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Old 03-31-2009, 04:28 PM
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No mailbox dancing?
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:11 PM
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First post on page 2, and that's all you've got?

No, for right now, our night elf hunter is a "serious" elf. She doesn't suffer fools.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:04 AM
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that was a win! sry this post is abit late.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:50 PM
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I was supposed to head off to Chillwind Point this week. I'd received a letter from the Argent Dawn. Apparently, they'd gotten word of my work at the Scarlet Monastery, and thought I'd be an asset to their work in the Plaguelands.

To be honest, I didn't want to go anyway. As far as I'm concerned, all of what was once Lordaeron should just be burned to the ground. Maybe once all that plagued land is reduced to ash, it can recover. Maybe. But right now? There's nothing waiting up there but rotting, stinking undeath, and all the Argent Dawn is able to do is hold it at bay. I'm not ashamed to admit - the whole place scares me. And while I need to stay gainfully employed, if I can find work elsewhere, I'm happy to take it.

So, when a certain night elf hunter sent me an urgent message requesting my services in Darnassus, I was more than happy to put off the summons of the Argent Dawn and catch the next boat to Kalimdor.

Now, you might ask why I don't just teleport to Darnassus. Well, it's simple. I've never been there before. Sure, I could find it on a map, but if you start teleporting to places you don't know first-hand, you end up inside a wall or a rock or an unsuspecting tauren (don't ask).

So, I took the boat. By the time I arrived, my night elf friend had already left. I went to the Temple of the Moon (where I was supposed to meet her) and talked to the only person there I knew.

"Hi, Elissa."

She rolled her eyes. "Don't 'Hi' me. What do you want?"

Hmm. Apparently she hadn't forgotten that alchemy class we'd taken in Dalaran several years ago. "Umm... Your hair looks great. I guess that elixir finally wore off."

"I have to dye it once a week, jackass. Thanks for reminding me. Do you have business here, or can I have the sentinels shoot you for trespassing?"

Yeah. This is just one of the little reasons I don't really spend much time in Dalaran anymore. "I'm so sorry. Really. Look, I was supposed to meet Ania Oakwhisper here."

"You're about two days late. She and her party waited as long as they could for you, and took off for Dire Maul yesterday. You were supposed to be briefed on the mission and gone with them by now."

Crap. She'd expected me to port over here in the first place, and didn't realize I didn't know how.

A voice from behind me "You are the mage called Shadrach?"

I turned to face a tall Night Elf priestess. "Yes."

"I am Tyrande Whisperwind. Your friend Ania is in grave peril."

I stammered. "Umm, well, you know, we're not like, friends, or anything. More acquaintances, really. Not that I wouldn't want to be. I like strong women and all that."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah. I'll just shut up now. What can I do?"

Tyrande turned to Elissa. "Elissa, you have been to Feathermoon Stronghold before, correct?"

"Yes, Priestess."

"Please prepare to send him there. With any luck, he will arrive in time to aid the mission."

I meekly raised a hand, "Excuse me, but I have absolutely no idea what's going on here."

Tyrande replied. "Of course not. The human insisted on absolute secrecy. He is always rather paranoid. That is why they asked for you."

"Because I'm trustworthy?"

"No. Because you are considered incompetent by the Kirin Tor, the Violet Eye, and every other organization that deals with arcane magic, thus unlikely to be involved in any degree with whatever conspiracy they have discovered in Dire Maul."

Ouch. There was no point in arguing with a Night Elf that had been battling the Burning Legion for over 10,000 years. "So, if I'm such a lousy mage, why am I of any value to what must be a pretty important mission?"

She smiled at me. "I did not say that I or anyone here thought you incompetent..."

Elissa coughed. Tyrande just glared at her.

"... only that you are not in the good graces of organizations that may or may not be suspect at this time. You are an outsider. Most of the mages we trust are occupied in Dalaran."

I had wondered about that. Pretty much everyone I knew in the field was locked behind the great magic barrier around Dalaran these days. Something big was going on there, but I had no idea what. "So what do you need me to do?"

"Go to Feathermoon. With luck, you will catch the party there. If not, you must head to Dire Maul and try to find them. They will be facing powerful magic there, and they will need you to counter it, and possibly get them out in a hurry."

Counterspells were a specialty of mine. Creating portals wasn't. "Who am I looking for? Besides Ania?"

"A human warrior leads them. His name is Captain Jim Kaos. He will also have a Draenei shaman named Fortran with him. They should not be difficult to locate."

"Why is that? Dire Maul is a pretty big place."

"Captain Kaos is not known for his subtlety. I suggest you follow the trail of dead ogres until you are within earshot of the screams. Now hurry. There is no time to waste."

A glowing portal had already emerged behind me. Elissa had a wicked grin on her face. "Have fun in Feralas."

I sighed, and stepped in to the portal.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:53 PM
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I emerged from the portal at the dock at Feathermoon Stronghold.

By "at the dock" I mean about 10 feet from the end of the dock. Over the ocean.

Cursing Elissa, I made the quick swim to shore and found the innkeeper, who directed me to the stable master, where I could acquire a horse for my journey, and told me that the next boat to the mainland would depart in about two hours. It was just enough time to dry my clothes and get the horse saddled.

***

I was immediately discouraged upon my arrival at Dire Maul. I had expected to see a trail of dead ogres to follow right up to wherever Ania and the rest of her party was. Instead, I found their mounts tied to a few trees not far from the gates, and a whole lot of perfectly LIVE ogres wandering about the ancient city.

I'd read plenty about Eldre'thalas, and I'd even brought along a decent map of the place. Every student of magic knows that it's the home of the last remaining Highborne Night Elves, some of the most ancient practitioners of arcane magic on Azeroth. If I knew where the party was headed, I could probably find them.

The problem was, nobody had bothered to tell me anything about what they were after. Was there some relic to obtain? Some force of evil to vanquish? I had no idea.

I put away the map and pulled out the letter that Ania had written me. Since she had touched it, there might be enough of her to perform a location spell on. It would be weak, and, at best, would only point me in the general direction, but it was the only lead I had. I closed my eyes and cast the spell.

The letter disintegrated, and fell to the ground forming a line of glistening grey dust. If I'd had a more personal item of hers, it would have drawn a map with her exact location. Instead, I got a line pointing towards the direction she was in. I consulted the map again.

The only spot that made sense was the library. I headed off.

***

The problem with invisibility spells is that they're really not designed to last more than a few minutes at a time. I could sneak past a group of ogres with it, but I'd have to find a spot to hide, rest, and re-cast the spell before moving again. It was a painfully slow way to get through the city, but I had no other choice. I didn't stand a chance against a large group of ogres by myself. I might be able to take one or two, at best, but more than that, and I'd end up in a stewpot.

I got as far as the final hallway leading up to the library before I realized I was screwed.

There were dead ogres there. Which meant I was heading the right way. But there were also half a dozen live ones milling about, probably wondering what had happened to their comrades.

I had two choices. I could bail out now, or I could make a run for the library, and pray that Ania and her party were still in there, and could save my ass once I got through the door.

"Aww, screw it." I said aloud. I started casting a big damned fireball, and incinerated the nearest ogre.

The next closest one started running towards me. About ten yards behind him, a group of four turned towards me and also began to advance.

The first one got transformed into a pig (I'd found a new version of my polymorph spell, and had been kind of looking for an excuse to try it). Then I broke out in a run towards the other four. I'd have to time this perfectly.

Just as I'd gotten within range of their enormous battle axes, I cast a short range teleport spell (commonly referred to as a "blink") that placed me about ten yards behind the ogres.

I had cast it too late. Just as I vanished, one of the axes clipped me in my left bicep. It knocked me off balance, and I crashed into the library door and stumbled into a large wooden table. Everything was spinning. I caught a glimpse of Ania firing her bow in a blur towards the door.

I don't remember anything else before I blacked out.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:59 PM
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** Note: At this point, the story merges with "Into the Wild Blue Yonder" (http://www.scrollsoflore.com/forums/...ead.php?t=4405) If you haven't read that yet (it's only one forum page long), you might want to, just to get caught up on what's going on.
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:34 PM
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I woke up cold, with a screaming headache and a burning pain in my arm. I was lying in a pool of my own blood, and as I sat up, I saw Ania, a human, and a draenei looking over a map on a table across the room from me.

"No, it's ok. I'm fine."

The draenei was the only one to acknowledge me. He grinned, glanced in my direction, and said, "Your arm is repaired, and I've restored most of the blood you lost." He went back to the map.

I shook my head and dug around in my pockets for a bottle of water. The night elf sitting at the table above me never moved or even seemed to realize anyone else was in the room. I drank the water and staggered to my feet, looking around the room.

It was an impressive library. I could spend years studying in here. I walked over to a nearby bookshelf and read some of the titles - the ones I could read, anyway. I caught snippets of the trio's conversation as I browsed. Something about a Fel Reaver. Durotar. A vial from the Well of Eternity.

That got my attention. "Whoa. I thought Illidan had all the vials?"

The human rolled his eyes. "If you're going to eavesdrop, at least get over here and make yourself useful."

I walked over. "Hi. Shadrach. Apprentice mage, with no affiliation of any import. Nice to meet you." I extended my hand.

He ignored it and just glared at me. "Captain Jim Kaos. You're late."

"Yeah, about that. See, I didn't actually know how to port to Darnassus, so I had to..."

"Save it. Can you port anywhere useful?"

"Sure. I can port to most of the cities in the Eastern kingdoms, and a few in..."

"Don't need a full list, I'll ask once we figure out where we're going."

"And where is that?"

Kaos shook his head in disbelief and asked Ania, "Is he always this dense?"

She answered, "For as long as I've known him."

I threw my hands up. "Whatever. You guys realize I have exactly NO idea why I just dragged my ass all the way here?"

The draenei spoke. "Did Elissa not brief you?"

"No. She mocked me in front of Tyrande and then ported me somewhere off the coast of Feathermoon."

He rubbed his chin. "That doesn't sound like her at all."

"Yeah, well, I turned her hair orange once."

He laughed. "Very well. I am Fortran. And we are seeking a Highborne mage who apparently seeks to re-create the Well of Eternity. A week ago, he summoned a Fel Reaver in Desolace here," he indicated a spot on the map, "and we stopped it in Mulgore here." He pointed at the map again.

He continued. "The Reaver was carrying a vial from the Well of Eternity. Apparently, the mage Jadros had collected one or more of them prior to the Sundering. For some reason, he enlisted the machine to carry it to the place he intends to create the new well."

"That makes no sense." I said. "A fel reaver isn't very discreet. Why not just carry the vial himself?"

Kaos spoke up. "Exactly, genius. Now, our friend Lydros here," he pointed towards the Highborne across the room, "will only tell us that Jadros is not here, and if we follow the straight line, we'll know his destination."

I looked at the map. "Oh. Well, he's right. It's perfectly obvious."

Kaos clenched a fist. He looked like he might punch me. "Don't get wise with me, boy."

"No, really. To create a decent well, he'd need to find a spot where ley-lines converge. There's a handful of really, really good spots in Azeroth, and his reaver was walking right at one of them. And now that I think of it, it explains why he wanted the gigantic machine."

Ania spoke. "Perhaps you know something we do not. There's no such place between Desolace and the coast of Durotar." She pointed at the map.

I grinned. "You stopped your line too soon. A Fel Reaver can walk across the ocean floor as easily as he can on dry land."

Kaos looked at the map again. "Oh, shit."

Ania spoke. "A fool's errand. Even a mage as powerful as Jadros has little hope of getting into Dalaran unnoticed."

Kaos shook his head. Fortran spoke. "You might as well tell them."

"Dalaran's not there anymore. That nutjob Rhonin convinced the Kirin Tor to levitate the entire city to Northrend to prepare for the offensive against the Scourge. At least, that's the official reason."

I cleared my throat. "Ahem. Yeah, I knew that. And I know the 'unofficial' reason, too."

Kaos looked at me disbelievingly. "That's highly classified information, kid."

"I live in Southshore. Any mage in the area would have noticed the disturbance when they moved the city."

Fortran spoke. "Actually, the operation was heavily shielded. Our young mage is more gifted than he's been given credit for."

Kaos answered, "That's all well and good. But that still doesn't explain why he sent the reaver in the first place."

"You expect him to make a well out of one little vial and a big, dry, empty crater? Dalaran was about 50 yards from Lordamere Lake - a body of water that already bears magical, if corrupt, energies. The reaver was going to dig a trench, fill the crater, and then deposit the vial."

Suddenly the Highborne spoke, without looking up from his book. "The young mage has talent, Jim. It is a pity he has studied so long without someone recognizing it."

Kaos smiled. "Not bad, kid. So, Jadros is probably there right now, working on another way to fill the crater. I assume you can port us there?"

I nodded. "I can put you anywhere you want between the crater and Southshore."

"Good. Let's get going then. Jadros will probably be expecting us, but I've got a few tricks up my sleeve yet."
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:02 AM
Pyrande Pyrande is offline

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that was awesome. have i mentioned how much i love this fanfic?
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:49 PM
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that was awesome. have i mentioned how much i love this fanfic?
Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:51 PM
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This is actually one of the most awesome and original fan-fics I've ever read.

Kudos, and keep it up!
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:13 AM
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PLEASE NEVER STOP WRITING
I LIKE THIS (I guess its beacuse I like mages .
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:59 PM
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At this point, I knew I was way out of my league.

The Draenei shaman was probably older than Azeroth itself. Ania could kill a pack of ogres faster than I could finish reciting a spell to toss a weak fireball. And the warrior looked like he could bench press the city of Orgrimmar.

So, I assumed the role that all mages secretly love. I conjured food, I provided portals, and I tried to cast spells that wouldn't draw too much attention to myself. There are those who study magic because they love the power. There are those that love the attention. And there are those like me who just enjoy the intellectual study that goes with it.

Those like me tend to live longer.

So, I conjured up a nice little basket of biscuits and some bottles of spring water, and passed them around.

"You call this bread?" Kaos grumbled.

"I conjured it in about 7 seconds. You want something fancy, go find a bakery that has all day." He was right though. The bread was never all that good, and it tended to go stale really fast. It was basically empty calories sucked out of the twisting nether and shaped like muffins.

"So, we're clear on the plan. Junior here is going to port each of us to a different location around the crater, so that in case one of the arrival points is covered, the rest of us have a chance to get through. We can assume Jadros will be at or near the bank of the lake closest to the edge of the crater, and we'll meet there." Kaos pointed at the map. It was a sound plan.

He reached into his pack and pulled out a box of paper-wrapped cylinders. "I'm going to give each of you a colored flare. If you get in a really tight spot, set it off, and the rest of us will come running. Just strike the dark end on any hard surface and make sure it's pointing up and away from you." Also a good plan.

"Everyone ready?" He looked around the room at each of us as we nodded at him. He looked a little longer at Ania and winked. She smiled back.

Well, crap. And I thought she'd asked me to come help her because she liked me.

I started opening portals.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:17 PM
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I stepped through the portal and onto a hillside about 200 yards east of the Dalaran crater.

I was immediately struck with a sense of nausea and felt terribly fatigued. The portals shouldn't have taken that much out of me. Something was wrong.

I leaned on my staff and looked towards the crater and saw Jadros, surrounded by a brilliant aura of energy. He was channeling a spell at the crater, which was already full of water.

But he hadn't added the vial yet. Of that I was certain. I've been near moonwells, and I've talked to mages who have visited the Sunwell. The feeling is unmistakable. They're sources of euphoric amounts of energy. The Dalaran crater was nothing like it; not yet.

There was energy there, but it was corrupt. If you embraced it, you could draw strength from it, but it could also drive you mad. I make it a habit to stay away from fel magics; they scare the crap out of me.

I knew that Lordamere lake was corrupt, but it'd never felt this strong before. Jadros was pulling all the dark energy from the water in the crater and amplifying it. It made sense. If he was going to create a new well, he needed a clean basin. It had to be a terribly delicate and taxing spell, especially with all the ambient arcane energy already about the place.

I knew we didn't have much time. I cast a spell to try and cleanse the fel corruption from myself and took off at a run towards Jadros. Maybe if I could just distract him, I could interrupt the spell and buy some time.

Ania got within range first, and started firing arrows at the ancient Highborne mage. He laughed as the evaporated against the shield he'd created, then cast a bolt of green energy towards her. She fell to the ground in pain, apparently blinded and disoriented by the spell.

"And where is your little warrior friend? Ahhh... don't presume to catch me off guard this time, human!" Jadros spun and made a throwing motion towards Kaos, who was rushing him from behind. He was suddenly met by a large boulder and collapsed, either unconscious or dead; the boulder resting on his legs.

Suddenly a massive gust of wind knocked Jadros backwards. Fortran approached with a massive glowing hammer and a look of fury on his face. I decided at that point never to piss him off.

Jadros recovered quickly and fired a bolt of ice at the Shaman. He deflected it easily. "One as old as you should be wiser, Jadros. You have learned nothing from the folly of your people."

While Fortran had him distracted, I began to channel a beam of arcane energy towards him.

He grabbed it.

I was stunned. As if the ray were made of solid rope, he snatched it from the air, and then pulled me towards him. Before I knew it, he had me in a chokehold, and cast another spell. My throat seized up. I could hardly breath, much less cast anything, and I fell to the ground, gasping for air.

Fortran hurled a bolt of lightning at him, but this time, Jadros was prepared, and reflected it back. While he was able to absorb the energy of the bolt, he wasn't prepared for the next attack, which encased him in a block of ice.

Jadros threw his head back and laughed. "Is this all that you fools have? A dunce of a mage, a ranger that can't shoot straight, a fool of a warrior, and a tired old shaman?"

He looked down at me. "You won't speak again unless I allow it, human. I will, however, allow you to observe. Witness true power, mortal, as I re-create the Well of Eternity, and use it to cleanse this planet of the filth that has corrupted it for the last 10,000 years!"

I looked over and saw Kaos struggling beneath the boulder. He was coughing up blood, and looked at me with disgust, then said, "You know, not everything has to be done with a spell, nancy-boy."

My eyes grew wide with the realization. Jadros looked confused. He looked at Kaos and said, "What do you mean, fool? Perhaps I should... OOF!"

I swung my staff up and struck him clean between the legs. His silence spell immediately was broken, but I didn't want to cast anything at the moment. "I think this is what he meant."

I brought the staff around again and smashed his jaw, knocking him out cold and leaving him flat on his back.

I quickly turned and cast a spell to break the block of ice that held Fortran, then another to dispel the curse on Ania, and finally a third to levitate the boulder off Kaos. Fortran was able to heal his wounds, while Ania bound and gagged Jadros.

Kaos staggered over to the unconscious mage and searched his robes until he found the vial. Then he drew his sword and cut off his head.

Ania was aghast. "What have you done?!? He was incapacitated!"

Kaos calmly wiped the blade on the dead Night Elf's robes and sheathed it. "He's already escaped from a high-security prison once. I have a strict policy when it comes to madmen that have the means and motive to potentially destroy the world. I kill them at the earliest opportunity."

Fortran did not object, but Ania was still livid. "That is barbaric! We could have taken him back to Darnassus! The Sentinels could have kept him prisoner!"

"Like they did with Illidan? Our world is beset with tragedy because nobody had the stomach to put down a rabid dog when it needed to be done. Look at Arthas! If Uther or any one of his men had stood up and done the right thing before he'd gotten his hands on Frostmourne, not even THIS would have happened! Lordaeron would still be a country, and Dalaran would still be right here!" He kicked Jadros' corpse for emphasis.

I just shook my head. I couldn't argue with him, but I didn't feel good about it.

He continued, "I do what I do because I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. When I go back to Ironforge to give my report, they won't ask questions, they'll just want to know that the madman who send a Fel Reaver marching across Kalimdor and tried to recreate the Well of Eternity at Dalaran is dead, and is no longer a threat; because that's what needs to be done."

Ania spoke barely above a whisper. "You need to be careful, Jim Kaos, or you may become the monster you seek to protect us all from." She turned to me. "Please open a portal to Darnassus for me. I must report back to the High Priestess."

I obliged her, and she was gone.

"Well, now what?" I figured the other two would just want to head back to Ironforge.

"I'm going to wait here while you send Fortran back to Ironforge." He turned to the Shaman. "Brief Rediron quick, and have him get a crew out here. We've got to clean up the mess and figure out how to get this water back out of the crater."

Fortran nodded, and stepped through another portal.

"Anything I can do?" I was sort of hoping he'd just say no, and let me head back to Southshore.

"Yeah, you need to head to the Blasted Lands."

"The Blasted Lands? Why?"

He took a charcoal pencil and a piece of parchment from his pack, and began scribbling. "Because you're too good to be slumming around here, but not good enough to go to Northrend yet. You're wasting your talent, and that pisses me off."

"Hey, now. The Argent Dawn just sent me a letter last week. They want me in the Plaguelands to help out..."

".. a lost cause. Trust me on this. If you want to fight the scourge, the fight's in Northrend. Take this letter to Watch Commander Relthorn Netherwane at the Dark Portal. He'll get you started."

I took the note. "The Portal... you want me to go to Outland?" It was an unpleasant notion. I never had any desire to go there.

Kaos nodded. "Or, you can run back to Southshore. Read books. Go fishing. I don't care either way, but if you're going to help the cause, you need to get off your ass already, because you're getting by on a lot of luck and help from your friends. One of these days, you're going to come face to face with some real shit, and you need to either get ready to handle it, or find a good place to hide."

He was right. But there was one more thing. "Before I go..?"

"What?"

I pointed at Jadros' corpse. "Could I have his boots? Those are a LOT better than the ones I'm wearing."
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:12 AM
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Nice finishing line, I say. And good morals there about executing the Highborne.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Timolas View Post
Nice finishing line, I say. And good morals there about executing the Highborne.
Well, I figured you're not going to take out a boss like that without getting some loot.

I hadn't actually planned to kill Jadros. When I started writing, I thought it might be good to keep his character around, especially with the Highborne re-appearing in-game.

But when I write, I put myself in my character's shoes, and I thought, "Ok, so what would Captain Kaos really do here?"... and all I could come up with was... "He'd cut the bastard's head off and make damn sure the Dalaran crater wasn't merely a setback."

So, I had to do it. It will have consequences for him later; it has to.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:46 AM
Admir11 Admir11 is offline

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WOAW this is sooooo COOOOOL.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:44 AM
Pyrande Pyrande is offline

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I completely lolled at the bit about loot
Btw, will you mention anything about Shadrach's talent points? like maybe something about how a panel appears in front of him that noone else sees?
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:44 AM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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I completely lolled at the bit about loot
Btw, will you mention anything about Shadrach's talent points? like maybe something about how a panel appears in front of him that noone else sees?
That's not a bad idea. :-)

I'm excited to get him to outland so he can mock the absurdity of some of the quests and zones out there.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:30 PM
Exxile87 Exxile87 is offline

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Dunno if Bolvar's still around, but I'd love to read more of this.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:54 AM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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Dunno if Bolvar's still around, but I'd love to read more of this.
Thanks!

I am working on the Outland story arc right now. I've got at least one new character in mind that I hope you guys will like, and I should have something up soon. Things at work have been really busy, so I apologize for the hiatus.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:25 PM
Nozdormu Nozdormu is offline

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Thanks for necroing, havent read this before. Awesome Bolvar, hope to see more!
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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After checking in with Netherwane, I was nonchalantly waved in the direction of the Dark Portal.

For a while, I just stood about halfway up the stairs staring at it. I could feel the energy surging through it; it was beautiful, furious, and terrifying. If youre not a student of the arcane, you probably cant appreciate it. To create such a large, stable, and persistant portal across the nether like that is something only gods would dream of attempting. I couldnt fathom how Medivh and Guldan had pulled it off in the first place, even with the aid of the Burning Legion. It spoke volumes about how skilled they were, and how truly powerful the Legion was.

I didnt want to walk through it. I knew other mages that had gone to Outland and had gone mad from its proximity to the Twisting Nether. All that power so tantilizingly close, yet no more within our grasp there than it is here on Azeroth; it was no wonder Kaelthas had lost his sanity to it and he was one of the most skilled masters of all time.

Plus, to be honest, Im scared of demons. Who isnt? I mean, besides warlocks, and if you asked me, theyve got a screw loose.

I took a deep breath, and finally walked through the portal. The actual transport felt no different than any other portal Id used, but when I emerged on the other side I was stricken by how hot it was.

Before me lay Hellfire Peninsula, and a small army of the legion battling Horde and Alliance soldiers at the foot of the portal. I was told to expect this, but it was nonetheless an unsettling sight. I didnt bother to check in with the Alliance commander - he was busy fending off an infernal I just ran to the gryphon master and took the first available flight to Honor Hold.

When I arrived and checked in at the keep, I was handed a new set of pants and a purse full of coins, just for showing up. I asked the lieutenant, Whats this for?

Your reward. She replied.

But these are even nicer than the pants I found in that chest in Naxxramas a few years ago and I havent even done anything yet.

If you dont want them, you can sell them to the quartermaster for ten gold.

TEN GOLD? That was more money than Id made in a month on Azeroth. I mean, theyre nice pants, but wow.

Look, were kind of busy here. If you dont have any other questions, theres some boars and buzzards outside the base that you can go kill. Next!

I was still admiring the pants when the dwarven priestess who was waiting behind me exclaimed, What in the bloody hell is this?!

The lieutenant, droll as ever, replied, Is there a problem?

The dwarf yelled, Yer damned right! Ye expect me to WEAR this?

Maam, as youve noticed, its very warm here in Outland. Im sure you can appreciate that.

Its a THONG! You want me to run about slaying fel orcs with my arse hanging out for all to see??

The lieutenant sighed, Most of the gear we have for our volunteers is recovered from the Legion. Unfortunately, the only ladies wear we have comes from the succubi. Im sorry. Be thankful you dont wear plate. NEXT!

I shook my head and tried not to make eye contact with her as she stormed out of the keep. If theres one thing Ive learned, its to stay clear of an angry dwarf especially the women.

**

The first week or so I spent running around killing demons, orcs, and other foul creatures, and accumulating a bunch of new armor that was loudly colored and mismatched. I couldnt care less what it looked like it was better equipment than Id ever seen, and I wanted every advantage I could get, because I was fighting every waking moment. I didnt allow myself much downtime; I wanted to leave Outland as soon as possible, and when I let myself have a quiet moment, all I could think about was the compelling pull of the energy in the nether it was literally all around us, and I didnt want to lose myself to it.

I was having a meal at the inn when Sid directed one of the guards over to my table. He was a gruff, middle-aged man whod been out here a long time, and had lost most of his sense of humor. He simply growled at me, Trollbane wants to see you.

I left the remains of the meal and followed him. Truthfully, the food in Hellfire was awful, and I only ate enough to keep from starving.

When I reached the top of the keep, Trollbane was alone in the command center. It was late, and most everyone but the night watch was asleep.

Have a seat, Shadrach.

I thanked him, and took the chair across the table from him.

Youve been pretty busy since you got here. I dont think Ive seen you take a day off yet.

Ill be honest with you, sir, I just want to get the hell out of here.

He nodded, and I could see the wearied understanding on his face. Indeed. Its a thankless job, but Ive seen too many good men and women give their lives fighting the legion to quit. If this base werent here, thered be nothing keeping those demons from marching through that portal.

I know its important, and I dont mind fighting the demons; its the Nether. it

He smiled. I know. Its tough on those who are attuned to it. Ive had to send a lot of people back to Azeroth because of it I wont risk seeing someone lose his mind to it. But I dont think thats going to be a problem for you.
Im not so sure. If its all the same, Id rather just leave.

Well, we might be able to help you out. You know the Ramparts nearby?

I didnt like where he was going with this. Yeah look, theres some Cenarion Expedition folks that say they need help in the Zangarmarsh. Maybe I should head over there?

Waste of time. Bloody druids want to do nothing but save the planet, even if its not their own. I need you to take out that dragon theyve got over there in that orc shithole.

Always with the dragons. I swear, youre not a hero of Azeroth until youve been asked to slay a dragon. But there was no use arguing with a hero of the Second War. Im going to need some help with that. I said.

Of course. Post your mission on the wall at the inn you should have a few volunteers in no time. If you can manage this, Ill write you a commendation to take to Khadgar.

Khadgar? That was unexpected.

Yep. Get to it. He dismissed me.

I walked back to the inn in disbelief. Id hard rumors that Khadgar was still alive, in Outland, but I hadnt expected to actually meet him. Trollbane was smart hed dangled the perfect carrot for me to do the mission; all I needed was to find a group that could get me through it alive.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:11 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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One thing I noticed during my first few weeks at Honor Hold is that Trollbane tends to make himself scarce when the new recruits show up. I discovered that this is because most of them are Death Knights, and Danath cannot stand them.

Apparently, an entire necropolis full of them went rogue a while back or something. So, all these former heroes of the Alliance that were made into scourge Death Knights have broken free of the Lich Kings control, and their commander, Darion Mograine, has been shipping them of to Outland for training before they move on to join the Ebon Blade in Northrend.

Heres what you should know about the Death Knights of Acherus: The dirty little secret that nobody mentions is that most of them were never heroes at all. In fact, theres every reason to believe they were the absolute worst of Arthas cannon fodder, which is why he used them as chum during the battle at Lights Hope Chapel.

Everybody thinks Danath despises them because he had a tragic encounter with them at Nethergarde years ago but I think its because he knows they just suck. The only reason he doesnt reject them outright is because he needs all the help he can get these days, and they come out of Acherus with gear and abilities that make them so powerful even the stupidest of them can manage to kill orcs and demons.

Trollbane gets the soldiers he needs, and weeds out the bad ones before Mograine gets them. Its an arrangement that works, for the most part.

My problem is that as soon as I posted my request for aid, all I got were Death Knights singing up to help. I had to be careful which ones I selected, or the entire mission would be a disaster. I had them line up while I sat at a table and interviewed them. It went something like this:

Name?

Yarrrthas.

Clever. What were you before your conversion to the Scourge?

A hunter

NEXT!

**

Name?

Deathgriplol

NEXT!

**

Name?

Mulch

He was a gnome. He looked sad. Which was unusual most gnome death knights I saw wore obnoxious green mohawks and jumped around all over the place. This fellow was bald, and just sat slumped in his chair. Ok Mulch what were you prior to your conversion to the scourge?

He said, barely above a whisper, A farmer.

A farmer?

Ill just leave now. Sorry.

No wait. Whats your story? I knew the Death Knights at Acherus were not always the greatest of heroes, but they were usually at least soldiers before they were taken by the scourge.

He looked up at me, as if he wasnt sure I was about to make fun of him or not. I had a farm east of Andorhal. Nothing grows in Dun Morogh, you know? My family they got sick from the grain. I never ate bread ; I have a gluten intolerance my wife she He sobbed.

Hey its alright. We dont have to talk about it. Look, you dont seem like the type thats going to try to take on every orc in the place at once Ill put you on the team, and let you know when were ready to go.

He nodded his gratitude and left.

**

Name?

Orin

He was tall, and pretty handsome, for a dead guy. And what were you before your conversion to the scourge?

I served with Uther as a Paladin of the Silver Hand. He was absolutely serious.

Youre kidding. An actual hero?

He sighed. Yes. Look, Im only here because Im also a blacksmith and Trollbanes quartermaster has the plans for a weapon that Id like to forge. She wont sell it to me until I do Trollbane a few favors, and your mission is sanctioned by him.

Right. Youll do. Ill add you to the list and let you know when were ready.

**

Name?

Martigan

And what were you prior to your conversion to the Scourge?

Warrior. I fought the Horde in Alterac Valley.

I see and, your, err, friend there? I gestured towards the ghoul that was looking about the inn aimlessly.

Bugmucher. Hes handy against casters. He gave me a wicked grin. There were a lot of former warriors who fought the Horde that almost seemed to enjoy being Death Knights instead, simply because they had a much easier time dispatching pesky mages like me.

Fair enough. Youre on the list.

**

Name?

Helga Slagfist

She was the priestess Id seen at the keep my first day in Outland. She was actually quite pretty, but had an angry look about her. The fact that she was wearing stockings, a thong, and a bustier probably had something to do with it. Are you a healer?

Aye. She growled, crossing her arms. I tried not to stare; she was very fit, and as much as she objected to the outfit, she actually looked quite good in it.

Well, we need a healer. Ill be honest, its me and three Death Knights I couldnt find anyone else but Ive screened them and I think theyre OK.

I dinnae care anymore. The whole place is crawling with the filthy buggers anyway. When do we leave?

Tomorrow morning, if thats alright with you.

Sooner the better. On one condition.

Whats that?

I hear Trollbanes sending you to Khadgar after this.

Thats right.

If I keep you alive through this Ramparts mess, I want you to take me with you.

I raised an eybrow. Why?

Hes in Shattrath with one of the Naaru.

I was a little stunned by this. Id only read about the Naaru they were powerful, ancient beings that were said to be at one with the Light. I didnt know that. But Im not sure if Ill be able to arrange to take you.

She stood up, leaned over the table (I tried really, really hard not to look and failed), and planted her knuckles firmly on the wood, rattling every dish on it. I dont care if you have to smuggle me to Shattrath in your backpack, youll find a way to arrange it. The only bloody reason Ive come to this forsaken dungpile of a world is to see the Naaru. Ive run around this ugly red desert in this humiliating outfit in front of packs of scourge rejects for long enough, and Ive no more patience for this place.

I stammered, and managed a weak grin, You know, the outfits really not that

She grabbed me by the collar with both hands, dragged me across the table until I was an inch from her face and glared, NOT. ANOTHER. WORD. Are we clear on that? We complete your mission, you take me to Shattrath. That is all. End of discussion.

She dropped me in plate of buzzard bites and walked off. I permitted myself to enjoy the view until she left, and then got up, brushed off my robe, and headed off to ask a favor of Officer Ulrike.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:48 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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After taking care of my business with the quartermaster, I sat by the fire in the inn, reading a book Id found in the tower on focused arcane energy. I needed to rest before the mission, but I wasnt quite tired enough to go to bed and I wanted to keep my mind busy.

Mulch walked in, arms laden with a full satchel of what smelled like herbs and vegetables, a dead helboar, and two dead buzzards. He dumped the items on the table next to mine, and walked to the kitchen to grab a pot and a few utensils, and returned.

Whatcha making? I asked.

He began butchering the pig and answered without looking up, Oh, Ive been trying some old family recipes on this Outland game. Ive managed to come up with a few ways to improve the flavor and filter out the fel stink on all the meat here.

Really? I havent had a decent thing to eat since I got here.

He offered me a smile and kept working. Well, if were going to tackle the ramparts tomorrow, I want to make sure the group is well fed beforehand. I wasnt sure if anyone else on the team cooks.

I doubt it. Most Death Knights Ive met dont bother.

He set the knife down and looked me in the eye. Can I tell you something?

Sure.

I dont like being a Death Knight.

I sort of figured.

He returned to the food, this time cutting the filets from the buzzards. You know, when my wife was poisoned by the Scourge, she killed our children.

Im sorry.

Shed never hurt anything, you know? She was the sweetest creature Id ever known. She came after me with a pitchfork. I couldnt bring myself to fight back. She pinned me to the ground with it and left me to die.

I got the feeling hed never told anyone this. You know, it wasnt her. The Scourge are all minions of the Lich King, and have no will of their own.

He shook his head. I know I was one of them. Arthas himself found me as I was bleeding to death on my own doorstep. He laughed at me; he said he didnt know there were gnomes in Lordaeron, but I would be the first in his new kingdom. I spit in his face just before he ran me through.

I had to smile at his tenacity, but I didnt say anything.

He began cutting vegetables and putting them in the pot with the chunks of meat. I know Ill never be strong enough to avenge my family. All I want to do is help win this war and go back to being a farmer. Its the only thing Im good at. I have all these abilities as a Death Knight and you know the only thing I can think about?

Whats that?

I think about how I can use these spells for agriculture. You know, Ive found out that I can compost soil instantly using my death and decay spell? And death grip is VERY handy for herding sheep.

I laughed. Mulch, I cant imagine how you have such a positive attitude. A Death Knight farmer. Brilliant.

He smiled, and hung the pot high above the flames of the fireplace. This has to cook slowly. By tomorrow morning, I promise youll have the best breakfast in Hellfire.

He shuffled of to bed, and I returned to my book. I had a feeling Nazan was going to have his hands full with what I was bringing to him.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:31 PM
Nozdormu Nozdormu is offline

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Sorry to say it, but youve kinda lost that wit the earlier posts had. Youve made it more of a normal story than that char point of view that made it funny. I hope you see what I mean
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