An axiom is, “a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.” The Hulk being the Strongest One There Is is, in the comics world, a well known axiom. That Bricu is a Bastard is another, more WoW specific, example of an axiom. While it would be easy to use an axiom to Godmod or Metagame, that’s not what we do here at WTTRP. In this case, what we are doing is trying to get at the heart of the characters we play. What is the basic, accepted without controversy, premise of your Character?
The idea for this post did not originate in the comic book store (don’t ask me how many of my posts did) but in a round table discussion on Ventrillo about an upcoming RP event. Two of the planner distilled the essence of the characters involved like this:
- “No one is more Devious than X.”
- “No one is more bloodthirsty than Y.”
- “No one is a better warrior/fighter, in this story, than Z.”
- “No one is more insidious than A.”
Once these axioms were created, once these boundaries were set, the planners were able to open up the discussion on how to make the story happen. Now in this particular case, the RP we are working on is “closed RP.” Collaborative posts in a narrative format that meet the needs of one particular player. While there will be spin off events and consequences, the main thrust of this particular story is best served by a closed storyline.
Has anyone used Axioms to define RP before? How would you use them? If you could distill your favorite character into one, what would it be?
1. What’s your Name.
Hello there! My name is Thyanel, and I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since 2007. In fact, the name I blog under is the name of my first serious character (a blood elf paladin). My hobbies in-game consist of roleplaying, a bit of dungeoneering, and mount collecting, although I have yet to make the 100 mount achievement. It’s a work in progress.
2. List some of your favorite toons.
My first real main back in the days of Burning Crusade was a paladin by the name of Thyanel. She was created back before I understood the concept of lore and applying it to my characters, so a lot of what went into the first iteration of Thyanel was definitely not lore-accurate. (We do not speak of that time. Ssh.) With Mists of Pandaria, however, she lives again. This time, she’s infinitely more lore-accurate and a priest instead of a paladin because I realized that was a better fit (for her and for me).
Once Wrath of the Lich King came out, my main became Adaret. Ada was a grumpy Forsaken shadow priest, and a lot of her personal story arc was wrapped up in Arthas and his destruction. Sadly, once Cataclysm came out, I realized Ada’s story was over, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with her. Her character has since been abandoned, but my love for my grumpy shadow priestess lives on.
Jinaki is also another one of mine, a troll who has gone through several profession changes before Cataclysm came out and she became a druid. It turned out that was pretty much where she was always destined to be; I just didn’t realize it at the time. She’s a little on the young side, and a bit loud, but I adore her. She tends to act first and think later, though, which gets her into trouble a bit. She also seems to lack a verbal filter.
I also play Eimhir Stonehaven (a little dwarf priest) on Feathermoon on occasion (who I have yet to completely figure out), and Eyota (a tauren druid) on Wyrmrest Accord.
3. Describe your philosophy of RP.
I’m not sure if there’s any real “philosophy” to my RP. I just try to have fun and play what interests me while trying to stay within the framework that Blizzard’s given us to play with. I mean, if I’m not going to have fun with my characters, then there’s really no point to playing them in the first place.
4. What was your favorite RP event? Why was it so good? Did you organize it?
I’ve been to a few large-ish RP events. On Thorium Brotherhood, one of the well-known troll roleplayers would host these troll-centric events that Jinaki would go to sometimes. It gave me a large appreciation for the troll culture as a result. They usually turned into parties by the end of them, though. You could argue that that’s how most troll events would end, especially on our server, but they really were a lot of fun. Sometimes, we’d even wind up dancing to show our appreciation for whatever loa we might be honoring at that particular event.
I’ve also been to some organized tournaments, organized raids on the towns belonging to the opposing faction, and parties during the holidays of Azeroth. In spite of all that, though, nothing compares to tavern RP for me. It might seem like a strange choice, but in my experience, that’s when most characters tend to let their guards down and you learn more about them then than you ever would if they needed to be a soldier or a medic or what have you. They could be there with friends and swapping stories that you just happen to overhear, or they could need a drink to recover from the horrors of war. That’s the sort of RP I love. I love seeing little insights into what makes a character tick.
5. Have you organized RP before? How did it go? What did you learn from it?
Have I organized an RP event? Nope! I’m personally not cut out for event organization. I’m perfectly fine with poking someone in a channel and going “Hey, who wants to RP? I’m out here, but I can go anywhere”, but ask me to plan and organize an entire event? Yeah, not so much.
6. Talk about an A-ha moment for a Toon—a moment where all the RP clicked and you knew this was the story they were supposed to tell?
Adaret was my big one with this. Without meaning to, I fell in love with the character and her general look, but she had one huge flaw: she didn’t have a story. I had a general personality for her, but that was it. Some people I had spoken to were talking about trying to start up some Forsaken RP on my server, and I wanted to participate since these were awesome people. So, I started looking into the background of the race.
I remember reading about the grain and the curse, and there was a little snippet somewhere about how some of the priests had been involved in trying to find a cure for the curse of undeath, but they had failed, and just as I read that, things sort of fell into place. I realized that her hatred for Arthas came from having family in Stratholme. She was trying to help her family, and she ultimately got screwed over herself. That was why she was this grumpy little shadow priest. That was why she had embraced the teachings of the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow. She blamed the Light just as much as she blamed Arthas for what happened to her family and to her. That’s when I knew Arthas’ fall was a huge part of her story.
7. If you could ask any RPer one question, what would you ask? What is your answer to your question?
I think if I was going to ask an RPer a question, it would probably be “what inspires you as a roleplayer?” I know, it’s the question that everyone gets asks and the one that can have a thousand different answers, but I always think it’s fun to see where people get their inspiration from.
As for me, my inspiration tends to come from everywhere. I’ve pulled personality traits from people I know, or a piece of lore will catch my interest and I’ll build a character around that. The Wrathgate battle is a big one for me, for example. A lot of my characters seem to use that as a catalyst for starting over again or enacting a huge change in their class specialization. Thyanel as a priest, for example, started experimenting with the shadow after her husband died at the Wrathgate when he couldn’t be ressurrected. Adaret wasn’t directly involved in the Wrathgate battle, but she was one of the refugees outside of Orgrimmar once Varimathras and Putress took over.
Long story short, I tend to pull things from wherever I can. Sometimes it works out. Other times, it doesn’t. Either way, I’ve learned something, and hopefully had fun trying.
We here at WTTRP like talking about RP. Whether it’s the background you create for a toon you will never RP, to the alts you make to kill off during a years-long-rp-event: We love talking about RP any which way.
Today we’re opening the floor up for discussion. Some people have already answered these questions–we’ll have our first set of answers up soon–but let’s put it out for everyone! FEel free to answer with in the comments. if you want to go all out, and put up screen shots, videos or audio, leave that in the comments so we can get in touch with you!
- What’s your Name.
- List some of your favorite toons.
- Describe your philosophy of RP.
- What was your favorite RP event? Why was it so good? Did you organize it?
- Have you organized RP before? How did it go? What did you learn from it?
- Talk about an A-ha moment for a Toon—a moment where all the RP clicked and you knew this was the story they were supposed to tell?
- If you could ask any RPer one question, what would you ask? What is your answer to your question?
Let’s start with how it ended: Broken bodies, a kidnapped blood elf and a hostage worgen, grudges and rivalries (re)established that would last an expansion, the organizer of the event horribly burned with a shadowbolt, and players of all factions saying “Hell yes!” This was the event held on Feathermoon (US) in 9/7/12. It was two months worth of planning that will lead to at least six months of future stories.
It started with the idea of getting the RPers of Feathermoon together. Everyone has mentioned that RP is dying/dead/not for them, but not much was getting done. So a handful of us reached out to the other, and we started a series of IRC brainstorming sessions on how to connect RPers and improve RP. I had previously consulted with my circle about trying this out as an event–and they agreed as long as I didn’t try to organize everything.
Here is what we did:
- We agreed to work on recruiting people to organize a peace summit between the various guilds of Feathermoon. To that end, we used a variety of tools, including guild forums. We should have been more active on the realm forum (many Rpers left the Realm Forum a long time ago for a variety of reasons).
- We made the summit a priority during IRC planning sessions. We took notes, took input and started blending ideas together. People went to their guilds, their forums and their RP social networking sites.
- We opened allowed people to script as many events as they wanted, while keeping it open to impromptu RP. We encouraged people to reach out to someone else to interact with, and we made sure people understood it was their responsibility to get their RP together.
Initially, things were not going to be destined to fail. Then a resident villain of Feathermoon collaborated with two old timers and they all agreed to have a good old fashioned kidnapping. That set us on the road to a failed summit. If we were not open to interpretations of the summit, then this brilliant idea would not have been implemented. But because the organizers agreed to make it open AND the kidnappers were so damn organized, the move was brilliant.
This translates into other peoples RP in a few ways:
These points are essential when working cross faction. The organizers have to decide how much PVP they are willing to tolerate from the get go–as well as handle communication, advertising and guild out reach. Open lines of communication are essential throughout the event. IF we stop communicating, then we don’t really RP.
Now, there are some who had critiques about the event: Some said it was too scripted. Others did not think it was advertised enough on the forums. Others did not know what or how to get involved.
We scripted some events to push story along. We didn’t know how many people would show up–in the end, we had way than 60. Also, given that some of these interactions between these RPers were new, there was reluctance to just let go and RP. In regards to the forums, we’re guilty as charged. While we did post, we should have done more.
And we’ve already started doing more.
As for on how to get involved, there’s a simple answer to this: RP it out and ask in OOC. We posted notes on our forums, networking sites as well as the realm forum on the mechanics of the event. I know it can be scary to RP with new people, but if one doesn’t speak up, then we can’t interact.
When our chat logs are cleaned up, we’ll be posting them. And when events that stem directly from this summit occur, we’ll dissect those too. And if people have questions or comments, I’ll answer them.
In short: RP isn’t dead on Feathermoon, but Peace certainly is.
There comes a time in every conflict where hostilities must end. We have been in a state of conflict with the races of the Horde since the fall of Stormwind over a generation ago. Even after the victories in the Second and Third wars, we have yet to know peace. Today, even though the greatest threat to life on Azeroth has been beaten back, and our lands are in dire need of healing, we are, once again, standing before yet another war.
Those of us who sue for peace do not believe in unilateral cease fires. We do not believe that we should cede one inch of Gilneas to the Bitch Queen Syvlannus. We do not believe that Ashenvale should be allowed to burn, or that Kaldorei homes become orcish and troll bases….
..but we also do not believe that Tauren children should be slaughtered for a road. We do not believe that the only way to secure our children’s future is the decimation of another people. We believe that we have more in common with our foes than we wish to acknowledge.
Today, we are faced with a choice: Do we work to end our differences and restore what has been damaged, or do wage yet another war. A war that will not benefit anyone but spirit healers and Valk’yr.
I, like countless others, have lost family, homeland and friends to these wars. We have wept for Southshore. We have fought for Gilneas, Ashenvale and the Basin. And when called again, we will go to war. We will march to defend our family, our new homes and our friends. But our war must be just. And now, given all the damage done by Deathwing and his cultists, we need to heal.
At this moment we have a chance to end hostilities. And if we can end hostilities without a loss of life, limb or land, what is the harm? What we, Human, Orc, Night Elf or Blood Elf, Dwarf and Troll, Goblin and Gilnean, Tauren and Draenei, need is time to heal.
Healing only come through peace. And peace is worth discussing.
I will be in Dalaran, on September the 7, in the Circle of Wills, at half-past six. If you are willing to fight for peace, meet me there.
Bricu Bittertongue, of the Wildfire Riders
When RPing, saving logs is a good thing. Not just because you get an instant blog post of what your RP circle does, but because it helps provide context for the stories you and yours are telling.
To that end, welcome to another edition of Riders RP. In this particular case, we see Bricu doing his best to be a bastard. And he excels at this; however, something isn’t right this time….
Bricu says: Fuckin’ deaders.
Bricu says: Missus.
Threnn says: Light save us.
Bricu leans against his chair.
Bricu says: Well then.
Serguis says: Deaders is such a harsh word.
Bricu says: Been a long fuckin’ day
Bricu peers at Serguis searchingly.
Threnn raises a brow.
Bricu says: Is it inaccurate?
Serguis says: It is.
Bricu says: Oh, so yer one o’them breathin’ Death Knights—oi. Yer familiar.
Serguis says: I quit breathing. Too much work.
Bricu says: Right then. .
Serguis says: We torched a building for your group a while back. I owed Kyraine a favor.
Bricu says: That’s right. She said she had a dead frined o’questionable morals.
Lorelli says: Friend of Ky’s?
Serguis nods at Lorelli.
Threnn says: Questionable morals is par for the course with us.
Lorelli says: Or’s friend a loose term in this case?
Serguis says: It’s probably a loose term.
[Guild]|Lorelli: Right. So I’m keepin an eye on him then.
Serguis says: But it works well enough. I like people with questionable morals.
Lorelli says: S’pose that’s fiar.
Bricu says: Glad that’s all settled.
Lorelli says: Well I’m here to drink. And drink I shall. Bric’ you decide to pick a fight warn me so I can sober up.
Bricu says: I don’t decide these things. They are decided for me.
Lorelli says: Well, if I’m drunk you’re on your own
Bricu says: I’m ne’er on me own.
Threnn says: I can sober you right up if need be.
Serguis looks at Threnn.
Serguis says: How?
Lorelli says: I’m not sure if I trust your methods on that Threnny dear.
Threnn says: ‘s technically a poison, isn’t it?
Lorelli says: I’m going to assume it involved hitting me. Either upside the head or in the face…
Threnn says: They taught me how to cleanse poisons in the Abbey.
Lorelli says: Oh well… I guess that works..
Lorelli looks uncertain.
Bricu says: …strewth, the one day i miss a lesson.
Threnn says: Downside is, instant hangover.
Lorelli says: ..
Lorelli says: YoU’re on your own Bric’
Serguis says: It seems too quiet in here for a barfight.
Bricu says: What else is goin’ on?
Threnn says: Yeah. There’s a reason I can count on one hand the times I’ve actually cleansed someone of drunkenness.
Threnn says: ‘s also less exact. It’s not as poisonous as, say, arsenic.
Serguis nods at Threnn.
Lorelli says: Just promise you’ll never cleans me of alcohol without fair warning..
Threnn says: Deal.
Bricu says: Huh.
Bricu says: Anyone seen Shael
Lorelli says: Nope.
Lorelli says: Was looking for Kirotei earlier too. Seems a little short on Roses today.
Bricu says: Bloody hell. was a time when we couldn’t do much with out ‘em.
Bricu says: Then again, those were the days when Shael wanted the lot o’us thrownin the stocks.
Lorelli says: remember those days fondly, do you?
Lorelli grins wickedly.
Bricu sighs wistfully.
Bricu says: Sometimes.
Serguis says: Questionable morals.
Threnn peers at Bricu.
Bricu says: They were simplier days.
Serguis says: Who’s this Shael? One of the guard?
Threnn says: The hell do you miss about that?
Bricu says: Justa bloke.
Bricu says: It was /simple/
Threnn says: Meanin?
Bricu says: Roses on the one side. Riders o the other.
Bricu says: The world wasn’t brokenin half….
Bricu says: The Portal had just Reopened.
Threnn says: Oh, yeah, those were *great* days.
Lorelli says: Shit, I was still working for Seven…
Lorelli says: Had just had my marriage fall apart…
Lorelli says: yeah those were AWESOME days.
Bricu peers at Threnn searchingly.
Bricu peers at Lorelli searchingly.
Bricu pulls paper and tobacco from his pack. With a few deft motions, he rolls a cigarette.
Bricu takes out Smokey’s Lighter from his pack and lights his cigarette.
Bricu pulls a long drag from his cigarette, exhaling a cloud of smoke a few moments later.
Serguis says: I could invent a sob story, if you want.
Bricu says: Feel free.
Lorelli says: Sure, let’s see how ya do.
Serguis says: I had a farm in Westfall, with a loving wife and three perfect children.
Serguis says: Friends that I went to the pub with every Friday.
Serguis says: Good friends. So good, in fact, that when I had to go help kill some Defias, one of them said sure, I’ll look after the farm.
Serguis says: I got home a bit early, and found him in bed with my wife.
Serguis says: The kids? Turns out two of them weren’t even mine.
Serguis says: And to top it off, my dog ran away.
Bricu says: Ah.
Bricu says: I heard that Westfall ballad ‘fore.
Bricu says: The story yours or are yeh signin’ us a song?
Serguis says: It’s pretty well known. Right down to the wife getting the chopper in the divorce agreement.
Roebar blinks at Serguis.
Serguis says: If I tried to sing, you would probably kill me again.
Bricu says: S’a pretty dark thing ta take the piss on. But, that’s what we do.
Serguis nods at Roebar.
Roebar starts to fish around behind the bar, but stops when Reese hands him a bottle.
Lorelli says: Speakin’ of half assed sob stories, Zha’ane had to postpone his visit.
Roebar says: Gettin’ t’ know me too well. Oi, mate
Roebar nods back at Serguis.
Roebar seems a little tipsy from the Jug of Bourbon.
Bricu says: Why’d he have ta postpone?
Serguis hands Reese a few coins for a mug of ale, and sets the mug on the bar next to him.
Lorelli says: Something about lookin’ into increased troop movements and a beefing up of security in the Undercity and Silvermoon
Lorelli looks a bit sheepish.
Roebar perks up and starts listening with interest.
Bricu kicks his chair.
Threnn says: Looking guilty there, Lore.
Bricu says: Fuckers..
Lorelli says: Go figure.
Roebar says: Any ideas why?
Lorelli says: We may have kicked the hornets nest the other night.
Roebar blinks at you.
Lorelli says: Wanted a look at what was going on there. So we went.
Bricu says: Silvermoon an’ the Undercity.
Roebar says: Who’s “we”?
Lorelli says: Myself and an equally shady fella you may know as Tarquin. Though.. I wouldn’t go spreading that around.
Serguis says: What is happening in the Undercity?
Threnn mmphs again.
Lorelli says: Same thing that’s been happening there since before the Wrathgate.
Serguis says: That’s very specific, thank you.
Lorelli says: I try.
Bricu says: But whythe increase in Silvermoon?
Lorelli says: We went there first.
Roebar seems to be sobering up.
Lorelli says: Didn’t leave any bodies though.. someone must have seen something riled them up.
Lorelli says: we were pretty quick about it though in and out in no time
Threnn says: You seem to have come out in one piece, and Anna hasn’t mentioned any broken bones on Tarq.
Bricu lets out a long, drawn-out sigh.
Lorelli says: Other than feeling a little ill the next day, all seemed well.
Threnn says: A little ill?
Bricu says: Wait. Ill/
Serguis says: Interesting.
Lorelli shrugs, “I came home, had a drink. Passed out for a few hours. Woke up feeling a little dizzy the next day.”
Lorelli says: Rested a bit, felt fine.
Lorelli says: I figure it was just sewer fumes.
Serguis says: You have two paladins here.
Bricu says: Or yeh could be a deader in a fe hours.
Serguis says: Assuming by “the same since Wrathgate”, you mean new plague research.
Lorelli says: I’m pretty sure I’d have turned by now if that was the case.
Lorelli nods to Serguis.
Lorelli says: Exactly.
Lorelli says: If it had gotten worse I was all ready to call someone.
Bricu says: IT’s bad enough as it is.
Lorelli says: I feel fine.
Roebar seems a little tipsy from the Jug of Bourbon.
Threnn says: One way to detect it.
Alanón lies down.
Lorelli shrugs, “Do whatever it takes to make you feel better.”
Threnn peers at Lore, lips moving in prayer. She’s grinning a little.
Threnn peers harder.
Lorelli says: …
Bricu peers at Threnn searchingly.
Threnn says: You feel like fleeing?
Bricu nods in agreement.
Lorelli says: Perhaps I should have rephrase….
Lorelli says: A little yeah.
Threnn says: Unnaturally?
Bricu says: Well then.
Threnn says: Huh.
Bricu says: That’s….awkward.
Lorelli quietly snickers to herself.
Roebar seems to be sobering up.
Lorelli says: Unnaturally? No.
Bricu says: I was just ’bout ta say we’ll have ta tell Zha’ane an’ Chaani
Lorelli says: Cuz I’m afraid you’re going to hit me… yes
Threnn says: Oh. Well, seems everyone fears that. ‘s natural, apparently.
Threnn says: I mean, say, nearly wetting yourself because I’m suddenly a beacon of righteousness.
Lorelli says: Um.. no.
Lorelli says: And that is an awfully awkward mental image.
Lorelli says: thanks.
Threnn says: You’re all right, then.
Lorelli says: I told you.
Bricu says: This conversation is gettin’ harder an harder ta follow.
Lorelli says: Unless they figured out a way to make the plague airborn, I’m fine.
Serguis says: Until they figure it out, you mean.
Roebar grimaces at Serguis.
Bricu says: Only a matter o’time.
Roebar says: Don’t say it so loud, they might just hear ya
Serguis says: It is a smart move, when you think about it.
Roebar says: And get th’ idea that much quicker
Serguis looks at Roebar.
Serguis says: I’m not going to the Undercity to suggest it.
Roebar says: …. good. I think
Serguis says: For me, yes it is.
Lorelli says: Let me putting it to you this way, they were still feeding it their test subjects by mouth. Not gassing them with it…
Bricu says: …
Serguis says: Now that is useful information.
Serguis nods at Lorelli.
Bricu says: They had a gas. At Wrathgate.
Roebar says: S’a bright topic’a conversation here
Alanón ‘s ears flatten at the mention of Wrathgate.
Lorelli says: That wasn’t absorbed through the skin. Not inhaled.
Lorelli says: Which is similar but not quite the same.
Lorelli says: If you avoid getting doused with it you’re fine.
Serguis says: The same result, though.
Serguis says: It spread far enough at the Wrathgate to kill plenty of troops.
Roebar says: Think I’d rather avoid bein’ in th’ same general area as it, figure
Bricu says: Nearly killed us.
Threnn says: If we’d been down closer it would have.
Lorelli nods soberly.
Bricu peers at Roebar searchingly.
Bricu says: OI.
Roebar raises his eyebrow inquisitively at Bricu.
Bricu says: Headin’ ta Wrathgate was necessary
Roebar says: Well aye, ain’t gonna argue that
Roebar says: But folks didn’t have any idea there was gonna be plague there, did they
Serguis says: We didn’t know the Forsaken had it, no.
Bricu studies Roebar.
Serguis says: Would it have made a difference to the living if they had? Getting killed and raised was always a risk.
Roebar says: I was still behind th’ Wall then, so can’t say for m’self
Lorelli says: I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before..
Bricu grinds his teeth.
Roebar eyes Bricu curiously.
Lorelli says: Scouting for Seven we carried self igniting bottles. You got hit with the plague you didn’t question it. You pop that bottle and it turned you to ash.
Bricu says: Only way ta prevent risin… An’ fast enough, yeh’d not be a ghost either.
Serguis nods at Lorelli.
Serguis says: Smart.
Bricu says: Just wisht here was a big enough wall for the lot o’us ta hide behind, while good folk died.
Roebar stares at Bricu flatly.
Lorelli says: …
Roebar says: Figure we had our own share’a folks dyin’ behind th’ Wall
[Guild] Lorelli: Ya don’t think that was a little uncalled for..?
[Guild] Bricu: Don’t care.
Lorelli levels her gaze at Bricu.
Bricu says: Sorry fer yer loss. But that wall saved yeh the first time the plague hit, didn’t it?
Roebar says: Hells, ask Rheu. He lost ‘is whole family, did y’ know that?
Bricu says: Oh.
Bricu says: A whole family.
Bricu says: I mourn for them.
Roebar says: It did. And it kept th’ curse trapped inside, too. Wanna argue ’bout which one was worse?
Bricu yells: while I buried my entire fuckin’ land.
Bricu clenches his fsts.
Bricu says: Tell me again.
Alanón winces too.
Bricu says: PLEASE.
Lorelli looks between Roe and Bricu, slowly gets to her feet.
Bricu says: Tell me again.
[Guild] Lorelli: Bric’….
Threnn puts a hand on Bricu’s shoulder.
Bricu says: Only time yeh lot showed a bit o’background is when yeh got bit by a fuckin’ wolf.
Roebar says: D’ya see me sittin’ at home, then? We’re right in th’ same boat at the moment
Bricu says: Three years late
Bricu unclenches his fists
Roebar pushes himself off the bar.
Bricu says: SHould yeh hide behind the bar. Yeh could pretend its the Wall.
Threnn says: Enough. ‘s enough. Past is done.
Roebar glares angrily at Bricu.
Lorelli yells: HEY!
Roebar says: Ain’t been hidin’, I’ve been out -fightin’-. What’ve you been doin’, mate?
Lorelli says: This isn’t going to do anyone good.
Bricu grins wickedly at Roebar.
Roebar says: Sittin’ here plannin’?
Alanón eyes them both, looking more than a little concerned.
[Guild] Lorelli: What the hells is wrong with you? Were we NOT just talking about infighting?
Bricu says: Last night, an’ this mornin’, I ran supplies north.
Bricu says: Ta Gilneas. Fought Deaders. Fer yeh.
Bricu says: Question me again, I won’t just bark.
Threnn says: Stop.
Lorelli says: … Okay…
Threnn stares after Bricu.
Lorelli says: What in the hells was that…?
[Guild] Bricu: *bzzzt*
Threnn says: I don’t… I don’t know.
Serguis looks at Lore
Serguis looks at Threnn
Roebar stares too. His fists are clenched.
Serguis is doing an excellent job at trying to blend into the wall
Threnn says: I ought to follow. Roe, I’m sorry.
Lorelli says: Holler if you need me Threnn.
Roebar says: Th’ hells -was- that about?
Threnn says: Will.
Lorelli shakes her head, “No idea…”
Lorelli says: I’ve never seen him like that before…
Threnn says: I have. ‘s been a long time, but I have.
Lorelli says: I don’t think its personal Roe… something musta set him off.
Threnn says it grimly.
Threnn says: Light bless, you lot.
Serguis nods at Threnn.
Alanón says: I suppose I picked a bad time
Serguis says: I think I’ll be returning home, now.
Roebar eyes Alanón up and down.
Roebar says: Y’ did, aye
Lorelli bows before Serguis.
Serguis salutes Lorelli with respect.
Roebar says: Evenin’ mate
Serguis says: I paid Kyraine back, for the favor. But… you’re interesting, the bunch of you.
Serguis says: I’ll be around.
Alanón says: If Bricu gets in a better temper, could you let him know I’d like a word with him?
Lorelli says: Will do.
Alanón says: Thanks
Kyraine hails everyone around her.
Lorelli says: Oh Ky, good.
Roebar picks his drink up and sips on it sulkily. He nods at Kyraine.
Kyraine says: Lore, tell me there’s some whiskey left.
Lorelli says: Keep Roe company for me, will ya?
Kyraine says: I got some-
Lorelli says: Should be, yea
Kyraine says: What, Roe? Sure.
Lorelli says: I should be back shortly.
(Lore goes outside, to where Threnn and Bricu are mid-argument)
Threnn says: He didn’t avoid the fighting because of the plague. He said no one had a way to know there would even *be* plague there.
Bricu says: An’?
Threnn says: So he wasn’t hiding from it.
Bricu says: So that excuses ‘im fer bein’ a smug prick?
Threnn says: You want to be mad at them for not catching it the first time around, too? Might as well be mad at me.
Threnn says: Didn’t come this far south, either.
Threnn says: He wasn’t being smug. That wasn’t gloating.
Bricu says: Ballacks. He’s all flash. That’s fine.
Threnn says: All flash.
Threnn says: How do you figure?
Bricu eyes Threnn up and down.
Bricu says: Name one bloody useful thing he’s done.
Threnn says: You pushed for him to be part of the bloody GLF.
Bricu says: Aye. I pushed him.
Bricu says: He didn’t do it on his own.
Bricu says: Then he throws that disorganized Shite in me own face–
Threnn says: Disorganized…
Threnn says: Where the hell are you getting that from?
Bricu says: OCh, I’ve been ta the front. I Was there this morin’. Lucky ta get out alive.
Threnn says: Lovely. So you’re risking your life for a cause that isn’t yours, for people who you’re reading to start hitting for being behind their wall.
Threnn says: Still doesn’t tell me when Roe called you disorganized.
Bricu says: Was.
Bricu says: Oi, the disorganized shite he threw in me face was that debacle that’s the GLF.
Bricu says: An their bloody front.
Threnn says: Love, I don’t think you had the same conversation the rest of us heard.
Bricu says: Ballacks. I did.
Threnn says: Really? When did he call you disorganized?
Bricu says: He threw the “what have yeh done lately” Shite. HE threw his disorganzied GLF in me face.
Bricu says: Or were yeh too busy stewin’ bout the summit ta hear that bit?
Threnn says: You were calling him a coward for his people being behind the fucking wall.
Bricu says: If the shoe bloody well fits.
Threnn visibly resets her stance. Shoulders back, chin high.
Threnn says: No. You called him on that, and he told you he’d been off fighting. You know, like you recruited him to do.
Bricu says: He said “What have yeh been doin, plannin’?”
Threnn says: And yes, he asked what you’d been doing, likely *because* you’re planning a bloody peace summit with one hand and *encouraging them* with the other.
Bricu says: I’ve been at the fronts. I’ve been plannin’. I’ve been doin’ /way/ bloody more than I fuckin’ well should be.
Bricu says: Runnin gear for his folk.
Threnn says: Done any of it with him?
Threnn says: Or has he only seen you holding court and telling the lot of them what to do?
Bricu says: Oh give me a fuckin’ break.
Threnn says: No, I don’t think I will. You were ready to start swinging back there.
Bricu says: Yeh of all people are gonna stand here an’ accuse me o’just givin’ bloody orders.
Threnn says: I’m doing no such thing.
Bricu says: ballacks, I didn’t even leave me chair till i walked off.
Threnn says: I’m asking you what *Roe* has seen you do, or heard tell of you doing.
Bricu says: What has he seen other than’ Kyraine ina fountain?
Threnn says: You stood up. I had my hand on your arm thinking you were going to swing.
Threnn says: He said he’s been fighting.
Bricu narrows his eyes.
Threnn says: So, what, he has to take your word that you’ve been up there, but you don’t have to take his?
Bricu says: I took him at his word. They fight /now/
Threnn says: So he’s responsible for everything his king decided?
Threnn says: That where you’re headed with that one?
Bricu says: He’s responsible fer his fuckin’ words.
Bricu says: An’ his fuckin’ sentiments.
Bricu says: An’ the insincerity o’the entire fuckin’ conversation where I have ta feel bad for a family dyin.
Threnn says: To him you likely sounded like you thought it was all parties and laughter behind the wall.
Bricu says: Threnn, I don’t care if it was all doom an GLoom or parties an’ chocolates.
Bricu says: Fuck him.
Bricu says: Fuck the lot o’them.
Threnn says: Your friends.
Bricu says: HE’s me friend?
Threnn says: Which lot are you referring to, then?
Threnn says: Who are you lumping in with him?
Threnn says: If you’re saying “Gilneans,” then it’s Kyr, too.
Bricu cocks his head.
Bricu says: Not Gilneans.
Bricu says: Not people who weren’t bothered by the Plagues.
Threnn says: Then who the hell are you so angry at?
Bricu peers at Threnn searchingly.
Bricu says: Maybe I’m pissed at the folk who give me shite, but don’t seem ta have me back anymore.
Bricu says: Maybe yeh should cool off with another whisky.
Bricu says: Yeh don’t say shite ta me, giveme shit ’bout the summit, an’ then shite about this.
Threnn says: Having your back doesn’t mean I agree with every single aspect of your plans.
Threnn says: Time was, you counted on me to show you where the weak spots were in your schemes.
Threnn says: And not that it’s even a part of this? But I haven’t had a drop tonight. So I don’t know where that’s even coming from.
Bricu says: Oi, yeh had at least a tumbler o’Arathi while listen’ ta that deader spin his yarn ’bout his family.
Threnn says: No. I didn’t.
Bricu says: Fine. Yeh didn’t.
Threnn says: So, what, you nearly started a fight with Roe because you’re angry that I don’t like this summit of yours?
Threnn says: And that I dared question it?
Threnn says: I can usually follow the threads of your anger, love, but ‘s all tangled, even to me.
Bricu says: What are yeh even’ on ’bout, I didn’t start a damn thing. He’s the one that yelled at ‘me bout his fuckin’ wall!
Threnn says: He didn’t. That’s not how it went at all.
Bricu blinks at Threnn.
Bricu says: I was sittin’ right bloody there when he went off. An’ aye, i’m still pissed ’bout the summit. But yeh at least said yeh’d listen.
Threnn says: He didn’t go off. You took shots at him. He might have risen to them, but he didn’t raise his voice.
Threnn says: That was you.
Bricu rubs his temples.
Bricu says: Oi, no it isn’t.
Bricu says: Stop tryin’ ta confuse me with this. He wa sa fuckin’ wanker.
Threnn says: I’m not trying to confuse you.
Threnn says: Are you… are you feeling all right?
Bricu says: I’m fine.
Bricu says through clenched teeth.
Bricu says: I’m just gonna sit down.
Threnn peers at Bricu searchingly.
(Bricu walks away, weaving almost drunkenly. He eventually stops and slumps against some crates beside the road.)
Threnn says: Hey.
Threnn kneels before Bricu.
Bricu says: Oi.
Threnn says: You’re not all right.
Threnn checks Bricu’s forehead with the back of her hand.
Bricu says: I’m fine.
Threnn says: You’re not. You weren’t even walking a straight line just now.
Bricu says: Me? Weavin’?
Threnn says: Yes. Just now.
Threnn says: Just sit here for a few minutes.
Bricu says: I wasn’t gonna get up
Threnn says: Good.
Threnn says: You’re not dizzy at all?
Bricu squints, but he doesn’t answer.
(Threnn gets her buzzbox and asks Tarquin to come.)
Tarquin says: Awright, Threnny, I – what the fuck?
Bricu says: S’fuckin’ garish hat, mate.
Threnn says: I don’t know, rightly.
Threnn glances up at Tarq, her eyes tight.
Tarquin says: Leave me hat out ay this.
Tarquin affects a mock-injured tone and swipes the offending garment off his head.
Tarquin says: Awright, then, Bric?
Bricu says: Oi, oi. S’found this bloke in Andorhal growin’ Frabi tobacco.
Tarquin says: Yir kiddin’. The auld Siabi?
Bricu says: Aye aye.
Tarquin says: Huh. Guess we really /do/ got hope fir the future.
Bricu says: First crop worth sellin’
Tarquin ‘s eyes flicker towards Threnn for a moment.
Tarquin says: I’ll look in at it. So, uh, why yeh sittin’ oan a street corner, mate?
Threnn shrugs, mystified.
Tarquin says: No’ cuttin’ a right respectable figure, are yeh?
Bricu looks around.
Bricu says: S’not the park?
Threnn ‘s eyes widen.
Threnn says: No, love, it isn’t.
Tarquin laughs unconvincingly.
Bricu says: Oh. Oh.
Tarquin says: Guid one, Bric.
Bricu says: Well then.
Bricu says: Wasn’t it?
Tarquin quickly pulls out his cigarette case and lights himself a smoke.
Tarquin says: Listen, uh – yeh mind if I borrow yir wife a wee tick?
Bricu says: Oi, Lore told me ’bout what yeh saw. Bloody terrible. Terrible.
Bricu says: I’d hope she’d want ta come back…..
Tarquin says: It wis, mate. It wis.
Threnn pats Bricu’s hand.
Threnn says: Of course.
Tarquin says: We’ll jus’ step awey a tick.
Tarquin blows a couple jets of smoke out over the canal, keeping Bricu in his peripheral vision.
Threnn passes a shaky hand across her forehead.
Bricu ‘s eyes begin to flutter.
Bricu falls asleep. Zzzzzzz.
Tarquin peers at Bricu searchingly.
Tarquin says: Did he jus’…
Threnn eyes Bricu.
Threnn says: Fell asleep.
Tarquin says: Is he sick, Threnny?
Threnn says: No fever. But he said he needed to sit down. Wove his way over here.
Threnn says: You’d’ve thought he was blindfolded. Or…
Threnn shakes her head.
Tarquin says: …drunk?
Threnn nods faintly.
Tarquin says: But he wis actin’ normal in the Pig, afore yeh come out here.
Threnn says: He hasn’t touched a drop.
Tarquin says: Yeh’ve been with him.
Lorelli says: I’ve seen him on and off all day. I don’t know where he’d have snuck enough for that…
Tarquin says: I hafta ask, Threnny.
Threnn says: Everything was fine. I mean, he’s been on edge, but…
Threnn says: I know.
Tarquin glances around, a slight tightening around his eyes.
Tarquin says: Tymara, step out, aye?
Tarquin says: I mean.
Threnn nods in the direction of Lore’s voice.
Lorelli says: Here.
Tarquin says: STep out where we kin see yeh. Thanks.
Lorelli says: Up boss.
Tarquin says: Awright.
Tarquin says: We got ta get ‘im somewhere.
Tarquin says: Anyone see yeh when he started actin’ off?
Threnn says: Whoever was in the Pig aside from us. Uh. That friend of Kyr’s Serguis, Alanon.
Lorelli says: Just myself and Threnn outside the Pig s’far as I could tell.
Tarquin says: Right – we kin pass it off in the Pig, it makes na matter.
Lorelli looks appologetically at Threnn.
Lorelli says: Sorry to eavesdrop.. just.. worried.
Tarquin says: Bricu losin’ his temper isna earth-shakin’. It’s /this/ I’m worried oan.
Threnn says: ‘s all right. I started wondering if *I’d* been the one hearing wrong.
Lorelli shakes her head.
Tarquin says: Unsettlin’.
Tarquin says: Awright. We got ta – fuck.
Tarquin says: We got ta get that armor oafay him.
Lorelli says: He’d completely twisted the conversation the time he walked off.
Threnn nods at you.
Tarquin says: Threnny, yeh want ta see ta thit? I dinna ken shite frae plate mail.
Tarquin says: Tymara, watch the street.
Lorelli says: On it.
Tarquin says: Yeh see anyone comin’, we’ll tell thim ta go elsewhere.
Threnn says: Right. Help me prop him up?
Threnn kneels before Bricu.
Tarquin kneels down.
Tarquin hefts Bricu up with a grunt, glancing around nervously.
Threnn starts removing Bricu’s armor, setting each piece aside carefully.
|Hchannel:GUILD|h[Guild]|h Lorelli: Clear so far. Got someone cross the bridge. but they don’t seem to interested in us.
Threnn says: If we can get him walking, we can put him in one of the bunks under the Pig. Or if you don’t mind my sister sleeping over, maybe up to her apartment.
Threnn says: Going to need the Bells to bring a wheelbarrow if we want to get back to the Rose.
Tarquin says: Annie’s place.
Tarquin says: Rheugan an’ Roebar are still up the Pig.
Tarquin says: Sure Annie kin live wi’ donatin’ the apartment a night.
Threnn says: Was mine first anyway.
Tarquin says: Och, that’s right.
Tarquin says: So – he wisna sick or anythin’, lately?
Threnn grins half-heartedly.
Bricu is out cold.
Threnn says: No. Not even a summer cold.
Tarquin collects the various bits of armor, turning his cloak into a makeshift haversack.
Tarquin flips a Solid Gold Coin in the air, considers it, then hands it to Threnn.
Tarquin says: Wis mixed in.
Tarquin says: I’m no’ yet at the point where I’m pocketin’ his loose change.
Threnn takes it and slips it in a pocket.
Tarquin says: Awright.
Threnn says: Might have it coming.
Tarquin says: Tymara, let’s heft ‘im. Yir turn ta go oan watch, Threnny.
Tarquin says: Short walk ta Annie’s an’ all, but – still.
Threnn sets her shoulders and scouts ahead.
(They maneuver Bricu past the Pig, up to Annalea’s apartment, and put him to bed.)
Tarquin lights another cigarette, practically biting off the end as he takes a draw.
Tarquin says: I’ll sit wi’ him tonight, Threnny, if yeh need ta get back ta Naiara.
Threnn says: My parents have her. She’s been out for a few hours, but I ought to bring her home.
Threnn says: I don’t know what brought this on.
Lorelli shakes her head, “Nothing seemed out of the oridinary earlier today.”
Lorelli says: He asked me to go on a supply run with him.
Tarquin says: That’s the worry, aye.
Lorelli says: We were talking about the summit with Annie earlier and things seemed normal.
Tarquin says: If he’s awright in the mornin’, maybe yeh kin pick it outay him.
Lorelli mentally wanders off running over the day’s events in her head.
Tarquin says: I mean. We /need/ ta pick it outay him.
Threnn says: He’ll be prickly about it, but I can try.
Tarquin says: Aye, well.
Threnn says: Just have to figure out how without starting another fight.
Tarquin says: Be pricklier. I’ll badger ‘im too, if yeh want.
Tarquin says: He can jus’ hit me an’ then we’ll get down ta talkin’ when that’s done.
Threnn says: He *was* waxing nostalgic.
Tarquin says: Afore it all happen’t?
Threnn says: Just before. Might be where it started.
Threnn says: He said he missed simpler times, just after the Dark Portal opened.
Threnn says: Got a bit sour when Lore and I disagreed.
Tarquin says: Fuck’d he get /that/ idea? I wis in hidin’ oafay killin’ Hinote.
Threnn says: And his slickear bitch was putting a bounty on my head. Don’t think he intended to call up *that* one.
Tarquin says: Aye. John Errence wis helpin’ matters not at all, an’ Ceil -
Tarquin pauses and takes a long pull on his cigarette.
Lorelli raises an eyebrow but stays quiet.
Tarquin says: Anyro’.
Tarquin says: Odd time ta be nostalgic fir.
Lorelli says: He’d been asking after Shael…
Tarquin says: Hnh.
Lorelli says: I’d mentioned I’d tried to contact Kirotei as well and that we were ‘a bit short on Roses today.
Tarquin says: Right, right.
Threnn says: Said he missed the days the Roses and Shael wanted us in the Stocks.
Tarquin says: Got a certain charm at it, I’ll admit, but practic’ly speakin’ it wis a bitch an’ a half.
Tarquin says: So after he got shouted down oan that score, he started gettin’ pissed at the Gilneans?
Threnn says: Yeah. The Wrathgate came up, and Roe mentioned he was behind the Wall at the time.
Tarquin says: An’ then the Bittertongue came out ta play.
Tarquin takes another long draw, looking off into the street.
Tarquin says: I mean, shite. It jus’ sounds like Bricu.
Tarquin says: Up ’til the point where he passed out oan Rose Lane.
Threnn says: If he were rising to actual taunts, yeah.
Threnn says: But Tarq, it was like he was hearing things that weren’t even *close* to said.
Tarquin cocks his head.
Threnn says: And then blaming Roe for starting it.
Tarquin says: Hnh.
Threnn peers at Lore.
Threnn says: Did you hear him tell me to go have another whiskey?
Lorelli says: I did.
Tarquin says: I mean – no’ jus’ tryin’ ta provoke – wait, /what/?
Threnn says: You see me have even a thimbleful all night?
Lorelli shakes her head.
Lorelli says: You hadn’t even been in the Pig long enough to order, really.
Lorelli says: Followd by what basically amounted to “If you’re not with you’re against me.”
Threnn says: Yeah.
Threnn says: If it were just that last bit, I’d chalk it up to him being petulant that I didn’t jump for joy over this summit.
Threnn says: Already had a shouting match over it.
Tarquin chews on the end of his cigarette.
Tarquin says: Awright.
Tarquin says: Yeh goin’ ta stay with him the night, then?
Threnn says: Think maybe I ought to, in case he *is* just sick and I can’t see it yet.
Lorelli says: I’ll see if I can’t retrace our steps. See if there was somethin’ I missed.
Tarquin shakes his head at Lorelli.
Threnn says: Maybe the fever’ll start and it’ll make sense.
Tarquin says: What, like yeh mightay recited t’incantation ta drive regular blokes mad fir na reason?
Tarquin says: Pissin’ Bricu oaf so he decides ta pick a fight is the one thing. Seein’ him oan the street, but – yeh dinna say anythin’ caused that.
Lorelli shrugs, “Not sure what else to do…”
Tarquin says: Well.
Tarquin says: This nivir fuckin’ happened. He acted an arsehole, he an’ Threnny had an argument, I stepped out ta help sort it out is all.
Tarquin says: An’ ev’ryin went home. AYe?
Threnn says: Yes, sir.
Threnn ticks off a salute.
Lorelli says: Aye.
Tarquin says: Threnny, yeh need anythin’ – I mean anythin’ – yeh let me kennit. Fir yirself, or Bric’, or the wee hen.
Tarquin says: That’s no’ business. That’s me talkin’.
Threnn says: I will.
Tarquin says: ‘Til yeh figure out what the trouble is, I’m handlin’ our end ay the summit. Anyone comes callin’, send thim ta me.
Threnn says: Thank you.
Lorelli says: Goes same for me.
Threnn says: I appreciate it.
Tarquin says: Awright.
Threnn says: Maybe it’s the angle I ought to take. This happens again, it’ll undermine the summit.
Tarquin chews on his lip.
Tarquin says: Maybe.
Threnn says: We’re lucky it can be, uh. Contained.
Tarquin says: But maybe then he jus’ hides it. Or somethin’.
Tarquin says: But dinna mind me, Threnny. I’ll handle the business end.
Threnn says: Mmph.
Threnn says: Gods, he would.
Tarquin says: He’s yir husband.
Tarquin says: Yeh make the call, wir jus’ here helpin’ out.
Threnn says: I’ll see how he is in the morning, how much he remembers.
Tarquin says: Aye, right.
Tarquin says: Lore, if anythin’ Gilneas-end comes up, yeh want ta handle it til Threnny clears Bricu?
Lorelli says: ‘course.
Tarquin says: Jus’ keep thim doin’ what they’re doin’. Maybe send a couple cases ay whiskey up ta the lads as apology ta Roebar.
Tarquin says: Awright. I’m goin’ ta go clean out the office.
Tarquin says: Afore Annie sees it.
Threnn smiles tiredly.
Lorelli says: I suppose I should go see how far our little sight seeing tour set back Zha’ane’s visit.
Tarquin says: Anythin’ happens o’ernight – /anythin’ at all/ – yeh come get me, awright?
Tarquin says: Yell in the buzzbox or light a fire or whate’er it is.
Threnn says: I will. Thank you both for helping get him back here.
Tarquin says: ‘Course.
Tarquin hugs Threnn.
Tarquin says: I’ll see yeh in the mornin’. Or earlier, yeh need it.
Threnn says: Hopefully I won’t. Tell Anna I won’t touch anything.
Threnn says: Well, aside from the cat, but that’s mandatory.
Tarquin rolls his eyes.
Tarquin says: Fuckin’ Harvey.
Tarquin says: Awright. Cheers, yeh twa.
Lorelli pats Threnn on the shoulder with the most reassuring smile she can manage.
The Riders worked on a story wherein a few unsavory people figured out a way to sell Lotus on the cheap. This pitted a cartel against the Riders, and for a large part of Cata, it did not go well for the Black and Red. And this is how that story ended.
For the record, Tarquin, Annalea and Lorelli made significant edits and they made this piece awesome. Furthermore, I am indebted to Tarquin as he gave Bricu the last “word.” That was not my initial intention, and I am grateful that he nailed Bricu down so very well.
The bloodiest war that Stormwind never cared about ended at a round table that sat eight.
Next to the gaunt man with straw-colored hair and a simple, but beautifully constructed wide brimmed hat, was a grim looking ginger bastard and a petite, wicked -eyed blonde. Next to her was a night elf woman with green hair who would not stop smirking. Around the other half of the table sat a gnomish woman with dead eyes, a human woman looking uncomfortable in a simple, homespun dress and Draenei man who was unremarkable aside from the series of tattoos across his face and tentacles. To his left, and the gnome’s right, was a vacant chair.
“I think we can all agree that today has been a long time coming, and I, for one, am exceedingly happy to move beyond this dark…” Said the draenei before the ginger bastard cut him off.
“Where the fuck is Angel?” he said.
“The Angel could not be here today, as he had pressing matters of business to attend to given our preliminary agreements…” the Draenei responded. The activity on the other side of the table drowned out his words.
The man in the very fine hat might’ve made a gesture to his fellows. Maybe he was just adjusting his position. Either way, the blonde and the elf stood up, while the ginger bastard leveled a finger and began shouting.
“Fuck this. Yeh said he’d be here. All the major players we’re gonna be here. Now yer boss is too wrapped up in shite ta be here? Then we’re done.”
“Please, there is no need for this situation to devolve further, I am perfectly capable of addressing his requests and demands.” The draenei said calmly.
“That means sit your ass down before we kill you.” The gnome said softly.
“Adorable, isn’t she?” The elf said to the blonde. “In a creepy-porcelain-doll of death kind of way.”
“My family isn’t too keen on spooky dolls,” the blonde responded. She squinted at the now scowling gnome. “But I can see it.”
“Yeh lot ir eh pair o’right cle’er twists. I’d b’a right fookin’ pleasure ta rip out yer fuckin’ tongues.” The woman in the homespun dress said. As she stood up from the table, she drew a wicked curved knife.
“That’s all?” The elf said, drawing two straight edged daggers. “I’m disappointed, sweetheart.”
The man in the very fine hat put his elbows on the table and rested his head on his hands, looking as bored as if they were talking shipping.
“Enough!” The draenei shouted. “If you insist, I will find him.”
“Boyo, I think we insist.” Bricu said.
The draenei stood up from the table, and motioned for his companions to sit down. They complied, albeit far from willingly. Bricu made a similar motion to Lorelli and Annalea. Annalea stood behind her chair, while Lorelli put her daggers on the table and sat back down. For his part, Bricu leaned against the wall behind Tarquin.
“So.” He said, “If it’s gonna take our friend a long time ta get Angel, we should get at know each other. What’s yer names lasses?”
“Fook off.” The woman said. The gnome said nothing at all.
“Right then. Fook off an’ Glower it is.” Bricu said.
“Figure we should just enjoy some quiet time, Bric.” Lorelli said.
Bricu snorted. Tarquin said nothing.
The room was silent for some minutes while they awaited the return of the Draenei and Angel. Tarquin rested his head, Annalea smiled sweetly at the gnome. Lorelli sat sideways in her chair, legs crossed not looking at any of them. Bricu watched the door. Glower and Fook Off conferred with each other, but in hushed tones that even Lorelli struggled to hear.
The draenei entered first. He carried himself taller and straighter, and he smirked as he sat back in his chair.
The Angel was a few feet behind him. He was taller than Tarquin, with Bricu’s broad shoulders and something of Lorelli’s predatory grace, and the innocent, almost beautiful face of a marble statue. He stood behind his chair and smiled at everyone at his table, like he was welcoming them to dinner and they had only to partake of his bounty. His blue eyes rested on Tarquin.
“Master ap Danwyrith, it is truly a pleasure to sit here with you. May I stand?” Angel said. His voice was as rich and clear as a note on a viola.
Tarquin, by comparison, sounded rusty and tired when he spoke for the first time in that room. “Sit, stand, long as we talk.” Bricu took his seat next to Tarquin, and Lore put away her knives. Annalea leaned forward and studied each face at the table carefully. She did not flinch when they made eye contact–instead, she smiled brightly before winking at the Draenei.
“Please, continue.” Annelea said, “We’re all ears.”
The Angel was stone-still, but not stiff or awkward; a man who moved, and could be moved, only when he allowed it so. “I will state the obvious, on the chance that it is not. This conflict has grown beyond reason and profit. I have lost valuable resources.” His three confidants, employees, or henches had no overt reaction to being referred to, by implication, as resources, but Annalea smiled at them all when the Angel said that. “Yet you are not invulnerable, and your people have learned that.” It was his turn to smile, at Lorelli, who looked back with searing, white-hot blankness.
“There’s none o’ us dead,” said Bricu with a sneer. “An’ a whole fuckin’ pile o’ yer best gone ta the dirt. So don’t yeh talk like it’s even, huh?”
Again that soft smile. “Yes, I am sure the judges place you firmly ahead on points. Nevertheless, that you are here at all speaks to the danger of your position.” He stared at Tarquin. “You have few of your Riders to lose, and fewer still that you can afford to lose. I, on the other hand…” He spread his hands. “There are always violent people with more debts than sense. Your luck cannot hold out forever, Master ap Danwyrith.”
The silence would have been oppressive, to a different eight people. All of these, on either side of the table, were well used to it. Finally Tarquin rolled his neck and shrugged. “Obvious. As yeh said. An’ so wir here fir terms.”
The Angel didn’t exactly relax, physically, but there was a lessening of that thick tension in the air. “Let us discuss those vaunted terms. Simply, we will continue to sell our product, as long as we remain outside of Old Town.”
“Aye.” Bricu said.
“In return for this, you won’t…”
“Deal with unmentionables in a clean, quick and terribly efficient fashion.” Lorelli stated matter-of-factly. “We are professionals.”
“And if we say no to these terms?”
The Riders glanced at each other, and one by one each pair of eyes travelled to Tarquin. “Then we’re back where we was, big lad,” said the northman. “Yir people try an’ do business in Auld Town, an’ we float thim home in the canals. We kin keep it up till someone runs outay mates -” he opened his fists and spread his hands apart – “or, we kin do business.”
“I see.” If the Angel had a reaction to that, he wasn’t sharing it. “Well then, do we all sign in ink or in something more permanent?”
Annalea rolled her eyes. “This isn’t the opera. Ink.”
Starting with the Angel and ending with his right-hand Draenei, everyone around the table signed the name.
Bricu snorted as the paper passed him. “Yer signin’ this as the Angel?”
“For all intents and purposes, that’s as binding as anything else I would have signed with the name my parents gave me. I intend to enforce this agreement severely. In fact, my organization is aware of how I will enforce discipline on this issue.”
Fook off, who signed her name as Clara Hunt, shuddered at the mention of discipline. The Draenei paled, but the gnome gave no indication of any concern.
“Discipline is good.” Lore said, “It should make sure we all play nicely.”
Glower turned her gaze to Loreli, “I agree,” she whispered, just loud enough for the room to hear; “Fire makes for excellent discipline.”
The room was quiet for more than a few moments. Finally, Tarquin broke the silence.
“So that’s us set, then, is it?”
“I suppose it is.” The Angel looked around at them, smiling like a plaster saint. “Until our business conflicts again. We may well see each other at this table in years to come, Master ap Danwyrith – and those of your associates who are still able to join you.” Bricu bristled, but it was Lorelli who spoke.
“Trust me, I fully intend to outlive you and yours. And by quite some time at that.”
Angel looked over Loreli. Glower simply snickered.
“Miss Tymara, this is not a threat but a fact, with figures. One in your line of work doesn’t grow old gracefully.” He looked almost sad about it. “In fact, likely none of you will grow old. You can cheat death only for so long before she claims what is hers…and I am certain you are each far, far in the red.”
Silence weighed down the room for a long moment. Again, there was some signal from Tarquin that might as well have been a slight shift in his seat; Bricu put an already-rolled cigarette in his hand, and Annalea leaned in on his other side with a light. “I take that ta mean, mate, that yeh’ll be waitin’ when the books are due ta be balanced.”
The Angel inclined his head. “It’s just good business.”
Tarquin took a long drag while the Angel waited with ironic patience, his subordinates following his lead. These things had a form, after all. Finally Tarquin ejected two jets of smoke from his nostrils and spoke.
“S’pose so. Only – I’m no’ really a businessman, big lad. None ay us are, proper. Did yeh ken that?” He stood, and the Riders stood with him – Bricu hard-eyed and sneering, Lorelli stretching like a well-fed jungle cat, Annalea’s gaze flickering between faces and her mouth crooked in a slight smirk.
The Angel answered, after a pause, his smile just this side of wary. “I can’t say I’d thought much one way or the other about it, Master ap Danwyrith. But we are doing business – so if not, what then?”
Tarquin pulled the cigarette from his mouth and smiled, a white wide fence that kept in things better not considered. “Nutters,” he said, almost happily, and extended his free hand to the two women. “Murderin’ witches. Red-handed savages. [i]Mad bastards[/i].” He dropped the stub of cigarette and laughed. “Shite, big lad, think I set out ta live like this? None ay us did – it’s the only friggin’ thing we got left. An’ yeh want ta try an’ take it? Guid luck t’yeh.”
The Angel couldn’t help but smile back, or at least, that was the impression he wanted to give. “Why, Master ap Danwyrith, I’ve never been so amiably threatened.”
“Ah, I’m no’ threatenin’ yeh. Hell, we do business again–” Tarquin stepped back, half-turning towards the door. “Bric?”
With a suddenness all the more shocking for how placid the negotiations had been, Bricu stepped into Tarquin’s spot, hands slamming down onto the table, teeth bared, eyes bright and deadly. “We fuckin’ do business again, yeh get me,” snarled the Bittertongue. “The chief’s the fuckin’ businessman. I’m a bloody-minded north country bastard, an’ I don’t care what the fuck it costs, or any o’ that shite!” He swept his eyes across the four of them, Lorelli looming at his shoulder, tongue darting across her lips with an uncomfortably serpentine air.
The Angel had no response, a guarded lack of expression on his face, and none of his anxious lieutenants dared to speak. Again came one of those barely-notable signals from Tarquin, and Annalea smiled sunnily. “A pleasure, you lot,” she purred, and linked arms with Tarquin, the two of them heading to the door. Lorelli took two long steps backward, turned gracefully, and followed.
Bricu was the last out, but not before making a wet death-rattle in his throat and gobbing mucus across the Angel’s pristine table. “Come on if yeh think yer hard enough,” he said, leaving the challenge and the splitting behind him as he turned on his heel and walked after his fellows. Annalea gave the Angel a last lingering, unreadable look, and closed the door behind him.
And then the war was done.