The (mis)Adventures of the Blackmist Brigade -- Part 2
Topic runtime: 19 December 2008 - 28 July 2009
Building on the success (or was it "absence of failure"? I get
confused about that sometimes) of our previous topic here on the DMF forum and
as we promised in that same topic, this post kicks off the new (2nd) topic, in
which we continue the various (mis)adventures of the Blackmist Brigade as its
members strive to hit new heights during their never-ending quest for ale,
treasure, booze, shinies, drinks and, occasionally, a slice of justice and a bit
In particular, we'll seek to answer the age-old question: can a (self-proclaimed) mild-mannered and totally innocent (he says) druid continue to lead a group of complete whackos without going orc on their arses?
As this is the first post, you're now being hit with the Big Philosophy Blurb (BPB)...
The Blackmist Brigade is...
...a pack of misfits, troublemakers, screwballs and cockups, cast out or driven out of politer society, left to fend for themselves in a turbulent and violent world, coming together and finding strength in and shared purpose with each other, to survive and prosper contrary to everyone's expectations, to make their unique mark on the Realm, to be bold -- fierce -- drunk! And to stand up high, look out over the masses from whence they came and loudly proclaim: "We're still here, you bastards!"
This is the Blackmist Brigade. And this is our continuing story.
We created the guild on 11 MAY 2008 and based it on the following principles:
* Roleplay (RP). Darkmoon Faire is an RP server. If RP is not what you're about, there are many PvE/PvP servers out there and we trust you know how to find them.
* Raiding. We're RP, but that doesn't mean we spend our nights roasting marshmallows and telling stories around the campfire. The Light has many enemies and it is our duty to engage and defeat them.
* Attitude. It's far more important than level, ability, spec, epix owned or any other trivial criteria. We need all that to progress in raids, yes -- but it all starts with your willingness to learn and work with your mates. Given the choice between (1) a poorly-geared and inexperienced newbie with an honest desire to learn and (2) a cocky, epix-covered know-it-all, we'll take the former, thank you.
* Small & cohesive. We run 10-man raids from our own membership and 25-man raids via partnerships. We are committed to a guild that is just large enough and no larger. We measure success by the fun we have -- not the number of people on our roster, what bosses we've downed, how many "server firsts" we achieve or any other trivial criteria. We applaud Blizzard's decision to make WotLK content accessible for 10-man raids and we are on-track to experience that content without the need to compromise on our principles just to get 25 people together.
* RP / Raid Balance. The bane of any guild that calls itself "RP" is the inevitable raid pressure as members progress through Endgame. RP dies a slow death to raid expediency, until one day you suddenly wake up and realize the RP is gone -- and you have no idea how it happened. The Blackmist Brigade is here to tell you that you can have both -- if you have the leadership, discipline and vigilence to see it through.
* Fun. What it's all about in the end. WoW is a game, but not "just". It's also a community which we're all a part of and the guild is an important subset of that community. We all contribute to the fun by sharing our time with others in a positive way. We ruthlessly protect our community from those who, via antisocial behavior, would ruin the experience for others.
If that all sounds something like the "WoW Experience" you had in mind when you joined an "RP" Server, then come check us out.
*Walks in and looks around*...Seems a bit empty to me
Kaylea wrinkled her nose as the small cart trundled down the
Stormwind street and up to the gateway of The Blackmist Hall. The boxes on the
back were unmistakably an alcohol of some description and the large red warning
labels taped across each crate gave her no doubt they had been ordered by one of
Sighing slightly she signed the crumpled receipt and directed the goblin merchant toward the cellar with this latest consignment.
No one could accuse the Blackmist Brigade of being stingy, she thought as the small green creature staggered off under the vast weight of three cases of Elune only knew what. The members drank almost constantly and for that reason the priestess had assumed that one day the guild may be able to empty the cellar and turn it into a room with a purpose other than a storage centre for mass inebriation. But it seemed the capacity for alcohol consumption within the guild was matched only by the member's generosity for as quickly as they drank it, they were also discovering new concoctions that just had to be added to the stores and now "Tab 3", as the cellar was affectionately known, was packed up to the doorway with alcohols from across Azeroth and the outlands.
This lack of storage space was confirmed minutes later when the small goblin returned, his face as black as thunder. "That room couldn't store another drop. I crowbarred in these cases but you'd best see to it that something is done before I come with the weekly delivery on the weekend," he glowered, the sweat pouring off his brow at the exertion he had obviously expended.
Kaylea nodded contritely and returning the signed bill headed in doors and straight for the notice board where she scribbled a small note.
URGENT: Dear Brigade members. In his weekly "alcohol report" Jack Edwardson has been warning you all that you aren't drinking fast enough and you have ignored it. If you lot don't get into the cellar and start clearing it out I am afraid some of the less popular beverages will just have to be thrown out. You have until this weekend. Kaylea.
*Ilathion is sitting down, drinking a glass of brandy and feeding
Myrtha a piece of meat*
A rather boring day....
*peeks her head through the door and looks around with a worried
look on her face*
The bear isn't here, is she?
Dear me no. I wonder where she is...
Probably planning her revenge.
::walks in and notices the sign and sighs::
Oh well looks like i'll just have to help out
::with this Khallen procceeds down into the basement to find something to drink::
*gives up opening a lockbox that is engraved with the sign of
the old kingdom of lordaeron*
Pink bear? It looks like someone cannot take their liquor. I will show you all how to drink. The trick is to have lots of salty food to go with it.
*Goes to get an outragous amount of food before he goes into the basement to get something to drink*
*enters the room slowly and sits down with a jug of bourbon*
I think I'll be tracking beasts for about a week still. Brielle is after me, I know it. *smirks and drinks*
So what are you boys up to in here today?
*strolls in and sits down at an empty table in the corner, acting very nonchalant, not even glancing at the others in the room*
*walks into the building and reads the notice, raising an eyebrow
while a grin is forming on her face*
Vell vhy vasn't that said earlier?!
*disappears into the basement followed a lot of bottles clanking against each other.
A few minutes later she reappears, carrying an almost impossible armload of bottles.
She plops down on a couch and places the bottles on the ground, opening one of them*
Nothing like a good vhiskey... Oh, and nothing better to match a vhiskey then a good cigar!
*takes a swig out of the bottle, shudders as the whiskey burns down her troath and lets out a comfortable sigh.
Placing the bottle back on the floor she takes a small box and withdraws one cigar from it which she lights.*
Exactly vhat I needed
*grins and blows a cloud of smoke into the room, taking another swig from the bottle*
So ghow's everyone doing this fine day?
*suddenly her eyes fall upon Brielle, who she hadn't seen before not since the... 'shaving-accident'.
Choking in her whiskey she spits half of it out while coughing furiously*
*Sees Litheen spitting out alcohol and becomes furious*
OI! Dat's alcohol abuse! DRINK IT! NOW!!!
*Walks back in, coughing* Note to self, never accept a drink from
a Death Knight...
*Sees Brielle* Oooh dear... *Walks backwards, slowly outside*
*pounds herself on the chest with a fist*
I.. ugh.. I know! I know Alyastrasza!
*manages to stop coughing and lowers her voice, whispering*
Do you know if Brielle knows vho actually did it? Is she still angry vith us?
*scowls over at the others then continues to sip some Honeymint Tea*
Brielle and I are square already. *waves at Brielle*
You all may wanna go over and apologize though. Would probably clear the air a little. She's harmless, don't worry. *chuckles*
*Smiles* He.. he... Is she? *Gives a worried look and exits in a hurry*
Should ve like, bring a peace-offering to gher?
*carefully looks at Brielle, asif she might go rabid without warning and maul everyone in sight*
I'm quite certain that even a little slice of cake or a doughnut would permanently erase any ill-feelings she might ever had accumulated towards you. Poor thing is so distracted. Besides, I hear she favors the treeform these days, so I doubt there'd be any mauling... Splinters maybe. *laughs*
*Walks over to Brielle's table and sits next to her.*
Brielle... I'd like to say sorry dat I didn't stop <names all those involved> from cuttin yo 'air. So 'ere's a chocolate cake I just found in da guild bank ta make up.
Just a word of advice, if ye prefer ta be a tree these days, switch back ta elf form if people are around 'ere with axes. *nods sagely*
*empties a full Stein of Nethergarde Bitter in one chug and walks off singing badly*
A-ny-way this cake is great, it's so delicious and moist.
Look at me still talking, when dere's fightin ta do
When I look out dere, it makes me glad I'm not you
I've got wares ta obtain, dere's maimin ta be done
On ma foes who are still alive!
The cake is a lie!
I bet she spiked it with some tranquilizer or other weird gnomish poition. *eyes Alyastrasza*
Ghere, ghave this nice cupcake instead, it vill make you ghappy again.
*nods smiling as she hands Brielle a Tasty Cupcake*
Smirks as she walks in the door
Who tranqualised Brielle?
Casting a quick look around the room she nods with relief and heads to the notice board. Her finger tracing the notice she continues to speak;
Anybody seen Sethan around? or Alyssa? or Agatheis? or......alcohol? are we having a problem getting rid of this stuff?
Looks around and finally begins taking stock of the scene
Are any of you listening to me or are you just far too busy getting drunk on wine and fat on cake?
I am not fat!! *chomps down a large piece of cake*
I merely calmed gher down a bit, to prevent gher from biting
little gnomegheads off. You know that you gnomes ghave your ghead are at this
lovely gheight for a bear? Perfect choming&chewing-gheight.
*comes staggering out of the basement.*
Hey guys! Check this, is a new trick I have learned.*
*Takes a red hot poker from the oven, fills his mouth with sulfuron slammer and spits it out against the poker. A small fireball goes through the room.*
ish...ish cool huh? I leeearned it from watching proffeshionalsh do it. And I thought....i thought if them..why not me?
*peers at a bookcase at the end of the room*
Ish that bookcashe...shupposhed to be burning like that?
I think that's our priests n paladins stock o' holy books... an'
no, it's not supposed ta burn...
*Opens a bottle of rum and chucks the contents down her throat.*
Oh look, the fire just spread ta da ceiling.
*flees in a panic*
Well, there goes the druid... *takes another swig from her jug
of bourbon, then leans her chair back and puts her hooves up on the table*
So. Should we head for the well for some water maybe?
Say... can't Redash summon a water elemental? Saves the walk ta
Does anywan have a snack wid... Oi! Dere goes Edwardsons favourite toothbrush!
Sheee.....That is a fire! And what makes fire? Mages! So
thiish..chan al be blamed on magesh.
Shiiinche I have...notiched thish here fire. I shall now put it out!
*draws sword and raises it high above his head*
FIRE you shall not be afraid of what ish to happen to you!
*charges the fire sword in hand*
*For a moment Alyastrasza seems to sober up a bit as she
stares astonished from Herul to meet gazes with Litheen and Belleth. Then her
brain shuts down again and the rogue starts cheering.
WHOOO HERUL!!! DISEMBOWEL THAT FIRE! Maim it! Burn it! Kill it!
Thish evening turned out better than I .. *hic* .. thought! *cheers on with Alyastrasza*
*hits the burning bookcase with a powerfull strike.*
Thaaake that you fhilthy shticking fiend! Thish is from the Blackmissht Bhrigade!
*starts hacking the bookcase with several big swings sending burning holy books flying all over the room*
Die fire DIE!
*widely flails her arms about while holding the bottle of whiskey
as she cheers for Herul*
Yeah! that's it! Teach that fire a lesson!
That vill make it think twice about messing vith the Brigade!
*takes another swag whiskey, her speech getting more slurred the more she drinks*
Fire, you'rre goin' dowwwn!
* Alyastrasza puts on some leather gloves slides off the bench
and gathers some burning books in front of the bench. Then she breaks a druids
staff in three equal pieces, sharpens one end of each piece and gives pieces to
Belleth and Litheen, while keeping one herself. *
Say Belleth, got more meat wid ya? I only ave wan piece wid me!
*She opens her Onyxia hide backpack, pierces a piece of meat on the stick and holds it above the burning books in front of the bench, while opening a bottle of rum with the other hand. She grins wildly at her companions.*
Walks in wrinkles her nose at the devestation and walks out the door again.
Uh-oh... Kaylea was here... She'll tell Livius!
Maybe we should try to put out the fire properly and cover our tracks. I'll go get water! *rushes out the door*
Maybe afta we've eaten.
*agrees with Alyastrasza*
And ve've got to drink all thish alcoghol! *tries to nod wisely but just looks quite drunken* it sssshaid sho on the no.. *hic* notisheboard!
You've got to get your prio... priorities shtraight!
Dun stand close to da fire, even if it's only beer wid ye.
Walks in dragging a huge bucket of water, which she then
proceeds to tip over a small part of the fire. Wrinkling her nose she once again
leaves taking the bucket with her.
"Livius is going to kill us," she mumbles as she heads off to fetch the next load.
*passes Kaylea on her way back in, carrying a huge water hose*
Look what I found!
*aims the hose at the fire and opens the hose, but high pressure makes her spray water all over the place*
Oi! Da barbeque! Now my meat is ...
Alyastrsza takes a bite.
Id's rather good actu.... Did that croc just appeared through dat hose?
*tries to find cover from the water, to cold water slightly
sobering her up*
My vhiskey! You're mixing vater vith my vhiskey!
*notices that there is no effect from hitting the burning
Shoo..sho you wanna play hardbhall heh? Well ghuess whaat. I am thougher than you.
*grabs the bookcase and lifts it over his head, resulting in getting himself showered by burning books*
Hey..Hey! Hot! This is hot I am on fire! FIRE! ARGHHH
*Throws the mangled burning bookcase through a window and prepares to jump after*
*Sobers up due to a splash of water as well.*
*Sees a gorilla firefighting, a deathknight and a bookcase on fire and Litheen trying to protect her whiskey.*
Dis doesn't look gud... I need a drink.
*Pops his head in to see if the coast is clear*
Returns with another bucket of water and drops it in horror
slopping yet more water into the rapidly flooding room.
If Liv was going to kill us before, he going to spit roast us alive now. We'll never get off latrine duty!
Stands surveying the carnage atop a wooden case of fine red
wine and smirks at Kaylea.
"Yes I suspect so. I do think he probably liked all those books which that corpse is burning so enthusiastically."
Leaning down she grabs a bottle of the wine, uncorks it and drinks straight from the neck.
"Oh look the fire has caught onto the tapestry, this is becoming most amusing."
Yeeeeah, I think I'll be down the auction house for now.
*Runs off, again*
The Druid sighed. Loudly. "Dammit, Rahnolf! I just know
I'm forgetting something!"
He had awakened a few days ago from a deep slumber in the Stormrage Barrow Dens. Rahnolf told him he'd been down for eight days. The Druid merely knew that, regardless of how long it was, he'd awakened with a freshness and peace he'd not felt in a long time. Some recent memory was even then itching at the back of his head, but the residual serenity of the short hibernation kept it at bay.
Until now. "I swear, Rahnolf, I'm forgetting something! Something ... important." The Druid looked over at his friend and blinked. "Uhm...I've said this before, haven't I?"
Rahnolf chuckled, a deep rumbling sound that almost made the table shake. "Three times in the last 10 minutes and a dozen times in the last hour, my friend."
"Oh." The Druid blinked and sighed.
Rahnolf chuckled again. "No worries, Marcus -- it will come." He fixed the Druid with a friendly gaze, eyes smiling.
They sat together in the small, one-room house in Nighthaven that the Druid rented whenever he was in Moonglade, each sipping from their cups of herbal tea. The cup fit well in the Druid's big, Kaldorei hand, but Rahnolf had to carefully hold his with thumb and two fingers. Not to mention the reinforced chair that he sat in, which the Druid kept available solely for when his friend visited.
For Rahnolf, the Druid's friend, was a Tauren. One of the Wardens assigned to permanent duty in Moonglade, charged with the defense of the territory and the protection of those who come there -- usually a quiet duty, Rahnolf told him once, except during the Lunar Festival, when things could get ... interesting.
Wardens were a mix of Kaldorei and Tauren. The Kaldorei Wardens were required to know Orcish and the Taurens Common. Rahnolf's common was error-free, even if heavily accented and with a rumble that came from deep in his lungs.
"Gah!" the Druid waved dismissively. "It's probably nothing at all," he affirmed, sipping his tea.
"Of course, Marcus," winked Rahnolf as he gingerly raised his cup. Rahnolf didn't bother to mention that he'd heard the Druid say that part as often as the "I'm forgetting something!" bit.
"It can't be something trivial!" exclaimed the Druid, his brow furrowed in deep, troubled concentration. "It's something ... important. Yes, for sure it is!" His head bobbed in a vigorous nod.
Rahnolf sighed and regarded his friend with an amused but tired smile. They were lounging on the shores of Lake Elune'ara, sharing a picnic lunch. The Druid fetched a fresh apple from the basket and bit off a chunk, brow still furrowed in thought as he chewed. Rahnolf took an apple for himself, put it in his mouth whole, chomped down once, chewed a few times and swallowed the lot without spitting any seeds or core.
Rahnolf sighed again. "OK, Marcus," he softy rumbled. "Let's try to figure it out, then."
Rahnolf drew himself up to a sitting position, took a deep breath and looked at the Druid.
"Was it lunch with Staghelm?" he asked.
"No," replied the Druid.
"An audience with the High Priestess?"
"An appointment with your trainer?"
The Druid shook his head. "No, no one I'm supposed to meet at all. No."
"OK," rumbled the big Tauren. "How about ... something you need to buy. Perhaps from a Vendor? Or from Auction?"
The Druid frowned for a moment, then shook his head.
"No, not that either. Nothing involving 'commerce'."
Rahnolf nodded, eyes looking out over the lake. "Some personal possession you perhaps left behind in the Den? That you forgot to bring topside with you after your slumber?"
"No, I just had the clothes I was wearing."
"OK," nodded the Big One. "Does it involve your wife?"
The Druid suddenly blinked and sat bolt-upright, eyes wide.
Rahnolf merely waited, regarding the Druid with a raised eyebrow.
"Almost," said the Druid finally, eyes squinting with concentration. "It's not about her, per se, but ... something that has to do with her. In some way." The Druid sighed, shaking his head. "I just can't place it!"
"Hmmm," rumbled the Deep-Voiced One again. "Well, let's leave it a while. It will come." And he settled back down on his back. "In the meantime, try to relax, Marcus. Such a lovely air this evening!" He drew in a long breath, exhaling it with the same tempo as he inhaled.
"Yes," replied the Druid, his face still betraying his uncertainly. But he laid himself back on the grass and copied Rahnolf's deep breathing. "Yes, it will come."
Rahnolf grunted in agreement.
Silence settled over the lake, broken only by the soft rustling of a deer foraging near the water, a bird's twitter in a tree high above and the steady, relaxed breathing of Kaldorei and Tauren enjoying the magical peace that is like nowhere else but in Moonglade.
The Druid was just starting to doze off when Rahnolf broke the silence with a simple, innocent question.
"So tell me, Marcus," he softly rumbled. "How goes the Blackmist Brigade?"
The Druid blinked. Blinked again. Then sat up suddenly, stared into space, eyes wide, jaw falling to the ground -- his face a perfect mix of shock, disbelief, realization and horror.
Rahnolf looked over at him and kept a straight face for a moment. Then bust up laughing, a loud and deep rumble that shook the trees and echoed off the hills. His paws beat the ground and his hooves kicked the air in an uncontrollable attack of mirth.
"Oh, Marcus!" managed the thoroughly cracked-up Tauren between fits of laughter. "You, hahaha! You actually forgot about your guild?! WooHooHooHoooo hahahahaheheheha! The guild you lead?! How can you forget that?!"
Rahnolf continued to roll and kick and laugh as the Druid kept staring and gaping out at nothing.
*gets upp after taking a stream of sobering water to the face.*
Hah! The boochase loshed!
*spits out the broken window*
And schtaaay out.
*Pauses and looks in the general direction of northern kalimdor*
Anyone shudeenly ghot this...dheeeeep felling of doom all of a shuden?
*looks into a mirror hanging on the wall and notice that his beard, most of his hair and his left eyebrow has been taken by the flames.*
Thanks Brielle! *wipes some sweat from her brow, leaving ash
stains on her face*
Wow, this place is a mess...
Now, let's drink some more! *runs to the cellar, gorilla in tow*
*takes a big wet cloth to the face*
Gets off the crate of wine and with a scowl directed at
Brielle and Belleth stalks from the room.
"I'm going to find somewhere to drink where the entertainment isn't ended just as it's beginning. Next thing you'll be wanting me to clean this mess."
Surveying the carnage Kaylea wrinkled her nose. This was bad. The
tattered, scorched tapestry lay crumpled in a heap on the sodden floor, which
was pooled almost ankle deep in ash stained water. Through the huge broken
window she could still see the remnants of the burning book case, surrounded by
a small crowd, while pages of ancient lore drifted in the slight Stormwind
Everywhere she looked blackened Brigadiers were settling down to wet throats dried out by the fierce heat of the earlier blaze, and her eye was immediatly drawn to the foolhardy note she had left on the guild noticeboard just hours before.
Stepping in front of Ayandrea and blocking her from leaving, Kaylea summoned up her most commanding voice.
"Um...no one is going anywhere. Livvie will be waking up soon and if he comes back to this chaos then we might as well go and join "Lol Pirates Elite" because the Brigade won't be a home to us anymore," she squeeked, her face set in a determined pout.
"Brielle, Belleth, Litheen...um...do something....Herul," she paused, the enormity of what had happened here slowly sinking in, "Herul I think you should make some sort of plan with those books you torched. I am going for mops."
Giving the room one last disbelieving look, Kaylea rushed through the door her mind set only on getting this tidied up before Livius could get back to the Eastern Kingdoms.
"Did anyone specifically hear her mention my name? No? I didn't
think so. I will be at the Slaughtered lamb if anyone needs me."
Heads for the door once again.
Rahnolf sighed. He still chuckled occasionally, but he'd gotten
over the worst of the laughing fit and now eyed the previously near-catatonic
Druid carefully. Said Druid seemed to be over the worst of it as well and was
now breathing normally, but sat slumped over, an air of dejection about him as
he stared absently out over the lake.
"Marcus? Want to talk about it?"
"Eh?" The Druid seemed a bit startled. "No. No! Absolutely not."
Rahnolf had been through this kind of thing before. He merely sat and waited.
The Druid sighed. "It all started with the daily mail. The usual stuff, you know. Most of them either 'complaints about behavior' or 'demands for compensation'."
The Druid frowned. "I guess some of them were both. But it was the 'Jadyn' letter that caught me."
"Ahh," nodded Rahnolf with a smile. "And how is Miss Jadyn?"
The Druid shrugged and gave a helpless smile. "How is she always, Rahnolf?" He chuckled. His friend chuckled in return.
"Anyway," the Druid continued. "This time she managed to beat up three men to within inches of their lives, including certain, uhm, damage to their privates which left their fertility in doubt."
Rahnolf laughed. "How I would have loved to see that!"
The Druid scowled. "Well, you can laugh if you want, but I'm the one who had to pay the damages. And get her out of the Stockades. But while I was still reading the letter, there were strange things going on in a nearby room. I didn't pay it much mind -- my head was already full with the mail, you know. But when Kaylea--"
"Your..." Rahnolf interjected.
"...yeah. That's the one." replied the Druid. "So she runs by the door, moving fast and I wonder what's so urgent, but again, I'm focused on those horrid mails in front of me, so I brush it off. And then she runs back the other way carrying a bucket of water and says 'Nothing!' when I look at her funny."
A sigh. "So next thing I know, Belleth runs by in the same direction yelling something like 'Leave that bear alone!' And then there's a loud 'discussion' from down that way involving several people."
The Druid looked at the Tauren. "I had enough on my mind with those mails, especially that Jadyn one. Rahnolf, I didn't want to know! So I grabbed a pile of coins from the guild bank and went to spring Jadyn. As I leave the building, Kay is running off toward some shoppe while cackling evilly. Hey -- I just quickened my pace!"
Rahnolf nodded with what he hoped was sympathy, trying not to let on how entertaining he found it. The Druid needed a friendly ear right now -- not more cut-up. The Tauren stuck a beefy paw in the picnic basket and came up with an apple.
"So now I'm walking with Jadyn back to the guild hall and this brainstorm hits me! I was thinking of how to give Jadyn a more 'constructive outlet' and that's when I get this beautiful idea!"
"And this idea was...?" enquired Rahnolf as he popped the apple into his mouth and chomped down on it.
"That she get a boyfriend!" exclaimed the Druid triumphantly.
A fresh laughing fit seized Rahnolf -- and with exceptionally bad timing, for he was only halfway through the apple. Instead of laughing, he choked and began to turn blue, desperately trying to cough it up. The Druid calmly stood up, walked over to him -- and became The Bear. The Bear then deliberately raised a big, hairy paw, took careful aim, and >WHACKED!< the Tauren between the shoulder blades.
The apple core catapulted from Rahnolf's maw, sailed out over Lake Elune'ara and, with a satisfying >KER-PLOOSH!<, became one with the waters.
Rahnolf's breathing returned to normal and he wiped the tears from his eyes. "Thanks. I needed that!" he said.
The Druid nodded and returned to his seat.
"Well," asked Rahnolf with a snicker. "How did she take it?"
The Druid smirked. "About the way you did."
"And that pushed you over the edge and into an eight-day hibernation?"
"Oh no! That was just part of it. No, the icing on the cake was when we returned to the Guild Hall. That commotion I noticed before I left to pick up Jadyn? Far worse. So this time, I actually check into it. I get into the room from whence it comes and ... gah! You have to just picture this: I'm standing in a rubble-strewn room, broken furniture and other debris, a cart with several large, vicious-looking wolves hitched to it, a big hole in the wall, a sheet of ice on the floor and upon the floor a tranquilized feral druid bear -- shaven -- with a mohawk down her back -- fluffy and pink. And her tongue is lolling out, stuck to the ice."
Rahnolf's eyes widened. Then he laughed uproariously. "Marcus, oh Marcus! If I hadn't been with you all day, I'd swear you're on illusion dust, hehehe!
The Druid sighed. "In that moment, I really wish I had been! It would have been easier for me to digest. But no, I was straight and sober. And there they stood, these Blackmist Troopers of mine, gaping at me wide-eyed. They looked like a group of kiddies caught with their hands in the cookie jar."
Rahnolf still chuckled, but fought it down. "And so that's when you bolted?"
The Druid nodded with resignation. "Yes. That was about all the 'fun' I could handle that week."
Rahnolf nodded with what he hoped was convincing empathy. Then he smacked his thigh and brightened up. "Well, My Friend! It's about time for you to go back, then!"
The Druid just blinked at him. "Go back?" he squeaked, eyes widening.
Rahnolf sighed inwardly. This was going to be a bit more difficult than he first thought.
From her position on all fours where she was sc@!*%#! tapestry
ash from the floor with a small trowel Kaylea had to look up at the small gnome
as she made her declaration.
"Is that where you have been? The Cathedral? While we cleaned up your mess?" Kaylea said, her hand reflexively moving to rub the tip of her nose vigorously with her palm.
"I think maybe...wait! The Cathedral has windows? Big ones!" she suddenly exclaimed her hand dropping to her side.
"Miss Alya please would you go to the bishop, or the Cardinal or...go to the boss...and see if you can find out where he got his windows. Maybe if we had windows like that instead of these broken ones Livius would blame the window fixer men for the mess," she said with a sudden grin. Problem solved. The gnome could surely handle this small task.
"Go back?!" repeated the Druid incredulously. "Who said anything
about going back?!"
The Druid started pacing while he talked. "I'm not going back! Not this druid! Oh no! I'm no fool! Go back and try to lead that group of whackos? They're crazies! Weirdos! Loonies! Nutcases to a man -- er, person. They're downright certifiable! And so am I for trying to lead them! They should all be committed to the Funny Farm! Go back? What are ya -- high? I tell ya--"
And on the tirade went. Rahnolf listened politely at first, but after a full minute of it, he decided that the Druid was really on a roll this time -- and that called for desperate measures.
The big Tauren sighed and calmly walked over to his jabbering friend. He was still for only a moment -- then he suddenly tensed, jumped up and came down. Hard. The war stomp brought the Druid's "roll" to a very abrupt halt and, for a few precious seconds, there was peace in Moonglade.
Rahnolf wasted no time. As soon as the stun effect wore off, he grabbed the Druid by the collar, hoisted him off the ground and shook him vigorously.
"What in the name of Cenarius are you on about, Marcus?!"
He let go and the Druid dropped onto his feet, eyeing the Tauren with bleary eyes.
"You're the Guild Leader! You will remember who you are! And you will show them that you remember! So what? You know what needs doing! You know where they are! Now go -- confront the problem -- fight -- win!"
As he said "win", Rahnolf beat his chest with his two massive paws and raised his arms over his head in a "victory" stance, grinning broadly.
The Druid blinked. Then his face brightened. "Yes! Damn, you're right! Haha! I'll leave tonight! Hell, I'll leave right now!"
Rahnolf lowered his arms, still smiling. His eyes suddenly widened. "Race you to the FP!"
And with that, the Tauren bolted. After a split-second, the Druid gave chase.
*suddenly stops what she's doing, staring into empty space*
... I just got a really bad feeling all of a sudden...
*Snaps out of it after looking startstruck into the mirror for a
Sooo. My beard heh? My hair. My beathufhul hair. I'm.....shomeone is resnhponsible for thish! I am going to kill them....
*walks towards the room containing the guilds engineering stuff while muttering darkly to self*
At that moment there was a loud pop, like a Champaign cork being
ejected from a bottle of finest Dalaran Fizzy, and a bemused looking Gnome in a
large baggy hat and robe materialised amid the glass debris the tip of his beard
It took Skewsprocket a second to realise he was still on fire and in his panic began beating at his beard with his wand sending showers of brightly coloured sparks in all directions.
"By Mek it's not even safe to materialise at your own Guild hall anymore." He grumbled in a squeaky voice. "Where is everyone? And what am I standing in?" He looked down at the pool of shattered glass, some partially melted beneath his feet by the dissipated energy of his teleport.
With only the slightest gasp Kaylea watched as the beautifully
ornate cathedral glass first appeared in the window, was pushed too far, then
slowly, easily, gently begin to tip forward and in to the room. Dustpan in hand,
she hardly had the chance to cover her ears before the pane shattered into a
thousand colourful shards across the guild hall floor.
With a look of horror she stood up and stumbled backward against the wall.
"Is that...was that...could...the cathedral stained glass..was that it?!" she stammered out before ending in a plaintiff cry.
Just then Skewsprocket materialised in the centre of the room. Sparks flying everywhere he looked around.
"Oh Mr Skewsprocket I am so glad you are here! I have made a horrible horrible mess," Kaylea said as she pulled on her ears in sheer desperation.
Rahnolf sped to the top of the rock overlooking the lake, planted
his hooves and leapt. Less than a second later, the Druid did the same.
"AAAAAAA#%%#%%#%%U@%@@%@@%@GHHHHHHHHHHH!" they both yelled in unison -- one voice deep, the other higher-pitched -- all the way down, not stopping until they hit the water. Once in the lake, Kaldorei and Tauren transformed, becoming two seemingly identical creatures that resembled a madman's concept of a seal. The two "seals" shot through the water, propelled by vigorous pulls of their flippers and rhythmic undulations of their perfectly aqua-dynamic bodies. One of the seals sharply veered as they swam, crashing into the other. The other snarled -- or was it a grin? -- and head-butted his partner as they soared onward through the lake.
Land approaching. Each sensed it before even seeing the bank. The two seals burst through the surface, drenching the lake shore with the water jets that followed in their wake. As gravity took hold, pulling the seals earthward, they changed again. Two sets of four feline paws touched down, legs bending as they easily took the shock of the fall, tensed and sprang forward again. Two cheetahs now sped through the grass, veering around trees, leaping over rocks, bending the grass in their direction with the speed of their passing -- flight point sighted! And the Kaldorei female standing next to the hippogryphs. The cheetahs put on a fresh burst of speed, heading straight for her.
The woman caught sight of the two felines hurtling toward her only a split second before impact. "Aaaiiiieee--!"
>crash< >roll< >oof< >agh< >scrape< >roll< >ploompf<
The dust cleared, revealing a Kaldorei male, Kaldorei female and Tauren male sprawled about on the ground. Each slowly picked itself up, the two males laughing, the female scowling.
"Who won, Sindrayl?" asked the Druid excitedly.
"Yes, who?!" chimed in the wide-eyed Tauren.
Sindrayl the Hippogryph Master fixed the two with a baleful stare as she brushed herself off. "Uh...it was a tie."
The two blinked, looking at each other. "A tie," they said in unison. And sighed. "It's always a tie!"
"Yes," replied Sindrayl, still scowling as she continued to brush herself off and straighten her armor. "Imagine that. Now, then -- what do you boys want?"
The Druid stepped up and smiled. "A fast bird to Auberdine, Milady! For I ... am ... the Guild ... Leader!" He grinned triumphantly at her while nodding his head.
"He is, 'tis true!" agreed Rahnolf with high confidence.
Sindrayl finished brushing herself off and peered at the two. Boys, she thought. "Take that one," she said, pointing.
The Druid hopped onto the hippogryph's back. "Farewell, Sindrayl! Farewell, Rahnolf! I'm off to -- ack!"
Whatever the Druid meant to say was sharply cut off as the beast vaulted into the air and took wing.
"Goodbye, Marcus!" called out Rahnolf from the ground, waving up at the quickly-disappearing flier. "Don't forget to write! Visit! And wash!"
Once the Druid secured his grip on the hippogryph, he dared to twist around in the saddle to wave down at his friend. Then he was too far away and so turned his attention to the front. In little time at all, the rooftops of Auberdine Village came into view. After landing, he trotted out over the long pier and boarded the ship to Stormwind.
*Litheen had silently complied with Kaylea's request to "do
something", and had retreated to a corner of the room, hidden out of sight under
the comfort of her diluted whiskey.
At the sound of the crash she, again, choked on her whiskey, completely startled by the noise*
"Vhat are they doing now by the Naaru!?"
*As she reappeared in the room, she observed the damage. The floor was covered with bits of coloured glass, Kaylea looked close to tears from frustration, Skewsprocket was standing between the shards of glass, and various guildmembers were either busy cleaning, or busy getting out, and a vague scent of flashpowder filled the room*
... Livius vill skin us alive if ghe sees this!
* turning around she headed for the remaining bottles of whiskey, at least those that were still intact.*
I vill make sure these are.. stored in a safe place!
* arms loaded with bottles she quickly heads out of the door*
Don't vorry! I vill be back before you know it!
Jadyn barges into the guildhall with a large fish over her
shoulder, and some Adder's Tongue sticking out of her shirt. Before she can even
scream: "Ghallo", she widens her eyes at the sight of the total mess, and
squeels in glee. "It look like hoooome!"
She charges towards Skewsprocket and pushes him out of the way. "Stoopid Gnoom in way!" she snorts.
Jadyn sits down in the pile of glass and starts sprinkling it over her head, while humming a cheerful song.
Skewsprocket had only a second to panic as the blue bolt hurled
itself towards him, he felt a slim forearm connect with his chest and the next
moment was experiencing the sensation of free flight.
'Is this what it's like for a druid in flight form?' He wondered to himself as he reached instinctively for his regent pouch and a light feather. He never completed the manoeuvre.
Skewsprockets head collided with an old wooden crate left carelessly on the floor and with a splintering crash disappeared inside up to the waist, his arms pinned to his sides. He wiggled but didn't budge. He tried to find the floor with his feet but he was too high off the ground for his short legs to reach.
"Oh not again." He sighed letting his head hang. "Excuse me!" He yelled as best he could, the high pitched sound magnified inside his own head by the hollow insides of the empty crate. "Could someone get me out of here?" He franticly kicked his legs in the hope of attracting attention.
He briefly wondered if, though his trapped hands prevented him casting any serious magic, whether his spell for a fiery shield of energy might burn through the crate, then thought better of it. The smell of his singed beard was still strong in his nose.
'By the great sparks, don't let Livius see me like this.' He wished.
Through the open hole, where once there was a window, a drunken
song can quite clearly be heard out in the street; above the din of the small
crowd who have gathered to peer surruptitiously through the gaping hole at the
strange spectacle beyond. A woman's voice is lifted high in a tonal mockery of
an old peasant drinking song and she is accompanied quite loudly by two equally
tone deaf men.
"...aaaaand the wicked old women said; you best be off, you best be off, you best be off to bed!"
Stumbling drunkenly up the guild hall stairs Ayandrea burst into the door of the destroyed room with a large burley dockhand on each arm and a broad wicked grin on her face.
"These are my fellow Brigade members. Look at the mess they made!" she cackled before once again launching into her song and making for the doorway, her two rather thick set accomplices in inebriation dragged behind her.
Ilathion sat on top a building across from the guild hall,
struggling to keep on because of laughter.
"Ahahahaaa... Ah, ha, ah oh this gets better every minute!"
A cheery voice precedes the presence of a small female with her
arms full off blueprints, books and other instruments of science, heading for a
nearby building. Besides her a void in the light is carrying a huge chest, his
head tilted towards the gnome and nodding occasionally. Upon seeing a drunk
Ayandrea the scientist arches an eyebrow, but keeps explaining her latest idea
with the voidwalker. Finally she reached her destination, only to find it in
"... so we need to find some gyrogea... WHAT the NETHER happened HERE?!"
Zatyana overlooks the situation and decides the scene is completely illogical: two gnome-legs sticking out of a crate, Kaylea near a nervous breakdown, Litheen gathering bottles, Jadyn decorating herself with glass-shards, a scorched death knight and the lingering smell of flashpowder indicates Alyastrasza is somehow involved. The gnome sighed and exchanged looks with her voidwalker.
"Zhar, please pull out whoever is in that crate, I'm going to comfort the elf." With a heavy 'THUD!' the voidwalker promptly puts the chest down and heads for the crate with legs. Zatyana turns around and heads for Kaylea... dear... how are we supposed to clean this mess?
After storing her belongings in a nearby empty chest, te gnome sits down next to the despairing priest and takes out a banana sandwich and some moonberry juice from a pouch. She starts to use the soothing voice that worked so well on panicked kids back in Gnomeregan. "It's okay Kaylea... here take these and calm down."
Then she got an idea...
"Zhar? How far alo... oh, hi mister Skewsprocket!" The previously unknown gnome hung upside down, his legs in the powerful grip of the voidwalker who was staring at his catch. "ZHAR'KESH! Be a good boy and put him on the ground... and on his FEET!"
The voidwalker was her best ally, but he was so uncivilised... Zatyana sighed: "Thank you, Zhar... you can go home now, you're off for the rest of the day."
And after a nodded greeting, the shadow elemental faded into thin air. But now she has to summon her most hated minion, their only shared charactaristic being their mutual dislike. As the gnome starts her incantation of guttural words and harsh words, a small portal appears showing a hellish world on the other side the shape of a beautiful female appears, but with a face showing sheer hatred directed at the little woman who draws her.
"Hello again," Zatyana smirked, the succubus can hate her as much as she could, but her mind is dwarved by the willpower of the experienced demonologist. A single thought of the gnome made the Succubus flinch in pain.
"You know I don't like it when you try to spit on me..." sais the warlock calmly. "As a matter of fact... I want you to have fun. See those slackers?" Zatyana points at the various guildies scattered through the room. "While I'm here comforting this nice lady, I want you to oversee the clean-up of this mess. You don't have to clean yourself, just make them work."
The sudden genuine smile on the face of the Sayaad told Zatyana enough, this place was going to be very clean.
*Litheen reappeared back in the guildhall, the bottles she had
been carrying before were gone. The short trip had almost completely sobered her
There... let's get to vork before Liv comes back. Even the Naaru can't ghelp us anymore if ghe sees this.
* as she sees Jadyn playing with the glass she smiles kindly. It feels like watching a little child play with something as simple as a piece of paper*
Jadyn, you can ghave all the pretty glass ok? Just load it up and take it avawy from ghere. Come on now, if Livius sees your pretty glass ghe'll surely vant to keep it for ghimself, so you better ghurry up!
* her attention was drawn to some squeeky noises, as she looked at the corner where they came from she spotted the quite hillarious scene of a little gnome trapped in a crate and kicking his legs to get out*
Jadyn, vhat did ve tell you about throwing around vith gnomes?! You know ghow much damage a gnome can cause vhen it collides vith something valuable?
*shaking her head and sighing she made her way to Skewsprocket, mumbeling*
You better prove yourself usefull vhen I get you out of there.
*As she grabbed a leg from the tiny man, she noticed that his other leg was simultatiously grabbed by a blue clawlike hand. Glancing aside she saw a Voidwalker, and in the background she only now noticed the voice of Zatyana, giving orders to the Voidwalker.
They both started pulling on the legs, but the Voidwalker obviously had more strength, pulling out Skewsprocket with little caution. Litheen let go of the gnome and grinned at him as he dangled upside down in front of her*
"ghello Skewsprocket, fine day isn't it?"
As the little gnome warlock sat down next to her Kaylea barely
flinched; her mind was hundreds of miles away in Moonglade, where she was
certain Livius was no longer sleeping.
"What do I do Livvie?" she mumbled to herself.
"It's going to be okay Kaylea...look Litheen is taking charge. Skewsprocket is upright., things will get better," the gnome said nodding enthusiastically and like that the fear which had enveloped her as the window came crashing into the room was gone. Like a holy shield settling around her, Kaylea understood what had to be done.
"Well done Ayandrea! You brought us help! I will see that Livius rewards you handsomly for finding us such able bodied workers so quickly....oh and please would you summon your demons we could use all the help we can get," she said, a small grin beginning to form on her face.
"Jadyn! Listen to Litheen. She is right. Livvius loves glass shards more than anything and will certainly come back and steal them. Herul! Do something about those books! and Zaty," the priestess paused as she turned to her small helper, "Do you think you could do something about that window. Livvie is probably only minutes away and you're the only useful gnome we have here," she smiled casting a disturbed glance at Skewsprocket.
"Skew? Maybe you can urm....help her," Kaylea said with a shrug, her thin voice gaining the regal presence of her position as sister of elune with every word.
With her last command issued she began to focus her attention on the laughing elf on the roof of the building on the opposite side of the road. Trailing her mind over his, she slowly melded her will with his thoughts until she was in complete control, "you will come over here and help Ilathion or so help me I will kick you so hard between the thighs that you won't stand up for a week." Releasing him almost immediatly afterwards she whispered a silent apology to Elune for abusing her powers and picked up a battered broom.
Even the thought of Livius stealing her precious shinies
infuriates Jadyn. She snorts loudly as she stomps towards the biggest bag she
owns, which is sitting in a corner. Only then she remembers that she filled it
with fresh fish… A week ago. Indecisively she looks at the fish and then at
what’s left of the Cathedral window. “Fishyfishy… Shiny?” she mumbles
while squinting her eyes. “I know what I do!” She picks up the bag, and
carefully turns it upside down. All of the not-so-fresh fish hit the floor. “Livius
no steal fishy!”Jadyn smiles proudly, looking around for anyone who has
noticed her inventive solution to her problem. To her surprise, no one is
actually paying attention to her, because everyone is busy cleaning up the guild
hall. Suddenly Jadyn blinks, almost like she’s just had an epiphany. With her
mouth wide open she charges towards her shiny pile of coloured glass, while
dodging dead fish and an angry looking succubus. As fast as possible she shoves
as much as she can into her bag, and runs out of the door, leaving a trail of
Only minutes later she returns while breathing heavily. Her bag is safely stored in the bank but she retrieved something much more strange. She stands tall in front of the entrance. A cowl, with antlers on it, is covering most of her face. A druid-like kilt and chestpiece cover her other Draenic features. Jadyn pounds on the floor with a large wooden staff, in attempt to get everyone’s attention. Quietly she releases an evil giggle, before exclaiming in a manly voice “I AMMM LEEEEVIUSSSS! You make biiiig mess! Where Ed? Ed clean all! Give all golds to Jad... LEEEVIUSSS! I am boss Elf! Yeeees.” Jadyn flexes. Best idea ever!
As Litheen heard the deep voice she froze in her spot, like a
deer caught in the headlights of a gnomish flying device. As she looked at the
doorway she saw the hooded figure standing there and looking quite intimidating.
Then it dawned on her that the chief was speaking awefully weird...
Looking around questioning she whispered to the others "Ghas Livius been drinking? Ghe doesn't sound like ghe normally does!"
Skewsprocket sighed, the world had gone dark for a second time
that day and this time it smelled very strongly of old fish. He squirmed this
way and that trying to free himself from the cold, slimy, fishy smelling pile of
something that someone had just dumped over his head.
It was no good, the pile was to big. This time however he could at least move his hands, so with a small wave of his hands and a blink he propelled himself forward through space time.
Skewsprocket looked round expecting to see, something. Instead it was still blackness. He tried blinking forward again, still blackness. He wiggled round in a new direction and tried again, blink, blackness. Again and again he tried but each time the same result.
By now the pile of fish had attracted other peoples attention as it darted this way and that around the room knocking over stands, bookcases, people and anything else it materialised too close to.
Finally Skewsprocket decided to try a new tactic. If he couldn't blink his way out maybe he could teleport his way out.
Blindly he fumbled in the darkness for his bag of regents and one of the small square tablets carved with a rune that allowed a mage to tap into the deeper arcane energies. There didn't seem to be any left. Maybe he still had a portals rune left, he thought reaching into another compartment of the bag.
Skewsprocket felt his fingers close on the small, cold piece of stone, the electrical tingle in his finger tips as he touched it. He traced a finger over the rune etching trying to determine where it would link to. The carving was unfamiliar, not Stormwind, not Ironforge, it was unique but it was the only stone he had left.
Closing his eyes he let his mind connect with the universe, the flow of arcane that drifted unseen beneath the physical world, reaching out to his destination. This was harder than usual, he thought. It's almost like the destination is moving. He felt the build of energy, the surge as it was on the very edge of tearing through existence.
He opened his eyes just before the moment and by the dim light that emanated from the runestone in his hands he could see the engraving.
"That's funny, that looks just like Livius," he said as the portal tore open beneath his feet and the pile of fish and other sundries it had gathered on its little trip around the room.
Herul stumbles in from the engineering room. Infront of him walks
his latest creation. Five repairbot with a significant amount of thermal goblin
zapper charges attached to them and one of them has a cask of goblin rocket
"Haha..hehe..now who ish the boss huh?"
Herul looks around.
"Flamesh gone. Place a mess. Damnit! Where did the fhlames go? Ghonnna blow thehm upp!"
Herul checks the room and notices the headgear of livius looking menencingly from the door way. Terrified he is getting ready to dart for one of the rooms when he notices that this version of livius has breasts.
After a few moments, of thinking about the concept of a Livius with breasts, Herul blocks the idea from his mind and refuses to belive that such an abomination exists. He subconciously ignores the figure in the doorway when looking over the room once more.
"Now why did I turn sober all of a sudden....And why am I sick?... repairbots clean upp this place! I think I am going to have to...ughh"
At that moment heruls brain, in an act of selfdefence shuts itself down and he slumps to the ground. At the same time five repairbots loaded with bombs and incendiaries starts cleaning the room with great efficiency.
Ilathion stared at the direction of the guildhouse before
muttering "Elune damn it..."
He went back down and walked in the direction of the entrance. Only to see a figure that looked like Livius from behind. He bolted to the side of the house to avoid what he thought was an angry Livius but he also feared the priestess and her threat. He thought up a plan which he found quite cunning.
He charged at the supposed druid, knocking him down and saying "I heard glass break! Is everyone alright?" he looked at the fallen chief and said "Oh by Elune! I am sorry Livius!" but realized that he had breasts.
Kaylea winced. Her hand were by now very firmly gripped to her
ears as she tugged them down across her face. Misery was evident in every facet
of her broken down stance as she stared out across the carnage.
The fish, the reapirbots, the rapidly disappearing then reappearing gnome; by now it was all a maelstrom of carnage. A fierce wind ripped through the room tearing the sundered furniture, fish and tattered occupants into a dismal hurricane of chaos and Kaylea despaired.
Looking around she knew there was no real answer to this disaster. Once again she was trapped in the height of trouble and once again she would be the one to bear the brunt. Her head whipping around she spent one last second desperatly looking for Ayandrea and her burly builders before she gave them up for a dissappeared miracle that really never was.
What this scene really needed, just for a second, was peace, quiet and a chance to think. Livius was coming. The real Livius. Any moment now and her husband would burst through the door, probably with a song in his heart and dismay would cling to him like a murloc on a clam shell and she would be the cause.
Looking desperatly around Kaylea realised the only person still paying her any mind at all was Zatyana and gnome wasn't exactly known for her solutions. With one last desperate wail, Kaylea turned to the little warlock and spoke.
"Livius is on his way Miss Zaty. I know it. I need to go and head him off, to give us time to fix this. Please just...just do whatever it takes to make this go away. Seal the door, blow it up, gas them all and have the Stormwind guard remove the bodies; I don't care! I just need them to be gone by the time Livvie and I return."
With that she ran out the room, mounted her snow white saber and set off at pace for the gryphon station to intercept her beloved.
After being knocked over by a pile olf moving fish Litheen tried
to scramble back to her feet, only to be almost run over by some frantic
repairrobots. As she looked for Kaylea for some leadership she only saw the
priest head out the door with great hurry.
"Vhat?! Is the captain abandonning ship?! Vell that's just grand!"
Sighing she looked around, the carnage was too much to comprehend.
The floor was covered with smell fish-slime blobs, there was some still glass on the floor, part of the room was blackend by the fire and drenched from the extinguishing. A boobed-Livius in the doorway whom was already being ignored again by everyone else in the room.
The only ones right now that actually were efficiently cleaning were the robots... although they had some interesting cleaning-methods... Trying to weld the remains of the wooden bookcase back together. Good thing it was still soaking wet otherwise they'd surely have started a new fire.
In despair and at complete loss of what to do now Kaylea even had left she looked at Zatyana, who was the last person Kaylea spoke to before she had left.
"Aaaaahhhhhh, STORMWIND!" exclaimed the Druid as he bounded off
the boat, threw his head back, closed his eyes and deeply inhaled, ignoring the
funny looks of the dock crew. Bleah, ok -- it's not Teldrassil, Darnassus,
Ashenvale, Feralas or even Darkshore, but it's still "home" as far as the guild
goes. And that counts for something!
He brought his head back down level, opened his eyes and scanned the harbor from left to right, still smiling. The usual hustle-bustle -- sailors tying up boats or untying them to embark, dockhands loading and unloading crates of supplies, a net full of fish being crane-hoisted into position, all manner of traders, hawkers, swindlers and thieves plying their wares, a group of guards escorting a Defias prisoner toward the city, the never ending stream of supplies being packed onto the next icebreaker to Northrend...
...and a rider approaching. Moving fast. On a Darnassian sabercat. Heading right for him. The Druid blinked. Recognized the rider. Grinned broadly. Began to jog. Then to run. Then to run faster, his face an unrestrained mask of pure joy.
Bu... wha... ehr..."
Zatyana sighed, now she is responsible to fix this. She closes her eyes and softly pounds the sides of her head with her fists. What to do, what to do, what to d... Ah!
The gnome looked up to meet her gaze with Litheen, who's face appeared as a big question mark.
"Litheen! Good ta see ye! I have an idea and I can use you in that!"
Zatyana took off her adventuring gloves and replaced them with her old lab-gloves. She walked to Skewsprocket and helped him with removing the last rotten fish from his clothes before looking him straight in the eyes.
"Skew, open a portal to.... ehm... Darnassus. Don't ask why, just do it! Litheen, get Herul on his feet and grab a broom or so afterwards."
The warlock spins around on her feet and saw Ilathion gazing upon a very feminine Livius.
"Ilathion? .... I-LA-THION! Get Liv-Jadyn back on her feet and grab a broo... no... Take Jadyn on a walk for the next three hours or so. An... ah, the portal! Thank you Skewy!"
Zatyana picks up an exceptionally large, rotten fish and flings it through the portal.
"Now, throw all the garbage in here! Just make sure there's nothing inbetween which links it to us!"
Kaylea's mind was in turmoil as she raced across Stormwind.
Shouting her apologies and blushing furiously as people were forced to dive
aside or stood cursing her riding with their angry fists raised in the air, she
wove her way at speed steadily through the crowd and finally up the ramp to
where she could see the great gryphons in their roosting boxes.
Dismounting she charged the last few breathless steps to the flight officer and shuffling with agitation she blurted out her question.
"Have you seen a druid..about so tall...kaldorei...cyan hair..goes by the name of Livius. He'll be coming in from Auberdine or Menethill or...somewhere Darnassus related."
The officer paused and mindless of Kaylea's clear agitation he slowly lifted his cap, scratched his head and began to make all the pretenses of thinking in slow motion. Eventually, just before Kaylea thought she might explode, he muttered, "No ma'am. Can't say as I have, but if it's Darnassus you're after you should be looking at the boats down by the harbour."
The priestess' face fell. The harbour! of course. How could she have been so stupid. Staring up at the sky she reasoned it was getting on for late afternoon and could almost sense the tide sweeping in towards the shore. The ship would be on that tide and she now had almost no time to make sure she headed off her husband. Mounting up in one fluid motion she grabbed the reigns, lay low across her Saber's neck and whispered for him to take her to the harbour as quickly as Elune would allow.
Arriving at the top of the rocky harbour wall she paused her large cat only briefly to look down toward the docks. A small Kaldorei schooner had recently berthed and the occupants spilling out onto the quay side. Whispering a silent prayer to Elune she kicked her heals in and tore down the ramps toward the vessel where she hoped she would find the guild captain. If she didn't; well then the others were probably already dead.
As her large cat crossed onto the wooden pier she saw him, and her heart leapt. He was smiling peacefully and looking around him as if the world could contain no greater wonder. Just then he looked down and noticing her began to run in her direction. Quickly she slipped from her cat and into his arms unaware of the hooting laughter of the dock hands.
"Livvie! You are here! I was just coming to greet you in Darnassus. I had a meeting there and now you are here already. You are early. Come quickly. I know you just got back but, I have a meeting, in Darnassus, yes a meeting, come, we can talk on the boat."
Grabbing his hand forcefully she began to pull him back to the boat.
"Come on Livvie! We have to hurry the boat will be leaving for Darnassus any second and we can't afford to miss it!" she exclaimed certain that her plan would buy her guild the time they so desperatly needed.
The Druid couldn't help smiling. The day just kept getting
better! Even if a tad "confusing" as he listened to the Priestess babble on
about something going on in Darnassus that they both simply had to be at. His
mouth hung open, but no words came out. Thoughts swirled in his head and he
wanted to give voice to them, something meaningful and intelligent like, "Excuse
me, Dear? Darnassus? I just got off the boat from Auberdine! You're now going to
drag me back onto the boat so I can retrace the voyage back to where I just came
from? Why? What is so catastrophically important?"
But he said nothing, remembering that, where women are concerned, a smart man does not attempt to understand her actions with "logic", but just goes with it. He smiled at her. Something in her expression ... such desperation ... because of this thing they had to attend in Darnassus? ... No, something else -- he felt it beyond any doubt. But again -- shuddup and just go with it!
"Of course, Dear," he replied, smile refusing to leave his face. "Let's go, then."
Skewsprocket felt dazed. Excessive blinking has been known to
cause temporary psychosis in Gnomes and the stress of the crate and now the fish
had finally cracked him.
He stood numbly as Zatyana peeled the fish from him and casually waved a hand at her request for a portal, the existing one still swirling beneath the fish sliding out across the floor towards Zatyana. The next moment he toppled like a bowling pin back into the pile of fish fast asleep, dreaming of a boat somewhere and an invisible portal floating high above an unsuspecting Druid like a storm cloud.
Ilathion shakes his head and looks at Zatyana, nodding. Relieved
that he doesn't have to stay in the guildhall he looks at Jadyn for a while,
then suddenly grins. Ilathion draws out a large keyring and starts to shake them
infront of Jadyn.
"Look at the shiney shiney, look at the shiney shiney.
He starts backing slowly out of the guildhall and keeps on shaking the keyring.
Bell and her trusted gorilla Uggie return from the cellar and goes wide-eyed at the commotion in the room. As Bell looks around she figures she is no longer needed as there are repairbots and several other strong Brigade members present to clean up the mess, and she quietly attempts to sneak out the back.
*puts her hand in her side, sighs deeply and starts waving an
angry finger around*
Where on Azeroth is Livius?! Always taking vacations while *I* am working so hard! A responsible leader would be here right now to punish you all for your horrible behaviour! You should be ashamed of yourselves!
"OK," rumbled the big tauren. "So you got off the boat at
Stormwind Harbor, you met Kay, she hauled you right back to Darnassus and you
just went with it. Right?"
The Druid looked over at Rahnolf and nodded, taking another bite of his apple. "Yes," he said, his voice somewhat distorted because he didn't wait to empty his mouth before speaking. "Just went with it," he added with a grin, still chewing.
"Mm hm. And then what happened?"
The Druid chuckled. "Well, something that I've never seen happen in Darnassus before! And in the first moment when it did, I had this crazy thought that that is what Kay brought me there to see." The Druid laughed again, spreading his hands and gesturing as he spoke. "Now you have got to picture this! Kay and I just enter Darnassus from Rut'theran village and..."
"Well, Dearest," said the Druid to the Priestess. "We're here! Now what's so important?"
The Priestess still looked distracted and nervous. She'd been that way all during the voyage although she'd valiantly tried to cover it up. "Well, Livvie, it's...that is..."
Suddenly a portal opened near them. And out of the portal came an avalanche of broken and burned furniture, curtains, rugs, light fixtures and similar debris. The Druid blinked. The junk looked a lot like the things from the guild hall. In fact, that blackened bookshelf bore a striking resemblance to the one that contained some of his favorite light-reading tomes.
He glanced at the lady. He could have sworn she was pulling on her ears while her face betrayed great distress, but when he met her gaze, her hands were down, her eyes were wide and a forced smile was in place.
"That's, uh, just a coincidence, isn't it, Dear?" he inquired.
She nodded her head. Frantically.
"Ah," he said, with a reassured nod.
And now out of the portal there came another avalanche, this time an incredible amount of not-so-fresh, raw fish.
The Druid's nose wrinkled from the smell. "And that?" he asked the Priestess.
Again her head frantically bobbed as her widened eyes held his gaze.
"Ah," he said, again with a reassured nod.
"WwwwOOOooOOooaaaAAAAAHHHHhhhhhhhooOOOoOooooo!" >>>plumpf!<< And there was Jadyn, freshly dropped from the portal and lying on the Darnassian grass amidst the wrecked furniture remains and dead fish. She sat up, shook her head to clear it and stared wide-eyed around her. "Oopie doo!" she exclaimed as she jumped to her feet.
And then she saw the pair staring at her, the Druid with raised eyebrows, the Priestess with an expression of great distress.
"GHALLO!" she called, beaming and waving at the two as if This Kind of Thing Just Happens Every Day.
"Wwwwwwwaaaaa hahahahahhh woohoohoohooooo, hahahahehehe!" Rahnolf rolled on the Moonglade ground, paws pounding the grass, hooves kicking the air and that deep, rumbled laugh as his entire body shook with mirth. "Oh, Marcus! Hehehahaha! Would that I could be of your race so I might join your guild and see all this firsthand! Hahahahehehehe!"
The Druid sighed and chuckled. "Yeeesss." He took another bite of his apple, putting a hand behind his head as he reclined on the grass.
Rahnolf's laughter finally slowed enough for him to wipe the tears from his eyes. "And then what happened?"
"Wwweeeelllll..." the Druid said between bites on the apple. "Once Jadyn fell through the portal, there was no more denying what had happened. A short time later, I found a cooperative mage who was kind enough to open a portal to Stormwind. So I told Jadyn and Kay to head back to the guild hall, round up the troops for 'an important guild meeting' and I'd be there in a bit. While they did that, I took a stroll around the city."
"Oh? Anything interesting?" asked Rahnolf, taking an apple for himself and putting the entire thing in his mouth.
"Yes, actually," answered the Druid with a smile. "I figured with all the ... fun ... they must have had, there must be something in the city that would be ... not quite right. I only found one thing 'not right', but the magnitude of it more than compensated. You see, Rahnolf, the Cathedral was missing one of its windows."
Rahnolf raised an eyebrow. "And how do you know it was the Brigade's fault?"
The Druid just looked at him. Rahnolf looked back. They held each others' gaze for a few seconds.
And then they simultaneously busted their guts laughing.
"Well," continued the Druid, when the laughter fit ran its course. "It's not like I needed to, but I decided to dig for info anyway. So I went in and had a word with Bishop Farthing."
"Oh really? And what did he have to say?"
"He said it was clearly an act of theft," replied the Druid. "They had no leads. It was a very professional job, he said. Whoever did it was a master of stealth, quite clever and totally ruthless."
The Druid chuckled and sighed. "Alya," he said. "Had to be." He shook his head, smiling. "Anyway! After my stroll around Stormwind, I returned to the guild hall and confronted my beloved troops. They were all there in the meeting room. And that's when I got down to business..."
The Druid stood at the head of the room, looking out over the
assembled Blackmist Troopers. All was quiet as his eyes roamed over them. Every
time he made eye contact, however, the targetted Trooper would look somewhere
else with an embarrassed expression. Like a room full of children caught
stealing cookies, he thought.
"Well!" exclaimed the Druid suddenly, causing everyone to flinch. "Isn't anyone going to welcome me back?" he asked, with a smile that may have been real. Or not.
Everyone blinked. Glanced at each other. It started as a murmer as a few of the braver ones trusted themselves to use their voices, then it quickly gathered steam and became a torrent of affirmations...
"Welcome back, Chief!
"Great to see you!"
"We didn't do it!"
"It was a gang of Defias broke in here!"
"You look great, Liv!"
"Honest, we're innocent!"
"Did you sleep well?"
"We tried to stop them!"
"I wasn't even here when it happened!"
"But nothing did happen!"
"So glad you've returned!"
"It was his fault!"
"It was not! You did it!"
"And she just kept drinking while it burned!"
"Looking good, Boss, happy to see you!"
"And we said, 'Hey, you better quit it or Liv'll get mad!' But they just laughed and kept trashing the place!"
"We're sorry! ... But it wasn't even us and--!"
The Druid sighed, smiled benignly and raised his hand for quiet. Gradually, peace returned as the guilt-ridden voices died down.
Rahnolf laughed. "Well! And then what did you say?"
The Druid chuckled. "The one thing they least expected..."
When complete quiet returned to the room, the Druid let it hang in the air for a moment. Then, in a gentle and contrite voice, he said, "Listen, Troops. I owe you all an apology."
Rahnolf choked suddenly, spitting out apple bits. "You said WHAT?!"
The Druid merely chuckled and motioned for his friend to be quiet and listen.
"You see, Troops," the Druid continued in the most humble voice tone possible. "When we druids hibernate, things become clearer to us. Things that should have been obvious to us long before. And I've come back from my little nap with a realization: I've been treating you all very badly despite the grand things you do." He smiled and nodded around the room.
"Rahnolf! Would you please just listen for a while and let me finish the damn story?!"
"I didn't say anything!"
"No, but you're looking at me with your jaw hanging open, half an unchewed apple in your mouth and that 'Holy-Earthmother-Liv-what-in-all-the-world-got-into-you' expression!"
"Oh!" The big Tauren deliberately bit down, chewed twice and swallowed. OK, continue, I'll be good." He smirked.
The Druid rolled his eyes. "Uh huh. Well! You should have just seen their faces! That poignant mixture of fear, disbelief and hope, that expression of 'By the Light, we're going to get away with it!' written all over them!" The Druid chuckled. "As if..!"
The Druid nodded. "Yes. I've been very bad to you all. I'm sorry. And I'm going to make it up to you." He smiled. "That's why I've decided that you're all getting ... an allowance!"
Jaws dropped. Eyes widened.
"Here's how it will go," said the Druid as he hung a large sheet of parchment on the wall, dipped an unusually large feather into an inkwell and began to write on the parchment for all to see...
"A reward?! After all that, you gave them money?" Rahnolf's laughter shook the ground.
"Hey ... I said shuddup and let me finish."
"Here's the total in gold..." He wrote a number on the parchment "...which, divided by the number of you all..." he wrote another number "...comes out to this amount for each of you." He wrote a number and smiled out at everyone. They blinked in happy disbelief.
"And you all deserve it!" added the Druid, nodding. Then he frowned thoughtfully. "However," he continued carefully. "We do have to face certain ... obligations. First off, you all did a wonderful job cleaning up the room, even removing all the old furniture! But we've got to finish the job. So this..." he wrote a number under the "total gold" number "...is the cost of refurnishing the room as it was before you all ... remodelled." The Troopers gulped as they saw the number.
"And this..." he wrote another number below the previous one "...is what it will cost to replace all those books that you threw out because they were too old and boring." The troopers just stared.
The Druid turned around to face them, his smile fading as he became more serious. "But it's not only about making our lives better by refitting the Guild Hall. No, Troops! We have to think of the bigger picture! You see, I just arrived back from Darnassus and it seems some evil people opened a portal there and dumped all their garbage on the fine Darnassian grass. Can you just imagine?!"
The Druid shook his head with an expression of disgust. Troopers stared at him wide-eyed, waiting.
"So now this..." he turned to the parchment and wrote another number in the lengthening "costs" column "...is what we, as a guild, will contribute to the City of Darnassus to help clean up the garbage." Jaws fell around the room.
"And there's one other thing," continued the Druid, smile still in place. "Would you believe someone made off with a stainglass cathedral window?!" The Druid sighed, lips pursed, head shaking in disbelief. "Well!" he suddenly brightened. "We, as a guild, are going to pay for a new one! Yes, we are! And it will hang proudly in the currently empty window, with an inscription in the lower right that reads: 'Courtesy of the Blackmist Brigade'"!
The Druid nodded enthusiastically. "And this..." he turned to the parchment "...is what it will cost." And he wrote a final number in the column. Troopers swallowed nervously.
"Now, let's subtract this all from the total." He made the calculations, mumbling to himself as he penned the result. "And it comes out to -- oh, dear -- it seems we're running a deficit, Troops! Hmm." He turned to face them. "And how shall we make up this deficit?"
Sad faces all around as they realized their "allowance" was not to be. "I have it!" exclaimed the Druid. "Guild Bank Tab 3! The booze supply! Here's what selling it will bring in!" He turned to the parchment and wrote again. "Add that in and we get ... hmmm ... we're still short! By this much." He wrote a new number in a new column. "Divided by the number of you all ... makes this amount that each of you need to pay in." He wrote a final number on the parchment, nice and large, and drew a circle around it."
He turned to face the troops and grinned broadly. Their heads hung and not one of them grinned back. Silence hung in the room. "Well, then!" said the Druid, breaking the silence. "All of you down to the harbor, now! You have just enough time to get the next icebreaker to Northrend! Then you can head right out from there and start running those dailies! Oh, you're all so dedicated, yes! I can totally count on you to not return until you have this!" His finger jabbed the last number on the parchment. "Yes, you're all so eager! Go!" Grinning broadly, he began to push them toward the door. "Go go go! With winged sandals on your feet! Goodbye! Farewell! Don't forget to write! See you later! Bye byyyyyyyye!"
Rahnolf lay propped up on one elbow, staring at the Druid, mouth hanging open. "You're truly evil, Marcus," he finally said.
"Thank you!" replied the Druid, chomping on a fresh apple. "Here, have a peach." He tossed the fruit to the Tauren, then sighed happily, lying back down on the soft grass as he chewed.
Rahnolf hesitated for a moment, still staring at his friend open-mouthed. "Thanks," he finally answered, shoving the peach in his mouth, chewed briefly and swallowed.
"How do you feel?"
The Druid merely sighed happily and closed his eyes, his expression showing total serenity. "Lovely evening," he murmured as his eyes closed and his breathing slowed.
Rahnolf stared at him a moment longer. "...yes." Then he gave a little shrug, laid back against the grass, sighed and closed his eyes as well. Yes, he thought. Truly a wonderful evening. It was his last thought before peaceful slumber took him as well.
Thus ends Tale #2 of the Misadventures of the Blackmist Brigade.