Chasing Shadows ((Story))

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Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:06 am

Present Day

Gadgetzan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Goblin shops never really changed, regardless of location, season or owner. Smoke pouring out of one was never too much to look at, but it was when it appeared that half the shop had been leveled that at least a couple of questions were asked. Apart from the bruisers and a few onlookers, only one being stood out around the perimeter; a relatively normal looking human in dark rawhide armor with a black cowl over his head.

Wisps of smoke still flowed from the debris, yet no fires burned. The interior of the shop was now in plain sight to all, and allowed the damage to be more extensively viewed. Many of the heavy machines had been thrown, sheared in two, or just completely disintegrated by the blast. With the machinery so badly damaged, it was unsurprising to see weapons, completed or not, along with spare parts and ammunition strewn about. But there was no sign of life inside.

A cursory walk around the shop confirmed the human’s suspicions upon reading the sign on the still intact front of the building: “Ironbore Weapons”.

“I was really hoping I was misinformed this time…” Regit spoke with a noticeable amount of dread in his voice.

“Why?” One of the bruisers spoke up as the human paced back around to the debris.

“Because it means that there is a typhoon of trouble on the horizon, and it’s headed this way.” He had a good idea what had caused the explosion, and knew it was nothing the insane little owner of the shop could or would have cooked up for any reason. Stepping over part of the fallen wall, Regit noted a number of parchments partially burned and scattered amongst the destruction. All of them had sketches and measurements for an uncountable number of weapon ideas.

“Hey, you can’t go in there! Stormwind has no authority here!” The same bruiser spoke up as the human continued in.

“It’s alright; I’m a… an acquaintance of the owner. I need to make sure he’s all right.” It was a terrible lie, but it was enough to convince the goblin guard. If Regit could go the rest of his life without ever dealing with Zelg Ironbore again, he would possibly be one of the happiest men in the realm.

Inside, he could hear embers crackle, and the smell of death was all around him. Yet, there were no bodies, no fluids of any kind; just charred wall fragments and machinery. He had seen the shop numerous times, regrettably, and could almost picture where most of the machinery was supposed to be and how it was supposed to look brand new, or at least not damaged. The rogue’s boot unintentionally kicked what was left of a small, single shot pistol, its barrel almost bent completely backwards.

A sudden groan caught Regit’s attention from across the shop. On the far side was an undamaged wall that separated the machinery room from the storefront. What looked like half a door with a small trail of red fluid beneath slid but barely forward, remaining at an odd angle to the wall. Removing the remains of the door revealed a dark skinned goblin slumped against the wall with a small trail of blood leading up to what had to be a shattered nose.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t the first time Zelg had the same appendage near maimed by something of his own doing. Another groan escaped the soot covered face of the already dark skinned gunsmith as he slowly came to.

“I-is the pot roast ready yet?” Clearly disoriented and probably concussed, Regit was still taken back by how random and stupid the remark was given the situation... no matter what happened. The back of his hand met Ironbore’s face if a “clap” in an attempt to wake him up.

For a couple seconds the goblin remained silent, though his face looked like someone who had just been slapped; shocked.

“AAAARGGHHH! Ohhhhh… What was that for?!”

“Pot roast?! Do you have any idea what just happened?” Again, it took the goblin a moment for everything to sink in.

“What do you me- MY SHOP!!!” Brushing past the human, Zelg began to look around the ruins that were once his means for manufacturing. “How did this happen?! It’s impossible!”

“Where is he, Zelg?” The amount of care that Regit seemed to have for the goblins shop was almost sickening, yet expected. As were any questions that were bound to rise up.

“Who?! Does it really look like someone I know did this?!”

“I can think of one, actually. And both of us know him.” The goblin seemed to stop fretting about the near total destruction of his property. He never thought he would have another inquiry into the subject for as long as he lived. Which, oddly enough, was about the same amount of time it would take for him to repay all the loans he was going to take out to rebuild his business.

“I have no idea who or what you’re talking about, you alley skulking snake. On an related note, I believe you still owe me-…” Turning pistol in hand, the goblin found himself aiming at what looked like a man sized blob of thick smoke. The blob just seemed to swirl away into nothing, but, that was impossible! Regit was just standing right there! “ …money?”

Something cold and unmistakably sharp pressed into his neck without breaking the skin, confirming the impossible had happened. The same dense smoke seemed to roll over him from behind; he could almost feel the human’s presence.

“High carbon content, nicely folded… bit of mithril and cobalt I see to keep the weight down. Nice to see they’re keeping you lot up to date!” As he finished, Zelg spun away from the blade 180 degrees, firing as the sights lined up with Regit’s chest.

For such a small weapon, the Model 710 Mk IV pistol he had devised years ago was damn near deafening and a real wrist breaker. The slug was almost three quarters of an inch in diameter, and had enough propellant in its case to open a medium sized safe. The muzzle flash illuminated the room and his target briefly, but as it faded the same smoke bank replaced the human once more. Beyond, an orange sized had been punched in the wall that he was once pinned against..

Ignoring the ringing in his ears from the pint sized thunderclap, Zelg stared in disbelief; the human was supposed to be dead now! Nothing could survive, let alone dodge, a shot at such close range!

“Impossible…” No sooner than the word dripped from his mouth, the air around the goblin seemed to explode in a haze of the odd dark smoke. The first was a puff of smoke, shaped similarly to a fist, knocking his weapon from his hand. The net two he could not identify which body parts they most closely resembled, but both blows found their marks in his gut and already shattered nose.

The final strike he never saw, but it caught him in the back of the head and forced him to the ground. Just in front of him, he saw his weapon with two shots still loaded. But, as he reached a black boot seemed to materialize out of the now annoying smoke cloud, pinning his hand painfully to the ground. Looking up, the same sword was now pointed right between his yellow eyes; following the blade back he saw Regit glaring down at him.

“Where. Is. HE?”


((Oh, hullo. This is a relatively short story I decided to hammer out, following the actions of one of my lesser used characters; Regit Fahey, among others. With the exception of this first post, this story takes place only a short while after my last story, Requiem for the Damned from the WoW forums, which focused on Alarde’s turning. Post 1 here is slated to take place at some point after  Izdazi’s Chains of Command. And to answer what I think would be an upcoming question; yes, something will be coming down the pipe after this is done, that just might be open to others. This may serve as a multi post intro, although that will not be until Chains has gone further.))


Last edited by Alarde Orig on Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:35 am

~~~~Months earlier~~~~~

It felt good to be back in the Eastern Kingdoms, especially coming from the frozen hell of a warzone that Northrend was. Regit probably could have been happier if he weren’t returning to his superiors to report on his operations, but home was home. Headquarters was as calm as ever, but equally as intimidating; it was always strange how a silence could rival the sounds of battle in terms of creating anxiety. Probably the fact that at least a dozen skilled assassins were watching him had something to do with it.

“Afternoon, Fahey.” An old, ragged voice came from the doorway to a small barracks. The man who spoke appeared thin, wearing old armor and a dark shroud to cover his head.

“Major,” he had dealt with this one numerous times, and was fairly certain the man was responsible for Regit’s deployment to Northrend; operation Riptide. “ ‘Was not expecting to meet with you today.”

“Change of plans. Shaw’s away on official business, so I will be debriefing you and shall pass it on to him.”

“I guess it makes things a bit easier, not having to speak with the big man. And it is much nicer here than up north.” Following the Major inside, Regit was half-expecting to be cracked upside the head by something blunt for whatever reason the higher ups had come up with. Instead, he was led incident free to a small room with a desk and chairs.

“Upon receiving your initial message, we were unfortunately unable to get anyone to aid you,” As both took their seat, Regit let out a loud chuckle.

“That was pretty obvious,” There was no response from the Major, causing the black haired human to cough uncomfortably. “My apologies. It was a very rough series of events.”

“So we found out… Further with your message, you were certain it was him?”

“It was Alarde alright. But, what the Scourge did to him… It didn’t seem possible at first, until I saw him with my own two eyes. His powers were almost unprecedented in others we have dealt with.” He could still see so many lives ending before his eyes, all at the hands of such a cold blooded killer.

“Any others from Riptide that were converted?”

“None that I could see; Windraiser became my focus once I figured out what was going on.”

“Any other targets that were in the area?” The old man had begun to write down what was being said as Regit began to list names.

“Other than those mentioned, and others who were assets in Riptide, there was one more encountered. And I don’t think you’re going to be happy with it.”

“Just name him, Fahey.” The Major spoke without looking up, while Regit let out an audible sigh.

“Ca-… Captain Leonard Cross.” The man sitting across from him stopped writing instantly, and his quill had actually begin to shake lightly.

“I know you did not just say the name I that I just heard.” There was an awkward silence as Regit began to fear for his life, swallowing loudly and nodding. “You did…”

“S-sir, if I understand correctly, he was the one-“

“Who trained a large number of our men, and was responsible for Alarde and all the others who up and vanished. He and all the other deserters are war criminals as far as Stormwind is concerned.” The rogue almost felt his jaw snap shut as his superior interrupted him in a very angry tone. “Where is he now?”

Another awkward silence passed as Regit regained his composure; he was not entirely sure this man would believe the truth.

“Dead.”

“Don’t play games with me, Sergeant. This man vanished completely years ago, never to be seen again and mere weeks before his own execution sentence. We sent a number of our best assassins to track him down and kill him; none returned. Now you have the balls to say he confronted you and then died in Northrend?!” It wouldn’t have taken a genius to know Regit’s story was being picked apart. “Pray tell, how did he die?”

Fahey shifted uncomfortably as he began retelling every part of the story that concerned the late Captain. None of the moments could really be described with any form of a positive tone, as things seemed to be on a constant downhill roll from worse to apocalyptic.

“…and finally, he confronted Alarde. I uh… I can only surmise he was trying to buy us time to either escape, or try to pull off something to drive that psycho off.”

Windraiser killed Cross?” The major sounded a tiny bit surprised, but his face soon twisted into an almost happy expression.

“Yes sir. It um, looked for a moment or two like he could have bested Alarde. But, an undead juggernaut against an aging, deserting officer… the result was inevitable in my mind. Cross was good, but-“

“He was one of the best. However that little detail about who- killed-who does help your credibility along. And this can be verified I assume?” The tension in the air seemed to be deflating for the moment, allowing Regit to relax a little bit.

“Yes, sir. Those men from the Hold that aided me watched it happen, and assuming they are still alive I think they would be less than happy to corroborate.”

“And so, after slaying the bastard, Windraiser mauled the elf with the drake, and then flew off? No more heads rolled?” He only got a curt nod from the sergeant. “Why?”

“All I can think of is that his goal was acquiring that artifact, not killing us. And so that’s why he left.” The major had continued writing now, which was almost worrying. He finally stopped after what looked like a signature, standing up and folding the scribble covered parchment multiple times.

“Well Sergeant Fahey, you survived a situation that went quickly from bad, to shit riddled, and confirmed the death of a “known” fugitive. I dare say job well done.” He was caught completely off guard by the tail end complement.

“Sir, I don’t understand; Alarde, the artifact he was searching for, and what that artifact did are all still unaccounted for. How is that possibly a success? For all we know, the Scourge could be on the brink of-“

“The Lich King has fallen, Regit. The Scourge is no longer our greatest threat.” He had heard rumors that a major blow had been struck against the undead, but the ferocity of their attacks seemed unchanged. “New threats are on the horizon, and those are for others here to deal with. You have a new assignment.”

Fahey had finally begun to stand up, still a little bewildered by everything. He was sure he would have been arrested for something like treason, or at the absolute least reprimanded for screwing up his initial assignment.

“You are to report immediately to Theramore. There is much to learn, and I believe you are our best choice for this matter.”

“Theramore, Sir?”

“Yes, that fortress is both the most recent and longest duration stationing for our friend Leonard Cross; subsequently the same goes for Mr. Windraiser. Go there, and find out anything you can about the man.” The door had been opened for him to leave, but Regit did not budge.

“Why me, sir? Why now?”

“You, because you have proven your worth and trust, and because it appears you are useless as a front line enforcer.” Although the last comment was true, it still stung. “And as for why; it is because he has been unaccounted for, for the last few years.  We couldn’t risk sending someone to really investigate without potentially tipping him off, and forcing any useful information to be destroyed. We know he is dead now, and so anything worth finding will surely still be there. Any more questions?”

“No, sir.” For once, Regit felt happy about an assignment. It was probably because this one didn’t involve walking straight into death’s waiting arms.

“Then go. We expect you will keep us completely informed, and we shall do the same.”
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:22 am

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3 Days Later: Theramore ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Walking off the ship, Regit was greeted by the familiar haze of the marsh. He hadn’t visited the fort all that much, especially when compared to Alarde or Cross, both of whom had been stationed there in the past; he never had much reason to. And now he had even less for future visits as it was just a straight up dreary place to be.

There was the usual activity for any Alliance fort and town, but it just felt depressing with the weather. Personally, he did not want to spend too long in the fort and made quickly for the main gate of the barracks. Two guards stood watch as the black clad human briskly approached.

“ ‘Afternoon, gentlemen. Sergeant Fahey, Stormwind Intelligence.” Both guards threw a quick salute, which Regit returned. “I’m here to investigate a recently departed officer.”

“This is news to us, sir. No word from anyone above about an investigation, nor has anyone recently left.” The first guard responded, sounding like he was a little new to his post. The second remained silent and avoided all eye contact with Regit.

“Well you needn’t worry about any interference on my part, I am simply here to investigate where he was stationed. The man in question is… was Captain Cross.” At this the silent guard slowly turned his head to look at the rogue, who responded quickly. “You know who I speak of.”

All he got was a slow nod from this one, while the other seemed perplexed. “There isn’t anyone here by that name and rank.”

“There was, son. He’s been gone a long time now.” Someone who actually knows who I’m talking about… that’s new.

“And you are…?”

“Carson.”

“Well, Carson, since you know who I speak of, would you mind showing me to his quarters? It will make this process quick and painless for all.”

“Right this way, sir.” It was clear that this Carson had no real interest in showing Regit to his destination, while the more talkative simply followed along unaware of the tension. The main barracks was not exactly a maze, and soon enough the trio arrived on the second floor. Before them stood a door with a rather large, ornate padlock holding it shut.

“Unfortunately, he has been gone so long that the key has gone missing.”

“No matter; I know how to open such things.” Before the rogue could get to work, the knowledgeable of the two guards stepped in front of him.

“No key, eh? Are you su-“ Before the man could finish, Fahey rapidly produce his small, leather backed badge. Carson’s eyes narrowed, before turning away.

“That will be all gentlemen, you may return to your posts.”

~~~~~

The lock clattered to the floor, allowing the door to creek open. Beyond lay a room that seemed to have been almost forgotten by time. Dust covering every flat service and spider webs abridging any surfaces possible. Just enough light made its way through the windows to illuminate everything, but to make things easier Regit lit a few of the lamps on the walls.

First impressions seemed to indicate that no one had set foot in this room since it had been locked up. Everything was neat and undisturbed, albeit dust covered, not even some stray footprints to say that previous investigations had been carried out. They were not joking when they said no one tried to look for evidence here.

There were distinct shapes under the dust on the desk’s surface, each the size of standard parchments used for, among other things, wanted posters. Gently, the rogue picked one off the desk, allowing the dust to fall away and reveal the faded text. It was a letter, and appeared crumpled and stained in areas.


A,

I warned you that this day would come. I warned you she would be deemed a liability and cut out like a tumor. Now, you have a choice of damnations; a decision where either way your life as you know it will end.

Attached are the extended profiles of the two responsible for all that transpired and brought you into this world of shadows and lies. As well they are responsible for taking that which you held closest to your heart, something I wish could have been avoided. They may not have been the ones who picked you or her, but they carried out their orders without second thought.

Your choices are thus; burn these documents and continue to serve the Alliance. This will prove your loyalty to Stormwind, but it will not stop them from dealing with you when the time comes. If you continue, then she will not be the last to fall for association with you, and you may become responsible for others who end up like you. I would not deem you trustworthy if you chose this path, but then again no one will ever place their trust in me as a deserter.

Or, you can take this information and make them pay for their actions. You will be labeled a traitor and will draw out the full wrath of SI:7, but you will not be alone in this fight. You have allies whom you have never met, and yet they will hide you when asked to. You will need to sever all other ties you may have before this undertaking, and your odds or surviving are slim, but you will shake them to their core.

I have taught you everything you need to know in order to survive, and I will be watching to see how these events unfold.

Farewell, friend.

~C.
“That’s how he did it… Cross tipped him off.” Regit murmured to himself as he read the letter. He remembered vividly what had happened just prior to Alarde’s disappearance. SI:7 had just ordered his fiancé to be killed for “knowing too much”, leaving his friend and superior utterly decimated. Regit had actually been assigned to keep an eye on the elf to see if he would retaliate, but for months nothing happened. Alarde would just stay inside for days on end, only leaving for occasional trips to Theramore.

Then one day, he snapped. Regit had watched him lead his mount, a black sabre cat, to the graveyard where he stood over his lover’s grave for just long enough for Regit to get closer. He watched Alarde place a black rose on the ground before turning and walking towards the human.

It was almost surreal as he seemed perfectly calm through the entire process. Regit remembered him placing a massive hand on his shoulder, as if to say something before departing. Instead, it grabbed hold of him while his other fist flew across and cold-clocked the rogue with one strike.

A week later, two agents went missing before their mangled bodies were discovered in an abandoned building just outside of Ratchet. A truly grim memory, but Regit now understood why the elf had done everything. And why his superiors were so sour about the subject.

Both had deserted, both were wanted for treason, and yet Alarde had been like a flickering candle. He was constantly disappearing and then reappearing almost at random before finally staying hidden too long and becoming cornered. Cross on the other hand, vanished at least a year prior to the crazed elf, and stayed that way until the events in Northrend. The rest, sadly, was history.

I still don’t know whether to view this man as a hero or a traitor… But I guess that’s Shaw’s decision, not mine. With a creek, one of the small drawers slid open and from it the rogue plucked a stray piece of parchment; this one seemed even more faded than the last. And somehow more morbid.

Rumors have begun to circle about their distrust of me. I don’t blame them. These operations have gone on long enough; far too many innocent lives have been sacrificed in the name of protecting the Alliance.

My own contingency plans have been enacted in an effort to keep their noses pointed in the wrong direction. My successor will have to bear this burden until he either dies or follows suit. His fiancé may be his own undoing, but he has been thoroughly warned; Shaw and his filth will stop at nothing to preserve their secrecy, especially outside of Stormwind. Last month she was almost targeted for simply speaking his name near the wrong people in Ashenvale.

I give it a week at most before they come to “collect” me. All they will collect is my resignation and reprimands for failing their mission. But, I know this will not be the end; there is only one way out for those who walk this cursed path. They will come for me until they watch every last ounce of my blood drain, and even then they will continue to burn their bridges until anyone who knew my face is six feet under with their mouths sown shut.

I don’t know who will read this, but whoever does should take heed of this warning; justice is dead.
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:58 am

Regit continued to dust off assorted documents from on and inside the desk, looking for anything else that may reveal something about the mental workings of Cross. However, only the first two said anything, which was that this man seemed to always be multiple steps ahead of anyone he had ever met. Everything else was either a record of wanted individuals and employed soldiers, or basic doctrines for combat training.

Turning his attention to one of the long bookcases, the Sergeant began to dust off and examine book after book. It was actually quite fascinating, as he found books on old human tactics from the previous wars where almost each page had been covered with hastily scribbled notes in what had to be Cross’ handwriting. He had seen Alarde’s before and knew it looked nothing like this. The notes seemed to pick apart many of the tactics used in assorted battles, as if chastising the commanders who came up with them and having corrections for every failure.

Moving further through the shelves revealed tomes on elven tactics, orcish, tauren, dwarven, even accounts of the Scourge and Forsaken attacks, or rather their massed charges and basic ambushes from past wars and conflicts. Hidden amongst these were books on fighting styles both armed and unarmed, used by just about every sentient race encountered, including a couple Regit had never even heard of. These with what had to be every other book had their pages pock-marked with hundreds if not thousands of annotations critiquing what had been printed. He could train someone to accomplish any task with any tool… that actually explains a lot.

During his brief time around Cross, Regit had seen similarities between him and Alarde when he was still living. Chief amongst them was their near mastery of assorted combat techniques. Although, Leonard seemed more calm and controlled when compared to the elf’s blind rage during a fight. This extensive collection of knowledge explained everything combat related about both warriors, and also showed in part how both had survived while running from one of the great powers in the world.

But, it was still just a large collection of books. Further, the room had appeared to have been deserted, so it was highly unlikely anyone else had ever seen their contents. Regit had stopped opening the books and was more concerned with simply reading their titles and mentally sorting them for his report. Almost without thought, the human tugged on what he thought was the spine of another tome, only to have it and two more attached to it pull away with no resistance. Instead of a book, a piece of wood shaped and painted to appear like the backs of three books. In the revealed space lay a pair of small, dark stained wooden boxes, one stacked on top of the other.

Pulling the first from the space, Regit noted the gold gilding and hinge before opening the odd little box. Inside the box was lined with soft red velvet that had a small depression in the center. Clearly something used to be there, but whatever it was it had to have been tiny. The inside of the lid had a message engraved in the wood.

“Be careful of what you touch.”
“Well that doesn’t help…” Gently the rogue closed and placed the box on the desk before retrieving the second. This one had darker gilding, an almost  tarnished appearance when compared to the other. Inside was a dark purple velvet with a very dark, almost black crystal no larger than the human’s thumb. Plucking it from the box, Regit held the crystal up to the light, noting the way the inside seemed to swirl like a cloud of smoke.

This box had a message engraved like the other, and was equally as cryptic or useless; he hadn’t decided which would be more accurate.

”Take a deep breath.”
After setting the box aside, the human began to roll the crystal in his hand before pacing to the window. He knew so much, had allies all over the place, and kept these little trinkets… I wonder what else he-… His mind trailed off mid thought as he realized the crystal was no longer rolling around his palm. He hadn’t felt or heard it fall out of his hand, and was only confused further when he glanced down at his hand to see wisps of smoke climbing from his open hand. What the- How?

Unfortunately, he heard a gut wrenching sound that drew his mind from the mystery of the vanishing crystal. The metallic click of a dwarven pistol being readied to fire, and it sounded disturbingly close.

“He always said that someone would come. And gave us but one command; kill.” A sharp gasp escaped Regit’s lips as he winced, expecting the end to come. Instead, nothing for a solid few seconds. Opening his eyes, the rogue found the world completely different to his eyes; everything was much darker and appeared to be obscured in a dark haze. He could hear muffled voices coming from every direction, as if he were in the middle of big shindig in Stormwind.

Turning, he saw his would be attacker looking around blindly, whipping his firearm around as if searching for someone; him. It was Carson, the guard from earlier, and he looked utterly bewildered. Multiple times the guard looked right at Regit only to continue sweeping the room. He watched him call out, only barely able to hear the man’s voice as it sounded as muffled as the others he could hear.

“Show yourself, coward!” Slowly, Regit began to walk around the man, still unsure of what was really going on. All he knew was that the guard could no longer see him, and he couldn’t inhale anymore.

Letting his breath out, the haze seemed to slowly lift and the muffled voices stopped completely and almost instantly. Unfortunately, the haze seemed to drift over his attacker, who promptly turned and pointed his weapon right between Regit’s eyes.

“How did you do that?!” He demanded as Regit continued to try and piece it together himself. I couldn’t breathe… he couldn’t see me, what the fel is going on?

“I-I don’t know.”

“Pity; would have been a nice trick to have in the future.” Regit’s heart rate was already going like nothing else, causing things to appear to slow down. Vanish. Nothing. Vanish! The guard’s finger wrapped around the trigger and began to squeeze. Why won’t it wo-… “Take a deep breath.”?

As if trying to relax, the rogue closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He heard the same muffled voices start up again, and opening his eyes revealed the old haze from before. As well, the guard was once again looking around, this time frantically, confirming that it had finally worked. Making sure to hold his breath as long as possible, Regit drew his cutlass and took a mighty swing at the guard’s head.

Much to his surprise, the blade passed clean through the man’s neck without so much as a scratch being left behind. Perplexed, Regit took another hack at the guard only to receive the same frustrating result. Sheathing his blade, the rogue walked around behind Carson, trying to figure out what to do. The second he reappeared, this man would likely just shoot him this time, and he was completely unable to do anything while “hidden”. Guess I just have to be quick about this.

Keeping himself behind the guard, Regit drew a small dagger from his boot and readied to strike as soon as he dropped his veil. The only advantage he held over this man was about an inch in height, keeping his neck as a desired target. Carefully positioning his hands near his head, the rogue exhaled.

Almost immediately, his free hand grabbed and covered Carson’s mouth, while the dagger wielding one slashed the blade violently across his neck. A small spray of blood soon gave way to a near flood down the man’s front before he slumped to the ground, allowing his blood to pool around his body. Friends everywhere indeed. No wonder he stayed gone with people this devoted around him.
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:12 am

The body stopped twitching pretty quickly after hitting the ground, typical after severing two major blood vessels in the neck. It was still very difficult for Regit to comprehend his newfound abilities as he had never seen anything like them in anybody else. His adrenaline was pumping now after killing the guard and he was breathing heavily, though still visible.

Returning the blade to its hiding place, the human paced around the body, back to the small pile of books and notes atop the desk. He had seen enough of the collection for formulating a good report to give to Stormwind. He also planned to keep the ones he was taking away for his own study and personal gain. There are far too many others to choose from, who’s gonna miss five or so? Moreover, he needed to find out more about the boxes, crystal, and what the extents of his new abilities were.

But first, he had a corpse to deal with. Unfortunately, it was unclear how deep Cross’ influence had spread in the hold; Carson could have been the only one or just the beginning of a wave of assassins. If they had even a weeks worth of training from the late Captain, Regit was as good as dead. On the other hand, it had been nearly a decade since Cross had been stationed here, and chances were that the majority of those who were loyal to him had either resigned, been killed, or reassigned.

Plus, no one else needed to know what was in this room, at least no one outside of SI:7, and by the time someone noticed leaking blood or flesh decomposing, things would be well and truly out of his hands and someone else’s responsibility.

Grabbing what he had set aside, the rogue locked the door before leaving the keep, only to be stopped by the other guard from earlier at the main entrance.

“You were in there for a while, sir.”

“Yes, um… shall we say, there were some unexpected developments? Keep up the good work.” He paced away quickly before the guard could say anything elseWith any luck he won’t miss that Carson fellow an ounce.

~~~~~~Stormwind: Old Town, one week later~~~~~~~~~

The Pig and Whistle was a common gathering place for those who lived in Old Town, even SI:7 agents frequented the tavern at times. Regit had found a relatively quiet table in the corner, and was busying himself with one of the books taken from Cross’ office. In front of him was the one he’d chosen to start with; a small, worn notebook. It was titled “Fists of Iron”, and from what he could tell it was an almost entirely handwritten text from Cross himself based on the handwriting and ludicrous number of annotations.

The first few chapters told of assorted techniques for bare-handed strikes, based loosely around the basics for boxing; proper jab, cross, hook and uppercuts all accurately, if hastily detailed in small sketches. Mentally, Regit was absorbing as much as he could seeing as Alarde once said that the rogue couldn’t fight his way out of a burlap sack. On the table lay a couple larger books on techniques centered around the use of different blades for later reading, accompanied by a tall stein filled with beer.

Remembering the man responsible for this current assignment having disarmed Regit with nothing but his hands seemed evidence enough to start there. Memories of Alarde’ countering his attacks during training were also motivation enough; no one liked being thrown across a room by their own arm.

At first, things seemed very basic, pretty much describing how to punch without toppling over, and almost put the book down out of boredom. Until he turned to the “Advanced” section, finding pages with no free space due to annotations and diagrams. Some made sense, showing the most vulnerable places to strike on a humanoid, others seemed to be based entirely on fictional forces.

One diagram pictured a man throwing a jab, with some sort of energy blasting out of his fist. Above this was an annotation reading, “Focus on where you want the force to land. Your spirit will do the rest.”

“What hogwash…” Regit muttered to himself as he picked up his beer and took a long swig. The bitter and smooth combination of the dwarven stout seemed to dominate all other senses, followed by the burn of the high alcohol content. It was lucky for him that the tavern served the brew after sampling it on a previous assignment to Ironforge. He couldn’t remember which brewery made it, but so long as it was produced he did not care.

He then let out a light chuckle as he placed the stein back on the table. I think at least half of this crap would make sense if I were drunk.

The next pages described numerous techniques for grappling and then throwing an attacker who was either armed or unarmed, and again memories of his sparring with the old elf came back. Arm drags, locks, spins, even crippling punches. None of which he was able to become familiar with, let alone master, which was in part due to Alarde’s desertion.

But now it mattered not how events in the past had unfolded, Regit had his assignment to learn as much as possible about Cross, and these books were at least one piece of a particularly difficult puzzle. Closing the book, he set it back down on the table before picking up a few of the loose parchments grabbed from Cross’ desk. The first of which was a personal file on one of the Captain’s old contacts; a dwarf called Bilious Stormkeg.

He had read through most of the parchments back in Theramore, and this dwarf was curiosity as one of the only listed as still alive. More to the point, there weren’t any investigations into his life which only clouded the water further. A ray of hope, however, came in the form of his listed specialties which included “ancient artifacts”.If only it told me where this guy was right no- Regit’s mind stopped mid thought and mid sip from his beer as his eyes froze on “Known Associates”.

Zelg Ironbore, Gadgetzan. Gunsmith, Steemwheedle Cartel.
“This has to be some kind of sick joke…” He had calmly placed his stein back on the table, but was struggling to not rip the precious parchment into a thousand pieces. He honestly felt the last time he would ever have to deal with this goblin was back in Northrend. Fate clearly seemed to think otherwise.

I am definitely going to regret this later… but, it is a lead. He gently placed the file back on the stack, replacing it with one of the larger books. There was no title, just an golden symbol of two crossed swords taking up most of the cover. If there are any more directions for spirit and focus in this one, I may just drink enough to puke.
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:22 am

((I hope I didn’t mislead anyone with the end of that last post; this thread still has a ways to go before we come full circle))

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Three days later: Gadgetzan~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I swear you bring your equipment back in continually worse shape each time.” The inside of the weapon shop was adequately by combination of burning torches, and some oddly shaped electrical lanterns. The muffled sound of a small engine running in rough condition could be heard, signaling that the entire building was being powered.

Zelg stood on a small crate behind the main wooden counter, constantly manipulating the rifle he held to inspect as much as possible. It was of an older design that he had based off of work conducted by his father. The weapon appeared to be broken in half at first glance, with a few small screws and pins lying on the counter top. In actual fact, it was part of the rifle’s design; a “break action” as it was called, meant to allow for faster reloading and easier cleaning. Unfortunately, this one had a nasty habit of breaking under rapid fire from the severe recoil of the rounds used.

“Well, ta’ be fair, Un’Goro in’t exactly a welcomin place.” Standing arms crossed on the other side of the counter was a troll of about average height, lean build and sporting a crazy, bright green Mohawk. By now, the goblin was holding the weapon so he was looking right down the muzzle, looking for imperfections in the barrel. After a few seconds, Zelg reassembled the rifle within a few seconds, barely taking any time to even look to make sure the parts were going back together.

“Fair enough. Good news is that everything appears to be structurally sound,” producing a small hammer the goblin began tapping various areas, listening for any off tune sounds. But when he tried to pull the trigger, it felt as though it had been welded in place. “Barrel, bore and stock are all in good condition; firing mechanism probably got shook half to death and then gave up. And the gap between the breach and the stock is getting worse.”

“Ja, ja, wot’s da’ damage?”

“That has yet to be determined, but things don’t really look all that bad…” Zelg paused to conduct some mental calculations. “At the absolute most, a week, but that is in the unlikely event that I have to re forge the entire breech. ‘Should have the springs and trigger fixed in a couple of days. Lucky for you this made of relatively cheap material.”

“How is dat a good ting?”

“If this were all saronite, it would cost you an arm and a tusk for the new springs alone, and that’s before time and labor.” With a scoff, the troll turned and walked out of the shop, not wanting to say anything more to the crooked-nosed goblin. “Have a nice day”.

He waited until the door closed. “…Jackass.”

While no self-respecting engineer ever wanted to see their creations fail, maintenance was one of the prime money sources for Zelg at the moment, and secretly he was thankful his weapons had their flaws. This model in particular, the Model 540 Mk III, would beat itself to pieces under repeated firing, brought on by the heavy round’s high recoil. Spring would break and get caught up inside, jamming the weapon. In some cases, like this one, the entire frame and stock would actually begin to warp, leading to leaks, and eventually shattering of the breech and barrel.

Although, saying that this particular rifle had high recoil was a bit of an exaggeration, as it was actually one of the weaker rounds he had designed. Zelg followed a simple doctrine in this step; one shot-three kills. Or, he wanted each round to have enough power to knock down three targets if aligned properly (benefits of over penetration). In some cases, he could exceed and even double those expectations with his higher caliber rounds.

Walking through the lone door in the back, Zelg placed the weapon next to a couple of others in the corner, picking up another. This one was larger and had a different mechanism on the back, looking like a bar-lock for a door. This one was one of his personal rifles, and a bit of a favorite, and was like the others beginning to develop problems.

Within minutes, and with a bit of unwanted effort, he had it disassembled File now in hand, the goblin had begun to work on the breech end of the now free barrel, cleaning up the edges where the “bolt” fit inside.

The sound of the main door opening and slamming shut barely yielded a pause from Zelg.

“Come back later, I’m busy!”

“I need to talk to ya now, Mr. Ironbore.” Male. Human. Probably some deadbeat looking for money.

“I said, come back later!” He could hear footsteps getting louder and louder before they stopped maybe three feet from where he was seated.

“Do I need to put a bullet in yer h-“ Turning, Zelg cut himself off as his eyes narrowed on Regit Fahey standing before him. “There’s just no getting rid of you, is there?”

“It’s been too long, Zelg.” The rogue spoke with a smirk.

“I say it hasen’t been long enough. Whaddya want?” The goblin sneered as he continued his work.

“Isn’t it obvious if I’ve come to you?”

“Information, it’s always information. Can’t you figure any of this shit out on your own?”

“In this case; no. We need to talk.”

“Fine!” Rather angrily, Zelg began slamming pieces of the rifle back together before setting it aside, and spinning on his stool to face the human again. “Let’s talk.”
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:33 am

“Stormkeg? Why would you want to talk with him?” The goblin seemed surprised with Regit’s inquiry.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means, he isn’t exactly the type your lot would want to “talk” to.”

“He has information I need, why wouldn’t I talk to him?” Zelg let out a light sigh before retorting.

“Well, seeing as you’re here, I think that’s a pretty good indication that you’re too afraid to talk to him.” He finished smugly, knowing he had just annoyed the human.

“I don’t know where he is, you twit! However, a little birdy told me that you know where he is.”

“And if I choose not to, ah sing for you?” A cheesy grin spread across the gunsmith’s face, as internally, Regit snapped. He had already nearly been killed several times dealing with Alarde, and again within the walls of an Alliance fortress BY an Alliance soldier. He had no patience left  to deal with Zelg’s attitude. Rather hastily, he grabbed the goblin by the collar of his stained shirt, pulling him within inches of his own face.

“I will break both of your hands finger by finger, then move on to the rest of your skeleton!”

For a minute, Zelg stared silently back into the human’s infuriated face, expecting any moment to see him balk, revealing his statement to be nothing but an empty threat. It didn’t, and Zelg  was forced to react instead.

“Alright! Alright, I’ll tell ya! Let go of me already.” After a light slap on the hands from Zelg, Regit released him, causing the goblin stagger slightly as he landed. “What crawled up your ass recently?”

Another dirty look from the rogue caused Zelg to rethink his vocabulary.

“Um, right. Bilious. Well, you didn’t have to come barging in here threatening to smash all my bones; he’s got a semi-permanent room at the inn.” Suddenly, Regit felt a bit stupid, since he could have figured that out probably by just going there and asking a better mannered innkeeper over this little cretin. Although in his defense, it said nowhere that the dwarf spent a lot of time here, only that he knew Zelg. Which did prompt a good question.

“How do you know him, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“Oh, so now you’re all kind wondering if I’m alright talking. You, sir, need serious help. But, if you must know, he is a customer of mine, and I… might… owe him some money… still.”

“You owe someone else money? That’s a new one on me.”

“All in the pursuit of progress. I bet him a large sum of gold that I could create a gun that made no more sound than an elf’s bow while remaining lethal.” While brilliant with designing weapons, Regit noticed that Zelg had a tendency to overstep his abilities with some of his ideas.

“A gun that is perfectly silent? Impossible.” He knew that he had official business to deal with rather than Zelg’s ramblings, but he knew where his target was, roughly, and was hoping to prompt a demonstration from the gunsmith. He knew that more than likely, whatever Zelg had created had a high likelihood of failing catastrophically, potentially causing harm to the goblin. Which was a warm thought for Regit.

“That’s exactly what Bilious said, bet me over 300 coin that I couldn’t do it-“

“And clearly he was right, otherwise you wouldn’t owe him.”

“Let me finish. Initially, yes, I failed and it cost me both coin and material, but I revised my design and created this.” Zelg had opened a small drawer in the table he had been seated at. It looked like a large diameter pipe with a handle and trigger attached to it. It looked nothing like his other small weapons, being completely uniform in shape with no tapering or strengthening braces. The “business end” as the goblin would commonly put it, had one large hole in the center with six smaller ones around the edge.

“That’s what you came up with?” He didn’t bother trying to hide his doubt and sarcasm.

“I’d prefer if you didn’t mock before I showed you how it performs.” Not giving him a chance to protest, Zelg had opened up the back end with a twist, pulling out what looked like an oddly shaped tray that stopped with a click. Fishing a small metallic cartridge from his pocket, he placed it on an indent on the tray before closing it back up with another metallic clicking noise.

Instinctively, Regit’s hands rocketed to his head in order to cover his ears, knowing full well how damn loud Zelg’s weapons could get. Looking annoyed, Zelg glared at the human until he removed his hands from his ears.

“Have you no faith?” Just as he finished, Zelg pointed the weapon at the table and squeezed the trigger.

Instead of the usual ear shattering, head ringing blast that most of the wepons made, all that was produced was a fairly loud “thud” like noise, as if someone had punched a grain sack. This was followed by the sound of gas escaping through some small holes, the ones at the front obviously, and a small puff of smoke.

Following all of this was the sound of one of the wooden boards from the table top clattering to the ground with a new smoldering hole along one of the edges.

“How in the hell did yo-“

“Lots of time, money, and endless tweaking of the original design. I know it still makes a good amount of noise, but compared to what happens normally, I think it is a success.”

“So, now what?”

“Now, you’re going to convince Mr. Stormkeg that I won the bet.” The goblin had, rather unceremoniously, shoved both weapon and small bag of shells into Regit’s hands.

“And if he doesn’t agree with you?”

“You’re the one who just threatened to put me in a body cast, use your imagination.”
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:42 am

Kind of funny, he actually thinks I’m going to do as he says. Especially after he just gave me this. Regit could think of a dozen better uses for the weapon than handing it over as a part of a wager to someone he would potentially have to interrogate. So long as it didn’t malfunction, which was asking a bit much of most goblin inventions; it would make for a great bargaining chip with stubborn informants, and a powerful instrument for assassinations.

Weirdly, the tavern and inn were both very quiet compared to just about anything. There were a couple of small groups gathered around tables, but compared to normal it was like the place had been abandoned.

“Guess everyone is out doing what needs done in their lives.” The rogue muttered to himself as he approached the innkeeper.

“What’ll it be…” The goblin behind the desk could not have sounded more bored with his current position, not even looking up from the few parchments atop the desk as the human approached.

“I’m looking for someone who has a room rented to him here. Bilious Stormkeg.” Again, not even looking up to address Regit, the goblin raised an open palm for the obvious payment for such information. Briefly, the rogue pondered pointing his new weapon at the goblin to get around paying, although that would greatly reduce his chances of living much longer than a minute.

So, reluctantly, Regit fished a few gold coins from his pocket, now realizing exactly how much he hated visiting Gadgetzan, or any goblin town for that matter. As the last coin clinked into the goblin’s palm, the hand closed into a pointing gesture, aimed at a table with about five patrons seated around it.

“Thank-you,” All he got for a “you’re welcome” was a low mumble as the goblin counted the coins.

Approaching the table, the rogue was able to pick out three of the patrons as dwarves, one a gnome and the last a human. A game of cards from the looks of it, with a sizeable pot accumulated in the center of the table. He hadn’t bothered counting how many gold and silver coins were piled up, and instead took stock of the two beer steins and a short sword placed in front of two of the dwarves and gnome respectively.

Each held five cards in their hand, and the goal was to have the best set after two rounds of betting and a round of replacement cards. Regit had played a couple of times, and each time walked away with next to no coin left. All eyes in this game were on the human, who was eyeing his hand and the potential winnings repeatedly. He’s not sure if he should continue.

“Any day now.” One of the dwarves piped up. The human shot the gray bearded dwarf a nasty look before making his decision. From his belt, he produced a long, jagged dagger, stabbing it into the table in front of him.

“Call.” The looks shifted to a brown haired dwarf sitting next to him. “It’s to you, Stormkeg.” Well that makes things easier.

The dwarf began to do the same as the human before him, weighing whether or not it was worth the risk to continue playing. Slowly, Stormkeg’s face twisted into a sour expression before he flipped his hand face down onto the table. “Agh, I’m out.” And that makes things convenient.

“What’s the matter, can’t play with the big boys?” The human next to him taunted.

“Nay, I just don’ feel like parting with any o’ my possesions,” Bilious then looked up right at Regit. “You want in, stranger? I’m sure these kooks would not mind having another sucker ta’ prey off of.”

“I’ll pass, however I would like to have a word with you, Mr. Stormkeg. In private” The other players paused to give mixed looks to both Regit and Bilious, before the dwarf sighed and stood up.

“Buy the first round and you have a deal.”

“I don’t really have a choice, do I?”

“Nay, not really. Deal me out boys.” Regit followed the dwarf to the bar, taking a seat beside him. He wasn’t lavishly dressed in any way and carried no ornate weaponry or equipment. Just a brown, large brimmed hat to keep the sun’s heat at bay.

“Two ales,” the human spoke to the bartender while laying a few silver coins on the bar.

“You actually drink that crap?”

“On occasion, don’t you?”

“In a pinch, aye.” Two tall mugs of the goblin brew were set before them, and Bilious was quick to take the first swig. “Blackened, rawhide armor, dagger and cutlass, and general shady behavior… You’re one of Shaw’s boys, ain’t ya’?”

“Astute observations,” Regit paused as he took a sip of the foul brew. His entire mouth burned from the taste and the alcohol, but at least it was relatively cheap. “Based on your lack of flair and weaponry, and based on research I conducted, you’re with the League of Explorers.”

“Aye. All of this begs the question though; what do you want from me?” Slowly, the human reached into a small satchel, retrieving the two wooden boxes he collected from Cross’ office, placing them side by side between him and the dwarf.

Setting his beer down, Bilious picked up the one with gold gilding, rotating it several times.

“Where on Azeroth did you find this?”

“Through the investigation of a former officer whom was deemed a traitor to the Alliance.” The dwarf stopped inspecting the box to give the rogue an annoyed look.

“Ye could ‘ave left it at “classified”, ya know,” he resumed his inspection of the box, seemingly mesmerized by it. “And to answer the question you have yet to ask, I’ve seen this before. Years ago.”

“Let me guess, it was brought to you by a man of about so high,” Regit gestured in the air at Cross’ approximate height. “Golden-blonde hair, blue eyes, and the ability to out think anybody in a matter of seconds?”

“You knew him, too?”

“Unfortunately…” By this point, Bilious had opened the small box, only to have a sour expression return to his face.

“Well, last time I saw this, it wasn’t empty.”

“There was something in it?”

“Aye,” closing the box, the dwarf set it down and took a long gulp from the beer mug. “When he brought it to me years ago, there was a small crystal in it, what looked like an uncut gem. A golden citrine at that. But, something was different; it was like something was inside it, grains of some kind is what it looked like.

He asked me if I had ever seen anything like it before, and of course I hadn’t! I wanted to keep it for study, but instead he left with it. ‘Came by every so often after that to ask about other odd items he found, swords and helms with glowing bits and what have you. But every time I asked about this, he simply told me it was no longer a concern of his.” Based on what had happened back in Theramore, Regit had a pretty good idea what had happened to this “citrine”.I wonder what effects that one caused.

“I take it that one has something similar?” Bilious spoke after gulping down some more ale.

Had.”

“You lost it?!”

“Yes and no.” Regit could tell the dwarf was outraged at the thought, and rightfully so.

“What do ya’ mean ‘yes and no’? Which is it?”
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:38 pm

((Blargh!*       *=writer’s block gone at long last))

“Well, that citrine you described… imagine that except the color of coal-”

“An onyx?”

“Whatever. The only way to put this is that I have it still, but I can’t show you it for physical reasons.” It took Bilious a moment to formulate a response; meanwhile a small uproar from the card table warranted a glance. Based on facial expressions and some of the cursing, the gnome had won the hand along with the sum of money.

“How many of those ales did you have before walking in here?” The dwarf finally spoke with a smirk. Regit let out a heavy sigh and began to loosen his glove.

“Very funny. But this is the truth; I took it out of the box and began to inspect it. I was rolling it in my hand, took my eyes off it for a second, and then-“ Glove now off, Regit stopped abruptly mid-sentence to stare at the palm of his hand. What looked like a bruise was right in the center of his palm, relatively small and oblong yet without pain.

“Did ya’ forget how many fingers ye’ had?” The dwarf finished his chuckle by swigging back some more ale.

“You don’t know how close I am to… never mind. Back to my point; I was inspecting said object when it vanished from the palm of my hand. And ever since, well. How good are you with secrets?”

“Better than most. Why?”

“It’s, ah… erm.” How exactly do I tell someone that I can vanish into thin air… “Let’s say that I can now do something that no one living should be able to do.”

“Will you please stop talkin’ nonsense? Why is it so hard fer you to just give me a straight answer?”

“Because I know you won’t believe me, so I propose a demonstration. Meet me outside the town in ten minutes and I can guarantee you will have the money back that you just lost in that game.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Frankly, Regit was not even sure of the dwarf would turn up given how little information he had given him. But, turn up he did.

“Alright, no more games Mr. Shifty. What is rollin’ through that head of yours?”

“A wager, or two. First, a little something form Mr. Ironbore. He believes that he has won your old bet.” The human approached Bilious, stopping just before him and producing the small pistol the goblin had demonstrated earlier.

“Does he now?” Remembering how Zelg had operated the weapon, Regit slowly loaded a shell into the breach of the weapon. “Did he already demonstrate this contraption to ya’? ‘Cause I watched the last one lacerate ‘is hand pretty badly.”

“I’m sure that was an entertaining sight, and yes he already did.” Taking aim, the rogue squeezed the trigger which resulted in the same dull “Thud” sound from earlier. The recoil seemed fairly light, and the round found its mark some distance away in the dirt.

“Well, he actually did it. I’m impressed.” Watching the human operate the action of the weapon, extracting the empty metal shell, the dwarf began to chuckle again. “Let me guess, he now wants ‘is money back along with my end, right?”

“And he has instructed- rather, requested, that I ensure payment. But, I have thought of a better idea; shoot me.” Turning the weapon around, Regit held out the pistol handle first to Bilious.

“You what?!”

“Shoot. Me. Need I spell it out for you?”

“No, but have you completely taken leave of yer senses?!” The explorer took a couple of quick steps back, carefully looking Regit over in process. “What could be gotten from putting a hole in ya’?”

“Firstly, I’m fairly certain the shot would miss. Secondly, you would walk away a fair bit better off if I somehow were. Two-hundred and fifty gold in fact, plus this weapon which I’m sure you can see the value of, would be yours seeing as I would be in no condition to fight back with a bullet wound at such close range.

And if you were to miss, you would be in the possession of some very interesting information about our previous conversation. All you have to do is-“

“No! You’re not making any sense at all. I don’t shoot people, human. Nor could I be persuaded to by greed, unlike many o’ this town’s inhabitants. I can’t tell if yer’ drunk, high or just plain delusional, but sorry ta say, you’ve wasted yer time if you think you can convince me ta shoot ya’.” Bilious had turned and began to storm away, much to Regit’s annoyance.

Although part of him knew that keeping this little ability a secret was important, a larger part of him wanted to know why and how it had become possible.

A thought did cross the rogue’s mind as he tried to figure out what to do next; was it possible to vanish when his life wasn’t in danger? If he could, then maybe he would be able to keep the dwarf interested. So, he tried taking a sharp breath and closing his eyes, as in previous attempts.

Nothing. When he opened his eyes, the world was unaltered and the dwarf was still walking away. So he tried again, this time trying his best to focus on what he wanted to do. Almost surprisingly, he could hear the whispers from when he vanished in Theramore. Opening his eyes once more, the strange haze had fallen on the world before him.

Not wanting to waste time, Regit began to catch up, unseen, with Bilious. As he approached the dwarf, he could, if only barely, hear the explorer grumbling to himself about Regit losing his mind. More worryingly, the sound of someone whispering in his ear suddenly grew louder.

“Why is he here?” Despite running low on air, Regit stopped to see who had spoken these words, but there was no one there. Continuing on so he was now a number of paces ahead of Bilious, the human stopped and turned again as another whisper seemed to echo in his ear.

“He’s not supposed to be here.” Another glance revealed nothing out of the ordinary, if anything about this ability could be considered ordinary. Taking his last steps to place him a few paces in front of Stormkeg, he let his breath out and watched as the haze lifted and almost formed into a cloud of smoke, dissipating quickly.

He almost found it amusing as a look of shock, confusion and a little bit of terror sweapt over the dwarf, who had practically jumped back at the human’s sudden appearance.

“What the-! But- how did-?!” Frantically looking back to where Regit had been standing and where he had just appeared, all the while pointing at both, Bilious found himself unable to form a coherent sentence. All that could be heard were a great number more of stutters as he tried to comprehend what had just happened.

“You look like you could use a drink Mr. Stormkeg. And I believe we have a little more to discuss.”

((Funny part about this post; it was about 90% done over a month ago…))
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:25 am

((Blargh… again))

Regit still couldn’t fathom how a race could produce such a foul tasting (and smelling for that matter) brew of ale and then sell it to the public. The alcohol content was something he could hardly argue with, however, though the burn did add to the horrid taste.

The low quality of the beverage was well reflected with Bilious’ stein, still untouched and actually starting to warm a little. The dwarf was just sitting there, eyes unmoved from the human that sat next to him. It was as if Regit could feel his eyes boring into him, to the point that both the feeling and silence became unbearable.

“Would you stop looking at me like I’m possessed? You’re making me nervous.”

“Makin’ you nervous? Wot about me?!” Bilious seemed about ready to explode from the tension.

“Then have a drink and relax. And would it kill you to keep it down?” It was only after did the irony of his question hit. The dwarf sat for a moment longer before slowly grasping the stein before him and bringing it to his face. He paused, and actually gave it a couple of sniffs before taking a very shallow swig.

“You’re tellin me-“ Regit shot him a quick, dirty look just as his voice began to rise again. Hesitantly, Bilious took another sip of ale before continuing, in a much quieter tone. “You’re tellin me to relax? After wot I just witnessed?”

“What you just witnessed is why I have sought you out.”

“Why?! Wot could I possibly have to offer with-with whatever the hell you did?”

“As I said earlier, I did my research on you. You are one who studies artifacts; arcane, shadow or whatever. And I believe that the gem I spoke to you about earlier has some connection. I’m not sure how, but it must.”

“The gem, the gem that ye have in yer possession but cannot show me for ‘physical reasons’? That one?” By now, Bilious had set his drink down and had begun pointing his finger at the human. Light give me strength…

“Yes; that one. And before you get snippy again, I will have you know that if I could physically produce it right now, I would.” Again, Regit had removed his gloves, and almost without thought glanced at his palm. The mark was… Is it bigger now? No, that’s impossible. “I was inspecting it when it simply disappeared from my hand. Haven’t seen it since; further, that is when I was first able to, well, vanish.”

“Disappeared? Very helpful… Flash of light? Fire? Freezing feeling? Anything along those lines?”

“Well, it happened when I wasn’t looking-“ The dwarf groaned, muttering something that Regit could not understand. “But when I looked down, there was smoke coming from my hand. No fire, heat, light, nothing but wisps.”

“All very helpful… What do ye want me to do?”

“I don’t know, go to your grand Library or whatever in Ironforge. Find something because I know I don’t have the resour-“

“But to wot end?” Regit let out a heavy sigh with the dwarf’s interruption.

“Look, I don’t know if this is temporary or if it will kill me within the month, and I would really rather know if it’s the latter so I can figure out how to avoid expiring. If you could just do some digging for me, I would be grateful.” The silence was evidence, at least to Regit, that Bilious was giving it some consideration. “This could be a breakthrough discovery; surely you’d want in on that.”

With a groan and sigh, the dwarf looked back at the rogue.

“I make no promises, human. But I will see if there is anything mentioned of gems that give abilities to their bearers, though I sincerely doubt there will be.”

“Thank you.” The human took a final mouthful of the foul beverage, and stood to leave.

“In the unlikely event I should find something, how-“ The dwarf stopped him as Regit began to walk away.

“Don’t worry, I’ll find you.” His voice was quite raspy from the burning taste, sounding almost as though he was going to wretch.

“That really doesn’t help. At all.” The dwarf replied flatly. It never does…

~~~~Later~~~~

Leaving the inn, Regit felt oddly obligated to go back to Zelg’s shop, despite the fact he wanted as little to do with the goblin as possible. Something about the pistol, perhaps he could convince him to allow the human to keep it? No, he would want the money, which Light only knows how much was involved.

In truth, he had felt this urge since ending the conversation with Bilious, though Regit had lingered inside long enough to send a request back to Stormwind. All he asked was that he receive updates on the dwarf’s whereabouts. He had actually stressed numerous times that Bilious was of no threat, simply an interest in the investigation, just in case someone got the wrong idea.

A good part of the day had passed, with the heat rising every second, and gave Regit cause for at least inquiry to find the door to Ironbore’s shop propped open. Slowly striding over the threshold, Regit was surprised to see the goblin alone, in front of his counters with three large crates. Two made of lighter woods sat on the floor, easily as tall as Zelg in each dimension. Atop the counter sat a much thinner and darker crate that looked like it had been through first a fire then a cave in, judging by the condition of the wood.

Seemingly acknowledging the presence of someone walking in, Zelg had begun to turn around, notepad and pencil in hand.

“I thought you said there were only thr-dammit all!” The goblin cut himself off as his eyes narrowed on the humans form. “Do you have the money?”

“Afraid not, he was not as convinced as you that he had lost.”

“Well, do you at least have my prototype still?”

“You should talk with Stormkeg on that one. Took it with him to Ironforge to see how it holds up in the cold.” For a moment, Regit surely thought Zelg had seen through his lie, only to watch the goblin scowl and begin muttering in another tongue.

“This is not what I had in mind when I said “use your imagination” ya know.”

“Last I checked I don’t take orders from you.”

“Fair enough,” Zelg replied, clearly growing tired of the conversation already. “So, whaddya want?”

“I simply stopped by because it would seem odd for someone such as yourself to leave your front door wedged open. Thought your kind liked to keep things secure, especially when it comes to business. And keeping things cool in here.”

“It was for a particular transaction which I was looking forward to before you showed up again.” He finished, gesturing to the crates. The one on the counter had a crowbar laid next to it along with a mallet.

“Oh good, you’ve finally crossed the line that separates ripping off and extortion. I may actually have reason to investigate in the future.” At this point, Regit could tell that Zelg had gone from merely annoyed to pissed off as the goblin rashly threw his notepad vaguely near the counter, and began struggling with one of his pockets. He didn’t know why, but it was always such a fun activity with the goblin.

“It wasn’t extortion; read it and lick sand, greaseball!” Finally producing a long, neatly folded parchment, Zelg practically threw it as well into Regit’s chest before storming off to try and open the smallest of the crates. Opening the sheet, the rogue was almost surprised by how neat everything had been printed as well as the exaggerated font chosen. Within the first few lines, it hit him that this was a final will that Zelg was benefiting from.

“ ‘Further, to my oldest employer, and dare say longest lived friend; proprietor, chief engineer and gunsmith to Ironbore Weapons, of Gadgetzan, Tanaris: Zelg Ironbore’ Was all that crap really necessary?” There wasn’t even a grunt from the goblin as he now began trying to pound the crowbar between the planking of the crate. Regit continued to gloss over and read parts of the will. “ ‘I leave to you, to be delivered as one package as soon as reasonably possible, the remaining contents of vaults 290 of the Gadgetzan Bank and 514 of the Booty Bay Bank,’ … Some gibberish about customs and taxing… Leaving things in your “able” hands…

‘Further, should my end have come during combat, whether brought about as a result of any contract with any employer, or by my own actions, I leave to you my… possessions recovered from my remains, after they themselves are recovered’? What? … ‘May they serve you better than they clearly served me at the time. To all this, I do trust will be carried out in a timely manner by the appropriate powers and authorities. Dictated not written, Ala-… What?!”

“Alarde Windraiser, you dolt. Turns out he’s not such a bad guy, once you get to know him… and so long as you haven’t tried stabbing him in the back every other day.”
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:34 pm

“He entrusted you with his possessions?!” Flabbergasted, Regit was starting to have trouble controlling the volume of his voice.

“Well, as you may have been able to discern, a part of his possessions; not all of them. And no, I do not know how many others were included.”

“But, you? And what’s this about what he died with?! Who does that?”

“Funny story, actually. But the short version was a bet I made with him within the first year he resided here. At the rate he was going, meaning the fighting, assassination attempts, drinking, no sleeping, everything, I wagered he would not last five years; he argued otherwise. His belongings at time of death, against… actually, now that I think about it, I can’t remember the terms if he won. Probably something to do with booze or shelter, I honestly can’t remember.” Zelg finished with a light chuckle, topping it off with what Regit could have sworn sounded like “good times”.

“Why would you want what he died in and with, though?” Crossing over to the counter where Zelg had now stopped trying to force open the small crate, Regit placed the parchment down in front of the goblin.

“Well, as with now, it is somewhat difficult for me to acquire, in their raw forms, certain high grade metals. On top of that, there are even some alloys that are quite valuable if they can be salvaged correctly, and it appeared that some of Alarde’s armor and weapons contained such materials. I wanted them for their metals so as to craft better firearms and munitions.

Of course, as the weeks grew to months and years, his equipment continued to change as he upgraded it; improved plate and chain pieces, lighter and larger weapons, he even started selling his salvage to me. In effect, I have been benefitting from that wager the moment I began hiring him, and this is merely the closing of the deal, I think is the best way to put it.” Doubling his previous efforts, Zelg’s crowbar was able to pry the lid off of the small, damaged crate, much to his delight.

“Ah! Finally! You lot really love to make it impossible to open some of these!” The goblin’s hands plunged into the straw packing of the container, followed closely by his face almost splitting open in a wild grin. “A-ha! One of his weap-!“

In truth, Regit had gone back to reading over the will, and almost finished the goblin’s exclamation before looking up. The grin on Zelg’s face was fading rapidly to a look that more closely resembled shock, or even disgust. What he held out in front of him was undoubtedly a sword, but the condition it was in seemed beyond comprehension to both.

About as long as the goblin was tall, only the first inch or so of the edges were in remotely decent condition. As for the rest, Regit gave up counting the nicks and dents after twenty, on one side. Rising above the almost saw-tooth pattern of damage to the cutting edges, about two-thirds of the way up the blade was bent at a fairly severe angle, to the point that the metal had begun to split on the opposite edge.

In truth, Regit knew full well how it and its twin, which was undoubtedly inside the crate, had been allowed to fall into such a condition. He also remembered the corpse looking much like the blade when he was sent to confirm the elf’s demise; nothing short of a wreck.

“I, uh, guess he was using that one for a month longer than he should have, eh?” Zelg seemed to ignore the rogue’s question, endlessly turning the weapon to analyze every bit of damage. After a few extra seconds, the gunsmith placed the battered weapon atop the counter before reaching back into the straw of the crate.

Soon, both swords lay side by side on the counter top, each pock marked by dozens of splits and cracks in the metal and both sporting the same severe bend, in the same direction. Zelg grasped both, able to just barely raise them into the air. With both tips bent downward, it was clear that they had struck something with excessive force simultaneously.

“These were all of a month old before he left last time…” The goblin spoke softly as his yellow eyes darted all over the mangled blades. “High grade Titansteel alloy; hard to produce, even harder to damage to this extent. He must ‘ave been fighting one of them.”

Them? Care to elaborate?” Playing dumb seemed to be the only viable option at this stage.

“A Deathknight, you idiot. This material is strong, make no mistake, but Saronite trumps it in every category, save for weight and production costs. Neither of which are a problem for the Scourge.” Pausing, Zelg reached back into the crate, fishing for another item. “Don’t you have some innocent bystander to interrogate somewhere?”

Normally, Regit would have responded, but in truth wanted nothing more to do with Alarde’s possessions, having already had to confirm his corpse and then confront it in reanimated form.

Leaving the shop, the rogue was closing the door when he overheard Zelg mutter something about a piece of armor, more than likely from the crate. A gasp and brief pause were followed almost immediately by an outburst.

“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE?!”

((Fits and starts here for now, thanks to the lovely hours I sometimes work. But I will still try to keep this rolling.))
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:17 pm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stormwind~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If there had ever been any doubt as to what defined a "hell", this would certainly suffice.

It started as a nothing more than a glow from the west, much like the sun setting; except for the bells chiming out for noon, not near sunset. The glow began to grow and move until shortly, it came into view.

He came into view. Deathwing.

Regit thought he knew what fear felt like, he thought he knew what it meant to be paralyzed in terror, but this attack changed that, it changed everything. Never before had he seen such death and destruction in one location as the city began to burn. Men, women, children, beggars and soldiers alike ran for their lives. When his legs decided to star moving again, Regit did the same. But still he saw the beast's face and still, that dreadful roar seemed to echo through the city endlessly. It was so hot, so damned hot, he couldn't' breath...

Bolting upright and gasping for air, Regit found himself not fleeing for his life in a condemned city, but laying on his cot in the barracks. Again. It had been weeks now since the Destroyer had come and gone, scarring the city and lands in his wake, and yet this nightmare would not loosen its grip on the human. There were others, some who could be heard waking with shrill cries of terror, only to come to the same realization.

And then there were those who were not as lucky as the ones reliving that day night after night. Many fell during the attack, most from the truly awesome display of power that resulted in the complete destruction of the Park. Humans, elves, gnomes and dwarves, all had fallen in a single, searing instant.

Hours after the dragon's departure, Stormwind remained in chaos. Regit himself did his best to regain his composure and aid in whatever way he could; directing civilians to make shift "hospital areas", which were at best large tents and undamaged houses.

Now outside the barracks, the human began to walk down the predawn streets of Old Town. Weeks had passed, and yet the stones of the road still felt warm and the smell of smoke lingered in the air. He didn't bother walking by the crater where the Park once stood choosing instead to head towards the front gate.

But even here, evidence of that day remained; The Valley of heroes still bore marks of Deathwing's attack with Trollbane's statue being toppled and the tops of the towers scarred with his molten claw marks. Regit shuddered at the fact that Stormwind had not been the only victim, that in fact the entire world seemed to be splitting apart.

The sun had risen by now, and the human began to retrace his steps back towards Headquarters. He along with others had been summoned for a "special" early morning meeting, and seeing as sleep was still a distant wish at best, Regit found himself arriving earlier than normal.

By the time all had arrived in the office, belonging to Major Doyon whom Regit recognized from his earlier encounters, the rest of the city had begun waking up. Joining Regit in the room were fellow operatives McGraw and Pratt, all three seated before the Major's desk.

"Time is of the essence, so I'll make this quick. Mandates by both the King and Master Shaw have caused our ranks to become flooded with new recruits from just about everywhere imaginable. As you know we have lost good men in recent times, both here and to incidents on the outside. As we train these new recruits, we need more to head into the field and weed out any new threats.

Further, each of you has served with honor and loyalty since your beginnings here. As such, we believe it is time for a just reward."

Reward? Stormwind was moments from being leveled less than a month ago and we are being rewarded? Regit began to feel that maybe this was just another strange dream, and began to anticipate Deathwing ripping the roof off of the building.

"Effective immediately, you three are each hereby promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, with all honors and authority granted by the title. As such, you have new assignments; McGraw and Pratt are to report to Shaw in the Twilight Highlands, Fahey to Ashenvale. Cults like the Twilights undoubtedly played a role in this catastrophe, and we will not be caught on the back foot again should anyone be plotting something else."

"Sir? I haven't been sleeping too much since the attack, did you ju-" Before Regit could complete his question the Major strode over, cocked his fist back and snapped his nose with a single blow. Hands clenched around his face, Regit felt a little bit of blood begin to seep out; his mouth was open now, but not much noise resulted as his senses tried to recover.

"Okay... okay, I get it now, not dreaming." Pratt stifled a chuckle as Doyon leered down at Fahey.

"You had best clear your head Lieutenant, you are heading to the outskirts of Blackfathom. The cultists there are trying to awaken something terrible according to scattered reports. While these two aid in the primary operation with Master Shaw, you along with others will begin to observe and eventually strangle their outposts into submission.

Determine the threat at that temple, and begin to take necessary actions to further weaken their forces. Send a report if something happens, or if you find yourself tailing a ringleader; they won't go down easy."


Last edited by Alarde Orig on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammars and such)
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:42 pm

~~~~~~~Ashenvale: The Zoram Strand~~~~~~~~

"In all honesty, I was expecting you lot to put up a better fight." The large campfire once warming four Twilight's Hammer cultists now had three lacerated corpses strewn about. A fourth Twilight, a green mohawked gnome, was pinned to the sand, face down, by Regit. Thanks to the size difference, this was no difficult task, but actually getting information from his captive was proving to be much more difficult.

"If you had just held still for a second, Smokey, we would have made you into our next great offering!" It was true that the Lieutenant had used his vanishing power liberally in the conflict, but there had been a bit of training leading up to Deathwing's return and even after while mostly sleep deprived. While still a poor excuse for a soldier, he was more than a match for this quartet of idiots

The tomes recovered from Cross' office had been of major help in this field, once Regit had learned to read around most of the "annotations" made by the Captain. Mainly the ones which seemed to be talking nonsense.

"Possibly, but back to the reason you are still alive; the temple. What are you planning down there?" By dumb luck, Regit had picked one of the outlying groups, greatly reducing the chance of more Twilight's intervening.

"Go kiss your King's boots, worm!"

"You're starting to try my patience." Rather hastily, Regit latched onto one of the gnome's wrists, grabbing one of the still intact fingers. A single, violent twist resulted in an audible pop followed by the cultist howling in pain. "Bear in mind, you have five more fingers I can do that to, which will be followed by your wrists, elbows, shoulders and finally ribs, in that order.

Don't make me have to ask again ."

"Alright! Alright, you win!" The gnome cried out as tears began to bubble out from the corners of his eyes. Releasing him, the cultist recoiled and began clutching at his now crippled hand. "I didn't think you'd do that again!"

"Start talking, or I'll resume," Regit marched up to the gnome, now towering over him.

"Okay, sorry! We are trying to please the old gods for when they return. Their prized pet, Aku'mai, demands sacrifices. Through her they shall know our praise!" The human stared down at the cultist, doing his best to pry what details he could from this statement.

"You intend to gain their favor by pampering one of their pets?" To think my superiors actually deem these lunatics as threats. The real threat is that blasted dragon!

"You have no understanding of what our lords have in store for this world. Deathwing marks only the beginning! And it matters not how many dogs your bastard king sends out to halt us for we have already won! They may continue to kill us off, but it is futile!" Initially, Regit was going to break another finger for mentioning the Destroyer, but the second statement took priority.

As far as he knew, there were no other operatives or dedicated forces in this area yet. Perhaps Darnassus had started to take action on its own?

"There are others here?" Through tears and what must have been a near unmeasurable amount of agony, the gnome managed a chuckle at the human's inquiry.

"You don't even know what your allies are up to? What chance do you stand against us and our lords then?” The gnome managed part of a chuckle before Regit’s boot pinned his chest to the ground.

“I asked you a question,” the words seemed to drip from his mouth as the Lieutenant leered down at the cultist. “Don’t make me repeat myself.”

“Um… A, uh, a b-big guy, no more than two weeks ago. We spotted him to the southeast, close to the water, well after sunset.” With his mangled hand, the gnome made a gesture in the rough direction where this being had been seen. “Two of our brethren went to investigate; we found what was left of their bodies the following morning, utterly eviscerated.

I don’t know who was sent here ahead of you, but they are clearly wrong in the head.”

“Coming from you, I find that humorous,” Regit scoffed, straightening his posture and removing his foot as it became clear the cultist was going to cooperate. “But I am afraid that it is more likely that some wildlife got at your friends rather than someone from the Alliance.”

“Oh no, no no no no, their wounds were not from some bear of cat,” the gnome protested as he slowly got to his feet, still clutching his mangled hand. “The wounds were clean cut, not torn, this was the work of a blade. But as I said, it doesn’t matter for we have already won.”

“Time will tell on that matter. And for your good behavior, I think I have something for the pain in your hand,” quietly, the Lieutenant began to fiddle with something on his belt.

“R-really? Just like that?” No sooner had the gnome finished his question, then Regit turned around, Zelg’s “silent” pistol in hand. The fluid motion continued, stopping as he aligned the simple metal sights his guest’s head.

“Yes,” squeezing the trigger resulted in the same dull “thud” he had heard before in Tanaris. Again, the recoil felt very light when compared to some of the weapons the goblin normally made.

Like the shot, the results were equally lackluster, but in no way unimpressive. A neat entry hole had appeared in the cultist’s forehead about the size of a copper coin. The green haired gnome seemed to twitch once before collapsing, lifeless, to the ground.

“…just like that.”

((Blargh and raglfraggle…. Still bouncing my way through.))
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:35 pm

Numb was probably the best way to describe how Regit felt. The short ride back to Astranaar proved just long enough for this numbing feeling to set in. But why was it upon him? He had killed before, no arguments there, he had even killed the gnome’s allies just moments before. They were all threatening me, and I took the needed actions, except with him.

The poor bastard had been near crippled and would have likely just ran away. There was no need to shoot him, right?

The more the Lieutenant replayed those moments in his mind, the less sense it made. He was going to let the gnome go. He had gotten the needed information, there would have been nothing gained from the death of one more cultist. It almost felt like… like his arm had moved on its own.

As if someone else had pulled that trigger. How does that make even an ounce of sense, though. I am in control of my body…right?

Rest. He needed rest. Though it still proved equally elusive as before, and further distanced from the human by the state of the small town. Horde raids had on occasion set fire to some of the buildings, and while casualties were light, they were enough to disrupt the natural “flow” for the town.

In other words, the inn was full of the wounded and those who had lost their homes, forcing Regit to camp near the western gate to the town.

He still had a couple of memories from this area years ago, though now they were pressed to the back of his mind by a number of things. The smell of smoke held steady in the air, evidence of a very recent Horde aerial raid. Hellscream’s a war effort, I cannot wait until we sack them for a change; ‘see how proud a race they really are after that.

Walking past his meager campsite just outside of the town, Regit made for the inn in the hopes of finding someone who might help him sleep for more than thirty minutes at a time. Perhaps I can pay a trapper for some tranquilizer, that would help me right? At this point, he almost welcomed the chance of another Deathwing based night terror if it meant some measurable amount of sleep

“..another six wounded on top of that with this last raid. Elune, when will it end?” There was a sentinel speaking with a druid, or at least it might have been a druid. Talking trees seemed just as likely and normal at this stage. The Lieutenant was also trying very, very hard to at least piece together a semi-coherent report to send back.

“Any sign of Lindara out there?” The druid asked as Regit slowly drew nearer to the pair.

“Nothing since we found her mount earlier this week,” The guard responded, shaking her head. “Or at least what was left of it; torn to absolute shreds. If it was the greenskins, then they must be huffed up on something nasty to inflict such damage and then walk away.

Elune only knows what may have befallen her…” Torn to shreds? A cat?

“Two of our brethren went to investigate; we found what was left of their bodies the following morning, utterly eviscerated.”
Perhaps this was no isolated event?

“Apologies for intruding, but of what nature were the sabre’s wounds?” Approaching the pair, Regit did his best to keep his fogged mind on track. In truth, he did not really want to inquire on the subject for a number of reasons, however it still seemed the best action given his new rank.

“Clean cut for the most part, and a couple of what looked like bites though from what I could not fathom,” Both had turned to address the newcomer, the sentinel folding her arms as she answered. “Why?”

“I, uh, interrogated one of the cultists by the shore, who told me of what happened to a couple of his friends. Their bodies were described to have been in a very similar state, though I don’t know if it means anything.” Rubbing his eyes in a vain effort to keep focused, the thought of just leaving mid conversation to sleep sounded very tempting. “Has there been anything similar nearby?”

“Good riddance to the cultists, but to answer your question; no,” The she elf eyed the Lieutenant as she finished. Regit knew his eyes must look like they were sunk into his head by this point, among many other telling details of his exhaustion. “You look terrible, by the way.”

“Well, nothing to do with cultists, our forces or the Horde, but there have been a number of large beasts deep in the forest that were slashed up pretty badly.” The druid interjected, followed by the sentinel shaking her head.

“Poachers at the worst, hardly a great threat.”

“They were not skinned, just killed in what I imagine was a brutal attack.”

“Then a larger beast got to them!” These two are giving me a headache.

“Would it be possible to show me, on a map, where at least some of these remains were found?”
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:04 pm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another round of popping and crackling noises ejected yet another flurry of embers dancing from the burning logs, an almost comforting sound. The rest of the room was fairly quiet with the majority of her patrons having drunk their fill and gone home.

Regit’s seat felt particularly comfortable this evening; soft and inviting, located right next to a large fireplace, but not too close as to make the heat unbearable. A tall stein of stout sat next to him atop a small, ornately carved oak table.

“Everything to your liking this evening, sir?” His server stood just behind the chair as she spoke. Deep red hair, radiant green eyes, and a slightly revealing outfit, nothing the Lieutenant could complain about.

“Yes, thank you. That will be all for now, dear.” All felt right in the world for once. No fights, no dangers at all, nothing even remotely unpleasant anywhere near him. The server’s footfalls were replaced by a heavier set, though Regit did not care to look, instead taking another long swig from his beer stein.

“Mind if I join you, Lieutenant?” His mind was jarred away from the pleasant taste of his beverage by the strange familiarity of the voice. It almost didn’t fit, as if it were not supposed to exist at all.

“Actually, yes, I-“ Looking up, the human’s brain seemed to lock up completely. Rough, blond hair and blue eyes coupled with oddly “civilian” clothes; Leonard Cross. For a moment, all Regit could hear was his own pulse, his eyes glued to his uninvited guest, not noticing either his mug tumbling from his own hand nor the chair the former Captain had seated himself in out of nowhere.

Never mind the beer, never mind the chair, this one was supposed to be- No, he was and should still be dead!

“You…” I saw his corpse, I ordered it burned, what in the name of all Light and Nether is he doing here?! Even when Cross waved to the server, Regit’s eyes remained unmoved. This wasn’t possible, not by any stretch of even the wildest imaginations!

“I’ll have what he’s having,” a light nod, and she was away, leaving the officers to their silence. Cross turned slightly in his chair to face Regit, his face betraying almost no emotion. His eyes began to move around, taking in everything about his surroundings, eventually looking back to where the girl had disappeared.

“I’ll give this much, you do have nice tastes.” Returning his gaze as he spoke to Fahey with a light smirk; Regit didn’t so much as breathe, his mind still unable to comprehend what was going on. “But on the outside, you remain unchanged to my eyes. I guess that is hardly a bad thing, though.”

“You can’t be here… it isn’t possible!”

“And yet I am. Curious, wouldn’t you say?” The server returned with a tall stein, gently handing it to the Captain before departing. “On top of that, just where is here where which it is impossible for me to be present at?”

What sounded like a ludicrous and poorly worded question at first, actually got Regit’s mind working again for the first time in several minutes. He could not remember where he had left to arrive here… what was the name of this place anyway?

Finally, his eyes began to move around, trying to take in clues. The ceiling was, well, not exactly there. Or it was, but stretched far higher than what would be normal, and had what looked like stars moving around amongst the rafters. Glancing back to where their server was, the rest of the room seemed to stretch, twist and fold back upon itself right down to a point. It almost looked like the redheaded lady was walking on the wall when Regit looked.

Looking down, he saw his near full stein of beer resting on nothing, no more than an inch above the floor. Upside down at that, and yet not a single drop of ale had escaped. Nothing made sense.

Which was why it all did after a few seconds.

“This isn’t real,” Regit spoke as he reached for his mug. Righting it in front of his eyes, he could see it was still about full, and the ale was still plainly there, not replaced by some sort of jelly. Meanwhile, Cross had just finished his first swig of the drink, grimacing and coughing as he finished.

“By the Light, how do you stomach this stuff?!” Shuddering, the Captain placed his mug on a table that now sat between the two. It hadn’t been there a moment ago, almost looking as if it had grown out of the floor.

“This is a dream,” composing himself, the Captain managed a chuckle at this.

“There’s the intelligence that got you that promotion.”

“This is a dream,” Regit repeated as he too set his drink on the newly grown table. “None of this is real, you aren’t real. So, go away; leave me be.”

Finishing with a shooing motion, it really was not that surprising when nothing happened.

“This is a dream, Lieutenant, but unfortunately that is not how it is going to work here.” Sighing, Regit decided to ask what had been on his mind since the two had started talking.

“So why are you here? To gloat at my failures? Or to avoid every question I ask?” Shockingly, the Captain’s grin faded. Completely. His face seemed to be made of stone now, looking down at the now somewhat larger table.

From the surface, objects began to raise, maybe two inches up from the normal level, looking as if they were carved into the table. Slowly, the shapes of the Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor and Northrend took shape in amazing detail. From these shapes, what looked like small metallic castles began to rise in the places of major cities including, rather worryingly, Icecrown Citadel.

“I am here, because something is not right. I seem to have missed something in my calculations, and now everything appears adrift.” With a quiet but noticeable sound, the castle for Icecrown had a number of cracks shooting across its surface at a surprising rate, as if someone were crushing it. “You will never forget why we were up there, I am certain of that. Fortunately or not, you departed before the real show began up there, as whether you like it or not, one lone knight pales in comparison to a tyrant and his armies.

The Alliance and the Horde had put their differences aside for the time to fight the greater evil, and they prevailed. Saving themselves from a fate most unthinkable and dreadful.” As he finished, the castle shattered, its pieces seeming to evaporate into smoke that cleared quickly.

“And as with the previous calamities, the interim resulted in escalated tensions between Alliance and Horde, seeming to push us towards total war and complete devastation. Until, a new threat arises,” From between the continents, a swirling mass of cloud and fire about the size of an orange formed, casting long shadows across the table.

“Which brings us to the problem; there is a far greater evil threatening this world, and yet we seem content with trying to rip each other’s throats out.” He paused, eyes slowly moving over the table, looking for something.

“It’s called war, something you of all people should know about.” Regit spoke during the light pause.

“Possibly. But that is not my point, Fahey. My point is that both sides are so preoccupied with what the other is doing, no one is paying attention to the other outside forces. Save for you and a few of your compatriots and counterparts.

Cultists or soldiers, sane or far from it; a single being with a strong enough will to see their goals fulfilled can accomplish great and terrible things.” Cross had slowly shifted his posture so that he was now looming over the table, still seemingly scanning every inch of it.

“You learned of something odd for the area today; corpses in the wilds, hosting wounds most unusual for the region’s inhabitants.” As if on command, small blotches of what looked like blood began to bubble up to the surface in familiar areas.

The map he had been shown what felt like a decade ago now reappeared before him. The fluid seemed to stretch and bend until it formed a continuous line through the Ashenvale region, leading south into the mountains.

“If I were you- and you have no idea how glad I am not, right now- I would follow this trail. Something is not right, and it would do everyone well if you uncovered what it was.” An unusual and almost unexpected silence befell the pair as the table started to sink back into the floor. There was so much information to take in. Or was it? Could he really trust this-this apparition? Was this really Cross? Or just a delusion…

“One last thing, Lieutenant.” His voice was lower now, eyes still lowered at the floor. “I know what you found so many months ago in Theramore. You wield a power now that you literally know nothing about, yet flaunt it with reckless abandon to tip the scales in your favor.”

The room around them began to darken as a dark banks of smoke flooded in from almost every possible crack and crevice. The fire seemed to suffocate down to a pile of ash and ember while the “stars” that were once overhead fell into the banks of smog, pairing off to form what looked like at least a dozen sets of eyes staring blankly back at him.

“Know this if anything else, you are breaking a very serious set of rules with each use. And as with any rules,” The Captain finally raised his head, but his face seemed almost unrecognizable. He looked some thirty years older. No, fifty! He was aging, rapidly, before Regit’s very eyes! The voice was changing too, from almost inviting to an unnatural screeching noise.

“There are consequences.” Around him, what fixtures remained visible through the darkening haze began to shake violently. The entire room began to do so as if it were falling into a fissure.
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:52 pm

With a gasp, the human bolted upright in his makeshift cot. The near dawn air was still very cool as the only signs of sunrise were blotches of lighter blue behind some clouds. It was a dream. He remembered coming to the same conclusion during the subconscious event, but it felt like an eternity had passed since then.

His limbs felt numb, not in any figurative sense, but actual “pins and needles” feelings in his hands and feet. As quickly as he awoke the numbness faded, though it still felt as if weights were trying to forcefully close his eyes. Twisted nightmare aside, I’d wager that’s the most sleep I’ve had in a long while

His leg brushed against something as he stirred, knocking over a small empty flask. He remembered it from the night before, a local potion maker claimed it would allow him to sleep through a storm; she was not joking.

“Never drinking one of those again…” Rubbing his eyes, Regit’s head felt like it was in a fog, probably from trying to push out the remnants of the sleeping potion. He felt as though he had not gotten any sleep at all as he slowly got himself ready for the hell ahead.

Managing to get his head roughly unclouded, Regit opened up the map he had marked up the day before. ”Bodies with wounds most unusual for the area” Even in death he enjoys listening to himself.

The Lieutenant nearly dropped the parchment no sooner than he opened it, seeing at first the same trails of blood from his dream strewn across the map. Holding the map away, Regit shook his head violently until the lines dissipated, before slowly bringing the map closer to read.

“Next time I see her, I’ll ask about possible hallucinations resulting from her work.” Muttering to himself, Regit began to look over the map, noting the very pattern Cross had pointed out during the dream.

Or, was it really Cross? It could have all been a delusion brought on by the potion, which would mean that he would have already known about the pattern on some level. Either way, it was clear; the cause of the bodies and attacks had moved north to south and rapidly.

“Stonetalon Mountains… Wonderful.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major,

I have conducted observations of the Twilight camp on the Zoram Strand, and have determined their intentions. To please their lords by “pampering” a “pet”. To be brutally honest, this particular group on their own would not be a threat, but splinter groups of Naga and Satyr have been confirmed throwing in with the Twilight.

A single operative would likely prove completely ineffective on all levels, especially with the still unknown condition of the flooded ruins they are using as a base. I would propose a small strike force no more than six experienced persons large to probe their defenses, and possibly initiate an attack.

I would stand by in Ashenvale for further instructions, but a new situation has been uncovered in the course of the aforementioned investigation. A force of unknown number, strength, origin and intention has been reported in the area recently. All that has been observed is what remains of its victims, regrettably.

Force has been confirmed lashing out against wild beasts, the Twilight Cultists, Horde, and most worryingly, local Sentinel patrols. Information gathered in Astranaar would indicate its movement south into Stonetalon. I will send a report upon conducting my investigation from Windshear Hold.

~R


((Short post, blegh))
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:10 pm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
R,

Your report has been taken into account and the necessary individuals are being contacted. While it would have been better for you to await further instruction before acting in such an impulsive manner, sources inform us of similar incidents reported beyond the Mountains.

When you receive this message at Windshear Hold, do not linger in the mountains; investigate and move on. Unconfirmed rumors indicate this force’s presence as far south as Feralas, perhaps further if it is capable of a more rapid pace of travel. Regardless, if you find yourself close to this entity, do not act without instruction. We want to know what we are dealing with.

In regards to your previous investigation in Theramore, little intelligence has been gained from the materials recovered. Although it appears that there are items that were removed at some point after Cross deserted and perhaps before you arrived; we are currently looking into that matter.

We expect a report soon on your findings.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Well, I’m either a hair’s width from a court martial or a decoration, hard to tell,” muttering to himself, yet again, Regit neatly returned the parchment to its place in his small satchel. The gryphon he had taken off from the new Feathermoon Stronghold on was flying relatively low and slow as it passed over the rough terrain that led into Silithus.

The story seemed identical whether in Stonetalon, Desolace or even more recently in Feralas; remains well off the main path, mutilated to the point where it made no sense, and all seemingly making what could loosely be called a trail heading south.

Not far from Nijel’s point, Regit was actually able to view at least part of some “remains”. In this case, about a third of a kodo that had been mutilated almost beyond recognition. Stranger still was the appearance of multiple stages of decay displayed by the body. Small areas that were naught but bone, areas of slightly greened to completely putrid flesh, and even some that looked almost fresh.

No signs of direct feeding off of the corpse, except for vultures, nor any hints at someone killing for leather as the hide remained relatively untouched. Just killed and then mutilated, or perhaps the other way around?

Now the “trail” lead into Silithus, of all places. A wasteland if ever the definition needed an example, which made no sense as to why someone or something would traverse an entire continent by land to get there.

Slowly, Regit felt his eyes begin to lower, as if a pair of weights had been attached to his eyelids. He hadn’t slept in what felt like years, and it seemed so inviting now, even while flying.

It wasn’t long before the Lieutenant was reminded just why he had gone another week without a meaningful amount of rest. First came the feeling of being suffocated, followed briskly by the usual grotesque apparition. A roughly human shaped blob of ink black… something, two brilliant white glowing eyes, but no other features. All of this took up his field of vision for the brief instant of sleep that was tasted.

”Death awaits you,” The voice sounded hoarse, but strong; eclipsing all other noises for its brief presence. ”It awaits all!”

Straightening up as if he had been shot at, Regit actually managed to slightly startle his mount. At this point he actually wanted the old night terror of Deathwing destroying Stormwind to return. At least with that he would get more than a minute of sleep.

In the distance, Cenarion hold was coming into view at long last, despsite still looking to be a part of the wasteland. I wonder if another sleeping potion would be worth the bloody nightmare.

((Med/short again, belght))
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:08 pm

Catching himself mid-stumble, Regit was barely able to stand after disembarking. The flight itself wasn’t terrible, the gryphon tame and smooth, but the sleep deprivation was starting to get to the Lieutenant’s head. Bad.

“Are you well, sir?” The gryphon handler asked as he approached, gently taking the beast’s harness as he approached. A night elf, predictably, who’s name Regit had learned undoubtedly before leaving Feralas, but now had dripped clean through his memory. Foggy was one way he could have described the feeling in his head as he tried not to fall over.

Drowned also came to mind.

“I’ll be… fine. Just need to-“ Rolling thunder swept over the Lieutenant’s senses, cutting him off abruptly. Only, it was not actual thunder from a non-existent storm; what he heard and felt was laughter. Hoarse, ragged, grating, anything but pleasant could have described the tone of what ripped through Regit’s mind.

Out of the periphery, he caught a glimpse the night elf, much to the human’s surprise and horror. The face was twisted almost sideways, stretching skin beyond what would have been the breaking point. The gold of his eyes were replaced by a dead blueish white glow, piercing through the rogue like swords.

“Tick-tock, tick-tock…” That same raking voice seemed to pour from the elf’s mouth, gouging the human’s gut allowing dread to permeate his entire being. Eyelids slamming shut Regit prayed that this was just another trick, another… hallucination from lack of sleep. Was that even possible? It made the most sense, or rather it was the most comforting idea that came to mind.

Seconds felt like hours before the human’s eyes crept open. The flight master was in no way disfigured or deformed, in fact. Rather, he had taken a step back and was eyeing the rogue warily.

“…Just need to clear my head.” Finishing his previous statement, Regit left before the elf could sneak another word in. Unfortunately, the silence he had prayed for did not come as voices floated into the human’s head.

”Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. You haven’t a prayer out here,” Cross’ voice was unmistakable, yet it sounded altered. Altered being the best way to describe the gut wrenching tone he had witnessed earlier. And here I thought he was actually helping me.

“And here I thought you actually had a brain inside this skull of yours.” Get out of my head.

“Unlikely. I do enjoy watching you unravel like this.”
Trudging towards the edge of the hold, Regit paused at the ledge. The height was far from intimidating, but it would likely kill anyone who took a wrong step. Or at the very least maim them upon impact.

Pain had begun to burn into his head at an alarming rate, bringing with it a feeling akin to being drunk, minus any form of pleasure. Gently, the Lieutenant brought his gloved hands to his face, applying light pressure around his nose and forehead in a futile attempt to numb the pain.

”That’s it, give in. Just let go and leave only the worry of what to do with your corpse to the sap that finds you down there,” It was louder now, feeling as though its source was less than a foot from his shoulder. ”Face it, runt; you’re weak. You always have been, and always will be. A pathetic excuse for even an apprentice.”

Regit’s entire skull felt as if it had been set ablaze, with the epicenter focused right between his eyes like a white-hot chunk of magma. Barely able to hold back tears, the rogue focused whatever mental energy he could into his waning willpower.

“Get. Out. Now.” Snarling a hair’s width above a whisper, the agony vanished as suddenly as it was brought on moments before.

”You are a resilient one, aren’t you? No matter; good day Lieutenant. Finally.

Silence.

Regit never thought it could feel so welcoming. The fog seemed to lift as well, allowing for remotely clear thoughts on what had just transpired. He was still exhausted, but at least for now it felt like he had regained control over his mind.
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Re: Chasing Shadows ((Story))

Post  Alarde Orig on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:37 am

“What do you mean “nothing”? Surely something odd has come up recently,” edges of his mind still frayed beyond what he thought was previously possible, Regit was able to keep his voice under control at the unexpected news from the soldier.

“Sorry, sir. Nothing as far as Silithus is concerned. What do you mean by odd?” The elf’s voice was calm and fluid, no obvious attempts at hiding information. Why would he anyways?

“Corpses of whoever was unlucky enough, found seemingly at random? Eviscerations? Desecrations?” Each question received a quick shake of the head from the elf. It didn’t make sense, this was where the trail lead. And now, nothing?

“Sorry sir, nothing from the patrols or travelers matching that. The Twilight’s have the majority of our attention, though,” Regit absolutely hated hearing that name now. Many who used it in conversation with him tried to tie the group into his case, claiming they were likely responsible. I’d jump on too, if they weren’t the victims that brought it to my attention. “You could try some of the travelers or merchants sir. Not all the stories reach us. Or you could seek an audience with Captain Kozus.”

“No, no that would not be helpful. Nothing personal, but I’ve heard he is not quite right in the head,”

“Boy, the irony of that statement is so thick, I think that cutlass of yours would get stuck mid swing.” Regit could have sworn he felt his heart stop as those words trickled through his head. The voice was different, clearly not his own or what had sounded loosely like Cross moments before.

It was higher pitched, maybe a gnome’s? Why was it a gnome’s? Why was it in his head? Was this the same one that just tried to get him to jump off a cliff?

”No, not responsible for that,” Right, the voice was all wrong, much too high pi-[

“What the fuck was that?” While the words came through almost impulsively, Regit had enough of a grip on himself to keep his voice just above a whisper.

Unfortunately, elves have heightened senses compared to humans, and the elven guard reacted appropriately to the outburst.

“Pardon, sir?” So preoccupied with whatever the hell was going on inside his own head, Regit failed to pick up on even a syllable of the guard’s response beforehand. Best guess was the guard defending the wellbeing of his Captain.

“N-nothing. Like I said, nothing p-personal. Just rumors,” The world began to spin for the Lieutenant, almost forcing a stagger before stopping abruptly. He could feel something else too, a numbing sensation in his fingers. Spreading, fast.

“…Are you well, sir?” The elf seemed to be aware of the rogue’s difficulties, not that Regit made any real effort to hide them. The sudden onset made that nigh impossible.

“Short answer; no. I, uh… I-I think I’m going to just s-sit down for a while,” Managing something halfway between a salute and a wave, Regit began making his way towards the inn, or at least where he sort of remembered it being.

The spinning sensation returned, more violently this time, lasting a few seconds longer before dissipating just as quickly as the first wave. Numbness was spreading, now blanketing both hands, most of his lower arms and starting up in his toes. A low humming or ringing, or both maybe, thronged in his ears, adding to the troubling sensations. Sleep deprivation? More than likely I guess.

Frankly, it felt like a miracle that even found the inn without falling over or bumping into anyone. Overriding all of this as Regit approached a vacant table was what he could only describe as a series of “tsks”, as if someone were disappointed with something. Him, more than likely.

”My my, they were absolutely right for once; you are a mess, aren’t you?” Whichever gnome this voice belonged to, Regit couldn’t quite place it in his foggy memory. All that was certain was that he wanted it to shut the hell up.

Sitting down helped alleviate the spinning to something more manageable, the humming/ringing noise had died down, the Lieutenant could even feel the numbness lessening. Although that sensation was simply being replaced by the cold of all things, but feeling was feeling.

Holding his head with one hand as if to steady it, Regit barely caught sight of a server pausing by his small table.

“Water, please.” His own voce was almost unrecognizable in the human’s mind, but it was coherent if quiet. Waiting only a second more, the server departed, the human not even trying to listen for a response; leaving Rgit with, well, himself at the very least. At least he hoped.
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