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Oh hello Blog!

So was talking about Molty Core and how much I hate it today on twitter and I got the idea of doing a Green Eggs and Ham style of protest.

With help from @liesandperfidy and @fyriat:

I do not like a molten core.

I do not like it, it’s a bore.

 

I would not run it on a mage.

I would not run it on a class with rage.

I would not run it as a cat

I would not run it with a bat.

 

I would not run it for gold.

I would not run it with a cold.

I would not run it for a hat.

I would not run it to make things go splat.

 

I would not run it for that Golemag trick to see Ragnaoros

I would not run it for the horrid run back as a ghost.

I would not run it to decurse

I would not run it to rehearse.

Bah!

I will not raid the Moldy Core!

I hates it so, it is a bore!

The raid it puts me straight to sleep!

Now stop asking,

Hah! You’re a sheep!

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((Written with Keltyr’s assistance.

You can read Part one here and here. The first half of part two can be seen here))

Part Two:

Their group finally had a strongly defended route to the sewers and Dorri and Kel formed one of the three teams searching. There was time for one last sweep before they were forced to retreat. The houses they walked past had been ransacked either by their fleeing owners or the rabid Silver Covenant soldiers and their allies.

“This area looks clear.” Dorri’tow commented as they looked through the windows of another building. Keltyr grunted with acknowledgement.

Both of them froze as laughter echoed off the stones. At the far end of the lane, a group of four Silver Covenant came out of a house. Dorri ran towards them as Keltyr’s light empowered shield flew past her. All four quel’dorei were stunned as the shield bounced among them, ricocheted off the wall and then back towards Keltyr.

Dorri gutted the first quel’dorei before he was able to recover, but the others were ready when she turned towards them. One of them, wielding two swords, moved to engage her, while his fellows tried to retreat into the house.

Dorri’s opponent dodged her initial strike, pushed her back and then tried to move to block Keltyr from following his retreating companions. Keltyr forced the man’s swords down with his shield and then sliced his sword across the quel’dorei’s vulnerable throat. While the soldier gasped for breath, Dorri viciously cleaved through his back. She pulled the tunic off the body to wipe the blood from her face.

“Help!” Dorri looked up as one of the men Keltyr had chased into the house, suddenly ran out screaming. She formed the light into a stunning hammer and walked over to the escapee. Dorri took a moment to look into the house and caught sight of a small body, either a woman or a child.

“You don’t deserve help.” She hissed and drove her sword through the man. She dismissed the spell that held him and stalked towards the open doorway, wiping her blade clean with the silver and blue tabard of her last victim. She tossed the tabard as she crossed the threshold and bent over the small body, a young boy dressed in simple robes. He was sprawled face down, and axe deep in his back and a tiny stuffed tiger clutched in one hand. Dorri snarled and slammed her fist into a nearby wall. The bastards that had done this had died far too quickly.

She could hear Keltyr upstairs, saying something angrily in Thalassin. Heavy thumping down the stairs that led to the narrow house’s second story drew her into the hallway. She arrived in time to find another quel’dorei, a woman this time, trying to crawl towards a back room. There was a silk scarf with jewelry scattered around it. Dorri killed the battered thief without a second thought and ran up the stairs.

A sin’dorei man lay across the second floor landing. His sightless eyes stared at the ceiling. This was not the first family they had found dead in their home today, but it was one too many. She did not bother to check if the door in front of her was locked, Dorri kicked it open, slamming it against the wall.

A sin’dorei woman’s body was flung across the bed; her blood had stained the coverlet red. Keltyr’s phoenix shield lay where it had fallen after it had tore through a Silver Covenant soldier’s throat. Keltyr had looked up when she burst into the room, but had quickly turned his attention back to the man he had pinned to the floor beneath his knee.

“The others?” Keltyr asked as he bent down and wrapped the quel’dorei’s long white ponytail in his hands.

“Dead.” Dorri confirmed, hanging back in the doorway so she could hear if anyone approached.

Keltyr tugged his prisoner’s head up, and spoke into his ear. “You want to be like the humans?” His voice was harsh, as he slammed his sword back into it’s sheath. Ragged cries of pain were the only responses the blood knight got as Keltyr tightened his grip. Keltyr pulled his knife and sliced the top of one ear off. “If you want to be like them, you should look like them!” Keltyr slammed the quel’dorei’s head against the floor and then cut the tip off the other ear.

Dorri grinned as Keltyr slammed the man’s head against the floor a few more times. Then he retrieved his shield and cut the ears of the man killed with it. Keltyr pushed past her, heading for the stairs.

“What about him?” She asked Keltyr, following.

“Leave him with his shame.”

Once they were on the first floor, Keltyr removed the ears of the thief and walked out the way they had come in. Grabbed the silk scarf of the ground, shaking it free of the stolen trinkets. He wrapped the ears he had collected in it and tucked it into his belt. He never looked at the dead boy, but Dorri saw his hand tighten on the hilt of his sword as he walked swiftly past it. Out on the street, he took the ears of both men she had killed and then turned to walk further down the street.

The makeshift silken pouch was a bloody mess when they reached the edge of the sector of the city they had claimed. Keltyr let another body fall to the cobblestones and continued to walk away from where they should be going. Dorri waved the two sin’dorei children they had just rescued from confinement down the street, pointing to where the distant figure of a rogue waved.

“Kel, we’re moving outside of our corridor.”

He moved onto the next house, wrenching the door open and then slamming it shut when it was empty and quiet. “There are more houses to check.” Dorri nodded grimly and searched the eerily quiet street with him. They had begun to circle around and head towards one of the main streets of the city when they heard the sounds of fighting nearby.

Keltyr ran towards the front door, while Dorri ran through the alley to the back. Dorri hoped that the sobbing she heard from inside did not stop before they found the children making the noise.

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((Written by Bricu with help from Threnn.

You can see both halves of Part One, Here and Here ))

Part II

Within the blink of an eye, Bricu and Threnn were standing shoulder to shoulder with others from the Alliance. There were a few familiar faces–including one green haired Kaldorei who wore the same Colors as the paladins, but tried to disappear in the crowd–but before either could say anything, Varessa Windrunner addressed the crowd with the a carefully crafted, and lovingly delivered, speech.

“The Sunreaver’s Sanctuary is still crawling with those Horde-loving Sunreavers. Jaina will have sent the reasonable ones to the Violet Hold. The rest refuse to leave, raising their weapons against us. Show them the cost of their defiance. They now face the judgment of the Alliance, the Silver Covenant, and the Kirin Tor!”

Her zeal was unmistakable and infectious. The crowd swelled and pushed forward into Dalaran’s streets. Several of the soldiers hollered and chanted, some banged their swords on their shields. Others marched with precision.

Bricu turned to Threnn. She shook her head while he held up one finger. Then, turning towards Varessa, he raised his voice above the din and asked a question–

“And?”

Varessa turned her gaze towards the two paladins who did not seemed to be swept up in her rallying cry.

“Go find those lying rats and exterminate them!”

“The lyin’ rats in their homes? In their sanctuary?”

“That is what I have said, Northman, now get to…” Varessa said.

“Got any torches then?” He asked.

“For?” Varessa asked haltingly.

“Well, last time I went ‘round kickin’ in folks doors an’ draggin’ folks inta the street, the Bloody Prince gave us the order ta put them ta the torch as well, ta cut down on the plague. So, I’m just checkin’ on how closely yer modelin’ this particular order. Are yeh just inspired by ‘im, or are yeh goin’ full bore Bloody Princess an become Necromancer-enhanced-wonky?”

Varessa Windrunner glared at the paladins, studying their faces and clearly noting their colors. “I do not care for your tone or your words, Northman.”

“We don’t care for your orders, Lady Windrunner.” Threnn said.

“Then leave, but know the Kirin Tor will remember that you did not aid us when we called.”

“That’s clever, given yer track record. The first time yeh fuckers called on us, it was ta torture folk in the North. This time it’s attackin’ civvies. So let us end this ‘aid’ with words from the North: get fucked.”

Bricu fired off his traditional salute to authority, while Threnn kept her one hand on her blade, the other on her husband. The walked out of the Violet Citadel, heads held high.

“I don’t think this will win you Jania’s affections….by the light.” Threnn said, her voice catching.

“It’s bloody worse than I thought.” Bricu whispered.

Men and women from across the Alliance strode through Dalaran, dispatching Sin’dorei with careless, nearly bloodthirsty ease. The few respectful ones made motions to arrest and detain the fleeing elves. Most did not even bother with the pretense. They sacked stores and homes with abandon if not out-right glee. Familiar faces–some very well know to both Bricu and Threnn–were slinging spells and slitting the throats of Sin’dorei men and women. Some who put up a fight, others who were running away, and a few who begged for their lives.

The brave soldiers of the Alliance put them all to the sword.

Bricu took out his hearthstone from his pack and looked to Threnn.

“This isn’t our fight.”

“Not this time.” Threnn said.

“Fightin’ our own folk isn’t right.”

“This isn’t either.”

Threnn drew her sword and Bricu put the hearthstone away. He took the axe from the sling on his back and rested it on his shoulder.

“Yeh know love, no good deed goes unpunished.”

“When has the threat of punishment ever stopped one of us?” Threnn said, as she headed towards a cluster of Sin’dorei homes. A cluster that two men–a dwarf and a human–in Alliance colors had already begun to attack. They could both hear the elves scream as the dwarf kicked in the door.

Bricu and Threnn rushed to the front door. The dwarf who kicked the door in stood over a family of five–two young elven boys, one young girl and their parents. The mother, dressed in the robes of a magistrix, was passed out bleeding from a vicious cut just above her eye, while the father was trying to shield the children. The Dwarf menaced them them with two wicked looking hand axes. The human was pilfering through the families’ magical trinkets,lecturing them about duty and honor.

“You bring this on yourselves, you know.” He said, slipping a gold and emerald bauble into his pocket. “If you had just stuck with the Alliance and didn’t betray us time and time…”

“OI!”

The pedantic soldier turned, raising his sword, towards the charging northman. Bricu slammed the head of his axe into the man’s chest, sending him sprawling.

“Run the fuck out o’here!” Bricu yelled in Thalassian.

The Sin’dorei urged his children to run, and pulled his wife towards the back room.

The dwarf also shifted towards Bricu, bringing his hand axes to bear, but his attack was interrupted mid swing by Threnn’s parry. Mindful of the smaller space, Threnn ran her the blade of her bastard sword up the hand axes, locking the wicked barbs on the axes to her sword. The axes and the sword creaked with the strain, but the steel held together. When she was standing chest to chest with the dwarf, she grabbed the blade with her left hand, and pulled it into the dwarf’s cheek. Free of the axes, she brought the pommel of her sword with a crack onto the dwarf’s head. He collapsed into a heap on the floor.

As his companion fell to the ground, the human pulled himself to his feet and ran–whether it was to find the family or find another way out, neither Bricu nor Threnn could tell.

“Go.” Threnn said, “I’ll keep watch.” She set herself a the door, watching for more of her countrymen.

Bricu ran further into the house, looking for the one that almost got away.

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((Written with Bricu, Threnn and Keltyr. Bricu and Threnn written by Bricu with help from Threnn. Dorri and Kel parts written by me with help from Kel))

((Part one: Bricu and Threnn found here))

There was a slowly growing throng ahead of them in the large sewer tunnel and it continued to grow as more people came through portals. Dorri kept as close to Keltyr as she could, uneasy in the press of strangers. They were mostly sindorei, but there was a scattering of the other horde races mixed in. Her sense of unease continued to grow. What were they doing here in the Dalaran sewers? What was so important?

Magister Rommath, head of the blood mages and the Magistrate, appeared at the center of the group, floating a few feet off the ground so he could be seen by everyone. Keltyr tensed at her side. More trouble, it had to be. The past few weeks had been little more than one bit of trouble after another. But Rommath in the Dalaran sewers surrounded by members of the horde could only mean things were going from bad to worse.

“Right, gather up you lot.” A mage appeared at her side, trying to get the milling group away from where the portals were . “Magister Rommath will update you.” The mage’s voice was bored and officious. Dorri moved to change the tone, but Keltyr stopped her.

“Let’s hear what this is about first. If it’s stupid, you can teach that one a lesson.” Reluctantly, Dorri nodded and then followed Keltyr in the circle that surrounded the magister. As Rommath cleared his throat, it was obvious that the speech the magister was giving had been repeated more than once before.

The muttering died down quickly and Rommath continued. Proudmoore had removed all protections from Aethas Sunreaver and any that claimed allegiance to him. The crowd groaned. They knew what was coming.. Escort duties often paid well, but they were also tedious and often involved heavy lifting. But Rommath continued talking. Any Sunreaver, any horde sympathizer in Dalaran would not be allowed to leave the city. They were to be detained in the Violet Hold.

The sindorei in the crowd cried out, but they were hushed as Rommath continued talking. Aethas Sunreaver had already been taken. Then the worse came, Vareesa Windrunner, the leader of the Silver Covenant, was taking charge of subduing those that resisted. Everyone who had been in Dalaran during the Northrend campaign knew what that meant. If she could find a way, Vareese Windrunner would see any friend of the horde dead. She hated them. She hated her former kin most of all.

They were there to get out as many of the Sunreavers as they could. Dorri had her suspicions as she watched a few people drawn out of the assembly by members of the Magistrate. Hand picked by Rommath, no doubt, for whatever the real goal here was. She and Keltyr would never be on that list.

Finally, the Magister drew the briefing to close. “And try to stay clear of the Silver Covenant. We don’t want to cause a scene if we can avoid it. Not yet, anyhow”

Magister Rommath walked away, leaving the throng to organize themselves. Dorri’tow looked towards Keltyr, but he had already begun walking towards a tight knot of sindorei, fellow soldiers. They had met in Kun Lai, rescuing members of the Reliquary from torture and death at the hands of the Mogu. The group made room for Keltyr and then Dorri to join them.

“First the humans, then the orc warchief and now our own former brothers…”

“None of those prissy bastards are my brother.” Keltyr snarled. Most of the group nodded in agreement.

“What are we going to do?”

“Some of my Uncle Jaeren’s family are still in the city, western quarter, near the sanctum. I’m going to make sure they get to Silvermoon.” Quickly, Keltyr sketched out a plan that involved the entire cadre, issued orders and they were on the move.

Before they emerged into the underbelly of the city, they paused. The tunnel they had selected should take them close to one of the exits to the city above. The group paused as they heard screams. A woman ran towards them, dressed in sunreaver colors. They parted to let her escape past them and then formed a wall to protect the woman’s retreat. Three queldorei dressed in covenant silver and blue pulled up short at the sight of them. Behind them at the entrance to the sewer tunnel, Dorri could see at least one body dressed in red.

“Take the whore and leave while you can, sindorei scum.” One of the three began to slowly back away. “The entire city will be locked down soon enough.” The retreating warrior pulled a device from his belt.

“We were told to avoid the Silver Covenant.” One of the leather clad assassins spoke softly. “We can go around.”

Dorri had already charged ahead with a snarl.

“We kill anyone who gets in our way.” Keltyr shouted as he followed after her. “Selama ashal’anore!” They took their justice from the corpses of their enemies.

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((Working on a storyline involving the Purge of Dalaran with Bricu, Threnn and Keltyr. Bricu and Threnn parts written by Bricu with help from Threnn. Dorri and Kel parts written by me with help from Keltyr.))

Part One: Bricu and Threnn

As Bricu and Threnn flew past the watch towers, they could see that Lion’s Landing was mobilizing. This high up, the camp resembled a kicked ant hill: little things working at a frenzied pace. The close they got to the landing, the more detail they could see. Soldiers, priests, mages and all of the support an army needed was gathering near the docks, gryphons and portals. It was as orderly as such a chaotic thing could be.

When they landed their mounts, before they could even speak to each other about what they had witnessed, a short, whip thin human approached them. She was not in any uniform either of them recognized, but she carried herself in the fashion that self-important people typically walked. Given the knives on her belt and the dark leathers she wore, her position was fairly easy for both of them to identify. The woman addressed Threnn first:

“Threnn Bittertongue, as a medic you and your husband are to report immediately to the Violet Citadel for further instructions.”

Threnn looked the woman up and down before answering carefully.

“No. Not until you give us due cause to follow some orders.”

The woman bowed slight, “Knight Commander Aileen Torquay, now of …”

“The Service.” Bricu interrupted.

“Bittertongue, you are also to report to the Citadel. Lady Proudmoore and Lady Windrunner have an operation that needs to be addressed by individuals with your talents.”

“Standard rate o’pay?” Bricu asked.

If Torquay showed any irritation at the interruptions or the discussion of payment, she did not show it. “For today, the standard rates negotiated with your former handler will be kept; however, after the mission today, we will have to have a discussion. The market for paramilitaries has changed. Now, hurry, or I’ll activate the clauses that reduce your pay.”

“Such a motivator!” Bricu said. He shouldered his axe and headed for the portal. Threnn snapped off a sharp salute before following. Half way up the path, she stopped and turned to face Aileen Torquay.

“This mission you’re sending us on. To Dalaran. You’re taking the fight to the streets?”

Torquay simply smiled, “It’s not much of a fight. But we are bringing a weapon to bear. Now, Threnn, you need to catch up to your husband. I’m sure you’ll both enjoy this particular job.”

Aileen Torquay turned her attention to another round of adventurers landing. Threnn watched her order more people towards the portal, before meeting Bricu.

“Everythin’ alright?” He asked.

“We’ll see love. Ready to listen to your old flame give out orders?”

“Yer ne’er gonna live that down, are yeh?” Bricu asked.

“Not while its funny, love.” She held out her arm. Bricu held onto her arm as they crossed the arcane threshold and walked into the sanctum of the Kirin Tor.

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((Nothing much, just a bit of political spin by my noble Sin’dorei shadow mage))

I am tired of listening to excuses of why the actions of the Kirin Tor against those they once called their own are justified.

I am tired of hearing how it was not a strike against blood elves, but against a faction. A faction made solely of Sin’dorei. A faction they had no choice to support if they wished to stay with their homes and livelihoods in Dalaran.

Now we have been told to present our evidence to a human so that our family and friends can gain clemency! What fools do they take us for? We have twice trusted in the safety of Dalaran and twice have we been betrayed.

There is always an excuse from those who shout for the Alliance, but those same people demand blood from the entire Horde for the actions of one person.

I find it hard to believe that this purge of Dalaran was not planned. Now the Alliance has a massive movable arcane fortress at their command. And a host of mages willing to do their bidding.

How much longer before their Silver Covenant brethren turn on those who guard the Sunwell?

I have always been reluctant to support an all out war, but what choice do we have? We must do all we can to protect ourselves. The Alliance has shown that they want to destroy us, to replace all of the Sin’dorei with their bloodthirsty allies, those of our own blood that have shunned and abandoned us in their pride.

SELAMA ASHAL’ANORE and GLORY TO THE HORDE!

(Speech give by Lady Then’liath Firebloom to the Magistrate after the purge of Dalaran)

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WoW: Road Trip (pt5)

((Written with Keltyr, Davien, Verne, Gharr and Lars. Thanks guys!))

Keltyr latched the door to the small cabin behind him. Curious, Dorri raised her head from the hammock, placing her book down. Behind her, she heard Lars climb back through the window, where she had been heaving out her guts, again, over the figurehead.

“Right, got Doc put to bed for the night.” Keltyr slumped in a chair and opened the nearest bottle of wine. “Going to come down to a fight soon.”

“We could drug him.” Lars offered from her window perch.

“I’m not carrying him, and I don’t want you going near him. Last thing we need is for him to be covered in your dinner.”

“We’ll dock at Ratchet in a couple of hours.” Dorri hopped down to the cabin floor, took over Keltyr’s lap and stole his wine. “We’re agreed that Dawnsinger is playing us?”

“I can still sneak into the city and put a dagger in her back.” Dorri glared at Lars and the rogue glared right back. If there was going to be bloody revenge, Dorri wanted to be there. She got no satisfaction from listening to bloodletting.

“No, not yet at least, there’s something wrong here, I’d rather get answers out of her first.”

“I can get those answers.”

Keltyr’s grip on the wine bottle was the only reason it did not get thrown at Lars. “If we wanted to talk to her that way, we’d do it ourselves.” Reluctantly, Dorri added, “and we need proof. If she talks to us, we’ve got nothing.”

“So we need to find out if she’s been working with anyone else and talk to them.”

“Or,” Keltyr interjected, “we need to get someone else, someone neutral to talk to her.”

Lars folded her arms and snorted, “Well fine, if you want go the reasonable route.”

“Since I would prefer to keep my head, MINE! Yes, we’re going to be reasonable about it.” Dorri snarled back. “We only agreed to do this because Ambassador Dawnsinger was going to stop fighting our transfer back to Silvermoon.”

Keltyr pulled the bottle out of her hand and downed the rest of the wine. His fel green eyes glared at the cabin wall. “Call Gharr.” He said, finally. “The orc feels he owes us. Let’s use that to our advantage.” He grabbed another bottle, pulled the cork out with his teeth and spat it at Lars.

“I’m making the call.” Dorri did not bother to hide her irritation. Kel was not going to ask her to do it, but she knew from the way he was drinking that he had no intention of doing it himself and the Light only knew what Lars would say. That left her.

“Lars, be outta here when I come back.” The rogue grunted. “Let go.” Keltyr gripped her arm tighter. He slammed the bottle of wine on a nearby table, wrapped that hand in her hair and pulled her lips to his.

“I’m not staying here to watch this!” The rogue went back up the window and climbed up to the deck out of sight.

Dorri licked her lips, tasting the leftover wine from Kel’s. “Stay.” When she nodded, he let her resettle comfortably on his lap. She pulled out her stone and dialed the number for the leader of Noxilite.

At the late hour, she had expected to leave a message. Instead there was an instant connection. A baby’s thin cry sounded in the background as Gharr acknowledged the call. “Gharr, Keltyr and I need a favor.”

“A favor? What kind of favor?”

Keltyr went back to drinking, once it was certain that he was getting what he wanted. Dorri would make him pay in the morning when she woke him up at dawn. “We went to Stormwind to get something for Ambassador Dawnsinger. Those orders I talked to you about. But it’s not what she told us it was. And its not something we want to march into Orgrimmar with, not until we’re sure why we got sent to get it.”

“So you want me to go meet with this Ambassador and confirm you got the right thing? What did she send you into Stormwind to get?” Gharr asked, “Please tell me it isn’t something that will make things worse.”

“Nope, we definitely got what she asked us to get. It was right where she said it would be. What we really want to know is why she lied to us. She said it would be important to the war effort in..” Keltyr pulled her hair before she gave the whole thing away. “But it’s not, not really. Do you think you could talk to her for us?”

“Is she in Orgrimmar or will I have to travel all the way to Silvermoon?”

“What? No, she’s the Ambassador to the Warchief.” How could he not know this? And why the hell would they be calling HIM if she was in Silvermoon.

“As you didn’t answer my other question, I figured I’d make sure. I’ll make my way to Orgrimmar as quickly as I can and chat with her.”

Dorri heard the connection end. “How was I supposed to answer that? He didn’t say what was worse.” Keltyr shrugged.

“Oh, I am certain that their mission wouldn’t interfere with your very admirable desire for peace.” The Sin’dorei ambassador to the Warchief smiled as she refilled Gharr’s cup of tea. “Anymore than any incursion into Stormwind would affect that. “

“They are concerned that they, or possibly you, may have been misled around the importance of the ‘object’ they acquired. It doesn’t seem to be all that important to the ‘war effort.’ Though they didn’t state what war. As usual they were fairly tight lipped on information which could probably have made this discussion fairly short and straightforward. ”

“I really don’t think that the information that I could get from the item in question is in doubt. I have it on very good authority that this thing could help wrap up the Gilnean conflict much quicker than anticipated. I thought it would be an excellent way for those two, and I hope you will forgive me for being quite so blunt about this, iron clad idiots to redeem themselves. I really do not know what Lady Liadrin sees in them.”

“Do they know how you came by this information? Maybe armed with that, their fears will be alleviated and they will be able to complete this mission with a clear conscience.”

“Well I hardly think it’s important for common soldiers to know that sort of thing. They might get ideas about making their own orders.” Dawnsinger smiled winningly at Gharr and then sighed when it was obvious that the orc, gentile as he was, was having none of it. It was dishearteningly difficult to charm orcs.

“Having served on the front lines next to Keltyr and Dorri’tow, they are not ‘common soldiers.’ As I am keenly interested in peace in my time, I think ending the Gilnean conflict as quickly as possible will be in all of our best interests. They don’t spook easy, and something about this object has done that, the best way in my experience to get past that is to reveal the source. Otherwise, the mission may not turn out as expected. While they didn’t need this information before they set out, something has changed and if we know where it came from, we can get rid of those questions, and complete the mission.”

She sighed again. “Very well, if it will get this stupid little thing completed. I have the translated documents in my desk.” The Ambassador rose to her feet and crossed the room. She pulled a bundle of documents out and placed them on the table. “It’s hardly mysterious. I sent them to Gilneas to look for these things and whatever else they might find.” She untied the bundle and laid out them out.

The ambassador paused. “Well that’s odd. There was a small leatherbound journal. I was certain that I got that back from Lady Firebloom as well. She and I have been working on this matter for months now.”

“Then’liath Firebloom?”

“Well of course you would know Lady Firebloom. She’s been generous.” The Ambassador continued to look for the journal in the pile, thought it was obvious that it was not there. “Very generous, despite the fact that I treated her so rudely in times past.”

“Maybe that’ll help clear things up for them. Documents that were poured over for months translated by her for you. I know they and she don’t see eye to eye all the time, but for things like this, where they are working towards the same goal, maybe they can get past that.”

“Let’s hope so. I just wish I could find that journal. If you think these will help, please take them. The sooner we get this little matter resolved, the best it will be for all of us.”

“Be well Ambassador,” Gharr said as he finished up his tea, collected the documents and headed out.

Once outside Gharr dialed Dorri’tow by goblin stone, “Dorri’tow are you there I think I’ve got some information that will be of use, but instead of reading documentation to you, why don’t I bring it to you instead?”

“Hmm?” Dorri’s voice was muffled and she sounded tired. “Sure. We’ll meet you at Ratchet’s inn in a few hours. Need time to get people up and moving.”

Even in mid afternoon, Ratchet’s sole tavern was fairly empty. The whole town was empty and all the goblins were muttering about war. It sounded like the Warchief had gone ahead with his plans against Northwatch. The Steamwheedle Cartel was none too happy, but they were happy to have customers.

Dorri’tow and Keltyr had large mugs of ale, mostly finished. Doc stared forlornly at the punch glass before him. After arguing with the bartender twice, he had been told to shut his mouth or he was going to wear it. Dorri only hoped that somehow both Kel and the worgen would be distracted enough not to follow up on their plan to make their own fruity drinks that were just right. She had the suspicion that while Doc might be thinking of something with liquor, Kel was thinking of some kind of fruit bomb.

Dorri waved as Gharr walked in and then waved again as his eyes adjusted to the change in light. “Right, Doc, this is the orc we were telling you about. He’ll help us work this out.”

Eyeing the human as he approached the table Gharr asked, “Is this the ‘thing’ you were sent to acquire?”

Dorri gave a shrug and then nodded. “This is Doc. If you talk to him for a bit, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion Kel and I did. So did you find out why we got set up?”

Gharr sighed, “Hopefully we can get this all worked out. I’ve got a collection of documents that were translated by Then’liath which I guess indicate that Doc here is some key component in the conflict going on for Gilneas.” He handed the documents to Dorri’tow as the human before him looked up.

At the third mention of his name, Verne noticed the orc sitting before him for the first time, “Oh, hi .. I’m Dr. Jarrell T. Verne, … but most just call me Doc. Nice to meet you Mr. Gharr. You know I’ve never seen an orc this close before, would you mind if I took some notes during our discussion?” Verne, pulled out a notebook and began to note a physical description of the orc in front of him. “Gilneas? I don’t know what use I’d be there in any war effort for either side. I’m generally just working on things like ways to make food last longer for transport.”

Keltyr was already midway through a tirade about Then’liath when Dorri spoke up. “This is the same shit we gave the ambassador when we got back from Gilneas the first time. My notes are still here!” She slammed her hand on the table with a snarl.

“There was a small leatherbound journal as well, but the Ambassador couldn’t find it,” Gharr added, “she was surprised that it was missing, would have sworn that Then’liath returned it to her.”

“What does this have to do with the harpy?” Keltyr eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You didn’t say there was anything special…”

“There wasn’t.” Dorri pushed through the papers again. “Just the ledgers seemed to hint at odd trades between some of the families and that idiotic account of what family owed what favor to whom. There were some personal papers. Some of it like all that stuff that Doc talks about.”

“I still don’t like it.” Keltyr muttered

“We’re not turning Doc over to the Ambassador.” Dorri shrugged at Gharr. “He’s not exactly harmless, but he’s not a military strategist either. And,” the paladin lowered her voice, “Keltyr kinda likes him.”

“We could just kill him,” came a suggestion from a corner.

“Shut it, Lars.” Keltyr looked murderous.

“I still think they used too much pineapple and not enough orange juice,” commented Verne missing part of the conversation after taking a sip of his drink. “I’m not a military strategist, just a man who likes to play with science, which sometimes blows up.”

“More than sometimes, I’d say.” Dorri muttered. “You see what I mean, Gharr?”

“ I see what you mean. So these are the things you two acquired, how did Then’liath come to the conclusion that this hu… I mean… that Doc here is a military strategist? Or better yet, how do we convince the Ambassador that he isn’t.”

“How the hell do we know she’s not working with the harpy?” Keltyr growled.

“When I was talking to her,” Gharr said, “she was convinced that she could get the information out of him. I don’t think she was lying. As an Ambassador, she would lose standing once Hellscream learned of the acquisition and then learned it was useless for his needs. He’s not the one to wait for a lackey to be sacrificed. We’ve all heard tales of what he’s done to the generals who have mislead him.”

“If we take him anywhere near Orgrimmar, he’s a dead man.” Dorri said with a shrug, “And I doubt the Ambassador is going to be willing to take a stroll. All the stuff here…. there is nothing about Doc at all. I mean nothing. Even the few notes I made about the journal aren’t even here.”

“I second the motion in not allowing me to go anywhere near Orgrimmar,” commented Verne, “Mr. Bittertongue and the others of the Black and Red had high hopes for that planned peace conference. My death would only be fuel for those in the Wildfire Riders who would rather kill than talk.”

“Hells, Doc you promised not to mention them.”

“Oops, sorry. Got a bit carried away in the moment. You’ll pretend you didn’t hear that right Mr. Gharr?”

“It’s just Gharr, and no I cannot pretend I didn’t hear that. This makes the whole situation even more serious than it was just a few moments ago. The Peace Conference was a bust. Fighting broke out, Then’liath was assaulted, and members of both factions disappeared.”

“Assaulted?” Keltyr was suddenly very interested.

“She received a broken jaw I think, from one of the elves. She was filling in as a translator between the factions. It was an elf who also was a member of the Riders if I remember correctly,” Gharr added, “We need to get you back before anyone notices you’ve been gone too long. Hells I think one of the others who was missing was another Rider … a dwarf I think? The shouting got a bit loud as the fighting started.”

“What’s the name of the one that hit the harpy? I want to send them something nice.” Keltyr was grinning from ear to ear.

“Illithias, if I recall correctly, I was a bit late in arriving to the conference.”

“Right, we get Doc home, like we promised him. And some sorta thank you for the kaldorei that knocked my sister down a peg.” Dorri paused. “How do we do that? If the summit went all to hell, how’re we gonna get one worgen back home. And I know we can’t sail back. Some ass sea dog that Kel and I didn’t know took our yacht the moment we docked.”

“We get someone who can help him get through Horde territory avoiding the patrols, who also may be able to get into and out of Stormwind, or at least close enough that Doc can make it back without fear of being seen by the Horde. Once we have that worked out, we can work out what to do about Then’liath and the Ambassador.”

“I can think of a few things to do to them.” Keltyr confided. He took another long drink from his refilled mug. “All of which I’d be more than happy to do.”

“Maybe Davien can help out, she’s been into Stormwind on business with members of the Riders before. One sec I’ll see if she’s available,” Gharr said while getting up from the table, pulling the goblin stone out of a pouch. “Davien, are you there? I need you to come to Ratchet to try to stop a situation from becoming something even more serious than it already is.”

Davien looked between the Sin’dorei couple, the amiable, grizzled old scientist (grizzled old human scientist, that was), and Noxilite’s ever-patient Beholder, Gharr. After the tale they’d just spun for her, it was a wonder her jaw hadn’t hit the floor.

“Tell, me, loves, just what the bloody nether y’lot were thinkin’.” She didn’t give the elves time to answer, though, before turning towards Gharr. “Did ‘ee ken any o’this was goin’ on?”

“I only learned of the depth of the situation when I arrived here in Ratchet.”

She began pacing, long strides making her skirts billow around her ankles. “An’ how do ‘ee propose we finish this, then? I’d not be surprised if ap Danwyrith were to take me by the throat when I bring him word we have one o’his.”

“Escort him back through horde territory until we get him into alliance territory, if not all the way into Stormwind itself. As you’ve been all the way to Stormwind to speak with Tarquin, Bricu and others of the Riders, I was hoping you’d be able to assist with that,” said Gharr, “We’re also open to other suggestions.”

“We can go through Stonard. ‘Tis closest. Ride t’Stormwind from there.” She sized up the old man. “Cavale can carry us both. An will ‘ee come with me quietly, Doctor? Pretend y’re my prisoner ‘till we’re clear o’the guards?”

“I’m just looking forward to getting home with as little fuss as possible. I’ve never been near Stonard, will we have time for me to make notes of the area?” asked Verne, “Well, if I’m playing prisoner then my writing notes may be a bit conspicuous.” Noticing the forsaken’s pacing about he adds, “Don’t be hard on them, I’ve had a grand time, a trip on a yacht, a visit to this resort area, the only complaint so far is this poorly mixed drink.”

“We didn’t even stab him, or stuff him in a barrel.” Dorri pointed out, glaring at the pacing mage.

“Not helping, Dorri. We’ve been perfectly reasonable about all this and with their conference falling apart around them, they might not even know anything happened.” As Keltyr spoke, Dorri crossed her arms and switched her glare to him.

“While you’re escorting him back, we’ll figure out what to do about the situation on this side of the divide. How to clear things with the Sin’dorei Ambassador, what to do about Then’liath, and so on,” added Gharr.

“Oh, aye, that’s lovely, Dame Firebloom. Remind me t’partake o’y’r hospitality one o’these days.” Davien matched the blood elf woman glare for glare.

“It wasn’t bloody hospitality! It would have been easier to get rid of him, or just do what we were told and turn him over. But the Doc’s not those things. Hells, how do I explain this to you? We should have just marched into Orgrimmar with him.” She looked at Keltyr for something, she did not know what.

“‘Twas sarcasm, sweetling. An’ if y’d marched him into Orgrimmar, we’d be a fair sight worse off than we are now. We’ve a wee chance at keepin’ the lines open for an end t’the fightin’, an’ the Black an’ Red are it.” The ghost of a smile crossed her lips, perhaps the irony of suggesting the Wildfire Riders might be peacebrokers in the wake of the recent fiasco. Or perhaps at who filled their ranks: the Oathbreaker, Bittertongue, Illithias Ashbough.

Of course, she had only to peer within the Eye to name others who’d chafe at her desire for peace: Moholith, Mallek, Azhag.

Davien shrugged. “I’ll take him home, an’ if I don’t come home by the end o’the day tomorrow, y’ken there’s trouble.”

“If we don’t have word from you by then, then we’ll come get you. Peace be damned if they refuse to understand what has happened here,” Gharr said.

The mage nodded, then offered the Doc her elbow. “Well enough. Let’s see about findin’ ‘ee a cloak then, aye?”

“A wool one I think, something about silk makes my shoulders itch,” Verne said as he took her arm. He paused to turn back towards Keltyr and Dorri. “Thanks for the lovely excursion, next time can we just stay in the lab and talk longer about food and explosives?”

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