Another sketch commission, this time for the pun-tastic crusaderiadric, of the “she’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll burn off your face” Apple Madrigan! She definitely gets it from her mom, sarah-madrigan. Thank you so much for commissioning me!
Had a prettyinteresting sort of evening Wednesday. Started out running into Kialthos outside
the Shady Lady just as he was gearing himself to head inside, grab a drink. Been
a little wary of that place since I got back to Stormwind, sort of crowd that
seems to’ve started hanging around inside lately, but figured I’d tag along all
the same. Spent a while hanging around in there. Did some talking, ‘bout the
situation with the Quel’talan mostly. How it is we’re gonna go about getting it
back once we’ve gotten enough other concerns cleared out of the way to look at
doing as much. Kialthos mentioned at one stage that he could look at sorting
out a ship of some kind to help out with it, provide some naval support if we
need it. Have to say though, I was a little distracted by the sounds coming out
of the alley behind the bar. Sounded like there might’ve been a fight of some
kind getting on, someone getting into some kind of trouble with the regulars.
Something about her eavesdropping on them, maybe. Don’t know for certain. Made
me a little wary, whatever the case. Think it was when the death threats
started getting thrown around that Kialthos took an interest. Two of us headed
out to take a look at what was going on, had Sarah arrive just after, but
whatever’d been going on, it was over by that stage. Was kinda worried there
might’ve been a kidnapping or something. Sarah was talking about going to the
guards when all of a sudden Imon showed up. Been years now since last I saw her…not
sure I’ve run across her ever since the Red Knights. Anyway, turned out she’s working
as a healer for the people who were involved, didn’t think there was anything
happening that’d be worth taking to the authorities. Wasn’t entirely sure
whether or not to believe her on that, but turned out to be right. Woman who
sounded like she’d been having trouble came waltzing out the door a few moments
later. Good thing, really…wouldn’t have wanted to just leave somebody in a
situation like that, but at the same time, don’t know I wouldn’t have wanted to
get caught up in that myself.
Spent a little
while just hanging ‘round outside the bar once that all got wrapped up.
Kialthos took it as his opportunity to ask Sarah about the whole casual sex
thing he’s had on his mind this past little while. She wasn’t interested. Hadn’t
expected she would be, to be honest, although reason turned out to be different
than I’d expected. As it happens, already has herself a new relationship. Turns
out that she and Iadric’ve been together for about a month now. Ever since that
date auction the Haethons put on a while back. Think he bought her to keep this
creepy noble type from doing the same and things just kinda developed from
there. Think Kialthos and myself were the first they’ve told. Seems like that’s
the new trend lately, keeping relationships a secret from your friends…no idea
how the hell they’ve managed it, way they started fidgeting and looking at each
other when the topic of relationships came up. Think Kialthos was kind of
insulted they didn’t come clean when he started catching on. Walked off in a
huff. Don’t know I’m too happy to’ve been left out of the loop myself, but have
to say, was funny as hell hearing them try to justify keeping things quiet. Got
all flustered, started talking about how there were missions and everything
going on, how they’re coworkers. Something from Sarah about me being like her
dad. Guess it is a little understandable they wouldn’t want it spreading too
rapidly, considering how Gwen’s likely to feel when she hears the news. Don’t
know how Matthes’ll react. Still, think it’s good it’s at least a little out in
the open now. Just hope it winds up going well for the two of them. Don’t think
either of them’ve had too much in the way of luck with relationships lately,
between Matthes’ disappearances and a couple of relationships now that Iadric’s
had break up on account of people being too busy with work to hold them
together. Figure it’d be good for the both of them to have a bit of a change
after the two of them headed off. Wound up stumbling into Alliste, of all
people. Found her hanging around the Dwarven District. While since last I saw
her…don’t know the time’s been all that good to her, state her mind seemed to
be in. Kept looking over her shoulder, talking about things that like to hang
around in the shadows. Had it together just enough to tell me about a job she
was hoping I’d take on. Wanted a knife and some chains, ones that’d be fit for
enchanting. Didn’t say for what, although I’m guessing it might’ve had
something to do with these benefactors she mentioned at one point. Whatever the
case, seemed to want them pretty bad, so figured I’d see what I could do for
her. Didn’t seem like too big of a job to take on. Just hope it’s nothing too
shady she has in mind…speaking of old friends, also wound up running into
Halanden while I was out there. Had that Orik guy with him. Showed up while I
was talking to Alliste. Two of them seemed pretty keen on getting a drink of
some kind after she ran off. Figured Eunie wouldn’t have been too happy with me
having guests over, it being midnight and all, so we just headed on over to the
Keg for a bit. Can’t say I was the best for conversation with as late as it was
by that point, but good to spend some time with them all the same. Halanden
especially, considering how long it’s been since last I saw him. Don’t know
what he’s been up to all that time, but whatever it was, he’s showing his age a
lot more nowadays than he was last I came across him. Still, doesn’t seem to be
slowing down much. He and Orik were talking about picking up this salvaged
zeppelin and heading up north in the morning. Planning on helping Araian out
with this Argent Crusade business he’s been getting into lately. Something
about besieging an old keep full of cultists. Hope they get on alright with it.
Sure they will. From the sounds of things, got the right people for the job.
Iadric has an immense amount of respect for Agnes. Why? Well, she let him into the White Sigil in the first place and she has accepted him since despite his past faults (and mistakes he has made while part of the group). She also seems to trust him enough to make him an officer at that, so he has formed a solid opinion on the doctor. Add four points.
The doctor has a talent for mentalism and medical work. Given Iadric’s line of work, and his interest in mentalism, he respects Agnes on that front too. Add two points.
Agnes is reasonably attractive, but she isn’t exactly Iadric’s type. Plus, she is married to Strahm so… the paladin wonders if there’s something a little off with her. That man really loves dogs. Add one point.
Doctor Yardley once got so mad she threw a table across the mess hall of the Quel’talan and it missed Iadric by about three inches. He definitely has not forgotten that. Subtract a point.
What is up with Gilnean ladies and their love of the bustle anyway? Subtract half a point.
The Official “Hot Damn” Rating: 5.5/10
Well, they are in a relationship. There must be some reasons, right?
Despite her loud and lewd exterior, Iadric has found a kindred soul in Sarah. They have bonded over a lot (e.g. losing their homelands, Sarah’s dad was the Stromgarde equivalent of a paladin). On top of that? He just enjoys being with and around her at this point. Oh, and he doesn’t mind her loud and lewd exterior most of the time. Add four points.
Have we mentioned that they are both reforming criminals? That has been an interesting quandary for Iadric to navigate in his relationship with Sarah. In his opinion, being able to talk about their somewhat shady pasts has only helped them become closer. Add two points.
Iadric is fascinated by the Arcane and how it all works exactly, so that also attracted him to Sarah… who is a mage. Add a point.
Sarah is Iadric’s type from a physical standpoint. The farm boy from southern Lordaeron loves himself some curves. Add three points.
uno mas sketch commission, the second of crusaderiadric ‘s and sarah-madrigan ‘s little spawns, Rob Halvenstad! I bet he wears some pretty fetching sneak-ours. Thank you so so much for commissioning me!
Sarah had herself some fun Friday. There was this draenei guy standing out front of the Cathedral trying to block people from getting in. Something to do with claiming it for this god of his, Solare I
think the name was. Never really found out what the deal with that was. People
were getting pretty agitated with the guy by the stage I got there, raising
voices and all that. Ended up chasing him into the Cathedral, chaining him up
when they cornered him down in the crypts, although I think they may’ve decided
against dragging him off to the Stockades in the end. Think Sarah ended up
joining his cult somehow, before that stage, although don’t know she had any
more idea what was going on than I did. Ended up with glowing yellow eyes on
account of it, all the same. Think she said it was just some kind of mana
disturbance, sort of thing a lot of Kirin Tor apprentices could pull off
without much effort. Whatever it was, good to see her having some fun. Think
she’s gotten to be pretty worn lately, dealing with things out on Draenor.
Plenty of draenei around for her to ogle, but guess she’s not really keen on
that, situation with Matthes being what it is. Engagement’s off, apparently.
I’d kinda had an inkling, way she seemed to have something she wanted to say
last I brought it up over the comms, plus the way she was talking Friday about
having to find herself a new place to live. Guess she figured the
disappearances were more than she was gonna be able to handle in the long run.
Shame, really…much as I can’t say they struck me as the most stable of couples
all the time, did seem to make each other happy.
Spent a while hanging ‘round Cathedral Square after
that whole thing with the Solare guy got cleared up, not that it was the last
disturbance to happen there over the course of the day. Confrontation a little
later on between this whole big group of paladins and this one warlock who was
sitting out front of the Cathedral on this horse that may or may not’ve been
demonic in some way or another. Couldn’t even call it an argument. Just them
saying over and over again that demons’re forbidden within the city and that
people dragging them around’re supposedly kill-on-sight and her just either
ignoring them or saying her horse didn’t qualify. Think Strahm enjoyed himself,
making the odd jab at them here and there. Think he probably got more enjoyment
out of that than out of the conversation we’d been having earlier. Basically
about how he doesn’t really seem to trust a lot of people in the Sigil, doesn’t
feel comfortable showing anybody other than Agnes who he really is. Afraid of
putting his emotions out in the open, getting hurt on account of it. Don’t know
he’s really got any right to be surprised if people don’t read him right on
account of it, don’t immediately start questioning it when they hear less than
positive things about him the way Argonas must’ve done talking to the other
version of Sinafay. Guess it’s his call, though. Long as it doesn’t get anybody
other than himself into trouble. Speaking of trouble, just about got himself
dragged up to Acherus later on in the evening, messing around with this one
deathknight who wandered past wearing a mask like Aurric’s. Could well’ve had
to spend the night there if it hadn’t been for that body-splitting trick of
his. Always seem to forget he can do that…then again, considering Agnes seems
to do the same even with the amount she’s around him, guess I shouldn’t feel
too bad about it.
What else happened that day…met this one draenei
friend of Kialthos’. Or…something like a friend, anyway. Employee, if nothing
else. Ibaalin. Been with him a while, apparently, ever since Draenor. Think I’d
seen her before, heard her having it out with Cuthben this one time when RBM
were having a meeting on the ship. Didn’t really end up talking to her all that
long that night. Briefly discussed Draenor, fact that she’s not really keen on
spending much time on the other side of the portal. Sees it as not a whole lot
more than a reminder of everything she lost when things went to hell in our
timeline. Also talked about what it’s like to be a worgen, although didn’t get
all that in-depth on that before she had to head off elsewhere. Did also see
Agnes in the evening. Got a chance to talk to her for a little after that whole
thing with the deathknight got wrapped up. Think the big thing to come out of
that conversation’s that she knows I know she’s pregnant now. Strahm mentioned
she might like to let people know about her condition before the
interrogations, otherwise he might’ve had to go telling people for her,
probably not in her preferred fashion. I chimed in a little, mentioned it might
be for the best for her to do it her way, or as close to her way as possible.
Bit of a weight off my shoulders, having that out in the open, not that I’m at
liberty to go spreading it. Way she talked about still being a Gilnean lady,
I’m guessing she wouldn’t exactly be too pleased with me if I went spreading
the news any further than Eunie. Not that I would’ve been inclined to anyway,
considering it’s kind of a delicate topic for most people, but guess I’ll
consider the implied threat there something of an encouragement.
celebration on Sunday, just outside the Exodar. This draenei thing. What was it
called…Suner’Chomei or something like that, I think? Anyway, didn’t have much
else going on that afternoon, so figured I’d go along, see what it was all
about. Headed there with Sarah and Iadric. His first trip to the Exodar,
actually. Almost got there late, amount of gawking he was doing while we were
going through the city. Not surprising, really…place is pretty damn impressive,
‘specially on the first visit. Couple other Sigil people who showed up a little
after we got to the place. Heldane, Torhas. Wasn’t sure to start off if I was
gonna be able to stick around, considering the people organising it seemed to
be wanting people to give up their weapons, but they didn’t wind up being all
that serious about that. Didn’t try enforce it or anything. Still wasn’t able
to stick around long on account of Gloria starting to get fussy a short ways into
it, but stuck around long enough to see everything get underway. Can’t remember
what they said the idea behind the celebration was, but they were organising
duels, animal fights. Was meant to be an elekk race as well at the end, but
wasn’t able to see that. Stayed around just long enough to get some food, see
the start of the fight between Torhas and this guy calling himself the wolf
shaman. Might have to ask how that went, next time I see the guy…seemed like
both of them were throwing some pretty decent punches.
If Iadric had any attraction to the doctor… well, those feelings died when he watched her die and be brought back to life during the Vrykul invasion ofthe Blasted Lands. Did I mention that this was during his first week or so with the Sigil? Besides, Agnes isn’t really his type in a romantic sense.
Nonetheless, Iadric considers Doctor Yardley to be a good friend
and confidante. He trusts in her decision-making the majority of the time and
appreciates the opportunity she’s given him to take on a leadership role.
since Iadric put on a Sigil tabard, he has had a bit of a thing for Sarah. At
first, it was a big crush and he thanks the Light a lot that he used to wear a
helmet when he first met her because of his awful propensity to blush.
though? After a year of working with her and getting to know her a bit more,
Iadric considers Sarah a good friend.
still attracted to her (for a variety of reasons that won’t be listed here), but
has done his best in keeping those feelings under wraps. He enjoys spending
time with her, joking around about various Sigil shenanigans.
Profession/Talents: Fire, and a lot of it. From what I understand the woman is a capable flame wielder.
• This is where it really gets tricky. The woman is the closest link to ████, providing an emotional connection that is dangerous. Due to the recent death of █████ ███████ (KIA - ██████) the two share a joint sense of loss. From the start Sarah proved she would be an obstacle, but provided an avenue for the ‘enemy’ portion of plausible existence.
• Unstable emotionally, character flaws are apparent and no attempt to mask them is made. I can’t foresee Sarah remaining as one of the good guys for the course of her life with the blows she’s been dealt.
• She’s a complication that will probably deal with itself.
• Seems to have it firmly in her head that something is off. Instability should provide adequate cover if any claims are made by the woman, counter arguments are numerous and easily substantiated. Both her and ██████ seem to know there’s something deeper at play, but there’s no concrete reason to believe either of them will follow the correct thought process required to uncover the truth.
• Had a companion by the name of █████ ████ that has recently either stepped out of her life or disappeared. This will no doubt further her instability and put me further into the clear.
Short Term Worries and Steps
• Figure out if distancing ████ from her holds favorable odds or not.
• Maintain 'enemy’ status per Plausible Existence SOP, but toe the line. Overt malice could have ill repercussions with ████
• Just keep an eye on her. No further Agent activation or request should be required. We’re looking at an estimated ████ operational length of cover integrity, given that time frame it is expected that she will be too busy piecing her own life together to worry about mine.
I have shed blood in the fading light of my temple. I have put knee to ground, I have repented for all of my sin to come - I did it then and there, for I knew my return would only come after my final breath. The spirit’s of those before me, their bodies long since buried so near, it was as if I could feel them around me. They honored me, anointing my armor, singing the song of Vindicator’s that had been lost to the elder times.
My time since has been a maelstrom of battle, my relics ordained by shed blood and the glory of ended life. I have shattered bone, I have flayed flesh, I have opened the skulls of all who would stand against me and my new found brothers and sisters. In the absence of Easthold, I was allowed to fully give in to my haze and obliterate that which may stand against us.
Days of haze have faded to the unease of a blade that rests for too long. Soothed only by the presence of Lavender and Sarah, points of focus to keep the aggression at bay. Distractions that would have been deemed heresy in years past have since become a salvation. Here, there is no constant struggle. These people may rest their heads easy at night, and live with some ounce of security. I have found an urge in that knowledge, an urge to see that their safety remains a basic right. If I may place that upon my own shoulders, if I may take part in securing it with violence, I will have found a glorious niche.
I stood outside a meeting of nobility with my sisters and brothers. A mixture of the red and gold of Strom, and the grey and gold of Haethon. Such invigoration at seeing the numbers that may yet be mustered for mundane and mind numbing activities. We stood, Sarah, Lavender, and I, we stood as a showing of might.
We stood because sometimes it does not take a bent knee to swear your life to those you cherish.
Had Pensife come
talk to me yesterday. Said he was wanting to show me something. Ended up taking
a little trip up to New Tinkertown to look at progress on the submarine he said
he was gonna organise for us. Was coming along a hell of a lot faster than I’d
been expecting. Would’ve been early afternoon I headed up, and by then they’d
already gotten the exterior and a fair bit of the interior finished off.
Apparently had most of the parts already lying around. Leftovers from when the
gnomes were making a whole bunch of the things, back during the Second War. All
he really needed to do was get some people together to put them together, then
organise the weapons. Brought me up there so I could decide which ones to go
for. Pretty interesting selection, really…showed me this one launcher that
shoots magnetically charged saw blades, a big mechanical hammer that’s meant to
deliver a shock to whatever it hits. Ended up settling on these rocket launchers
for the ranged weapons, then a set of robotic arms on top of that in case the
giant winds up being able to get close before he can take it out. Other weapon
he’s gonna be carrying’s this laser he’s been working on lately. Meant to pack
enough of a punch that it’s got this built in shielding function to protect
anything other than what you’re aiming at. Problem’s that it’s all a little
experimental, could well end up blowing the submarine to bits if he uses it.
Still wants it there all the same, but only as a last resort. Here’s hoping it
doesn’t come to that…I’d hate to think of losing him and whoever we have
helping him out down there getting drowned or blown up or anything on account
of them having to use it and things not working out.
He wound up staying
up there to oversee the rest of the construction process, but I headed back to
Stormwind after we got done. Headed over to Cathedral Square, wound up running
into Leper when I got there. She came across a little bored, so got to thinking
it might not’ve been a bad idea to wander over towards the Old Town, do that
target practice she mentioned doing some time when I was talking to her Monday.
Didn’t really end up going all that well for her, in the end. Did pretty damn
well myself, but she seemed to be struggling to get anywhere near the centre of
the target. Guessing she was probably just having a bad day. Between the length
of time she’s been using a bow and the fact that Kialthos thought she was good
enough to be worth hiring, figure she’s capable of doing better than that.
Ain’t like I haven’t had a couple bad days myself over the years. Jaxson’s
shoulder can testify to that, wherever the hell he is nowadays…long as she
doesn’t let it discourage her too much, can pull of the shots when it counts,
that’s what matters. Might help her get to be better at that if she was hunting
things other than just rats and pigeons…guess I maybe shouldn’t judge,
considering I ate a few rats myself after I turned for the first time, but
there’s no way that’s the best nutrition she could be getting. Wound up giving
her a silver when she said she was going to go and get some dinner, just so she
could organise something not crawling with Light only knows what. Here’s hoping
she actually did that rather than just tucking it away somewhere.
Wasn’t all that
much that happened after that. Just ended up hanging ‘round out front of the
orphanage for a little while. Saw Devoner there. Pretty sure I heard somewhere
that he was dead…not sure. Anyway, good to see that he’s not, even if I
couldn’t hang around to talk to him long on account of having to head home,
help get Gloria settled in for the night. Also got this real interesting story
from Sarah about some trouble her mother got her in. Apparently had herself a
fling with this bounty hunter up in the Badlands. Didn’t end well on account of
her telling him his fortune this one time. Don’t know what she said, must’ve
been pretty bad considering the next thing he did was to try and kill her. Came
down to Stormwind and put a bullet in Sarah’s leg when that didn’t work out.
Can see why the relationship between her and her mother might not be all that
strong, if that’s the sort of thing that’s typical of her…do get the impression
it’s been wearing Sarah out, having to deal with her mother this past little
while. Much as we need her to make our plan work and Sarah’s probably our best
bet for getting her on our side and keeping her there, feel bad for putting her
up to it all the same. Hopefully won’t have to worry about that anymore once
Saturday’s out of the way. Think all we really did apart from that while I was
there was joke about dads. Not sure how we got onto that topic…then again, not
sure how we got onto a lot of the topics than we manage to. Better that than
talking about the ship some more. Know it’s important and all, want it back
just as much as anybody, ‘part from maybe Agnes, but I have to say, will be
glad when I can go a day without thinking about it.
Did manage to get Gwenelle’s sword to her yesterday, before we headed north to try get Cainam back. Managed it, in the end, but I guess I’ll get onto that in a minute. She seemed pretty happy with it. Said it was perfect, in actual fact. Couldn’t take all the credit considering I’d help on the sheath and the chasing on the hilt, not to mention the enchantment on the blade and to make the embossing a little more sturdy, but guess the design at least is mine. Wonder if I could see about getting more into that sort of weapon business in future. This sword and the one for Sarah are definitely some of my favourite projects I’ve ever worked on. Definitely more interesting than making standard issue falchions and longswords and that to go to weapon stores. Actually, speaking of Sarah, turns out she and Matthes’re back from some kind of vacation they were on. He was on the mission. Good to see him again. Should hopefully get the chance to catch up with her again soon enough. Anyway, back on track, do quite like the amount of customisation that goes into making a weapon like that. Bound to be a few wealthy people in the city who wouldn’t mind having something along those lines. Guess it’d be tough to get a similar result without knowing them as well as I do Gwenelle, but something to maybe think about.
Anyway, the mission. Headed down and met people on the docks after I’d arranged some last minute supplies to get sent up to Menethil, just in case we needed an emergency supply run. Didn’t need them, so figure I’ll maybe head up that way Sunday, get them back from Burt and pay him what I owe him for asking around, keeping his boat in port for the day in case we needed it. Had a fairly big group of us. More than a dozen in total. Like I said, Matthes was there, then there was also Rosalinde, Stehl, Iadric, Balderos, Gwenelle, Lumenar, Mitta, Sinafay and Balderos. This Corlo guy tagged along as well, guess he’d been a guard for the Haethons or something at some stage, then Eunie showed up as well just after we’d gone through the portal. She’d dropped Gloria off with a sitter for the evening. Didn’t want to miss the mission, seeing as it was Cainam we were heading out there for. Really good to see her in action again. Never seen her fight quite like that before…some of the cat stuff I’ve seen once or twice, but not sure I’ve ever seen her do much fighting as a bird before. Really good for hit and run tactics. Kept swooping down, slashing at things with her talons and then getting out of there before they got a chance to hit her back. Pretty handy having her on our side, and that’s without getting into all the scouting she was able to do from overhead, and her magic with roots. Wore her out, so probably for the best if we don’t want up in any more situations like that any time soon. Still, if I do wind up having to fight again before too long, idea that I could be doing it beside her’s not a bad one.
Portal Gwen was able to get set up for us took us to that crater up in Hillsbrad, place where Dalaran used to be. Took us a minute or two to find the right path out of there heading north, but no major issues at that stage. Took a little while to decide on a plan when we got to the shore of the lake, had to pick between this rickety-looking path and a few rowboats. Ended up deciding on the latter. Couple of people must’ve gotten off-balance, got a little wet, but no issues as a result, ‘part from the smell. Ran into murlocs when we got to the far shore, but they weren’t all that hard to take down, many of us as there were. After that, headed through Ambermill, along the road down into this town near the swamps. Think it was Pyrewood, but don’t know if there might be some other smaller settlements dotted around there. All ruins, anyway. Wasn’t until we got there that we ran into any trouble, at least aside from the weather. Don’t know whether it was the residents or the Forsaken trying to hold of the Liberation Front, but somebody’d heaped up all this stuff, made a barricade blocking the road. Started trying to take it apart, but we were only part of the way through before somebody or something from the Forsaken camp up the road took notice. Guessing it was an abomination, but couldn’t see for certain, heavy as the rain was. Wound up having to take refuge in the one place in town that wasn’t falling apart, this manor off to one side of the square. Something about the gates on that place…almost got the feeling I’d seen them somewhere before. Not a nice place…residence of some kind of warlock, from the journals people were finding. There were runes drawn all over the place. Sort of stuff you’d use for blood magic. Creepy place…didn’t have to stay in there too long, thankfully. One well-placed lightning strike later and we were free to carry on. Weather picked up after that. Not necessarily a good thing. Smell might not’ve been so bad if it’d kept raining…
Road leading towards the city was covered in corpses. Ones that were still moving around seemed pretty occupied eating the ones that weren’t, so we didn’t have any issues slipping past. Things were even worse once we got into the city. You could barely breathe for the smell of rot…looked for a second there like we might’ve been able to sneak past the ones gathered up around the cathedral as well, barricades they’d put up between themselves and the gates, but no such luck. They broke through, came down on top of us. Held our own, but doubt we would’ve much longer if we hadn’t been able to fall back to the bridge as quickly as we did, slammed the gates shut. Think the worst injuries were from there. Would’ve gotten my face chewed off if Rosalinde hadn’t come to the rescue. From there, managed to find the tunnel that leads underneath the city, took that out towards the cemetery near Keel Harbour where we were meant to be finding Cainam. Good thing I’ve still got a few memories of the city’s layout from when I was there with the Scarlets. Light only knows what we would’ve come across if we’d had to carry on through the streets and then take the roads to get there. Tunnel was hidden behind a fake wall, so no way we would’ve found it just by luck.
Things weren’t much better once we got out of the city. Smell wasn’t, at least. Worse, if anything. Thankfully, didn’t take us all that long to find what we were looking for. That deathknight who set us on the trail was waiting outside the gates to some of the crypts, Cainam’s father. Wasn’t tough to fight on his own. We were ripping him apart before he used these magical tendril things to lift us up in the air, raised a whole lot of corpses, had them all come together into this sick-looking flesh golem. That wasn’t a fun thing to kill…still, we managed it. Didn’t wind up with too many injuries in the process. By the time we’d taken care of that, Balderos’d grabbed the deathknight’s attention, managed to put him down. Amount of effort people put into making certain he wasn’t gonna be getting up again, figure this means that we’ve seen the last of him. To his credit, didn’t sound like he was an entirely willing party in what was going on, but still, guess it’s not a bad thing to have one less threat to be concerning ourselves about.
Cainam wasn’t at the crypt the way we’d been told. What we did find was some kind of magical residue. Guess somebody’d used fel magic to open a portal out of there. Would’ve been the end of the road if we hadn’t had Lumenar and Gwenelle on hand to open up our own to follow them with. Wound up at this big sort of shrine, statues around like those ones at the Dark Portal. Looked like somewhere in the Twilight Highlands, but I didn’t hang around to make sure. Soon as we got there, there was this big eredar waiting for us, I guess a demon who’d been summoned by this warlock who must’ve been running the show. Just about did some serious damage, but it didn’t have all that good of a chance with as many of us as there were, even with everything we’d already been through that night. Once he was finished, warlock wasn’t too tricky. Tried to change into a demon, but Rosalinde, Sinafay and Miraneev managed to cut him down pretty quickly. Once that was done, all that was left was to take care of Cainam. He was in a pretty rough state. Could well’ve been killed by the drop from where warlock’d had him hanging if Sinafay hadn’t managed to catch him. Severely malnourished, few gashes, lot of bruises. Still, he was alive. Lassair, Sinafay and Miraneev were all taking a look at him last night, so figure they’ll be able to patch him up alright, even if it takes a long time before he recovers.
There was something the warlock said, something about how as long as Cainam was alive, there’d still be this portal to allow some nathrezim into the world. Don’t know whether to believe him or not. Even if I did, though, we weren’t gonna leave Cainam out there to die or anything. If some dreadlord wants to cause trouble, let him. We’ll deal with it, same way we deal with everything else. A friend’s death is too high a price to pay, no matter what sort of safety it’d give us.
conversations ‘round Cathedral Square Saturday. Saw Willexis there. Saw her
once a little while back, but didn’t talk to her much then. Think that might’ve
been the night of that argument between Strahm and Lav about the Haethons,
thinking back on it…anyway, turns out she’s gotten back from Draenor pretty
recently, along with the rest of the Golden Law. Or Oathsworn now, I think
they’re calling themselves. She didn’t say what’s behind the name change, but I
guess that’s their business. Mentioned she’s been missing seeing us around, so
guess we’ll probably wind up talking to her again before too long, long as
Strahm didn’t bother her too much talking about how Ennalor was a little on the
difficult side to deal with last we came across him. Little bit of talking
about swords with a few other people who were hanging around there. Somebody mentioned
something about swords made for executions, so figured I’d go ahead, throw my
two coppers in. Was also this, uh…slightly more energetic discussion between a
few people, ‘bout the viability of reclaiming Lordaeron any time soon.
Discussing if it’s possible, whether or not it’s a good idea to be working
towards it at all, stage we’re at right at the moment. Strahm weighed in on it
a little, on the side of people arguing it’s not exactly a feasible thing to be
striving for right at the moment, but don’t think anything was gonna be
convincing the guy on the other side to go changing his mind on the subject.
Understandable, really. I mean, knowing what things’re like, not sure attacking
the forsaken right at the moment’s too likely to achieve much, but guess I
can’t judge people too harshly for wanting to do something to try get their
homeland back. Not like this truce we’re meant to have’s being all that
faithfully adhered to by the other side.
getting a more sort of official arrangement sorted out these past couple of
days for getting back and forth through the portal. Basically just a more
permanent version of what I’ve been doing already, heading through to talk to
traders and pick up supplies and then coming back a few hours or so later,
making sure the blacksmiths working for the Alliance ‘round Stormshield’ve got
everything they need. It’s been pretty welcome, really. Definitely makes it
easier to do my job for the Sigil, being able to talk to my contacts back in
Stormwind, work with merchants I’m familiar with to get any gear or supplies we
happen to need. Needing a lot of both right at the moment, gearing up to head
to Gorgrond this weekend the way we are. Been trying to get as much as I can on
the Draenor side of the portal, just so I can get to know the merchants here,
don’t have to worry about getting clearance to bring things over, but it’s not
easy to find everything we’re gonna need out here. Lot of the real important
stuff like medical supplies and field rations either gets given to the soldiers
or shipped off to the mainland soon as it gets here, then you’ve got some more
specialist pieces of equipment like the lightweight crossbows I’ve been sorting
out that never get brought through at all. Not enough demand for them, too much
stuff getting shipped through as it is without clogging the portal up with
stuff that’s gonna be sitting in storage for weeks.
without thinking about work, it’s been nice to get away from Stormshield now
and then. Place isn’t wearing on me enough that I couldn’t stand to stay a
while longer, but is a little on the business-like side for my tastes. Had a
couple conversations with other people working around here on my off-hours, but
for the most part everybody just seems to keep their heads down, do their jobs
and then either head off somewhere else or turn in for the night. Aren’t even
any decorations up for the Lunar Festival, and we’re not all that far off a
week into it now. Come to think of it, ‘bout the only place I’ve been where
that’s been the case since people other than the night elves started
celebrating it. Hell, even managed it down in Darkshire, and it’s not like it
was just Rosemarri getting people pepped up to thank for that either. Actually,
speaking of Rosemarri, ran into her while I was wandering around Stormwind the
other night. Don’t think she recognised me, at first. Had Belindlice of all
people escorting her somewhere or other, so she wasn’t able to stay to talk all
that long in the end, but it was good to see her again all the same, see she’s
still doing alright, whatever it is she’s keeping herself busy with nowadays.
She did mention Araian’s apparently started working on something, although she
didn’t really specify. Just said I might like to see about sending a letter his
way, finding out what it is he’s up to. Might have to see about doing that, if
I’ve got a few quite moments ‘round Stormshield one of these nights.
I said, didn’t talk to her or Belindlice for all that long in the end. Iadric
and Sarah’d wandered past towards the Mage Quarter while we were talking, so I
figured I’d follow them, see what they were up to. Getting into trouble, as it
turns out. Well, not immediately. Talked for a little bit first, mentioned the
fact that Starbanner’s apparently been promoted to archmage, but it wasn’t all
that long before this guy with a mohawk showed up waving a flyer around. Said
something about it telling him to come to the park in half an hour if he was
looking for an ass kicking. Think Sarah’d sent it his way, although Light only
knows why. Whatever her reason, guy looked to be pretty upset about having
wandered around a crater for half an hour, seemed pretty keen on getting the
fight he’d been promised. Headed off myself too soon to see whether he got it
or not. To be honest, kinda started to lose track of exactly what was happening
once we started gathering a crowd and all the bystanders started putting in
their two coppers. Figure it can’t have ended all that badly, considering
Argonas was there, seemed pretty intent on keeping the peace. Whatever happened,
wasn’t an entirely unproductive evening. For one thing, that Puretrigger guy
was there, said he’d be interested in coming along on the mission to Gorgrond.
Means I’ll have to sort out some spare gear in case he does, but having seen
the quality of work the guy does, I figure it’d be worth it. He’s a good medic.
Might also take a little pressure of Sarah, knowing somebody else is there who
can patch people up along the way if things get rough. Think the idea of being
our only fire specialist heading into the jungle’s weighing on her a little.
Understandable, but don’t think she needs to worry. If she could handle her
vindicator trials, figure she can handle some trees.
Eunie’s pondering getting herself a tattoo. That or getting one she’s already got modified, at least. Said as much last night. See, she’s still got those three lines on one forearm from when she fainted in the city that one time and had a night elf sneak up on her, try tattooing her with a man’s reproductive organs. Didn’t get all that far in, thankfully enough, but she’s still got the lines to remind her of the occasion. Guess with me getting mine done the other day, she’s gotten to wondering whether she might get them altered a little, maybe see if somebody could figure out how to work them into a tree or vines or something along those lines. Y’know, something a little druid-y. Will say, she’s never really struck me as the sort to get a tattoo willingly, but I guess the fact that I’ve got one now and she’s already got the beginnings of one there’s enough to tip her over the edge. Guess it’d hardly be the biggest change she’d have made since she left the abbey, if she does go ahead and get it done. Think one of her main concerns about going through with it’d be the pain. Told her mine didn’t hurt all that much, but that’s probably equal parts that it wasn’t on too sensitive a part of my body and that I’ve been through enough pain in my time that it doesn’t seem so bad. Sort of pain you get from a tattoo gun doesn’t exactly rank up there with getting cooked in your own armour or having your back whipped until it’s torn to shreds. She might not have so much of an advantage in either of those respects, but figure she’d still be able to put up with the pain enough to get it done if she does wind up deciding to go ahead with it. She doesn’t really wear short-sleeved dresses all that often, at least outside of summer, so wouldn’t get shown off all that much, but don’t think either of us’re really the sorts to get something like that just for the purposes of showing it off to other people.
Might’ve carried on that line of conversation of Gloria hadn’t gotten to yanking at Eunie’s braid. She’s getting to be really grabby now. Not quite at the stage of crawling around, but I’d doubt she’s all that far off it with as active as she seems to want to be, always waving around or trying to get a hold of things. Month or so, maybe. Thinking I’ll have to dedicate some time at work to building a barrier to go in front of the fireplace for when she does reach that stage, just to make sure we don’t wind up with any unfortunate accidents occurring. Hopefully just basic metal grill should do the job, long as she doesn’t wind up figuring out how to climb over it or anything like that. Wouldn’t put it past her, actually, smart as she seems to be turning out thus far. Speaking of work, Eunie’s made a start on that coconut palm project of hers. Planted one down by the shore of the pond. She’s pumped a little magic into it already, but guess it could be a little while yet ‘til we start seeing growth even with her there to help it along. Potentially a few months until the fruit or seeds or whatever you’d call them are at the stage that they’ll be ready to eat, but I figure it’ll be worth the wait, long as keeping the tree alive doesn’t wind up taking the wind out of her sails too much. Might have to start looking around, trying to find recipes that’ve got coconut in them. Could be good for baking, maybe a good addition to slices or something along those lines. Guess we’ve got a decent while yet to figure things out for certain.
Eunie wound up heading to bed at that stage, but I stayed out a little longer, took Gloria for a bit of a wander. Got a letter sent off to that Bellinger guy just saying he’s welcome to come talk to us whenever the chance presents itself. After that, just wandered on over towards the Cathedral District. Wound up meeting Matthes there. This woman’d apparently made some kind of threats towards his manhood, but otherwise sounded like he was getting on alright. No bullet wounds or anything like that to complain about. Apologised about not having stopped by the visit Gloria, not that it bothered me all that much. Figured they were just busy. Sounds like it might be taking Sarah a little while to settle back into things, now that she’s back. From what he was saying, was one stage there where she was talking about not coming back at all, but don’t know if she was actually all that serious about that. Am glad she didn’t wind up going ahead with that. Those two’re good friends, after all. If she’d be up to it, thinking I might have to get Sarah to take me north some time, see if she could get them to let me see the blacksmiths who got her armour modified for her. Seems like they did a pretty solid job, at least looking at it from a distance. Then again, not a Strom, so don’t know they’d let me in that temple thing of theirs even if she was with me. Lot of odd traditions around the whole vindicator thing, not that I’d describe them that way with Sarah within earshot. Having her on board kinda seems like it might be a change for the better for the whole organisation. Y’know, chance to change things a little, move away from what they have been in the past. Don’t know how likely it is to survive otherwise, considering what little’s left of Stromgarde nowadays.
The Golden Law had another one of those Court of Honour things on Monday evening. I was out hunting, so wasn’t able to make it, unfortunately. Still, heard some of what was going on from the others in the Sigil who did manage to make it out there. Turns out Ennalor’s got himself some plans. From Agnes was saying, they’re talking about launching some kind of crusade. Not too big a deal in itself, but I guess the slightly worrying thing is who it’s meant to be against, that being nobody in particular. Far as I can tell, they’ll be going after anybody or anything that they wind up deeming to be evil. Can’t see that going all that well…I mean, I doubt they’re all that likely to find themselves going down the same path as the Scarlets or anything like that, but the issue’s that there are a lot of evil things out there in the world. Lot more than one group can really hope to take on, even if we and I guess their other allies wind up helping them out with it. Probably more to it than what I’ve heard, but it sounded to me a little as if they’re looking to just throw themselves at any threat that pops up anywhere until there aren’t any of them left over. They’ve come pretty close to doing that before, some of those days we had the ship filled up with their wounded, and that was before they decided to take on the abstract concept of evil. Bound to wind up having a few more threats pop up than already exist following that strategy, is the other thing. Know they’re bound to have the best of intentions, but still…doesn’t seem all that smart to me. Just have to hope it’s only them that wind up getting hurt if things don’t work out. Guess I’ll have to order in some extra medical supplies for when that happens. Yueqin did come by the ship, actually, dropped some off, so I figure those’ll help if things turn pear shaped sooner rather than later.
Main event for my evening was the tattoo. Wound up meeting Lumenar down at the ship. Just gave her the design, sat down and we got started. Stung a little, but I’ve had plenty worse over the course of my life. Not sure the shoulder’s all that sensitive, anyway. Didn’t take her all that long. Would’ve been…what, couple of hours maybe, maybe a little less? Lot less time than I’d been expecting, but she did work pretty quickly. Probably quicker than most. Guess she’s got a lot of experience. Work didn’t suffer for how quickly she got it done, at least not as far as I could tell. Looking at it afterwards, looked pretty close to the design I wound up picking out. Matthes and Sarah seemed to approve when they had a look at it, so I’ll take that as a good sign. Wouldn’t want it looking rough, not if I’m gonna have it there the rest of my life…guess I could wind up losing it at some stage, like the way Matthes apparently lost the two he had, but I’m not sure that’d necessarily be all that pleasant of an experience. Didn’t go into detail, but I think he said something about them being cut off. Not something I think I’d want to go through. Anyway, like I said, I’m happy with the work Lumenar did, and with the design I wound up picking. Only thing now’s to take proper care of it, keep applying the salves, make sure not to cover it up any more than I have to, at least for the first week or so. Should be good to get back to usual clothing by the weekend, from what she said. ‘Til then, happy enough with the outcome that I don’t think I’ll mind showing it off a little.
Lumenar was pretty focused on her work while I was getting it done, but talked to a couple of other people. Like I said, Sarah was there. Wearing her father’s armour, so I take that to mean that she was busy with her trials and that this one she’s just gotten finished is the last. If that’s the case, guess it’d make her a proper vindicator now, same as Tolen and Danuld. Wonder if there are gonna be any changes in her demeanour on account of it…didn’t notice any when I was talking to her, ‘part from the fact that she turned down cake or any other kind of celebration, but I guess that could be more because she’s not wanting to risk not fitting into the new armour than anything else. Guess she might have something planned to celebrate, something traditional. Still a lot I don’t know about vindicators. Still seemed reasonably social, at least. Heard about the tattoos Matthes used to have before the two of them wandered off for the night. Had two tusks, one on each of his forearms. Story that inspired them was that his great grandfather once hunted this giant troll up in the mountains, turned its bones into a chair and had the tusks as the armrests. Idea of the tattoos was that they were meant to look a little like the arms rests if you held them right. Shame they’re not around anymore. Anyway, that was about it, at least until they were getting ready to head off. As they were leaving, mustered up the courage to ask if they could swing by the cottage some time, pay Gloria another visit. Still not thinking about having kids of their own any time soon, at least from what they said, but I guess she really won them over that one time. Not surprising, how cute she can be at times. Don’t mind them dropping by myself. Like I said to them, door’s always open to friends, ‘specially ones who’ve been gone as long as they have.
Didn’t do a whole lot on Tuesday, really. Hung around the cottage for the most part, tried to catch up on the sleep a little. Difficult to get a decent night’s rest with Gloria waking up wanting attention for one thing or another every three or four hours, if you’re lucky…think I ended up sleeping through Lumenar’s combat tutorial, unfortunately. Spent a little time in town, although I didn’t really see anybody over the course of the day, or get too much in the way of work done. Sort of trying to put some thought into what I’m gonna do with the smithing now that Gloria’s around, trying to think of the sorts of projects I can do that’d be quick enough that I wouldn’t have to spend the amount of time there every day that I was before she was born. Could maybe start making parts for other smiths, crossguards for swords or buckles, that sort of thing. Guess the other option would be to move into building materials, way I’ve been talking about doing a little in the hypothetical situation that people get tired of killing each other one of these days. Doubt nails’d bring in as much gold as swords or chainmail, but it’s bound to be worth something. Arrowheads’d be the other thing…something to think about, I guess. For now, don’t mind the amount of extra time I’ve been spending around home. Little work needing to be done so that the brewing business doesn’t dry up completely, then there’s work in the garden I can be helping out with on top of that. Like Beras said yesterday, spring’s not too far off now. Figure we’ll be wanting to get new crops planted to take advantage of that, and it could well take the two of us, as little sleep as we’ve been reduced to. Wonder if it’d be worth looking into those bees we were talking about a while back…
Speaking of sleep, had a bit of trouble in the evening getting Gloria settled. Think she must’ve just been in a mood or something…tried everything to get her to calm down. Fed her, burped her, changed her…that one didn’t go too well, actually. Turned out she wasn’t quite finished. Took a bit of effort getting that out of my vest. Even tried singing, although with my voice I’m not completely sure I didn’t make it worse. Tried taking her out into the fresh air for a little while, but that didn’t seem to help out all that much. Ended up being Sarah of all people who got her to calm down, in the end. She and Matthes’d been standing out front of the cottage when I headed out, little after nine maybe. Guess they were still hanging around from when there’d been sparring going on. Wouldn’t have picked her for being the first to want to try her hand at holding a crying baby, but she offered to give it a shot. Guess I was looking pretty tired by that stage. Definitely felt it…wasn’t too late at night or anything, but it definitely takes it out of you hearing your daughter crying like that and not having the slightest clue what it is she wants. Anyway, only would’ve been a couple of minutes that Sarah was holding her for before she settled down. Whether it was the warmth or the way she smelled or what, I don’t know, but I was definitely grateful for it. Matthes did alright holding Gloria as well, although I do have to admit, I was feeling a little nervous there when he was first taking hold of her. Did get to wondering a little if I was gonna have to leap to catch her in mid-air, but he did just fine. Never seen either of them look at anything quite the same way as they did Gloria. Both said they’re not good with kids, don’t really talk to them or anything even when they’re around the orphanage. Maybe they’d be better with that kind of thing than they’d thought.
Anything else…not really a whole lot, at least for that day. Headed inside, got Gloria tucked into her cot for the next couple of hours or so, then just sat out on the porch for a little while until I headed to bed myself. Saw Gwenelle out there briefly, Sarah and Matthes again as well, but the three of them headed off before too long. Actually, seeing as I was mentioning Gwenelle anyway, looks like there might be something going on between her and Iadric. Two of them were sitting down by the pond while the three of us were trying to calm Gloria down. Apparently Iadric said something over the comms to Matthes afterwards along the lines of it being exactly what it looked like. Fair bit of a hint, although even without it, would’ve had to be pretty dim not to figure out from the way they were yesterday that something’s going on. Fire-forged more-than-friends, I guess, bearing in mind all the rough spots they’ve gotten in together lately. Have to admit, does seem a little odd to me, seeing a human and a gnome together that way. Then again, seeing a human with pretty much anything other than a human or maybe a high elf at best comes across a little odd to me. Don’t see it as bad or anything, not anything to judge or condemn anybody for, just…a little weird, is all. Maybe I’m just closed-minded, in that respect…guess it’s not really a whole lot of my business anyway. Long as the two of them make each other happy, I guess that’s what counts.
Lumenar’s got this little bit of land down in Westfall. Think I’d overhead her mentioning it once when she was talking to Sarah, but don’t think the two of us’ve ever talked about it. Doesn’t sound like it’s a whole lot right at the moment, not growing anything just yet, but from what she was saying when we were both down that way on Wednesday, plan is that she’ll be putting in an orchard and getting some other crops growing there in the not-too-distant future. Course, at that stage you’ve got the worry of what to do with any surplus you end up with. Bandits might not be quite as organised ‘round Westfall as they were once upon a time, but there are still plenty of people desperate enough to try their luck at robbing any caravan you send along the road. That in mind, stroke of luck she managed to salvage this ship. Well, almost a ship, at least. She invited me down to take a look at it, wanted to know if I could help out at all with the restoration work. Looks a little like a cog. Not big, just enough for two masts. Workers she hired with her winnings from that tournament last week’ve done a fairly good job getting the hull fixed up, considering it was just about in two halves when she found it, but none of them really knew what to do about the rigging. Sounds like it’d been square-rigged to start with, which might not necessarily be so well suited to these waters as some other arrangement. Or it might be better suited. I don’t really know anything about that, which meant there wasn’t a whole lot I could do to help, hence why we ended up heading up to Stormwind to see if we could rope in any help from the Golden Law. Got about half a dozen or so people together, plus Sellene in case anybody ended up being in need of first aid. Unfortunate I wasn’t there for a whole lot of it…soon as we’d gotten everybody to the dock, I got to thinking I should head home, bring my toolbox down. Took about an hour before I managed to figure out where I’d left it after I’d been working on the shelf the other day…not far off being as forgetful as Eunie at times, it seems. Sounds like they managed to get on fairly well though, in spite of my absence. Think Lumenar said it looked just about finished. There was only a name left to go, last I discussed it with her.
Headed back to the more familiar ship after failing to get my toolbox in time to be of any assistance, although I didn’t spend a whole lot of time there. Think Sellene and Cainam were busy discussing medical stuff. Something about a woman whose daughter was sick, from what I heard over the comms, although I don’t know too many of the details. Not really any of my business. Saw Kurt briefly, then discussed names for the ship with Lumenar. Suggested she might like to name it after Mitta or some kind of virtue, but I think she’d already been thinking that something to do with the moon’d be good. Figured I’d go for a wander to think it over, didn’t end up meeting people again until I headed to the Mageroyal seminar later on, over in Ironforge. Another one of Natharai’s, sort of continuing on from the last one he did about defences against fel magic. Smaller crowd this time around, but the lecture was still good, even if there wasn’t a practical demonstration this time around. He talked about various curses and afflictions, how dangerous they can be and how difficult it can be to treat them. He mentioned how certain spells either react violently when you try to remove them or affect a person on a deep enough level that it hurts them if you try to use the Light to deal with some of the effects. Think he said the same thing can happen if you use fel enough, like what happened with the high elves to turn their eyes green. Information was maybe a little more tailored towards menders than myself, but it was still pretty interesting. Hung around for a while afterwards talking to everybody. Mentioned to Lumenar that calling her ship the White Lady might work. Got a bit of a protest out of Sarah before she figured out it was the moon I was talking about. She mentioned the tauren have some kind of myth about the moon being the…well, one male reproductive organ of some kind of god. Not sure whether she’s right on that or not. Strikes me as a little less poetic than a lot of old stories…then again, guess different cultures might have a slightly different take on that.
In news that’s relevant today, got word that the first of the brawls Matthes has been organising were gonna be this afternoon. Out in Westfall maybe, this one cave Lumenar mentioned. Managed to track down some corks for my claws and for Cainam’s if he shows up, should reduce the chances of accidentally jabbing anybody’s eyes out. Got some rules ironed out, while we were standing about. No magic, biting or strikes to anything particular vulnerable are allowed, so hopefully my chances of having any future children after Gloria shouldn’t be too greatly diminished by my taking part, but I think anything else goes. Talked to Areese for a bit, after Sarah, Matthes and Lumenar’d all headed off, although not for all that long. Sounds like she’s doing alright, 'round about the same as usual, not too many responsibilities needing to be dealt with. Think I’d get bored if that were the case with me…then again, am glad my daily routine doesn’t incorporate quite the same amount of danger as it did when I was hunting worgen or spiders out on the road rather than just heading up the forges every morning. After that, just headed home to Eunie, sat around in front of the fire talking for a bit before we both headed off to bed. Told her the news about Lumenar and Mitta, how they’re married now, at least legally speaking. Think it came as a bit of a surprise to her, slightly more than it had done with Cainam the day before. She mentioned she might’ve been a little worried by it if she didn’t know much about kaldorei culture, considering how that ritual which made them blood-sisters could come across as making them family, although like she said, becoming blood’s a little different than that. Guess what they did isn’t necessarily completely different from what we went through when Eunie decided to become a worgen, when you think about it, although I can’t say that lighting a couple candles inside the chapel was quite on par as far as ritual goes.
Things ‘round the ship were busy again Friday, although maybe not quite so much as the day before. Definitely got a lot more sleep the night before, which was probably needed…think I did pretty well the first day of the modifications, considering I was running on around about three hours’ worth. Like I said, wasn’t quite so much that needed to be done. Already had the scaffolding set up and the plates shifted down to the harbour, then we had a lot of workers coming back from the first day, so didn’t need to give out quite so many instructions. Had some time to devote to shopping around for weapons. Managed to find four cannons that were in a pretty decent sort of condition, so I picked those up, got them brought back to the ship earlier on Thursday. Between those, the machine guns and any protodrake that Balderos ends up bringing along, think we should be pretty much set as far as weapons go. Am thinking about picking up some explosives, sort of thing somebody riding a gryphon could drop from overhead, but I figure that can probably wait until a little closer to the time. Long as we’re not ordering massive quantities, and I’m hoping we won’t have to with what we’ve already got in store, should get on alright.
Plating carried on until pretty late at night, but I wasn’t needed there to keep an eye on it the whole time. Got a chance to talk to Sarah and Matthes a little after I was done supervising. Two of them seem to be getting on pretty well, considering the injuries they wound up with Sunday night. Think Sarah wound up with some pretty nasty scarring from when Mustang’s son got her with one of his sickles, but didn’t look to have too much in the way of damage left over apart from that. Filled the two of them in a little on the situation with the GSI, reason we’d been modifying the ship the way we have been. Don’t know if Matthes necessarily felt all that positive about the whole process, but then again, not sure if anyone really does. Basically just trying to make the best of a less than ideal situation, really…anyway, mentioned we’d been working with the Kirin Tor a little. Had been a little concerned about whether Sarah’d be okay with that, considering it doesn’t sound like she’s always had the smoothest relationship with them in the past, but turns out she’s back in Starbanner’s good books nowadays. Hearing what I have about the woman, can’t imagine that would’ve been all the easy to pull off, but guess it’s a positive thing. Good for the career prospects, I guess. ‘Part from that, asked the two of them if they’ve settled on a date of the wedding yet. Haven’t just yet, but guess it’ll be some time after Matthes is done helping heal up those scars of Sarah’s. How long that’ll take, I don’t know, but I guess it’s worth taking the time to make sure everything goes as well as it can do.
Think it was just Kialthos I talked to after the two of them’d headed off. He was asking about how his application’s been getting on, although considering I haven’t really talked to anybody about it much, wasn’t able to give him too much information. Did tell him my personal feelings, that I think he’s maybe a little too keen on violence for my tastes. Had a good talk about it, really. At the end of it, guess I am maybe at the stage where I’d be okay with him joining the Sigil. Don’t think he’d be giving up his mercenary company, but sounds like he’d be willing to adopt some slightly more humanitarian attitudes, at least when he was working with the Sigil. Don’t know if that’s necessarily a concern for any of the other officers, but reassuring for me to hear, at least. He’s an alright guy, when you get down to it. Just rough around some of the edges, I guess, but he’s not bad or anything. Little insensitive at times, maybe, but I guess we can work with that. Speaking of Kialthos, said I’d be willing to lend him my tank, one Eleysia gave me as a wedding present. Not sure whether or not I’ve ever gotten around to driving it…know I do still have the keys lying around the cottage somewhere. If it’s still in a decent sort of condition down in the woods, figure he could get better use out of it than I have done so far, considering he did have a tank he used fairly regularly up until it got destroyed when the research facility up in Gilneas got blown sky high. Think he was pretty pleased about the idea of getting a new one. Think I might be getting a bottle of mead as thanks, so figure I should be able to make good use of that.
Fair few people hanging around down on the ship when I wandered down that way with Gloria Wednesday evening. Jorath and his…Light, gonna need to decide for certain what to call her one of these days. His wife I guess, for all intents and purposes. Anyway, they were both there, then a couple of other draenei who I guess might’ve been their friends or something on top of a fair few other people. Lassair’d cooked a dinner for everybody out of this deer she’d managed to bring down out in the woods. Gave me a bit of the spare meat to take home for Eunie. Might have to head out into the forest some time soon myself, from the sounds of things. Lots of deer and rabbits running around out there, apparently, now that winter’s coming to a close. Been a little while since I’ve done any decent amount of hunting. Meat’s always handy, plus we could probably find a use for a little fur, I guess for hats or gloves, either for us or for Gloria. We can always sell the skins if we can’t find a use for them ourselves, bring in a little extra money. Anyway, conversation and company were fairly pleasant, at least for a while. Things took a turn for the slightly less-so once Iadric started talking about this Varden guy of his, that attempt at making something close to the Strom vindicators he’d written about in the ledger. He wasn’t wanting to say much more about all of it than to give a little more of the background, say that he wasn’t planning on going ahead with getting a party together to track the guy down anymore, but that was enough to get Sarah in a bit of a bad mood. Guess I can understand it. I mean…well, don’t know what the comparison’d be with Stormwind, or if there even would be one. Just know that the vindicators’re important to a few Stroms, ‘specially Sarah considering her father was one and that she’s training to become one herself. Can see why it’d get her down thinking that some part of the church in Lordaeron was trying to recreate them. Don’t know that she meant it to be offensive, but I don’t think Lumenar asking Sarah if she was gonna be some sort of bloodthirsty berserker after she finished her trials helped things either.
Things cleared out pretty quickly after that. Sarah went off in none too good a mood, then Matthes went with her, Iadric, Gwenelle, Lumenar and Kurt not all that far behind. Meant I was the only one still hanging around the ship when Anasella arrived. Would’ve been…what, ‘round about nine at that stage? She came running up all covered in cuts and scratches. Looked like wounds from swords and daggers. Thought for a minute there she was gonna bleed out if she stayed on her feet a minute longer, but she kept insisting she was alright. Told me that her establishment’d been attacked, that her staff’d been evacuated to their safehouse in Duskwood and that she needed to head down, check they were alright. Would’ve had a chance to stay out of it, at that stage…didn’t take it. She was adamant on going, and…well, way Izzy looks at her, figured it’d be worth helping her. I offered to drop Gloria off home, then grab a weapon and head down with her by gryphon to check on things. Wasn’t really all that much good, at that stage. Would’ve been…I don’t know. Few minutes late maybe. Didn’t inspect the bodies close enough to know for certain. Every last person was dead by the time we got down there. Looked from where I was standing like it’d all been either slit throats or blades straight through the heart. Clean kills. No struggle. Hell, didn’t look like they’d even been wriggling around when they died. Wasn’t too much of a jump to guess they’d been pacified, although I don’t know who’d have enough power to get that number of people under control for as long as it must’ve taken. Wasn’t the first guy who showed up to welcome us, that’s for certain. Masked, appeared right behind Anasella. Tried to grab hold of her, but she rolled away in time. Figure she must be a monk, judging by the projectile she shot at him. Between that and me slamming my shotgun into the side of his head, at least we got something in the way of payback.
Second guy showed up not long after that. This one didn’t have a mask. Turned out to be a worgen, late twenties. Dark hair. Might’ve guessed noble, based on the cloak he was wearing. Druid, although I’m not sure why somebody who works with nature would end up doing the sorts of things this guy seems to’ve done. Thought I might’ve been able to get him talking for a minute there, right up until the third guy appeared all of a sudden, held his knife to Anasella’s throat. Still did manage to get him talking for a bit, although more a monologue than an interrogation at gunpoint, and even that wasn’t until he managed to get himself in position to use Anasella as a human shield. From what I managed to get out of him, he’s a prospective member of this Pact of Mannoroc, group who must’ve been behind the attack. From the sounds of things, their goal’s to carry on Jadagar’s work, which…well, don’t know for certain what that means, but I don’t recall hearing that slaughtering prostitutes was Jadagar’s usual brand of evildoing. Guess it’d just be revenge for them keeping Lumenar and Mitta safe. Whatever the case, druid didn’t seem terribly on board with it. Wonder what his motive is…was thinking for a minute there that I might’ve been able to talk him into thinking it was below him to be working with warlocks and corrupt nobles and that, but didn’t really get the chance. We ended up getting a deal sorted, that he’d let Anasella go at the bridge to Westfall and, in exchange, I wouldn’t blow a hole through him. Course, didn’t work out that way. Once we were outside the barn, he made a change of plans, decided he was going to go to the bridge alone and that I’d meet him there. Said I wasn’t on board with that idea, tried to see if I could get him believing I’d shoot him through Anasella if I had to. Didn’t work. Before I had a chance to stop it, he’d passed her off to the one lackey he had left and the two of them’d disappeared.
Tried attacking me directly at that point, but didn’t really work out for him. Already had my gun in my hands when he charged. Should’ve gone for the head…as it was, fired at one knee and one of his arms. Guess I’d been hoping to incapacitate him, see what information I could get out of him. Not realising he was a druid at that stage, hadn’t counted on him shooting moonfire or something at me and then trying to fly away. He did end up escaping, although not as cleanly as he might’ve liked. He caught me off guard, but I managed to beat the flames out without much more than a little singing, threw my sword at him as he was flying off. Caught one wing, so I figure that’ll put both his arms out of action for a good while, but it wasn’t enough to stop him escaping. Headed to the bridge afterwards on the off chance he’d decided to honour our agreement, but didn’t have high hopes. All I ended up finding was a note saying that Anasella hadn’t been hurt but that she wasn’t going to be released either. What that means for our course of action from here on out…honestly, I don’t really know. That’ll be down to Mitta and Lumenar, I guess. As for me, I’m hoping my burns heal up fairly quickly and that the part I had to play doesn’t mean this Pact’ll have any way of tracking me down. If they do…guess it’s reassuring that bullets seem to do a decent job against them.