Summary: A highly important and valuable document must be hand-delivered from Light's Hope Chapel to Stormwind's Cathedral.
Participants:Aliandra, Donagh, Greysen, Jaeanne, Kalanith, Khoridin, Kunziet, Lograth, Mellina, Psyn, Sateene, Telanar, Tharkil, Valiser, Varozus
As you walk in the chapel, a man dressed head to toe in purple velvet addresses you. “Psst! In here.” He leads you into a small side room of the chapel, clearly his ‘office’. The room is as rundown as the rest of the church, but the walls are lined with runes. A lone chalkboard stands crooked along one wall. He waves you to the crooked stool, and you sit on it carefully. He walks over to the chalkboard and turns back to you. “I’m Rohan the Assassin. I’m actually nicer than my title. Nice to meet you.”
“So you’re the new courier?” He looks you up and down critically. “You’re lucky to be recommended to the position. The Dawn’s begun to pay quite a pretty penny for those brave enough to become operatives. Well, let me be the first to welcome you to the Argent Dawn Intelligence and Espionage Service, also known as ADIES. Rhymes with Hades.” He smiles good-naturedly, then frowns, as if remembering something. “Did anyone see you come in here?”
He chuckles quietly. “They all say that. Listen, runt, you got a lot to learn before you get your first mission. Lucky for you, I’m just the assassin to teach you.”
Rohan stands, adjusting his stylish purple hat with one hand. “Now listen up, kid. I’m going to teach you something called the Silvermoon Rules.” He pauses. “Why are they called that, you ask? Well, they’re from a time when the then-high elves had an uneasy truce with the rest of the Alliance. This was way back…just after the second war ended.”
“Ain’t you ever heard that spies are busiest during times of peace? Well, it’s true. We didn’t trust the elves, and they didn’t trust us, even though we were on the same side. And our ambassadors weren’t there to look pretty and attend parties. They were there to find out all they could about our so called ‘allies’. And the elves knew that, too. It’s hard to do much spyin’ when the enemy knows exactly who you are, and watches you every hour of every day! Those were tough times, and we made a set of rules for all our ‘ambassadors’ to follow, so they didn’t get killed.”
“Even though we ain’t in Silvermoon, the Silvermoon rules are the best crash course in espionage that any runt like you could ask for, and will save your life if you bother to remember them. Because at some point, you will be followed by the enemy.”
He turned to the blackboard behind him, and wrote as he spoke. “One. Assume nothing.” “Two. Never go against your gut.” He explained, “Your subconscious will realize things that you don’t consciously notice. That leads us into our next rule…” “Three. Any operation can be aborted. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.” “Four. Keep your options open. Don’t just have a plan A and B, go all the way to Z. It’s far better to have a plan and not need it than to need a plan and not have it.” “Five. Pick the time and place for action, if it becomes necessary. Don’t let them back you into a corner.” “Six. Go with the flow, blend in. The more you look like everyone around you, the harder time they have of tracking you.” “Seven. Lull them into a sense of complacency. The more boring you are, the less likely they are to watch you closely.” “Eight. Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action. ‘One, two, and three what,’ you ask? Why, just about anything. The number of times you see or meet a person in a day is the most common use.” “Nine. Everyone is potentially under opposition control. This is the most important rule. Agents of the Cult are everywhere, and we don’t always know who they are. Trust no one.”
He turns from the blackboard, facing you. The rules loom menacingly over his shoulders. He continues, “Now, as a courier, your job is one of the less exciting in ADIES. Be at a place and time and take something given to you, then go somewhere else and give it to someone else. Sometimes it ain’t that easy, though. See, sometimes you can’t get close to the guy you’re giving whatever it is to. Maybe you’re being watched too closely or being followed. When that happens, you gotta use a dead drop. You put whatever you’ve got in a certain place, then signal the other guy somehow so he knows to go pick it up.”
“Now, there are some good places to hide things: a loose brick in a wall, inside a book, a hole in a tree. It’s gotta be something common, so the operatives can pick it up without arousing suspicion. But it also has to be something that civilians won’t accidentally find.”
“Once that’s done, you gotta signal the other operative somehow. A chalk mark on a wall, a piece of chewing-gum on a lamppost, a newspaper left on a park bench…something that normal people wouldn’t recognize as out of the ordinary or try to change.”
“Now, normally you’d be given time to do some practice handoffs and get used to your role, but we’ve just suffered a purge. An entire branch of our network was compromised, so we’re very shorthanded. That’s where you come in.”
He takes a piece of paper out of his pocket and hands it to you. “If you’re not there tomorrow for the handoff, I’ll have your guts for garters.”
“You ready?” He pauses, waiting for your reply.
He then smiles, and shakes your hand vigorously. “Welcome to Operation: Midnight Dawn.”
Aliandra wandered aimlessly in the mushroom forest. She halted at a certain mushroom, one that seemed no different than the hundreds of others she had already passed by.
They're going to kill me for this., she thought. She reflected for a moment. Hell, let them try. I'm finally doing what I was meant to do.
She walked over to the mushroom's base, and knelt, under the pretense of picking the plaguebloom flower that grew there.
She placed the brown, decaying flower behind her left ear and stood, flexing her gloved hand. They'll regret everything they've ever done to me. To Thar. To Atra.
She continued onward.
An envelope was left behind in the appointed hollow, and the signal had been given.
A few hours later, a fatigued human man rode into the Argent headquarters, clutching the mud-streaked envelope.
Rohan read over it, his mouth twitching into what seemed like a smile. "This..this is good. This is very good." He carefully resealed the envelope and handed it to the male elf who waited patiently just outside the door. "Kunziet, was it? I've got a job for you..."
He shoved the envelope into his hands. "Get this to the shack south of Corin's Crossing."
The chill of the early hours was beginning to wear off as Kunziet set off from Light’s Hope Chapel; he thought it would be best to follow the river between Browman Mill and Eastwall Tower until he got to the road. He slipped the envelope under his shirt, smoothing it flat against his chest to keep it safe, climbed onto his horse and began.
The area wasn’t a quiet one; he knew that he just had to press forward, not stopping for anything until he got to Lake Meredar. He managed to make his way down the small river without disrupting any of the creatures lurking about at this hour, he saw the bridge in the distance.
“Where there are bridges there are roads.” Kunziet thought to himself, smiling. He tugged his cloak around him, making sure to keep the document pressed in place as he directed his horse onto the well traveled road. The Paladin wasted no time as he traveled south, the overtaken buildings of Corin’s Crossing so close, they were within his sights. As soon as the nasty inhabitants of Corin’s Crossing came into few Kunziet knew it was time to veer from the road, he hitched his horse to the right, as though heading to the Scarlet Base Camp, and cringed as he caught his first whiff of the plague ridding waters of Lake Mereldar.
The woods that hid the lake where infested with plague hounds so he kept on his mount, cutting through the tall trees. When the soil became thick with mud and the hooves of his horse began to stir up squelching noises he slowed her pace. When the sound became constant he brought her to a halt and guided her by the reigns to the abandoned ruins at the beach of the lake.
Here was the shack; it sat in front of a moldy dock. Kunziet chose not to linger, he withdrew the envelope from his shirt when he found the perfect place to leave the document. A small bucket of rusted tools sat in front of the tiny construction, he lifted one of the more weighty tools out and placed the envelope at the bottom of the tin bucket, then he set the tool on top of it, to weigh it down and keep it hidden from plain sight.
Now the envelope had been delivered. Now he needed to signal Jaeanne. He glanced around for anything that would do.
The crumbled ruins of another building sat only a few yards away, their was a pile of rotten meat just past the pile of stone, and a small broken stool sitting upright in front of a strange looking plant.
Kunziet tapped his forefinger against his chin as he strolled closer to the stool. The stench from the meat was almost overwhelming causing the Paladin’s eyes to water. He rolled his shoulder back, cracking his neck and then nonchalantly kicked the stool onto its side. If the stool hand managed to stand upright while all this decay was going on around it, it would seem normal that it would have given out by now. He gave it another kick, to turn it upside down and sighed with relief, his mission was now done.
He returned to his mount and rode back to the security of Light’s Hope.
The land was eerily quiet as Jae rode her horse toward Corin’s Crossing, a small mechanical squirrel hitching a ride on her shoulder. Be at a small shack on the lake, outside Corin’s Crossing, she had been told by the Argent Dawn at Chillwind Camp. Find an envelope there, and stick it in a tree hollow outside the Bulwark. Easy enough, right? Of course, the Dawn had been awful vague about the assignment. That was never good, in Jae’s opinion. Eh, prolly jus’ means the letter’s goin’ to some bigwig Forsaken.
Finally, Jae reached her destination, Lake Meredar. The scent of rotting meat filled her nose as she hopped off her horse. Jae coughed, trying to ignore the horrible stench. Reaching into her pocket, Jae pulled out a cigar and a match, lighting it and letter then cigar’s sweet-smelling smoke flood her senses, blocking out the rotting stench. She sighed, placing the cigar between her lips as she looked around the small shack absently. The letter was supposed to be around here somewhere, but Jae had no clue where. The shack seemed mostly empty, nothing more then a bucket full of rusted tools outside the door, and a broken table on the inside. Jae stepped outside, glancing at the rubble of another nearby building. She looked at the mechanical squirrel sitting on her shoulder. “Yell…Well, squeak if you see anythin’.” The squirrel chirped happily in response.
Jae sighed, examining the other building. Just a bunch of rubble, rotting meat, and a stool turned upside down. Odd. That couldn’ ‘ave been knocked over by some ghoul. Jae looked at the stool, then back at the shack. That’s it. That mus’ be the sign the Dawn said. She looked at the stool, then back at the shack, again. There was nowhere to hide something in the shack…The bucket. That mus’ be it. Jae quickly walked up to the bucket and kicked it over. Various rusted tools clattered out, and there it was, a mud-spattered letter. Grinning to herself, Jae picked it up and stuffed into a pocket under her guild’s tabard. Jae climbed back onto her horse, riding west toward the Bulwark.
Pffsh. Some important letter this is. The Dawn’s way too paranoid with this nonsense.
Of course, fate was cruel in that sort of way.
A rotting arm grabbed Jae’s leg, yanking her roughly off the horse. Four ghouls jump out of the shadows, surrounding her.
Jae fell hard to the ground, pulling a knife off her belt and shoving it into the nearest ghoul’s skull. It howled angrily and swiped its arm, but Jae quickly picked herself up off the ground before it made contact. A swift punch shattered the brittle bone of the ghoul’s jaw. It gurgled and fell to the ground, dead, once again.
Drawing her swords, Jae sidestepped away from the claw of another ghoul. Glancing to her right, Jae could see her horse a few yards away, frightened by the ghouls, but thankfully hadn’t run off.
The snarl of the ghouls reminded Jae she was surrounded. Twirling her swords with a grin, Jae taunted, “Hey! Deader! Your mother’s so slow, she couldn’ catch a corpse before it got back up again!”
Obviously, the ghoul didn’t seem to care as it ran toward her. Jae grinned again, easily decapitating the ghoul. The headless body stumbled, blindly swiping its arms before falling to the ground. Two left. Guess this letter is importan’ after all.
The remaining ghouls charged at her, snarling ferally. Jae parried one claw with her sword, removing the ghoul’s arm in the process, and cut off the leg at the thigh on the second ghoul. The first ghoul attempted to claw at Jae again, but her sword easily cut it’s claw clean off, followed by its head. The remaining ghoul growled, trying to swipe at Jae, even if it couldn’ get back up. Jae pressed her foot down on the ghoul’s her, pushing her armor-plated boot down until the ghoul’s skull shattered, rotting bits of flesh oozing out.
It wasn’t pretty, but Jae’s old nickname wasn’t the Bloody Crusader for nothing.
Climbing back onto the saddle, Jae patted the horse gently to try and calm him, and rode off.
An hour later, Jae was at the Bulwark, riding up to the tree hollow. She pulled the letter from her pocket, and stuffed it inside the tree, under some dead leaves and trigs. Now I jus’ need a sign… Looking around, Jae spotted an undead shambling through the forest. Unslinging her rifle from off her shoulder, Jae carefully aimed it, and fired.
The bullet hit the zombie’s shoulder directly, shattering the bone that held its arm in place. The zombie growled and ran as fast as its rotting legs would carry it.
Jae slung her rifle and pulled another knife off her belt. As the zombie came toward Jae, she shoved it against the tree, impaling it to the tree through its throat. The zombie howled out as it tried to claw at Jae, but she stepped back, climbing back onto her horse. Her job was finished here.
Psyn sat in the bushes quietly watching as the human placed the information at the drop point. When he was live he might have shown himself, but he knew if he did she would only attack him. As she rode away he peered around to make sure it was safe before retrieving the letter and ducking back into the bushes, he did not want to be seen, especially now.
He began to sneak his way through the woods back to Brill, ever watchful, always vigilant.
After 10 minutes of sneaking through the woods he made his way to the roads. The guards knew him here, he would be safe. As he entered the tiny town of Brill he made his way to the Inn. He took a seat and stuck the letter to the underside of the table before ordering a drink.
After chugging the drink down his open throat, he nodded at the bartender and walked out.
Valiser sighed heavily as his steed clobbered forward. He had traveled through the Plaguelands day in and day out, trying to pass time until someone would leave an important note or something like that in the tavern.
"Zillop, I was paid for this correct?" Valiser asked. It was the only thing that motivated him besides power. Wealth... luxury was wonderful.
Zillop poked his head out of the bag on the side of Vul. Zillop laughed as he held up a bag of jingling coins. "Yeah! Yeah! Look at all 'dis!" Zillop opened up the bag, and spread out his grin from ear to ear.
As Vul began to jump over a small snake ahead, and unexpectedly made Zillop spill the pay all on the ground beneath them. Zillop snickered and jumped off Vul and started to gather up the coins that were spread out across the ground.
"Vul', Valiser purred, petting her remaining hair, "Feel free to step upon him."
Zillop frowned at Valiser, and jumped back on Vul. "Well, you knows what? I got your money, you stupid... stupid face!" Zillop started jumping up and down and screaming. "I saw something! I saw somethin'! In the bushes!!!"
"Stop, my dear", Valiser commanded Vul. "Head towards the rustle in the bushes. Look for anyone or anything of any importance..." Vul nodded, as it seemed like she understood every food of what he said. Vul was a trustful steed, always listening to Valiser word as law. Vul was smart, and Vul was just as similar as Valiser. She knew where to go to find a small amount of coin, or maybe to learn something new. Valiser praised Vul for allowing him to sit on her back throughout the day, and put up with Zillop.
Vul headed left, and scouted through the forest. She neighed and started to run towards Brill, and Valiser grinned. "He's here, Zillop... he's here."
Valiser pet Vul's mane, and tied her up to the post outside of the tavern in Brill. The area around was gloomy, depressing, to others. But unlike others of his kind, Valiser noticed this. It pestered him daily. Zillop started to jump up and down and wave at a Forsaken lacking a jaw. The man did not wave back, but only walked away like he did not see Zillop. The little Imp pulled on the side of Valiser robe and pointed to the Forsaken, assuring him that he was the transport before him and that the letter was ripe for the taking.
Valser head into the tavern and nodded at everyone around. A regular at the tavern smiled and Valiser and threw him a mug. "Drink up, Valiser. You deserve it!" Valiser stared at the man without a clue of what he was saying.
"I deserve booze? What for?" Valiser took a sip afterwards, feeling though free booze did not need an answer. But he felt like he should know anyway.
"For saving Drek'Thar, that one blind Shaman guy in Alterac Valley! Bandaging up those Officers and everyone else in the lil' village was... amazing! Without you, they'd be looking for a new commander, or whatever they call it! Drink up, you deserve it!"
Valiser managed to spread a grin at the strange Forsaken, and thanked him. Managing to wipe off all distractions, he began to look around for the letter, having no luck. "Damn this... where is the letter?!" Zillop shrugged, and waved at the man Valiser had received free booze from earlier.
The man pulsed with power, Valiser could identify this power as necromantic. Turning around, the man was decked out in dark robes, and a cowl covered his face. He reached into his pocket, and Valiser swiftly protected himself with Fel Armor. The man smiled. "I knew you just weren't a tailor, Valiser. I found your little letter..." he pulled out the letter and removed his cowl. A slight grin spread across his face. "And I know what your doing... transporting this for the Argent Dawn, yes?" Before Valiser could even begin to nod, he continued. "Well... I know this may not seem like much, Valiser, but here is a small sum of coin." A large bag of coin fell to the ground, and a massive amount of money fell from the side.
Valiser knew the answer before he could even think of the possible consequences. "Yes. You can have it. I'll deal with the person at the next, yesss..."
"Well, Marie, this is the place. Let us split up and search for some clue as to where this message is suppose to be." Lograth said to the large cat that he befriended a few days earlier. Lograth pointed North, and motioned for Marie to check in that direction. Then they were both off.
An hour later they met back up. "Nothing your way either aye?" Lograth asked the cat. "Yeah, I didn't see anything myself, lets move out of the way a biot, and wait, perhaps we were early."
Lograth and Marie moved off to a small group of trees, and a half an hour later LOograth was resting comfortably, with Marie standing gaurd.
Valiser sat against a tree stump, watching the Elf and his pet wander around aimlessly looking for a note that had been taken away by a operative of the Cult of the Damned, he had learned.
Given some time to think about it though, and discuss it over with Vul and Zillop, he had helped Kel'Thuzad... the one who enslaved him. He cursed at the thought of never being able to remember his past in the Scourge.. the people who killed, and the ones he possibly ressurected.
Zillop raised his hand to his mouth, and blocked Valiser from talking. "Shuttup! You want that Elf to see you? Your such a dum..." A cold stare from Valiser made Zillop back up and silence.
"I have a plan for the Elf, Zillop. It will require your help too..." He grunted as he stood up, his bones cracking, and one actually breaking.
Vul neighed and stared at Valiser. He pushed the back of his knee, setting the bone in the place it belonged. He pet her mane, and smiled. "Thank you, dear. What would I do without you?" She purred quietly, and Zillop jumped up and down, impatient.
"What do I have to do? What do I have to dooooo?", he asked excitedly.
"I have many vials of flammable material in my pockets. You, will take them around the area the Elf thinks It is in. I will put some... fel magic in it. And if the fumes doesn't kill him, that is where you will come in." A wicked grin spread across Zillop's face. "You will set a very small fire spell right here," he annoucced as he stuck his wispy sword in the ground. "The fire will spread around him, setting the dry leaves on the ground on fire, killing the Elf and pet almost instantly, then furthur silencing any word of this 'letter' thing. And hopefully... just... ma... never mind. Follow the plan, Zillop."
Lograth awoke to the smell of smoke, and the sound of Marie growling. "Marie, what is going on" Lograth said as his eyes adjusted, and he saw the fire that was surrounding them.
Lograth reached into one of his pouches and pulled out a small vial that glowed a soft white, almost the color of freshly fallen snow. Not wasting anytime admiring the clever trap, Lograth threw the vial on the ground busting it. Instantly the air was willed with smoke and steam, cracking noises could be heard, and as the steam and smoke mixture cleared the ground was covered in a thick layer of frost, and ice.
Lograth and Marie moved out of the ice, and Lograth bent low to whisper into Marie's ear, "Start searching for who or whatever is behind this."
Lograth started thinking to himself as he searched the ground around him for any clues, "Who did I make mad this time, have the ogres come back to finish me off? Did this attack involve the letter, and if so how important is this letter, if I am being attacked so boldly? Marie then came and nudged Lograth from his thoughts, she was motioning for him to follow her.
Marie lead Lograth a few yards away, where she stopped and started pawing at the ground. Lograth knelt down, and scanned the ground for what Marie had seen. After searching for what seemed like a couple of minutes, Lograth noticed a small barely visible foot print.
"Marie, I am going to need help in tracking this one, I need you to move off a bit, while this one is here, he doesn't like cats all that much." Lograth said as he pulled a small whistle from his pouch, and Marie just nodded, understanding, and moved off out of sight.
Lograth put the whistle to his lips, and whisper to it "Old friend have have needed you before, and you have come to my call, now once more I need you, please come to me...." Lograth finished with a long blow on the whistle, which seemed to make no sound.
A few moments later, a ragged dog appeared before him, it snarled at Lograth, and spoke in a raspy voice "What is ti you want this time mortal?"
"Old friend is that anyways to speak to me after we haven't seen each other in so long?" Lograth replied in a calm voice.
"Friend, I hardly consider you a friend 'Master' our relationship is not one of friendship, you are the master, and I am the slave, now what is thine bidding, and be quick about it, before I grow bored, and you waste you summons of me."
"I have never considered you my slave, but I see you are angry, so I will get to the point." Lograth said with a sigh, "I was attacked, and what ever attacked me left this foot print, It would take far to long for me to track these light foot prints, but you, you can smell the thing out, so what I need you to do, is follow this creature."
"Hmm, so you summon me all this way to track such easy prey? I should leave now, unless you have something to offer me, that I would want?"
"Well, how about this, since you consider this to be a master slave relationship, I will offer you your freedom, then I will never summon you again." Lograth replied with a hint of pain in his eyes.
"Yes, that bargain is accepted." The beast said and started sniffing around, finally finding a trail, the tracking hound ran off.
Lograth shook his head, and thought to himself, you could run a bit slower, but Lograth didn't say that out loud, he just ran on, as fast as his legs would carry him. Finally the tracking hound stopped, and said "What you seek is over this mound, and now for your end of the bargain"
Lograth smiled and replied. "I know friend, I release you from what you consider slavery, have your freedom and be troubled by me no longer." Lograth finish by flipping the hound its whistle, and a second later the hound was gone. Lograth grew sad for a second, but then remembered that the person that attacked him was just over the ridge.
Lograth crawled up to the edge of the mound, and peeked over it watching what appeared to be a man...
Valiser was just wiping off the grime that had taken residence of his wispy sword, when a Elf appeared through the trees in front of him. His plan did not work. The Elf had not died. He quickly spoke a few words of power under his breath to silence the Elf, in case he was any sort of caster. A quick glance at his choice of weaponry gave Valiser the impression he was Hunter.
As quickly as he could, sent a shadowy bolt forward at the Hunter, pushing him back to the floor of the forest surronding him. Vul quickly ran forth and set her large horse feet on-top of his chest, keeping him locked in position.
"Now... you may want to talk," hissed Valiser, "but you aren't allowed to. I won't grant you the wish of allowing you to have last words.... because the crush of Vul will kill you before the Silence spell wears away."
Valiser saw Vul look into the eyes of the Elf, and backed away. "Must I do all the dirty work, Vul? Why did you not finish him?" He felt warm inside, as he heard whispers in his ears, in his mind, wiping away any thoughts that were set there before. "He does not deserve death... he is just doing work..." Still trying to recover from the shock of hearing Vul again, he backing away, almost falling to the ground with the Elf.
The Elf struggled for breath, but managed to get a slur of words out. "Ple...please! I... am just... here for a letter transport! T...hat is all! Please... ar... you... part of the... Cult?"
"For all you know, yes." He began to charge a Shadow Bolt, but had no intention of shotting it at the Elf. It would kill him, and that is not what he wanted. "Now tell me... you say you are transporting the letter, yes?" The Elf nodded, and Zillop shifted out of a clear phase on the Elf's chest, nearly killing him from fright. "Where to? How important is this 'letter' to you?"
"Wel...l.... I was told to gaurd it with my life, sir. If that letter doesn't get where it should go, I think we are all in grave danger." The Elf's voice shaked, shaked with fear. Valiser had him in a perfect spot... he could kill him right here...
"No." whispered Vul, "You must find the one you sold the note from, and return it to the Elf, and allow him to travel to the next spot with ease."
"Why? Why must I help this puny Elf? I should KILL him!" shouted Valiser, confusing the Elf beyond help.
"You musn't. None deserve death besides a valiant death in the battlefield. Let this one die graciously, let him pass to the other realms with pride... I promise you... there are more deaths along the trail, Valiser... you... must... trust... me..." Vul's flawless voice shook at the finish of her preach.
Vul lead them to a small camp in the middle of the Plaugelands, the land Valiser loved to travel, to explore, to kill in. After her speech, Vul hadn't spoke since, just brought them on the right trail.
"You up for a fight?" Valiser asked the Elf tied to the back of Vul, stalked by Zillop.
"My bow is getting anxious. And so is Marie..." The Elf gestured to a small bush a few yards away, with a small animal growling from it.
"Well, I will let Marie charge forth, grabbing their attetion... I know a strong animal such as her, or he, can withstand a few blows... these Cult members are not much of a fight."
The Elf looked at Valiser in question. "But I heard rumors you, sir, were a Tailor. Not a... fighter! A Warlock! Why would anyone lie..." A menacing glare from Valiser shushed the Elf.
"You must tell NO ONE about what power I can harness, yes? If you do... I will make Vul lead me to kill you. Be glad I spared you your pathetic life. Now. Go, send Marie forth to the fight." Valiser grinned wickedly as the suprisingly large pet ran forth, scratching and biting at the suprised Cult members. As Valiser had predicted, they were weak, and went down quickly enough.
A quick search through the tent revealed the letter, but another with a mark of the Scourge. He quickly pocketed the Scourge letter without the Elf noticing, and handed him the letter that had been of exetreme importance to him.
"Now... go. Take this dumb thing to wherever it needs to go next."
The Elf ran, pet following along his trail. But the Elf was no longer important at this time... the letter from the Scourge was. But Vul, once again, stopped him.
"You see the... campfire? You... must... destroy it." Vul whispered, so calmly, so strongly.
Valiser let go of the note, letting the wind take it into the fire. The letter weakened in the fire, finally dissapearing into the ash. He pet Vul, and started to head out, hoping for a battle. Hoping for... anything.
So there was Lograth, Now alot further away from his drop point than he meant to be, but that wouldn't stop him, he had gone through alot to get this note, and now he had to see it was safely delivered. When Lograth was out of the sight of the Undead warlock, Lograth called forth his mount, a very Large wolf, clad in fine Armor, fastest in all the land. Lograth climbed upon its back, and whispered in his ear, "Take me to South Shore my friend. And be swift about it, all haste is needed."
Lograth leaned back into his saddle, and pulled out the note, "I wonder what is soo important that I have nearly been killed twice for" Lograth thought to himself, as he checked the note for any special marking's.
It was midday when Sateene finally settled in on the dock at Southshore. She arrived not too long ago, greeted most of the town folk while checking for any signs that would tell her the location of this important letter she was to pick up.
Normally Sateene wouldn’t take on any tasks such as this, but she needed a change. A distraction to keep her mind off of recent events.
After searching the town with no luck, she decided to occupy her time by fishing. Sateene was sitting by herself on the dock, feet dangling over the water and lost in thought when she felt a tug in her line. Her eyes searched for the bobber and caught it just as it sunk below the surface. Sateene grabbed her fishing rod and waited for another slight tug then pulled back on the line to hook the fish. She reeled the line in and scooped up the squirming fish with her net.
“And that makes…” Sateene looks towards the pile of fish on the dock. “Six. Figures, the one time I am not in the mood for fishing, they all come biting at my worm!” she says to herself as she unhooks the fish.
“And you ate my last worm!” she scolded the recently caught fish and tossed it down with the other ones. Sateene was about to start putting her equipment away when she noticed a small black whelping holding a note fly towards her and land on her leg.
“This must be it” she thought to herself. It wasn’t until she grabbed the note from the whelping that she realized there was another one. Two notes! One was muddy and looked as if had traveled through many hands. The other one was still clean and nicely folded.
Sateene petted the whelping and unfolded the first letter. Her eyes went over each line but it wasn’t until she got to the bottom of the note where she recognized the scribbles, that her face flushed with color. “It’s from him,” she thought as a smile appeared on her face. “I really need to learn to read Thalassian” she muttered to herself as she gathered her belongings and headed towards the inn.
Once there, Sateene headed to the back of the inn and gave the fish she caught to the cook. “I won’t need these handsome” she told the cook as she walked out of the inn and rode off towards Thandol Span.
It didn’t take long for Sateene to arrive at the spot where she was instructed to drop off the letter. She tried to avoid any conflict on the way to Thandol Span. Being responsible for such an important letter made her very nervous. She even left the Forsaken guards alone that were traveling down the road of Arathi.
The trip was very quiet and easy. The hard part was trying to place it in a safe spot. She quickly scanned the area and decided that hiding it in the ruble of what was left of the right side of the bridge might be best. She also noticed she had grabbed the attention of the dwarves across the other bridge. They had stopped what they were doing and were watching her carefully.
“Well hiding it now would be silly” she told herself. She sat on her horse for a brief moment then dismounted and brought an empty container from her bag. There was a small waterfall right before the bridge. Sateene walked towards it and filled her container with fresh water.
As she walked back towards her horse she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She slowly turned her head and saw it was a rabbit, hopping across the road. Sateene smiled and the cute furry thing then brought out her bow and arrow. She aimed and let the arrow fly to the rabbit, stopping it in its tracks, arrow in its head.
“Sorry Leena” she said as she thought of what her friend would say had she been there and saw Sateene kill an innocent creature.
Sateene walked towards the body and brings it back to the fallen concrete of the bridge grabbing her bag on the way. She placed the rabbit on the rock, and brought out her skinning knife. She slyly looked in the curious dwarf’s direction and saw that they no longer were interested in what she was doing. With foreign eyes no longer on her, she pulled out of the bag the muddy letter and gently tucked it underneath two or three rocks. Making sure it was well hidden, she proceeded with skinning the rabbit. Sateene made sure she was messy about the job since the blood on the rock served as a mark to the next person.
The rubble on the right side of the bridge now glowed scarlet in the sunlight. She took a few steps backward to see her markings. With an accepting nod she smiles and pockets the rabbit hide and carries the corpse back to where she left her mount. She stops at the pool of cool blue water and cleans the limp rabbit and washes her gloves. She lets out an accomplished sigh and turns to the black whelping who had followed her the whole way.
“And now to return you to your master.” Sateene said petting the whelping once more before mounting her horse and riding off to Menethil Harbor.
Greysen walked over the letter, picked it up, and tossed it in his pouch. He smirked and looked over at his feline mount Inferno.
‘They have us playing delivery boy, and on one of the safest legs of this entire thing I’m sure.’
He shook his head and hoped on Inferno.
‘One of these days I’m going to tire of all this messenger crap. Hell I already am bored of it. Got better things to do than delivering a letter. Apparently they haven’t figured out the use of a mail box in Azeroth.”
He rode on to Menethil and just stayed there waiting for the next messenger, the letter secure in his pouch.
He looked over his shoulder at the Fire Elemental as it spoke.
‘I thought you were supposed to hide the letter?”
Greysen smirked back, “I probably am, but I think I was a little tipsy when I signed on to this. Why don’t we just hang out for a bit and see what happens.”
The robed elf sat amidst the graves in the graveyard just outside of Menethil Harbor, her hood pulled over her small head to hide any revealing features of her race. The air was acrid with the scent of the sea, dead fish, and that of the yard itself. Even through the unfavorable surrounding, Mellina sat comfortably atop a gravestone, perched with her legs crossed and holding her balance quite well. She had been sitting that way for countless hours, a tome open on her lap, written in demonic scripts. In one hand were a quill, and the other a small vial of black ink, from which she wrote upon the thin parchment in the tome with. Several long black strands of her hair, still damp from the frequent rain in the area, hung from the opening of the hood and dripped tiny droplets into the pages. She had decided to keep her minions from her side as she was nearby the Alliance port, to farther detract any attention from who she was and what she was doing solitary in the graveyard. As she finished on the current page she was writing, forgetting what she was even writing about, she sighed and shut the tome in frustration. Almost incoherently, she muttered to herself "Patience, Mellina... But I think I've waited long enough... Then again, perhaps I haven't been waiting all along...".
Talking to herself was nothing new, and Mellina was hardly aware of it, nor did she care. She was alone, and nobody was near enough to hear her. After several more long moments, she continued to stare off into the distance, unsure of what action to take next. She had spotted a male draenei, uncommon to the Wetland's, and was curious of his intentions... He seemed to be waiting for something. Or someone.
"And so I haven't been waiting... I've been searching." Mellina smirked as she dropped herself from the tall headstone and grabbed her long blackened staff which leaned against another, placing it into the loops of the sling down her backside. She was not so keen on displaying herself to a member of the Alliance, but he did not to be too harmful from where she was standing. Slowly, she exited the graveyard, and made her way toward the draenei. As Mellina neared the oddity that was the draenei before her, she couldn't help but realize how distanced he seemed... As though it was his mind that was focused on other matters, instead of what normally would have been hers. With curiousity sparked, Mellina stopped to stand roughly two feet away from him, but kept her enshrouded hood pulled onto her head to provide no vestige of her lineage. With only her lips and delicate jaw showing, she broke into a tiny, yet apprehensive smile. Keeping faith in her guise, she placed a hand on her hip but kept her often noisy mouth shut. Due to the barrier of language that she knew prevented her from fully handling the situation, nervousness was the dominant feeling plucking across her nerves. Despite this, she stood proud in her stance, and was glad to finally see a hand reach into a pouch of his, and remove a letter. He held it out in front of him in what appeared to be a gracious entreatment, to which Mellina could only cautiously accept. She nodded her approval, wondering if he even cared to know if she was the next courier or not, and placed it within her own pouch. After another brief moment of silent staring, the elf turned away, striding gleefully along the road towards her destination. "What a creep. Now comes the more entertaining part..."
The elf giggled, relieved that she had managed to finally obtain what she was waiting for. She ran at a jog, ensuring that she would not tire, along the road before her, for either an hour or two, before arriving at Dun Algaz. The Dragonmaw orcs nearby the long tunnel took no notice of her for that moment, and she stepped carefully into the tunnel. Fitting her surprisingly safe spree of luck, the guards did not appear to be present... Mellina withdrew the letter from the pouch, sticking it tidily underneath one of the braziers lining the wall, and knocking the one beside it over. With a giggle of satisfaction, and one final glance at her drop, she withdrew her hearthstone to call herself home...
Well now this is odd, Khoridin thought to himself as he watched the tiny Blood Elf make her way to the giant stone arches of the tunnel. Bucky nudged the dwarf’s shoulder expectantly. “No Bucky… ye know I’m a bit ofn an effort ta carry anymore.” The old ram snorted in frustration as Khoridin lovingly patted his friend’s head. “Just rest Buck,” with that, the dwarf began the precarious descent down the rock face. Bucky waited till his friend was out of sight, then began to pick his way to the valley floor below.
The dwarf followed the blood elf up the tunnel, but paused and ducked behind a support when she abruptly turned towards a brazier. Khoridin watched in curiosity as the lithe creature meticulously hid a bit of parchment behind it then knocked over another nearby brazier. After having completed her apparent task, he waited until her hearthstone’s green glow had faded from sight. Carefully removing the parchment from its hiding place, Khoridin backed up a step away from the flame.
The old dwarf turned the worn envelope over in his gauntlets several times. Mud and residue cracked and flaked as the parchment strained to hold itself together. Peering closely, Khoridin’s keen eye detected faint traces of blood. This letter has ta be damn important fer so many ta have risked so much. He looked up sharply and drew his axe at the sound of stone tumbling down the mountain side from the far end of the tunnel. An annoyed baying quickly eased Khoridin’s tension. He quickly slid the envelope into his forearm guard. Strapping his axe on his back, Khoridin smiled as he ran out from the lower tunnel entrance and approached a large boulder that partially hid an ancient tree.
Rounding the boulder, the dwarf crossed his arms and chuckled; before him stood a rather entangled and frustrated ram. Bucky pulled with what might he could muster, but the ancient tree kept an iron grip on his horns. Drawing a small hatchet, the old dwarf set about removing his friend from the grasp of the dying tree. Once freed, the ram quickly approached and nuzzled the dwarf. Khoridin couldn’t help but laugh as he said, “See? ‘at’s why I told ye to stay put.” Taking the reigns, the old dwarf and his aging friend walked the length of Dun Algaz down to the marshes below. The blackness of night had begun to overtake the land, and a growing mist had crept up from the acrid waters of the swamps. A deep, resounding horn shattered the tranquility of the darkening night. The old dwarf grumbled, “… oh hell.”
Shouts and snarls, thunderous drums, shrieks of unearthly origin filled the misty valley. From the dark recesses of the mountain, shadows began to pour forth. Against the blackness of the night, Khoridin could see the cold light of undeath in what were once the eyes of this battalion of cursed souls. Drawing his axe, the dwarf tried to tell the ram something but Bucky lowered his head and flipped his friend onto his back. Groaning under the weight, the old ram took off at a charge into the tunnels of Dun Algaz.
“Ye dumb ram! Yer gonna kill yerself!” The dwarf shouted to no avail. Bucky would not allow his friend to die. He merely snorted and lowered his head as he galloped ever faster. Khoridin resigned himself to being a passenger at the moment and paused to open the letter. His expression hardened as his face become grim. This is terrible. Those poor souls… The enraged shouts of the undead behind echoed up the cavernous tunnel as Bucky raced back out into the night. Rounding the final corner, the old ram nearly lost his footing and slammed into the sheer rock wall. Grunting, the ram regained his footing and took off at a charge again. Khoridin glanced back towards the deep tunnel behind him. To his horror, the shadows were pouring out. How kin they be movin’ so fast? He had only a moment to ponder that thought before the next stone arch obscured his vision.
As Bucky burst out of the tunnel by Algaz Station, Khoridin pulled back on the reigns. Bucky dropped his back-end and skidded to a halt. Snorting and struggling to continue, the old ram bayed in protest as the dwarf dismounted. “Buck…” Khoridin looked into his friend’s eyes. “Ye ‘ave ta get that letter ta Ironforge. They’re runnin’ outta time. Ah’ll buy ye as much time as I can.” The ram blinked and nuzzled his friend as the dwarf tucked the letter beneath the saddle. Khoridin smiled and patted Bucky’s head. “Be off… I know yer still the fastest ram in tha hills. Go find Telanar.” Several mountaineers emerged from the fortified walls of the tower and quickly made their way to Khoridin. “Off with ya friend.” The ram snorted one last time and then took off at a full charge. The old dwarf watched as his friend quickly faded into the mists of the upper mountains.
“Trollbane! What word do ye bring from tha marshlands?” the squad leader called out.
Steeling himself, Khoridin turned and drew his axe. “Darkness is comin’ lads. We’re in fer a hell of a night"
Even as the words escaped his lips, the small band of dwarves could feel an ominous presence wash over them. What the… The sheer pressure of the evil allowed a black clad figure to escape, unnoticed, passed the dwarves. Khoridin barely had time to think before the first wave of undead surged forward towards the stalwart band of defenders. “Hold them back! Fer all ye hold dear, hold them!” Passing his thumb over the small rune on its handle, the axe burst to life in flame. Letting out a near deafening roar that stopped the undead in their tracks, the white-haired dwarf charged headlong into the tunnel.
The brilliant rays of the sun had just begun to break over the snowy peaks as an exhausted ram trotted up to the main gates of the great Dwarven city of Ironforge. Foam covered the chest of the great beast from his endless sprinting. Nearly blind from fatigue, Bucky stumbled up the stone steps just beyond the metal gates. The rams’s eyes grew heavy as the warmth of the breeze flowing forth from the heart of the city struck his face. Rounding a final corner, Bucky could see the faint glow of the Mystic Ward. Go find Telanar. The ram knew the priestess sometimes came here. They’re runnin’ outta time. Mustering the last bit of strength left in his body, he broke into a trot. Bucky snorted with a hint of happiness as his fading vision spotted the young guildmistress. As he neared her, blackness descended upon him. The great ram collapsed in a heap on the stone floor.
Tel’Anar shot up from her bed, her forehead slick with sweat from the dream she was having. Her chest fell and rose rapidly and she had to look around the room quickly to remember that she was at Grey’s home in Darnassus. She pushed her hair back from her face and tried to remember the details of her dream, but it escaped her. With frustration, she made a small growl. Something there had been important…she knew it had been a long time since she’d had one of her visionary dreams, but not so long that she should forget how to read them. For that moment, at least, it escaped her.
Hours passed and Tel was going on about her day, though the feeling of missing something she was unable to shake. She looked up and realized that she was on the boat to Menethil Harbor. That was strange…it was as if the day was in a haze that even the sun could not break through. Tel knew to just go with it. If it were meant to be, she would not stop a path she was meant to take. Plus, she had an event to plan and Ironforge always had the best brews.
Her hands gripped the side of the ship as it lurched, a huge shock going through the wooden frame. Had they hit something? She peered over the side of the boat…nothing but clean-ish clear water. As she leaned over, a chill suddenly slid through her spine, and she stood up, shivering. Whatever had stopped the boat seemed to be out of the way, as they started gliding through the water again.
She felt as if she was being watched. Tel’Anar turned towards around to face the deck of the boat and almost instantly dropped to her knees. Her insides felt as if they were burning, and the cold seemed to wrap itself around her, smothering every bit of warmth in her body. She gasped for air until she was able to raise a shield of energy around her. It seemed to give a little relief, but she felt weak now. Tel pushed herself to her feet and looked around the boat. It was then that she noticed a black-cloaked figure. Glowing eyes stared coldly at her as a hand rose, showing finger bones breaking from rotting flesh.
Blue lightening shot from that outstretched hand and Tel broke her daze long enough to jump out of the way, the air around her cold as it flew past her. She could tell he was gathering energy, and did the same herself. Her blue eyes started to glow white as she raised both hands. A beam of pure light crushed down on the Forsaken and she could tell by the stagger of his stance that it had done some damage.
People around the boat were screaming except for one Night Elf. He looked on with fire in his eyes as he drew a rather impressive sword. While the undead had his attention on Tel, the warrior rushed him, sliding the blade easily through decrepit skin. The skeletal hand shot up to wrap around the man’s neck and the elf’s already purple skin seemed to be getting bluer and bluer. Ice formed around the man’s feet to keep him frozen in place. This was enough time for Tel to be able to summon forth the beam of light again. This broke the hold on the elf, but he was still stuck in one place…though the frost seemed to be slowly melting away.
The undead turned towards her again, and in his hand ice started to form, melding it’s way until it took shape of a sword. The glint at the tip told Tel that it was just as sharp. He thrust the blade towards her, and she was able to move out of the way. He was too fast though. Every time she tried to summon energy, the blade was upon her again, breaking her concentration. Tel screamed with frustration and a large dome of light erupted around her, pulsing against her enemy. One after another they came until she was drained. She slumped to her knees and summoned enough Light to shield her body. At least it helped to slow the sword before it pushed through and she turned so instead of her heart, it sliced through the flesh of her arm, freezing blood and skin around it.
It was at that moment that her new ally’s blade found a home in the back of the forsaken’s back. He staggered with the impact before falling to the floor of the boat. Tel slowly rose to her feet and both her and the Night Elf watched as the form of the monster seemed to shrink back to bones and rotted flesh, all unlife leaving. She turned to her savior and gave him a huge smile before embracing him in a huge hug.
He stiffened beneath her touch and then let out a low chuckle. “Pleased to meet you, my Lady. I am Valanduil Levan.” He patted her on the back before she released him and straightened herself.
With a grateful smile she replies. “The pleasure is mine…what am I saying? I owe you my life, elf. I don’t even know how to thank you.”
He laughed again and shook his head. “One way would be to tell me your name.”
“I am Tel’Anar Mi’Stradel. And you, sir are my savior.” She bowed and then laughed. The rest of the boats ride the made conversation that ended with a smile and a hug as she made her way to Ironforge.
As she landed in Ironforge, Tel was drawn towards the Mystic Ward of the city. There, right in front of the fountain, was a large pile of fur that she knew on sight. “Bucky?” she whispered. The beast moved slightly before opening it’s eyes to look up at her. She knew from experience the intelligence of this creature, and it showed with the exhausted worry in his eyes. “Bucky, where is Khor?” The worry now seeped into her own gaze as a familiar sense of déjà vu went through her. Bucky snorted softly and with his fatigued muzzle he nudged a piece of paper that was tucked into his harness. Her shaking hands took the parchment and held it against her chest. She let out a long deep breath.
With a free hand she placed her palm on Bucky’s side and said a prayer. Her touch warmed to his fur, the healing sinking down into the Ram’s old bones. Hopefully this would help to alleviate some of his pain and aching.
Tel’s heart was torn. This letter had to get to Donagh, but she knew if Bucky was alone, that Khoridin was in trouble. The nagging in the back of her head said to find Donagh. She went to the stables and got Bubbles ready to ride. The tram was in the back of her mind and it was if she couldn't help but go there. It was calling to her. Bubbles took her as far as she could go, and the rest was on foot as she hopped aboard the train and slide into the tunnel that would take her to Stormwind and to a little man known as Donagh.
Donagh wandered around the waiting area of the Ironforge Deeprun Tram. He was holding a beer mug, and appeared to be shouting at something.
"Y'see...they trust me. Honest Don, they call me...'ts no wonder they left such an important responsibility in my hands..."
A few minutes passed by, punctuated only by the sound of the empty tram pulling in and out of the station.
"I been waitin' here for hours...wheresh that letter...?!"
The rat he had been talking to scurried away into a small hole, leaving Donagh alone in the tram. Slowly, he pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, and re-read the instructions he had been given. "Hmph.." With a grunt, he walked back over to the bench, and sat down. Tel finds Don in the station and hands him the letter. "Here, Donagh. I think you've been waiting for this."
Donagh takes the letter from Telanar, and smiles.
"Ah...finally. Now I'll just...uh...take this to Shtormwind."
He waves goodbye to Telanar and boards the tram. Several minutes go by before the tram goes through a glass, underwater tunnel.
"Wouldja lookit that...looks like shome sort of dragon..."
Donagh moves closer to the edge of the tram to get a better view.
A sudden jolt in the tram causes him to lose balance and fall over the railing. Before long, a thud is heard dark tunnel of the tram.
"Eugh...I am never...drinking...again...."
Eventually, the sounds of hoofbeats make their way to the Stormwind side of the tram. A dwarf shaped figure, covered in Oil and general nastiness, hops off and makes his way out of the waiting area.
Despite the strange glances as he walked through the city in his filthy armor, Donagh held his head high. After all, this was no simple job. Only a true hero of the Alliance could deal with such circumstances with true cunning and skill.
Donagh walked up the steps of the Stormwind Cathedral, giving a small nod to the priest standing at the door. The sounds of his boots echoed off the high ceiling as he approached the altar. "Now where to put this thing..." he thought.
The Dwarf looked around. Not many nooks and crannies in a Cathedral. However, one of the prayerbooks caught his eye. Quietly, he slipped the envelope into the pages of the prayerbook, and turned the book on it's side as a marker.
His arduous climb up the steps of the Cathedral echoed about the twilight. Tharkil gazed at the monk greeting him and nearly twitched a smile in reply to his greeting. The altar appeared directly in front of him before he realized it, his mind always shifting to thoughts of Alia. His gaze lazily fell across the chapel to find it empty, save the monk, who strode off into a side chamber. The mage knelt and bowed his head. His green and blue eyes closed as he silently uttered his prayer, "Light, guide me in this time. I have fallen from my ranks and clung to the lost. I feel like a prisoner, trapped inside a broken world. My life was taken from me. My wife was ripped from my arms. I never even got to see my daughter. The demon took from me what should have been one of the greatest moments of my life, her birth.
"I do not ask selfishly. I have ever given my time and energy to those who needed it more. Risked my life for those who could not risk their own. I ask only this. Why is the one thing I want, the one thing I need, the one thing that is constantly taken from me? Constantly ripped from me? I have earned my peace. I have earned a life.
"Please, deliver my family back to me. They are my world. They are my reason to continue this fight. This fight often thought to be in your name. Is that so much to ask?" A single tear fell from his eye and he rose. His right eye, usually a piercing blue, had changed. For the first time in ten months, two emerald eyes gazed at the altar as his hand slid across the face of a book. "Why is this out of place?" Slowly, he lifted it from the altar and slid it about his hands. "Nothing seems to be different about it..." suddenly, a ring echoed through the hall. In his surprise, the book slipped from his hand to the floor, spilling its content at his feet. The letter. His hand grazed the seal and he opened it slowly. The words upon the parchment filled his mind.
He stared, unmoving, unfeeling. Tears streaked down his face. "Alia... Atra..." The droplets splashed across the letter and he closed his eyes. "I have... I have to do something." The book remained upon the floor as he fled the holy building, his hand now clenched around the letter in both fear and determination. A new steed, Kithrine, waited for him. His talisman flung to his hand as he uttered hushed, quick words into it. "Donagh... meet me in Light's Hope Chapel. We have a job to do."
A patter of raindrops fell about him as he clutched a stone in his other hand. "Light, you have shown you are not a cruel mistress. Let us hope that you are not ironic, too." A flash of light and he was gone. The rain filled his void as he appeared in the plaguelands, drenched. Several Argents turned and saluted him, knowing exactly who he was. His gaze was cold, yet warm. An inner fire burning within his very soul. He waited patiently. Three long months. Three long months he had waited to rescue his daughter. And finally, he would free himself of his torment.