I'd spent the better portion of the morning cleaning out the hold of one of the three ships Captain Whisperwind had pulled off the Bloodsails. Originally I'd intended to trade them for something bigger on the black market, but word had gotten out that the girls were marked goods and I couldn't even sell them for gold. So a fresh coat of paint and a good clean out would have to do it. We'd avoid the Bloodsails wrath just fine - bunch of lazy gits anyway, couldn't sail their way out of a fish pond with a bloody map.
I'd picked the second largest of the three girls for me own. Not so small she wouldn't make an impression, but not so large that I'd have more crew than I could fill. I'd managed to get a rag tag bunch of misfits, pirates, theives, and wenches to fill the rosters - keeping most of the lassies for meself, of course. Not because I've got some deep seeded need to have a load of the fairer sex doing my bidding, mind you - they're quite capable of telling me to spin on it. No; I'd rather just have something pretty to look at if we'll be bobbing around the sea for weeks on end without much entertainment.
Up on decks they were putting a second coating of black paint along the bulwarks. We'd spent the whole of the day before painting until our fingers cramped and our throats parched from too much sun and salty air. In the evening we'd had a bit of our own christening - spilling ale and whiskey onto the decks as we danced, filling the night with music and singing, shagging until our bones gave out. I'd woken up with half me face coated in black paint - passed out against the bannister - and a wicked sunburn at the tips of me ears. But work was work and here I was, knee deep in a load of stolen treasures, sorting out what was salvageable and what was rubbish.
I'd found the lad not long before, stuffed up behind the bulkhead behind a barrel of pickled kodo feet. Wasn't much left of him these days, just a sack of bones and thin, papery sheets of skin. A crude kitchen knife clutched in his bony fingers seemed to be his only posession. The hole stretching along his cheek made it look, from my vantage point of sifting through a chest of Gnomish personal effects, that he was gazing at me with a perpetual look of astonishment.
((Cut for language))
Someone had heard the screaming. Someone had found the nearest authority figure ... me. I'd started barking orders. It had come full circle.
The room reeked of blood. Splotches of the stuff decorated the walls and the huddled figure on the floor. I knew him, I'd run into him at the White Hart, and I knew who had done this. "Sir Toilet" Iloam had called him. Seemed like a nice enough guy, but it was obvious he was in love with Kharris and him and Iloam had gone at it like two dogs snarling over a bitch.
This is your fault.
I pushed the thought to the back of my mind as I touched him, doing the best I could to comfort him and bandage his wounds. He was cold and shaking, shock setting in, not surprising with the blood loss. He tried to talk, blood leaking from his slit cheeks as the scabs broke.
You knew what he was. What he is.
Ice had seeped over his skin after the pain became a dull agonizing ache. It sank into his bones and he felt his feet rotting with the pain of the seared flesh and the slashed tendon. The bones melted into frozen blocks of throbbing hurt. The nails were lances of molten searing metal through ice and he fancied where he curled around them that his ice flesh was melting. The cold seeped across his slashed face, turning the heat to cold, the screams to moans. His temples danced to a low drumbeat he could hear somewhere in his chest and the ends of his fingers, but the walls and floor were expanding and contracting like jelly around him. The tears never stopped and he felt each one trickle into the wounds in his cheeks.. the agony of salt in bleeding gaping torn flesh was unendurable. He was in a vise of pain, but there was no one to free him. He was in a trap, but no gentle druid's hands would open the jaws of torment.
Funerals shouldn't happen on nice days. The chill rain of the past few days and the morning we buried Rowan was bright and sunny. Wasn't much to say; what can you say? Words fail at a time like that. Realistically, there hadn't been anything I could have done. The child had been born breach and the cord had gotten wrapped around his neck and strangled him. These things happened, about one birth in ten went wrong somehow; at least for humans.
But realism was cold comfort. I'd failed. Failed Iloam, failed Rowan, failed Kharris most of all. She'd asked me to do this and it had all gone wrong. Three lives shattered by my failure.
The moonlight streamed in on an angle into the dusty apartment. The single bed with sheets still rumpled from the last time Llew had slept in them stood on the wall opposite the window, where the light caught the shadowed shapes of fabric. The flat was small; a kitchenette with a single set of plates and two glasses carefully put away. Spartan, certainly - it was purchased for one reason alone, and from the unusued look, served it and little else.Llew's hand rattled the lock, and the door opened a little with a soft few words as he stepped in. "Kharris? Are you here?"
Llewellyn Brightcloud strode from the Scryer's Inn, eyes flinty. His fingers shook off the remaining snow of Winterspring as he gauged the time.. nearly midnight. A sense of futile longing and frustration rose in the muscled chest of the young elf as he eyed a goblin courier sidelong. Iloam... the rogue had been cuddling some night elf. His hand, Llew was certain, had gone up the woman's leg! It was unthinkable.. especially since as far as Llew could recall, Kharris was due... well, any time now! Which meant something had happened. Iloam had left her, perhaps.. what other reason could there be for an expectant father to be away from his beloved's side when her time was near.. or worse.. leaving her alone with their newborn son while he chased night elf breasts!
There is that moment when time stops. You’re going along mindful of yourself, keeping the nerves in check, playing it casual while you wear a bloody hole in the rug on the soles of your boots while you can’t stop second guessing if that name will really fit. Maybe we should have gone with something more traditionally Elvish, or something from her family, or thrown all that rubbish out and just picked something completely unexpected and gone with Gregory or Zul’arek. It’s bloody terrifying and exciting all at once, but in a different way than a good pirate fight or hanging by your fingers off some Royal’s terrace while her husband comes home. It’s different.
((Late post, should have been posted last Wednesday.))
She sits in bath water, now cold. The small elven woman has been staring dull-eyed at the rough wooden wall in the bathhouse for hours now. Her mouth hangs open slightly, slack-jawed. There have been no dimples on her cheeks in days. The light in her eyes barely shines, dim and sickly. Her usually animated features are quiet. But only close survey would show her lack of expression, hidden as she is. Shadows cling thickly to her, roiling over her in a miasma of uncontrolled power.
The early evening's a quiet time in Nighthaven, the Kaldorei are just waking up for the most part and the other folks, Tauren and Human mostly, are settling in for the evening. The sun's just about slipped away and Elune is up, just clearing the trees and about a quarter past full. I send a little prayer up to Her, just a few thoughts for Yuta and the babies and some for Kharris and her baby. That last bit'd probably scandalize a few folks, but if I've learned anything about gods it's that they don't fit into the little boxes we like to put them in.
I turn in the doorway to the terrace and watch the room; it's Kaldorei style, no proper walls, just screens and hanging and such. The moonlight coming in picks out little details in the room: the shimmer of Yuta's hair, a carved bird on Isabelle's crib, the shadowy figures on a hanging I brought back from Ironforge, my goddess' little idol sitting on its shelf in a corner.
I’ve been doing this for so long, I should have known when things were going well that my luck would eventually dry out. Stealing the reference books from the University library had been as easy as if I’d been knicking copper pieces from Grandmum’s candy dish. Of course, it may have earned me a spot of momentary popularity with the Bluffwatchers, but that would blow over in time. I still didn’t know how Artisania had fingered me for suspicion, but the old biddy was likely as paranoid as a kobold and named every bad seed she could possibly think of to bring in for questioning. A bit over dramatic for my tastes, personally. She had plenty of resources to get to me with just a little bit of effort.
Maybe that was the point though. To insult me. My name in bold inscription below Heulwen’s, posted in all the major cities of Azeroth; “…and Iloam Blacksong, WANTED, for questioning.” She was telling me I wasn’t worth it… her time or her primary suspicions. Smug old trollop.
No matter; the job had moved swiftly forward. My luck had continued after White Hart, taking Kaisienna back to Everlook with me for the night. Pretty thing, dark skin and big brown eyes, a curve in her lips that told me she didn’t trust me. It’s a shame I didn’t get to taste them, but fate had other plans. Her magics nearly sent me on a bender – I hadn’t had that much mana pumping through me since Shryn’dael fell off the wagon and dragged me down with her. But she’d managed to trick the locks open on Artisania’s carefully guarded secrets and I finally had a location, a solid lead taking me straight back to Silvermoon’s carefully guarded stacks.
Of course the Tome hadn’t been there. Lost once again in the annals of history and me back to zero. My luck had dried out, and all I’ve got riding on it is the last shred of my soul.
Liore sat on his bed, toes curled around the thick blue blanket that laid crumpled across it. His loft was dark and empty, only the lights of the Draenic rope lights and his bedside lantern to light the place in the late evening. Radiae snoozed beside him, gnawing on her knotted bunny in her sleep. His knees were bent, resting a book against his legs. A journal, to be more precise. A long Roc's quill was flipped between his robotic fingers, the joints giving off pleased whirs and clicks. He smiled idly, before reaching back to the shelf set behind him and dipping the end in ink. The hand drew precise, nearly identical copies of the letters on the handwritten letter guide next to him.
Rowan, 37 weeks
Strawberries--berries of any kind, actually. I'm going through pounds of them! I feel like a bloody bird!
Your father's voice--especially when he sings.
Hand-to-kidney combat--Ouch, hon. Ouch.
(( This Sunday!
At 5pm goblin server time and running until around 7pm server time, I'm guessing, I'll be opening the second "Black Farthing" RP night at the World's End Tavern.
Pop by to say hi, pat Kharris's pregnant belly, and taunt her with the alcohol she can't drink.
Intended to be a "quick, convenient" RP spot, everyone is welcome to just drop by, or come and stay awhile! ))
It's getting close. Laurai is about to pop; she's carrying her girl lower, you're tucked up under my ribs--making it damned hard to catch my breath! I like feeling you there though. Next to my heart.
Gods and goats, listen to me gush.
What you do to me, my little man.
I haven't posted a bunch of doodles on here. Thought I might throw out an art dump for anyone who might enjoy...
We can't tell the weather down here, two levels down burried at the bottom of the Stockades below the great city of Stormwind Proper. Surrounded by dirt and bones and a good number of worms, I suspect. No windows on the cell - and Gods believe it I wish there were, from the stink pouring from the chamber hole in the corner. I like to imagine its raining up there - the fresh smell of water rolling off clay rooftops and splashing onto cobble streets, filling the cannals to bloat against the sides of bridges. There's a cleansing thought to it, and it makes the stagnacy of another nameless day staring at these walls just a bit more beareable.
Journal entry, White Hart
Laurai seemed to think she was weak, helpless, worthless. Others risked themselves to bring her back, some trapped with no immediate way home. She’s far from unwanted, and I doubt as helpless as she feels right now after all she’s been through, and with her baby so close.
I’m the one feeling helpless. I can give supportive words, comfort as I can. Even offer medicines to help sleeplessness, stress, and nausea. But what else can I really do?
(( This Sunday!
At 5pm goblin server time and running until around 7pm server time, I'm guessing, I'll be opening the first "Black Farthing" RP night at the World's End Tavern.
Pop by to say hi, pat Kharris's pregnant belly, and taunt her with the alcohol she can't drink. ))
Ghuuuuuuuuuuurab! * Kharris's voice echoes across the bar and her frown is deep. She stands akimbo, summoning up all the intimidation a petite, pregnant gypsy can. * Get out of that rum!
Against the wind and the tide I could stand any shock.
Straight and proud like Silvemoon upon her rock.
I let no woman near I suffered for Light's care.
In the heart of the night I saw the lightning flare.
A black, leather bound book rests in a locked box, buried amongst silk linens and a tangle of colored ribbons in a hole of a great tree trunk, high above the fields of the Ecodome in Netherstorm. A wayward traveler's journal, perhaps? Or a diary of a young teenaged magus seeking love in all the wrong places?
Neither. A ledger of a thriving business resurrected from the dead and given a new name. There is no boardroom, no staff meetings, no strict dresscode. Can you kill? Can you be discreet? Can you supply that which is in great demand: murder; assassination; vengeance, custom ordered to client's specifications?
Then, perhaps, we may have a job for you.
“And so, this is the teaching of the Second chapter of the Fifth Book of Virtues. Blessed is the Light.”
Time moves differently here, it seems. This morning, I went for a walk around my small world, bounded by mountains. I felt the dirt and stones beneath my bare feet, and I enjoyed the wind in my hair. When I got back to camp, I was a little sweaty from my climb, so I went to use some of my homemade soap in the stream. The ground crunched underfoot, and the dry grasses along the bank tickled my legs. The sun was hot on my shoulders and cheeks. I unfastened the stays of my kilt and let it drop from my hips. For a moment I stood under the sun and enjoyed being alive.
It was Monday morning. Mail day, now that she wasn't conveniently at the posts everyday. She would trudge over to Shattrath, clean up on Scryer's Tier then head to the apartment for a quick tea and then a romp around the big city for a few hours before hiring an engineer to send her to Everlook in Winterspring. It was becoming a tradition.
Kharris smiled with satisfaction as the click on the mailbox processed her letters. She always liked the way the mail symbol flashed to let you know it was doing it's job. She sent ou
It was a long hike to get up here.. I didn't bring my bird. No point, really. She'd have nothing to eat, and I don't want to be foraging.. there's other things I need to do. She'll be fine.. stabled in Thunder Bluff. I told Bas to go hunting once we got here.. no clue when I'll see him again. I haven't seen Cinnabar in weeks. I wish I knew where he was.. but cats are cats. He may be busy. Maybe when I go home, I'll find him. Hope he's okay.
((Warning: Contains sex, incest, homosexuality, and child abuse. Read at your own risk))
The sandstorm outside is howling, whipping banshee screams through the deserted inner circle of Gadgetztan. Thousands of tiny pebbles crash against the windows of the inn room we’re camped out in. I can barely hear my own panting against the staccato. The sand sounds like gunfire and women’s screams, and I close my eyes against it.
The younger rogue at my back shifts, dipping the threadbare mattress, as he moans a recovering sigh. I can feel his fingers brush between my shoulder blades, swirling in the sweat and sandy grit beaded on my skin. He says something in a low murmur but it’s lost in the storm.
Something isn’t right here…
I threw out the last of the strawberry ice cream today. I remember when I bought it. It was before we were even together: we'd had an argument about Zahaith. We were barely more than acquaintances, but I knew she was special. So the ice cream goes, because there is no one here to eat it.
(( While not technically "NSFW", you may want to use caution. >_> ))
~From the personal diary of Pri'kha Cruciare~
-Ecodome Farfield, Netherstorm-
I wonder where they've all gone.
Fragments of family.
Can things be as they were?
But they can be better.