1. The Chronicles of The Crystal Tear: The Cult of the Dark Strand

    Quest #1 Cult of the Dark Strand

    Participants: Maralais, Astalder, Drakedead, Tiavia, Dayzik

    In order to collect his thoughts, Maralais asks for some time to travel on his own and seek information on the sister swords. He believes his contacts from long ago will react best to his singular presence than that of the whole group. Though the companions hesitate to let him seek knowledge on his own, they allow him to do what he must.

    In Maralais’s absence Tiavia hears disturbing reports of cult activity in Darkshore. With Maralais gone she is uncertain who to seek advice from. Remembering that she had met a monk named Astalder when he was training a guild initiate, she decides to seek him out. She chuckles lightly as she recalls that he had tried to teach her how to fish from shores of Ruttheran Village and remembers that he frequents other places for this sport. Unable to find him in Darkshore she travels to Stormwind and then east to the Elwynn Forest to the small settlement of Lakeshire.

    While strolling the docks Astalder comes upon her, startling her. He shows her around the small town greeting all there like family then shows her to the inn so they can sit and talk. As they exchange pleasantries Maralais appears suddenly, having returned from his travels. Tiavia is relieved to see him as his absence had been much longer than expected. He proceeds to tell them that he has news of Quel’Serrar. He has discovered that there is not just one blade that has existed but many. Each blade, however, did not have legendary powers unless forged with a dragon’s assistance. With it being unlikely that the dragons would help orcs with such a creation the group could breathe easier about the immediacy of this threat.

    Though Tiavia would speak to Maralais of current developments, his recent return forced him to leave to take care of urgent business. Even though the group had been diminished it seemed the fates had meant for this meeting to take place. Dayzki, who Tiavia had recruited to the guild just the day before enters and joins them. Tiavia tells them about Darkshore and her concerns and asks if they would accompany her to investigate. As Dayzik and Astalder separate from her briefly to prepare for the journey Tiavia – waiting inside the inn – notices a stranger that crosses her path. As she watches him walk past she has a strange feeling that she knows this man, but she shrugs it off.

    When her companions return they exit the inns to cross the docks. Not far from the inn Tiavia notices the man she saw earlier and she crosses over to him.

    “Excuse me? Have we met before?” The man does not look around but simply says
    “No, we have not.” Dayzik approaches, curious, and questions the stranger further. The man refuses to be hassled and scoffs at the Paladin’s attempt to wish him well. Tiavia cannot shake the feeling that she knows him and Dayzik states,

    “He’s darkness within.” Tiavia shakes her head uncertain.
    “I may well be mistaken that I know him. I just feel so certain…” Again shrugging off the sensation Tiavia leads the group to Darkshore where they travel to the Ruins of Mathystra. Once there she indicates the man, Mathas Wildwood, that spoke to her of the increased activity at the ruins of Athalaxx. Discovering that Astalder and Dayzik do not know the history of the tower, Tiavia explains to them that a man named Athrikus Narassin – who was appointed as governor of the twin cities of Ameth’Aran and Bashal’Aran by queen Azshara – spent a great deal of time in solidarity at the Tower of Athalaxx.

    Upon the fall of the twin cities of Ameth’Aran and Bashal’Aran, a dark rumor of the tower and Athrikus’s influence was proved to be true. Cult activity at the tower’s site involving warlocks and a foul satyr led to the discovery that Athrikus led a powerful cult called the Cult of the Dark Strand. Mathas fears that the increased activity in the area in due to the Cult’s influence.

    As the companions near the ruins of the Tower of Athalaxx, they note the utter destruction of the area and the tower itself. Signs of recent activity are evident as trees still burn at the ruins edge and – strangely – undead walk the area. As the group traverses the circular area to reach what is left of the entrance to the ruins, they notice a dark portal that has been recently activated. Entering the ruins they discover a demonic warlock syphoning dark energy from the site. Tiavia notices that this being has aspects of the stranger they encountered in Lakeshire.

    As the warlock and the companions exchange threatening words Tiavia again finds his voice and manner eerily familiar. Then the truth dawns on her.

    “No…it cannot be! Drakedead?” Astalder watches Tiavia intensely and asks, “You know this one?” The warlock glares at her strangely for a moment then says,
    “I know not of what you speak, though I have a vague recollection of this name you speak”

    Tiavia, distraught at his transformation says, “What has become of you? You helped the guild in its quest…we called you friend!” The warlock glares further then laughs suddenly

    “Ah! Yes, I vaguely remember you. You were such a fool! You did not know that I was a warlock pretending to be a mage. Maralais knew and he let me join you anyway…”

    “But you made that choice! You did not want power!” Dayzik, listening to them speak, finally intervenes blasting Drakedead with light energy. He is shocked when his efforts bring no results. Drakedead laughs harshly and speaks once more,

    “The fel energy of the Nexus has freed me from those fears. I am now exactly what I wish to be. And there is no turning back.” Drakedead surveyed the three then declares his intent to leave as he came. Tiavia, a single tear trailing down her cheek, states simply,

    “We cannot let you leave” Having tired of conversation with the companions Drakedead calls upon his minion the Voidlord to attack them. As the creature rushes toward Tiavia, Astalder steps between them weapon drawn,

    “You will not harm her!”

    Tiavia hesitates to attack unwilling to accept what had become of her friend but at the urging of her companions she realized she has no choice but to stop him. She channels her arcane energy and blasts the Voidlord against a shattered wall. Unfazed Drakedead blasts them with a powerful store of dark energy stunning them. He escapes quickly toward the portal and when the companions become unstunned they give chase but lose him.

    Tiavia drops to her knees the truths she has recently learned driving the strength from her limbs. “How are we to discover what he plans? We have no idea what he is up to?”

    Dayzik states, “Well, as you battled I noticed a charred book upon the floor which I plucked from the floor as we gave chase. It might have a clue to his dark intentions.” As the group examines the book they notice a faded symbol on the front cover and travel to the Stormwind library to find someone to help them decipher it. Astalder, in need of continuing his travels, is unable to accompany them. The source at the library is able to tell them that the symbol has its origins in the Shadowmoon Valley and that the inhabitants of the old Draenei village near the ruins of Baa’ri may be able to help them.

    Dayzik and Tiavia travel through the Dark Portal and make their way to Shadowmoon Valley. As they crest the rise before the ruins of Baa’ri Dayzik exclaims,

    “The village…it is destroyed!” After glumly surveying the damage his suggest, “We should follow the mountain path and look for survivors. There may yet be someone who can answer our questions.” Tiavia motions for Dayzik to lead the way since she is not familiar with the area. Following the rising path they find no one but when they reach the top they notice movement in the mountains above.

    The duo climbs up the mountain-side and stop near the top stunned. There is a large dragon up top and upon his back is Drakedead. Though he denies it the companions believe that he destroyed the village below. With the opportunity to confront Drakedead once more Dayzik demands that he divulge his evil plot or be destroyed. Tiavia again begs him to reconsider the path he has chosen. Drakedead attempts to convince Tiavia to join him and receive power she has never known.

    Again, Tiavia decides that they must do what is necessary to stop Drakedead. Dayzik rushes at Drakedead and blasts him with light energy. The two battle furiously but Dayzik’s powers are weakened in this place so Drakedead strikes him down leaving him gravely injured. Tiavia becomes furious watching her new friend writhing on the ground fighting for breath.

    “I do not wish it Drake, but I am forced to end you.” A sly smile creeping upon Drakedead’s face her states, “You can try.” The two battle intensely and though the warlock is dreadfully powerful, Tiavia’s arcane magic brings him to his knees nearly defeated. As he is unable to rise, Tiavia drops to the ground once more and cries,

    “I did not want it to end this way!” Unexpectedly, at Drakedead’s side, his trusted servant appears to aid his master. Drakedead, weakened but undefeated he commands his servant,

    “Get that mage out of my site! Remove her from the valley!” Staggering to his feet to retreat he adds “I could call my army to destroy you Tiavia. I only let you live because of our past, which now I remember well enough. But if you come to my lands again I will not hesitate to destroy you.” Left with little choice Tiavia assists Dayzik and they retreat from the Outlands.

    Once Tiavia can get Dayzik to a healer, she waits nearby distraught and forlorn. She wants desperately to save Drakedead but she cannot see the way to do so. Additionally she was able to learn nothing about the book recovered from the Tower of Athalaxx and is no closer to understanding the motivation of the Cult of the Dark Strand. She stares at the cover of the book and attempts to find the strength to read what she can decipher within its pages.
    Edited: September 25, 2015

  2. The Chronicles of The Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Astalder and Tiavia (Takes place before Quest #3 Part I)

    Distraught over the fate of Drakedead, Tiavia turns to Astalder for comfort. His calm demeanor and kind manner is just what she needs to distract her. When they meet in Lakeshire, Astalder suggests that he continue to teach her how to fish: A pastime which brings him great comfort. Tiavia is skeptical recalling how she failed miserably during his first lesson but she agrees nonetheless.

    Tiavia clumsily casts her line and pulls back too soon anticipating the outcome. Astalder smiles at her demonstrates,

    “Now remember to keep your shoulders pulled back and do not throw forward with you whole body.” Tiavia does as Astalder has shown her and waits patiently for a tug on the pole. Her efforts pay off because she reels in a fish and proudly exclaims,

    “I got one!” Astalder smiles brightly at her encouragingly and turns back to his own fishing pole. Tiavia, always struggling to focus, allows her mind to become distracted once more over events of the previous days. As she casts her line a third time she falls back to old habits and throws the pole and herself forward. As she is close to the edge of the dock she pitches forward and falls into the lake. She surfaces, then laughs heartily. Astalder calls out,

    “Are you ok?” Tiavia, dripping and shivering replies that she is fine and emerges from the water onto dry land. Astalder takes one look at her and declares,

    “We should go inside the inn.” Tiavia does not argue but follows Astalder inside. Once there Astalder asks Wental, the inn’s owner, to make some hot tea. As he turns to look back at Tiavia he notices that she is miserably shivering and dripping onto the inn floor.

    “Tia, why don’t you go upstairs and change. Then you can join me by the fire to chase away your chill and enjoy some hot tea.” Tiavia agrees and once upstairs removes and lays out her wet clothes to dry and slips into a simple blue dress. When she returns downstairs she joins Astalder at the fire to ease her chill.

    As they enjoy their tea Tiavia asks Astalder about himself, curious about her new friend who’s gentle nature is unmatched by anyone she has ever met. As she innocently questions him she discovers that he has a painful past and he reveals to her a story of sadness. Moved by his pain she takes his hand gently in her own to comfort him.
    Edited: September 28, 2015

  3. The Chronicles of The Crystal Tear: The Quest for Quel'Serrar

    Quest #3 Part I

    Participants: Maralais, Drakedead, Dayzik, Elvorifiwien, Tiavia

    Tiavia’s hopes to find information about the Cult of The Dark Strand by looking though the book found in the Tower of Athalaxx must be set aside when she receives word that Maralais needs them to meet at Crystal Tear headquarters. Tiavia meets up with Elvofiriwien and they make the journey together. As they travel Elvofiriwien stops them a few times to continue Tiavia’s instruction in battlefield tactics and strategies. Though Tiavia knows she must learn these things she becomes increasingly impatient to learn how to properly wield her sword. Elvofiriwien reiterates to her that she must learn the strategies first and use her magic because it is where her strength lies.

    Since Elvofiriwien is not prone to talk much, Tiavia is left to her thoughts more often than she wishes. She cannot help but think of Drakedead and the betrayal she feels from Maralais’ knowledge of his true nature. When they arrive at headquarters Tiavia greets him stiffly and asks to speak to him in private.

    “How could you Maralais?” she demands. Maralais, slightly confused begins to say, “If you are talking about the effect I inadvertently had on that creature, I fixed that.” Tiavia glares at him and blurts “What other secrets are you keeping!?”
    “Oh so you were not talking about…ah…never mind.” Maralais is now completely perplexed his easy nature giving way to a deep frown. “No! I am talking about Drakedead!” Upon hearing the name realization strikes Maralais. He pulls himself to his full height and briskly states “Yes, I knew who he was and I invited him to the guild. There will be times when we need expertise such as his and for that I will not apologize.”

    “You knew he was a warlock! You knowingly put the guild at risk!” Maralais, growing angry himself blurts “You cannot claim to be better. Our kind frowns upon those who use arcane magic!” Taken back, shocked to silence for a moment Tiavia retreats a few steps as though punched. Her anger abruptly extinguished she forlornly exclaims,
    “He almost killed me and two other guild members yesterday!” Maralais poised to speak in anger once more, stutters for a moment then exclaims “What?! Why would he do this?”
    Maralais steps toward Tiavia to offer comfort, his hand lightly upon her arm. His anger has been transformed into deep concern. Tiavia explains to him that the Fel energy of the nexus had pushed him beyond control and that he had given over to a warlock’s desire for power. As she continues to explain Maralais laments “What have I done?!”

    Overcome by her emotion of recent events she breaks into sobs and lays herself against Maralais’s chest for comfort. In his usual manner he awkwardly draws him arms about her in an effort to provide comfort. Suddenly embarrassed Tiavia draws back swiping at the tears on her face. As she gains control Maralais says,

    “This is my fault and I will take care of it.” Tiavia insists that he will not do this task alone. She tells him that she did not bring this issue up in front of the rest of guild out of respect for his leadership. Maralais fumes quietly, angry with himself and lamenting his decision. He would make this right no matter the cost. As the two are lost in their thoughts Elvofiriwien joins them, “Oi, just wondering what is taking so long.”

    Maralais looks up at Elvofiriwien and says, “Join us. We must discuss the reason I have brought you here.” In a distracted state Maralais tells them that he has discovered where Quel’Delar is housed for safe-keeping by the high elves. He explains that a fearful rumor exists that the owner of the sword is coming to take it back.

    The companions agree to travel to the Dream Portal in Duskwood to retrieve the sword. Tiavia sends a message to Dayzik asking him to meet them outside of Stormwind. When they meet up with Dayzik, Tiavia is relieved to find that he is fully recovered from his battle with Drakedead. As the companions approach the Dream Portal they notice activity at the top of the ramp. They are stunned to discover that Drakedead is in front of the portal and that he is working a dark spell.

    Maralais yells “Richard! Stop what you doing immediately!” the anger behind his words evident. Once more Tiavia pleads with him to renounce the dark power he has accepted.

    “You are too late! What is done cannot now be undone!” Drakedead smiles wickedly his spell near completion. Unable to slow the progress of Drakedead’s plan the companions prepare for battle. His spell complete Drakedead turns to Maralais grinning wickedly. Maralais charges, staff drawn, and blasts him with powerful magic. The two battle furiously as the companions watch. Maralais, determined to remedy his mistake in trusting Drakedead loses him concentration in anger and Drakedead takes the opportunity to blast Maralais with a powerful wave of Fel energy. Caught unaware Maralais is knocked back and tumbles from the Dream Portal platform. Tiavia, fearful that he is gravely injured calls out his name and runs down the platform to his side.

    Dayzik steps forward challenging Drakedead he states,
    “This is my territory dark one, you will not defeat me easily here.” Drakedead laughs off his comment his confidence high and jumps into battle with Dayzik. Elvorifiwien, sword drawn, remains vigilant if case she must intervene. Dayzik, calling upon the light, quickly drives Drakedead to his knees. Greatly weakened but not defeated he calls for his dragon to make his escape. Maralais, injured but determined, runs up the platform to run at Drakedead once more. Drakedead rises to the sky and flies off toward Stormwind. Maralais calls for his own flight creature and blindly gives chase.
    Tiavia calls after him once more upset that Maralais would seek to end Drakedead on his own, even though she made it clear he would not remedy the situation alone.

    The group prepares to follow but suddenly find the earth beneath their feet shaking and the Dream Portal flashing wildly. As they watch a lone figure steps from the portal, surveying them with disinterest. He speaks,
    “What is it that you hope to accomplish here? This is my domain and you do not belong here.” Unperturbed the group glares at the figure in return as Dayzik states,
    “We are here for Quel’Delar . We will not allow Drakedead to complete his evil plans.” The stranger laughs darkly at them and responds,
    “You would wield Quel’Delar? Fools! I am the rightful owner of Quel’Delar! My name is Felicianus Dawnseeker and I seized the sword from the hands of the Lich King. I will not allow you to take it from me!”

    Elvofiriwien stalwart as always responds, “You will tell us where the sword is held.” Felicianus refuses and continues to hold them at the Dream Portal with cryptic messages and taunting comments. The group does not realize that he is stalling them. As the companions continue to harass the blood elf into giving up the sword, Felicianus suddenly laughs aloud exclaiming,
    “Fools! You do not understand what you have brought yourselves into to! I have been stalling you here so that Drakedead can complete his mission. Even now your former associate has gone below the city to release those who will be recruits for our army. I will meet them as they march out of Stormwind. Your efforts have failed before they have begun!”

    Dayzik, unphased by Felicianus’ revelation yells, “Tell us where Quel’Delar is foul creature!” Felicianus laughs deeply once more and replies – to the astonishment of the companions - that he will tell them where the sword is kept.
    “The sword is housed below this very portal.” As Dayzik dashes below to find the entrance Felicianus adds, “But good luck getting past the multiple levels of warding steeped in Fel magic and necromancy. Your death would be swift and terrible, only to rise as a servant to our purpose.” With these final words Felicianus retreats into the portal once more as he plans to meet his army at a later time. The companions attempt to stop him but to no avail.
    The groups is left to wonder how they will stop the dark plans that have been put into motion and what has become of Maralais.

  4. The Chronicles of the Crystal Tear: The Quest for Quel'Serrar

    Quest #3 Part II: The Quest for Quel’Serrar

    Participants: Maralais, Astalder, Drakedead, Elvorfiwien, Tiavia, Drakok & Cassa

    Relieved to receive word from Maralais the guild meets once again outside Crystal Tear headquarters. His message was mysterious but the companions had not heard from him for days and rush to his side. When they arrive Tiavia scolds Maralais for following Drake by himself. Maralais shrugs and in his easy nature he says

    “The past cannot be altered.” Unsatisfied by this response but not wanting to press further Tiavia falls silent to hear what Maralais has to tell them. He explains that he has been tucked away for a few days working on something important. He shares little details but states, “You must know the greatest weakness of our guild.” The group looks at him perplexed to which he replies “No? Then I will tell you.”

    “Our greatest weakness is that we are alive.” The groups stares at him unable to comprehend the meaning of his words. Astalder only offers “What?” Maralais, slightly frustrated that they do not understand tries again,

    “We can die. We are hindered in our efforts because we must always walk close to death.”
    Tiavia, eyes popping, feeling certain that Maralais has slipped into madness asks, “Are you suggesting we kill ourselves?” Elvofiriwien looks on with incredulity a deep suspicion taking her hand briskly toward her weapon. Maralais giddy – as he pulls his staff from where it is anchored upon his back – exclaims, “No, no! I have an experiment for us to try.” With that he begins to wave his staff and chant calling forth a circle about the group. Tiavia glances about nervously, drawing her sword. Astalder readies himself for attack. Maralais, noticing the group’s reaction ceases casting, confused.

    Elvofiriwien suggests “I think Drakedead has done something to our Maralais. He may not be of his right mind.” Maralais, astonished and defensive, rises to his height and in a ruffled state exclaims “Nothing of the sort! This is MY idea and I have not been corrupted.” The group watches him for a moment uncertain. Tiavia retorts, “Well, can you not then speak plain? We do not understand what you are about.” Maralais sighs deeply, frustrated that they do not understand his intention and starts his explanation anew.

    He explains that he has spent days attempting to hone a skill that generally is only something easily accomplished by a warlock. He assures them that they will not truly be dead only in an inbetween state. Their souls would still by tethered to their bodies. Before they can use it to their advantage they must safely test the processes.

    Elvofiriwien and Astalder remain vehemently opposed. Tiavia is skeptical but gives the magical process some thought. She asks, “How do we know our souls will not simply flitter away?” Maralais replies simply, “Soul-gem, though we do not currently have any at our disposal. The keepers here, however, will safe guard us and make us whole when the time is right.” Tiavia then says,

    “I understand the magic of it though it is quite dangerous. I suppose if these two will not brave the endeavor I will offer my assistance in this experiment.” Elvofiriwien, having silently swore to protect Tiavia, grudgingly agrees to take part, thought she stolidly states, “ You will not cast this upon Tiavia.” Tiavia, irked that Elvo would speak on her behalf refuses to take her advice.

    Maralais glances expectantly upon Astalder and Tiavia begs, “Please Astalder. I would not see us take this journey without you.”

    His training in Pandaria and as a monk cause Astalder to exclaim, “I will not corrupt my soul in such a way!” Tiavia respects his decision and would not pressure him into something he would not choose to do. Maralais suggests he watches over them throughout the experiment. Astalder agrees and takes a few steps back. Maralais pulls three vials from his sack and tells them to drink them when the magical circle is cast. He explains that it is a strong poison and they would see the effects quite quickly.

    The spell cast and the poison drank the groups deteriorates quickly and passes into a death-like state. Leaving their bodies behind they meet in spirit and begin to experiment with their new-found freedom. They try to speak to and interact with Astalder but he cannot detect their presence. They note that they cannot affect other living animals or plants and that everything they see is devoid of color.

    Tiavia notices that she begins to see the essence of all things, not something that the mortal eye can detect. Elvofiriwien states that Astalder looks different than everything else in such a way that he is filled with light. Maralais suggests they see how far they can travel from their bodies and determine if other beings appear different than Astalder.

    Nearing the lake and stopping close by the companions hesitate at the shore until Maralais glides over the top testing their effect on the surface. Their presence does not seem to affect the water and they find that they can dive beneath the surface. Maralais, giddy as a child, thoroughly enjoys his current state and experimenting with the possibilities. Elvofiriwien glares at Maralais angry that he did not mention he had no idea what their experience as soul-bound beings would be like.

    From a distance Maralais yells, “Tiavia, come here! You have to see this!” Elvofiriwien and Tiavia dive under water and travel to Maralais’ location. Tiavia rises to the surface but is looking in the wrong direction.
    “I don’t see anything Mara. What is it of which you speak?” Maralais distracted by his discovery asks, “Do you not see him? Isn’t that Richard?” Elvofiriwien looking in the same direction as Maralais draws her lips into a severe frown.

    Tiavia exclaims, “Drake? Where? What is he doing here!” Maralais, realizing that Tiavia is not looking in the right direction suggests, “Turn around Tia.” Tiavia turns and is startled to see the ethereal human form of Richard Wilhelm. He is crouched upon the water’s surface, staring downward. Maralais states, “I do not believe he can see or hear us.” Tiavia flies around him in her current form and tries to interact with him. She stops in front of him once more and comments, “I do not see to have any affect one him.” She watches his form closely and the tentatively says “Drake?”

    The group reacts in disbelief as Drakedead’s form rises and speaks to them. “I can see you and I can hear you.” The companions realize that this is the form of Drakedead before the Fel energy corrupted him. He seems dazed as he speaks to them. Elvofiriwien shocked by the strange state of affairs exclaims, “Oi, this be insane! It is as though he be split in two!”

    Drakedead glances at Elvofiriwien and speaks once more, “I would not have believed it myself. I…I chose to take on the dark power but I did not understand the true consequences. By the time I realized my error it was too late.” Tiavia, tears welling in her eyes exclaims “Please Drake do not give up you must fight this!” Maralais watches the scene with intense curiousity. Dreakdead continues,

    “I…I will try but I am so weak. The only reason I was able to escape the deep prison within my own body is because the dark being within me was weakened after his fight with Tia and then his loss against Zik.” Maralais looks thoughtful then adds,

    “Then there is yet hope that you can be saved. If we can continue to weaken the dark one you can assert yourself and fight him from the inside.” Dreakdead nods in agreement and adds, “Yes, it will help but I am very weak. I know not if I have the strength to defeat him.” Maralais, his face grim relies with determination,

    “You will find a way to do this. Do not give up.” Tiavia adds, “Yes, and we know now and we will do everything in our power to help you.” Drakedead promises that he will try but can make no promise of success. Though they would continue to strategize about how to defeat the dark one the companions begin to feel the pull to return to their bodies. The keepers have begun to heal them.

    The companions arise slowly to Astalder’s relief and he asks them of their experience. The companions are shaken and explain what they can. Maralais declares that he needs a drink and Tiavia agrees vehemently her emotions roiled by the horror of Drakedead’s situation.
    The group travels to Stormwind and settle into the bar to unwind. At the bar they are met by Drakok and Cassa, new recruits of The Crystal Tear. They talk congenially. Tiavia, having not drank heavily in quite some time proceeds to get heavily intoxicated. Maralais upset with himself and the mess he feels solely responsible for downs his drinks quickly to drown his sorrows. In the groups state they do not notice the entrance of their enemy who takes a seat at a table near the bar.

    As the group keeps the conversation light and easy, they do not notice Tiavia’s increased agitation. Soon she blurts out “No! NO! You will not prevail! I will destroy you first!”
    Drakedead chuckles darkly and whispers into her head once more, “You surround yourself with weaklings. You could do so much better if you simply joined me. Unfathomable power would be your reward.” The companions, startled by Tiavia’s outburst ask if she is alright. She shrugs it off stating it is nothing and that she is hearing things.

    Following Drakedead’s comment Tiavia yells aloud once more “I will never give over to your dark power! It only corrupts and destroys!” As the other companions have wandered from the table for various purposes, Cassa is the only one near. She looks at Tiavia with concern, watching her jump up on top of her chair to stand there.

    “Tia, what is wrong? Please come down from there.” Tiavia does not hear Cassa but again hears the seemly disembodied voice rise in her head, “Then I will take pleasure in destroying you and the guild. Your fate is sealed.” Drakedead laughs darkly once more a wicked smile capturing his face. Tiavia screams aloud,

    “Get out of my head!” Maralais, hearing this outburst staggers over from the bar to Tiavia’s side a deep concern breaking into his drunken state. He looks up at Tiavia, calling to her gently and reaching out his arms, “Tia, come down from there now.”
    Maralais’s voice slightly breaking the hold Drakedead has taken over her mind, stumbles then rights herself. Drakok, having returned from listening to music and dancing, notices Drakedead at a table tucked behind the bar and asks sharply,

    “What are you doing to her Drake!” Upon hearing his name Tiavia jumps down from the chair toward Maralais and only remains standing because his arms support her. She turns behind her and sees Drakedead. The companions approach him threateningly and Drakedead stands and says,

    “I did not come here to fight…only to relax with a few drinks.” Tiavia her anger intense as she understands his true intent steps forward. Cassa, recognizing the seriousness of the situation steps between Tiavia and Drakedead. She says

    “I think you should leave.” Maralais glowers at Drakedead in agreement with Cassa. Tiavia, blind in her anger, shoves Cassa aside and runs at Drakedead arcane magic afire on her lips. In her state she is in no shape for the confrontation and Drakedead blasts her with a bolt of Fel energy driving her back and onto the floor. Maralais steps forward a steely flash within his eyes. Cassa draws her knife and moves quickly to Drakedead placing the blade upon his neck. Drakedead smiles brightly and exclaims innocently,

    “As I said I did not come here for a fight.” Astalder, having heard the commotion from outside the bar, rushes in. Seeing Tiavia on the floor he crosses quickly to her side. As the tension escalates and words continue to be exchanged, Astalder suddenly rises up Tiavia in tow and shouts, “Enough! It is time we leave this place!” As Maralais conjures a portal to Darnassus, Drakedead take the opportunity to whisper inside Tiavia’s head once more.

    “You cannot stop me. I will end you if you try.” Tiavia suddenly feels pain explode across her head and she clutches her head in her hands. She barely mumbles, “Evil, bastard…” before Astalder pulls her through the portal. Once in Darnassus Tiavia collapses on the platform her head throbbing in pain. Maralais seeking to help attempts to heal what ails her. Tiavia mutters,

    “Thank you Mara. But there is nothing you can do for this.” Astalder kneels beside Tiavia once more and gently says, “You should not drink so much Tia.” Tiavia looks at Astalder meeting his eyes she says, “You know that the drink has nothing to do with Astalder. It is the same as before.” Maralis offers to take Tiavia to a sanctuary of sorts where she can recover without fear. Astalder helps Tiavia onto Maralais’ mount and they fly to an island off Darkshore. He settles her by the fire where she lies down grateful. Maralais sets a cup by her side and tells her to drink it when she is able. “It will help ease you.” Maralais moves off to the shore to catch fish for them to eat.

    Slowly Tiavia rises and drinks the tea, her head still throbbing. Maralais seats himself beside her asking if she is feeling better. Tiavia nods and turns to look at Maralais as he begins to speak.

    “When I lived a solitary life this is where I spent my time.” He gestures at the small island upon which they are seated. Only a bare structure remains from the home that was destroyed during the Great Sundering. Maralais talks briefly of his time there and mentions his wife. Out of curiousity Tiavia asks where his wife is and he explains that she was killed some time ago. “I still mourn her loss.” Tiavia, moved to compassion, moves near him and places a hand on his arm in comfort.

    Wishing to change the subject, Maralais turns to look at Tiavia and states, “Do you know what today means?” Tiavia shakes her head and Maralais continues, “We have a chance to save Drakedead.” Tiavia looks at him and responds, “I had about given up hope Mara, but today I have been lifted up. I cannot help but fear that our efforts will not be enough.” Tiavia tears up and begins shaking lightly, Maralais draws close to her placing an arm around her shoulders. “We will do everything we can to help him. We will not give up.”

    Tiavia, slightly heartened, says, “Thank you Mara, you are truly kind. And I must say that you are an excellent leader. I know you think yourself awkward and unsociable but that makes you down-to-earth and approachable. The guild will succeed in its mission with you to lead us.” Maralais, flushing brightly, squeezes Tiavia’s shoulder then rises up and turns away. He walks to a half finished boat near the shore. Tiavia hears him say,

    “I really should have finished this boat.” Tiavia rises and walks over to him to examine the boat. As the two become lost in their own thoughts, Drakedead appears in the distance and approaches them. Tiavia exclaims,

    “Can I not be rid of you!” Drakedead speaks but his voice and his manner sound quite different. “I hope that you are recovered.” Stunned Tiavia asks incredulousy “What do you care?” Drakedead responds,

    “It is me Richard. I have taken control if only for a short time.” Tiavia stares opened mouthed for a moment the asks, “Drake? Is that you? How is this possible?” Drakedead watches her for a moment then responds,

    “Because the dark one is still weak and I found a way in, though it will be temporary. I wanted to check on you after what happened. I still fear that I have not the strength to defeat him alone.” Tiavia’s features soften and she says gently,

    “You are alone no longer Drake. We know of your fate and that is something. We will fight to help you.” Maralais nods in agreement a solid determination evident in his features. After a few moments he suggests that Drakedead should move away as he may revert at any time.

    As Drakedead leaves the two feel their hope rising steadily and they settle at the fire once more feeling mildly content.
    Edited: September 28, 2015

  5. The Chronicles of the Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Astalder , Tiavia and Drakok (Takes place before Quest #3 Part II)

    Astalder and Tiavia meet a new recruit named Drakok at the Lakeshire Inn to give him information about the guild so that he can decide if he wants to join. Drakok asks to join and is welcomed. Once business is taken care of the three chat for a while and Drakok tells them a story. A few of the details draw Astalder to think of his past and he becomes sad upon remembering. When Drakok takes his leave Tiavia asks if he is alright.

    “Aye, just made me think of my past is all.” Astalder says, then smiles reassuringly. He then comments on a statement that Tiavia has made that demonstrates her dire outlook on life. Tiavia attempts to dismiss the remark but suddenly her head throbs in pain. She places her head in her hands, rubbing her temples. Astalder, filled with concern rises from his seat and goes to her side. Tiavia remains evasive and avoids the topic but Astalder presses her further finally saying,

    “I trusted you enough to tell you my past. Please trust me and share your pain. It will help you feel better in the long run.” Tiavia hesitates but finally agrees to share her past with him. The two settle by the fire. As Tiavia reaches the end of her story the pain explodes across her head once more and she can barely think straight. Astalder scoops her up and places her gently on a bed upstairs. He calls for tea to be brought then sits on the edge of the bed as Tiavia struggles though the end of her story. Astalder leaves her to rest and says they will talk more in the morning.

    As the sun rises over Lakeshire, Astalder knocks quietly on Tiavia’s door to see if she is awake and to find out how she is feeling. She is feels greatly improved and the two make their way downstairs once more to have tea.

    As they talk Tiavia mentions that she has almost died many times when forced into close combat. Astalder offers to train her explaining that she will also need to work on her patience and focus. Tiavia accepts her esteem for Astalder growing. Both feel a bond of friendship has developed and they sip their tea with a feeling of contentment.

  6. The Chronicles of the Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Astalder, Tiavia, Cassa and Drakedead

    Cassa, hearing about Astalder’s offer to train Tiavia in hand-to-hand combat asks to come along. Though she is a rogue of some skill she feels she can benefit from the additional training. The two travel to Lakeshire Village to meet Astalder. He recommends that the two spar given his superior ability and he will give them pointers as they proceed.

    The two square off across from each other, Cassa takes up a defensive position. Tiavia completely awkward and uncomfortable curls her hands into weak fists at her side. As a mage she is used to incapacitating an enemy before they can reach her. Cassa takes a few steps forward surveying the mage and offering her own advice,

    “If I am to attack then you must at least prepare to defend yourself.” Uncertain as to what this means Tiavia surveys Cassa’s positioning and limply curls her arms at the elbow partially covering her face. As Cassa prepares to strike Astalder calls,

    “Wait! I think it best that Cassa and I spar and that Tiavia watches. She has much to learn.”
    In complete agreement Tiavia steps aside. When she does, she notices Astalder’s canteen filled with his homemade brew and she drinks it without Astalder’s notice.

    The two spar through two sets one the victor in each one of them. Astalder suggests to Cassa that she must learn patience and not strike hastily. The advice helps her to succeed in the second set. The two bow in propriety and Cassa asks Tiavia,

    “So what did you learn?” Tiavia glances between the two searching for the correct answer, then she tentatively supplies, “Um…don’t challenge Astalder to a duel?” The sparring partners exchange a glance with each other as Tiavia looks on. Astalder finally says,

    “Well, I think that is enough for one day. Shall we make our way to the inn for a warm drink?” The group agrees and as Astalder climbs up the hill he retrieves his canteen. Noticing it is empty he frowns slightly then looks up at Tiavia as she walks toward the inn and shakes his head in understanding sighing heavily.

    At the bar Tiavia and Cassa opt for ale while Astalder asks for a hot cup of tea. The three sit at a table and chat about whatever comes to mind. After some time Astalder moves to sit by the fire to warm himself and Tiavia joins him. Cassa turns to sit backwards on her chair to continue their conversation. During a moment of silence Astalder looks sideways at Tiavia and says,

    “I wish you would be more careful with your drinking Tiavia. As you said, you have not done so in a long time and I fear for your health.” Tiavia turns to looks at him her mannerisms demonstrating that she is clearly intoxicated. “Perhaps you are right but these last few weeks have been difficult and this helps me forget for a time.” Cassa chimes in,

    “Yes, it makes perfect sense. Sometimes drink is just the remedy to forget your troubles.” Astalder remains quiet for a few moments and then says, “That is not the only way, nor the best way. With all that I have lost and in my painful solidarity, I would have destroyed myself long ago if I had given over the alcohol.” Astalder stares at the fire, sadness capturing his features. Cassa raises an eyebrow at his comment with curiosity but she remains quiet. Tiavia, moved by Astalder’s words moves closer to him, placing her hand lightly on his arm.

    “I am sorry Asta. It seems that you have been reminded of your past too often lately and I would not add to your pain. You are no longer alone and I, for one, am lucky to have met you. You have given me comfort and hope that I have not felt in a long time.” Embarrassed by the display of affection, Cassa pulls a stack of parchment out of her satchel and peruses it with intense concentration. Astalder flushes lightly then turns from the fire to look at Tiavia a warm smile spreading across his face. He draws an arm around her shoulders pulling her into a hug. Tiavia rests her head upon his shoulder in contentment. Astalder says,

    “I am glad to have met you as well Tia.” Tiavia adds, “You have a special way about you that is endearing to the people of this village. They think highly of you, as do I.” Astalder flushes once again staying silent and gives Tiavia’s shoulder a light squeeze. Cassa, muttering to herself, crumbles up bits of parchment that she has finished with and tosses them into the fire.

    It is then that Tiavia hears a voice in her head once more, “Well, isn’t this cozy. Are these the people you choose to keep company with.? How pathetic.” Tiavia stiffens at the sound of the voice and straightens up. Astalder, noticing the change in her manner, asks if she is alright. Cassa glances up from her parchment at the change of tone.

    Tiavia does not hear Astalder as Drakedead whispers once more, “You are weak Tiavia and your choice of friends makes you a fool. Accept the power I offer and you will be strong beyond imagining.” Tiavia, emotions flaring, stands suddenly, stepping down away from the fire she yells,

    “Never! I will never accept what you offer!” Alarmed Cassa and Astalder stand watching Tiavia closely. Astalder places a hand upon her arm and calls her name. Drakedead laughs wickedly, undisturbed by Tiavia’s outburst. As the laugh echos in her skull a jolt of pain tears across her head and she clutches it dropping to the floor. As she falls Astalder catches her and holds her upright.

    “Tia! Talk to me! What is happening?” Tiavia is unresponsive and nearly unconscious. “Cassa, help me get her upstairs. Wental, your special tea please!” Wental glances up sharply surveying the scene and replies “Right away.” Astalder and Cassa take Tiavia upstairs and lay her upon the bed in her room. She remains unresponsive and Astalder paces the room. When the tea arrives Cassa takes it from Yorus and brings it to the bedside. Tiavia moans lightly her eyes fluttering open. Astalder sits on the edge of the bed taking the cup of tea Cassa passes to him.

    “Tia, can you hear me? Drink this tea it will relax you and ease your pain.” As Astalder coaxes her to drink Cassa states that she will survey the perimeter.

    Tiavia is able to swallow a few sips of the tea before clutching her head once more. Cassa returns shortly and says,

    “Asta you must come and see this.” Astalder follows Cassa from the room. Tiavia, the throb in her head briefly dulled, pulls the tea cup to her once more and sips. Unnoticed by Tiavia, Drakedead slips into the room and speaks aloud,

    “You are weaker than I thought. These people that you surround yourself with only hold you back. I do wish you would reconsider my offer.” Only able to lift her head slightly she pushes through the pain and briskly mutters, “I will never consider your offer. You are the fool for thinking you can convince me otherwise.” Drakedead laughs aloud ringing inside Tiavia’s head once more he whispers, “Then the will all be destroyed along-side you.”

    Pain blasts through Tiavia’s head once more and she clutches it in agony. She manages to yell aloud, “NO!” Cassa, having been instructed to return to Tiavia’s side while Astalder examines the dark portal she has found hears Tiavia’s yell and hurries up the stairs. She stops abruptly in the doorway seeing a dark figure looming beside the bed. Drakedead turns to her a dark smile upon his face. Cassa says,

    “You! Get away from her!” and then calls “Asta!”. Cassa draws her knife and circles the room watching the warlock carefully. Drakedead watches her progress and chuckles to himself. “And what do you hope to accomplish rogue? You are weaker than any. I could have snapped your neck when you last held that knife to my throat.” Saying nothing Cassa continues to circle Drakedead searching for an advantage. As she is about to strike Astalder rushes into the room his weapon in hand. He is not surprised to see the figure before him.

    Before the companions can react Drakedead conjures a thick, acrid smoke about the room and as they cough and choke makes his retreat. As soon as he is able Astalder turns to follow determined to stop Drakedead once and for all. Cassa checks on Tiavia and notices she has fallen into an uneasy slumber. Astalder returns stating that Drakedead has made well his escape. The two leave to allow Tiavia to sleep but remain vigilant throughout the night watching for Drakedead’s return.

  7. The Chronicles of the Chrystal Tear

    The Chronicles of The Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Astalder, Tiavia, and Drakedead’s Servant

    Tiavia awakes in her bed at the inn somewhat disoriented and rises carefully. She makes her way down the stairs and notices Astalder sitting by the fire. She calls for tea and takes a seat next to Astalder. His face appears weary and care-worn. Astalder looks up at the sound of her voice and watches as she settles next to him, then asks,

    “How are you feeling Tia?” Her hands in her lap and her eyes focused on the fire she replies, “The pain is still there but it is simply a dull ache. I struggle a bit this morning but I will be well.” Tiavia greatfully accepts the tea from Yorus as Astalder continues to watch her. After she takes a few sips he says,

    “I was scared to death for you and I was worthless in protecting you.” Startled by his comment Tiavia sets her tea aside and looks up to meet Astalder’s gaze. “Asta…but you did help me you were not worthless.” Astalder shakes his head breaking their eye contact to look at the fire. “I was helpless and could do nothing to stop Drake’s intrusion.” Tiavia moves closer and takes his hand in hers in an attempt to gain his attention once more.

    “Asta…I would long ago have lost my sanity if not for you. Three times Drake has entered my mind and you were there each time. You saved me.” Astalder not entirely convinced but heartened draws Tiavia next to him once more hugging her tightly. Her emotions roiling as she thinks of recent events she is compelled to tell him more,

    “Asta, as I said last night, you have quickly become my best friend. I never imagined I would find such comfort after these last ten years. I…I love you like family Asta.” Astalder moved by her words holds her tightly and kisses the top of her head. “I love you too dear one. I do not know that I could handle it if something happened to you. I could not take another loss.”
    Savoring the moment the two slowly turn their conversation to the events of previous days. Tiavia explains more about the time they spent as soul energy and goes into great detail about their encounter with Richard. As they talk a voice interrupts their conversation asking,

    “Sounds like a terrible situation. What makes you think you can save this Drake? I have never come across a warlock who did not give over to powerful darkness.” Disgusted, Tiavia rises and steps down from the fire. She turns to the stranger and states,

    “Excuse me, but what right do you have to interrupt our private conversation?” The stranger watches her for a moment then replies simply, “I only ask after the well-being of this friend of yours. There is no harm intended from my question.” Tiavia still skeptical walks toward the table at which the stranger sits and states, “You know nothing of Drake and we will do what needs to be done to help him.” The stranger replies,

    “And why is it that you have such an interest in saving this Drake?” Tiavia replies, “Because he was a good friend of mine and I will not leave him to his fate. Now if you don’t mind I would ask you to keep to yourself and leave us to our private conversation.” The stranger shrugs and goes back to his drink. The two return to the fire and continue their conversation. She explains that when they first battled Drakedead could have called down his army upon her and destroyed her but, because of their past history, he would spare her that one time.

    The stranger hearing this bristles and shouts a few words aloud then quickly mumbles that it has nothing to do with their conversation. Ignoring the stranger Tiavia then turns the discussion back to the Drakedead’s split being and mentions that this renews her hope and that weakening the evil one will help greatly in their cause.

    The stranger curses lightly to himself in disbelief but holds his tongue and continues to listen. As they continue to talk Tiavia notices Astalder’s weariness and suggests that he rest. Since he had not slept the night prior and found no rest on the new day he agrees noticing that the sun has long ago set once more.

    When Astalder has gone the stranger pipes up once more, “I have yet to understand how you think you can save Drake. I cannot imagine you have the power to complete such a task.” Her anger surfacing once more Tiavia rises and confronts the stranger. At her approach he stands and Tiavia says, “Again, you know nothing of this situation and don’t know anything about me. You know nothing!” The stranger watches her carefully then says, “I know a great deal more than you think and I know much of you.” Tiavia stares him down suspicion burning in her eyes. She retorts, “I believe you are up to no good here. What is your purpose?”

    The stranger remains at ease and responds, “I have no purpose. I have simply traveled a great deal finally making my way from Stormwind to this quaint inn. I only came her to find rest and peace.” The stranger smiles at Tiavia warmly as though they are friends.

    “You lie. I can feel the foul energy about you and I think you should leave.” The stranger tilts his head producing a confused look and replies, “I assure you madam I do not wish to cause any trouble here. I am but a simple traveler seeking respite. If you feel it necessary you may ask me anything and I will gladly tell you.”

    Tiavia watching his mannerisms warily says, “Very well. There are many patrons within this inn. Why is it that you choose to listen in on our conversastion?” The stranger smiles at her congenially and replies, “I just happened to sit in this spot, I had no intention of listening to your conversation.” Exasperated Tiavia tries again, “You said you know of me? How is that possible we have never met.”

    “In my time spent in Stormwind I heard stories of a night elf who had joined a newly formed guild and that this elf frequented the village of Lakeshire. Nothing more.” Tiavia’s anger flares once more and she yells, “You lie! You are up to no good! I do not share details of my life with anyone that crosses my path!” The stranger puts on an aspect of a startled nature and responds, “You wound me deeply. I have no dark intentions for anyone here. I think you should learn to temper your anger Tiavia.”

    Shocked but feeling triumphant she says “Hah! How is it that you know my name!? You have sought me out!” The stranger shakes his head weary of the accusations. “As I explained elf, I have heard stories of you in Stormwind. The name Tiavia was mentioned and I simply assumed that you were she.”

    Wental, hearing the conversation breaks in saying, “I think it is time for you to leave friend. You are agitating the lady and she is a good friend of mine.” The stranger turns to the inn’s owner and shrugs. “No matter to me. I have gotten what I came for. I must pass this information on to someone. He will be quite happy with me.”

    Tiavia exclaims, “I knew it! You are up to no good! Tell me now, who do you serve?” The stranger grins wickedly this time. “I cannot divulge that dear. I take loyalty quite seriously. It is interesting to me though…he was right about you. You are weak but quick-witted and cunning. I understand his interest in you now. Though I for one would not have had such patience and would have destroyed your mind long ago.” Realization rising to the surface, Tiavia harshly whispers,

    “Drake? You serve Drake? Of course, it all makes sense now! How is it that he always knows how to find me?!” The stranger chuckles darkly and responds, “How is it that you don’t know? Silly girl! When he struck you with that blast of Fel energy it mixed with your arcane magics creating a connection between the two of you. That is how he can find you anytime, anywhere…you cannot hide from him.” Something striking Drakedead’s servant as immensely amusing he laughs aloud then continues, “And I am certain – having observed your tender moment with Astalder - that he will take great pleasure in destroying this man as you watch.”

    Stares in horror shocked to silence until a stalwart resolve builds within. She announces, “He will do no harm, I will destroy him first!” The servant’s face twists into an ugly grimace as her replies, “You do not yet understand do you? Drake can call down his armies at any time and wipe all that you love away with a twitch of his hand. He could end precious Erin’s life as her father watches and then torture him slowly until he begs for death. He could then level this village and remove it from the map forever.”

    The terrible truth dawns on her like a slap to the face. A panic sets in as she looks around the inn and her eyes settle on Erin and Wental in turn. “I alone will be responsible for the end of them all. I cannot let that happen. If this place is destroyed Astalder will never forgive me. He will hate me. I could not handle that.” The servant speaks softly, breaking into her panicked mind, “Then you only have two choices either join Drake or run.”

    Tiavia nods slowly her resolve returning once more, “I will never join Drake! I will leave this place but I beg you to ask Drake to spare this village. The servant watches her carefully for a moment and then says “I will tell him but the decision is his alone to make. I am certain if you leave he will at least leave the guild in peace.” As the servant turns to leave Tiavia blurts out in agony, “I am loathe to leave Drake to his fate!” Surprised by the comment the servant turns to her perplexed by her statement. “I do not understand your obsession with saving Drake. Surely you know that this can never happen.”

    Roiling with emotion she stutters, “I do not know…I cannot understand…” As the truth hits her full force she drops to her knees, “By…by the light! I…it can’t be…I not only care for him…I believe I am in love with him.” Shocked by this admission the servant replies, “You love an evil warlock? Then why would you not join him?” Tiavia looks up disbelief shadowing her features, “No! I…I love who he was before the Fel energy corrupted him.”

    The servant chuckles easily, “Then what will you do? Can you leave behind my master knowing what you know?” Tiavia collects herself rising to her feet she replies, “It matters not I have no choice but to leave. I will not be responsible for the death of my friends.”

    The servant states, “Yes, you have no choice. Now I expect you will leave and never return to this place. Do not disappoint my master.” Tiavia nods in confirmation and says, “Leave me evil one, I must be gone immediately and before anyone awakes to stop me.” Grinning wickedly the servant takes his leave. Tiavia packs quickly and quietly. As she creeps down the stairs to make her way outside, Wentel stops her. “Tiavia, shall I waken Astalder? He will not like that you have left.”

    Tiavia sighs deeply and replies, “Wental…for the safety of all involved you cannot tell him what has transpired. You must promise me! I beg it of you! I will leave Astalder a message so he at least knows I am well” Wental, though greatly disturbed by her decision agrees and frowns deeply as he watches her walk away.

    Tiavia travels quickly to another town where she composes a letter to Maralais and Astalder then hurries away to go into hiding. To Astalder’s dismay he finds the letter the next morning which reads:

    Dear Asta,

    You have been a blessing in my life and that is why I weep as I write this letter. I have discovered the reason that Drake can whisper inside my head. When he blasted me with Fel energy it reacted with my arcane magic creating a connection between the two of us. He can find me anytime and anywhere. As I feared I must leave to safeguard all those I have come to love. Please do not search for me. Everyone is safer this way.

    Take good care of yourself.

    I love you.


  8. Soon to Come:
    Edited: September 29, 2015

  9. The Chronicles of the Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Drakedead, Tiavia, Astalder & Cassa

    Within the Light’s Hope Chapel it is mid-morning and Lord Maxwell Tyrosus wraps up the business of the day for the Argent Crusade. Waiting patiently for her mentor to finish, Tiavia sits at the back of the chapel with her back to the entrance. She has a book spread across her lap and she talks to herself as she reads the pages. As Lord Maxwell sends the final messenger on his errand he notices a stranger enter the chapel and, disturbed by his appearance, he raises his eyebrows severely.

    The stranger stops in the middle of the room having spotted Tiavia and says, “So this is where you choose to go? Really Tia, I expected more from you.” Tiavia, unstartled rises and turns, having expected the visitor. She responds,

    “It seems I can do nothing but bring you disappointment Drake. What is it that you want of me?” Drakedead smiles crookedly and replies, “Yes, it disappoints me greatly that you will not join me. However, I am quite pleased and curious about recent information that has come to my attention.”

    Lord Maxwell chimes in, “What is your business here foul one and what is it you want with Tiavia.” Drakedead glances to the man near Tiavia with an annoyed expression and replies, “Do you know who I am? Why don’t you mind your own business old man before you enter a situation that you cannot handle.” Unphased Lord Maxwell draws his weapon saying, “Well, SON, you would be wise to rethink your position as I have dealt with many such as you and to great result.”

    Drakedead chuckles slightly impressed with the veterans courage and retorts, “Very well old man, if you wish to fight I am more than happy to strike you down.” At this statement Tiavia interjects, “No! Please Max, lower your weapon. I would hear what he has come to say.” Lord Maxwell hesitates then says, “Very well. But if I feel he threatens your safety in any way I will not hesitate to intervene.”

    Tiavia nods, satisfied, and turns her attention back to Drakedead. “Oh? And what is it you have discovered from your despicable servant?” Drakedead smiles and replies, “A great deal indeed, and the most surprising of all were your ‘feelings’.” Tiavia sighs remembering her moment of weakness and states, “Yes, that caught me by surprise as well. Though now it matters not. I have made my choice and will not turn back. Will you leave Lakeshire in peace?”

    “Indeed it doesn’t matter. Feelings make one weak and ineffective. And maybe I will agree to your request if you agree to one small proposition.” Sighing heavily once more Tiavia responds, “Do you not think I have sacrificed enough? I will not stop you. What could you possibly ask of me that I can yet give?” Drakedead watches her for a moment then says, “Because, what I will ask is so simple even a child could not fail at it…”

    Flashing a steely glare upon Drakedead she state, “Though I doubt your word that this is a simple request I will hear what you would say. I will do what needs to be done to safeguard those I care for.” Looking pleased Drakedead reponds, “Well sadly, as I recently discovered, when I struck you with the Fel bolt back at the bar it has some side effects. It seems that as I can whisper in your head, so you can, in fact, whisper into mine.”

    “Yes? So ask what you would evil one. I already tire of your presence in this holy place.” Dreakdead quickly replies, “With this bond, I want you to become my own personal spy Tiavia. Return back to your friends and when you would find any new plans they might have, you will whisper them to me. Do this and I will guarantee the safety of your friends…and possibly..of this Lakeshire as well.”

    “Though I loathe the idea I will do as you ask, but only on one condition.”


    “You will…NOT….TOUCH…Lakeshire nor anyone within. Asta will hate me if anything happens to them because of me. That would…kill me…on these terms or nothing else.”

    As Drakedead appears to speak once more Astalder enters running. He is breathing heavily and has an exhausted look on his face. Spotting Tiavia he exclaims “Finally I found you…” Tiavia glaring intently upon Drakedead raises her eyes beyond him at the sound of a familiar voice. Dreakdead turns, looking at the monk surprised, he is curious about who he is.

    Tiavia retorts, “No! I told you not to come!” Astalder glaring angrily at Tiavia responds, “You thought I’d leave you alone?!”

    “Dammit Asta, it was better this way!”

    “This is not a fight you will do alone Tia…”

    Turning his attention to Drakedead he yells, “And you!!” Realization striking him Drakedead says, “Ah! So this is the monk you consider family? Are you sure your feelings are placed in the right person?” Still glaring Astalder continues, “You have caused enough pain already.”

    “Yes I did. And I would and will cause more if I need to monk.”

    Astalder grins, “Over my dead body!” Astalder takes a defensive position poised to attack. Tiavia torn in her feelings watches the two exchange words. Drakedead replies, “That can be arranged.” Drakedead sparks some Fel magic from his hands causing one of his minions to appear at his side. Tiavia breaks in yelling, “No! I left to keep you safe Asta! You will not do this!” Distraught, Tiavia runs to the place where the two confront each other.

    Drakedead looks at Tiavia and gives a smile under the mask then looks back to the monk. “Let me be more…civil…and stand down, no need to draw blood here monk.” Unmoved Astalder responds, “You will just continue to cause pain. I cannot allow that!”

    “But while I was here Tiavia wasn’t in pain…in fact I didn’t even touch her.” Astalder continues to glare saying, “You took her away from the people she cared about!” Narrowing his eyes Drakedead offers, “No, in fact, she did it by herself. I didn’t force her.” Tiavia pleads, “He has not hurt me Asta! Don’t you understand this is for the best!”

    Astalder gives Tia a side stare. “What about the headaches huh? Wasn’t this HIS doing?” Tiavia replies, “It…was…only…I...You know where that comes from!” Drakedead breaks in, “Let me tell you something monk…something I learned today from my agent at that inn.” Laughing darkly he continues, “She might take you as family monk but now I learned why she has such a deep desire to save me…or what I was…do you know why?”

    Astalder stays silent and stares at the warlock. Tiavia blurts out, “No! Dammit! I said I would do what you ask. He will hate me…” Drakedead turns to look at her and says,”And you will do it right, or else you know what happens.” Astalder interjects angrily, “Stop threatening her! She is free to do what she pleases!” Ignoring Astalder’s outburst she remains focused on Drakedead, “I will do what needs to be done as long as you do not harm anyone.”

    Drakedead holds her gaze and says, “Then we are agreed Tiavia, do it right, and no one is harmed, you have my word.” Astalder looks at Tiavia his face pleading, “You don’t have to do what he says Tia…you’re a free spirit!” Drakedead satisfied with the outcome states flatly, “Step aside monk, I got what I came for.”

    Turning his gaze back to Drakedead he retorts, “Like I’ve said…Over my dead body.” Sighing disappointed Drakedead speaks, “Sadly – as much as I wanted to – I can’t. I promised her I wouldn’t harm anyone she cares about.” Tiavia breaks in stating simply, “You have my word.”

    Ignoring Tiavia’s words Astalder continues, “What do you care for promises? You are corrupted.” Chuckling lightly Drakedead says, “I keep them to those that will remain loyal.” Astalder glares at Drakedead, disgusted. “All that spills from you is decayed and full of lies!” Smiling wickedly and with a brief sideways glance at Tiavia, Drakedead asks, “Tell me monk. Would you kill me here and break her heart?” Astalder looks at Drake a confused look upon his face. Tiavia looks to Drake sharply, fear rising in her gut. Drakedead continues, “I know a secret you don’t, so I ask you am I the one hurting her or will you be hurting her for eternity?”

    “Just me evil one? Enough of your riddles…speak straight!” At Astalder’s outburst Tiavia blurts, “No!” Drakedead smile from behind his mask once more as Astalder adds, “By getting rid of you I’ll help not only her but all the people you have hurt.” The evil grin growing upon his face Drakedead turns to Tiavia and asks, “Then Tiavia…mind telling him what you told my servant yesterday? That you…love me?” Astalder looks sharply at Tiavia. “I…is that true?”

    Tiavia unable to dispute the truth collapses to her knees burying her face in her hand and sobbing outright. Astalder shakes his head as Tiavia exclaims, “I…I cannot deny…I don’t understand!” Astalder’s anger boiling over he looks at Dreakdead and shouts, “I..WILL NOT LET YOU LEAVE!”

    Drakedead, glee evident in his voice relies easily, “I am surprised by your will monk, especially after realizing that who you considered family, loves the lord of the void!” Throwing his head back he laughs harshly as Astalder responds, “I am sure she has her reasons. And you are not only a danger to her. I will protect those I care about!” Drakedead still smiling pleasantly replies, “So if you truly intend to break her heart here, today, I reiterate that she should have chosen a better family figure than you…she should have joined me.”

    Tiavia, unable to hear anything any longer curls into herself on the floor certain that that which she feared the most has occurred. Asta hates her. Astalder states plainly to Drakedead, “You will only bring her pain…” Drakedead, eyebrows raised says, “Would I? I would have given her power, not only magical but physical. She would command an army.” At this comment Lord Maxwell breaks in exclaiming, “Enough evil one! You will leave this place or be destroyed!”

    “Funny, I would have left long ago if the monk would have let me.” Astalder glares angrily at Drakedead and exclaims, “If you would just be a man for once and fight me honorably!” Drakedead shrugs replying, “Like I said, I keep promises to those who swear loyalty. She has made her choice and given her word to follow a new path. Good luck changing her back.”

    Drakedead’s Shivarra charges at the monk, striking him with the might of all her weapons. Astalder jumps back and blocks her strikes with his staff. Shivarra jumps at him landing a cut on his hat. Her other blows land upon his staff carving it with marks. While Shirvarra backs Astalder into the corner Drakedead quickly escapes. Shortly thereafter the magic of Shirvarra fades.

    Astalder approaches Tiavia’s crumpled form and kneeling beside her he asks, “Hey…Y…You ok?” Tiavia still sobbing uncontrollably states, “I…ahh…if you hate me I understa…understand.” Astalder shows Tiavia a weak smile “I don’t hate you.” Tiavia, her sobs lightening at his words says, “How can you not Asta…I have let you down.” Astalder place a hand gently upon her head and replies, “You have your reasons I am sure…” Tiavia, still distraught but attempting to calm herself sits up and says, “I…I don’t know…I was shocked to discover these feeling.”

    “He is not what he once was though. Surely you can see that.” Tiavia sighs heavily looking at Astalder for the first time and says, “That is why I so desired to save him. I cannot fail him.” Astalder watches for a moment then says gently, “Being alone makes you weak Tia. You could have told me…” Tiavia, her emotions running strong, thrusts to her feet, her anger rising once more. “I am not weak Asta! You should not have come here!”

    “What about the people that care about you? Did you think they would be happy to see you gone?” Tiavia retorts passionately, “Don’t you understand? I had to leave…he can find me…no matter where I am…he can find me! He said he would destroy the guild!” Astalder his own anger growing exclaims, “And you think we would let him?! Have some trust in us Tia.” Shaking her head Tiavia replies, “I will not be responsible for your destruction! It is my fault…I am to blame and I must be the one to remedy this!”

    “By selling yourself to the enemy?!” Shocked that Astalder had overhead the end of her conversation with Drakedead her eyes narrow and she yells, “What do you know of it Asta! I will do what I must to save those I care for…” Sighing heavily Astalder responds more softly, “Then trust us and let us deal with the problem as well.” Tiavia, torn, turns her back to him unable to face him. After a few moments, Tiavia reponds her anger burned out, “I cannot Asta. He can find me wherever I am.” Defeated and deeply hurt Astalder says, “If that is your decision, then I shall accept it.” Shaking her head Tiavia adds, “Asta…he would destroy you…his servant said he would raise Lakeshire to the ground....he would kill Erin and torture Wental…I…” She lapses into silence.

    Astalder his voice sharp once more replies, “Clearly you do not trust us as we trust you.”

    “I..I could not have you hate me. It would break my heart.” Asta responds quietly, “I thought you had a fighting spirit in you. I was wrong.” Tiavia startled by his comment turns around once more only to see Astalder walking out of the chapel entrance. “Asta! Wait! I…” Tiavia devastated that he walked away collapses once more her breath catching in her throat.

    Looking to the floor Tiavia does not notice Drakedead’s reappearance until he speaks, “ What’s the matter Tiavia, did they leave you behind?” Tiavia startled this time to hear Drakedead’s voice jumps to her feet glaring ahead. “No! Asta…he loves me. He would not lea…leave me!” Drakedead chuckles adding, “ Oh how adorable…he loves you! My servant didn’t inform me of these…secondary feelings for someone else.”

    Tiavia spits, “What is it to you?” Drakedead raises a brow smiling crookedly and replies, “Oh? You don’t know? Well I can tell you right now if you so desire.” Tiavia sighs then says, “Speak then, I have no strength left to fight you.” Drakedead indulges her, “While I was my old, weak self I also had feelings for you elf, but I decided to hide them. Even now, emotions having been disgarded, I can still see potential in you.” Tiavia shocked by this admission is silent for a moment, her thoughts churning she finally says, “I already told you. I will not join you.”

    Drakedead clicking his tongue inside his mouth responds, “It is a shame that you see it that way. You could be so much more and be with people that wouldn’t turn their back on you.” Tiavia laughs suddenly saying, “Those who you hold in high esteem and, even you, would destroy me on a whim. You would not protect me.” Drakedead replies, “I would keep you by my side at all times as my second –in-command. Can’t you see yourself with such power?” Tiavia shakes her head wearily.

    “You still do not understand. With such dark power you lose yourself. I beg you one final time to see this. If you cannot then you must know that I will die before I join you.” Drakedead replies, “Then I see it is impossible to bring you to my side. It is no matter, you will serve me one way or another. After all you have a promise to uphold.”

    Tiavia sighs heavily the recent promise so easily forgotten she nods her head slowly saying, “Yes, I gave you my word and I will not take it back. I will do what I must to protect those I have come to love.”

    “Then go back to them and report back to me as soon as you learn something. And no funny business, you know who pays if you fail.” Tiavia says quickly, “I will do as you ask.” Drakedead nods replying, “Good. And…” Tiavia stealing herself for the ultimate betrayal closes her eyes momentarily and breaths deeply. Drakedead continues, “…if you return to Lakeshire don’t be surprised to see my servant there. He patrols that area and he will keep an eye on you to make certain you don’t fail nor say anything more than necessary to them, understood?” Tiavia wearily opens her eyes and nods in agreement. “I must be on my way…”

    Smiling, satisfied Dreakdead says, “Good girl. I will stay in contact…and…you shall be rewarded for this.” Tiavia responds, “I want no reward…only for you to keep your promise. You will not harm those I care for and you will not lay a finger upon Lakeshire. Agreed?”

    “Agreed, however, the servant’s identity is not to be revealed. Agreed?” Tiavia raises her arm as she stolidly declares, “Agreed. We will shake on it.” Drakedead raises his arm and shakes her hand. He adds, “Don’t fail me.” A light spark erupts when their hands meet. It is almost unnoticeable. Tiavia speaks, “I will not. My word is good. I must go to Asta now…”

    Tiavia begins her journey back to Lakeshire and arrives very late in the evening. As she reaches the entrance to Lakeshire Inn she stops outside the door, afraid to enter. Remembering the words exchanged with Drakedead she crosses the threshold and walks within. Tiavia spots Asta by the fire drinking from his canteen. She struggles once more her heart breaking in two at her necessary betrayal. Her voice barely above a whisper she calls out, “Asta?” Astalder turns his head slightly. “Why are you here?” Tiavia hurt by his stiff demeanor but determined to do what she must swallows hard and says, “Because…I am a fool…I should have listened to you.”

    Without turning around Astalder replies, “Yes…you should…” He takes another big gulp from his canteen. Tiavia continues to speak, “I was so afraid that harm would come to you..to Lakeshire…I was certain you would blame me…despise me.” Astalder still focused on the fire replies, “I am more hurt that you did not trust us…trust…me.” As he falls silent once more Tiavia continues, “Asta…it is not that I don’t trust you…it is…I wanted so badly to protect you that I would do anything to keep you and those you loved safe!”

    “We could have protected this place…together.” Tiavia disgusted with herself and feeling foolish looks to the floor unable to keep her head up. Nonetheless she approaches the fireplace to plead with Astalder. “You are right Asta…I…I did not think. I am not used to thinking about others. I did what I thought best but I was a fool.”

    Drakedead’s servant, unnoticed by Tiavia, gives a low chuckle at the statement. Astalder goes to drink from the canteen again but when he notices it is empty he simply throws it in the fire. He says, “Well, I wasn’t always used to other people…but I trusted them.” Astalder turns toward the fire again his eyes puffy from lack of sleep and his cheeks red from drink.

    “I have forgotten Asta…I have forgotten what it means to rely on someone else…to trust someone else so completely. Please, do not turn your back on me. I am broken. I am lost.” Astalder gives Tiavia a sideways stare then says, “Why should I trust you now” Tiavia the words a knife to her heart hesitates, then calls to memory her promise and pushes the pain aside.

    Breaking the moment Cassa enters and plops down into a chair asking, “How ya feelin’ Tiavia?” Digging deep for her next words Cassa’s question barely registers. She speaks, “Because…you are light Asta and I have erred grievously. If you cannot forgive me then I am surely lost to the damned. I will spend each day showing you that you can trust me.”

    Cassa mutters to herself about her – once more – bad timing and walks to the bar for a drink. At this time Astalder states flatly, “One chance…”

    Cassa, noticing Drakedead’s servant but not knowing who he is strikes up a conversation with him. Tiavia raises a brow and returns a question, “One chance…?” Astalder nods. “You get once chance and one chance only.” Tiavia continues, “So…you will give me one more chance? And if I fail?” Astalder squints his eyes as he hears the question then refocuses on the flames.

    “Then you won’t be welcome here anymore.” Tiavia replies, “Then I will not fail you.” She watches as Astalder rises without looking at her. He places his hat on his head and turns to walk away. “I am going to teach the kids…” Cassa blinks and watches Astalder walk out suddenly. She peers back to Tiavia while saying to the stranger, “Uhm…excuse me one moment, please.” As she walks to Tiavia’s side Drakedead’s servant replies, “Go ahead.”

    Cassa tentatively places a hand on Tia’s shoulder, to let her know that she is there. “Hey, ya feeling better?” Tiavia upset by Astalder’s cold departure lowers her head, grasping for control. At the touch of Cassa’s hand she stiffens and turns to look at her a smile plastered upon her face. “Yes, I am feeling better. You are sweet to ask. Um…how have you been?” Cassa replies, “Well, I was taught somewhat growing up to not ask.” She peers into the fire after placing her hand back at her side. She continues, “Eh…not so bad. I am more worried about you to be honest. I…I know how…bad those…headaches can get.”

    Tiavia drawn from her own problems at the tone of Cassa’s words stands and steps down to the floor below. Cassa watches her movements and sips at her mug momentarily. Tiavia asks, “Why in the world would you have been taught not to ask after others?” At that moment Drakedead’s servant intervenes and step up to them saying, “Sometimes it is better not to get in the middle of other people’s problems. Visibly disturbed by the servant’s sudden appearance a panic rises in her chest. The servant asks, quite directly, “What is wrong miss? It almost looks like you have seen a ghost?” He follows this statement with a hearty chuckle. Cassa, downing the rest of her mug, looks to the man that has approached. Her eyebrows knitted together in confusion over his comment.

    Tiavia, collecting herself says, “Wha…? Oh, not at all. I have simply traveled far today and a cup of tea might do me well. And…forgive my rudeness. It is ever so good to see you again.” A smile creeping across the servants face he replies, “Likewise Miss, but I have no doubt we will be seeing each other many times from here on out.” At this statement Cassa quirks a brow. She begins to wonder what the fel everyone was drinking. Strange conversations abound…

    Tiavia forces a chuckle and blushes lightly – though her flush is one of anger. No one can tell the difference. “Well, I certainly look forward to chatting with you in the future kind sir.” The servant glares at Tiavia with complete distrust. “Hmm…yes indeed. Just remember each of us has their place to uphold.” Composing herself completely Tiavia turns a bright smile upon him. “Yes, and you would have no doubt that I am committed to my endeavors and I will complete then with the utmost care.” The servant replies, “Good let’s hope it stays that way for sake of everyone…of course.”

    Cassa, lost to the conversation, shakes her head as if to clear it then peers into her mug thinking, Wonder if there was more alcohol in there than I thought…? The servant then suggests, “Very good, keep it up.” Tiavia responds, “Yes, of course, you as well.” The servant lets out a simmering, dark laugh and adds, “Oh, you don’t have to doubt me in that regard.” Tiavia, her smile faltering says, “Well, good eve sir. I hope the early morning finds you well.”

    “Same to you , elf.” The servant bows to Tiavia, then turning to Cassa bows in turn, “Miss.” The servant takes his leave. When he is gone Cassa looks to Tiavia stating, “That was…odd.” Ignoring the implication Tiavia returns, “Quite pleasant that one don’t you think?” Cassa remains thoughtful for a moment the replies, “I’ve only met one ‘lock in my life that was trustworthy and even then it took me awhile to see it. I dunno…maybe it’s my own thing but it just seemed…odd.”

    Tiavia steering the conversation says, “Oh? Well, I give all the benefit of doubt and do not judge. People can surprise you.” Cassa, as though not hearing anything she said continues, “And then he tortured people in the basement of the base...but details.” She shrugs.
    Tiavia keeps a bright smile on her face despite Cassa’s comments but desires to speak to her of her past. Cassa then says, “I am quite happy I have found your guild really. You are all genuine and like family. It’s…a concept I admire.”

    At this comment Tiavia smiles genuinely for the first time and replies, “Indeed. We have grown close as we seek to reach a common goal. This brings great comfort to me as well.” Then she adds, “Do not hesitate to ask for help if you are in need…no matter the issue.”

    Weary from the long day and evening, Tiavia excuses herself to rest. As she walks up the stairs Cassa watches her carefully and begins to wonder what hides behind the easy nature of the guild members.

  10. October Secrets

    **Some writing "borrowed" (cough taken and kinda altered) from Tiavia, since I'm lazy af and don't exactly remember everything Cas said. Also, warmane is annoying and censors out curses, so ignore the umlaut over some u's**

    October Secrets

    Involved are: Cassa, Asta, Tiavia, and Drake.

    Cassa, unhappy at Astalder, peered to him. "Now, that's mean, even for my standards. 'You have done enough already,' for Lights sake, man.” Cas simply sighed and interjected before Astalder could reply, "I'm heading to bed, night." She walked up the stairs and into the room that she had booked for the next few weeks and plopped onto the bed. After a few moments of simply sitting there Cas began to remove her clothes and knives and change into more comfortable clothes suitable for sleeping in.

    She laid in the bed and tossed and turned. Minutes passed and she knew she wasn't going to sleep. She never slept. Insomnia is what it's called she was told once, she only replied that she doesn't care what it's called, she just wanted to sleep. "Fück it." Cas jumped out of bed and put back on her clothes and reequipped her knives, glancing to her watch. "3 AM, Light." She didn't know what she was going to do now that she was dressed, but she was compelled to go outside into the cool night air.

    Cassa carefully walked down the stairs, not wanting to disturb anyone's night, and walked out of the inn. Inhaling deeply, Cas looked at the sky for a moment and smirked. "Haven't seen stars that clear since Dalaran..." She mumbled to herself and stood quietly for a few more moments.

    A rabbit passed by her feet and she smiled, immediately knowing what she was going to do now. Cassa never hunted for sport, as she found it wasteful. Her brother taught her to only take what was needed and she obeyed it as if it was a law. Food was always needed by the families surrounding the area she had learned quickly, and she was more than happy to help. For her efforts in catching the family up the hill from the inn some food, they allowed her to use any of the vegetables that had rotten from their farm as targets for practice. Cas found that she used the pumpkins most often.

    She cloaked herself in her shadows with the familiar chill being sent up the back of her neck and began to stalk after the rabbit. Her feet avoided the crunchy piles of leaves and twigs littering the ground as she followed the rabbit. A few minutes of stalking had brought them past the farmers house and into the back of Lakeshire. Seizing her moment of opportunity, she grabbed he rabbit and gave it a quick death, another "law" her brother taught her. When you take another life, especially one of an animal, you grant it a swift and painless death. There was never a law on if you could torture someone close to death if they had tortured you, however, and she always pondered on that.

    All she really knew is that if he did have a law against it, she never heard it. She had also broke it, if it even existed, as well.

    Cassa sighed lightly, then stood still as she realized something. She was not alone. Cas was able to hear pins drop from a few rooms away, she had tested it once when she had discovered this amazingly useful talent. She followed the two voices and watched from a safe distance. Cas had to cover her mouth to stop herself from swearing out loud when she saw Tiavia talking to, who she could only assume, Drake.

    “I know you won’t believe me on this after everything I have done but what if I made you a promise...not because you chose loyalty or service…but a promise on my own being?”

    Tia glares at Drakedead suspiciously and asks, “Why would you do that?”

    “Because I have thought of you often since we last met. I find I return your feelings of regard.” Tia laughs aloud at this admission and replies scathingly, “How can YOU possibly share my feelings? You have none…you have no heart. You are evil.”

    Cas cringed as a bad feeling started rising in the pit of her stomach. She knew this talk, all too well. Damn it, no, fücking-- I just draw this crap in don't I?

    Drakedead displaying a slightly hurt expression beneath his mask says, “No heart? If I didn’t have a heart I would not have kept you alive Tiavia…not in Shadowmoon…not while I whisper into your head…not as I have given you these options.”

    Cassa raised her eyebrows at that, They have some communication network? Fück!

    Tiavia realizing that his words have some sense to them widens her eyes in surprise. Still skeptical she says, “But you said HE had feelings for me…not you.”

    Drake tries once more, “But he and I are the same person…same body…same mind…our feelings intertwined. That is how I remembered you after I was corrupted and why I have made the decisions I have made.” Thoughtful for a long moment Tia finally replies, “I suppose it does give me pause that you spared me…that you have begged me to come to your side but…a love between us would never work.”

    Cas resisted the urge to chuckle. Didn't work for me, sweetheart, don't think it could work for you. Though, you never know I guess...

    Drake shrugs uncharacteristically. “Anything is possible if you believe in it. All we need to do is keep it a secret…you from them since they would never allow me even close…and I from my servant and my army…for your protection.” Tiavia, torn between her love for Drakedead and the disgust she feels for his evil deeds hesitates.


    Tia finally responds, “You tempt me Drake…but only because I have lost the trust and love of a dear friend and the guild has turned their backs to me. I am…weak.”

    DON'T no no no noooooo!! Cas suppressed a loud groan in her throat.

    A sudden intensity behind his words Drake says, “Then let me comfort you with the love I am willing to give to you…if you can trust me that is.” Tia, wrung out and weary, her resolve in shreds takes a few steps forward, the idea of comfort overwhelming her senses.

    Füüüücccckkkkk... Damn it.

    Drakedead crosses to her and pulls her into an embrace. “I am here for you…for anything you need.” Tia, distraught and in terrible pain, leans against his chest sobbing. Cassa sighs softly and puts her blades back in place. Drakedead pats Tia’s back and whispers to her to provide comfort. As he does Tia says, “Drake…this is so terribly wrong but…I have no one else.” Dreakdead again replies in a manner that seems against his nature, “Do not worry. I will keep you safe and I will comfort you when you’ve the need. All you need to do is whisper to me via our bond.”

    Wonder if he's ever met Tibs, sounds exactly like the bastard... Ugh. Cas rubbed her head, thinking about that... Lord up in the frozen North...

    Tia allows her arms to draw around his body, holding tightly, her eyes squeezed shut. Drakedead holds her tightly. Suddenly embarrassed, Tia pulls back to collect herself. Tia says, “You should go now. Someone might see you.” Drake nods, “Yes, that is for the best. I will try to come and visit you when I can and I promise I will try to be more like my old self…for you…”

    I have to talk to her... Fück me. Cas dashed out as quietly and quickly as she could, feeling the encounter ending soon. Cas decided it'd be best to confront her now. She waited by the entrance of the Inn.

    As Tiavia approaches the inn, her head lowered in deep thought, she does not notice Cassa until she is nearly on top of her. Cassa clears her throat and peers at Tiavia, her arms loosely crossed over her chest.

    “Oh! Um…hi Cassa.”

    “Tia. Out for a night stroll?” Tiavia drags a smile onto her face and replies, “Ah? Yes…well it is such a beautiful night. I thought I would enjoy it.” Cassa tilts her head to the side then sighs. “Tia…I saw him.” Watching Tiavia carefully she leans against the wall at the inn’s entrance.

    “Hmm? What do you mean…I was just walking down the way. I didn’t cross anyone on my path.” Cassa sighs explaining, “The family up there…up the little hill…lets me use their rotting pumpkins as target for my throwing knives. I saw you and…HIM.” Having said this Cassa glances around her cautiously.

    “No! I…it was nothing…we…” Fear clutching her chest she falls silent searching for the words that would not cause her to betray herself. Cassa chuckles lightly. “I may be younger than you but I don’t fall for every trick in the book." Most of which, I basically have mastered in deploying. She sighs rubbing the back of her neck. “Walk with me Tia.” Tiavia nods defeated.

    The two walk to the end of a long dock. Cassa sits down and dangles her feet over the edge. “There’s a reason I had to leave the last House-- er, guild-- I was in…” Tiavia momentarily calmed by the serenity of the lake and the rolling hills beyond takes a seat next to Cassa.

    Cas chuckled internally, I don't have to tell her... Oh, yes you do, fück. Where do I even begin? Cassa sighed heavily and closed her eyes. "There was this guy named Tiberias, Tibs for short. He was a Lord with some land up in Northrend, as well as an army of loyal soldiers. I don't really know too much about all this because it was never my place to ask about it really. Anyhow, he was a clever little shít like me and well... I fell for him. We would sneak around and see each other from time to time, but not many really knew what was going on between us, even if we seemed close to one another when we were in the same room." And I'd like to think he fell a bit for me too... A street rat and a Lord, scoff.

    "Well, fast forward a few weeks, and someone found a few of his informants scouting out the House Haethon base in Ironforge. Naturally, that drew some attention by Lord and Lady Haethon, having trusted in Tibs. House Haethon had only recently regained its title of being a House, and weren't going to fall to House Winterscar-- Tiberias. Ultimately, neither one of them ended up taking any action against each other, outside the War Room of Stormwind at least. A bigger enemy was inbound." Cassa realized she had gone off on a tangent and refocused her story. "And well... I was literally and figuratively sleeping with the potential enemy, Tia. What could Lady Haethon do? I was put under base arrest, with a warlock telling me if I even tried to sneak out, he'd gladly torture me. In the end the warlock was actually a pretty chill dude, but scary as hell." Cassa cleared her throat, "In the end, I never heard a word from Lord Tiberias Winterscar, and rumor mill has it that he has a noble wife and child with her, up in Northrend still."

    As she wraps up she says, “My point is that if you try and pull what I did you will get caught by someone who carries great weight within the guild. So…take with that what you will.”

    Tiavia turns to look at Cassa and says, “Cas, I do not know that I can love him as he is but…I have no comfort. All have turned from me and I feel…by the Light…I feel…so…alone.” Cassa replies, “You are not. It feels like it. But you are not alone. So…just be careful alright? Especially since you have some sort of comm system with him.” Cassa pauses for a moment the adds, “He’s corrupted isn’t he?”

    Cassa caught Tiavia’s eyes as she asked this question. Tiavia brokenly responds, “Yes…he…he was corrupted by fel energy.”

    “Ah? Fel energy? Damn.” Cassa mutters to herself: “Resuv would have been very helpful with this” then says aloud “Well…like all…um… most corruptions there must be a way to reverse it.”

    “There are ways…yes. But I cannot be involved any longer. If Drake feels I have betrayed him he will kill those I love. He will destroy the guild. I cannot let this happen.” Cassa responds sharply, “Betray him how? By trying to help him?" Tia shakes her head. “He would see it as I am interfering…” Cas then muttered, "Pah! Men, stubborn." Tia lightly chuckled at that.

    Tiavia offers, “You know of the bond between us. He forces me to pass information to him about our activities.” Cassa asks, “But does he want to stay corrupted?” Tia replies, “Part of him does and part of him does not. Unfortunately the dark within is winning.”

    Cassa nods and rubs her eyes with the heels of her hands. “It will take awhile to weaken him…and I do not like this sneaking around…but I feel there must be a strong enough energy in him to break through. He sounded eager to see you again, quite soon.” With this comment hanging in the air the two fell silent captured by their own thoughts.

    Tiavia breaks the silent and pleads, “Please Cas, I beg you, do not tell Asta what you have witnessed. He gave me but one chance…” Cassa looks to Tiavia once more. “Your secret is safe with me. Just don’t go telling about Tiberias Winterscar either.” Tiavia heartened by her statement lays a hand upon Cassa’s arm and smiles gratefully. “I will tell no one.” Cassa noticing the weariness in Tia’s face says, “Let us talk again in the morning. We must convince Drake that we seek to help him. If you can catch Drake when his better half pushes through tell him we have ideas of how to help him.”

    The shít I get myself into... Damn empathy and feelings and morals and shít.
    Edited: October 2, 2015

  11. The Chronicles of the Crystal Tear

    The Chronicles of The Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Astalder, Drakedead, Cassa & Tiavia

    The inn at Lakeshire is quiet and peaceful. The rare opportunity exists to walk about the village and gaze at the beautiful star-filled sky without becoming wet from heavy rain. The lake glimmers in the moonlight and a few people tarry on the dock at the water’s edge fishing poles in hand.

    Inside, Tiavia sits at what has quickly become the guild’s chosen table and sips a warm cup of tea. Though she ordered a slice of homemade cherry pie it sits untouched as she is lost in thought. Her mind is occupied by Drake and what his plans could be. She also wallows in self-pity at the predicament that she has gotten herself into. As she brings the tea cup to her lips once more a voice rings out nearby. “Ah, always fun doing that!” Cassa appears from shadow, her now transparent form seated on a chair at the table.

    Tiavia, startled by Cassa’s sudden appearance, nearly dumps her tea in her lap. Cassa laughs aloud. “I’m sorry, it was too fun to resist when I saw you sitting there.” Tiavia chuckles lightly and responds, “Oh! Well, it is alright Cassa. You caused my heart to nearly jump from my chest. I am glad you are here though.”

    Unseen by the two women at the table Astalder appears from outside dripping water from his body. His shirt and hat have been removed and form a wet bulge under the crook of his arm. Tiavia continues, “Maybe you can help me with a problem.” Hearing the voices Astalder glances to the nearby table but does not speak. He crosses to the bar.

    Cassa, her face red from laughing, says, “Alight…I am sorry though. What’s up?” Tiavia replies, “I am struggling with what to do next. As you know Drake has been…” She cuts her words short when she hears Cassa calls out, “ Asta! What happened to you?” At the same moment Astalder says, “Hey Wental!” to the innkeeper. Wental laughs at the scene before him then asks, “What happened to you?”

    Tiavia, startled again, looks behind her noticing Asta. She frowns as a shot of pain strikes her belly. She then turns back to Cassa who asks, “Some corruption, aye?” Tiavia, distracted does not respond right away. She hears Astalder say, “A kid fell in the lake when he was fishing…and…well you can see the result.” Wental looks concerned and asks, “Is the child alright?”

    “Yeah, yeah…might have swallowed some water but he’ll be fine.” At this time another figure appears taking a seat at a nearby table. He watches the patrons with interest his gaze focused primarily on Tiavia. Pulled back to her conversation with Cassa, Tiavia says, “Ah…well long story short I do not know what path we might take to stop Drake. We have many questions and few answers. His ultimate plan is yet a mystery to us.”

    At the bar Wental relaxes, relieved that the child is safe. “So what can I get you friend?” Without hesitation Astalder replies, “Give me some of my tea…” Wental raises a brow asking, “Y-you sure?” You’ve been drinking that quite a lot lately…” Astalder smiles weakly at Wental. “I will be fine.” Astalder moves from the bar near the table glancing at Cassa, then – staring briefly with unknown emotion - his gaze lingers on Tiavia. He states simply,
    “Ladies.”, then seats himself close to the fire where he drops his clothes next to it to dry.

    Tiavia, unable to look at Astalder, mumbles a weak greeting while Cassa nods in his direction. Looking up at Cassa she adds, “We have no leads to go on and the guild is quite at a loss. I have been giving it some thought but my mind is so jumbled as of late. Cassa watches her for a moment concern creeping upon her face. “Aye, well those headaches of yours cannot be helpin your noggin. So what was the last lead?”

    Before Tiavia can respond the stranger who arrived after Astalder, approaches and asks, “Excuse me. Might I ask something?” Cassa peer over her shoulder. “Ah, ‘lock man. I suppose.” The servant looks at the rogue stating dryly, “If you intend to call me by that name I will not stop you.” Tiavia plasters a fake smile upon her face and turns to greet the warlock.

    The warlock returns the greeting then continues to speak, “I overheard your discussion and I would ask a question if I might. It may be that I can be of assistance.” Cassa shrugs then turns back to her flask. Tiavia responds, “Yes…of course. Please join us.” As the warlock takes his seat Astalder blows the steam from his tea and sips from it, a calmness flowing through him.
    Tiavia, realizing that she is grinding her teeth, breathes deeply to calm herself. A smile still upon her lips but her eyes glowering at the warlock she says, “And what can you offer to help us with our predicament?” The servant asks, “Well first, can you tell me the last time you saw this Drake?” Her words lightly clipped Tiavia responds, “I saw him in Lakeshire. The guild as a whole confronted him at the Dream Portal before he made his escape to Stormwind.”

    The warlock then asks, “And is he still in Stormwind?” Tiavia looks thoughtful for a moment then says, “I do not know…he had a task to complete there but I cannot imagine he stayed upon its completion.” The servant retorts, “You know not for certain that it is complete…may he not yet be in Stormwind?” Tiavia growing suspicious watches the warlock carefully. Astalder remains silent sipping his tea.

    Cassa jumps in, “It is possible. At the very least we may be able to find traces of his plans in that location.” The warlock responds, “Yes, yes! Then you may simply scour the streets of Stormwind for clues of his intentions.” Cassa nods enthusiastically and exclaims, “Of course! In his confidence he may have been sloppy. That is where we might find an advantage.”

    Tiavia, suddenly realizing the intent of the servant’s assistance, remains uncertain as to how to respond. She attempts to draw Astalder into the conversation but more focused on his drink he has barely heard a word. Tiavia tentatively explains the idea trying her best to be convincing. Astalder responds before lapsing into silence once more, “I do not know…as long as he stays away from Lakeshire I am fine with it.”

    Astalder turns back to the fire and sips more of his special tea. The servant, seeing Tiavia understands what she must do, excuses himself to let them plan their next move. Tiavia terribly uncomfortable attempts to draw Astalder back into the conversation. “But do you not want to ensure that he is unable to come here?”

    Astalder lets out his breath and massages his temples. “I just want him far away from this place…somewhere where I don’t have to deal with his corruption.” Tiavia, her emotions threatening to take hold, bites her lip and looks at the table. She takes a few sips of tea while she composes herself, then adds

    “But…don’t you want to stop him at the source…um…ensure that he does not come here? We have been caught off guard too many times by Drakedead and I think we need to bring the fight to him.” Astalder looks at Tia with a tired look in his eyes. “What do you have in mind?”

    Tia quickly continues, “Well…I think we should take a few groups of guild members to scour Stormwind…try to see if we can find any information of his plan.” Astalder looks down at the floor and says in almost a whisper, “You know I don’t like big cities…”

    “Yes, I know…but I am afraid we don’t have a choice. The consequences of letting Drakedead do as he will are too horrible to imagine.” Astalder, giving in to the sense of her words, replies, “Very well, I will see what I can discover on my own.” Confused by his choice of words Tia states, “I and others will be there to help.”

    His eyes growing hard despite his weariness he responds, “I will do it at my own time. I can do this alone…you have done enough already.” Tia struck by the bite in his comment rises from her chair and rushes outside. She does not want him to see her cry. Astalder looks up to where Tia was seated with a concerned look on his face. He sighs and turns back to the fire once more.

    Far away from the inn Tia collapses on the ground weeping. Despite her sorrow she opens her mind to Drakedead to share the information she has gleaned with him, fulfilling her promise. As time passes and Tia works to collect herself she stares into the darkness. A voice breaks through her reverie,

    “Excuse me but your presence is required.” Looking up Tia sees the servant and stands quickly. “I did what needed to be done! What do you want of me?” The servant replies, “Not me but him. He requests your presence for some reason even he did not share with me, so follow me.” Tiavia sighing deeply wondering what she has gotten herself into follows the warlock. The servant leads her to a place distant from the Lakeshire village and says, “You will wait here, he will be here shortly.” Tia simply nods. The servant bows with a firm smile and walks back to the village.

    As she waits Tia turns to look at the lake, the beautiful night bringing her little solace. “Tiavia, well done.” Tia, at the sound of the familiar voice, turns away from the lake. “What is it you want from me? I have done what you asked. Drakedead smiles crookedly.

    “And you will continue to for as long as you live or for as long as it is needed. I came here, however, to congratulate you.” Tia responds heatedly, “I do not desire to be congratulated for my betrayal. I do what I must to protect those I love…nothing more.”

    Chuckling lightly Drakedead responds, “Either way that little test was a way for you to prove your loyalty. And do not worry yourself, I will plant some false information for the guild to find in Stormwind that will lead them down the wrong path.

    Tia returns sarcastically, “Well then I feel so much better about the whole thing.” Drakedead’s smile retreating he says, “Your sarcasm is not to my liking but I will let it slide. When they discover the false information you will whisper to me directly.” Tia sighs heavily only able to nod once. His smile returning Drakedead ponders, “I wonder…do you really do this just to protect them?”

    Tia raises and eyebrow sharply, “And what is it you think you know?” Drakedead chuckles once more then states, “Well it is either to protect then or to simply get closer with me to turn me back. After all you did confess.”

    “I cannot deny my feelings but do not question my reasons. If I can save you in the process I certainly will but I hold little hope for that.” Drakedead watches Tiavia for a few moments a strange look capturing his gaze, “I know you won’t believe me on this after everything I have done but what if I made you a promise...not because you chose loyalty or service…but a promise on my own being?” Tia glares at Drakedead suspiciously and asks,

    “Why would you do that?”

    “Because I have thought of you often since we last met. I find I return your feelings of regard.” Tia laughs aloud at this admission and replies scathingly, “How can YOU possibly share my feelings? You have none…you have no heart. You are evil.” Drakedead displaying a slightly hurt expression beneath his mask says,
    “No heart? If I didn’t have a heart I would not have kept you alive Tiavia…not in Shadowmoon…not while I whisper into your head…not as I have given you these options.” Tiavia realizing that his words have some sense to them widens her eyes in surprise. Still skeptical she says, “But you said HE had feelings for me…not you.”

    Drake tries once more, “But he and I are the same person…same body…same mind…our feelings intertwined. That is how I remembered you after I was corrupted and why I have made the decisions I have made.” Thoughtful for a long moment Tia finally replies, “I suppose it does give me pause that you spared me…that you have begged me to come to your side but…a love between us would never work.”

    Drake shrugs uncharacteristically. “Anything is possible if you believe in it. All we need to do is keep it a secret…you from them since they would never allow me even close…and I from my servant and my army…for your protection.” Tiavia, torn between her love for Drakedead and the disgust she feels for his evil deeds hesitates.

    Unknown to both Drakedead and Tia, Cassa - her stealth ability activated - is nearby watching their exchange. She bites her tongue to prevent from yelling loudly. Tia finally responds, “You tempt me Drake…but only because I have lost the trust and love of a dear friend and the guild has turned their backs to me. I am…weak.”

    A sudden intensity behind his words Drake says, “Then let me comfort you with the love I am willing to give to you…if you can trust me that is.” Tia, wrung out and weary, her resolve in shreds takes a few steps forward, the idea of comfort overwhelming her senses. As she moves Cassa, watching closely, kneels near a mound of dirt, blades in hand, should things turn ugly.

    Drakedead crosses to her and pulls her into an embrace. “I am here for you…for anything you need.” Tia, distraught and in terrible pain, leans against his chest sobbing. Cassa sighs softly and puts her blades back in place. Drakedead pats Tia’s back and whispers to her to provide comfort. As he does Tia says, “Drake…this is so terribly wrong but…I have no one else.” Dreakdead again replies in a manner that seems against his nature, “Do not worry. I will keep you safe and I will comfort you when you’ve the need. All you need to do is whisper to me via our bond.”
    Tia allows her arms to draw around his body, holding tightly, her eyes squeezed shut. Drakedead holds her tightly. Suddenly embarrassed, Tia pulls back to collect herself. Cassa rubs her head lightly, thankful no one can see her. Tia says, “You should go now. Someone might see you.” Drake nods, “Yes, that is for the best. I will try to come and visit you when I can and I promise I will try to be more like my old self…for you…”

    Tiavia responds, “And I have made a promise to you and I will do what I must.” Drakedead, his face softening says, “You are a sweet girl…now go back…before they come looking for you and see me here.” Tiavia with a lingering look at Drakedead – confusion and hope intertwining – turns to walk back to the inn.

    As Tiavia approaches the inn, her head lowered in deep thought, she does not notice Cassa until she is nearly on top of her. Cassa clears her throat and peers at Tiavia, her arms loosely crossed over her chest.

    “Oh! Um…hi Cassa.”

    “Tia. Out for a night stroll?” Tiavia drags a smile onto her face and replies, “Ah? Yes…well it is such a beautiful night. I thought I would enjoy it.” Cassa tilts her head to the side then sighs. “Tia…I saw him.” Watching Tiavia carefully she leans against the wall at the inn’s entrance.

    “Hmm? What do you mean…I was just walking down the way. I didn’t cross anyone on my path.” Cassa sighs explaining, “The family up there…up the little hill…lets me use their rotting pumpkins as target for my throwing knives. I saw you and…HIM.” Having said this Cassa glances around her cautiously.

    “No! I…it was nothing…we…” Fear clutching her chest she falls silent searching for the words that would not cause her to betray herself. Cassa chuckles lightly. “I may be younger than you but I don’t fall for every trick in the book. She sighs rubbing the back of her neck. “Walk with me Tia.” Tiavia nods defeated.

    The two walk to the end of a long dock. Cassa sits down and dangles her feet over the edge. “There’s a reason I had to leave the last guild house I was in…” Tiavia momentarily calmed by the serenity of the lake and the rolling hills beyond takes a seat next to Cassa. As Tiavia listens intently Cassa shares her story of heartache and woe. As she wraps up she says, “My point is that if you try and pull what I did you will get caught by someone who carries great weight within the guild. So…take with that what you will.”

    Tiavia her internal struggle churning once more turns to look at Cassa and says, “Cas, I do not know that I can love him as he is but…I have no comfort. All have turned from me and I feel…by the light…I feel…so…alone.” Cassa replies, “You are not. It feels like it but you are not alone. So…just be careful alright? Especially since you have some sort of comm system with him.” Cassa pauses for a moment the adds, “He’s corrupted isn’t he?”

    Cassa caught Tiavia’s eyes as she asked this question. Tiavia brokenly responds, “Yes…he…he was corrupted by fel energy.”

    “Ah? Fel energy? Damn.” Cassa mutters to herself: “Resuv would have been very helpful with this” then says aloud “Well…like all …um…most corruptions there must be a way to reverse it.”

    “There are ways…yes. But I cannot be involved any longer. If Drake feels I have betrayed him he will kill those I love. He will destroy the guild. I cannot let this happen.” Cassa responds sharply, “Betray him how? By trying to help him? Pah!” Tia shakes her head. “He would see it as I am interfering…”

    Tiavia offers, “You know of the bond between us. He forces me to pass information to him about our activites.” Cassa asks, “But does he want to stay corrupted?” Tia replies, “Part of him does and part of him does not. Unfortunately the dark within is winning.”

    Cassa nods and rubs her eyes with the heels of her hands. “It will take awhile to weaken him…and I do not like this sneaking around…but I feel there must be a strong enough energy in his to break through. He sounded eager to see you again, quite soon.” With this comment hanging in the air the two fell silent captured by their own thoughts.

    Tiavia breaks the silent and pleads, “Please Cas, I beg you, do not tell Asta what you have witnessed. He gave me but one chance…” Cassa looks to Tiavia once more. “Your secret is safe with me. Just don’t go telling about Tiberias Winterscare either.” Tiavia heartened by her statement lays a hand upon Cassa’s arm and smiles gratefully. “I will tell no one.” Cassa noticing the weariness in Tia’s face says, “Let us talk again in the morning. We must convince Drake that we seek to help him. If you can catch Drake when his better half pushes through tell him we have ideas of how to help him.”

  12. The Chronicles of the Crystal Tear

    Revelations: Astalder, Cassa, Drakedead & Tiavia

    Cassa sits next to the fire, her legs crossed and multiple stacks of parchment around her. As she shifts she bumps her stacks and attempts to scramble after a few scrolls, but ultimately is too lazy for much effort. The scrolls land near Asta at the other end. “Hey, Astalder! Hand me those please?” Astalder looks at Cassa distractedly, then seeing the scrolls she means he throws them her way. He goes back to staring at the fire and drinking from his canteen.

    Cassa catches the few scrolls, happy he didn’t look closely at them. “Thanks.” She starts to read a scroll but looks to Asta and sighs, “What’s up? You seem…off.” Astalder glances at Cassa the turns back to the fire. “It is nothing…” Cassa calls him out, “Bull****!” Astalder sighs. Cassa looks at him and chuckles, “I know how to read people.”

    “What? About nothing that concerns you?” Astalder replies sharply. Cassa lifts her head slightly to that. “Well, something is obviously bothering you…just trying to help. Trust me, I wish I had people to talk to in rough times.” Astalder, realizing he sounded too harsh, massages his temples and says in a lower voice, “Sorry…I’m just going through a lot…”

    Cassa smirks, “Doesn’t take a mind reader to sense that one either.” She gave him a soft smile. “And it certainly doesn’t take a genius to figure out about what.” Astalder shrugs and takes a sip from his canteen. Cassa holds her hand out. “Oi, sharing is caring.” She motions to the canteen. Astalder looks at his canteen, shows a smile then tosses it to Cassa.

    Cassa caught the canteen then shook it next to her ear. “You little ****! Clever.” She chuckles as she tosses it back to him. “See if I buy you a drink next time you want one, eh?”

    Astalder deftly catches the canteen then says, “Do whatever you feel like Cass…just don’t hurt these people.” Tired of Astalder’s tone and shocked by his comment she quirks a brow and says, “I am not some murderer or heartless waif! I have come to like this place and the people here in fact.” She looks around a soft small capturing her face. “And now…here is the real question Astalder. Why the hell are you drinking when it’s almost 12 am!?”

    Astalder glances sideways at her, “Is there a wrong time to drink?” Cassa chuckles, “No, I guess not, but you aren’t one to drink either.” Astalder sighs then says, “It helps me…” Cassa watches him carefully then replies, “To do what? Drink away whatever is eating at you? C’mon you even told me that doesn’t work in the long run.” Astalder sighs once more.

    “Maybe I don’t want it to get to the long run…”. Cassa narrows her eyes at Asta, “Don’t make me go hide all my knives and shoe laces on you *****!” She glares at him then sighs rubbing her forehead. “Look, I have a pretty good guess what this is about so how ‘bout we kinda,” Cassa grimaces slightly, “Talk about it…you know…feelings.”

    Astalder looks suspiciously at Cassa. “What do YOU know about it?” Cassa chuckles lightly and props herself up against the fire place. “Oh, c’mon. I know this look. You’ve lost someone you like a lot. Or so you think.” Astalder looks back into the fire. “What would YOU know about that? You are so young…”

    “Hey! Just cause I’m only 22 doesn’t mean I haven’t gone through some stuff. In fact, I had to grow up faster than others where I grew up.” Astalder shrugs replying, “Maybe that helped you then.” Cassa watches Astalder closely for a moment then offers, “Perhaps. But trust me on this…caring for someone doesn’t have an age requirement.” Astalder looks down clearly remembering something that hurts him. “Maybe…”

    Cassa prods, “So either I spit out some stories from my past, which I don’t want to and will bore you to freaking death…or you fess up and tell me what the hell is going through your head, man.” She then mumbles, “Cause trust me here. I know how much it fricking sucks to lose someone close.” Astalder finally driven to speak says only one word, “Tia…” Cassa slowly nods then prods once more, “Yeeeeesss…continue.” She starts to shove the scrolls into a messenger bag.

    “It’s about her alright!?” Astalder upset glares at Cassa then sighs, “She…she made her choices…and I don’t agree with them. Is that enough for you?” Cassa smirks and mutters, “Now we’re getting somewhere.” She rolled her neck and placed her bag on the floor. “I knew it was about her and what she decided to do. Doesn’t take a lot to figure that out. Buy why do you assume she did something bad?”

    Astalder glances to her weary, “Maybe the “corrupted one” part? You weren’t there…you don’t know what she did…” Cassa replied easily, “Then tell me what I missed.” A painful expression rises to Astalder’s face, “She…she left us for him…” Cassa began picking at her dagger, adjusting the handle, picking loose thread and performing maintenance on her clothes and belongings.

    She looks to Astalder and says, “Oh?” She forced herself to hide a smirk. “If she left us, why did she come to say hello to me earlier when I was throwing knives for practice? She is among us once more.” Astalder replies, “Because she changed her mind…” Cassa chuckles, “Yes, you dork. And she came back.”

    Fuming slightly Astalder adds, “She DIDN’T trust me when I needed her…” Cassa replies, “When was it that you need her?” Astalder sighs heavily. “She was being threatened to leave this place but she COULD have told me. She didn’t.” Cassa laughs once more, “Light, you men are so dense sometimes…” She looked at Astalder, “She was trying to protect you, because she cares about you too.”

    Astalder shakes his head. “We could have fought him together! Instead, she ran away to meet him in Old Lordaeron!” Cassa remains thoughtful for a moment then says, “Well, what would you have done had she told you? You’d have gone on a rampage to kill him. She cares about him too. We can’t choose who we care for.”

    Astalder turns to the fire again. “I’m just protecting these people…nothing else.” Astalder motions around the inn. Cassa laughs, “Good job then, you have done remarkably well. But in the meantime, feeling and emotions and reality continue on.”

    “As long as they stay away from this place, I don’t care…”

    “You do care. You’d kill Drakedead in a heartbeat and you easily get mad and upset at Tia.” Astalder shakes his head, “I would not hurt him if he didn’t threaten those I love ok? He does though and I am merely protecting them.” Cassa her easy nature squelched replies, “Sad fact of the matter is this: feelings suck. I know. But the sooner you face them and try to see it from the other person’s perspective, you will not get annnnnywhere.”

    Astalder looks back at Cassa. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I am fine where I am.” Cassa sighs then says, “And drinking your sorrows away doesn’t do **** either. Ignoring them also isn’t helpful. Think of it from her side. Don’t you think she wanted to tell us? She knew if she did we would have tried to kill him…someone she cares for. That’s not what she wants, but in the end she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. She chose the one that wouldn’t get us all killed in some siege.”

    Astalder exclaims bitterly, “I’d rather die fighting than bow to the corruption.” Cassa replies, “Yeah, but that’s you. You’re a warrior monk…ah…thing. Dunno, but she’s not. She’s a mage. She fights her battles with logic and rationality.”

    “Then she should have known I’d go after her…she should have known how I would react.” Cassa explains, “Her rationale was this: I tell them, he’s screwed. I go to him the guild is saved.”

    “Like I said…she made her choices…doesn’t mean I have to support them.” Cassa, speaking wisdom even at her young age asks, “Ever hear of the saying kill one but save twenty’? You send one soldier to die so that twenty others can live. That is what she chose. You don’t have to like it but you should try to see it from her point of view.”

    Astalder gets up suddenly angry. “I wouldn’t work with corruption…EVER…” Astalder turns his back to leave. Cassa stands up just as fast her dagger still clutched in her hand. “Then try to save someone from it!” As Astalder stomps to the door her says, “That’s what I plan to do.” Cassa follows him to the exit, “By what? Killing him! And maybe her trust in you too?”

    “If that is what I have to do to protect these people then…” Cassa interrupts crossing her arms upon her chest, “Bleeding hell! Would you see the bigger picture! If we get him a cure all is well. If you kill him you’ll scar Tia and she will never talk to you again. If that what you want? Don’t you see that both end with protecting people?”

    Astalder done with the conversation flatly states, “Find a cure yourself then…” As Astalder stomps down the dock Cassa mutters, “Have once, will again.” She then shrugs and watches him walk away. She mumbles to herself, “Time to go kill some rotting pumpkins.”

    Tiavia, unaware of the conversation that has taken place, sit on top of her bed reading a book. An arcane symbol is pronounced on the cover and she is in deep concentration. Drakedead’s voice springs into her head. “Meet me where we met before. I must see you.” Tiavia hesitates but the possibility of comfort and someone to whom she can bear her soul overcomes her reason. She slams her book shut and makes her way from the inn, walking to the distant hills.

    As she nears the place she notices Drakedead and walks toward him. “Ah, glad you could make it.” Unknown once again by the pair Cassa follows closely behind Tiavia, making sure to leave no boot tracks in the mud. Tiavia, apprehensive at Drakedead’s approach and feeling confused by what had transpired between them simply nods. She peers at him through the rain and is surprised by what she sees.

    “Wh…where is your helm? You are never without it…it is the source of your power.” Drakedead smiles crookedly and says, “I left it behind…in fact that is the whole point of my being here.” Cassa looks at Drakedead surprised by this as well.

    Tiavia tilts her head confused and says, “I do not understand.” Cassa kneels in the grass and pulls out her daggers, though she does not think she will need them in the end. Drakedead states, “I need your help, simple as that. I left it behind for the promise I made you yesterday.” Tiavia still uncertain and questioning her own sanity asks, “My help? How else can I help you? I am doing those I love grievous injury by passing you information. Is that not help enough?”

    Drakedead sighs lightly, “Not in the bad way but in the good…can’t you see it?” Tiavia shakes her head. “Drake…I can see nothing clearly anymore. I live my life on auto pilot because if I feel too much I will crumble to the ground and not rise.” Drakedead watches Tiavia an uncharacteristic look of regret upon his face. “And most of it is my fault…there is no doubt…and I won’t deny it. That is why I don’t ask for forgiveness but maybe a second chance. Maybe I may even repair all that I broke in the past.”

    Cassa quirked a brow and thought for a moment about what Drakedead has said. She sheaths her daggers silently. Tiavia looks to Dreakdead’s face and searches there for the truth behind his words.

    “But…you are evil. Why would you want to make anything up to me? How can you desire something which is so against your nature?” Drakedead replies, “Because I was good before. I can be again if I try…if you help me. Besides all I am doing…I do for you.” At this statement Cassa watches Dreakdead closely trying to decide her next move.

    Tiavia’s face gives over from confusion and uncertainty to compassion. “Drake I…I barely dare to hope that I can still save you but if there is any way I will help. I…I need you.” Drakedead, a crooked smile capturing his lips replies, “That is why I am here…like this. It is to give you hope and to show you I am willing to change for the one person that matters to me.” Tiavia her heart soaring walks to Drakedead and stops in front of him. Overcome with emotion she reaches up a hand to gently brush his cheek.

    The two look at each other for a moment as the rain beats down upon them. Cassa is thankful no one can see the throwing up motion she just did. Drakedead, looking deep into her eyes says, “You are the only person I can trust and I…thank you. All the rest would simply kill me on sight, especially after what has happened as of late.”

    Tiavia reaches up with her other hand capturing both sides of his face, she looks deeply into his eyes and mutters, “I like to see you without your mask. I never thought to touch you like this.” At this statement Cassa rolls her eyes. Drakedead smiles gently then says, “And it is lucky I will do not fight just now otherwise I would lose for sure. Without my mask I am weak…for now at least. You are the first one to see the true face behind the mask.”

    At this exchange Cassa’s mind yells out, What did I tell you about sleeping with the enemy!
    Drakedead continues, “It is a sad world when we can only meet in secret because of my foolish actions…” Overcome with emotion Tiavia leans toward him and brushes her lips softly with his.

    “I will do what I can to help you Drake. If you can be saved then we will not have to meet in secret.” Drakedead mutters, “Yes, but only if the guild finds a way to trust me once more as you do.” At that moment Cassa clears her throat and emerges from the shadows. “WE will. Not just you alone, Tiavia.” Tiavia startled turns around flushing at the realization that they are not alone. Drakedead hears the voice and looks at the rogue then glances to Tiavia.

    Tiavia eyes Cassa suspiciously. “Cas? What are you doing here? Are you following me?” Drakedead stutters, “Can she be trusted? I am not a huge fan of rogues that spy on other people.” He narrows his eyes dangerously. Cassa chuckled lightly a bit flustered and says to Tiavia, “Well dear, you do not know a rogue’s talents it would seem.”

    Cassa then shrugs. “Could hear you a few flights of stairs away anyhow.” Tiavia glances sideways at Drake and says, “Aye, I trust her. She knew we met the other night and she did not tell Asta.” Cassa nods in agreement. Drakedead sighs worried. “Very well…if you say so. At least she doesn’t want to kill me on sight or she would have already.”

    Tiavia adds, “She promises to help you as well…even when…even when the rest of the guild has turned away from me.” Cassa interjects, “First off, my name is Cassa Moore and second, I thought of killing you when you first appeared however I held out and my initial judgement was proven wrong. Congrats on that feat.” Tia nods at Cassa’s words.

    Cassa adds sarcastically, “Anyhow…I’ve dealt with corruption before personally. Not Fel energies, but shadow ones. And I can read enough to figure something out.” Drakedead replies, “Well Miss Cassa I am most grateful, but now there is a slight problem. If the rest find out about this meeting and about my secret meetings with Tia won’t they flag you as traitors?”
    Cassa shrugs, “Probably, but here’s the kicker…” Tiavia raises a brow sharply at Cassa’s words. Cassa continues, “If we actually get you cured and helpful to the guild we might be spared in our treachery. I don’t have a sure fire plan yet but I will look into the options.”

    Drakedead looks doubtful. “Hopefully, but I won’t ever be fully cured of fel energies. I rely heavily on them but I can control them if in low amounts.” Cassa looks thoughtful for a moment, “Yes, but under control seems the more appropriate term than cured.”

    Tiavia add, “Then we will weaken these dark energies to help you.” Cassa muses for a moment then says, “I must add that I am looking out for the guild in this matter too. You start heading south, I will react accordingly, got it? And, yes, I believe mages probably are going to be key.”

    Drakedead still doubtful adds, “But Tia is the only mage that trusts me. The monk wants me dead and Mara…well most likely the same for what I have done.” Cassa chuckles, “You are funny! You can hire mages easily…like you can hire mercenaries. In fact, I know one who is quite a prodigy and will do it for free.” Cassa adds, “Though I yet remain somewhat skeptical. You could be tricking us into getting you more energy…more power. But for now I will withhold judgement.”

    Drakedead, ignoring Cassa’s last comment, states, “Then we might just have a plan. I will continue to work on the promise I made to Tia and maybe, when the time is right to confront the guild, I can show them my desire to change.” Cassa watches Drakedead for a moment. “Then I have one final warning. Understand this is my research, my people and my *** on the line. This **** backfires I and the guild will destroy you. Oh…and start getting rid of some of your army. Too many people to ask too many questions.”

    Drakedead chuckles a crooked smile on his face, “Well if it comes to that I wish you luck. I am not so easily destroyed. And I will see what I can do about thinning my army but I will keep those around I can summon that may be useful.” Cassa frowns severely at these words and says, “Hmmm…well, as you will but we are going to need to see that helm of yours at some point and soon.”

    Drakedead replies, “I do not have it here with me because I came to show Tia I was willing to change. I will show it to you the next time we meet.” Cassa states, “Fair warning…don’t get too attached to it. That helm might not come through this by the end of it all. For now I take my leave.” Tiavia looks between them as they talk a smile creeping to her face. For the first time in a while she feels that she is not utterly alone and that what she wishes might actually be accomplished.

    Before Cassa leaves he says, “That helm is my only power source in fights…if I lose it or it gets damaged to the point that it is unusable I will be too weak to fight, even for self-defense.” Cassa shrugs, “We will cross that bridge when we come to it. Anything else come to mind before I go?” Drakedead responds, “Yes, there is something I would make clear. Anytime I come here without my helm it is simply to talk. I will not come here to cause trouble or fight anyone.”

    Tiavia raises a brow and says, “Well, you better steer clear of Asta then. If he sees you he will kill you on sight.” Cassa adds, “Yeah, I tried to talk some sense into him…didn’t work.” Drakedead responds, “As long as he and the guild are kept in the dark for the time being we should be fine. That is why I choose a location to meet that is fairly distant from the village.” Cassa nods satisfied. She then turns to Tiavia and says,

    “I told Asta to try to see the situation by walking in your shoes but I don’t think it took.” Tiavia asks, “Oh? I did not know you spoke with Asta. How…how is he? He…will not speak to me.”

    Cassa offers, “Drinking…pissed and upset. That about sums it up.” Tiavia hangs her head, anything good she felt dissolved. Cassa watches Tiavia for a moment with concern then says, “Anyhow…I will be inside the inn drying off. I can feel my bones shaking already…this damn rain!” Tiavia remains silent staring at the ground barely hearing Cassa speak and hardly noticing her turn to leave.

    Dreakdead calls, “Tia should go with you. I must go back to my base…no doubt Kil’Jeaden himself will be expecting a report soon.” Cassa calls back, “Yes, well I will leave for the inn…let you two have some time…” Cassa grimaces and slips into the shadows. Drakedead let out a long drawn out sigh. “I’m either gonna regret trusting a rogue or be thankful, for once…” Tiavia glances half-heartedly at Drake trying to say something encouraging but fails miserably. “I…I should go.”

    Drakedead looks at Tiavia. “I understand, go. If you ever need me I will come.” Tiavia nods stating simply, “Goodnight Drake.”

    “Goodnight Tia. Until we meet…again.” As the two part the sky opens and the rains fall harder.

  13. Darkmoon Faire

    Cas' POV, involves: Cassa, Tiavia, Astalder and Dawon

    Soon to come~

  14. Name: Drake
    Gender: Male
    Race: Forsaken
    Age: Unknown
    Power Level: Quite notable
    Class: Destruction Warlock, Being a Destruction Warlock gives Drake a excellent control over Fire and Fel spells.
    Professions: Drake's professions remain unknown to most but to the Forsaken High Command.

    Description: Drake has long black hair with yellow glowing eyes, he likes to use his main battle gear everywhere he goes to show his high place in the Forsaken line and to establish to everyone the power he has.

    Drake is a Forsaken with very little emotions, only carring about the well being of his Queen, he tends to only smile at his victories and at the pain he causes to his enemies. Drake also only laughs when he breaks the will, hopes and emotions of the enemy he may face.

    Backstory: Drake was one of the thousands that fell to the scourge during the third war and brought back to fight for them, he was also there when Sylvanas rose to power and named her followers The Forsaken, right from the start Drake given a high role in the Forsaken because of hes power with dark magics and became one of the first warlocks of the forsaken.

    Has time passed Drake quickly rose among the ranks of the Forsaken and after the events in Icecrown when the Lich King was finally killed Sylvanas gave him command of a large part of the Forsaken army as well as becoming Sylvanas personal adviser for his ruthless tactics on the battlefield. He didn't desapoint as his army he personally called "The Hand of Destruction" quickly saw more victories and less casualtys coming their way.

    Drake led the Forsaken army along side Sylvanas to take over Gilneas, with the suprize attack they quickly took ground despite the resistance and some setbacks they eventually won the main battle as the gilneans ran across the sea, right after he was moved to Hillsbrad Foothills and quickly took over the western section, has he came across the village of Southshore he simply ave the order to have it bombarded with the plague bombs he had, soon after the rest of Hillsbrad fell to the Forsaken despite the human resistance in the mountain areas.

    Soon after Drake and his army was recalled back to undercity were they stayed until a scout came with a report of a alliance finding, a artifact of great power which instantly cough both Drake's and Sylvanas and he was sent undercover with a illusion spell to gather information and if possible even the artifact it self, during his mission Drake came across a night elf and struck conversation with him to give the illusion effect of being a proper human and learned that him and hes guild were in fact hunting down the artifact it self so he tagged along.

    He quickly gained their trust and thus the information they had, even able to manipulate some of the members to his own will and benefits but as time went on the illusion spell was wearing off and he realized it was time to reveal the truth and destroy the guild before they were able to obtain the artifact first. After a brief confrontation with two of the members he returned to Undercity and with help of the mages there he quickly send his army and him self to where the guild was stationed, he didn't hesitate to attack those he used before to call friends and set the a portion of the village aflame while his troops killed any between them ad their goal, Drake meanwhile was fighting one of the guild's defenders and wining in the long run, until the defender in the last ditch effort to defend the village and those he cared about unleashed a power unknown to Drake and everyone of his army killing most of it, with only 1/3 of it surviving and leaving Drake greatly injured forcing him and his army to retreat back to undercity to recover from the blow.

    Drake suffering his first defeat in a long time and anger running across his body, he quickly headed to Sylvanas to inform her of all that he learned and of the recent events in the attack, furious Sylvanas quickly changed the mission from a search and recover mission to a full scale hunt on the alliance guild with the entire Forsaken force and her self as well.
    Edited: October 19, 2015

  15. Name: Elvorifiwien
    Gender: Female
    Race: Elf
    Age: 375
    Power Level: [ ] veteran [ ] exceptional [ ] heroic [ ] legendary [ ] avatar : Heroic with sword and board
    Class: Stalwart Defender / Dervish
    Attributes: Strength: Exceptional. Dexterity: Exceptional/Heroic. IQ: Well above average

    Description: Once considered exceptionally beautiful , this imposing woman's face is marred by small scars including a large red discoloration above her temple. She takes meticulous care of her long braided purple twinged hair.

    Backstory Summation: Mostly forgotten veteran of the War of three hammers three centuries ago, she lived in Ironforge until the death of her husband due to illness. During a period of grieving she traced down her ancestry for lost kin and settled in Teldrassil, the elders encouraging her to take a position of some small authority training the local sentinels. She spends much of her time since practicing and researching her tradecraft few in the large village, the 'exploits' of her past largely forgotten as she and those who may know are loathe to speak of them.
    Edited: October 21, 2015

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