[Horde] Chapter Three: Session Two

Appearing Characters: Aracyra, Arthak Saurfang, Azgadaan, Azuka, Blackhand, Dentarg, Eitrigg, Galforr Siegebreaker, Garrosh Hellscream, Glashaa, Go'el, Grommash Hellscream, Grotan, Gul'dan, Halno, Jorin Deadeye, Kargath Bladefist, Kaz, Keli'dan, Kroll Gravenight, Nesslyn, Mindi, Mork, Nyxxa, Orican Runesight, Sadine Summerflow, Sadras, Sagaz, Samaara, Selin Fireheart, Skal, Varok Saurfang, Win’thas Keenblossom

A few days before the ceremony that would declare Arthak and Sadras mates, Nyxxa reappeared rather suddenly. In the weeks leading up to it, Halno spent his time researching, and he also crafted a scroll of counterspell to sell to the Shadowsword.

Arthak also approached Azuka about setting up a set schedule that involved learning from various members of the clan. She originally chafed against the structure, but relented that she would be learning a lot more through it.

Azuka's schedule was as follows: Link

Nyxxa, meanwhile, also started to make some connections with the Shadowsword. There was going to be a small contingent serving as representatives to Arthak’s Clipped Wing coalition. One of them was a disheveled felblood elf named Win'thas Keenblossom. He seemed pretty laid back and not really put together, but there was a great deal of fel energy coming from him. The leader of the contingent was wearing the armor of the Spellbreakers, though it had been perverted to a black and red color scheme. He was also a felblood elf named Selin Fireheart.

There are also a number of others in the group as well. In addition to another female felblood elf with black clothing and an uneven horn structure.

Nyxxa had also been introduced to their overall leader, Orican Runesight, and his interpreter, Nesslyn. During their meeting, Nesslyn references that Nyxxa has much better manners than the previous saytr she met. Nyxxa snarkily comments on the fact it was probably a male, and Nesslyn laughs.

Runesight was busy, thus he didn’t spend much time, but he did express he looked forward to working with Nyxxa in the future. At some point, Nyxxa did make a comment about her curiosity about how the highborne got so short, which Runesight just laughs about, clearly not getting it and thinking that Nyxxa was making a joke.

November 15th

It’s a few days before Arthak’s mating ceremony, and he goes to visit the hold that Varok had claimed as his. It was a grand hall that was once used by the ruling politicians of the city. It was formerly called the Hall of Commons, though it is now more of a fortress.

Varok looks exhausted, and presently he is unarmored. He is slumped over a map, and he looks up, tired, to Arthak as he approaches.

Varok Saurfang says: Arthak.
Arthak Saurfang says: Hello uncle. Lok’tar.

Varok exhales from his nostrils and pushes himself up. As he slowly walks around the table, he continues.

Varok Saurfang says: I’ve heard of the successes you have claimed over these months. The blade you took from one of their champions. The defeat of one of the brood of Fenris Wolfbrother. Your clan has grown. And so have you. Good.

He stops in front of the table.

Arthak Saurfang says: Thank you, uncle. But, um… if you have the time. There’s another matter I would discuss with you.

Varok sighs again.

Varok Saurfang says: Arthak, I… I have no desire to speak more of Dranosh. He was taken from us. Far too soon. Still, still I can’t help think of the pyre we left for him, think of the glory robbed from his hands, think of the years that I could have been a part of his life, but I didn’t. Because I was afraid of losing him. I was afraid he would lose what it meant to be an orc. And look what happened. I’ve done a great deal of thinking since his death. I blamed you at first. The blade that you wielded before the portal’s opening. When I gazed upon it I understood. The fel holds a great power in it, and so too a great destruction. Whatever fel magic created that blade was far beyond anything that any of us could hope to fathom. That blade was not created with mortals in mind. Not you. Not me. Not any of us. That it was banished from our midst is… perhaps a blessing from the elementals, if the elements still watch us.

He shakes his head.

Varok Saurfang says: But that is no excuse for me to banish one of the last things I have left. One of the last bastions of blood. If Dranosh were here, I believe he would have scolded me for blaming you as I did. For allowing you to blame yourself as you did. Gul’dan and his masters play with things that are more than we can hope to fathom, and he was taken by those schemes. Perhaps one day his sacrifice will not be in vain.

He reaches out and puts a hand on Arthak’s shoulder and remains silent for a moment.

Varok Saurfang says: Let us continue on in his memory.
Arthak Saurfang says: As you say, uncle. I’ll honor him by living.
Varok Saurfang says: By living. By dying.
Arthak Saurfang says: And doing both well.
Varok Saurfang says: Perhaps there will be honor that even we can find in a place where honor is so hard to come by.
Arthak Saurfang says: Perhaps. There is another thing. I’m… um… to be mated.

Varok’s eyebrow raises.

Varok Saurfang says: What?
Arthak Saurfang says: Yes. Um. Myself and Sadras, formerly of the Frostwolves.

Varok laughs.

Varok Saurfang says: Seems you have been busy.
Arthak Saurfang says: I have. But. I would like for you to be there.

Varok looks back to the table and takes a few steps back. He withdraws a small blade and plunges it into the map.

Varok Saurfang says: The war demands my attention. But… the war can wait. After all. Someone needs to warn Sadras, formerly of the Frostwolf clan, of what she is getting into.
Arthak Saurfang says: Perhaps you will have better luck than I did.
Varok Saurfang says: Perhaps.
Arthak Saurfang says: Thank you, uncle.

Varok nods and turns back toward Arthak.

Varok Saurfang says: I hope there’s room for this old orc on one of those ships.
Arthak Saurfang says: Always. You are kin. Perhaps through your eyes, too, my sire might see something.
Varok Saurfang says: Some say that the ancestors have abandoned us. Some say that we have abandoned them. But if that’s true, Brox would have been the last one.

Varok walks back to Arthak and puts a hand on his shoulder again as they walk toward the door.

Varok Saurfang says: Lets ensure you put on a good show for him.
Arthak Saurfang says: Very well. Yes. I like the sound of that.

They head toward the port to head back to Gramgun’kur.

November 19th (Night)

Gramgun’kur had become a lot more lively than it had been, as many guests arrived to the home of the Broken Blade to celebrate the union between Arthak and Sadras. There are many representatives from many places--many of which likely will be at the meeting of the Clipped Wing coalition as well.

Most notably amongst them, Warchief Blackhand was present with a small detachment of his honor guard and some other Blackrock orcs. The Burning Blade was absent. Likewise, there were a few from among the Dragonmaw, but none that Arthak recognized.

The Frostwolves were present in force.

Jorinn and some of the Bleeding Hollow were also there.

The Laughing Skulls were not present for the ceremony, but Kaz and a small contingent of her orcs crashed the party afterwards.

The Shadowmoon clan had a small group, including Keli’dan the Breaker, who Arthak had fought alongside with at the taking of Sun’s Reach port. Dentarg is also present, and does not seem to be trying to actively kill Arthak.

Kargath and many members of the Shattered Hand are present.

The Stormreavers have a small showing including Gul’dan along with some of the younger warlocks of his clan.

Both chieftains of the newly reformed Thunderlords, Grotan and Skal, are also present.

Most of those present had brought gifts of different sorts to honor the chieftain and his new mate. Though a great deal of money was put out for this feast on Arthak’s part, in an effort to gain favor with this newly expanded clan, many of the gifts had a degree of worth as well. In total, there was about 351 iron coins worth.

The Warsong clan was also present, bringing a great deal of mead and other alcoholic beverages. Grom congratulates Arthak personally and gives him a great deal of treasure. Garrosh is also there, along with members of the Ironmarch, like Eitrigg and Galfor.

There are also many minor clans that Arthak had never heard of also appear.

The ceremony itself was simple, but as part of new Broken Blade tradition, Arthak and Sadras exchanged knives, and then branded themselves with the super-heated blades over their hearts. In addition, Sadras received one of the horns that had been passed down through her family, which had the names of the hunters of her kin etched in it, and she was wearing the pelt of her first kill from long ago.

Go’el does fasten their hands together with a length of rope created from the preserved insides of one of the great beasts of the Frostfire Ridges, and the ribbon is then cut through. Go’el pronounces the pair bonded until fate tears them apart, and there is almost a supernatural shimmer in the night air as he casts the ceremony spell.

The rest of the warband is also present. And Azgadaan also brought a plus one in the form of Aracyra. She is not the only demon (beyond Azgadaan), as there are also several imps that break into things and steal mead. Nyxxa had punted one of the imps and it went sailing, and she spent a great deal of the night hunting others.

Sadras and Arthak are going through the gauntlet of congratulations for most of the night. Arthak remains sober, but Sadras gets drunk, and is a rather forcefully-affectionate mate when drunk. She drags him around quite a bit.

At one point they had seen Mindi walking around, greeting Mork and pretty much all of Mork’s extended family. Almost all of them take after Mork, and they are from a great deal of clans. There’s Bork, and Zork, and Fork, and so on. However, Gork is a massive nearly 7 foot tall warrior that looks like he could wield a club in one hand.

He clearly took after Mork’s mate, who is a gorgeous she-orc with rippling muscles from the Warsong clan. Those that see them are just losing their shit over this catch of an orc showering affection on this peon, and Gramgun is also losing his mind.

Arthak recognizes the she-orc. It’s Glashaa--the orc that Spinyl had formerly impersonated.

Mork had also made a flower crown for Sadras to wear.

Gul’dan comes up to wish Arthak well before he takes his leave. He bows to both Arthak and Sadras as he congratulates them both.

Gul’dan says: May the Broken Blade Clan see naught but prosperity in the months to come.
Sadras says: Thank you elder, truly. Your words are kind.
Arthak Saurfang says: We will see to it that your ships will not go to waste. May both our clans find glory in the wars to come.

Garrosh had given Arthak a nod, but didn’t approach immediately, instead waiting until Arthak was less busy.

Azgadaan had made Arthak and Sadras some sort of pastry. After he went to Sorak to make sure he hadn’t accidentally poisoned it.

Azgadaan says: You don’t get nearly enough treats.
Sadras says: Damn right I don’t. What is this?
Azgadaan says: It’s called a tart. It’s from one of the berries here, and some cream.

Sadras shoves most of one in her mouth.

Sadras says: These are pretty good! Is this an eredar thing?
Azgadaan says: Sort of. I made do with what i could. But I’m glad that you like it.
Sadras says: We don’t get many sweet things in the Frostfire Ridges. Here. Try one.

She shoves one in Arthak’s face, and Arthak coughs.

Arthak Saurfang says: I have hands.
Sadras says: I know, but this is a lot more fun.
Azgadaan says: I hope you have a good night.
Sadras says: Oh. I intend to.

She elbows Arthak in the ribs as Azgadan goes to return to Aracyra, who is trying really hard not to giggle.

At some point, Sadras tries to just straight up smoosh one of the tarts in Arthak’s face, but she drops it, and looks sad for a moment, before she scoops it up and eats it and then wanders around trying to smash the tarts in Sorak’s face instead. And the faces of her other family. And her frostwolf.

Sorak shouts at Arthak to get his sister away, and Sadras is just drunkenly following him around declaring herself the best warrior of the Broken Blade clan.

Varok spends a lot of time speaking with Sadras and her family. He does make a comment to Arthak that he picked a good one.

Garrosh also approached Arthak when things were starting to calm down. He stepped over an unconscious orc with a laugh.

Garrosh Hellscream says: Well well well, what a year it’s been. From cowardspawn to up and coming champion of the Horde, now a chieftain, and you scored yourself a mate. How will you surprise us next, old friend?
Arthak Saurfang says: Even I don’t know. I’ll see if I make it to the next year. That may be the surprise.
Garrosh Hellscream says: I’m counting on it, Arthak, You’re making waves, and a lot of people have noticed. More people will notice. I’m glad no one tried to kill you on the day of your ceremony. It’s bad form. But the fact that I was legitimately concerned of such a thing should say more than most.
Arthak Saurfang says: You were not alone in those concerns. The time is approaching. I expect someone will make a move sometime soon.
Garrosh Hellscream says: You better be ready for it. You’re no good to anyone dead, but I think you know that.
Arthak Saurfang says: I do.
Garrosh Hellscream says: I don’t smell a whiff of alcohol on you, brother. Don’t tell me you're sober at your own ceremony.
Arthak Saurfang says: Perhaps the only one.
Garrosh Hellscream says: You have no idea how to have fun, do you? Some things never change.
Arthak Saurfang says: But now I have a mate who can have fun for me.

Garrosh laughs.

Garrosh Hellscream says: Congratulations, Arthak.
Arthak Saurfang says: Thank you, old friend.

Garrosh and Arthak clasp wrists.

Garrosh Hellscream says: I’ll see you at that meeting in a few days. I may not be able to assist, but I can at least make an appearance. Have you put more thought to my question? The time’s approaching for a choice. You can only be in one place at any time. Even with a clan of this size.
Arthak Saurfang says: I have. And… now more than ever, my place is here. The Horde needs to be out of this prison.
Garrosh Hellscream says: On that, we agree. Suits me just fine. I have friends outside of this barrier.

He rolls his shoulders.

Garrosh Hellscream says: And this city had been cramping my style.
Arthak Saurfang says: I have no doubt.
Garrosh Hellscream says: A Warsong has no right being cooped up, that’s for sure. I’ll be sure to leave some countryside for you and yours, don’t worry.
Arthak Saurfang says: I’ll hold you to that.

Garrosh turns and walks away with a wave.

Arthak Saurfang says: I’ll try not to do anything too exciting while you’re gone.
Garrosh Hellscream says: Please! I want to hear the stories!
Arthak Saurfang says: Some things never change.

While Nyxxa is wandering around the celebration, Kroll stops her to speak.

Kroll Gravenight says: There is something I need to tell you. Something I apologize for. I have already spoken to Go’el. Circumstances… I took a brief journey back through the portal to commune with the elements there. Something is wrong.
Nyxxa says: So you got business to attend to?

Kroll nods.

Kroll Gravenight says: I plan on chasing down the source of this. I plan on returning home to ensure business is taken care of, and making sure that whatever is causing the elements to grow further out of balance is addressed. I regret I will not be able to help you further on what we promised our mutual friend, but I trust it is in capable hands.

Nyxxa sighs.

Kroll Gravenight says: Nonsense, a fit young lass like yourself will be able to keep up with Arthak. An old man like me would slow you down.
Nyxxa says: If I had eyes, I would be giving you such a look.
Kroll Gravenight says: At least you can’t roll them at me.
Nyxxa says: It’s true. Be careful, roll them too much, and they’ll fall out.
Kroll Gravenight says: That’s what happened to you right?

Kroll wishes Nyxxa well, and they part ways.

Kroll Gravenight says: I trust if anyone asks-- just tell them I died!
Nyxxa says: You can only use that excuse so many times.
Kroll Gravenight says: And someday, it won’t be an excuse!

Kroll tips his skull-adorned staff in a knowing gesture, and then stumbles and almost trips down the path back toward the Dark Portal.

As the night wears on, it seems there was a mixture of Broken Blade orcs that followed Arthak’s example, and some that followed Sadras’s example. For the most part, his people are pretty good, but that night there are several brawls that occurred in primarily the Laughing Skulls, the Warsong, and the Shattered Hand.

Before the end of the night, eight orcs were killed, but none were from the Broken Blade.

Grom laughs at the scene as he leaves, kicking back another mug of mead.

Grommash Hellscream says: You know, within some clans, that means you’ll have at least 8 years of prosperity!

At some point, Arthak does point out Jorin to Nyxxa while she is jumping about hunting down imps that stole the booze.

Eventually, it does calm down a sufficient amount late into the night, and Nyxxa slips away, heading to where Arthak had been keeping the high elf prisoners he had captured when he took the port.

The building is dimly lit, and there are three members of the Broken Blade lounging about, talking. There is some booze and some plates about, likely brought to them so they can enjoy the festivities.

It seems they haden’t seen Nyxxa, but they were orcs she had seen before.

Nyxxa knocks on a door to get their attention, and the orcs look at her.

Elder Orc says: You. You’re that demoness the chief encountered in the Frostfire Ridges. Where the hell have you been?
Nyxxa says: I died. I got better.

Two of the orcs look flabbergasted, but the other one reminds them that demons are immortal.

Young Orc says: Was it a good death, at least?
Middle Orc says: That doesn’t matter.
Young Orc says: Man, wouldn’t that be crazy if you could die multiple times? What’s that like?
Nyxxa says: Not as fun as you might think. Well. Not unless you’re into a gratuitous amount of pain.
Elder Orc says: That’s enough boys. What’s your business down here?
Nyxxa says: Well I intended to just see the prisoners. Tomorrow I’m going to be helping the chief translate, but I wanted to know what I was working with before the fact. Essentially be proactive for Arthak’s sake.

The orcs look at each other.

Elder Orc says: The chief said that the only people can visit are those with permission, or if he’s with them. I appreciate your gusto, but… well I don’t think it will be a problem as long as we’re here.
Nyxxa says: Much obliged. Also, if you don’t tell, I won’t either. I’m just concerned with the capabilities of elves.
Elder Orc says: That’s fair. Truthfully, we barely know what they’re capable of. We took their magic from them. Their tomes and trinkets, but for all I know, they still have something up their sleeve. As long as you’re okay with us staying here. Just make this quick.
Nyxxa says: Of course.
Elder Orc says: And we’ll have to tell the boss about this.
Nyxxa says: If you must. I suppose it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.

The orcs step aside, and Nyxxa passes closer to the elf inside. The elf is leaning against a wall in her tattered rags of clothing. She’s clearly fed, but she’s not looking to be in great shape. Her hair is golden-white and is horribly dirty with dried blood still in it.

Nyxxa speaks in common.

Nyxxa says: I’ll ask if you can understand this language.

The elf’s ears twitch, and her dimly-glowing eyes shift to Nyxxa. Her eyes are amber, but they are destitute and exhausted.

Elven Prisoner says: What do you want?
Nyxxa says: I just wish to talk to you. I imagine it’s been some time since you talked to anyone that could understand you. Well. As far as I know. I only just got back.
Elven Prisoner says: The green skinned monsters allow me to see my aunt at times, when they are feeling especially generous. I suppose I should be thankful of that at least. What do you want. If master was here he would tell me not to consort with demons.
Nyxxa says: That’s fair. I wouldn’t either. But we’re here now. I just wanted to start off by letting you know that… I suppose the best way to refer to him now is your captor, the orc that is keeping you here.
Elven Prisoner says: Arthak, correct?
Nyxxa says: Correct.
Elven Prisoner says: He is their leader from what I can tell.
Nyxxa says: Yes. But only some of them.
Elven Prisoner says: I assume these greenskins come in multiple tribes.

Nyxxa nods.

Nyxxa says: Soon, I don’t know when, I will be translating for him as he talks to you, and I suppose your aunt. He’s been meaning to do so for a while, but hasn’t had a safe method to do so. He doesn’t want you to fall into the hands of those that can understand you, for what it’s worth. I imagine that’s why he’s been keeping you-

She taps on the wooden bars.

Nyxxa says: In this way. Though someone in your position may find it hard to find solace in that.
Elven Prisoner says: Heh. I suppose if one could take solace from the person who slew your master not trying to kill you. Then yes, I suppose you’re right. Not sure what you’re trying to accomplish, demon. You and I won’t become friends.
Nyxxa says: I have no intention to. But before you and he talk, I did want to make the point to you that… though I know it may be difficult, if you can cooperate with Arthak, I believe he will do what he can to keep you safe, relatively speaking. And if you are safe, for a time, there is information to be gathered in this situation. Provided one doesn’t do something foolish, they can take advantage of that. And if you help me, I can help you.

The elf actually looks at Nyxxa with a small smirk.

Elven Prisoner says: So you want something from me after all.
Nyxxa says: I don’t want something. All I would need from you is…

Nyxxa puts a hand on her head.

Nyxxa says: All I want is for you to trust me that there’s a lot worse they can do to you in this situation.
Elven Prisoner says: Trust is a strong word. But I hear what you are saying. Why do you think I haven’t tried to escape? I wouldn’t get far. Even with her help, we wouldn’t get far. We’d be recaptured, or killed, or worse.
Nyxxa says: I’m glad you understand that. I don’t think I did at first. And I know you won’t trust me, but that’s all I wanted to say, and I suppose once you get the opportunity, tell your aunt that as well.
Elven Prisoner says: I’ll endeavor to do so. I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow, then. If you don’t mind me asking, demon, what’s going on up there? It’s clearly not a fight or these things would have fled off to join. I assume it’s some sort of celebration.
Nyxxa says: A bonding.

Nyxxa uses the Darnassian word for bonding. The elf squints.

Elven Prisoner says: Strange. I… hmph. That’s an old tongue. One that I’m not familiar with.
Nyxxa says: I believe it was your peoples’ when they were mine.

The elf raises an eyebrow.

Nyxxa says: A story for another time. I can tell you, but I believe I’ve overstayed my welcome.
Elven Prisoner says: What’s your name?
Nyxxa says: Nyxxa. Might I ask yours?
Elven Prisoner says: Sadine.
Nyxxa says: Thank you. I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow.
Sadine Summerflow says: I suppose you will. You know where to find me, after all.

Nyxxa informs the orcs that she will inform Arthak she was here, and the orcs tell her they will be reporting as well on the morn.

Sadine is watching Nyxxa as she leaves.

Aracyra happens to get a little bit tipsy during the celebrations. She is an incredibly affectionate and clingy drunk. She had claimed dominion over Azgadaan’s arm for most of the night, but she had a good time.

At one point, she does ask Azgadaan if he wants to take a walk with her. He follows.

The next morning, he definitely woke up on a warehouse on the shore next to Aracyra. She has still claimed dominion over his arm, very snuggly, and neither of them are clothed.

Azgadaan was staring at the ceiling, like woah, and tries to go back to sleep.

However, Arthak was also not getting away from the situation. Sadras tried to drag him off.

Arthak was a bit reluctant and conflicted, but Sadras, in her inebriated state, didn’t notice. He eventually relented.

Arthak also had a good night.

November 20th

Azgadaan wakes up first between himself and Aracyra. He remembers everything that happened that got him there, and Aracyra is laying next to him. They are literally on a straw mat with some furs serving as blankets.

Azgadaan gets up, covering Aracyra with the furs. Her dress is carefully placed nearby. Aracyra wakes up as Azgadaan is starting to clean up their stuff.

Aracyra says: Good morning.

Azgadaan stammers a bit.

Azgadaan says: Good morning.
Aracyra says: You were right about the party.

She gets up, her chest still bare. Azgadaan smiles nervously, and blushes.

Azgadaan says: How are you?
Aracyra says: I’m wonderful! I have to say, I’m not used to… this.

She gestures to the fish shack and the straw mat.

Aracyra says: I’m used to a bed for one, but I can say I enjoyed it.
Azgadaan says: I honestly don’t know what happened last night. I remember, but.
Aracyra says: I hope you enjoyed it?
Azgadaan says: Yes!

Azgadaan is really stammery and delightfully awkward. Aracyra mentions they have nowhere else to be and they can run through it again.

Azgadaan says: What… is this? Names. Heh.
Aracyra says: Your father is quite bad at this, isn’t he?
Azgadaan says: I’ll say… yes?

Aracyra kisses the back of his neck.

Aracyra says: How about I give you a play-by-play this time?

Azgadaan agrees.

Several hours later, they start to actually get ready to leave for real this time. They emerge from the old warehouse, passing by several orcs that had moved into the area. Aracyra takes Azgadaan’s arm as they walk back.

Azgadaan says: So what’s the plan for today?
Aracyra says: I believe you and the others are heading back to the mainland.
Azgadaan says: Oh yes! I forgot.

Aracyra smiles.

Aracyra says: You must have had a good time last night.
Azgadaan says: Well I wouldn’t be able to say I didn’t.
Aracyra says: I still maintain you’re quite cute when you get flustered.

Aracyra boops Azgadaan’s nose, and she leads him toward the exit that heads toward Magister’s Terrace.

Aracyra says: That said, I should head back. I look forward to hearing from you. Next time we’ll have to do it somewhere a bit more comfortable.
Azgadaan says: Um. I mean. If you want.

Azgadaan is still very flustered.

Aracyra says: I may be hearing more from the Nathrezim’s contact soon. I’ll let you know when he’s to arrive. It’ll likely be soon. With luck, we can wrap this business up so we can focus on… more important things.

She smiles and bats her eyelashes at Azgadaan.

Azgadaan says: Yes. Indeed.
Aracyra says: Don’t miss me too much, okay?
Azgadaan says: I’ll try.

Aracyra leans up and gives Azgadaan one last kiss before she twirls on her hoof and heads back toward Magister’s Terrace. She hums a small tune as she goes back, Azgadaan watching her.

Arthak hadn’t slept at all the previous night, but he was still laying next to Sadras. Eventually, she woke up as well, her braids now very loose.

Sadras says: Hey.
Arthak Saurfang says: Morning.

Sadras smiles dumbly at Arthak for a moment.

Arthak Saurfang says: How did you sleep?
Sadras says: Like a… my head hurts a bit too much to come up with a clever comparison. Real good. I will have to say, it’s nice not being alone. I mean, normally Summerpaw, but--
Arthak Saurfang says: Not a great conversationalist, I imagine?
Sadras says: No. She may never forgive you for taking her spot.
Arthak Saurfang says: I’ll watch my back.
Sadras says: I’ll watch it for you too, for what it’s worth. Did you sleep well?
Arthak Saurfang says: Um. I couldn’t stop thinking. Not uncommon.
Sadras says: I was going to say, that sounds like you. Well, I think it’s part of my job description to listen. Anything you want to talk about?
Arthak Saurfang says: I. Um. It’s nothing important. Um.
Sadras says: That just makes it sound more important, you know. In the Frostfire Ridges there was a saying: if you don’t look at the wolf you won’t know how big it is.
Arthak Saurfang says: Well, I was thinking about, well, Broxigar.
Sadras says: Oh. Your sire.
Arthak Saurfang says: Yes.

Sadras traces the tattoos on Arthak's arm.

Sadras says: I don’t know much about him. Just the stories of what Thura’s told me. Though I suppose now I have a second reference. I’m sorry you never got to know him.
Arthak Saurfang says: It is what it is.
Sadras says: If you’re worried about… Arthak, I… if you’re worried that because you never knew your sire, that… I know for a fact, someday, when you have young warriors to call our own, I have no doubt you’ll know exactly what to do. I can tell. The way you deal with the children in the clan. Even young Azuka. She looks up to you. That’s why she sticks around. That’s why she listens to you. Sometimes the wolf doesn’t need to be taught how to hunt, sometimes it’s just in your blood and in your bones. You’re a good orc, Arthak. You might not have known your sire, but this did.

She places a hand on Arthak’s chest.

Sadras says: The blood that pumps through your veins, it did. And I think that’s what matters. Sorry, I’d probably be a bit better at these inspiring speeches if my head wasn’t killing me.
Arthak Saurfang says: No. It’s fine. Thank you. Lets see if we can get something for your head. Perhaps the greatmother can whip something together.
Sadras says: We can hope. She does have a great deal of tricks up her sleeve. I hope I’ll have as many tricks if I make it to her age.
Arthak Saurfang says: I would like that. Not the tricks. I mean. Making it. Growing old.
Sadras says: The pack hunts together. I have your back, Arthak, and that’s not going to change.
Arthak Saurfang says: I know.

Arthak reaches over and gives Sadras a kiss, which Sadras returns, their foreheads touching.

Sadras says: I think we need something for our bellies as much as our heads.
Arthak Saurfang says: Your head.

Arthak chuckles.

Sadras says: Right. Right.

As they clothe themselves, Sadras definitely smacks Arthak’s ass at least once. The clan applauds them as they come out of their home.

Before the end of the day, the group is going to head back to the mainland.

Nyxxa catches Arthak pretty quickly in the morning.

Nyxxa says: So, uh, before you hear it. First off, hope you had a good night.
Arthak Saurfang says: And?
Nyxxa says: During a quiet moment I stopped in to see one of the prisoners last night.
Arthak Saurfang says: I see. Why?
Nyxxa says: I wanted to see them myself, first, what state they were in.
Arthak Saurfang says: And why didn’t you tell me?
Nyxxa says: Because you were busy.
Arthak Saurfang says: There was time. Did you sneak past my guards or…
Nyxxa says: No, I told them. If I had been able to, well, I would have told you that was an issue.
Arthak Saurfang says: Very well. What did you discuss? I’m assuming you talked.
Nyxxa says: Pleasantries if you can call them that. I essentially told them not to try anything, and they seemed to understand they are better off here and they won’t try to escape.
Arthak says: Did you speak with both of them?
Nyxxa says: No. Just one. The younger of the two.
Arthak Saurfang says: Very well.
Nyxxa says: I don’t know what you’re going to get out of them. At least you.
Arthak Saurfang says: We will see.
Nyxxa says: And what will you do if you cannot get more out of them?
Arthak Saurfang says: We will see. Tell me next time you want to speak with them without me.
Nyxxa says: Of course.
Arthak Saurfang says: is that all?

Nyxxa ponders for a moment.

Nyxxa says: When do you intend to speak with them?
Arthak Saurfang says: Probably the day after I speak with the members of the coalition. I want to see what the other clans’ leaders have in regards to intelligence. When we come back, I’ll see if there is anything I can gain of value with them.
Nyxxa says: Well if that’s the case, I petition we speak with them before that. More on the grounds that it can be maddening to be in prison without talking to anyone.
Arthak Saurfang says: They are permitted to speak with each other. To visit each other.
Nyxxa says: And you think that enough?
Arthak Saurfang says: It’s going to have to be.

Nyxxa purses her lips.

Nyxxa says: Well if that’s the case, I defer to your judgement. I personally don’t agree, and don’t think that's a good idea.
Arthak Saurfang says: Noted. Understand, Nyxxa. Involving you in this, in other matters, we’ve spoken of my limited trust. Your involvement is an extension of trust. However small. Things like slipping away to speak with my captives while I’m distracted with my mating day. They make that trust even more limited.
Nyxxa says: Though I think concerning the situation it doesn’t come down to trust just between you and I.
Arthak Saurfang says: if you’re thinking about them, they won’t trust me. And I doubt they will trust you. As it stands, I don’t need their trust. Any intelligence I may be able to gain from them would be useful, but not pivotal.
Nyxxa says: Then why do you keep them alive?
Arthak Saurfang says: Same reason I hold on to this sword. As a courtesy. To one who fought bravely. There’s no need for them to die. So please. Do not do anything to make me reconsider that.
Nyxxa says: At this point I suppose I don’t know what to say. For the record, I don’t need them to trust me for me to care about them. I suppose once finding myself in their position, I find myself understanding what I would have needed in that situation. Though they are not my people, they at one point might have been. And different people need different things, Arthak. I can defer to your judgement, but I cannot rid myself of my own nature so easily. Ultimately, when it comes down to it Arthak, when it comes down to understanding Common, there’s a lot more than words that need to be understood. And I do wish to understand your orcish customs so I need not tread on things in the future, but I also hope you extend that same courtesy to me and your prisoners. Them now, and ones moving forward in the future.
Arthak Saurfang says: Very well. You have said your piece.
Nyxxa says: And for the record, I think the main reason I went behind your back, was because I was afraid you would have told me no. And I would have deferred to your judgement instead of my own. But anyway, I have things to attend to, and so do you.
Arthak Saurfang says: Not comforting. Next time, ask.
Nyxxa says: I will.

Azgadaan goes to the Ati-kaso to get some advice on “gardening”, the key word he and Samaara agreed on to speak together.

However, rather than their draenic lessons, he asks her about relationships.

Samaara says: ….Relationships? This… is about Aracyra.
Azgadaan says: Yes. Yes. Aracyra. I don’t know what’s going on. Well, I do and I don’t.
Samaara says: You slept with her, didn’t you?
Azgadaan says: Yes.
Samaara says: Well. That is certainly one way to wrap a man around your finger. What do you need to know about this? I surmise you figured out how it works?
Azgadaan says: Yes.
Samaara says: Good. Congratulations I suppose. If only Remnii were here to speak to you about this.
Azgadaan says: Um. Yes. Um. You’re a lady, yes? Of course you are. What are the consequences of this.
Samaara says: Emotional. Physical. Spiritual, though I suppose that’s not really a concern with your people. There has been a long time since our people were one, and the Twisting Nether changes people a great deal. If your body changes so much in the Twisting Nether, I cannot say how your people give birth. Perhaps with some research you can figure that out.

Azgadaan asks her about the male and female differences, and Samaara is flabbergasted that Azgadaan doesn’t know anything. She gives him a concise explanation. Namely that there are both physical and emotional reactions, and he should not allow the latter to overtake his mind. She also advises him to be very cautious with Aracyra, as she is not their ally.

Samaara says: If she would have her way, our people would be dead, or we would become eredar. But at the same time, this goes two ways. How do you feel about Aracyra, Azgadaan?
Azgadaan says: Um.
Samaara says: Do you care for her? Do you care about her well being? Truly? I will tell no one.
Azgadaan says: I do. But I’m also scared of what she can do.
Samaara says: There is something you must remember. A dangerous thought. You must always be afraid of what she can do to you, but don’t forget what you can do for you. There is a light that has been kindled inside of you. If you care to foster that light, to grow it into a flame all your own, there is only two ways this can go. You can share that light with her. Or you can leave. She will not accept that light if she sees it. Not unless… unless you can show her what you have seen. What you want. Your hopes. Your dreams. If you do not, then you will have another tragedy of that like Lord Jaraxxus and Lady Erraa. There is no option. Carry that with you. It is nearly time for Arthak and the rest to catch your boat. If you wish to join them, you should head back.
Azgadaan says: Yes. Um.

Azgadaan walks up to Samaara and attempts to hug her. Samaara takes his hand and places her hand against his.

Samaara says: For now, let this suffice.
Azgadaan says: Mmhm. Thank you so much. You’ve been more help to me than you know.
Samaara says: I have perhaps an inkling of how much, but I am only glad that you can kindle your own light, Azgadaan. This is more your doing than any of ours. Remember that. The lessons you have learned would be naught without your own. Now run along. I shall speak with you again.
Azgadan says: Alright. See you next time.

Azgadaan turns and heads off. When he looks back Samaara is already gone.

Arthak has Sadras, Thura, and Gramgun accompany him to the coallition. In addition, he gets Azuka, with firm instructions that she is to observe, and he wants her to report back to him everything she noted and her thoughts after the fact--as a lesson more than anything.

Nyxxa is exposed to Halno and his “companions” for the first time as they get ready to leave.

Arthak had also arranged for Sagaz to work with Halno as an assistant of sorts. He did inform Sagaz that he wasn’t entirely sure if Halno was fully alive, but it was possible Halno could nurture Sagaz’s own magical talents in turn.

However, there was another task that Arthak assigned him in the process. Sagaz had originally snuck into the Broken Blade so long ago. Now, Arthak wanted him to learn everything Halno could teach him, but also remember why Sagaz tricked Arthak that day.

Arthak says Sagaz has a good heart, and he wants him to put it to use.

Sagaz and Arthak then approach Halno.

Arthak Saurfang says: Elder Halno. This is Sagaz, the young member of the Broken Blade we discussed previously.
Halno says: Ah. The young one with the talent for magic.
Arthak Saurfang says: Correct. If you find him acceptable, he will act as your assistant. In exchange, of course, for anything you can teach him of how to use his talent.
Sagaz says: If you require proof of my potential, elder.

He closes his eyes and concentrates. He then holds out his hand, and there’s a flash of energy that courses through him. Four little motes of light appear above his land as he casts the dancing lights cantrip.

Halno nods, then holds out a book that is written in orcish.

Halno says: Cool trick. Can you read?
Sagaz says: I can read orcish runes pretty well. Master Gramgrun taught me. I can write too, if you require it.
Halno says: Hm. Well you can at least channel energy. But you’ll have to do better than that.

He pulls out several books.

Halno says: You’ll be adept at reading and writing, then I’ll teach you some spell work, and once you get that, I’ll teach you Thalassian. Because honestly, I don’t feel like translating everything into orcish. And if we’re being honest, most orcish notes on magic… well, we didn’t know shit. The elves were far more thorough with the arcane arts.
Sagaz says: from what little I’ve witnessed, it seems like the arts of the elves are entirely different from the warlocks and necrolytes.

Halno just points out at the barrier.

Halno says: Anyways, we’ll get you up to speed. Any aversions? Concerns?

Sagaz shakes his head.

Halno says: Good. If you have any, let me know.

He then grabs another book.

Halno says: These are some herbs you should familiarize yourself with. You’ll probably burn yourself.
Sagaz says: Uh. I know this one is good for burns. But I’ll do so. Mistakes happen.
Halno says: All the time.
Sagaz says: Master Gramgun likes to call them happy accidents.
Halno says: I don’t know about happy, but they are learning experiences. Normally you learn not to repeat them. Oh. Right. How often do you-- How long can you go without sleep?
Sagaz says: I suppose as much as a normal orc can?
Halno says: Good enough.

Sagaz looks at Halno, bewildered for a moment. They set about their first round of training.

Nyxxa and Azgadaan are formerly introduced to Halno by Arthak. Nyxxa does make an aside to Arthak, after having used her special vision to identify what Halno actually is.

Nyxxa says: I didn't know you kept the company of the undead.
Arthak Saurfang says: So, he is. It’s a recent development. A gift from Gul’dan.
Nyxxa says: I vaguely recall that name.
Arthak Saurfang says: It is a good name to recall.
Nyxxa says: Noted. I recall what you told me, so I will continue to keep an eye on him.
Arthak Saurfang says: Very well. Thank you.

Azgadaan approaches Halno with some food and offers him dinner. Halno refuses. Azgadaan asks why Halno is here, and Halno tilts his head in response.

Halno says: Mainly just general assistance. And you?
Azgadaan says: General assistance.

Azgadaan pulls the plate back and extends a hand. Halno shakes it.

Azgadaan says: It’s nice to meet you.
Halno says: A pleasure. And thank you for the offer.
Azgadaan says: Well the offer is still on the plate, so if you get hungry, don’t hesitate to ask.
Halno says: I won’t.
Azgadaan says: Enjoy the ride.

Azgadaan reports back to Arthak and informs him Halno doesn’t eat.

Arthak Saurfang says: No. He’s dead.
Azgadaan says: Pardon?
Arthak Saurfang says: He's… um, the term is undead.
Azgadaan says: Ohhh, I thought he just had an unfortunate face.

Arthak and Azgadaan talk a bit, and Azgadan gets to the fact that Arthak needs to relax a bit. Arthak returns that he noticed Azgadaan and Aracyra and their continued dalliance.

Azgadaan says: Yes, obviously I’ve been seeing her.

Arthak expresses that Azgadaan should be careful, as she is her mother’s daughter, and she is a threat.

November 22nd

Upon arriving on the mainland, Arthak and Nyxxa head off discreetly to meet with Jorin, who is wrapping up a few things so he can be present at the Clipped Wing meeting.

Jorin Deadeye says: You’ve come, Arthak. And you’re not alone. I trust you recovered from your… party, yes? I don’t imagine you had much of a hangover given I didn’t see you imbibe a single sip. You’re a man of uncommon resolve, Arthak.

He nods at Nyxxa.

Jorin Deadeye says: I saw you amongst the crowd as well.
Nyxxa says: Pleasure to meet you. I’m an associate of Arthak’s.
Jorin Deadeye says: Jorin Deadeye, chieftain of the Bleeding Hollow.
Nyxxa says: Just Nyxxa.
Jorin Deadeye says: I understand. Your people are secretive.
Nyxxa says: Oh. No. It’s just my name. No title.
Jorin Deadeye says: Ah. I see. Perhaps that will change in time. Come in.

Nyxxa had used see invisibility on the way in, and she saw several eyes watching them. They are invisible sensors, and one was in the tent as well, but it left as they entered.

Arthak Saurfang says: I can trust, Jorin, that your eyes are the only ones here?
Jorin Deadeye says: Yes. I would not be the chieftain of the Bleeding Hollow if I allowed others into my midst. You’ve come here with a goal. Speak.
Arthak Saurfang says: We all share a quarry.
Jorin Deadeye says: The blade.
Arthak Saurfang says: Correct. And we are not the only ones. Other hunters have been sent, and they are formidable.
Jorin Deadeye says: I see. No doubt these hunters would have different goals.
Arthak Saurfang says: Most likely.
Jorin Deadeye says: That’s concerning.
Arthak Saurfang says: Agreed.
Jorin Deadeye says: So what do you wish to do. Do you plan on seeking the weapon?
Arthak Saurfang says: Eventually, yes. Not until the Horde is released, but after that, quite probably. In the meantime, my connection to it, the one we spoke of, appears to have been severed. I suspect by the purging of what remained of the corruption in my spirit.
Jorin Deadeye says: Weakened, perhaps, but not purged.
Arthak Saurfang says: Then weakened enough I cannot see it, and in the process we lost out on our one source of information on its whereabouts. On what its current owner is doing with it. As it stands, Nyxxa is capable of renewing that connection.

Jorin raises an eyebrow.

Arthak Saurfang says: But given your expertise as a necrolyte, and the similarities of your arts and the magic of that blade, and because you are as invested as I am, we thought it best to consult you before making any movements.
Jorin Deadeye says: I don’t know if I can help you do what you seek, Arthak. The powers I command allow me to see and control to a degree, but if there’s a way to twist to you to become more akin to that blade, it’s a process I would not want to do myself, and I cannot do it without endangering myself. One cannot corrupt without being corrupted, and the pox that ran through my veins has already shown me what happened to those that embrace the fel. I cannot say it would be any different if I would allow the magics that wove within that blade, I cannot say if those magics would deal any worse with me, but that does not mean I cannot help you. I’ve been thinking of this connection, and it seems like there’s more to it. There is no way for me to say this easily, Arthak. The way that you spoke of that blade. I believe that it consumed Dranosh’s soul, but his is not the only one. I suspect the connection you have is because it took a piece of yours as well.
Arthak Saurfang says: I had already suspected as much.
Jorin Deadeye says: Did you suspect we could perchance use that? If you are divided in two places, perhaps we can use that connection to peer upon what fragment of your spirit was taken by the blade. It will not be safe. But it will perhaps be enough to work with for now. I cannot reactivate whatever connection you had. If you have that ability, perhaps you will have to do so. But I can perhaps give us this glimpse.
Nyxxa says: I believe what you brought up would be the safer option.
Jorin Deadeye says: I would not ask you to undergo such a thing. I don’t know much about your specific kind of demon, but you seem reluctant. I would be cautious before diving into something you don’t know. Not even demons are beyond the strength of some rituals.
Nyxxa says: Hence my hesitation. I don’t know what the outcome would be on myself or him. If there are other options, I’d rather we pursue them.
Jorin Deadeye says: There are other options, but none would be palatable to an orc of your standing. This is a dangerous path you choose, Arthak. To allow the fel energy that runs through your veins, to give it power, is to surrender some of your own. It is a balance. One that the warriors of the Horde use daily without realizing it. I cannot change your mind, but I believe you and I know, that were he here, Dranosh would disprove of this, but likely he would disprove of many things you and I have done since his passing. But he is not here any longer. Our paths are our own. And that is the one truth. I have prepared the things I would require to trace this fragment. If you wish, we can attempt it now.
Arthak Saurfang says: I would. Before, and perhaps if we are lucky, in lieu of previous discussed methods. I have no desire to see myself corrupted once again. So if there is another route, I’m happy to take it.

Jorin retrieves a clay bowl that is filled with water. He also withdraws a bottle that is filled with some sort of embalming liquid, and in it is a preserved orcish eyeball. It’s the same color as his own eye. He removes it from the liquid, and it drips into the bowl of water.

Jorin Deadeye says: May I see your hand.

Arthak holds out his hand, and Jorin withdraws a bone knife. He cuts Arthak’s hand, and blood drips into the water. The eye almost comes to life, almost frantically looking around the bowl. Nyxxa sees the magic surge around them, and Jorin’s eye rolls into the back of his head.

That’s when Arthak feels himself drug into the spell. Nyxxa sees Arthak convulse, and his eyes roll into the back of his head as well.

Suddenly Arthak is looking at himself in the tent.

Jorin Deadeye says: This is you. This is where most of your spirit is. But there is a part not here. You need to find that part. Will you find it?

However, as Arthak tries to focus, there is something that is making this exceptionally difficult. The bond between his body and mind are beginning to tear. He tries again, and then he tries to reach through the ban’dinoriel. He somehow tears through the first layer, but it’s excruciating.

He can’t get through the next one. His psyche blasts through the elf lands, and he sees elves and orcs running, and he’s pulled further and further south, but it slams against the second barrier.

Drawing as much of his internal strength as possible, he tries to continue.

As Nyxxa watches, he is bleeding out of his eyes, ears, and nose. Likewise, some blood is starting to come out from Jorin's missing eye.

Arthak manages to break through the second barrier, but his mind reels.

Then, all of a sudden, everything stops, and Arthak is in the middle of a glade of frozen, dead trees. One larger than the others, Frostmourne planted in the bark. The tree’s bark is half ice, half petrified wood. The ground is frozen. The leaves. The grass. All of it. It’s as if a pall of never-ending winter struck this glade and turned it into a mockery of life.

However, Arthak isn’t alone. He’s being watched. Guarded. Suppressed. Then as soon as it had come, his mind whips, and he takes more psychic damage as he is blasted out of the energy of the spell. Arthak is barely keeping on his feet.

Jorin staggers a bit, but Arthak is more obviously hurt.

Jorin Deadeye says: Are you alright, Arthak?
Arthak Saurfang says: I will be.
Jorin Deadeye says: Did you see it, Arthak?
Arthak Saurfang says: I saw it.
Jorin Deadeye says: it’s close. Closer than I would have expected. In this shield.
Arthak Saurfang says: It’s in here with us. Dammit.
Jorin Deadeye says: Your path is your own, but that blade must be found.
Nyxxa says: And then what?
Jorin Deadeye says: Destroyed. Contained? I know Garrosh planned on going outside the barrier. Perhaps he has a way out, and if not him, perhaps these Nathrezim.
Arthak Saurfang says: if the Nathrezim find it, it will be returned to Legion hands.
Jorin Deadeye says: Then it must be found before them.
Arthak Saurfang says: Do you trust Garrosh?
Jorin Deadeye says: In this I do. Hellscream was close to Dranosh, and he has as much animosity towards this as us. Perhaps I should speak with him. If he’s to go outside. If I can accompany him. Perhaps I can find the blade. That is if you do not go yourself.
Arthak Saurfang says: I don’t know.
Nyxxa says: You should probably rest, heal, and think about it. Thank you for your services, by the way.

She looks at Jorin.

Jorin Deadeye says: of course.

He waves his hand over the bowl and the blood fades, then he plucks his eye from it and puts it back in the container.

Jorin Deadeye says: You have your meeting to attend to. We can decide this after.
Arthak Saurfang says: Yes. Of course. Thank you Jorin. I had not thought it to be this damned close.
Jorin Deadeye says: I don’t think anyone did. Perhaps not the Nathrezim either.
Nyxxa says: The less we mention, the better.
Arthak Saurfang says: Of course. But this also means that the elves may also find it.
Jorin Deadeye says: A problem in its own right, but we can only handle one problem at a time.

Arthak and Nyxxa leave, and Sadras sees him in his state as they regroup. She is concerned. He says he will tell her what happened later in private. Sadras holds her hand out and places it on his chest, and there’s a green glow as life energy starts to wrap around her hand and knit Arthak’s wounds together.

Arthak Saurfang says: I… I didn’t realize.
Sadras says: I didn’t know until recently either. Just a little trick my brother and Go’el taught me. Turns out I possibly could have been a shaman in another life. But at least these little tricks I was talking about have to start adding up someday.
Arthak Saurfang says: Heh. I guess so. Thank you my love.