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((This is a cross faction, mini-arc. Special thanks to Ketyru, Morefeen, Aereath, Symmane, Kailell, and all the others who have helped/will help!
THE SECOND POST CONTAINS A REQUEST FOR THE AAMS))
The priestess stood in the back of the bar in Booty Bay, working with the glamour that would disguise her. The dusty, grimy mirror showed blonde hair, green, vacant eyes, and an underbite that all lended to her girlish, innocent expression. She flounced a bit.
Satisfied that her walk was perfect, and her magic firmly in place, she poked her head out, only to hear her Goblin accomplice shouting her cover name, "KIRA!"
"Yessir!" she chirped, a blank smile on her face, "What can I do for you?"
He grins, and tips her a wink, jerking his head towards the blond priest who walked in, a sly smile lit up Ana's features.
"Got it," she grinned, and bounced over to the priest's table, sizing him up with a wink, "Hi there! Can I get you something to drink?"
He glanced up at her, "Hey, you know common? Interesting. Uhm, yes please. Anything wet and dirty would do just fine." Nanluil, for that was who it was indeed, grinned devilishly.
Ana, after eyeing the priest again, appreciatively, sauntered off with a wink for him, "Comin' up!"
As Nan reminisces idly, Ana goes about her job,mixing things and drinks, and adding a pinch of powder from an unmarked pouch. Sticking a miniature paper umbrella in the drink, and a piece of fruit, she meanders back to Nan's table, plunking the drink down and eyeing the medallion he's wearing, "So, what's the medal from, huh?"
Nan discards the umbrella with a snicker, and chugs the beverage, eyeing the Elf, "Well... Killing members of your faction, if you really wanted to know."
She chuckles cheerfully with a vacant smile as a response, "Oh, no. I don't give a flying d*mn. Silly people getting themselves killed." Watching him down the drink, she smirks, "Can I get you anything else?"
As Nan sighs, he raises an eyebrow, "Yes. Something to wash the taste of that drink down with, please."
"Anything for a patron, what's your desire?"
"Hmm... I'll take some grog. Not too much saltwater - just enough for taste."
A grin later, she flounces off, throwing over her shoulder, "Sure thing hon!"
Upon her return with another, spiked, mug of booze, she queries, "Can I get you food, sir?"
"Oh yes, anything fresh and hot would be good."
Another grin and she bounces off, "I'll be back shortly!"
As Nan daydreams again, possibly some old sailor's mental image, Ana clatters around the kitchen, frying fish and boiling greens to go with it. A touch of seasonings here, and a dollop of sauce there, and underneath it all, a sprinkle from an unlabeled packet goes into the mixture. Leaving things to cook, she pokes her head back out, only to spot Nan belching and motioning for another.
Preparing another drugged mug of grog, Ana smiles vacantly at the priest as she proffers the mug. Accepting it, Nan sips it thoughtfully.
Ana speaks, her vacant-looking eyes speaking to being not-very-bright, "You look distracted, hon, what's on your mind?"
She receives a look from the human for that, "Hmm. Things I shouldn't tell you, considering your... heritage."
She shrugs, silently, the vacant look on her face again.
Nan launches into a rambling about skirmishes on Horde cities, Vol'jin, and Pandaria. His words continue to return to his soon-to-be-bride, and the many places they want to get married.
Ana slips off with a small grin, returning with his food, "Who's the lucky lady?"
Digging in slowly, his eyes drooping, "Mmmf... Her name is Ketyru... She's so perfect... in every way..."
"Aww, man! That's so sweet!"
"KIRA!" Comes the scream from the kitchens, "Get your lazy *ss back here and scrub these pots!"
"Well," she sighs apologetically, "That's my cue. Shout if you need anything!"
Nan mumbles, and takes a few more bites after she retreats before slumping against the wall and snoring peacefully. Peeking out, Ana allows a sly grin to cross her face before she regains her vacant expression, "Oh no... he's out cold... I guess I'd better get him out of the seat and upstairs... other people might want it..."
As if on cue, her boss points, "Kira, get him upstairs."
"Yessir," she chirrups, "Right away sir!"
Approaching the snoring priest, she frowns and glances around before murmuring a word of power and scooping the snoring man up with a grunt and the aid of the levitation spell.
Setting him on the bed in the room in the Salty Sailor gently, Ana checked to make sure he was still out, and then, humming a shanty quietly, went about checking him over for anything that would disrupt the portal magic.
Producing the portal shard from her inner pocket, she gripped Nan's hand, and smashed the stone on the floor, sending them both into nothingness as they vanished.
Edited by Arathiana on 6/9/2013 3:59 PM PDT
<A notice posted in the major Horde cities, save Orgrimmar, written in a scribe's uniform script.>
To the members of the AAMS:
I am in need of your services, please contact me, one Tria Duskwing, with all haste.
It is urgent.
Kailell looks around, and greets the middling height, blonde elf warmly.
In response, Tria, for that is who she is today, smiles slightly, "You are with the AAMS, no?"
"Yes, I am with the AAMS. I hear there is a delivery needed?"
"There is, yes."
"Well," comes the man's response, "That is what we are here for. Is it a letter or a package?"
Arathiana, under the guise of Tria Duskwing, pushes a sealed envelope accross the table, "This needs to be delivered with all haste, yes. To one Ketyru Silverdrune of the Alliance."
Kailell nods, "It will be delivered in the current state it is in, I am sure," he adds as he places the envelope in his bag, "That your friend will be happy to get it."
The priestess nods slightly, a bob of her head at most, "Good, yes, great risks if it is opened by another than her. A special delivery of potent spells. She is aware."
The pair exchange a smile, and Kailell chuckles, "Do not worry, it will not be opened."
"There is no need for her to reply through you, no. She knows how to reach me. How much am I owing?"
"let's see I belive the standard rate is 5 gold."
The woman tosses her hair over one shoulder and nods again, and counts out a stack of gold coins, "Five for the guild, yes, and five for the courier."
Thanking her, the man says, "I will deliver it with great speed and care."
"And a blessing for the courier, yes?"
A wave of her hand, and a murmured word later, Kailell thanks her as the Light spreads through her limbs, Ana's faith in her goal proving steadfast.
"Now if you will excuse me I must help another with a business transaction," Kailell tells her.
"Yes, yes. Good days for you, hm?" 'Tria' smiles, "Oh, and I should be warning you. The friend, she is a Half-Orc, yes."
A chuckle escapes the priestess, "She enjoys the Blue Recluse, and this may be the best place to find her, yes. Have a good day, yes."
Edited by Arathiana on 6/10/2013 5:23 AM PDT
((Feen has a forum presence? Scary!))
Anna Bravery MacArthur and Ketyru Silverdrune sat at the table in the Blue Reclse together, talking about mundane things, the human's unborn daughter, Ket's impending marriage, home life.
The friends were just that, friends. And then Anna brought up Nan.
"It isn't like him to be out of touch all day," she suggested, producing her hearthstone, "We can try to get in touch with him."
Ket watched curiously as Anna called her friend's name, "Nan...?"
A long moment later, the pregnant warrior repeated, more insistently, "Nanluil?”
Arathiana Sunspeaker, lately known as Kira and Tria, and a multitude of others, was watching the sleeping priest. Kortanus stood by her shoulder, the male warlock not amused, as she clearly was, with the situation.
"Why," he queried, "did I let you drag me into this?"
"There was no dragging."
He was about to reply, but she forestalled him with an upheld finger, as the voice of the warrior crackled over Nanluil's hearthstone.
A "shut up" motion later, and Ana composed herself, speaking common, but heavily accented, and, for any who are familiar with Thalassian, that was clearly the root of the accent, "Darling, who -are- you looking for?"
Ket's voice replied, "Who are you, I demand to know!"
The priestess only laughed darkly, "Who are you to be demanding -anything-?"
The half-Orc woman growled, "I am Ketyru Silverdrune, and Nanluil is MINE. Where is he!?"
Arathiana grinned gleefully at Kortanus, who looked bored, "Oh, you are, are you? I don't know about this Nanluil. Who is he?" She winked at her accomplice and the sleeping Nanluil before continuing, "Short fellow? Ugly, built like a mountain?"
Galahan’s dwarven cry of, "Nae, tha's me!" Took the conspirator by surprise, eliciting a stream of thalassian curses, and from the same Dwarf, "Oi, nao. Some o' us're well read missy!"
Ignoring the outburst, the priestess, for that is what she was, spoke again, "I have... a blond Dwarf here. Stuck in a hole in the side of a cliff. With this rock. I suppose this is someone's?"
Ket grumbled incoherently, underlying Anna's question, "Elf, who -are- you?"
“Who, me,” came the inevitably cheerful reply, and a girlish giggle, “Nobody of import. Tria. “
After a moment of silence, she added , "Who should I return the stone to?" Crossly, the Elf continued, "Really. All I'm trying to do is a favor, yes."
“I'll give you a favor!” Ketyru’s words were punctuated by a thunk, and a scream.
Ket was standing on top of her chair, shouting at Anna’s hearthstone as if it were a real person.
“I’ll give you a favor,” Ket cried, and then slipped sideways, forcing Anna, six months pregnant, to move to try to catch the falling woman. Too quickly, for the motion drew an agonized scream from the warrior.
Ket knelt by the warrior’s side, supporting her gently, concern in her eyes for her pregnant friend, “Anna, we need a healer.”
Arathiana’s voice crackled from the hearthstone, sounding genuinely concerned, “Are you alright?”
Her only reply was Ket’s shout, “We need a Healer in the Blue Recluse, NOW!”
Anna, sounding frustrated, and in pain, growled, "Just to... make her happy?"
Rhudran’s voice replied, “I am on my way.”
And then the stones descended into relative chaos, as a snarling voice questioned, "Hello, hello? Is anyone there at all?" Underneath it all, the sound of general commotion, Snarlmane continued, "If anyone is there, can they help me?"
Rhudran, after ascertaining that the baby was fine, and that Anna had done little more than pull a muscle, rose, responding to Snarlmane, “Who needed help?”
“Is there anyone there who can help me solve a riddle? It was found with coordinates to the massive tree in the Blackwald."
“A moment, it looks as if I am not done here.”
Snarlmane continues talking as Rhudran tends to a woman in the Blue Recluse, bent double on the floor, "It goes: "Those who walk the path chose strength great, but beware, for when the time comes, the price is an eternal wait'. Does anyone know what it means?"
Kaellar ponders the riddle, “It askin' what th' price is, or who chose it?”
The calm voice of the Sepha broke through the general chaos, “Are you alright?”
Snarlmane replies to Kaellar, "It was found with coordinates to a druidic tree... could it have anything to do with druid magic? ...Do druids really have to have an 'eternal wait' eventually?"
“Couldn't tell you, lad.”
Gentyl, the Sepha, is thinking as she speaks, “Hmmm, I'm not very good at this.”
Orwyn jokes, “I believe it's instructions to the Stormwind Bureau of Licenses,” and the Sepha snickers quietly.
Liabelle inserts that it “Sounds like a vauge threat of death.. chosing power will eventually lead you to death? Hard to say... Dreaming's not ‘Eternal’”
Ana and Kortanus stand over the drugged Nanluil, their voices quiet as Ana pokes the priest, “He should wake up soon.”
“Well poke him harder, girl, I don’t have all week.”
Complying, Ana jabs Nan in the side roughly with her fist, and smiles impishly when he stirs, and mutters something about rainbow mushroom squirrels. With a snort, she mutters, “This is the man the half-orc loves? Pathetic.”
More loudly, as Nanluil Silverdrune stirs on the table he is bound to, Ana speaks to Ket through the hearthstones, “Oh, Ketyru? I believe I have something of yours.”
Nan wakes slowly, looking confused, and then panicked, "Who... Where am I?! RELEASE ME!"
Ket’s strangled cry was her lover’s name, “Nanluil!”
Chaos ensued over the stones, Snarlmane snarling, "Who's there? Is something wrong?"
The Sepha’s voice followed, “Feen? Is that you?”
Anna yelled, “Nan!”
Kaellar’s dry observation that it “Sounds like him,”
Nanluil struggled, barely audible, and the Blood Elf captor murmured softly, “Just stop fighting, Nanluil. You’ll not get out that easily.”
Nan took that moment, screaming, “This is Nanluil of Pia Presidium, I'm being held against my will - One is a Blood elf, the other is -” Muffled noises cut him off abruptly, followed by a sharp slap.
Ana growls, “Shut UP bastard!”
Rhudran interrupted then, "Sepha, Broodin ate my Hearthstone. What was that noise?...what?"
Snarlmane's voice was filled with static, as he explained he had to get a new hearthstone, "Hello? Hello, is this thing on?"
Cinaed rasped, "Sounds like a kidnapping."
Orwyn murmured, "It does, yes."
Ket demanded, her voice harsh, "Nanluil! Let him go! I demand that you let him go! I will find you, whoever you are, and you will suffer like no others have known in this world or the next!"
Kaeldron inserted, "Someone has been kidnapped? Who?"
Cunaed said, "The name was Nanuil, I believe."
The Sepha spoke again, still relatively calm, "It appears Feen has been nabbed."
Kaeldron cried out, "Oh, Light. Let's form a strike group! Who is with me?" And Ket roared. Loudy.
Kaellar muttered, "...Right then."
Rhudran suggested to Kael, "They can hear you, brother."
As Ana spoke again, Broodin's intestinal noises made themselves heard through Rhudran's stone, "You'll have to find me, first, sillies."
Orwyn, asking the question that was on everyone's mind undoubtedly, said, "What is it that the kidnappers want?"
A pensive smile escaped Arathiana, "Ketyru."
Cinaed's dry retort was not out of place, "Sounded more like the victim got their hearthstone, and called for help, rather than demands." Ket’s snarl echoed through the comm-stones roughly, a counterpoint to the words.
“Trading one person for another,” Orwyn rejoined, “Usually that doesn't work out well for anyone.”
“So, Feen's current state is of prisoner of war?” Kaeldron mutters, sounding thoughtful.
Ana’s dark hair had fallen over her face, and she shook it back, walking away from the the priest, "Kortanus, make him scream..."
“No!” Ketyru sounded both angry and scared at once.
“I'm a bit of an old hand at this game, Loves,” Cinaed interjects, “I wouldn't deal, if I were you lot.”
Nanluil's slow, even breathing could be heard. He tried to say something to the effect of, "Don't give them what they want."
“Sepha,” Rhudran said, “I will meet you in Hearthglen.”
Hacking sounds followed, and something hitting a wooden floor. Presumably, Rhudran’s hearthstone had left its temporary home within Broodin’s digestive tract.
Kortanus glowered. He really did, "Why am I here to do your dirty work," he murmured before stepping up the priest's side. He lowered his hand once more, dragging his fingers along Nanluil's arm, the fel energy gathered about his fingertips tore at his skin.
While that went on, Ana watched intently, her eyes gleaming in the dimness of the cellar in Southshore, “You see," she murmured, "Ketty, can I call you Ketty? Yes, I thought I could," she laughed softly, "I have, what -you- want."
Nanluil attempted to bite down, hard, on nothing. The strangled cry still escaped him, however, and Ket howled like hell itself.
Cinaed chuckled, “Sends out a bad message, for a large, deep pocketed institution like yerselves to be paying out, you see. The unsavory types like myself might take the cue to do it more often.”
The Sepha spoke next, “I'm unsure what to do. We need the demands first. Also, it sounds like Rhudran is in trouble.”
Ket screamed, “And what it is you want? Aside from your lives, because those you have already forfeit!”
Rhudran spoke to Gentyl, “This is not a secure line, Sepha. We must speak before things get out of hand. If they are not already.”
“That may be true,” came the reply.
“Yes, of course,” Cinaed chuckled, “do threaten the blokes that have your loved one, friend. That will ABSOLUTLY ensure this "Nanuil's" return. Amateur.”
Ana chuckled into the break in the conversation, speaking clearly to Ketyru, and only her, "Oh, I have no demands. I am, however, rather enjoying his... presence."
“Spit it out! What do you want?”
"At the moment? Him."
Ana laughed darkly as Kortanus muttered, "Not loud enough," digging his fingers down harder into the priest's arm. "Scream like your life depended on it, though I guess in a way, it does."
Nan strained every muscle in his body against his bonds, crying out at the searing pain.
Ket’s voice dropped into a snarl, “You play a dangerous game, you cannot win.”
A snickered, "Ketty, Ketty, Ketty,” is the priestess’ reply, "Let's say this much. Tomorrow, things will be clear. This could all be... so painless.... Well. No more so, at least."
Ket screamed again, wordless rage voicing itself in a hellish cry.
Snarlmane growled, "Get a hold of yourself!"
Ana trilled, "Ket, darling, spare your... lover? You are lovers, right?" Ket snarled, and Ana continued, "Don't come after us. You haven't a clue where we are. And I can be gone, in an instant."
Cinaed wondered, “Who might you be, Mum? The one with Nanuil? I like your style. Discuss business, once all this kidnapping/psychological torture of the unstable lady is concluded?”
Nanluil, in response to Ana’s comment, screamed at the top of his lungs, "BUILDING! IN A BUILDING! HUMAN STRUCTURE!"
“I will find you, Ket vowed, “and when I do, you will suffer. I will skin you, alive. I will drink the very marrow from your bones while you watch!”
Ana simply laughed, "If threats were a bother, I would be a scared woman. Don't worry. I have something -special- in mind for you, Shaman."
“Then take me, in his stead. Let Nanluil go, and I will submit myself, willingly.”
"Gosh, this sounds serious, what have you got me into?" Kortanus pulled his fingers from Nanluil's arm, wiping the crimson dripping from the tips off on his robes.
Ana snorted, her voice a purr, "Kortanus darling, -you- are the muscle here. -I- am the brans. As for -you- Ketyru? Wouldn't you just like that? I can lock you in a room, shut off from your elements... Watch you hang yourself from despair one day, mayhaps?"
“You can try, Blood Elf.”
Liabelle grumbled, “That *Has* to be a highborn... how in the Nether did someone get caught by a highborn? it's like getting tripped by a sock...”
"You insult me."
"Whatever you say," Kortanus muttered beneath his breath. "This sounds like it's going nowhere, so get your 'plan' into motion."
Ana purred at the man with her again, "Patience! This is the best part!" Nanluil could be heard struggling against his bonds again, but with less effort. He appeared to be tiring.
“You know not what you have begun, -elf.-”
"Blah blah blah, shut up and pay,” was Kortanus’ reply to Ket. The Sepha snickered.
Ana chose to ignore her accomplice, "Oh, half-orc, but I do. You will understand... tomorrow. For now..." She trailed off, turning to Nan again, splaying her fingers apart and letting Light lance into his skull, aiming to rummage through his mind with no intent other than pain.
“Pay? You did this for gold? You sold your lives for a bag of metal.. you fools.”
"No, no, dear. I sold my life for metal to feed orphans." She is dead serious, "Get it right."
“The orphans of Silvermoon are better off dead than accepting any thing from Your tainted hands!”
“Silvermoon? As if! The ends, my dear, justify the means. Remember that, hmm?”
Kortanus interjected, "I'll just add that I don't really care for orphans, I'm just here because I got to torture someone."
“So,” came Liabelle’s rejoinder, “she's holding .. someone... to get gold to feed orphans?”
“And in return,” Ket growled, “I will melt the fat out from under your skin.”
"Pleasant,” Ana laughed.
Liabelle’s shrug was evident, “Seems an easy way to work all this out really.”
Kortanus crowed, "Start with her first, please. I'd bet her burnt flesh would be a delightful smell."
Ana purred at her underling, "I'll 'talk' you out of that one later."
Liabelle suggested, “She's trying to save highborne orphans.. they're rather easy to find.. you're a blood thirsty halforkan.. do the math dear. see how long she titters when you've dropped a few off a gryphon.”
Kortanus snorted, turning away from Ana. He waltzed back over towards Nanluil, "Look, just do what she asks or else I'll rip the soul right from this man's body."
Nan wound up, followed by a loud spit aimed right for the attacker's face.
Liabelle muttered, “And risk how many lickle children's deaths? She's an orc.. you know how orcs are once you've taken their mates away yes? I'm sure you do little man. But i've poked my nose into this little farce enough I think. Do what you need to do Ketyru.”
Ket’s voice was nearly lost in the rush of wind and wings, “Nan..”
Ana laughed in reply, loudly, wildly, and darkly, "Boys! We're leaving!"
“Cowards! Snakes! You run like mice before a hungry cat!”
“Oh, no, Ketty. I rather think -we- are the cat, and -you- are the mouse. Look at you, all hurt and angry. Take a deep breath. Before you hurt someone -else-.”
Ket threw a series of curses at the kidnappers in Orcish, eliciting a cry from Galahan, “Oy! Wotch tha’ language!”
"I think you made her angry,” Kortanus observed.
Ana snickered, "Do take care not to put yourself in danger again. You might need saving one day."
Nan panted heavily, tired from trying to break his bonds in vain, and Ket murmured, “I am already past saving.”
Ana grabbed Kortanus' hand, and Nan's forehead roughly, smashing her heel on something on the floor, and there was silence from Nan's stone.
((Thanks again for the great participation! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.))
Ketyru walked into the Blue Recluse. It had been another long night, she hadn't slept again. Her world was threatening to fall apart. Even Chenzen could not soothe her blind rage and building hopelessness. She mumbled a greeting to the patrons already seated.
Rachel Frost was perched on the bar.
"You are the weird girl who likes that Holy person."
Ket lifted her chin defiantly, staring Rachel down in an act of dominance. Not that any Human would understand, but it fed the fires that burned in Ket's heart.
"I am Ketyru Silvrdrune," She stated boldly. "And Nanluil is my mate, yes."
"I heard about your Holy person thing."
Derscha Kettlebomb entered the Blue Recluse, Ket could hear the shuffling of her tiny Gnomish feet, though she did not look around. Her attention was on Rachel. Ears back, she bit her lip as Derscha greeted Joachim warmly.
Ket doubled down her gaze on Rachel, unwilling to be distracted. "It is not your business."
"That he is missing and quite possibly dead?" Rachel quipped.
With a flinch, Ket snarled at Rachel, baring her teeth and her rage. "He is not dead."
Rachel giggled, her lips curving into a smile.
"I will find him."
Derscha, who had been listening in (not that one could miss the exchange), piped up. "Well, I wouldn't dismiss luck quite so easily. Comes in very handy at times."
Ket sighed. Luck. What could luck do? Nothing. Luck hadn't saved her father, or Ruun. Luck hadn't saved Tristan, or Saal, or Ikati. Luck was worthless, it didn't exist.
"I call dibs on the body," Rachel purred.
Ketyru turned away from the sadistic woman, unable to lash out at her. She bit back her emotions, letting the storm within herself build. Tears threatened to fill her eyes, so she focused them back. Shut herself down.
"...how could I have let this happen again..."
But she slipped as the memories came crashing down on her like storm-fed waves. Furious, Ket grabbed her new Runestone pendant Chenzen crafted for her and threw it across the room, digging the chain into her neck. It whizzed away, only to hover in the air and return to its place on her chain like an obedient dog. This only made her more furious. Damned mage would finally make something she couldn't break.
Derscha raised an eyebrow at the boomerang pendant.
"Quite a trick, must keep it from getting lost often. But ah--" She paused. Ket turned her glare away from little humanoid, envious of her detachtment from this.. mess."--if I recall correctly, you are Miss Ketyru? I believe I saw you once in Ironforge."
Ketyru looked over at Derscha, still fiddling with the pendant. "Blame the Battlemage I live with. I continue to destroy Runestones, so he made it of metal this time. And yes, I believe you attended one of my seminars on Shamanism."
The spite she heard in her own voice brought her up short. Chen was right, she needed to calm down before she hurt someone...
"Oh, yes, wonderful then! Derscha Kettlebomb, AAMS, to make a formal introduction of myself. I have a delivery for you."
Ket rounded on Derscha, which must have looked entirely unfair. A Halforcen bearing down on a Gnome. She felt a surge of shame, but her mouth ran faster than her thoughts.
"A delivery?! Why did you not say so sooner!"
The Gnome pursed her lips, visibly taken aback. "You seemed to be quite engaged in your conversation, and it is always polite to introduce one's self first."
Her shame catching up, Ket murmured an apology. She knew better than to hold the messenger accountable for what was happening. Derscha hadn't stolen Nanluil away.
The Gnome chuckled. "Oh, don't worry too much about it. Now, for that letter..." Derscha opened her carrier's satchel, carefully withdrawing and envelope and offering it over. "Do be careful; I was told it had spells."
Ket took the envelope in a shaking hand. This is what the Elf told her was coming. "What do I owe you?" She absently dug a hand around in her belt pouch, searching for coins. None...
"The delivery fee was paid up front, although tips are always appreciated." Derscha smiled.
A chill ran up Ket's spine. They wanted money, yet the kidnappers were willing to pay a service fee to deliver their ransom note? Something didn't add up there... Ket felt the blood drain out of her face and she thanked Derscha in a small voice.
"Thanks for using the Anytime, Anywhere Messenger Service," the courier said with a bow. "You, ah, quite all right?"
"Y-yes.. I will be. Thank you." Ket stammered.
((One of Five))
Edited by Ketyru on 6/11/2013 11:23 PM PDT
Just then, Anna MacArthur walked in. Ket looked over at her. Her belly stuck out, and Ket felt a flash of...something, some indescribable feeling she'd only gotten flashes of when-- She brought her thoughts back into place.
"Anna.. how are you feeling?"
"Like sh*t," She smiled slightly. "But I can't sit home while... this is happening."
Ketyru sighed, holding the letter limply in her hand. This was all too much. Nanluil taken... Chenzen in a fog... Anna pregnant... Her family slaughtered in the snows of Northrend. Her father put down like a dog in Lordaeron... Soon, she wouldn't have anyone left to lose.
Anna eyed the note. "...Ket...?"
"I... I am afraid to open it.."
Anna waddled over to her friend, pushing the taller woman down into her chair gently, and slowly taking the note from her and slitting it open with her thumb, offering it back.
"Take a deep breath."
Derscha straightened her hat and excused her self to the bar. Ket tracked her for a moment, then accepted the letter back. She sighed deeply. "Give it to me. It is spelled."
Anna handed it over slowly. "Breathe, Ket. Who's it from?"
Mind numb, pulse racing, Ket opened the letter, as though tearing away a bandage. Anna was right, she needed to breathe. Breathe, young one...just breathe. Ruun's voice echoed in her ears as she looked at the unfamiliar letters. Her expression slid away, hiding her frustration and pain. She passed the letter back to Anna.
"I cannot read Common..."
Eyes skimming over the letter, Anna pales and sits down, her voice shaking as she reads the letter.
You don't know me. Nor do I... particularly care for this fact. Rest assured that I know you and... I have something... Something of yours.
It is almost distressing how much he... seems to miss you.
Meet me, Wednesday, at the waterfalls North of the Troll settlement in the Hinterlands.
Bring money. You'll need it."
((Two of Five))
Edited by Ketyru on 6/11/2013 11:24 PM PDT
Again, Ket had thrown the enchanted pendant across the room only to have it come whizzing back. Anna's voice had dropped to barely a whisper, masking her own emotions. A low growl built up in Ket's chest, her eyes opening slowly.
"Wednesday... Why so long? COWARDS!" She threw herself back into her chair. Anna reached out a hand and gripped Ket's arm gently.
Spiteful, Ketyru sucked in as much air as she could and held it.
"...and out," Anna admonished, watching Ket slowly, gauging her reaction.
Ears pulled back, Ket snarled soundlessly at Anna, but let her breath out slowly. Anna squeezed her hand. "Are you going to go?"
"Of course I am." What kind of question was that?
Anna nodded. "I'm coming."
"You are not. I will not risk the life of my friend and her unborn daughter. This is my task. It is me they are expecting. And they will get me, but not in a way they expect I am sure."
"Take Gentyl," Anna growled. "Tom, Rhudran, someone. I have a friend, a tracker, let her come with you?"
Ketyru slashed a hand through the air. "No! I will not risk them killing Nanluil because I was followed!"
"Ket..." Anna gave her a serious look. "Sit down and hear me out."
Ducking her head, Ket's hair fell forward, screening her dark expression.
They will kill him. There's nothing you can do to stop it. Just as they killed Krondorl. Just as they killed Ruun, and all the other Pathwanders. You are powerless. You are weak. You are damned.
Anna kept her gaze steady. "Ket, sit. Please?" She rubs her temples, the worry and anxiety and pain...on multiple levels...showing in her eyes as she looks back up at her Halforcen friend. Ketyru glared angrily back, slamming her fists into the table. Fury and hopelessness threatened to overwhelm her.
"I will not risk harm coming to him!"
"Talk to Gentyl, at least?" Anna requested softly. "You can't do this alone, and if I can't come... You need some help with it. You can't go in there alone, there are at least two of them."
You couldn't do it with an army at your back, Halforcen. You couldn't save him if you had the powers of an Aspect. You are alone. You will always be alone. Alone...
"I do not care," Ket bit back, ignoring the whispers in he mind. "If they wanted me, I had already offered myself in exchange. They refused. I do not know what it is they're after..." She chewed out an old Orcish insult under her breath.
"Money apparently," Anna replies, staring at the letter. "Don't take any of this at face value. It's a kidnapping."
"They can have money, it means nothing to me."
"...but, if they take the money and keep Nan? You need more eyes. The note didn't say come alone."
Ket raked her eyes over Anna in a patronizing way. "I. Am. A. SHAMAN. I am never alone Anna. Never."
Never alone? You are always alone, daughter of Krondorl Notusks. We are here, but you... You are always alone.
((Three of Five))
Edited by Ketyru on 6/11/2013 11:24 PM PDT
Anna kept her gaze steady, but she worried.
"I know, but you are still one person, against who knows how many."
Ket leaned forward in her seat, thunking her head against the table to silence the whispers. Anna came up behind her, rubbing the Halforcen's shoulders and upper back soothingly, working out the kinks.
"I don't want to have to come after both of you. I want the best way to get Nan back intact."
"I can't lose him again Anna..." came Ket's muffled response. "I just can't."
Anna nodded slowly, eyes damp, voice soft with emotion. "I know. I can't either."
"I do not know what to do Anna... Tell me what I should do..."
"I know it sounds hard...try to relax right now. You need to take care of yourself. Have you eaten? Slept?"
With a frown, Anna wandered over to the bar, returning a moment later with a glass of water and a bowl of stew.
"Eat, Ket, and we'll make plans."
Ket wiped the snot, blood and tears from her face before picking at the stew. She had a lot on her mind. So much was happening...she eyed Anna's swollen belly with renewed interest and started taking bigger spoonfuls.
Anna was right, of course. They needed to stay alert, healthy...prepared. They would get Nanluil back, and in one piece. The whispers were silent on this, but Ketyru could sense them mocking her certainty. The human watched her friend warmly, motherly instincts in full swing and sighs.
"Who do you trust most, outside of Nan and I?"
"N'one. I 'ave 'rust issuesh."
Ketyru shook her head, swallowing a mouthful before speaking.
"I respect the Paladin and her Holy order, but I cannot say that I trust them."
"Would you let them help, the people who Nan trusts, help?"
Ket considered this a moment. If Nanluil trusts them...
"If Nan trusts them, that is good enough for me.."
"Alright.. Broodin. Anyone else?"
"Tom. Merral, if he is willing..."
Anna taps her Hearthstone. "Should I call for them?"
"Not yet. Let me amass them in my mind, and get a list together. I shall consult with Chenzen tonight."
"Good. Tomorrow, we will meet with them all?" Anna asked with concern.
"A summit should be held. Maybe we'll take anyone willing."
"All willing may be too many..."
((Four of Five))
Edited by Ketyru on 6/11/2013 11:24 PM PDT
Rachel Frost appeared on the table and waved gingerly at Ketyru. Ket grinned wickedly at Anna, having not yet noticed the other girl.
"If we take the willing, any traitors will be exposed and I can kill them as well."
"Breathe, Ket." Anna admonished again.
"Weird," Rachel piped up.
Ketyru deliberately held her breath, cocking an eyebrow at Anna playfully, who glared at Rachel over her swollen belly. Ket exhaled slowly again, making sure Anna saw her do it.
"Any luck yet?" Rachel inquired.
"If you count a ransom note as luck," Ketyru sneered.
"They will probably kill him after they get what they want anyway."
"You," Ket snarled at Rachel, "are less than helpful!"
"Soo," Rachel drawled, "dead before the end of the week? Anyone a gambler?"
Ketyru stood and launched her pendant at Rachel's head in fury as Gregory MacArthur entered the bar. He walked over to Anna, placing his hands on her shoulders. She looked up at her husband, reaching to cover one of his hands with her smaller one.
Rachel caught Ketyru's pendant and tossed it back to her. It hummed back into place on the chain around its owner's neck. Ket cursed the cleverness of mages.
"Trinkets will not do as a form of currency with which to place a bet."
Ket sneered wordlessly at Rachel.
Anna heaved herself to her feet with a curse, glaring at Rachel.
"One hundred gold says he lives through the week."
Gregory smiled at Anna, oblivious to the situation. "And how are you doing? I heard you have a bit of 'fun' yesterday. ...what?"
Anna squeezed Greg's hand gently, a silent plea for him to wait for an explination, just a few minutes. Ketyru rose, throwing another snarl at Rachel Frost before turning to Anna.
"I must see Chenzen. There is much to be done. I will get back to you with the list of people I want."
Anna nodded at Ket, grinning at the other woman.
"I'll be collecting Sunday."
((Five of Five. ARGH! Someone else can do this next time! It's 2:30am I need to sleep! Thank you to everyone involved. Forgive me any spelling/grammar errors, again, it's late.))
Edited by Ketyru on 6/11/2013 11:26 PM PDT
The deed was done.
Ana had sat on the island, watching and speaking through her mouth piece, the death knight, Allaynna Kidrain. The woman enjoyed the discomfort on Ket's face, as well as Aereath's.
And then there was the money. The switch was made, and Ana flew the coop, quite literally. The wyvern lying in wait spirited her away to Tanaris, where she and her sometimes-lover made the arrangements to feed the orphans in Shattrath.
There was a feast, and the mysterious benefactor looked on from her perch in the rafters, smiling as the children made merry.
Her means were by no means savory, but the ends, the ends were indeed desirable, and her faith in her goals carried her through, as it always did, and always would.
The pride in her eyes as she returned to Tanaris was sincere, she did a good thing, and what was one Alliance disruption for the good of children, after all?
Because the ends did indeed justify the means.
((Thanks again to everyone involved in the plot, it was great fun!))
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