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Nowhere near the height of Neverest or the fame of Kafa, this little chain of mountains stretches determinedly some three kilometres along the northern seaboard of the Kun Lai range. Its four small peaks are snowcapped and surprisingly smooth- perhaps the result of volcanic eruption, rather than the tectonic collision that formed much of Pandaria's topography. For the last 12,000 years, Lai's Spines have not been of any note to anybody without an extremely keen interest in geology. And perhaps a few shaggy mountain goats.
There was, however, a time when Pandaria was not called Pandaria. A time when the Pandaren rebels swept northward across Kun Lai over Lai's Spines, circling through what is now known as the Zouchin Province and assaulting the Mogu'shan Terrace by kite.
The tiny force of mogu stationed in the Spines was so quickly overwhelmed by the fists, staves, and gunpowder of the pandaren monks that the rebels did not spare their presence a second thought. Confident that the collapse of the mogu passageways were enough to prevent any survivors from communicating with the main force, they were on the move again less than an hour after their assault was launched, completely unaware that their haste would allow the survival of a power that would one day resurface, well over one hundred generations after the first pandaren emperor sat securely upon his throne.
Zhan the Architect threw up a hand in front of his face as the passageway shook like a storm-tossed ship, the ground bucking beneath his feet. The mogu lost his footing, stumbling sideways, and his vision blurred as he cracked his head against a support pillar. Shining flakes of something drifted down all around him and, for a moment, Zhan wondered how it was possible that snow was falling indoors. He held out a hand, small, for a mogu's, and caught one on the tip of a finger.
Gold leaf, he realized. Gold leaf, crumbling from the inlaid ceiling. Something clicked in his dazed mind, and Zhan threw himself forward, rolling across the ground as the passageway behind him collapsed in a deafening avalanche of masonry. He hissed a curse that could blight earth as his right leg erupted with blinding pain.
For a moment, Zhan didn't dare to sit up for fear that he would worsen his injury. He considered calling out, but very quickly thought better of it. The thin, white light of the winter sun flooded the passage through the newly opened hole in the roof and, somewhere far beyond it, the mogu could hear the sounds of a battle that his people were destined to lose.
Zhan curled his lip at the thought. We were told that it was not Mogu to even consider the lesser races a threat. How wrong they all were. Even with his leg pinned beneath several tons of rubble, Zhan felt a strange sense of satisfaction at this small vindication.
"Architect," growled a rocky baritone voice. "Do you live?"
"I do," Zhan replied. He twisted his head to spot a pale-skinned mogu, a long, curved sword slung carelessly over one shoulder in a black and white leather scabbard, kneeling before him. "Wu."
Wu nodded. A slow, grim smile spread over his wide-set features. "Good. I am not the only one. The others are gone."
"The rebel scum? How could they have breached the sealed door?" The architect had a feeling that he already knew the answer. They didn't.
"They didn't." Wu drew his sword, and the small gourd-like bottle chained to the hilt rattled gently. "The rest of the soldiers were killed by the rebels. The architects were cut down as they fled. By me. Their shells are out there still." He nodded towards the gap in the ceiling. "I'm sorry."
Zhan felt no pain as the sword pierced his chest. Although, oddly, he thought, in a dazed way, his leg kept throbbing even as he felt his back grow damp with blood. "Y.. you cursed… cursed hozen.. fu…"
"Shhh." Wu withdrew his sword, flipping it around to clear it of blood and dangling the bottle over the architect's heart. "There is no need for foul language. The Behemoth must be activated, or, quite simply, the Empire will fall," he intoned. "Since we seem to be short on the souls of inferior being at this moment, sacrifices must be made."
"Idiot," choked Zhan. "The pilot light… the pilot light needs to… be ig.. ignited." Darkness crept into the corners of his vision.
Wu's mask of calm vanished, and he withdrew his sword. "What? How?"
The architect gave a gurgling chuckle. "Too late." He reached for the triangular shard of stone that hung around his neck on a leather throng. "The five architects. To ensure no betrayal, each of them... Each of them.. had…"
Zhan the Architect died laughing. Outside, atop the Spines, the Pandaren rebels stripped the architects of armour, weapons, and their four stone shards. And Wu, too shocked to recover Zhan's escaping soul, fled deeper into caverns and vanished in the gloom.
Edited by Jazari on 10/30/2012 11:51 PM PDT
Eredimus Copperanvil narrowed his wide-set eyes and re-adjusted the half-moon glasses that perched upon the end of his ruddy nose. He flipped, once again, through one of the many stacks of papers on his desk, each one a careful reproduction of a particular mogu tablet or document. The untranslated symbol didn't show up on every one of them, but it was on enough of them that it had done far more than simply get his attention. Eredimus had added an extra note to the bottom of each of them and, after the twelfth such addition, he was beginning to grow excited.
"Girl! Get in 'ere!" he called, after a moment longer.
After a moment, a young, bookish pandaren sidled in, several scrolls held in the crook of her arm. "It's Aleesa," she said softly.
"I've been through 87 grad students, girl!" grumped Eredimus, and spun around in his chair. "Some of 'em ha'.."
"Gone on to be great, some of them flunked out, and some of them did something stupid!" Aleesa waved a hand and grinned, provoking an irritated frown from the crotchety dwarf.
"An' I cannae remember all their names," he finished. "Ye are supposed tae be guid at linguistics. What's this?" He jabbed a thick finger at the page in front of him. The pandaren padded across the room, bending down to peer at the document. "Ancient mogu," she said after a moment.
"I managed tae work that much out. Do ye ken what it means?" The old dwarf peered at the symbol again, tapping the space just underneath it. It was made up of several strokes- a horizontal wiggly one, thicker at one end than the other and coiled on the thin side, pierced by an arrow-like vertical line.
"It's a combination of two characters." She flicked a white-furred ear, tilting her head as she considered the symbol. "Piercing betrayal? Piercing… treachery?" A pause. "Hrm… that's a literal translation. It would probably be interpreted more as 'the Alliance' or maybe 'the Brotherhood.'"
Eredimus nodded. "So… beneath the date, this reads: 'The Brotherhood has requisitioned us for mair supplies an' spirits once again. I am beginning tae wonder what they are being used fair…"
Melira Firebough pursed her lips, reaching out a pale hand and 'turning' the glowing blue page that hung in the air in front of her.
"Still, the Brotherhood has not requested any slaves, nor Sauroc guards," she murmured slowly. "I grow suspicious of their actions. While they claim to work towards securing the future of the Empire, their efforts have not yet produced any tangible results. Zhan the Architect insists that construction of the terror weapon is progressing, and that it will be revealed in time, and that seems to have placated the emperor for the moment. Does he forget that Zhan was one a member of the treacherous Xu clan? Those in the Brotherhood profess to have set aside all ties, but I do not trust…" She broke off, emerald eyes skimming back along the page. "Terror weapon," she said flatly, and blinked.
Calling up a series of other magical papers, Melira frowned. The symbol for 'terror weapon,' was a combined character. A hammer-like shape in front of a spiny, complex stroke. It was distinctive, and the sin'dorei quickly found it again. "… Contact has not been made with the Brotherhood for over 60 days. Communications are breaking down across the empire. The rebel scum, thankfully, will not be intelligent enough to operate the terror weapon, even if the Brotherhood's facility ends up under their control." She pressed a hand to one of the luminescent orbs that sat on her desk. "Mister Brightblade. Can you get me the High Examiner? It's… important."
Edited by Jazari on 10/30/2012 11:52 PM PDT
"Agent Miffy!" The voice echoed loudly down the brick-lined alleyway, and the aforementioned Agent Miffy flattened herself against the wall and sidled behind a dustbin as footsteps sounded against the cobbles, moving down the alley towards her.
The diminutive agent licked her lips, steadying her breathing, and drew a tiny, gnomish-machined revolver from its holster. Having one's name shouted down a dark alley in Old Town was generally something of a prequel, Miffy Mechadyne knew, was usually the predicate for ending up facedown in the canals. The footsteps drew closers, and Miffy peeped around the edge of the dustbin, trying to get a look at their owner.
"Ma'am?" the voice called, more softly. The footsteps, and the feet creating them, stepped past Miffy's hiding place and paused, giving the gnome all the time she needed to kick the dustbin into them. The caller lost his balance, stumbling backwards and falling. He tried to control his descent, but shedelivered a second kick, this time to his knee, and he landed heavily, the breath knocked out of him and Miffy's revolver pointed at his forehead. "Oh, Elune's Light! Don't shoot!"
Miffy blinked. Her 'attacker' was a half-elf, in possession of pale skin, short pointed ears, and large blue eyes. A rare breed indeed. "The only reason I haven't shot," she informed him. "Is because you called me ma'am. People don't tend to ma'am folks that they're about to knife." The half-elf did indeed have a sheathed dagger on his hip, along with a slender longsword. "Now mind telling me who you are before I decide to change my mind?"
"C-corporal James Lightfoot. I'm… supposed to be on loan to SI:7."
"Are you?" Miffy licked her lips again and adjusted her grip on her gun. "If the army thinks that you're good enough to be working with us, what are you doing yelling my name down an alley?"
"I'm.. I'm new to this whole 'spy' thing. I'm a communications specialist."
"My very own commspook. Just what I always wanted." Miffy eased the revolver's hammer back into place and holstered it.
James caught his breath and, as she watched carefully, pulled a brown parchment envelope from his coat, handing it to her. Miffy sighed and tore it open, reading it to herself.
'Miffy Mechadyne. You are being dispatched to Panderia. You are to search for any and all information regarding an ancient mogu order known as 'the Brotherhood,' as well as the 'terror weapon,' associated with them.' Both of the terms, she noted, were accompanied by symbols.
"Those are the mogu runes for…" James was looking over her shoulder.
"Jimmy, much as I appreciate your input…" she wave a hand at him, curtly, and continued reading. 'Information regarding them, despite being of paramount importance to Alliance interests, is already public, despite our best records, due to the Explorer's League's research. Therefore, you are free to use the services of any Alliance military presence you may encounter in Pandaria, along with that of independent adventurers. It is likely that the Horde high command is also aware of them. Corporal Lightfoot, a highly talented buzzbox operator and linguist, will accompany you. Protect him. Further details follow…'
Horde Intelligence Initiative
Deathstalker Blythe crumpled the letter into a ball with a skeletal hand. "We are supposed to find information about a mogu superweapon." He gestured widely with his free hand. "On the new continent!"
"You're not gonna let me read that?" Kregar Meatfist shifted, scowling, his heavy banded mail clinking.
Blythe smiled, haughty. "The Shattered Hand is hardly necessary." He tossed the paper into one of Orgrimmar's many braziers, where it went up in flames. "It is a relic. The Deathstalkers can provide all the intelligence that the Horde needs. You orcs should go play to your strengths." He paused a moment, and mulled this over. "Hitting people and the like."
The orc growled, placing a hand on the haft of his throwing axe. "Watch your mouth, deader. The Shattered Hand might've assigned me to work with you, but that don't mean a thing if I put you in the ground."
"Ah. Perhaps it will take, this time." He sniffed, and turned what was left of his nose to the air, adjusting his tattered cravat. "At any rate, dear boy, the reports from those pudgy Lorewalkers say that our target is far more that a simple superweapon. When brought to bear against the Alliance, it will make that lovely mana bomb like like a firework!"
Kregar Meatfist wrinkled his crooked nose and spit in the dust. "Just tell me when we leave, deader.."
"Tomorrow, dear boy." He spun on his heel and began to stride forward, only to be knocked sprawling by a powerful blow to the small of his back. He lay still a moment, dazed and trying to ensure that everything was still attached.
Kregar stepped over him, taking a moment to look down. "I ain't unnecessary," he said. "And I ain't stupid. But you're right about one thing. I am good at hittin' people." He nudged the forsaken with a foot. "I can work with damn near anyone. Even someone fancy as your goodself, deader, long as you're competent enough. But 'work with' ain't the same as 'work under.' Think about it. You'll live longer." With a snorting chuckle, the old orc stepped off into the drag and disappeared into a throng of merchants.
( OOC BITS!
Since I have only the loosest of frameworks about how this story will go... please feel free to contribute to the plot! I'm hoping that people from both sides will participate, and even come into conflict. If you're short on ideas, give me a shout via pm here or on facebook, and maybe I can give you a hand.
It's assumed that both the E.L. and the Reliquary did a pretty bad job of covering things up, and mentions of a 'terror weapon' have also popped up for those working with the Lorewalkers. Adventurers are speculating about the thing. The respective military forces are a bit worried about the thing, even though there's no 'official' word on whether it is real or not.
Anyhow, thanks for reading! :) )
The Serpent Spine
4,455... 4,456... 4,457.... Ocba gave a dreary sigh as he continued counting his paces. Five thousand paces between two other defenders' five thousand was the bounty hunter's responsibility, and he did not find it amusing...
"Too far north for any mantids to fly through, too far south for the Yaungol to scale the wall. This is a complete waste of my talent." Sargatogu had heard this speech a dozen times, and replied each time with the same answer:
"Poor you." Sarcasm was one thing this tiger picked up even without his partner's teaching, "If you hate the wall, abandon your post and be chastised by the Shado-Pan."
"four thousand, four hundred and sixty-three... Four thousand, four hundred and sixty-five... I just need something better to do... Four thousand, four hundred and sixty-seven... Something that does not including standing guard on a wall...." Revealing the irony of such words, a whistle of wind on feathers drifted over the hunter's head as a gryphon landed a few feet infront of the hunter and his partner.
"Knight-Captain Ocba? the Bounty Hunter?" the rider's voice was chalked with juvenile doubts as most young humans had, as if they made a mistake on their duties even with the most simple of tasks.
"Under the recommendation of the Guildwatch, you are being assigned to help the SI:7... They requested someone who has seen most of Pandaria already, versed in the arts of tracking, and has knowledge of archeological digging; they're hiring you to find it..."
Ocba gave him a peering glance, "Find what?"
Uchel limps through the small camp, snow whirling by him at an ever increasing pace. The isolated camp worked well for a base of operations. Sure did not want random folks to stumble upon his gear or gyrocopter. He ducks into his tent and fastens the flap to halt the onslaught of snow. Easing to the ground, he grimaces. Given, he did not have the best range of travel without the machine at the current moment. He reaches around, snagging a small device from the ground. Adjusting a few aspects with his multi-tool, the device hums to life.
He puts a claw up to his ear as voices filter through the communication relay. Filtering through them, he lingers on the buzzbox line normally reserved for SI:7 operatives. Having worked on specific contract work with them had its advantages. Horde movements, scouting reports…seemingly the normal business going about Pandaria. Uchel’s ears perk up. Information reports about some sort of ancient mogu order. Terror weapon? Uchel frowns. Well that cannot be good. He shuffles out a piece of parchment, jotting notes down. Some listening in seemed to be in order.
It was one of those warm autumn days that surprise you, bringing back a little touch of the summer, just for a moment. The sun was just beginning to sink behind the Stormwind clock tower, but its last few rays were making a valiant effort to sneak in through the windows of the Order of the Rose Guildhall, lighting up the old wooden sign in front with splashes of orange.
One of the two men who approached the door took the time to notice all this. He was the taller of the two, approaching seven feet, his features hidden by hooded cloak, which bulged and bunched out strangely at the back. The other's gaze passed straight by the illuminated sign to the hall's hardwood door. He was far shorter than his companion and rather pudgy, but he carried an unmistakable air of a man used to getting what he wants. Seen together, any Adventurer, criminal, military man, or ne'er do well worth his or her salt could immediately have identified them as master and bodyguard.
The shorter man, without pause, stepped forward and rapped hard on the door with his knuckles. It was a very officious knock. The kind of knock that makes you wish you'd remembered to get all those tax forms in order.
The door opened slowly, revealing a small, green-eyed woman with a wary look in her eyes.
"'Allo, luv." The shorter of the men, still several inches taller than the doorkeeper, took her in at a glance. Attractive, he thought to himself. In her own way. Capable, certainly. He ran his hand through his slicked-back hair and introduced himself. "The name's Mister Higgins." He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "An' that one there's Spiny 'Arris. May we 'ave a word?"
The larger man, Spiny Harris, adjusted the large metal canteen that dangled from one shoulder on a long strap.
The woman nodded, half-stammering a reply before pulling herself together. "O-of course, sir. Please come in. Would you like some tea?"
Higgins grinned, showing straight, white teeth. "That'd be just lovely. The famous Rose 'ospitality, eh, Spiny 'Arris?" He glanced over his shoulder, then stepped in, the tall, bulky figure coming through after him, stooping a little to get through the door.
"Two sugars, please." Harris adjusted his hood, flicking several errant whiskers back beneath it.
The woman stepped aside to allow the pair passage, then closed the door behind them with a warm smile. "It's nice to meet you two," she said. "I'm Shaila Viridiant, the Rose's recruiter." She stepped past a large dog, snoozing on the floor, towards a counter and fireplace and began busying herself with the tea things. "So what's brought on the pleasant surprise of you visiting us today?"
The dog, Higgins noticed, had raised its head and was looking carefully at him. "Oi shall cut right to the chase, then, Luv." Ignoring the dog, he sat down in a convenient red armchair. "Oi knows who you are. Was 'oping we'd foind you or Miss Smallwing 'ere." He steepled his fingers. "Thing is, one of your members gas gone an' stolen one of moi possessions."
Shaila paused, wincing, then turned from her tea preparations to look at him. "Which one?"
Higgins wasn't sure whether she meant 'which possession' or 'which member,' but kept that under his hat and answering the former. "It's a small troi-angle. Made of rock. Don't look loik much, but sometoimes the most valuable of items come in the most humble of packages."
"An unfortunate thing, Miss Viridiant." Spiny Harris did not miss a single beat. He leaned against the door with a strange clattering and rustling, then gently pulled back his hood to reveal a whiskered, porcupine-like face and a delicate muzzle. Buck-teeth protruded from his upper jaw, and it became very clear that the source of that clattering was the thousands of quills that lined his back. He unslung the canteen from his shoulder, taking a very careful drink from it. If he had been half his height, and perhaps a tad more bestial, he would have passed for a Quillboar.
Higgins watched Shaila carefully. Harris' appearance frequently provoked surprise, and occasionally horror. However, she simply pressed her mouth into a thin line. "And which Rose took this rock from you, sir?"
"One Jazari Swiftblade." Higgins felt his face twist into an unpleasant frown at the thought of the gnome.
"Would you like me to contact him?" Shaila inquired, rather demurely.
"Mister Higgins has made every effort to contact Mister Swiftblade." Spiny Harris took another careful sip from his canteen before screwing the lid back on, more tightly than was probably necessary.
Higgins pressed his teeth together. "Oi want 'im brought back 'ere by force, if need be."
Edited by Jazari on 11/20/2012 1:11 PM PST
"I assure you that the Rose will do everything it can to set this right, sir."
He relaxed, somewhat, then, leaning back in his chair and gesturing towards Shai with a noncommittal hand. "Oi should 'ope so. By all accounts, th'Rose are a roight proper bunch."
"I even considered trying to join," added Spiny Harris.
Higgins let the hand fall back to the chair's armrest. "Spiny 'Arris is a big softy loik that."
The Rose's recruitment officer smiled to herself. "We do like softies, sir." She poured two mugs of tea and padded back across the hall, handing one mug to each of the visitors and glancing at Harris. "Two sugars, right?"
The creature nodded, accepting the mug politely in a clawed hand. "Yes, thanks."
Shaila started back towards the counter, and this time, Mister Higgins got up from the chair to join her, resting his mug on the flat stone surface as she poured her own. "From the description of your lost item, I take it you're a collector?" she asked.
He took a small sip of hot tea, then nodded at the mug. "Appreciate it, luv." Setting the mug down again, he produced a small card from the sleeve of his pressed suit jacket, setting it on the counter. "Somethin' of a collector, somethin' of a businessman. Based out of Pandaria, these days."
She smiled brightly at that, taking the card. Timothy Higgins, it read. Global Exports. "It's a beautiful place, isn't it?"
Higgins shrugged, thinking about this. He supposed it was, in a way. Certainly more beautiful than the Cataclysm ravaged Eastern Kingdoms. It was not that Higgins did not observe beauty. And he certainly understood it well enough. It was just not the sort of thing that he took in on a day-to-day basis. "It is, in its own way," he replied, after a short pause. "Odd bunch there, if you ask me, with odder customs. Oi don't discriminate, mind."
"Certainly not, sir!" Shaila gave him a warm smile, which only served to make Higgins suspicious that she was humouring him. "It's proving a wonderful opportunity for the Rose's charity efforts. Their food is so big!"
He could not help but grin at that. "They do indeed. Magic per-me-ates the very land out there." The short man took a larger sip of the rapidly cooling tea. "Moight be that oi'd be willing to assist, or make a substantial donation to those efforts. If, of course, you can return the item in question to me."
"It's quite rare," added Harris. He was unscrewing his canteen again, this time adding some of its contents to his mug of tea.
"We'll certainly do everything we can, sir." There was a small pause, during which Higgins swirled his remaining tea about, noticing for the first time that the mug was hand-painted with a series of yellow chickens, forever chasing each other around the outside. "What is the most convenient way for us to contact you once we have something?"
That was what he'd wanted to hear. Timothy Higgins had to admit that he was relieved. Considering the Rose's less-than-stellar reputation among the war-hungry population these days, he hadn't really doubted that its leaders would fail to hand over his item, if only to save face. Or, failing that, the gnome who had taken it. Part of him wished for the latter, rather than the former. After all, he still felt a powerful need to drive a pair of brass knuckles into Jazari Swiftblade's grinning face. Shaking his head, he pushed the thought to the back of his mind. Those days were over, for the moment. Legitimate businessmen did not make a habit of beating up the competition, he reminded himself. They had bodyguards for that sort of thing.
Higgins pulled a state-of-the-art buzzbox from his pocket. Barely half an inch thick, the device came to life in his hands. A web of glowing magical letters appeared just above its surface. 'Slide to unlock,' they read.
"The number's 92-dot-7472," Higgins said, distractedly. It appeared as though he had missed a call. Shaking his head, he looked up at Shaila again, then got to his feet. "Actually, Spiny 'Arris an I 'ave a few more errands to do about Stormwind before we 'ead for 'ome."
"Am I losing your company so soon?" Shaila frowned, and seemed genuinely disappointed.
Higgins frowned as well, running a hand over his hair. "'Fraid so, luv. Could be that we'll meet again in a less official capacity, though."
Spiny Harris looked disappointedly down at his tea, still half full, then set the mug gently on a windowsill and tugged his hood over his head again.
"I certainly hope so. Thank you for being so kind, despite your incident. We'll get back to you as soon as we can." Shaila gave them both a warm smile.
"Oi'm countin' on it. Come along, Spiny 'Arris." Higgins have Shaila one last nod, then stepped out of the guild hall. Spiny Harris, having already opened the door for him, followed closely after.
Computer log of Wind Trader Asheem (15-11-02, 5.55.21)
Kilothaum carrier wave converted to analog.
Rerouting- 65.345. Connection failure.
Rerouting- 65.346. Connection established.
Re-transmitting. Please wait.
Analog carrier wave converted to [unknown]. Magiprox online. Please wait.
Carrier wave resolved.
Msg. from host- ' :-) '
"This here's Quentin Ironwheel."
"Quentin? What? This is Shaila, is this Jazari?"
"Shai?! Oh! Hallo! Yeh, 'course it's Jaz. Sorry. Running this thing through four an' a half different signal scatterers. How're you?"
"I'm okay. Listen, I just got a visit from ones Timothy Higgins and Spiny Harris. About that piece of rock you sent us."
"I'm so sorry. Really am. I didn't mean to get you lot involved, but I didn't have a safer way to get the bloody thing out of my possession. … Are you all right?"
"I am. They were gentlemen. What is this thing?"
"It's the key to… well… something! Do you keep up with the Exploerer's League's published works at all?"
"They recently released a little report regarding somethin' called the Mogu Terror Weapon. Pure sensationalism, if you ask me, but… Whatever it actually is, whatever that group that Doctor Copperanvil calls 'The Brotherhood' actually built may or may not be still intact. But if it is, that little triangle's one of the keys needed to switch it on."
"What's your plan? I can't keep this Higgins guy waiting forever."
"You're quite right about that. He's bloody dangerous. Runs some sort of smuggling operation out of central Pandaria. I don't know much about him, but I can't have him going after the Rose."
"A guy like him could make our name even worse. And right now we need good publicity. Don't get me wrong. We come before that. Just… if we can take care of this in a way that won't make him pissed at us… that would be good."
"I've a good one, actually. Plan, I mean. Give him the key."
"You're sure? I'll only ask you once."
"Yeh. Didn't think he'd play dirty enough to come at me through official channels. He's too good to be fooled with a fake, an' even if we wasn't, soon as someone found it out for him, things'd look even worse for the Rose. So, for now, I suppose he can hang on to it for me."
"Alright. I'll wait a bit, so it doesn't look like… well… like I knew all about it called you up. But I had something else I."
Msg. from host- ' :< '
Connection failed. [Unknown] Carrier Wave shift. Magiprox working. Please wait.
Magiprox returned error code 111-1999 (error: connection timed out.)
(( This is meant to take place shortly before the events of 5.1 begin, but finals time has kept me busy for the past couple of weeks. ))
A crack rang out through the craggy peaks of Kun-Lai, loud and clear over the howling wind. Fenneous worked the lever on his rifle with a "Hmph!" His target had stumbled, the first shot flew just wide. Breathe out, hold, fire. The second round echoed, rumbling some powder off a cliff above him, but struck home. The fleeing elf crumpled with a yelp and tumbled into the snow, clutching at his leg. Fenneous crunched through the snow on all fours, testing his weight carefully with each step. He took a deep breath and regained his human form again as he neared the kneecapped man in the Reliquary colors, grabbing a dropped scroll-case along the way.
"Now, maybe you'll listen to reason. Just wanted to talk, I did," he said, rapping the fallen elf on the head lightly with the scroll case. "What's this, then?"
"A scroll, nothing more!"
Fenneous sighed, and pushed the barrel of his rifle against the man's chin. "Listen, I'm on strict orders that tell me I should have shot to kill already. I still can, if you don't give me some answers. What is it?"
The elf gulped, and grasped for the gun, but Fenneous swatted his hand away. "It's ancient Mogu!"
He pushed a little harder on the gun. "A good start. What else?"
"Something about a key! I don't read the language, I don't know any more, I swear!"
"Good enough," he said, and slung the case over one shoulder. "Guess you get to live today. Don't say the Alliance never did nothing for you." Fenneous flipped a small roll of bandage and a small metal tube onto the elf's chest. "Fix yourself up, fire the flare when I leave. You pop it a second too early, your people'll be recovering an awful perforated corpse, understand?"
Silence, a nod. He pulled the rifle away, and holstered it on his back. With a grin and a wave, Fenneous disappeared into the snow, leaving the elf to his own devices. An ancient Mogu scroll about a key. Interesting. He could think of at least one other person who'd agree with him.
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