Friday, December 2, 2016
(For the sake of story I'm pretending Demeana isn't an elf.)
Naaki yawned and stretched , shifting the clefthoof saddle that was on his shoulder. It probably smelled worse than his mount, but it kept pesky little goblins and elves from swarming him as he made his way up to the Horde's headquarters on Draenor. It wasn't that the Tauren paladin had problems with the smaller races, per say, just sometimes one wanted to listen to the peace in their own head and not the hyperactive chattering of small people. Okay, and maybe the way their noses wrinkled up and they tried to make polite escapes when the wind shifted was amusing to him.
It was snowing in Frostwall. It always seemed to be snowing in Frostwall. Inhaling snowflakes through one's snout was a distinctly unpleasant experience. Naaki was still snorting and shaking his head when the door to the headquarters exploded into splinters and a male Blood Elf in plate mail went hurtling past in a blast of arcane energy. The elf went ass over head a few times before hitting the top of the steps of the small marketplace and then went clattering down them.
The commander of the Horde forces on Draenor stood in the doorway, silhouetted by the torches and fireplaces within. Arcane energies sparked and danced all around her, her fists glowing dangerously. "Did you want to come back up here and say that again?" she asked with ice cold calm, walking down the steps from the headquarters to glare down to where the Blood Elf lay. "Do you want to claim a MISCOMMUNICATION?"
Naaki dropped his saddle in the snow bank by the door debris and put his hand on sword, moving to shadow Tanla as she put sparking hands on her hips. He felt, more than saw, Druuze taking up a similar position behind her other shoulder. He'd wondered where the Troll had gotten to.
The fallen elf spluttered a few things, getting to his feet. He started to draw his swords before looking up at Tanla and her shadows. Naaki hadn't realised elves could actually get paler. "No." He finally muttered, looking anywhere but at her and the small crowd of pissed off people that was gathering behind her.
Tanla stared down at him for another few heartbeats. "Then I suggest you pick up your gear, get on your steed, and get your ass to Warspear and go back to Azeroth. If I hear of you setting foot on Draenor again, I will drag you before Vol'Jin himself and explain to him why you've just become the Horde's chief hoof scrubber for the pig farm outside of Orgrimmar."
Naaki had been to that farm. It stank. Farmers weren't paid enough. Pigs weren't bad, but pig shit was one of the worst smells he'd ever encountered.
"Yes." The warrior grumbled as he got to his feet.
The commander and her shadows didn't move until the elf had gotten on his horse and ridden through the gates. The crowd slowly melted away now that the drama was done.
Tanla stood and watched the elf collect his horse and mount up. As soon as the back hoof of said horse had gone beyond the gate she turned to the Tauren. "NAAKI!" She exclaimed. The aura of arcane energy disappeared, anger dissipated as well apparently. A burst of arcane energy to boost her up as she jumped up to wrap her arms around his neck and plant a friendly kiss on the side of his face, completely ignoring the stinking saddle. "Are you the bearer of good news? How's your lady? WHERE'S your lady?" She let go and dropped back down on the well-packed snow. She glanced over at Druuze, probably to threaten him with the same enthusiasm, but he'd disappeared. She seemed to accept that the rogue had decided that his duty didn't include getting hugged by elves. Naaki figured Druuze was probably off making sure a certain asshat was getting his battered butt through a portal back to Azeroth.
Before Naaki could answer any of the barrage of questions, she grabbed his free hand and tugged towards the command hall. He contemplated resisting just for the sake of amusement, but he figured she'd had a rough day already, and it wasn't like it was going to get better so he docilely followed along.
Once through the remains of the door, he dumped the saddle by the wall. A hand wave and the Light granted a barrier across the door. It wouldn't take long for the blazing fires to warm the place back up, he hoped. While the plains got cold enough in the winters, he'd spent weeks in a hot, humid, jungle and wasn't too fond of the environment around here.
Tanla grabbed a collection of books off a Tauren sized chair for him to sit on and dumped them on an Orc sized chair before retaking what she'd been obviously sitting on before the brouhaha.
"What was all that about?" He asked before settling on the chair, tail swishing back and forth in an effort to warm it up. He refused to wear those silly 'tail warmers' that the blood elves oh-so-innocently kept offering.
"Oh, the usual." She waved a hand.
"The usual?" he repeated, eyes narrowing.
"I married an Orc, Naaki. My kind doesn't DO that." She said with some bitterness. He was actually kind of surprised it wasn't more bitterness considering her husband had been MIA since Deathwing's final attack.
He snorted, "Your kind consort with anything with the right equipment, and even then I'm not quite sure they're not willing to improvise."
She rolled her eyes. Naaki was convinced Blood Elves were just all teenagers. Bloodthirsty, violent, teenagers. Which was actually rather redundant when he gave it a second thought.
"That's okay. FUCKING other races is fine. You just don't MARRY them. That means they're PEOPLE, that they're EQUAL to the great elven kind." She gave him a wry smile, "and we couldn't give THAT message, could we?"
"So what did Mr Pleasant say?" She waved a hand, trying to dismiss it. He shifted, crossed his arms across his chest and waited. He could be a very patient person when he wanted. Oh sure, Dameana called it being 'stubborn' but he preferred patient.
It took about four minutes before Tanla huffed. "He called me Commander Orcwhore. I objected."
The wooden table's creak got him to unclench his fingers. He hoped that Druuze accidentally eviscerated that elf between here and Warspear.
She stood and walked towards the larger fire, blinking a bit at the shimmer of Light energy that covered the doorway. "They have a surplus of doors, once you're gone, it'll be replaced."
"Blow up the door often?" Naaki asked, reining in his temper from thoughts of making sure Druuze did a good job.
"It's an ORC outpost, Naaki," she said wryly, mood changing once again. "They build the doors all the same size because THEY break them often."
"So.. as I asked earlier, why are you here, where's your lady and how are you doing?"
He sighed, "Things have changed on Azeroth. Our forces ended up working together, as much as we ever do, to assault the Broken Shore. Wrynn and Vol'Jin were killed."
Tanla cursed in the liquid language of the elves and sank back in her chair. Her mind obviously at work. "Who is Warchief? Bane?"
"You'd think." Naaki didn't quite growl, "But no, Sylvanas."
"Sylvanas?!" Tanla repeated, shocked. "But .." She waved her hands about before managing to find words, "As much as I love the Dark Lady.. Warchief?!"
"Vol'Jin chose her. I'm told without her, the Horde's best warriors and leadership, they wouldn't have escaped Gul'dan's trap. It gets worse - the Alliance blames us for Wrynn's death, thinking Sylvanas betrayed them."
"The Alliance are idiots," Tanla muttered absently, her thoughts obviously elsewhere.
"THAT goes without saying." Naaki agreed. He watched her twist a lock of hair around her finger several times. "The Warchief has asked for your to attend her." Tanla hadn't talked about her association with the Dark Lady much, beyond that they'd worked on 'some projects' together in the past.
Tanla sighed. "This doesn't surprise me. Are you taking over here? Or are we withdrawing from Draenor entirely?"
The paladin thought that for the first time since he'd met her, Tanla actually looked her age. "We're pulling the majority of the forces we still have here out, shut down the outposts. We'll keep Warspear and here active for now. I'm to take command her till new orders appear."
"That's what you get for complaining about being stuck in the jungle to run the campaign against the citadel." He huffed his irritation, more to create the faint smile that crossed her face than anything else. "And Dameana?"
"I left her threatening to smack Y'Rel and Grommash's heads together if they don't learn to work together."
Tanla shrugged a shoulder, "Well, that could at least be entertaining. Alright, let me pack my books and I'll be out of your fur within the hour." She looked out of the shimmering doorway. "Sorry about the door."
"Eh. I'll find a hide somewhere to stretch across it if necessary." He stood up. "Did you want another hug?" He wasn't quite sure on hug protocol with her.
She let out a short laugh, "Maybe if you weren't in your armour, it leaves creases and bruises. Get one from your lady when she gets here." Tanla suddenly grinned, "And don't use Grommash's hide for the doorway. He may be useful in the future."
"Anything's possible," Naaki grumbled. Trying to convince the slaughterer of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of Draenei to work with justifiably bitter Draenei had been trying, to say the least.
Tanla's chimelike laugh sounded more like her own as she summoned a portal and started placing her collection of books, scrolls, and odd devices in. He'd have offered to help, but the last time she'd threatened him with a full body electrolysis if he tried. Once Dameana had stopped laughing when he'd asked what that even was, he decided to leave well enough alone from mage paraphernalia.
Tanla stopped in her packing to look at him for a moment. "I'll summon you a realistically sized bed before I go. You don't want to know what Orcs consider comfortable."
He snorted his amusement, "I know what they consider comfortable and I disagree with them. Thank you." His spine would thank her more.
She put a mug of ale down in front of him and went back to her packing.
As elves went, at least this one knew what was civilised.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Chewie was having a lovely dream. He was sitting back up against an old tree, it's age a comfort in a rapidly changing world, wolves were playing tag with bunnies (the bunnies tended to win - they cheated), there was a breeze with the smell of bacon, and it was just about as idyllic as anywhere could be. Or it was until something sharp bit his ear and a snake appeared to hiss in his face. The shaman woke in a hurry, grabbing for Doomhammer, which he'd stashed under his bunk.
His motion was stopped in a hurry by his planting his forehead against someone else's - that someone else's went crunch rather than crack, and he opened his eyes to seeing Leensa holding her nose and mouthing profanity as she fell on her ass.
"Ooops," whispered Chewie. He didn't want to wake half the bunk room. He was actually surprised the loud sound of bone on bone hadn't done it, but since most of the bunks were manned by orcs, he supposed they'd slept through worse.
Gritting her teeth, Leensa's hand glowed with a soft yellow light, and the blood stopped and her nose straightened. Hissing slightly, reminding Chewie of that dream snake, she got to her feet and gestured with her head for him to follow. She was rubbing her nose and trying not to give him dirty looks. Was it his fault she'd stood over him when she'd rudely woken him up?
He had to wonder what she was doing down here; Leensa and her sister had rented a rather luxurious suite in a lower tower. He'd have done similar if he felt like burning money AND they'd built any to Tauren specifications. He always felt like he was kissing his knees whenever he visited the two blood elves for mead and biscuits. Once they got outside the barracks, he turned to look down his, quite undamaged by the encounter, nose, at the paladin.
"I need your help," Leensa said without ramp up. She was never much for small talk.
"Okay." He said indicating he was listening. A half-chime of the nearest tower bells gave the time. As if the guards exchanging reports hadn't been an indicator.
Leensa was shifting nervously. "Two of Lady Liandra's squire-applicants didn't return for curfew. We had a sweep around the city, but she thinks they may have gone down into the sewers. She had to get back on duty, so that leaves me to find their scrawny little butts and get them back here."
"Right." Chewie acknowledged. "Why me? Why not Rae?" It was a fair question. While the two paladins did often go their separate ways, currently they were both in the city at the same time which meant they would typically raise mayhem together.
"The sewers, Chewie," Leensa repeated to his blank look and sighed. "Once we get her down there, she'll never come back up. She says it's a fun place to be."
"Wat." He couldn't see why anywhere so damp and dark could be considered fun, but then, he wasn't a blood elf. He shook his mane, "Fine, let's go." He hefted Doomhammer onto his shoulder. "But you're paying my cleaning bill for my hooves and replacing my hock protectors! I don't care what the rogues say; I know what the Apothecary Society dumps down there."
"Cowhide for the armour?" Leensa asked slyly as they slipped down the darkened streets.
Chewie gave serious thought to just going back to bed. No, he'd go and help and hold it over her head for a week. Of course, considering how short she was, it wasn't hard to hold everything over her head.
Sewers, why was it always sewers?
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Shevaun had headed off to Xanza's to have a chat with rabbit messengers and her bestie priest friend while muttering something about soju and a large bucket. Grunto had gone looking for the ladies he'd been forced to ditch, saying he at least owed them dinner and perhaps after that an evening of watching the fel burn over the isles. Leensa and Rae had followed Chewie back to the bar they'd started in. Two thirds of their mounts were back beside the inn, the two hippogriffs having tucked their heads under their wings to sleep while the blue drake seemed to have found better places to be, possibly somewhere with more swine to eat.
The bar was mostly empty, even the barmaids seemed to have been distracted by the fun at the Citadel. However, the bartender was more than happy to take their money before they settled in at a table near the unlit fireplace.
"Wat?" Chewie asked. The Blood Elf sisters had been plying the Tauren shaman with whisky when Raelanaa had smiled winningly, curled a lock of red hair around her finger and said one magic word.
"Naga!" she repeated.
"No." Chewie said with a very impressive frown.
"Oh come on, it'll be fun!" Leensa said, holding green eyes open wide in an attempt at looking innocent. Chewie wasn't buying it, he'd been friends with both of them for far too long.
"That's what you said last time." He pointed out. "Oh hey Chewie, come check out this steam vent. It'll help get that goo off your armour!"
"You said you like to get steamy with the ladies." Rae pointed out, looking as if she'd adjust her halo at any moment.
"*Tauren* ladies." Chewie corrected with a sniff. "And wrong type of steamy! You had me stand over that thing right before it erupted!"
"And you complained your horns would split from the heat - wet, steamy, horny Chewie! You should have seen your face!" Leensa couldn't help herself, she started to laugh; a deep belly laugh that soon almost had her falling out of her chair. Rae's glance between Chewie's expression and Leena's laughter set her off into her own gales of glee. "By .. the light.." Leensa managed, "Chewie eruption!"
Rae's laughter led to almost-tears, "Chewie explosion!"
"Red hot Chewie!"
"Steamy horny Chewie!"
"Naked Chewie after he was forced to remove METAL ARMOUR in a hurry!" Chewie told them, folding his arms across his chest and giving his best mighty frown.
Leensa whooped, laughing so hard she was in pain, falling off the chair and onto the wooden floor.
Rae was face first on the table, trying to rub tears from her eyes as she laughed and laughed.
"So no. No naga!" Chewie said firmly.
Leensa was having trouble breathing. "How-How about elf ghosts?"
"Wat?" He asked and then grimaced. "Haunted house repeat? I don't think so!"
"Ghost in the boudoir!" Rae cackled.
"Chewie - three sheets to the wind!" Leensa managed, trying to get up.
Chewie sighed. "I don't know why I put up with you two."
"Good whisky?" Leensa said, holding her stomach as a few snickers and chuckles escaped. She had to work very hard to not look at either the shaman or her paladin sister. She finally conquered the chair and managed to sit down once more, still listing as the odd snicker escaped.
"Good company!" Rae corrected.
"Healing." Leensa added.
"Mayhem." Rae supplied.
"FUN!" they both said together.
Chewie just looked up like the roof or sky had the answers he needed.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
She could hear Chipper barking that she had arrived on their doorstep. She and Xanza said in almost the same breath "Be quiet, Chipper!"
Chipper made a humphing noise, and Miss Lola could see him circling in his bed before he landed with a grumpy flumpf.
"Miss Lola!" Xanza said from the kitchen, "This is bein' a marvelous surprise! What's bringing you here, darlin'?" She didn't give the white rabbit a chance to answer, "I just got some fresh bananas, would you be likin' some?"
Well, that was just a silly question. "Yes, please." She remembered her away manners. Her humom was always going on about being polite got you second servings.
"C'mon then!" Xanza led her into the kitchen.
The kitchen was a marvel of modern design, with all the controls warded so only one person could use them. The last time Zealtor had tried to make a snack, he'd almost burned down the house. The paladin in question was sitting at the much loved and abused kitchen table with his armour spread across it. He was fiddling with buckles and leather straps. Miss Lola thought he looked very silly with the tip of his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth as he worked. Zealtor absently patted her as she put her front paws on the edge of his chair to see what he was doing.
"If I adjust the strap and buckle system to that used by Erilen Silverlight in the fourth campaign of Blacklight, I can get my armour on .6 seconds faster in case of emergency," Zealtor explained as he waved a snippy type tool about in the air.
Lola wasn't quite sure what difference .6 seconds would make. Unless.. "Is that per piece or overall?" She asked, curious, as Xanza puttered about.
"Overall. I was thinking if I tried Feylewae Emberbane's method, I could get a more significant speed upgrade of .9 seconds, but I haven't figured out what leather she was using and a leatherworker who can make it."
"The mess is in the details." Lola sympathized.
"Always is!" Zealtor agreed as Xanza put down a glass of water for him and a bowl of nuts. Xanza then put a bowl of hay with blueberries and banana chunks mixed in. Miss Lola could even scent extra herbs. There were many reasons she liked visiting the priestess! She immediately stuck her nose in the bowl and didn't come up again for several minutes.
"You look like you were busy this morning!" Miss Lola said. She'd been taught it was rude to point out people looked tired and she didn't want to be rude to someone who gave her bananas.
"Oh, we has a murloc incursion just before the dawn, so we were fightin' that off, and then I was of renewin' all the village wards. Just got back in when you be arrivin'."
Miss Lola looked at the mess of armour and gear Zealtor must have made in the minutes between 'just got back' and her arrival and was impressed. Even she couldn't make THAT much of a mess that fast.
Xanza drank her coffee and stole nuts from Zealtor's bowl as the three ate in companionable silence. Miss Lola didn't understand two feets obsession with the dark bitter drink, but it did make them a lot easier to be around.
After Miss Lola was finished and more than ready for a nap, Xanza perked up, "What was bringin' you to our doorstep anyway, darlin'?"
"OH! Shevaun wanted you to help her quell an uprising at the Violet Citadel. Apparently, there was a jail break."
"Again?" Xanza rolled her eyes. She then looked at the window at the sun, a couple of hours had passed since Miss Lola had initially arrived. "Ah well, she either been beatin' it, or a bear skin rug by now. Woulda ya be likin' a pillow on the porch to sleep on?"
* * *
Meanwhile in the Violet Citadel..
Shevaun, in bear form, lay flat on her stomach, limbs akimbo. Leensa and Raelanaa lay against her, fanning themselves, while Grunto and Chewie slumped nearby. Bits of demon, warlock and other best undescribed bits of bodies was spread all around them.
"When I find Xanza, I am going to KILL her." muttered the bear.
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Shevaun was sitting in The Legerdemain Lounge, drinking coffee, and doing a watercolour of a goblin's best invention - the coffee press. There was a high elf in the corner butchering something on the harp. She was pretty sure it'd be more enjoyable if he knew what rhythm was. His knowing how to tune his harp would probably also help the matter. She winced as he hit a sour note. Perhaps Elves liked that sort of thing, although there didn't seem to be another one in the café at the moment. Early afternoon was typically the slow time, which was why she was here.
Her musing was disrupted by a bunny grabbing her pant leg and tugging.
Shevaun looked down to see a mid-sized white rabbit with chocolate frosting on ears and nose trying to get her attention. "Yes, Speedy?" Now that she brought her attention around from trying to ignore the unmusic and focus on painting, there did seem to be some excitement going on in Dalaran east.
"The Kirin Tor requests your assistance with a break-out from the Violet Citadel."
"Again?" Shevaun asked, eye-ridges raising.
"Well, there may have been some discussion that since you and your troops settled the matter last time.." Speedy scratched his chin bone with the claws of his hindfoot.
Shevaun sighed, standing. She picked up her paints and pad and handed them over to the barista. "Hang onto those for me, please!"
"Do I even have any troops available?" Shevaun asked Speedy. The rabbits, the best messenger and courier service of the realms, always knew where everyone was.
"Well, yes and no. Sort of." Speedy skirted around the answer.
The druidess and leader of mavericks winced.
* * *
The trio of trouble, as Leensa had started calling the group, were standing on the landing platform watching the Kirin Tor guards rush about like their hair was on fire. "Why are they all human?" Chewie asked.
"There're a few high elves," Raelanaa replied as she made a face at the mention of the idiot high elves. That lot were more concerned with their boots than their brains. "But once the Horde got tossed from Dalaran, a lot of the regulars hightailed it off to other positions. They didn't want to associate with a supposedly neutral organization that was no longer neutral." The paladin finished up.
Leensa nodded, "Jaina kinda shot an arrow into her own knee with that one."
"Morons." agreed Raelanna.
"Idiots." replied Leensa.
It devolved from there.
Chewie was saved from the sisters' contest on who could come up with the better description of the Kirin Tor's policies by their fearless leader pounding up the stairs. "You're still here, good. Violet Citadel is under attack."
"Wat?" said Chewie.
"Again?" Leensa asked.
"That's what I said," Shevaun grumbled, tossing her mane in irritation.
"Who puts a jail in the middle of their city??" Rae asked, readying weaponry.
"The Kirin Tor, that's who. Don't look at me; I'm just a bear, not an architect." Shevaun replied before turning to run back the way she'd come up. The trio quickly followed suit. After the stairs, she skittered around a pillar and onto the street. Cobblestones and hooves did not mix. She shifted to cat form as Chewie became a wolf. They high-tailed it towards the hold, leaving the paladins trying to catch up.
"When I figure out who convinced the light that paladins don't need to occasionally run faster, I will stab them in the eye with a fork," Rae grumbled as she put forth her best speed.
Leensa wasn't as fast as her sister, possibly all the extra armour. "Why a fork, sister?"
"Because it'll hurt more." Rae snapped.
* * *
Shev came to a skidding stop next to a large Tauren who was busy talking to two Tauren ladies. The topic of discussion seemed to be the difference between the elementals mages summoned and those shaman communed with. All of them seemed completely oblivious to the chaos around them. People were rushing this way and that, there was fel explosions against the shield that had been cast over the citadel, and there was just general noise and mayhem coming from the prison.
The druid and the shaman shifted back to their true forms in sync, each grabbing an arm of the large male Tauren, and lifted their compatriot off the ground to start hauling him to the hold. "Write him a letter!" Shevuan told the mystified ladies.
"Write him two!" Chewie called with a jaunty wave of his free hand.
"Uh." Grunto managed, trying to peer over his shoulder to see where he was going.
"Some shmoe named Lord Malgrath has decided to break the prisoners out of the hold. The guard has managed to lock them in, but it won't last. We're going in to clean up the mess."
"Again?" Grunto asked with mild amusement.
The two paladins caught up at this point. "That's what I said!" Rae declared.
"Did you get anywhere with those two?" Leensa asked, gesturing over her shoulder at the ladies in question.
"Possibly." He answered with a slight smile.
"You weight a ton. "Chewie said, dropping his half of Grunto, causing Shevaun to stumble and shoot the shaman a death look. Chewie gave their leader his best winning smile as they arrived into the courtyard of the citadel.
"Well. Bugger." Raelanaa said succinctly as they watched the guard and mages run around like a bunch of headless chickens.
"This is why they outsource," Leensa observed.
"Thank the light for us!" Rae agreed.
Shevaun sighed again and ignored the sisters. Really, it was just for the best that she did.
Marching up to Lieutenant Sinclari, the druid let her know they were ready to assist. The mage seemed more than happy to dump the circus of monkeys into Shevaun's lap.
"So, uh, what's the plan?" Grunto asked.
"We hit things until they apologize and go back to their cells," Chewie replied.
"Good plan." Grunto agreed.
Sinclari opened the massive doors, "Hurry, I can't hold open the way for long!" The doors opened to reveal a typical Kirin Tor purple magic shield.
They dashed through, Sinclari close on their heels, the shield closing up behind them. "My men are within. I need to get them out. Hold off the demons and Lord Malgath as long as you can!"
"Hold him off?" Rae scoffed, "We're going to send him back to the nether realm in bits."
"Small, small, battered bits," Leensa added.
"So he's a fish?" Rae asked her sister, nose wrinkled.
"Wat?" Chewie asked, wondering if the blood elves had finally lost their remaining marbles.
"Focus, people!" Shevaun said, shifting into an enormous and well-armoured bear.
"Where does the armour come from?"
"How do you gain mass?"
"If you lose fur, do you lose skin when you change back or do you lose some of your mane?"
Shevaun ignored them and chose to wade into a group of demons as the safer option. Grunto and Chewie weren't far behind.
"Some people have no appreciation for inquiring minds." Leensa huffed.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
"I'm sure you've heard all about the legion's invasion," said the smiling redhead on his right.
"And thought, boy, wouldn't it be fun to go smash in some demon skulls." said the smiling blonde on his left.
"But who could possibly want to go on adventures without his friends?" The redhead asked, rhetorically as she leaned forward and snagged his whisky.
"And who are your friends more than us?" The blonde asked, giving her best-winning smile while her sister took a large swig of his drink.
"Uhm." While he didn't mind a real battle for the cause, wading into an army of demons didn't seem like a very solid idea. Besides, Shevaun had yet to assign him to anything and generally speaking, letting Leensa organize things ended up with Bad Things happening. He hadn't heard from Kyndig since that "adventure" in the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds.
"Don't worry - you can hide behind Rae. I'll keep you healed and she'll keep you safe! You just have to blow things up." Leensa patted his arm. It was rather like patting a tree trunk.
"And hit them with your hammer, don't forget to hit them with your hammer," Raelanna added.
"I would never forget to hit things with my hammer," Chewie said, almost more affronted about the accusation than he was about the stolen whisky.
"Great then! Let's go!" Leensa said and hopped off the bar stool, Rae following suit. They both grabbed an arm and attempted to pull.
Chewie did not move.
They continued to pull.
Chewie swished his tail and thought about ordering another drink.
They muttered under their breath, and Leensa started to bend over. "Don't touch the tail," he warned.
One sister harrumphed irritation while the other sighed annoyance.
"Well, we'll just go have to have fun without you." Raelanaa declared. Leensa agreed and told the Tauren he was a big ole party pooper. They turned on their heels and marched out. The exit would have been a lot grander if they hadn't had to duck around a rather drunk pandarian at the last moment.
"Have fun!" Chewie called after them and ordered another whisky.
Time passed. He drank the whisky.
More time passed. He wondered if they'd even managed to get out of Dalaran yet. Probably got lost on the way to the stables. Probably got accosted by some allies who thought a lack of armour meant that they could try their way with Rae. Probably started a brawl in the streets.
He sighed and stood up, downing the last in the glass. "Why I put up with them.." he grumbled as he pulled his pack over her shoulder and strolled out of the bar.
"YAY!! Finally!" came the cheer from Rae. Leensa bounced up and down and clapped her hands. They were holding the reins to a couple of hippogriffs while a drake sat between them reading a book. "We knew if we waited you'd show up. You can't let us go off and have fun without you."
"Wat?" He sighed. "I could. I should."
The blue drake looked up from the book. "Don't fight the inevitable, brother."
Chewie sighed. He supposed someone had to try and keep them out of trouble, and it looked like it was his turn. Where was Grunto when you needed him?
Khadgar was discussing Dalaran's latest round of problems with the rest of the council. Various citizens, heroes, merchants and sundry moved around them much like water around a rock in a fast moving stream. They could probably have found a table to sit at rather than standing in a cluster in the lobby of the violet citadel, but the archmages preferred to be readily accessible. If someone had news from the front, it needed to be delivered immediately, not twenty minutes later when the courier finally managed to get into whatever meeting room or library they happened to be in.. and Dalaran had a lot of libraries. Public meetings also meant that people could see their leaders were doing things, even if it was about the misalignment of the sewage removal operations after the latest teleportation of the city.
The leader of the Kirin Tor felt a sudden pain at the back of his head. "Ow! What in the light was that?!" he peered around. While some of the visitors to the citadel had turned to stare at him, he saw no animal or person behind him, just the faint smell of spice and ozone.
Archmage Modera peered up at him, "Khadgar, what's wrong? What happened?" It was rather unlike their leader to suddenly burst out in profanity.
Khadgar rubbed the back of his head, "Something.." he stopped and looked around once more, "..bit my head, I think."
Modera rolled her eyes, "Something bit your head? That's all?" An eyebrow raised in a skeptical arch, "Would you like me to kiss it better?"
Khadgar sighed, "No, no. Let's just get back to the turtle problem."
* * *
It didn't take long to find Aronthil. Khadgar strode into the tertiary library of the third level of the citadel. The blood elf didn't look up from where he was sitting at a table. Several books were spread across the surface along with pages full of notes. Khadgar wondered if he should point out the ink smudges on the elf's hands, but it was rare to see the mage as anything other than spotless. Aronthil didn't look up from his absorbed writing other than to wave his free hand in Khadgar's general direction as acknowledgment. The archmage walked around to behind the fire mage so he could wrap his arms around his lover's shoulders and rest his chin on Aronthil's head.
"The boiling point of fel blood in the average felhound?" Khadgar asked with raised eyebrows as he read the sheet being written.
"Academic purposes, I assure you." came the reply. Arothin's left hand patted Khadgar's clasped hands. "Blowing up felhounds, even en masse, serves little purpose beyond entertainment."
Khadgar wasn't quite sure how to respond to that, "And what would you blow up for a better purpose?"
"Demon lords, but one has to start small, doesn't one?" Aronthil put down the quill and gave the hands that rested on his collarbone a kiss.
"I wouldn't know; I started with you," Khadgar replied, happily changing the mood.
That got a snort of amusement. "And what bring you to my lair this early in the day?"
"It's two hours past supper time, and you've yet to have a meal." Khadgar corrected, letting go and stepping back. He held out his hand.
Aronthil turned to look out a window, long ago having evicted the clocks from his favorite place to study and research. "Is it?" But sure enough, the clouds were reflecting the sun preparing to set. Khadgar didn't need to respond. "I suppose it is." He took Khadgar's hand as he stood, then looping his arm through the archmage's. "Shall we find something to eat then?"
"Food would be good too," Khadgar replied. "I did have a question, however." He guided them over to one of the communication orbs. "Why was one of your shaman stealing my hair?"
That got Aronthil to stop, turn, and stare at him. "What?"
"An elemental specialist judging by scent. I'd say probably an orc by the size of air displacement. So, I'd assume one Raeska Frostwolf decided to make off with one of my hairs. I'm curious as to why."
Storm clouds gathered in Aronthil's eyes as his hand flashed over the orb. "Raeska!"
A picture formed in the orb, fel lava and demons were everywhere as lightning arced through the view. "NOT A GOOD TIME!" came the snarled reply as a clawed weapon slashed into a demoness, ichor splurting everywhere. "BIT BUSY!"
"Now is an excellent time," Aronthil replied sternly. "Why did you steal hair from Khadgar?"
The replied involved orcish profanity spat with disgust. "Can't this wait?" A felhound attempted to pounce on her but was tackled by a giant earth elemental.
"Well, it's not THAT important. I have faith that one of your band is trustworthy and had a good reason. I'm just curious." Khadgar interjected.
"Thank you, Khadgar!" Raeska replied, spinning in place to send jets of lava into a pack of imps who scattered. "Nice to know someone has faith in me!"
"I have faith you can multitask," Aronthil told her, folding his arms. "Now.."
Raeska let loose an explosion of lightning that sent demons flying every which way. She wiped a hand across her sweated brow and looked around. The earth elemental also seemed to scan the area before bowing to her and sinking back into the earth.
"It was for an alchemy project." The shamaness answered, still looking for danger.
Both mages' eyes narrowed.
"Oh for the love of.." she muttered and clipped her shield on her back before loosening her hold on her fist claws. ".. I had to do a favor for a friend of a friend. They'd thought it would be funny to steal one of your hairs, so I chugged an invisibility potion, took the hair, burned the hair with a torch, and gave her one of Imogen's. You're remarkably similar colors of gray."
"Hmm," Khadgar said, exchanging a look with Aronthil. "All the same, perhaps I should know who this friend of a friend IS."
Raeska's eyes snapped to the horizon, "Madame Goya, she's lurking around in your sewers."
"Yes, her and every rabid turtle." Khadgar muttered and sighed, "Nevermind. Thank you, shaman."
"Right." Raeska turned in time to be hit by a meteor from an infernal and get thrown out of view. The communication orb spun a bit trying to focus on her before the picture dissolved.
Khadgar jumped forward as if he could do something via the orb. Aronthil patted him on the shoulder, "She'll be fine. She survived a night drinking with Aggra."
"That is stamina, for sure." Khadgar agreed, but his brow still furrowed with concern.
Aronthil put his arm around his lover's shoulder and steered him towards the door.
"We were talking about dinner," Khadgar said.
"No, you were talking about dinner, I was talking about eating." Aronthil corrected with a smile.
"Ah, a significant and important difference." Khadgar agreed with a smile, lost hairs and shaman forgotten for the now.