Going Home

90 Human Priest
9350
Genevra read and re-read the letter, a slight smile befalling her lips as she did. The news that Faithe was found alive was certainly welcome. Still there was something off in the letter, "Considering who was being sent..." She thought on this, her brow knitted together. She folded up the letter. "Good news and more questions." Genevra smiled at Brother Benjamin who had been pacing nearby. "Thank the Light, people need more reasons to hope these days and her being found alive is just that."
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85 Goblin Shaman
5060
Zizzikky tossed and turned all night, her brain refusing to stay quiet long enough for her to get anything resembling rest. The sequence of events earlier that evening was still bothering her.

She had been in one of the... seedier... sections of Orgrimmar, looking for ingredients for her alchemical experiments, when she heard a slight whimper. Normally, the sound would have been completely normal for the locale, but there was something different about the timbre of the voice whimpering. Naturally, she investigated.

The young goblin lady was surprised by what she found. Keeping humans in chains wasn't necessarily odd, but this particular human was a female with silvery hair... just like the human girl that was described in the notice from the AAMS Alliance Branch. Zizz hadn't been actively looking for the girl, since there were other pressing matters she had been attending to, but here she was, alive and... well, at least she was alive.

Zizz tried to communicate with Faithe, but translations weren't her strongest skill. So she did her best to convey that she was a friend while she racked her brain figuring out how to get the human out of Orgrimmar undetected. That's when the captor showed up. He was a goblin, and affiliated with the Defias by the insignia he wore on his tabard.

A few obligatory threats later, they were talking business. The goblin was apparently looking to auction Faithe, or at least information regarding her location, off to the highest bidder. Zizz could play this game. She offered the goblin higher profit potential, mentioning that the AAMS had connections within the Alliance; connections that would surely pay a mountain of gold to have their friend back.

Negotiations were going well until the old man and the dragon showed up... A grizzled Orc and a Forsaken magic wielder had found them. Zizz was still confused by that. How had they been found? She had only stumbled across Faithe by complete accident...

The Orc and Forsaken were threatening to turn both Zizz and the Defias into the authorities for dealing in the slave trade. She tried explaining to them that she was only trying to secure the release of a hostage, but the Orc, in particular, seemed overjoyed at the possibility of smearing the reputation of the AAMS with these completely false accusations. Eventually, Zizz had been forced to show her hand and admit that she was planning on turning the Defias goblin in as soon as she had secured Faithe safely.

In the long run, they had scared off the other goblin and were discussing taking Faithe to Booty Bay to be turned over to the Alliance authorities when Zizzikky made her exit.
Edited by Zizzikky on 6/2/2011 12:26 AM PDT
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90 Orc Shaman
14870
Oskor slammed his left arm into the wall in frustration. Nearby merchants jumped in surprise at the sudden clang of metal and moved aside, dodging the shower of sparks and chips of stone.

He swore loudly. He'd known the situation with this human girl had been heating up, but he didn't realize things had gotten thisbad.

---

The night before, he had been following up on the reports and alarms that there were Alliance in Orgrimmar. He left the Clinic with Zharikov and some of his 'Talons, all of them eager to get rid of the Allies as quickly as possible. As they flew off, he flippantly promised Llejna that he'd see about getting her some patients to keep her busy. She retorted with the threat of a set of bandages and some new and horrible concoction intended to cure his wounds.

The four of them scoured the city and encountered a number of Alliance. Some of them seemed intent on picking fights with guards, but others simply disappeared into the shadows or the air as soon as they were discovered.

There had been something strange about the whole situation, and Oskor had the toughest time figuring out what it was. The Alliance had been travelling alone or in pairs, and they'd been spotted in the most random of places.

They'd seemed to be canvassing the city: almost as if they'd been looking for something.
Or someone.

----

He and the others were making a final sweep through the Cleft of Shadows, intent on returning to the Clinic, when the harsh sound of raised voices caught their attention. They hadn't seem like any Alliance language, but, as a member of the Orgrimmar guard, Oskor decided he should look into the situation.

He slipped through the darkened alleys, the others close behind him. Stopping outside a boarded-up house, they listened closely. It wasn't an argument, as Oskor had initially suspected. Instead, it'd sounded more like the goblins inside were haggling over something.

Goblins. Typical.

They'd turned to leave, when another sound from inside the building froze them in their tracks. Vaguely, beneath the rapid-fire exchange, came the muffled sound of a girl whimpering.

Barging through the door, they nearly bowled the goblins over. Zharikov and Lucinaei spotted the human and rushed to her side. Kelosin stood in the doorway, and Oskor headed straight toward the goblins.

The others confirmed the the girl was alive, though badly beaten and likely malnourished. She was tied down with ropes, but Zharikov had already identified several forms of magical bindings. He set to work at puzzling them out.

The goblins seemed remarkably unfazed by the interruption and immediately resumed their negotiations. Oskor squinted at them and shook his head when he realized one of them was wearing the colors of the AAMS.

Every time he thought they couldn't do anything worse...

The AAMS girl told him that "No, it wasn't what it looked like." The AAMS "wasn't involved in the slave trade or human trafficking." That she was "obviously, just trying to secure the release of the prisoner."

Finally, she listened to Oskor's threats to turn them both over to the other guards and his promises that the girl would be returned safely. As soon as she'd left, Oskor advanced on the other goblin, demanding to know who he worked for and ordering that the girl be turned over to their protective custody.

No sooner had the goblin smirked and uttered the word "Defias," there'd been a pounding on the door. He jerked in surprise and began fumbling with his hearthstone. Noticing this, Oskor had slipped through the nether, as well, hoping to track him down.


----

Oskor cursed again and stormed to the barracks. Zharikov had filled him in on what happened after he'd left. A group of soldiers had muscled their way into the building and forced his companions out, saying that the girl was to remain in their custody.

It still rubbed him the wrong way. He hadn't heard anything that might suggest there had been a captive at all. And he was sure no one would sanction the girl being kept in such horrible conditions.

He spoke with several officers and studied the roster and duty list from the night before. Unable to find any records of the girl or the soldiers with her, he slumped down at the desk, disgusted.

They'd been mislead.

Wheels within wheels.

What a cluster%!##.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6295
MEMO

TO: Head Protector Oskor, The Doctors' School of Medicine
FROM: Andelia Windtouched, AAMS Horde Branch

Respectfully,

I am grateful for your intervention in the captivity of the young human woman found in Orgrimmar Tuesday evening. Obviously, the safe return of prisoners of war is one of the cornerstones of any eventual peace between the factions, and the AAMS supports all such efforts.

To that end, I have authorized my couriers to, when necessary, bribe or purchase captive slaves out of the hands of illegal dealers with available AAMS funds. Said prisoners are then returned through our own channels, which, with all due respect, seem to have less accidents or "shot while attempting to escape" problems than volunteers from either the Horde or the Alliance.

If you are capable of securing the return of illegal prisoners or slaves safely and effectively with the staff available to you at the School of Medicine, I support and encourage your effort, and am happy to aid them in any way my neutrality permits. However, as our goals are the same, I would sincerely request that you likewise assist and abet my couriers in their attempts, so far as your allegiance allows. We are, after all, all trying to get people to their homes.

There are times when money and diplomacy can go places that your strong arm cannot. Please trust our expertise in those matters. A little warning, at the very least, can prevent the loss of critical opportunities.

Yours in Service,

Andelia Windtouched
Senior Courier, AAMS Horde Branch

--

Andelia put down the pen and rubbed her temples tiredly. Sul'fon was still missing, and so was Vasilia, the draenei who had sparked the arguments with the Horde in the first place. Branch Manager Aeldgyth on the Alliance side seemed determined to soldier ahead with Renewal Projects, though to her credit she at least seemed to be moving toward less and less hotly-contested settings. And now this.

Reluctantly, she reached for her seal. Her hand paused, wavered; clasped the seal a bit more firmly than necessary and pressed it to the hot wax. She very studiously did not look at the CEO's seal, sitting unused on Sulfon's desk.

Time enough for
that later.
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90 Human Paladin
10135
((I have to say, everything turned out much better than I hoped. Good job.))
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90 Human Paladin
10135
reserved
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85 Human Priest
7365
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90 Human Paladin
10135
Commander,

I went to the creek to bathe after our training sessions. Mother sent me a new pot of soft soap, scented with wisteria. It's second only to her dusk blend, which she is convinced provokes men to carnal desire as effectively as any love potion.

I rather doubt the truth of it, but wealthy women believe it and pay handsomely for it in hopes the man of their dreams will be overtaken with love or lust or whatever a man is overtaken with. I simply enjoy the musky smell. It's earthy and calm.

The wisteria pleases me also. It, unlike the dusk blend, is light and clean. It makes me think of years past when I walked barefoot through the fields with my skirts bunched up so I could feel the grass and flowers whispering against my flesh.

I long for those carefree days.

What I would give to slip on a simple linen shift and wade through a summer stream. Or perhaps just dive in the water and float around like a piece of driftwood, bobbing along on the surface.

Not that I don't feel like a useless piece of driftwood lately. Instead of floating peacefully, I am caught up in one of those horrendous wind storms in Westfall, whirling about, completely out of control.

I know the pieces of the plan are set. I have to trust those in control of the various units will come through with flying colors. In the back of my mind, I also know if one unit fails, it could jeopardize the entire operation.

Every fiber in my being wants to know exactly what is going on and be assured the training proceeds. Instead, I gently nudge and fervently pray. It is all I know to do.

And each time I get quiet, the niggling in the back of my mind tells me if we miss this time, we may lose her forever. If her captor doesn't kill her, she may be slipped so far underground she will never be found.

Now, a new fear eats at me. What if the Grims decide to get involved. They are convinced I betrayed them at Booty Bay. Their rogue sends me frequent reminders they have not forgotten. What if they find a way to visit their displeasure on Faithe? This unknown enemy I think we can defeat. The Grims? They are formidable to say the least.

I hope this letter finds you well. Once again, thank you for training with me and sharing your whiskey.

Truly,

Gentyl
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90 Human Paladin
10135
Once again they met and went over the plans. She had to trust parts of the plan were in place, but the other parts still needed work. The teams weren't complete.

They pored over the maps again. It simply wasn't doable.

She poured another cup of tea and squeezed the last wedge of lemon into it. On the corner of a paper she jotted down "lemons."

What was it the Regent had said about limes? Ah yes, limes renewed the romantic humours. She didn't need her romantic humours renewed, but she did crave lemons in her tea. It calmed her nerves, and they needed calming lately.

She set out objects to represent each phase of the operation and when she ran out of small objects, she rummaged around in her bag and found some fried fish to fill out the map. Each person went over their information.

Then a debate ensued. They couldn't take the path they'd planned. It was too risky, but were there any other options? None that she could see.

The argument continued with neither side willing to give much.

"We need a name for it."

"For what, Sepha?" Cray asked.

"For the operation. We need a name for it."

A few names were tossed out and then Desmend said simply. "Operation Restored Faithe."

Everyone in the room stopped talking.

Gentyl smiled. "Perfect. Operation Restored Faithe."

She stood again and looked over the table. There was no way to do what they needed to do and yet, there were no other options. The Grims certainly would not meet with her again. Red Earth had disappeared. She and the Modas had never been on good terms and it was probably worse now since Vincent got dropped at Booty Bay. Still, she needed help and she needed it from the horde. Someone had to know who had Faithe and that person had to have a price. She was chained in an alley and in bad shape. Surely she couldn't be of much value to them.

Just as they were discussing options again, Snow, the guild cat, jumped up on the table and dashed away with one of the fish. Taelanas laughed. "There's the answer. We have druids wipe out the tower."

"That seems to be the perfect solution. However, I think I'll send some messages horde side. Let's see if Oskor or the Ishnu will help me retrieve her. If we can get someone to agree on a ransom, that would be the best solution."

She rubbed her temples. And let's hope the information was correct and Oskor was the one arguing with the goblins about Faithe. Otherwise she could be opening up a whole new can of worms.
Edited by Gentyl on 9/30/2011 12:52 PM PDT
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85 Human Priest
7365
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90 Human Paladin
10135
Gentyl rolled her shoulders and started peeling off her armor. The orphan she had adopted to the Guards heard the first piece fall and ran from his room, the night shift hugging his thin legs. Though he had no special duties to perform aside from regular chores, he had taken it upon himself to assume the mantle of personal squire.

"Tobias, you should be in bed," she chided.

He rubbed away the sleep from an eye. "I'm your squire, Sepha. I'm supposed to help you with your armor."

She was too tired to argue with him and, truth be told, she could use the help. She was beat up and sore all over her body.

That blasted rogue.

Tobias gasped when he saw the bloodied bandage on her neck. "Sepha, what happened?"

A few inches more and she might not have been answering him.

"A battle, Tobias."

He crawled up on a stool to help her with her spaulders. Curious, he touched the bandage and his fingers came away red. She was bleeding again.

When the last piece of armor was stored, she followed him to his room next to hers and tucked him in. She kissed him lightly on the forehead. "Now, go to sleep, squire mine."

She'd been sleeping in the stable for weeks as some sort of protest against Imperon's watch over her. Since the fiasco in Booty Bay, she'd moved back into the guild hall. She shut the door and finished undressing. A refreshing plunge into the creek would have felt good, but it was inviting disaster with that rogue who seemed to be everywhere. She'd have to settle for a sponge bath and some mulled wine.

She slipped a linen shift over her still damp body and walked to the window. It was unshuttered, but the Magus Surabar had warded all the openings to the guild hall. She sat down on the window seat and gazed out across the countryside. A moon rose, pure and virginal against the cloak of night. It bathed the landscape in pale blue veils. Traveler looked up from the pasture as if he could sense her watching and nickered at her.

Another time she might have gone down to feed him apple and drink wine. Another time she wouldn't have a crazed rogue on her heels.

She drained the wine and set the empty glass on the table near the window. "Gods above and below. I swear if I ever get a dog I'm going to name it Icharis. If it ever lays into something, it'll never let go."
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85 Draenei Death Knight
3640
It was just getting dark, but Cyrus needed to ask Gentyl something. A Draenei by the name of Dethillian had approached him, asking about getting in on the efforts to find and recover Faithe with the promise that Gentyl had reccomended him. With the shade from the sun that the nearby hills gave covering him, Cyrus dismounted his deathcharger, which whined in some sort of protest.

That was unlike him. Placing his hand right on the deathcharger's head, Cyrus looked rather intently at its eyes, trying to discern what may have scared it. With a slight shrug of his shoulder, Cyrus turned toward the garrison which was now standing rather tall in front of him. He had almost made it inside when he he heard something shift behind him. Turning quickly around, he caught sight of that undead that had been attacking Gentyl as of late and fired off a rather solid chunk of ice, which the rogue dodged. As the icy blast knicked off a piece of the wall behind the rogue, he vanished, fleeing.

"Yea, keep runnin', bones!" Cyrus yelled in frustration. Having heard his outburst, Gentyl and Cray had stepped out of the garrison, seemingly ready for a fight, Cyrus merely shook his head. "Gone."

He'd had his back to Gentyl, so he couldn't see if she was frustrated or just relieved that her attacker was gone. He knew he'd never hear the end of it from Imperon if Gentyl got hurt in Cyrus's presence. Running a hand down his face, he tried to simply shrug off the short encounter with the rogue.

Speaking briefly with Gentyl, he made sure Dethillian had spoken the truth. Their business concluded, Cyrus left shortly after, still feeling quite uneasy. That had been the same rogue that tried to kill Gentyl at the meeting in Booty Bay. Perhaps back then, that rogue had been trying to take out Gentyl and the letter that suggested Red Earth was going to give Faithe to Abominus.

Leaning against his deathcharger's saddle, Cyrus stifled a sigh. This was too complicated to try and make sense of now. Pulling himself up onto the still-uneasy deathcharger, he rode back towards Stormwind, thinking of how to draw out the Grims...
Edited by Çyrus on 6/7/2011 2:37 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
6995
Jazzy sat on the edge of the wall overlooking Stormwind harbor. This rogue who was stalking Gentyl was getting to be a real nuisance. She had gotten enough hits on him and her poison was deadly, but for some reason he kept coming back. It was time to come up with a plan to end this harrassment, briefly she considered going to the Ocheliad and asking if they had any plans to capture or otherwise stop the rogue.

Whistling for her gryphon, Jazzy took a few more turns around the Mage District and noted all was quiet. Gentyl was safe for the moment in a well fortified place, and the city slept...at least the common folks slept.

What would it take to join the Ocheliad? She admired the discipline and honor. The loyalty to Imperon seemed to come easily to those in his employ. Was it a compulsion or magical in nature or just a leader who was an inspiration to those who were lost without a strong leader?

Leaves rustled in the trees outside her roost in the woods east of Stormwind. She refused to sleep in the smelly city, preferring the clean air and rrelative quiet in the country. Perhaps she would try and speak to some of the members of Imperons army and simply ask them why they followed him.
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90 Human Paladin
10135
Once again they met and went over the plans. She had to trust parts of the plan were in place, but the other parts still needed work. The teams weren't complete.

They pored over the maps again. It simply wasn't doable.

She poured another cup of tea and squeezed the last wedge of lemon into it. On the corner of a paper she jotted down "lemons."

What was it the Regent had said about limes? Ah yes, limes renewed the romantic humours. She didn't need her romantic humours renewed, but she did crave lemons in her tea. It calmed her nerves, and they needed calming lately.

She set out objects to represent each phase of the operation and when she ran out of small objects, she rummaged around in her bag and found some fried fish to fill out the map. Each person went over their information.

Then a debate ensued. They couldn't take the path they'd planned. It was too risky, but were there any other options? None that she could see.

The argument continued with neither side willing to give much.

"We need a name for it."

"For what, Sepha?" Cray asked.

"For the operation. We need a name for it."

A few names were tossed out and then Desmend said simply. "Operation Restored Faithe."

Everyone in the room stopped talking.

Gentyl smiled. "Perfect. Operation Restored Faithe."

She stood again and looked over the table. There was no way to do what they needed to do and yet, there were no other options. The Grims certainly would not meet with her again. Red Earth had disappeared. She and the Modas had never been on good terms and it was probably worse now since Vincent got dropped at Booty Bay. Still, she needed help and she needed it from the horde. Someone had to know who had Faithe and that person had to have a price. She was chained in an alley and in bad shape. Surely she couldn't be of much value to them.

Just as they were discussing options again, Snow, the guild cat, jumped up on the table and dashed away with one of the fish. Taelanas laughed. "There's the answer. We have druids wipe out the tower."

"That seems to be the perfect solution. However, I think I'll send some messages horde side. Let's see if Oskor or the Ishnu will help me retrieve her. If we can get someone to agree on a ransom, that would be the best solution."

She rubbed her temples. And let's hope the information was correct and Oskor was the one arguing with the goblins about Faithe. Otherwise she could be opening up a whole new can of worms.
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90 Worgen Druid
12340
Waking up after a long night of binge drinking with Narnicka and...Nor-something or other, Zherron rubbed his head and let out a painful groan. He looked around and realized, from what his hangover-fogged brain could comprehend, that he was back in the house outside Goldshire, the one that the death knight he'd met out here had loaned him the use of. It had belonged to old Father Saavedro, that priest Zherron and his father had hosted before the wall closed. He was dead now...he had become a paladin and had gotten himself killed in Northrend. Last he heard, they had buried him at Sorrow Hill after its restoration, so he could rest in the soil of his native Lordaeron. For how long, though...the Forsaken had proven to be notoriously fickle when it came to leaving the dead in peace.

Amendera Kynes stood in the doorway of his bedroom, holding a steaming mug of a morning-after elixir that smelled about as horrible as it tasted. Her expression was totally unsympathetic. "The next time you decide to consume twenty years worth of alcohol in ten minutes, tell me first?" she scolded him.

"Bah." He took the elixir and bolted it down, grimacing at the taste. "Remind me never to get into a philosophical discussion with Genevra or Narnicka again. Especially when it involves Narnicka and alcohol."

"That bad?" Amendera was probably the only person Zherron trusted completely. He had told her pretty much everything, even about the confrontation with Genevra, which had scared him so much that he had felt the need to flee...to find solitude. Except he had not told her he was going back home for solitude - back to Gilneas. The Forsaken did not usually venture into the Blackwald.

"Needless to say...I am a bluntly honest man, Dera. Alcohol makes me even more so." Zherron grinned.

Amendera could not help but laugh. "Gods save us from that."

The druid stood, stretching - wincing only slightly as he moved his head - and looked more serious as he looked down at the headstrong girl who had stood at his right hand since Gilneas. "Listen to me very carefully, Amendera," he said. That got her attention; using her full name outside of a reference or introduction generally meant trouble. "There is something I want you to take care of for me, when I'm away in Durotar."

"Name it."

Zherron was hesitant. "You may have heard the word on the street that many are making out last wills in the event of their deaths. I need no parchment to relay my last wishes...only your undivided attention. If anything is to happen to me...I want you to lead the Shadowhowl in my place. Light willing, lead them home to Gilneas, free of the Forsaken taint."

"Eidan..."

"Hear me out!" he shouted, stopping her cold. "This is not some out-of-the-way guard post we're going to! This is Orgrimmar, child! Orgrimmar! Probably the most fortified city in all of Kalimdor, if not on the entire damned planet! We do not expect to simply waltz in, grab the priestess, and leave...the last time we were there, we were lucky the locals were not inclined to murder us where we stood!" He softened, noting the fearful expression on her face. She was still so young...reassurance, the young need reassurance. "We're not looking for death, make no mistake of that," he said, his voice calmer. "We want to come home just as much as those we leave behind want us to. But this mission will cost lives. A lot of lives, if it goes wrong. It's up to those who stay behind to ensure that what we worked for, what we fought for - and, if it is our time, what we died for - will continue without us."

Amendera looked down, and Zherron gently put his hands on her shoulders. "You are probably the most headstrong, reckless person I have ever met. But you have a heart of gold beneath the fighting spirit. You will go far, even if I am not there to see it. So I ask you...will you accept the charge I have given you? Will you lead the pack should I fall?"

The girl was silent for a long moment, not able to answer. Then she looked him square in the eye. "Yes, Packleader," she said solemnly. "I will accept your...last request. May it not, in fact, be the last."

Zherron smiled and nodded. "Light willing."

((Unfortunately, this will be the last bit from me until the fireworks go off on Sunday, so to speak. I've been called to heal a raid with my Horde guild over on Medivh tomorrow night, and this group has a problem with having people show up...they need anyone they can get. So, I will likely be missing out on tomorrow's meeting...not sure if this is gonna affect how I participate in the fireworks on Sunday at all.))
Edited by Zherron on 6/10/2011 11:15 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
6625
Taelanas paced in the great hall of Westbrook garrison. Occasionally looking down at a table strewn with maps and reports. Running through the operation again and again in his head. No matter how he looked at it, there seemed to be no way to make it simple. He was a paladin, and in charge of a team. The thoughts of losing some of them kept boring into his consciousness. What was the lady worth? They were all volunteers, yet...

Taelanas walked into the common room later that evening. "Sepha, do we have a notary? I need to make a new will. The old one is attached to the... wrong people." Gentyl looked up and simply stated, "We will find one.".
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90 Human Paladin
10135
Gentyl looked up from the letter she was reading when she heard the light tap at the door. "Come in, Tobias"

He set the tray with a pot of tea and a covered plate on the table. She raised an eyebrow, "What is this?"

"Mr. Terris is worried about you. He wants you to eat."

Gentyl looked around he office and then out the window. Light, when had it gotten so late? She'd been up before dawn and it must be nearly noon. "Thank you both. I appreciate it."

Her stomach grumbled at the smell of roast caribou. She didn't know what Teriis spiced the meat with or how he cooked it, but it was always delicious.

Tobias fiddled with some things on one of her bookshelves. "Sepha, why is everyone so sad lately?"

Why do people always ask questions when her mouth is full? She hurried to swallow. "I don't think people are sad. We're just worried about Faithe."

"She's going to be all right, isn't she?"

Gentyl nodded, because her mouth was full again, and hurried to swallow. She should probably wait to eat until Tobias left. He was always full of questions. She heard something clatter to the floor.

"Ewww, why are you keeping a box of dead worms?"

The smell of rotten meat flooded the office.

"What do you mean? Gods, what is that smell?"

"It's in that box with the little grub with a pink bow in her hair. I opened it up. It's filled with dead worms."

"Gods. The Hello Maggie gift Abominus had given her at the meeting. If the Maggot Lord found out she killed his gift she'd have more than Icharis on her tail."

"I'll clean it up," Tobias mumbled, but he looked as if he was about to throw up. It was the same way Gentyl felt.

"No, I'll get it. I'm not hungry anymore." She swept up the broken box and the remnants of the gift the Maggot Lord had been so proud of. She better hurry and bury this before any trace was found and word got back to the Maggot Lord.

"Hey, everyone, Tobias screamed as he ran outside. "Sepha's keeping dead worms in her office!"
Edited by Gentyl on 6/11/2011 6:53 AM PDT
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85 Human Priest
7365
Faithe leaned wearily against the cold stone wall. Her ears were accustomed to the din of Orgrimmar by now. The smells had become something she no longer noticed aside from the occasional brew the alchemist nearby concocted. They were particularly vile smelling and would have caused her to lose her appetite, but after so many days of nearly nothing to eat, she didn't have much anyway.

Each day Lrug and Meshka came to the alley with a sumptuous tray of food and stood just past where she could reach. By now she knew exactly how much she could move in each direction. It was four feet to the back of the shop from the wall. It was ten feet toward the street until she felt the tug of the chain on her ankle. The street was probably another twenty feet away. Meshka and Lrug stood twelve feet from her now. It was funny that when you had nothing to do, little things like counting distances, counting how many stones were in a wall and even counting the threads in the rough blanket occupied a person.

Meshka smiled. "Good morning, Dove," Meshka crooned. "Are you ready to apologize yet? Crawl over here and beg my forgiveness and you can have all this lovely food and come home where you belong."

Faithe looked up at him and counted the teeth in his perfect smile. "Go to the nethers and find someone to crawl."

Meshka kept grinning. "Ah, such spirit. I do love it. It has a rather satisfying snap when it breaks. Everyone lost their bets about how long it would take to break you. Of course, when the betting pools go unclaimed, I get them, so I'm not complaining."

Meshka had seven gold buttons on his blue satin vest.

"However, it's put them all in a rather foul mood to lose so much money. They did brighten up when I told them I might give them to you to see if you would learn to appreciate a real man when they were done with you, however."

Lrug smiled.

Faithe's lips cracked painfully when she smiled. "A real man? Did you hire someone new?"

Meshka's smile disappeared. "Ah, still trying to bait me. It's dangerous game, Dove. I'll give you a day to think about your options and then we'll talk again. After that, I will let the men have you for a day. Don't worry, Lrug's been instructed not to kill you. I can't afford to completely lose my investment." Lrug left the small gourd of water and tossed her the slice of bread. Meshka didn't want to lose his investment, but he didn't mind making her look like one of those scrawny blood elves.

Flies swarmed out of the trash can when Lrug dumped the food in there and they walked away.

Faithe counted their step until she could no longer hear them. Thirty-nine.

Meshka had destroyed the note of encouragement Lord Wolfgaar had left with her at the gates when he found her, but it didn't matter. She knew the words by heart and began to scratch them into the dirt.

Take heart and do not despair! Your friends have not ceased searching for you since the moment you were taken. These Horde knaves will regret what they have done to you. I swear by all that is holy that we will rescue you. Stay strong and of good courage! I will return.
-=W=-

She looked up at the slight sc####!! noise between the two buildings. It was little more than a crack and certainly not wide enough for Faithe to squeeze through even if she hadn't been chained, but it was wide enough for one tiny goblin. A little green arm reached through the opening and left an apple and some cheese. Faithe couldn't see who it was, but she was almost certain it might be the little AAMS courier who had been trying to negotiate for her the first night. She stepped over the words, not wanting to disturb them, and gratefully took the food.

"Thank you," she said in orcish, but she could already hear the movement away from her. Her guardian angel was rightly terrified of being caught by Meshka and never stayed long.
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85 Goblin Shaman
5060
Zizzikky hadn't slept well in days. She had gotten word from the newly appointed Branch Manager of the AAMS Alliance Branch, Sgt. Verogoth, that there was urgent need to contact Oskar of Da Doctas. Apparently, his assistance was being requested in some sort of operation regarding the silver-haired human being held down in the Cleft of Shadow. Unfortunately, she hadn't been able to find him to deliver the message. She felt like she was being given the run-around, but that wasn't surprising. Last time they had met, Zizzikky hadn't been exactly respectful towards the Orc...

As she finished smearing the soot across her face, concealing her features, Zizzikky steeled herself for the task ahead. She had managed to make her way out of the cavern without being noticed a few times already, but she still dreaded being caught in the act. She would most likely lose her job, if not her very life. The petite goblin whispered one last plea to the spirits for their protection and guidance as she wrapped the fruit and cheese gently into her satchel.
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90 Human Paladin
10135
The decision was made.

Still, the voices whispered in her mind. Angry, accusing voices. Voices that screamed for revenge. Voices that reminded her, in the end, it was by her command Faithe had been allowed to leave. Voices that asked how many must die for one headstrong young woman who knew better than all of them, any of them, what dangers lie ahead. Voices that raged and demanded war. Voices that crooned soothing words, whispering that they alone could be trusted.

What none of them knew, except a few trusted in her inner circle, was the decision had always been made. With luck, the course would be stayed and Faithe would find her way home without the plans she now set in motion should the other attempts to save her fail.

Gentyl had laid out all the possible options and played the strategies in her mind. The ghosts went out as soon as word came back about Faithe's capture.

Trust and hope, but plan for deceit and failure.

Information trickled in. More plans. More options. More detours as paths closed.

"She is afraid of war. She licks the feet of the horde while her priestess dies."

Let them think so. The more who believed her paralyzed with fear, the more who would never see the attack coming. Ehlina Vargas would have struck the moment the raven Dustwing appeared with the message.

She was not Ehlina. More's the pity perhaps, but she would play her hand and not ponder what another might have done.

"Commander, are you ready?"

"Aye, m'lady."

He stood straight, silver hair to his shoulders. He was always ready for whatever task she laid out for him. Many's the time she wondered why he followed her, but it was a thought quickly laid aside. It was enough that he did.

He waited patiently, a slight amused twinkle in his eye as she threw her cloak over her shoulders and pulled her gauntlets on. While she ticked off the list in her mind of what needed to be done, he had already made all the arrangements. It was a habit of hers she couldn't shake.

"Let's ride then."

He waited until she passed, cloak flowing behind her and then fell into step. "You're sure this is what you want to do?"
"You've said it will work."

"It's not guaranteed."

"Nothing is guaranteed except death," she said. "Let's just make sure it's theirs and not ours."

He took the lead as they flew to the Barrens. At Honor Hold they set down to talk to the commander. Gentyl let Turncutt speak while she surveyed the fortress. Faithe would be safe if they could get her back to this point. The conversation registered while she continued to assess the weak points.

The attacks by Ishnu had ceased. There were others but they were scattered and ill-organized.

They spent the day scouting trails and mapping out how the army would travel. The ghosts would come in two waves to recapture Faithe. Commander Turncutt and his team would hijack a zep and fly it into Orgrimmar where the ghosts would put her on it. Midway back across the plains they would dump her overboard and to the catch team waiting below. The army would attack the front gates to distract them while all the other was going on. With any luck it would be quick and they would fade back to safety.

Luck. It had been in short supply lately. Maybe they were due some for a change.

So it was this day. They ran out of daylight before they ran out of mission.

"Return to Honor Hold?" he asked.

"No, I want to find that cave. If it's as big as I was told, it's the perfect hiding place for the catch team. Let's just camp here and we'll finish in the morning."

Here was a perfect place to camp. There was water nearby and a rocky outcrop to shield them from the wind and rain should it get up. The cliff gave them a perfect vantage point to watch anyone approaching.

"Have you had chance to read the book?" the commander asked once the camp was laid. It was small talk that followed talk of strategy and death.

She leaned back against the rock and looked across the fire to him. The light bathed him in golds and shadow, dramatic in contrast and perfectly suiting the man. The gold of honor and shadow of death wrapped about him like a greatcloak and yet she knew his secret. She knew the warrior who read poetry and loved music. The man who petitioned an elf of great skill to craft her a lute of the finest ebony wood was not the one most people knew. The payment due for the exquisite instrument? A song.

"Yes, I adored it. I'm anxious to set some of the words to music." She paused. "I owe you a song."

He reclined, propping his body up on one elbow while he sipped coffee. "You owe me nothing." He tossed his coffee into the fire and rolled over, his back to the fire. "Fair dreams, Sepha."
Edited by Gentyl on 7/27/2011 9:40 AM PDT
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