Well, it appears that I have some catching up to do. Forgive me, Journal, for not writing sooner, but I have been distracted as of late.
While I have, indeed, been busy, much of it has been work around the home. Paperwork, cleaning, errands, and so on. I did, however, finally returned to work on my scarab project. Ever since I have returned from Icecrown, I have not had the chance to continue my work. Needless to say, I have been spending more time than I care to admit around necrotic tissue and flesh-eating scarabs. Ugh. Disgusting little vermin... I forgot how much I loathe working with these creatures and I surely did not miss the constant trips to the cathedral to make certain I did not contract anything.
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Each and every time now, Kamil te Lok'tar ventures end in near tragedy. Each. And every. Time. I feel like I need a damned shepherd's hook! This is
borderline ludicrou no scratch that, this is ludicrous. Unruly participants, overly curious Horde, and bumbling morons all around. If I had half a mind, I would do us and the family a favor and scrap this whole damned project if I did not find such a venue to be so potentially profitable.
For being our supposed "overseer", and one with more seniority than most of the newer additions to the upper ranks (including myself), I am appalled at how poorly Lazaar behaved during this last incursion. He was just as bad as Campion on his first day–Loud mouthed, blatantly speaking in Common, and cared little if he drew attention to himself and us. While he is my superior, I am not about to have him jeopardize this operation with his boorish ignorance. And for a man who spent the better part of his life in Draenor, you would think he would have an inkling of Orcish language outside of zug zug.
Hopefully he will take note of his humiliation and pick up a book, or something, but even then I find such an endeavor to be beyond him. The only things that man seems to excel at is being crass, loud, and attracting flies.
I mean, it is a bad sign if Ruepert is better at keeping his mouth shut than he is. Report this to Yeva if problems persist. Whatever his own personal malfunctions might be, he one of the only active "old guard" and he should lead by example.
Though, speaking of Ruepert, I expect to have words with Campion about his unexpected appearance. This is not a light-damned field trip. This is business!
Make certain to see to the following regarding the Lok'tar project;
- Keep in contact with Kae about those additional names. Aren mentioned he will look for them if the elf fails in his task.
- Add a note in personal dossiers for Greenpath, Arenvald, and Dorien for being attentive, eager to help, and compliant.
- Send Yeva and Lilifred a memo about pay increases and reductions for KtL participant incentive. While no bonuses or reductions will be issued for the most recent venture, the next trip we take in two weeks will be another story...
- Follow up with Greenpath and Campion about Forsaken-targeted drug since there has been no word from Lilifred about it's production. Apparently Burn works well on them, but we desire more variety and greater potency.
- Send out expeditions to Troll territories, both Amani and Darkspear, to learn more information on Trollish ritual drugs.
- Follow up with Arenvald about Taurahe ceremonial herbs.
- Find Lazaar a different disguise. He makes a terrible Blood Elf. Tauren or Orc, perhaps.
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[[Written in coded lettering, though the first half of this entry is structured like that of a report.]
Date: December 17th, Year 28
Time: 1:27 AM
Location: Stormwind City, Trade & Mage District Canals
Subject: Aleyna C. Greenpath
Incident Overview: While aiding a man by the name of "Corsiel", Greenpath confronted me and asked for aid. Heavy traces of corruptive magic were detected about her person from just a cursory glance. It was then that Greenpath and myself, followed by Corsiel (who is currently deemed to not be a threat to operations), relocated to a secluded section of the canals north of the Mage District. Greenpath's missing soul fragment, contained in fel crystal casing, was embedded in her chest. Additional aid from Auroran Saia and Cadence Greystone was provided later on.
Observations: Given the severity of the injury sustained from the shard, which did indeed puncture vital organs, should have killed Greenpath in a matter of minutes. However, the corruption's weaver, a man who was said to be called Thellos (if I recall), apparently created this spell with the specific intent to both keep the victim alive long enough for the 'infection' to slowly consume her body in the most agonizing way possible. Why the weaver did not simply kill her remains unknown.
The infection, which was designed to slowly spread throughout the victim's body, can best be described as a near-sentient felborne parasite that makes networks of vein-like black webs within its host. It has a viscosity that ranges from a surprisingly strong tar-like sludge to mucus commonly found within mammals and humanoid creatures. Its coloration was that of pitch.
Whether to set up this 'puzzle' was the weaver's intent or not, it would have been a difficult one if the aid of holy magic users were not provided. The issues with victim's plight were as follows;
1) If a healer was not present during the infection's neutralization, the life sustaining power it loaned to its host that made living through such a grievous wound possible would fade within seconds and vital signs would plummet––Ultimately resulting in death.
2) If the soul shard was removed before the infection was removed, it would likely trigger a chain reaction that would result in the destruction of the host as well as the fragment. While this cannot be proved, I have reason to believe it was a precaution placed upon the infection's master 'code' to make certain that she did not simply yank out the shard in the presence of a healer. Should that event have taken place, the host's body would have likely been consumed and liquefied within moments.
The soul shard would most likely share a similar fate, being it bore a tainted black shade, and the soul fragment inside it would be destroyed––Ultimately leaving the host's remaining spirit split in twain, damning her to either become a restless shade or succumb to the void's pull and become fodder for the birth of a creature commonly known as a "voidspawn".
3) If a holy magic wielder was to attempt to abolish the infection while the soul shard was still embedded in the victim, it would react with the infernal magics that make up the soul's crystalline casing and dissolve it. While the parasite would be destroyed and the injuries healed, the soul fragment that was so desperately sought after would have been scattered to the ethereal winds.
Conclusion: Since both Light-bearing healers, and myself, were present during this event, the situation was dealt with in this fashion;
• The parasite was extracted by myself and neutralized by a shadowborne 'immolation' spell.
• The shard was removed in a timely fashion, with Saia at the ready, and the wound was healed within seconds–vitals sustained.
• The soul within the casing was properly cleansed and "cracked", ushering the spirit fragment back into the victim's body to rejoin with its missing half.
Greenpath is currently recovering in Ironforge, under the watch of Auroran Saia. Her condition, due to lack of urgent word, is likely continuing to be in stable condition.
• Write a formal report based off of these notes and submit to Yeva.
• See to putting out a mark on this 'Thellos' person for his meddling. Confirm with Greenpath before ushering such an order.
• Check on Greenpath to search for any lingering traces of the extracted parasite.
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[[The entry is written in rather frantically haphazard coded script.]]
I found Aren's journal. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! I thought it was one of my books that he was reading, but I did not recognize it, and I, without thinking, picked it up and looked at the section he bookmarked and
Light dammit why is he doing this! Stupid stupid mope of a man, I swear, I can't believe that he is going to go kill himself and leave me alone! Why! WHY! I don't know what do to!
Ahhhhh hell is there ANYTHING I can do!!
Just...calm down talk to him when he gets home. Talk and maybe we'll sort things out.
This is what I get for letting myself get close. This is what I get for letting myself get attached to an emotional mess like him!
Please let me talk him out of this.
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[[The entry picks up later, the coded script a lot more calm and neat.]]
I talked to him and things seem to be smoothed out. It was...just...
Clinical depression is common in war veterans... Some manage to make it through life, but they can never truly escape the horrors they bore witness to. As for myself? Huh... Well, I suppose it makes me abnormal, in that respect. While the Qiraji War was a terrible, soul-sucking, ordeal... I was just a mercenary. I had no family, no friends, no loved ones in my unit. Plus, I was already quite exposed to the atrocities man can commit... People like Aren and Miles, though, had to watch people they grew up with die in a myriad of horrific ways.
Aren lost everything... His dreams, his birthright, his home, his homeland, and nearly everyone and anyone that he cared for. And for months he has been on the lam, trying to keep a low profile from his former brethren in the Syndicate.
I do not know why I am trying to rationalize this...
I...know I have contemplated suicide before. Many times in the past, actually, in light of my more gruesome sacrifices... But I could never go through with it. I am just too cowardly and selfish to even consider leaving this life I have fought so hard to keep... Heh. Whether or not others are better off for this has yet to really be decided.
But Arenvald... He is a prideful beast. He grows older, slower, and his reflexes are starting to steadily dull. To a warrior like him, that is one of the worst things that can happen. His time is limited and he can feel the clock steadily tick towards his final hour...
Though we all have an expiration date. I know mine is, likely, soon, but after meeting with another person who is in a situation like Selim... He knew me–The future me, that is. Does that mean that with both him and Selim's coming here that the future was changed? That I am now part of their timeline? This...gives me some shred of hope. I have only lived for a short while, all things considered, and I do not wish to shuffle off this mortal coil just yet.
I will have to ask Corsiel if Aren No... I do not know if I want to know this. No.
All and all...
Arenvald was talked out of it. He is safe and he swore to me that he would never think of it again.
I can only hope that he will keep his pr
He agreed to stay with me for the holidays...and...apparently longer than that. At first, I intended it to be just a gesture of good faith and kindness... He is miserable on times like these (well, more so than usual) and I thought the company would do both of us good. Though last night...he asked me if he could stay. Stay as in room with me. With Scooter (AND another raptor chick).
I did not know what to say, initially, but I eventually agreed. After that whole crisis diffusing, him saying I am "the only bright spot he has now", I feel as if I have been burdened with more than I initially thought...or possibly wanted. I care for Aren... so much. But this... This.
Before all this, I would have had no problem on the idea of Aren becoming my roommate.
Though now it seems like I have no choice. It almost feels, in light of all that was said, that if I deny him, that he will disappear and go die somewhere.
Light... I hope I am wrong. I hope I am blowing this out of proportion... But it seems that Arenvald's attachment to me is now one of extreme emotional dependance. It is a weighty burden...
And it is a burden that I need to be certain that I can, and be willing, to bear.
I should start planning on moving arrangements.
Thank heavens. It is done. Campion is back home, where he belongs, and I was able to keep true to my promise on returning no later than the previous day.
But, at what price?
Miles' faith in his Scarlet Crusade was everything and now, upon seeing just what it really is at its core, he is left a broken man. I did not relish having to force him to see this, but... It was one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios. On one hand, he would have died for his Crusade and fulfill his vows, leaving all who care about him behind in this world. On the other, his imminent death would be all for naught, perishing for a cause that, at one point, was a just and noble one before it fell to the corruption of the Legion.
And a crusader that does not have a crusade to fight for is not much of one at all...
I have not seen him since we were whisked away back to Stormwind, but I suppose I do not mind considering we both needed time to rest and lick our wounds. He needed time with Peregrinne and I needed to see to Aren, after all. But I will send Jhomnuz back to the island under the cover of darkness to go retrieve his belongings as well as my own... Perhaps when that task is seen to, I will return them to him and check in. I hope he is faring a little better... Even though I sincerely doubt he is.
It seems that my home was, quite literally, kept in immaculate condition during my absence. Apparently Arenvald was not lying when he said he would keep it clean! Light... I swore I could see my reflection in the carpet (Even though that is just a silly thought, but if he could somehow buff it to a mirror luster? I'm sure he would have...). Light, he...seems to have some real compulsion issues that I would not have equated with housekeeping. Though I suppose, in retrospect, he has an obsession at keeping active and now that he was left to stew at my home for a week, that was his outlet... Heh.
I took the time to catch up on past events during my absence... Apparently there was a murder in one of our brothels that had to be dealt with. Though I hear a few people, including Arenvald, gave the others trouble. This...is something I am wary of. I will have to speak with Peregrinne or Greenpath soon about this so I can get a full report.
• Speak with Waynolt and/or Greenpath about prostitute incident.
• Check in on Dorien.
• Check in on Greystone.
• Check in on Campion. (Bring belongings if able)
• Pay bills.
• Plan something nice for Aren in thanks for keeping house tidy.
• Check in on the other Campion. ***
Light... I almost forgot about that. I need to witness this abomination that Tiddia helped resurrect and decide what should be done about it. [[Natharai then goes back and puts stars next to that note.]] I suppose while I am there I should check on my other contacts in Silvermoon and Undercity. I have been out of the loop for quite a while.
• Plan new expedition into Horde territory for the KtL project.
Well... As the song goes;
Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.
Light, I am going to need a vacation...
It was late evening in Icecrown, yet the sun still lingered above the ocean's horizon behind an everpresent blanket of storm clouds–stray shafts of light poking through the gloom like heavenly arrows. During his travels, he has heard tale of the Midnight Sun from sailors who frequented Northrend's shores when "times were simpler" but not once has he witnessed such a phenomenon. What a shame that his first, and quite possibly last, viewing of this peculiar seasonal event had to be in such dismal conditions.
Yet Natharai remained content to remain where he was–seated upon a small boulder upon a narrow slit of sand on the western side of the Harbor. He had lost track of how long he was out there for, his mind wandering to thoughts of past and present as he tossed small stones into the surf.
Nearly five days have passed since he first set foot on this wretched lump of rock and hoarfrost...
Nearly five days have passed since his last glimpse of home and all that he left behind...
Home. Such a foreign, yet familiar, word that he has not put much thought, or stock, into until recently. Throughout the years, Natharai has had lived in many different countries and in many different houses, all of which were labled "home" simply because it was the proper word to use when referring to his place of residence. Yet there was no weight or meaning behind it... It was merely a place to rest his head and little else.
Though now it had substance..! This home held fond memories of faces he has unexpectedly grown to care about and care about him in kind. He had, at long last, found a place in this world–a family, even though they consist of some of the most unruly misfits and degenerates society has to offer. ...He had someone who loved him.
Natharai's brow furrowed slightly at that thought, his hand halting in mid-throw, stone in hand, as a tiny white crab skittered across his right boot. Aren... Words of one of the last things that was said to him prior to his departure soon played back in his mind.
"If ya get a chance, try to send me a letter at Valiance Keep, alright?"
"I promise... I will."
Oh... How he wished he could. Natharai had his doubts on getting a letter out through the Onslaught in the first place, but he had no idea that it would be this bad. The energies here were too fickle and in constant flux, the Raven Bishops' gaze and monitorings always shifting too and fro. To call his voidwalker to deliver a message, especially outside of the underground coven's perimeters, would be too great of a gamble.
As for written letters... It would be even more impossible than the former being that there is no mail, unless they are orders and communiques from high-ranking officers. No... All personal Non-Scarlet Onslaught related mail from the lower ranks were taken to the mail room–where there was a chute that leads to a boiler room below.
The letters were incinerated–used as kindling to stoke the fires of a great furnace.
Yet, how did he know this? Simple. He was asked to see to the mail himself by his supervisor earlier that afternoon, saying there was a backlog of unattended "trash" to be taken care of.
The pseudo-wrathcaster's face scrunched up in distaste as he recalled performing that task, silencing the written voices of a people who have lived and breathed hardship for years on end as they reached out to anyone left that resembled family or friend. He felt like he was murdering them, for through his acts alone the people those letters were to be sent to likely considered their writers to be dead because of it. With a frustrated muffled grunt, he finally pitched the stone he held into the water with a plunk–his eyes quickly shifting downward to glare vacantly at the sand beneath his boots. Wait... Huh...? What was that?
Upon shifting his right heel, moving the sand beneath it in the process, a section of a small piece of driftwood was unearthed to the briny sea air. Hn... Simply a stick, it seemed, but it eventually gave the warlock another moment of pause.
Bending down, gloved fingers lightly brushing more sand away from its surface, Natharai plucked the waterlogged piece of wood out of its sandy confines and looked upon it appraisingly. Hm...
With another shuffling of feet, this time their movements more exaggerated and broad, the sand below him was partially smoothed out to a semi-flat surface. Seemingly pleased with this, the warlock leaned forward and began to write.
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Living within a "House of the Holy" was beginning to take its toll on Natharai.
Despite the island's peculiar blend of shadow, light, and infernal energies, the upper portion of the Onslaught's base was heavily saturated in holy magic and it made every fiber of the warlock's being recoil in disgust. It was unfortunate, really, for his body to be 'warded' in such a fashion by his demonic contractor. While it was beneficial for Her, being it insured that he was to heal himself with his borrowed powers and to take care of this fragile existence she has so mercifully granted him, it made his life exceedingly difficult. While the powers of the Light would, indeed, mend his wounds, his contractor made certain that normally benign mending spells would cause pain greater than his injuries in the process.
The first day upon the island was namely one of discomfort, like a mild case of prickly heat upon his skin. The second and third, migraines and general sluggishness. And today, his entire body ached while he faced occasional bouts of nausea (that some of which were quite violent)... It was as if he was developing a terrible case of influenza, but there was no remedy for it aside from moving away from the source of magic that plagued him so. Of course, that would be rather hard to do considering the Harbor is a relatively small island with a very large complex resting upon it.
No, he would simply have to tough it out for a few more days until his scheduled day of leave or that his body could take no more... That and there were no "sick days" on this island. You'd best be missing limbs or have contracted the plague to be excused from a day's work.
As he toiled away within the Onslaught's archives, bundled in extra clothing to ward off cold of weather and of illness, Natharai filed away a seemingly neverending stream of paperwork. Reports of death (the most common sort for him), shipping invoices, personnel files, receipts, inbound transfer writs, and so on. It was mind-numbing drudge work that usually resulted in him having nightmares of being buried alive under mountains of loose-leaf, but this position, no matter how dull it was, was right where he wanted to be...
With each passing day, he learned of new places where certain integral pieces of information were stored. The temptation to rifle through those classified documents was steadily mounting to a point of insane curiosity that was proving to be incredibly hard to ignore... But he had to wait. There was no need to take a gamble yet, especially since the next day would provide him the opening he requires. His supervisor, a fellow off-duty Wrathcaster by the name of "Wilfred Cavanaugh", was to journey to New Hearthglen to see to the transportation of certain documents of a classified nature. That would be when he makes his move...
Besides... Cavanaugh seemed to have bought Natharai's charade and would probably not suspect such an annoyingly talkative prat like Josiah to get into any trouble other than accidentally setting his own facial hair ablaze. Sometimes playing the fool has its uses.
During breaks he would shuffle to the back of the cathedral, near the mouth of a large sea cave at the southern end, and linger near this font of dark magics. He would, however, only be permitted to travel so far... The guards were rather adamant to keep the Scarlet's flock away from it, without divulging exactly as to why. However, it was close enough to help take some of the edge off of an otherwise oppressive feeling that smothered his mind and body while working within the Scarlet confines.
It was then that he usually took the time to listen to the demonic whisperings below ground, their words skittering upward through the bedrock to reach the ears of those trained in such an infernal and grotesque language. However nothing of consequence was mentioned-only the "same old thing" he has heard since day one of his arrival. Words of reanimation and binding...
The coven below ground was creating death knights from their fallen, binding their soul and being to them in more ways than simple zealous sermons ever would.
It was barbaric and incredibly contradictory, to say the least, but Natharai could not bring himself to tell Campion quite yet–or...perhaps ever.
When the red-haired crusader happened upon "Josiah" enjoying his break near the graveyard cliff's edge, it was then when he saw just how poor of a state Campion was in. Despair and and hopelessness hung about him like a pallid shroud, smothering the fires that otherwise stoked his noble and prideful heart. He was a broken man, disheartened and driven half mad from his confining dwelling and the neverending series of horrors he bore witness to every day. If the Scourge and the Blade did not kill him first, he would certainly die of misery...
So... Natharai broke his primary rule when undertaking this mission of his; to not expose his true identity to Campion, no matter what the cost. Yet he had to do it! The man was without hope and he appeared to rapidly approaching the point of simply throwing himself at any future attackers to simply end it all. He needed him alive and the only way to ensure that he would do his damnedest to stay strong was to give him back that hope that he thought was lost forever.
While initial shock and dismay eventually wore away, the paladin was barely able to contain his enthusiasm upon the promise of going home–as if he were afraid that it was all but a dream and he would have to, yet again, face the crushing loneliness that his fate bestowed upon him. Though if it was one thing that Natharai was certain on, he knew that Miles trusted him and would do his best to remain strong in these trying times until they both escaped this place.
...However, he could have done without Campion planting a near-frantically overjoyed kiss upon his cheek. That was all sorts of awkward.
Something was terribly wrong...
This was the first thought that shot into Natharai's mind as the Onslaught's transport ship sailed ever closer to its island stronghold. No holy ground should look the way it did and every fresh face on the vessel knew it–both grunt and seasoned Scarlet veteran alike. This was their last stand, their touted 'island of hope', yet all they saw was a craggy lump of rock wreathed in bloodied clouds. No matter how fine and oft awe-inspiring its towering spires and marble walls might be, it sat upon that mess of frostbitten rock like a dove crouching over a rats nest.
Though that was not the most troubling part.
No... While the lightning vaulting ominously through the red-tinged skies was eerie enough, there was something far worse that lay hidden within the belly of that stone leviathan. There were whispers–Dozens upon dozens of whispers that buzzed and hissed in the air like a hive of hornets, their words twisted and guttural–of faces that remained unseen. Yet none of those onboard seemed to hear it, save one, which was a blessing within itself. The demonic tongue is a treacherously sly language, which could be as plain or discreet as its speakers wished it to be.
But...to hear such a thing coming from a so-called bastion of purity, and in such volume, was jarring to say the least. Natharai heard them in New Hearthglen as well, however he already knew that there were warlocks who supposedly "slipped through the cracks" there–In the case of Campion's former torturer, Gerard. He knew well enough that the Scarlet Crusade, under whatever name it has taken, has been corrupt for years and Balnazzar's meddling was only the beginning of it all...
Things have apparently shifted from bad to worse with astounding speed, given the span of time since the false Grand Crusader Dathrohan's demise and now. The possibilities of what the reasons might be behind all this were rather staggering to even contemplate, but whatever it might be... It did not feel like it was the work of man alone.
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Natharai, rather, his alter-ego "Josiah", was assigned to Dormitory #05, one of the many common bunk rooms, being he was listed as nothing but a novice Wrathcaster recruit who just so happened to have an extensive clerical background. Handy that, being their last one was devoured in a recent ghoul attack.
Life within the Scarlet Onslaught was, at a glance, what he expected... Meager meals of watery and flavorless stew, hardtack (a bread roll, if you were of a higher rank), and what he liked to refer to as "mystery vegetable mush", uncomfortable (but warm) red uniforms, and a mandatory evening mass. And then...there was the sleeping area...
Such spartan living quarters he and his current brothers-in-arms shared... Feh. Nath has known prison cells to be more inviting than these so-called barracks. But it was to really be expected, considering the zealous religious sorts tend to believe that frugal living conditions help cast aside one's need for pointless material possessions. Right... To him, it was simply code for "You are but simple-minded sheep who do not know any better and will, most likely, be dead come tomorrow".
He knew that those of higher ranking were given their own private quarters, but, quite frankly they did not seem much better off judging from the few vacant rooms he passed upon heading to the barracks. A sleeping area so cramped it was borderline claustrophobic, a slightly more plush bed (in comparison to the straw-lined slat he was granted), and their own small stove to help warm the room (Certainly better than the few that were placed around the rather vast dormitory he was in... It would be a cold night for him, for sure). Campion, most likely, was staying in one of those very rooms.
Though the red-headed Scarlet was rather difficult to find within this gaggle of uniformed zealots... One red clothed person looked like the next, and the next, and the next... Infact, he did not see hide, nor hair, of the man until minutes before the evening mass–but even then, it was but a brief glimpse. Yet, from what he managed to see, Campion looked like death warmed over... He was haggard, pale, and the passionate fire that stoked his conviction to his Crusade seemed all but dimmed to a flicker. Though he was not the only one who seemed as such–there were plenty of others just like him that took part in this listless lurch towards something, anything, that could revitalize their sense of purpose.
Their bishops preached the same lies and propaganda he has heard from Campion's own lips many times before, making certain to keep their rapidly disheartening flock in check. Yet, nearly each and every one of their scarlet-clad drones clung to their every word like a frightened child to their blanket. But they were given the comfort they sought, no matter how meager it was, and a reason as to why they were placed in this frigid hell of a glacier.
Though they could not hear the words of those who dwelled beneath their marble halls and gilded banners.
They could not hear the infernal plans that were being set in motion as their bishops preached about salvation and paradise.
They did not know there would be no release for them–in this life, or the next.
The Crusade must prevail.
[The following entry is, honestly, not a traditional entry at all being it has been written on a stray piece of loose-leaf paper. Upon its completion, the letter is crumpled and tossed into the ocean.]
Today marks day one of my journey to Icecrown.
I believe everything was left in as much order as I could manage it: Aren is watching my home and animals, the capos are aware of my leaving, I saw to Dorien's legs being mended, and contacted Auroran about our rendezvous up north. Now, all I can do is wait... It is a shame that I could not take a portal to Northrend, per usual, but the
Crusade Onslaught checks dock records for their soldiers' comings and goings. I suppose I do not mind taking a boat, for these paddle-driven vessels are much swifter than their sail driven brethren... I assume I will arrive by Tuesday night, should the weather prove amicable enough.
I have not been worried like this before, Lotte... You know as well as I that I have been in plenty of dangerous situations; a war, political assassinations, and so on... But in none of them have I felt this dread before. Quite frankly, it took me a while to figure out just why–but it was ludicrously simple and plain as day in the end. I had nothing really to lose. Of course, I feared for my life (What rational person does not, after all?) but not once can I recall actually being afraid of losing someone I care about–Rather, those I care about. Light... What an odd thing. If I were to hear about befriending all these misfits I now call compatriots and brothers a few months ago, I would have found myself mad.
I worry about not seeing Aylin and the other varmints at my home. I worry about my subordinates; namely Cadence and Merosiel (Ester could get along just fine on her own). So could the landshark, I suppose, bu--I wish you could see this strange elf in person, Lotte. What a sight he is!
...I worry about Miles and Peregrinne never being reunited again. About that Selim kid. About Greenpath and her daughter. About Dorien.
About Aren. Especially Aren.
Charlotte... Am I a bad person for pursuing this whole thing without truly knowing whether I love him or not? I think I am beginning to... Love him, that is. It was so hard to let go of him that night, Lotte, and it did not feel like I was hesitating simply because I'd solely miss his touch. Not to mention how I kiss him (Light above that is embarrassing to even write)... It, well, does not feel like it is simply carnal. I find myself enjoying it, now that I have gotten over the fact that I am, putting it crudely, making out with another mustachioed man who is more than twice my size.
...I trust him. I feel safe with him, I am concerned about his well-being, and I find myself missing him whenever he is not around (present time included).
I need to come back to him. I must. I promised that I would and I am not about to break this one.
Lotte... I am not a good man and I am certain you are aware of this. While I might have, indeed, been an innocent when I knew you, I have lived a bloody, hellish, life at the expense of the bodies and souls of others. But I implore you, and to whatever merciful power that might indulge hearing me, to help me bring back Miles safely. And to bring me back to Arenvald.
Please. Let me keep my promise to him.
[An envelope addressed to Arenvald, left upon the kitchen table of Natharai's flat, was found later in the morning and, surprisingly, there was no warlock to be found when Aren woke up early. How it got there is probably anyone's guess... It is written in Nath's usual flowing and elegant script.]
Forgive me about my premature leave this morning, however, as I am sure you are well aware, I have much I need to see to before I leave. Taking you up on your offer to mind my home during my absence, I have compiled a to-do list...
Aylin (Sprite Darter)
• Feed him twice a day– 1/2 cup of monkey chow in morning and at night. At night, also feel free to give him a little bit of meat and leafy greens. All food-stuffs will be found on the kitchen counter or inside the icebox.
• He is generally a good-natured creature, but he might become cross due to my leaving. He knows you, so hopefully he will be cooperative. There is a jar of dried fruit, which he loves. Feel free to use those to butter him up.
• His favorite toy is a little red fetch ball that squeaks. Toss it around for him whenever you have the free time to do so.
• Take him out to stretch his wings once, or more, a day. Just as a precaution, use his tether that I have hanging upon the coat rack.
• Aylin is housebroken, so messes should be little. Clean out his cage's papers and replace with new ones when needed. Lock him up at night when you go to sleep and put a cover over his cage.
Alice (White Rat)
• Alice's cage will be located upon the coffee table in the living room. Simply refill her food bowl and water bottle when they are low. Her pellets will be located along with Aylin's food supply in the kitchen.
• Clean out shavings once, or twice, during the week. Whenever it begins to smell, really. New shavings and waste bags can be found in the storage closet.
• Feel free to give her some of Aylin's dried fruit treats once in a while.
• Take her out and handle her if you have idle time. She is a docile and friendly thing, so do not worry about any vicious behavior.
Calliard (Crystalweb Spider)
• Calliard's upkeep is simple and you will find his tank near one of the bookshelves. It is large, so it will be hard to miss. (PS: Do not mind the voidwalker... He moves things for me all the time.)
• Once per day, visit the local ratcatcher and pick up a medium sized rat. You do not need to handle it, being it will simply be boxed.
• Lightly mist its cage with a spray bottle of water every two days.
General House Things
I do not really have any special requirements for the upkeep of the house. Since you will continue to be staying there during my absence, all I care about is your comfort. I will leave money inside a metal box within the kitchen pantry. There you will find all you will need to cover any expenses you might need. Feel free to treat yourself to dinner or pick up any food you might like. It is the least I could do.
Work Related Things
All I can ask of you, about this, is watch those of my department and report any suspicious behavior to any other department leads (Peregrinne, Greenpath, or Lilifred). Or, if you must, report to Yeva if you find it to be just that troubling. Those in the Research department are as follows; Ester Halfiron, Cadence Greystone, and Merosiel Riversung. The former and latter I do not expect much trouble from... Greystone, however, is still an issue and a liability. I trust your judgment in this, Aren...
PS: I am truly sorry about my behavior last night... If time permits, I would very much like to talk with you before my ship leaves this evening.
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[A letter to Peregrinne Waynolt, Aleyna C. Greenpath, and Lilifred Bumblehurst soon arrive in the post this very day.]
Today, I embark on a journey to Icecrown in an attempt to locate Campion within his station at the Onslaught Harbor. It is my intent to locate the necessary paperwork to arrange for transferring him back to his former post within the Plaguelands and have him return home that way. I have taken the needed precautions and I have, since hearing of his leaving, been planning this endeavor for around a month.
While I do not wish for any of you to go out of your way, I would appreciate it if you would keep watch over my subordinates during my absence–Especially Greystone. Should you require any of their assistance, feel free to utilize their services. I do ask, however, that none ask anything of Greystone to compromise her moral integrity than it has been already unless it is extremely necessary.
I will be keeping touch via Auroran during this mission of mine, so if he has anything to report back, he will do so.
If I am not back by this following Monday, despite my precautions, expect the worst has happened.
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[A letter to a Mlle. Cadence Greystone]
I write to you to inform you that I will be out of Stormwind for this week and that you will be momentarily relieved of any duties I might ask of you after the previous task assigned to you is finished. However, my fellow associates have every right to call upon you should they require assistance. I have asked them specifically, however, to not request anything of you that would compromise your morals more than they already have been. I trust you to be on your best behavior while I am gone.
- Natharai Ebonrook
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[A letter addressed to Auroran Saia]
It is time that we make our move. My ship leaves to Northrend tonight and I will require you to relocate up at the Argent Tournament grounds for this week. There is a helpful outcropping that overlooks Onslaught Harbor that is utilized by the Ebon Blade. If they have knowledge that you are attempting to aid me in 'subverting the Scarlet Onslaught from the inside', I am certain they will allow you to linger there. I will come out to the harbor exterior at 9 PM every night, after evening mass, to attempt to make contact with you.
Wish me luck, Auro. I hope to hear from you soon.