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The streets of Stormwind were rarely still at night. Carousing in the taverns went on until the wee hours of the morn. The Watch making their rounds, inspecting any suspicious sight, sound and smell. The Dwarven District's anvil rang throughout the night, as the district's namesakes were used to producing at all hours in their home city, untouched by sun or moon.
Timeus rubbed his eyes as he sat at his desk in the Command Center. The office had once been a tidy affair, everything in its place during Ehlina's tenure as High Guard of the Pillar of Honor. Nevermind that place was often in the waste basket...
He stared down at the pile of tomes arrayed across the desk. A good dozen of them and numerous loose pages of notes, all needing to be translated. Given the thickness of the tomes, even one would have been a serious undertaking for a seasoned scribe. Hopefully the end result would be worth it, considering the events that had been put into motion the past few weeks.
Several weeks ago, the War Council had assaulted the Sludge Fields in Hillsbrad after a disasterous attempt at Krom'gar Fortress in the Stonetalon Mountains. Targeted at Tyrynna's suggestion for reports of war atrocities, the assault had gone poorly. Dedicated defenders met them on the field of battle, ending the attack barely after it had begun. Tyrynna, having been chosen to lead the attack that day, decided to shift the focus of the attack.
The majority of the raiding force pressed forward with the attack, decimating the machines and soldiers that were used to spread the Forsaken Plague. Meanwhile, Timeus and the paladin Jeremias used the distraction to steal away to another building within the compound. Therein, they found what looked like a laboratory. No guards were present, likely drawn away by the other Alliance forces. They began to procure as many books and papers as they could grab and fit into their bags. Even after Jeremias had left the building, Timeus still kept trying to stuff more books into his pack. When he finally left the building, reinforcements had arrived and were pushing back the Alliance.
Before he fled the grounds, Timeus noted one particular Forsaken. He wore the colors of the Royal Apothacary Society but otherwise, did not recognize him. The guards he was directing, however, he did.
Wearing gas masks and metal tanks with sprayers in hand, they were starting to advance on the Alliance forces. Yet unseen by his own comrades, they meant to use the plague on the assault force. With a quick incantation, fire burst from the ground to envelope the first group of Forsaken, sending them into a panic. The Apothecary saw Timeus and cursed at him but could not get past the rising flames and writhing bodies of his men to mount an assault on the fleeing gnome.
Upon his return to Stormwind, he had turned over the books but had yet to hear if they yielded any results. It worried him that there seemed to be no word on what became of them, let alone their contents.
The War Council meeting following the assault on the Sludge Fields once again fell into bickering, frustration building among the members at the methods that Gondorin Ragefang was willing to employ if he felt it necessary. Several had already stormed out of the meeting. But an assault by a blood elf assassin quickly changed the tone. A hasty assault was quickly organized for retaliation. Timeus saw the opportunity he had been hoping for and suggested the Apothecary Society headquarters in the Undercity as a target. The idea was quickly latched on to by several attendees for different reasons but knowing Ragefang's hatred for Sylvanis, he had little doubt it would be the target.
He was quickly proven right. In no time, they were summoned to the sewers just under the Undercity and the assault was quickly underway. Taking the guards by surprise, they delved into the heart of the Apothecary sanctum. Some freed slaves, others destroyed the equipment. Once again, Timeus took what books and papers he could and this time burned the rest. As he moved to rejoin his compatriots, he saw a lone Forsaken trying to keep out of sight in a side room. One he recognized.
The Forsaken from the Sludge Fields seemed to be speaking to himself at first, until Timeus noted the hearthstone in his hand. Calling for reinforcements, no doubt! With a quick bolt of flame, the stone went flying from it's singed fingers, clattering into some dark corner of the laboratory. The undead began chanting fel words that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up and he at once felt a twisting pain in his abdomen. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he counterspelled the next chant the warlock began and before he realized quite what had happened, Timeus appeared in front of him. Hands wreathed in pure white flame, he reached out and grabbed the warlock's knees. They immediately crumpled at his touch, turned to ash by the intensity of the fire. Screaming in pain, the living corpse fell forward onto his face as the gnome took a step sideways. Trying to prop himself up, the crippled warlock reached up and snatched at his attacker before falling back down to the floor. He managed to get hold of Timeus' goggles, dragging them down off his eyes.
When the Apothecary looked back up, it was into the fiery eyes of the gnome. The heat flowing off of the flames that emanated from those orbs gave lie to any thought that it was a simple illusion. The goggles were quickly replaced, the heat abating. "Not very smart of you, friend. What's you're name? And no more spells." To emphasize his point, he held up a blazing hand right before the Forsaken's face.
The Forsaken stared at that hand for the moment, the sounds of shattering glass and ringing steel coming from the main chamber of the Laboratory. "Percival Lantsford, worm. You can torture me all you want but you won't get anything out of me."
The gnome seemed surprised at the statement. "Torture you? Oh no, nothing of the sort. In fact, I'd like you to deliver a message for me." He took a scroll case made of polished bronze from his pack and held it up for Percival to see. It held the Modas star imprinted on the wax seal towards one end. He slid the case into the Forsaken's belt and patted it lightly.
Percival's eyes burned with hatred for a creature that he considered below him...and now he was at it's mercy. "What kind of message do you think I would ever deliver for the likes of you?"
Timeus sighed. "My dear Percival, you don't have to say a thing." Timeus reached out and touched Percival's head briefly, the flames transferring to the Forsaken's head. At this range, he could control the Living Bomb spell to selectively target a part of a victim. As he turned around and left the room, the screams of Percival quickly died as the Forsaken's tongue turned to ash in his mouth with the first pulse of the flames. Timeus barely heard the pop as the spell reached it's conclusion.
Timeus shook his head to clear his mind of what had transpired in the Undercity earlier that day. Gone from his mind's eye were the visions of the Deathguards swarming into the Laboratory, replaced by the here and now of his office. He pushed the books away from him and opened a drawer of the desk, taking out a sheet of parchment. Setting it on the desk, he looked over a copy of the message he had left behind in the Undercity.
We have not forgotten.
We will not forgive.
We have not vanished.
We still stand for those who cannot.
We are the Pillar.
Let justice be done.
((Timeus, just so you know, I have NEVER spoken these words in reference to a gnome. Never, ever in my life, EVER. So, please believe me when I say...))
((That was BADASS. xD And I salute you!))
Edited by Drakehide on 3/29/2012 4:53 AM PDT
Thelinna was quietly taking one of her daily walks in the Undercity, when she had heard mumblings about something that occurred within the Apothecarium. Something said about a gnome, and a message. She frowned slightly, quickening her pace to go take a peak at what had occurred. Deathguards were still about, but she managed to catch a glance of the message that was left. Her yellow eyes shut as images conjured in her mind, of being bound to the floor in some building in Stormwind, surrounded by a barrier created and maintained by that vile little gnome. The guard was there too, the blind paladin who was an incredibly dull conversationalist. Her time spent with Pillar of Honor was not something she easily forgot, either.
We have not forgotten.
We will not forgive.
Thelinna opened her eyes, the muscles in her cheeks beginning to twitch slightly. As she looked around, seeing the Deathguards bustling about, keeping back those who came to look at the message, she knew what had to be done. The mage turned around quickly, moving off quickly until she was well away from the crowd. She concentrated a moment, teleporting herself back to the Modas sanctum. It seemed that they now had reason to hasten the plan.
She ignored all who were in the Sanctum at the time, not even noticing if anyone was truly there or not, making her way to her own office. The whimpering of the two slaves that were being held in there currently did not even seem to phase her as she took a seat at her desk, pulling a piece of parchment and a quill and ink as she began to pen several notes.
My dearest Vectus,
It seems that we may have to hasten the plan. I would suggest looking into the recent Alliance attack on the Undercity, and let me know what you think.
Order through atrocity. Peace through fear. Faith in Modas il Toralar.Lady Thelinna Que'sheth
“Slave!” Thelinna called out, knowing that her assistant was off on other tasks. A female slave that seemed to have been nearby quickly approached Thelinna, her eyes lowered as the undead elf quickly spoke to her, holding out the letter. “Quickly, slip this under Master Vectus' door. Then return here.”
My dearest Lord Aziel,
My love, I must request a boon. It always pains me to ask anything of you, since you provide me with so much. But after the recent attack on the Apothecarium, you should be aware of the message that was left. It said 'We have not forgotten. We will not forgive. We have not vanished. We will stand for those who cannot. We are Pillar. Let justice be done.' I will discuss this with you further when you are done with your meditations, when you are ready.
Sincerely and always,
“Slave,” she murmured as she lifted up the next letter, folding it and holding it out to the slave. “Leave this at the door of Lord Aziel's inner sanctum. Do not bother him with your presence. Do not return, this time.” Thelinna watched as the slave exited the room with her message, setting her quill down.
Edited by Thelinna on 3/29/2012 7:25 AM PDT
((*Gasp* A gnome that is not silly! My god. We need more of you, sir. Maybe we can clone you. We might have to, considering Ra's feelings on the Pillar of Honor << >> Well, maybe not. I think you probably have the highest kill death ratio amongst the attack forces :D
Neither slave returned to the Ladies quarters, but in fact, Ediandra herself appeared. A dark smile crossed her face. "I hope you did not feel too attached to that one, After all, I must keep my position of dominance as your right hand..." The garrote wire was visible hanging from her belt. "Yes, the body has been sent off to the Flesh lab, as well as something retrieved to mop up the blood." She nodded. "You have need of me?"
Thelinna glanced over to Ediandra, giving a slight grin. "Oh, I knew I hired you with good reason. No, I never grow attached to the slaves." Thelinna then looked back to her desk, tapping a finger against it for a moment. "I believe I might need your assistance soon, though I need to hear back from Lord Aziel and Master Vectus soon. In the mean time, I would like you to look into the incident that occurred in the Apothecarium earlier. It seems as if Pillar of Honor is actively trying to seek us out again, and that is something I cannot tolerate."
((Jeremias, I'll make that correction when I get home. For some reason, I can't seem to edit or quote anyone from my phone. I didn't see you before I posted, otherwise I would have touched base. Besides, Tim doesn't really know Jeremy.
Thellina and Co: I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out! :D ))
With as brisk an efficiency as she departed, Edi was back in Thel's office sanctum a scare four hours later. In one hand was clutched a bound report, detailing what had happened during the attack, as well as interviews conducted with various people responsible. "As my investigations discovered," She gestured to the report. "It was a raid, it would seem a small group slipped through our defensive line while they were pre-occupied with the main force." She stood stalk still, a slight smile on her mouth's edge as she gave the report. "The guard captain responsible for the failure has been dealt with, Several prisoners have been interrogated,"At this, she lifted one finger, peeling a bit of caked blood out of her fingernail, "And replacements are being sought to reinforce the Garrison." She smiled, setting the bowl of Stormwind surprise down on the corner of Thel's desk. "And I brought you lunch."
((Heh, trying to keep with the stuff relevant to this story. :P So skipping bits of the conversation that did happen. I know I'm forgetting a lot of details, too. ;-; Feel free to add in stuff that I might have missed or skipped over!
Also, thanks to Dree for the awesome suggestion of how to get this done. :3))
Thelinna took the moment to listen to Ediandra, giving a slight nod. She eyed the lunch bowl with slight disgust, then put on a very slight smile. “Thank you, Ediandra. I have no need for lunch, but commendable efforts with your investigation. You have assisted me quite a bit with this. Now if you could leave me for the time, I have much to consider. For now, I need you to sort through my records to about two years ago, and find all my notes on Pillar of Honor. I know I had extensive notes on the personnel from when I was listening into their communications.”
Later on in the day, when Thelinna finally left her office, she came across Vectus and Aethel speaking on some matter in the Sanctum. She eyed the two of them, remaining silent until she was greeted by Vectus.
“Ah, Lady Thelinna, I just received your letter. Would you like to speak with me now? Outside of the city, I was just about to leave.”
“Certainly, Vectus,” she said in response, inclining her head before heading out of the Sanctum. Thelinna made her way to the Ruins of Lordaeron, taking her time to speak with guards and look over various goods from merchants before she would meet with Vectus. As she reached the ruins, the assassin seemed to be having a conversation with a female forsaken. Not wanting to bother him, she moved on and away to await him to finish the conversation. Waiting on others was not something the woman particularly enjoyed, but since she actually appreciated Vectus, she did her best to wait in silence. Aethel showed herself moments later.
“Good evening, Claviger,” the Orc said. Thelinna inclined her head to the woman, then turned as she heard Vectus approaching.
“Good evening, Vectus. It seems we have much to discuss.”
“Yes, though-” Vectus seemed almost shaken as he began to speak. “We seem to have another situation...”
Thelinna listened intently at the new situation, though she was irritated to hear about someone having managed to escape the Sanctum. She knew Lord Aziel would be displeased, though the genius loci would take care of any unwelcome visitors they would ever receive. “So, Pillar of Honor. They are the ones who seem to be behind the attack in the Undercity.”
“I have not looked into the attacks yet,” Vectus replied.
The Forsaken Vectus had been speaking with seemed to walk through the group as they were speaking, causing them to go quiet. Thelinna eyed her, listening to her prattle on about bats as she walked by. The undead elf waited until the forsaken had fully passed them to begin speaking again.
“Oh, do not worry. I sent my assistant to look into them. She gave me an overview and it seems all has been dealt with. It seemed to have been a raid on the Apothecarium. They even left a message for us.”
The two looked to Thelinna expectantly. “Oh, what was this message?” Vectus said.
“Oh, let me see if I remember this,” she murmured, trying to focus on what she could recall. “ 'We have not forgotten. We will not forgive. We have not vanished. We stand for those who cannot. We are Pillar...'” She paused for a moment, trying to think of the last part. “Something about justice, I believe.”
The entire group broke out into laughter.
“How foolish,” Vectus said.
“I'll enjoy crushing them...” Aethel agreed.
“Yes, in the mean time, we should return a message to them. I have a plan.”
Aethel became distracted by the wandering undead that had been mumbling, herself mumbling as she tried to follow the person. Thelinna watched quietly, then moved closer to Vectus, whispering in a low voice. “We will banish their headquarters to the Nether.”
Vectus pulled back slightly, looking at Thelinna with wide eyes. “That is brilliant.”
“What is?” Aethel asked as she returned.
“Not for here, Aethel. We will discuss this in the Sanctum.” Vectus replied. The Orc nodded in response. “But what to do for now?”
“Well, I have an idea for that as well, of course. We will send them a true message.” Thelinna said, motioning for them to come closer so she could whisper, glancing around to assure that no prying eyes or ears would overhear. “'Order through atrocity.' We will kill two Humans for every Forsaken murdered. 'Peace through fear.' We will banish their headquarters to the Nether, a sight that has probably never been seen by their eyes before. 'Faith in Modas il Toralar.' The destruction of Pillar of Honor. We will send a message to them, and to the alliance, that this sort of action is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Modas il Toralar.”
“...You wish us to send this message now?” Vectus asked.
“Yes. Here, allow me to assist.” Thelinna quickly pulled out parchment and a pen, quickly and neatly writing the message 'Order through atrocity' in Common, then offering it to Vectus who graciously accepted the parchment. “Leave this with a body. They will know who it is from.”
Both the Aethel and Vectus summoned their mounts. Both seemed quite eager to leave as Thelinna wished them well.
((Coming up next time, Aethel, Vectus, and Vazraka's trip to Stormwind! <.< Possibly later today or tomorrow. ))
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