The Upheaval (Closed RP)

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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Miss Tiger on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:48 am

Tabitari

Shame.

It was all-consuming, unshakeable. You could flee to the other side of the world and not escape it. It clung to you, tarnishing your every move, every word that came from your mouth. It was like a thin layer of oil on your skin that, no matter what you did, you couldn't get off.

Tabitari fled her shame. From one end of the Barrens to the other, then to another continent that she had never before set foot. But everywhere she went, it chased her. From the forests of Ashenvale, to the wide expanses of the Barrens, then to the dark and shadowy lands that the Forsaken called home. Battle that had once been a source of pride and honor for the young orc now sickened her. Her shield would not stay steady. Her strikes were unsure. The bloodlust that had once filled her had fled, and refused to return. A warrior that could not fight was worse than useless on the battlefield. She was a liability to everyone around her.

It wasn't the battle she took part in that weighed so heavily on her mind. Battle was glorious. The chance to test her skills on another, to challenge a worthy foe and by your strength or cunning come out the victor was what she lived for. And the elves were ancient and honorable. Their skills were the stuff of legend. And they had so much to fight for. Honor and glory were not won by fighting the weak and helpless. A powerful foe was needed. And a powerful foe was what the Horde prevailed over in battle after battle. Her axe and her blood sang with the glory of the Horde! Even now, memories of glorious battle sent a surge of pride through her.

No, it was not the battle. It was what came after. The Horde were not the only ones to earn honor. The night elves had as well. They had given everything they had to protect their home. Their families would surely compose lok'vadnod in their honor. Why, then, were their corpses left to rot and be crushed underfoot? Part of one's honor was how one treated her enemies. More than one night elf had come in peace to claim a body of a loved one, and been attacked. Some of the dead bodies were even skinned and hoisted into the trees, to show the enemy the might of the Horde.

Such practices sickened Tabitari. They smacked of a dark time in their history, a time that turned their skin green to forever mark their shame. And if her people would engage in such practices, then of what value was their honor? Of what value was her own?

These thoughts slowed her axe. Her shield was heavy with doubt. In a skirmish, it felt so heavy that she wasn't able to get it up in time. That was how she lost the tip of her ear. The night elf died for it, but there was no joy in the victory. There was just another family who would never be able to give a fallen warrior the glory that they deserved. And if the individual actions that make up a war are dishonorable, then so must the whole thing be.

So, astride her wolf, Mash, she had left. Deserted, really, but none had lifted a hand to stop her. She was a common sight. Perhaps none thought it of her. The young orc honestly didn't feel strongly one way or the other. Other battles on other stages awaited, and surely in those she could earn the honor that had been denied her.

But her shame followed. And everywhere it was the same. The same nagging doubts, the same signs of savagery and cruelty that she had thought behind the Horde. She believed fully in Garrosh's vision, of Kalimdor for the Horde, but would her children and her children's children look back on these times and feel disgust for their ancestor?

Tabitari had been born in Orgrimmar. She had grown up running the crowded streets, and hunting boars across Durotar. This was her home. But until things made sense to her again, there was no peace to be had for her here. It was with a heavy heart (and fluttery stomach) that she stepped onto a zeppelin, and rode it across to the lands of the Forsaken. But this was even worse. Open desecration of the dead was rampant. Wasn't raising the dead a criminal act? Wasn't that why they had fought the Lich King? This Banshee Queen made no secret of her activities. And even civilians were shown no mercy.

Again, she left a battlefield, Mash trailing behind her. Through the land they called Hillsbrad, then north, into Alterac. The Frostwolves had claimed part of this land, but she felt no desire for the company of her own kind. What was she, but a dishonorable coward, a deserter? They would surely slay her for that, and with good reason.

By the Spirits how she missed her first battle. Had it truly just been two months ago? She felt as though she had aged a lifetime since then. She missed the clarity of vision. There had been enemies to slay, and she was so eager to oblige. Now...

Now I regret ever lifting a weapon.


Snow crunched beneath her boots, but she took no notice. Cold wind bit into her skin, but she did not feel it. The path north from Tarren Mill seemed to stretch on forever, and she was content to follow it on its winding way. The world was quiet, all sound muffled as a soft snow fell. It was comforting, feeling completely and utterly alone but for the soft footfalls of her wolf behind her.

The snow stopped as she continued on her path, but the chill remained. Finally, she stopped and fished her cloak from her wolf's saddlebags. As she drew the simple, sturdy article over her equally simple armor, she took a moment to survey her surroundings. They were unfamiliar to her, and she momentarily wondered how long she had walked without think-

Movement. Her head swiveled to the right, towards a collection of dilapidated buildings, kept upright more by grime crusted onto the beams than anything else. Axe and shield were in hand before she could even think.

Stupid, stupid, wandering around challenged territory in a daze like that.


She slipped off of the road to utilize what little cover there was. Her armor clinked lightly, but not enough to be heard over the wind. Her wolf followed even more quietly than she. Together, the pair snuck up on the figure. A lone human male, well-dressed, dragging the corpses of several other humans from the largest building in the ghost town. He carried a blade, and the hardness in his face spoke of a man who could wield it. For now, perhaps watching was the best course of action. [b][i]
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Akatora13 on Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:28 pm

Midnarwen

Midnarwen Proudoak readjusted the bow slung across her shoulder to allow access to more of the cloak that had bunched up underneath. It was cold in Alterac, but not nearly as cold as Northrend. She had a fur-lined leather chestpiece that covered a warm wool tunic. Steel bracers, also fur lined kept the chill from seeping in where her thin leather gloves ended. Heavy linen breeches reinforced with leather armor on the thighs were tucked into the tops of fur-lined worn leather boots.

While it wasn’t the temperate climate of Ashenvale that she had lived through most of her life, she was quite comfortable here. Her “official” home had been Stormwind for a few years now, and it was hot and humid for what seemed like a majority of the year. It made for a good farming climate, but not good for hauling one’s bulk around the city in full armor. She wasn’t sure why the humans seemed to enjoy it so much. Perhaps they relished swimming in their own sweat in the summer time. She had certainly met men in the Alliance forces that didn’t seem to notice they smelled worse than the Dwarven District during Brewfest.

She looked at her companion padding along silently beside her. Grimm was a black male lion she had found on the Ashenvale/Barrens border, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by the cold at all. Occasionally when it snowed he liked to roll in it. Perhaps it was a luxury he had missed out on as a cub. The lion, sensing her gaze, looked up at her once, then trotted off into the undergrowth. She let him do as he pleased. He was completely loyal to her, and never wandered far. If there were threats nearby, he’d always be close as well.

Unfortunately, there was little for either of them to do. She had been camping in Alterac for almost two weeks now, tracking Ravenholdt and Syndicate movements through the region.

It was busy work for what she was sure ranked lowest on SI:7’s list of espionage threats.

She had come back after two years of campaigning through Northrend bitter and toughened by the experience, but not broken. She had wanted to go back to training new recruits immediately, something she had missed during the campaign. It could be heartbreaking to see those that you had trained fall in battle so early, but rewarding when they rose. However, in Northrend she had been a scout, participating in dangerous skirmishes with everything from Vyrkul to the Scourge to robotic gnomes. She had almost lost her life many times, but was still alive and with relatively few scars to show for it.

The generals believed however that anyone who had been present at the Wrathgate and still lived was to take a long leave of absence.
It had been a crushing blow to be sure, and undoubtedly the most terrifying moment of her life, but she wasn’t ready to pack her mental bags and shove off to Booty Bay quite yet.

She had insisted she was fine and wanted to train new recruits to replace the large amounts of the men and women lost in Northrend. Her requests were immediately denied, but she had been so persistent, they had kept her on active duty doing busy work by herself.

She had briefly contemplated returning to her homeland in Ashenvale, but had quelled that idea quickly enough. She knew her fellow Kaldorei were busier than ever fighting off Hellscream’s more aggressive Horde. But she knew her return to fight with them would be meaningless. It was a losing battle. There weren’t enough Kaldorei left to fight the rising tide that was the new Horde. At this point in time she knew most of her people were so blinded by the raw aggression the orcs had shown and the brutality with which they had shown it, their emotions were getting in the way of logic. They weren’t fighting to win, they were fighting not to lose.

Midnarwen was patient. She would wait for the Stormwind military to gain back their strength. Then when the time was right, she knew the King would send them to crush the orcs. She would pick her battles. She would not fight with the Night Elves’ forces, but rather the forces of the entire Alliance.

In the meantime, she didn’t mind the temporary solitary assignment too much. At least she had Grimm with her now. He had not been permitted to accompany her on most of her missions in Northrend, and she found herself missing him terribly especially when she was assigned to partner with some green human who couldn’t tie his own shoelaces much less watch her back.

The first few days, she had relished the solitude of her assignment. But now she was bored, and growing agitated with more and more frequency. She knew for a fact that Stormwind hadn’t given a serious thought to either Ravenholdt or The Syndicate for a few years now. They had had more pressing matters to attend to. The rogues in turn, had been keeping mostly to themselves. There were always skirmishes along the old borders of Alterac and Arathor, but they were happening with less frequency and those involved were of fewer numbers.
Midnarwen had picked up on some movements in the past few days however. It was curiosity more than anything which prompted her to follow the trailer. For two weeks now, she had found next to nothing, not that she was really trying, or expected to try. She had found the first signs of Syndicate activity on the road leading out of the Plaguelands. They had done a sloppy job on their campsite cleanup, leaving a few plates, tent stakes and small various pieces of clothing. She bet someone was missing that orange bandanna to keep their face warm. She had expected the trail to lead closer to Lordamere Lake and was surprised when instead it led towards Alterac.

So she was taking it slowly. She wasn’t looking to find trouble, but she was interested to know what they were doing.

This evening she was coming upon the town of Strahnbad. She knew occasionally various groups would set up temporary shop here, but no one used it as a permanent headquarters. She had passed through last week, not finding anything except a sick, lost yeti.

But as she grew closer, she first smelled then saw dark clouds of smoke billowing up from where the center of town should be. Knowing that Grimm would keep out of sight, she gave the area a wide berth until she could sneak up behind the cathedral on the North side of town to get a better look at what was going on. She came upon an overturned cart, first ducking behind it and listening to see if whoever was hear had been alerted to her presence. She waited, and after a few minutes of only hearing the roaring of the fire, allowed her head to peer out from the side of the cart.

A human was there, carrying bodies of Syndicate members to the fire. He could have been Ravenholdt, but she doubted it with their headquarters only about a day away. The only weapons that she could see were a dagger and a long sword at his waist. She silently shouldered her bow and reaching behind her drew an arrow out of the quiver. She knocked it, running her fingers lightly across the brown hawk fletchings, but didn’t draw back. Instead, she waited.
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Miss Tiger on Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:49 pm

Durnae

“I hate cold I hate cold I hate cold.”

That had been Durnae's mantra the whole flight back north. She was even certain that the gryphon was muttering it as he flew. When they had crossed through Hillsbrad, the temperature had taken a very sudden dip. It remained clear, thank the gods, but was freezing. Her thick, ermine-lined velvet cloak may as well have been a wisp of silk for all the good it did keeping the cold out. But they were almost there.

When they landed, Durnae didn't recognize the place. At first, she was certain Seannu had made a mistake. “Is this really the place we had passed through just...” she murmurs in wonder. There was grass. Real, green, uncorrupted grass. Trees rustled and bowed in a wind that was free of the taint of death. It was... inspiring.

“And cold,” she added with a grumble. Seannu cawed agreement.

She scanned the camp, not seeing her employer, then notices the tents nearby and starts towards them. “Hail the camp!” she called as she walked, pushing the hood of her cloak back. Her cloak and hair whipped in the icy wind. “I don't suppose you have a warm beverage to offer a haggard and cold draenei?” Cold she was, but certainly not haggard. She was NEVER that.
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Alterac's State Game

Post  Mormosi on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:19 pm

((What better way to kick off the new year than with a healthy helping of writing? Here's to another good year of writing and RPing!))

Kwasi

Kwasi stumbled slightly on the path through Hillsbrad, catching himself on a tree trunk as he did so. The bouts of dizziness were coming more and more frequently, and it made him worried. He knew it was related to the elements somehow. For the past few nights, sleeping with his whole body pressed against the Earth has been almost painful. The Earth had not been filled with the steadiness and security he usually felt when sleeping on the ground. Instead, it was almost a rolling turmoil and anger. Something was wrong, but when he tried meditating to commune with the elements they would not come. It might have been tied to the wild elementals they had been battling a few weeks prior in the Barrens. If that was the case, that whatever was affecting the elements was spread across both continents, something was very wrong indeed.

As the shaman righted himself, he unstrapped his staff from where it hung over his shoulder, and leaned on it heavily. Holding out his right hand, he tried to summon a small flame to his palm. It felt like he was wading through mud to be able to commune with the elements. Finally, the fire came to his hand, but it was smaller than he would have liked.

He made a fist, smothering the flame, and exhaled in frustration. Whatever it was, it was getting worse.

Besides feeling physically uncomfortable with recent developments, he felt unprotected as well. The elements were literally his armor. What if they ceased to commune with shamans all together? He quickly dismissed these thoughts. The Earthen Ring was full of too many talented shamans that they would let anything like that happen. And yet…

He would have to be on his guard for the time being, was all. As of right now, he could still fight, and the elements still came to his call, so he would be alright, despite the imminent danger he was about to place himself in. Even without the elements, he could still fight.

Soon afterwards, he came upon Chillwind. He tried not to lean on his staff too heavily.

---

((This is based on an actual chess game between me and Sorrel.))

Esbern, Dyrian

The frozen winds whipped to and fro, shattering on the buildings of the tiny Chillwind Camp like water on rock. Most of the camp’s inhabitants had retreated to the comfort and safety of the few small houses that lined the road; in weather like this, tents would not stay pitched, no matter how hard they had been nailed to the frozen earth.

Esbern watched disinterestedly as silver-clad soldiers struggled to save their lighter belongings from the primal gale. The temperature outside was so frigid that the gusts of angry air were almost visible as they took their toll on the hapless little insects that were scurrying about. To the priest, it almost provided a form of sadistic entertainment. He made wagers against himself as to how long a particular man would be willing to chase a stack of papers, or when the fat Eredar creature in the outhouse, whose pants had blown away at least an hour ago, would decide to emerge in humiliation.

He let out a sigh before bringing a cup of scalding-hot spiced wine to thin lips. It was hard to deny that Chillwind was boring. The priest had separated from his “companions” a few days earlier and made his way to the Plaguelands on his own, only to find a few somewhat familiar faces already waiting for him. The Gnome had apparently arrived a few days earlier. When Esbern inquired as to why, he simply received an apathetic response about “tinkering.” There was no doubt the little twat was hiding something. The fact that he always seemed to have a set goal whilst scuttling amongst the tents did nothing to comfort Esbern’s paranoia. For the time being, there was little he could do but watch and wait.

The other man, an aging swashbuckler with the look of a bandit about him, was probably even less talkative. Of the two, Esbern saw him far more often - in fact, at this very moment, he sat out in the cold, wind ruffling his clothing. Yet, he seemed content to simply stand and watch the winds tear through the camp, fiddling with his equipment as he observed the chaos. Eventually, he too seemed to succumb to the night's chill and looked about for a place to stay.

He spied Esbern's tent and swooped down like a hawk. "Seems you've an eye in the storm. Mind if I stay a moment?"

“Of course, good sir. Such icy winds cannot be beneficial to the health.”

Esbern paused to eye the roguish man up and down. His clothing was rather ragged, and his scruffy hair hung near his shoulders, looking like it hadn’t been combed in months. If he didn’t know better, Esbern would’ve mistaken the man for a common vagabond. It was a wonder that the Argents let such a flea-ridden man wander about openly in their camp. As of late, however, the Scarlet found himself setting the bar for their standards lower and lower with each passing day.

His observance was halted when the door-flaps of the tent flung open and the stranger stepped inside.

“To be sure," the man said, sitting down. "Autumn brings a chill, winter brings death. These winds must be ravaging the mountain passes." A nonchalant smile graced his face, accompanied by a sigh. "Such is life in Alterac."

“I lived in Southshore up until a few years ago… I wouldn’t know,” Esbern replied, also taking a seat. “You, however, sound rather familiar with these lands. Were you born here?”

The man turned to distantly gaze back out at the weather. He seemed to hesitate before saying, "Sadly, on a plateau far west of here. Alterac's a jagged land, but it had been a populous one before the wars. I've had difficulty admiring it now with orange-swathed men leaping out to murder me at every bend in the road." He gave Esbern a curious look. "So, what brings you here? Missionary work?"

Esbern frowned in disappointment, shaking his head. “You forgetfulness saddens me, sir. Do you not recall the meeting at the Slaughtered Lamb? I am one of your compatriots in this little… inquisition… of ours. I assume you know the man Gabriel - he recruited me off the streets after learning my allegiance. He is only one of many representatives who are now vying for the New Crusade’s loyalties. But, enough with the niceties. My name is Esbern Marborough, Junior Inquisitor and Confessor of the Scarlet Crusade.”

As if treating the priest's position as new information, the rogue perked up, seemingly regarding Esbern in a new light. "Dyrian Velmoran," he stated, offering no honorifics. "And, unfortunately, personal business kept me away from our first rendezvous. Gabriel is quite the enigma to me." Something made him smile. "So, were you among the Onslaught?"

“Well, as you can see, I’m alive.” Esbern began to rummage through a leather bag that he had pulled from beneath the table. “That’s a no. And to your other statement, I would reply that our ‘leader’ is far more bark than he is bite. I’ve seen him in action and came away rather unimpressed.”

Esbern abruptly stopped speaking when he discovered what he was searching for. From the satchel, he withdrew a sealed oaken box with a checkerboard design etched on top.
“This may seem off-topic, but I’ve been rather bored since arriving at Chillwind, and I’ve heard that the men and women of Alterac excel at strategy games. Would you care for a quick go at chess? I should forewarn you, though, that I’m quite good at the game myself. I will be no easy opponent.”

"To any other, perhaps, but not to an Alteracian. I'm afraid you've heard true." Dyrian took up the black pieces. "Start at your leisure."

The Scarlet laid his pieces in their proper slots and cautiously surveyed the board to decide to his first move. After a few short moments, he lifted a pawn and set it down on the space labeled “A4.”
“Your move, my friend.”

"And so it begins," the rogue muttered, eagerly setting his own black pawn on "B6."

Esbern grinned. Regardless of its outcome, the match would allow him to study the quirks of this Dyrian man in greater detail… He had a feeling that in the near future, he would have need of such knowledge.

“Castle to A3,” he announced, sliding the piece forward.

"Is that what they call the tower in Lordaeron?" Dyrian moved another pawn two spaces forward, to A5. "For a castle, it looks awfully small. You can at least move a siege tower."

“If we debated the practicality of this game, we’d be arguing for hours. For instance, how is it that the Queen has almost boundless power while the King is a paralyzed dunce?” Esbern lifted his left knight, placing it on C3. “The bishop’s ability to destroy military units is similarly confounding.”

"Well, each piece has always seemed fitting to me. All importance is placed on the King. Should he be compromised, the war is lost." Dyrian's parallel tower came next, rushing up to A6. "The Queen has all the strength her husband should have, but no one cares for her death or capture. As for the bishop... well, what bishop charges into battle? Priests attack indirectly, so they move diagonally."

“Interesting observations.” Esbern slid the pawn in front of his queen to D3, the smile on his face slowly widening. “Do you know why it is that the chess players of Alterac, particularly the nobles, surpass even the most intelligent foreign players when pitted against them?”

"They cheat?" Dyrian guessed, freeing one of his bishops by moving a pawn to G6. "Nobles don't do much else."

“You’re actually closer to the mark than you may realize,” the priest replied. He proceeded to draw his bishop out, placing the piece at E3. “Being a native Alteracian, I assume you’ve heard of the treachery that occurs amongst the nation’s aristocrats. Cunning, cheating, lying, and a good poker face are all arts they’ve mastered, and these same elements also contribute to being good at a game like chess. The fellow in the Library who trained me was from Alterac. Out of curiosity, good sir, did you ever see their… games… firsthand? Such duplicity has always held a place of mystique for me. I would relish a chance to see heyday Alterac in action, but, alas, I’m afraid our Scourge and Forsaken enemies have assured that such an observance would be an anachronism.”

After a moment of thought, the rogue slid a bishop of his own out to H6. "Everyone can claim witness to one plot or another. There were too many nobles in too small a space. Crimes rarely went by without a certain implication... or five different retellings. Once, a friend of mine labeled the nation a 'rogue's haven'." Dyrian chuckled. "Truer words have never been spoken. Criminals both professional and uncouth streamed in from Lordaeron to offer their services to any lord willing to take them. Sentences were often lessened so that the nobles could turn a cutpurse or rapist into their newest servant, as 'punishment'."

"Such deplorable behavior. 'tis truly sad that it ever occurred under the nose of a 'civilized' human nation." Esbern quietly placed a pawn at B3, his mind clearly not on the game. "I take it you come from a lower-class family, then? You must be accustomed to those rags."

Dyrian's smile only grew at the insult, golden-brown eyes on the board. He casually dropped a knight at C6. "They shield me from the cold better than your silks would. Having lived among troupe of performers, I've had to dress in a myriad amount of outfits. Rags are preferable to velvet in the middle of putting on a show in a windswept courtyard."

"Perhaps so." With a flourish, Esbern whipped a pawn out of its spot, only to set it gently a single space ahead, on G3. "Velvet is warmer than you give it credit for, Mr. Velmoran. And, of course, I can always do this..." An almost translucent shield of light began to flicker around the inquistor. The corners of his wormlike lips sagged as his smirk faded. "It keeps out the cold surprisingly well. But, performers, you say? Come. Sing a song or recite a soliloquy while we play. It would aid in easing this tension, would it not? We can't both be on the defensive forever."

"Why not? Draws exist for a reason. But, if you insist..." Like a small gavel swinging down, the rogue placed his knight dangerously close to Esbern's white rows, a mere space away from his rook and pawn. Then he leaned back and placed his gloved hands on his knees. "Now, a song to relieve tension... I've always enjoyed tragedies and serenades, but you should be very familiar with this tale."

"The Ashbringer's son, full of fervor and hate,
led his father and friend beyond Stratholme's gray gate.
Once there the dead Scourge rushed out to fight,
and the Ashbringer met them in a whirlwind of light.

He charged and killed and raged with great zeal,
but died in the end to a treacherous deal.
For his son, once a paladin so just and true,
now held nothing but a demon's dark hue.

Down the Ashbringer fell, nothing more than a heap,
until the Lich Lord arrived, sent by his master to reap.
From the corpse rose a knight with a deathly visage,
who joined his brothers to complete a dark image.
"

Dyrian's voice fluctuated throughout the first verse before evening out into a melody. From then on it carried clearly for the most part, save for a slight stumble here and there. 'Ashbringer's End' covered the death of Alexandros Mograine, his son Renault's flight to his monastery, Alexandros during his time as a death knight, and his son Darion's final sacrifice.

Esbern was openly scowling by the end of the song, but his voice retained the same faux-friendly quality it had possessed before. “What a wonderful tune.” Clearly paying little attention, he slid one of his pawns forward a single space.

"Juggling, acrobatics, knife-throwing, acting..." Dyrian removed his bishop and snuck it deep behind Esbern's lines, taking out a rook in a far corner, where it was safe from any counterattacks. "...Sleight of hand, I did many things during my troupe's plays and masquerades. Just don't expect me to entertain the group every cold winter's night. Like the games of Alterac, those days are long past."

The priest grunted as Dyrian snatched up the piece and placed it on his side of the board. “I admit - you’re better than I am. Where did you learn to play? Was one of your fellow minstrels good at the game?”

"Chess may be lauded as a noble's game, Esbern, but just as many commoners play it. It merely requires practice."

Before Esbern could offer a response, the footpad pressed on and said, "But I must say, Esbern, you don't lack wealth, for such a pious priest."

“Don’t kid yourself, Alteracian,” snapped Esbern. He lifted his knight off the wooden board and placed it a few spaces ahead, nestled safely in a nook where none of Dyrian’s pieces could take it. “Every human church on the planet relishes in the splendor you are so quick to point out. Ascetics are practically a myth in this day and age.” The priest seemed on the edge of being openly hostile. “The Scarlet Crusade is no different, in this sense. Of course, we are also warriors, unlike the cowardly clergymen who sit behind their books in Stormwind.”

Esbern locked eyes with Dyrian, leering in an almost violent manner. “Let’s just finish the game, shall we?”


* * * * *

Over the course of the next hour, dozens of back and forth passes occurred as the two men vied for control of the board. It would be clear to any spectator, however, that Esbern was fighting a losing battle. Not long after conversation had ended, Dyrian had forced him into a do-or-die situation where he would either lose his queen or be placed in checkmate. From here, it was only a downhill slope. Before long, all but the last few pieces had disappeared from the Scarlet’s board, lined up neatly on the edge of the table before Dyrian.

"I see no reason for us to continue, priest," Dyrian said, keeping his amusement in check. He still could not refrain from bearing a sly smirk at his victory. "You could at least resign with some dignity."

“If it so pleases you. You are… better at this game than I had initially expected.” Eager to leave, Esbern began to collect the pieces, fold the board, and slide the components back into the wooden casing. “Even for an Alteracian.”

"Appearances can be deceiving, Scarlet. Gabriel would not need us if he could easily spot the Twilight's Hammer."

Esbern nodded curtly as he stood up and slung the bag over his satchel. “We are done here. It’s getting late, and my stomach is rumbling.”

“By the way, Dyrian… You never told me who taught you to play.”

The priest left the flaps ajar, allowing the cold winds to overrun the tent.

---

Dyrian, Kwasi, Durnae

Chillwind remained true to its name. Perhaps autumn's cold was slow to settle in the south, but here it reaped its due. Gusts as strong as a storm's ravaged the camp, driving most inside and leaving only the watchmen out to shiver and grumble to themselves, though the howling of the winds drowned out their grievances. The morning sun sent rays of pale light down upon the frost-tipped grass beneath their feet.

"Sounds like a banshee," the woman next to Dyrian muttered as the winds rose to a shriek. They sat side by side, breaking their fast inside one of several tents. Like many of the camp's residents, she was both armored and armed. Her scars marked her as a veteran, and her voice had all the exhaustion of one. "The Scourge reveled in days such as this."

"Add snow and it would be fit for a painting," Dyrian suggested. Evidently, if there was one thing the war in Northrend had done, it had redefined people's views on the word 'cold'. He supposed that months of fighting horrors in a seemingly everlasting winter had a tendency to do that to someone.

At that the veteran laughed wearily, breaking off a piece of cheese. "I've seen enough snow for a lifetime. I would rather have a hearth."

Doubtless the gnome would as well, the rogue thought. Only one other member of the group, the man from SI:7, besides Esbern had arrived at Chillwind. When Dyrian had last seen him he had looked well out of his element, to say the least, potentially setting the scales nicely in the rogue's favor. Barring any intelligence the agent had been provided, and whatever personality lurked beneath his quivery shell, a mathematically-thinking gnome was a small threat. Logic was strong in their hands, but sometimes they relied too much on numbers. Much depended on whether or not the gnome could read a face. The less he knew of Dyrian, the better.

For now, the human was willing to merely watch the agent shiver and swirl the wine in his cup. Esbern, on the other hand, was a different matter. Above all else, the man was inquisitive, a combination only made more formidable by how perceptive and knowledgeable he was. If his clothing and staff were of any indication, he was an indulgent man as well as greedy. And therein lies a fault, along with his hubris. Beyond that, his questioning seemed to service him as both a source of information and a means of defense. Accusations cleared his name, not good deeds and a true heart.

“Hail the camp!” an unmistakable voice rang out. “I don't suppose you have a warm beverage to offer a haggard and cold draenei?”

Dyrian stood with a sigh. He downed the rest of his drink before bidding farewell to his companion, and then shrugged past the flaps of her tent. Autumn engulfed him at once, wind ceaselessly battering at him. Durnae and her gryphon seemed vexed by the weather. It seemed determined to tearing the draenei's cloak away.

"If it's any consolation, they have spiced wine," the rogue said as he approached then priestess. "Expensive, but that would warm you best."

Durnae perked up as she approached Dyrian. “Coin is one thing that I have plenty of, handsome,” she replied, leaning up on a whim and kissing his cheek. “Good to see you,” she murmured before vanishing into the tent. And, Shadow help her, it -was- good to see him, to see ANY of the old crew. No secrets... it's rather liberating.

Behind her, Kwasi was trudging up the path to Chillwind, his gait noticeably slower than usual. His face bore an uncharacteristically dark expression. It was obvious that something was bothering him. In spite of that, Dyrian greeted him with a friendly smile and a wave.

Kwasi's head perked up at the exchange ahead of him. " 'Ey now, you better save some of dat wine for me!" He returned the wave coming up to Dyrian's tent and gave him a tired smile. His feet were wet from the frost-soaked grass and even though that didn't bother him, he wouldn't mind getting out of the cold for a bried respite.

Dyrian had to give the troll credit for being optimistic. It was a trait that Guro'jintal and Durnae seemed to lack at times. "How long have you been walking?"

The troll shrugged as he approached Dyrian, smiling tiredly. He leaned on his staff lightly. "Since dawn. Didn't 'ave much else planned for today."

"Only the two of us have arrived so far, I'm afraid. The gnome and the Scarlet priest are somewhere as well." Now that the shaman was closer, Dyrian could see Kwasi's discomfort more clearly. Something was taxing him mentally as well as physically. "Is something amiss?" No secrets between us...

Kwasi blinked in surprise. He hadn't been aware it was that obvious. "It's..." he looked around making sure they weren't be listened on too closely by other camp followers. "Well...it's da Elements...somet'in is really, really wrong. Wit' da eart', I mean." he shook his head. "I can't really explain but...I'm not at my best right now," he finished lamely.

"Is there... anything you can do about it?" Dyrian knew little and less of the Elements, but the troll seemed deeply concerned about the matter. Furthermore, it was hindering him. "Should we inform the others?"

Kwasi hesitated. "I...there's nothin' I can do. Whatever's comin' is comin'...and it's gonna be..." Kwasi sighed heavily, rubbing his forehead. "Maybe...I don't know what's gonna happen. I t'ink all we can do at dis point is brace ourselves. All I know for certain is da Elements are in turmoil, and it's a warnin' system. For what, I don't know." He looked at Dyrian. "Do you understand?"

"Only that the Elements should try being more cooperative," Dyrian mused. "Well, if we cannot prevent it, then we shall deal with it as it comes." A sudden thought came to him. "Would the Twilight's Hammer be capable of anything like that?"

Kwasi tilted his head in thought. The Twilights...now there was a thought. "I...am not sure. I do not know much about dem, but...if de entire organization was workin' all togedder for an extended period of time wit'out anyone's knowledge, it may be possible dey could be at least partly responsible for what is 'appenin." Even though he said it, Kwasi was still doubtful that one group could create...
...this much turmoil.

Durnae stood at the door of the tent, where she had been listening to the two men converse. She sipped her spiced wine slowly, then stepped forward and offered another mug to Kwasi. “I've lived through a world dying. Draenor shook and quaked with agony when the Dark Portal was opened, and when the blood elves mined my world for mana.” She fell silent, contemplative. “I've also seen a woman give birth. The contractions are painful, and come faster and faster as the child nears birth.” She beamed at the two men over the rim of her mug. “Do sleep well, gentlemen.” She sauntered off.

---

Guro’jintal

Guro’jintal arrived at Chillwind to find the others already hunkered down in tents. With the wolf-skin cover he’d brought along with his studded armor, he was amply prepared for the dry, icy Alterac winds. He had decided against bringing head protection in order to maintain full mobility and awareness, so he had brought a thick woolen mask to cover his mouth and nose. His ears and cheeks were already tingling with cold-induced numbness, but it was better than having a peripheral-obscuring headpiece.

“Where’s Gabriel?” he wondered aloud as he drew close. He looked around several times, but the paladin was not present. “Not here?” The troll didn’t wait for an answer, instead he looked between Durnae, Dyrian, and Kwasi, nodding to each of them. “We need to talk.”

He glanced at Elisha and Esbern, then walked out of earshot of the two and spoke to the others in a low voice.

“I was in Booty Bay the last few days getting my things together,” he started. “I also asked around about the human, Gabriel. Turns out he’s not just a paladin of the Church. He’s a Silver Judge.”

“Just as nuts as the Scarlet Crusade. But unlike the Scarlet, Silver Judges are fully backed by the Church. And they’re not just about purging Undead. Demons, traitors…whatever the Church considers an enemy.”

“And I don’t know if Gabriel really needs our help or just wants to keep an eye on us. He’s on a witch hunt. Don’t turn your back on him.”

---

Elisha

This is intolerable! Elisha shivered and tightened his sleeping bag. He had heard the others arrived and picked up on the voices of Durnae, one of the humans and a troll, but he’d made no motion to leave the tent. Until he was told that they were going to start moving, he didn’t want to leave the welcoming warmth of his sleeping bag and the tent.

He was so cold, that, he didn’t even bother with greeting Durnae when he heard her.

His interest was, however, piqued, when the larger troll, Guro’jintal arrived. Elisha pretended to be asleep, but listened quietly as he spoke in hushed tones to the others. He couldn’t make out the words at first, but he did see the sudden look of seriousness in their eyes. They followed him outside.

A quick glance at Esbern confirmed that the human seemed asleep. With a sharp intake of breath, Elisha struggled out of his sleeping bag. The frigid air shocked him into alertness in no time.

He didn’t need field experience to understand what was going on here. Gabriel may be the leader by title. He may have all the plans and tactics, but it was Guro’jintal who had the respect of the ‘old school.’ They didn’t trust Gabriel.

The gnome crawled up to the tent flap that was partially opened. Using the dark interior of the tent as a mask, he pressed a concealed button on the side of his monocle. A tiny motor whirred inside and zoomed into the group that was in the distance.

Reading lips wasn’t easy, but Elisha had been studying it patiently for some time. While the office where the heads of SI:7 was sound proof, the windows were still visible. Sometimes, that little bit of information they shared in the privacy of that room that was over his pay grade helped him calculate the odds better.

He expected that reading the troll’s lips would be harder, but it turned out to be a little easier than he expected. However, Common being a second language, meant that Guro’jintal was speaking more carefully then he would with his own language.

Still, it wasn’t easy. He only picked out a few words. Booty Bay. Gabriel. Paladin. Church. Silver. Judge.

Elisha’s eyes widened at the latter part. Was it possible?

He released the button and his monocle returned to normal zoom. Trudging back to his sleeping bag, he thought of going back to bed, but this revelation about their leader was horrifying. He saw how Gabriel had handled the corrupt church accountant. There was no remorse in his action. Silver Judge. Those folks were mentioned in mere whispers. At the office, any investigation that even hinted at the possibility of involvement by a Silver Judge were promptly closed and sealed.

Elisha suddenly felt very alone. He didn’t know who he could trust. The ‘old guard,’ so to say, wouldn’t trust him. He was an outsider. Esbern didn’t seem like the kind of person he could make small talk to. And now, the leader he’d been assigned to suddenly felt like someone he’d want to avoid.

Maybe Guro’jintal was wrong. How would a troll learn of something like this when he couldn’t learn of it himself?

Shrugging, the gnome merely sighed. He was accustomed to finding answers for the poor aloof bastards working in the field. He just didn’t want to be that poor aloof bastard.

With a sigh, he started rolling up his supplies and loading them into a backpack. Gabriel will probably arrive soon and then they’ll be off to Light only knows where.

---

Durnae, Elisha

"Uhhhh, Durnae?" Elisha announced as he offered a bottle of wine. "This is the warmest bottle of spiced wine I could find."

The draenei glanced down at the gnome, then smiled. "Oh, aren't you just the sweetest little dear," she cooed, kneeling down and accepting the bottle. "I'm afraid I didn't get your name, darling."

"I-I'm Nixiediode. Elisha Nixiediode," the gnome managed to enunciate. Then he paused, replayed what he just said and shook his head at just how pathetic it sounded. Looking back at the draenei, he stifled his worry, gathered his nerves and looked back at her. "Gabriel recruited me to work with you folks, although from what I hear, I'm not sure what I can add to such a talented crew."

She smiled sweetly enough to charm birds from the trees. "Well aren't you a charming little fellow." She gently brushed her fingers over his cheek, then touched his lens. "I'm certain I have absolutely no idea how this gizmo works. I'm sure you'll be more than useful." She beamed at him. Gabriel brought him in... perhaps he's close to the paladin. It wouldn't hurt, having someone who has the paladin's ear on my side...

"Oh this," he said, removing the mechanical monocle and showing it to her. "It's just a little contraption I made a few ago. A senior project, so to say, but I've been continuing to refine it ever since. Magnifier, low-light, aura, etc. etc. You never know when a closer look will come in handy," he explained quickly before replacing it.
"What of you? A draenei priestess this far from Exodar is odd, though not unheard of. But one whose worked with a such a, mixed, crew."

She looked suitably impressed at the monocle (and actually was, really), then laughed lightly. “Oh, dearheart, I've never been to the Exodar,” she replied, brushing a lock of hair back behind her horn. “I am possessed of a rather... unique skillset among my kind, that were of use to Tahirus.” She glanced around, then leaned in and smiled conspiratorially. “I can't imagine how I would be of use to this Gabriel gentleman, though. Perhaps you know something?” she asked innocently.

Elisha shook his head. "I don't know much. I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to be helpful. I've seen Gabriel handles threats and I'm not sure what to make of him. Ruthless. Certainly not the kind of person I'd expect someone like you to associate with," the gnome whispered.

He glanced around surreptitiously and then looked back at her. "Look, I'm just some lowly technician at SI:7. I've never done fieldwork. I have no idea what anyone expects from me."

“Just go with it, sweetness. Have some confidence in your abilities. And don't worry, precious.” She winked. “I'll take care of you,” she promised, leaning forward and pressing a soft kiss to his forehead.

"I'll try. Thank you, m'lady," he replied. Elisha buttoned up the top button of his coat and pulled the hood over his head. "Izdazi was right. You're really a nice person. I'm glad you're here."

Durnae blinked, but quickly recovered and smiled serenely. “Oh, you know my darling Izzy? How is she doing? I haven't seen her in weeks. I've missed her -ever- so much.” She adjusted his hood, straightening it, them beamed at him. “Such a sweetheart. We'll be fine.”

"Well, I only spoke with her briefly," he confessed. Straightening his backpack, he glanced at the other members and inwardly cringed. "I've never seen a troll before. I've never even seen a anyone from the Horde. Do you trust them?" he whispered.

She followed Elisha's gaze to the trolls, then smiled reassuringly at the gnome. “These ones? I trust them with my life, dearheart. The Horde aren't all monsters, any more than we're all saints.” She looked pensive. “But if you see any other Horde, follow my lead, okay? Wouldn't want you to make buddy with someone who wants to make you into a pincushion.”

"Heh," the gnome snickered weakly. "Yeah, I wouldn't want to be a pincushion either." He studied the trolls and then nodded. It felt good not to have to worry about them at least.

“The only ones here that I don't trust are Gabriel and that Scarlet,” Durnae confided, shooting a glance towards the priest in question, leaving it unspoken that the gnome was in her circle. “So I'll watch your back, darling. Will you watch mine?” she asked, barely avoiding fluttering he eyelashes, though she smiled sweetly.

"I don't like them either, but I'm under orders to work with Gabriel," Elisha revealed, keeping his eyes averted from Durnae. How could he give her his word to watch her back when he might be ordered to do something against her?

How far would he have to compromise his stance before he realizes the dark road this fieldwork was going to take him?

"I'll do what I can," he replied non-committed tone. He wished he could be more forthcoming with her, but this was all still new to him.

“That's all anyone can do, sweetness,” she replied lightly. Not as tight of a hold on the gnome as I would like, but it'll do for now. She lightly ruffled the top of his head and smiled fondly. And dammit if he isn't just as cute as a button. She stood and stretched. “Mmm, but I would like to get a bit of rest before we head out. You don't happen to know a place where I could grab a few winks, do you?”

"Well, I happen to know that that tent over there is vacant," Elisha said, pointing over to one of the tents nearby.

“Thank you, darling.” She leaned down and dropped a kiss on the top of his head. “We'll talk again soon,” she promised with a warm smile before walking to the tent.

"L-looking forward to it," Elisha mumbled as he watched her go. How did I get myself into these situations?


---

Gabriel


Gabriel arrived late to give the others time to gather at Chillwind. When he did arrive, everyone was present and appeared to be waiting on him. He didn’t mind being waited on, but he never liked waiting on someone else. Thus, being the last to arrive suited Gabriel perfectly well.

He nodded to the gathered as he entered the small gathering of tents. “Well met. If we’re ready to go, I suggest we get moving. We want to be in Strahnbrad before the sun’s down and resupply if necessary before moving on into the mountains.”

The paladin noticed the new human face that was present. He nodded to him. "Who are you?"

"You must be Gabriel. Dyrian Velmoran, at your service. I'm afraid I missed the first gathering. Rest assured, I've come prepared."

"Dyrian," started Gabriel, like he was recalling the name. "I remember your name. You were with Tahirus' group. Very well then. Are you informed on the situation?"

"We brought him up to speed," interjected Guro'jintal. "So what's in the mountains?"

“I’ll explain when we get to Strahnbrad,” dodged Gabriel. “Let’s go.”

“Yes, because you have explained ever so much to us so far, haven't you?” Durnae asked, rubbing her temples and sighing. But she followed. What else was there to do?


Last edited by Mormosi on Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Posted this in a rush. Fixed a lot of inconsistencies and added more to Elisha + Durnae's conversation.)
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Izdazi on Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:29 am

Dyrian & Elisha


Barren, unbarred, and trimmed with frost, the road to Alterac was no less bleak than Chillwind. As the land became more and more familiar to Dyrian, so too did the winds continue to grow in intensity. Perhaps there was more truth to Kwasi and Durnae's claims than he had realized. However, if that was the case, he still saw no reason to tell Gabriel yet. Without conclusive proof, the paladin would brush the notion aside in favor of his plan, just as he had the group's earlier concerns. Or perhaps he knew of the supposed 'disturbance' already, as he clearly did of their current situation, withholding it to prevent any dissent it would cause. He was having difficulty reining in the group as it was.

Time will tell.Prodding Gabriel for information was a forlorn idea at the moment, Kwasi had exhausted his knowledge, and Esbern was in no mood for the rogue after his defeat, although Dyrian doubted that he was any more informed than the rest of them, judging by his opinion of Gabriel. Instead, Dyrian glanced again at his other solemn teammates. While Guro'jintal's revelation was thought-provoking, to say the least, and Dyrian wished to know more of his sources, now was no time to press him for details. Silver Judges were not public figures, and Booty Bay was in no way a place directly connected to the Church. Unless Gabriel had some sort of background in the bustling port city, it came off as random. Wheels within wheels...

Meanwhile, Elisha, despite keeping his distance from everyone else, walked closely to Durnae. By the looks of it, the poor SI:7 agent was smitten with the woman. Alluring men had never seemed a difficult task for the draenei. Were he younger, Dyrian thought that he would be no less captivated.

Over the course of several minutes, the rogue drifted closer and closer to Elisha, until he was at his side. Shivering and huddled within layers of coats, the tiny man looked in need of something to keep his mind off the cold. "So, you're the agent from SI:7, yes?" he asked amiably, rubbing his gloved hands together.

Elisha groaned as he fought to keep pace with his taller, and seeming hardier, companions. His small pack felt like a ton of bricks and the heavy coat he wore made him feel bulky. The hood completely enveloped his head and almost obscuring his face. Only the gleam of his eyes could be seen through the narrow aperture.

In his mind he continued to circulate the conversation he had had with Durnae. He was mortified by how pathetic he had sounded.

"So, you're the agent from SI:7, yes?" someone said nearby. Elisha glanced around until he found a human who out of nowhere was walking net to him. He was lean and judging by the lines in his face, he was probably past his prime age wise. Still, he looked strong and had the same gleam of experience that the Old Man back at the office had.

"Apparently," Elisha grumbled. Coming from deep within his hood his voice sounded muffled. "I'm not an agent, though, Mr. Velmoran. Just a desk worker well out of his element."
He glanced at the road ahead and then turned his head to steal another glance at the human. He had had the opportunity to read the file on this character (at least the portion of the file that was unrestricted to him.) His dealings were considerable and to some, may be even considered on the verge of treasonous.

But for reasons beyond Elisha, he wasn't a priority target. He was just someone they liked to keep eye on from time to time. The information that was kept from him would probably explain more. Whatever the reason was, it was, as his office mates would say, well beyond his pay grade to worry about.

"And I suppose you're our thief," he added after a pause.

I might as well show these people that I'm not afraid to speak my mind.

"That I am. Espionage is my trade, not quite unlike what your agents do." The rogue gazed at the snow-capped mountains in the distance. "We're well away from any desks. Was no one else available?"

Elisha had to wonder if there was insult meant with that comment. What does he mean if 'no one else was available? But, Dyrian had a point. Why send him when there were plenty of other field agents who could handle the situation better.

Still, he couldn't let the slant slide without comment.

"Well, at least there's little doubt of who our agents are working for," he muttered, although it was just loud enough for him to hear. "I honestly don't know what I'm doing here, but I was asked to come. This is all new to me."

He glanced at the forest flanking the road and then at the road ahead that seemed to disappear into the mountains beyond. He just knew the winds were only going to get stronger and more bitter the more they continued. Joy.

"Give me some paper, a pen and some detailed dossiers and I'll tell how it'll all go down. I just don't want to be on sight when it 'all goes down,' if you know what I mean," he added.
Little doubt over loyalties... It took an effort for Dyrian to suppress a rising smirk.
Perhaps that's why he was sent. "You will have plenty of paper and pens, I'm certain, but our leader does not seem like the type for documents."

He gestured at the paladin at the head of the group. "I see a hammer on his back, not a quill."
"No, he doesn't seem to be the kind who appreciates the more analytical approach to situations," Elisha replied. He remembered how brutally Gabriel had fought to enter the scribe's home. "Still, it's not about the documents but the analysis. Everything can be quantified with enough information. I just... I don't understand what he's after. I don't like working without all the information."

"In a sense, that is what he's after. No one has all the information. Otherwise, I, Durnae, and the trolls would be in prison, or dead..." Dyrian turned and grinned down at the gnome. "And maybe you would still be at your desk. Whatever Gabriel needs us for, information is a part of it, but he's yet to relay his side and ask us for our own, and, unlike you, we're here under an agreement, not an order. A little extra information can turn a yes to a no."

He paused, uttered a short laugh, and shrugged. "Or, maybe I'm wrong. Information can be dangerous. Nothing is certain. Who knows why he keeps to himself?"

Prison or dead?

"I don't understand. Why would Durnae and the trolls be in prison or dead? And if information is what we're after then shouldn't we be told more so we know what to look for?" the gnome said. "At least behind my desk, not having enough information doesn't result in death."

Without any warning, Dyrian unsheathed his long dagger in one smooth motion, and then began to flourish it, twirling and flipping it between hands. "Clearly I am an upright, courageous citizen with outstanding morals, simply here to do his duty to the Alliance," he stated, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Do the math, Elisha. Why do you think SI:7 watches me? When last the Alliance heard of us before this mission, we left Charles Marand, a wealthy and influential man, dead, came into contact with a hidden cult, and were given highly confidential information. Easy things to walk away from, no?"

He tossed the dagger behind his back, catching it with his other hand. "That cult contact is what makes us useful, not our skills. Should Gabriel decide otherwise, then I can assure you that we would be watched for any transgressions, if not outright imprisoned and questioned. Death, on the other hand, is a cult's specialty."

Dyrian sheathed his blade with a sigh, shaking his head. "Conspiracies are webs, gnome, not charts. The Church wants to be certain that we're weaving the right strands." He gave their commander another look, hazel eyes alight with curiosity. "And Gabriel doesn't want to break those he already has. He knows what we are looking for. Is that not enough, in theory?"

"Hmmm... Perhaps, but what's to say he isn't already doing both?" the gnome countered. "From what you've already told me, in some periphery fashion, you and your teammates are in some way connected to Charles Marand's death. He wasn't just any noble, sir. He was one of the most influential nobles among the Stormwind Aristocracy.

"He had his hands on more than just gems, jewels and the like. His money touched almost every aspect of daily life in the Stormwind kingdom and he was gaining influence in the dwarven realms as well as cartels in Booty Bay. That you and your teammates aren't swinging on the gallows meant you beat the odds by a pathetic 17.218%. I would know. I did the math on that outcome."

The gnome cleared his throat and took a hefty drink from his canteen.

"I should perhaps clarify that the 17.218% survival rating hasn't gotten better, Dyrian. In fact, with each moment that we're with him," the gnome added, gesturing with his head toward Gabriel, "the number looks less and less lovely."

"Oh, and I use matrixes; not charts," Elisha says with a certain smugness. "Charts are only useful to dumb down the math for the people at the staff meetings."

There we are. Booty Bay... "Statistics change, gnome. Best keep your mind open to anything. As for our 'lowering odds'..." He darkened the look on his face. "Perhaps they would be lower with Tahirus. We assume much but know very little of this Silver Judge."

"He's a Silver Judge. Isn't that enough?" Elisha quipped under his breath. Even though it was barely noticeable under the oversized hood, he shook his head. "My mind is open, but I sure as hell wish my body wasn't here."

Towards their sides, the land began to elevate, the first of the mountains looming ahead of them. Nestled between the lesser hills below them was a tall, crumbling tower carrying the holed remains of two flags. Crow's Roost, Dyrian recalled with a fondness that surprised him. "Did you ever work with agents in Northrend?"

"I never really worked with any agents. But I do recall that they always wrote the most descriptive field reports," the gnome replied. "Most of those reports left me glad I never had to step a foot in that place."

Elisha stopped and pulled the hood down. He glanced up and stared intently at Dyrian with his normal eye. The motor in his monocle whirred quietly.

"Look, Mr. Velmoran, just tell me what you want to know. Speak plainly, please," he stated. After a short pause he continued walking. "There's no love between the field agents and us desk grunts. But my work was useful and appreciated."

Dyrian raised an eyebrow at the strange piece of technology, but managed to retain his mellow look over the gnome's pleasing offer. "Unfortunately, I'm not paid to, but I can. To start, what exactly does that do? What do you know of Gabriel? And, what's happened to those not present? Dra'kesh, Zeria, Izdazi... Tahirus." Though the gnome had asked for a blunt approach, the rogue kept the tone of his voice only mildly curious.
Elisha gestured at the eyepiece and then grinned.

"It was a senior project," he proudly announced. "It has a variety of filters and zoom features that I find useful for my day to day tasks. It can even take pictures! However, for your other questions, I'm not at liberty to tell you what we know about the troll and orc. As for the night elf, well, her reasons seemed personal. But she did speak highly of all of you."

Up until now, Dyrian had had little trouble in controlling his demeanor, but the gnome's response threatened to break his present look, for it was one of the cruelest japes the man had ever heard. He wanted to laugh aloud with all his heart, but he retained his mirth for Durnae's sake as well as his own. Whatever the priestess was telling him would be thrown into a foul light if he told Elisha of their clashes, and the rogue recalled well how he had shamelessly sold her trophy sword to goblins. How would the gnome felt if he was told of Dyrian and Dra'kesh risking their lives for cigars, or of losing Alezin in Stormwind's streets? I never knew Izdazi had such a sense of humor.

"How kind of her," Dyrian , scraping by his near-lapse. "I presume Charles Marand's dealings with Booty Bay are just as secret, then?"

Elisha glanced up at him and slowly shook his head. The monocle made a tiny whirring sound as he stared at the dilapidated watchtower. It made some clicking sounds as various lenses snapped in front of the large glass piece and then retracted momentarily only to be replaced by another.

Then, as if growing bored of the structure, the lenses retracted and the barrel zoomed back into the housing. He pulled the hood back over his head and sighed. With a sigh that came out as a vapor in the frigid air, he glanced at the human and shrugged.

"I'm afraid what little I was privy to isn't to be spread," the gnome replied. "Look, I don't want to make enemies here. I just want to do whatever I can for this mission, report to my superiors and return to my comfortably warm cubicle."

"That may come later than you think, at this rate." Dyrian cast a look at Elisha's monocle before turning to gaze at the mountains again. "Just remember, gnome, no one remains neutral. Making friends means making enemies." He grinned at the gnome a final time before striding away, humming a tune from his childhood.
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Miss Tiger on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:07 am

Tabitari and Izdazi

Tabi's muscles were starting to cramp from sitting in the same crouch for so long. She and the human man were watching the flames lick over bodies that were very recently living, breathing men and women. Did they have family? Loved ones that will miss them? She shook her head. It wasn't the time for such thoughts. Though, despite her best efforts, there was the constantly-nagging feeling in the back of her mind that the man's victims hadn't stood any more chance than a child against the Warchief.

It was a soft growl from Mash that attracted her attention away from the human. A nearby house, large, dilapidated, looking halfway fallen already, had some sort of strange scuffling noises coming from it. Now that her wolf had drawn her attention to it, she wasn't sure how she'd failed to notice before. The human could be forgiven for the oversight. Everyone knew that humans had terrible hearing, hardly worthy of being called a sense at all. But she was an orc! There was no excuse for her.

The human was busy with his corpses. The crackling of the flames would hide the small sounds of her movement, and if he could see anything in the growing darkness beyond the sphere of light given off by the fire, she would eat her shield. So Tabi crept towards the door of the house. Mash followed, a silent shadow. He planted himself by the door to keep watch. A single bark from him would have her coming in an instant, and he would die before allowing anyone to sneak up on his mistress.

The orc crept into the house. Boards creaked beneath her plated boots. Her head swung from side to side, golden eyes seeking to penetrate the gloom. But it was her ears that led more than anything. The scuffling sounds were louder, and she thought she could hear rambling speech. It was strongest from a hole in the floor. Light came from the hole as well. In the basement, then.

She found her way to the stairs to the basement and crept down warily, keeping her shield in the lead. The sight that met her eyes was something straight from a horror story. Candles dotted the walls at intervals, but she almost wished they weren't there. The golden light they gave off seemed secondary to the shadows they produced. What she at first took for a shadow was the body of a dead man on the floor. His throat looked to be torn to pieces, as she had seen Mash do to an enemy. But the true horror that dominated the room was the man that was still living. He was chained to a pillar in the center of the room. Twisting and rambling, his eyes rolling wildly, he seemed more an animal than her wolf. But she had a feeling that she would rather face the wolf in combat than the man.

Axe and shield still raised, she silently observed the human man, watching his movements before deciding on her next move.

"A-a-a-a-a visitor after all thissss time," a quiet voice said in an almost whiny voice.  His head turned slowly.  "You just interrupted me.  I was having such an insightful conversation with the gentleman here."  

His dark eyes glimmered from within his messy dark beard.  The chains rattled when he shook his arms.  He looked the orc up and down and chuckled.  

"Ah ha!  At last, a rebuttal t-to my friend's rather mundane argument," he added in a hushed voice.  He rambled incoherently for a few seconds and then chuckled.   "The honor of restoring nobility that has long been faded to time and decadence, or the honor that comes for fighting for the present?  Now that is a mystery that can only be answered by assssking the right question."

He snapped his jaws and turns back to the fallen body.  His face was shadowed by the gray light of the overcast skies shining through the dirtied window behind him.   A long slender line of drool dribbled from the side of his lips.   He shook it off and snorted for a moment.  The snort slowly changed into a snicker.  

"Honor to restore the past.  Honor to save the future.  Honor to preserve the present," he said, followed by a sudden guffaw.  He kept laughing as if he'd just been told the funniest joke.  "And what honor brings you here, little green girl?" 

Tabi studied the madman, for mad he must surely be. Her Common was not perfect, but she had little difficulty in following his words, if not his meaning. “...It is not honor that brings me here, human, but dishonor,” she replied at length, inching further into the room, her shield still held high, despite the fact that the man was bound. She glanced down at the dead human. “Dishonor and curiosity.” She nudged the body with the toe of her boot. “Dead men make for poor conversation,” she observed, never keeping her gaze off the madman for long.

"Poor was t-t-the quality of the conversation we had when he breathed," the man cackled.  "He rambled on and on and on and on and on about restoring the honorable King Perenolde's kingdom.  Honor, ha,"

"But you, nowwwwwww you are sssssuddenly interesting," he pressed on as he leered at the plate wearing orc.  His head jerked to the side slightly.  "Curiosity killed the sabre but dishonor makes you a curious sabre indeed.  Young, inexperienced, and so so naive.  So delec... delect... delectably...  Ah yes: 'delectably' is the word.  Such a delectably curious guest I have here."

"Welcome to my humble abode," he announced, spreading his arms wide.  He laughed and shook the chains shackled to his arms loudly and then smacked his lips. "Someone had their young eyes... 'opened,'" he said. The last word was spoken slowly as if savoring the flavor.

Tabitari's grip on her axe tightened slightly as the man spoke, her amber eyes following his arms as he gestured. He held no weapons that she could see, but... but the man made her skin crawl. “Opened?” she asked, drawing nearer. “They have hardly closed since I've been down here.”

Her gaze moved to his chains. “Are you a prisoner?” she asked after a moment, then gestured down to the dead man. “His?”

His body started to shake, as if he were experiencing a convulsion.  Then he broke out into a long protracted chortle.   Saliva sprayed from his mouth and glinted in the shaft of light coming from behind him. After an interminable amount of time, he finally managed to put out sentences.

"Aren't we all prisoners?" he blurted.  "You're lost, girl.  The very solid foundation you once stood on now feels like quicksand.  You're trying to quantify and rationalize and study and excuse, but the more you struggle to understand, the faster you sink.

"Like any mortal trying to make the world a pristine and orderly place, you struggle to believe you're not a prisoner.  Then you feel the sand traveling down your gullet.  

"And it's at that moment, when your muscles spasm and your lungs fill that you come to realize what a farce everything is," the man said.  He chuckled again, but it's without mirth.  His dark eyes remained fixed on hers.  "But you, girl, have the look of a person who has the briefest of glimpses of our prison."

He cocked his head to the side and cackled, but with his arms still chained by the pillars flanking him, he made no move to approach her.   

"I-I-I like a good story.   Tell me, what was it?  What has your young and innocent eyes seen that has made you doubt that honor and order can ever overcome chaos?

The man sickened her. His every word sent chills through her. But by the spirits... she wasn't certain that he was wrong. She inched closer to him, swallowing hard. “How can you see that?” she demanded, tightening her grip on her axe, then let out a breath, her amber eyes darting around the room before resting back on his face.

“Have you ever fought in war, human?” she asked at length, offering her shield so he could see the insignia of the Horde on it. “A continent away, my people march into the forests of the night elves, Ashenvale, to claim for our own. It is the orcish way to fight, to take by force that which we need. Land, property... they belong to the strong. And we are strong.” Her voice was distant, reliving her first march.

“And battle is glorious. When your axe and your blood sing the same song, and your heart pounds like a wardrum. Your weaknesses, your hesitations, they melt, like ice in the Orgrimmar sun. You -are- war. You -are- death.”

Tabitari's voice had rang out proudly as she spoke of battle, her eyes almost glowing with remembered battlelust, but they dimmed as her voice softened. “But battle ends... and you see exactly the price of your honor. Dozens, possibly even hundreds of night elves, slain, or forced from their homes. Those who fell... The lucky ones were left to be trod upon as they rotted. Others were... skinned, and hung from trees as a means to cow the elves.”

She fell silent for a moment, her eyes falling down to the Horde emblem on her shield. “I trained all of my life to be a warrior, human. I dreamed of the day that I would test myself against a worthy foe. But... the rest of it, I can't... I thought other places would be different, but every battlefield was worse than the last.” She looked up, her eyes wild. “I just wanted to test my strength! I didn't want to lose my soul!”

The pair remained silent for a moment.  The only sound between them was the creaking of building as it fought against the mountain gusts.   Then, an impossibly wide grin spread over his grizzly bearded his face.    
"The doubt in your voice is the most delectable thing I've heard in years.  But coming from an orc... from a young idealistic warrior... ssssssso sssso tasty," he said.  His deathly steady voice barely cast an echo in the cavernous basement.   "You so dearly want to believe in that thing called honor and glory, but at the same it reeks like the aftertaste of vomit in your mouth.

"But fear not my curious little green girl, because if you so wish, I'll reveal the biggest truth you're ears will ever hear.  Would you like to hear that, or are you too afraid to hear the wisdom that his old, frail human chained to these pillars can immmmmmpart," he jeered. 

Spittle flew from his lips as he enunciated the last word.   His dark eyes glimmered slightly as he kept them fixed on hers.  

Spirits help her, she was afraid. She didn't know why she had spoken such to him, but... But what danger was he to her? He was old and frail, as he said, and chained to the pillar besides. She was young and powerful, a warrior born. She was armed, and he had nothing. Her gaze drifted down to the dead human at her feet, and she lifted her shield slightly, though she stepped forward.

“What have you to say, human? And be quick of it. It grows late, and my wolf and I need to sleep,” she demanded harshly, more from nerves and fear than an actual lack of time.

The human laughed again and then leaned as close to her as he could, with his shackled arms bent rearward and holding him back.   

"It's all meaningless.  Nations wage honorless wars in the name of honor.  People sings songs of glory, but that glory reeks like the skinned bodies of the people you've killed.  And your soul that you cry you're losing, it will soon be taken from you anyway," he whispers. 

He steps back and stretches his arms to the pillars.  "All of this is meaningless under the great shadow and when the flames pass, all that glory, honor and soul searching will mean shit."

The chains rattled as he dropped his hands to his sides.  His head was cocked slightly to one side, but still he grinned, revealing blacked rotten teeth. 

"You're on a journey, but what you're looking for will always be just out of reach.  Do you know why?" he asked.  He didn't wait for her answer, however.  "Because you already know the truth.  You've seen the glories of war.  You heard the songs of honor.  And you've talked to the souls of your forefathers, and now that you've seen with your own two eyes what happens, you know the truth.  

"The songs of honor are just words.  The glories of battle are just fantasies.  And the souls of the departed are just dust.

"You are alone, searching for truth in a world forged by lies.  And you know this to be true."

The orc stared at him, her axe and shield slowly falling to her sides. “You're a madman... just... just a madman. You don't speak sense,” she murmured, then nodded, her eyes hardening. “Just... just nonsense. You can't be right.” Her hand on the haft of her axe tightened, as her voice rose to a roar. “You can't be right!” Deepest fear shone in her eyes as her gauntleted fist slammed into his cheek with every ounce of force her powerful body could muster.

The frail body spun around part way and fell back until he was supported only by his shacked arms.   Blood dripped freely from the open gash in his face.  There was a deathly rattle that came from his throat, but after a few moments that rattle turned to an eerily loud laugh.   His body seemed to convulse with each breath-hungry chortle.    

"Oooooh, you were making such progress.  It's that moment when a naive mind is suddenly opened to the truth that I live for," he managed to rattle off between chuckles.   He didn't try to raise his head as he spoke.  "The eyes widen and that tiny portion of mind suddenly rebels against the truth that can't be rationalized no matter how hard you try.  Oh, you were priceless!"  

He broke out into another round of guffaws that lasted for nearly a minute.  Then, as if throwing a switch, he stopped laughing and his head snapped upward.   He looked past the orc at another figure that was silently climbing down the stairs

The night elf was clad in dark leather leggings and a dark long sleeve shirt with a leather jerkin clad over it. A dark green cloak was draped over her shoulders and behind that was a quiver and a small pack. A few strands of dark blue dreads were seen spilling out of the hood below her shoulders.   A golden pendant necklace glimmered in the dim glow coming from the windows.   

An arrow was already notched and pulled back on the bow.  Her head was concealed behind the hood from cloak but the glint of her silvery eyes could easily be seen locked on the human through the scope on her bow.   

"A guest we have?" the human whispered, although his eyes.  His head suddenly cocked to one side and his eyes widened.  "I kn-"

Whatever else he was going to send ended when the arrow sliced neatly through his neck.  The withered human began gurgling and rattled the chains as he started drowning in his own blood.   

"<Step away from him,>" the elf very nearly snarled in heavily accented orcish. 

“Mash!” Tabitari snapped, her amber eyes fixed on the elf. The big wolf at the entrance bounded into the building, forcing his way down the stairs behind the elf. He growled and snapped his massive jaws at the stranger. The orc's heart was racing, though she did not move an inch. “That was my kill, night elf.” But could she have killed him? Surely the human hadn't been a true threat, but... did she owe her life to the night elf?

Her grip tightened on her axe as she raised her shield, eyeing the elf and the exit. The newcomer was blocking it. After a moment's silence, she lowered her axe and muttered a command in orcish. The wolf stopped his snapping and growling. “I seek no quarrel with you, elf. Move aside,” she ordered, though her voice was tired, her shoulders slumped.

"Your kill?" the elf responded with a bitterly sarcastic tone.  "Allow me to offer my most profound apology for taking something that apparently already belonged to you." 

The elf spared a quick sideways glance at the worg before looking back at the orc.  She didn't move.   

-Lies.  You, your people, your nation, your history... nothing but untruths.-  

Tabi flinched as though struck. Her eyes darted from the night elf to the dead man, but it was despair that filled her heart. “You're not wrong...” she murmured quietly, studying the man, the blood still wet and dripping down his chest. “They said that honor was earned through combat, but there is only shame. There is only sorrow and pain, and more fighting.” It was as though the elf had ceased to exist. “Nothing but lies.”

Mash whined anxiously, and forced his huge head in a gap in the pillars holding up the armrest on the stairs. He barked, and the orc glanced back at him, then at the elf. Her expression was pained. “Please, night elf. I don't want to fight you. Move.”

The kal'dorei cocked her head slightly and then brought her bow up.  Another arrow was already loaded and pointed squarely at the orc's chest.  

-There are no honorable deaths.  There are no glorious deaths.  There's just death.-

"What are you doing here?" the elf asked, glancing at the bodies in the basement and then at the orc.   "A little Syndicate hunting?"

“Shut up...” the orc whispered, looking back at the dead human. “Shut up, shut up, shut up. You're dead. Dead men do not speak!” She roared the last sentence, lifting her axe and burying it in the man's lifeless chest. She tore it out, then cleaved half his head off. “Shut up! Get out of my head!”

The wolf howled from the steps, every hair standing up on his back while the orc savagely brutalized the human's corpse, bashing it with her shield, kicking it, ripping gaping wounds into the dead flesh with her axe that dripped blood that had been settling through his cooling body.

The elf lowered the bow and watched the orc silently.   The orc's cries echoed loudly in the basement along with the wet sound of the body being pulverized.   Then, the huntress began to notice something else.

With each strike, blood spattered around the room from gaping wounds.  But amidst her strikes there was movement in the body that seemed to come from some other source.  

The shackled and battered dead human's body suddenly started shaking his chains.  A liquid-sounding rattle rose from deep within his body and his legs began to spasm. 

Crimson blood that once leached from his wounds began changing to a thick opaque liquid that spattered in thick clumps.  His skin, pale and covered in boils and rashes, slowly turned grayish pink and shined with a transparent wet sheen.

"Oh fel," the elf whispered. She looked back at the blindly raging warrior.  "Orc, get back!"

-You're lost.-

“You're dead! Dead men don't talk!” Tabi raged as she continued her assault. “I'll make sure you NEVER speak again!” She slammed her shield into the man's face, shattering damn near every tooth in his mouth. As her swings grew wilder, the wolf's barks grew louder. He finally forced past the elf on the stairs and charged the berserk orc. He caught her in the side, and wolf and orc went flying across the room.

The only thing Tabitari was conscious of was flight, then a sickening crunch and inability to breathe as the air was forced from her lungs. Her eyes, when she opened them, were sane again, and as her breath returned, they filled with horror. “By the spirits, what...” she whispered, forcing herself to her feet. Mash stood beside her, growling. Wolf and orc stared at the... the... she didn't even have words to define what it the thing was that had once been a man.

The thing continued growing and transforming before their very eyes.  The bloodied bearded face shifted around and more drool and goo spattered from the new wound in his face.  Then, it healed and the beard became a thick triangular proboscis.

The human's hands disappeared as his arms became tentacles.  The rusted metal shackles shattered as the tentacles thickened.  His eyes all but disappeared under the folds of the moist pinkish skin where his face had once been.  

Casting aside his clothing, the creature grew until his head started rubbing against the ceiling.   The creature seemed to glance at the night elf and then stalked toward the orc.  

-Flames will herald the new beginning.  Rejoice in your coming doom.  No amount of honor can save you now.-

Three arrows suddenly embedded themselves onto the creature wet back.   It sputtered and spat drool and then swung its tentacle around, catching the elf in the chest.  She was thrown back against a set of crates on the far wall of the basement.

The creature turned, and spat more thick drool from its mouth.   

-You cannot save yourself.  You cannot save your people.  Your glory will never be remembered.  You will die, forgotten.-

The wolf moved first, All bristling fur and snapping jaws, Mash threw himself at the creature. He caught the beast's long, triangle-shaped protuberance in his jaws, which snapped closed like a bear trap. Claws raked savagely at the monstrosity's tender stomach. It roared in agony and swung around, trying to shake the wolf free.

Mash's bravery spurred Tabi into motion. She took the advantage offered by her loyal companion and darted forward. She ducked a flailing tentacle and hacked across the back of the monster's leg. It fell forward with a roar of agony, and swung at the orc again. Tabi jumped back, landing between the night elf and the beast that spoke with its mind. She risked a glance over her shoulder while it was distracted with Mash.

“You okay, night elf?” she asked, then looked up sharply, raising her shield, at the sound of a crash and a whimper as her wolf went flying across the room, slamming into the wall and going limp. The beast turned towards the pair. He was a bit worse for the wolf's assault, but was far from down.

Izdazi groaned as she struggled to get up from the shattered crates.   Everything sounded so muffled, but she could still clearly make out the creatures roar and voice of the orc.  Pain was still radiating along her back from the impact of the toss and her arm felt sore.  But nothing was broken.  She counted that as a blessing.  

Her attention turned to the orc, who was standing at the ready.  Behind her, the beast was rising to full height.    

"Oh, now you're suddenly aware of the monster," the elf snapped.  She muttered a prayer that her bow wasn't broken.  It wasn't and she quickly pulled an arrow and readied it.  "Great job getting it riled up.  Now keep it busy, green skin!" she ordered while taking aim.


Tabi nodded and whirled. This was something she could handle. They were facing a monster, not a piece of their world. It sought to spread only pain and misery. It had filled her heart with doubt to slow her.

Or was it right?

She shook her head to clear it. The sound of the elf behind her, drawing her bow back, heartened the orc. They were alive. And by the Spirits, she would do everything in her power to assure that the elf didn't die this day.

The orc banged her axe on her shield, the sound echoing throughout the basement. “Come on, monster! I am your foe!” she roars, then charged forward. Her axe bit deeply into the monstrosity's side, and she tore her blade free just in time to lift her shield and block a strike from a tentacle. Her plated feet dug into the ground. She swung her blade forward, hacking at its tentacle. It roared and stumbled back, and she charged forward again, continuing her assault.

-I am not your foe.  Your mind is your foe because it knows the truth.  The truth is, the elf will betray you.  I am just a man, tied to a wall.  But she is behind you, with a bow.-

The Faceless one snorted more thick opaque droll and staggered back a few steps.  Its tiny eyes fixed on the elf.  

“If you speak truth... then it will be no more than I have earned for my crimes against her people,” the orc replied. “And it will be after the world is rid of your evil!”

-I am not your foe.  The orc is your foe.  Skinning your dead as if they were mere forest vermin.   I'm just an old frail human chained to the wall.-

Izdazi shook her head and her at the strange voice.   She tried to take aim at the demon, but instead she saw the orc set in her sights.  Her bow groaned and the string grew taut as her hand pulled the arrow back further.   

I cannot allow this to interfere with my mission. She released the arrow and it embedded itself into the creature's forehead. Its tentacles whipped about and it staggered back again.   

The elf reached back for another arrow and selected one with an explosive head.   "Turn it around!" she shouted, shaking her head to clear out the last vestiges of its intruding voice.  

Before anything, Tabitari was a soldier, and a soldier's most useful trait was the ability to follow orders. She didn't hesitate at the night elf's shout, but obeyed. Dodging tentacle strikes and fending off mental attacks, she sidestepped slowly, keeping the monster's face to her. “Stay on me, big guy, come on,” she hisses, bashing its knee with her shield and dancing back to avoid another smash from a tentacle.

“I hope you know what you're doing, elf!” she called before roaring savagely. The beast's broad back was bared to Izdazi, but the orc was steadily losing ground.

“Just do your part, orc!” Izdazi shouted as she prepared an incendiary arrowhead. A thin wisp of smoke was beginning to rise from the tip and she pulled it against the bow string. She just needed to wait a little longer before releasing it. There couldn’t be any delay or there would be risk that it could pull the arrow out.

The creature, if it could even be called that, was leaving a trail of thick ichor as it advanced on the orc, but, to her credit, the warrior didn’t hesitate with the taunting.

The elf took several deep breaths and tried to visualize her target: the back of the neck, just below the brainstem. That would result in an insult death. But then, do these creatures even have a brainstem? Doubt crept into her mind and she hesitated for a moment.

Something exploded in the basement and she ducked just as an enormous shadow bolt blasted through the frail pillars holding the floor above. Thick streams of dust rained upon them and the building shook with another concussive blast. The creature was firing off shadow bolts blindly.

The arrow tip started glowing red. It was either launch or let it explode in her face.

“Get down!” she shouted, before releasing the arrow. Izdazi held her breath as she watched it fly to the target. But, it didn’t hit the neck. Hell, it didn’t even hit near the neck. It embedded itself deep in the creature’s shoulder.

Cursing floridly, she ducked behind another timber pillar just as the arrowhead exploded. The basement shook and her ears popped from the concussion. All the basement windows were blown outward as sections of the first floor began collapsing in on the basement.

The orc roared savagely, keeping the monster busy with a string of rather imaginative insults and well-timed strikes whenever it looked like it was considering turning back to the night elf. “Keep your eyes on me, monster! Where are your twisting words now? Finished playing with my doubts now that real weapons have come out?” she taunted. She managed to parry one overhand smash from a tentacled arm with her axe, then barely lifted her shield in time to block a shadowbolt. The force of the spell pushed her back, and her shield rang like a bell from it.

The night elf's words weren't loud enough for Tabi to hear over the ringing of her shield, and the force of the blast knocked her backwards. It wasn't so far to the wall, and her body hit it hard. Only her light plate armor kept her from sustaining serious injury. As it was, the wind had been knocked out of her, and her eyes were blank, blinded from the blast. Everything around her was pandemonium, with chunks of the building falling. A large beam crashed down directly on her left, a large portion of floor falling with it. Over all of that, though, was the roaring of the Faceless One. It staggered forward while Tabi was trying to blink away the afterimage from the explosion.

It lifted a horribly-mutilated tentacle-arm to bring down in a smash on the blind orc. A growl was the only indication of his presence before Mash hurled himself at the monster, his jaws snapping shut around its arm. It roared as it swung the wolf around, stampeding through the basement.

The roof falling in on them was like cascade.  Pillars sequentially failed as the sections of the first floor rained on the basement.   And what wasn't directly affected by the explosion was soon decimated by the carelessly flying tentacles of the demon. 

The elf covered her ears as the Faceless One bellowed.  She could feel the utter hatred in its voice as he hurled the worg about.  The last straw, however, was when one of its free tentacles slammed into a nearby load-bearing pillar.  The roof fell directly on the creature and it just kept falling.   

The kal'dorei wasn't sure how long the avalanche went on for but when it finally ended all that was left was the ringing in her ears.   Izdazi couldn't even hear herself hacking for the first few minutes.   She stood up and shook the dust from her jerkin.  She had taken a completely grayish color from the debris and dust.  Her hair felt grainy with the stuff.  And the places where she did see color, were from the blood from the scratches on her face and arms.   

"Orc.  You still alive?" Izdazi managed to call out between coughs.  

Tabitari could do nothing but watch as her heroic Mash threw himself at the monster. The roars of the Faceless One echoed in her ears, and her mind. She almost didn't hear the ceiling falling until it was too late, but a split second before impact she pulled her shield over her head and braced herself.

Her world was nothing but roaring and banging and thundering for several long minutes. Her arms were aching from holding the shield steady under a constant stream of debris falling on it, muscles shaking from the exertion, and in agony from the constant shocks. Panic overcame her for a moment as the light was blotted out by debris fallen around her, but she had her small pocket of air to breathe.

After what felt like an eternity, the roar of the house falling on them trailed off but for a few clatters. The wolf, who had let go at the last second before the roof fell and landed clear of debris, stood and shook himself. Despite that, his black coat was so covered with dust that he looked white. He whined and looked around, then ran to above the orc and started to dig.

Tabi could hear Mash digging and did her best to help from her precarious position. Only her shield had kept her from being crushed under tons of rubble. The wolf managed to push enough aside that the orc could push her shield upwards. Once her arms were free, she wriggled and squirmed enough to get her head out. She coughed and choked on the dusty air, but managed to haul herself out from the hole that would have been her tomb.

“Still alive, night elf, unless you're here in the afterlife with me,” she replied, her voice little more than a croak. The wolf barked happily, running around her like a puppy. “By the spirits, Mash, be still. My head's spinning enough as it is.” She leans back heavily on the wall, amber eyes tracing over the wreckage covering the fallen Faceless One before flickering over to the night elf.

"Oh, I doubt we'd go to the same place in the end," Izdazi groaned as she slowly approached the orc.   The room, the whole building in fact, was destroyed.  Shafts of gray light streamed from now visible sky above.   

The night elf staggered closer and in a sudden deft motion, swung the side of her bow against the back of the orc's head.   With her other hand, she threw a small vial at the worg.   

An attack from someone Tabitari considered an ally was the last thing that she expected, so she had no defense. Her muscular form crumpled as she fell forward, landing in a heap of green skin and armor. The wolf growled and tried to lunge at the night elf, but the vial cracked on his nose. With a whimper and a whine he started pawing at his face, backing away from the night elf, his tail between his legs. The orc groaned, but this final strike after a long, brutal battle had found her limit, and she stayed down.
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Mercutio on Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:19 pm

Rothiron

Rothiron remained where he was until the meeting was adjourned and the group began dissipating. He held his breath as the paladin Gabriel, Scarlet ambassador Esbern, and the Gnome investigator Elisha walked out, dreading the former two to sense his presence. The warrior let out a sigh of relief when they passed around the corner and out of sight, discussing among themselves. Still, he didn’t care to be found out by the other tavern-goers, so he left soon after that trio.

Exiting the Mage district was uneventful, but the very moment he stepped through the arch that would take him to the Trade district, he happened upon some guards.

“Halt, in the name of the king! Who goes there?” demanded a rather stocky footman.

“Beg your pardon, sirs,” Rothiron quickly spoke in clear common. “I was… just on my way home from the tavern.”

The man’s compatriot, notably taller and clean shaven beneath the helm, glared harshly at Rothiron. “By the Light, men and women are hanging by the dozen almost daily, and you are drowning yourself in booze?”

“These are the best times to drown away troubles, Alexor. I’ve half a mind to drink till I vomit!” the first spoke in defense of Rothiron.

The man did not drop his look of contempt. “Typical. I half suspect this man has already drunken to that point! It’s a vile stench that clings to him.”

Rothiron made it a point to avoid getting this close to anyone all night long. As it stood, he was ungodly fortunate that they mistook him for a drinker. All the same, he did not wish to stay much longer.

“If you’ll excuse me, sirs, I wish to be home soon,” he carefully asked.

“Oh, yes, sorry to have impeded your way then. Off you go,”

Rothiron walked to the bridge, relieved. The moment he stepped onto it though, he heard one of the guards call out to him.

“Take off your hood!”

It was the disapproving guard who made the demand. Rothiron tried to dodge the request. “Milords, its rather cold out…”

“That was no request, it was an order! Now remove it and let us see your face!”

Rothiron damned his luck. He was left with few options now… Reveal himself for what he was and be cut down, or flee from the guards and outrun them and their cohorts, though he doubted he could outrun everyone in Stormwind. A glimpse at the water below gave him an idea though...

Making no sudden movements, he walk close to the edge, slurring his movement ever so slightly. By now, the guards had moved to intercept, but they had only just reached the base of the bridge when Rothiron stumbled over the wall barring a drop into the canal below. As he fell into the water with a tremendous splash, the guards looked over the waves as they died down to ripples, leaving only bubbles of air as any trace of the man who fell.

“Bloody hell, the man didn’t seem that drunk!” the stocky guard cried, alarmed. “We have to get him out!”

Alexor shook his head. “Unless you intend to fish him out, diving in to get him in our attire will only serve to add two more to the grave. And by the time we’d get either of our gear off, the man would expire from loss of breath.”

At those very words, the bubbles stopped coming. “Light rest his soul,” nodded the first solemnly.

“Yeah, rest the drunk bastard’s soul in Hell.”

After lingering a bit longer, deciding on what to do, the guards came to agree to report the incident and location and have the man fished out with all due haste. Unbeknownst to them though, Rothiron was already swimming away, having no real need to breathe. The scheme went off better than he’d have hoped. By the time they returned to retrieve the body, he’d be long gone. With any ounce of luck, they’d write him off as a unfortunate man who clumsily fell off the bridge, and nothing more.

Deciding to go to the Harbor instead, Rothiron hoped to stow away in a boat headed for Theramore, and from there travel to the Barrens, then to Orgrimmar, then at last to Undercity. He doubted the journey back would be easy, but he had little choice in the matter. He needed to get moving and fast. Else he’d arrive after the rendezvous.

One Day Later

Capital City towered over Rothiron, even in its ruined state. In its days of glory, it was like a city of churches, a shining beacon for humanity. Walking beneath its stone archways filled him with nostalgia. He had once seen the city in its full glory, but looking at the courtyard, it was nothing but an enlarged grave yard, with only ghosts and whispers to hearken to its noble past and tragic fall.

Somehow, that suited the Forsaken quite well. The warrior even heard that some of his kin had opted to wander and reside above the ground. Though he had a grim feeling they would soon erase all traces of Lordaeron away from this place as had been done with Brill or what they held of Andorhol. But he didn’t come all this way to lament over a past lifetime. He had business to conduct with his superiors, however compulsory and thankless it was.

As Rothiron walked beneath the belltower, he felt a lack of ease at the thought of visiting Undercity. Few really called him a friend these days, least of all the orc guards placed because of suspicion. As it turned out though, he needn’t have gone all that far. Leon met him in the former throne room of the dead king. There was a hint of irony in a knight standing in the throne room of the liege he pledging to die in service to, only to outlive him in undeath. Rothiron doubted Leon missed it.

“I trust that you found your way to the meeting easily enough?”

“Aye, and I also found that the Horde already have agents there, investigating the matter,” Rothiron stated bluntly, not hiding the irritation he had at this revelation as well.

“Ah,” Leon nodded. “Well, that is very interesting. I suppose we weren’t invited to this lovely get-together then…”

“I can only imagine why,” Rothiron wondered aloud, already having a good idea of the answer.

Leon smiled at Rothiron. “Sarcasm. I like that. Shows that for all your showcasing of the noble Lordaeron knights, you’re still quite like us in many respects,” the rogue commented, gauging Rothiron’s reaction. He was not disappointed when the warrior let out a sigh and spoke no further. “Now, indulge me with the details.”

The warrior looked at the rogues feet as he detailed his findings. “Your intel was spot on. A noble named Charles Marand was involved with the Cult of the Damned. There is also a panic going on from what I’ve heard passing through the streets. There was mention of some hangings.”

“Stormwind in the grips of panic, how delightful,” Leon hummed, feigning interest. Rothiron knew that this was only confirming information, but he wanted to start from the beginning.

“However, the cause of the panic is not the Cult of the Damned,” Rothiron added.

“Oh?” Leon allowed his façade to drop and looked on with genuine curiosity.

Rothiron nodded, “Charles Marand was apparently forced to work with the Scourge by the Twilight Hammers Cult. If I had to take a guess, his death was enacted by the Hammer to cover their tracks.”

“The Twilight Hammer…” Leon mused, suddenly uplifted by the news. “Why this is better than we could’ve hoped!”

Rothiron’s head twitched slightly in confusion. “Pardon?”

“The Cult of the Damned is certainly not to be trifled with when it comes to their plans, but the Twilight Hammer? We’re talking a completely different league of insanity. We’re talking about people who, as opposed to desiring an existence of being corpses, want no existence at all. A stink by the Cult of the Damned may result in a hanging here and there, but the Twilight Hammer? I can only imagine the people of Stormwind biting off their own heads.”

“All due respect, the Twilight Hammer concerns us as well,” Rothiron pointed out.

“Perhaps… But not at this moment. Besides which, the Dark Lady has done a stellar job in rooting out traitors.” After a moment’s hesitation, he added, “And those brute orcs Thrall sent are certainly letting no one rest easy.

“But that’s irrelevant. Where are they meeting again?”

Rothiron reluctantly nodded. “Chillwind Camp, in the Western Plaguelands. But why…”

Leong interjected, “…Do we want to continue investigating when the Horde already has it covered? Because, my naïve friend, the Horde isn’t interested in taking advantage of this weakness. Maybe it’s that imbecile Garrosh’s sense of honor, or perhaps their general dislike of subterfuge. Who knows? I hear rushing headlong into a bloodbath, axes swinging, is therapeutic.” Leon smirked at that joke before proceeding. “But we Forsaken cannot afford to fight like brutes. We must fight intelligently, with our wits about us. Ours is a tough lot in life, where even our allies would have us fail if they had their way."

Leon spat to the side at that before resuming, “We do not have the luxury to let opportunities like this pass. We take whatever edges we can afford for our continued survival, and for our benevolent Dark Lady. And for both, you are to further assess this weakness. In the meantime, I’ll convey what you have learned and pass it on.”

The warrior knew not to argue otherwise. “Very well, I’ll leave for Chillwind soon after I gather the supplies.”

One Day Later

Rothiron observed Chillwind Camp from a cliff overlooking it. Though undead have dampened senses, this did not stop Rothiron from feeling cold in the wind. His companion and mount, a frostwolf he had named Argent, did not have trouble with this as she was born and raised in these peaks. While Chillwind camp itself had no snow to speak of, the mountains of Alterac were another story entirely.

Rothiron could make out forms down below, but it was such that he could only make out the ones that were completely different from a normal structure. As such, he could make out the trolls, the gnome, and the Draenei, but other than that, only the Scarlet priest stood out in his crimson regalia. He wouldn’t be able to eaves drop on them at this distance, but he doubted he’d go unnoticed at this time, so he’d have to be content with tracking their movements.

Argent, well aware of the situation, gave a small grunt of disapproval. Rothiron could only nod sadly and say, “I like it even less than you, Argent, but I’m forced to play a precarious game here. If I don’t do as they ask, they’ll brand me a traitor without a second thought.”

Argent’s response was a nudge on arm as he looked down, followed by a bark. Rothiron sighed just when it seemed they started to move out. “We’ve haven’t a moment to lose Argent. The road they’re on is headed to Strahnbad. We’ll have to ride ahead of them.”

When the derelict town came into view, Rothiron first noticed the stack of smoke billowing upwards from the town. Someone is here already? Rothiron would’ve gone to investigate it first, but Argent gave a growl in a different direction. He now heard a ruckus going on in one of the old buildings. Tugging lightly on Argent’s reins to move closer, the warrior decided to investigate the commotion before the others arrived.
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Mercutio
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

Post  Mormosi on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:15 pm

Uthelas, Midnarwen, Izdazi, Tabitari

Uthelas could not stand the sight of corpses. At times he could not fathom why the priests of his people placed spiritual importance in empty husks. They claimed that the graveyards that rested beside every human community provided some sort of service or protection to the souls of the deceased, but the warlock never saw the sense in it. The notions of the vain were no better. Promise and deliverance of punishment prevented enemies and criminals from continuing their acts, not showy displays of military bravado through parading the slain through the streets. He had seen more than enough heads on pikes.

To him, fire was enough of a warning, and it erased a corpse thoroughly, to a point that only magic could top. Flesh, clothes, wood, bones, everything turned to ashes in time, a waste far less hazardous than a body. No one could reanimate ashes, and their use in rituals was limited, depending on their origin. There was no point in bearing an enemy's body when smoke and the smell of burning flesh were your harbingers.

Pyres had long been something of a tradition for him, one that had only been refined to a clean process with the advent of the war in Northrend. He gathered up as much broken wood as he could and quickly arranged it in the middle of the street. After rummaging through their pockets for coin and taking their scarves, the only real proof he had of their deaths, from their faces, he carried each of the Syndicate thieves outside, one by one, and unceremoniously tossed them atop the cluster of shattered furniture. Even the girl's severed arm was flung in. Absolutely nothing would be left behind for the Twilight's Hammer to use. They shall receive a pyre of their own shortly.

With a demonic word and an outstretch of his arm, the warlock set the fire roaring. Only when he saw the bonfire eating away at the flesh within did he back away, sitting on the inn's front step. He began to sharpen his longsword. Their deaths came as a small solace to him. If the dead boy's words could be trusted, and Uthelas felt that they could, then his findings only grazed the surface of something larger; the Syndicate were merely working for the Twilight's Hammer, a much more powerful group to contend with. Yet, that did not change his course of action. He would ride further west, see that they met their end, and retrieve the phylactery. As grim as the boy's tidings had been, Uthelas saw no reason to deviate now.

While he was tempted to ride off in pursuit immediately, he needed his rest. The strokes of his grindstone sated those urges, and every so often he lifted a piece of meat to his mouth, washing it down with a skin of water. Night's descent made it difficult for him to search his surroundings, but he did so diligently. There was no telling whether or not some of the Syndicate still remained within the township.

Midnarwen watched as the man finished his task, taking out a bit of food and some water. She drew the string back to her cheek, before saying loudly and authoritarily, “I am Sergeant Midnarwen Proudoak of the Stormwind Militia. Identify yourself.”

Uthelas was up before she had finished speaking, blade and fire in his hands. She sounded feminine, but he could not see her beyond the light of his fire. Wherever she was, she was in a position to ambush him through magic, projectile, or coordination. He glared in the direction of her voice.

"Uthelas Sorenthal. Reveal yourself, I have no quarrel with you." Yet.

Midnarwen was impressed but not surprised at the speed with which the man had reacted to her presence. She could feel Grimm nearby and trusted the lion to have her back. At least he had volunteered his name. That was something. And fire…a mage, or a warlock perhaps. Still dangerous. But she had chosen to identify herself, as had he, and no shots had been fired.

She moved slowly forward, into the light, but still kept her bowstring taught and her sights trained on him. “From where do you hail and why are you here?” she asked.

Uthelas took his time in scrutinizing the night elf. Doubtless she was telling the truth about her position. Every component of her attire was formal, almost uniform, with no piece of equipment coming off as useless or inefficient. That, and an arrow was readied against him, prepared to sail into his heart should he act out of turn. Unless her irritatingly authoritative attitude was just a facade, she was certainly from the military.

Begrudgingly, he answered, his eyes never drifting from her. "I come from Andorhal. For the past five days I've ridden, tracking down a group of thieves." He gestured at the pyre with his sword. "Syndicate, allied with the Twilight's Hammer." He turned the sword back on the elf. "Why are you here? How long have you been watching me?"

Midnarwen eased the tension a little bit in her bow string, lowering the bow slightly, but still ready to fire it at a moment’s notice. “The Twilight’s Hammer,” she said perplexed. “I have been tracking Syndicate movements as well. But I do not understand why they would ally themselves with the Twilight’s Hammer…” she trailed off. That was grave news indeed.

“Uthelas Sorenthal,” her tongue curled around the brusque name clumsily. “If indeed you are doing what you say you are doing, I mean you no harm. I have only been watching you since you created the fire, to try and determine where your allegiances lay. But will you tell me how you came to know the Syndicate has allied with the Twilights?”

"One confessed to dealing with the cult, though they were unaware of their true identity. They sought gold in exchange for Ebon Blade artifacts." The man briefly looked down at the bag by his feet, mouth curling in disgust. "The cult is camped west of here, in a castle, likely preparing to conduct a ritual. Others may be headed here now, as we speak."

Midnarwen relaxed the grip on her bow, unknocking the arrow and placing it back in the quiver on her back. “Then we’d best prepare ourselves,” she said. “Grimm!”
The black lion padded out from around the fire, looking at the human once before padding over to the Night Elf’s side.

A lion in waiting the entire time... Somewhat surprised, Uthelas warily regarded the creature as he sheathed his sword, letting the flame in his other hand gutter out. Soldiers did not roam about with pets of their choosing, and a lion was the last thing the Alliance would choose for standard protocol, no matter the irony it involved. A huntress with enough respect or rank to keep such a partner in company would never deign to mere scouting. "Are you alone?" he inquired, taking a few steps forward. "Sergeants command, where are your troops?"

Midnarwen hesitated. “I am currently…on solitary assignment. Tracking the Syndicate,” she explained. He didn’t need to know that most of her troops had died in Northrend. Or that as of right now her assignment was indefinite. “So, yes. I am alone. And you are as well?” Behind her, Grimm looked back at the human once, before silently stalking back off into the darkness.

"Yes," Uthelas stated, not very pleased by her answer. "I intend to leave for the castle by dawn. Follow me if you wish, but do not expect me to slow down for you or your beast, nor will I take any orders from you."

She regarded him casually. "I do not expect you to take orders from me...Uthelas." She was getting more comfortable with his name. "As for my beast, he goes where he wills. You have no need to cater to his pace."

The warlock nodded. "I shall take the first watch. If the cult arr-"

Midnarwen stumbled backwards a step as the explosion from a nearby house rocked the ground. "By Elune," she cursed under her breath. Grimm was back by her side in an instant, ears flat against his head and teeth bared silently. She readied an arrrow, pointing it at the wreckage.

Ripping his sword from his scabbard once more, Uthelas shot the night elf an accusatory look, only to find that she was just as startled as he was. Unwilling to waste any time, the man rushed past Midnarwen to see the wreckage for himself. An entire house had crumbled in on itself, as if something inside had imploded. Everything from the ground floor and up was nothing but a heap of wood, utterly demolished by whatever had occurred inside. The warlock paused, sword aloft, examining the ruins for any sign of movement. From some lower level emerged another night elf, a sign that made him glance back at Midnarwen, but the two did not seem to recognize one another.

In tow with the second elf was an orc either unconscious or dead. That only confused the warlock even more. None could possibly be with the Syndicate, but the cult took on many forms. Coincidence almost seemed to be out of the question.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded of the second woman.

At the same time as he, Midnarwen shouted, "I am Sargeant Midnarwen Proudoak of the Stormwind Militia. Identify yourself!"

"Why do you have to be so frelling heavy," Izdazi grunted as she dragged the unconscious orcess up the stairs. She had to constantly pause to brush aside the fallen boards and debris before dragging her up another pair of steps by the collar of her armor.

Somewhere deeper within the ruined basement, she could hear the orc's worg growling and frantically scraping against the barriers she had hastily erected. It wasn't going to hold him permanently, but hopefully by the time he freed himself, she'd be long gone.

Loyal to the end, Izdazi mulled as she climbed up another pair of stairs. There was another pile of debris blocking the top of the stairs. With a grunt she started ramming her shoulders against the barrier of fallen beams and boards. Little by little, the debris was knocked aside until finally cooler air began pouring in.

"You had better fetch a decent bounty, greenskin," she complained as she finally thrust her head from the basement and breathed in the fresh mountain air. Only, what she smelled wasn't actually fresh air, but the pungent odor of burning flesh. She tried to avoid the acrid scent by breathing through her.

The first thing she was in the night-enshrouded village was the pyre burning brightly. And then she noticed a pair of a humanoid shadows standing between the flames and her. The huntress let lose a curse in Darnassian. Her first thought was to dive back into the basement, but she stopped herself short of committing to that action. The basement was a dead end. She'd be trapped if they followed her down. And sooner or later the orc's worg was going to extricate himself from makeshift trap. There was no way she'd get out of there with her bounty.

That left her at the mercy of whomever of these intruders. Her light sensitive eyes were making it difficult for her to tell much about them, but she suspected that one of them was the human she had seen earlier.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded.

"I am Sergeant Midnarwen Proudoak of the Stormwind Militia. Identify yourself!" a female voice demanded. The name and stature appeared to be night elf.

They both appeared to have weapons drawn and she saw the form of an animal standing tense next to the night elf.

Thank you, Elune, for reminding me what I'm missing not having a companion watch my back, she derisively complained in her mind while recalling orc's worg. Izdazi didn't like being at the mercy of anyone, but her options were limited. They had the higher ground, literally. She had a worg that was coming soon. The orc would probably awaken soon and then she can kiss her bounty farewell.

"You're a little far from your jurisdiction, Sergeant Stormwind," Izdazi shouted back defiantly. "Look, I'm just passing through. The name is Izdazi Shadowcreek. I'm a sentinel and I'm just delivering my bounty up north. Don't mind me."

Taking a shaky breath and hoping her bravado will pay off, she turned her back to them and finished climbing the rest of the steps. With a grunt, she pulled the orc up from the basement and rolled her onto the ground.

Uthelas took a few aggressive strides towards the elf, unconvinced. Her explanation was too simple, too direct, and unable to account for a building that had been torn down to its foundations. "You are far from your battlefield as well, sentinel," he shot back, glare shifting from the elf to the orc she was dragging. "If the orc is a fugitive, she should be killed. Why is she not bound?"

Izdazi’s head snapped toward the human. Her hand already gripped the hilt of the sheathed dagger behind strapped behind her belt, but she stopped short of withdrawing it. Her bow was useless until she crafted more arrows. That didn’t mean she was defenseless, though. Annoyed by the tone of the human’s voice, she could almost envision herself the dagger through his voice.

Diplomacy for now.

“The greenskin is needed for questioning and she’s sedated,” the huntress lied. No sense in having to compete with other people for the bounty. “She’ll be bound when I get to the rope stored in my pack.” She jerked her head toward the edge of the town.

The night elf turned and pulled the orc completely from the ruined building. She pushed her unceremoniously to the side and allowed her to roll to the ground. Grayish viscous grime from the aftermath of the battle with the Lost One coated the warrior’s plate armor. Some blobs of ichor dripped from the elf’s dreadlocks, and cast an odd sheen in the firelight.

Midnarwen’s initial surprise at seeing the stranger was another Night Elf, and a Sentinel no less, was short-lived by the frustration she felt at the other elf’s flippant tone. “You are not being entirely honest with us,” she accused, seeing the thick goop drop off the other Kaldorei’s features. “What happened in that house?” she demanded. She had lowered her bow, but still kept her fingers in a comfortable grip on the string around the fletchings, ready to draw it in a heartbeat if needed.

Izdazi turned to the fellow night elf and set her jaws tightly. She looked back at the rubble of the building and then to the two who were interrogating her. A few witty sarcastic comments came to mind but Izdazi figured she'd pressed her luck enough with them.

"A little demon problem. Turns out some of the Syndicate you're roasting there kept a demon under there. It took a little improvising to exterminate him," she explained. "A few more explosives were probably used then was really necessary but he was giving me a hell of a time with the whole… not dying thing."

She looked the night elf with long dark blue pony tail and noted the bow being casually held , but ready in a moment. The huntress cocked her head to the side and then smirked.

"Stormwind Militia? Kinda far from our romping grounds aren't you?"

"Don't redirect this," Uthelas growled, openly scowling at the bounty hunter. His left hand trembled. Not a single one of Izdazi's answers sat well with him. The notion of her being a Sentinel, let alone any military figure, seemed farfetched to him, solely because of her damnably nonchalant attitude. Furthermore, the knowledge that a demon had taken to hiding in Strahnbrad incensed him. "You claim a position as a Sentinel, but you're an ocean away from their fields, tracking down bounties? For whom, and questioning for what? What has the orc done? Explain yourself fully, or I'll see you tossed in the pyre with the rest."

Midnarwen’s gaze shifted to Uthelas casually. “No one will be tossing anyone into a pyre.” She looked back towards the other elf. Midnarwen knew she was trying to set her on edge about her position with the humans. She had heard it all before. Turning her back on her own kind, betraying them. At this point the words had no meaning, other than to serve as reinforcements that she had made the right choice in forming an actual alliance between races that transcended the xenophobia of her own people.

“But you will answer his questions. I was not informed that there would be any Sentinel activity in the area before I came here to fulfill my assignment.”

Izdazi closed her eyes and sighed. This encounter isn’t going in the direction she’d hope for. Whatever happened to ‘we’re on the same side, so get out of my way?’

One look at the number of human bodies burning in the pyre answered that. It’s not just the opposing geopolitical powers and historical racial enmities the world has to contend with. Now it’s the small, chaotic groups that recruit equal opportunity like. Small localized extremist terrorist organizations like the Syndicate were becoming eclipsed by globally reaching, shadowy organizations like the Twilight Cult. Orc or night elf, it didn’t matter. They were everywhere and anyone. Worse than that, there was very little disputing their connection to the dreaded Xaxas.

Outwardly, Izdazi dismissed the human. He was just another of that infant, short-lived, meddling race playing at knowing more than they could grasp. Worse, he was a caster, though he held his sword with a skill she’d seldom seen in a magic user. She made sure to always keep him at least at the edge of her vision.

But the night elf, Mindnarwen, was questionable. Ashenvale is under siege from the Horde. Thousands of their kind has been killed, the Shatterspear Trolls openly attacking their settlements in Darkshore and this kal’dorei choses to spend her time with the humans of the Stormwind Militia. It’s like a hunting dog choosing to spend time playing with rabbits.

“I’m handling an investigation [partial truth], and this orc is needed for questioning [not so true]. Do you honestly expect to get all the memos now that you’re with the humans all the time? It’s not as if SI:7 tells us everything they do or learn [so very true],” the elf explained. “As for what she’s being questioned for, I haven’t been authorized to disclose that. You never know who you can trust these days.

“Look,” the huntress added, gesturing to her prisoner. “She’s just an orc. Hell, she’s an orc I caught palavering with the demon down there. As soon as I get her to my pack, she’ll be bound securely and we’ll be on our way out of here. Nothing else should matter to either of you. She’s just another mindless bloodthirsty greenskin enthralled by the bloodlust Garrosh spouts. Only now, any information she might know will help us.”

Izdazi glanced at the slumbering orc and noted with some dismay that the warrior’s closed eyes were starting to twitch.

“The sedative I gave her won’t last much longer,” the huntress added quickly, looking at both of her interrogators. “I need to bind her. Stop wasting my time.”

Uthelas was aware of his teeth kneading together, but he did nothing, could do nothing, to stop their grinding. Preventing flames from bursting to life in his palms, and, by extension, sending them roaring towards the deceiving craven of an elf, became an effort. The holes were aggravatingly obvious. Her continued exasperation made her claim of being a Sentinel no less believable, and SI:7 hiring a Sentinel, for that matter, was simply preposterous. She was unprepared, unwilling to deal with a man bearing the symbols of two neutral organizations and a Stormwind Sergeant, and, as it seemed, filled with disdain. If SI:7 had truly chosen her over one of their own, they had made a poor choice. The more he considered the given ideas, the less they made sense.

And the sergeant would rather let her spout out more lies, he thought, shooting Midnarwen a glare. The soldier was becoming a hindrance, as he had feared. She continued to use questions, questions that would get them nowhere in the long run. He did not doubt for a second that she was adhering to her regulations. Leaving the Cult's problems to the Alliance, or to whomever this elf served, would be disastrous. Of that, he had no doubts. Yet, he was not bound, and he did not intend to walk away without the truth.

He sheathed his sword, stilling the trembling in his hands. Staring at the elf's face all the while, he strode up to her without pause. "Lying bitch," he muttered, a gloved fist surging towards the Sentinel's forehead.

Izdazi barely had time to react to the fist rushing toward her. This magic caster moved faster then she ever imagined from a human. She felt his fist fly through her dreadlocks and brush past the space where her forehead had just been.

At the same time she, raised her left arm and pulled back on the shirt sleeve concealing the small crossbow strapped to her wrist. With a click, the limbs snapped outward and drew a small bolt tight along the bowstring.

With an angry sneer, she raised her arm and took aim at the human's neck. He was so close to her. She the string tied around her finger and felt the crossbow click. At the same time, she caught motion at the periphery of her vision and instantly knew what that meant.

Her world exploded in a flash of white light. Everything seemed to spin around and then went dark.

Midnarwen stood stunned as Uthelas moved towards the other Elf and aimed a punch right at her face. It was only moments, but the soldier stood motionless. She was unsure of whom to help, and thus did the most logical thing-stay out of the way to ensure her own safety.

But soon, the human had got in a good cross, and the elf was falling. She moved swiftly towards him, trying to grab his wrist to render him inert, but he twisted away from her. She noticed the other elf, unmoving, so she didn’t pursue. Instead she just stood glaring at him, bow in one hand, her other clenched in a fist.

“What are you doing?” she demanded angrily. Grimm stood at her side, teeth bared in a silent snarl.

Ignoring the sergeant's question, the warlock knelt and grabbed Izdazi by her collar, her limp body offering no resistance. His scowl deepened. He had intended to beat her into submission, not incapacitate her. If only she hadn't tried to fight back, he reflected, wincing at a pang of pain in his shoulder as he stood. The Sentinel's crossbow had been cleverly hidden, and would have spelled his death were it not for his second strike. The bolt had punched through his left spaulder and torn off a scrap of skin before shrieking past, though he was lucky to receive only that. A few inches to the right and it would have taken him in the throat.

Finally, he turned, noting his ally's confrontational stance. "Getting answers," he replied. "Do not tell me you believed her tale?"

Midnarwen couldn’t argue with that. “No, I did not,” she admitted. “But there was no reason to punch her in the face.” Midnarwen did not particularly care for Uthelas’ loss of temper. It spoke to her of someone undisciplined, barely in control of his simplest emotions.

But at least the threat was contained, for now. She would not show this elf any more or any less suspicion she would give to any other member of the Alliance. She moved instead to the orc, who was beginning to stir, reaching into one of the pockets on her satchel and pulling out a thin cord of rope.

Soft. She may be alone, but Stormwind's instructions remain. "It was reason enough, sergeant," Uthelas reinforced, staring at the fallen orc as Midnarwen began to tie her down, the warrior's drowsy movements growing in vigor by the second, rising with the early morning's sun. His mouth became a thin line. He wanted no more disputes from the warrior or the sergeant, especially when it came to the latter. Enough of his time had been thrown aside to deal with this scuffle.

Restless, the warlock stooped to deprive Izdazi of her weaponry, a pain ripping through his shoulder. Its source, a contraption complicated enough for a gnome's standards, was strapped to the elf's wrist. Sparing no time in contemplating the proper way to remove it, he yanked it off, breaking the strap in the process. If her true motives proved honorable enough, then she would have the opportunity to fix whatever might have been damaged. When the woman's obvious weapons had been stacked a distance away from her, he procured a small vial of liquid as red as the blood staining his coat, downing it without delay, the bitter taste making him grimace. The disgust was more than worth the effects, however, and he could feel the potion stem the flow of blood. The wound would doubtlessly require bandages later (the bolt of the crossbow had been far sharper than one would have anticipated from such a tiny weapon), but the alleviation the mixture provided was enough to burn away any impurities.

"Hurry up!" he barked at Midnarwen, noticing their captive beginning to awaken.

Midnarwen narrowed her eyes at the warlock. Impatient fool. “I assure you, the situation is well in hand,” she replied in a low voice. Grimm picked up on her tone and flattened his ears against his head. Midnarwen stood up and took a step back as the orc awoke fully.
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Mormosi
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Re: The Upheaval (Closed RP)

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