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Anavea
Anavea
Posts: 8
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 3:49 am
Anavea

Relic Hunter: Grim Batol

Postby Anavea » August 9th, 2015, 11:40 pm

"Wine?"

"Yes, thank you."

Anavea tried her best to appear regal as she sipped an expensive port from an expensive wine glass. But even with her best clothes she was outclassed here, as shown by the contemptuous looks from the other patrons. Mostly the women. A restaurant by the Court of the Sun, she knew, was not a place for the middle-class likes of her.

"I've heard good things from some friends of mine." Professor Aresh said, continuing the small talk. "Lord Dawnforge sends his regards."

Word of mouth was still the best way of finding work, she thought.

"Thank you." Anavea replied politely. Lord Dawnforge had purchased a collection of Hakkari bijous from her a year or so earlier. They hadn't been easy to find.

Professor Aresh steepled his fingers together and took a moment to compose his thoughts. He was the typical scholarly type - thin, well groomed, unimposing and always appearing to analyse whatever he sees. After a long breath, he took a sip of wine.

"I am writing a paper, as professors tend to do." he began. "I'm writing about governments. Particularly the evolution of governments."

"Well you aren't short of case studies." Anavea replied. "The founding of our own city would be ideal."

"Our history is indeed an interesting one." the professor said vaguely, avoiding the subject. "But my interests lie in other societies as well, as we are not the only species to suffer a change of government. I have studied the old Arathi splintering, the rise of the Horde, the founding of Orgrimmar, the goblin cartels and more recently the Zandalari and the old Pandaren empire."

"Sounds like an impressive lineup." Anavea remarked. "Particularly the goblin cartels. What do you think influenced their linking of commerce and government?"

"Aside from greed?"

"Naturally." Anavea chuckled. "Their trade fleets introduced themselves to the world, so the Trade Princes were in effect then. My guess would be that Kezan had scarce natural resources. The most shrewd trader could dominate."

"The only resource they had in bulk was called kajamite." Aresh said. "Without much else, trade sanctions between tribes would have been as effective as war."

"Colonisation must have quick for them. Abundant resources and opportunities just a short distance away."

Aresh smiled. She noticed he had a nice, genuine smile.

"Well unfortunately, this has nothing to do with goblins." he took a sip of wine. "What I need you for involves the Wildhammer dwarves."

Anavea pursed her lips. "Alas, the Ironforge Library is not as easily reached nowdays."

"Our own library rivals theirs, but we digress." Aresh said quickly. "I wish to write about their cultural splintering and changes to government. There are books on this, but not detailed enough for my liking."

"So this is where I come in?"

The professor nodded, taking another sip of wine. "In particular, I want you to go to Grim Batol."

"The old capital?" Anavea sipped her own wine to hide her fidgeting. "Wouldn't the Explorer's League have picked that place apart by now?"

"I have friends in Ironforge." Aresh said matter-of-factly. "Fellow scholars as uninterested in faction politics as I am. They assure me that large chunks of information are missing."

"What do you want me to look for?" she asked, almost impatiently. She was already excited.

"Edicts." he said. "Government records. Court listings. Information on taxes, expenditure and trade. Perhaps something to tell us how and why their Senate disbanded. Sometimes it's the small things that cause the largest changes."

"I'm sure a civil war tops their list." Anavea quipped and when he didn't smirk, she recomposed herself. "Anything beyond their exodus north will have to be found somewhere else."

"Then we may have to do business in the future." Aresh replied. "If I am satisfied with your work."

Anavea smiled. "And when do you need this completed?"

"I have other areas of research to invest in." he replied. "So I can wait a short time if need be. The biggest leash will be your funding. Any information you uncover will be distributed in our circles. They'll eventually find their home in Ironforge, no doubt."

Anavea reached across for a handshake. It clearly displeasured him to do it, but he gently shook it as he would a lady's hand.

"If you need to reach me, go through Dizzy."

"I will." Professor Aresh said. "Now good day."

That was her queue to leave, much to the satisfaction of the other high-class patrons.

Anavea
Anavea
Posts: 8
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 3:49 am
Anavea

Re: Relic Hunter: Grim Batol

Postby Anavea » August 15th, 2015, 2:41 am

For all the trees and floating plants in Silvermoon, there was hardly a place to sit down and think. Anavea's favourite spot was a garden just outside the gates, in the shadow of the statue of an ancient magistrix. It was tranquil, the air was fresh and the guards harassed you less often.

It was time to brainstorm. What did she know about Grim Batol? About the Wildhammer? What did she feel she needed to learn before she ventured inside? She wrote her thoughts out on some parchment with a carpenter's scribe (a pencil) and started with the basics she usually always needed.

Grim Batol checklist.

- Maps.
- Dwarven translation book.
- Light source.


She'd add to that later. She thought about her study systematically, starting with history. The War of the Three Hammers was about 260 years ago? Grim Batol was founded after the Wildhammer exodus from Ironforge. She also knew that the Dragonmaw had lived there in the Second War, as well as the Twilight Hammer more recently.

Reference topics: - War of the Three Hammers.
- Second War - Dragonmaw involvement.
- War against Deathwing - anything Grim Batol specific.


Who were key figures in all of them - not just the Three Hammers? She made amendments as she went.

- Second War - Dragonmaw involvement and key commanders.
- Thane Khadros Wildhammer.
- Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan plus wife.


Thaurissan's wife (whose name escaped her) had led the attack on Grim Batol - and was responsible for the curse that rendered it uninhabitable. That was something that needed to be addressed.

Anything pertaining to the Grim Batol curse. Find interviewee present there during War against Deathwing. Consult somebody about possible curse protection.

Mages would know a little about curse warding - she didn't like speaking with or even being around warlocks. Assuming she know knew everything about the places history, what else would she need to know?

Dwarven government: Distant past, recent past and post Council of Three Hammers.
- Function of Senate.
- Influence of nobility, military and class sytems.
- Layout standards (if any) of dwarven legal documents. Acquire example from pre-war Ironforge for reference.


She chewed on the end of her pencil while she thought more on it. If she knew where she was going and what she was looking for by now, what else did she need? This seemed unlikely to require her archaeological tools.

- Information on hostile denizens (if any).
- Specialist equipment: Rubbing and transliteration, breaching?
Could you even breach a dwarven door with hand tools? She amended it to light breaching and added dwarven security measures to the previous list.

She looked the list over when she was done, satisfied with what she had to start with. Had she missed anything? Probably. She always missed something. She took out the gnomecorder Dizzy gave her, one of the goblin's initiatives to increase her working efficiency and waited for her secretary to pick up.

"How'd it go, boss?" Dizzy opened in her usual time-is-money speed. "Have we got a job?"

"Yes, and I need your arrangements as usual." Anavea replied, drawing a confused look from a nearby groundskeeper. She pointed at the device and made an apologetic gesture before he went back to his business. She looked over her list.

"Okay, Dizzy. First off, find me someone who has been to Grim Batol. The War against Deathwing a few years ago should give us plenty of candidates.

"Second, get me in touch with either a mage or somebody who knows curses and such. Speak to a few enchanters - get a quote for a generic curse ward enchantment, so I know at least how much it will cost."

A few seconds passed. "Anything else?" came the modulated reply.

Anavea thought about it for a moment. "Find somebody who knows how to open a dwarven door without lockpicking or explosives. Perhaps using a hammer or a claw or something."

"I can get some basic seaforium if you need, boss."

"I want a method that doesn't require consumable equipment." the blood elf insisted. "And I'll need transport out there in a few days. Be sure to organise that."

"Gotcha, boss." Dizzy paused as she no doubt wrote it down. "Books sent out to you?"

"Hmm." Dizzy was no researcher, so she was only good for acquiring general reference books. "Find me one on the War of the Three Hammers, a book on the Second War, particularly the Dragonmaw involvement, and something on the dwarven government.

"And find me copies of legal text pre-dating the War of the Three Hammers." she snapped her fingers as she had a sudden thought. "And anything after the war from Aerie Peak. They don't have to be originals."

"Okay, boss. Is that all?"

"For now." Anavea said. "Let me know when I have somebody to meet."

"Alright boss. Dizzy out."

Anavea put the gnomecorder away and admired the garden for a little while. She wanted a garden like this someday.

Anavea
Anavea
Posts: 8
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 3:49 am
Anavea

Re: Relic Hunter: Grim Batol

Postby Anavea » August 27th, 2015, 8:04 am

The energetic bustle of a mid-morning market seemed to grate against her. Anavea usually felt drained in the mornings from either a hangover or a poor quality of sleep. She couldn't remember the last time she went to bed sober and not had a nightmare.

She walked through the Bazaar in Silvermoon, deaf to the peddling merchants trying to wave her in. While she had been studying through the previous evening, Dizzy had arranged a meeting with a mage in regards to her curse issue. She read through her checklist, now nigh-indecipherable from partial amendments and scribbling. If not for her good handwriting, it could have been a write-off.

Her destination was a modest building advertising cloth goods and embroidery services. Why a mage would be here puzzled her. Every (blood elf) mage she had ever met had their natural air of pompous self-importance. The kind of people that wouldn't associate themselves with a embroidery store. Nevertheless she walked in, list in hand. Before she could so much as look around, a blonde-haired elf waved her over to a table littered with half-completed wreaths in a style that she couldn't immediately place.

"Hello." she said warmly. "You're... Nova?"

"Um, yes." Anavea replied.

"I'm Kiraleen Starvale." the mage said with a smile that immediately put her at ease. "I was told you wanted to speak with me?"

"That's right. I'm seeking some information on magic."

Kiraleen gestured to an adjacent stool. "Please, have a seat."

"Thank you." Anavea sat down and examined the wreaths. "These look nice."

"Historical recreations... bridal wreaths from four hundred years ago." Kiraleen replied. "Quel'thalas is looking to her past again."

"Well I think troll killing is not a pressing issue. Perhaps not that far back."

Kiraleen laughed softly - Anavea couldn't help but immediately like this woman. "No, we're killing orcs now. On another world."

The mage went solemn and seemed tired all of a sudden. Anavea ended the digression.

"Anyway, the reason I'm here." she said. "I'm going to be travelling soon. And I feel some warding magic will be needed."

"Where will you be going?" Kiraleen inquired. "That will help determine what kind of warding you would want."

"I guess that's true." Anavea conceded, inwardly cursing her habit of being vague. "I'm going to Grim Batol."

Kiraleen blinked. Anavea supposed that would catch most people off-guard.

"The old Dark Iron stronghold?"

"Wildhammer. And yes."

Kiraleen bundled her hands under her chin as she thought. Anavea was ready to recite some history to better explain if need be, but held her tongue. Mages were scholars and reciting history to a scholar might seem condescending.

"A physical protection ward, of course. Another for ambient magic." she said. "The Wildhammer were mostly shaman, I believe?"

"At the time, no." Anavea said. "And if the history books are to be believed, the curse was caused by the Dark Irons back in their civil war."

"Ah." she mulled over that for a moment. "A general 'cover-my-backside' magical ward, to start. Protections against certain types of curses, on top of that.

"I was there once or twice when Deathwing returned." Kiraleen continued, prompting Anavea to look up from her notes. "His followers had taken over part of it."

"You were there?" she inquired. She was generally sceptical when someone said they had been somewhere exotic. Meeting too many characters that had travelled to every corner of this world and the next will do that.

"An expedition for the Earthen Ring. As a favour to the Wildhammer." Kiraleen explained. "I don't remember much of it - Grim Batol - proper. Dark. I remember that much. Bring something to give you night-sight. And the troggs..." she shuddered. "Likely there's still some there."

Anavea was taking new notes now and consulting old ones. "I read that a large fissure ripped through there."

"There was. We had to travel down both sides of it."

"How wide was it approximately?"

Kiraleen took a moment to think. "Roughly about twenty-five and thirty-five feet."

Anavea energetically scribbled more notes, feeling far from drained by now.

"Dizzy - my secretary slash bookkeeper - managed to find a map of the upper level." she said, looking at Kiraleen. "Could I run it by you sometime to check for accuracy?"

"Certainly." she replied. "There are records in the archives at Sunfury Spire. They may be useful."

"If they let you in."

"I can give you access to them for a few days."

Anavea couldn't believe her luck. Dizzy had struck gold with this lady.

"Dwarven customs, government, that sort of thing. My father was a consultant on it. I know it's there somewhere."

"I'm actually looking for government records." she confessed.

"Dwarven ones?"

"Mhm. A scholar writing on the evolution of governments." she smiled at Kiraleen. "Access to Sunfury Spire with fewer 'whys' and 'what fors' would be great. Politics are so counterproductive..."

"So I've noticed." Kiraleen busied herself removing a crystal from her staff and performing some kind of spell on it. When she was done, she handed it to Anavea; a sigil - her sigil she assumed - was inscribed on it.

"Present this at the archivist at Sunfury. They'll let you in." she said. "And please bring it back when you're done.

"It's a household pass. Good for three days."

Anavea almost didn't take it. There were huge amounts of trust going into this gesture. Trust towards a stranger. She had done nothing to warrant such generosity.

"This.... looks too valuble to just be given out."

"I would take you there myself, but there are... problems I have to see to." Kiraleen said. Anavea didn't know, and she didn't ask. In the end she took the crystal.

"Thank you for this. How long would it take to get that ward ready?"

"I'm not an enchanter, but I can have it ready in a couple of days."

They organised a meeting in two days time and Anavea pocketed her notes. "I feel like I've hit a gold mine. I came here looking for a curse ward, and I get someone who has been to my destination *and* has authority to access the library at Sunfury Spire *and* gives me said access." She was grinning now. "I had planned to interview someone, but was expecting to put up with some Dragonmaw in Orgrimmar.

"This is much more pleasant, thank you."

Kiraleen laughed. "I'm flattered. Thank you."

They said their goodbyes and Anavea left with the crystal. She found a bench nearby and set up her gnomecorder.

"Dizzy, good news." she said excitedly. "Turns out the mage you found has *actually* been to Grim Batol! Great find!"

"You're welcome." the goblin replied. Anavea could almost sense her smirk on the other end. "So... pay rise?"

"Um. I'll get back to you on that."

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