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71 Dwarf Hunter
The dusty ground was covered with tracks heading every which way. Taking a small drink of water, Baridin continued trying to figure out which way the tracks decided to lead. Heading over to a small hill, Baridin's cat nudged his leg with his paw. "What is it, lad? I don't suppose you found the worgs?" Looking down he saw the cat staring down the hill at a group of kodo wandering away. "Focus, lad."
Walking back down the hill, the tracks seemed to head down to the Great Gate. Following this set of tracks intently and forgetting to look up, he walked right into the gate. "By Magni's beard!...who put this gate here?" Baridin's cat looks slightly amused at his blunder. "Oh don't give me that look."
As Baridin walks back up to the tent to tell Jaszmin what he found, he sees she's coming out of the tent with a scrap of cloth. After filling her in on what he found, and making a point of leaving out his crash, she shows him the cloth. After some discussion they decide to check out some centaur camps to the north, the same direction of the worg tracks. Looking down to his cat, he gestures for him to follow.
((Be nice! This is my first roleplaying post. If I need to change some details, I will, but I really did try hard to be true to all of the specifics.))
Meriste scanned the dusty horizon from behind a rocky outcropping overlooking the Great Gate, searching for signs of nearby tauren. Having seen nothing within the past few minutes, her figure dipped behind the rocks and moved closer. She’ahu padded silently at her side, her black fur glistening in the fading sunlight. The sun was setting and the sky quickly growing dark; smoke drifted above her from nearby campfires. No one had yet discovered her presence, and she intended to keep it that way.
She had decided to make the journey to the southern Barrens after hearing about the disappearance of Faithe, a young woman who had been assigned to Manus Ignota as an ambassador of the Holy Guard. She had first heard about the situation during a trip to Booty Bay. Although she had originally come there to visit a gnome by the name of Oglethorpe Obnoticus about a strange metallic chicken (apparently a homing beacon of some kind) she decided to stay after having noticed a large crowd gathered at the tavern. Among those present were several members of the Holy Guard, as well as a few others she had seen before at the Blue Recluse but did not know. They appeared to be having a heated discussion with a few tauren. Curious, but not wishing to intrude, she had stayed on the docks to enjoy a few hours of fishing before returning to her assignment in Feralas. It was there that she had spoken to Cray and Taelanas and learned of the priestess’ fate – first taken by Ishnu Por Ah, and taken again by orcs. The situation threatened to spark guild wars if Faithe was not found and returned to safety; although Gentyl had maintained her composure throughout the ordeal, it was clear that Faithe’s safety was of utmost importance. The other members of the crowd had seemed much less…restrained.
Unsatisfied with doing nothing, she packed a day’s supplies and made her way to the Great Gate to do a little investigative tracking of her own. She climbed to a high ledge that flanked the edge of the gate and slipped around the other side unnoticed.
This gate was built to keep out invaders after the incident at Camp Taurajo, Meriste thought, but the tauren haven’t done a very good job of keeping its weak points guarded. She frowned at the ease at which she had passed over the gate and paused to search the ridge for hidden traps. Finding nothing, she descended the rocky slope and found herself at the back of a small tauren campsite. She’ahu followed behind her, the softness of her breathing making the only sound. Meriste crouched behind a tent and looked around. The camp was at least a few days old, and had been abandoned. Moving further into the clearing, she knelt down and examined a camp fire in the center of the camp. She touched a piece of burnt wood and examined the ashes that flaked off on her fingers.
This fire is somewhat recent, she noted, but whoever put it out did so in a hurry. She looked up at her surroundings, first checking to make sure that no one was coming, and then checking the state of the tents. A makeshift settlement. Only meant to stay up for a few days…something happened here. Glancing down at the ground, Meriste noticed an abundance of animal tracks surrounding one of the tents and leading off into the distance. She crouched and examined the shape of the tracks, tracing them with a finger. These are large…very large. They belong to some type of canine…perhaps a wolf, or a worg. There were other footprints, some belonging to tauren…and some belonging to a human. Meriste’s eyes grew wide.
Faithe! Faithe was here! These tracks…could they be from riding wolves?
Edited by Meriste on 5/17/2011 5:55 AM PDT
Meriste moved over to the tent and stepped inside. There was a large rug lying on the ground, surrounded by a few empty crates and a rack of weapons. There didn’t seem to be anything extraordinary about the tent. Glancing down at her hooves, a small scrap of cloth resting on a crate caught her eyes. Meriste bent down and picked up the cloth, examining the texture with her fingers. It was an embroidered piece of cloth with the image of a centaur on it. Meriste’s brow furrowed, a puzzled expression on her face.
What is this? What tauren would keep an image of a centaur in their tent – aren’t they mortal enemies? And if orcs are responsible for her kidnapping, why would they have it? Is it possible that centaurs have something to do with the kidnapping? Meriste placed the cloth back on the crate, unsure what to do with it. I don’t know if this is important, but Gentyl will want to know about all of this. I will mention it, even if it doesn’t make much sense to me.
Stepping out into the last rays of sunlight, Meriste prepared to leave the area. Deciding she had stayed long enough and not wishing anyone to know of her presence, she quickly noted the direction of the tracks leading out of the camp – past the gate, heading north – and began to cover any signs that she had been there. She had just finished covering her traces and slipped over the rocky outcropping when she heard the sound of wings somewhere over the ridge. With She’ahu at her side, Meriste quickly and quietly traversed the ridge, careful to stay hidden from view, and slipped away.
Having made her way back to her mount, Meriste rode off into the distance towards the Stonetalon Mountains. I don’t know where these tracks will lead, she thought, but this is important. Sepha needs to hear of this information right away. I will return to the barracks and notify her of what I have found.
((I had to split the post, the first was too long :P ))
Edited by Meriste on 5/16/2011 8:36 AM PDT
Meriste's discovery had spread through the ranks of the Holy Guard like wildfire -- and it was extremely opportune.
Things had become murky. Cray had spent his life being trained for combat -- battles where skill with weapons mattered more than political savvy or the ability to keep your mouth shut. Those were not the battles he found himself involved with now -- between his outburst against the Stormwind City Watch while helping with their exorcism, and the debates raging about what to do about the Ishnu Por Ah and the variety of missing individuals -- Cray found himself wildly unprepared. He'd rather be struck by lightning than find himself entangled in all of this.
With word that evidence of Faithe had been found in the Barrens, Cray took off for the Barrens. Before long he found himself at the Great Gate, where Meriste had seen the tracks. He was not a hunter, a tracker at all... but since he knew what he was looking for, it was not so hard to find. He sent Gust up into the air, and followed the trail by foot....
....to Vendetta Point?
The Tauren there watched him warily, but he kept his axe sheathed and smiled, nodding politely to them and holding up his hands in peace. Maybe he was getting slightly better at this political savvy thing after all.
He walked through the village -- base? Whatever it was. The tracks stopped, spread out in different directions. Nothing he could make out to be human tracks, however. Vendetta Point was full of tracks, absolutely untraceable.
It was in the midst of searching the tracks that he found the embroidery -- an image with flowers, Tauren, and... a human? It was hard to tell. The paladin went to retrieve the image from the ground, though a grunt from a nearby Tauren gave him pause. He looked -- the Tauren was toting an axe at least as large as the one Cray had hanging on his belt. The picture could stay where it was, he reasoned.
Thinking that staying too long in the settlement might not be a wise thing, given how closely he was being watched, Cray hastened to the edge of Vendetta Point. He put two fingers in his mouth to whistle -- then noticed something before the sound left his lips. There were indentations on the ground -- a lot of them. More tracks! Heading north!
He had to alert the Sepha, immediately.
Edited by Crayauchtin on 5/17/2011 7:44 PM PDT
The Maggot Lord gazed at the artifact. It's eerie green glow complemeted the pictograms carved delicately onto it's surface, and the blue metal remained polished to a high sheen. New goblins had been hired by President Mottak, and were even now in the process of devising a means to safely pick up and transport the item. Only 3 had died so far.
"Boss, we gots a message here for ya, from yer bird.", a goblin secretary twittered to Abominus.
Abominus took the note and scanned it, nodding as he read the words. He placed the note from Redearth into his pocket, then turned to the assembled goblins.
"When you have finissshed making that item sssecure, contact me, we have busssinessssss to attend to, yesss. Alssso, contact the AAMSss, yesss. They will be utilized in it'sss delivery, yesss."
Abominus let out a hacking cough, his body suddenly racked with pains as a few score maggots swelled and burst inside him. After a few moments, he recovered.
"Llejna'sss green and white glowsss worked, but it isss only temporary, yesss. We will need an expert on cursssesss to heal usss, yesss. Now, for the matter regarding her sssending me a human, we mussst make our cauldron'sss ready, yesss. Who knowsss what we can devissse once it'sss body isss rendered down to component partsss, yesss."
Cackling madly, the Maggot Lord skittered off.
Zherron left the Blue Recluse with a grim expression on his tanned face, having turned over the scrap that he, Baridin and Jaszmin had found in Camp Una'fe, and with the findings he and Baridin had found when Jaszmin had left them. His natural Gilnean paranoia was causing alarms to go off in his head. He suspected that the Horde kidnappers were leading the search party into a trap, and so did his fellows - and so did Lady Gentyl.
The fact that they likely knew it was a trap was not reassuring to Zherron, especially after going over the map with Baridin. The possibilities were not promising. If Faithe's kidnappers got her into the Stonetalons, they might well lose the trail. But if his and Baridin's suspicion was correct, and they were headed into the Desolace - to lose them in the Cenarion Wildlands - he would need a friend from the Cenarion Circle. And as it happened, he had one.
Flying to the ring of stones at Stone Cairn Lake, he was pleased to see that friend waiting for him there. "What news from the Moonglade?"
"Compliments of Shan'do Loganaar, Packleader Zherron," replied the Cenarion messenger. "We've sent scouts ahead into the Desolace, waiting in the Wildlands and sending word to our people there. If anyone goes through there, they will know. It's a matter of how they will inform you - if you are still on the search in Stonetalon or the southern Barrens, they cannot send word ahead to you without being caught. But if they head into the Wildlands, you'd figure it out anyway."
"Excellent. I will inform the Lady Gentyl." Zherron put a clawed hand on the night elf's shoulder. "Thank you, my friend. Return to Loganaar. And pray we catch the scum and find the poor girl before this gets out of hand."
With that, Zherron returned to his crow form and headed south, towards Stranglethorn and the ship out of Booty Bay that would take him into the Barrens. He hoped that the leads they had found were still viable - or this could well end in tears.
Edited by Zherron on 5/18/2011 6:53 PM PDT
It happened fast. Cyrus had been sitting in the Recluse, having a rather heated conversation with Gentyl, Taelanas, Tenwit, Ciellia and Vanressa. At a moment, he caught a glimpse of an elven female. "That's not a night elf." Standing from his chair, he casually made his way around the room to loop around behind the elf.
Darkness crossed between her fingers and she was looking in the direction of Gentyl's table, perhaps at Tenwit. With a shock of ice, Cyrus stopped the action and the ensuing violence erupted without warning. This elven priestess had come with a druid companion, whose face Cyrus caught a glimpse of only for a moment when he shifted forms to heal himself. The druid wasn't wearing Ishnu colors, but Cyrus knew it was an ally at least of Red Earth's. He was no fool.
When the fighting subsided and the two Horde attackers had fled, Cyrus was breathing a bit heavy, looking right at Gentyl.
"How much more blood do you want?" Cyrus said, pointing down at Taelanas. "That druid was one of Red Earth's clansmen! He was at almost every encounter we had with Ishnu in the Barrens." Taelanas was badly hurt, the damage of a druid's claws having been severe. He was hardly able to pull himself onto his horse. "Red Earth is playing you! How many more of your Guards does she need to make into casualties before you strike back at her?"
Gentyl had seemed to be deep in thought, as if considering what Cyrus had been saying all along.
"Deliver the message to Imperon, Cyrus. Thank you."
With that, she had flown off to catch up to Taelanas and tend to his wounds.
"Alright, Gentyl..... Alright."
Edited by Çyrus on 5/19/2011 12:57 PM PDT
While the trail was leading them deeper into horde territory, Jaszmin felt some sense of foreboding. The discarded club with silver hair and blood on it was not good. The fact that Faithe still managed to leave a clue behind was amazling in itself.
There was also a strange encounter with a tauren shaman, who seemed to be waiting for them near the Hunting camp. He greeted them with open hands, a sign of peace. Looking at her companions with a concerned but cautious shrug, she bowed to the tauren and showed her empty hands. He seemed satisfied they were only searching for Faithe. Perhaps this was the aid Redearth promised.
Jazzy followed the tauren closely and he led them to a camp deeper into the mountains. He cautioned them when they came to an orc encampment, leading them around it safely and up the paths to an overlook. There they found signs of a large group, and unmistakable sign of Faithe being with them. Another scrap of embroidery showed mountains and trees.
A deep sense of wonder caused Jazzy to look into the eyes of the tauren, she saw only the same caution and unease she herself felt around someone usually considered an enemy.
She smiled and tried to reassure the tauren they meant no harm. He seemed to warm up to them a bit and indicated where they should head next.
For a long time...Jazzy had felt only distrust and loathing at the taurens..this was a different way to look at a people who were being pushed relentlessly into conflict. Why they allied themselves with such as the Forsaken she had no clue...something just did not seem right here.
With a heavy heart, Jazzy headed back to Stormwind. Her report to Gentyl had to be made, before dawn. They would need a much larger force than originally anticipated. But how they would catch this group of orcs and rescue Faithe she had no clue.
Vanressa arose early in the morning and took her daily stroll down to the Harbor to watch the sea as the sun cast its dawning rays upon the glassy face of the world aquatic. She had slept well that night, even as her mind raced in dreams and unconscious thoughts concerning the happenings in the Recluse.
A very good thing had happened there, even though Taelanas and Cyrus had been engaged in less than mutually appreciative conversation, Gentyl had been sunken in concern over her lost friend, and Tenwit kept trying to egg everyone else on to fight the Ishnu. These things did not strike Vanressa one way or another, but rather, she bore witness to diverse factions stepping up to one another's aid in defense of the city. While there had been bickering, she noticed what stood out far more was the very presence of Pia, the Ocheliad, Pillar, and even Conclave at a single table, and not for the outright purpose of a tavern brawl.
A curious looking smile cracked upon Vanressa's aristocratic visage as she reflected not only on the events of the evening, but also on a speech given to her band not long ago. She remembered it in clear detail...
"What do we stand for? We stand for a defense of those who cannot defend themselves, yes, of course, but we stand first and foremost for justice. Justice requires the truth, it requires all the facts of the situation at hand! We are warriors to this end sometimes, we are advocates and ambassadors at others, but it seems that what we are best at then is the fine art of applied exploration. There is a greater good, indeed, an honor to maintain not only in our lands, but throughout this world. Let us go forth as such."
Last night she found a very different side of the Ishnu Por Ah facing the assembled warriors down. She fought alongside Cyrus and both engaged in a fight to protect Gentyl. It seemed the time had come to join them in actively taking back Faithe, for the facts manifested themselves well and clear last night, to the witness of many.
Edited by Vanressa on 5/19/2011 8:54 AM PDT
Gentyl sat at her usual chair in the Recluse when Verogoth walked in. Her usual chair was one with her back to the wall. Clot had taught her that trick. It didn't help much against a determined rogue, but it made her feel a bit more safe.
He paused for a moment in the doorway to let his eyes adjust to the darkness. They all did. Gentyl often thought that was the perfect moment to kill someone if a person were so inclined. With that in the back of her mind, she had developed a habit of waiting just inside the entrance to let her eyes focus before entering the building. It was the little things that kept a person alive longer.
Verogoth paused less time than most people did. Perhaps it was an effect of being a death knight.
He looked to where she sat and smiled. "Gentyl, you needed me?"
She nodded and motioned to the chair beside her. "I have two messages I need delivered as soon as possible." She slid the letters to him without saying anything else.
He looked at them and then back up at her, surprise clear on his face. "You'll be needing translators?"
"Yes, and I need this done as quickly as possible."
He tucked the letters away in his carrier bag and took a quick sit of the drink she had ordered for him. "Any time preferable to you?"
"No, if you can find them, I'll be there."
It was a long shot and she didn't believe for a moment that Redearth had sent the infamous letter offering Faithe to Abominus, but she wanted to see them in person. Facial expressions wouldn't mean much on the rotter, but Redearth might give something away when confronted. A person had to be a very skilled deceiver to control all their body language and tell a convincing lie. That's why Prophyt had been such a miserable card player. He couldn't lie to save his soul, not could he control his reactions to a good hand.
She pushed the gold coins toward Verogoth. "Safe journeys. Let me know as soon as you have word."
Edited by Gentyl on 7/5/2011 9:16 AM PDT
She had word. Abominus would meet with her at Booty Bay on Janeiro Island. Verogoth hadn't been able to locate Red Earth. Red was the one she had wanted to watch, but she had to got with what she had. If there was a chance Abominus had Faithe or was negotiating for her, Gentyl had to try an buy her before Abominus reduced her to a maggot breeding farm.
She poured another cup of tea and squeezed a wedge of lemon into it before dropping a bit of honey in. The silver spoon dipped in as she stirred absently. It was an exquisite spoon with an ornately wrought handle of intertwined roses. She liked the weight of it. It was heavy and meant to last a lifetime. It probably had. She found it in a deserted farmhouse where rats and ghosts had replaced the family who once lived there. The spoon was tarnished black with age and it was only because a rat had knocked it off a shelf that she noticed it. Most likely there had only been the spoon and no more pieces. This family had been plain and hard-working, like her parents. Perhaps her new husband had given it to her as a wedding gift, vowing one day she would have more.
One day never came for them.
Then the shades appeared. There was one at first. It was little more than a malevolent shadow, but she recognized the chill in the air. The hairs on her neck stood up and she tried to shake off the feeling something was behind her. She spun to face it. The air shimmered black where it moved to meet her and she could almost sense it smiling as it closed on her. Three more joined it before she dispatched the first one.
By the time she was done, ten of them had fallen. The blue glow on her sword dimmed and she took a deep breath of relief. The sword sensed demonic power like a hound might raise its nose to catch the scent of a fox. There was no more scent in the air and the sword returned to honed steel.
More shapes slowly formed in front of her. She raised the sword in confusion, but it didn't have the angry blue glow when fel magic was near.
"Thank you for releasing us. They trapped us here." A woman's voice whispered in her mind.
It was then the rat had knocked the spoon off the shelf. Gentyl had always felt the woman wanted her to have something that meant a great deal to her in life. She picked up the spoon and put it in her pocket.
The couple reached down to take the hands of their small children and drifted up through the roof of the collapsing house.
Gentyl laid the spoon aside and took a sip of tea. She had never really desired riches. That puzzled many people. It had frustrated two in particular who had sought to lead her down a path she had no business traveling. Even so, the beautiful spoon and the silk sheets were things she loved. The spoon, a gift from a wife long gone. The sheets...the sheets. She still didn't know who had sent them. They appeared after she'd been poisoned and it was agony having anything touch her skin. The sheets had afforded a small measure of comfort over the coarse spun linen while her skin grew back.
Perhaps she did crave luxury despite her protestations about not wanting a life of ease.
It was time to meet Abominus and stop the ruminations about her life. She drained the cup and went to the kitchen to wash it and the spoon.
Traveler raised his head and nickered at her when she walked out. "Not this time, old man. I need to fly."
Cyrus was standing nearby when the gryphon descended to her. "Going somewhere?"
It was almost as if Imperon knew what she was going to do before she did. In a way, she hoped the sale of the guild hall went through. She was tired of being watched.
"Yes. I have a meeting."
Cray was cleaning his weapon in the shade of the stable while Taelanas watched Iecia rearrange her toes in alphabetical order. Her three guards looked up. "Do we need to come?" Cray asked.
"No, I said I would be there alone."
"I don't think traveling alone is a good idea," Taelanas said.
"Probably not, but that's what I agreed to."
"Imperon didn't agree to that," Cyrus said.
Edited by Gentyl on 7/5/2011 3:58 PM PDT
The Guards weren't happy about Gentyl leaving alone, but that's what she said she would do. Cyrus hadn't put up an argument for once and that was more troubling than the members of the order who had complained loudly about her leaving them behind. With any luck at all, they would be in and out within a matter of minutes.
Luck, it was something she hadn't seen much of lately. What luck did appear had been all bad and all unwelcome. It was time for some good luck, she reasoned.
There were several Grims and a few other clans there when she arrived on the island. They were all in full armor with weapons plainly visible and all of them had war paint on, as she did.
"I think we should call off the meeting," Verogoth said.
Gentyl considered it, but Red Earth was here also and she didn't have the luxury of trying to schedule another meeting which might take weeks. "No, let's go on. Red is here and I need answers."
"I don't think it's a good idea," he said. "We can do this another time. If a fight breaks out, I can't help you."
Abominus smiled and nodded at her. Why did she always shudder when he smiled at her? He was like an idiot child at times, happy with his world and all in it, but in the back of her mind, she imagined him sizing her up and estimating how many maggots could feast on her.
"I don't expect you to. If a fight happens, just get out before you get blamed for it."
Red Earth was in fine robes as always. She bowed gracefully and said something to the translator.
"Red Earth welcomes you and asks why you have called this meeting."
Gentyl started to reply and then stopped mid sentence when Abominus laid out a blanket and set an umbrella in the ground. He carefully arranged a variety of foods on the blanket and then tossed a handful of rose petals over Red Earth and smiled. He was giddy with joy and skipped a bit back to his bags, pulling out more goodies. He bowed to Red Earth and pointed to the blanket.
Pink and red hearts started drifting into the air while he crooned something Gentyl could only assume was some sort of song.
"Abominus is thanking her for going on a date with him. Red Earth said no, she is not on a date with him."
Red Earth stomped her hoof on the ground, raising a small puff of dust. She put her hand out to keep Abominus from getting any closer. Even without the translator, Gentyl could tell what she bellowed. Abominus cringed and started crying then pointed at the blanket again.
He turned to look at Gentyl with something of a hopeful look on what was left of his face.
Gentyl flinched. "For gods sake tell him I am not his date!"
Verogoth handed a copy of the letter the Regent Tenwit had delivered to the alliance to Red Earth and explained that it was purported to be from her to Abominus. Abominus continued arranging things on the blanket and humming to himself. He was not taking no for an answer. He was on a date and life was good.
Red Earth's feature's darkened as she finished reading the letter. She repeated the contents of the letter while Verogoth translated as quickly as he could. "What the fel is this?" she boomed. "I didn't write this. I don't even know what 'largess' means. My house? I never refer to it as my house."
She continued to rant about the letter while Abominus skittered about preparing a lovely, romantic picnic. He lit some candles and looked up. "You're giving me a maiden?" He threw more rose petals in the air and jumped for joy.
Surely this must be what insanity felt like. Abominus was getting a maiden and a date. It had to be the best day of his unlife.
"A largessssss maiden? Even better. More meat."
Red Earth glared at him. "I'm not giving you a girl. I don't have the girl!"
Abominus looked confused and then pointed at Gentyl. "You're giving me Gentyl?"
Verogoth was breathless with the translations.
Gentyl backed up a step. "Tell him she isn't giving me to him. Hurry."
It was too late Abominus skittered over to Gentyl and licked her cheek.
"Ewww. Gods tell him not to do that again." Gentyl rubbed at her face where the rough dead tongue had grazed and then noted with much disgust the two maggots on her shoulder. She flicked them off and raised her boot to step on them, but stopped herself just in time. The last time she'd killed some of his maggots he brought an army down on Stormwind.
Edited by Gentyl on 7/5/2011 3:59 PM PDT
Dr. Vincent Wolfe took the letter from Red Earth and began to examine it. He patiently setup a table and pulled out various scientific looking beakers, bottles and boxes. Then he looked at it through a large magnifying glass. Gentyl started to tell him it was just the words copied down and not the original when Abominus put his arm around her shoulder and smiled up at her. Then he handed her a box with a pink-bowed maggot.
"No touching! Tell him no touching," she yelled at Verogoth and accepted the box reluctantly.
As madmen went, and Abominus was quite insane, he was relatively harmless unless he perceived an insult to the Grim honor. To reject his gift would have been an insult, she was sure, but his gifts always led to more chaos. It might be easier to just insult him now.
Abominus looked behind and pointed. Gentyl turned around and saw several Ocheliad in the water near the island. Some of them came up to the island to watch. Gods, they had followed her, what next?
"Tell them to leave," Abominus said through the translator.
Gentyl recognized Imperon hovering on his bird nearby. "Go back," she yelled. "I'm fine. Please withdraw."
He remained where he was. They were not going to withdraw. "If no harm comes to you they have nothing to fear."
It was useless to argue with Imperon when his mind was set.
"Verogoth, tell Abominus I will buy Faithe from him if someone sells her to him. Hurry."
Verogoth waited for the answer and frowned. "Abominus wants to know if Pia is broke. Why are you dealing in slaves?"
"No, we're not broke. I just want to buy Faithe if someone tries to sell her to him."
He skittered back to his bag and pulled out something crawling with maggots. He extended it to her with a smile. "He wants to know if you're hungry. This is a piece of Fallenrose's liver he took in battle a few weeks ago."
Gentyl turned her head and gagged. "Tell him no thank you."
Abominus sighed and tucked the liver back in a box.
Something brushed against Gentyl and spun her around. People were getting nervous. She mounted her gryphon.
"I think we're done. I haven't accomplished much I didn't already suspect," she said.
Abominus pointed to the blanket again and looked hopefully at Red Earth. Then he dropped to one knee as if begging for favor.
Red Earth stomped her hoof in irritation again. "No!"
It happened before she could tell exactly what had happened. There was a flurry of excitement among the horde and then someone attacked Gentyl. She clung to the gryphon who shied sideways.
Edited by Gentyl on 7/5/2011 3:57 PM PDT
The island erupted in the flames of mage fire and clash of swords.
"We have to go," Verogoth shouted about the din.
"Go," Gentyl shouted back and urged Tawny into the air.
She stayed in the air, barely above the fight, trying to figure out what had happened. Blood flowed warm down her side. No one had been near her, or so she thought, but she recognized the lightning fast reflexes of a rogue. Why would a rogue try to kill her? She hadn't bared her sword. She waited until both of the translators lifted off to safety and then reined Tawny back toward Stormwind.
"I don't want to hear it," she said as she walked into the guildhall holding her side.
"I knew we should have gone," Cray said.
She shook her head. "No, this way they can't blame Pia. Lluchs and Grims are fighting it out.
Taelanas frowned, but said nothing as he headed for the infirmary to find a healer. Savengriff and Ardgal helped her remove her armor and looked at the wound. "It's going to need stitches," Savengriff said.
Gentyl nodded and pressed a clean cloth in place. She had already assumed that. Hopefully, she had moved fast enough to avoid internal injuries, but there was always a chance the rogue had used a poisoned weapon. She had nearly fallen asleep when the healer arrived.
"You're going to have to stop going around without an escort," the old woman said.
"Just stitch it up, please. I don't want any more lectures."
Tobias hurried into her office with a message in hand. She opened it and sighed. All she really wanted to do was take a bath and go to bed. "I've been asked to meet Imperon and Aeldgyth in the Keep. How close are you to done?"
"Last stitch going in now, but that blade was poisoned. You'll have to drink some antidote. I poured some in the wound, but you need to have more in your system."
The old woman tied off the stitch and poured a cup of vile, green liquid and held it out, smiling.
"Ugh, what is in this stuff?"
"It ain't cherry grog, if that's what you're asking. Maybe next time you'll take a guard with you."
Commander Turncutt and Fallenrose fell into step behind her as she exited the office. "I'm fine," she said.
"Yes, m'lady," the commander replied. "And we intend to make sure it stays that way."
Outside Taleanas, Iecia and Cray waited with the horses. She started to say something, but decided it would do no good and simply mounted Traveler.
Aeldgyth was laying down the law to Imperon when she walked into the room. Gentyl really didn't feel like fighting with the gnome tonight.
Imperon seemed unfazed by the rant. "Do you believe me now when I say people mean you harm?"
"Yes, now what happened?"
He lifted a brow. "Did he knock you out? I thought you were there."
She wasn't in the mood for Imperon either. "I know a rogue attacked me, I just want to know why."
Imperon shrugged. "I haven't taken up mind reading."
Aelgyth interrupted to explain the new rules about translations between warring factions. After listening to the lengthy rant Gentyl held up her hand. "If you don't want to translate, don't. I'll find someone else."
"It's what we do," Aeldgyth huffed. "We're just going to do it in a safe manner next time or the translators leave."
"As you wish," Gentyl replied.
They waited until Aeldgyth left to finish the conversation. "I'm sure we can find someone else," Imperon said, "though the whole purpose of the Barrens was to break the boycott against AAMS."
"No, I want to continue to use them. I'm just not interested in another lecture today."
They went over what happened on the island. No one seemed to know what happened or what started it, but the results were the Grims and friends had been trounced. It was exactly opposite of what she wanted to happen. Abominus would never sell the girl to her now even if he did get her.
Later that night she sat outside the guildhall watching the moon rise and drinking cherry grog.
"Grims have declared war on you."
She didn't bother to turn around. "Hello, Voice. Why would they do that? I didn't attack them; they attacked me."
"Abominus believes you baited them into a trap. Sathrasa shanked one of their people and their rogue tagged you in response."
"Lovely. No word on Faithe?"
"Abominus doesn't have her. Lucky for you."
Edited by Gentyl on 7/5/2011 3:37 PM PDT
Amendera was furious as she left the Cathedral. Not only had Zherron dismissed her, but so had Gentyl! She would be treated as "the child" forever...Zherron was especially guilty of that, wanting to "temper her bloodlust" and "restrain the Rage". Word was, he was marked...the Ocheliad would want his head now after his little gaffe. Granted, she found the idea that they were helping the search somewhat confusing - from what she had heard of them, they never did anything out of altruism - but to antagonize them? That was foolishness of the highest order.
Looking through Stormwind, she couldn't find the Packleader. No doubt he'd retreated to the Moonglade, the coward. Sighing, she returned to the harbor, where the boat that would take her back to Teldrassil waited. She spent most of the trip brooding below decks.
What had happened to him? He always talked of duty and service. Hell, he had even attended a sermon earlier that day talking about the same thing. And now he was forsaking it over some spat with a draenei death knight - who just happened to work for one of the most powerful men in all Azeroth?
No matter. She was heading back to Windshear Hold anyway, on her way to Northwatch - so she would offer her services where she could. She didn't need Zherron's permission to serve, or even Gentyl's. She was sick of being treated like some fragile thing - she was a worgen, dammit, not some elf princess who'd break in half if the wind gusted.
Finally, she came to her decision, and headed for the hippogryph back to the Stonetalons to see what she could do - and show others the same. And if the searchers I join with manage to find this priestess, she thought, I will be the one to shame Zherron, instead of the other way around...
Tenwit, Lord Regent of the Tenth Legion, is quartered somewhere in the Stormwind Keep under care of the City Watch. The previous night, having presented the Barrens Letter to several leaders of the Alliance, a brazen attempt was made on his life by the Ishnu Por Ah.
“You draw the razor toward the toes, sweetling, like so.”
Tenwit demonstrated. The elf girl, a hireling from Goldshire, was lovely. Green eyes and long blonde hair, she smelled of lilac. Nothing in the Stormwind Keep smelled of lilac.
“You have never, in all your time in the stews, shaved the foot of a gnome?
“I refused all feet before yours, m’lord.”
He smiled at this, “You are too good, sweetling. And I prefer to tutor your delicate hands to the task on my own. I see promise in you.”
“Thank you, m’lord. You are gracious.”
“You know that I am an aficionado of landscapes, dear?”
“I love the country, m’lord.”
His eyes traveled over her, she was not shy. “Not that sort of landscape, sweetling."
She smiled, taking his meaning, and carefully drawing the razor over his big toe.
“You are a quick study, but we have one oversight. You have placed my lemons beyond my abbreviated reach.”
She moved the table by the tub, “Apologies, m’lord.”
Here, she regarded something very strange on the table, “Shall I discard of that, m’lord?”
“Gods, no. That is my souvenir from the action last night.”
Wringing the sponge, she studied it more closely, “What is it?”
“I crop’d it from the troll. Part of his ear. A little keepsake. I have hundreds of little trophies like that in my room in the Tenth Tower, all in colored jars, a story written on each.”
“I would like to see that room.”
“Oh, I think that can be arranged.”
“How is your water, m’lord?”
“Perfect, but don’t let me leave here with rose petals in my beard, I’d never live it down.”
“They would call you the rose king, m’lord.” She smiled as she sponged his clean-shaven feet. Her green eyes lifted to meet him at all the right times, the nuance of her little manners executed to perfection.
Tenwit, in rapture, whispered the words of an old playwright as he watched her, “Thou, goddess, thou alone doth rul’st over everything.”
She let go the sponge and began to kneed his feet. Indeed, nothing shy in this one.
‘None would question you, m’lord, roses in your beard or not,” She stood, her long form muted in a gown of pale gossamer silk. She walked with the grace of a lioness to the sideboard and poured him a cup of spiced wine. His eyes, beneath beetling red brows, never left her. She brought his cup, her little smile held.
“Give it a taste for me, sweetling,” he said, “Certain g*%@@s will call a rash upon my head. Just tell me if it is tart.”
She did not pause, but drinking she took half the cup. She laughed, a genuine, charming laugh, “I’ve taken more than my share, m’lord.”
Tenwit took the cup, “So you have, you little witch!” He splashed her.
“Now stop it,” she said, a gamesome admonishment, “I want to show you something.”
She took a small, black velvet bag from the table, loosened the cord and poured its contents into the coals of the brazier. The flames lifted at once, burning first pale green, then yellow, and at last a dim roseate red.
He gulped his wine, “Oh, m’lady is full of tricks.”
She moved closer now, her voice softening, “All the great leaders have assassins m’lord. It only speaks to your . . . rising power,” her practiced hands worked slowly, massaging his shoulders, his neck--strong in places, tender in others. His eyes fell shut, and, as it was with all egos beneath such artful hands, his tongue became loose.
“It was, in fact, a glorious night.” He began, “My enemy could not have been more generous, more cooperative. Most prefer an enemy that states their hatred clearly, meets you on a field, and tries to take your head. I’m not fit for that sort of thing, and to tell it straight, it bores the p*** out of me. But this Ishnu clan, they will nibble at your ear and feed you g*%@@s just before their lions leap from the hedges. I prefer that sort of game.”
“My lord prefers lemons to g*%@@s,” she whispered, nipping at his ear. “And I will do all the nibbling.”
Languished, he said, “You are too good, sweetling, too good by far.”
A most unwelcome knock on the chamber door, and the voice of a Watchman, “Regent, two more of your elven nieces are downstairs.”
“Good man! Send them up at once!” He winked at the green-eyed elf, “I am beginning to like prison.”
Doctor Wolfe had attended the meeting in Booty Bay out of a sense of boredom. However, his intuitions started to kick in when people mentioned a letter. While Redearth and Gentyl discussed the consequences, the Doctor convinced Abominus to give him the aforementioned correspondence. Setting out a portable forensics table ("portable" being a subjective term when you had a Direbrew Drill), he examined the sheet in detail. Would there be any noteworthy fingerprints, any recognizable penmanship, or something else that would pique his deductive reasoning or near-obsession to apply Science!(tm) to the situation.
(Seriously, anything he can figure out?)
Edited by Vincentwolfe on 5/19/2011 9:12 PM PDT
The meeting with Redearth and Gentyl, withthe AAMS in attendance to translate, had started out normally enough, with the usual posturing, accusations, and glares. After the preliminaries were out of the way, they began to discuss in earnest the issue at hand: the location of Faithe the Human.
Gentyl was distressed that Abominus had brought guards with him, but it was to be a fortuitous act that he did so. He had sent scouts in ahead of time, and detected lurking Alliance druids and rogues on the island and under the water. If she was to have hidden protectors, then would have both hidden and visible ones, including his old friend Doctor Wolfe, along for Science!
The discussions ranged back and forth, with accusations that Redearth had taken a human captive, and a letter purporting to be from her promising it to Abominus. Gentyl was there to secure the release of the Human. After much talk, the letter was produced, and read by all parties. Abominus then entrusted it into the keeping of doctor Wolfe of the Modas il Toroalr for examination. Redearth denied writing it, pointing out grammatical and syntax errors that would not have been made by her. Abominus simply wanted a body for his experiments. Gentyl was horrified, especially after Abominus offered her some of Fallenrose's dried liver.
Things got heated when the Lluchuu Ocheliad dropped from the sky. Drewpid, a Grim Maw druid, was sapped, and had a knife stuck into her kidney, dropping from the pain and surprise of the assault. Imperon was there, and he and his forces had attacked with overwhelming force during a banner of truce parlay! A quick and brutal comabt ensued, with the Maw being driven from the island in disarray.
Retribution was not long in coming, with the Blue recluse being assaulted, the ale and wine stores broken and drunk, and many corpses being piled up on the floor, staris, and tables before the attackers were drive off. The bl;ood of the Grim maw Clan was up, and the Alliance would remember why they were to be feared.
The Maggot Lord nodded to himself. "Disssresspect a Banner of Truce will they, yesss? Thisss dissshonour will not go unassswered, yesss!"
Edited by Abominus on 5/19/2011 10:31 PM PDT
Cyrus stepped out of the Recluse, having just been told that Gentyl would inform him when a meeting with Red Earth had been set. "Follow her. After that druid attacked, Gentyl is likely in danger with every step she takes," Cyrus said to Ciellia, who nodded in response to this. "Take a couple others, but be sure not to take anything identifiable in case you're discovered."
This had turned out to be a good idea. Gentyl's tails had discovered she was meeting with him anyway, having not told Cyrus. Mahr had contacted him while a new member of the Ocheliad was being interviewed. Nodding his acceptance to a summons, Mahr teleported him and the other Ocheliad to the scene. Mahr would not have summoned him unless under request by an Ocheliad that was in trouble, so naturally Cyrus was geared to defend Gentyl. It seemed this meeting all but that. The Horde outnumbered Gentyl, who was basically out there alone.
Mounting his drake, he followed the other Ocheliad out to the small island Gentyl was surrouned on. The Ocheliad spread out, casting quite a bit of shadow on the Grim Maw below. Imperon, with a simple handsign, was commanding his forces to hold, yet this stance didn't last long.
From the shadows, an undead assailant attacked Gentyl from behind.
Using some method of magic, Imperon's maginified voice blanketted the area. "Kill them!"
Cyrus saw who he'd engage. He'd seen enough pictures in the Ocheliad's files to recognize Abominus when he saw him. The Maggot Lord was true to his title, apparently. The guy was crawling with them. As Cyrus landed on his hooves, the fighting broke out between the Ocheliad and the Grim Maw. Among the fighting, Gentyl had managed to escape. Not surprising, since she had come to talk with Red Earth, who had also left. It didn't seem Ishnu was behind the attack, so at least this evidence was in their favor.
After the fighting subsided, the Ocheliad stood watching as the Grim Maw retreated to regroup. Cyrus turned to Imperon, weapon still in hand. "Run them down or let them go?"
With the slight shake of his head, Imperon had simply stated, "No. Let them go."
A few stragglers were trying to inflict lasting wounds, but it didn't appear the Ocheliad had suffered any grievous damage. With a portal to safe lands open, the Ocheliad left the scene. Even Cyrus was curious as to Gentyl's condition. Hopefully the Grim Maw had counted their blessings that their ranks hadn't been thinned and would not pursue this violence further.
((OOC: That was fun. Grim Maw has some great pvpers.))
Edited by Çyrus on 5/19/2011 11:43 PM PDT
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