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 Operation Harpy Queen

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Robi Kaezlan.
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PostSubject: Operation Harpy Queen    Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:24 am

Robi passed the dossier to Aresh who read it gravely.

"You're sure of this?" he said looking intently at her
She nodded "As sure as can be but it all adds up"
Aresh fingered the hilt of his dagger and looked thoughtful.
"We hear what he has to say" he sighed "Then he dies"
Robi nodded again.
Kydian was summoned through their communicators and the three of them flew to the quiet valley in Elwynn.
Robi smiled warmly at Kydian as they stood by the pool.
"I was in SI:7 HQ today" she said casually.
Kydian returned her smile
"Find anything useful?" he replied
"Oh yes" she said and dropped her warm façade. "I found your file..."
She studied his reaction as did Aresh, the Gilnean looked uncomfortable.
"They didn't exactly love you there did they?" she stated. "Dishonourable discharge..warrant for arrest which was revoked and replaced with an SI:1 kill on sight tag...popular guy aren't you?"
"I.."
Robi smiled coolly, "No big deal in itself..probably an ideal résumé for the Brotherhood..."
The Gilnean relaxed and smiled from Aresh to Robi, albeit a touch nervously.
"However.." Robi added "It's the Anethrax connection that bothers me slightly...."
Kydian stiffened.
"You gave her my dossier on them" she stated
"H..H..How did you know...?" Kydian floundered slightly
Robi grinned without humour.
"You just told me..." she replied.
Kydian seemed to slump at the shoulders and looked defeated, but surprisingly he seemed a little relieved.
"She saved my life...I felt I owed it to her" he tried to explain
Robi shook her head slowly while Aresh tilted his head interested.
"She didnt save your life Kydian..she spared it..theres a subtle difference."Robi said simply.
"I deeply regret it, if you had been just another group of faceless people I wouldn't have cared.." Kydian started shifting uncomfortably. "But you took me in, gave me somewhere to belong...became the family that I lost in Gilneas.."
Robi studied his face and saw the truth and sincerity of his words.
Aresh too seemed satisfied and nodded.
"You do know Kydian.." began Aresh "That Anethrax was deeply involved with the mass slaughter of your people?"
The Gilnean looked at Aresh in horror.
"I.."he began, his shoulders slumped forward and he looked bereft. Robi almost pitied him.
Kydian squared himself and faced Aresh.
"I cannot begin to atone for what Ive done...my actions towards you are little better than Anethrax has done to my people, I am gravely sorry Commander" Kydian spoke emotively as he dropped to one knee before Aresh.
Aresh nodded at Kydian.
"We should kill you where you stand" he said gruffly and Kydian nodded his head in acquiescence.
"My life is yours to command"
A look of cold fury crossed Aresh's face, Robi looked across curiously.
"That god-damned bloody harpy..." he raged "She's gone too far...I will not be dictated to by her any longer"
Robi looked slightly taken aback as she watched her commander unfurl his fury.
"Kydian..I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself" Aresh said motioning for Kydian to rise.
"anything commander, I willingly fight that evil woman at your side, let me prove my loyalty to my friends"
"She has played her last trick Kydian" continued Aresh "We will assassinate her, and without her to lead them, the Thorns will be sent into chaos and be scattered"
"Aye" agreed Kydian with a malicious grin "When do we leave"
Robi snorted
"Don't be so stupid even if you could kill her..which I doubt...Thorns won't run away crying, they'll rally to a man and hunt you..us..down" she tried to explain
Aresh raised his hand to silence her.
"I suggest Robi you advise your Belfboys to leave if you don't want them dead..."
"Oh so now rather than kill Anethrax, youre going to kill all the thorns as well" she almost laughed "Oooh my heroes..." her voice dripped facetiousness.
Aresh grinned coldly and nodded while Kydian growled his approval.
"Yes..once that harpy is dead and the thorns are in disarray, we'll pick them off one by one..we will see the end to that murderous band" Aresh's voice was determined
Kydian gave what she could only assume was a battle howl of agreement.
"Come Kydian, aid us in this and I consider your loyalty to me proven"
"Us...?" Robi asked "Im not coming..."
"Youre not invited Robi..." Aresh countered "Your face is too well known to them."

Kydian and Aresh walked to their mounts, discussing their attack on Anethrax and the subsequent annihilation of the Thorns.
She would have laughed but it just wasn't funny. Did Aresh really believe that him and some flea bitten gilnean could eradicate the Vile Thorn, bloody fool she thought.
She chewed her lip..they would fail and bring the wrath of Anethrax down on them, and she would be included..held accountable on behalf of The Brotherhood.
"Light" she thought "What the hell am I going to do?"
Then the warm glow of reassurance shivered through her as she thought.

"Shay" she thought and smiled to herself "Shay will know what to do..."

She called for Charlie and swiftly headed for Stormwind to find her husnband.





Last edited by Robi on Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Blayke
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:28 pm

Blayke sat on the balcony at the Inn in Old Town, blending into the shadows afforded by the darkened corner in which he sat. Aresh had arrived sometime earlier and as usual, sat writing detailed reports at the large table below; his love of paperwork was a running joke between Blayke and a few of his close Brotherhood colleagues. Aresh had missed a career opportunity in the Stormwind census office was one of the kinder jokes they made about him.

It wasn’t long before Aresh was joined by his Second, Robi, and the Gilnean, Kydian. Blayke’s relaxed demeanour gave little indication of the intensity with which he listened to the conversation below him. His piercing blue eyes fixed on Aresh as the plan unfolded, that fool Aresh planned to take on the shadowy assassins of the Vile Thorn? A wry smile played on Blayke’s lips as the tone of Aresh’s usual annoyingly calm and rational words took on an edge of anger; he would kill Anethrax and the Vile Thorn would just crumble. His old Commander was, to put it frankly, losing the plot.

Blayke’s eyes flitted to Robi, her anger in Aresh’s planned actions were blatantly obvious. An anger that could be used to his advantage, with a few more subtle words from himself. The Gilnean, Kydian, intrigued him. From what he’d picked up from overheard conversations, he was the root of the problems now faced by Aresh. It would be interesting to find out exactly what happened, lessons to be learned perhaps. Kydian was voicing his approval of the plans against the Vile Thorn, although how much was said just to gain his Commanders trust wasn’t clear to Blayke; a puzzled look flitted across his face, he found the Gilnean hard to read.

The trio at the table were locked in discussion, planning and objection. Now would be a good time to slip back to his digs at the Gilded Rose, he’d a report to write himself after all.
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Blayke
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:44 pm

Blayke watched from the darkened corner on the Inn balcony as Aresh pulled up his mask and limped towards the door, Robi firing a last scathing comment about the stupidity of his actions as he left the Inn. He was again off to Hillsbrad Foothills to look for Vile Thorn and Blayke had to agree with Robi on this one, it was stupidity taking into account Aresh’s lack of mobility. A few moments later Robi sighed heavily and bid farewell to the Inn Keeper and left, although he doubted it would be to aid her Commander.

After waiting a few moments, Blayke slipped quietly from the Inn and it wasn’t long before he was outside Aresh’s rented home. With a quick glance along the empty street, he deftly picked the lock and slipped inside the quiet building. He walked silently around the small dwelling and took in the simplicity of Aresh’s living quarters. It had a homely feel to it, simple furnishings and everything in its place, not even a dirty plate in the kitchen he mused. He carefully searched the main room and not finding what he sought, he headed quietly up the bare wooden stairs. The bedroom was similarly furnished to the main room below, waxed pine furniture and everything tidily in it’s place The heavy dark oak chest beside the bed, of course, stood out like a beacon in the dark; Blayke smiled as he sat down cross-legged and started to pick the intricate lock.

With a loud clunk, the lock dropped open and with a satisfied smile, Blayke readied to push up the heavy lid, stopping as he noticed a piece of linen thread being held by the closed lid. Careful to remember just where it was, he lifted the heavy lid, catching the thread with his free hand, and peered inside the chest. A large leather-clad tome, with the initials J.W stamped on the front took his immediate attention, this was indeed the prize he sought. Lying next to the book was a child’s rag doll and next to that was a bundle of yellowed letters tied with a red ribbon, the address on the top one showed signs of being written by the feminine hand. Making a mental note of exactly how the tome was placed in the chest, Blayke lifted it out and resting it on his lap, opened it at a random page.

“…my days remain filled with darkness since the passing of my beloved Melissa and Calianne, focus on my duty to the Brotherhood is all that gets me through each darkened day and I…”

Blayke turned another set of pages;

“…Theramore is well established and the Five have advised me of the placement of a Second with me, by the name of Blayke, since none of the current operatives have shown the qualities I require in…”

Blayke smiled to himself, making a mental note of the page number for reading at a later date, his interest lay in much more recent times and he quickly flicked through the pages, finally finding the one he sought;

“…aided by Kydian and Sevron, the planned ambush took place in Hillsbrad foothills. Robi and Odenia accompanied us and split off so as to provide us with early warning of any further of the Vile Thorn coming to aid their Mistress. The bloodlust was evident in the eyes of Kydian and Sevron, their eagerness to rid Azeroth of this evil woman was almost animalistic and it took firm command to get them to hold back until the opportune moment presented itself. We tracked them for a short while, four on horseback including Anethrax herself. How many surrounded her in the shadows, we were unable to discern. Allocating targets, on my word we struck, the fight was furious and we were easily outnumbered. A dagger slashed deep across the back of my knee causing me to lose my footing, falling and rolling away as a blade sunk into the earth mere inches from my neck. I scrambled to my feet, throwing a handful of dirt into the eyes of the Thorn Mistress herself as I called the retreat and with some effort we slipped to the shadows, eventually managing to lose them around the ruins of Durnholde Keep. We retreated to Stormwind where Robi aided me in seeking medical assistance at the Cathedral, a Paladin calling on the powers of the light to cleanse the poisons and to heal the gaping wound. A fresh dressing was applied and as I write this, the bleeding has stemmed somewhat although the pain is still intense. The assassination attempt failed, and I must devise a new plan to rid us of this commitment to the Vile Thorn and to remove their evil from our world”.

Blayke looked up and pondered on what he had read. His Commander’s actions, although commendable, were not in fitting with the aims of the Brotherhood. Blayke flicked a few pages, stopping to read the final entry in the journal.

“..instructed the operatives to rid this world of the Vile Thorn but to ensure that their allegiance to the Brotherhood is not visible, no tabards are to be worn. We kill them off one by one, so that few remain to protect their leader, that harpy, that thorn in my side, Anethrax. My leg wound still pains me greatly and causes me to limp like some wounded animal deserving of a quick end. The poisons ran deep into the wound and it heals slowly, so I am unable to face the best of the Vile Thorn assassins as of yet but I know that I will see that forsaken woman die at my blade.”

Blayke closed the journal and carefully placed it back in the chest, in exactly the same way he found it. Placing the linen thread on the lip of the chest, he closed the lid, the lock clicking into place. He walked to the top of the stairs, deep in thought. The journal, should it fall into the hands of The Five somehow, would provide sufficient support to his reports already filed with them to show that Aresh was no longer fit to lead – and leave the way open for him to take Aresh’s place as head of the Stormwind Chapter. A sudden loud knock on the front door makes Blayke stop and stand still, the sound of a key rattling then turning in the lock as Blayke pulled up his white mask and side-stepped into the bathroom, peering through the cracked door and down the stairs as a large older woman stepped in though the front door.

“Mr Aresh!” she called in a loud screeching voice, a pause as she looked around and peered up the stairs… “Mr Aresh? It’s Betty, just dropping your groceries off, dear”. With that she closed the front door and bustled into the kitchen with her laden wicker basket, covered with a red chequered cloth. Blayke stood stock-still, his breathing slow and steady as he listened to the opening and closing of cupboard doors below and weighed up his options should Aresh’s housekeeper decide to come upstairs. Finally the woman reappeared from the kitchen and with a cursory glance around the front room, leaves and the house once again falls into silence. Blayke allowed a few minutes to pass before stepping from the bathroom and pulling down his mask, made his way quietly back down the stairs. Peering through the lace curtains to check the street was clear he opened the door and slipped back out into Stormwind, returning back to the Gilded Rose.

The journal had confirmed his suspicions surrounding the injury that crippled his former Commander so, and indeed would provide valuable evidence should he need it. However, other wheels were in motion and should Robi fail him, well, the journal could be acquired and it provided enough evidence to damn them both in the eyes of The Five.
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Robi Kaezlan.
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:16 am

Robi looked at herself in the long mirror and quite liked what she saw for once.
She'd been invited to a Midsummer Ball, hosted by Leov, a one time compatriot from her time as a Knight of Lordaeron. She'd been surprised to be invited if she was honest and half thought about refusing, in case it had been a token invite that Leov expected or hoped she'd refuse.

She'd never really got to know Leov, always got the impression Leov didn't like her much, probably understandable in a way though as Robi herself wasn't the most approachable of people and there had been that crazy night when a meeting she had with Arli turned sour and somehow Leov had ended up badly wounded. It seemed to all that Robi had somehow been responsible because of her association with Arli.
Robi shrugged mentally, it was all a while ago now and with hindsight she could understand better and perhaps understandable on Leov's part.

Robi's contracts had been many and as a result she had quite a sum of gold and having accepted the invitation spent some on a bespoke embersilk gown, dense black but shot through with metallic threads in every iridian hue, making it shimmer as she walked.

She had gone to the party and to her surprise had quite enjoyed it, there was a firework display that only a dwarf could put on and a five piece band playing styles of music from all over Azeroth. They weren't exactly The Tauren Chieftains, but it fitted the scene well.

She'd mingled and exchanged small talk with old friends and made new acquaintances, her only regret that Shay wasn't with her.

"A dance?" she'd asked the enigmatic Gilnean Zachari.
He'd laughed and tried to refuse but she hadn't let him, they waltzed a little, his steps although light were slow and clumsy at first, it had got better but maybe it was over confidence on his part, he stumbled and stepped on her foot, bringing the dance to an end. She smiled as he apologised, shaking her head, assuring him there was no need.
She made a mental note to dig around a bit on Zach, find out who he was, what he did. She'd known him a while now, he'd asked her on a date quite some time ago. She laughed lightly at the memory. He'd nervously told her she was a lovely looking woman and would she care to go out sometime for a drink or a meal, just as Shay had walked into the inn. Funnily enough he'd never repeated the invitation.
Yet he'd always been around in the background, often she got the feeling he was watching her or watching over her was probably a better description. Whenever she was in a tricky situation he seemed to step out of the shadows as if just passing. She had to admit he puzzled her.

After their dance they exchanged small talk.
"No Shay couldn't make it...."she started, then looked up as she heard her name.
"Robi, you look beautiful" Blayke said flashing her a warm smile as he walked across to her, extending his hand to Zach and introducing himself.
Robi closed her eyes briefly and cursed silently. "What the hell did he what" she thought as she looked up at him plastering her face with a warm bright smile.
"Blayke..how lovely to see you..."
She extended her hand towards him, palm down which he gallantly took with slight bow and kissed it atop, all the while his electric blue eyes holding hers,no warmth in them as he regarded her.
"I'll need a word with you at some point Robi" he said his warm charming smile never wavering.
"Of course" she replied and in return flashed him a beautiful warm smile of her own.
Zach took a step closer to her and looked hard at Blayke.

Robi and Blayke locked gazes and neither of them were fooled by each others warm smiles and ambient greetings.

"May I?" he outstretched his hands to her as the band struck up a vibrant waltz.
She curtsied before him with a laugh and took his hands
"Of course"
His left hand firmly on her waist as he took her into his arms, his right hand holding hers as he led them into the centre of the jetty that served as a dancefloor.

Blake swept her into his his arms and led her effortlessly and lightly around the dancefloor,he leaned close,his smile never waivering.
"So sweetheart?" his voice was low,soft but incredibly cold. "Have you had time to think over your predicament ?"
She laughed lightly and shook her head as she reached up to his ear.
"You don't give up do you?" she hissed
He laughed and almost made it sound intimate.
"The Five are questioning our commanders judgement" he almost growled through his smile. "Now do I tell them the problem is with Aresh alone..? or that his second has corrupted him?"
"You bastard Blayke" she snarled back through her smile and she fixed her eyes on him.
He held her gaze and with an amused smile inclined his head graciously
"Ever at your service..."
They danced as the band played, elegantly and gracefully stepping lightly around the floor, their eyes locked their smiles fixed as they whispered threat and counter threat to each other.
They drew the occasional gasp from onlookers and many an envious smile, they made a beautiful couple as they dominated the floor, to many they must have looked the epitome of loves young dream with their constant gazes and warm happy smiles, but had they cared to look closer many would have seen that their eyes held a different story, his glittered cold and mercilessly as he whispered to her, hers were filled what could only be described as pure loathing.
The dance ended, Blayke bowed graciously and Robi saw beneath the smile the traces of a sly smirk that was almost triumphant.
He held her hand to his lips and locked his eyes on her.
"You know what you have to do lest the Five discover they have an agitator in their ranks...." he winked as he released her hand "You know where to find me,"
She held his eyes with hers as his hand gripped hers with deceptive force, as he bowed to kiss her hand she jabbed her hand discreetly upwards, the stone of her ring gouging into the soft flesh of his lips. She smirked back with satisfaction as a trickle of blood escaped his lip.
His eyes narrowed and she swept a graceful curtsey.
"Thank you for the dance" she gushed "You have some clever moves"
"Thank You Robinas" he said with equal fervour "Lets hope it wasn't a last waltz..."
And with that he turned and left the floor.
She exhaled with relief and a touch of anger, then smiled again as she noticed Zachari looking hard after Blayke then at her with a touch of concern.
Leov approached her, a slight look of worry on her face.
"Is everything alright with him, I mean youre not in trouble or anything?" Leov asked her hesitantly
Robi shook her head and forced another smile.
"Light" she thought "If I have to smile any more tonight my face will crack"
"Its fine Leov..really" she replied and for a moment almost wanted to tell her, tell Zach, tell someone about Blayke and his threats.
"Well.." said Leov looking slightly unconvinced "If there is anything, we're all still here for you"
Robi nodded her thanks and made to leave.


Last edited by Robi on Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : updated)
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arli
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:05 pm

From the shadows of one of the buildings surrounding Rustberg village square, I watch the human making his way cautiously down the road. I don’t recognise the colours he wears but he wields a shield and mace and is dressed in the armour of a paladin. I hate paladins. I carefully unsheathe my blades and wait for him to draw a little closer.

“Arli, can I speak with you?” comes Dianthaa’s voice over comms.

I pause, the Paladin is getting closer but suddenly stops and turns, greeting a worgan hunter also in the same colours. I frown to myself as I hear the low growl of his hound as it looks in my direction.

“Arli?”

I slip back and away before replying, “Yes Dia?”

“Can I speak with you? At home maybe?”

“Oh right, sure”, I reply over comms as I glance over my shoulder at the still talking human and worgen, his hound now sniffing around where I stood a few moments ago. “On my way back now, see you there”.

~~~

Dianthaa is already at the house when I arrive back. She greets me with a smile, and I smile back; she had been away for a few days on a mission for Deathmaster Bodikai and it’s always good to see one of my Thorn brethren return safely. We exchange small talk on what she has missed whilst away although she skirts around any questions I make of her mission. Quickly she gets to the reason for calling me over, she needs to find Robi and has been unable to do so.

“…and I’ve searched Stormwind for her but no sign at all. So, do you know where she might hang out?” asks Dia innocently although I know full-well what she is getting at.

“How would I?” I reply in an overly casual tone, avoiding eye contact as I take a sudden interest in the fastening on my bracer.

Dianthaa tilts her head slightly and fixes me with her deep green eyes.

“This about the attack on the Mistress?” I ask, refastening my bracer, twice, so that I don’t have to look at her.

She nods, her eyes still fixed on me. I sigh and look up, she smiles at me. “Ok, there is this island in Westfall....right…we used to meet..er…sometimes, maybe she is there for quiet thinking time”, I reply, frowning slightly as I add “…or..or with someone”.

“Well it’s worth a try” she replies

“I’ll draw you a map?” I reply, looking around for a piece of parchment.

“No, you can show me”, she replies as she walks towards the door, “best I don’t go alone anyway”.

“I shouldn’t see…I mean can’t…..Dia....wait!” I quickly reply following her outside as she whistles for her WIndrider.

“Just stay in the shadows, it will be fine” she smiles back as she mounts her Windrider and pulls up her mask. As I whistle for my Windrider I pull up my mask and as we soar up to the Zeppelin tower, my heart skips a beat as I think of the Island in Westfall and of Robi.

~~~

We slip to the shadows as we approach the island and as it appears clear, Dianthaa steps from the shadows.

“Robi?”, asks Dia hesitantly as she looks around the Island, her hands close to her daggers. I stay in the shadows, daggers drawn ready just in case. Robi steps from the shadows and the two exchange forced greetings, I pause and smile as I see her and grip my daggers tightly...if Ivery is here...I swear I’ll...I glance at Dianthaa and tell myself to focus; I’m here to protect her and with that I search the island carefully. Finally satisfied that Robi is alone I confirm to Dianthaa over comms as I watch the two from the far end of the Island.

Making my way closer and behind the tree they stand under, I listen as Dianthaa asks Robi if she knew who attacked the Mistress. Robi replies coolly to all of the questions, denying knowing anything. I’m so close now I can...I reach forward and brush the side of her face with the back of my hand. Robi looks around and smiles softly and whispers ‘Arli’, I smile as I know she can’t possibly have seen me.

The questioning continues and Dia seems to be getting nowhere so with a brief agreement over comms, I step from the shadows in the hope that I can persuade Robi to tell us what she knows. As we greet each other I realise this was perhaps, a bad idea. We are both over-shadowed with what happened last time we met on this island, and we seem unsure of what to say to the other. Dianthaa breaks the awkwardness by starting to question Robi again, throwing me a disapproving glance as she does. I tell myself this is Thorn Business, I’m here to get information with Dianthaa on the attackers of the Mistress and I try to see Robi as just an informer, someone I can talk into telling me what I need to know. I smile at Robi, and start to ask for her help, faltering as Shay steps from the shadows behind her. Although he is hooded as always, I feel as if his eyes burn into me...he knows what happened here on this island...as Dia questions him on the attack on the Mistress,I tell myself to stop being so stupid; how could he possibly know? I glance at Robi and smile slightly, she returns the smile and I know that what happened between us would stay just with us, with Shay’s over-protective way with her, it would surely mean my death sentence.

I turn my attention back to the conversation; Shay denies knowing anything but tells us that he is glad the assassination attempt failed as it means he will be able to kill the Mistress.

“You know we won’t let that happen” I reply, Dianthaa nodding in agreement.

“Then I look forward to us next meeting, you two are merely an obstacle to my goal” he replies in his usual emotionless way.

Dianthaa brings the conversation quickly to a close, we should leave now she tells me, there is nothing to be gained and that Robi should find out what she can and meet again tomorrow at the same place. I smile again at Robi, it’s been good to see her and I can see that she still fee-

“ow!” I hop back as Dianthaa digs her heel into my foot as she goes to leave.

“I said we leave now Arli”.

“ok...ok...” I follow her to the edge of the island, limping slightly, I swear she has broken a toe or something. We call out Windriders and fly across to the mainland and land on the sandy beach.

“Think she tells the truth?” asks Dianthaa

I shake my head, “I think she knows something although I doubt she attacked the Mistress herself, not her style”

“We should follow her, see where she goes next, listen in to what she has to say”

“No way, not with Shay around”, I reply quickly, glancing over my shoulder towards the island.

Dianthaa tilts her head slightly and fixes me with those deep green eyes; “You’re really scared of him aren’t you?”

“What? no!” I reply quickly, glancing again towards the island.

“Yes you are, I saw how you were when he appeared, and you keep looking to the island to see if he is coming for you”, she replies, her eyes still fixed on me.

“Look, he’s beaten me up before, almost killed me once I’m...wary of him, ok?” I reply

“Scared..”

“No!, just leave it eh?”

Dianthaa laughs, “Come on, you can buy me a drink in Orgrimmar”. With that she urges her Windrider to fly and we head back to the Horde base for the Orgrimmar Zeppelin.

~~~

The inn is crowded and it quickly becomes evident that what we wish to discuss, should not happen in a public place. Dianthaa looks tired from her mission so we head home and soon we are sitting together on the sofa, Dianthaa kicks off her boots and leans into me as I put my arm around her. We talk about Thorns business and speculation on who did the attack and how much information Robi or the Brotherhood can get for us. She yawns tiredly and I find myself copying her, we both laugh and agree that we have talked enough for one night. Dianthaa gets ready for bed and I sit and look around our shared home; I’ve hardly been here, ending most nights at Ebon Hold where I talk to Antel and then sleep nearby on the floor. Her recovery is painfully slow but at least she is getting stronger. I yawn again, I’m just too tired to travel there tonight and a good sleep in a soft bed would be a welcome change.

“Dia?” I call out, “ok if I sleep over tonight?”. I know I share the place with her but I’ve been away so much I feel like I should ask. She peers around the bedroom door and smiles at me; “I hoped you’d say that”. As I get changed into the awful pjyamas she insists that I wear, I think of tomorrow - Dianthaa will need to meet Robi, but I think it would be wise if one of her other brothers were to watch her back from the shadows for that one. I climb into bed and put my arms around her as she moves back into my arms. As we drift off to sleep in this companionable state I decide that tomorrow night I’ll switch off comms and go to Ebon Hold to spend time with Antel, so that Dia has to call on another Thorn. Things are complicated enough without Robi and her psycho of a husband mixed in with everything else.
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Robi Kaezlan.
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:54 pm

((added to the space I reserved earlier))
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Blayke
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:23 pm

Blayke leaned on the alcove of the window and looked out across the every-busy Trade district. The cool night air tumbled in through the open window, the faint breeze blowing the smoke from his cigarette back into his room. He took another drag and exhaled slowly, his plan was moving along very nicely and tonight he would prepare the report to send to The Five informing them of the sad news regarding the Stormwind Chapter. The news was yet to pass but of course it was now inevitable, the meeting he overheard between Anethrax and Robi assured that; he just had to keep applying the subtle pressure to Robi from this side and the job would soon be done.

The Journal was good insurance, ensuring that should Robi fail or get cold feet, the information it contained would give him the same result - although some clever footwork would be required to absolve himself of all blame in the eyes of the grieving Shayanan since the journal would condemn both Aresh and Robi. As soon as possible, he would retrieve the journal and deposit it into his private bank vault, the one in the name of a long departed friend so as to hide it from the Brotherhood and any other interested parties.

Blayke took another drag of the cigarette and tapped the ash out of the window. Of course Robi would have to remain as his Second, after all, keep your friends close and your enemies closer still. Blayke smiled slightly, he looked forward to seeing the look on her pretty face as The Five announced just who the new Shadowblade for the Stormwind Chapter would be. His report would offer his services in temporarily leading the Chapter and comforting the grieving Second while The Five decided who should assume the Shadowblade rank for Stormwind. He would give them no reason to doubt his capabilities and he was almost certain that within a short few weeks, the position and rank would become permanent.

Blayke sat at the small table and positioned the parchment in the pool of light afforded by the small candle and started to write;

“Masters and Mistress,

It is with deepest regret that I write to inform you that….”




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Robi Kaezlan.
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:00 pm

Robi paced the inn floor restlessly, occasionally her hand would flex next to her dagger as if in a nervous reflex.
She sat down,slugged a bourbon, shuddered. got up, paced the floor..sat down,slugged a bourbon,no shudder, stood up, paced the floor.

She wasn't long back from her meeting with Anethrax and her nerves were still fraught, she'd had been questioned by the forsaken Mistress of the Vile Thorn, not harshly but deeply, the questions so precise she had had a hard time giving her usually non committal answers. It was almost as if she had been primed.
Had she known who the attacker was? She'd answered evasively that she didnt know the identity of who had physically attacked Anethrax, then it probed deeper, Had she know anything about the attack? Again she sidestepped giving a precise answer but it hadn't been allowed, Anethrax questioned her relentlessly, demanding answers as a yes or no.
Robi was aware that other than the three Thorns in attendance, there were several around her in the shadows.
"You have not yet answered me Robinas" Anethrax had stated in her cold tone "Think before you answer, as any mistake you make will be your last"
And Robi knew she was beaten.

"Ma'am" she had replied "I will right this wrong done to you..."
"Unusual choice of words" was the response "You have two days, you know what is needed"
And with that Anethrax turned and left Robi alone on the bridge.
Her mind was working furiously for a way out as she flew back to the city.
She sat down, slugged a bourbon, got up and paced the floor.

Damn it all she thought as she mulled over the situation.

"One...I have a mad commander, obsessed with killing Vile Thorns whatever the cost, Two...I have Blayke threatening to tell the Five its my fault that Aresh is mad unless he is removed, and Three...I have Anethrax giving me two days to stop the attacks. The common factor?" she laughed wryly " My death most likely"

She stopped pacing and the barman closed his eyes with relief.

She left the inn. striding purposefully.
"Shay" she thought " I'll find Shay, ask his advice..because light I need some"

She walked to mirror lake and could have cried with relief as she saw the dark familiar figure standing waiting.
"Shay..." she smiled wearily as she reached him
"What's wrong?" were his first words as she felt his eyes on her.
She sighed softly and smiled up at him. He knew her so well.
"Tell me" he said gently and she nodded.

She explained quickly and concisely, Shay nodded now and then but remained silent, letting her tell him everything.
"..and thats it...I have three people all threatening me, I need your advice Shay..."

He wrapped his arms around her waist and held her reassuringly close.
"It's easy Robi" he said "Aresh dies"
She tilted her head up to look at him, relieved to hear someone else say the words she had been thinking.

"This is what I need you to do" he explained "Get him somewhere away from people...Guru'bashi should do well, even if he's seen people will think he's there for the chest..."
"You'll warn him?" she asked
"No Robi, I'll kill him"
She gave a soft laugh, why had she even asked she wondered.
"Blayke, I'll warn, he needs to know how things are" said Shay "If he steps the line again he'll die"
Robi hugged Shay tightly and his arms tightened around her.
"Don't worry about this any longer Robi, I'm here and its sorted"
"Are you sure...?"
He held a finger to her lips.
"I'm more than sure, I want to do this for you, you are mine to protect."
"Light I love you Shay..." she said, the relief in her voice obvious.
He nodded and she knew he was smiling.
"And I you."

The weight taken from her shoulders and standing in Shays reassuring, protective embrace she knew that it was as he said....Sorted.





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aresh
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:34 pm

Taking the key secured in the lining of his tunic, Aresh unlocked the heavy chest and placing the linen thread inside the chest, he took out the leather-bound tome. Sitting at the table in the alcove of the window he opened the tome and started to write;

I wake, I dress, I eat, I poison my finest daggers and then I start my journeys once again to the Forsaken-held lands. I spend my days watching and waiting in the shadows of their dark towns, looking for those that wear the colours of the Vile Thorn. I have seen plenty but never alone, always in groups, never alone, never.

Two nights previous, I watched as a large group of them assembled in the square of what was once the small farming town of Tarren Mill, now degenerated into a depressing and dark forsaken outpost. There was a military feel about the gathering, each saluting their leader and then standing silently and attentive as she spoke; a Belf with an air of authority standing silently at her side. I watched as a young female troll was called forward and then knelt before that personification of evil and recited an oath, swearing her allegiance to the Vile Thorn and their leader. The Troll looked proud as the oath was completed and the other Vile Thorn applauded and congratulated her - some initiation ritual perhaps - before again returning to attentive silence. Almost as one, they slipped into the shadows. Whether they saw me, or perhaps the forsaken members sensed my presence, I do not know but I took it as an omen that I should return to Stormwind for the night and catch up on my journal and perhaps a report to The Five.
The wound I received from their blades continues to pain me and mars my ability to fight at full strength.

My report is overdue but I cannot bring myself to catalogue the mistakes made that have led to this situation I now find myself in. I cannot report on what I do, nor can I lie so I send nothing although word has reached me by good and trusted friends, that they question what is happening within the Stormwind Chapter. My former Second, Blayke, remains in the City and the concerns of The Five along with his sudden interest in us cannot be a mere coincidence.

My current Second, Robi, would have me drop this vendetta, but then we will remain at the call of that vile forsaken and I will not continue to be at her command; not after what the forsaken have done and what her band of assassins continue to do, killing indiscriminately both man, woman and heinously, child. Azeroth needs to be freed of their terror; Anethrax will die as will all those that wear the colours of the Vile Thorn as by doing so they have pledged their allegiance to her and marked themselves for death.


Aresh closed the book and placed it back in the chest. He picked up the rag doll and stared at it for a short while, seemingly lost in thought, before placing it back carefully in the chest. Placing the linen thread he closed the lid and stood up, catching the reflection of a much older looking man than the one that arrived in Stormwind such a short few weeks ago.
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arli
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:22 pm

(( As he is such a key part of this story, I had Aresh read through and help with amending his bits before posting - so thanks Aresh Smile ))

“Patrol..patrol..patrol..” muttered Arli to himself as once again he made his way along the road that led through Southshore. It had been two weeks now since the attack on the Mistress in the Hillsbrad Foothills, two solid weeks of patrol after patrol; Arli was bored and yearned for the thrill of slipping through the shadows of Stormwind or perhaps Ironforge again. Thorns were supposed to patrol in teams now, since the attack, but there was no one on comms and besides, he’d seen little action here the past two weeks. Although, it hadn’t been entirely fruitless, he’d taken down the occasional careless traveller but none that gave him any sort of challenge, none that he would call assassin trained.

A shadowy figure tracked the lone sin’dorei as he walked through Southshore, being careful to keep some distance and using the dappled shade of the small coppice’s of trees to hide his movements.

Arli nodded to the Dark Ranger and warily watched the large Battle Creeper that accompanied her as she passed him by, suppressing a shudder, not wanting to look weak in front of a Dark Ranger. Making his way into Southshore itself, he walked into the dilapidated Inn, greeting the forsaken guards stationed to watch over the supplies now recovered from the Wardens of Azeroth, as he did at least twice every day. And as with every time, they blanked him.

“So how’s the guardin’ going then?” asked Arli in an overly enthusiastic voice.

“Very well, Master Sunblade” replied Arli in his best impersonation of a dry and emotionless forsaken voice, one well practiced from drunken nights in Silvermoon.

“Good work men, keep it up!”, replied Arli again, saluting as he turned on his heel and left, laughing to himself. Supplies checked, he paused as he left the Inn and looked back up the road leading to Tarren Mill, Dianthaa had come on comms and she wanted to see him.

The shadowy figure stood with his back to the wall of the Town Hall, balancing on the small stone wall to avoid slipping into the luminous green slime pool. He looked at the Inn across from him, watching the laughing sin’dorei as he came back outside. The sin’dorei stood a few moments, talking into his communicator, he assumed, before turning and heading towards the sea. The shadowy figure carefully made his way along the wall and around the back of the Town Hall then carefully moved close to the boardwalk, using the trees as cover.

Arli walked to the end of the weathered boardwalk and sat and looked across the sea. Unfastening his hip flask he took a long swig of the Silvermoon-sourced bourbon; he surely deserved this break, he told himself. Although he rarely drank now, he always carried a hip flask with him, in case of emergency of course. He yawned tiredly, two nights of little sleep at Ebon Hold and then the boredom of the patrol were taking its toll and he stared across the sea, his mind drifting through recent events as he drank from the flask and savoured the warmth of the bourbon on the back of his throat.

The shadowy figure quietly unsheathed his blades and readied himself as he watched the back of the sin’dorei, biding his time as the elf took more drinks from his hip flask. it was Arli, the one that Robi told him to spare. It was no matter, he had made it clear to Robi that if she wanted either of her contacts protected, she was to tell them to leave the Vile Thorn.

Arli frowned and tipped the flask upside down - empty. He peered into the empty flask with some confusion, he was sure it was full a moment ago? Maybe it had a hole it is or somethi- … Arli dropped the flask and reached for his blades, simultaneously turning at the sound of a slight shuffle of leather on wood behind him..

Aresh cursed as the wound in his leg caused his step to falter and as Arli turned he lunged with his dagger, aiming for the left side of the elf’s back, aiming for the heart.

Arli rolled to the side, grunting as his blade clashed with that of his masked attacker as he blocked the heavy blow. The attacker followed through with a swift kick to Arli’s head, sending him tumbling backwards and onto the jetty at the end of the boardwalk.

Aresh gasped as the pain shot up his leg as using what force he could muster, he kicked the elf away to delay a counter-attack. The elf fell backwards, landing heavily on the small Jetty, his dagger falling into the water as he fell.

Arli scrambled away, dazed, unsheathing his smaller blade as he rolled into a crouch and tried to stop the world spinning in front of him as he steadied himself to counter the next attack.

Aresh looked at the clearly-dazed elf and smiled grimly. The fight would be swift, the elf was clearly struggling to remain conscious and had lost his main dagger, at least he would afford him a swift death, he owed that to Robi at least.

“Arli!!” yelled a female voice behind him.

Aresh looked over his shoulder as another sin’dorei in Vile Thorn colours leapt from her warhorse and sprinted towards him. He wasn’t a fool, he could take the dazed Thorn Assassin in his injured state but to take on the female assassin as well as the male whilst he himself was injured, he knew would be pushing his luck too far. Gritting his teeth with the pain, he sprinted and slipped to the shadows, keeping moving on and on towards shelter where he could hide from view until the Thorns had moved on.

“whoa...”, muttered Arli as he quickly stood up at the sound of Dianthaa’s voice, the world spinning and the attacker before him melting away to the shadows. He smiled at Dianthaa as she steadied him, her dagger drawn and her eyes searching for any hint of movement in the shadows around them.

“What happened?” she asked with concern clearly in her voice.

“Well...”, replied Arli gingerly touching the swelling bruise on the side of his face as he held onto Dianthaa, perhaps a little more firmly than was truly necessary, “either that bourbon packs a hell of a kick, or some sod attacked me”; he grinned.

Dianthaa rolled her eyes and looked at him briefly before looking around again with concern; “Did you see who it was?”

“No, he was masked, a human, no colours”, replied Arli simply, “And nice timing Dia, I owe you”.

“Well it looks like whoever it was, has gone for now. We report this to the Mistress but after you have returned the favour and covered my back...I’m off to see Robi, if you think you can manage that?”.

“Uh...sure...just..”, Arli peered into the water below and then pointed to a glinting object, “can you get my blade for me? You look better in wet leathers than I do after all!". Arli's laugh was cut short as Dianthaa shouldered him and he toppled backwards into the sea.
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Robi Kaezlan.
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:31 pm

She felt no pleasure yet she felt no regret at the decision she had come to.

"I'll be waiting" Shay said as he mounted his drake "Trust me" he grinned and gave her a small wink as he pulled on his hood.
"As always" she replied as he soared away from her.

She switched on her communication unit.
"Commander I need to speak to you" she said
"Go ahead" came the slightly tinny echoing response in her earpiece.
"I need to see you, this can't be done over the channel"
"I'll be back in Stormwind shortly, I'll hitch a ride on the zeppelin to Grom'Gol..."Aresh started
"Oh good..look Aresh Im meeting Arli in Gurubashi soon, how about I meet you afterwards as we're both there anyway?" she interjected
She held her breath slightly, would he take the bait? A chance to strike at Thorns? To kill Arli who would be unprepared for any attack?
"Come on Aresh...bite..." she willed silently.
"I will meet you at the arena, I will wait on the stands....Aresh out". A slight metallic click in her ear told her he had switched off his device. No doubt to silence the protestations from her he would be expecting. "But not today Commander...not today"
She smiled to herself and mounted Charlie to join Shay and Aresh in Stranglethorn Vale.

She knew Shay was there cloaked in the shadows somewhere, she sensed his presence, well that and the recently killed troll lying in the dust. The vicious looking slash across the throat and the myriad of punctures to the back being a hallmark of Shays kill.

Aresh walked down the steps towards her, she watched him descend and smiled up at him.
"Have you seen him?" Aresh asked, his eyes darting around the immediate area, his hands poised at his daggers hilt.
"Not yet" she answered.

She looked Aresh in the eyes.

"Aresh, this Thorn business has to stop.."
He raised his hand to silence her.
"We have had this argument too many times Robinas, you know my stance and I will not be questioned by my second, am I clear?"
"Youre endangering us all..I'm being threatened by Anethrax, they know its you..."
"They cannot possibly know" he was emphatic. "Youre being irrational, I expect sterner stuff from my second..."
"And Blayke..." she paused as she said his name, looking for Aresh's reaction. "He too says you must stop, the Five have concerns..."
"Blayke.." Aresh all but spat the name. "A self-server nothing more"
"And you Aresh..you too are threatening me if I don't agree to your attacks"
"Dammit Robi you knew what to expect as my second, and yes if necessary I will hold you to account"
Robi looked squarely at Aresh again and shook her head slowly.
"Then you leave me no choice...I am truly sorry Aresh" she took a few steps backwards.

She saw Aresh look puzzled for a fleeting second, then saw him buckle forward with a groan as Shay stepped out of the shadows his dagger already bloodied.

Aresh drew his daggers and aimed a stab at Shay but the wound in his leg slowed his reaction and Shay moved in for the kill.

Aresh coughed blood and fell to his knees, looking up at his hooded attacker.

"You were warned.." hissed Shay as he drove the dagger home.

Robi watched her commander die, she felt no guilt, no remorse, no pleasure. It had become a necessary act to ensure her survival nothing more.

She glanced at the body of Aresh, he somehow looked younger in death, she hoped he'd find peace.

She looked up sharply as something caught her eye. "Shadows" hissed Shay and the slipped quietly back.
There was no-one there, but a strange shiver ran her spine. She thought she could see a faint shimmer beside Aresh, she looked again and there was nothing. She looked back down at Aresh and felt, no she knew, he was no longer there.
She glanced up at the sky,smiled and softly whispered "Travel safe..."










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aresh
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:13 pm

He strikes the final blow and I fall to the sandy arena floor, the life-force draining from me, the fight is done and my daggers slip from my hands as I lie in an ever increasing pool of crimson. Pain courses through my veins as unable to move, I half hear words exchanged by my attacker and Robi as my eyes close and the darkness envelops me.

“Joe…”

A gentle voice fills my mind, I open my eyes to a soft light, the silhouette of a woman walking towards me. My darling Melissa. I fight the pain and raise my arm to reach for her.

“Come on Joe, it’s time to go home”, she smiles softly and touches my hand, her warmth courses through my veins, soothing the pain away as she helps me to my feet.

“Melissa, my love”

Without a word she leads me forward, towards the heart of the light. I look back at the figures of Robi and Shayanan as they fade into the distance, the soft light envelopes me and I turn and smile on hearing a child’s voice, filled with laughter.

“Daddy!”

I laugh as my beautiful daughter, Calianne, runs to me and hand in hand we walk towards the light. Reunited, I am at peace at last.
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Bodikai
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:12 pm

(( Awesome, awesome stuff! I feel really bad for Aresh! :-) ))
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Drilac'n
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:02 am

((Looking good! So sad))

_________________
The way is shut,
It was made by those who are dead
And the dead keep it.

Skeleton in the closet.
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arli
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:50 pm

(( Warms my heart to see Alliance killing Alliance ))
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Gellana
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:54 pm

((Im enjoying this too, very intriguing storyline.))
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Robi Kaezlan.
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:02 pm

(( Thanks for the comments, I really enjoyed doing the whole thing in game, we even RP'd Melissa coming for him, a great hats off to Aresh who played it out perfectly, I'll miss him))
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Harpy Queen    Today at 12:56 pm

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