After receiving Iloam's letter this morning, I went to Ashenvale and spent all damned day trying to find some trace of him. I did find someone who recalled seeing him come into town, but he wasn't to be found. So I spent the day riding back and forth over hill and dale behind Rhuuduun, who had a grand old time of it, chasing down anything small and furry we ran across and tearing it into small bloody chunks.
At least Weevil seemed to enjoy it. He likes playing in underbrush, of which Ashenvale has copious quantities.
((Written two days ago, and burned immediately after))
My heart is a mutinous bastard. I never used to feel these things, before you. I could kill and steal and fuck with a clean conscience. Hell, I enjoyed my work. I didn’t even know how to say ‘love’ in anything but the old tongue, and my lips had no use for those words. Until you.
Liore buys a gift for his sister Tylien, recalling the past few weeks of his life.
Showing Ixinane the felpits in Shadowmoon Valley,
Palling around with Kharris and Iloam,
Visiting Tylien in thunderbluff and having a rather revealing conversation.
Sitting with Kharris in gadgetzan and having another honest conversation.
Wondering if his fortune thingy was pointing at Bellani,
Trying to be his best self, for no other reason than curiosity of the results.
((I swear to god. I'm so mad at myself for having the urge to write and totally being incapable of not writing utter rubbish for a post. I'll fix it later.))
"Ihhhl'm?" His name tasted like blood.
Kharris pushed her clumsy tongue around her mouth and then over her swollen lips, trying spit out the blood that had pooled under her tongue. Feeling the way it was pooling up into a into a slippery gel turned her stomach. The wretch induced a cough, and the pain from her presumably broken ribs admonished her sharply. A whimper came unbidden. Blackness started to push in on her again and she didn't fight it, but oblivion answered came only when it wanted, and Kharris was left bitterly hovering in consciousness.
She couldn't see well, still, her vision was blurred with tears, exhaustion, and sweat, but she blinked several times trying to make sense of her environment. She registered something pulling her uncomfortably back behind her, and she tried to roll down to her feet--why was she on her toes? What was going on?
I watch clouds scud across an iron-grey sky, clouds of mist blowing past, snow covering the ground. Not quite like my dreams, but close. Not flat enough, for one thing, the Plaguelands have a bit of a roll to them, most places. Gods, but I'm cold, almost shivering despite my armor and heavy cloak. How long has it been since I've been really warm?
There are hundreds of miles of pipeline down here, but I can find her just as easily on instinct alone. My eyes dilate and burn brighter in the dark catacombs, fingers sliding along damp stone, my boots alternating between crunching gravel and rancid puddles. If I listen closely, I think I can hear the distant sound of horse hooves and shuffling feet above us - but it's only imagined. There is only the sound of rushing sewer water, the shrill squeaking of rats, the snap of bones under my feet... and the loveliest sound of all - my siren call - the echoed sobs of a little girl.
"It got dumped into the canal."
((Apologies to the ladies involved for being behind. This series took place ICly two weeks ago. Warnings [of various seriousness]: sexual themes, allusions to rape, minor violence, rogue torture))
It’s not that I don’t sleep at all. It’s that I try to avoid it.
I learned early on that sleep is a vulnerability I can’t afford myself. All manner of things came crawling out of the darkness for me when I was young: demons, summoned by me Mum, for her own personal amusement. Her sexual and violent appetites were barely whetted with my cries for mercy. I would tremble with the effort to stay awake through the nights, but inevitably I always failed, my body collapsing weakly beneath my will. And then they would come, with as much sympathy for me as I showed to a horse fly.
“I’m not tired,” I told Kharris, her slick warm form folded in my arms. Her hair stuck to my shoulders and chest, dampening the air around us like a steam room. We’d – well, I’d – broken the lock on a caravan abandoned along the Undercity moat and hoisted her in, intent on a nightcap of my very favourite bouquet lately. Now we lay crammed and spent into the small Human-sized space, arms and legs jutting at awkward angles and chests heaving. I could feel a horses bridle jutting into my back, but I didn’t dare move, watching Kharris’ eyes flutter as she fought sleep. I knew she’d lose. We all do, eventually.
“You have to sleep sometime,” she smiled, turning her head up on my shoulder, her dimples flirting with me. “Nobody knows we’re here, Iloam. We’re safe. Sleep with me.”
She did have a point. If there was anywhere that no one would look, it was a wood-rotted caravan long forgotten, buried under hundreds of feet of ruined city. I stretched my legs under her, the bridle’s metal digging more uncomfortably into my back as my scarred knees popped. I could feel Kharris’ pleased smile against my neck as I consented. “Alright, Love. But just for a bit…”
"Was it true? Had that artist Rossetti really gone mad and killed himself in the Gallery?
I did not pay much attention to the rumours at first. These people -- my people, I need to remind myself, more often as time goes on -- are always twittering about something. It was not until I heard the deceased man's full name, Maudlin Rosetti, that I took notice.
She started to come around the moment I had her where I wanted her, a reverse hanged man I believe it’s called. Her arms pinned behind her back and chained to support her weight with those arms, leaving only the balls of her feet on the floor to keep her from tearing the muscles in her shoulders…. See I let her have that… and here everyone seems to think I have no heart.
“Do you know what nemesis means?
It's a beautiful night up here in the mountains, Cinn. Don't you think? I mean, I loved it on the Barrens.. the smell, the heat... the life.. it was so. Hum. What's the word? Primal? Vital. It was vitality I felt amid the sweating beasts and the rustling dry grass.
Up here... it's very different, but it's the same, you know? It's life. All around us. Untamed, beautiful life.
Like that rock we saw along the path. I know you were using the bush, but I REALLY liked that rock. The paterns on it of lichen.. it was.. it was so different, wasn't it, Cinn?
I could barely remember the events of the previous night as I stumbled into the Shattrath apartment. There was a bitter, plum taste mixed with vomit and stale morning saliva on the inside of my mouth, and my lips were bitter to my tongue. The snick of the key in the door seemed to echo like Tauren war drums in my ears and I snapped my eyes shut as screaming of Kharris’ kitten added to the torture.
“Blimey,” I growled, shutting the door behind me. Farthing mewled at me louder, perched on the kitchen counter and prancing about like an indignant prince. “What the bloody hell is your problem?”
Bellani awoke slowly. Painfully. She didn't dare open her eyes. As her senses came to life, her skin began to tingle. Soft pricks that built into a crescendo of painful stings as numbness turned into feeling. Her face was pressed against something cold, hard and smooth. The mere flutter of her eyelids brought a dizzying glare of blinding whiteness and her head pounded with the thunder of a thousand orcish war drums. When at last she could pry open her eyes and let her vision focus, Bellani realized that she was lying in her bathtub. She couldn't begin to fathom why.
They stayed huddled in the dark, Writhlyn’s arms wrapped protectively around her shivering sister. They could still hear her screaming, though in the farthest room from the chaos, they wouldn’t run from her, their half mad mistress. Her shrieks seemed to move through the walls, but they stayed where they were. Wraithlyn nursing her punishment for failure and Halodante shaking from a single brush with her nightmare in the body of a red headed elf. He had left their mistress again, only this time the violence that ensued was enough, Wraithlyn was positive she had lost her sanity again, failure was never an option, not even for their mistress.
((This blog is overdue by about a week. I'm behind! ))
I collapsed into the first chair I could find, propping a foot up on my desk, barefoot and tattooed, all I wanted was a smoke. As I loaded some maiden’s anguish into my late father’s pipe, I took in how much my body hurt, and how my fel tainted arm throbbed as if it had a pulse all its own. I couldn’t remember when I had such a busy day as this, honestly, I couldn’t wait to crawl into bed and forget about most of it.
Kharris and Artisania have both warned me about this Lady Everbloom and her suspicious art collection. So, what to do about it? I do not think I am in any danger. She is unbalanced, I think, but not dangerous. That she dyed her hair to look like mine is flattering, I suppose. It might even be a little unsettling. But does it cross a line? And what of her hiring Heulwen to investigate me? I have done the same, and I meant no harm, although harm may yet come from it.
I would not have thought that any of this indicated any danger to me, but as I told Kharris, we all have blind spots. One warning I might dismiss as an overprotective friend. Two warnings, and I would be a fool not to pay attention.
Kharris threw the small wooden box as hard as she could with a frustrated, wild scream. Everything she'd been holding very carefully in check the last, long minute expressed itself in the timbre of her voice. The box soared into the Shattrath bedroom and bounced with a hollow thunk on the nightstand. The lid flew off, skittering across the stone to finally rest under the bed, fleeing from the elf’s released fury.
((Warning: Sex implied, mild language))
Nothing is predictable. In fact, any bloke that tells you not to worry, everything is fine, is probably got a hand in your pocket or a knife under the table. That’s about the time you should start to worry.
I don’t take any moment for granted. Know my exits, always have a plan B, don’t take jobs from gobbos, …and never, never drink over Holiday.
That was my first mistake.
Artisania Marveloso figured she would need at least five-dozen cookies.
With a lovely hand-woven Tauren basket hung over one arm, she left her Thunder Bluff longhouse on a clear blue morning, just enough bite in the air to cause her to hurriedly pull on her gloves despite the bright sunshine. Although Mulgore remained temperate, a hint of winter still sliced through the air, enough to remind her she was not altogether removed from the seasons she had once known. After all, the Shu'Halo seemed quite enamored with Winter's Veil as well.
Artisania Marveloso stared at the sky.
Scattered with stars, the dim greenish sphere arced over Shattrath, pierced by the central beam of light rising from the distantly-humming creature below. Artisania leaned back against the masonry of the Scryer's inn, a slight smile on her face. She could not see the nether from here, no; the dense atmosphere of the Terokkar forest prevented such clear viewing, but she knew it was there. Winding, twisting, curtailing through the heavens, ribbons of color and energy… she took a deep breath. She could almost breathe it in. Almost.
I was upstairs in my sewing room when my visitor arrived. I had found a new variety of spider silk, and was admiring it, touching it, feeling the strands, and comparing its feel to the other samples in my collection. So smooth, so strong.
Phaen knocked politely, then entered at my invitation. The skeins of spider silk and the venom sacs in their little jars unnerve him, I think, but he is too much of a professional to say anything.
"There is a gentleman downstairs," Phaen announced. "Master Iloam Blacksong."
((Story marked mature for implying assault, and may be a sensitive subject for some.))
"Kharris?" His voice was soft, even past the roughness his scar always added, as he appeared at the foot of the bed. Though she had instantly recognized him and been watching him since he entered the apartment, the familiar thickness of his accent made her exhale her held breath very softly in relief. He was there. He was with her. She wasn't alone. And he hadn't found her. Kharris silently watched Iloam move towards her, his leathers creaking were the only noises in the quiet of his apartment. She did not move, but stayed utterly still, her knees hugged to her chest and only her eyes following his movements. Iloam watched her closely, approaching like one might a skittish animal. He was a perceptive man. "What's happened?"
"Never express anger, and never express sarcasm," Talionia said. "They show weakness, and they show a hastiness in revealing motives."
Her former mentor's words taunted her as Scartaris stalked back and forth in her inner sanctum, far below the gleaming red and gold streets of Silvermoon. Never express anger.
I had an interesting conversation with Kharris the other day. Perhaps "interesting" is not the best word. We made small-talk, fished for a while at that nice oasis in the Barrens, and kept each other company. I doubt that it would be considered entertaining to anyone who happened to overhear us. But some of the things she said were thought-provoking.
((Warning: Incest implied, sex and strong language))
People who think they know me might tell you I spend all of my free time at pubs and whorehouses. Nobles would say a rogue surely can be found no farther than the nearest gutter. But that’s just it.
They don’t know me.
She rolled onto her belly and tucked herself under the thick down cover to trap her warmth. There was a chill in the air, and Shattrath was promising to be cold in the winter. Exertion had left a thin sheen of sweat on her skin and dampened her hair, but even in the apartment her breath had started to make little clouds when she exhaled. Kharris watched Iloam from the dark cave of a bedroom as he left to the living area. She didn't know how he could walk around like that in this weather, wearing nothing but a mild scowl and the soft glow that emanated from the cigarette at his lips. The dark-haired woman tucked the covers up under her chin and watched him move for several long minutes.
((Elegantly written Elvish scripted on a letter from one Keiran Blacksong to Kharris Dawndancer))
Did you feel the gravity
Our fingers twine in twilight
The stars colliding
Did you see them shining
Just for us?
We were not made for here
This world leaves us nude
Speak to me in the light of the candle
I was made to listen for you.
Speak to me in the light of the moon
I was made to hold for you.
Speak to me in the light of the dawn
I was made for you.