The Rise of Strife (in character)

World’s End Tavern: Role-play and Fan Fiction
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Derek nodded absently in thanks to Veothore, already engrossed in the Orcish text. Some of the more simple phrases, like Throm-ka, well met, or Lok'tar, victory, Derek recalled with ease. The more complex ones, however, took him more time to recall. He left the Mage to his own business and trod up the stairs, carefully feeling each step while his gaze remained fixed on the book.

’The language is fairly primitive compared to Common,’ He thought as he read. ’Though I suppose that orcs are a savage and primitive people. They have no use for delicate words; most of them just cut straight to the point. I can see the value in that. But how could one possibly engage in politics?’ He snorted. ’The blood elves must have been abhorred by the simplicity of Orcish. Thalassian is said to be a very difficult language to learn.’

While he had been short on sleep as of late, Derek saw the necessity of learning and relearning as much Orcish as he could. Whenever he felt exhaustion creeping in, he would get up and make coffee, drinking it black. Still, there remained a few hours before sunrise when he finally gave in and allowed sleep to claim him.

He awoke drowsy and clumsy, burning his fingers several times as he made more coffee and slopping a fair deal down his front on the first sip. ’This won’t do at all,’ He thought, cursing. ’I need to be in total control of my faculties for this mission . And time for sleep will be minimal during the mission.’

Even in his fatigued state, Derek continued to practice Orcish, working on sentence structure and flow. He needed to sound like a commoner of Orgrimmar, and what orc didn’t know Orcish? It had crossed his mind once or twice to pose as a blood elf, but dismissed the idea almost immediately. What if another blood elf tried speaking with him in Thalassian? Time slowly trickled by, and Derek was ready to deem the whole store of coffee as defective. He hadn’t felt like this since those early days in Stormwind, living on the streets and resorting to pickpocketing and thievery to survive. Who could’ve guessed that getting caught by authorities could turn out so well for him?

Finally, after deeming his grasp of Orcish as passable, if potentially suspicious, Derek stood from his seat on the bed and began preparing a bag for the mission. Most of the items he could acquire in Kalimdor, but he made sure to pack a few changes of clothing. ’To think,’ He fretted. ’That in no time at all I’ll be an orc. I’m never wearing any of these underclothes again.’

“We must get going to the Stormwind Docks- right now.” Veothore’s voice drifted through the dormitory, catching Derek’s attention.

’Why wasn’t I notified that we were going to the docks before now?’ He thought, agitated. Grabbing his packed bag, Derek padded to the bedroom’s exit, seeing Connika in the common room and Veothore at the front door. Sparing only a cursory glance at the gnome, he spoke to Veothore.

“I’ll need to borrow your book for a little while longer, if you don’t mind.” he informed the mage. “Now, what’s all this about heading for the docks?”
"I believe I will be opening a portal at the docks that will lead us to Theramore," he replied, simultaneously collecting his thoughts. "Where is everyone else? We mustn't take too long."
On her way to the group's headquarters, Nadra came across Alaric, Elwynn, and Lynara. A rather large knapsack was tied to the draenei's waist, and a quiver with a bow and arrows had been swung over shoulder. Her warp stalker, however, seems to have not come along with her. Her eyes twinkled in the morning sun as she approached the others. "Khronakai khristor," she told them, with a nervous smile etched over her face. "Where are we going?"
Tohrm had slept outside, under the stars and above the gentle but murky waters of the Canal District. It had been a quiet night; there was little preparation the Draenei had to do before he left for Orgrimmar. He was already talented enough in Orcish, enough to get him by in casual conversation anyway. He kept all his belongings on him. And he did not have anyone to say goodbye to either, Jahrah needed a few more days, or a week at least, to be left to her own thoughts. This is why he slept on a small bridge near the Old Town, instead of his usual haunt of the Valley of Heroes.

It was also however, the cause of his pre-sunrise wake-up call. Suddenly, and quite rudely, at some dismal hour in the morning, a night watchman just finishing his shift stumbled across the meditative Draenei perched atop one of the canal bridges. “Oi!” he should have announced immediately. But, bleary and tired, the watchman wandered over to the delicately placed Draenei to confirm its existence. Only –after- a few moments of staring at its dark blue flesh, listening to the soft gentle breathing, and poking its tangible body, did the soldier suddenly, explosively exclaim, “Oi!”

Tohrm’s eyes flared open. If Jahrah rousing him the previous night had been a cool shower of water over his head, this watchman waking him felt like a slap with a wet fish. It took a miracle of balance not to tumble off of the bridge and into the water. The fact that it was dark, and the time of day was immediately inexplicable just added to the confusion of it all. Why had some random human awoken him at some hour of the night.

“Khron, akha limb tari farhk ah!” Tohrm shouted in pseudo-Draenic before turning with all hells fury upon the poor night watchman.

The brave soldier was unperturbed however, and merely suggested the Draenei move along. Not wanting to begin the argument of whether or not he was in fact a hobo, Tohrm elected to move it along and get an early start to the day. He decided to jog.

About an hour or three of clop-clop-clop-clop-clop-clop-clop later, and after having woken up many a family dog and/or baby, Tohrm found his way to the canal district under his superiors orders and saluted them. “Ready and waiting,” he announced, taking a dutiful position behind his commanding officer/s.
Veothore nodded at Tohrm, scribbling a note on a piece of parchment and placing it on the kitchen table. "I believe the three that are missing have probably come across Elwynn and the captain. But just in case, I'll write a letter stating where we have gone..."

He made note of those missing: Lynara, Nadra, and Perfection.

"Let's go," said the mage, swinging the door open for everyone. After their exit, he locked the door and pulled the sheep along behind him with its long leash. And so it was that they made their way to the docks, eventually finding Lynara, Nadra, and Perfection along the way. The harbor was busied with people. Across the stone staircases were guards, peons, and other workers. The sun had already begun to radiate brightly in the sky.

"I'm ready to open the portal," he told Alaric.
Alaric Morgan

Alaric looked at the warrior with some amusement as Elwynn quickly answered the question but Alaric felt it best to explain why. "I don't like thinking my enemy is stupid or insane. To assume such would be foolish because it would give the enemy the advantage of doing the unexpected, or if we expect that, to then do what would be rationale." Alaric paused to make sure he had Lynara's attention before continuing, "This little meeting as you want to call it is actually where we will be departing for Theramore via a portal set up by Veothore. The reason is an obvious one if you think about it. If we are able to infiltrate and spy upon Orgrimmar and the Horde, what is to stop them from doing the same?" Alaric put emphasis on the words us and them to hint at what he was trying to say.

Already the docks were filling with bustling bodies and people stopped paying attention to the three veteran soldiers quite readily. It made sense for them to be at the docks, they could be waiting for messages to arrive or a boat to take them out to other territories. But they didn't really care as they had a job to do. Alaric motioned for them to move off to the edge of the dock near stacks of boxes that would hide the majority of what they did from view of those above. "Essentially Lynara I am trying to keep us one step ahead of the Horde by being ahead of their spies." He finished hoping the explanation would alleviate any doubts she had.

As he finished he saw Veothore and the others trot up to their position and he nodded at the count and the mage's word. "Good let's get rolling, cloak us if you can." Alaric said as he pulled a small odd device out of a small bag at his belt and depressed a button, a hissing noise filling the air as he dropped the small item on the ground and suddenly smoke started to roll up into the air, further obscuring their movements. "Alright listen up, this portal will be very short lived. So you jump through at the first opportunity. I will follow behind Veothore and once we are through we move immediately. We have no time for pleasantries I have already notified Kalimdor Command of our mission and we are expected. Horses and supplies will be waiting as will disguises for our travel."

Alaric made the 'All Clear' gesture to Veothore and waited for the mage to make the portal.
"I'll be going in after you all," he told the captain. "I want to make sure there are no problems with the flux of the portal."

Veothore stepped forward, planting his feet firmly in the ground and extending his arms. He began to recite unintelligible words under his breath. After a few seconds, an expanding circle of light appeared before them.

"Let's go through now, shall we?" he said, stepping back from the illumination.
"Ok I guess that makes sense." She said. Her eye looking them both up and down. "Would it have been too difficult to have told us last night? I didn't sleep well. I never do at night. So I was outside. I saw you too leave on your own and just thought it looked... off. So I followed you." She said with a it of a sigh. Then the mage Veothore showed up.

"Ok to Theramore... but I'm not riding some horse. Animals are as stupid as they look." She muttered before letting out a sharp pitched whistle. Within a minute Feathertalon landed beside her. The hippogryph looked over the group assembled and then looked back to Lynara. "I don't know about this Lynara." She said in Darnassian.

"Quiet Feathertalon. All you have to do is pretend to like it." He squawked in response to her.

"That's a boy." She said patting him on the side of the head.

"I'm coming with you. The last time you were out on your own you lost your eye." He said as he gently rubbed his beak against her cheek. "Fine, but don't you dare get yourself killed." She said in response.
Connika hadn't responed to the obvious attempt at flattery from Veothore. If she let silly apologies go to her head, her head might get bigger than a mountain giant's. And that would make her overbalance and fall everywhere. Which naturally, would be no help at all. Plus it would make her loot really stupid with a head that big.

The meanie worgen man was with the small group as they headed to the docks. When she thought he wasn't looking, she made sure to make rude faces at him, for repayment of the super-lame height joke the other day. She was still clearly half-asleep and her hair was a mess, but if she was going to be pretending to be a...a goblin (she paused and visibly shuddered at the thought)...well their hair always stuck out at weird angles anyway. They'd probably not even notice.

They finally arrived at the docks, with gnome in tow despite their best efforts to walk faster than her smaller legs would allow. "Too bad for them we gnomes have endurance to match their stupid long legs" she muttered to herself. There was a bunch of people present she didn't really remember. Perhaps it might do some good to actually try talking to them in the future, in case she had to work with them again. But that would leave less time for experimenting...and she was so close to perfecting her frostfire ring spell too. It had only melted halfway through the ice last time...and hadn't even caused a small explosion! So close...

Her thoughts were thusly distracted as she hopped through the open portal without waiting for anyone else to go first. Just to be sure, she murmured a slowfall enchantment as she stepped through. It wouldn't be the first time someone tried to dunk her in the ocean.
Nadra, who had become suddenly alarmed at the captain's use of the smoke device, followed after the pink-haired gnome apprehensively. She timidly poked her hooves into the small portal when the gateway violently pulled her inside and dispersed her very being. It was almost as if her own molecules had become dislodged apart; and only when her hooves touched ground did she realize that her body had come together again after its strange trip through the abyss. "Is this Theramore?" she asked as she turned around slowly to inspect her surroundings.
Tohrm had studied the maps, and was very familiar with the plains of the Barrens and even somewhat familiar with the forests of Ashenvale through experience. Yet when he stepped through the illuminated portal and arrived in Kalimdor, he was still surprised at just how developed and fortified the city of Theramore was. It was a strong port city and a trade hub of course, but how could such a shining beacon of the Alliance stand so strong, so close to the home of the Orcs? It did not bode well in the shamans mind.

He stepped to the side to allow the others out of the portal, he was still unsure of their next step. He knew they were heading to Orgrimmar, to Azshara first, but whether by boat, air or land he did not know. If he had time, he would walk around and learn of the port city, he would become familiar with the water; he would taste the air and feel the earth. Time however, did not always allow for such experiences.

It was strange, being of an age that lesser races would consider immortal, in an unfamiliar land. It was possible to become so familiar with one’s home that the air whispered tales of the night to you as you rose, the earth greeted your every step and the water could envelop you like a dream. It was rare to come across a scene that was unfamiliar. And yet in Azeroth, he knew nothing. Even of the land he had spent years in, he knew nothing compared to what he knew of home. He wanted to learn, if this was to be his new home.

“Is this Theramore?” sung the essence of familiarity. He did not know Nadra, but the accent of his people was acute, and the sound of her voice reminded him of ages past.

“It is indeed Theramore,” Tohrm spoke, with a certainty that belied what he actually understood. He drew his jacket around his being and looked across at the female Draenei. She stood, graceful, powerful, and heroic. It was difficult for a Draenei to not embody virtue with their every action, at least in Tohrm’s opinion. Yet, this Draenei seemed a little more out of place than Tohrm was, more confused and worried of Azeroth. It was understandable.

“I would much like to return here after the mission, if only for a few hours.”
Elwynn looked to the side, where the few others of the group remained. Beyond the smoke caused by Alaric's shrouding device was sweet Stormwind, the fortress; the backbone of the Alliance people. It had survived a lot already, even an attack from the Aspect of Death. And now the brooding man could see in his mind's eye his own homeland: Duskwood. Bittersweet feelings arose at once. However hostile and troubling the place proved to be, it was Elwynn's home. He could not help but cherish it—along with Darkshire—as much as he despised to admit it to himself.

And now all that Elwynn Ebonlocke could think of was that he may not ever even see any of it again, what with invading the strongest Horde settlement there is. The mountains of Azeroth that glistened like gold under the radiant sun, the archaeological feats of the dwarves in the northernmost reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms, the brilliance of the underground aquarium nestled in the darkness of the Deeprun Tram . . .

. . . his family.

Elwynn tumbled forward into the threshold of the swirling portal and was pulled inside. After a rather nauseating experience, his stomach settled and under his boots lay a hard, stony material. He was standing on a bridge, feet away from the other organization members. Across the length of the bridge was a gate that enclosed Theramore itself. Unlike the weather he had felt only seconds earlier, the climate lingering in Dustwallow Marsh was humid and dreary. Beneath the bridge whispered a calm, grey water that crashed against the mounds of dirt and rock nearby.
Lynara took a deep breath before both She and Feathertalon walked through the portal to Theramore. She climbed onto Feathertalon's back before the hippogryph walked out of the way and laid down. "Lynara... I'm sorry about Reyara." He said quietly. Lynara laid her head down on Feathertalon and gently scratched his neck.

"I am to. I wish I could have seen her again. To tell her that I loved her, always loved her." Lynara said as she rubbed a tear off and recomposed herself.

"You never let yourself express your emotions. It's not weak to grieve for loss of family." He said quietly to her. He and his rider had a close bond to one another. Lynara had raised him since birth and always felt like one of her children, since that is how she treated him.

"I know... but I must remain focused on the task at hand." She said to him as she looked at the others to see if it was time to leave yet.
Veothore watched as they entered the portal one by one. The smoke that hid the group's actions was now dissipating.

"Go on, you three," said Veothore, scuffling behind the small hill of boxes and barrels. He motioned for Alaric, Derek and Perfection to go through his portal, that now swirled less avidly than it did seconds ago. "I can't keep this portal open for long if we don't want others to see it after our departure."
Derek followed along as they moved through Stormwind city, too tired to care that he hadn't known of their plans until just now. Why had he stayed awake for the entire night? Couldn't he have learned Orcish after sleeping? No, he wouldn't have been able to speak as much as was needed, for he had to look like a commoner, didn't he?

'Focus.' he commanded himself. The sun was getting high in the sky when they reached the harbour, but Derek barely noticed, reviewing all the Orcish he'd learned. There was a bit some jostling as he made his way through the crowd, but being worgen, he was one if the biggest there. Once they had reached a more secluded spot of the harbour, Veothore opened a portal for them.

Derek waited some time before entering, giving the harbour a thorough inspecting in case there were others watching.

"Go on you three," The Mage urged. "I can't keep this portal open for long if we don't want others to see it after our departure."

Despite his insistence, Derek stalled for another moment, bracing himself for the vertigo of portal-travel. Once he could think of no other excuse not to, the worgen made his way through the glowing oval, an odd sensation going through him. Did it get worse as you made portals further away?

Soon enough, Derek was through, looking around to see where they had come out.
"Ah" said the draenei with a shiver. "I do not like this place." She peered over the border of the bridge and watched the dull, cold water. Strange fish that looked like mud snappers lay stationary in the underwater dirt. Shifting her focus, Nadra crossed her arms and looked over to Theramore Keep. She did not understand what the group was to do. Would they make a brief visit there first and then depart to Orgrimmar? After a small grumble she admitted to herself that a meal before their furtive attack would be pleasant.
Alaric Morgan

Alaric stepped through the portal and shivered as the air around him changed and his body tried to reorganize itself. He quickly re-oriented himself and shook his head again, "Alright get mounts, check supplies and then we wait for the others. Once we are all here Lynara will guide us to the Ashenvale border and from there we will follow her directions to Azshara, let's move people." He said in a normal voice, there was no need to yell and alert the entirety of Theramore to their mission, command knew and that was that mattered.

Alaric himself checked his gear and then headed to the stables to get a horse for the short journey.
Tohrm felt the wind under his jacket; it was refreshing, although it was different than the cool breeze of Azuremyst, and much different to the breeze of other lands. It had more in it, more mystique, crossing across the Great Sea caused it to pick up much of the history of what was, before the first shattering. And the spirits of Kalimdor were more familiar to Tohrm than they were in Stormwind, except perhaps the water, which he had grown to love in the human land.

“We should be moving now,” Tohrm spoke, although his voice carried little authority when the captain of their group was present. “It will be a long journey, however there is much food in the wild; we can travel quicker without weighing ourselves down with rations if we hunt for our food or survive off of the natural gifts of the desert oases.” Tohrm offered, although he was not sure how bountiful the Barrens would be to a larger party, he figured it should not take them long if they could avoid the Horde and also refrain from going all the way around the Crossroads.

Tohrm frowned at the idea of riding a Horse, but he doubted any sort of handler would have an Elekk in Theramore, he would have to find the toughest, most enduring mount he could find if they were to look. Tohrm would ideally, however, prefer to remain outside of the hustle and bustle of the trade town, and enjoy the wind whipping over the bridge. But, those decisions were all up to the authority of the group.

As Alaric Morgan spoke the orders already running through Tohrm’s head, he set off to find a mount. Around fifteen minutes later, the large Draenei returned atop a dark brown steed, large and strong, it had cost him most of what he had on him, in regards to gold. It also came with the promise of returning the beautiful creature, which was also uncertain. Tohrm patted the muscular neck of the beast, “Harry,” he rolled around in his mouth, disliking the simplicity of human names, “I will call you Vahruul…”

Tohrm set his steed forward in front of the group, eager to take on any resistance their party found while wandering through the Swamp or through the Barrens.

((Eh, it'll do. :D ))
As the last of them stepped through the swirling circle, the mage followed, sheep in hand. He closed the former end of the portal after his body had dispersed through what felt like a vast space of nothingness, and then suddenly felt a bed of rock beneath him: the bridge. Elwynn, Alaric, and Tohrm all sat on mighty steeds. Lynara spoke in hushed tones to her hippogryph.

"Good, we're all here." The mage had begun to conjure croissants and other sorts of food that looked appealing. He offered the rations to all the team members. Elwynn took a bite of a scrumptious-looking fish kabob, only to find out seconds later that the kabob did not exactly taste as promising as it appeared.

"Do you have any recipe books in those knapsacks of yours?" shot Elwynn as he spat his food out.

Veothore smiled, looking half-amused and half-insulted. "Maybe Mrs. Sparkwrench knows a better way to make it. The point of the food is to keep us alive, not delighted," he replied. "Alaric, I can disguise us when we get to the Barrens."
"Feathertalon I hope you enjoy running since you are going to need to wait up for horses." She said with a grin. He looked at the rather unintelligent beasts. "Perfect, they brought snacks." He said with a squawk.

She took some food from the mage and put it in her bag. "Ok I am going to lead us through a pass in the overgrowth leading to Honor's stand. The humans of Northwatch took it shortly before the Cataclysm. Then through a pass in Stonetalon will take us right to Stardust. There we can take the Sentinel trail and bypass the horde's lines." She said loud enough for the group to hear. "Make sure we are not disguised as horde when we get to Honor's stand of Stardust Spire. They will shoot us on sight otherwise.

When they were ready she urged Feathertalon and he took off at a slow pace at first, to allow the horses to keep pace, before getting up to a fast gallop. She was taking the main highway set up by the alliance, it was better than running through the swamps.

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