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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » February 22nd, 2015, 9:22 pm

(( This thread revolves around Tirien as I toss him into the "Eclipse" storyline that's starting up. I plan to put more of his personal stuff here and his story-involved stuff in the main Eclipse thread. Enjoy! ))

Another day means another take. Tirien finds his haven in a back alley of Old Town. The space is cramped but the detritus is enough for most folk passing the alley to ignore and the smell enough to keep the rest from entering. Besides, only at noon does the sun illuminate the space and even then for half an hour at best. He rests against a grime stained wall and slides down onto a small, rotting crate. Losing his wind on the sprint here was something he doesn’t recall having trouble with in the past. Then again the last handful of months are nothing but a blur drowning in a sea of whatever booze he could get his hands on.

Luck seems to be with him today. His target, a moderately dressed Night Elf, hadn’t noticed a thing. Serves him right for risking a short cut to wherever he was going. He picks through the coin purse and meticulously tosses out buttons, lint, anything that can’t get him what he wants. Foreign memories creep to the forefront of his mind and he fights to keep focused. They aren’t his and never were. This unfamiliar knowledge he never cared to pursue. This troubling connection to fiends and demons and Fel fire he never wanted in the first place. They aren’t his, but he knows where they came from.

Tirien eases up with the paltry amount of coin squirreled away in a pocket and drags along the wall to the back exit of the Old Town alley. The cool mist of the morning begins to fade as he rounds the corner on a route he could walk blind. Living like this in Old Town, at least, has proven useful in navigating the city. The bustling center of the Alliance is more interconnected than most know.

Bang, bang, bang!

Fists pound against a thick wooden door, startling someone just behind it. When no one answers, Tirien’s patience shatters and he tries to force the handle. A powerful swing of the door knocks him off balance before any more damage is done.

“The Fel is wrong with y - ?” A portly woman in her mid-thirties stares down Tirien’s ragged, dirt ridden form as the broken man regains his footing. She notes the unkempt leather armor and, particularly, a rusting blade on Tirien’s hip.

“You again.” She spits to a sewer grate. “We ain’t got any handouts for you anymore.”
“Shut up, I can pay.” Tirien stands. His moth-eaten cloak manages to conceal him from any curious eyes. He produces a fist full of coins. It’s enough. He knows it.

The woman takes it, counts it, and pockets it. “That’ll be ten more silver.” Her cocky grin sends Tirien’s blood boiling.

“WHAT?!” He barks.

“You heard me bud.” She folds her arms, “Ten silver or no go.”

She sidesteps Tirien’s speed fed fist, using her steel-toed boot to trip him into a solid wall in a back room of her establishment.

“Don’t make me call the guards.” The threat paralyzes him as he recovers. They are the last people he wants to tangle with.

He looks around, careful not to give away the movement under his cowl. He’s inside now and it’s an advantage he plans to exploit. A glance to his right reveals the hallway to the main office and from there, the storefront. To his left, a quick look reveals their liquor stock just a short distance away. His eyes go wide upon seeing the door cracked open the barest amount. Lock picking just isn’t in his blood so he’s thankful. Worn gloves pat around in the dusty low light until they grab hold of a brush handle. He launches it back to the woman. It’s his chance and he sprints for the store room, a string of curses follows a loud thud against the ground outside. With a large sack open he grabs what he can and makes for the exit.

“Guards! Guar – “ Tirien’s boot connects with her lower ribs, cutting off her alarm. Behind him echo footsteps quickly maneuvering from inside in reply. He wastes no more time and barrels down the alley and out of sight.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » February 25th, 2015, 5:40 pm

No good. He heard their armor before rounding the corner to his haven. A quick peek confirms four guardsmen picking through his rubble and trash. They will find nothing, for Tirien’s treasure is safe in the sack across his back. His second hide-away then, he reasons, is necessary. He chooses to linger a moment to study the guards’ features. Their heights, weights, appearances, postures, body languages, and voices he scrutinizes down to the most minor of detail. Once they depart, and his treasure safely secured, he will plan to summon an observer to shadow the men to their homes, seek their families, and report back to him for the next step. Would a Fel Guard do, or would he need to be more subtle? They are, after all, most likely to live in the city proper. He wonders if –

Tirien swings back around the alley, out of sight of the officers and clutches with a trembling hand one side of his face. These are not his thoughts, but his territory is breached. That spot is his and he hurt no one for it. Stumbling down the alley toward the Stormwind Harbor, he grasps at a bottle from the bag and bites out the cork. The burn comes first and an odd clarity follows after a chug. The sensation is akin to itching at a scratch left to fester for a week. He sighs, sagging against the brick of some building as he travels through the narrow streets. The alcohol won’t kick in immediately, it never does, but the quick swig is enough to put him back to his senses.

The Cathedral District is always just a bit harder to navigate without bumping into children or a patrolling officer. More than once Tirien was caught and had to use whatever soup kitchen or temporary shelter he could think of as an excuse to divert their suspicion. At least this District has that, plenty of excuses. As he winds his way, out of sight of the main streets and fails to notice the panic over whatever is spreading throughout the area. The guardsmen manage to maintain the brunt of it which leaves the alleys all to him, until he bumps into someone of course.

The High Elf looks sickly at best. The bump loosens her hood and reveals matted, once blonde hair and a set of grey eyes locked onto his. They both freeze, unsure who will make the first move. His senses spike as if in the heat of battle. Everything becomes crystal clear and time seems to slow to a crawl. She reacts much in the same way and he notices the subtle shift in her wiry frame. It’s not difficult to know when you’re standing in front of a predator and Light knows Tirien has had his fair share of avoiding one for years. Though this sensation he hasn’t felt in months and a slow grin spreads at the thought of a new challenge. A resolve manifests in his gut, mingling with the adrenaline and suppressing the fear. He will give this predator a chase she would never forget.

The moment passes. The threat this unassuming High Elf possesses dwindles, though her crystal gaze narrows, as if wanting to question what she sees. Tirien motions a foot back and lowers his stance, shifting his center of gravity. His defenses are sharp, though the reaction serves only one end, labeling him as her prey. She smirks and in the barest instant vanishes down the alley. Tirien catches the movement and his dull gold eyes follow her route as if he were right behind her. It seems someone else knows these back alleys as well. A foreign numbness settles over him and he looks to the shattered bottle held in his hand like a dagger. When did he smash it against the wall? The booze must finally be kicking in.

It didn’t matter. He sets off toward the harbor and lets the buzz build as he opens another bottle and takes a drink.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » March 2nd, 2015, 7:25 pm

Twilight sets upon the Stormwind Harbor. Gulls cry for scraps as dockworkers haul the last bits of cargo before the night shift begins. A great crimson bathes the sky and paints the tops of the fortified walls and clock tower whose bells toll the hour. Guardsmen check shipping manifests and patrol for those seeking an escape from the slow growing plague throughout the city. As the citizens go about their business, Tirien rests upon the water’s edge near the debris and rubble left after Deathwing’s assault on Stormwind's park. Overhead is a tower’s wall arched over a stream trickling into a larger pool leading to where the beautiful District had been. If there’s one thing the city gets right, it’s the sturdiness and fortitude of its construction. Dwarves rely upon the mountains and solid walls of the deep places of Azeroth while Gnomes utilize efficient methods to balance weight and stress and while their structures are amazing, along with the naturally flowing works of the Night Elves, nothing can deny the speed and durability of Human craftsmanship. The tower section’s arc stands testament to this and Tirien is thankful for it as he rests beneath it, shaded somewhat from the setting sun.

A small, empty bottle of whiskey shatters on one of the flooded stones. Tirien snickers at his good aim despite his intoxication. He shifts around in the nook between dirt and stone and watches the sun’s reflection on the water as it continues its descent. Sailing is one thing he hasn’t learned and one he doesn’t plan to. Instead, he settles for a sense of naïve admiration.

“Hey Tirien, mind company?” A cheer filled youth dressed in rags sits next to him without invitation. Tirien smiles and crosses his boots.

“Manage to scrounge up some food, Michael?” Tirien asks, still enjoying the mild stupor.

The youth laughs, “Yeah. I met that mage kid again. Here.” He crosses his legs and opens a sack of apples. “They’re conjured but you know how good he is at making them.” Handing one to Tirien he looks out to the sea. It reminds him of home, in Westfall, where he and Michael grew up.

A crisp bite echoes around the small, shielded cove as the brothers enjoy the rare moment. Michael leans back on his hands as a sea breeze rustles his loose fitting, tattered clothing. The sunlight catches his golden hair, adding shimmer and life to the scrawny boy just past the cusp of becoming a man. Tirien wishes things could be different for Michael, so much so that an old pain begins to surface under the cool shade of the stone arc. Tirien reaches to his side, still admiring the carefree nature of his younger brother, and picks up another bottle of liquor. As the liquid meets his lips he stops. He looks to the bottle and catches a glimpse of Michael’s reflection on the side, still gazing out to the horizon.

“You look thin Tirien, and Light, you need a bath.” Michael threads the comment with his light-hearted laugh.

“Mm.” Tirien smiles, the bottle’s lettering becoming fuzzy and hard to read. With hope and longing in his watery eyes he looks past the shady nook and for a brief moment catches a glimpse of Michael’s warm smile before realizing he was never there to begin with.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » March 16th, 2015, 11:27 pm

They say the drunkard sleeps as the dead do or so one would think considering how nothing, not even armored footfalls and rustling plate-mail, can rouse Tirien from a booze fueled slumber. The duo of plated men, each color coded to better venerate (and give away) their reverence for The Holy Light, approach him as he shifts to his side to better keep hold of the sack of pilfered liquor. They close in, barely a yard away, with a sense of caution as if expecting Tirien to act like a cornered animal. The older man, Paladin in all but the mud staining his boots, raises his voice and calls out to him, mocking his choice of bed. It’s enough. Tirien is just coming out of a familiar dream anyway. He wakes, startled, and presses his back to the collapsed tower’s stonework, afraid he’s looking at a member of the City Guard but quickly realizes his true affiliation.

“What the Fel do you want, huh?” Tirien hollers.

“I am Stepanos Delacroix, Lord High Commander of the Righteous – “ His introduction is cut short. The moment freezes. He and the man with him are as statues. Even the waves upon the Park’s debris are motionless. This isn’t right and Tirien knows it.

From behind Stepanos strolls a man, robed in dark purple silks embroidered with gold. He looks old. Older than any Human should be, older than most could actually live let alone believe. Sunken eyes, withered frame, and thinned hair contrast an air of energy about him as well as the spry demeanor his posture carries. Mud, grime, dirt, not even the salty air seems to affect him. It’s as if he is an illusion, a shade, yet to Tirien he is as real as the growing rage and contempt roiling in his chest. The old man smiles and folds his arms behind him.

“Tirien. My, my.” A grin, a grin he knows Tirien hates spreads form his smile as he sizes up the haggard man so recently roused from a pleasant dream. His condescension weighs his words as he takes a step out of Stepanos’s shadow.

“Hunter.” Tirien replies as if speaking to a demon. “You have five seconds before I force you back down.” He is serious and Hunter knows it. Tirien has a power over him, a force of will earned after evading his grasp for nearly a decade. His machinations all thwarted, all rent asunder thanks to the pitiful husk of the drunk slowly staggering to his feet before him.

“Tirien, come now,” he weasels, “I’m only here to talk. You used to be so…eager to listen to me before.” Hunter takes another step.

“What changed? Do I still not have your best interests at heart? Do I still not value you above all that I own?”

“You never cared for me, or Michael.” This isn’t the first time Tirien spoke with Hunter this way. The old man’s personality surfaces every now and then and it’s largely the booze that keeps him suppressed.

“All I am to you is the next vessel for yer twisted soul, an’ you only saw Michael as a mistake.” His anger permeates the air. It’s a familiar feeling, one he’s learned to hone to suit his needs.

“Ya failed. Now git.” A surge of will fails to send Hunter back into the recesses of his mind.

Hunter’s grin spreads, “Now Tirien, that’s no way to speak to your father. You were both my offspring and in a way, I succeeded, didn’t I?”

The contrast between moonlight and darkness intensifies as Hunter’s presence shadows Tirien's paltry anger as a hawk’s does a field mouse. Hunter’s soul constantly fights to win dominance since his ritual and something is giving him an edge, something Tirien isn’t sure liquor can help against much longer. He stands his ground.

“What? Don’t you enjoy being reunited with your brother again?” A dark chuckle echoes off the broken tower walls.

That bites deep, deeper than Tirien was expecting. Michael didn’t deserve to lose his life just to complete his father’s twisted schemes. Since then, he holds onto a part of him, some optimistic hope that there’s enough of his personality left to salvage. Though what good would that do?

“Yes, what good would it do?” Hunter repeats the question to Tirien's glare.

“Mm, to sacrifice another just to give your brother a new life? My. That sounds just. Like. Me?” His mock excitement continues, “But no, you don’t want that, do you? You’re content to let him fade away, as if he never lived to begin with.”

Tirien hurls a stone, only for it to pass through him. It freezes in place just before impacting the water and Tirien makes a grab for his rusted dagger resting on a stone.

“If I could say anything that result also sounds just a bit like me as well, don’t you think?” Hunter goads, his words gouging Tirien and spiking his anger.

Dagger in hand, Tirien turns to charge. The old man approaches at a lax pace, fire brimming from his feet to travel up his legs, burning away his old form to reveal a new one. Within arm’s reach, Tirien faces himself.

“You should stop resisting, you know. It’s only a matter of time.” Hunter smiles with demonic fangs, blackened veins running throughout his body. Pockets of pure void reside where Tirien’s dull-gold eyes once belonged. A phantom chorus of laughter resounds, bouncing off the time-frozen debris as Tirien’s vision goes red. He tackles Hunter and tumbles to the water’s edge and plunges his father’s head into the tide as the waves resume their repetitious dance. He still sees his father’s grin, still sees his eyes, and still hears his laughter as the bubbles begin to dwindle until they finally stop.

Tirien finds himself on his knees in the mud along Stormwind Cemetery’s lake, elbow deep in the muck clouded waters. He snarls at his reflection and comes to realize where he is. Calming, he stares at his reflection as the ripples dwindle to subtle shimmers reflecting the pale light of the gas lamps near the main cemetery path. He begins to recall the night’s events.

He had been sleeping just south of the harbor before two men had woken him. They were members of the Church, followers of the Holy Light. They had asked about the plague and put him through a trial by fire to get whatever information out of him they could. A suffusion of the Light set his insides to flame. It felt as if molten Fel would spew from him at any second, but he held fast. He protested flashes of memory from his encounter with the High Elf that morning days ago.

The recollection remains so pure, so undiluted. Even trying to change the memories with force fails. He feels…something. A presence, a pressure in some specific direction, though he is unsure why. It reminds him of the High Elf, though vaguely, as if she is just a mirror for a larger beast behind her. He focuses on the memory, on the feeling until the dark shape fixates all of its attention to him. Terror stricken, he looks back to the water at his reflection, breaking his concentration. He did not remember that happening back then, so what does it mean?

His connection to his father’s power is stronger, that much he is aware of and can understand, but just how much more of it will continue to awaken? Tirien looks toward the harbor and steadies himself before heading back. He has a bottle to drain.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » March 21st, 2015, 1:51 am

Nothing is working. Tirien vomits into the salty water where the Park District once stood. Something isn’t allowing the alcohol to stay in him. He falls to his side, clutching in a numbed hand the empty bottle. Vison, clouded from exhaustion, dilutes his surroundings to vague blurs of color and form until darkness encompasses all. As he floats in some ethereal twilight, Tirien again remembers the trial of Light which forced the latent Fel within him to erupt and expand. His thoughts drift to how much more it will take until he changes, permanently.

Tirien tries to open his eyes and finds them as lead. Moving his arms is a similar trial, one he relinquishes. Oddly, so are his legs yet he knows he is walking now and…and gripping something familiar. What is he holding? The leathery feel, the weight centered near the lower section of his palm, he is holding his dagger. He drifts in this endless sea, unaware of what is happening, unaware of the rush of blood splattering over his form, unaware of the parental figure at his back, compelling him to continue, unaware of his own resistance, unaware of his victim’s muffled cries and protests for him to remember who he is. The familiar, muffled pleas seem panicked, sad, lonely, frightened, hopeful, then finally a maddening quiet.

Beneath Tirien floats Michael in his dusty rages, his back to his older brother’s. Tirien slumbers while Michael looks on. The memories of the ritual, his sacrifice, his cries for Tirien to snap out of it are all his. In the memory’s brief moment when the dagger plunged into his heart he wondered if his words got through to him. He wondered what it would be like to have his soul fused with his. He wonders still if he continues to live on or if he is a construct of the mind. This doubt, he feels, is what fuels Tirien’s drive to hold onto him, to not let him go. As if he is some anchor for his older brother’s guilt or some dark inspiration for a determination to not let something like this happen again. This he wonders and ponders, even as the man who orchestrated these events continues to exist in here as well.

Michael shivers, knowing his father is here, with them. The man remains stubborn; refusing to acknowledge the failure in a ritual he’s performed a countless number of times. He can hear him, repeating the formulae again and again. He’s learned so much from just listening to his father’s thoughts and ramblings, drowned in booze as they were. A memory flashes before Michael’s eyes of a similar occurrence well in the past. He watches Hunter, in someone else’s skin, plunge the same dagger Tirien keeps on his hip into a woman. The perspective changes as she looks upon the century old corpse lying on top of her and immediately a dark laugh echoes throughout the memory as it fades away. How many victim has he witnessed Hunter possess by this point? Just how old is he, how powerful? He watches on so the brother he loves doesn’t have to. In the end he knows Tirien is what Hunter wants and that’s something he’ll never let him get.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
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Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » March 21st, 2015, 2:20 pm

Dawn breaks over the clear ocean sky. Ship bells ring, sails are cast, and cargo is moved throughout the bustling harbor. A dense mist keeps to the inland flowing pools just south of the brightening docks, dense enough to hide Tirien as he wakes from a short night of dreams and half-memories. The lack of nourishment labors his efforts to stand, forcing him to crawl up the stony beach until his feet find purchase upon the remains of the collapsed watchtower. It’s not far to his home away from home, but the journey is one he would rather not face in his state. The golden lights, yells, sharp clang of bells, and the cries of gulls wreaks havoc on his senses, stunning him further as he moves up and over a large boulder. Tumbling down he manages to direct his fall toward his hide-away and into the welcoming shade.

Tirien lays on the cool ground, thankful this little cove is shielded from most of the sights and sounds of the rest of the world. Only the ocean’s gentle laps wearing away the barnacle ridden stone fill and calm him. A weak arm reaches for a pack and rummages around for moldy bread. It’s not enough. He wants more, he wants to eat his fill, and he wants to not feel like death and wants to feel clean again.

Clean. Something he hasn’t felt in months. He could clean his armor, weapon, and himself, but inside he felt the fire, the Fel, and the dark energies of his father’s power coursing evermore through his body. It feels correct and in some twisted sense it always shall. It is his power by all rights, just as his father intends. Tirien smiles, knowing full well his father wants to be the one in control of it, and yet isn’t. His rest continues. A few gulls perch atop the stone arc and cry out to the sea. A tired arm tosses the nibbled bread to the water’s edge. It’s been awhile since his smile was so genuine. The small flock of gulls devours the offering and goes off on their business, leaving Tirien lonely in a void of noise.

He wonders how the High Elf feels. What is her name? Vionora. That’s it. They exchanged names.

She seemed calm, at an odd yet eerie peace with the night around her. Where was she? Right. He felt her on the path just a ways away from the ramp down to the Harbor. The fear in his gut forced him away yet a macabre curiosity kept moving him forward, the sensation of sensing her presence driving him to find out why. What about her stirs a craving deep in his soul? What part of him would even want such a thing? As he stepped through the shadows to be at her back it dawned on him. She is cursed with Fel. It was not as much as he held, but enough for Hunter to want it, to lust for it. He tensed, ready to dart at a moment’s notice, yet she remained calm, collected, every watchful of his actions and stance. Her gaze drifted past his to look through him, inside him and he found her fists clenched in what felt like sympathy. She never showed an outward ounce of it.

The meeting had been brief. She made a grab for his arm after pointless questions and was stopped. A demon’s arm ripped through reality and gripped her wrist with bone crushing force. He didn’t hear her words; he only felt the wind at his back as he made his escape down to the docks and away from the predator, away from the demon, away from any answers he may have gained to end up back where he started.

Tirien looks up to the worn stonework with a growing resolve. It is time he stopped running from this new predator and well beyond time to stop running from his father.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
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Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » April 17th, 2015, 12:59 am

“You have two options.” He pauses. The space is dark, empty, formless and featureless save the two men standing face to face. Nothing separates the two, no mirror, no glass, just a foot or two in this void of the mind. This will not be the last time Tirien ventures here.

“One, you stay at your fire and cook your fish and hope the woman comes back.” The stark clarity to Hunter’s logic rings.

“Or two, you help her, your friend, your – “ Hunter grins, not wanting to risk the diplomatic ground he’s gained over the past ten minutes. His wayward son is stubborn, willful, and annoying, but so is he and he knows exactly how to get past Tirien’s defenses.

“Help save her. That’s what you really want to do, isn’t it?” His grin, his narrowed, cocky expression, the self-assured confidence of his tone, all of it ignites Tirien’s anger.

“Look,” his cool toned voice continues, “I get it. You see in her a lot that you see in yourself. So why don’t you go and help her?”

Tirien boils over, knuckles popping at his hatred for this man before him. He wants to do something. He wants to help. He wants –

“You want to inspire her, to validate her...No…you want her to validate herself.” It is as if a hammer shatters ice. Tirien’s fury wanes and Hunter continues, having put to words Tirien’s most inner thoughts.

“My, what a noble goal. You can’t directly interfere or it will backfire, but you can’t just sit back either...” His grin breaks into a frown. “It’s disgusting.” Souring further he spats to the void. “You are not a child of the Light. Boy.”

“Accept my offer, or not.” A wave pulses throughout the space. Ever since meeting Vionora, Tirien has felt a connection to what he assumes is the Fel within her. It weakens considerably for the second time and pries Tirien’s attention from his father as he gazes in her direction.

“You know you cannot help her as you are. Do it. Let me in.”

Her presence dwindles further and Tirien relents.

“Alright.”

The change is quick, the sensation akin to jumping in a pool of ice and water. A fisherman on the shore screams in terror as the man sitting next to him erupts in Fel spikes and Shadow smoke. Bones pop, ligaments tear, muscles reknit and the light for yards around dim and vanish. Tirien’s monstrous form leaps from the muck, easily clearing the lake, to bound through the cemetery and back to the battle his friend is losing.

The Paladin, Stepanos, has his sword speared clean through Vionora’s gut, the brute Hegran brings down his twin great swords, the Priest Anton channels the Light into holy bolts, and Tirien sees it all slow to a crawl. Heartbeats measure the seconds he has to act. His charge ends in a drop kick to Stepanos’s plated chest, sending the man flying with his sword several yards away. Everything speeds up, putting Tirien back in the moment and for an instant he becomes aware of himself, of what he is, and of the choice he made. His knees buckle and he feels a familiar hand on his shoulder and a familiar sensation as Vionora shifts them into the Twilight Realm.

Faded colors, nebulous forms, and darting shadows flicker until they land in the husk of an old tower overlooking the Harbor. The spell had been instantaneous, offering the attackers no chance to follow. Tirien buckles forward and wretches a black ichor to the rotting wood floor. From above, gulls cry and take flight leaving Vionora and Tirien alone with the wind in the decaying, burnt out barracks.

He fights, struggling against his father’s corruptive influence as it seeps and spreads. A minor burst of power was all he thought to get, but the old man thought otherwise. The full brunt of his Fel power throws itself at Tirien, battering and eroding bit by bit his individuality. A war of the souls rages as the body barely manages to contain it.

Outside of the struggle, Michael watches and waits patiently. It is his presence which stopped Hunter in the past, but now is different. He cannot do anything, chained as he is. Tirien’s choice, his conscious choice, undermined his efforts. All he can do is watch as his brother suffers.

Vionora does what she can and channels a thread of Light out of a desire to do something, anything to subvert the changes to the one person who hasn’t faced her with sword in one hand and hidden desire in the other. Her pain is real, real enough to merit her attempt and call upon a stronger channel of Holy energy. The Fel aspects lessen. Bones crack and pop with each muffled scream of pain out of Tirien’s inhumanely split mouth. Hunter seethes as his influence lessens. He forces Tirien to focus on Vionora, to her Elder God and then to her own pit of Fel. Soon it will be his and by his hand the Old God will be silenced.

The threat is Hunter’s final act, now forced back into the recesses of Tirien’s mind and soul. Tirien is exhausted, numb. He fails to recall exactly when they slipped into the Twilight Realm again, but a feeling of trust overcomes him. Michael took control and spoke about an old hide away in Northern Stranglethorn Vale and Vionora opened the way there.

The space is basic. Stone walls and floor of some ruin of human origin, lined with vines and ingrown trees offer seclusion where most other places do not. On the trunk of a thick tree hangs a set of manacles and just under them are some left over supplies from the last time Tirien made use of this place.

With Tirien as exhausted as he is, Michael has difficulty keeping the body awake. Vionora offers to watch over them as they recover. Setting up a small fire and bedroll took the last of his strength and he collapses to it, falling asleep on the way down.
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Tirien
Tirien
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Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » April 28th, 2015, 12:49 am

“Something’s changed.”

Tirien runs through fields of shifting gold and wind, his younger brother Michael beside him as they bound towards a boulder in one of the back corners of the field next to a large, leafy tree. Cicadas fill the summer hills and take flight as the boys run past row after row of wheat near to harvest. The shift to fall took its time this year, letting the humid heat of coastal Westfall linger far longer than it should. It is a good heat though, a lively heat. One that fills you with energy and saps it as soon as you rest, one you cannot avoid even under the densest tree, and one perfect for children to exhaust their limitless energy in to save their parents from their shenanigans later in the day.

It is a race and Michael takes the lead. Tirien makes a futile grab for his shirt but the wheat stalks in his brother’s wake get in the way; he can barely see past the dust, gold shimmers, and bugs as it is. They laugh the kind of laugh common among youth with no concerns beyond what’s before them. Michael springs up and latches to one side of the sun baked boulder, wincing as his skin comes alive at the burn. He clambers up, kicking at Tirien’s attempts to pass him.

A pair of red shoes meets Michael and his tentative victory. A cicada buzzes off from behind a shoe and startles him. He loses his grip and falls back, though Tirien catches his arm and hoists him up and accepts his loss to his younger brother. The two stand there atop the boulder, acres from their farmhouse with a friend who always drops in whenever one of their father’s friends comes to visit. For what they don’t know, only that the old man is their tutor and they don’t really care to know further.

Elise is here to play and the two of them couldn’t be happier. Her whimsical humor and love of games and bugs and all things other girls hated made the three of them fast friends. Her bright red hair tied in a haphazard pony tail dances in the humid breeze as her emerald eyes light up, full of bursting energy. Tirien pulls out some candies he swiped from the kitchen and soon the trio lay atop the boulder catching up and pointing buzzards as they fly by. As the small clouds roll, the sun beings its descent and casts amber, orange, and red waves through the sky. This is the last day the two brothers can spare before their lessons begin and they spend it talking with Elise on the boulder, their boulder.

Elise giggles as the sun dips below the horizon. “Tiiiirien! When are you going to come see me, huh?”

Tirien laughs too, “I dunno. Maybe when I get my own horse.”

“Awh, but if you wait that long, I’ll be dead.”

Tirien rolls over at the odd comment. The scene shifts, changing to a cold stone room draped with black-out curtains to keep out the sun. Candles give just enough light to avoid the single bed, small table and chair, and water basin with a rag soaking over its edge. He stands over the bed, looking down on a woman of slight, lithe features with raven black hair cascading about unevenly along a simple pillow. Every so often she twitches and grimaces yet stays asleep, unaware of her surroundings, unaware of him. Pain wells in his chest, more deeply than the bruises from the guards lying unconscious outside of the room.

“I’ll be dead if you wait longer, Tirien. I’ll be dead and it’s all because of you.” Elise’s bittersweet voice echoes in the chamber as the floor drops off and the room dissolves. Tirien makes a grab for the woman only to have her slip through his fingers. Always she slips through his fingers.

Tirien jolts forward in his bedroll, clothes soaking in sweat. The oppressive, humid air of Stranglethorn clings to him as he gets his bearings as the remains of his fire spindles out a line of smoke. He coughs and bats a hand as he rises, sore from the events of yesterday. Making way to his small cache of supplies he rubs his eyes, finding them wet. The dream unnerves him. The memories and his guilt unnerve him further. Vionora’s faint presence sends him over the edge and spikes panic through his nerves. Something has changed, and he reasons it may be time for him to visit her for a change. Pulling out a map, he marks a route back to Stormwind and plans to prepare for a journey.

He won’t lose someone close to him again.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » May 9th, 2015, 5:37 pm

The trip to Moonglade was as expected, uneventful and quick. Tirien pulled a favor from a local Mage in Stormwind for a portal to Darnassus and from there a cheap gryphon to the glade nestled at the base of Mt. Hyjal. The Mage, too happy-go-lucky for his own good, supplied him with a sack of delicious red apples. Conjured of course, but the kid had a talent for it. They tasted real, spot on even. Said apples were the reason the flight was tolerable too. Tirien hates gryphons and they hate him.

“Easy, easy…” Tirien pleads as the gryphon lands. He slides off the saddle and unlatches his pack and offers the beast another apple. The gryphon snaps at it and Tirien tosses up the fruit to avoid the beak he’s sure the feathery terror meant to take a finger with.

“She likes you.” The Night Elf handler states as a matter of fact. No doubt he’s just waiting to unleash a tirade about his thousands of years of animal handling as a reason why Tirien’s gut instinct against gryphons is wrong in some way.

Tirien tosses the sack of apples at the gryphon’s talons and heads off into Nighthaven. The Gryphon pecks away at the fruits while her handler tries to stop her. He smiles, hearing the scuffle and curses behind him and looks around to get a good sense of this strange place the Night Elves call home.

The color green is everywhere and permeates everything. Tirien examines his dark leather armor and finds it leaning toward the primary color as well. It’s as if Nature wants you to know it’s there like an annoying, spoiled noble’s child. Around him he sees Druids tending bushes, trees, local fauna, and watches as one grows a bench from nothing. A bench. His assessment it seems isn’t too far off the mark. This is something he can work with though. The overarching tint to everything will make blending in to the environment that much easier, if he has to. He looks off toward Vionora’s distant presence out in the dense woods. Setting down his pack near a vine entangled lamp post, he adjusts his armor.

It’s been months since he last wore the entire set. He keeps active enough, so the fit is still comfortable and hinders nothing, but the wide silver inlay he liked most about it is now minty green. Even the flat red stone in his belt shines with a muddy color. All of his efforts to scrape away the dust, grime, and dirt barely show except for the subtle sheen of the oil he pilfered from an armorer back in Stormwind. It’ll do.

“I would advise against venturing forth into the woods, stranger.” This isn’t an Elf. Tirien turns to stare up to a Tauren easily a foot and a half taller than he. For a Human, Tirien boasts a height and a broad frame that almost makes him feel on par with his race’s Elven allies, but the Tauren’s presence humbles him. It also makes him feel like he needs to prove something.

“An’ why th’ hell not? What if I came here specifically TO go in th’ woods?” Tirien fires back.

The Tauren laughs and the ground shakes a little, Tirien thinks. The Tauren is obviously a Druid from the bird motif in his purple feathered regalia. It helps soften his intimidation. “I would still not advise it, stranger.”

“Yeah? Noted. Thanks, bud.” Tirien squares his shoulders and walks past the mountain of feather and fur. The Tauren continues a chuckle, his tail bumping against Tirien’s thigh as he watches the curious Human leave.

As he winds his way through Nighthaven, Tirien focuses on Vionora’s presence. It’s stronger here, if only slightly, and he follows it to the main road and out of the settlement. Again the Elven guards warn Tirien of dangers in the forest and again he ignores them. He can handle a few mangy wolves in a scrap, but really he’ll just avoid them all together, or run.

Tirien settles in the large, overhanging nook of an ancient tree after slipping into the underbrush once out of sight of the Elves. It’s quiet at first, but as he waits in the cool shade the forest comes to life. Animals resume foraging under the maze-like network of roots and underbrush as birds of all types sing songs of normality once his presence fades away. Haunting howls echo in the distance, though Tirien knows it’s not one meant for a hunt; a territorial call perhaps or maybe an exchange of introductions between whatever packs he’s been warned about. A bobcat pounces on a snake from the large root above him. The graceful creature freezes after securing the kill, regarding Tirien with caution. It slinks off into a small root tunnel. He drops his smile and begins moving in time with the sounds around him.

The sixth sense for magic used to be unwieldy though since the confrontation at the Stormwind Harbor with Stepanos, Tirien has grown accustomed to it. He found her and she found him beneath the boughs of a tree so adorned with talismans, ropes, baubles, and glyphs it leaves Tirien wondering where they got enough supplies to encircle the massive trunk with it all. Their meeting is short lived as pleasantries and catching up fall to Tirien’s father making another bid for control. Each time since the Fel in him awakened the difficulty in keeping Hunter at bay multiplies. The first time took a draining effort of will, the next took a generous amount of intoxication, from there only increasing levels of pain would snap him to his senses and give Tirien enough of a boost to prevent the takeover without Michael’s help.

Breaking another bone this time won’t work. His willful struggle succeeds in regaining the control of an arm and with it he plunges his dagger into his gut. The poison activates and paralyzes him, making way to his spine and numbing his legs. It spreads in rapid succession from tissue to organs and finally from heart to brain. In his last few moments of life one of his antidotes fights back the toxins and, in tandem with the Light, he escapes death. Vionora succeeded and Tirien makes a mental note to pay her back at some point. He is indeed stubborn and it’s something Hunter now hates, though he gladly steps back into the shadows. What is greater than the brink of death to deter him? Nothing. The next time Tirien falls, he wins, and they both know it.

Rest and food is what Tirien needs. It’s been a long time since he’s suffered his own poison, but he’s glad it’s still as effective as ever. The Druids and Elves allow Vionora a bed for Tirien and likewise do not bother to take her away. She is no longer a threat to them and is merely a half-breed tainted with a foul magic. The two are left alone and for the first time in a long time she falls asleep watching over him as she always has.

As the night comes and goes, Tirien recovers as the antitoxin does its job. He isn’t sure the exact moment morning came, but it felt like it. The lighting was a little less green. He strains his neck to raise his head just enough to see Vionora sleeping soundly, arms folded beneath her head as they rest atop his chest, rising and falling gently. He’s never seen her like this but he’s glad for it. Peaceful barely touches the sight of her lovely features and he falls back into a shallow slumber, not wanting to disturb her.
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Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: Just ain't the same

Postby Tirien » May 13th, 2015, 6:14 pm

Watching Vionora leave is something Tirien feels unprepared for. While he doesn’t intend his visit to Moonglade becoming anything more than that, a few more days or perhaps a week more without the looming threat of a second potential Cataclysm is preferable. His fondness for her has grown into something more and the terror of that stays his hand from keeping her here, with him. At least, he reconciles, they made plans to try and meet in Stormwind before Accalia ruins everyone’s fun.

The gryphon, carrying the person he’s grown close to, soars off into the distance to some unknown location. He watches her with a fond look and the Night Elf gryphon handler clears his throat to dispel the moment and get on with his business.

“I presume you will be departing as well?” He doesn’t bother actually turning in Tirien’s direction and instead secures the saddle of the next gryphon. Tirien doesn’t care and finds a small enjoyment in annoying the Elf to cap off his day.

“Stranger, I think the Handler wants your attention.” The same Tauren from earlier approaches; his purple and blue feathered garments rustle to a gentle breeze. It’s Tirien’s turn to be annoyed. All he wants to do is watch Vionora until he’s sure her transportation doesn’t suddenly die, come under attack, lose its way, or just hit a tree. He smiles at that last thought and really wants to see a gryphon fly into a tree.

“Oh yeah? What’s he sayin’?” Tirien’s sarcastic question irks the Elf, but the handler calms down with a breath and dons his best smile.

“Where would you like to fly to, sir?” He will do this, stoop to this level, if only to get this Human out of Moonglade before he rips into him. Forcing this smile proves to be the hardest thing he’s done in about half a century.

Tirien replies with a simper. “Rutheran Village.” He doesn’t bother to pronounce it correctly and hands over the coppers for the trip.

The Tauren watches, amusement dancing beneath a slight upturn at the corner of his snout. He wonders who this Human is and where he came from. Not many visit the glade and those who do are reverent or respectful at least of the Elves and Druids. Tirien and the Elf continue their back-and-forth, dagger hidden, banter veiled under pleasantries to avoid the attention of the Sentinels.

“Thanks fer th’ hospitality,” Tirien saddles up and takes the reigns. The gryphon wiggles its rear as it aims toward the cliff edge before sprinting for the take off. “Ass.” He’s certain the Elf heard him as he clears the tree tops.

A large bird pierces through the dense foliage and takes flight above Tirien who is too busy laughing to notice. The animal follows the interesting Human all the way to the port village. As Tirien boards the ship bound for Stormwind, the Tauren wonders if he should go too. Shape shifting offers many opportunities to travel and the Human capital is one place he’s never been. Besides, he may learn more about this Human.
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