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Joined: October 7th, 2014, 2:48 am

Wrath of the Raven

Postby Mackinzie » November 10th, 2015, 2:31 am

The page once belonged to an illustrious tome, nestled amid the gold-trimmed binding of the Mackinzie family heirloom. Now, it floated softly through the silence of the grand library, torn callously from its home. Crumpled and ragged it danced. Swaying in gentle downward arcs, until finally it came to rest atop the shattered, stained-glass pieces of a once favored vase. The flaming orchids lay wilted among the shards, drowning in the water that so often brought them life. All around, destruction reigned. The ornate shelves stood desolate, a testament to the reach of ill-fated wrath. Tomes of great importance lay strewn about the study, spines broken, covers ripped apart, and pages gone missing.


The figure sat among the wreckage, shoulders slumped in defeat as fiery tresses fell forward to hide the tear-streaked face that twisted in anger beneath. Her breathing had begun to slow, though it did little for the madness that beat upon the inside of her skull. Footsteps resounded in the hallway, coming closer; until they stopped just outside the doors of the library. A timid knock inquired. The figure did not bother to look up. Did not bother to acknowledge at all.

“Lady Brianna?” The maid spoke hesitantly, pushing the opulent doors open just a crack. She was freshly hired, new to the staff. What was her name? Sarah? Mary? Did it truly matter? “Lady?” The wretched voice interrupted once more, bravely stepping further into the dismantled study. “Is... Is everything all right? I heard a disturbance.” The maid's eyes widened as she took in the severity of the devastation. “I shall fetch the Lord right away!”

Brianna clenched her jaw, growling harshly as she whipped her head around to stare viciously at the housemaid. Shadows amassed in her eyes, leaving no trace of the signature emerald. Only darkness remained. “No. Bring me the Kaldorei.” Hatred filled the silence, leaving no room for contestation or questioning, and the maid immediately disappeared.


Rising to her feet, the Priestess slowly lifted her head. There was no trace of diplomacy in her cruel demeanor, no lingering kindness of any sort, no peace. There would be no peace. Measured steps saw her standing before the stately mirror, it's golden frame intricately carved with various vines and petals. Somehow, it had remained unscathed. She studied her reflection as she awaited the arrival of the summoned Kaldorei. Memories echoed overwhelmingly in her mind, rising in taunt to lend her no reprieve of the horror she had heard over the guild stone.

Skylah screaming. Screaming for her. Brianna! Brianna! Brianna! Unrelenting, the screams played over and over within her head. The malice in her gaze stared back at her, blaming her for what had happened. For allowing her sister to leave. For not trying harder to keep her at home. Savagely, she struck out, punching the reflection with her bare hand. Glass exploded, falling to the floor at her feet. The cracked and broken image that remained surged with murderous intent, focusing on the Kaldorei who now stood in the background.

Brianna turned around sharply, ignoring the blood that dripped freely from her knuckles. Venom laced her words as she spoke. “You were supposed to protect her.” The Kaldorei opened her mouth to respond but Brianna hissed in deterrence. “You were supposed to keep her safe.” This time, the Kaldorei wisely remained silent. “Find her!” The command was barked with such scorn that she hardly recognized her own voice. The Kaldorei nodded in understanding, her face impassive. “And if blood needs be spilled, Lady?”

The shadows in her once emerald gaze flared aggressively, like flames seeking destruction by any means possible. “So be it. It matters not to me who you kill or how much blood stains the streets. See it done!”

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Re: Wrath of the Raven

Postby Mackinzie » November 20th, 2015, 5:57 pm

It beckoned, grasping seductively at the chambers of her heart with delicate, inviting caresses. Its voice... how alluring the sound, calling her name in soft-spoken entrancement; offering sweet promises of forgotten pain and the blissful apathy of focused vengeance. Racing hungrily through her very veins like raw electricity, it surged with reckless command. The Void was not to be ignored.


The Caravan had escorted their search party to Honor's Stand. For what!? The trail is frigid by now. She had sought the solitude of her sister's tent willingly, wishing to be free of the sympathetic gazes that followed her every movement. It had not been such a haven for Skylah. Brianna closed her eyes tightly, summoning the strength of her inner will in a vain attempt to drown out the chatter of voices beyond the leather. Shut up! Shut the fuck up. What good are any of you? Bitter resolve settled into every crevice of her twisted visage, shifting her once youthful face to one of cruel hatred. The Priestess glanced down to the silver ring that sat nestled amid the palm of her gloved hand. All luster was gone from the band, all shine drained from the jewels; as if the heart of the item itself had broken. She blinked back tears as visceral malice gnawed in the depths of her amethyst gaze. The bitch had been near. Taunting her. Toying with her. Hiding among the shadows like the festering, reeking coward of a corpse that she is.

Captured images of the senseless torture her sister endured interrupted the seething rage, invoking such a sorrow as was unfathomable to the woman before now. The ache in her chest erupted erratically, as if her very heart had frozen over and quickly shattered, sending jagged pieces falling into the pit of her stomach to embed there viciously. Skylah... I am so sorry. Forgive me. Light please protect her. Please ease her pain. Do for her what I can not, comfort her. Shadows lurked cravenly, stirring at their chance to consume the Priestess; preying upon the harrowed torment that swept through her endlessly. How nice it would feel to give in. Just for a moments respite. Dark mist began to enshroud Brianna, blanketing her in embrace as would a Mother upon their only child when nightmares had came upon the witching hour. She exhaled in relief as the magic was given free reign. The anguish within receded and dispersed until most all she felt was the addicting lure of sworn revenge. They will rue the fate they have chosen as they shall come to know my suffering many fold. This I promise.


“Most unexpected is decision timely. Mayhaps set aflame were the heels of the Council?” Rorrek glanced between Tayissa and Brianna as he spoke. The three congregated around the fire, conversing in hushed tones. The leaping flames before them mirrored the lust for battle in the depth of Brianna's own gaze as she mused inwardly. The Council had made the decision to gather arms and strike back rather quickly, she would allow them that much credit at the very least. As if on queue, Councilor Smartgear's calm voice resounded over their communication devices. “I have created amplifiers to help us locate the Chancellor's guildstone. There are wards weakening the signal, but I can establish it is somewhere in northern Kalimdor.” Northern Kalimdor? Gods be damned... only 5 days remain. Thinking much along the same sentiment, Tayissa did a double take. “He can't narrow it down to less than half a continent?” With the call for their gryphons sent, Rorrek helped Brianna into the saddle before seeing himself set protectively behind the woman; his arms embracing her lithe waist as he took the reins in hand. He responded in kind to Tayissa before seeing the party toward their first destination. “With hope shall that to come narrow such further. To Ratchet!”

And yet, despite the hope which loomed in the promise of these peculiar scepters, could the Priestess not dissuade nor hold at bay the undulating tendrils of darkness which followed her heart. No fleetness or flight would dampen the roiling tumult which writhed within as each moment passed, ragged with anticipation. Scenery shifted as clouds amidst storm. From the arid port of ratchet, through the winding limbs of Bough Shadow, and deep into the auburn breadth of Azshara the party saw themselves closer to where the guildstone rested. But does she rest there as well? Does she live?

With the final scepter placed, they waited for the Gnome to work his arcane magics and give them word of a signal. Brianna emerged even more withdrawn, lost in the sea of thoughts that pummeled her unrelentingly. What if it is too late? They will never give her up. They will never keep their word. Even if Eternal Aegis and The Jade Lion do as bid, Skylah will still die. Beneath the battle mask that she wore, the Priestess hissed in disgust and helpless anger. It should be one of theirs dangling upon that hook. The fault lies in their actions. Let one of them take Skylah's place. I would turn every last one of them over to the corpse if it meant my sister's safe return. His voice disrupted her toxic musings, causing Brianna to tense in anxiety.

“It's... very near you. Due east... and a little bit down. Must be in a depression in the ground?” Tinox spoke with measured composure, falling silent as the group discussed among themselves how best to proceed. However, it became avidly clear to Brianna that her sister was not likely to be found once the appropriate location came into view. If it had not shattered earlier, her heart would have sunk deep into the recesses of her abdomen. What fracture of hope that had managed to linger disappeared immediately, leaving a throbbing, fresh wound in its wake. What did you expect, stupid girl? The place was abandoned, though someone had recently set it ablaze. Chaotic fire licked at the old buildings with no regard for what its flames consumed eagerly. Rorrek steeled his gaze, keeping alert of their surroundings as he nodded to the one building that had escaped the wrath of the inferno. “Let us proceed with care.”

It did not take long at all to find what they sought. Those whom placed it there did so with the intent of such to be found. The box was ordinary, sitting quietly among the debris, and yet; it seemed to Brianna to hold secrets sinister in nature, dread welling up to ice her veins. Tayissa had been the first to reach the box. She looked inside, promptly closed the lid with her mouth drawn into a thin line, and proclaimed, “This is it. Let's go.” She doesn't want to tell me what's inside. Gods, what is inside? What is inside!? Tayissa ignored her as she walked past, already on her way out of the scorched building, box in hand. Brianna stalked after the woman, demanding in tone as she spoke through clenched jaw. “What do you mean? What is in there?” She glanced to Rorrek, their leader and her beloved. Surely he would order Tayissa to turn over the box. Yet, he only nodded tersely before issuing command of a different kind. “Send forth thy mounts, let us be swift. Rendezvous amid Talrendis Point. We should linger not further.” This is how it is to be then? Rage swelled up from her core before blossoming out in all directions explosively. So be it. Climbing atop the gryphon, she spoke with venom. “To Talrendis then, aye? And fast! But I -will- see inside that box when we land.”


They were alone now. The horrors of the day long past, and yet, to Brianna, it was as if the box had just been unveiled moments before. After weathering her hellish screams of agony, he had delicately taken the bloody necklace from her grasp, closing the locket on the gruesome image within. She remained catatonic throughout, allowing him to pilot her as he so wished. With love sincere, the Knight saw her laid down within their private quarters, nestling in behind her. He pulled her close against his broad chest, resting his arm along the swell of her hip with a firm reassurance of his solid presence and began to lay gentle kisses along the nape of her neck. The firmness of his embrace sought to hold at bay all which beset her person, vain as it were. He spoke not, as he knew no words would be of aid in this hour. He was her beacon among the darkness, anchoring her. Preventing her from drifting too far into the void.

And who will be Skylah's beacon?

Slowly, Brianna reached for Rorrek's hand, drawing strength from the solemn warrior. Silent tears slipped down her cheeks as she squeezed her eyes shut, forcing herself to hold back the sobs that clutched at her throat. I will not give into the darkness. I will fight for you Skyjade. I will fight as you fight. I will be there for you. I will find you. I will save you. I swear this to you.

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Re: Wrath of the Raven

Postby Mackinzie » November 20th, 2015, 5:59 pm


The once soothing sensation of blissfully drowning within the void disappeared as excruciating pain now lashed at her heart as thorns most cruel and taunting. Brianna could sense the desperation and the agony inflicted, though in truth it were but a vague and fleeting sense. Just as quickly, the echo was gone and naught but a sharp ache remained in both her mind and chest. With the bloodied locket clasped tightly in hand, the Priestess let loose a deafening scream of anguish, the very core of her being extending toward the broad southwest from where she knelt; grasping at the futile strands of that feeble presence which wore the name Skylah.

She was near and very much alive. For now.


Brianna flung the covers back, bolting upright as the vision of yesterday assaulted anew against her weary mind, dispersing the lazy tendrils of sleep that clung reluctantly. Like a blacksmith's hammer, the promise of hope struck hard in the forge of her heart, sending it racing rapidly in vigor unusual in recent days. They must hurry if they wished to find Skylah, time was of the utmost essence. “Dalah'felo?” She reached behind her expecting to feel the Knight's solid frame but she was completely alone.

Several swift thuds, the footsteps of hefty sabatons and greaves, answered the woman's call. The Knight stood within the now held open door whilst within full armored regalia. "Good day, dalah'surfal," he spoke slowly with a wearied countenance. The light which flooded inward behind his person, and disposition he wore, told of the late hour of day and the earliness his doings must have began. "Forgiveness, yet decided had I that thou held need of respite lengthy. Inquired long have I among Talrendis for word of the Chancellor to no avail. Specialist Steel and Ambassador Vil'Ithius survey the area still and readied now is mine gryphon. Within hours brief shall descend nightfall and so too must those as we begin sweep anew o'er head beneath such cover granted. Converse shall I with the General as thou prepare." She thought of smiling, and yet, could not muster the emotion needed to do so, even one fraudulent in nature. A simple nod was given instead, though the Priestess held his gaze gently for a moment as unspoken understanding passed between the couple. His visage softened deeply for a time before he then bowed and hurriedly returned to the preparations at hand.

The fall of night came swift enough and the pair soon saw themselves saddled atop the grand gryphon, flying high above the Horde lands in search of a sibling most precious. As she settled back against the reassuring firmness of the Knight, she sought a moment's respite to call in demanding order upon the shadow that coursed freely through her. It obeyed willingly, cloaking Priestess, Knight, and mount in obsidian mist that saw them damn near invisible against the ebony sky. They had the cover of night, such was true, but one could never be too careful. Within her hand was held a well-worn map of Northern Kalimdor and an enchanted quill; a small circle had been etched around the encampment of Talrendis Point, with lines directed southwest. Even then, she opened her mind and sought eagerly the presence of her sister. Faint though it were, it resounded as a beacon of victory! They would find her. I'm coming, Skylah. Stay strong for me.

The telepathic link the sisters shared had served them mostly for entertainment as young girls. Days spent in seminar, complaining of assignments or feeding their need to gush about the latest gossip. Often their Father demanded silence and they sought the comfort of each others mind to weather the loneliness of private study he condemned them to each night. More recent, they shared unspoken conversations amid meetings of the Coalition and business of the Twilight Empire. Sometimes out of boredom, sometimes out of necessity. Yet, never born from the tragic occurrence that called upon the skill now.

Brianna lowered her head against the relentless chill of the night breeze, pulling up her hood and wrapping her cloak tightly about her shoulders. Rorrek's arms rested on either side of her petite waist, protectively keeping her situated as he held firm to the gryphon's reins. They worked in tandem, the Priestess signaling when the presence was lost, when it was picked up, and from what direction it invaded her mind; the Knight guiding the mount in a wide arc based upon Brianna's supervision. The perimeter sweep was underway, all they needed was a point of convergence. Vengeance warmed her heart, stoking the embers that flared in anticipation and for the first time in a long time, Brianna allowed herself to smile, plush lips curving in a way that suggested untold volumes of wicked enterprise.


Dawn approached defiantly over the cracked cliffs, sending the reluctant darkness crawling back bitterly from whence it came. No matter, they had exactly what they needed. High atop the barren hills overlooking the Sludge Pens from the west, Brianna and Rorrek conversed heatedly. "To lend strike now with but those as we would end in folly most dire. Temper thy rage and hone such for when meted may justice be.” The Knight's visage is steadfast and stern with voice firm to match, though a sympathy and understanding was clearly present within his furrowed gaze. She took a slow, deep breath, gazing at him through slightly narrowed eyes, like one taking the range before firing off some major piece of artillery. “But she is right here, she is so close,” she hissed angrily as she shoved the map into his chest. Viciously circled atop the frayed parchment sat the presumed location of Skylah Mackinzie, though Brianna knew it to be true. Wordlessly the solemn Knight pulled upon the gryphon's reins to see their flight shift, adjusting course after Brianna's urgent request. However, it would not appear that the beast is headed toward where Brianna desires and instead has begun to seek a return to the area of Talrendis Point. “For now must muster we again and sally forth thither in haste thereafter. Inform shall I the General." It was quite evident that he would not brook argument.

Shadow clutched viscerally at her mind, piercing the matter therein with long, jagged claws; enticing her to go alone. What good was a Knight that did not act, it asked maliciously. What kind of beloved would see you suffer further in worry? You do not ne--- Hastily, she sought the prayerblossom necklace that hung atop her bosom, grasping it desperately like a talisman most treasured. The voice within her mind retreated immediately, like a worm that had just been unearthed, and in that moment she knew Rorrek to be correct.

They would bide their time well, reinforcements were needed...

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Re: Wrath of the Raven

Postby Mackinzie » November 26th, 2015, 3:29 am

The vibrant woodlands were alive, thriving, and laden with the pleasant fragrance of lush grasses and new blossoms beneath towering white oaks which emanated enchantment with every shift of their leaves. Everlasting sunlight glittered reflectively atop the clear sea and flitted between the canopies of gold and auburn, casting entrancing beams along the boughs that twisted beneath; much like the sparkle of jewelry. Wildflower petals danced merrily along the gentle breeze, caressing the atmosphere in warmth and the promise of perpetual Autumn. Eversong Woods was indeed magnificent.

Even as night began to fall and cloak the elvish land, the sandy shore glowed softly in the moonlight, retaining its deep golden hue like stubborn embers amid a campfire long gone out. Leisurely waves lapped against the incline of the rising rock mountains that stood stoically nearby as the tide grew weary. Fauna and flora alike were beginning to settle into the serene slumber brought about by the stars that shimmered lightly in the evening sky. The Priestess sat alone upon the beach, inhaling deeply of the salty draft that wafted from the darkening waters. Often she had longed to visit Eversong, to be among the magic and walk along the thick forest floor. The irony of the situation which finally fulfilled such yearning was not lost on her and she laughed bitterly, void of all humor. “Not quite what we dreamt of, hm little sister?” Glancing down, she spoke to the treasured silver ring gleaming between her thumb and forefinger. Under differing circumstances such a night would be the picture of peace but all that remained for the young woman was the suffocating pull of despair and the throbbing, relentless misery of losing someone so near to her own heart, to her own soul. Someone she was meant to protect at all cost. Aside from the reassuring companionship of her Knight, the only thing preventing the Priestess from free falling into the void of insanity was the constant, lingering pulse of Skylah's presence. Distant as her consciousness was, the comfort it brought was immeasurable; tethering Brianna to the tragic reality around her.

Brianna allowed her shadowed gaze to drift, focusing on nothing in particular. Exhausted desperation clung to her pale countenance as her silent musing turned inward, reflecting on the battle fought only hours before. Though it was not so much a battle as it was a pitiful bout. The Grim clearly did not send their best combatants to transport prisoners. Or even their half-way decent ones. Fueled with injustice and fury, Brianna's small party had claimed victory of skill with meager resistance from the Horde but such triumph rang resoundingly hollow; her sister remained in the hands of those cowards, forced through a Silvermoon City portal as soon as it became apparent they were overwhelmed. Remnants of adrenaline surged with predatory fervor through Brianna's veins despite the air of peace around her. She recalled the last image of Skylah, drugged and bound at the wrist and ankles, head lolling unconsciously as the blonde one shoved her viciously through. It was pure anguish that propelled Brianna toward the portal, fully intent on foolishly following them into Silvermoon. Damn near made it too. She delicately prodded her side, just below her ribs, as the memory of Rorrek's armored grasp surfaced. Aye, bruised to be sure. The Knight had grabbed her tightly around the waist, sparing no concern for her feelings as she struggled fiercely against his strength; kicking, clawing, and cursing. Though in the end, it mattered not. Horror stricken, Brianna had watched the arcane image disperse but a few feet in front of her; and with it, all hope. The grip about her midriff lessened but did not release her, instead Rorrek merely held her in a tender embrace as she fell listless, staring in numb detachment at the barren, cracked ground where the portal once shimmered. Just as swiftly as it had appeared, the memory faded.

Renewed malice lit the inferno within, roaring in vitality with such ferocity it made her sick to her stomach and caused her hands to begin trembling. She saw not what lay before her, but instead envisioned the cruel visages of her sister's captors. With great satisfaction, their expressions contorted in anguish as she visualized the torment which she would gleefully inflict upon them in reprisal before their deaths. Every. Last. One. I will slaughter them all for what they've done. The words echoed with conviction within her mind but her sinister reverie was unexpectedly interrupted by the feeble answer of Skylah...

“Bri? Is--is that you?”

Skylah's voice was faint and slightly distorted, as if she were talking from the confines of a glass mug, and Brianna's mind opened readily to the familiar enticement of their telepathic attachment. The Priestess had let out an astonished gasp, acutely aware of the shadowed and watchful Knight standing by the trunk of the white oak a few yards behind her. Through the chaos of upended thoughts and questions that now raced in her head, she managed a small wave to signify all was well, then closed her eyes, pushing all from her mind and focusing intently on hearing Skylah once more. Skylah!? Are you there? The modest silence that followed felt an eternity to the young woman and a queasy uneasiness settled into the pit of her stomach. Had she imagined it all?

“I am... you... you found me?”

The flood of relief felt thawed her frozen, waiting heart back into action and it began beating rapidly, like a wounded bird unable to take flight in the face of a stalking predator. She had not imagined it, they could speak to one another! She quickly surmised that wards must not have been placed yet or perhaps not the correct ones? Their stupidity was to be her gain. Sky! Oh, Light... Skylah. She endeavored to control the sorrow in her voice, lest her sister pick up on it. She needed to be strong right now, plenty enough time to fall apart later. I'm here. I know where you are, aye. I am coming for you.

“Into the... city? It is so good to hear you again, Bri, but be careful.”

A sense of heartache washed over the Priestess as she sat perfectly still on the golden beach, face upturned towards the glow of the moon and eyes closed in sorrowful serenity. She longed to tell Skylah yes, that they were on the verge of storming the city and would be there soon; but she knew such was impossible with only Rorrek and herself. Even if they had an army, she did not know where in the city they were keeping her sister. She took a deep breath before responding, attempting to calm her nerves and offer strength. It is so very good to hear you, my little Skyjade. I promise I will get you out of there as soon as I can but I need you to answer some questions for me. Is there anyone with you right now?

“Within the room I am alone... but a priest has taken guard duty for the night.”

The mention of a Priest caused alarm. Brianna tensed cautiously and immediately called upon further incantation of shadow, aggressively seeking any unwelcome or unknown presence within Skylah's mind. After a moment, she exhaled the breath she had been keeping captive. The search confirmed no other presence nor corruption. Lie down and close your eyes, as if you're going to sleep. Tell me at once if you feel another presence in your mind. Can you do that for me? Skylah was notorious for wearing her emotions upon her face and the last thing she wanted was for the guard to surmise she was speaking to someone telepathically.

"I long for the ability to lay down, Bri. I am shackled to a cross."

The grief in her sister's words pierced her like a dagger straight through the heart and then twisted for good measure. She hugged herself, if only to distract her hands from the shadow that urgently wanted to lash out. Fingernails dug viciously into the flesh of her upper arm, leaving small crescents filled with blood imprinted therein. It took a lengthy pause before she trusted herself to speak and even then, the words were laced with palpable hatred; though not directed at Skylah. For their atrocities, they will pay eternally. This I promise. A brief moment of silence passed as her oath resonated with impact before she inquired further of Skylah's location. Can you tell me where in the city you are being held?

"I... was not myself when they brought me here. I was force fed some concoction. The last thing I remember before this dark room was a grand fountain outside."

Enough time had been spent incessantly studying the maps of Silvermoon that Brianna spoke instantly from memory. The Bazaar, or the Court of the Sun then... Auburn brows knitted in frenzied musing. How did they manage to get her through the city unseen and in such close proximity of the throne room? In truth, the treaty was indeed weak but surely the guards would not suffer to see an Alliance prisoner tortured beneath their banners? A fleeting mental note was made to speak with Kiraleen Starvale on the matter before she focused her attentions back to her sister. May you describe the room that you're being kept?

"I don't know... it is dark, Bri. I can not see a thing."

Briefly it occurred to Brianna to ask her to use her Light to view the room but Skylah was not stupid, if she hadn't done so already there was a good reason for such. Invoking a soothing and comforting tone, the Priestess gently sent her answering thought. It is okay, conserve your Light for now. Tell me about what they want from you. Do you know why were you taken specifically?

"They ask for leaders of opposing guilds. Eternal Aegis and Jade Lion mainly. They want to cripple them, for the attacks in Tanaan. That is all I know. I was taken for looking the most knowledgeable."

The frustration in Skylah's voice mirrored hers precisely. What a beastly idiotic reason for capturing someone. Looks were often deceiving and to pluck a person on the mere basis of appearance was not only highly presumptuous, it suggested a level of intelligence on par with the troggs. What else have they asked you? Anything at all you can remember. I know you're exhausted, but any information may help determine their true motives. She greatly suspected they did not want Skylah for a few mere names easily ascertained from any basic Stormwind directory or elementary intelligence mission.

"Um... they ask of you, the red headed priestess that found me. And the manner in which I was found." Laughter rang out, taking Brianna aback as it echoed through her subconscious. “I tricked them into thinking the guild stone located me.”

The Priestess knew well enough that she should not encourage defiant behavior. Regardless, pride rose with warmth from her core before billowing up to her mouth, which curved in a faint smile. Well done. Allow them to think it was their foolish fault for returning the stone to us. As for me, tell them my name if they ask again. Do not accept torture to keep it from them. It matters little to me if they know my name. They will know me well before all is laid to rest. It was not a hollow statement, there would be no diplomacy in the future. There would be no peace. She would have their hearts, beating or rotting, in the palm of her hand. The Grim was henceforth kill on sight as far as Brianna was concerned and the Council be damned if they did not approve. We know the fetid corpse Syreena was the one to capture you. Have you identified anyone else?

“I know the orc Khorvis but he's always masked. Oh! Lilliana, do you remember her?”

A vague recollection of a hideous dancing troll upon a balcony in Shattrath floated to the forefront of her mind. Aye, from the Masquerade.

“If she is to be taken, I want her for myself.”

There was no mistaking the commanding certainty in her words, or the frigid resentment laced therein. Brianna stiffened at the impending answer to the question that appeared in her thoughts, much before she could tailor it or proceed with tact. What has she done to you? Silken strands of auburn fell across her pale cheek as she shook her head in mild disapproval. The barbarity that Skylah had no doubt endured was the last thing she wished to drudge up and she cursed herself silently for not having a better handle on her introspection.

“She is mine.”

Whatever unspeakable crime this bitch Lilliana had commited, her retribution belonged to Skylah and Brianna was more than inclined to step aside and allow her claim to earned vengeance. Just as soon as she was safe once more. Exhaling slowly, she gave a firm nod of resolve before allowing the subject to be shelved; for the time being. I've yet to discover the names of the two Sin'dorei sluts that transported you but their faces won't soon be forgotten. I'll be seeing them again.

"The blonde, make her suffer. She took... she took something from me."

There was a chilling effect in the words Skylah spoke that sent a shiver kissing along Brianna's spine in spite of the warm breeze creeping over the still waters. Do you speak of your locket? Or your ring? I have them both. An eerie assurance came over the Priestess as she sent an inquiring thought in return, Skylah's answer would not please her. But there was a sliver of hope that held out, perhaps it was indeed the jewelry she spoke of. Barely breathing, Brianna waited patiently but no answer was given. Skylah, what are you not telling me? A minute passed. And then another, before finally the younger sibling's consciousness softly invaded her head.

"She... she uh... she took... Bri, she took my hand..."

Time seemed to twist, then halt lethargically. At first, Brianna simply waited without response to Skylah's words. Surely she could not have heard correctly. Disbelief laid itself upon her senses as a soothing balm to mitigate the dire circumstance... and yet, only tentatively. Within moments had all rejection begun to melt and stew into a broth of untold emotion. This roiling torrent which threatened to overwhelm her already beleaguered person culminated into utter helplessness. And then it began to boil within as the inability to correct this horrid injustice sank deeply upon Brianna's heart until her wanton feelings evaporated with naught but rage left to dwell in their place. Her head fell upon knotted fists, knuckles dug hard into her eye-sockets. Colors of angry crimson and bright white burst behind her eyelids as the tendons of her neck were sharply etched with strain. Skylah was waiting, all alone. The realization sobered Brianna's tormented demeanor. Falling apart would serve no one but herself, she must be courageous. Slowly, her head lifted and she willed her heart to fall into the rhythms of the shadowed wilderness around her. Skylah was her first priority. Were you able to heal the wound?

"I heal what is life threatening. Bri, I have not the energy. My body... it, it looks terrible."

It took all the fortitude she had to keep the madness from swelling up once more but gradually she quelled the beast and it retreated into the dark recesses of her consciousness to lurk there until later. Do not worry of such things, I will take care of you once you are safely in my hands. But, if you can, heal your wrist. The potential for infection was a very real and looming threat.

"My wrist, she... the blonde wench, she burned the wound closed. Though, I can not heal properly regardless. Dampening wards of some sort. My abilities are as if I am five years old again."

A small blessing, they obviously wanted her alive or they would not have wasted the energy to cauterize her wound. The pinched face of the elven blonde was summoned in hatred as she envisioned lighting the woman aflame and watching her face melt and distort beneath the wretched fire. She knew exactly how to exact her revenge on this one. Though such fleeting fantasies were set aside, replaced by deep seeded regret for allowing Skylah to be in this position in the first place, for needing a reason for retaliation. I am so sorry that I could not get to you fast enough, Sky... She was sorry for a million other wrongs but even the voice within her mind fell silent, unable to convey properly the anguish crushing her very soul.

"You've no reason to apologize, Bri. I know you have done what you could. You found me."

Fatigue drenched every syllable spoken by her sister. The weariness the young girl felt transferred to Brianna's mind, overwhelming her with an unfathomable desire to disappear; and still yet, -she- was trying to comfort Brianna. It broke her heart all over again. You must rest and conserve your energy now, Skyjade. We will talk more later, I am not going anywhere. I will be right here, I am close. ...but, Sky, if they attempt to move you, let me know at once. And if it is by portal, shout the location before you step through.

"I've heard no talks of moving yet. This appears to be the blonde's household. I will shout every detail I can." Her words grew even fainter, as if sleep had already began its siren's song, caressing her weary mind alluringly. “May we see each other soon...”

Beneath the light of the moon tears shimmered against her pale skin, cascading quietly down her cheeks as a pleading prayer echoed with fervor. The desperate need to hold her sister squeezed at her heart painfully and she bit her lower lip with enough force to draw blood; hoping to keep the ache from spilling out to tarnish the calm of the night. Shall I sing to you?

“I would like that, Bri.”

She had often sang to Skylah and Isabella when they were young, tucking each girl beneath plush comforters with numerous kisses and warm hugs; amid fits of giggles. The recollection brought a sorrow laden smile to her face as she began to sing their favored lullaby, sending it drifting soothingly along the path of their linked minds. Along with the melodic thoughts, Brianna sent images of happier times to appear within the inner eye of Skylah's subconscious. Shopping trips among the illustrious and magical city of Dalaran. Cozy evenings spent laughing over a bottle of red, in front of their grand hearth. The exciting adventures of mischief amid the littered streets of the Darkmoon Faire.

Only long after Skylah had fallen into the land of peaceful slumber did Brianna finally allow herself to stop singing. Slowly, she stood and opened her eyes to the reality surrounding her. Skylah did not exist here and the impact nearly brought her to her knees. Only the wind picked up the whispered words as she turned to rejoin the Knight at their camp. “Good night, Sky. I love you.”

Rorrek kept vigil still beneath the shadow of the white oak. Deep sorrow lingered in his gaze and throughout the contours of his face as he watched Brianna approach. She stepped with measured pace, coming to stand before him with one corner of her mouth tucked in wistfully. “She is asleep. She always did love it when I sang to her.” The Knight then drew the Priestess close, caressing her arms before coming to embrace her across the small of her back. Brianna in turn slipped her arms around his waist, as to hold him; hands resting just beneath the shield at his back. Speaking gently, and yet with a firmness of strength he desired to impart within her, he squeezed her lightly around the waist. “Thine pain is as mine own, dalah'alah. Thy weariness to resound amidst mine heart as symphony desolate and bleak...Thou shalt have her returned to thee. Would only could I envelope thee amid mine heart so to lend bulwark against thine ails.” For a long time, she merely stood with him like so; cheek pressed against the soft fabric of the tabard that covered his chest, unable to respond suitably.

The Priestess stared through the haze of weariness toward the open sea which lay before their meager encampment, waves lapping upon the shore as the restlessness within her mind. In spite of the freshening air could she hardly breath with the weight which stayed upon her chest. It threatened to cave her torso inward, so ceaseless was its presence. Guilt burdened her mind, like a crown of thorns set viciously atop.

Yet again had it come to such lengths beneath her watch... another sister to perhaps be lost to fate. So long since the loss of Isabella, and yet never once had the blame she placed upon herself waned. The malignant thoughts spread and ate through the fiber of her being at an alarming pace, wearing her thinner with the passing of each day. Brianna's body begged whilst she sat and stared, for release and reprieve. She denied herself even the prospect of tentative sleep. How long she had stared unto the distance, nestled amid the Knight's arms? She could not say. It mattered not to the festering anger and guilt which lay within, repeating its incessant lessons like the a cruel mentor intent on breaking her and rotting her from the inside out.

It would not be until the coming of dawn, the sun peering over the afar horizon, when sleep overcame her. Though, just before the numbness that sleep promised, Brianna heard the taunting jeer of her thoughts, faint but nonetheless forbidding. Skylah would be reunited with her sister... but, which sister would it be?

Darkness came upon her and the Priestess contemplated no more.

Posts: 20
Joined: October 7th, 2014, 2:48 am

Re: Wrath of the Raven

Postby Mackinzie » December 11th, 2015, 2:10 pm

Even before the enchantment of levitation were cast upon Skylah, she felt no heavier than a newborn foal. The body within Brianna's arms was exceptionally frail, with bones protruding sharply beneath the sickly pale flesh that threatened to break through at the slightest jostle. Dark smudges ringed her sunken eyes and there were fresh bruises upon her gaunt cheeks. Around the hollow of her neck dried blood clung to the raw, ragged, and swollen skin, telling the story of her most recent terror. Shadowed sorrow arose to strangle Brianna's heart as she gazed down upon her younger sister, causing a deep ache to radiate painfully throughout her chest. “We're almost home,” she whispered to the unconscious priestess held tight in her grasp.

The armored gryphon screeched thrice as Mackinzie Manor peaked above the canopies of the ominous trees, each call held just a tinge longer than the one before it. All along the estate wall archers lowered their bows in recognition of the incoming rider, allowing the gryphon to land unhindered. It's cries and flourishing wings fell to a deafening silence as Brianna dismounted hurriedly before the main house. In truth, she could feel little else, save for the weight within her arms; a fading husk which entombed her once vivacious sibling. A numbness overtook her steps, as if she never touched the stone beneath her, and yet she walked onward in haste with a single-minded determination, through the lavish double doors and into the haven of their home. Her personal infirmary was not far now, she need only push through the haze.

Voices distant and movements dim congregated about her person, adding to the blur that fringed just upon the edge of her vision. Distorted faces passed the Priestess and what felt like fingertips brushed along her sleeves, grabbing at her. Anxiety began to rise up as the babble around her grew louder, the crowd more urgent. She wanted to lash out at them, scream at them to leave her be! Quite suddenly, there was a firm grip upon her elbow and she was being ushered down a long familiar hallway. A distinct voice commanded the noise, sundering it completely. Though Brianna could not make out the words over the rush of blood in her ears, she instinctively knew it to be Violet, perhaps rapping out orders to lend room and make way among the bustle of servants which had appeared. Bending to the head housekeeper's will, the haze dispersed in the woman's unstoppable wake. The door of Brianna's infirmary was opened before her by the same hand which had cloven the sea of people, to which the same firmly shut the barrier closed behind her. Silence reigned once more and the world slowly materialized beyond Skylah's form. They were alone.

Brianna composed herself as she moved to lay Skylah upon the plush bedding, forcing herself to come to task. She could not afford a lack of concentration now, nor an over abundance of focus upon the torrent of emotion which shoved to spill out of her whenever she glanced down at here sister's disposition. The fire within her abdomen flared violently, roiling alongside worried pain but she managed, only by thoughts of seeing Skylah healed, to quell the inferno. She would bend forth all of her will to nourish her sister to health again. She would do nothing else, for nothing else mattered in this moment. Skylah needed her and she would damn well be there for her this time.

Here beneath the well lit surgery, the injuries inflicted upon her sister were sharp and clear, striking in their brutality. She had hastily tended the gunshot wound at the site of the battle for stable transporting but it needed further ministering. Thank the Light, it was not too serious and the sniper had assuredly missed their mark. The bullet had gone straight through her shoulder, hitting no vital arteries. As Brianna began to tenderly cut the soiled cloth away from the wound, Skylah came to. Her eyes fluttered open briefly, only to shut tight against the overhead candles that shone brightly into them. Groaning weakly, she attempted to reach her hand out but Brianna grasped it delicately, guiding it back down to rest upon the bed as she caressed Skylah's emaciated cheek with the edge of her thumb. “Shh, you are safe now, Skyjade,” she consoled her sibling gingerly. “Just rest now, my dear. I shall take care of you.”

The arid raspy voice that escaped Skylah was almost unrecognizable. “...th... thank you. I... I kn... knew you would come.” She had to swallow several times before the sentence finally emerged and it broke Brianna's heart to witness the difficulty experienced in merely speaking. The older sibling bent forward, placing a kiss upon Skylah's filthy forehead as she whispered against her skin. “Always.” Though Skylah's breaths were shallow and feeble, a serene daze washed over her features as she relaxed against the soft downy of the bedding beneath her. Brianna worked quickly, falling into an accustomed routine as she saw the bullet wound cleansed properly and healed with the grace of the Light she called upon. Beneath her glowing palms, tendons and tissues knitted together magnetically as the edges of the once torn flesh grew towards each other with seamless perfection. She had regrettably been unable to prevent this injury but she would make sure no discomfort was felt by her hand. The priestess was a master manipulator of pain, capable of inflicting it or suppressing it at the whim of her heart. A small incantation of the latter made sure that any potential pain from Brianna's work would never lay claim to her younger sister.

The rags that Skylah wore were stained with dirt, blood, and all manner of bodily filth; and the smell was unimaginable. “Let us get you out of these dreadful clothes, hm?” Skylah murmured a soft “...yes... please” as she attempted to push herself up with one shaky arm. Brianna immediately moved to halt the motion, pressing Skylah gently back against the pillow. “Don't move, love. I shall see to it. Just relax, shhh, there there.” With tender affection, she smoothed the tangled hair from Skylah's face before moving to pick up the scissors that rested upon the surgical tray nearby.

Terror wavered in Skylah's azure gaze, locking onto the instrument in Brianna's hand. A small whimper passed her lips as she recoiled, trying to sink further into the comforter. There was a detached distance in Skylah's eyes as she saw not what was before her but some other horror past known. The sight froze Brianna, scissors suspended mid-motion, as she realized the extent of the damage caused at the Grim's behest. Slowly, she lowered the scissors and backed up a pace. It was critical that she allowed Skylah to regain the control those monstrosities ripped from her so heinously. She must be made to feel that all decisions were hers. “I am not going to hurt you, Sky. I only wish to cut those rags away. Would that be alright?” The comforting sound of her voice lured Skylah back to the present and her bright eyes refocused upon her sister's face, no longer frightened but no less skittish. With a slow nod, she lent permission to see the soiled rags removed and Brianna began cutting with deliberate leisure, careful not to allow the tips of the scissors to so much as graze Skylah's skin. Within moments, the tainted garment was removed and tossed disgustedly into the grand hearth near them. The flames licked eagerly at their gift, engulfing it quickly and flaring in appreciation. The infirmary was quite comfortable and exceptionally warm thanks to the hearths continued obedience, yet Brianna reached for a light blanket nonetheless, wishing to preserve Skylah's modesty.

Fresh cloths were brought to the bedside and sat near the glass basin of warm water. Brianna began to bathe Skylah delicately as she murmured soothing phrases intermittently; and the younger woman began to drift in and out of sleep, falling silent. The blanket was peeled back to expose a small area of flesh to be cleaned before being covered once more and another area was moved to, repeating the process all over her sister's malnourished frame. There were a number of lacerations, contusions, and puncture marks that required tending along the way, each one giving new rise to the rampage that quietly built inside of Brianna. However, she could never have anticipated the immense fury that instantaneously consumed her in one swift blaze as she moved the blanket away from Skylah's inner thigh. There along the curve of soft flesh were five large bruises, akin to fingertips and in much the same pattern as a grabbing hand. The bruises were an ugly yellow, close to fading but she could see the intent behind them clearly enough and it blackened her gaze. She staggered forward, bracing herself against the edge of the bed as bright dots of light swam around the borders of her vision. Bile rose up belligerently, burning her esophagus with imagined scenes of violence and endured violation. Those fucking bastards! Her mind began to reject the possibility, grasping desperately at any other excuse for those particular bruises to be in that particular area but it was rather useless. Oh gods, no. Please no. Not this, please not this. Hot tears brimmed her dark eyes, spilling down her cheeks as she turned her head hastily away to wipe them from sight before Skylah noticed. It would do her sister no good to see her crying. She should be a pillar of strength to hold tight to, to shield her and protect her. Brianna stole a glance at Skylah but the woman remained resting, and the Priestess was silently thankful. She turned from the bedside quietly, having finished her ministering, and took the time needed to regather herself while she looked through the selection of robes hanging within the stately armoire.

From behind her came the dreamy voice of Skylah. “Is this real?” With a deep breath to steady the ache that throbbed hollow in her chest, Brianna turned around and put a soft smile on her face. “Aye. You are here, with me, in our grand estate. There are archers and guards lining the ramparts and Rorrek watches the gates himself. You are safe. No one will hurt you here.” This seemed to immensely comfort the frail Priestess as her chapped lips curved into a faint grin. “You're my angel, Bri. You saved me.” Not soon enough, not nearly soon enough. Her thoughts berated her, cursing her for the atrocities wreaked upon her sister but outwardly she merely held her smile in place. “I am no angel. Your demon, perhaps?” This surprisingly elicited a weak breathy laugh from Skylah, taking Brianna aback. “Not all angels are of the Light, Bri.” She could not argue there. Briefly, she turned back to the armoire to retrieve a light blue silk robe, embroidered intricately with vines and blossoms all along the neckline before closing the closet and making her way back to Skylah. “Then I shall be your angel of darkness and pleased to do so.” Holding the robe up before her she asked invitingly, “What do you think of this? Shall we try it on?” Skylah eyed the robe for a second before nodding with approval. “Aye, I quite like it.” Brianna placed an arm beneath Skylah's back, lifting her tenderly into a sitting position before guiding the silk garment over her arms. It pained her to see the maimed wrist poke through the sleeve, they would need to speak of it soon and the seared flesh needed her attention. She opened her mouth to say as much, may as well get it over with, but halted as she noticed Skylah peering down at her skeletal frame; a look of disgust and hopelessness on her thin face. Brianna did not need to read her mind to understand what she was thinking, it was written in the pinch of her nose and the grimace of her lips. She spoke with genuine promise, attempting to pull her sister from those darker thoughts. “Violet will have you as fat as a winter sow before long. She's probably downstairs now, working the kitchen staff to the bone.” She smoothed the robe down, laying Skylah back against the pillow as she smiled softly. The comment was successful and Skylah chuckled faintly, though it never reached her eyes which remained dark with concern. “Bri, how long was I gone?” Shadows lurked in the older siblings gaze, regarding Skylah quietly for a moment. “Almost two months.”

“I... lost track of time. Or maybe I wanted to forget.” And who could blame you. Brianna moved to tuck the blanket snugly around Skylah before perching upon the edge of the bed and gazing down at her sister lovingly. She pushed a frizzy strand of auburn hair behind Skylah's ear before cupping her sunken cheek. For a long time, they merely stared at each other, searching the familiar depths with words unspoken; though eventually, Brianna sighed. “Do you want to forget now? I can take the memories from you... if you wish.” She could do it easily enough, being quite adept at conjurations of the mind. “No.” Skylah shook her head firmly. “No, I want to remember the world as it is. I will no longer hide behind false ideals.” Her eyes grew cold and detached, envisioning the faces of her captors. “And I wish to remember who it is that I will kill.” The answer did not surprise Brianna in the slightest, in fact, resignation had already lined her brow as if expected. She merely nodded in complete understanding. “Revenge shall be had, I promise you this. I have my own to exact as well, mind.” Skylah closed her eyes and sunk further into the pillow, quite suddenly feeling too exhausted to continue the conversation and they both fell into a comfortable silence; left to muse privately on their vengeance.

Delicately, Brianna moved to tend the seared wrist. It had been cauterized but such had been done so sloppily and with no consideration for the nerves. It was also in bad need of debridement but so far there were no signs of infection and Brianna said a grateful prayer. Plucking the scalpel from the tray, she began to remove any sign of dead tissues with gentle care, though in truth, Skylah would feel nothing regardless of whether she were careful or not. If she knew what Brianna was doing, she gave no notice of it; merely laying there with her eyes closed, though Brianna could tell from the fall of her breath that she was not asleep.

It was some time later, after Light healing and regenerative salve had been applied and the injury bandaged, that Skylah spoke. “Filora... she did that.” Brianna was in the middle of mixing a potion, slowing stirring the concoction with her brow knitted in concentration. She almost did not hear the comment, Skylah's voice was so very low. “Aye and she will pay for what she has done.” There was no anger in Brianna's tone this time, she simply spoke the truth as she knew it. Filora Livlet would pay, one way or another. The created potion was transferred to a small flask, for easy drinking, and brought to Skylah. “We have plenty of time to decide her fate. For now, you need to rest.” She lifted the flask to her sister's lips. “This will help you sleep. Tomorrow you will feel much better.” It was a rather complex potion, meant to sustain her vitals and replenish the electrolytes missing alongside containing properties for a deep, uninterrupted sleep. Instinctively, Skylah eyed the potion with wary hesitation and Brianna did her best to look outwardly encouraging; while within her stomach twisted in agony. She knew that her sister did not distrust her but the action sliced through her regardless. Gradually, Skylah opened her mouth wide enough for Brianna to tip the appropriate amount within, swallowing it soon after. Her azure eyes peered upwards, affixing to her sister drowsily. “Will you stay with me?” Any agony Brianna had felt melted away as she regarded those inquiring eyes with a gentle nod and a sincere smile. “You could not get rid of me if you tried.” The older Priestess walked around to the other side of the bed, pulling the covers back and sliding in behind her sister to embrace her waifish waist. She nestled close, holding Skylah protectively in her arms. A quick flick of her wrist saw the flames of every candle in the room extinguished and the pair were submerged into the alluring darkness of the infirmary.

Perhaps it was the intimacy of the moment or the sheer relief of feeling safe, but Skylah could no longer hold back the tidal wave of exhausted emotion that crashed over her and she began to sob in small uncontrollable gasps. The grip around her waist tightened as Brianna began to rock slowly, her breath caressing warmly against the nape of Skylah's neck. “Shh, everything is alright, love. You're okay. Everything is going to be just fine.” Her own tears flowed freely now as she bit back the sobs in her throat, willing her voice to steel and remain unwavering. “It's okay, Skyjade.” The situation did feel quite surreal, as if the tiny frame in her grasp would disappear at any moment. She buried her face into the tangled auburn tresses before her, allowing the tears to fall where they would, as she continued to gently hold her sister through the trembling. “I didn't know if you would make it in time. She stood me in that noose all day and through the night. My legs were so weak...” Skylah's voice broke, unable to continue as the weeping grew more desperate. With compassionate tenderness, Brianna slowly began rubbing Skylah's back in small comforting circles. “But we did make it in time and wounded a great many in the process. They fled, like roaches beneath a flame.” Eventually, the younger sibling began to quiet, drawing comfort from Brianna's words and her solid presence; the quivering wore out and the effects of the potion began to blossom throughout her body like the spreading warmth of a rising sun. The last thing she remembered before succumbing to the dreamless sleep was Brianna's distant voice, distorted among the rippling of unconsciousness. “I love you.”


Long after Skylah had fallen asleep, Brianna stood in her chambers with the Knight. “I know what I saw. And I know...” Words failed her, unable to say it aloud. She was raped. Affixing a hard gaze to him, she set her jaw firmly. “I just know.” She had already described to him the bruises. Five of them, much too large to belong to a Sin'dorei or Forsaken. That left one race, Orcs. “She mentioned an Orc among her captors. Khorvis.” She spoke the name in disgust, the very sound of it stoking the flames of vengeance within. “I have something special in mind for that disgraceful piece of shit.” Another vase flew across the room, propelled by a shadow tendril, and shattered against the wall; the glass shards falling to join those of a picture frame that had met the same fate.

Rorrek seized her hand, drawing her close to him as he held her against his broad chest. “Dalah'felo. Stop this.” His words were not commanding, but soft and pleading instead. Ever so gently, he cupped her chin and lifted her snarling face up to gaze within her eyes. The darkness coalescing there retreated and the signature emerald appeared once more.“Such girding must await until the morrow. Vengeance shall be had and come shall the time be, as with all things. For now must temper we that as our rage, to hone such errant wrath unto weapons keen. Patience shall be our armor until opportune is happenstance eventual. This I promise.” Understanding cooled the rage that fringed in her gaze, ready to take over once more at the slightest permission. He bent forward slightly, pressing his forehead to hers. It was a comforting gesture between the two, used often. She closed her eyes, taking slow deep breaths before whispering against his lips. “Aye, such is true. I will place thoughts of revenge aside for now.” And she meant it. Mostly.

Posts: 20
Joined: October 7th, 2014, 2:48 am

Re: Wrath of the Raven

Postby Mackinzie » December 27th, 2015, 4:15 am

A well manicured nail, trimmed in crimson and gold paint, tapped absentmindedly against the crystal wine glass held in hand. "Well I suppose honesty must count for something." Brianna glanced wearily to the letter of response from Sanctuary as she spoke with a hint of sarcasm, skimming it over yet again. Her initial reaction had been to incinerate the parchment on the spot and alliances be damned. However, a few nights sleep and a bottle of Dalaran red, or two, had renewed her sense of reason, if not her willingness to forgive. She could play the part perfectly, should she need to. The mask of false politeness was well worn these days.

Skylah snorted with mild annoyance from the far corner of the grand library, where she lounged within a plush high-back leather chair of burgundy hue. With her feet curled beneath her and the blanket upon her lap drawn snug around her abdomen, she looked the picture of comfort; until one glanced upon her face, which was now pinched in distaste. "She was as honest as she saw fit and nothing more. She does not plan to expel the culprit. How is that for her precious conviction of justice?" The younger sister exhaled forcefully, rolling her azure eyes before taking a long, well earned drink of rich red wine. Though the silence was short lived as she started up once more, striking her maimed wrist against the padded arm of the chair for emphasis. "Light blast her, she does not even mean to punish the person!" Though that wasn't quite true. The Commander had spoken of her lack of faith being sufficient punishment to this individual, yet neither Priestess had seemed quelled by the notion.

Brianna tossed the letter upon the intricately carved end table, eager to be done with the entire mess, and rose to join Rorrek. The Knight stood stoically before the warm hearth, staring into the dancing flames as if compelled by a whispered story carried on the rising smoke that only he could ascertain. She touched his armored back very lightly, shifting to peer up at his pensive demeanor. "What do you think?" Brianna asked, lifting one eyebrow in gentle inquiry. Rorrek glanced over his pauldron toward her, his moss gaze contemplative and composed. Though after a moment, his eyes returned to the fire and he spoke with aged wisdom. "Sincere art such words, laid honest and bare. As well, such were the deed of one whom sought aim their own. Whether true or but to placate falsely remains to be seen. Suggest would I wariness hence forth and to see such wound mended betwixt us. Time shall speak should such alliance falter or thrive."

For a time, nothing was said between the three, each one lost in the allure of their own internal musing. Sounds of tinkling decanters, pouring wine, of fires being stoked, and soft footfalls upon the hardwood flooring, as Brianna paced to and fro, resounded in the comfortable silence. The Priestess bit her lower lip, pulling at the delicate flesh reflectively. In truth, Sanctuary was an ally in name only and as Rorrek had spoke, time would make known their genuine intentions. However, if she were being completely honest with herself, she did not care any longer. Even her position as Magistra left her feeling hollow and apathetic, like a long forgotten decaying oak. There had been a time when she truly wished to devote her energy to speaking in the name of the vision but such an age had passed. The prospect of authentic peace was an enticing one indeed. Yet, impossible to achieve in the end. However she knew, most of what made life worth living seemed to dwell among the impossible. True and lasting peace could very well be a myth, and yet to seek otherwise during these dire times would doubtlessly lead one down darker paths. And, eventually, to walk in the same footsteps as her enemies. Or so the Knight had warned her.

Brianna halted, closing her eyes and willing the thoughts to disperse, leaving her mind sufficiently blank. Emerald eyes opened, stealing a glance at Skylah, who was watching her with a look of apprehension present in her clear blue eyes. Brianna lent her sister a reassuring smile and held up one finger before turning towards the stately writing desk. Picking up a tome, a few crisp pieces of parchment, and an enchanted quill, she made her way over to Skylah and perched lightly on the edge of the chair arm, grinning slightly. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?" Brianna asked, with a sinister gleam in her emerald eyes, made even more so by the reflection of candlelight that shone therein beneath the shadow of her hood. Though her demeanor shifted as she affixed a sincere gaze to her sibling. "Sky, I will stand by you no matter. What will you have me write?"

The answer in response was not spoken aloud. Instead, it rang unmistakable within Brianna's mind as Skylah lifted her wine glass in silent cheers. Inclining her head in understanding, the Priestess pressed the tip of the quill gently to the parchment and began to write.

Commander Liene,
It is with great regret...


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