amarthiel: (♞ traitor)




[ooc: Feel free to use this as an IN-CHARACTER mailbox to get in contact with Amarthiel! Please specify whether you're addressing the human Amarthiel or the orc Amar, as she operates as though they're two different people, and your character wouldn't necessarily know they're the same unless it's been resolved IC. ♥♥]
amarthiel: (♞ the defender)
Need to talk to the player? This is the place.

★ If you have a problem interacting with Amarthiel and would prefer I not poke you in the future, let me know. She's not for everyone, but I promise I don't bite. :3

★ If you're interested in her story, and would like to plot your way into it, or just to arrange to learn more about her ICly.

★ If you're interested in playing one of the 'npc' characters from her storyline, let me know! ^^

★ &c &c.

Please do not flame me; I'm just having fun, and I know full well her story is improbable, somewhat silly, and occasionally slightly nonsensical. I've enjoyed RPing her for the past few years and I am not going to change my wicked ways now. If you don't like it, don't read it! |D
amarthiel: (♘ divided loyalties)
Profile image by [livejournal.com profile] highspire, via [livejournal.com profile] wow_artxchange

All icons credit to [livejournal.com profile] aurefion; please don't use them, as she is my character! :3

Unless otherwise noted in comments, any non-game art in icons is mine.

World of Warcraft belongs to Blizzard and they also own a large part of my soul. Amarthiel Aurefion belongs to me; all non-canonical characters in her history belong either to me or to their respective players. If you're interested in playing someone from Amarthiel's storyline please leave me a comment here and we can chat about it. :3

I am not really a warrior, a rogue, a mercenary or a traitor to the Horde or Alliance; everything contained in this journal is a WORK OF FICTION. ♥
amarthiel: (♘ uncertainty)
Either I've been kidnapped by the Bronze dragonflight in some moment outside time, or I've lost my mind. Either's equally inconvenient; I had somewhere to be, after all. Though our hostess (should I say our jailer?) assures me I needn't worry about that. There are enough mysteries to occupy my time-- where I am, when I am, why they've seen fit to detain the lot of us; except, the magic makes my teeth itch, the company sets me on edge, and I honestly don't care to try and comprehend the inner workings of Time itself.

I rather wish I'd gone downstairs in disguise; so far, the Alliance seems unwelcome. I'm sure with the dragons keeping a watchful eye, things won't get too violent-- at least, I hope so, given their choice of guests... Easier to fade into the background in more ways than one. Well, so be it; play the part, aloof and selfish, as much myself as any other facet. It works at odds with itself; when I was that way, a hiresword and nothing more, I'd have gone at all of them if I thought it'd win me a bounty, a commendation from the Guard. I've never been disloyal, really; never worked against the Alliance, or even considered it, though I'm sure I could have made some gold selling secrets if I'd tried. But to claim disloyalty now feels strange... even if I'm no more invested in the cause than I once was.

Unsettling. Well; no choice. I'll manage.
amarthiel: (Default)
Some things your character is free to know about Amarthiel...
What most people know about Amarthiel is based on speculation; the warrior is extremely reticent about her past. She has never volunteered much, and no one is close enough to her to feel comfortable asking. It is clear that she was born in the kingdom of Lordaeron, but that her family moved early on to settle in Lakeshire, in the Redridge mountains. It was there, beside Lake Everstill, that Fate’s Daughter was raised.
Though it has never been publicly confirmed, Amarthiel’s aversion to those who follow the Light suggests some connection to the Silver Hand; the fact that her family originally hails from Lordaeron seems to support this theory. However, as she will never admit to a surname, it is impossible to connect her definitively to anyone in Lordaeron, living or dead.
This family tie may also explain Amarthiel’s attitude towards those who still fight for the sake of the fallen kingdom; ever the pragmatist, she has no interest in flocking to the banner of any nation, much less one that exists only in the minds of refugees and corpses. The fact that she, herself, is a native of that Kingdom makes her attitude much more pronounced.
It is clear that Amarthiel left home at an early age, heading for Stormwind to embark upon the path of the warrior. A quick study, she swiftly put her abilities to use as a mercenary; she fought for no cause but her dinner and shelter. Unaffected by the rise or fall of cities, the constant threat of hostilities with the Horde, even the lingering threat of the Scourge and Burning Legion, Amarthiel led a life focused solely on her own needs.

Other stuff:
If your character has been through the Elwynn/Redridge area, you're more than welcome to be familiar with the Aurefion Stables. There's no in-game counterpart to this, but let's face it-- obviously we should imagine all the towns to be a bit larger and more populous than they seem to be, heh. The Aurefion Stables are located near Lakeshire, and are a respectable breeder of horses, founded by Amarthiel's father. Not that she'll admit to that part, of course. They also sell a large number of their beasts each year to the Stormwind guard. This is just a note because, well, I'm sure we've all got our own little bits of headcanon, I figured it makes things more interesting if we can share it. :3


A brief summary of her main storyline:
This changed, however, when the mercenary came to join a skirmish against the horde outside the gates of Ironforge itself. Witnessing the attitude of her fellows, she began to come to an understanding of something that had never mattered much to her before- honor. With the help of a druidess who also felt the draw of those on the other side of the unending war, Amarthiel disguised herself and snuck into Orgrimmar in the dress of a novice rogue. She began training anew, hiding her true skill with blades and trying to adapt to the quick, deceptive style taught by the orcish rogue trainers.
Now, having found herself at home in the sprawling city, Amarthiel leads a dual life, balancing her time. Sometimes she is the warrior, fighting for a living; other times the rogue, studying both the lessons of the Shattered Hand and the people around her.


Random trivia:
-Amarthiel is properly shortened to “Marthi,” when speaking of the warrior-persona. However, horde-side she tends to shorten it herself to “Amar,” following the Orcish trend.
-Although she has displayed no aptitude for magic, Amarthiel is sensitive to its use upon her. She is more comfortable with some schools than others; mages' spells bother her less than warlocks' spells, for example. If given a choice, Amarthiel prefers to be healed by a druid. If healed by a priest, she would prefer it to be a Night Elf priest, who channels the power of Elune, rather than the Light. She has been known to cringe visibly when healed by a Light-wielding priest or a paladin.
-Amarthiel has a distaste for gnomes; they strike her as scheming and self-serving, and she just can’t bring herself to trust them or their creations. Related to this is her discomfort with engineers... Anyone smelling that strongly of gunpowder must be up to something unwholesome.
-Of the Alliance races, Amarthiel’s favorite is probably the Dwarves... Though as of late, the actions of the Stormpike in Alterac Valley have caused her to rethink that distinction.
-Amarthiel's mercenary profession arose from the practical circumstances of her existence in the game-- she's a farmer character. As such, in-character she is often "employed" by Almare Lossë, my main. For roleplay purposes she is a skinner/herbalist, although that's no longer true in game terms. Hordeside, Amarthiel is an herbalist/alchemist.
amarthiel: (♞ in between)
She had avoided this as long as possible, but there was no one left in Orgrimmar who could teach her. Nor was there anyone on the high, sunny reaches of the Tauren city. By all reports, if she wanted to further study the art of Alchemy her only recourse was the Royal Apothecary Society of the Forsaken.
The city of Lordaeron.
Amarthiel managed to kill the shudder that strove to creep down her spine, and pulled her hood a little closer to her face as she climbed down the zeppelin tower. It's just a place. You were so young when you left, why should it matter? Trying to calm herself lest she draw unwanted attention, she headed for the crumbling gates of the city.
With downturned eyes she walked towards the old seat of power, having been told that the way down to the Forsaken 'Undercity' was past king Terenas' throne room. Amarthiel kept to the shadows, half from training, and half because the ruined city scared her, in a way. Her feet guided her without her will; she found herself standing, in spite of her wishes, in front of a crumbling home. She didn't look at the coat of arms; didn't read the name inscribed upon the lintel. Just stared at the yawning, broken door, glad that the darkness inside obscured whatever was left. Her own family had not been here when the city fell; just a distant branch she didn't know and didn't much care to. It was a mystery to her what had become of them.
Amarthiel found herself wondering what had happened to the man who might have been her father, the paladin Ilfirin. She had never thought of him growing up; her father forbade reference to him, and though her mother had told her the story-- assuring her that the paladin was no relation-- it had never made a difference to her. If anything she felt a slight distaste for him because of the path he'd chosen; her mother's devotion had always left Amarthiel biased against champions of the Light.
Something stirred inside, a hazy, sulfurous glow rising in the depths of the cavernous building. It resolved itself into two points; one of the dead. Thankful for the mask that kept her face stiff, Amarthiel tried to smother her disgust.
"You like my home, orc?" rasped the corpse in heavily accented orcish. The weak sunlight spilled over a skull, bald of hair and sparse of flesh. What remained, shrunken and shriveled, of his lips was twisted into a sneering grin. She did not recognize his voice, or his ravaged face.
"I was admiring the coat of arms," she lied, glancing at it for the first time. Most of the gilt surface had been destroyed, the precious metal scraped away, leaving gouges in the marble. The fineness of detail was gone, but one could see the traces of its old shape; the hawk's wings that traced and mingled with the rays of a dawning sun.
"Aurefion," muttered the dead man darkly, his burning eyes narrowing. "Nothing of mine. They were long gone by the time I moved in," he chuckled, turning his gaze back to her. "For some of us, dying meant moving up in the world. All these were ancestral homes," he said, one sharp-fingered hand emerging from the darkness and waving down the row of marmoreal relics, "Households I could never have afforded, even if my birth entitled me to a place in one. Which it didn't," he added with another toothy leer.
Amarthiel tried not to breathe a sigh of relief. It was comforting to know this corpse was none of hers; and she doubted it was Snowsong. The dead man seemed more like a low-born scavenger, pleased to scrape at the ruins of a great house, pleased at his chance to dominate in death what he could not have touched in life.
"I am glad you find some pleasure in your current state," she muttered, and bowed her head. The Forsaken snorted; she could not tell whether it was amusement or disgust. He cast another glance at the crumbling coat of arms, and stalked back into his "home."
The 'orc' took a shuddering breath to center herself, and continued onwards towards the Undercity, trying not to think about where she was or where she was going. "Nothing of mine," the corpse had said. The warrior had no desire to contend his claim. She'd sooner take the house in Lakeshire. Amarthiel did not look back, as she headed for the so-called Undercity; behind her, the doorway yawned open, dark and empty. The house was nothing of hers, either.. Not anymore.

Nagrand

Feb. 11th, 2009 08:20 pm
amarthiel: (Default)
The warrior sat at the side of the lake, muttering under her breath and scrubbing at her hands, occasionally casting an irate glance at the distant pillars and triliths of the Throne of the Elements. Beside her stood a proud black steed, covered by shining pieces of equine armor- recently acquired by his mistress, in order to better protect the beast from the Outlands' dangers. The horse was restless; from time to time great wolf-riders passed along the roads to and from Garador, the nearby outpost of the Mag'har orcs. The stallion, well-trained by his human companion, feared little... But these wolves were fierce, and more than once had chased the human til sweat soaked the steed's mane and his mistress' hair alike.
It'd almost be ironic if they caught me.
With a final grimace, Amarthiel finished scrubbing her hands clean of the last traces of.. Well, better to leave it forgotten. She moved to stand, but thought the better of it; it was a lovely day, and Nagrand was breathtakingly beautiful... None of her obligations were too pressing, and the opportunity to sit on the grass beside a lake was far too tempting. She made a small sound to signal her steed to relax, and pulled off her heavy plate boots. The horse, ignoring its new armor, loosened its stance and moved to nose the grass, as the warrior let her heavy pauldrons fall from her shoulders with a sigh of relief. Stripping the padding from her feet, she shifted over a little and edged her feet into the cold water, carefully avoiding the area she'd just washed her hands in. Trusting the dark stallion to alert her if anyone approached, she closed her eyes and just enjoyed the warmth of the day.
Some moments later a voice rang out from the nearby Horde town; the warhorse was instantly alert, tossing his head, scenting the air. The warrior, too, broke from her reverie, though more from curiousity than fear. The distance wwas too great to catch the exact words-- I am home, or something like that, she thought-- but she recognize the booming shout of the Warchief. Thrall's voice was hard to mistake; it rang familiar to the human, because of the trace of a Common accent to it. She'd taken to emulating his style of speech whenever possible- quoting him when she could, borrowing his expressions- hoping to pass off her own accent as an affectation. The Warchief was not unique in his Common fluency, though no one in Orgrimmar exercised command of that tongue frequently... But for most, the human language had been a second language. Amarthiel was quiet when she could be- her chosen profession didn't hurt- but when she did speak, she was careful about her words, acutely aware of herself, afraid that her tongue would betray her. It could be a projection of her hopes, but she did seem to be more convincing, now that she'd chosen to portray herself as copying Thrall's mode of speech... It was much more comfortable than trying to feign a speech impediment.
Frowning slightly, the warrior whistled to get the horse's attention. The beast calmed itself quickly and wandered back to its rider. Amarthiel dried her feet with a rag from her full pack, and pulled back on her armor, regretting the necessity of burdening herself with such weight on such a warm day. Stretching once to test the fit of her pauldrons, she mounted and took one last, longing look at the lake. Turning back, she settled in her saddle, preparing herself for a long ride.. Back to the Portal, to Azeroth...
Enough, for now, of furthering her mercenary career... The Kurenai could wait. She wanted to know what brought the Warchief to Garadar.
amarthiel: (Default)
Amarthiel crept through the dripping caverns beneath the Ashenvale beach, concentrating on each step. It wasn't enough to be quiet, she reminded herself; you had to move slowly but surely, one step after the other, avoiding the drifting gazes of the naga and satyr that wandered so close, from time to time, that she feared alerting them to her presence by brushing against them. She reminded herself to exhale, keeping the rythm of her breath even, letting it fade into quiet background noise... Holding your breath wasn't helpful, but it was the natural nervous response.
Part of her wanted to take the quick way out- she was well-trained and strong; she could, in her normal guise, take them all down without stopping for breath. And the world'd be better off for it, she thought, pausing as one of the demons' eyes passed over her.
But... well... She needed the practice in subtlety.. and who knew if these cheap daggers would hold, if she tried them against the monstrous creatures here. Besides, she'd come down here with a number of Horde women; two of the Blood Elves, two of the dead, and she didn't know where they'd gotten to. Her disguise had served her well, in their company, and there was no reason to jeopardize that because of impatience.
Their battle with the manifestation of the Old God summoned by the Twilight's Hammer had gone, all in all, quite well. Amarthiel doubted they'd made a real difference- the Adept they'd slain might have been the head of this chapter of the cult, but those who sold their souls to such primal forces were rarely that easy to exterminate. And the enormous hydra they'd slain had been but the barest sliver of the goddess' power; just an avatar.
As she slid along a wall, keeping her eyes on the nearby serpent priestess, the "rogue" mused on just how lucky they'd been that she was more than they'd seemed. As they crept through the cavern towards the great hydra, the five had been carefully dispatching huge, angry turtles. However, they ventured too close, and suddenly the goddess was upon them. The sin'dorei Paladin fell quickly, and the hydra's heads whipped around to face the dead priestess.
Training took over; Amarthiel surrendered to instinct and changed her stance, bracing herself to withstand the blows. Throwing her head back she roared defiantly at the beast, challenging it to take its attention from the priestess. Yelling, to keep its attention on her, the woman did her best to cut the beast down quickly, oblivious to the uncomfortable sensation of the Light being channeled, made all the more unusual by the fact that one of the plague-dead wielded it. Slowly but surely it weakened, bleeding freely from knife-wounds and arcane burns. Amarthiel renewed her efforts, and the beast soon fell. The mage and warlock sat down to recover from their mental exertions; the other Forsaken knelt beside the paladin's fallen form to pray for her soul's return. The "orc" walked off a ways, concerned that letting her training show might raise questions she couldn't answer.
She feigned a worse reaction to the hydra's venom than she felt, sitting on a moss-slick stone while the others recovered. At length the priestess wandered over; Amarthiel glanced up.
"Good work, Amar," she said, with a pale-lipped grin. The mercenary returned the expression, though her red mask concealed the curl of lips around carved-bone fangs.

A satyr stirred as she crept by, and Amarthiel froze, abandoning her reminiscence. The demon shook its head, and she crept off quickly, attention firmly planted in the moment. Still, she couldn't help but smile... it was fortunate, how her dual training worked out.

Outland

Feb. 11th, 2009 08:18 pm
amarthiel: (♘ on the run)
The warrior took a moment to rest, grimly wiping demonic ichor from her blade and digging through her pack for something to bandage a wounded arm with. Before her was spread the chaos of battle, the uncoordinated but sympathetic efforts of a hundred men and women; human and orc, tauren and elf, all trying to stem the flood of demons from the fel portal the Legion had constructed here. There were enough for now, she thought; it seemed unlikely that her temporary absence would help the demons much.
Pausing, Amarthiel peered over the edge of the cliff, contemplating the rooftops and half-seen streets of Thrallmar, the Horde's answer, she supposed, to Honor Hold. She really wasn't certain...
The woman sighed softly, faintly regretting the fact that she'd not gotten far enough in her rogue's training to come here in another guise. She could manage, in her usual way; but it would be incredibly suspicious for her alter-ego to suddenly abandon newfound training and profess herself a talented warrior. No, she’d have to spend some time in Kalimdor yet, before she came out here. Still… She was eager to explore Draenor from both perspectives.
Better perhaps to begin with the Alliance she’d been born to; Amarthiel had come to the realization, as she strode through the Dark Portal, that she knew almost nothing of the shattered “Outlands” that lay beyond… which might be a problem. Draenor, she was vaguely aware, was the homeland of the orcs, as well as of the strange, blue-skinned beings who’d recently joined the Alliance forces. The Draenei seemed to feel kinship with the Allies primarily because of their belief in the Light; this did little to endear them to Amarthiel, whose dislike for the practitioners of that faith had only been magnified by staying with the shamanistic and druidic healers of the Horde. Still, they seemed nice enough.
Her ignorance concerning the history of the Outlands, however, didn’t seem appropriate for the other Amarthiel… She would probably be more aware of the history of her own people. It was, the warrior reflected, something she’d have to research before even thinking about heading to the Outlands as a rogue. Sighing softly, she again hefted her heavy blade and prepared to enter the fray... Although her journeys in Draenor thus far had been profitable and, well, somewhat interesting, she regretted the fact that it kept her away from continuing her training as a rogue… Her rooms in Theramore had no doubt been rented out to someone else by now, and she was glad that she’d brought all her possessions from Orgrimmar to Stormwind… most of them packed securely into a small, locked trunk. Her pet snake was back in her room at Honor Hold… it wasn’t entirely unheard of for such beasties to be traded through the goblin Auction Houses, and she didn’t know anyone well enough to entrust him to their care.
Frowning faintly, the warrior turned to face a felguard who’d wandered too close for comfort… Much more of this and, hell, she’d be more than willing to take a break, go back to Kalimdor and her training. For now… Amarthiel leapt off the rock she’d been sitting on, and charged the felguard. After all, she’d a job out here… The faster she finished it, the sooner she could go back to her own world.
amarthiel: (Default)
No thunderclaps or revelations accompanied the birth of Lord Aurefion's child; it was, if not an easy birth, an average one. Ilfirin waited with Victor for the child to be presented; the two men did not speak. Still seemingly confident of his innocence, the paladin waited patiently; Aranel's husband, on the other hand, paced the floor, occasionally shooting angry glares at the younger man. Still suspicious, the imminent arrival of his (possible) offspring had raised all the doubts he'd been feeling... and the proximity of the man who had-- emotionally, if not literally-- cuckolded him, was torturous.
Eventually, after the interminable waiting, the midwife's apprentice brought out the babe, wrapped in the clean, monogrammed blanket Lord Aurefion had provided. The new father surveyed the girl, searching in her eyes for some hint of himself, or of the paladin. However, being a newborn she bore no resemblance to either man.
Ilfirin again professed his innocence; the only warmth he felt for the child was based on his love for her mother. He declined to hold her, insisting that Lord Aurefion was, in fact, her father, and as such he wouldn't dare take her from him. He asked after Aranel; was told that she was weak, but stable. On that note, he offered his congratulations to the lord, his best wishes to the lady, and left.
After some thought, Victor chose to name his daughter "child of Fate;" seeing her questionable paternity as a matter that could not be divined. And so it was that Amarthiel Aurefion came into this world, mistrusted by her father, something of an embarassment to the family because of the mystery of her birth.
As the child grew, it became clear that she resembled her mother very strongly; the same soft, dark features developed in the girl, with no trace of either man. In time, perhaps only from familiarity, Victor became convinced that she did, indeed, resemble him; grudgingly, he gave his permission for his wife to visit with Ilfirin. This, however, reawoke rumors about the lady and her knight.
Amarthiel, doted on by her father at first, soon caught his dislike for the paladin. She found Victor much less affectionate as soon as Snowsong came back into her mother's life and, being but an infant, she took an irrational dislike to him. In spite of his renewed suspicions-- or perhaps because of them, as a result of his possessiveness-- Victor decided that his daughter was indeed worthy to carry the Aurefion name.

By the time Amarthiel was three, the constant rumors about the affair between Ilfirin and Aranel- and the whispered questions about the girl's parentage- became too much for Victor to handle. Giving his title and estate to a distant cousin, he took Aranel and their young daughter south, leaving Lordaeron in favor of the small, insignificant town of Lakeshire... Far from the stares and whispers, far from rumors of scandal.
Aranel, shaken by her husband's decision to move, and tormented by the loss of Ilfirin, turned to the Light for comfort; it could not replace her Paladin love, but it gave her strength. From an early age, Amarthiel was pushed by her mother to enter the priesthood- a fact that contributed to her growing distaste for the Light itself. It is possible that Aranel's insistence upon her devotion was meant as a jab at her husband; an expression of her indignation of having been taken from her home, her friends, and of course, Ilfirin, in spite of the fact that she'd remained faithful to him. Whatever the cause, Amarthiel and her father began to distance themself from Aranel, unable to stomach her newfound religious zeal.
Life in Lakeshire, surprisingly, suited Victor quite well. The Aurefions kept a small farm, and the former Lord found he enjoyed the management of such a small and productive estate much better than the ultimately meaningless activity of the city. The farm was not successful enough to restore the family's former wealth, but it allowed them to live more or less comfortably.
Perhaps to spite her mother's intentions, Amarthiel was an athletic youth. She was something of a lone wolf from early on; Aranel's devotion won no small share of mockery from the rest of Lakeshire, and the other children thus tended to avoid the Aurefion household. Amarthiel, already somewhat jaded by the instability of her brief life, hardened to it, and didn't go out of her way to win their trust. She kept largely to herself, quietly accepting any attention she won, but not seeking much.
One of Victor's last holdovers of noble behavior was his desire to spoil his child; she was largely free to do as she pleased, having few chores or responsibilities on the farm. What little work Amarthiel did tend to be in the stables; from an early age she was fascinated by even the tired old plow-horses Victor bought along with the farm. By the age of ten, she was a regular assistant to the stablehands, and even when nothing needed to be done, could often be found hanging around the equine members of the family. Her interest encouraged her father to buy several more horses, perhps the base stock to begin breeding them for sale, as the farm began to turn a profit; as a start, he gifted her with a stallion of her own, a fine black steed, a suitable mount for a young noble girl. To his vague dismay, Amarthiel proved to be something of a wild rider... and the energetic horse was happy to play along. She vanished from the stables, spending all her time riding, racing through the woods and only occasionally showing up for meals and sleep.
amarthiel: (Default)
Scandal loves to lurk like a well-fed lapdog around the heels of the well-born, just waiting for an opportunity to draw attention. Some attribute it to the detrimental effects of leisure on moral character. Others see it as an unfortunate side effect of being in the public eye; liasons and indiscretions that would go unnoticed among normal folk are magnified and distorted, brought to light much more easily when they occur in the courts of the well-to-do.
Sir Victor Aurefion was a minor noble of Lordaeron, possessed of a title but no land. He lived in the capital city itself, not a permanent member of the King's court, but certainly involved in the noble society. His wife was a charming woman, dark-eyed and dark-haired, named Aranel. Though it had not been a love-match, their marriage was happy enough; Victor was kind, accomodating of his wife's wishes; Aranel had simpler taste than many of her sisters. It was rare that strife touched the family, and due to the harmony and generosity of the couple, the Aurefion household was recognized as one of the most hospitable and welcoming homes in Lordaeron, if not one possessed of great clout.
However, even the noblest people, with the best intentions, are the pawns of chance. It was at one of the Aurefion's huge dinner parties that Aranel first met Ilfirin Snowsong, a young Paladin, but recently come to the city and Order. Those who knew Lady Aurefion say it must have been fate, must have been love at first sight; certainly Ilfirin wasn't the only handsome young man who'd come that evening... And many say he wasn't even the finest. But something passed between them and, when the company broke up into smaller groups after dinner, Aranel found herself wandering in her gardens, accompanied by the young knight.
To her dying day, Aranel swore that nothing untoward happened between Snowsong and herself, either that night or any other. Nevertheless, their fondness for each other's company grew, and the young paladin spent more time than most considered seemly at the Aurefion residence. Victor was not thrilled that his wife had taken such an interest in another man, but he trusted her to uphold the honor of his household; for a long while, her assurances that she and Ilfirin were merely friends kept his discomfort at bay.
As to the true nature of Lady Aurefion's relationship with the knight, we have only her word. She never denied that she was madly in love with Ilfirin- indeed, much more so than with her husband- but claimed that because of her own sense of duty to her husband, as well as the paladin's disciplined devotion to the ideals of his Order, their affair was entirely an emotional one. She called it a matter of fate- an undeniable attraction they could not resist.
It was not until Aranel became pregnant that her lord's suspicions were truly aroused, more by the stress of caring for his wife in her delicate condition than by reasonable doubt. Whether or not she had been physically involved with her young lover, Aranel had been faithful to her duties as a wife; there was every reason to expect that the child was her husband's. Victor, however, couldn't shake the suspicion that his wife was having Snowsong's child; the affront to his honor was too much to bear. It came to a head one day when he challenged young Ilfirin to a duel, publicly accusing him of seducing Lady Aranel, and demanding vengeance for it.
The paladin proclaimed his innocence, and, remaining level-headed, suggested that they settle their disagreements without bloodshed. Aranel was nearly due, and Ilfirin was confident that the child would bear no resemblance to him. The nobleman would not be appeased; he insisted upon trying his sword against Snowsong. The paladin accepted the challenge, but refused to do more than defend himself. Aurefion, well-trained and talented in fencing, rained blows upon his adversary, but could not break the knight's defenses. Eventually, disgusted, he spat in Ilfirin's face and stormed off. The younger man was disappointed, but unsurprised; he stayed away from the Aurefion household for weeks, afraid of rousing Victor's ire.
Aranel wilted somewhat, deprived of her love's presence. Finally, Victor himself came to Ilfirin. He did not apologize for his actions, or his suspicions; but he did request that the paladin come, for the sake of his wife's comfort. Ilfirin was surprisingly understanding (and moved by the thought of his beloved in pain,) so the two made a sort of uneasy truce. Snowsong moved into the Aurefion household to help care for Aranel, several weeks before the child was born.
amarthiel: (Default)
As I rode north from the ruins of Durnholde, I wasn't thinking of what lay ahead. My mind had drifted to what lay behind- the concurrent past that lay buried in the south of Kalimdor, where I'd walked over this terrain long ago, surveying the Keep unbroken, the prison and home of the orc I've come to think of as my Warchief.
So perhaps, lost in contemplation of the complexities of time, I forgot the equal complexities of my own allegiences.
By luck I'd managed to ride past the two Wildhammer gryphons that guard the southern pass through the foothills without catching their attention. In spite of my absentmindedness, the dire wolf I purchased in Orgrimmar- once I felt myself sufficiently established that such a display of affluence would not raise suspicion- loped along the path worn in the grass, in no hurry to get anywhere.
A sudden shout brought me back to reality. The wolf stopped short, muscles tense, ready to fight or flee. The voice came again, recognizable (to me, at least,) as one of the Wildhammers of Aerie Peak calling to his fellows. Of course, I'd never bothered to stop and think about where I was going.
I vaulted off the beast's back and gave a clipped command in Orcish that sent him running. Anyone who thought it prudent to chase a gigantic, angry wolf probably deserved what they got if they caught him.
As for myself, I cursed the inattentiveness that had gotten me into such a mess- being caught unaware made it much more difficult. For obvious reasons, I didn't want to kill my pursuers; they had murder in their eyes now, but I'd accepted the hospitality of the Wildhammer clan before. I hit the ground lightly, listening for another shout, trying to figure out which way they'd be coming.
The first was upon me before I could guess; I twisted out of the way and shot a kick out at his heel, managing to throw him off balance. Sure enough he tripped; I took a breath, thankful that I'd mastered so many techniques of incapacitation without injury, and flipped my dagger in my hand to jab him with the hilt. As I'd hoped, the heavy pommel hit its mark, and the sudden shock to a well-placed nerve left the dwarf slumped over.
I didn't have time to make my escape before a second was upon me, narrowly missing me with a shortsword. I rolled to the side and brought a dagger up to parry his next cut, wincing as the impact jarred my elbow. I scrambled up and began backing up slowly, at least having the sense to move away from Aerie Peak. I used my right arm to keep up a defense, parrying and dodging the worst of his cuts- tho' a few managed to scar the thick leather armor I wore. Finally, I managed to get one of my belt pouches open. I grabbed a handful of the powder, and turning my head to the side to avoid any blowing back, flung it in the dwarf's face.
He roared in frustration and stumbled back, clawing at his face. The blinding powder would hurt but wouldn't damage him in the end. I didn't stay around to watch. Giving a sharp whistle, which would hopefully get my mount's attention, I turned and ran, expending all my energy for a short burst of speed which would hopefully get me far enough away that the dwarves would stop chasing me, once they came to.
The brush rustled to my left; I tensed and prepared to dodge, but the only pursuer that emerged was the great, dark wolf. Relieved, I remounted and paused to get my bearings, finally heading east towards the Overlook Cliffs, and the small trollish town I knew was there. Those guards, in fact, had come after me more than once, when I'd chanced to wander too close.
I had always thought that anything trying to kill me was fair game for a fight. Now, caught between two warring factions, I found my perspective infinitely complicated... Anything that would kill me in either guise was still fair game... But it was always disconcerting to see my "allies" from the other side. I've been chased by men I knew from the Stormwind guard; I've spoken with the Orcish soldiers who used to nearly lame my horse as I ran along the coast of the Barrens.
I remember once, riding through Tanaris in the shadow of the Scourge, and having a brief glimpse of understanding, the realization that there were larger things out there than I busied myself with. It was a revelation I rejected at the time; I went back to whatever I'd hired myself out for, and only looked into working for the Argent Dawn when I'd learned they were paying well. Self-sacrifice is not in my nature.
But now... To stand on both sides of a war, makes it difficult to understand how we can villify our foes so thoroughly. It was that attitude that drew me to Orgrimmar in the first place... I am no less dismayed by those among the Horde who make slaying the Alliance their goal in life. I don't have the luxury of that blindness anymore.
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The orc's eyes glazed over and a twist of energy appeared in her hands. I couldn't quite see it but I knew it was there; just a bit of dark force being manipulated by her slender fingers. Following up a slash on the guard by her side, I twisted, leaped, and delivered a kick to her midsection. Deprived of breath and concentration, her spell fell apart; the nether energies dissippated, going back to whatever foul place had spawned them. The warlock fumbled and tried to catch her breath; a rogue caught her from behind and dispatched her as I turned back to the guard, trying to kill him before he could get to our healers.
Rend Blackhand is no friend to the Horde. It felt odd to be slaying orcs, after so long a stay in Orgrimmar. But to these it did not matter which face I wore. And thus.. I felt no guilt. My philosophy has always been that anything trying to kill me is fair game... The less complicated that becomes, the happier I am.
We finished off the group, and I sat down to take stock of what wounds I'd received. As I shuffled through my small pack for some bandages, one of the priests took care of it; I shivered slightly at the touch of the Light, not having expected it.
"Where did you learn to fight like that?" someone asked.
I shrugged. "Just tried it, and it worked." There was no reason I couldn't have done so, after all. The truth was, it was a rogue trick. I had surprised myself by pulling it off in plate... Heat of the moment I guess.
Someone tossed me a few silver, which I dropped into my bag. We pressed on.

I rode 'home' slowly, once I got out of the Burning Steppes, taking my time strolling through Redridge. I stopped in the inn at Lakeshire for some time and nursed a cup of weak beer, but somehow it was less relaxing than I'd hoped... It was a relief to get into Elwynn, and under the shade of trees. It would be easier to disappear, here, if necessary. But that was a ridiculous thought, of course; I couldn't fade away here as I'd learned to there. To start with it would cause too many questions. And this was familiar, friendly territory- there was no reason to.
I patted the small leather pouch the druidess had handed me as I parted ways from her group.. it clinked dully. Glass vials wrapped in wool. I had not dared thank her aloud for it, but I'd nodded my appreciation as I mounted.
I'd taken up potion-crafting myself, hoping that, sooner or later, I'd be good enough to supply myself with the various alchemical cosmetics Amynnah had been supplying me with. For now, though, the druidess' contributions were more than welcome.
The sun was setting as I rode into Stormwind; I decided to try for a room in my old inn, not feeling up to riding all night to get back to Theramore. Perhaps tomorrow, I'd be able to track down the druidess... I didn't want to be gone from Orgrimmar too long. Didn't want my dearly-bought serpent to end up as stew.
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Few people had noticed my absence, and none had been bothered or become suspicious. I picked up where I had left off- looking for ways to keep food on the table and, if possible, a roof over my head.
I was approached by a gnome in Stormwind- I don't know who recommended my services to her, but she was willing to pay for some assistance; escort through the Barrens and help killing some quillboars. My own dislike for the pig-men led me to agree, and we headed off. We secured passage to Theramore and ran from there, stopping off to rest at the few outposts that Lady Proudmoore kept between her island and the Barrens. Dustwallow Marsh is not the safest of places but the road was relatively clear, and we made good time, in spite of the fact that my charge had no mount of her own. She was friendly, at least; I don't generally like gnomes- too calculating, too mechanically-minded- but this young warrior was cheerful and had a good sense of humor.
After helping her out in the southern Barrens, I agreed to take her up to the Charred Vale, although our agreement had only included time in the Barrens.
She was young, I think, and did not seem to know much about the world; she gasped in shock seeing a young Tauren run by us in the Barrens. We made it to Stonetalon quickly enough, and it was nice to be back under the shade of trees. I mentioned this, and the gnome agreed.
"The logging here is.. troubling," I said absently, keeping an eye out for spiders.
"Why?" she asked.
"They're over-cutting... This place will look like the Barrens if something isn't done," I explained. "It's not so bad here.. but over on Windshear Crag, for example.. there's hardly anything left, and the Venture Company is vicious." I sighed. "There and everywhere.. I've heard they've even spread into Mulgore, where the Tauren are."
"Tauren?"
I laughed. "Like that young shaman we passed before..." I trailed off, realizing I needed to change my town; I didn't want to sound too sympathetic.
The gnome brightly mentioned something about the advantages of building in stone and metal, and I nodded, my mind elsewhere. The orcs, too, were doing their own logging; in Ashenvale I'd heard of the endless battle with the Silverwing Sentinels over the rights to a small valley, where the Horde had set up a lumber camp. I didn't feel much sympathy for that; the kaldorei had done enough for me that I respected them, even if they had their measure of arrogance.
We spoke very little as we travelled through the Charred Vale, killing what was in our way. We parted company in Desolace. I pondered heading back to Theramore; perhaps taking up residence there, instead of in Stormwind. It would make it easier to get to Orgrimmar... And somehow, I might feel safer under the reign of Jaina Proudmoore; at any rate I might feel like less of a traitor.
I flew back to Theramore to spend the night in its inn, no long-term decision made. I wondered absently whether, in time, anyone would notice my absence when I left Orgrimmar... for that matter, I wondered how long I intended to stay there.
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I spent all morning people-watching, sitting at my window, which looked out onto one of Orgrimmar's busier streets. I'd donned a silk shirt, brought from home, and a pair of light but covering gloves, meaning all I needed to do was apply my mask and attendant cosmetics, rather than worrying about dying my hands and ankles. I went down to the common room of the inn for a mug of rather bad beer, and sat nursing it at my window for several hours.
The city was starting to seem familiar; the babble of Orcish and Trollish, the deep resonant Taurahe words becoming, if not familiar, at least no longer startlingly alien. From time to time I would see one of the Forsaken run by, but not often; they gave me chills, and I always looked away, not wanting to risk recognizing the ravaged faces. I didn't think it likely that I'd know any of the undead, but didn't want to take the chance... Besides, they were just plain unnatural.
By the middle of the afternoon my legs felt a bit better, so I decided to wander off. I spent a few hours of peaceful fishing in the Valley of Honor. I think many of my acquaintances would be surprised to learn of my fondness for fishing; I'm rarely the 'peaceful' type. But somehow the familiar action helped me feel at home in Orgrimmar. I headed off, in time, to try my luck in another of Orgrimmar's small pools, in the Valley of Spirits, having released the better part of my catch.
In the Valley of Spirits, while fishing, I noticed a troll wandering up and down the street with a herd of serpents behind him, apparently the wares he was peddling. I asked him, as he passed, whether the snakes were poisonous; he shrugged and answered me in Troll. I wasn't sure whether he didn't understand my question, or didn't know the answer- nevertheless he seemed to be handling them without difficulty. On impulse I purchased one of his snakes- a fairly large, bright red beast with jewel-like eyes. He picked it up, stroking its head with one hand and muttered a few words to it, before handing it to me. The snake curled peacefully around my arms, testing the air with a flick of its tongue. I paid the troll and went back to fishing, placing my new pet on the ground; he (or she?) followed where I led, peacefully stretching upon the smooth stone when I stopped. The snake watched with unfathomable interest as I cast my line; I eventually tossed it a small, brightly scaled fish which it devoured in one gulp. That, at least, was good to know...
I kept a few of the larger fish- they looked more or less familiar, like the type of snapper one catches in Elwynn, only slightly different in color- to cook for dinner, and headed back to the inn. The innkeeper, accustomed to adventurers and mercenaries, relieved me of my catch- the extra fish would serve as payment for my own portion.
I took my meal back to my room and again watched the crowds as I picked at it... The spices were unfamiliar but not unpleasant. It occurred to me that I'd been here for several days and, though I didn't have any pressing tasks or engagements back "home," it might be good to head back to Stormwind and see how things had fared in my absence. I didn't want to disappear; it might raise questions. So, I brought down my dishes and arranged a few days payment for my room. The innkeeper even agreed to feed my snake while I was gone. Donning again my cloak and hood- to conceal my paint-smeared face and neck from the Alliance, when I got back to friendly lands- I left Orgrimmar by the west gate. I'd left my war-horse upriver; the animal was well-trained and knew to stay until I returned, and there was food and fresh water in plenty on the border of Ashenvale. As for the danger- I wouldn't want to be the bear who thought that a meal went on those well-shod hooves.
"Be careful up there... Not safe for a young lady," said one of the guards with a wink as I left the Orcish city, heading north along the river.
I just smiled, and let myself fade into the landscape, as I had been taught.
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My teacher in Razor Hill, who'd picked up where the old orc in the Den had left off, sent me to Orgrimmar to advance my training. The member of the Shattered Hand I there encountered sent me to Ratchet; I decided to take the opportunity to travel through Kalimdor.
Mulgore struck me as almost painfully beautiful; I imagine the Barrens must have looked like that, once. The grass was thick and invitingly green; I longed to pull off my boots and walk in it. But here, hardly a stone's throw from the rises of Thunder Bluff, I didn't dare endanger my disguise. Still, Mulgore felt wild; I admired the Tauren for managing to live there without changing it. Even the Night Elves, who can hardly be seperated from their leafy homes, seem coercive in comparison. The trees bend willingly to serve their needs; but the city of the Tauren feels shaped by necessirty. I spent some time on its rises, peering into the leather tents where the Bluffs' denizens kept their shops and plied their crafts. It is a peaceful place; much more like Darnassus than I think most of my fellows in the Alliance would expect. Eventually I left, heading regretfully back to the Barrens, hoping to find Tazan- the troll south of Ratchet that I'd been asked to kill for the Shattered Hand.
Waiting for Tazan to come along, I was taken by surprise by one of the local pirates. I was distractedly scanning the horizon for the troll, and she got the jump on me. Stil unaccustomed to the lightness of my armor, I did not dodge quickly enough; she cut me deeply. Light headed and frenzied with blood loss I fought a losing battle, eventually falling. I know not for how long.
The first thing I saw upon waking was a massive, dark-furred face; the green haze around the edge of my vision helped me grasp the situation. The tauren had Healed me, apparently catching me at the brink of death. I stumbled to my feet and bowed my head in thanks, not yet trusting my voice or my command of orcish, the way my head reeled. The bull returned the bow. His eyes were dark and deep- not an animal's eyes, as I'd always assumed. Finally I managed to stammer a brief word of thanks, wishing I'd had some way to learn Taurahe, and sprinted off to the shade of a nearby palm to sit and wait, and ready myself for battle. The bull went on his way towards Ratchet.

In time I took care of the assignment, and headed back to Orgrimmar. After following up on my task, I decided to call it a night.

The next morning, I woke up aching. I wasn't out of shape by any standard- but training as a rogue was worlds away from selling a warrior's sword. My legs felt useless, from jumping and dodging, as well as running from city to city. I decided to take a day off and explore Orgrimmar instead of the outside world.
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I came to Orgrimmar by night, in my disguise, wrapped up in a cloak and hood just in case. No one questioned me; I secured a room for myself quickly, having studied appropriate phrases quite exhaustively. I passed the night surprisingly peacefully; I don't know whether it was just because of my exhaustion, or whether being in 'enemy' territory didn't bother me as much as I'd expected. I set out the next morning for the Valley of Trials, where I would begin my training again.
I'd picked up some cheap leather armor- nothing fancy, the kind of thing you can buy for a few copper in Goldshire or Kharanos- and, donning it, headed to meet my new trainer. He got straight to business and I found myself simultaneously trying to supress the muscle-memory of a mercenary warrior, and struggling to master the unfamiliar moves of this older rogue. I know my way around a blade as well as the next person; but it was strange to try something so new, after so long in my own chosen path. I felt less secure without plate, but the freedom of movement nearly made up for it. I've always been agile, but unencumbered by my heavy armor it was much easier to twist and dodge to evade the instructor's moves than I was accustomed to.
After a brief time in the Valley, I headed off to Sen'Jinn village and began to explore Durotar in earnest. It's a lovely land, in places, but there is something painful about the desolate red soil. And the land there shows its pain more readily than most places; I remember embarking upon my warrior's training in Northshire. The worst we had to face there were rats and thieves; in the Valley were demons, and just outside, an encampent of filthy centaur.
South of Sen'Jinn are the Echo Islands, full of troll ruins and tropical growth... Like Stranglethorn writ small, though the jungle is much more developed there. I spent some time hunting down tigers and hexxed trolls for the denizens of the village, and eventually returned to Orgrimmar, wanting to get a look at the city before the sun set.
Orgrimmar is huge; I used to find the massive, sprawling construction of Ironforge strange, but its horde counterpart proved to be even more bizarre. I took a slow walk around, peering into shops, rarely saying more than a few words, if that. I had somehow expected it to feel different; but from what words I caught the business of Orgrimmar is not unlike the business of Stormwind. People buy, people sell, people banter and complain. I kept an eye out for the troll and tauren that had been with the druidess Amynnah, but did not see them.. Then again, I had no idea whether I would recognize them if I saw them again. I felt fair confident that not even Amynnah- or Lamassu, as she would be here- would not notice that I wasn't what I seemed, at least not on first glance. The mask served its purpose wonderfully; looking in the rough mirror in my room, i saw nothing of myself. It was an oddly comforting fact- not that I've ever disliked myself. But it helped me separate myself, my history, from the role I was playing here.
I sat at the window of the inn and watched people go by until it got dark, and then for a while after by the light of torches. I thought of the people who'd stalked by after their massacre, cursing the horde and patting each other on the back; it was harder for me to imagine them as individuals, than to imagine the lives of these strangers who passed by my window.
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I brought her a bag of blue pearls, from Stranglethorn Vale. They weren't precisely payment, but she'd mentioned that she used them herself and it seemed only fair. I brought her a small pouch of malachite, inexpensively procured at the Auction House, and a handful of Stranglekelp, wrapped in damp silk in a small wooden box, and a few other bits and pieces to brew dyes. In my pack, I also had a number of hides and skins; some heavier ones and some finer, which were destined for a master Leatherworker of Amynnah's acquaintance.
I have never known loyalty. I've never sought to be noble or true. I have always been a pragmatist; doing what I must and no more, seeking to survive and be comfortable. And all of a sudden I decide to undertake this madness? I couldn't fathom my own decisions. The Druidess, I think, understood to some degree; but she could offer me no explanations.
I don't know to this day what she told her guild-sister; all I know is, i was told to contact another kaldorei by the name of Máme Menelril and give her a number of materials. I'd seen her work before; she made helms for her fellow Druids in the shape of lupine masks, and the craftsmanship was exquisite. I had perfect faith in her abilities, though I was a bit leery of explaining myself. Normally I'd have had faith in my ability to come up with a convincing lie... but something about this whole venture unsettled me.
Thankfully I did not have to explain anything- she took the package I handed her without a question. "Two weeks," she promised me, and headed back to her work... Two weeks for me to sit and question my sanity.
There was nothing I stood to gain, really, from going into Orgrimmar. And there was plenty to lose- if I were to be caught, I'd be killed. By either faction. The Horde would suspect me of being a spy; the Alliance would call me a traitor.
I spent my time studying what little I could of the Orc's language, as well as a couple of brief treatises on Trollish and Taurahe. I had no hope for fluency- understanding a few words of every sentence would be more than enough. I could manage, I thought, as a rather dull-witted fighter; I planned to seek training as a rogue, rather than continuing my own path. I've had enough experience, I wouldn't want to draw undue attention or progress too fast. Better to go with something new.
Eventually I returned to the two druids. Máme had outdone my wildest imagination, creating a mask and gloves lifelike enough that they nearly fooled me. The thick leather had gone to make the shape, and the finer to cover it; she'd treated it to look completely vibrant and fleshlike. The stitches on the seams were invisible, tiny, tight, and hidden in spots where the flesh would crease anyway. Her real mastery showed in the small details; the way the leather was thinned along the eye sockets and around the mouth, to allow for easier blending into my own skin; the thin eyebrows; the earrings fitted into the stiff leather ears. I thanked her profusely, but she refused payment; if nothing else I made a note to recommend her to anyone in need of fine crafting and refused to take any of the excess leather.
Amynnah had been no less industrious; she let me in and hurried to show me a number of potions and concoctions. The dyes she'd obviously delivered to her friend, but there was a cream pigment of the exact same shade to use on the exposed skin around my eyes, and with which I could blend the edge of the leather onto my own skin. The dried Bruiseweed and Swifthistle had become a kind of glue, she told me, which would keep the mask from slipping. There was another substance to dissolve the glue (Silverleaf and Wintersbite, I guessed, based on the scent.) And a handful of other things; and a list of what was what, in case I forgot. She'd also procured- I know not from where- some false teeth, which seemed to be carved of bone; I had never even considered the jutting lower fangs, or how to approximate them.
I headed back to my inn with a pack full of things I would never be able to explain. All that I was waiting on was my own readiness.
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It was some weeks later that I received a brief note from the huntress who'd previously engaged my services; all it said was that a Druidess of her acquaintance had some need of me. I assumed it was for bodyguard service- though most who follow the healers' path prefer someone a bit more sturdy than myself. Whatever it was, there'd be no harm in meeting the woman... And quite frankly that first night in Stormwind (many more of which had followed) had been in an inn quite beyond my means. I don't know what possessed me to take it in the first place.
So I sent Huntress Lossë a note with a convenient date and time, and the address at which I was staying, and more or less forgot about it. When the knock on the door came I was busy writing up some reports for other employers, and just told the Druidess to let herself in.
"Well," I said unassumingly as I turned around, "What can I help-"
That was the last bit of coherence I managed, before coming face to face with- the troll from Dun Morogh! There was no mistaking it; her skin was not so blue, and her eyes shone normally for a kaldorei, but it was her. My mouth worked uselessly, like a dying fish, for a moment. She smiled gracefully and took an unoccupied seat. A handful of ways to break the ice- "So, I saw you the other day and you were, uh, a troll-" occurred to me, but I thankfully had enough coherence left to reject them.
"I'm sorry to have startled you, but this seemed the safest thing to do," she said, breaking my paralysis. "If you recognized me in a public setting, it might cause.. difficulties." A light frown creased her lips and I nodded absently, not because I understood but because it seemed inappropriate to disagree. "My name is Amynnah Tosgaire, but the other day I would have answered to Lamassu. I did not want to risk speaking to you then, with the others there... But I had the feeling you might have some questions." She smiled again. "Fortunately, Almare is a guild-mate of mine; she helped me track you down."
I certainly had questions, inarticulate at the moment- but burning ones. some of them I doubted she'd be able to answer- since they were questions about my own sympathies....
"So.. where do we begin?"
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I tried to stay away. I went to the pub in Kharanos and spent some of my ever-diminishing silver on something to calm my nerves, but all I heard were the nasty comments and gloats of the other patrons... Stomach lurching again i finally stumbled out into the cold again, swearing that I'd just go up to Ironforge and get a room at the inn.
Three minutes later I was sitting on a snowy hillside, watching the snow settle on the murdered (murdered? That can't be the right word,) horde. I found myself wishing there'd been, I don't know, a flower-seller or something.. the idea of these poor broken bodies left out here, desecrated and alone, really did something to me. Maybe it's just the fact that I felt like I was facing my own future- dead behind enemy lines for some unfathomable reason, where no one would ever find me, or feel for me.
Whatever...
All of a sudden something glowed in the soft cover of snow.. The faint shape of an ankh on the shaman's chest burst into light suddenly, dazzling me. It faded again and the prone form shifted and sat up. I wasn't sure whether he could see me or not; in either case, the troll paid me no mind. He drank from a small wineskin at his belt, and stood, surveying the damage to his companions. Taking a deep breath, the glowing eyes closed and he began to cast... He resurrected them both, casting a soft, healing green glow upon each. The woman nodded her thanks, and began to tend to her fallen pet. The bull grunted softly, shaking his head, and sat down in the snow to examine the state of his weaponry. They seemed little the worse for wear.. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't somehow strangely comforted.
While the male troll and the tauren sat down to catch their breath, the huntress began to walk around the perimeter of the little grove in which they'd fallen... I jerked, waking from my distraction as she turned in my direction. shit... There wasn't enough time to get away... I laid my polearm on the ground, as far away as I could reach, and held my empty hands in my lap, hoping she'd realize I wasn't a threat.
She was right in front of me before I realized it, and she caught my gaze. "I'm not going to start anythin'," I murmured uselessly. She didn't seem particularly threatening herself, I realized.. I'd fought trolls in the ruins of Stranglethorn, but the women there had been stronger, stockier; this huntress was smaller and lighter than most of them. She almost resembled the Huntress who used to hire me to fish... I gestured to the spear that lay in the snow, and shook my head. I could probably take her, if it came to it- but not her two friends.
She just smiled at me, though, and nodded as though she understood. I sat there, stunned, as she moved on. She finally returned to the others. I suppose she didn't tell them about me; at any rate, they called their riding beasts and headed away.
I stayed for some time watching the snow fall, covering the marks of the scuffle, before heading out to Stormwind. I don't normally like that city- it makes me think of the fallen Lordaeron- but I couldn't stand the thought of anymore snow.
amarthiel: (Default)
I saw a massacre today.
Someone called it out early on, and I came just to see what could be seen; hey, any situation that could potentially turn a profit bears investigation. Ol' Magni and his folk are tight-fisted most of the time, but, hell- protecting their city against the invading Horde? Worth some kind of commendation, probably.
There were only two when I got there, cutting down anyone stupid enough to come their way... I saw a number of young would-be heroes considering joining the fray, only to be dissuaded as the tried and true warriors fell to the ground. Nevertheless, they only fought those who attacked them; they stood far from the gates of the City, a tempting presence but hardly a threat. In ones and twos came my Allies, and they fell beneath the bull's great blade and the fiery-eyed trolls spells. It was irresistable. They swarmed like moths to their death while I watched, one or another occasionally cursing at me for not helping.
I stood, open to any attack the Horde chose to make, waiting. After a time a third came to join them, a younger troll woman. She looked oddly familiar; it sent a chill down my spine to meet her eyes, as though she knew something she would not tell. Beside her was a great white cat; she joined in the fray as the others had, leaving me alone.

And then the armies came.

There were dozens, elves and men mostly, with a few gnomes (I've never trusted gnomes; they're too damned crafty for my taste,) following all Paths. Rogues side by side with Paladins; summoners and druids... They gathered, bloodlust in their eyes, muttering curses and jeering at the lone members of the Horde. And then they swarmed them; flashing blades and the blur of magics- arcane and holy, dark and burning- hid the Warrior, the Shaman, and the Huntress from my view.
When the flood of Allies parted I felt my stomach lurch at the broken bodies. Of the Horde! They're our enemies, aren't they? Shouldn't I have rejoiced? Shouldn't I have helped?

"Bitches," snarled one as she stalked off. "Get the fuck out," growled another, kicking snow onto one of the dead. They walked off, patting each other on the back... Thirty against three, a noble victory.

The fight of the Alliance is not my fight, unless they buy my sword... This is not my fight.
And if it were... I wonder what side I would be on...
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