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Upon first reading Suni’s letter, Fernand had been dismayed. Although in the letter Suni made an attempt to obscure her identity, Vectus had explained in detail to the undead Apothecary those who were responsible for Lilienne’s wellbeing. Suni’s attempts at secrecy were unnecessary, however, as Fernand definitely held no intention of harming the woman who was responsible for saving Lilienne’s life. Despite her blatant reproach (which she certainly made no attempt to conceal) Fernand could not help but agree with her appraisal of the situation. Suni took it upon herself to tell Lilienne that Fernand and Ameira were involved in the war, and that Lilienne’s kidnapping was a consequence of this. As far as he knew, Lilienne was not aware of his current ... condition, nor his role in the war after his death. Still, and it was a point which Suni emphasised, Fernand had a choice to make: either to continue to remain distant from his daughter, or to make her aware of him and to offer her a father’s love. It was this crossroads which filled Fernand with dismay and indecision.
One of the many gifts Suni bestowed upon Fernand was a collection of rune stones imbued with Lilienne’s memories and feelings, so that he may have a chance to get to know his daughter. He spent days on end going over the recordings, smiling and laughing along with her, feeling her pure, uncomplicated happiness toward life and her loved ones. Of the fourteen and a half memories, by far the one which was the greatest struggle to observe was a memory of Ameira caring for Lilienne while she was still an infant. He missed Ameira so very much, and despaired that he was absent from that part of her life’s journey, both to Ameira and Lilienne’s disadvantage.
Suni also enclosed five blank rune stones for Fernand to imprint for Lilienne, if he reached a decision. It had taken both Vectus and Suni’s admonishments regarding the mistakes he had made for Fernand to realise that trying to manipulate circumstances from a distance was exactly the wrong thing to do. All he had managed to achieve was to endanger his daughter, himself, and all those who were trying desperately to aid them both. Fernand owed Lilienne an explanation. More importantly, he owed her an apology, several apologies, for not being present in her life, and for the pain he had caused her and so many others.
He chose a selection of memories that would hopefully serve to tell Lilienne of her parents, the love they bore one another, and who they were so that one day, when she was much older, she may understand them. A memory of Fernand and Ameira beneath the apple orchards in a green, luscious Tarren Mill; a memory of them dancing together at one of the Kirin Tor’s innumerable ballroom functions; a memory of Ameira at home, playing the piano, her beauty and talent unparalleled; a memory of Fernand receiving an award from the Kingdom of Lordaeron for his research into abating the source of several disease outbreaks.
The final rune stone was not imbued with a memory of Lilienne’s parents before everything fell apart. Instead, it was the explanation he owed her. Fernand was careful not to include any images upon the final stone, and certainly nothing to hint toward his undeath. It was simply his voice ... but then, a tone which he had not used since before his death. It was not the typical, prim, indifferent Fernand, but a part of him assumed long since dead. As he travelled to the hidden location where Suni told him to place the imbued rune stones, he listened over the fifth stone once more.
‘Lilienne, I am so very sorry that I have not been there for you. I do not wish to make excuses for myself, but you need to understand that it is not by my choice that our circumstances are this way. I dearly wish above all things that you, your mother and I could be together.’ Fernand paused to regain control of himself. He could sense his composure slipping. ‘But it cannot be so. If anything, I am afraid that things are going to become more difficult before they get better. Your mother was the strongest, most determined person I have ever known, and I know that you are fully capable of persevering through these difficult times. And of course, you have myself and your ‘guardian angels’ to guide and watch over you. I do not doubt that you will make me very proud.’ There was a long pause, as Fernand, still unsure, continued on. ‘You are still so young, but one day you will be a mature, intelligent, strong-willed woman. When that time comes to pass, and if you have any inclination to do so, you may seek me out. I do not expect you to comprehend all of this now, but as I understand it, these stones have a half life of a few centuries at the very least. So keep this safe, and one day listen over it again. I am certain that when the time comes, you will think of something.’ He paused once more to compose himself. ‘I want you to know that I love both you and your mother very much. You will be in my thoughts, always.’ And with that, the stone could record no more.
It was all that he could think to say, and it would have to suffice. He was certainly not going to introduce himself, the undead monster who had killed her mother and countless others, to his eight year old daughter. As Fernand attempted to focus on the task at hand, his own missions and Vectus’s, he found his hand subconsciously resting against the pocket which held the fourteen and a half memory stones Lilienne made for him.
It was done. He had failed to protect the person he cared the most for. He had lost her. Let her down, there was nothing he could do. Every time he offered aid, he was refuted for his own protection. Arlston sat on the edge of the sheer drop-off of the Stormwind Harbor wall, staring out at the Galleon.
Arlston reached up and scratched at his shoulder under the leather armor he wore, careful to avoid the poisoned needle hidden there. "What good am I. To anyone? A broken tool. It seems", he wondered aloud, still staring out as the sun began to set over the water.
"Seems I have nothing left to give her. I offered my love, my dedication. My..."
Arlston could not finish the sentence, he did not know what else he could offer. He was broken, he'd do more harm than good. He was not ready for anything. It seems that after all the years of calling the others "naive" it was he who was truly ignorant. Where the other members of his Order lacked in combat, and life experience.
He lacked experience, in "Living".
Arlston sat there, stunned by his self revelation. As he did so, he knew what he could do for her. One last thing before she grew to despise him.
"Watchman Requested. An arrest needs to be made". Arlston spoke into his hearthstone, a quick look down at his tabard making his gut clench in regret for what he was about to do to his allies.
After an exhausted sigh, a voice came back through the hearthstone lodged securely in Arlston's helmet, where he kept it for quick access.
"Ok...and who am I supposed to arrest?" Watchman Ethillian responded to the call. Arlston nodded, and headed off to the ruins of the Park, by the bridge to the mage district. Speaking into his hearthstone as he did so.
"Arlston. Cross. For aiding a criminal. Obstruction of Justice. Treason." Arlston answered, listing his crimes he committed for the sake of the woman he longed for, and admired.
After the officer had shown up, and his own plea of guilt had been spoken. Arlston was glad he could at least buy her some time. Give some breathing room, as his public announcement was bound to draw attention. Cuffed and sent moving to the Stockades, he went peacefully. Almost gratefully he peered around at the citizenry that gawked as he passed.He would not betray her. He would not betray his old comrade. He would atone for what he had done, and in his atonement, find something he had lost long ago.
He would change. He would change himself, find what else in life he could offer others. Give more of himself up, rather than just his own life. He would not take the coward's way out.
Sitting in the dark, cold cell beneath Stormwind Arlston was held there. Watching Officer Ethillian's back recede into the gloom as he left. Arlston settled down silently to the floor, breathing deeply as he shut his eyes and thought. He thought harder than ever tried before. He delved deeply into his mind, analyzing, logging, and forcing the repressed memories and fears to the surface.
After all, here in the Stocks, where daylight is nonexistent, he had all the time in the world.
Edited by Arlston on 7/8/2012 5:40 PM PDT
The day had been rather dull thankfully...other than the oppressive heat that was mostly vanquished by the mountains. Ket had been off lost in whatever it was she was doing most of the day until he had finally given her a call over the stone, now he was simply waiting. No sooner had she shown up than the undead child of the modas arrived eliciting a groan from the rogue.
"Return to the land where the house is built of hearts and stone. Once there swim to the depths of stillness where you will find a treasure most precious to me." A simple message all in all though it left him baffled as to why the sender would even have the child around her. Time enough for that later though, once Ket had been put to bed down in his...now their office that doubled as living quarters he slipped out into the night making his way to the stated location.
A few hours saw him making his way across two continents absently plucking fruit and nuts from trees as he passed them to stuff in a bag with the requested jerky as much to collect a gift as to distract him from who he knew would be there with her. Landing a ways away he cautiously made his way towards the two pausing to shove away any nervousness before clearing his throat. The response was instantaneous and most as he had expected it to be. After exchanging words and the sacks as well as a few wary glances the rogue faded back into the shadows to collect his thoughts and sort out what to do next.
(( The following is another plot-central conversation taking place via mage-whispering between Vith (Vectus), Argustus, and Suni. I didn't feel it would benefit much from embedding it in a narrative... so, here you go!))
Vith: "Fernand. Can you hear me?"
Argustus: "Ah, Master Assassin. Your skills appear to know no bounds. Have you perhaps mastered the arcane during your spare time?"
Vith: <laughing> "No, old friend. For all my worth, I'm not that talented. I'm using Suni as a bridge--the one helping keep your daughter safe. The one who wrote the letter I gave you?"
Argustus: "Yes, I recall the name. You mentioned it when you gave me the letter. And true to your word, you must not have read it, for she went out of her way to attempt to obscure her identity in it."
Vith: <glancing to Suni> "Oh. I suppose that's because she felt you might be ... upset, at her involvement. I've tried to assure her though, that is not the case. I doubt she will mind. Much."
Argustus: I assume she can hear our 'conversation'? If so, yes, I assure you Mistress Dahlmayar that I do not underestimate what you have done for Lilienne and myself. Nor can I ever summarize my gratitude with mere words."
Suni: “I ... It was the right thing to do, sir. For her sake. Perhaps yours as well."
Vith: "There will be plenty of time for that later, I hope. For now, we have other matters to discuss.”
Argustus: “The rune stones you gave me are a greater gift than you can possibly imagine. Or perhaps you know their value all too well. You will find my own gift for my daughter as per your letters instructions. But yes, pleasantries aside. Do go on."
Vith: "As you are likely already aware, V'Ghera has put out a reward for your capture. And as I've recently found out, the Modas has doubled their efforts to locate both you and I."
Argustus: “The both of us? Ah ... that is troubling."
Vith: "Indeed. It seems in my absence, Aziel has grown restless. He suspects me, but I doubt he knows the full story just yet. … And I do not intend to return to the Sanctum."
Argustus: <A mental sigh is heard through the connection> “It would appear that the consequences of my actions continue to cascade. My apologies, Vectus. I did not intend for you to be exiled as well."
Vith: <Vith winces at the mention of this name, but decides not to press the issue> “It is no bother, Fernand. Truly, I could have returned had I wished. Even now, I still could. But I have chosen a different path."
Argustus: “V'Ghera will not allow this to continue. He cannot afford to lose the both of us. I understand your concerns entirely."
Vith: <Another mental sigh is heard, this time from Vith> "I fear I was not entirely truthful when we spoke about you returning several weeks ago. As you might have guessed, Aziel is not exactly willing to forgive your betrayal. Should you choose to return … he intends to use a geas to ensure your cooperation. Truthfully, that has been the catalyst for my intervention on your daughter's behalf. I could not stand idly by and watch as you were made to be his mindless slave."
Argustus: “That is troubling. I had assumed that were I to return, I would not be stepping foot outside of the laboratories, which was why I acted to organize ... contingencies, for the Watch and Regiment to monitor Lilienne on my behalf, should the worst occur. Hence our current unfortunate circumstances, I suppose.”
Vith: “If only it were that simple. But no, there are many who would seek to use her against you for leverage over the Modas and the RAS."
Argustus: “Has there yet been any word from the gnome?"
Vith: "Timeus? None. He is still in captivity. We've managed to exchange messages on a couple of occasions, but he has not yet learned anything, to my knowledge."
Argustus: “It is hardly surprising. His choice for voluntary captivity on the chance of identifying a 'possible' traitor was unlikely to be fruitful."
Vith: "Still, we are not without allies, however tentative they may be. Lynnie--my student--has managed to involve herself in this mess. And with her, Bhayne and Raoul Zharikov have offered assistance. There is also Gelyne--the girl present when we met with Timeus--as well as a close friend of hers. And of course, there are several of Suni’s allies.”
Argustus: “What are you suggesting? That we utilize these allies to distract or otherwise occupy V'Ghera?"
Edited by Vith on 7/10/2012 8:33 AM PDT
Vith: "Nothing so simple. I simply mean to apprise you of the situation, my friend. I've done my best to keep true knowledge of your daughter a secret, even from our would-be allies. The only ones who know, aside from the obvious, are those present at our meeting in Dalaran."
Suni: “Aziel may be distracted already ... in so far as he may believe I am your daughter."
Fernand: “I beg your pardon?"
Suni: <with humor> I shall let Mr. Master Assassin explain that one, sir."
Vith: <eyeing Suni> "Yes, it was a necessary diversionary tactic. When dealing with Lynnie and our other tentative allies, I had to pass Suni off as your daughter. Zharikov is somewhat suspicious, but aside from that it has gone over smoothly."
Argustus: <A cold anger can be felt across the connection> “This is foolish and unnecessary. By even implying towards Lilienne's existence, you risk the eventual uncovering of your deception."
Vith: "I know this, Fernand. I assure you, I did not have much choice in the matter. It was either involve them, or allow Lynnie to escape back to Aziel."
Argustus: “And who is this Lynnie? How did she come to be involved?"
Vith: " ... She is my student, as I have said. You should know--you have encountered her around the Sanctum. A small undead elf girl? Rather fond of ‘bunnies.’ I ran into her while searching for you in Dalaran. Unfortunately, she is too clever for her own good."
Suni: "She says hello."
Argustus: “This is poor risk management. It would have been more efficient to kill her rather than create such a convoluted tirade. But I suppose it is too late for that, now."
Suni: <A third mental sigh is heard, this time from Suni> “Kill ... is that how you people solve -all- of your problems?"
Vith: "I would not think of harming her, Fernand. Not on my life. You may not like it, but I have done the best I can. Much more than you have done, indeed; need I remind you this entire situation is of your doing? She still seeks to learn from me. Her interests are in preserving our relationship, and thus I feel trusting her is our best option."
Argustus: “Very well then, if this student of yours is significant to you. But make no mistake, Mistress Dahlmayar. I am willing to do a good deal more to ensure Lilienne's safety."
Vith: "I had hoped you would, Fernand. I have a tentative plan. If it were to work, it might get us out of this mess.”
Argustus: “Indeed? I am interested to hear your proposal."
Vith: "It's simply really. We will stage your death. The only reason your daughter is in any danger is because of her relation to you. Without you ... they would simply have no reason to pursue her. And by 'they' I mean of course, both the Modas and the Ultio Brotherhood."
Suni: "Though it might prove useful to stage them all. Yours, Lilienne's ... her aunt and uncle ..."
Vith: "Yes, I suppose that would be optimal."
Argustus: “It will require some thought to make it appear as realistic as possible. We cannot have these specific individual having accidents around the planet at around the same time."
Vith: "Again, it is simple. We return Lilienne. She is reunited with her Uncle and Aunt. Then we make it look as if the Modas attacked, killing her and her family. Learning of this, Fernand Argustus tragically takes his own life and his body is found in Dalaran."
Argustus: <Tentative agreement can be felt over the connection> “The Benoits are taken then to a safe location. I ... remain in isolation, and everything goes back to the way it was?"
Vith: "Basically, yes. If the Brotherhood is brought out into the public sphere, and the Modas were made aware of them, then we can make it so the Modas will suspect the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood will, of course, suspect the Modas, and Lilienne--and her family--will be moved somewhere isolated from the rest of the world. You might even be able to contact her, after all of this dies down."
Argustus: “I see. I suppose you and Lynnie would then be free to return to the Order. Perhaps to claim that your recalcitrance was intended to persuade me to return, as opposed to using brute force?"
Vith: "As I have said previously, I have no such intentions. ... I will worry about myself, Fernand."
Argustus: “You are certainly capable, Master Assassin."
Vith: "If you are in agreement, then I will begin immediately making arrangements to carry out this plan. I am confident it will work. I will leave the staging of your own death to you, though of course I will be available should you require my assistance."
Argustus: “Very well. I agree to this course of action. In the meantime, I shall endeavor to remove the remnants of the fissile Saronite weapon. It would not do to have that lying about where it may still endanger Lilienne. The Regiment were supposed to take care of that, but it appears they are currently indisposed."
Vith: "In the meantime, should you need to contact me, I trust you know how."
Argustus: “Certainly. Thank you all for your assistance in these trying times. I will feel much relieved once Lilienne can return to safety, seclusion and happiness."
Vith: <He says nothing, but a mix of acceptance, gratitude, and a twinge of bitter resentment can be felt>
Suni: “You are welcome, sir. Should like to see her from time to time ... well, it seems you know how to find me now."
Argustus: “I will think on it. I must admit, I remain slightly irritated that you disclosed my identity to Lilienne. I would far prefer her to remain ignorant of myself, even if, as you say, it is still a burden to live without the direct care of her parents. The lesser of two evils, I suppose."
Suni: "She actually doesn't know your name. She merely knows you as ‘daddy.’"
<The connection is abruptly severed>
(( OOC Note - I've gotten a few questions about the Vith/Vectus thing so for those not familiar with the character I feel I should offer a little of his background as it pertains to this plot.
His birth name is Vith Maldonst, and he took the name "Vectus" following his undeath. He's underwent some massive character development as a result of this story (which I'll undoubtedly do some exposition on in another thread at a later date), and because of this he has abandoned the Modas and assumed his given identity once more.
A peculiarity about the ritual involving his willing undeath has ensured his body remains biologically functioning - i.e. he isn't a rotting corpse. Thus for all intents and purposes, he appears human aside from a rather inconspicuous (but discernibly fatal) wound he sustained during said ritual.
Hope that clears things up! ))
AEthel sighed. She had just taken Vectus's place as Claviger of the Abon Readers. Now she had vowed to kill the assassin, preferably in single combat. She looks across the tavern, "what?" Abiganerepeated herself, "congratulations for what?" Aethelgyth grinned. "My promotion." "Oh." "Now I must find my predecessor" the unread sighs. "I'm sorry he's missing" the orcess grins. "To kill him"
Pal'fon winced. The enraged scream of his Master rang in his ears and echoed down the hall that led to the Orb room. Surely his Brothers could hear the displeasure in their patron's voice.
"I said we been tryin' ta get tha girl, Masta, but she be protected by some strong voodoo. We lost some of de Brudahs tha las' time."
The orb was silent for a time and if not for its continued glow, he would have thought the conversation over. The whisper that came forth made him jump a little, his skin crawling at it's anger and the hatred behind it's words.
"You will capture the girl or else it will be your hide I will flay, Pal'fon. I will take my time and when your worthless body heals itself, I will begin anew. Hire as many mercenaries as you wish. Get. Me. That. GIRL!"
A chill wind blew from the orb into Pal'fon's face, momentarily blinding him with its ferocity. He blinked a few times to clear his vision and sighed in relief. The orb had gone dark.
The Brotherhood had failed. Thrice now. The troll had already received punishment for the failure in taking the girl from Stormwind. He shuddered as he recalled the sensation of hot pokers being thrust into his body, an example of his Master's power. He bore no marks of the torture, however. To inflict such agony over who knew what kind of distance...
He shook his head and slowly walked down the hall to the main chamber of the cave. Several members of the Brotherhood were working away as if they heard nothing. Pal'fon knew better. A dwarf that went by <dwarf> was still polishing the same spot on the table as when he was summoned to the orb.
The troll shook his head. They'd lost three of their number in the last attack. Sparks, Dirk, and his occasional bedmate, Nat'ya. They were all a loss because of their skills. The latter was a personal loss. It would be another name he would gladly recite as he plunged his blade slowly into Sylvanis' neck, giving the spirits of the fallen some measure of relief.
As he snapped back to reality, he realized all eyes were on him. "Alright, Brudahs. We be goin' afta tha girl again. Staht gettin' tha gea' togetha. We be gatherin' some more hands fa dis. Lots more." One of the Brothers, a blood elf woman, nodded at this and vanished down a tunnel. Pal'fon was pleased that they all started to move without hesitation. Despite their setbacks, they moved with purpose, determination. Conviction. True believers in their cause of retribution on those who committed such heinous crimes against all races.
The Brothers knew what must be done to prepare, as he knew his own duty. He traversed the tunnels of their cave, passing through several chambers until he came across a wooden door, cobbled togeather of tray bits of wood. He knocked only once before pulling it open, the single candle lighting the small room beyond. Sitting on a stool in front of a small table was a wizened old man dressed in tattered gray robes. A rather thick tome sat on the rickety table, wobbling as he turned a page with his bony hands.
Pal'fon felt an involuntary shudder run up his spine like it always did in the human's presence. When the Brotherhood had brought him here, he looked much the same as he did now. He'd refused their offers of new clothes, claiming that they were a mark of failing his former Master and he would not allow himself to forget. They never brought him food or drink, his only request for his services being solitude and light to read by.
Pal'fon waited for what seemed like an eternity before the old man placed a marker in the book and closed it, his sunken eyes turning up to meet the gaze of the troll. Pal'fon always got the impression that the man's voice was rattling against his bones before finally escaping.
"Why have you disturbed my silence?"
The troll opened his mouth to speak but no sound came forth immediately. He cleared his throat to give him a moment to regain his composure. "We be needin' tha girl's location again, Brudah."
The old man sneered at the familiar term, thrusting a bony finger at the troll and making him wince. "You would disturb my guest again with this nonsense? It took me days to calm her after the last time. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to suppress her and still keep her mind sharp enough for a lively discussion? No, I doubt you would. Let's get this over with, then."
The old man took a cane that had been leaning against the nearby wall and stood shakily. Pal'fon knew better to offer his assistance to the man. He had no desire to feel the haft of that cane against his head once again. Leading the way, the old man strode to the back of his chamber and opened another door. This one was far sturdier, made of iron. Pulling it open with some effort, the old man led the way into the sizeable room beyond. It was frigid inside, far more than a natural cave. The walls and ceiling were coated with ice, though the floor was clear. Markings covered the floor instead, sigils glowing with an eerie purple light in the dimness. No candles lit the room, though it was bright enough, thanks it it's sole occupant.
A ghostly woman in tattered, flowing robes hovered above the floor in the center of the markings. Her long hair billowed seemingly in all directions, as if each strand had it's own personal zephyr attending to it. Her form, translucent as only ghosts can be, was devoid of color, as if it had been bled from her after death and was the providence of the living. Even so, the cause of her death was readily apparent as a wicked gaping wound in her belly. The old man settled himself into a padded chair just outside of the markings and smiled up at the ghost. Pal'fon noted that here, in front of the dead, was the only time he could recall seeing any emotion from the man.
"Good day, my dear. How are you feeling today?"
The ghostly woman's beautiful face darkened as she focused on the necromancer; her eyes conveyed every inch of her fury toward him. Ameira perhaps hated necromancers above all things, as they were responsible for the destruction of her home, Dalaran, the death of the man she loved, and the ruination of her happiness. Her voice echoed oddly, as if passing over a great distance, distorted by the binding spells which held her spirit captive. "If you have so much as dared to harm my little girl - "
The old man raised a hand and the apparition grew silent. "Your idle threats do not impress me. I require the girl's current location once again." Ameira was at once greatly relieved to hear that Lilienne was still free and horrified at what the necromancer was implying. "No!" She withdrew from the old man but her retreat was barred by the ring of sigils. "Please! Do not make me do this! I cannot bear it!"
The old man sneered at the ghost, pointing his cane at her. "Find her, my dear! Tell me where she is or must I remind you what happens when you displease me?" He started to chant and the ghost wailed. Though it didn't seem to bother the old man, Pal'fon to clapped his hands over his ears to keep out the horrid sound. It went on like that for several minutes, the ghost thrashing about as if in pain, shouting denials of what she was bid. At last, the wailing gradually ebbed and when Pal'fon looked back up to the ghost, she hung limply in the air. Her arms hung by her sides, head slumped forward and covered by her hair.
"To a land of the plains is where you must go. High up in the crags, though there falls no snow. Surrounded by red, from the stones they were famed. Where lies an old warrior who by ally was slain."
The old man ceased his chanting and the ghostly form jerked, beginning to moan. He turned to the troll, anger showing on his wizened face.
"You have your answer! No leave me so I can pacify her once more!"
Pal'fon didn't have to be told twice. He closed the iron door behind him just as the banshee began to wail once more.
((Muuahahaha. There's an app for that!))
Edited by Suni on 7/11/2012 4:57 PM PDT
The lesson seemed simple enough. She had easily described the two to Vith, even getting her teacher to laugh a bit in her responses to some of his question. But now, Lynnie had to go and hunt down the particular items that would be needed for the task that was tied to this lesson. She had listened to him, taking down notes on the details of what would be required for this particular task. She would need to find a place near Menethil Harbor to store two bodies, and a fair amount of clothing, armor, and possibly weapons. But, the child knew she had to be quite discerning while picking out the clothes and armor. They were to be similar to those of Aziel and Sylvanas.
Lynnie first went out to the Wetlands, and it did not take her long to find a suitable hiding place in a fallen down, hollowed out tree that was well enough away from the water so the crocolisks would not get into it. That was easy enough. Now, she had to procure the items that she needed.
"The only stipulation I impose upon you is that if you do kill, I want you to be sure that they deserve it." Vith's voice repeated in her mind as she pondered the matter of the corpses. As she was pondering this, a rather odd site crossed her gaze, and she brought her pony down to the ground. She jumped from the back of her mount, landing softly on her feet as she fought off the crocolisk, which seemed to have a firm grasp on the undead man's leg. After assuring the creature was dead, she moved to the man. His skin was rotten and a bit dirty from the swamp water, but his body seemed to be in mostly good condition. Blond hair, a little chewed up on his leg, and fairly similar to Lord Aziel. She gave a small nod in approval, whistling for her pony to come closer. With some help from the creature, who lowered to the ground, the child was able to get the body on the pony, and time him to keep him in place.
Lynnie delivered the corpse to her hiding space, and then pulled out her journal, writing out the details of how she came to find the hiding space, and how she came to find the body of the unknown man. She leaned back against the tree, smiling to herself as she wrote down every detail. When she finished up, the sketch pad was once again placed in her bag,
The rest of the day was spent looking for various bits of armor and clothes. Some, she was able to pay for with some of her own gold, going into various alliance towns under the guise of a gnome. The others, she was able to steal, hiding bits of cloth and bits of leather and mail armor where she could fit it. She caught sight of a woman who looked quite similar to Sylvanas. After returning other items to her stash, she began lurking after the woman, hiding in the shadows to observe her, as she had done in the passed. She was a half elf, the child learned. With pale blonde, almost silverish hair and pale skin. She saw her out in the evening, go off with various men.
'She's one of those ladies. Like Mama was.' The girl thought to herself. After spending several hours observing the woman, Lynnie returned to check on the stash, and then headed back to her hiding space in the Barrens.
The next day, the child made sure to stop by to see Suni and Vith, where she reported how well she had done so far. She was happy, to see Vith seem truly pleased with her for once. With the mention of the woman, though, a few questions came to pass.
“She's not a very nice lady,” Lynnie insisted.
“And how do you know this? What has she done?” Vith questioned.
“Well,” her voice trailed off as she recalled the woman. “I saw her going off with lots of different women. And she was mean to kids! She's definitely not a good person!”
Vith raised an eyebrow at the child, and shook his head at the girl. “No, I'm afraid that will not do. Keep looking. Perhaps go up to the Plaguelands, I am sure you could find a cultist up there who looks similar to Sylvanas.”
Lynnie lowered her head, nodding. She didn't agree with it, but that was one point that the child knew not to argue. “I'm just not sure how I'm gonna move a body that far. Not 'xactly good at carryin' corpses around.”
“Well, maybe we can get someone to help you.”
“I could contact Raoul,” Suni chimed in.
Lynnie continued to speak with Vith as Suni tried to contact the archmagus. She was happy to speak with him, though was a little disappointed when she would have to wait until later in the day to go hunting for a suitable Sylvanas.
It was time to spend some time by herself. Lynnie had purchased a new journal for Suni, as she had promised her. Lynnie then made her way south, to Tanaris. She wanted to pick some of the firebloom there, to give to Suni so she could decorate the cave a bit more. The child found plenty of flowers, finally settling down on a small island off of the shore. She leaned against the palm tree, sighing. The sun was uncomfortable, but the girl was thrilled for the chance to finally get some peace and quiet.
The sound of footsteps could be heard on the sand. The girl turned her head, and a familiar, horrifying sight filled her gaze as she quickly slipped into the shadows. Akuzul of the Modas il Toralar, seeming taller and larger than ever, covered in armor decorated with skulls. Sheer, utter panic coursed it's way through her body, the echo of the words he had spoken to her once before, a threat that he would eat her heart. Now, there was nothing to stop him from doing such a thing. The girl moved behind the tree, breaking out of the shadows as she flew off on her mount.
Though she was scared, she called out to taunt him- completely missing the elf, who slung an arrow into the pony's wing, while Akuzul summoned a shadow, unholy grasp to pull her pony back down to the island. The pony and girl fell to the ground, Lynnie rolling into the water. Without a moment to lose, she began swimming towards the beach, slipping into stealth and trying to avoid more of Akuzul's grasps. She felt the bite of a wolf on her leg, screeching as she toppled down, but kicking the creature off as she tried to drag herself away. Lynnie regained her feet, slipping back into the shadows. The wolf persued her, with his elf following shortly behind him. Shouting filled her ears, and she finally lost the Troll. But the elf continued on, with the wolf closely on her tail. She threw scented rag at the wolf, overwhelming it's senses, and quickly threw a small bomb inland to distract the hunter.
Lynnie escaped, calling forth her back up mount and flying to various areas before her cave in the Barrens. When she got back, she pulled out her beloved ragdoll Vinnie, hugging him close to her chest as she waited. She hoped Vith would come, but she knew it was unlikely. It wasn't as if she had been missing long. Bhayne was busy. She didn't want to bother Suni. Her leg was beginning to ache.
Hours passed, until she heard something outside the cave. She looked up, to see the form of Raoul entering the cave. She smiled, explaining the situation to him. Soon after they whisked off to get her leg healed by a kindly paladin, and then made their way off to procure a female corpse.
“It's gotta look like Sylvanas. Not exactly like her, but enough so she can pass.” Lynnie had explained to him.
The pair flew all over most of the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms. The plaguelands did not prove to be as fruitful as they had hoped, but neither did they think it was a wise decision to disturb the dead in the Ghostlands. An argument over 'grave rocks' occurred in the Hinterlands, but they eventually came to the decision of searching Scholomance, finding a female elf of a similar build and color to Sylvanas. With Geoffrey aiding in carrying the corpse, the two brought the body to Lynnie's stash.
With that completed, the pair returned to Kalimdor to meet with the others.
Fernand’s mood was bleaker than usual as he wandered along Orgrimmar’s streets. In a vague attempt to disguise himself from the Modas il Toralar, the undead man wore a mask and hat in addition to his typical attire of a black suit, cravat and polished leather shoes. His shoes clicked loudly against the worn stone streets as he made his way through the large crowds of Horde citizens. Fernand did not know what to think of Timeus and Suni after his conversation with Commander Orwyn. Both men were alike in their approach to problems: they applied a ruthless, meticulous logic over every event until a reasonable conclusion was reached. And while Fernand did disclose that he’d been in contact with both Timeus and Suni, and said that neither had so much as demanded a ransom or offered a threat toward Lilienne, there was a pressing issue that kept resurfacing. How did Timeus know of Lilienne’s abduction by this so-called Brotherhood in the first place? It seemed entirely plausible that if this Brotherhood did exist, that Timeus and Suni could in fact be members, and that this entire charade of them ‘protecting’ Lilienne was truly designed to prevent Fernand from killing them both and taking his daughter back to the Benoits. For that matter, it was possible that there was no Brotherhood – the only evidence Fernand had for their existence was Vectus’s word. As the assassin was now aligned with Suni and Timeus, could Fernand even trust his oldest and most reliable ally?
The answer was, of course, no. Fernand frowned primly behind his mask as he stepped over a drunken, maimed troll lying in the gutter. Whether they all had Lilienne’s best interests at heart, or they were his enemies, Fernand could not afford the risk of trust. The only person Fernand could ever bring himself to trust completely was Ameira, and this ragtag group of humanitarians were certainly no Ameira Benoit. The undead Apothecary was so engrossed with his thoughts that he didn’t notice the old, haggard orc begging in the gutter until he was at the undead’s feet. The orc, blind in one eye and grotesquely scarred, half-rose toward Fernand as he walked by. ‘Spare some silver for an old war hero?’ The orc grumbled, reaching out to fumble at Fernand’s suit. The undead made a slight sound of disgust and tried to take a step back. The orc shakily got to his feet and groped at Fernand’s chest. Even with his sense of smell well and truly dead, Fernand caught the reek of stale spirits on the orc’s breath. ‘Please Sir, I got cut up something awful by them elves up north. No healer can fix the tendons in my wrist. Can’t pick up a sword, and ain’t got no way to feed me kids no more.’
‘I do not permit others to touch me.’ Fernand grimaced behind his mask as he attempted to push the beggar’s hands away. With difficulty, the Apothecary managed to get the orc off him. The beggar’s expression changed immediately from one of petition to outrage. He spat a long rope of saliva on to one of Fernand’s neatly polished shoes. ‘What!? You think you’re better’n me or something, you scrawny little walking corpse?’
Fernand was acutely aware that many others in the street were turning to watch this display. In a poor attempt to placate the beggar, the undead began to respond, ‘No, not at all ...’ when he realised that he didn’t care in the least what any of these people thought. ‘Actually, yes, I do. Now vacate yourself from the vicinity of my person, and quickly. I have killed many more for a good deal less.’ To emphasise his point, Fernand parted his suit enough to show the beggar a collection of vials, syringes, and encapsulated liquids lining the inside of his jacket. Finally, understanding dawned upon the beggar; both eyes widened in a combination of disgust and concern, and he shuffled away. Fernand did not care if a member of the Modas had spotted him. If they attempted to attack him, he would kill them, too. He was tired of trying to be reasonable with these people. One could not sway such individuals with reason.
Edited by Argustus on 7/20/2012 11:15 PM PDT
After a detour past a silversmith’s workshop (where Fernand was able to fix his tie in a mirror) the Apothecary was back to contemplating the situation, and the world in general. It would not surprise him in the least if this Brotherhood did indeed exist. Supposedly their primary goal was to put an end to all undead, and they definitely would not be the only cult out there seeking such a thing. Despite the attacks upon Lilienne, Fernand could not bring himself to hate the Brotherhood, or Suni, Timeus and Vectus if they were truly responsible. Nor could he hate the drunken, aimless war veterans of the world, or the misguided ‘holy’ warriors of the Pia Presidium, Terra Incognita, or others. They were all nothing more than a symptom of the relentless, pointless conflict between the Horde and Alliance. This conflict was the true danger which threatened Lilienne. She was sought as a bargaining chip to further the ambitions of those with vested interests in the outcome of the war. Fernand sighed to himself as he passed yet another injured veteran lying in Orgrimmar’s streets, another orc, this one so drunk that he was comatose. To Fernand, an apt analogy was a gangrene infection in the foot: once necrotic tissue was well established, one did not waste time trying to clean out the initial wound. One amputated the limb before blood poisoning set in. It was far better to have a one legged patient than a dead patient, after all. But when the ‘disease’ was the relationship between two great factions, ten races and multiple continents, what was the appropriate course of action? Could V’Ghera, despite all of his posturing, have the right idea? To wipe away the current, failed societies of Azeroth and begin anew, united under a single banner? Undoubtedly, V’Ghera wanted this for the obvious motivations – he wanted power and the ability to exert that power over the masses to suit his whims. But under the correct guidance, could such a new world be structured to function efficiently? Rebuilt in such a way that there was no longer a need for war. There would be safety...even if the price was dominance beneath the Modas il Toralar.
Fernand shook his head to clear it. The vertebrae in his neck cracked audibly. They were dangerous thoughts, and the Apothecary dismissed them from his mind. Finally, after what seemed to be the longest walk through the city, he reached his destination in the goblin slums. Ducking his head to fit inside the half-collapsed doorway, Fernand entered the alchemist’s workshop, hoping that he didn’t startle the proprietor again. The last time that happened, he was almost blown into nothingness.
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