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Tobin
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 Post subject: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:53 pm 
“You’re going to spend your money on books, aren’t you,” Thomas said.

Tobin looked at him with the flat, tolerantly annoyed look of older brothers throughout the realm. “It’s my money.”

Thomas threw his hands in the air. “On books! On dry old pieces of paper with ink scribbled on them! You’ll be in Lordaeron. Spend it on wine. Spend it on some girl with fine ankles and have a trip you’ll never forget!”

Tobin wrapped his hands around the straps of the luggage at his feet. He lifted with his legs, with muscles hardened by a lifetime working the Azarin family’s cattle farm, and swung the bags into the back of the cart. He pushed them down the back and secured them against the luggage he’d already loaded.

“The chase,” he said, “is maddening, the moment is fleeting and the regrets many. Books, on the other hand, offer endless stimulation.”

Thomas shook his head. “You are not my brother. I disown you. I refuse to believe the same blood flows in our veins. Ma! Light’s mercy, tell me Tobin’s adopted.”

Tobin glanced over his shoulder as he dusted off his hands. His mother Sendra and his sister Elina had come out of the house. Sendra smiled indulgently at Thomas and patted him on the cheek. “You’re all changelings switched in the crib by elves, dear, didn’t I ever tell you?”

Tobin folded his arms across his chest. “Shouldn’t we be travelling to Quel’Thalas then?”

Elina dug her elbow into his stomach. “I’m not marrying an elf, thank you very much. Those silly pointy ears and tilted eyes – I’d be creeped out every time I looked at him.”

“I suppose we’re stuck going to Lordaeron then,” Tobin said.

“To shop for books,” Thomas said. “Books! As if peddlers don’t come by with books a dozen times a year.”

Sendra handed Tobin a covered basket. “I made you something extra for the journey. Fresh bread, cheese and some ham bought from Gervin Tenton last week when we were in Andorhal.”

“Thanks Ma.”

He stood back while Sendra fussed over Elina. They both teared up for what was surely the tenth time this morning and Tobin exchanged a look with Thomas. Thomas rolled his eyes and Tobin grinned.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
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Location: London, England
 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:53 pm 
It was beginning to look like their father Oelorn, gruff even when he spoiled his little girl, was going to avoid the farewells. But then two of the farm’s cattle dogs came sprinting around the corner of the barn and Oelorn came after, solid and weathered as an old tree stump. Elina threw herself into her father’s arms and he held her tight, ducking his head so the brim of his hat hid any dampness in his eyes.

“Now then girl,” he said. “Off you go.” But he held her until she pulled away first.

“We’ll see you both in Lordaeron in three weeks,” Sendra said as Tobin helped Elina up onto the cart. Sendra was tearing up again. Oelorn put his arm around her waist and she leaned against him.

Thomas caught Tobin as he rounded the cart. In a whisper he said, “Try and have some fun while our parents aren’t around, eh? Give us all something to say about you behind your back for a change.”

He ducked Tobin’s swing and fell back, laughing. Tobin grinned at him and climbed onto the cart beside Elina.

“See you in Lordaeron!” Tobin said. He flicked the reins and they were underway along the path that led west to Andorhal and then to Lordaeron, chased by their family’s farewells.

Elina was marrying upwards. The prospective groom was the son of a successful Lordaeron merchant, a man who had built himself up from nothing and owned the city’s largest slaughterhouse. He scorned the proprieties of the merchant class and told his son he could marry whoever he liked, even the daughter of a cattle farmer, and the Nether take any scandalised Lordaeron sophisticates.

Elina was four years younger than Tobin and her upcoming nuptials reminded him often that he was expected to marry soon too. His wife would be a girl from one of the nearby farms, or the daughter of a crafter or labourer from Andorhal. His mother, he suspected, had someone in mind and was likely making the necessary arrangements through the web of mothers spread throughout Lordaeron’s farmlands.

“Take the reins a moment,” he said to Elina, who was still wiping tears from her eyes.

He reached over the back, rummaged through the basket Sendra had given them and pulled out a heel of bread. He tore it in half, handed half to Elina, stuffed the other half in his mouth and took the reins back.

“We had breakfast but an hour ago,” Elina said, with a look sisters had given their brothers since the dawn of time.

Tobin bit off a mouthful and chewed. “It’s a long journey. We’ll need our strength.”

She waved her half of the bread at him. “If you make me fat, Rasid won’t marry me.”

“I’m sure a little bread won’t do you any harm, Elina,” he said.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
Rank 5
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
Posts: 87
Location: London, England
 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:26 pm 
A boot, shod in iron and with all the power of orc muscle behind it, slammed into Tobin’s side so hard he was hurled off his sleeping pallet and onto the occupant of the next. He hissed in rage and snaked up to his feet. Yellow sparks spat from his skeletal fingertips.

“Get up, corpse!” said Rokarn, warrior of the orc tribes. “Or are you dead again?” He roared with laughter and stumped his way across the ship’s hold to the stairs.

“Animal!” Tobin snarled, but under his breath. He rubbed the cold, emaciated flesh of his side as the pain faded and watched Rokarn climb the stairs to the main deck.

“At what point do we finally kill him?” Maladian asked as she pulled herself up to a sitting position. She sneered at the orc’s back with aristocratic contempt.

Tobin still seethed, but he reined his anger in. “His strength is useful.”

“It would be easy, you know,” Maladian said. “I’m sure we’re still up high enough that a fall would be fatal.”

Tobin grunted. He slung his pack onto his back, scooped up his staff and made for the main deck.

The wind was laden with salt and Tobin, who had made the journey from Orgrimmar to Undercity before, knew the goblin airship was still above the sea. The sky was bright and his grey flesh, blighted with life of a sort by the foul powers of the Lich King, prickled unpleasantly at the touch of the sun. He shaded his eyes until they adjusted as much as they could.

The grind of gears and hiss of pistons all but drowned out other sounds on the airship’s deck, but still he could hear the voices of the goblin crew, shrill and peppered with curses, crude jokes and squeaking laughter. One went sprinting past him, no higher than his waist, pursued by the captain who gibbered in fury and hurled the parts of some broken piece of machinery.

Rokarn was near the bow with another orc, Grolmak. He finished telling a story and they both rocked with coarse, orcish laughter. Tobin glared at them, knowing Rokarn was telling Grolmak of how he’d just kicked Tobin awake.

Watching them laugh together opened a cold void in the centre of his chest. The orcs were brothers.

Maladian emerged from the hold and groaned. “This sun is filthy. Are we still not there?”

“Almost.”

Tobin turned. The rumble of thunder shaped into words was the tauren named Khalgar. He towered even above the orcs and the goblins hardly came up to his knees. The airship’s crew shrieked and flung themselves from his path whenever he strode the deck.

Khalgar’s nostrils flared and he shook his head with a snort. “The air thickens, fouls. We approach your lands, Forsaken.”

Tobin leaned over the railing. Below, the air was thick with a green miasma. It came closer as they descended, coiled around them as they entered it. Tobin breathed in the clotted air and let it out with a sigh of pleasure. The harsh light of the sun was stifled.

“Like the Dark Lady’s embrace,” Maladian said. A rare smile creased her rotted skin.

At the bow, Rokarn began sneezing. Tobin chuckled at the orc’s misery.

Ahead through the miasma was the docking tower. To the north, nestled in a hollow at the edge of a dark forest was the town of Brill and to the south, further away, were the ruins of the once-proud city of Lordaeron, capital of the human lands of the north. Since the Plague and the Scourge and Prince Arthas’s betrayal, it was the domain of ghosts imprisoned in the horror of their own deaths, denied the final reward of the Light or the final punishment of oblivion.

Some days, Tobin knew how they felt.

Beneath the ruins were chambers and tunnels crawling with the restless dead, released from slavery to the Lich King and free to labour towards their cold purposes, far from the burning light. They laboured for the Dark Lady, the Banshee Queen, who would lead them on the path to salvation, on a road paved with the bones of the Alliance.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:13 pm 
“Fat fools in Alliance throne rooms concern themselves with strategy,” High Executor Derrington said. “We will focus on logistics.”

It was four years since Tobin’s painful death – his insides twisted by spasms and his brain beset by fever nightmares as the Lich King’s Plague killed him. Four years since his resurrection in the tombs of Deathknell, clawing his way up out of a pile of rotting, twitching corpses stacked like firewood to find that the horror was just beginning. He had faced legions of the mindless dead, night elves who killed as quick as blinking and humans wielding pure, agonising light. He had seen the ghosts of dead immortals, touched weapons only gods could wield and felt the crackling heat of demons who sought to burn the world to ashes.

But still, Derrington quietly impressed him.

He burned from within with the cold intensity of destruction tightly contained. His body was ravaged by death and decay, but the ferocity of his will was nakedly apparent. He spoke with the fervour of a fanatic.

Derrington pointed to the map on the table in front of him. “The Scourge is the main threat to the Horde’s eastern front, but the Scarlet Crusade keeps nipping at our flanks. They are a distraction that cannot be tolerated.”

He drew his finger across the map. “Crusade resupply caravans travel regularly between Hearthglen and the Monastery in Tirisfal Glades. Part of that route is a permanent camp, here in the Western Plaguelands. We will disrupt their caravans by denying them a safe place to camp.”

Derrington looked at Rokarn. “The first assault will be yours. You will strike from the north and draw as many as you can away from the camp. These hills here will give you cover. When they have followed you” – he turned to his right, where another captain stood listening – “you will move in, kill those left behind and set fire to the camp itself. Make sure you torch their supplies. The Crusaders keep this camp well stocked, allowing their caravans and patrols flexibility in timing and route to compensate for our raids.”

“By your command,” Rokarn said, slamming his fist to his chest. The other captain was undead and hissed his sibilant assent.

“For the Horde,” High Executor Derrington said, returning their salutes.

“For the Dark Lady,” Maladian whispered, and Tobin nodded.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020



Lahu
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:13 pm 
Really nice story Tobin! I enjoyed reading that. Looking forward to the next instalment!

_________________
WoW characters on The Sha'tar:
Horde (The Elders): Lahu, Abigorwyn, Zigglix, Shroc
Alliance (not in Elders): Myralean, Nelkor, Nevdil
Main Alliance character Laemadae on Argent Dawn


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Tobin
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:14 am 
Whoops, forgot to post the next bit last night. Thanks Lahu, glad you're enjoying it.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:16 am 
They took what supplies they needed from the Bulwark’s stores. Grolmak replaced a whetstone he had lost on the Kalimdor continent and sat on a barrel tending his axes. Maladian meditated and prayed to the Dark Lady, Khalgar to the Earth Mother and to other spirits whose names only druids knew.

Tobin shuffled around the camp. He was always restless before a fight.

There was a young orc warrior in camp with one of the many groups always passing through the Bulwark. He made a sound of disgust as Tobin neared him. “I’d kill myself,” he said. “How can you stand it?”

Tobin raised a withered eyebrow. “It’s the humour of the situation that keeps me going.”

“What?”

“I’m dead,” he said, “and half the world wants to kill me for it.”

The orc turned away.

He caught a glimpse of a face at the other end of the camp, corpse-grey and spectral-eyed, a girl’s face, and then he was pushing through the camp, past orcs and trolls, past towering tauren and the walking dead, around campfires and trestles laid out with tools for killing. When he reached the other side of the camp she was gone.

He grabbed the arm of an orc. “Where did she go?”

The orc shook him free. “Get off me!”

He spun on another undead. “Where is she? Where is she?”

Dead eyes glared at him, spitting with dark anger. “Who?”

“Elina!” He flung back tent flaps, overturned tables, hurled crates of goods aside. “Elina! Where are you?”

Rokarn hit him from behind and crushed him into the ground. “Tobin! What are you doing? Curse your rotten bones! Be still!”

“Elina! Come back! Elina!”

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:00 am 
“Does it even matter?” Maladian hissed.

“Of course it matters!”

“None of it matters, you fool. We’re dead! All the ties that bound us in our mortal lives are gone! We are the Forsaken. We serve the Dark Lady Sylvanas. The rest is dust.”

“Shut your yaps or I rip your jaws off!” Rokarn snarled at them. “We’re trying to sneak up on a Scarlet Crusade camp!”

Tobin planted his fists on the ground and bowed his head. He wanted to scream at them, blast them with fire and ice, burn the trees and underbrush away in an inferno of rage.

Maladian glanced at the two orcs creeping through the trees ahead, saw their attention was forward again and leaned close to Tobin. “What you feel isn’t real. Your heart is a dead thing in your chest. It is cold and dark and endlessly empty. You don’t feel, you just remember what you felt.” She put her hand on Tobin’s shoulder. “Let it go. We all had to do it. Let it all go and let the abyss take you.”

“I did see her,” Tobin said through clenched teeth.

“What if you did?” Maladian asked. “She died. You died. You were reborn. Nothing from before matters. You are strangers to each other.” Her hand tightened until pain shot down Tobin’s arm. “And we have work to do.”

Tobin nodded. He was cold. He felt nothing. He moved through the underbrush.

Ahead, a patch of twilight shadow became sleek, clawed death. The tawny panther’s outlines blurred and Khalgar crouched before them. “There are two sentries on this side, two on the far side. The rest are preparing the evening meal. I count twelve in all.”

“Grolmak and I will lead the attack,” Rokarn said as they huddled close. “Khalgar, creep in, cut them down from behind. Tobin and Maladian, stay in the tree-line and unleash your magics. We will pull the entire camp onto us and hold, as if this is a serious assault. When I give the signal, and not before, we will pull them back into the trees in a series of withdrawals. Watch for my lead, watch where I choose to stand.” He looked at them one-by-one. In his eyes was a rising bloodlust. “For the Horde.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Nikina
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:55 pm 
fantastic reading Tobin :)

reading stories like this makes me so glad i made a move to a rp server 18 months ago after 3 years on pve servers. the dedication, imagination and atention to detail of the people here is very impressive indeed

i rarely rp myself, but i should make an effort to do a little bit more

_________________
Nikina : forsaken rogue
Katchenka: blood elf mage
Stapleton: forsaken hunter
Robley: forsaken priest
Zwee: goblin warlock
Tweeble: gnome rogue
Zweeble:gnome mage


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Tobin
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:46 am 
Thanks Nikina, glad you like it.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:59 pm 
The camp was a circle of tents casting long, flickering shadows on the darkening forest. A large campfire burned in the centre and men and women in white and red moved around it, preparing for the evening meal. Sentries stood with their backs to the light.

The orcs crouched low and then sprang forth, tight bundles of thick muscle unleashed on a tide of blood-rage. Big and heavy, they hardly seemed to touch the ground and they closed the distance between the trees and the sentries in moments.

Screams ripped the night air.

“Blood and thunder!” Rokarn roared. They leapt into the camp, blades flashing, but the Crusaders were well-trained and kept weapons close to hand. The fight was joined.

Tobin rose to his feet. He reached out to the Twisting Nether, as they told him he could in the crumbling temple in Deathknell, as they showed him and taught him. He reached out and pulled it into him and it filled him with the same fierce joy as it had that first time. He knew what power was. He possessed it. He controlled it. No cattle farmer’s life could ever have meant a whisper of this.

Fire burned in his hands and he flung it into the Scarlet Crusaders.

Steel rang against steel. Screams and war-cries punctured the night. Arcane energies spat from outstretched hands. Maladian called up the stuff of shadows itself and tore flesh from bone. Khalgar appeared from nowhere and ripped a Crusader apart from behind.

But there were too many of them.

“Back!” Rokarn said.

Tobin covered their retreat until the orcs reached him then ran with them. Rokarn turned to fight their pursuers deep in the trees and they clashed again, dappled in moonlight and darkness, lit by flashes of fire and ice. Back again and up, up a slope, until Rokarn swore and turned on the Crusaders again. Tobin crossed his arms in front of his body and fire pummelled him impotently. Back again and up, into deeper darkness, into the open beneath the shining moons.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
Rank 5
<The Elders>



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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
Posts: 87
Location: London, England
 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:01 am 
Grolmak staggered beneath two heavily armoured Crusaders, fell to his knees, shield raised above him, and the Crusaders pressed him down. But Khalgar bounded onto one and drove him into the other. Maladian scuttled to Grolmak’s side, calling on the Dark Lady’s aid.

That has to be long enough, Tobin thought. Has to be.

Living bodies in white and red surged around him and he lashed out with his staff, striking wildly, howling as black hate bubbled up from the endless abyss inside him. A mace struck crushingly against his arm and he shrieked in rage, lashed out with a burst of fire, heard a scream of living anguish and living pain and he bared his teeth in savage glee.

Has to be, Tobin thought.

Rokarn lost himself to his blood-rage. Swords tore at his flesh and he didn’t feel them. The earth shook as Khalgar stamped his hoof and vines burst from the ground to lash at his foes. Grolmak threw aside his shield, pulled out a second axe and soaked it in Crusader blood.

Has to be enough. They were almost overcome. Has to be.

He thought he saw a flash of fire from far down the slope and knew the others were attacking. The Scarlet camp was ablaze. He turned to call out to Rokarn when the staff was struck from his hand. He ducked under a burst of flame and hurled himself into the midriff of his attacker. They tumbled down into a gully, battering flesh and chipping bone, clawing and punching at each other. At the bottom of the gully they rolled apart.

Tobin scrambled to his feet, hissing like an angry cat. He saw his foe in the full moonlight. The white of his Scarlet Crusade uniform glowed, the red was black as blood. Fire spat from Tobin’s fingers. His enemy was slower to rise. Tobin had him.

He saw the Crusader’s face and faltered.

“Thomas?”

The Crusader staggered upright. One hand went to his head as though he’d struck it, pain wrote itself large on his face. But he saw Tobin, saw the dead thing menacing him, and Nether energy spilled from his hands.

He blinked as he realised he’d heard his name. Looked twice at his undead enemy.

Horror gouged the battle-rage from his face.

“Tobin?”

The two brothers stared at each other, with fire gripped in their hands.

Ready to kill.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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Tobin
Rank 5
<The Elders>



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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm
Posts: 87
Location: London, England
 Post subject: Re: [Story] Scarlet Light
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:06 am 
A Brief Note:

Players may recognise the Vanilla quest Scarlet Diversions, issued by High Executor Derrington at the Bulwark in eastern Tirisfal Glades. I have taken some liberties with it to suit the story.

I believe the quest didn't survive the Cataclysm.

_________________
Star Trek Online: Eric@TaithZero, Tactical Officer

SWTOR: Kallian, Jedi Consular

WoW (retired): Tobin: Forsaken mage, Khalgar: Tauren druid

@seanc2020


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