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#13785694 Jun 03, 2018 at 04:01 PM
569 Posts



Pre – Operation Notes



Suramar is still in disarray. Between the fall of their grand magistrix and the rise of Zalithrias’s rebellion against the new leadership there has been no opportunity for the Nightborne to breathe easy. From what I’ve been told it seems that the leadership in Suramar, the Dusk Lilly, have been either holed themselves away the Nighthold or in some hidden citadel outside the city walls.


This hidden fortress is supposedly our best way to reach them. Between the leadership, the refugees from the civil war that still rages in Suramar, and the magic tree, Shal’Aran seems like the best place to start our operations in the region.


How do we find this hidden fortress? The hell if I know. I have reached out to some of my operatives in the area, but they didn’t know anything about Shal’Aran’s location. The Nightborne are determined to keep their tree safe from all interference.

I’ve sent word out to Sunvalor. He was in Suramar for months while we waged our campaign against Skovald and his felskorn vrykul. If anyone knows where we’ll find Shal’Aran it will be him.

…though he has yet to respond.

We’ll have to take other work in the meantime.


****

Maur Bloodtotem sent word from Highmountain about strange drogbar activity. I led the team to Highmountain to join him in investigating the drogbar.


He is different now. Not just in the way he carries himself either. I couldn’t help but notice his mangled arm has been replaced by a limb of wood and stone fashioned to look like a totem. He noticed our eyes on his new arm and told us he wasn’t content with a phantom limb. The shaman carved and enchanted the wood and stone to actually move and serve as his had before. The Highmountain shaman are impressive.


Once we were actually out in the field we quickly realized that the damn rock trolls had infested the Greystone path. They had found veins of elementium ore in the caves along the mountain and were drudging out the metal in the name of their race's former slave master.

Deathwing.

It seems that at some point these drogbar learned the nature of Twilight’s Hammer and, worse yet, sided with them. I have no doubt they wanted to take the elementium and make armor, weapons, and use them to drive the tauren out of Highmountain in the name of their dark gods.

Luckily we stopped them before they could make any real progress.





****


A scouting report from Azsuna indicates that Hronori’s naga were forced to flee Nar’thalas and have convened with some of the felsworn.

Other reports suggested that Zalithrias has sent felborne to Azsuna. It’s hardly surprising, seeing how they are allies, and we’ll need to keep an eye on them.


****


Sunvalor has finally sent word through one of his apprentices. He wants to meet in Dalaran.



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#13785696 Jun 03, 2018 at 04:01 PM
569 Posts
‘There is something unnatural about this place,’ Grazzug thought to himself.


The hairs on orc’s skin stood upright from the moment he crossed through the portal into the strange place he now found himself and the buzzing in the air showed no signs of stopping. The orc navigated his way down the spiraling staircase, following closely behind Cal’thaelen, the black-robed apprentice to Talarien Sunvalor. The magus had spirited Grazzug from his camp in Jandvik to this strange place moments earlier. Upon their arrival they left ‘Duzan’ at the return portal just to be cautious while the others followed the young elf to his master.


Talarien Sunvalor was finally ready to speak on the matter of Suramar and finding Shal’Aran.


Grazzug, of course, did not come alone.


“I don't like this place one bit." the orc commander heard muttered behind him. He glanced over his shoulder to his retinue. Bolg Boneflayer’s already twisted features contorted with disgust as he took in his surroundings. He then looked to Grazzug and added, “The air is thick with magic.”


Bolg’s assessment was followed by a grunt of agreement from another broad shouldered orc, Lor’ghal. “Could the elf not at least tell us where we are? Could he not have told us where to find Shal’Aran himself? ”


“Ain’t it obvious where we are?” a third voice interjected. Cashly Rightgear, her one cerulean eye wandering, looked to her commander. “This is the Hall of the Guardian, boss. We’re in the Tirisgarde’s H.Q. Did all the glowing eyes and netherflame braziers really not give it away?”


“Miss Rightgear is correct.” Cal’thaelen finally chimed in. “Lord Sunvalor is quite preoccupied with his business on these Broken Isles. He could barely fit you in for this meeting.”


The hall was, admittedly, impressive. Kirin Tor banners hung high while paintings and arcane runes lined the walls, and the long tables throughout the hall were covered in all assortments of books and arcane relics.


Arcane crystals hovered over stone pedestals as Grazzug’s retinue passed by. They were surrounded by enchanted shields that young acolytes conjured spells against as part of their training. Grazzug took a moment to watch them work. They were unrefined in their casting. Even he could tell. The instructors, including an orc with a heavy brow, coached the young magi on how to motion their hands, wands and staves, and how to pronounce the arcane language they spoke to conjure their flurries of spellwork… be it fire, frost, or pure energy.


Cal'thaelen paid none of the sights and sounds of the Hall of the Guardian any heed. He simply led the party to a balcony just off of the training area.


Grazzug felt himself able to breathe more clearly the moment he stepped out onto the balcony. He took in a deep breath and glanced over the railing… down at Dalaran itself. It was a relief to his senses. The arcane energy of the hall was far less smothering when exposed to the open air and the sight of the city had a comforting familiarity to it... even from such a height. He turned and assessed his surroundings. The balcony was relatively sparse, with some tables positioned along the railing and little else. Talarien Sunvalor sat at one such table, adorned in his red dragonscale armor and wearing a mask that enshrouded his face in shadow but for the vibrant glow of his eyes. He watched Grazzug and his party intently.


The orc commander approached the sin’dorei. Talarien’s emerald gaze followed Grazzug and, clearly by his design, the chair opposite to him slid back to make room for the orc. Grazzug took a seat. He then removed his horned helmet, setting it down on the table. “Throm’ka, Sunvalor. Glad to see you could fit me into your busy schedule.”


Talarien ignored his words and, instead, seemed to pry into his deeper thoughts. “It was foolish of you to expect a letter. You have no idea how reckless and unreliable both couriers and the officials at the arcane post offices can be. One bribe, one mailmental tampered with by the Legion, and we could have exposed the best kept secret of the isles: the location of Shal’Aran.”


Grazzug glowered. “You were among the people of Suramar for weeks, even months, before now. You surely would know how to fin--- Wait. Did you say mailme---”


Talarien leaned back in his chair. The sin’dorei steepled his fingers as his burning gaze wandered again to Grazzug’s companions. “Shal’Aran and the arcan’dor within it are crucial to the survival of the Nightborne. They have given up their ancestral rights to the power of the Nightwell in order to stop the Legion. Now they use the arcan’dor to cure the worst of their people’s pains. Some do not understand the actions of the Dusk Lilly. These fools have turned against their saviors out of a fear of pain and hunger. They would sabotage their own salvation out of ignorance.”


Grazzug leaned forward, resting his elbows down on the table. “They are just being manipulated by yet another one of Mel’korath’s lieutenants. This Zalithrias is his pawn.”


Talarien nodded. “Yes, yes, I know. The eredar prince has many pawns at his disposal. We must be attentive. His actions of late in gathering both crystals of pure mana and stones filled with the souls of the fallen betray a grander design. I believe he poses a direct threat to the security of our world. A threat second only to the masters of the Legion.”


“Kil’jaeden and Sargeras himself.”


The sin’dorei nodded. “The same. For now you should make your way to Suramar. Go to the village of Meredil and declare that I sent you. You will be escorted to Shal’Aran from there once they have verified you are an ally.”


Grazzug stared at the archmage across the table. Talarien Sunvalor knew exactly where Shal’Aran was but was choosing to be evasive. It seemed that even in the heart of the Tirisgarde’s power Talarien didn’t believe that his information would be secure. Grazzug rose and took his helmet from the table. “Meredil?”


The mage nodded.


Grazzug grit his teeth, suppressing his annoyance at the half-answer he was given, and nodded in turn. “Alright. Then I guess it’s time we head to Mere—“


“BOSS!”


Grazzug turned sharply to see Lor’ghal rushing towards him. It took a moment for Grazzug to register what was happening. The other orc’s axe was drawn and he was charging right past him. Grazzug turned and saw that Lor’ghal, in this moment of utter madness, was charging Talarien Sunvalor.


By the time he reached for the hilt of his Warhammer Grazzug could see shadows materialize behind the other orc. The shadows gathered from all the dark corners of the hall before ripping open to reveal a monstrous shape. The entity seized Lor’ghal from behind, driving a dagger into the orc’s spine repeatedly until he collapsed in a growing puddle of his own blood.


Grazzug was taken aback. He looked at the shadowy form as it slowly took on a more familiar guise. “Thogran. What the hell just happened!?”


The orcish rogue rose, sparing a moment to eye his handiwork before turning to Grazzug. “I told you he wasn’t right.”


Grazzug looked down at Lor’ghal’s body. Nothing had changed. No disguise was shed to reveal a demon. The orc looked around and saw several magi directing their staves, wands, and spells in his direction.


Talarien waved off the other magi… who gradually began to disperse. He then rose from his chair, unflinching, and approached his would be assassin. “Your man has good instincts. This orc was not who he appeared to be.” The magus raised his hand over the assassin’s body. Lor’ghal’s body began to shimmer with a sickly green aura. “I suspect he has been dead for some time. His vessel was used by the Legion as a puppet to gather information to harm our infrastructure from within. I suppose I am considered a high value target for him to defy common sense and make an attempt on my life. No….” The sin’dorei shook his head, dismissing the thought. “This homunculus was simply a reminder from our mutual enemy that the Legion can strike at any time. If not for your assassin there we could’ve had trouble.”


Grazzug stared down at the corpse of a mercenary he knew and who served the Horde faithfully. He still didn’t understand what had happened. When did he fall? When did he become some pawn of the enemy? When—


Talarien was staring at him. “See what you and your mercenaries can do to liberate Suramar and ease the struggles of the Nightborne. I will help when I can, but this business at the Tomb of Sargeras demands much of my attention as well. If Kil’jaeden truly intends to resurrect the Avatar of Sargeras then Azeroth is in grave peril. I will have this body cleansed and returned to Orgrimmar for its proper internment. Go now.”


Grazzug nodded and turned to leave immediately. He and his equally-stunned companions were escorted to the portal leading back to Dalaran. They left without another word.
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#13785700 Jun 03, 2018 at 04:03 PM
569 Posts


Post – Operation Notes


After what happened in the Hall of the Guardian I can’t be certain who is and who is not a Hommun kuloos whatever those creatures are called. For now I’ll be sending another party out to Meredil to rendezvous with the Nightborne in Shal’Aran. I’ll keep the party smell and have them properly vetted.


****


Arestra’s report on what happened was not quite what I had expected of our first meeting with the Nightborne. The team I had sent to Meredil did not hear from the Dusk Lilly upon their arrival. In fact, Meredil was empty but for the odd ‘withered’ – which are, from what I understand, the Nightborne version of wretched to blood elves - creeping in the dark corners of the ruin.

After a time searching the area they found a cave hidden near a waterfall. They entered the cave and immediately noticed something was wrong… when they found veins of fel crystal sticking out of the cave walls.


As they made their way further into the strange cave they found what they thought was another elf. But it wasn’t an elf at all. As I heard Arestra describe him I knew who they were dealing with. “He wore bronze armor with intricately carved draconic iconography and in his hand was an ornate mace that exuded chronomagicmantic magics.” By chance they had run into Chronodormu – who apparently goes by Timewarden Kronus now while in his elf shape – a bronze dragon we have previously aided and who helped us put on the Lohn’kosh some years ago.





Apparently Shal’Aran had been completely and utterly destroyed by some dark magic that tainted their magic tree and caused it to explode, filling the ruin with corruption and fel crystals. This wasn’t supposed to happen in our timeline, the dragon claimed, and he had gone to Shal’Aran in possession of a powerful dragon artifact called the Eye of Anachronos to find out what caused the disturbance in time.

As he, like all the dragons and their flights, was weakened after the death of the Destroyer, he needed some back up while performing his ritual to track what destroyed Shal’Aran. The party followed him throughout the ruins as he used the ‘Eye’ on different parts of the hall.


Soon the party found themselves wandering into the main hall of Shal’Aran. The massive tree that once sat at the center of the hidden fortress had exploded, becoming a mass of shattered crystal and fel energy. All around it were crystal skitterers, and what Arestra called fal’dorei. They were demonically corrupted versions of elves who were twisted by the magic tree. They were described as spider elf hybrids whose skin is cracked with demonic energy.


Chronodormu used the ‘Eye’ to create a projection from the sands of time. The sands created the shapes of Nightborne elves and from this the party learned some Nightborne woman sabotaged the ‘telemancy pads’ to prevent anyone from escaping the explosion of the arcane tree.

The head of the mace apparently glowed and emitted golden sands that made projections of beings - composed entirely of sand in the shapes of Shal'dorei - materialize. While he conjured that image the party put down the skitterers. Thog- Duzan, Arestra, Nharos, Zelch, and Hedva made quick work of them.

While another image came up – of the master of the pads realizing the sabotage and trying to undo it – the party had to face off against some of the fal’dorei. Nharos killed two while Rastath and Duzan dealt with the rest.

The last creature to get in their way was an abomination with six legs, scythe like arms, tendrils emerging from its back and both mandibles and extra eyes jutting from its face. It was a master of magic and teleportation and at least one of the reports suggested it was a twisted version of the telemancy pads’ creator.

With Chronodormu’s help they managed to drive the creature off. Shortly after he showed them the full incident in the sands. Some skinny, tired-looking Nightborne woman placed a magical bomb at the foot of the tree. It corrupted and destroyed the Arcan’dor tree at the same time and the subsequent explosion twisted and destroyed everything in the hall.


The reports then said that Chronodormu cast them back through time to stop that woman from destroying all of Shal’Aran. They tracked her down, cornered her, and found out what she was up to.

The traitor’s name was Loreynn. She claimed that the Dusk Lilly had ruined her life and that her boy, Lieran, withered some days ago. She had to put him down because he was a mindless and hungering. She said her husband was well on the way to withering as well. She went to Zalithrias, who has taken over Suramar’s Hall of Justice, and he gave her the bomb.

She called the Dusk Lilly leader, Thalyssra, a two faced vermin who gave her people up to death and called the tree a farce that would never be able to save the whole population of Suramar. After that she just told them to get it over with and kill her.

Instead of finishing her off they handed her over to the Dusk Lilly.


Not sure I would’ve been so quick to spare someone responsible for that kind of atrocity… but with her never actually managing to do it… and….


I had enough of this time travel business on old Draenor, damn it.




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