the attic, locked in an old armoire Bliz found his target. It took him several minutes, as he exerted extra caution picking the lock quietly. Inside held several maps and charts noted the typical activity of several factions within the alliance itself all over Azeroth and beyond. There were few notes scribbled on from alliance commanders with mobilization notes; this would help the contractors pinpoint alliance positions. One job down, it was time to tackle the real problem: Stormwind Keep. Guards were going to be crawling everywhere in that place, and Bliz was going to have to act fast to get in and out without being spotted by their patrollers with additional stealth detection training. Staying off the streets was a priority, so he took to the roof tops, timing his Rocket Jump with the gunfire on the training range. He sprinted across the roof tops, as he headed away from Old Town and towards the Keep’s massive walls. He couldn’t call on his Wind Rider as the Alliance were patrolling the skies, of which he was worried they might also spot him with their blasted Hyper-Vision Goggles on. He quickly ascended the wall to the right of the keep, leading to the waterfall. There was no way he was going to make it all the way across the city to the Earthshrine , no that would be too easy. Instead he would have to take an alternate route… Grappling up the waterfall he donned his Deepdive Helmet and swam under the water around to the back of the Keep. He knew underwater the guards would not see him, and he knew that the guards never generally patrolled behind the keep along the mountain range, despite the NUMEROUS attacks the Horde would launch from that very mountain. His patience paid off and he was able to swing around to the eastern side of the Keep without being noticed. Watching the skies, he quickly climbed the stone walls into the Garden Area. Slipping back into the shadows, he surveyed the area and the guard pattern before slipping into the Library. There seemed to be an archology class going on in the library, but it was little concern of his, kept the potential witnesses occupied as he did his job. He had picked up a few names from the maps in SI:7, and began combing the Census Archives, nabbing files and small tomes on related guilds, rosters and achievement records and stowing them away in his bag. Just as he was ready to finish up and head out he heard a tiny “Bark” from behind him. Spinning around he stood face to face with a tiny little pug that was looking dead at him. “SHHHHH” he tried to silence the dog, but it only yipped at him again, causing a guard to poke his head around the corner. “Shit…” Bliz thougt as he took a full step back. “SKWISH” He had been tiptoeing all over the keep, and as the back of his heel hit the ground, he realized his boots were still full of water from his recent swim. But that was a mental anguish for later, as the Guard too heard the wet squish and now was homing in on the Goblins location. “SHIT SHIT SHIT!” he screamed as he bolted around the corner of the Library into the Gardens, Guards, and Crossbow Bolts in HOT pursuit. He attempted to vanish, but they had their sights square on him, tricks were not going to help him escape….all except one! He could feel the arrows and bolts pierce his flesh, the shallow slashes of the guards behind him lashing out with their longswords and pikes. He ignored his pain, tunnel vision on the exit as he jammed his helm on for one last ditch attempt for freedom…. ONE DAY LATER--- Mai’kull sat in the Purple Parlor, high atop the spires of Dalaran sipping on a Glass of Aged Dalaran Red and snacking on a slice of Sour Goat Cheese. Alfred approached the Archmage and handed him a small package, noting that it had just come in via paper zeppelin. The mage thanked the Kirin-Tor Butler and tipped him several gold. As the Human walked away Mai’kull began to flip through the contents of the package… ‘Money well spent’ he thought to himself, as he grinned malevolently at the rosters in his hands. This would prove MOST useful in his future endeavors.
  5. Mai’kull had been working hard ever since his ascension to Reaper for The Grim. He had already filled the book shelves next to him with documents on The Twisting Nether, Old Gods, The Legion, as well as countless maps of Battlegrounds across Azeroth and beyond. He felt that despite completing his supplicant trials, he still needed to prove his worth amongst his new brethren, still feeling as if he was nothing but a shadow on a wall to them. But constant work was numbing his hands, he could no longer tell where the Ink stopped and the blood began as he penned notes and reports on various topics. His mind too was turning to mush, he had to get his head out of the books and doing something refreshing. As he passed through the Halls of the Grim’s Fortress, he noticed a sign posted on the bulletin: Hallow's End marks the day the group of undead, who would later be known as the Forsaken, broke free of the Lich King's dominance and once again regained their free will. Mai'kull had always maintained his free-will, then again he was not one of the former scourge under the Lich King. Former Sin’Dorei Magi; He offered his life to Lady Sylvanas Windrunner after the fall of the Lich King, and was one of the first test subjects to be risen as the new Forsaken through the Val'kyr. To be honest, he never truly recovered from the cultural shock; the change from Quel’Dorei to Sin’Dorei was damming enough to him as a child, but to be stripped of his natural grace. His own people and friends looking down upon him, despite still being the same person he was. I guess now he understood more how the Forsaken felt, being former Quel’Dorei and Humans, adapting to a world who now despised or distrusted them. There had been many conversations among his own Guild members, about Mai’kulls obsession with his culture. Still choosing Thalassian over Gutterspeak, hiding his decaying face behind a mask, even clutching to his Orb of the Sin'dorei for moments of normality. Maybe it was time he embrace his newfound heritage. Leaving the Guild Hall, he set off to the Ruins of Lordaeron, where the final day of Wickerman Festival was taking place. He was sure that would be a good place to start...better late than never at least. The Scryer’s taught him that it was always important to go out and live in the world, rather than just protect it; else you forget why you devote yourself. Several little shops and stands were set up about the courtyard. Mai’kull mindlessly wandered between them, unsure of what to do or start. It wasn’t until he was called over by a Forsaken woman “Since your clearly not doing anything, how about giving me a hand?” she called out. He was to say, a little taken by her outburst, “Excuse me?” “Honey…you have been pacing the courtyard for 15 minutes, if you need to find something to do, get your bony keester over here and give me a hand!” Mai’kull felt a bit ashamed, she was right, he was at the point of contemplating finding an excuse to get back to his work before she called out to him. He begrudgingly approached her little tent and looked around, “So what is it you need help with?” he asked. “Candace Fenlow by the way, and glad you asked. The foolish Alliance have employed hags to fuel an attack on our city. Well, as my sister once told me, "Turnabout is fair play." We will gladly return the favor. Speak with my sister, and she will provide you with a broomstick flight over Stormwind. While over Stormwind, drop stink bombs on the city and on the people. Make them suffer! We will show those hags in Stormwind who is the most powerful.” “Stormwind…You want me to fly over Stormwind…and drop stink bombs over their city?” He asked, a tone of disbelief in his voice. Candace simply tossed a makeshift grenade in her hand and grinned “Bombs away, am I right?” ‘This is some bullshit…’ he thought to himself, but then considered this was probably part of the act. They probably have a small straw maze set up to resemble Stormwind, plenty of kids here to get them in on the spirit. He threw his hands up in mental defeat “Oh what the hell…Lets go!” He approached the sister and watched as she summoned up her Magical Broom. Mai’kull was handed a large sack of Stinkbombs as the Forsaken Witch tossed an unknown magical potion in the air which fell back down coating the two undead and the broom. “Hop on, This is going to be one wild ride!” she said. Mai’kull did as instructed and hopped onto the back of the broom, and quickly grabbed for support as the Witch blasted off into the air. ‘Kinda fast for a kids ride?’ he thought to himself as he rocketed for the clouds. Just then a portal opened up before them and without a chance to speak or react, the pair disappeared from the sky. ‘HOLY SHIT!’ he mentally screamed as the rooftops of the Human Capital zoomed under his feet. “Wait…Were…WHAT?!” he began, but the witch only laughed as Mai’kull was clearly losing his mind. “Relax Kiddo, were safe! I’m maintaining the Invisibility Potion, so they can’t see us. As long as you don’t cast magic, and just chunk the bombs over that I gave you, we will be fine!” The realization became apparent as they whizzed past an unsuspecting Flying Griffon Rider. “They stink up their city, we repay the favor in kind, So common Cadaver, and fling those foul fumes!” After the first pass, Mai’kull calmed down. Once again he was embarrassed by his disbelief, he could think of a million things he could be doing with this opportunity had he been given proper warning, but the time for debating was over. He was out here to stop thinking and just do, and that he did. Reaching into his pack he cast out the first few bombs, landing in various places. The Witch scoffed “My Grandmother throws better than that, and she’s cremated!” ‘Oh Really?’ he thought, taking up the Witches Challenge. Lions Rest, The Cathedral of Light, The Orphanage, The Market House, Even an unsuspecting baker standing outside selling his wears, none were safe from the Archmage’s Oder Onslaught. The pair of them laughed as another Stink Bomb fell amongst a squadron of soldiers in formation, causing them to break ranks and hold their noses. “OH YOU GOTTEM THERE BOY!” “Oh, I think that one puked in his helm!” Mai’kull laughed, watching a human soldier rush for the waters edge. Deciding not to press their luck, the Witch opened a portal outside the Stormwind Harbor and the two set back down in the Ruins of Lordaeron a minute later. Dismounting, and almost collapsing to the ground in laughter, they were met by Candace. “How did it go?.” She smirked. The sister was caught up on the details of their escapades, and too joined in the laughter “That baker looked like a Griffon shit on his head, it was PRICELESS!” The witch cackled. Once Candace settled her lungs, she withdrew a small crystal from her robes. “Well It seems that in response to our stink bombing Stormwind, the Alliance has decided to stink bomb our city. Fortunately, we have magics that can handle the stink the Alliance bring us. Mai’kull, can you use this Arcane Cleanser to remove the stink fumes from the sewers. Honestly the potency from the alliance is nothing compared to our own, but out-of-town visitors have been complaining to the guards.” Mai’kull took the item from her without hesitation and nodded. “Ill take care of it.” ’That was fun’ he thought to himself as he descended the elevators from the Throne Room to the Sewers. He was glad he got out and did this. Sin’Dorei were always so stuck up and proper, you could barley find one to actually loosen up around. The Scryers were never like that, he felt it almost disappointing when the Dark Portal opened up and he came back home, full of aristocratic, judgmental, holier-than-tho assholes, the damn lot of them. Though crude and a bit more vile than he was accustom too, the Forsaken were allright. Taking a trip around the inner and outer rings of the Undercity, Mai’kull was able to clean up the fumes left behind by the Alliance Hags. The Arcane Cleanser efficiently caused a wind vacuum that dissipated each stink cloud within seconds. He returned topside to meet up with Candace again and let her know the task was complete, for now. “Oh im glad you’re here. There's something wrong with my friend, Edgar. Normally, he loves the Hallow's End festivities, but he's been sullen and reclusive lately. He spends all his time in the Broken Tusk in Orgrimmar drinking with the orcs. Would you mind stopping by and seeing if there's anything you can do to cheer him up? If you’re not too busy that is, I know how quickly you Mages can pop too and from as you do.” Mai’kull felt it was only fair to aid the Forsaken, as she had given him the best time of his undead life in quite some time. He agreed to find this Edgar and see what he could do. Mai’kull wasn’t much of a people person, but if the guy was drunk and depressed, he didn’t feel he could do much more damage. With a quick port, Mai’kull began the accent from the Cleft of Shadows into the Valley of Strenght. Edgar was literally the only other Undead in the bar, so he wasn’t hard to find. Just as Mai’kull went to approach him, the Forsaken took a swig of his drink and belched out, “Candace sent you? She knows me too well. I've hit a rut in my research and I've been waiting for a very important delivery, but the courier's late...” “Well, you want me to tell Candace not to worry?” Mai’kull asked, thinking to himself for a moment ‘Well that was easy…’ “No…See. The delivery is here in Orgrimmar, somewhere. I told that courier to take the zeppelin, but no, he had to use the goblin ship! Well, now he's late and my precious family heirlooms are with him. If you're willing to help, would you go down to the docks east of Orgrimmar, and see what's keeping him?” ‘Nevermind…’ Sometimes, you have to admire Goblin Engineering. The technology in Area 52, Horde Gunships, The Goblin Submarines …Then the build shit like this, and it makes you realize, Goblin Engineering is REALLY hit and miss. Mai’kull quickly boarded the scrapheap—I mean ship, and looked around. A lower cartel with precious little funds must have constructed this monstrosity. And as where it was sea-worthy at least, it was probably due to the fact the sea floor didn’t want to be littered with it. He approached one of the deckhands, “Excuse me, Im looking for an Orc Currier who booked passage on this ship…know where he might be?” The tiny goblin looked at Mai’kull for a second before grinning. “I dunno…depends on who’s askin!” it smirked. ‘Great…hes one of THOES goblins…’ the Mage thought before engulfing himself in Combusting flames. He did NOT have the time or patience for this kind of crap, and he wasn’t going to let this little green shit-stain ruin his good mood. Taking the hint, the deckhand quickly jumped back, “OK OK, I aint paid to keep secrets, He’s up there!” he screeched, pointing towards the cabins. Mai’kull shook his hands out, extinguishing the flames before smiling and giving a thankful bow to the little creature. Mai’kull found the room all right, and the Courier, and the knife sticking out of his back. ‘Well this just keeps getting better and better…’ he thought to himself as he examined the room. It did not appear to be a struggle, no signs or clues of who or what attacked the Orc. And no sign of the package to be delivered. Possibly a robbery. He contemplated the crew, but then again they would have dumped the body overboard…assuming they were that intelligent. But as he reached down to examine the body, a swarm of minute little spiderlings came bursting forth out of the Orc’s body. Mai’kull retracted quickly, but it was apparent they were not attacking, more so leaving the ship, in a nice and neat little line. Mai’kull left the room and watched as the scores of insects poured from the room onto the ship and then then leaped to the dock. What was a bit more suppressing was that no one was paying them any mind. ‘Am I going crazy?’ he considered, before quickly giving chase to the conga line of critters. Down the docks, and all the way across Bladefist Bay, Mai’kull chased the never ending stream of skitters, who were filing in order down the path. As he ran, he could almost feel them passing through his feet. Curiosity tempted him and he stepped down on one, only to find it phased through him and continued to march on. ‘Well at least that explains a few things…’ he considered. The line had finally reached the gates of Orgrimmar, making a neat turn into the city. Once again no one else paid mind to the spider stream scuttling into the city, so Mai’kull slowed to a brisk pace. It probably had something to do with the corpse he touched, which attuned him to whatever realm these spiders were from, and he was certain they were leading him down the path of whom ever had killed him and taken the package meant for Edgar. Past the bar and straight into the Auction House, the spiders continued their march, but Mai’kull could tell they were getting fewer in number. Perhaps the magic was fading away. But not before leading them straight to a particular culprit. The Goblin Auctioneer Drezmit stood in his perch, and Mai’kull could tell he was unnerved, perhaps he could see the spiders too. “Have I got a deal for you! Can I interest you in a payment plan?!” Drezmit asked in a forced cheery voice, as Mai’kull approached his perch. “No, but I would be delighted to hear of some questionable merchandise of a now dead courier and some spectral spiders…” the Archmage said coldly. “Keep your voice down and don't let word of this get out or I'm finished as an auctioneer!!” the goblin hissed. He bent down, nervously glancing at his other co-workers before continuing in a hushed voice, “Look, I told that shady character that there might be a shop more open to his, uh, wares in the Drag. Droffer's and Son Salvage is the name of the place. Look for Dran Droffers. He oversees the 'salvage' of rare and valuable objects from all over Azeroth. That’s all I did, I didn’t take nothin, we run a legit business here.” “Oh, and I’m sure I wont find that Mr. Droffer wont have a percentage of the ‘Finders Fee’ waiting for you as well?” Mai’kull snapped. “Hay, half the gold that funnels through these auction houses are taken off the corpses of your enemies out there. I don’t ask where it comes from from you, nor would I from…charitable donations. Guy’s gatta make a livin ya know!” Shady, yes…almost all Goblins were; but Guilty? No…This one was just the contact point. The spectral spiders had all but disappeared by this point so Mai’kull continued on with his lead, Droffer's and Son Salvage. It was a little hut right before the Valley of Honor. He remembered passing it several times while in the city, but never paid it any attention. Guess that’s what a good smuggling business counted on. It had appeared as if he arrived just in time, both Shop keepers Dran and Malton Droffers were in, and arguing with a Blood Elf. Mai’kull stood by the doorway listening in for a few minutes to assess the situation. Delian Sunshade says: “There's no point in denying it, Dran! That thief knew exactly where to bring his stolen goods. Dran Droffers says: “I don't know what you're talking about, elf, and I don't appreciate you pokin' around in my business! Dran Droffers says: “I do seem to have mistakenly come into possession of some artifacts from Uldum. Perhaps the Reliquary is interested in those? Delian Sunshade says: “Shall we see what the grunts have to say about your stolen antiquities? Dran Droffers says: “Fine, Fine. I may have helped him contact an interested buyer. But keep your voice down! You'll scare away my customers. Delian Sunshade says: “Now we're getting somewhere... Delian turns to face Mai’kull and says: “And you, what's your interest” “I was coming to ask them the same questions…” Maikull replied, in Thalassian . The Elf was a bit taken from hearing its native language out of the mouth of the Undead, most were at first, but quickly regained composure, a bit relived to be able to hold a conversation the Orcs could not follow. “You look like you know something about these missing goods.” “I was asked by an interested party to investigate what happened to their delivery, Tried to talk to the courier, but he’s dead, and I’m not a warlock.” The Sin’Dorei laughed a bit, “So someone else hired you to retrieve this crate? I don't like the sound of that. That crate's contents belong in the care of the Reliquary. The items it holds are very powerful and very dangerous. We have to find the meeting that Dran set up between the thief and the collector, but first, we'll need to protect ourselves from the effects of handling that crate. Ill buy some arcane powder from a reagent merchant, and get vials from an alchemy merchant, if you can pick some blood nettle in the Valley of Wisdom. With that I can whip up a concoction that should protect us from the worst effects of carrying or handling the crate. We can work out who owns what as soon as we have it back out of thieves hands.” A sound plan, Mai’kull set out to the valley to the west of the little shop and took little to no time finding the right plant. Thankfully he had just begun to study alchemy, or else he would have no idea what he was looking for. Gathering the herbs gave him time to think. ‘Edgar was either lying to me about owning that package, or was unaware it was stolen. Either way this is turning into a nice little clusterfuck.’ Once he had all the ingrediants, he met up with the Elf back at the shop. The Orcs seemed displeased he was still there, but his threats to go to the guards kept them in line. After a small bout of trial and error, only enough potion remained for one protection spell. The two looked at one another, and the Elf’s eyes fell onto Mai’Kulls blade. “Is that Felo’melorn?!” he asked. “Yes, I claimed it from Lyandra Sunstrider in Icecrown Citadel not long ago.” “Then perhaps you can be trusted, here, take this. According to Dran, the "collector" who wants the crate is none other than the insane Archmage Xylem of Azshara. The archmage's faithful servant is to meet with the man who has the crate in a secluded corner of the courtyard in the Ruins of Lordaeron. You must get there in time to intercept the exchange and retrieve the crate before Xylem gets his hands on it. If you can get the crate, meet me at the Wyvern's Tail in the Valley of Honor.” Mai’kull wasted no time summoning a portal back to the Undercity. Mai’kull quickly met up with Candace to update her on her friend’s condition. Then he headed up the stairs from the Courtyard to finish this trivial quest. But as he past the landing, he stumbled across a solemn sight. Laying on the pavement was the body of a fallen forsaken. His eyes black as coal, his body once more cold, the second life that once breathed through this body was gone. “What the hell?!” Mai’kull could once again see several spectral spiders crawling around on the ground amongst the corpse. The same foul magic that accursed him on the boat had returned. Taking his que he took the potion given to him by Delian, which did little to lessen the effects. ‘Wonderful…’ As Mai’kull continued down the path, the magic in the air grew thicker, and so did the body count. “How the HELL are the abominations not noticing this!?” just as his words rang out, a crackle of void energy struck the ground next to him, damn near causing him to jump out of his skin. He grasped his blade for a moment, but there was no enemy in sight, just the energy in the air reacting upon itself. He could see surges of power in the mists around him, whatever was causing all this was getting close. There, standing over another Forsaken was a Sin’Dorei. Dark energy surging from its hands into the lifeless corpse before him, and right in-between the two was a mysterious crate. “Archmage Xylem does not bargain with the likes of you, ruffian. There shall be no payment!” the Blood Elf cackled at his victim. Filled with remorse and rage for his fallen people, Mai’kull burst into flames, roaring in anger he called out to the Elf, “HAY GOLDILOCKS! TRY THAT SHIT WITH ME!” The elf turned his attention to Mai’kull and only chuckled at his display of power, “What's this, an intruder? Let's see what the artifacts inside this box can do, shall we?” The elf hopped to the back side of the crate and kicked it over. Dark magic oozed out of the cracks in the crate, and slowly formed a giant void walker which stood before Mai’kull. The Sin’Dorei Magister couldn’t look more smug as the Void walker descended upon Mai’kull. Unfortunate for him, Mai’kull had previously mastered the Manual of Void-Calling granting him the power of dominion over Void walkers, and with but a snap of his fingers, the creature was banished back into the nether. “This isn't supposed to happen!” the elf cried out, now nothing standing between him and the extremely pissed off Forsaken Mage. The look of shock and horror now painted on his face bought joy to the undead’s heart, he always loved it when smug bastards got their just deserves. The elf jumped back and prepared a spell in his hands. Mai’kull allowed him, he could feel his power from here, and it was NOTHING compaired to his own, it was the magic from the crate that was filling the air around him, not the Elf. However he realized his lapse in judgement all but too late. The -attack- he was anticipating from the elf, was in fact a teleport spell masked in an arcane fold. “NO!” Mai’kull roared, reaching out with his hands and spewing Dragons Breath across the courtyard. It was too late however, as the blasted mage had escaped him, teleporting away to safety. It would have been too much of a hassle to tap into the lay-line flows and try and follow him now. Mai’kull cursed himself as he stood alone in the Ruins, the bodies of his people laying all around. He had informed the Deathguards, who quickly quarantined off the area and began clean up. The crate was secured in Mai’kulls pack before they got there. He explained everything he saw, and gave them the information he knew about Sanath Lim-yo before he was released. They were going to do what they could to keep this “incident” from spreading to the festivities, as to not dampen the mood, and Mai’kull understood. As he walked the path back in Ogrimmar, he reflected on what all had occurred. Though his expedition outside had been quite fun in the beginning, it quickly went sour fast, and he could not wait to be through so he could return to his work. Crate in hand, Mai’kull stood outside the Wyvern's Tail in the Valley of Honor, where he was to meet the Sin’Dorei. He withdrew his Orb of Sin’Dorei from his pocket, intent on meeting the other Magister face-to-face so to speak, but stopped. Why…What did that Sin’Dorei mean to him, that he would hand over the crate so easily? What of Edgar…and the Forsaken who died because of this package. Why continue to masquerade himself just to feel like he fit in. Oddly enough his current choice mocked his mental struggle….to choose between the Sin’Dorei or the Forsaken. Candace welcomed him with open arms, without a thought, her sister brought him laughter, despite how he looked, they didn’t judge…maybe it was time he started to let go of his former life. Nothing was going to bring him back to the way he was…his death was his choice, and he had to live with that now, with his own people…and with that, he put the orb back in his pocket. Back in the Broken Tusk bar, Mai’kull handed Edgar the package. “Fuck you by the way…you could have given me all the details on this…” Edgar laughed, “Sorry friend, didn’t realize the seal had cracked on it…never send an Orc to perform a delicate operation that’s for sure. I trust it didn’t cause you too much trouble? Candace told me about the deaths…I had no idea.” Mai’kull nodded and took a drink from the table, “It’s fine… they took the fallen to the Val'kyr, in hopes of bringing them back. Mostly going to hunt down that low-born slave who caused all of this…hope it was worth it at least.” “To be honest, I never thought you'd be able to recover it. Well, let's see it!” Edgar exclaimed, his mood generally uplifted. He traced a magical rune over the top of the crate which seemed to sedate whatever was inside. Opening the lid, it looked as if it were filled to the brim with black oil like gas. Edgar reached in and withdrew a relic inside and closed the lid again. As soon as the lid closed, the crate began to rumble. “It should be fine now, a simple void guardian however it was feeding on this, which increased its strength and caused all that havoc.” Edgar explained. ”You can keep it if you like, as a token of my thanks. They are very helpful in protecting valuables, and even feast on common critters.” Mai’kull lifted the box and examined it. The lid creaked open a bit, showing the shadowy darkness within and a pair of red glowing eyes. This Spooky little box was a perfect token for his first true Hallows End celebration. “Thank you.” Mai’kull said, nodding to Edgar. “Victory for Sylvanas!” “Happy Hollows End!” After summoning another portal, Mai’kull walked out of the gates of Lordaeron back towards The Grim’s Guild Hall. He sat back down at his desk and looked at the paperwork before him. In his lap lay the slightly rumbling little crate he had received. It was moments like this that renewed his lust to annihilate all enemies of the Horde so that they could live in peace, such as this night, every night. “Peace through annihilation….Victory for Sylvanas” he whispered into the night and grabbed a new scroll off his shelf.
  6. A crisp sheet of parchment is nailed to the common use notification board in many major Horde cities. ((Tentative Date is Sept 17th, 7:30pm Server time. The only rule is NO LEGENDARY RING. Flask, food, and potions are allowed))