Topic Baron Aldous Lescovar
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The creak of saddle leather reached Jhayne's ears as he sat uncomfortably upon the back of his trusted steed. It was mid-day, with the sweltering sun beating down upon them as they waited on the bridge that spanned the Valley of Heroes, and his Grace, Baron Aldous Lescovar, was late.
The day before an urgent message was delivered to the Order from the House of Nobles, demanding that the Guardians of the Light escort the Baron upon his inspection tour to the newly constructed Marshtide Watch. Apparently Aldous had personally funded a large portion of the construction there, and was interested on collecting on his investment.
Captain Galandel was personally charged with carrying out the mission, and the others gathered with him had volunteered on the spot. Among those present were Andeyma, a shaman skilled in the healing arts; the paladin Sinjin, to see to any religious needs of the group; Sir Eudy and Sergeant Tordek, two others skilled in martial warfare, and the mage-in-training whom everyone called "X". Jhayne had wondered briefly how someone could come by such a nickname, but never cared enough to inquire.
"It's hotter than Muradin's armpit out here!" Tordek proclaimed, wiping his brow on his shirtsleeve. "I'll be wanting a cold one after this is over. How long are we gonna wait for this Baron fellow?"
"The orders said noon," Galandel replied. "He should be here any minute."
"The first bell of the evening has already chimed," Eudy spoke up.
"Patience is a virtue," Sinjin reminded them all.
Nearly ten minutes later, as even the stoic paladin began to fidgit, a mounted figure approached. A large, heavily built man dressed in the seasons best finery swaggered towards them upon a high-bred equine bedecked in nearly half its own weight in gilded tack. How he had managed to teach his mount to do so, Jhayne could only imagine. The nose of his porcine face was turned skyward, and his gaze upon the group was less than complimentary.
Galandel rode towards the man and bowed over his saddle pommel. "Baron Aldous Lescovar, I assume. The Guardians of the Light are at your service."
"Yes, yes," the baron waved the Captain away. "Lets be on our way. I want to arrive at our destination before night fall."
Jhayne choked back a growl at the obnoxious man as he and his fellow Guardians fell into defensive formation around the Baron and his mount.
The Sythegar's Thuugom and Traezah looked over the maps as they waited in the hot sun of the Blasted Lands for the other members of the squad. They had recieved word from Pikki at Fuselight, about the Baron's transfer. His name had finally come to light after months of searching for the one responsible for the corruption of the Swamp of Sorrows and Stonard - their home. Several of the Clan had taken sick, including the former Warchief and some had died, including his replacement, the most recent Warchief Kromgosh. Their move to the Barrens had been a result of their need to escape the toxic corruption that permeated the Swamp.
Traezah liftd her head as the others arrived and moved into formation. The rogues Genosha and Gyraz were given instructions to watch the gates of Stormwind. They had gotten word that the escort would be moving the Baron from the capitol. The hunter Rode and Babe were stationed on the road. Vazek, Thuugom and Traezah studied the maps, looking for the best place for the ambush, realizing they would probably be outnumbered.
"Da Pass might take dem too close to Stonard and leave dem exposed..." Traezah jabbed the map with her finger indicating a possible choke point.
"...or da 'igh road to da east"
Thuugom listened carefully and Vazek added his thoughts but Thuugom finally directed them to the woods bordering the river boundry in Duskwood, at least until the direction of the escort was discovered.
Vazek took his place under a massive oak, along the border of Elwynn Forest. There was a fairly large crater at its base where an old gnomish mortar had hit. The scarring from the blast still lingered upon the ancient timber. Vazek brushed away the excess rocks and shrapnel, so he could sit more comfortably. Rend only knows how long they would have to wait for the baron, and the orc wasn't willing to wait with a piece of metal stabbing in his backside.
While brushing away the excess debris. The shaman uncovered the core to the round. With a strained heave, he plucked it from the earth and tossed it aside. The mortar tumbled through the air and crashed into the side of another large oak nearby. The metal sound rang through the forest. Vazek squinted his eyes, realizing his carelessness.
"Another stunt like dat and you'll be sleepin' wit da grots!" hissed Thuugom. Now shut up'... dere comin...
Edited by Thuugom on 8/13/12 8:36 AM (PDT)
Thuugom waited behind the tree, surprised by what Vazek had just did. There was nothing he could do except hope that the escort did not hear them. He turned his head back to the road, awaiting the signal from the hunters, Traezah and Rôdeurdesboi.
The waiting was worth it, the signals came in as the escort approached. Thuugom nodded to the others behind, there mission to take the Baron into captivity.
As the escort approached them, Thuugom eyed the group from his spot. They were out outnumbered, but he spotted his first target. Andeyma, a Dranei shaman one who was in good standing with the elemental spirits and needed to be dealt with first. He was sure if they concentrated on her, the rest of the escort would go to her defense and Traezah could get in a take the Baron captive.
He looked to the others real quick and nodded.
"FEAR THE GRIN!" echoed through the forest and he charged at Andeyma.
It had been a dreadful experience thus far. Ordered, much to his disliking, to organize and lead an escort group, Galandel felt rather put off in his current position atop his lion mount, keeping a watchful eye on a boorish, and far too loud, Baron Aldous Lescovar. Galandel was Captain of the Shields, but it was difficult to maintain a calm demeanor when the Baron's abhorrent behavior was on full display with every step. He would have to have a discussion with the House of Nobles about what roles the Guardians were best fit to serve, and perhaps the Baron's place among their order. Galandel doubted a money-hungry fool of man such as the Baron could be so well connected as he himself was within Stormwind.
The druid felt his mount lurch and his thoughts of Stormwind break, as the familiar Orcish call rang out among the trees. He quickly looked to his escort, the Baron, turned pale with fear, and began to order his men to form a circle around the now quivering noble.
Then he saw their target. The Grin swarmed around his beloved Andeyma, and any thought of guarding the assuredly fainted charge they had sworn to protect flew away as fast as the Grin charged his shaman. He felt himself beginning to grow, and feathers rapidly replacing his disappearing skin. Before the beak and antlers of his enraged Moonkin form had become fully visible a wave of water erupted from his claws. Galandel rushed into the fray doing everything possible to keep them off of his Andeyma.
Edited by Briienne on 8/13/12 5:31 PM (PDT)
The thought of her guildmates being overwhelmed weighed heavily on her mind. That night rest would not come easy for Briienne. Baron Aldous Lescovar now was in enemy hands. The thought of what would happen to him made briienne restless. Galandel was a seasoned fighter and Andeyma has a powerful connection to the elements, for them to be caught of guard was surprising. Jhayne and Torkinendil are fierce warriors as well so there was considerable planning on the enemys part to pull this off. It seems The Blacktooth Grin have some military expertise in there ranks. Briienne wonders who?
Traezhah held off, camoflauged, waiting until the initial rush. Aja whined, so ready to tear the throat out of the nearest enemy rider. A word from her held him in place. She saw her chance as soon as the Moonkin broke to protect their target. She grinned. Thuugom had chosen well. Her short stature and a bit of help from a potion from Tanaris helped her slip in between the combatants, Aja pulled off any that made toward her. She grabbed the Baron's mount by the halter and yanked as she mounted her own wolf. She spun them around before he realized what was happening and sped off east toward the high road. His pitiful protests were annoying, but they got away clean. She prayed the others would be able to break off cleanly.
She waited a moment for Aja to catch up, threw a loop of rope around the Baron and secured him to his saddle. She remounted with a look that warned him, and they broke for it, following the road toward the east. There was no warning from the lazy bridge guards at Lakeshire and they galloped over the bridge, the Baron wisely keeping his mouth shut. She took out the watchman with a bolt to the throat, then pulled up beside the road at a large tree and scanned the road behind her. Thuugom broke for it and joined her, the others would pull the escort off their tail.
Traezah nodded and grinned at the Death Knight, he returned her look with a grunt, his usual reply, but she could tell he was as excited as she. He checked the Baron, saw he was secure. He whispered something and the baron paled and broke out into a sweat. Thuugom remounted, laughed, and they kicked their mounts into a run, pulling the Baron along behind them.
Cut off from her comrades by the ring of Grin, Andeyma fought to hold out against the pressing onslaught. She had been in battle against this group before, but never before had they come at her with such single minded focus. Had their information been wrong? Was she somehow the target? Then she heard the cries of Galandel and Jhayne as they broke through the line of horde to reach her; turning towards them, Thuugom's clever, fervent gaze caught hers, and she understood with a sharp pang of dismay. She'd been a distraction. Focused as the remaining Grin were on their target, it didn't take long for the Guardian reinforcements to scatter them and regain control of the area, but as Andeyma looked around frantically, she knew it had been too long. The Baron was gone. Not that she might not have liked to dispatch the man herself if he had stuck around much longer (if she had to endure one more of his lascivious winks or jeers the man may have found himself short an eye, important diplomatic contact or not) but this was not good, and as the diversion that allowed for his capture, she felt responsible. Well, she would just have to get him back, then, and hope for the best from there. Surely if they were the ones to rescue him, he might forget that they were also the ones to lose him in the first place. Right?
Galandel wasted no time in setting an action plan, breaking them into pairs to guard each entrance to the Swamp of Sorrows, and the presumed destination of Stonard, hoping to recover the Baron before then. Andey and Jhayne set off toward the northern mountain pass between Redridge and Bogpaddle. When they reached a convenient point of concealment along a bend in the pass, she dropped her totems and listened. The elements hummed in her ears, and she sensed their quarry was nearby. Minutes later, Thuugom stepped around the corner and into the clearing. Seeing the orc again so soon unsettled her momentarily. If she'd believed at all in revenge, she may have sought it then. Jhayne responded almost instantly, leaping towards Thuugom, and Andeyma moved to help control the situation, just barely registering a flash of green skin and horseflesh slipping past the other side of the pass out of the corner of her eye. She whirled in time to see the top of the Baron's head disappear out of sight down the trail at the far end of the clearing. Not again! She cursed mentally.
Edited by Thuugom on 8/14/12 9:13 AM (PDT)
He nodded at Traezhah, knowing he would have to hold off the two Guardians until she made it past them. The worgen leaped towards him to distract, but Thuugom death gripped the shaman to ensure she was slow in any pursuit of Traezhah. He held them up long enough as Traezhah ran on to their primary rendezvous point in the mines outside Nethergrade keep.
Thuugom watched the two Guardians begin their chase of Traezhah, but he knew they would never catch up to her. He watched them go off into the distance and then he began to backtrack to the rendezvous point.
Jhayne leaped from the back of his mount as the Battle cry rang out in his ears. He charged forward into the fray as battle-rage and the "change" came over him. As he rushed to his target, a figure with a bow, he felt his limbs lengthen and grow stronger, his body hair thicken, and his face form a muzzle.
The rest of the battle became a blur to him as he swung his axe and raised his shield to protect himself and those around him.
As the dust began to settle, his senses returned to him. He looked around to see injured horde attempting to retreat and Guardians quickly tending their injuries. It took him a moment to realize the Baron was missing.
"Captain," he called out. "They've taken the Baron!"
The Grin now scattered, with the baron now in their possession. Vazek Raced through the forests of Elwynn. He pushed his worg to the limits, periodically glancing back seeing the Guardians closing in behind him. The shaman swore under his breath. He would be alone this time, no fellow clansmen would aid him. Vazek again, looked back to see the Guardians were still closing ground on his worg.
In one swift motion, the orc yanked hard on the reins and dove off his mount. He rolled across the ground, kicking up a plume of dust and dry soil. The shaman quickly got to his feet, drew his axes and let out a thunderous roar "FEAR THE GRIN!". Then without missing a beat, he called on his spiritual companions and charged the oncoming pink-skins.
Traezah tightened her grip on the rope securing the Baron and yanked him roughly off his mount. He fell to the ground with a high pitched yelp and she was on him, stuffing a rag into his mouth to keep him quiet. She shoved him under a bush and stood over him, camoflauged and waited for the Guardians to pass. It had been a close call. She had turned wrong outside the alliance outpost and had to backtrack and lose ground at the same time.
She stilled, her knife at the Baron's throat as the riders passed on the road outside Stonard. The orcs there, weakened from the corruption served as a distraction, if not a lethal one.
The riders met with others gathered on the road, and as they split to search, she pulled the baron up and the worked their way into the hills, moving west toward the border. She hoped the others made it and would be there in the cave when she arrived with their prize.
Edited by Thuugom on 8/16/12 8:04 PM (PDT)
Thuugom arrived to the cave, looked around, Grinned and proceeded into the mine. No one had found them, he was sure they were all over the Swamp searching for them.
He felt fatigued, something he had not felt in a long time, since before his transformation. He continued to walked, but ever so slowly then he saw it. There was a trail behind him, a trail of blue cold blood. He figured the excitement of being chase he didn't notice it until now. He found the cut, a deep cut into his left shoulder. He patched himself up as best he could, but he knew if he didn't get healed soon enough he would most likely realize true death.
He proceeded further into the mine and found the rest of the Grin patrol party.
"Where's Traezhah and the filthy Baron?" He looked around for an answer.
Traezah looked up, gratefully. She was sick to death of the moaning and groaning from the baron. She had left the rag in his mouth, but it wasn't preventing the noise. She wondered if maybe the alliance patrol had let him be captured, just so they didn't have to put up with it any more.
She called Thuugom to where she had the prisoner stashed behind a stack of crates. When he arrived she told him about her close call outside Stonard, and felt that they would not be able to stay hidden long. They would have to move again soon, as soon as they rested up and it was clear. She started to relay her ideas about the next destination when she saw the blood drippping from his left hand.
"Oi!...yer know yer leavin a trail 'ere? She pointed to his arm.
"Dat mutt dey got's gonna sniff us out for sure!...jeez Thuugom! Ain't like ya. 'ere lemme see dat." She hopped on a crate to look closely at the wound and sucked in her breath when she saw it.
"Great....dat's great, an no 'ealer ter bind ya up. I got some potion an a coupla bandages, but packed light...any a yer others got anything?...'ere set down!"
She pulled on his arm to get him to sit, and went to her pack for the supplies.
Jhayne, with battlefury still raging through his blood, paced the field of the skirmish restlessly as his fellow Guardians recovered from the ambush. He sniffed the field carefully, catching the direction of their attackers. The baron's horse had gone in the same direction as the battle worg into the Redridge Mountains, while another group had fled to the south in the direction of Duskwood.
He turned suddenly to his Captain, being tended for his injuries by Andeyma.
"Captain, they've split into two parties. The Baron has been taken into Redridge while the rest have escaped into Duskwood. If they intend to meet back up, they'll do so near the Swamp of Sorrows," he reported. "That means the ones with the Baron will have to use the pass to the east."
"We should just let them have the ugly bastard!" Tordek declared. "He's nothin but a pain in the !@#!"
"We cannot leave him to the mercy of the Horde," Sinjin the paladin pointed out. "It would reflect poorly upon us in the Light if we fail our duty here this day."
"Not the mention the-," Galandel began before flinching. Jhayne couldn't blame him, he found healings unnerving too. "-the other political ramifications. We do not want the House of Nobles as our enemy."
Jhayne growled with frustration and shoke his head vigerously. A metalic, tangy scent found its way to his nose and he looked to the ground thoughtfully. "I can track them to where they've went to ground. One of our attackers is bleeding and has left a trail a greenie could follow."
With that Jhayne fell to his hands and dug into the dirt with his claws, leading the charge in search of the Baron and the Horde.
"Don't patch it up all the way." Thuugom said bluntly.
Traezhah looked up at him.
"They will be following the trail of blood, especially the warrior worgen." He rubs his chin, new plan. You'll take the Baron on your Worg and go to a find a secure location. I'll take the Barons horse and wait for them to come."
He chuckles "As they approach, I will head south with the Barons horse, of course I'll need someone to sit upon the horse and act like the Baron." He grins and looks towards a particular Blood Elf.
Trazeah sat back on her heals and snorted, glanced at Rode then grinned as he snored loudly and rolled over.
"so yer gonna be da 'ero...al'ays da 'ero. Ain't no call for dat, 'specially wi dis piece a worg dung."
She kicked at the baron as he continued to whimper.
"Don't know why we gotta bring 'im in breathin - already dead as I see et, an 'e's just draggin us down. We know 'e were da one. Pikki confirmed et. Let's jus't kill 'im now an' leave a souvenir for da Guardians when da mutt leads'm 'ere.....an get ya to a 'ealer...we can get ta Fuselight quick, my bindins ain't gonna 'old anyways....'ell we can stash 'im down at da coast. With all da blastin, no one's gonna look dere...
She stopped talking and looked at the Death Knight frowning. An ugly thought crept into her head and she frowned harder.
"So...tell me, wha yer gonna do when dey catch ya, Thuu?"
Edited by Thuugom on 8/17/12 3:30 PM (PDT)
He looked Traezhah square in the eyes and grunted "There might be others involved with this and we need to find out who else is involved with the plot in the swamp."
He saw the concern in her eyes, she knew that he has never bleed in this manner. He knew his time was coming and he would fite until death had succumbed him, either by bleeding out or by sword, preferably the later.
He grinned as he answered her question "I will fite them and they will know to Fear the Grin and all that we protect. Afterwards I will meet up with you and the others to interrogate the Baron."
He heard Babe whimpering "Don't worry Rode will be fine." Babe gave a small yelp.
"You have to go now, we'll be fine." With that Thuugom grabbed the reins of the horse and prepped it for the chase.
Traezah pressed her lips together, wanting to say more, but knowing it would be pointless. She kicked the baron again, just because, and moved over to their small stash of supplies. She grabbed some water sacks and a bundle of bolts for her crossbow and strapped them onto the worg.
The Baron was scrawney, but still was twice her size. She yanked on the rope and as he moved to his knees to stand, she looped the rope around his neck and yanked again. As he gagged, she pushed him toward the worg and indicated he climb on, facing the rear.
"I ain't 'avin yer breathin all over me, an dis way, yer can watch for anyone followin. Dey ain't gonna shoot their precious Baron."
She chuckled as she secured his hands to the saddle, then turned to Thuugom.
"I kinda got an idea wha' yer got en mind, Thuu. No matter ta me, yer do wha yer gotta do, but I ain't gonna be da one ter break da news ta Pikki. I don' even wanna be on da same continent when dat 'appens."
She climbed upon the worg, elbowed the baron, just because,, and looked at Thuugom.
"Like I said, ain't no matter ta me, but yer take care a yersef, dem Orc funerals are da pits!...try not ta lose Rode...oh an take out dat Mutt for me, I really 'ate mutts."
She yanked the reins and turned to go.
" I'll be goin west...just so ya know. I'll wait for ya en da jungle, we can head ter Grom'gol from dere."
She saluted, grinned knowingly and kicked the worg heading out of the cave.