Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Jeddaven
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The War Room, Southshore Citadel, Hillsbrad Foothills

"The Queen is willing," Calia interjected, smiling politely at Alexandros, before quickly turning to face Anvilmar, her expression just as soft and disarming as always. "I cannot speak for the King, but as I see it, Lordaeron has nothing to lose and everything to gain from granting Alterac to one of our most trusted allies. I would be honored to leave Alterac to your capable hands," she said, curtsying deeply, perhaps more than would be expected of a woman of her station, casting Garithos a pointed look as she rose, silently reminding him of his place.

"...And, of course, in the same capacity, I am happy to accede to the restoration of the Alliance." She nodded. "Capital City may be lost. My father may be gone, and my brother, far worse... But the peoples of the Alliance remain strong, and, as the High Tinker so wisely pointed out, we are stronger together than we are apart. None of us, surely, can defeat the Scourge alone, but together?" She continued, gesturing widely across the chamber, her voice rising in volume, though only after a brief glance in acknowledgement to Mekkatorque.

"Together, we have saved our world from annihilation once before. Now, we are called upon to do so again, against a threat perhaps greater than we have ever faced before; one that threatens not just our lives and our freedom, but life itself. though all of us may not be present -- Stormwind, Quel'thalas -- I am certain that we will all see the wisdom in joining forces, for the sake of life-"

Suddenly, there was a dull thud, a knocking at the door, and the brief sound of verbal commotion, before they were abruptly thrown open.

The man -- or beast -- who stepped inside was clad in the exact manner as King Greymane so often had been -- a heavy, blue-grey leather coat, lined in gold and a handful of small decorations; a pair of pins in the shape of a wolf’s head on either side of his collar, holding his cape in place, parted down the middle by fine white fabric and brass buttons. For a King, the outfit was altogether simple, though he carried himself with just as much arrogant confidence as one would expect of Genn Greymane...

Despite the fact that he looked nothing like the man anyone present knew.

In the place of that man was a massive, white-furred wolf-thing; a worgen that would tower above even some of the tallest of the Zandalari trolls, wicked grey claws the size of daggers extending from his furred paws. His fur was thick and bushy, clean and groomed but allowed to grow in a way that seemed altogether wild, a handful of small metal caps or rings over his wicked fangs. Other than his natural implements, however, he seemed unarmed -- and his clothing, unchanged by his lupine form.

Not far behind followed Lord Darius Crowley -- unlike Genn, still cast in the form of a man, his one good eye cautiously staring out at the gathered council, as though on alert for danger, though clad in a crisp Gilnean suit as he was.

Of course,” Greymane grunted, his voice a low rumble, though still recognizably the man he once was. “It would be sheer foolishness not to.
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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Bugman
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Bugman Won't even stand the devil's chance to win my soul

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The Violet Star
Dalaran's news, whether you like it or not!

The New Face of Dalaran
By Karlil Fedeen

For a long time the subject of people of mixed heritage was one done in the dark, in whispers or hushed near orphanages. No, not that mixed heritage of Stormwinder and Kul’tiran or Lordaeronian and Dalarani.Of one and another race.

Half-Orcs and Half-Ogres have long existed as a quite unfortunate product of the racial derelictions of our extraterrestrial assailants. Shunned, they usually live lives as bandits or slaves for the more savage part of their ancestry. But almost since the first days of the contact of our peoples, humans and elves have had a poorly kept secret in our reproductive compatibility. At best the topic makes folk blush. At worst it is a shame upon a family regardless of if their ears are soft or pointed. For a long time now such people have usually spent the first stages of their lives in orphanages in Quel’Thalas or across Lordaeron. But though they were rare, within Dalaran has been an exception to this fact. For reasons too many to list, Dalaran has had better relations with Elfdom than the rest of mankind. The shared penchant for magic, study, and high culture has had men (and indeed, even dwarves and gnomes!) of Dalaran to be said to be culturally closer to the Elves than to the many Kingdoms of humanity. Noteworthy is that Dalaran has had a personal alliance with the realm of Silvermoon ever since its foundation long before the separate nations of humanity decided to unite in the first iteration of “The Grand Alliance”. All of this is necessary background to understand matters to note within this article. For one, half-elves (or half-humans, if it better suits one’s prejudices….) have found more acceptance in Dalaran than anywhere else. A natural point of cosmopolitanism of human and elven interaction it is unsurprising that one will be the odd one out to be surprised at them, rather than a half elf him or herself.

Just as importantly, the total number of half-breeds is higher in Dalaran than anywhere else. It is estimated based on a sample size of more than five thousand birth certificates that almost an entire tenth of the population has mixed heritage. This leads to the inevitable third point: mixed race people have come to be a historically significant component to Dalaran. Of the tenth of the population of mixed heritage, it is estimated (admittedly more loosely) that there is an almost even split of half-breeds on being products of first generation admixture or of it being further in one’s lineage. Oftentimes people of mixed race will not have it in equal components, perhaps one parent being of solely one race whilst another being mixed. In some cases this is lost to time and folklore, leading to an educated guess that the share of people with at least some distinct racial heritage is actually heavily underestimated.

The population of those who identify with two racial heritages grows every year. Though still very far from being a majority let alone supermajority of the population, many projections across a century onwards have the share of mixed couples being as much as a half of Dalaran. To this, I, Karlil Fedeen, myself a product of two mixed race parents must posit a question:

Is Dalaran truly a human Kingdom? Or has it grown past being solely human? I wish not to denigrate the achievements of its human, elven, and yea dwarven and gnomish contributors of monoracial heritage over the many centuries of its existence. But to be bound by the concept of Dalaran as a Human Kingdom with a capital H seems outmoded. With half-elves as their face, it is time to consider a new Dalarani identity independent of humanity or elfdom, or indeed dwarven and gnomish kind as the borders of Greater Dalaran now stretch ever further beyond the magical walls of the Violet City. While the New Dalaranian will be a concept stronger than one race, they can be exemplified in people of mixed race. I believe all patriots of our nation can look forward to a New Dalarani Man.

Tragedy at Jonah's Creek
By Perry Kantor

Many know that the collapse of Lordaeron has collapsed the institutions that were located primarily within it. The Church of the Light was one such structure that found itself in pure chaos following the death of Terenas and the destruction of Lordaeronian statehood. In the absence of any ordained priests, people of Lordaeron and other territories kept on worship of the light. Yet in this new decentralized expression of religion, people still found yearning for some organization. With the arrival of Elven refugees to Metropolitan Dalaran, the people who needed spiritual guide found their man.

Arantir Skellen has been long criticized by many figures. It is claimed there is no record of any sort of ordination for him in Quel’Thalas to be a recognized minister, monk, priest, paladin, or any other position of the church of the light. Not having addressed these claims, his words have enraptured his human audience no less than his racial kinsmen. The efficacy of his preaching has been attributed to many factors. Perhaps one of the most significant is that he has not shied away from critique of the rulers that failed to rise to the occasion of the scourge. Speaking out against his own King in Silvermoon and human Kings alike he has even spoken out against the Magocracy that now hosts him and his followers. Though no official action has been taken directly against him, it is said that the Magocracy has taken arbitrarily (according to him) different treatment to Arantir and his followers with no reason stated for refusal to allow him space in advertisement in newspapers, refusal to provide lines of credit or, other such actions that bring accusations of discrimination.

Despite these quiet efforts to thwart the growth of his reach, it only expands. Not only does it expand, the words become more radical. This has inevitably come to a point of conflict of his followers and Dalarani authority.

Two days ago, seven people were lynched by his followers. While in a refugee camp on the border of Metropolitan Dalaran and Alterac, it is said he accused a group of people within the refugee camp of being followers of the scourge. Immediately, his followers bound these people in chains and threw them into a firepit.

The Violet Star has worked to establish the identities of these people.

Andreas Waldar is said to be a squire of the Scarlet Crusade. We could not establish who exactly his superior was.

Karina Hjelms however, was verified by Violet Star investigators as being a nun in the the order. Further details of her identity are not known.

Arpad Brown is stated to be a merchant. Originally a Lordaeroni who profited heavily on running caravans to Dalaran it is said he is of considerable repute with many clients in Dalaran and some remaining settlements of Lordaeron. However three months of his activity are notably unaccounted for, a fact that Arantir’s apologists have stated to be definite proof of his participation in the scourge’s efforts.

Draekto Goldbeam was noted as being a travelling wizard from Quel’Thalas, supposedly having arrived at the start of the war with the Scourge in Lordaeron to use his skills in the army of Lordaeron. The medals of his military decoration found in the ashes were deemed genuine, however they were too warped and stained by the flame to establish if they were truly belonging to him. The archives that could establish said medals validity or illegitimacy in relation to Goldbeam’s possession of them are also located deep in Scourge-held Lordaeron.

Unfortunately, two people’s names could not be gained however they were stated to be a couple that had arrived a day before the tragedy.

The Violet Star condemns any and all activity of extremists of the Church of the Light or followers of the Light outside of its structure. However, Violet Star staff further call for the citizens of Dalaran to not hold this event against all people of the Light’s faith. We call upon all peoples of Greater Dalaran to follow the rule of law and report any suspected Scourge activity to law enforcement officers.

Concerns of the Front(s)
By Ansaela Firegust

As Dalaranian troops press on in Alterac and Lordaeron alike, many doing the fighting have fears related to events in foreign policy. While soldiers understand there is a greater world than their battlefield, this hardly assuages their issues. The meeting with leadership of militaries of other states indicates to many that the Kirin Tor plan to divert resources to assistance in war for other powers. An anonymous rifleman of the 7th Dalaran Metropolitan Marksmen is quoted as saying "Why the [...] ought we fight for the Magocracy if the Magocracy won't fight for us?"

Several officials and spokespeople have stated that the Magical assistance on the existing combat zones of what is nebulously described as Greater Dalaran will not be reduced, and that any assistance that the Kirin Tor divert elsewhere will be matched by a quid-pro-quo in one form or another to ensure that the foreign aid is not just a sink for the localized interests of the territories under the Violet Banner.

The frontlines being widened seemingly only hardens concerns of soldiers. Fighting undead and orcs alike, most consider the land they plant their boots and banners upon to belong to them, their families, their nation absent any claims that may have existed historically.

It is indeed within and because of the failures in recent history, that most consider birthrights of auld annulled. After all, where is it said that the right of conquest only applies to the high-born? But today, heroes forge entirely new birthrights for you and me alike.

Alteraci Elections
By Dathral Faesprout

With the gradual advance of the Dalarani and allied forces in Alterac, the planning of an election over the rule of Alterac was publicly announced following a long period of rumour. For the moment, the “Provisional Electorate of Alterac” as it has been dubbed consists largely of selected bureacrats from Dalaran with a smattering of Stormpike and liberated local contributors. However this is said to be merely a brief construct to allow the transition into a more permanent governance. Elections are to be conducted within the territories held by Dalarani troops in Alterac. Eligibility for participation is provided unconditionally to anyone who has registered to be a permanent resident of Alterac. Four distinct groups are given permission for such a registration.

First are any with recognized refugee or displaced person status confirmed by Dalaran. Regardless of if they are from Lordaeron, the scourge infested territories of Gilneas or Quel’Thalas, and any other source, they will be considered legitimate settlers of Alterac and given the pre-citizenship documentation.

Second are any members of the Dalaran’s armed forces, governance, or charity groups who can be verified as having performed more than half of their service since the beginning of the Alterac campaign within the borders of Alterac. If they register for permanent resident of Alterac status they will be provided pre-citizenship papers and analogous positions within the new Alterac on the condition they will have their previous position within Dalaran revoked.

Third are any and all members of the Stormpike Expedition. Some have criticized this as many Dwarves who arrived as recently as a mere week ago and have not made any contributions to the growing Alterac territory will be given the same status as those who have fought for Alterac’s liberation since the war began. The leadership of Dalaran and Vanndar Stormpike have both declined to comment on this discrepancy.

Fourth, any and all people unrelated to the Perenolde family and Alteraci nobility who can prove that they were long-term residents or citizens of Alterac prior to the Kingdom’s dissolution as well as descendants of such people will be beneficiaries of the “sanguine rule” which will allow them to at any point receive permanent residence of the new Alterac as well as pre-citizenship documents.

A strong debate is being held by some on if such a status should be given to members of the Church of the Light assigned to minister to Alterac. While many state that critical spiritual needs are to be cared for by members of these people, the loudest proponents of these people receiving automatic residency and pre-citizenship papers are often not even present in Alterac as they suggest this. As it stands, the governance of Dalaran and the founders of The Provisional Electorate of Alterac believe that most of the necessary religious figures will already receive citizenship by already falling into one of the previous four categories.

For now the elections are to be limited to mayoralty of the liberated villages and townships currently stably behind the frontlines. However, elections for frontline settlements, as well the city of Alterac itself and Presidency of Alterac are already being drafted. Perhaps even more importantly, figures that will be upon a council to draft the constitution of Alterac are also to be elected.

Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Ezekiel
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The Meeting of the Alliance
Jaina and Tandred Proudmoore

Those few present that represented Kul Tiras seemed, in their own ways, each receptive to the idea of restoring the Alliance. The smile on Tandred's face was more muted than that of his sister's but both were charming in their own right.

"Kul Tiras will stand with the Alliance, as we have in the past, as we will for all time." Tandred spoke, representing his father's voice in such affairs, the footmen in Kul Tiran livery behind him coming to attention at the proclamation, the plated fists of their armour held before the sigil of the Admiralty on their chests. Despite their historic dedication to the Alliance, the concessions of fleet rights were accepted with appreciative nods all the same. "Although my father has instructed me to remind those present that the true foe of the Alliance remains at large across the Sea, and will expect aid on those shores once the taint of the Scourge has been defeated." Such words from Tandred, even given as they were with a lack of true enthusiasm from Tandred, brought a slight frown to Jaina's features, although she didn't allow it to linger, instead focusing as she was on the spellwork shown by the Dalaran delegation, already musing with her previous peers as to how best to see it enacted.

The attentions of all, however, were drawn in by the arrival of the Gilnean King, or at least, the being they presumed to be him.

Jaina had known King Greymane well enough, while she had spent relatively little time in Gilneas next to Lordaeron, Gilneas had been the closest nation of the Alliance to Kul Tiras, in both cultural and geographical terms. She had enjoyed the company of their Prince, if only in the terms of a childhood friendship, during such visits. She consider that was likely another effort between two of the ruling families of Alliance nations to secure such bonds in marriage, but by the time both of them were older the political strains between their nations had widened. While she might have been thankful at the time, she supposed as the years had gone by, perhaps a marriage not founded in love would have been better for her, and the world, than what had occured.

All of this history flew through her mind as she regarded the worgen king. While she couldn't quite entirely suppress the reaction many would feel, she had spent much time with beings of other, even wilder, races on Kalimdor, and so quickly recovered with a smile and brief curtsey to the man.

"King Greymane, I am sure we are all glad you could attend, that we might put the past aside and go forwards together to defeat the evil which threatens us all."
Hidden 6 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Bright_Ops
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Bright_Ops The Insane Scholar

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It was a poor necromancer that couldn’t see the spirits of the dead. If anything, the challenge in Duskwood was the sheer weight of restless souls made getting them all to shut up for any length of time difficult. Thankfully, ghosts could be ensnared and wards set up to keep them out.

Which made the surprise on Bautic’s face when one bypassed the wards and awoke him from his slumber all the easier to see. “M-Master Kel’thuzad! It is an honour.”

Even as Bautic was about to get up to prostrate himself before the ghostly master of the Cult of the Damned, his mentor gestured to stop him. “While I admire your dedication to provide a proper welcome, we have much to discuss and little time to discuss it. The Lich King has taken notice of your rather ambitious plan… and has deemed it of enough importance to send me to refine it to ensure its success.”

“In its current form, it would destroy the city of Stormwind. However.” To say that the face of the spectre grew grim failed to capture the chill that ran down Bautic’s spine. “You lack the raw power to control the undead beasts you are plotting to create. Even with all your pupils, you would not be able to both raise them in the numbers you need, let alone control them. Nor can you act as a conduit for the Lich King’s power so he could do it directly. We require a Lich of considerable power.”
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Bugman
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Looking between each other at the mention of Alterac, the exchanged glances of the wizards were accompanied that words that were left unsaid. Of course, with magic involved they didn’t have to be involved in the slightest. Indeed, though it was only the council of six that had projected themselves to the council the wizards were broadcasting their words, thoughts and vision and hearing alike to a great assembly of the Kirin Tor. To the hundreds of wizards furiously scribbling notes in tomes, the image of the future presented by the Scarlet Crusaders wasn’t one they could exactly see eye to eye with. Moreover, Alterac wasn’t theirs to give. Though the Strompikes would be considered equal partners in the construction of a new Alterac, the fate of the ruined Kingdom would be decided by a very different set of people to those present. However, it certainly wasn’t an issue they would be voicing here.

Attentions at this point however, were now somewhat divided. While Antonidas and a few of those with him were focused on a haughty game of geopolitics that was being constructed, the Prince Kael’Thas had other things on his mind. The non-attendance of his father had removed about a third of the reason for him to be here in person as opposed to the rest of the illusory wizardry, but with his duties satisfied there was one remaining reason to be here.


It was the first meeting they had since the events of the war parted them some time ago, but here they were. Kael had thought long and hard on how this reunion would be, and to an attentive eye it was quite clear. For one he had managed his aesthetics to look more like the human that in his eyes had usurped him. Though both blond, tall, and conventionally attractive in their own respective ways Kael’Thas had nonetheless made some changes to look more like Arthas. His eyebrows were trimmed to still be far shorter than what most High Elves wore; while still inhumanly long, they were managed to be less than a foot in length. His hair was let more free than the previously well combed arrangement, while the slightest bit of stubble was allowed upon his face. But perhaps most importantly (and certainly most surprisingly) was that he was willing to perform some measure of introspection rather than merely attending to aesthetics. Though still moody, and bearing the arrogance characteristic of both Dalaran’s and Silvermoon’s cultures, he still managed to actually look at everyone present, rather than down upon them.

I wish to meet you later. were the words he projected upon Jaina, looking at the rest of the scene to not hint at the private messaging to anybody else.

Still, as the subject touched Quel’Thalas and continued on the affairs of the future different groups within the Dalarani delegation awaited a chance to speak once more until the King of Gilneas entered the room. Among the six reactions varied to the doors being thrown so suddenly.

“Why bother knocking if you’re going to open the doors like that anyway? So rude.”
“Is that supposed to be intimidating?”
“Does he have fleas? Hope none of the little buggers fall off.”
“I bet he’s all wolfed up to hide a receding hairline. That's why men from Dalaran are better you know, we don't go bald!”
“Wonder if he lifts a leg to piss or does it like a person.”

Among other assorted mutterings came from the delegation. But ultimately on all their behalfs Antonidas gave a polite nod amidst puffs of his pipe. “Genn. Good to see you. And… Sir Crowley.” he concluded after a brief consultation with a tome materialized in a flick.

“Yes, indeed, my dearest student speaks wisely.” Antonidas went on, concurring with Jaina’s statements. “The past and its contents hardly matter when the present is so pressing, and the future is all that matters. It's good to have consensus.” he said quite pointedly.

Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Jeddaven
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Somewhere near the Duskwood Crossroads

Something wasn’t sitting right with Gregory.

Murders weren’t all that uncommon in Duskwood. Everyone knew that -- the only thing that was more common, perhaps, was one of the myriad threats in the haunted hood -- from zombies, to ghosts, to overgrown spiders, to garden-variety wolves-- to kill some wayward traveler, some poor child or foolish young man that’d wandered out from Darkshire just a little too far in the dead of night... It kept happening. Again, and again, and again, including everyone from inexperienced or overconfident locals, to Watchmen, all the way to greedy merchants making the mistake of traveling the roads without heavy escorts (or underpaid escorts, as it often was).

By all rights, then, the death of this particular merchant shouldn’t have been troubling at all.

Letting out an annoyed grunt, Watcher Dodds rose from his squatting position, lantern in hand, staring out over the wrecked cart with a deeply suspicious glare. The cart? Toppled by an abandoned farmstead, broken into pieces as if it’d been toppled over entirely.

The horse? Gone. Not a hint of its presence. The cargo? Vanished. Stolen, not a hint of it either. It was clean.

The merchant?

There wasn’t much left of the merchant. Scraps of flesh, necrotizing bone, signs of animal scavenging...

That was the problem. Independently, any one of those facts would’ve made perfect sense. The merchant was bitten, likely by one of the spiders he spent so much of his time culling, his body dissolved, and the animals left picked over the scraps.

...Then there was the problem of the cart. It hadn’t merely been toppled, but truly wrecked -- not the work of the spiders out this far west. The missing cargo? Who could’ve stolen it? The one upside of living in Duskwood was the rarity of bandit attacks. It wasn’t profitable -- not in the least. You’d lose a dozen men for a single iron sword.

The wrinkles, however, didn’t stop here, as he’d quickly realized. Next, his eyes flashed back to the half-dissolved corpse.

It’s still here. He reminded himself, reaching up to run a hand through his half-swept, golden blonde hair. He’d lost men to spider attacks, and they rarely, if ever, simply bit someone and left the body to rot, typically preferring to drag them away, wrap them in webbing, and wait for the corpse to dissolve after a good few bites of venom.

A cart ruined, a body rotting as if bitten and somehow abandoned by one of the local venomous web spider...

And the merchant. The merchant. It’d been a simple enough matter to reach out to Marshal Stoutmantle for information, and, indeed, this wasn’t the first time the merchant had made this particular trip. Interviews with a handful of the Darkshire townfolk had shown that he’d been through before, and Stoutmantle’s records shown that, without fail, this merchant made his way through Westfall without incident nearly a dozen times.

That was what was stumping Gregory Dodds.

There were only a few ways someone made it through Westfall safely -- dumb luck, heavy guard, or a handful or two of gold shuffled in the Defias Brotherhood’s direction.

The one time he didn’t make the trip safely, a strange series of events strike, on hispatrol route, and they add up less and less the more he looks at them.

Something was wrong, deeply wrong, and Watcher Dodds was damn sure he was going to get to the bottom of it.

With a grunt and a sigh, sliding his sword from its sheath, Dodds turned to make the long march back to Darkshire.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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Thargas Anvilmar

Commander Anvilmar had not anticipated the proceedings would be so tumultuous. And yet, fortune seemed to favor them and their cause. He and Geradin exchanged looks, not entirely skeptical, but evident surprise on their bearded faces. Geradin was the first to regain his wits, giving an inclination of his grey-haired head to those assembled. Coming home to their King with promises of Alterac and its mountain passes was not what they had asked for, but the longer they thought of it, the more they felt it was a great gift indeed. One could only imagine what untold riches lay underneath the rock, and the tolls, even at low prices, would give staggering wealth to the depleted kingdom of Khaz Modan.

"That is a Kingly gift," Geradin said. "I think the Light that our friends have not forgotten our devotion."

The Dwarves would help in the war regardless, their word as strong as iron and their ties to the alliance, everlasting. However, this would boost morale and silence the senators that had begun to grumble at Magni's decision to mobilize so soon. Anvilmar spoke up, having made up his man. "Then Alterac it be! We will wait for confirmation from yer kings, but let it be known that we accept these terms with more heart than ye could know. Thank ye."

The wizards exchanged looks and spoke of spying on the enemy, which he could appreciate, and the Ashbringer spoke to a few other members of the council, but it seemed politics as usual. That is, until a great wolfish thing had entered the council, and had even deigned to knock beforehand. To Thargas Anvilmar, it looked much like a gnoll he and his lads often skirmished with along the northern and southern borders of Khaz Modan. He almost reached for his weapon, but when no one else jumped to defense, he thought about it. It was larger than your typical gnoll and more lupin in visage, and it spoke words like a man, not an oafish yelping thing. He realized it had to be a Wolfen. He had never seen one before, but word of them had reached him in a few tales.

Genn Graymane! So the cursed king was here. The Dwarves held no enmity of him or his realm, and if everyone else was ready to bury the pickaxe as it were, he saw no reason not to join in.

"We of Khaz Modan welcome ye to this council, King Greymane. It's good to have more lads join us." He wondered if they would have to reiterate all that had been said so far to the hairy royal or if they could proceed. He supposed he had already gotten most of what he wanted from the gathering, save the plan for the movement of troops. He spoke once more, addressing all assembled now. "Me boys will need some food soon. We have some rations left from the trail, but if ye want me lads to be at fighting shape, their bellies will need more than the coneys they can catch. Other than that, we're ready to kill some restless dead for ye."
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“You really sure about this?”

“Oi! Cut that out. You’re the mad scientist trying to stick manastones into machines. Look it makes perfect sense. You were trying to… you were trying… you had coal you tried to use instead of oil in a lamp, you had sand you were trying to use instead of water in hydraulics, you had gunpowder when you needed blasting gelatin.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, shut up. I might not be a wizard like you but I saw what you were cranking, you know yourself there’s as much machine as spell involved here.”

“Oh I know, its just fun watching you Dwarves get all stoic. Now then, to the designated viewing port!” The gnome and Dwarf both hurriedly scurried over behind the overturned table flanked by upturned couch.

As gingerly as he could, Nillio pulled the string. It tugged on a lever that activated the machinery within a chamber. It compressed and superheated the manastone already in liquid form. The blue then briefly swirled as on one end of the chamber a propeller so tiny it was almost microscopic was teleported in and made to spin. It then disappeared, and fins opened on the opposite end of the chamber where the liquid did not slosh out to despite it being faced downwards. Instead almost solid streaks of light formed spirals that then coalesced into a sphere which briefly held an eye of the Kirin Tor before being replaced with a multitude of runes and then a image of the opposite end of the room. At the same time, the sphere spinned a fact that could only be witnessed by bits of dust and steam that slowly accumulated upon it. Without touching it, the sphere’s spinning was gradually made to spin a set of hears beneath it which at least powered a dinky little clock.

Even as the manastone’s contents were exhausted, Barad and Nillio remained in their impromptu bunker sweating. Only a few minutes after at last the chamber was wholly empty and the last bits of light that were once the sphere dissipated did they at last emerge from the ensemble of couch and table. “Is that all?” Barad asked, somewhat underwhelmed to the brief shock of the gnome. But Nillio then slapped him, before jumping up to kiss him on the lips, cheeks, and forehead. “Oh my dearest Barad that is all! All in the world!”

“Seemed like something I could do a lot cheaper with a bit of glass for a hologram and a tiny bit of use of my fingers to wind up the clock.”

“Of course you say that, but I forgive you. This isn’t tractors my boy, this is the future!”

It was precisely at this moment a knock came upon the door, causing the two to look at each each with the slightest bit of panic.

Antonidas stared at the reports before him, flicking through them by hand much to the amusement of the lesser wizards in the room working as his assistants who would have done this petty work with magic. That is why they aren’t Archmagi Antonidas thought, scoffing to himself as he snuck a glance at one of the young men with eyebrows upraised.

“I am seeing a lot of zeros here.” Antonidas said. “Why are there so many zeroes?” he asked, his tone so flat nobody who didn’t speak the human language would be able to tell it was a question.

“That’s because we don’t have much stuff, Antonidas.” Ansirem replied in a helpful voice, his legs crossed behind his part of the grand table, the man flashing a sardonic smile to the Archmagos.

“Yes, yes I suspected this might be the case. Why do we not have much stuff?”

“Well, we never really needed it. Before we could just snap our fingers and whatever idiot came over to mess with us would turn to a frog or something else that’s funny. Now that’s still the case, but now we’re going to mess with those idiots. Does that make us the idiots?”

“No. Anyway. I asked you all to come up with suggestions of how we resolve this, what clever schemes have you devised?” The lord of Dalaran asked those assembled. Everyone shifted uncomfortably, so Antonidas sighed and after a few snaps of of his fingers made a motion to indicate he would be going clockwise around the main figures present.

“Kael. Have you asked father if he’d be so kind as to send a few archers or something over?”

“No. There must be a favour to repay. Further, as I told you last time there is the logistical issue.”

“Oh, and nobody solved that?”


“Unfortunate.” Antonidas looked to the next in line at the table. “Rhonin?”

The other mage shrugged. “We could always institute a draft. Begin a war economy. Fight this like a war. You’re trying to box a gang of thugs with both arms tied behind your back. It is not something I would wish to see, but neither is the scourge, the ogres, et-cetera. In a year we could muster….” the Mage began, materializing an abacus he went to do calculations on.

He was interrupted by Antonidas slapping his hand on the table. “No. When this all started I said this would be a contribution Dalaran made freely to the world. If I force the people of the city to march to war, I’d be a liar, and have gotten in the way of what this city is all about.”

Rhonin shrugged wearily. “Okay. Alright. Go for half measures. I know you love running a very, very balanced budget. But in times like these you can dip into it. If you don’t want to draft people, then at least make generous pay that the poverty stricken in the underground of the city would be eager to go and march to war.” The man’s eyes seemed hollow, as if he was horrified at the words his own lips materialized. “Pay for half the price of constructing new forges up front, and promise the entrepreneurs who hold these facilities that they will get paid in spoils of war. The ogres and orcs on sitting on ancient arts, artifacts, treasure. Plain gold, or even some damn expensive rugs I know could be sold off for more than what many men earn in a month. Not everyone would go at the opportunity but many would.”

With a palm covering his face, Antonidas sighed before waving his other hand dismissively. “Yes, do that. Ansirem. What do you have?”

The man looked indignant. “Well you had them say all the good ideas so now I’m left with nothing? Bugger th-”

“Shut up. What do you have.”

After a few moments grumbling, Runeweaver looked down at the papers before him and shuffled them around. “If you would turn to page thirsty-seven please.” He waited until the sounds of moving pages subsided before continuing. “In the third figure, second column, third row, beside the word golems there is an asterisk. My suggestion is you look where it leads.” He lowered his papers, and then rested his chin on a palm as he completely tuned out his hearing until the sounds of shouts and cries of protest began to enter a decrescendo. “Well, what were you expecting?” he demanded of the audience. “We need assets in the field. These are the only ones we haven’t used.”

“We have enough ordinary golems, thank you very much!” one of the wizards in the room said. Ansirem turned at the man and glared, before turning back to The Six. “I don’t really want to do it. But if we want to pursue war and want new weapons what else do we have? Besides, we’re producing new ones constantly and not using any. Soon we won’t have capacity to store them!”

“They are supposed to be a last resort.” Kael’Thas retorted.

“Sure, sure your Princehood. And a good point that isn’t just silly outrage. But it seems the honourable Antonidas has decided our other emergency options aren’t worth being invoked. So I’m left with this. If it won’t be done, it won’t be done. I made my suggestion, if anyone doesn’t like it tell it to Antonidas, not me.”

All eyes were on the ancient wizard. He sank a little deeper into his chair as he was the subject of everybody’s attention all of a sudden. Chewing on some of his mustache hair thoughtfully, he surveyed everyone present. “Everyone not of the Six, get out now.” He said, at last using his magic to open the doors to the meeting room. Once at last everyone had shuffled out he closed the doors and double-checked all the wards within. Satisfied he asked the present members of the Six a question. “If we deployed the Flesh-Golems, how well concealed could they be? Not exactly something I’d want the Violet Star to get ahold of….”
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Bright_Ops
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Bright_Ops The Insane Scholar

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In the end, with the assistance and guidance of the Master and the Lich King briefly glancing towards the Duskwood, two candidates (outside of Bautic himself) stood out as deeply connected enough to the powers of necromancy to attempt ascension to lichdom.

One was actively hiding their position, but they were somewhere in the western part of the wood…

Finding that one was going to prove tricky, because alongside the measures they had taken to hide themselves from the dead, the shadow of the second prospect helped cover them like a blanket.

Morbent Fel. Necromancer lord of the Ravenhill Cemetery and ally of some of the last guardian’s undead pets. His ties to the latter group was concerning; Fel hadn’t come to necromancy via the Lich King, but due to his own ambitions and agents of the burning legion.

And yet, despite this, he was still a power of the region and getting him onside would provide a strong, his untrustworthy ally. It would also allow access to the cemetery and its resources, alongside the ability to have living agents openly walk around without being attacked by the dead and making locating prospect number 2 a great deal easier.

And so it was that Bautic would send an opening message of greeting to Morbent Fel, using an undead bird as a carrier. They had some things to discuss.
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