Written by | Posted October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm Elevation

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Old Enemies: The Magical Rogue
comment 2 Written by on July 26, 2013 – 9:53 am

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…”

“Landris…”

“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.”

Old Enemies: Coming Forth by Day
comment 6 Written by on July 23, 2013 – 9:42 am

Alonzo Higgins hadn’t had it. While he wasn’t always the best supplied when it came to magical tomes, Arrens had held some hope that he – the last of the rare book dealers he knew of in Stormwind – would be able to help him track down this book that was turning out to be little more than smoke and rumors.

Still, if it was rumor enough that the demons were talking about it, he’d take the chance and keep an eye out. Something that powerful didn’t come along but every once in a great while, and even if it didn’t turn out to be all that it was cracked up to be, the school’s rare book collection could always use a new tome or three, and his advanced languages students could use it for translation practice. There just weren’t that many good grammar books for Abyssal these days, and most of the Demonic ones were either too basic for advanced students, or contained little more than various kinds of creative swearing.

What Alonzo Higgins did have, though, was a lead. It was a bit of a long shot – something called the Magical Rogue, or so he thought. He wasn’t really sure, and he couldn’t give an exact location except “in one of those alleys in the Dwarven District”.

Arrens put the time at around 3:30 – plenty of early June daylight left before he had to worry too much about what else might be skulking about in the alleys behind the various shops in the Dwarven District – and headed towards the smog that perpetually occupied the northern corner of town. /Someone/ in Stormwind had that book, or his demons were all in a tizzy about nothing.

*****

Two hours later and he was sure his robes were going to need a thorough airing out before they didn’t smell of old motor oil. And nobody had ever heard of a shop called The Magical Rogue. He turned down a final alley, hoping that this might contain the shop he was looking for, and came to a typical dead end. Arrens leaned against the wall… and promptly fell headfirst through a false doorway.

“Afternoon, Mister…. er…”

A wiry blonde man with a shambling grin peered down at him.

“I… erm… yes. Well. I’m Arrens Caltrains. I’m looking for The Magical Rogue.” Arrens peered back, attempting to fix his skewed robes.

“THE Arrens Caltrains? I had no idea I’d made the ranks to be sought after by one such as you, your esteemed professorship. As for the Magical Rogue, you’ve found him.”

“Hmm? You mean you can show me where the shop is? I’m looking for a rare book.”

“Ain’t no shop, sir. Just me. Call me Zable. I’m the magical rogue.”

“I wasn’t under the impression that rogues were particularly magical. I thought most of your work was done in the fairly concrete domain of knives and poisons.”

“Any sufficiently skillful bit of thievery is essentially indistinguishable from magic, as I figure most folks who get their pockets picked have figured out. Anyway, they call me that because I find things. You’re looking for a book?”

“Yes. A fairly rare book, probably in Demonic, though possibly Abyssal. I’m not particularly sure even of its title, only that it exists, and there is supposedly a copy floating around Stormwind.”

Zable peered at the professor in front of him, as if sizing him up.

“Don’t strike me much as the Demonic sort, if you don’t mind me sayin’ so, sir.”

“I am a trained warlock, if that’s what you mean.”

Zable shrugged. “Don’t much matter to me, if you’re willing to pay the right price for it, I guess. It is pretty rare.” He carefully unlocked a crate that had several padlocks and key-mechanisms on it. Arrens watched intently as he produced first two bottles of wine, then a small cask, then two scrolls, and finally a very old, fairly large book.

*****

Arrens cleared a spot on his desk and set the book down in front of him. It wasn’t much to look at, and after the price he’d paid, part of him said he’d probably just been thoroughly fleeced. Still, if this book was all it was cracked up to be, it would be worth whatever price some eel of a rogue had managed to wheedle out of him.

He poured himself a glass of wine, grabbed a pencil and a notebook, opened the book, and began to read.

A little while later, he scrubbed at his eyes with the back of his hand, wondering what time it was, and why he felt so hungry. A quick trip to the kitchen revealed that all the bread he’d bought earlier that day had gone moldy – he’d have to have a talk with the Millers about that – and opted to head down toward the cafeteria and see what he could scrounge up for dinner.
Odd that they were serving pastries and oatmeal.

He shrugged, decided it was better not to ask, heaped a plate with pastry, and headed back to his study. There was something about that book that he just couldn’t put his finger on.

**Story Title is an allusion to the direct translation from the Egyptian for what we now call “The Book of the Dead”. I found it fitting.

Blast from the Twisted Nether
comment Comments Off Written by on May 26, 2013 – 11:46 pm

Huge thanks to the Twisted Nether Blogcast for having me on as a guest for their episode 200. I think it’s amazing that they’ve made it this far, and a testament to their commitment to the blogging community of Warcraft. I was originally a guest on episode 10, and then did several roundtable posts, and it was always a ton of fun. Getting back on skype with them was a blast from the past, and was really a good time.

For anyone coming here for the first time via the show notes, there aren’t a ton of NEW posts, but if you’re interested in RP or in story writing, there are a ton of links in the sidebar and in the Story Archive (link at the top of the page).  I still post occasionally (in spurts really), but I can’t promise anything like I used to do. Still, this place is a part of my heart, and you guys are a ton of fun to write with and write for.

<3

Anna

Tiniest of (Gnomish) updates
comment Comments Off Written by on February 25, 2013 – 9:13 am

I’ve decided, after no small amount of back-and-forth, to put my energy behind Annie Mae to be my second max character this expansion (with Angoleth likely to be third). I can’t really get into Shaman gameplay, so Annorah is going to take a back seat.

This is as much an RP decision as anything, since from a logistics standpoint I’m essentially leveling a second plate DPS character, so my farming for flasks and potions is going to overlap. Still, Annie is the character I have been feeling most attached to, of the alts, and I miss having her around for RP.

Of course, you can participate in RP at any level, but it’s easier to hang out with other max level characters if you’re also max level. It also helps with the lore problem (that being that as it currently stands, Annie has a lot of lore knowledge that she hasn’t experienced in game, since that’s the only way to have conversations that touch on lore with other Pandaria level players).

Fortunately I’ll be leveling with rested XP, so she’s already 86 and getting ready to start in the Valley of the Four Winds.

As a side goal, Aely is working her way up in reputation with all the other factions, so that Annie and Angoleth will get the benefit of the commendations. She’s finished Golden Lotus and is a few days from revered with the Shado-Pan. Then probably Operation Shieldwall, and then Klaxxi will be next. I’m doing them one at a time, because I hate dailies. I’ve done my share of them slowly, for gear pieces and such, but it’s still something I look at as a thing to “get out of the way” do I can get on with playing the game I like. LFR fits into that same bin. Maybe it will feel different when I get to doing it as a warrior?

Oh also, I’ve swapped to leveling Annie Mae as Arms instead of Prot, since I wanted to do LFD, and learning to tank in LFD is not something I’m interested in. My DPS is terrible, but so is her gear, so with some well placed upgrades I’ll hopefully not embarrass myself. I may yet switch to Fury, but I’m worried that it will be even more gear dependent than Arms.

Elevation

October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

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