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"A single kiss is your payment?"
He nodded and grinned at her.
"I see. I will summon Sir Cray for payment."
Imperon grinned wider. "It's not Sir Crayauchtin I'll accept a kiss from, miss Faithe. That would be you, and only you."
Haelolin tried to keep from laughing and failed.
Faithe glared at Imperon. "You are a horrible man."
Imperon shrugged. "I've been told that before. It's still worth it."
"Of course," he replied. "How else would you prove to your superiors that you'd paid me?"
Faithe sighed. "Gods...my superiors will probably remove me from the order."
"As pious as the Presidium are," Imperon said, "I doubt the Gods would personally play witness for such a payment. You'll have to rely on the word of my Ocheliad and the tavern staff."
She looked at him again. "Well, it's not like I haven't been kissed before...by worse."
Imperon grinned broadly. "It is unlikely you've been kissed by better, though."
"Coulda been me," Haelolin said and winked at her again.
Çyrus groaned. "It's not like he's gonna bend you over the table. Just kiss him."
She glared at Çyrus and then stood up and stepped closer to Imperon whostood up to meet her. She leaned down and closed her eyes. "All right."
Imperon removed his hat, took her by the shoulders and kissed her, completely untroubled by the height difference or the audience. His restriction of chaste and no tongue were also untroubled.
Faithe backed away and exhaled.
Imperon shrugged. "That may have been a little bit less than chaste, but I do consider myself well rewarded." He slipped his hat back on and smiled.
Faithe tried to control the blushing and failed miserably. She was also having problems uncurling her toes.
"He may also want one from Gentyl if this works," Cyrus said. "Just making that known."
Imperon sat back down. "If your superiors don't think a single kiss is suitable payment, I'll happily accept more. However many they deem necessary.:
"Me next," Haelolin said.
"Gentyl will never kiss anyone but her husband," Faithe said. "I should go."
"Nor would I ask a married woman to kiss me. A good evening to you, miss Faithe."
Haelolin glanced off, still grinning. "Yet."
It seemed half the order was in the guild hall when she returned. "What did they say?" Mira asked as soon as she walked in.
"They seemed to thing it was a big joke when I first asked. Cyrus was going off on one of his rants as usual," Faithe replied and sat down wearily.
Belpha got up from the chair he had placed in the shadows. "Well screw them, that lot has always been unreliable."
Mira sighed. "I searched for hours for her. I'd have searched all night if we could have. I hope she's all right, wherever she is."Faithe nodded. "Imperon finally told Cyrus to be quiet and said they would help. I told him we would not accept help without payment. He said the payment was a kiss." She paused. "I couldn't believe it. I was so shocked. Then I said, 'a kiss? A single kiss?' He said a single kiss. A single, chaste kiss." I agreed and told him I would summon Sir CrayMira giggled, in spite of the situation. "You did, didn't you?"
Belpha: smirked. "That's why I like you."
"And then what happened?" Mira asked with a laugh.
"He refused Sir Cray. He said only from me and he made me kiss him in front of all his men. It was positively humiliating."
Mira started giggling.
Belpha tried to keep a straight face, but his attempts to hold the laughter failed. "So are they going to help or not?"
Faithe glowered at him. "Yes, though Imperon said if we feel the need to pay him more he will accept more payment from him. He's a beast."
"And who would he ask for this payment from this time?" Mira asked.
Faithe frowned. "Me."
"Elements. Well. Small payment for what you get," Mira said.
Faithe nodded. "Yes, my pride is bruised but we need their help."
Belpha tapped his fingers on the table. "And what exactly do we get Mira? a bunch of loose canons?"
"They are searching for information on Modas," Faithe replied. "Imperon says he has too much invested in Gentyl to let her die now."
Mir frowned at him. "Eyes. Ears. Feet. Hooves. Tails. Hands. When someone is lost, the more eyes that search the quicker they can be found."
"My hand may be fake Mira, but its worth much more than any of theirs!" Belpha snapped.
Mira sighed. "Belpha, it's not the time for rivalry."
"I've suggested no such thing, but if we were to find her without their help It would make it all the sweeter."
"Maybe. I just want to find her."
"We will Mira, we have no choice." Belpha exhaled deeply and tapped the table again.
"So how was it?" Mira asked.
Faithe looked at her. "How was what?"
Faithe sighed. "I'm going to bed."
How was it? It danged sure wasn't chaste and it was far too...intriguing. Yes, that was a good word for it.
Edited by Gentyl on 4/17/2012 2:43 AM PDT
The potions were finished. It was time to send it to Tyrexus, so that his new love would be properly infected when the ceremony began. Abominus was almost giddy with excitement, or anticipation, or the desire for cake. He was not sure which. He called in one of his front office girls.
"Take thisss box to the prearranged drop off for Doctor Wolfe, yesss. He will get it to the proper people in Modasss, yesss. I mussst visssit my tailor, yesss!"
The small goblin looked over the box, shook it slightly, then set off, gathering her cloak and her walking stick. It would be a long flight to Lordaeron, and longer still to reach the dead drop spot.
Ragefang had agreed to meet Faithe in the Recluse to discuss her missing leader. Pia had tried to keep it quiet, hoping to quickly track her down and return her before there was a big uproar and hotheads Pia had no control over raced to burn down villages in retaliation. News had spread like wildfire after Abominus had posted the fliers announcing the wedding, however, and time was running out.
She sat down at the table and glanced around the inn. They needed to know who their friends were, but maybe even more important, they needed to know their enemies. There was once a time when you could trust those who rode at your side. Those days were, unfortunately, gone.
Maybe they never had been.
"We need help," she said simply.
"We'll take down every hole Modas hides in," he declared vehemently. Gondorin Ragefang tended to think in very simplistic terms most of the time.
She thanked Joachim for the tea and passed the coins to the barkeeper. He remembered she liked lime with her tea. An odd combination to most people, but she enjoyed the contrast in flavors. A lot of people probably thought Ebon and Pia were an odd contrast also, but hothead or not, Ragefang was there when they called for help to defend or they needed help on the front.
He shrugged and tapped the haft of Bryntroll on his back.. "This is the Pia Presidium's maneuver, Faithe. I'm merely offering assistance. Show me where to swing my axe, and people will learn that even the weapons of the Scourge can be turned to a good cause."
Faithe turned to the elf who had joined them. He was a new member of Pia. "Do you think your friends might help?
Gudvine stroked his beard, "I can only ask through the Circle. It is doubtful that they have a cure for the plague itself as their focus has been on the land. You can imagine how the Banshee Queen would feel if they sought to cure the Plague itself."
Ragefang huffed. "I care little for how the Banshee Queen feels, Gudvine. If the Cenarion Circle champions life, nor should they."
There seemed to be no solutions and yet another thing crossed Faithe's mind. "We have one more problem. If Dree'jin finds out Trex has Gentyl none of this may make any difference. He hates her, always has, but especially now since she destroyed the hearts he had gathered. He still carries her ear on a necklace."
"That troll's time has long passed its rightful expiration date." Ragefang growled and thumped the table. "Are Abominus' 'maggots' allied with the Toralar?" He paused. "Dree has children, reportedly."
Faithe took another sip of tea. "Four or five I believe."
"Then it would seem one or two would be enough to convince him that the capture of Gentyl was ill-considered. Capture them. Hold them for ransom. Do not harm them. Return them when he aids in Gentyl's recovery."
"Pia will not do that. Not even to save Sepha."
Ragefang looked squarely at her. "Perhaps Pia doesn't have to be the ones doing it."
She frowned at him. "We will not condone it."
"Would you stop it or publicly condemn it?"
"No, this is not an option." She poured another cup of tea, lost in thought, her mind running in circles like a mouse in a barrel. "If Dree gets her, he will simply torture her for several days then slice her to bits."
"Even at the risk of his children being harmed? You know they wouldn't be, but my reputation ought to be sufficient to give him doubt. They would be well cared-for."
"We won't terrorize children. I said it's not an option."
Ragefang shrugged. "Merely discussing options.
A druid in cat form walked in and sat down next to Ragefang. "One of my people. Meet Lanuss."
Faithe nodded to him. "Pleased to meet your sir. Ma'am? Sorry I can't tell."
"Look between his legs if you need to."
Faithe blushed and glared at Ragefang. "I'll take your word. I've had enough humiliating experiences for a while. Faithe Devereaux, sir."
"My name is Lanus Silverfang." He dipped his head in greeting.
"Take a seat, Lanuss. We're offering our services to Pia Presidium for Gentyl Turncutt's recovery. We won't do anything they don't authorize."
"I wish we could get word to her husband." That had been weighing heavily on her mind. For their occasional spats, usually resulting in him robbing the rosebushes in the gardens to appease the wrath, it was plain to see they were madly in love. He would not take the news well.
Edited by Gentyl on 4/17/2012 11:35 PM PDT
Where is he?
"He's at sea," she replied. "There is no way to reach him or warn him, though there's still a price on his head. Abominus wants him dead."
Lanuss cocked his head to the side as if pondering the problem. "How can we help?"
Ragefang nodded. "Those of the Ebon Blade do not tire, Faithe. Reach out to Acherus, and you may find willing couriers."
"And I'm grateful. We're still searching. Fanning out from Darkshire but she could be anywhere now."
"I would suspect that if she's been taken by Modas, they'll have returned her to lands where they can call on Horde resources."
Ragefang was undoubtedly correct. She shook her head. "Is it not odd the meeting in Darkshire was to discuss defense and we are right back to planning attacks?"
"This is war, Faithe. Or didn't you know?" He looked plainly at Faithe. "This is why the Ebon Sanction exists: we realize that sometimes, horrible things must be done in the short term to insure future horrors are not given birth."
"I was held by a horde slaver for months. I know we are at war."
"So long as we have elements in the Alliance who attempt to hobble our war effort, we give the Horde the maneuvering room they require to do things like this. If word of her capture reaches Grommash Hold, don't think for a second Hellscream won't order her immediate execution to send a message to King Wrynn."
She poured another cup of tea and squeezed the last lemon wedge into it. "Several seek to destroy Pia's honor. I'm sure they hope she will never return."
Gudvine frowned. He was an old Pia member who had been there at the beginning. "The Presidium's honor could never be doubted."
The idea seemed to baffled him.
A dwarf named Kindrick had joined them. He was of the opinion we had to take the war to them destroying their supply lines.
Ragefang nodded. "That's what I've been saying all along, Kindrick. We control the battle by decisively removing the Horde's ability to wage it."
Ragefang turned to Gudvine. "The Sanction's can. We expect it to be. Use that."
Kindrick frowned. "The best way to get back said leader is to continue with a working plan, rather than hastily making a new one."
"There's been no working plan put in place yet. That's what this meeting is about. How does the Guard want to proceed, Faithe?"
"I don't know. I am not Justiciar," she said. "My job is to find true allies who will stand with us. I enlisted he help of Imperon last night. I will approach others as quickly as possible."
"You may not be Justiciar, but you're the one present. Do you want to further delay Gentyl's capture while you wait for the chain of command? The Ocheliad are worthwhile allies. You've also got the Sanction."
"We asked them to gather information. Put pressure on Modas. I assume that will stand for you also."
Ragefang nodded. "I would daresay a Druid would be most useful at gathering intelligence." He looked at Lanuss and chuckled.
"We need information," she said "We need Modas to give her up before Abominus gets to her or can change her."
"I can be that Druid," Lanuss said. Faithe had noticed he was already sniffing the air and watching. Something had caught his attention, but he looked back and assumed his very convincing indolent cat attitude.
The dwarf set his empty cup on the table and looked at the bartended. "Yes, you can never have too much intel."
Ragefang gazed deeply at Faithe. "Don't believe the hype, Faithe. Believe it or not, there are honorable sorts in the Sanction, and we *do* want peace. Seeing us without the lenses of propaganda goes further than you might realize, Faithe."
"Gondorin, if you were dishonorable, Pia would not ride with you. It's that simple. We don't always agree with you and we don't always ride with you, but you aren't always wrong either." She turned to Gudvine who had been remarkably quiet. "Sir, do you have any suggestions?"
He resumed stroking his beard. "If the intel suggest the danger of a concoction, my goal shall be to gather information on an antidote."
"Speaking of intel, how many spies do we currently have in the Horde?"
Kindrick raised an interesting question. Perhaps more interesting would be how many of the alliance were feeding information to the horde. "I have no knowledge of that."
Kindrick huffed. "The answer 'enough' would suffice."
"If the intel suggest the danger of a concoction, my goal shall be to gather information on an antidote," Gudvine replied. "I can speak with the Plagueshifters and begin to work my apothecary's ways."
"Lanuss, I want you working to find out Gentyl's location. See what you can scrounge up on Modas safehouses, or even, Shadow willing, their central sanctum." He looked at Gudvine. "I was an apothecary in life, Gudvine, and remain one now. My talents are at your disposal."
Edited by Gentyl on 4/18/2012 12:04 PM PDT
"Give me the locations to survey and I'll get right to work after this meeting."
Ragefang motioned Belpha over when he walked in. "Belpha, join us. We're initiating efforts to find Gentyl."
"Well then, of course I will." He eased into a chair and looked around expectantly.
"Gondorin, here is my suggestion. We have Meshqa. He is still a powerful warlord and is important to Modas and the Scorched Earth."
Ragefang looked very interested. "You have a prisoner?
She nodded and hoped she could pull this off. Belpha might be irritated with her later when he found out, but Gondorin would understand. "I have agreed to return as his slave and we will set him free. In return for Gentyl."
Ragefang choked on his drink. "You would *negotiate* with that filth?"
Kindrick sputtered. "Did I hear that right?"
"Abominus may be disappointed, but Meshqa is more important to them. He generates a huge amount of money."
Belpha looks at Faithe with a shocked expression "You would return to being a slave?"
Ragefang shook his head. "I will not see a single member of the Alliance given over to them, Faithe. All it tells them is they can ultimately benefit through short-term atrocity."
Belpha looked at her curiously. "If he's that important, why would we give him back?"
Ragefang shook his head. "You negotiate in this fashion, they will continue acquisitions of this nature. Destroy Abominus, hobble Modas, and Gentyl is returned while a desirable message is sent that such behavior will not be tolerated. You do not respond to the taking of prisoners with the offer of more."
Kindrick pounded the tabled. "Exactly!"
"Listen to me," she said. "Modas is more interested in power and money than Abominus' passing fancy."
Belpha reached over and took her hand. "Sepha wouldn't approve of this plan Faithe."
"Sepha isn't here."
Kindrick shook his head. "We'd still be out a member of the Alliance, you'll essentially just be giving up a prisoner for free."
"If I hear that you're in the Horde's hands, things will be done that will make the staunchest warriors among us wish for the days of the Second War."
"Gondorin, there will be no more rescues for me. I go willingly."
"You're damned right there won't be any rescues, because you're not giving yourself up."
Belpha growled. "Your plan does not exchange prisoners, it gives them a valuable asset for FREE."
"We get the Sepha back."
"And lose you and Meshqa It's a poor trade and an ill-advised one."
Ragefang shifted in his seat, clearly agitated and getting more so. "Trading" is not the proper response to the taking of hostages!"
"It will be the one that saves lives," she responded.
Belpha leaned back in his chair until the wood creaked under his weight. "Why would we trade anything? they delivered the time and date to our door!"
"What will save lives will be an offensive that recovers Gentyl Turncutt and communicates to the Horde that such actions in the future will come at a cost they consider unacceptable." Ragefang tapped his claws on the table.
Faithe looked evenly at the two. "Even Abominus isn't that stupid. It's a trap."
Belpha shrugged. "Then we be prepared for any odds."
"I will have Belpha turn you into a frog and lock you in a bowl with some flies if you even try."
Belpha smiles at Ragefang and winked at Faithe. "It could be arranged"
"I'm not joking. And if he won't do it, I'll detain you so deep in Acherus even Highlord Mograine won't find you until Gentyl is recovered."
"This is my life. It's already been ruined. What have I to lose? Besides, Meshqa. in his own way, loves me."
"Such fatalism is ill becoming a member of the Holy Guard. Don't be a snithering schoolgirl," Ragefang replied.
"I'm not a schoolgirl. I am a realist."
"Ironic. Do you know who you're talking to?"
Kindrick shrugged. "Now that I think about it, it -is- her life to give, but to give both her and a prisoner in exchange for a prisoner is unacceptable."
"As ill-advised as this is, I have no time to argue with you, you seem more convinced the more we talk." Belpha stood up to leave.
"I'm weighing the value of a life. Meshqa will not kill me. Abominus or Dree will kill Sepha."
"Not if they're dealt with before they can. She'll live until their wedding ceremony; we simply insure she's acquired before or during, and the only lives lost are Horde filth whose lives are forfeit as it is, as far as I'm concerned." Ragefang was on the verge of raging now.
"Which is the wiser choice?" she responded.
"You're setting up a false dichotomy, Faithe. Your capture or hers aren't the only options. She can withstand whatever tortures they put her through, your Holy Light can heal her upon recovery, and we can insure they won't ever try this again. Give me the leeway, and by the time we're done and Gentyl is recovered, they'll quail so much at the thought of even raising a sharpened stick at a member of the Alliance."
Edited by Gentyl on 4/18/2012 4:06 PM PDT
Kindrick brightened. "What if... We take more prisoners?"
"I recommended that, Kindrick, but it was rejected out of hand, and as I think about it, she was right to do so." Ragefang still didn't look happy about it.
"Just as giving them a prisoner as a response to taking hostages is unacceptable, so it doing the very thing we're now correcting. We acquire her at their wedding ceremony. Let them spring a trap. Between Ocheliad and the Sanction in the shadows, and Pia Presidium and, dare I even say it, the Stormwind City Watch and others at the forefront, they won't know which way is up."
Lyrax and Alex had been listening for a moment before Lyrax spoke up. "I have a suggestion if my opinion will be heard. Two actually."
Kindrick shook his head. "This sounds like too many resources will be expended just to recover one resource. Many sacrificed for the one. What if the one is lost, would the many lost be worth it then?"
"This is what an Alliance is, Kindrick," Ragefang said. "One is as important as many."
"Worgen of the Night will help," Lanuss added.
Faithe handed Gondorin a slip of paper. "Gondorin. Here are the posts we have already scouted. If you are serious about helping. They need to be burned to the ground. There are thirteen in all."
He reached for the paper. "What's their nature?" He frowned in confusion when her read her grocery list.
Kindrick sighed. "There are far better ways of going about this than all-out Blitz Kreig. If the Horde were to learn of this assault, how do you think they'll react to it?"
"You're dealing with the Horde, Kindrick: anything less than a significant display of force will be interpreted as future allowance of activity like this."
Lyrax and Alex had been listening for a moment before Lyrax spoke up. "I have a suggestion if my opinion will be heard. Two actually."
They nodded to him.
Alexithima looks at the table of people than hopped from the chandelier.
Faithe says: Gondorin you have been an ally, we trust you...with our lives as we must all who ride with us. However, even among the Lluchduu I fear someone may kill sepha if the opportunity presents. We certainly have to be careful who is involved and who has information."
"Imperon isn't going to let Gentyl be slain."
Alexithima smiles from between the railings at Faithe who was sliding another piece of paper to Ragefang. He looked surprised at the note. then quickly folded it. The game had nearly played out and now was time to level with him. There was a good chance they were being spied on. They already knew some people had shown their affinity for the horde, even ones who had repeatedly attacked civilian areas. They had to see how soon this information got to the horde, if it did at all.
The note simply read. We are most likely being spied on. I am not giving myself up. We need to know who the real enemy is. I am throwing out false trails for them to report.
He recovered remarkably from the surprise. "Don't give yourself up, Faithe. Merely fight at our side as we work to recover her.
Lyrax looked down and frowned at his tabard, then slipped the Ocheliad tabard out and put it on.
Ragefang turned to Lyrax, "What of these thirteen posts?"
Lyrax shrugged. "Fel if I know, but something the young martyr said intrigued me. Her whole prisoner swap idea is terrible, at least the way it's stated."
Faithe looked over at him. "So you know and someone doesn't race around reporting how I am gossiping about the Lluchduu, I will repeat what I said in case you missed it. We must be careful with our allies. Lluchduu has agreed to help, but I will be honest. There are some in your order who hate Gentyl. It would be very easy for her to lose her head in the middle of a fight and no one would know where the blow came from."
"Imperon's people aren't all heroic, Faithe, but I don't think any are cowardly. Such an order would have to come from Imperon himself, and I don't think he'd give it."
Alexithima agreed with Ragefang. "Lady Faithe, although some may have a disdain for Lady Gentyl, Sir Imperon will not so easily let her lose her head to one of his lackies"
"Alex, it could happen without him ever knowing where the blow came from," Faithe replied. "I know how brave they are. It's due to Ocheliad I am free. They led the rescue. They have always come to our aid and although there is often friction between us, when the need is there Ocheliad is always there for us. I trust them much more than I do most of our allies. That's why I approached Imperon. Other orders I am not so sure of."
Alexithima shifted forms slowly with a pained look and glides down the stairs taking a seat.
"Then don't slap them in the face by willingly giving it up," Ragefang snapped.
((cont on post #63, sorry))
Edited by Gentyl on 4/18/2012 8:29 PM PDT
The meeting with her barons concluded, it was decided that the Plunderblood would attempt to intervene on wicked plans; For the sake of freedom and benefits, as opposed to actually caring for the "Holy !@#$%". After all, nearly half of the barons voted to "let her rot."
"Sneak about, loosen some chains, toss bombs, and pass on "the banana". Now, all o' you get more specific on those plans, yeh? We've got a Gentyl to save, y'know.."
Mira paced her small room in Hearthglen. She felt rather useless at the moment. There were so many plans swirling around for saving Gentyl; Mira felt that some of them had merit, but some were so ‘out there’ that they might as well have come from Argus. Yet, the strange summons had come over her hearthstone -- a healer was needed for an urgent mission. What the mission was, Gudvine was refusing to say. All he would say was “Come to Moonglade.”
If a healer was needed, Mira wasn’t about to refuse, especially if the request came from a fellow Guard. It didn’t matter what the mission was; it mattered only that she was needed.
Mira tapped her stone. “I’ll be there,” she said into it.
Mira donned her armor, making sure the clasps were tight, then slipped her mace into the loop on her belt. Then, she checked her shield -- smiling a little at the familiar ‘tink’ as her fingertips tapped it -- and slung it across her back.
She was ready.
Edited by Mira on 4/17/2012 5:41 PM PDT
Some time later, Mira, Broodin, Sara “Shiningnight” Night, and Meriste had gathered in Moonglade. There, Gudvine Stonewhisper waited for them.
As they approached him, uncertainty and curiosity crossing their various faces, he leaned on his staff and inclined his head to them. “Ishnu’ala,” he said. “I shall wait til we are all here. It is better to explain this but once. I do thank you for coming, though.”
Meriste nodded, though Mira wasn’t certain of the translation of his greeting. All the same, it had a familiar cadence to it, and so she returned it with a greeting of her own. Glancing around, Mira saw that her squire hadn’t yet arrived, and so, she said, “Sara will be here soon.” Behind her, Broodin had brought down a deer and was busily shredding it -- something that Mira was consciously trying to avoid paying attention to.
Finally, after all had arrived (Sara being the last, saluting to each in turn; Mira returned it smartly), Gudvine continued. “There are few people for whom I would do what I suggest. But the Sepha is one of them. Before I go any farther, I must say that the mission I will ask of each of you is one that must be kept in complete secrecy, with no exceptions. It is not something I would do if it were not necessary. If you are not willing to accept that and keep it by your honor, you may leave now.”
Mira shook her head; she quoted from the Tenets. "Never abandon a friend, Guard or noble cause. I stay.” One by one, Sara and Meriste, too, vowed to remain. Broodin belched.
Meriste, though, paused. "We must recover the Sepha. But - this must remain secret even from the other Guards? I do not understand."
Mira ignored the belch. "Give him time to explain. I'm sure there's good reason."
Sara, though, didn’t. “Seriously?” she asked, peering at Broodin.
Gudvine waited for them to settle, then continued. “I have been researching what must be the base of the potion to restore her if she is subjected to the Plague. It is made up of three components. One is the water of the moonwell. One is the water of the Sunwell. The third would get us killed if found out.”
While Sara, Meriste, and Mira looked at Gudvine uncertainly, Broodin said what they were all thinking: “Let me guess. The Well of Eternity.”
“Yes,” Gudvine said, nodding.
Broodin frowned. “Ten thousand years, and you still haven’t let hold of that foolish dream, have you? It is destroyed. There was nothing left of it after the sundering, nor is there now.”
Gudvine nodded. “I am aware of that. And so I have asked a favor of... a friend.”
“A friend, you say?” This was still Broodin.
“A member of the Bronze Flight who is willing to bring us to just before the Well was destroyed.”
“What?! You have to be kidding.” Once more, Broodin raised his voice in doubt, even as Sara looked at the ground with apprehension and Meriste and Mira both voiced their concern about the upcoming mission.
“I am certain, unfortunately.” said Gudvine. “It is not something I relish the idea of doing. We must go back, fight through the forces of the Legion, and collect the water. Azshara will be... distracted.”
There were, of course, still objections from Broodin. “This must be the most foolish and suicidal idea I have ever heard! I can’t believe you even came up with this!”
Mira was more polite: “And what of the demons? That time was crawling with them.”
Sara’s answer was simple and straightforward: “We’ll have to fight through them.”
And so they did.
Edited by Mira on 4/17/2012 8:31 PM PDT
Some minutes later, the group stood on the far side of the portal into what was, these days, called the Well of Eternity. The five of them looked at one another in shock. Their normal forms were gone, replaced with the illusion of the bodies of night elves! To some, this was normal -- but to Mira, Meriste, and Sara, it was a completely new experience.
Meriste looked down at her feet -- wait -- feet!?
Mira looked similarly uncomfortable. “My legs are backward!” she exclaimed in dismay. How was she going to walk? Feet were nothing like the hooves she’d been born with. She took a few experimental steps, finding to her surprise that after a few cautious steps, her stride and balance were normal -- and she could still feel her tail, even if she couldn’t see it.
“It is only an illusion,” explained Gudvine. The unspoken assertion was that they’d get used to it. And they did. No more time was wasted -- except for one thing.
While the two draenei found their legs, Sara was pulling a strand of hair away from her face. “It’s purple!” she was exclaiming in delight. Mira, ever fond of her squire, smiled, complimenting the human. Sara beamed brightly.
Mira held the five adventurers back only long enough to place an Earth shield about Sara and a Water shield about herself, and then they stepped forward to confront the demons.
“Sara gasped. “All the demons!”
Meriste scowled. “Man’ari.”
Mira shivered slightly as Illidan’s invisibility spell cascaded over each of them; all she could see of them -- or herself, for that matter, if she looked down -- was a shimmering visage, vaguely humanoid in shape. “They won’t see us if we stay quiet... I hope,” she said. All the same, she couldn’t help but be a little unsettled.
“Quiet? With this armor?” That was Sara. The paladin quietly tapped her armor; it made a ‘tink!’ sound. But on they went; the magic of Illidan Stormrage, the Betrayer, protected them. One by one, each set of crystals powering the demons’ portals was destroyed. Somehow, the forces of the Legion never saw the five as they went about their work -- even though Mira’s totems were in plain view. Small favors, though. Small favors...
Finally, they reached the end of their journey. Mannoroth was again slain, and the Dragon Soul was saved from the Well of Eternity by the fast actions of Nozdormu the Timeless One. The Well lay unguarded, and the five made their way toward it. Gudvine approaches the well as Malfurion and Tyrande focus on Illidan, quickly dipping a vial into the well.
Sara eyed the glowing vial cautiously; Broodin and Mira couldn’t stop gazing at it. Mira asked, “Is it pure?”
“No,” explained Gudvine as he placed the vial into a potion pouch and turned to the others. “We shall have to purify it in our time.”
After they stepped through the portal to the Azeroth they knew, Sara turned to Mira. “Feel yourself again?”
Mira shook herself all over. “I don't like that place. I know it was necessary, but I still don't like it.”
“I don’t think any of us liked it,” said Gudvine, voicing the sentiment for all of them.
“I miss the purple hair,” said Sara.
Edited by Mira on 4/19/2012 9:00 PM PDT
Mira sat on her small, simple bunk in her room in the barracks. She looked around the small space out of habit, her eyes falling on the small desk, the wardrobe, and the racks where her armor was stored. The room wasn't much to look at, but it'd come to be home over the course of almost a year. She'd be spending less time here once she was bonded; the rooms weren't meant to be shared, and in any case, her bondmate wasn't part of the Presidium.
Yet, she'd keep this room well-kept and clean, and come here when she needed to be alone, or the companionship of the friends she'd made. And this room had one thing any other home didn't: it had her sister. Mira took a deep breath and thought of the door across the hall, the one that had her sister's name written on it in both Common and Draenic. How many times had she crossed the hall in the middle of the night, tapped on the door, and sought comfort? She'd lost count. Maybe, she'd seek it again tonight.
Mira sat on her bed, looking out on Hearthglen. It was raining, dimming the glow from nearby windows. The rain brought Mira comfort, calming her nerves as well as, ever so slightly, healing her spirit. That was welcome, for the expedition to the Sunwell was to come, and Mira knew better than many how dangerous demons were. Queen Azshara's palace at the Well of Eternity had been full of them.
-- Thrall, clad only in simple robes rather than the mantle of the Warchief, raising his arms, Dragon Soul in hand, and the Destroyer roaring --
Mira knew what she was going to see at the Sunwell Plateau. Demons, countless demons. Maybe the same demons that had pursued her people across the stars. Maybe not. But demons they were all the same, and she had no love for them.
-- Fel fire, green abomination of the orange Fire that cleansed and renewed, raining down on the city of Shattrath, the screaming and panic that heralded the city's fall --
Mira shuddered. She didn't like to think of the fall of Shattrath, but sometimes the memory surfaced, unbidden. She'd let her mind linger too long on the demons that could be found on the Sunwell Plateau. At least this time they wouldn't be everywhere -- but the blood elves were. Another memory flashed through her mind.
-- The Exodar falling through the sky over Azeroth, shedding pieces of itself over hundreds of miles as it plunged out of control toward Kalimdor --
-- Mira's father consoling his terrified daughter, a fallen girder pinning him to the deck, the ship collapsing around him, crushing him --
Mira forced her mind away from the flood of memories back to the present. "Elements," she prayed, "give me strength. Give us all strength. Carry us through this trial so that we may get what we need. I don't ask for myself. I ask for my friend, my Sepha."
And something answered. A new memory flashed to the fore.
-- A vial full of a golden glow, then a flash of Light. The vial, clear and shining --
Mira knew then that everything would be all right, somehow. The Prophet would would again reignite the Sunwell with the Heart of M'uru. The sample would be taken. And Mira could hear gentle, soft singing -- the voice of the Light: soft, reassuring, loving.
Mira's friend would be cured.
"Thank you. I am in Your service."
When the dawn came, Mira slept soundly.
Edited by Mira on 4/25/2012 12:15 PM PDT
I never really understood the whole reserving thing, to be honest, especially when there are past things reserved already unused. I mean sure its nice to keep posts together for later viewing but for anyone actively following it, !@#$ be confusing, yo.))
**I have to do this part through forum rp, I am working all through this week, and wont be online until Friday afternoon/evening**
Steri Wheellock hid as hooves thundered on the path. A large party of Alliance thundered past, intent on searching this stretch of Silverspine Forest. Her orders to contact a Modas representative just became more complicated. She took a drink of Bilgewater Brew, and finished her apple, absently dropping it on the ground. After waiting 10 more minutes, she slowly emerged from the hedge she was hiding under, and carefully proceeded down the road towards the Sepulchur. She hated that place, the Forsaken all looked at her with hunger there.
The pouch containing the plagued potion swung at her side, the bottles inside tinkling as they struck each other.
((Abom. You told me to run with it so we had your goblin divide up the stash. One batch got through to Trex and he gave her the first of the "daily" potions last night. Unfortunately the other courier got nabbed by some pia and friends. Not sure if they questioned the gob to find out what the vials were, but search teams had been watching, so they picked up the one gob, but not before she divided the vials for safe keeping in case something happened. I'm letting people run with the story, as you are. I was rping with Trex when the two attacks went down last night and am not sure what people are doing aside from that. Gen did get the first dose last night, though and, supposedly will get the rest.
Sorry, it's taking so long to get everything up. This thing is like wildfire. Story is fascinating and so many cool angles, but very behind on writing and knew you were going to be gone all week.
So, short summary. One batch got to Trex and he gave Gen first dose. The other courier got nabbed at Tarren Mill. No idea what she was doing there. I'll try to get story caught up asap and kind of keep it in order. Tremendous amount going on. Thank you so much for doing this. You're the best.))
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