For the next part in this story, we turn to the ever talented Lorelli.
Aely had done a damn good job of turning the office over. Ungraded papers were strewn about, the waste bin still sat overturned and an inkwell had toppled oozing across the desktop. Lorelli moved around the desk, pushed the chair in then gathered up a few of the papers. She skimmed them quickly but found nothing new. She hadn’t expected to.
Lorelli returned the papers to the desk and pulled the door shut on her way out. It didn’t stay, due to the fact that Aely had busted the door knob to get in. The rogue chuckled with a shake of her head: paladin lock picking.
She turned as she heard someone approach. Deputy Headmistress (well, acting Head Mistress now) Landris couldn’t help but shuffle her tiny feet as she hurried down the hallway. “Miss Tymara!” The gnome called stretching her arm as high over her head as she could to wave.
Lorelli sighed, damn academics. “S’Lore, Landris. I’ve told you many times. You’re as bad as Arrens.”
Landris frowned, “Yes, well, Madam Caltrains told me you were coming. I thought I’d see if you need anything or if you needed to be let into…” she trailed off, frown deepening is she spotted the broken door.
“Doesn’t look like Aely missed anything. Y’all swap classrooms occasionally too, so no use searching there, yeah?”
The professor nodded, “Correct.”
Lorelli raked a hand through her hair. Suddenly she turned back to Landris, “He say anything to you before he disappeared? Anything seemed odd or off color?”
The gnome started to shake her head then paused. “There was one thing… I didn’t think much of it at the time. Headmaster Caltrains and I always viewed our craft a bit differently so often pursued paths that the other did not understand and while I respect him greatly…”
“Right. Yes. Sorry.” The professor pushed her glasses up her nose. “Well, I needed the Headmaster’s signature to approve a new class we were adding for the next semester. I came down to his office after hours because I’d forgotten to take care of it earlier. You know how it is, so many students so little…”
“Get to the point, shortstack!” Lorelli interrupted.
Landris gave her an offended look, “Fine fine.” She brushed imaginary dust off her sleeve. “He was immersed in demonic writing and muttered something about a ‘magical rogue’.” The professor shrugged, “It made absolutely no sense to me, especially given the context. Does it mean anything to you?”
Lorelli frowned, “Yeah. Yeah, it does. Thanks Landris.” And she went sprinting off down the hall, leaving a bewildered gnome behind her.
Once outside Lorelli pulled the buzzbox off her belt and set it to the guild channel. “Okay, so there was nothing else of interest in his office. However, I did run into Landris.”
Aely’s was the first voice to respond. “An’?”
“She said she came in to get his signature and heard him muttering something about a ‘magical rogue’.”
“…Tha’s a bit nonsense?”
Tarquin’s voice followed, “What?”
“Actually, I’ve heard it before.” Lorelli said as she glanced around the Mage District looking for any of the kids that ran messages for coin. There was a small gang that worked each district in Stormwind, one or two districts assigned to each.
“It’s a very catchy title.” The new girl, the deader, Ilyra.
“If it’s who I think it is, he’s going to be a bitch and a half to track down.” Lorelli spotted a young boy hanging around outside one of the nearby inns and waved him over.
“Who?” Asked Fells.
“He’s a dealer in… things. All things. You want it, chances are he’s either got it or can get it. Fenced an item or two for me in the past, though I’ve never met him in person.” The rogue paused, thinking a moment. “Problem, is, he’ll only see you if you’re buying or selling. And if you’re buying you better know exactly what you’re after.”
The boy had reached her now and Lorelli kneeled down, whispering in his ear and pressing a coin into his hand. He nodded and turned, running off joining another boy and exchanging words before exiting the Mage District. Word would be traveling now and hopefully she’d know in short order if the Magical Rogue was even in Stormwind currently.
“If we have a title now, I suppose we do know what we’re after, don’t we?” Ilyra asked.
“Figure he won’t sell the name o’ the book Arrens wanted.” Came Bricu’s reply.
“The Creepies get us a title on our tome then?” Lorelli questioned, referring to the unlikely warlock translation team of Sarcanna de Roux and Hinote Kirase.
“On Concordance of the Shifting of the Ways.” Ilyra said.
Tarquin cut in again. “You need something to sell, Tymara?”
“If what Miss Volcano said is true, he might be able to find a copy.”
Lorelli tapped her lips thoughtfully. The ‘Magical Rogue’ probably wouldn’t believe she wanted to buy the tome and if only one existed he’d deny her anyway. She was better off going the other direction.
“We got somethin’ worth selling, boss?”
“Take yer pick. An’ take company.”
“Might not be my call on that last bit.”
Lorelil handed the list of book titles that Annie had given her to the little red haired girl. The child nodded and ran off and now all the rogue could do was wait and see if they could do business. She took care of a few errands and when she returned to the Pig later in the evening, another child was waiting for her.
“The Magical Rogue is interested in what you’re selling.” He gave Lorelli a location and a time before disappearing back into the streets of Stormwind.
She pulled the buzzbox out and flipped it on. “Teeth, Hownen, you two busy?”
She hadn’t been told she couldn’t bring friends, but in their line of work it was generally frowned upon to bring uninvited guests. So Lorelli left Tirith and Ilyra hanging out nearby in case she called. She switched the load of books to the other arm and waited.
The meeting spot was a side alley that connected to one of the main streets. She stood in the shade of a building watching folks on the road hurry about. Many of them were trying to complete last minute errands before the sun finished setting. Lorelli shifted the books again and as she did a flash of something caught her eye. She turned and a wiry blond man detached himself from the shadows.
“Had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to sneak up on you.” He looked her up and down and have a soft whistle. “First appointment of the day and seems I’m a lucky lucky guy.”
Lorelli rolled her eyes. “Magical Rogue, is it then?” She wasn’t sure what she had expected and somehow this man managed to feel like he was and wasn’t it at the same time.
“The one and only. You are?” He leaned in eyeing the books with an almost hungry expression.
“Teal.” She replied, swatting at his hand as he reached out attempting to caress the dusty tomes.
He blinked and straightened up, “Are you then?” He tilted his head a little as if trying to get a better look at her. She had at least a full head of height on him but he wasn’t complaining about the view at eye level in the least. “Not sure what I expected, but I guess you’d fit the bill.” He waved his hand, “Come, step into my office. I know you elfy folk don’t like the harsh light of day.”
He stepped through the wall and Lorelli followed.
“Couple of interesting bits you tossed my way last time we did business. Kind of sorry I’ve never gotten to meet you in person before now.” He stepped up to a table and patted it indicating she should set the books down.
The room was empty except for the wooden table in the middle. It was too small to be a shop, but too big to be an office. Guess one did business where they could find space. Lorelli deposited the books and watched the man as he began flipping through the first one.
“Been some time since I sold something for you.” He said, still inspecting pages.
“Had a slight shift in occupational responsibilities.” She said, watching him. There wasn’t really much else in the room to look at.
“Course, course. Too bad though.” He glanced up at her with a grin, “Definitely too bad. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself. Where did you get these?”
Lorelli returned his grin but it wasn’t entirely friendly. “How about a trade?”
He closed the first book, set it aside, opened the second. “Depends on what you want, sweetheart.”
“I’m wondering if you sold a book recently.”
“Sell lots of books, you’ll have to be more specific.”
“This one was written in a language not commonly spoken among Alliance or Horde territories. Some form of demonic maybe?” Lorelli paused, gauging his reaction.
There was a slight jerk in his usually smooth page turn but that was all that gave him away. He was a professional, after all. “Sorry, haven’t seen anything like that.”
“Are you sure? Perhaps I can jog your memory with the man who bought it. Arrens Caltrains. Tall, lanky, blond hair probably in a ponytail. Proper. Almost too much so, nice robes.”
Page turn. “You just described half my clientele.”
Lorelli was across the table in an instant, fist tangled in the front of his tunic. He’d almost managed to dodge her but she was just that much faster. He made a strangled sound as the books were knocked to the floor.
“Careful with those, they’re valuable!” He protested.
She slammed him into the wall with a thud. “I’m done playing games. My friend is missing and right now that book is the only lead we have to where he may have gotten off to.”
“You know, if you wanted to get close to me all you had to do was ask.” He offered her another grin, twisted himself and was loose. He straightened his tunic and waved his hand at her. “You can put those away, I’m satisfied.”
Lorelli nodded and returned the daggers to her belt. Neither of them had been one-hundred percent sure the other was who they said they were. He’d tested her and now they were on even ground.
“So, about the book and the professor?” She prompted.
He looked up at her as he was in the process of picking up the books. “What you’re asking isn’t worth what you’re giving. What else you got?”
Lorelli produced a small leather journal from somewhere and held it out to him. He returned the pile in his arms to the table before accepting it from her. After a few moments of paging through it he eyed her.
“Okay, I really want to know where you got this.” He said, waving the book at her.
“Not part of the deal. That one’s been in my personal collection for a long time and that’s all you need to know.”
He looked extremely disappointed, “Fair enough. Yeah, I did a deal with your friend. Sold him an old book written in demonic, like you said. I did ask him if he knew what he was getting himself into.”
“Yeah, well, that’s Arrens. Likes to bite off more than he can chew. Can you get another copy?” Lorelli asked.
He pocketed the journal and shrugged, “Not sure. I can certainly try. It’s gonna cost you though.”
“Course it will. Just let me know, yeah?”
He nodded and ran a finger through the dust on the spine of one of the other books. “These are actually for sale, aren’t they?”
Lorelli chuckled, “Yes, they are.”
“Lovely!” He pushed the pile to the side of the table and dropped a bag onto it. The coins inside clinked together as it landed. “So, Teal’s not your real name of course.”
She debated a moment before answering. He knew what she looked like, all it’d take was some asking around Old Town to find out who she really was. “S’Lore.” She answered.
“Well Lore, pleasure to meet you, call me Zable.” He held out a hand for her to shake. “We should do business more often. You’re welcome to threaten me again. Or let me buy you a drink.” He winked as she took his hand and they shook.
“Maybe when I’m not working.” She said, scooping up the bag from the table.
“And when would that be?” Zable asked, but she was already gone.
Tirith and Ilyra fell into step with her as she passed their positions on the streets outside.
“How’d it go?” Tirith asked.
“About as well as I expected. Zable did sell him the book. Gonna see if we can get our hands on another one.” Lorelli replied.
The deader’s eyes bored a noticeable presence into Lorelli’s shoulder. “I assumed this magical man’s hands were already on a second copy. Did he point you to it, or are we still looking?”
The rogue shook her head, “He said he didn’t have a copy at present. Certainly could have been lying but if we kill him we won’t find it anyway. Better to wait and see if he decides to come around or not.”
“I suppose he won’t be coming or going much of anywhere if we killed him, would he? Not to mention the disruption that would have on his business.” Ilyra paused mid-step. “Oh. That’s an idea. Do either of you know if our magical rogue has any competitors? Perhaps they might have a copy. Either way – if you’re right about him being dishonest, the threat of losing our business could put him off it.”
“There are plenty of fences in Stormwind. But he’s the best. If the book’s as rare as it sounds I’ll be surprised if anyone else has it. S’worth checking into though.”
The corpse made an encouraging sound. Or, at least, tried to. “It’ll give him time to think, at least, about how foolish it would be to hold anything back from the two of you. You’re positively frightening.”
“That’s kind of what we’re paid for. I’m more worried about compounding Aely’s concerns, but I suppose that’s unavoidable now. I think all we can do is reconvene and take stock.”
“And find the stock we’re after somewhere else.”
Lorelli shrugged, “May or may not be necessary, need to check with the creepy twins. Come on, if I have to deal with Hinote and Sarcanna, I need a few drinks in me first.”
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