[Horde] Chapter Three: Session Thirteen

Appearing Characters: Arthak Saurfang, Azgadaan, Azuka, Caria Felsoul, Grith, Gul'dan, Halno, Keli'dan the Breaker, Kretu Bitterstrike, Levia Blackflight, Nyxxa, Rehgar Earthfury, Sadras, Sagaz, Samaara, Vaerux, Varok Saurfang, Zokk

Appearing Locations: Silvermoon City, Sunstrider Isle

December 5th

It is still very early morning when the warband arrives outside the grounds of the academy. There are a few people at the Shadowmoon camp who are watching the camp, and they see the group emerge.

Shadowmoon Sentry says: Huh. We weren’t expecting you back so soon or… so late.
Arthak Saurfang says: Apologies, but we have what the Breaker requested.

The sentry crinkles his nose, seeing the charred and mangled corpse being carried by Halno, and he leads them to rouse Keli’dan. Before long, Keli’dan exits wearing no mantle or any ornamental dress, his chest simply bared with a wrap around his waist. He was clearly just woken.

Keli’dan the Breaker says: Arthak. Wasn’t expecting you. What happened?
Arthak Saurfang says: We found your quarry. Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones looking. Pale orcs. Between Felendren and the Twilight's Hammer…

Halno tosses the corpse into the arms of a nearby orc.

Keli’dan the Breaker says: Ugh. Shame. We’ll learn some information, but I was hoping we could pry it from him personally. But you did do as I asked, and for that I thank you. At the very least, we’ll be able to pry his secrets from the lingering academy. I’ll imagine it’ll be safer there now.
Arthak Saurfang says: It will be. But the crystal was compromised.
Halno says: It’s going to go boom.
Keli’dan the Breaker says: What do you mean it’s going to go--

At that moment, there is a large explosion from the pinnacle of the academy. There was a rippling burst of violet arcane energy, followed by a more mundane explosion. Keli’dan pushes past the group to get a better look, and the metal of the academy starts to bend and bow, and the haze starts to disperse. Some of the wraiths disappear, and the academy continues to fall in on itself. Falling with a supernaturally slowed descent, the entire academy crumbles, and within about thirty seconds, most of the buildings had collapsed. There is a cloud of arcane dust, and the ruins of the stonework. The magic that surrounded it also begins to dissipate.

Even from this distance, dirt and dust washes through the Shadowmoon camp.

There’s a solid moment as Keli’dan looks, and then he exhales.

Keli’dan the Breaker says: Well… I guess there’s what’s left of the ruins. I expected such a possibility… but… alas… at the very least I imagine the danger posed by those wraiths and other entities will dissipate. That is a boon, I suppose. As promised. I lend you my assistance when it’s required. I’ll send one of my men to rendezvous with Rittsyn, and when you are prepared, he will send for me. I’ll do my part.
Arthak Saurfang says: You have my thanks.
Keli’dan the Breaker says: And mine. While this was not the ideal solution, it is a solution, and there is much to learn in destruction as well as observation.
Arthak Saurfang says: Hopefully the next time we work together the results will be less chaotic.
Keli’dan the Breaker says: I can hope. If you’re willing to share what you witnessed, I’ll be happy to listen. I doubt I’ll be able to sleep after that ruckus.

Around the camp, others are waking due to the blast. One of the tents had a flap completely torn off, its occupant now covered in dust. Arthak offers their experiences, though he skips over much information on the ethereals.

Keli’dan the Breaker says: The shadows he touched are potent. I’m not surprised the pale orcs were present. If they were servants of the Twilight’s Hammer, I will speak with Cho’gall about his involvement, though I doubt he will provide much.
Arthak Saurfang says: They seemed focused on the hand. In fact, it was one of the pale orcs biting it off that put Felendren down.
Keli’dan the Breaker says: Great. I suppose that’s to be expected from those writhing cowards. Why Cho’gall sees fit to give them a place in his clan I’ll never understand.
Arthak Saurfang says: Nor will I.

By the time Arthak had finished the explanation, it was about three in the morning, and Keli’dan leaves them be, informing Arthak that he will await his command. Arthak states it should be soon, as there were only a few more pieces that needed to be put into place.

Azgadaan asks how everyone was doing after the experience.

Arthak Saurfang says: Well enough. We got what we came for.
Azgadaan says: Any plans for this morning?
Nyxxa says: I need to take a moment to myself.

Halno sends Sagaz, not bothered at all by the fact it’s still night, as Sagaz should be expecting him at all hours as his apprentice. He informs Sagaz he wants a report ready in 30 minutes (despite the fact it’s going to take them two hours to get back to the mainland).

Half of the return sending is occupied by a bunch of startled noises as Sagaz is startled awake.

Azgadaan informs the group he had found a book on burial rites in the Eastern Kingdoms, which may be useful for dealing with the ghosts they encountered on the bridge. They agree it may be useful, and Azgadaan suggests they perhaps try to deal with the cavern.

Arthak Saurfang says: Perhaps. I have a few errands to run now that this matter with Keli’dan is resolved.
Azgadaan says: Indeed. I’m intending on following up with Throkta.

The group gets to the mainland, and Nyxxa asks Levia and Samaara for some help as they all start to split up. They are in the area controlled by the Laughing Skulls, and the warband senses that the clan is aware they are passing through.

As they glance up, they note some sort of intricate pattern burned into the grass. Glowing in the early-early morning moonlight, there is the soft glow of just under a dozen meter-long snake-like creatures that are recognizable as normal mana wyrms. They seem to be congregating around the field. Some are swimming through the grass, while others are skimming the ground at the charred sections.

Halno is intrigued and goes to investigate. As he takes a look, it definitely seems like something was carved in the area. He gets the sense that it’s magical. Azgadaan follows curiously.

The area teems with magic. The burned grass initially looks like nothing significant, but there are faint lines of bright red energy that are nearly imperceptible in the burned section. A symbol spell had been burned into the ground--a potent magical trap.

There is also a mound of some sort in the center. It’s the body of a deceased elf, one garbed like a high-ranked Farstrider.

Halno takes a few steps back and thin flings his crawling claw onto the body, then peers through its senses. It seems the elf was killed by fire and arrows or spears, but curiously enough, the equipment appears to be largely undamaged.

Arthak Saurfang says: Perhaps we shouldn’t interfere with every corpse we pass in the war zone…

Halno doesn’t hear him.

One of the mana wyrms starts to get closer to the hand, looking at it curiously. Halno has his hand jump at the mana wyrm, and the mana wyrm immediately flees. The hand falls on its back on the grass, but it seems nothing has gotten triggered.

Halno shrugs, opting to not investigate further, and he recalls his hand.

The group makes it back to the Summerfall, and Sagaz is on the deck waiting for them, though it appears he dozed off on the crate he was sitting on. Azuka is not visible.

Arthak Saurfang says: Sagaz.

Sagaz jerks awake and greets Arthak with an apology. Arthak asks him where Azuka is, and he informs him that she is likely still sleeping. Arthak asks for the report, and Sagaz said he will rouse Azuka for her part.

Before long, Azuka also makes her way up, equally groggy, and she grunts.

Sagaz says: We discovered a couple of things. You had us looking into the situation with the ghosts with the warrior. He was kind enough to assist me… I spoke with some members of the Clipped Wing. They said that the area he reportedly disappeared at… that was actually a bit ago. It seems he had been possessed by the spirit for as long as a few weeks. There’s no telling exactly, but evidently there is some evidence of Resistance activity in the same area. He showed me the entrance. Azuka took a brief look inside.

Azuka nods and points off to the south near Skulking Row, where Kargath had made camp.

Sagaz says: There’s an old sewer trap that led to a closed section of the sewers. He said if you followed that, he told us how we would find the section he was in. But if there are Resistance people around there, it’s likely well guarded or trapped. Not to mention, that section has been avoided. It’s not the first evidence of supernatural involvement. Some people think something significant happened there.
Azuka says: We should be able to find the entrance. It’s an abandoned section that’s being patrolled. It’s safe at the beginning. Inside, I don’t know.
Arthak Saurfang says: Hmmm. Interesting. I wonder if the Resistance is using their own unquiet dead to help protect that area.

Azuka shrugs.

Azuka says: Hard to say. Most other clans have stayed away. Except for the Shattered Hand.
Arthak Saurfang says: Kargath’s warriors will learn what they choose to.
Azuka says: And they don’t give much stake into fear. Or superstitions.
Arthak Saurfang says: Alright. Useful information. Well done, both of you.

Nyxxa had translated the discussion to Levia, and the felblood elf has a pensive look on her face.

Levia Blackflight says: I’m… not sure for certain, but… I may know something about what happened in the catacombs. Whatever is causing the ghosts. It may have had something to do with the ritual that opened the portal. The elves that have become the Shadowsword, before the city fell, they… they were collecting people. Capturing them. Kidnapping them. They held them in the catacombs until what they called the “promised day”. I don’t know what happened, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they all were sacrificed as part of the ritual that opened the portal. I don’t know the details, but I learned that much. If that’s the case, then maybe that’s what the spirits are restless about…
Nyxxa says: That would explain it.
Levia Blackflight says: And if not that, then maybe thousands of tragedies that have occurred here over the past months. I suppose it could be anything.

Halno had been translating.

Arthak Saurfang says: Well. Regardless. I think our best way of proceeding is to simply pass report to one of the clans that are more knowledgeable. Stormreavers. Probably the Shadowmoon or the Bleeding Hollow. Pass the information to them. If they choose to deal with it, good, if not, then others know they shouldn’t go down there without magical support.
Sagaz says: There’s one other thing… another hazard of the sewers. Beyond the Skarvyn who have been coordinating efforts more fully with the elves. No one is sure what they are or where they came from, but there were these strange creatures that have been appearing. They were… people were saying they were reminiscent of sentient coagulations of demon blood. They had a sweet smell, but beyond that, people aren’t sure what they are. The only thing is that they have the ability to encase others with fel magic that they are created with. Several of the patrols have been petrified. If any of you do go deeper into the sewers, just be careful. These things have been attacking anyone. Resistance or Horde.
Arthak Saurfang says: Good to know. Useful. Again. Well. So. Anything else people want to attend to here, or do we split off and see to our respective interests?
Halno says: I need you to put word out that I’m looking out for magically-inclined individuals. Your clan is short on mages, and I’m tired of being responsible for everything.
Arthak Saurfang says: Noted. I’ll put word out. I need to speak to Gul’dan anyway. Anyone else?
Nyxxa says: I just need to take a few hours to myself, with Samaara and Levia. It won’t take too long.
Arthak Saurfang says: Take what time you need. Tomorrow we will likely go into the sewers after the skarvyn, so anything you need to do to get ready.

Nyxxa nods.

Azgadaan says: And what will you be up to, Halno?

Halno puts a hand on his chest.

Halno says: Have… have i started to answer to the great Azgadaan?
Azgadaan says: I’m asking what you are up to.
Halno says: I have various minor matters. I believe I need to check back in with Gul’dan eventually. Maybe I’ll go with Arthak.
Azgadaan says: Well. I’m gonna head to the Warsong clan.
Arthak Saurfang says: You want to chase this ghost matter personally?
Azgadaan says: Well clearly none of you do.
Arthak Saurfang says: I have enough of the living to worry about.
Halno says: if I want to play with dead things, I’ll, uh. Well. I have my own dead things to play with.
Arthak Saurfang says: That being said, we will need to go into the sewers eventually to acquire what Rehgar needs. If you want to pursue this, I don’t see why we can’t see to both matters at the same time. Conjure ghosts, and pack up skarvyn. Azuka. I have things to do today. Could be useful for you to accompany me. I’ll be speaking to Grom. Would you rather come or avoid that particular company?
Azuka says: I don’t think he’ll pay attention to me. Besides, better to stick together. It is a war zone after all.

Halno slaps both hands on Sagaz’s shoulders and whispers in his ear.

Halno says: I. Want. More. Mages.

He pats Sagaz like he should know what to do, and Sagaz blinks incredulously.

Arthak Saurfang says: Sagaz. I would go to Gramgun and maybe start putting out things through his connect--
Halno says: Hey! No helping!
Arthak Saurfang says: Well. Good luck. It appears you’re on your own.

Sagaz sighs.

The group starts to disperse to take care of their personal matters, and Nyxxa hangs back on the Summerfall with Samaara and Levia. They gather in one of the storage areas on the ship.

Samaara says: Let me get this straight. You’re trying to force yourself into a greater level of--
Nyxxa says: I’m trying to cross a threshold. It will happen eventually, and I’d rather it be in a situation I have control over. Unfortunate side effect of the straining that let me retain my sanity.
Samaara says: I trust not the magics you wield, Nyxxa. But if you require my overwatch to ensure this does not become an issue, I suppose I can do that, at the very least.
Levia Blackflight says: Are you sure this is a good idea?
Nyxxa says: It’s… not. But at this point it’s only a matter of time before I cross over, and… I see no other way to safely do this.
Levia Blackflight says: Well. I suppose if you think this is the right path, then… I can be here in case anything goes wrong.
Nyxxa says: Thank you.

Nyxxa takes her blades and hands them to Samaara and Levia, as well as her blindfold. Samaara draws her bow and knocks an arrow, though she doesn’t draw it. Nyxxa then casts detect good and evil, and purposely fails the saving throw.

Nyxxa’s eye sockets burn with orbs of bright green for a moment, and she feels her blood almost quicken through her entire body. She can almost hear her pulse, but something is off. It feels thick and ichorous, like sap. It passes after a moment.

Something that Nyxxa had forgotten comes washing back, something she had perhaps trained herself to forget, but it was a keen memory.

There is a hunger in the pit of her stomach. A desire to consume. Not one that is uncontrollable or one that she fears, but it is present. She knows the craving that she feels is for two things of equal measure: for the souls of mortals and demons alike, and for the flesh of demons.

It was a craving she knew, but it was training that had been locked behind training. But it had come back.

A familiar voice speaks in her mind.

Vaerux says [telepathically]: Well, well well. Look who decided to come out to smell the roses. Mmph. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Instinctively, Nyxxa flexes her mind to silence his voice. However, it doesn’t quiet him. Nyxxa exhales.

Vaerux says [telepathically]: Now now now, no need to be hasty, my friend. Were you really so concerned that this small indulgence would make you lose control of your faculties? You’re stronger than you think, Nyxxa, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: Does not hurt to be cautious.
Vaerux says [telepathically]: Yes, yes, yes, always caution with you and your cult. But doesn’t hurt to cut loose. It seems to have worked well for hat friend of yours, after all.
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: Who are you talking about?
Vaerux says [telepathically]: You know. Caria. She stopped lying to herself about who and what she is, and it seems to have done her well. Meanwhile you can’t decide what you want, who you are, or what you want to do. One moment you’re asking about history and a desire to follow in the footsteps of those who created the path you now follow, and then silence for weeks. Truly. Is that how you treat a friend?
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: I’m remiss to call you a friend.
Vaerux says [telepathically]: But friends we are. I believe the saying is keep your friends close and enemies closer, and I think we are uncomfortable close, but that is not a bad thing. I must say, it’s much more fun to speak to you like we used to.
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: What used to are you referring to?
Vaerux says [telepathically]: When your little cult of personality first confronted me. Back when you would spend days tossing and turning. Wishing for it to all end, but knowing that no matter what you did, it never would. When you first became a demon hunter. My favorite part was when you tore out your own eyes, but that was perhaps some observational bias. Not like you needed them anyways.
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: Well, I apologize for my silence. I suppose I’ve been busy.
Vaerux says [telepathically]: Yes. Busy. So very busy. You ever were the dutiful little servant, weren’t you? Even bereft of a purpose, you still squander your time trying to create one. Running from that which you know, the purpose right in front of you. Of course, you’re never truly alone.

Nyxxa bites her lip.

Nyxxa says [telepathically]: I think, out of everything, I have realized something. And I think it’s because of you. I think I’m growing tired of answering to a master.

Vaerux chuckles.

Vaerux says [telepathically]: Good.
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: And that includes your master.
Vaerux says [telepathically]: Master is a strong word for it. But I suppose that’s a conversation for another time. As comical as it is distracting you and watching your friends gaze at you with perplexed stares of concern, I’ll stop hassling you for now. But I’ll still be here. I always am, after all, thanks to you.
Nyxxa says [telepathically]: Neither of us would be here without you.

Levia is looking at Nyxxa with concern.

Levia Blackflight says: Are you alright?
Nyxxa says: I’m alright. It’s just… this went better than I thought it would. Not good, but… I haven’t lost control of my faculties.

Samaara looks at Nyxxa closely, but she lowers her bow.

Samaara says: I’m glad to see you do not fall so easily. I would see to it that you keep it that way.
Nyxxa says: I would as well. It should be easier to stay in control now. Urges are more palpable, but that’s the only notable change.

She’s a bit uncomfortable about the dark thoughts she’s having about Levia, given she is a demon, but it’s something she’s not going to talk about.

Nyxxa says: Regardless. Thank you both.

She pats both on the shoulders.

Nyxxa says: I do appreciate you helping me, even if it was a terrible idea.
Samaara says: It remains to be seen if it continues to be a terrible idea, but I appreciate you informing me of this recklessness before you did it.
Nyxxa says: Frankly, there are only typical demonic urges, but nothing that can’t be handled with discipline and self-control.

Levia and Samaara leave Nyxxa be as she puts her blindfold back on and works on centering herself.

Azgadaan, meanwhile, is going to seek out Rehgar. From what he knows, Rehgar is at the Court of the Sun, near Stormreaver Spire. Reportedly, he was heading to one of the manors that had become a hold out for the Resistance--which had belonged to Sinestra.

It had been something of a battlefield in recent times.

Azgadaan accompanies Halno and Arthak as well as Sadras and Azuka before breaking off on his own. As they make their way through the Greenwood Byway, the first thing they note is that there is a much greater presence of orcs there than there was before. There are several warbands from the Warsong and Blackrock clans. One of the Warsong veterans raises a fist to their chest as Arthak passes, and he recognizes them--he had dealt with him before. This one was the liaison he spoke with regarding the difficulties between the Warsong and Broken Blade back when Warsong weaponry showed up on one of Arthak’s vessels.

Arthak returns the greeting, and the veteran approaches.

Arthak Saurfang says: Lok’tar, Grith.
Grith says: And to you, chieftain. I pray the raid has treated you well.
Arthak Saurfang says: So far.
Grith says: I wish to follow up. Have you heard anything further from that crew that claimed innocence? Chieftain Hellscream asked me to follow up at my convenience, and given we are both here.
Arthak Saurfang says: My crew was innocent. We are looking into the possibility that another clan stole the weapons and planted them on my ship to sow strife.
Grith says: That would be most irritating. The Warsong needs those weapons, and the Horde needs its unity.
Arthak Saurfang says: Yes it does. Suffice to say, as soon as we have any evidence as to who framed my sailors, you will be informed, and we will deal with it.

Grith nods.

Grith says: Good. I look forward to hearing if you discover anything further. We will do our own investigations.
Arthak Saurfang says: Of course. Your clan and the Blackrock are out in force here.

Grith smiles.

Grith says: Correct. Hellscream believes the gatekeeper is soon to fall. He says he can feel it in his bones, and if there’s one thing you don’t question, it’s the intuition of Grommash Hellscream.
Arthak Saurfang says: If all goes according to plan, I should prove your chieftain’s intuition correct soon.
Grith says: Those of us that are gathering are simply those that wish to get out of the city first. There is much to conquer, and we would have our piece.
Arthak Saurfang says: I will endeavor not to keep you waiting too long.
Grith says: Indeed. Not to mention our presence makes things more difficult for those urchins in the sewers. The harder we squeeze them, the more they squirm.
Arthak Saurfang says: And hopefully soon there will be none left to squirm.
Grith says: Lok’tar.
Arthak Saurfang says: Lok’tar.

Grith nods and turns back to his warband.

Arthak, Azgadaan, and Halno continue passing through the byway. As they make their way into the Court of the Sun, they get the sense they are being followed. As Azgadaan glances back, he sees a figure moving into an alley. They were garbed in dark cloth, and it was hard to tell what they were.

Azgadaan informs Arthak, and Arthak asks if they are still following them, but Azgadaan is unsure.

Arthak Saurfang says: This could be an opportunity for you to turn things into other things, Azgadaan.

Azgadaan steps away from Arthak and Halno, and then thunder steps into the alley. He appears in the alley and sees a tall figure that glances back in his direction. They are wearing long, obscuring black leathers. The individual seems to be a darker-skinned orc--almost dark grey-green skin.

Azgadaan runs for him, but the orc then bolts away. He is significantly faster than the eredar, and he makes a quick bank to the left and disappears down another alley. However, Azgadaan hears him collide with a wall as he continues.

Azgadaan continues pursuing, and he enhances a spell to try and turn the orc into a snail. The orc stumbles, but he appears to start shaking off the spell. Azgadaan pushes the spell, and the orc’s body rapidly begins to shift into a snail.

He is now much less effective at fleeing, and Azgadaan catches up to him and plucks him off the ground.

Azgadaan messages Arthak to inform him that he was successful, and then turns to sprint back. However, an emaciated orc stands in the way of Azgadaan.

Emaciated Orc says: Please my lord, give me your mercy.

Azgadaan summons his mace and brings it down on the orc, surprised and intending to just knock him out, but he crumples to the ground. The orc’s breathing is wheezing and agonized.

Arthak then receives another message from Azgadaan informing him that he may have accidentally severely injured a pedestrian that appeared behind him.

Arthak and Halno hurry to meet with him, and they see the orc. His skin is a mottled, brown color. He’s a mag’har.

Arthak goes to try and stabilize the elderly orc, and he is able to staunch the bleeding. He appears to be alive, but he is not in great shape. Sadras also catches up to them and uses cure wounds to try and bring the elderly orc to coherence.

Emaciated Orc says: PLEASE! Mercy!
Azgadaan says: Sorry. You snuck up on me.
Emaciated Orc says: I beg of you, my lord.
Azgadaan says: I’m going to go around the corner. I need to keep this prisoner with me.

The snail had managed to squirm out of his pocket and was trying to slide down Azgadaan’s armor, but Azgadaan just grabs him and puts him a pot he had.

Arthak Saurfang says: What is your name, elder?
Emaciated Orc says: My name is Zokk. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to displease the master. I am too old--
Azgadaan says: You didn’t displease me. You just surprised me in an intense situation--
Arthak Saurfang says: Azgadaan. Just take the captive… snail, and go over there. We’ll deal with this.

Azgadaan nods and goes around the corner.

Zokk says: I’m too weak to wield weapons. I have nothing. I am sorry.
Arthak Saurfang says: Sadras. Would you be able to escort Zokk to the ship? I’m assuming… do you have a clan, Zokk?
Zokk says: No longer. Most of them were taken by the pox. I am one of the few survivors.

The orc seems shaken to his core, weak, desperate, and now a little broken. Arthak sighs.

Halno says: I have a job for you, if you want.
Zokk says: Work?
Halno says: Not labor.
Zokk says: I do not know if I could be of use to you.
Halno says: How old are you?
Zokk says: I have lost the summers.
Arthak Saurfang says: Halno, how about we take him back to Gramgun’kur, feed him, and handle this later.
Halno says: Being old isn’t that bad.
Arthak Saurfang says: It is when you take a warhammer to the chest. Sadras. Would you be able to--
Sadras says: Yeah, I can.
Arthak Saurfang says: Get him food, and a healer. A proper one. Azuka, go with them. Put what Mother Kaza has taught you to use.

Sadras lifts the old orc and helps him to walk away. He cowers from Azgadaan, and Sadras casts a glance at Azgadaan, who mouths “I’m sorry” but she says nothing back.

In the meanwhile, Azgadaan had been talking to the snail, stating that he had caused quite the problem.

Arthak asks Azgadaan for the snail, and Azgadaan refuses to hand the snail over for some reason. He wants to go into one of the buildings. Arthak continues asking for the snail, and Azgadaan agrees once they get into a building.

They go into a locked room, and Azgadaan gets out some manacles as he gives the snail to Arthak. He then uses prestidigitation to clean his pot.

Arthak crushes the snail in his fist, and there is a flash of magic, revealing the orc in front of them. He then grabs the orc and yanks him into his face. Azgadaan applies the manacles.

Orcish Spy says: Alright. ALRIGHT.
Arthak Saurfang says: Why. Were. You. Following. Us.
Orcish Spy says: It’s a free city. I was just going in this direction.
Arthak Saurfang says: Do you want to rethink that answer?

The orc grits his teeth and looks at Arthak and then the other two.

Orcish Spy says: I don’t need to rethink nothing.
Arthak Saurfang says: Mistake.

Arthak punches him in the gut.

Orcish Spy says: What? You think that just because you’re a chieftain you can grab any orc off the street and rough him up? And you can have your pet demon turn him into a SNAIL?
Arthak Saurfang says: That was because I found it funny. This is because I’m paranoid, and now I’m angry.
Orcish Spy says: You’re not the only one.

Azgadaan also punches the spy. Halno is leaning against the door, watching bemusedly.

Azgadaan says: Answer us, or I will light your blood on fire. Literally.
Orcish Spy says: I’m sure you will, snail boy.
Arthak Saurfang says: Halno. Magic. Something that can make him talk.
Halno says: Uh… I guess we can kill him and I can raise him?
Arthak Saurfang says: Solid idea. Counteroffer.

He looks at the captured orc.

Orcish Spy says: Counter offer is you let me go.
Halno says: You don’t excel at bargaining, do you?
Orcish Spy says: I’ve got nothing to bargain for.

They can’t pick up any tells off the orc. Halno starts to search him. He has a rough short blade, a few daggers, and 17 silver coins… Halno pockets it all.

Halno says: So. What clan are you from?
Orcish Spy says: Wouldn’t you like to know?
Halno says: Yes, that’s the point of a question.

The orc remains silent.

Halno says: Given enough time, I can just invade your mind… though, I don’t give a flying fuck about what happens to you.
Orcish Spy says: Go on, then. Kill me. I’m not afraid of death!
Halno says: Before we kill you, you work for money?
Orcish Spy says: No. I have honor. Unlike some.

He looks at Arthak and Azgadaan.

Orcish Spy says: But if we’re being honest, chieftain, you should be paranoid. And killing me isn’t going to help you at all.
Halno says: Wow. You never realize how bad people are at negotiating until they’re supposed to be begging. I wonder how mad his employer would be mad if he got captured instead?

Arthak grunts, and snaps the orc’s neck.

Arthak Saurfang says: So. Halno. Your turn.
Halno says: Right. Well… wonder if Levia knows speak with dead.

He looks up at the ceiling.

Arthak Saurfang says: That… was a bluff.
Halno says: I can raise him…
Arthak Saurfang says: But you can’t ask him questions?
Halno says: Me specifically, no. But, come to think of it, we are speaking with someone who can.
Arthak Saurfang says: Whose… spy this might have been. No. Wait. He talked about having honor. Fuck it.

Azgadaan un-manacled the corpse so he had his manacles back.

Azgadaan says: Well. I’ll leave this to you. I need to find Rehgar.

Arthak sighs. Halno muses that this would be a lot easier if the orc wasn’t actually dead.

Halno says: But. You know. Not really a problem anymore.
Arthak Saurfang says: Give me a few moments.
Halno says: Take your time. We got all day.

Arthak sighs and takes some time to himself, as he’s quite mad, but after a few moments he picks up the body and heaves it over his shoulder.

Halno and Arthak leave. Azgadaan had already left. The two remaining individuals head to Stormreaver Spire with the body.

Meanwhile, Nyxxa is just spending time on the Summerfall training. At some point, Sadras and Azuka return with a wounded, elderly orc.

Nyxxa says: Where are the boys?
Sadras says: They.. are still meeting with Gul’dan. We caught somebody trailing us, and this poor man got in the way. He’s alive. Barely.
Nyxxa says: Well I’m glad he’s… alright.

Nyxxa calls for Levia, and she approaches and tries to tend to him. She admits she isn’t a medical professional, but she can at least try to ease his pain.

Zokk says: Thank you. I’m sorry for the difficulties I caused.
Sadras says: It’s fine. I’m just glad you’re alright. I guess it’s a good thing that Azgadaan didn’t just cleave you in half.
Nyxxa says: Wait. Azgadaan did this?
Sadras says: I’m pretty sure, yeah. I think he assumed he was cornering them. I dunno. I didn’t see it. Just the handiwork. Like I said, we were being followed, and I think he pursued whoever it was. He caught him, but this guy got in the way.
Nyxxa says: Well. It’s fortunate you did make it, then. But this is a war zone.
Zokk says: War is not kind to all of our people. It never has been. Despite what the warchief would have you believe.
Nyxxa says: It never is. No matter the war. No matter the cause. War will never be kind. It only creates a situation for the strong to trample on the weak.

Sadras has a pensive, irritated look on her face, but she doesn’t say anything. Nyxxa notes it.

Some of the crew members fetch Zokk some rations and water. With the aid of magic, he seems to be recovering.

Then Nyxxa approaches Sadras.

Nyxxa says: Something on your mind?
Sadras says: What? Yeah. No. I guess. It’s just… it’s been bothering me. All of it.
Nyxxa says: You can speak your mind.
Sadras says: I just… the orcs have always been a strong people, right? I know this. My mother and father told me. We’ve always been proud. Independent. Strong. But… what happened to that man. I mean, if we hadn’t found him, he’d be starving, clanless, and weak, just because of the war. All of this is just… if what you said is true, then, what’s the point of all of this?

Nyxxa crosses her arms and leans against a crate.

Nyxxa says: When it comes down to it, your world is dying.
Sadras says: And what of this world? How long until it starts dying because we’re here too? I mean look.

She gestures to the ruined city.

Sadras says: We’ve been here for months, and already… I can tell this place was full of beauty, and now it’s a war zone. A war zone where you are either strong or you’re dead.
Nyxxa says: From the time that I’ve spent with your people, I imagine that’s an unfortunate consequence of your circumstances. It’s what you needed to do to survive. But… we’re now on a different world. One with different opportunities. Though war is the path your people are on now, it’s not the one you need to be on. War, in its heart, is destruction. Might be destruction for a good cause, but it’s still destruction.

Sadras growls and punches the mast.

Sadras says: I hate this. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to feel about this. I love a good scrap. I live for the hunt… this is… this is something else, and I don’t like it. I haven’t even realized it. But I don’t.
Nyxxa says: I don’t think it’s a bad thing that you think this. But. Ultimately there is difference between the hunt and war. Though the skills overlap, that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.
Sadras says: I just feel sick.

Nyxxa nods sympathetically.

Sadras says: One part of me just… can’t stop looking forward to all this. The lines between hunting and fighting a war are blurring. There’s not a different. Kill or be killed, but now they’re wielding blades and magic instead of fang and claw. And I… I don’t ever want to lose sight. I don’t ever want to lose what I’m fighting. But I see that. I see that happening.
Nyxxa says: Sadras. You… sorry, I’ve been through a bit since then, but you partook of the demon blood, correct?

Sadras nods.

Nyxxa says: Have you noticed any changes since then?
Sadras says: I… so much has changed.
Nyxxa says: That was also when the war started, so it may be hard to separate it. But… part of my own training is to not lose sight between the hunt and war. If you want I could teach you what I learned that helps me discern the difference and keeps me on a path that I don’t lose sight of what I was, instead of what war may make me become. It’s a hard path, but… not an impossible one.
Sadras says: I… heh… if there’s anything that it would do to clear my head, to calm the tempest that I can feel in my head… in my veins, in my soul, then maybe I should take you up on that. I’m not usually that good at sitting still, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try.
Nyxxa says: I’ve been focusing more on meditation than the physical aspects. If you wish, we could spar. That would also be an adequate way.
Sadras says: Yeah. I think I would like that. At least take my mind off it. Thank you for listening. I feel like this is rambling.
Nyxxa says: It’s important to be insightful. One of the most important things is to be honest with yourself and how you’re feeling.
Sadras says: I don’t want to lose myself. If I lose myself, then I lose everything. Everyone I care about, every… yeah.
Nyxxa says: Frankly, I feel the same.
Sadras says: I appreciate it. At least we can help each other stay on track.
Nyxxa says: And it helps to not be alone. That helps too.

Nyxxa holds out a hand, and Sadras clasps her wrist with a smile and a nod.

Sadras says: Well lets move to somewhere we aren’t going to knock everything over.

Levia sits back and watches while she studies some things she has written down. Nyxxa and Sadras are working on hand-to-hand, and at one point, Sadras does ask to see Nyxxa’s weapon as she had never seen anything like it before. She gives it a test swing, but swings it very wrong.

Azuka also watches, and ends up sidling next to Levia without Levia noticing. Samaara had disappeared, however.

Meanwhile, Halno and Arthak head into Stormreaver Spire. They are drawing attention with the dead orc on Arthak’s shoulder, but no one approaches. However, a few speak to each other as they pass.

They reach the apex of the palace, to where Gul’dan normally lurks. He is, in fact, there, looking down at the city. He turns to acknowledge Halno and Arthak as they enter, and he smiles.

Gul'dan says: Arthak. And Halno, my friends, it’s ever a pleasure. What brings you here?
Arthak Saurfang says: I wish to speak on some things we talked of before. The corpse is unrelated.
Gul'dan says: I was curious….
Arthak Saurfang says: I caught someone following me, and I don’t yet know who to return it to. Any chance you recognize them, elder?
Gul'dan says: You see many faces when you reach such an advanced age. Unfortunately I am not familiar with him.
Arthak Saurfang says: Alas. Well. That’s an issue for later.

Arthak grunts.

Gul'dan says: Though it is hardly evidence, if I were to guess, simply based on his appearance…

He raises a clawed hand and the body lifts and moves closer to him. He squints.

Gul'dan says: Judging from the look of his eyes, the build of his skill, the coloration of his skin… I would wager he was born in a similar area as you. Those who were native to the Gorgrond area have a certain… certain features that distinguish them. That, of course, with the muddling of the clans doesn’t mean much, but the Blackrock Clan is large. ‘Tis entirely possible he was a member of it. Where did you encounter this… unfortunate soul?

Arthak gestures toward the area from the view of the spire.

Gul'dan says: And you don’t know who sent him?
Arthak Saurfang says: I’ll give him this. He was loyal.
Gul'dan says: That sounds… no. Impossible.
Arthak Saurfang says: What are your suspicions?
Gul'dan says: I would not want to spread baseless rumors, but… there are only so many people that such a loyal orc would serve. From the sound of it at least. I would not want to assume. But the warchief does command a great deal of loyalty, does he not? You do not believe that he would be threatened by you, young Arthak? I suppose your rise has been quite meteoric, and you are… much younger than he is. But of course such baseless speculation does the Horde no favors.
Arthak Saurfang says: None. Not when you need unity.
Gul'dan says: Of course. Unity is the core upon which the Horde was built. When we united our clans from squabbling disjointed bands and turned them into something great. A green tide to wash over this land, and to make this world our own. Unity is important. And strength is what makes unity a reality. I would… be careful though. After all, whoever this poor soul belonged to will likely note his absence. If you have attracted the attention of anyone, regardless of who they are, watch your back. The Horde needs strong leaders like you, Arthak.
Arthak Saurfang says: I will be cautious.
Gul'dan says: Of course, you always are. But you did not come to speculate about daggers in the dark. Please, how may I help you?
Arthak Saurfang says: Are you comfortable with us continuing our last discussion with Halno present?
Gul'dan says: Of course. I wager it would not be a problem. I trust you have informed him already?
Arthak Saurfang says: He is my resident expert on magic.
Gul'dan says: So he is serving you well then. Good.
Arthak Saurfang says: Quite. So far that the only problem we’ve run into is not enough of him. But we will see about remedying that situation. But no. The Mist. In regards to our last conversation,. I have put thought into how to best deploy it.
Gul'dan says: Oh? And what is your suggestion? The barrier grows ever weaker, it is only a matter of time until it drops, and our quarry escapes.
Arthak Saurfang says: Indeed, and that… when the barrier drops they will escape. Somehow. If we aren’t able to smash this resistance before this barrier drops, they will need to find a way to escape. A path of exit from the city. It will be an opportunity where they will have their entire force in one location. They will have no choice but to commit everything and everyone. That would be the time.
Gul'dan says: Yes. Yes. You are right. There are a number of… tactics that I imagine they will use to flee. Many are the same they used before. Magic. Fleeing south, hoping to outpace our warriors, and of course, the sea. You are clever, Arthak.
Arthak Saurfang says: I have my moments.
Gul'dan says: we will await this crux. And that is where we will strike.
Arthak Saurfang says: Excellent. If it works as planned, the Resistance will be wiped out. Many will be able to be brought to our side, and those that won’t will no longer be a problem regardless. And it will happen just as we are about to flood out.
Gul'dan says: An excellent plan. You are wise beyond your years, Arthak. I will make preparations to ensure that nothing foils our plants. These elves are crafty. I shall not be denied. Our victory shall be assured.
Arthak Saurfang says: That it will. I would move quickly. I’m assuming you have heard my intentions about the manor with the barrier over it.
Gul'dan says: So I’ve heard. Word has already reached me of your successes at Falthrien Academy.
Arthak Saurfang says: Yes. With Keli’dan’s aid, all that’s left is the power of frost and a… passwall spell, I believe. Which I’m working to acquire those from the Frostwolves and Shadowsword.
Gul'dan says: Most excellent. I’m sure the Frostwolves are eager to assist you.
Arthak Saurfang says: They are. It should work well. I also may be able to garner Dal’rend’s assistance with entry, but that is up to further negotiation.
Gul'dan says: Of course. My sympathies to the warchief’s son. Losing one’s kindred is never easy. And I heard about their dispute after his return. It seems he was displeased with Maim as he is. Unfortunate. Tell me, Arthak. The circumstances that led to his death. Most impressive, if I do say so myself. These elves are skilled. They must certainly have been to have bested a warrior as potent as Maim Blackhand.
Arthak Saurfang says: They have some. I believe the Shrike was present at that raid.
Gul'dan says: Yet the Shrike utilizes archery. The wounds that pockmarked Maim Blackhand were inconsistent with archery. It was… hard to even tell what killed him. Tell me Arthak. You didn’t see anything suspicious during the fray, did you? Something that I would wish to know of?
Arthak Saurfang says: Hrmm. Sadly I did not see anything. At least not of Maim. As soon as they attacked, I took the fight to their warriors. Maim was elsewhere.
Gul'dan says: I see… Perhaps I will speak to others who were present. The battle was chaotic, after all. But I’m sure someone saw something. Perhaps… Hellscream would be willing to tell me what he knows. Once he returns, of course.
Arthak Saurfang says: They were close.
Gul'dan says: Yes. That they were. I am sure he is beside himself, after his death. Was there anything you wished to speak of? I am, as ever, at your service.
Arthak Saurfang says: I have spoken of the business I need to. Thank you again, for your support, Gul’dan.
Gul'dan says: As ever, Arthak. I am your humble servant.
Arthak Saurfang says: Well. Someday soon I shall have to repay the favors you granted me.
Gul'dan says: I look forward to that day, Arthak.
Arthak Saurfang says: As do I.

Arthak nods to Halno and goes to leave. Gul’dan asks if he needs someone to dispose of the body.

Arthak Saurfang says: I have some plans. But thank you.
Gul'dan says: Of course.
Halno says: I’ll catch up in a few moments.
Arthak Saurfang says: Take your time.

Arthak descends back down to the floors below, leaving Halno alone.

Gul'dan says: Halno. What do you have for me?
Halno says: He is incredibly ambitious. He would honestly do quite well for all of this. I don’t believe the time is right to attempt a proper introduction, but…
Gul'dan says: Not now, perhaps, but the time will make itself known.
Halno says: Yes. And I believe he’ll be open to the idea.
Gul'dan says: I’m sure he will. You will be a valuable asset. That’s good. But what else have you seen. That so-called demon hunter and the eredar princeling. What of them?
Halno says: Demon hunter? The satyr?
Gul'dan says: Correct. They call themselves demon hunters. They hail originally from an organization bent on the destruction of our masters of the Twisting Nether.
Halno says: Yes. Someone always feels the need to opposed.
Gul'dan says: Yes. It seems the two that occupy this city have left their ways behind. Or so has exalted the ever enthusiastic Caria.
Halno says: Hmmm. Maybe. Satyrs are impossible to trust.
Gul'dan says: This I’ve been lead to believe.
Halno says: As for Azgadaan… I believe your early assessment is mind-boggling accurate.
Gul'dan says: I suppose we will simply continue observing him.
Halno says: If I’m able to decipher his… anything… I’ll let you know.
Gul'dan says: Of course.
Halno says: This was mostly convenient on my way here, so I thought I’d keep you appraised of the Arthak situation.
Gul'dan says: It’s appreciated. He is a promising candidate. And if he has drawn the ire of the warchief… then he may have entered into a situation where he could very much use our help.
Halno says: Indeed. All he needs to be careful of is whether or not he chokes on that ambition.
Gul'dan says: Ambition is a dangerous and potent drug. One that grants a great deal of power. We shall see if young Arthak can temper that power as well as he tempers the blades that he forges.
Halno says: Here’s hoping. On another note, and I could take this up with any of your warlocks, would you have access to a scroll of detect thoughts?
Gul'dan says: Not on me, but you can likely find one in the collection of items the Council has acquired. Whatever you need to facilitate your mission.
Halno says: I’ll look into that. Anything to make this easier.
Gul'dan says: Of course. I wish you the best of luck.
Halno says: Arthak mentioned you modified the Red Mist as opposed to the original version that was used in Shattrath.
Gul'dan says: That is correct.
Halno says: I hope I’m not overstepping. I am curious… would it be possible to examine such fine work?

Gul’dan narrows his eyes.

Gul'dan says: You understand that only the most devoted of our number has been given leave to do any amount of work with it. I understand curiosity, Halno, but like ambition, it too can be a dangerous drug. In time… I will require the assistance of a multitude of trusted individuals to ensure our deployment of this weapon goes without fail. At that time perhaps I will see if you can assist us.
Halno says: Of course. I had to make the attempt. Always something more to learn. Thank you for your time, Shadowmaster.

Halno takes his leave to go investigate the scroll situation. When he meets back up with Arthak, Arthak asks him to send Varok. Namely, for him to meet them at the spire, as he may be in trouble.

Halno does so, but then tacks on “he killed someone.”

Varok Saurfang says: Of course he did. I’ll be there as swiftly as I can.

A bit later, Varok arrives along with a few honor guards. He comes inside and approaches Arthak.

Varok Saurfang says: What happened?
Arthak Saurfang says: We were being tailed.
Varok Saurfang says: By him?

He gestures to the body.

Arthak Saurfang says: Yes.
Varok Saurfang says: Great.
Arthak Saurfang says: Captured him. He wouldn’t talk. Choice between let him go and he reports back, or silence him, and I chose the latter. Do you recognize him?

Varok sighs heavily and looks at the orc.

Varok Saurfang says: I do. His name was Kretu Bitterstrike. He’s one of the warchief’s eyes. And now he’s dead.

Arthak growls to himself.

Arthak Saurfang says: Damn this day. This is going to get back to the warchief.
Varok Saurfang says: And I cannot protect you from his wrath, Arthak. If he had men watching you before, he certainly will now.
Arthak Saurfang says: Watching and more than watching.

Varok sighs again.

Arthak Saurfang says: I did not want to make an enemy of the warchief.
Varok Saurfang says: There is only way I can think to placate him. Go to him. Explain what happened. And plead for his forgiveness. It’s not ideal. And there is no guarantee he would accept it… not without due payment.
Arthak Saurfang says: There is always a price.
Varok Saurfang says: Otherwise, you will live with his ire.
Arthak Saurfang says: Very well. Thank you, uncle.

Varok takes a deep, tired breath.

Varok Saurfang says: Act with wisdom, Arthak.
Arthak Saurfang says: I try. It never gets me anywhere, but I try. I better return Blackhand’s warrior to him. He served his master well. Get him a proper burial at least.
Varok Saurfang says: There is wisdom in that.
Arthak Saurfang says: Thank you for the confirmation. I’m sorry to have bothered you, but I needed to know.

Varok nods and puts a hand on Arthak’s shoulder before he turns away and leaves. Somehow he seems even older than he was when he arrived.

Arthak Saurfang says: When am I going to get any of this right… alright…

Arthak picks up the body, and Halno shows up.

Halno says: So who’s the dead guy?
Arthak Saurfang says: Blackhand’s.
Halno says: Byeeeee…. I wonder if Gul’dan has any teleporters set up.
Arthak Saurfang says: We need to take a boat back. Inform Azgadaan if you could. I need to get to Blackhand. Dammit.

Arthak starts to head back, and Halno informs Azgadaan via sending what happened. Azgadaan asks if they truly need him there with them. There’s no real answer.

However, Azgadaan had found Sinestra’s manor. It’s a bit of a stalemate. There are orcs around it, but it seems to have been fortified. Bodies are scattered around. Mainly orcs, though some elves and skarvyn.

Azgadaan approaches Rehgar upon seeing him.

Rehgar says: You’re the eredar lord. Azgadaan? Well met. Welcome to whatever this is.
Azgadaan says: Do you need help?
Rehgar says: We need more than help. I came here to see about the skarvyn, but I haven’t been able to snag any that are still alive. It seems this manor belonged to the Sinestra woman. The elves seem to have reclaimed it.
Azgadaan says: Do you know who is in charge?
Rehgar says: Here? People either get themselves killed or reassigned.

Azgadaan offers to tear down the back half of the manor, and Rehgar is flabbergasted for a moment, but then explains it’s a bloodbath without a team. Even with a team. Azgadaan offers to prepare some spells, but Rehgar advises against it without more people, so he offers to maybe get some people together.

Azgadaan asks if Rehgar is busy, as he can just come with them back to Quel’danas to get a party together, and Rehgar agrees that he probably could.

In that moment, an orc closer to the manor is suddenly filled with arrows.

Rehgar sighs, and then turns to head back with Azgadaan. They make some small talk on the way back, and Azgadaan mentions he had accidentally almost killed an old man in the heat of the moment. Rehgar mentions that instinct is powerful, but he needed to be careful, as that same instinct could result in the harm of one’s allies.

Everyone reconvenes at the Summerfall near nightfall. Information is quickly dispersed in regards to what was uncovered, and what Azgadaan saw at Sinestra's manor.

Nyxxa offers to stay behind and scout (as she needs to meet Khadgar, though most of the party doesn’t know that). However, she asks Levia to accompany the group.

Nyxxa says: We can talk.

She gestures Levia to a bit aways, and Nyxxa casts see invisibility--and as she does, about ten feet behind Levia, there’s a small orb. Nyxxa isn’t sure what it is, but it’s not supposed to be there. They go for a walk, and after about 10 minutes, the orb vanished. However, it definitely seemed to be following Levia.

Nyxxa says: I think you were being watched.
Levia Blackflight says: What? By who?

She swirls around, her wings out.

Nyxxa says: I don’t know. But we were being followed by something. Something invisible.
Levia Blackflight says: Someone was scrying on me. Someone’s been scrying on me this whole time.
Nyxxa says: I can keep an eye on it. If I see it again, I’ll let you know. We can come up with a signal.
Levia Blackflight says: The ban’dinoriel… it has to be someone in the city or… it could be another elf… it could be another elf….
Nyxxa says: To put it frankly, I’m involved in some things. Though I know you might be interested in getting involved in it too, it would be easy for them to take my activity and blame it on you.
Levia Blackflight says: I’m a danger to you.
Nyxxa says: No. I’m a danger to you. If I’m caught, I would just drag you down with me if I involved you too much. Or they would see one of us, and Arthak’s group would be viewed as the weak link. I don’t want my actions to hurt you. But.

She puts a hand on Levia’s shoulder.

Nyxxa says: I want you to be part of this someday. It’s just too soon right now.

Levia takes a deep breath and nods.

Levia Blackflight says: Okay. I trust you.
Nyxxa says: I’m glad. I’m sorry. But the less you know right now, the better. That’s why I don’t want you to be on the mainland right now.
Levia Blackflight says: No. I will help you in what I can. You have had no reason to be as kind to me as you have, and I don’t want to be part of a world that doesn’t reciprocate that kindness. I trust you.

Nyxxa thanks her.

Levia Blackflight says: My new friends have a tendency to get themselves in trouble, and I don’t like being unable to help.

Nyxxa continues to console her, and Levia smiles, brushing some hair from her face, and she hugs Nyxxa. Nyxxa hugs her back.

Nyxxa says: I’m glad I found you.
Levia Blackflight says: Yeah. Yeah me too.
Nyxxa says: And someday we’ll give them hell together.

Levia doesn’t respond, but they hug for a moment longer.

Levia Blackflight says: I’ll talk to you in a few days.
Nyxxa says: Keep up on your lessons.

She nods.

Levia Blackflight says: Maybe I’ll try to check in a little bit earlier.
Nyxxa says: I’ll be around. But I’d appreciate word.

As the pair of them start to head back, Nyxxa senses movement higher up. It’s far enough away that she is confident they didn’t hear anything, but there’s the fluttering of wings. Caria stands up from a nearby building as they pass.

She was likely watching them.

Nyxxa says: Levia. Could you head back to the boat?

Levia nods, and her eyes trail up to the individual, and she heads off. Caria steps off the building, and she gently lands on the ground in front of Nyxxa. She watches as Levia scurries past.

Caria Felsoul says: My my. That’s one of Fireheart’s felsworn, correct?

Nyxxa nods.

Caria Felsoul says: She seems… attached.
Nyxxa says: She’s been helpful, and I suppose we bonded a bit.
Caria Felsoul says: That’s good. Friends and allies are good. Have you put anymore thought into what we spoke of the last time? You’ve been busy, so I didn’t want to bother you, but I do miss speaking with you.
Nyxxa says: It’s true. I’ve been… Arthak keeps me busy, but.
Vaerux says [telepathically]: Ugh. This one really turned into a sycophant, hasn’t she?

Nyxxa mutters quietly to herself.

Nyxxa says [telepathically]: I thought that’s what you wanted.

But then she focuses back on Caria.

Nyxxa says: I’ve been keeping an eye. It was actually when I was scoping out the elves I happened upon her. I was meaning to go back and recruit some.
Caria Felsoul says: She seems to be quite the cute one. I can just tell the tragic backstory dripping off her. Perfect candidate.
Nyxxa says: I was considering that, but I believe her talents are not cohesive with what we do. She would be valuable, but not as one of us. Exactly.
Caria Felsoul says: Perhaps you’re right.

Caria looks up at the moon.

Caria Felsoul says: It’s a beautiful night. It reminds me of the good old days. If you have no other plans, I think it would be wonderful if you and I could catch up. There are some beautiful vantage points in this quirky little town. I’d love to show you around. You and I could do more catching up. We haven’t had that opportunity.
Nyxxa says: Unfortunately not tonight. I wouldn’t be able to stay long. There are things I have to do for Arthak. But after that…
Caria Felsoul says: It’s okay. Sure. I understand. We’ll have time, after all.
Nyxxa says: Would tomorrow work?

Caria looks around.

Caria Felsoul says: I’m always looking for something to do. There’s only so many mages to hunt before it gets dreadfully dull, you know? I suppose I can find something to occupy myself with. Oh. I know. Maybe I can meet this little friend of yours?
Nyxxa says: Well, she’s actually going back with Arthak… you know what. Arthak won’t be able to tell if I don’t do it tonight.

Caria’s eyes prick up happily, and she grabs Nyxxa up in a hug.

Caria Felsoul says: I’m so excited!
Nyxxa says: I’m glad we’ll finally be able to catch up. You know I have a hard time saying no.

Caria laughs.

Caria Felsoul says: Oh. I know. Some things never change.
Nyxxa says: I’ll just need to tell the others I’m heading out, and I’ll meet you back here.
Caria Felsoul says: I’ll be waiting.

Nyxxa goes back to the boat and informs Samaara they need to reschedule due to dangerous attention she had received.

Samaara says: Very well. I’ll continue making myself useful.
Nyxxa says: If you still want to go and deliver the message…
Samaara says: That is up to you.
Nyxxa says: I think that may be for the best. But I don’t think it’s safe for me. I trust you to be.
Samaara says: I’ll ensure your trust is not misplaced.
Nyxxa says: Thank you. I’m sorry.
Samaara says: I understand. Whatever has claimed your attention for the evening, use caution. It clearly has you shaken.
Nyxxa says: My old ally.
Samaara says: I see. I will see it done.

Nyxxa quickly scrawls a quick note in common, and Samaara takes it and a rolled, cylindrical package. She bids Nyxxa farewell and disappears into the night. Nyxxa informs the others where she’s going, and then goes to meet up with Caria.

The Summerfall weighs anchor and starts its journey back to Gramgun’kur. Azgadaan and Rehgar also remain behind for the time being.