A Sanctum teaser thread

It's been mentioned a lot, so I thought I'd give potential new people a look-see at what we post there.

Hellscream's Eyes

Skaedi stopped between the Cleft of Shadows and the gate to the Valley of Honor and fussed with the wooden slats, keeping them in a semblance of order and in her arms. The coil of rope over her left shoulder threatened to slide down as if in conspiracy with the slats, and she shoved it back in place. Orgrimmar was oppressively hot this late summer day, and the noon sun over head made the heat worse. Skaedi was in too good a mood to care. Gravy had finally consented to letting her build window box planters. For herbs he could use in his own brewing, cooking and cleaning, but sneaking in a flower or two behind his back would be easy. She’d spent the last hour dickering with the city’s lumberyard for materials.

She shifted her weight from foot to foot, eyes veiled in thought. She should get wire mesh as well, to protect the seedlings from the birds nesting in the cliffs. The lumberyard had wire mesh. Droffers and Son Salvage might, too. The lumberyard was at the other end of the Drag near the Valley of Wisdom, the salvage shop only yards away. The foreman at the lumberyard hadn’t been pleased to see her, though; he’d likely raise the price out of spite. He would have it, however, while the salvage shop’s inventory changed daily. Besides, Dran Droffers’ jokes were so old, and his comments about what a “dummy female” shouldn’t be doing even older. Was she in the mood to deal with that? And Malton would ask about her succubus….

Ah, well, a quick peek around the Droffers’ wouldn’t take too long. She turned toward the shop.

A fully-armored guard stepped in front of her.

“You. Blood elf. Come with us.”

“Hmm?” Skaedi blinked at the guard. She wasn’t alone. An orc male in the same heavy armor stood next to her. Skaedi turned her head; two more guards behind her.

“What’s going on?”

“No one but orcs are allowed to gather in the Drag, by the Warchief’s orders,” the male guard rumbled. His voice sounded familiar.

When did that order happen? “But I’m not loitering. I was trying to make up my mind where to go.”

The female guard snorted. “That’s loitering.”

“Fine. I apologize. I’ll be on my way.”

“You’re coming with us. Non-orcs in Orgrimmar malingering cause trouble and are a threat to the Horde.”

‘This is ridiculous!” She glared at the male guard, and memory clicked. Gurin. The orphanage children had been Skaedi’s first playmates her own age; Gurin had been an older boy, marking time until he could train with the warriors and lording it over the younger orphans. He had teased and tormented her mercilessly as a ‘pink-skinned weakling’ until she flattened him with a solid right hook to the jaw. “Gurin,” she said, keeping her voice calm, “you kept Matron Battlewell and Tosamina off our backs while the rest of us worked on the garden. You know, the one in the shape of the Horde flag? Do you really think I’m a threat to the Horde?”

Gurin just stared at her. The female orc gestured sharply, and heavy, gauntleted hands grabbed Skaedi by the shoulders.
The world had suddenly tilted sideways, and nothing was it should be. “Let go of me,” Skaedi said. This couldn’t be happening. Orgrimmar was her home, had been for the past four years. She knew her neighbors -- the families who had permanent homes, not the Wyvern’s Tail’s rotating clientele. She knew the merchants and the guards, knew who spent hours drinking ale or cheap, watery beer with Morstan to hear the latest gossip, which tauren shamans in the Valley of Wisdom could be wheedled into granting the ability to water-walk for a pouch of plants from Winterspring or a bag of candy from Silvermoon. Knew the best places to sunbathe nude without being seen, and the best places to watch for airborne Alliance infiltrators. She lived in Orgrimmar, had fought for Orgrimmar, had more than once nearly died defending Orgrimmar.

And this was how she was treated?

She looked past the guards. The Drag’s crowds were made up most of orcs, she noticed for the first time. Only a handful of tauren, and no trolls or goblins at all. Everyone was very carefully not looking in her direction. She caught one of the tauren’s gaze and held it before he hurried away. Skaedi turned her attention back at the guards.

“Let go of me,” she said.

“Don’t make it rough on yourself,” the female guard spat.

Skaedi looked at her. “Let go of me.” Rage blossomed inside her like a flower opening its petals to the morning sun.

Gurin barked a laugh. “Or what, weakling pink-skin?”

The words to call on the demonic shape she used for combat were on her tongue. Movement in her peripheral vision – another orc, only a few yards from Gurin, in dark robes. Unlike everyone else in the Drag he was looking at her. Very closely.

A warlock, Skaedi realized. They knew she was one as well, and he was the counter to any magic she lashed out with. Including the demonshape. Possibly they were anticipating that. Yes, she did control me, but only for a couple seconds. Skaedi licked her lips. She wasn’t willing to take the same chance at being bound as Darethy had. The demonshape wouldn’t help her.

But there was something else she could do.

Skaedi took a breath, flung up her arms and the world changed.

Scents and sounds sharpened. The floor of the Drag dropped away as her body grew taller. Her tail smacked the wall in anger. The shouts of the guards rang like squirrels’ chatter, calling for assistance, for nets, for guns. She batted her wings, sand-colored leathery skin churning up a small dust storm. Screaming filled the air. The female guard pointed something at her. Skaedi swatted her away with a claw.

The warlock pointed at her, chanting. Skaedi hunkered down and roared, smacking him with a wing.

Then she leaped up, flapping to gain momentum as she rose. She angled her body to maneuver between the Drag’s skin awnings and shot into the azure sky. She skimmed past the Undercity/Grom’gol zeppelin tower and headed south into Durotar and beyond.


It's been mentioned a lot, so I thought I'd give potential new people a look-see at what we post there.

((Great idea!))


It's been mentioned a lot, so I thought I'd give potential new people a look-see at what we post there.

((Great idea!))

((Thanks! I'm hoping other folks will post teasers, too. ))
(( As you wish ))

Re: Neither Down nor Feather
« Reply #4 on Jun 12, 2011, 2:42pm »

Farion sat on a bench outside the inn at Brill. Although he had taken a second room to function as a workshop, he preferred the outside daylight to work on seams and other delicate needlework. So it was here that the messenger from the Bulwark found him.

The familiar Forsaken had ridden up on a skeletal horse. Not bothering to dismount, she handed an envelope to Farion. "For you," she said, curtly. "Get there when you can." Farion knew that Danelle was usually abrupt and just a little surly. Nothing in her posture or bearing suggested the matter was urgent. It had been roughly a week since Farion's meeting with his father, so it would be unusual for him to call again so soon. Farion broke the seal and read the careful script. Surprisingly, though, the note was indeed from his father, wanting another meeting at Light's Hope.

Farion nodded to Danelle, "I'll go arrange transport immediately." The Forsaken tossed a bag filled with other envelopes to him. Farion peeked inside. "Mail call?" Danelle grunted an affirmation. Farion was saving her a trip. Farion crooked a half-smile at her. "They'll be out there in a couple of hours," he said. Danelle grunted again, waving a dismissive hand at him as she turned her horse back toward the Bulwark.

The dark-haired elf chuckled, folding up his needlework. When he had first met Danelle, he had assumed, like most breathers, that she didn't like him. It was only after years of acquaintance and discussions with friendlier members of the Dawn that he had come to read her differently. On the contrary, she liked him as much as she ever liked anything. Had she not, the encounter would have gone much differently. Likely as not, she would have simply tossed the envelope at him and left. She wouldn't have spared grunts, let alone a spoken sentence, and she certainly wouldn't have entrusted Light's Hope mail call with him. Besides, it meant that he would be returning to the Bulwark to give her back the mail pouch. Farion chuckled again as he slung the mail bag over his shoulder and started the walk to the Undercity. Women.

(cont'd -- character limit be damned)
Sometime later, Farion dismounted from the gigantic bat that had flown him from the Undercity to Light's Hope. He dropped to the ground, landing lightly on his feet. Then, he surreptitiously adjusted himself. I know why they call these 'riding pants', he thought with a grimace. Farion realized that it actually might be time to make some new ones. While he was of an age to be fully adult among the Quel'Dorei, his body was still growing and changing as might be expected of a young Kal'Dorei. His Quel'Dorei mother had stamped her features most strongly upon her children such that Farion had drawn little notice in the many years he had edged around the great Sin'Dorei Houses. It would be troublesome if he grew much more, though. He was already tall for a Quel'Dorei, he would have to start crafting spells to hide himself if he started to approach his father's stature. He had already been considering the small transformations used by nearly every noble -- fixes to a nose a little too wide, or an unsatisfactory arch to the brows -- any myriad of purely cosmetic changes to satisfy a culture of insatiable vanity. That his education in the arcane rendered such magic accessible to him made the notion all the more appealing. He would use it to maintain the more refined look expected of a Quel'Dorei, even as the nature of his body began to demonstrate the more rugged features of his Kal'Dorei parent.

He had just started to thoughtfully scratch the coarse stubble along his jaw when he saw his father standing in their customary spot, leaning against the back of the inn. Farion broke into a smile. The smile faded however as he drew closer to his father. A large, ugly bruise purpled one of Xelas's eyes, as well as a series of scratches along the cheek that looked as if he'd narrowly dodge something spiked or an animal's claw.

"What happened?" Farion breathed in hushed shock, as he moved to embrace his father.

Xelas hugged him close a moment before drawing him around the back of the inn. He seated himself beside the small firepit that the inn maintained, and gestured for Farion to do the same.

"Do you remember the dream you mentioned the last time you saw me?" asked Xelas.

Farion nodded, "Aye."

"Tell me about it."

Farion recounted the vision, which still remained clear in his mind's eye. Xelas listened without interruption, rubbing his thumb along his jaw, absently. When Farion finished, he continued staring into the fire for several seconds before speaking.

"You say I rode in on a gryphon? Matilda, yes?"

Farion answered without hesitation, "Yes. And the orc cut you from your harness."

Xelas pursed his lips. "I rode Leonard yesterday, into precisely the battle you described. However," he held up a finger to forestall Farion's interjection, "I almost flew Matilda." The Kal'Dorei hunter studied his son's face carefully. "Is this possible, boy? Have you started seeing things that may yet be?"

Farion's mouth worked silently for a moment before he shook his head, "I don't know." He shrugged, helplessly. "None of my teachers speak of such things, even in theory. I don't know if that's because they think it's ludicrous or dangerous."

"Have you had any other such dreams since?"

"Well...no," replied Farion. "Then again, I haven't been fishing since."

"If you could harness such a gift, it would be... amazing," said Xelas, with growing excitement.

Farion waved his hands in denial as he shook his head, "But, I don't know that I have any gift. One dream is just... coincidental."

Xelas bowed his head, acknowledging his son's point. "Speak to your teachers. Visit libraries. See what you can discover. Let me know if anything further develops. But as always..."

"Stay on the fringe. Stay safe," finished Farion. With a mischievous twinkle, he gestured to Xelas's battered face, "You're one to talk, old man. Try to take your own advice, hey?"

Xelas's eyebrows rose in surprise. Then his expression warmed as he drew his son into a hug. "Be careful, boy. I'll see you soon." He turned and began walking toward the flight master and stables. The tall Kal'dorei paused, glancing back over his shoulder, "Oh and see to this," he said, brushing the backs of his knuckles along his own jawline before wagging a finger at the young mage. "You're starting to look scruffy." He winked at Farion before resuming his easy gait toward the stables.

Farion watched as the stable-hands brought Leonard out and assisted his father into the riding harnesses. He was still plucking thoughtfully at his chin long after the silvery hippogriff had launched itself and his father into the sky, speeding away south, towards Stormwind.

He sighed as moved toward the flight masters, himself. He had a lot of research ahead of him. In the meantime, a decent barber might be in order.
(( This thread was a great idea. With that said, the site is up and working now! ))

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