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4 – It Takes a Thief


There were only two things that ever helped Greycelyn relieve a headache: sleep and silence. Since she was currently leaning against the counter in the Bank of Stormwind with a crowd of people chattering behind her, she could be afforded neither solution. She did, however, have a phial of peppermint oil, which did help temporarily reduce the pain when she rubbed it into her temples. The distinctive scent of the tincture also helped mask some of the smell of her armor; cleaning so much plate mail regularly was just never going to be a convenient or consistent task.

“If ya knew what ya wanted before ya got here, yer transaction would be much faster,” a Dwarven-accented female voice said from behind her.

Greyce stooped her neck, still pressing her fingers into her temples, to glance awkwardly back at the dark-haired Dwarf woman who was next in line. She feigned a smile and spoke with equal insincerity in her tone, “You know what is amazing? Your complaint has actually made this process magically faster. It’s faster now, it is. You’ve done it. And here I thought it was pointless. Thank you for complaining.” She gave another fake smile to counter the genuine scowl on the Dwarf’s face. When she rolled her eyes to look back to the counter, the inquisitive gaze of a Draenei woman, a good two feet taller than Greyce and standing at the adjacent service window, caught her attention.

The Draenei pursed her lips together and put a fingernail delicately on her chin before speaking softly in her telltale accent that rounded each vowel. “Oh, honey, you should have hung up your sword and shield by now. You are more than old enough to have kids. Yes?”

It was all Greycelyn could do to open her eyes wide, not even roll them, and turn away from the insensitive Draenei. What was worse? Someone who tried to be offensive or someone who managed to do it while trying to be kind? In the moment, there was no way she could decide on the answer. By the time the day was done, she’d be out of peppermint oil.

The click of shoes on tile echoed from behind the counter and a well-dressed man with a gray suit and gray hair – Did anyone ever tell him he was too old to be working? – stopped on the other side of the gold-leafed bars to speak to Greyce. “I understand you were waiting for the manager of this bank, madam.”

Madam? Come on.

“My name is Joffres, and I am the manager. How can I help you?”

Greyce took the time to deliberately recap her phial of peppermint oil and tuck it into her coin purse on the back of her belt loop; he made her wait, and she never did like leaving a favor unreturned. “Yes, there is a little problem, Joffres. I just made a withdrawal from my account and the clerk, I forget his name, informed me that you all have been through my vaults recently. Is this correct?”

“That is correct. Yes.” Each word he spoke was carefully chosen and enunciated. Joffres was born, and probably raised, to be a bank manager.

Her eyes pinched together for a second behind a golden curl as she bit her tongue and swallowed an angry flare up. “That is against policy, is it not? My private property is my private property, and it is to remain that way. I pay interest to this institution each month for that guarantee.”

“You are owed some apology, madam, but we were notified that you had passed away.” He turned up his nose and readjusted his suit jacket when he finished, casting a pseudo-suspicious stare down his pointed nose at her.

The oddity of that statement caused Greyce to stand up straight. “What? That’s absurd. Who told you that?”

Joffres folded his hands over his stomach a second as he recollected. Even when he was thinking, the man looked professional. “We read the letter only last month or so, and it was stamped with the seal of the Alliance’s military. It was, however, postmarked for nearly a year ago.”

Instinctually, Greyce brought her hand up to the red ring scar on her throat. “Right. That… letter would make a little more sense a year ago. But I’m here now, alive and well. And you still went through my things without first checking to see if I was actually dead or not. You can’t do that.”

With a quiet cough into his throat, Joffres reached under his side of the counter to retrieve a small, square, and steel lockbox. Immediately Greyce’s eyes widened again before focusing on the box. “This was inside the only vault that we opened. We don’t have a key for this and that is against our policies. Anything you store must be accessible by us in case of emergency or official government inquisition.” He slid it under the small gap in the bars, almost unable to due to the size of the container. “If you cannot or will not provide the key, we cannot and will not store it for you.”

Hardly hearing what the manager was saying to her, Greyce pulled off one of her gauntlets and pressed her palm against the unadorned steel of the lockbox. It felt subtly warm, like a weak flame was kept inside, and she could hear hushed whispers in the back of her head. Inside the container, a jewel blinding with the Light held a dark secret. Out of everything she had within their vaults – weapons, artifacts, old battle maps and plans, and more – this little gem was likely the most dangerous. So hazardous was the jewel, she threw the key into the sea some time ago, so not even she could easily open it.

“It doesn’t matter what some scribe penned in your policies, it isn’t safe for you to go through my things.” She tugged her gauntlet back on hastily and slid the lockbox back under the bars.

Joffres raised an eyebrow at it and refused to touch it. “There are no exceptions, mad—.”

She cut him off with a snip. “There are exceptions, sir. People like me go out into places people like you can’t even imagine, and we drive our swords through the hearts of things you wouldn’t want to imagine, you wouldn’t want to believe.” He opened his mouth to say something but she slapped her hand onto the counter, making a loud thwap that shut him up and caught the attention of the Draenei, who had been sorting through some very official looking documents. “We do that so you can get paid your ten silver a day.”

“One gold a day,” Joffres dared to sneak in. Money was often a terrible source of pride, despite having no real world value.

She continued without missing a beat, “So you can go home at night, sit down with your pretty family, have a nice dinner, lie down in a soft bed, shut the fuck up, and not have to worry about those same unimaginable things ripping you limb from limb. When we’re out there, we find some shit that would turn you white. But guess what?”

He gulped quietly and mumbled, “What?” Somewhere in her brief monologue, the professionalism that clung to him like skin started to flake away.

“People like me can put those things to good use. Maybe not immediately but at some point. So those things wind up here, in your lockboxes, sealed up tight. Safe and sound. Right?” She cocked her head to the side, the fire behind her eyes making her smirk seem venomous.

He nodded with apparently no immediate response.

“Good. Keep it that way. Because if you stick your nose in someone else’s business? If you start opening up lockboxes left and right?” She pointed towards random vault doors she could see behind him to drive her message home. “Light have mercy on your soul if you open the wrong one. You’re clearly not ready to do what people like me do, to do what I do.” She stuffed her hand back under the bar to prod the lockbox closer to him in a closing fit of annoyance but soon started to realize that maybe Joffres didn’t deserve to get dragged through her words like that, to practically have his life threatened in front of everyone there. With a muffled huff, she put her elbows back on the counter to rub her temples again, resparking the tingling sensation from the peppermint extract.

“Madam. Your points seem valid,” the bank manager started before tapping his fingers atop the lockbox, apparently collecting his thoughts. “But so are mine.”

“Just lock it up,” Greyce spat, standing up abruptly. “And don’t open it again. I need to go right now. Do you know why?” She swiveled her hips to show him where her coin purse had been. “Because someone just lifted my coin purse right now. In the middle of your bank. Great security. That’s one-hundred gold in there. Just withdrew it.”

“Are you quite serious,” Joffres questioned while pulling the lockbox closer to himself, perhaps out of an instinct to protect property before people.

She turned away from him completely and crossed her arms, regarding the little crowd of commoners and adventurers in the bank. No one was really worried or panicked, and certainly no one was paying her much mind. Whoever took her coin purse did it fast enough to not catch any notice, and they weren’t disguised by any means. They looked normal, inconspicuous.

Calmly she walked out of the bank to stand at the landing before the wide marble staircase that would lead to the street. The Gilded Rose, a popular tavern she was too familiar with, was just a skip away and to the left but at this time of day, right at high noon, vendors jam-packed the doorway, making it difficult to go in and out, especially if you were seen carrying a coin purse of any size. Not there.

The thick crowd out on the street was busy, for certain, but it was not being disturbed by someone pushing their way through it. No one was gasping or growling at a rude passerby. Everyone seemed to be going about their business normally. The perpetrator was just walking away, thinking they have no reason to rush. Quickly Greyce stepped down the stairs to disappear behind the gathering of people; if they did bother to look back, she couldn’t get spotted standing out like that, or they’d know she knew she had been robbed.

Leaving Stormwind was out of the question. Recent security concerns, such as bomb threats and an unidentified illness, put guards all around the gates. The only way to not get checked up and down when entering or leaving would be to be of noble blood. As spikey and irritating as the rich of the city could be, none of them would take up thievery as a hobby. Which also ruled out both the Mage Quarter and the Cathedral Square, where most residents had coin to spare for years.

The most obvious answer is usually the right one, she had to remind herself as she started to work her way towards the edge of the crowd. There was one place in this city that had more thieves per quota than anywhere else: Old Town. And there was one spot in Old Town that was more despicable than the rest: Cutthroat Alley. That was the name of it a few years ago, anyway, when she was actually invested in the state of affairs in Stormwind; even if the name was different now, the location wouldn’t be.

There was a time when Paladins were highly respected members of society, shining examples of truth, justice, and righteousness led by the Silver Hand. Now, most of them, like Greycelyn, were little more than mercenaries with an interesting bag of tricks. But how those tricks could come in handy! Holding up her fist and whispering a prayer weakly between her lips, Greyce conjured a Seal of Truth that shot bright Light out between her fingers. Once primarily used by Scarlet Crusaders to wrench nothing but honesty from their victims, the Seal of Truth could now help her pinpoint the culprit she imagined in her mind.

With all the sinful liars in Stormwind, it was considerably difficult for her to “sniff out” one in particular using the Seal. Getting to her mid-thirties as a Paladin didn’t come with luck alone, though, it took talent and determination. Breathing slowly through her nose, she steadied her thoughts to recalibrate the Seal’s effects, almost like a tinkerer carefully adjusting the lens of a microscope. In a sensation that was unexplainable to anyone who did not share her class, Greyce had a feeling suddenly in her stomach and heart that her assumption about Cutthroat Alley was correct.

Without hesitation and moving swiftly, she wove her way through the crowd. She not only had to close the gap between her and… him? She caught her breath to refocus and some of the truth came to her. Him. She not only had to close the gap between her and him, she had to get ahead of him, if her spur-of-the-moment plan would succeed. When she exited the Trade District after a few minutes of fast walking, she glanced around the canals with her eyes like a hawk’s. No one was hurrying. No one looked guilty. The Seal of Truth was telling her the suspect was close but… behind her, somewhere in that crowd. She dashed as fast as she could carry herself and her heavy armor into the Old Town.

Feeling slightly out of breath – not that she would ever admit it – she made it to Cutthroat Alley after a short amount of time spent running through Old Town. It looked pretty unassuming, the entrance to Cutthroat Alley, just like any other city alleyway you would expect to find near a place like the Pig and Whistle Tavern, but that was an awful assumption to make. Go too far down that alley or get near it when the sun has set and an innocent would likely taste their last gasps of air for nothing more than being there.

For Greycelyn, the danger was lessened severely, but not entirely. Not wanting to push her luck, she leaned against a wall near the entrance, concealed by the brickwork of a chimney there. She crossed her arms again, looking deceptively casual for someone who was hunting a thief. Gradually, the imperceptible sensation of the Seal of Truth grew stronger. Her awaited guest was getting closer by the second, and soon it felt like someone was tugging on her ear. Footsteps in the alley sounded shortly after.

A human male, a head taller than Greyce, less muscular, and hair the same golden color, appeared before her with his hands behind his head, tightening the knot of a red Defias bandana he must have just put on; he probably had to wear that whenever he was in gang territory. Bad timing, though, as his own arms put Greyce in a blind spot.

In one strut, Greyce emerged from her hiding spot and shoved him hard against the opposite wall. Her shield arm came out to pin him there at arm’s length. The man’s hazel eyes widened with surprise above the bandana as he tried to shove back but found himself stuck in place.

“Predictable, kid. Could be the death of you one day if you don’t get better,” Greyce remarked slyly as her honey-colored eyes studied the swirling blues and greens of his own. The Seal of Truth hadn’t failed her, she decided, as she stared him down. “Might be today, actually, if you don’t give me back my gold.”

“Not sure what you’re talking about,” he answered gruffly, using a clearly-fake voice. He coughed sharply, puffing up his bandana to reveal his lips for a split second, as she leaned harder into him, the flat of her hand putting pressure that had broken bastion walls right onto the center of his chest.

“Not the time to get smart, kid.” The smile faded from her face and was replaced by ice. “Not the time to get smart.”

He tried to squirm away, felt a stab of pain in his rib, and made the smart decision, despite Greyce’s choice of words, to give up. “Okay, okay,” he coughed out with a wince. “Just let up.” He was clearly struggling to maintain his “cool thief voice” under the constant crush of her shield arm.

“I don’t feel like chasing you so… no.” She held out her other hand and snapped her fingers until he plopped her coin purse into it. The tickle of peppermint oil’s aroma hit her nose instantly, confirming once more that this was the right person. After it was tucked into the front of her belt, she pushed against him again, causing him to wheeze.

“What? You got your gold back,” he complained as he attempted another weak escape.

“Do I, though,” she asked with some mocking humor back in her voice. “Word is, you Defias rookies – and you are a rookie, I just caught you right at your doorstep – word is you rookies have to pay weekly stipends to the gang… or else you get kicked around or something? That right?”

He did nothing to answer, beyond narrowing his gaze into a glare.

“I’m guessing if you were smart enough to sneak up behind me in the bank, you’re probably smart enough to take just enough out of my pouch to make that minimum payment. Hide it somewhere else on your person in case you got caught. Sounding about right?”

“What? No,” he returned quickly. There was authenticity in his words now, highlighted by the fact that he didn’t make his voice needlessly gruff.

“Not the time to get smart,” she repeated.

“I’m not getting smart.”

Greyce glanced back towards the entrance of the alley for a second. There was a hunch in her shoulders that told her he was being honest. But for some reason, she didn’t feel like listening to it. Without warning, she folded her arm up to drive her shoulder into him in a pointblank ram. As he struggled to stand and breathe, she patted him down from tunic to leggings until she felt a bump in his back pocket. Fingers far defter than they should be for a “virtuous” Paladin, she lifted a little sack of coins out of the pocket and snatched it up in her fist. It felt pretty light and a cursory glimpse into the opening of the bag revealed it was only silvers and coppers – she had only withdrawn golds.

“It’s… not yours,” he heaved as he braced himself against the wall once she stepped away.

She delivered a swift slap across the side of his head to answer him. Even without the plate gauntlet on her hand, it would have hurt. He stumbled a few steps before he braced himself on the wall again, the bandana hanging loosely from his face but the strands of his blonde hair obscuring his face still.

“Not fun, is it? Having the tables turned like this,” she asked coolly while stuffing his coin purse next to her own. “None of your buddies around, huh? You’re not used to those odds. I get it. But the next person you try to steal from won’t.” With hardly any effort, she shoved his arm to send him down to the cobblestones in a tumble and turned to walk away.

The burning rage behind his hazel eyes could have punched a hot hole through the back of her armor if he had been a mage of any considerable talent. This was not the first time she had made an enemy with only a few words, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.

It Takes a Thief - Chapter 4 of Forget Me Not
Now that the incorrigible Greycelyn has been well-introduced, we can start following her more closely and the plot starts to develop at a faster rate. This is the point in any story that, I think, any writer loves. You’re right on the cusp of what happens next, and you’re in control of it. Hope everyone enjoys! And, as always, be sure to check out the beautiful accompaniment made by the talented MischiArt by clicking right here:

3 – Remembrance

There was a zigzagging line of tents of various colors, sizes, and qualities along the southern edge of Goldshire, perhaps a hundred or more, looking like a row of trees in the blue light of a night that had just begun. Only a handful was comprised of purple and green fabrics, the primary colors of the world-famous Darkmoon Faire. It meant the traveling troupe was either recently in town or would be soon. Greycelyn had been out of the social scene for far too long to remember the Faire’s schedule.

Other than those tents, the town was strikingly similar to how she had remembered it. Maybe a little larger than before – a couple dozen small homes, each fitted with a storefront and sign, had appeared along the northwest exit of town, the road that would stretch through the woods for miles up to Stormwind – but for the most part, Goldshire resisted change.

The incessant pounding of hammers on metal in the town’s only blacksmith beat against Greyce’s ears with turbulent familiarity. The scent of food from all of the Alliance’s cultures mixed up in a colorful smoke that streamed up from the Lion’s Pride Inn’s chimneys and stovepipes. A circle of beggars, who had taken up in the exact center of the town, was being broken up by a couple of guards who gave them a healthy boot to the rear to keep them moving. Yes, not much would change here. And that was a problem for Greyce.

Something about Goldshire always rubbed her the wrong way. It wasn’t an abrasive rub that made her want to leave right away but it was persistent enough to make her regret most of the time she had spent here. Maybe she had seen too many nights drunk in the tavern? Maybe she had gotten in just a few too many fights with the local ruffians? Maybe she had too many good laughs with friends who were no more? Whatever the reason, she couldn’t accept the consistency of Goldshire as the constant she so desperately needed in her life.

Even now, she was thinking about leaving. Tomorrow morning, though, after she rested up in whatever room was available at the Lion’s Pride. A cart heavy-laden with gold rumbled past her, the horses pulling it clearly exhausted and close to death and the wheels one wrong bump away from cracking to bits. Somehow the gold mines south, north, and basically all around the aptly named town had not yet run dry, their veins still bleeding the prized mineral in gobs. Most everyone still valued gold, licked their lips at the chance to collect a few of the precious coins, but most people had not lived a life fulfilled, or difficult. By now, in her mid-30’s – early 30’s if you asked her – Greyce had learned well enough that a heavy coin purse meant only one thing: a sore back from carrying it.

At least three different songs, each shouted with varying intensity, could be heard roaring through the walls of the Lion’s Pride as Greyce approached the entrance. Easily one of the rowdiest, loudest places in the Eastern Kingdoms but somehow it wasn’t as dangerous as Lakeshire or Duskshire. Or Westfall. All of that noise probably couldn’t keep her awake, though, once she fell onto a flat, worn mattress. She hadn’t slept more than a few winks in the last two nights, thoughts of keeping that Tusker alive twisting her stomach at all hours. It’ll be fine, she tried to reassure herself as she brushed past a confused Pandaren couple that was holding a town map upside down.

Right when she stepped into the wooden hall entrance of the Lion’s Pride, a shirtless man rounded the corner with a drunken grin plastered on his face. Upon seeing Greyce, he let out the best sharp whistle he could manage and leaned against the wall.

She paused and stood still, staring straight ahead, unamused as can be. The intoxicated “gentleman” repeated his catcall and widened his smile. Nope. Nothing said she had to get a room right in this very instant. The tavern was the only in town but it was certifiably huge, with half a hundred small rooms in the upper levels. She rounded on her heel and left, leaving the drunkard to wonder where he went wrong in a stupor.

Upon stepping back onto the main road again, her attention was caught by a torch flickering in the quiet winds. A Human priestess with red hair and freckles, likely early 20’s, and dressed in a white robe was holding the torch’s staff, wiggling it weakly as she tried to dig the end into the ground. An older priest with a large bald spot walked up behind her as she struggled, placed a wooden crate overflowing with little leather-bound books at her feet, and trudged off into the night with an angry scowl. A single heartstring deep in Greyce’s bosom was plucked as she watched the girl open her mouth to get the Brother’s attention, probably his help, but he was already off. She was on “book duty”, a task that entailed not being able to go back to Northshire Abbey until either the sun rose or the box was empty; and she couldn’t just force the holy literature upon people, they had to be genuinely interested in learning the teachings. It wasn’t going to be an easy night for her, and Greyce knew that from experience.

Cutting through the crowd, Greyce entered into the ring of torchlight so unexpectedly, the priestess gasped and instinctively took a step back. “Here,” Greyce mumbled as she took the torch and drove the staff into the dirt without effort. “Don’t light it before you do that.”

“What,” the priestess asked meekly, like a mouse staring down a cat.

“Don’t light the torch until it is in the ground. You’ll set your hair on fire, otherwise.” Greyce gave her a knowing look before readjusting the torch one last time. Wouldn’t do either of them any good if that fell over the second she walked away.

“Oh, right. You, umm.” The redhead sucked on her lip a second as she studied the stranger before her. Something about her was ringing a bell. “You probably don’t need one of these books, huh?”

The comment dragged a smirk out of Greyce, one she had not intended to reveal. “No. Not me.” She lowered her chin hastily to hide the scar on her neck. “Don’t spend too much time out here if you can help it.” With a discerning eye, she evaluated the physique of the priestess. She wasn’t fit – couldn’t even secure the torch – but she was well put-together, a body plenty tavern-goers would pay a silver to see. “And don’t even bother stopping Nighters. They’re only going to think you’re propositioning… something else entirely.” An eyebrow popped up as she stared into the green eyes of the priestess, trying to see if she got her meaning.

A sparkle of Light flitted across the girl’s eyes as she came to a sudden realization. “You’re Greyce the Pure.”

All the color drained from Greyce’s face, making the red ring around her neck stand out even more, especially in contrast to the gold of her hair. Thirty-odd Orcs could ride into Goldshire that second on wolves and she wouldn’t sweat a drop. Six Infernals and a pit lord could make a rush for Stormwind and she’d meet them without a second of hesitation. But hearing someone say her name? For some reason that scared the soul out of her.

“Yeah, it’s you. I remember you from the Abbey. When I first started there. Maybe… seven years ago?”

Greyce wiped her finger across her lips and cleared her throat, hastily trying to regain her complexion. “Sorry, I don’t remember you.”

“That’s fine. I sat in for a lot of your sermons but towards the back. And I never talked,” she explained with a widening smile. “But I remember.” She sucked on her lip absentmindedly as two Night Elves walked close to them. They glanced her up and down but did not slow their pace as they moved towards the tavern down the road. “But I remember everything you taught me. Well, us. The apprentices.”

Greyce cleared her throat again and rubbed the back of her neck. “I’ll have to… stop by. I guess.” She feigned a smile, knowing fully that she would never do that. “Be careful tonight. Okay?” The girl’s expression closed up and her shoulders dropped as she realized that the conversation was coming to an abrupt end. After a second of visible pouting, she nodded so the curls of her red hair fell in front of her eyes. “All right. Good bye then.” She moved to leave, caught on nothing for an instant, and stooped down to pick up one of the books. Another feigned smile was met by a genuine one before she stepped out of the torchlight.

The world darkened and the silhouettes of trees began to look more and more like monsters the further Greycelyn walked away from the road and towards Crystal Lake. Countless yellow square windows floated in the blackness to her right as she moved past the Lion’s Pride. The sudden knot in her stomach was starting to unravel and the gentle lapping of the lake’s waters against the grass and reeds was calming, as it always had been to her.

Well into the distance, more than halfway down the length of Crystal Lake, a tiny orange spot marked a campsite. It was probably a fun night but she couldn’t help but wonder if they knew about the murlocs that called the lake home. Just a wandering thought in her mind that had been spun around by that girl.

Someone had recognized her. She even knew her name. A snort escaped from her nostrils in a stifled laugh. Greyce the Pure. Was that ever true? Most titles were lies, placed there to convince others; if she had really been Pure, it wouldn’t have to be said, people would have just known it from the looks of her.

She reached the edge of the lake and sat down heavily, the dirt clumping up in odd shapes from the weight of her plate armor. Not only had that girl recognized her but it seemed, in as brief of a conversation as they had had, anyway, that she liked her. Or at least liked who she had been seven years back. The little leather-bound book’s pages flapping sounded like a bat in the night as she hurled it into the waters with a hushed plunk when it hit the surface.

A long sigh gradually leaked from the bottom of her lungs as she lied back onto the soft dirt, the tips of her boots poking at the water’s edge. The stars were starting to bleed through the violet and plum colors of the night’s beginning. Constellations could not be picked out yet and the White Lady was tucked behind trees. It looked like a different sky, like she was dreaming on a different world.

“How do people do it,” she murmured to herself, the words almost inaudible to even her. The full question had been kept inside her head. How do people outrun their ghosts? Maybe they didn’t? Maybe they had no memories to run from? Or were most people stuck in the same struggle, thinking the same thing but in their own way?

The wind screeched down the mountains far to the north and tore over the surface of Crystal Lake. A blanket of cold air pressed itself against Greyce, freezing on her skin. The bite of the cold brought tears to her eyes, stinging tears that were hard to blink away.

Once the wind had died down, the world barely made a sound. Not even a single insect in the reeds was chirping. Surely the clamor of Goldshire was loud enough to reach the lake but she couldn’t seem to hear it right now. It was just her, the silence, and her thoughts.

When she was younger – much, much younger – she had too eagerly given away her heart and it proved to be a mistake. The blade cuts deeper when you stand closer. When she was older, there wasn’t enough she could do to keep herself distant from the people who cared about her, and that had left her damaged as well. No one wants to be a sheep but the lone wolf dies first. She didn’t even have her damn dog anymore. There must have been a balance between the two extremes that she had never found, or didn’t want to find.

The soft sound of four paws on grass reached her ears and her attention was forced away from the sky above. “Blue?” Her arm trembled as she tried to prop herself up, an unexpected weakness deep in the marrow of her bones.

The footfall drew closer and her heart pounded against her chestplate.

By the time she was able to sit up and get her eyes adjusted to the darkness, the steps were getting… quieter. She opened her lips to call out the name again but not even the B came out. A Night Elf druid in cat form was slinking past her, causing her heart to sink and deflate.

It moved farther up the lake’s edge until it was out of earshot. In a glimmer of silver dust and sparkles, it transformed into its humanoid form, a male Nighter she did not recognize.

She breathed in steadily, filling herself with the cold air of the quiet night. Somehow she had tricked herself into thinking that the steps would have belonged to a Draenei shaman she had once knew. And when she saw the druid, she fooled herself a second time into believing it was… well, someone else entirely, someone who had disappeared so long ago. The world was so unfathomably large and so dangerous, if you didn’t hold onto someone tightly, they would be gone the moment you turned around.

The sounds of the world started to come back to her. The insects in the reeds, the singing and shouting of the people in the town not far behind, and the splashes of Crystal Lake. As if entranced by the water’s gentle noises, Greyce stared into the darkness for a quite some time – minutes, or hours? – until she rose to her feet.

She was facing deliberately towards Westfall, an uncharacteristic uncertainty covering her expression.

Remembrance - Chapter 3 of Forget Me Not

Here comes chapter 3 of “Forget Me Not”, an ongoing multichapter WoW FF I am writing and working on with MischiArt. Click here ( for the previous chapter or view my page for all of them. And, OF COURSE, you must click here ( for the wonderful accompanying art piece MischiArt made for this chapter, titled “Remembrance”. She’s absolutely awesome and has made this entire experience so far one of the most rewarding writing projects of my life. Together, we’re going to make this whole thing 100% certified cool.

In this chapter, we see another side of Greycelyn, the one that remembers the lessons of the past and the woman she promised her family she would be. When dealing with the right person, Greyce becomes something close to a motherly figure, perhaps with less patience and more venom behind her words, but protective and loyal nonetheless. She also wrestles with her lonely heart on a daily basis but hides it out of necessity – no soft spots will do when you’re up against the Horde.

Please read, enjoy, comment, criticize, and question all you want. Hoohoo!


A Harsh Lesson

                A hummingbird darted this way and that as they so often did during their delightful hunt for delicious and fresh nectar. The evanescence of its feathers shimmered the colors of the rainbow a hundred times over as it steadied itself to feed off a bush of mageroyal that had been carefully trimmed to grow in the shape of the crest of the Alliance. Beyond the small bird, a Vitreous Stone Drake was drinking large gulps out of Olivia's Pond, its Druidic master having taken the form of the bear and lapping up the crisp water right alongside it. This particular kind of dragon was one of the rarest in the world, only recently discovered in the Earthly Plane of Deepholm. It was gathering quite a crowd of onlookers, most of which just wanted to know what it was, and how it was tamed.

    Despite the stirring group of curious passerby and the marvel of the natural beauty of the hummingbird right outside the window, Greyce could not be distracted from the words of her archaeology professor, the inimitable Doctor Jones. She was dressed in what she considered her official archaeology garments: strong leather boots, thick leather pants with plenty of pockets, durable leather vest also adorned with plenty of pockets to carry all the small tools required in precise digging, a thin, comfortable white shirt that was tied into a knot just above her navel, and, of course, her ranger's hat. The last item she had removed and placed deliberately at the front of her desk where the professor might see it. The brim of the hat, which had been a gift from her friend Vauggo, was fairly wide to block the sun and would have occupied probably too much space on the desk had she had a partner in the class, which she did not; all the other students – older, younger, smarter, dumber, human, Gnome, and so on – all seemed to notice that there was something just a little bit... off when it came to Greyce, so none of them had taken a seat beside her. However, this did not bother her one bit. Nothing could when she was fawning over her teacher.

    Professor Harrison Jones was an older gentleman, probably close to forty summers, with signs of graying hair. But despite his time spent on Azeroth and all the dangerous encounters that could have left him crippled, he was anything but. Handsome, spry, and charismatic, he was still ready to take on the world to find that next big artifact, and he was more often than not the inspiration to Greyce's doodles in her notebook. Today he was talking about poison remedies used by the Ramkahen in Uldum and how the discovery of their ancient medical texts could be groundbreaking. But all Greyce heard was "Greyce. You're amazing. Greyce. You're beautiful. Greyce. Marry me."

    The blonde-haired woman sighed happily and sank her head into her hands, having recently lost the strength in her own neck by the sight of the professor looking her way. She was about ready to allow herself another, umm, "detailed" daydream when she noticed that little Miss Lana Dubing doing just the same thing at the front of the class! Suddenly Greyce's fist clenched and glowed momentarily with weak Light, crinkling and ruining her notes. The green-haired Night Elf, Idorian, who sat across from her snickered as he saw her destroy her own hard work, earning him a vicious and genuinely threatening glare from the Paladin.

    "Everything okay over there, kiddo," the professor unexpectedly asked of Greyce.

    Without warning, her head was entirely red and she gulped down any anger she had been feeling for Lana or Idorian to quickly replace it with embarrassment. Hastily she tried to smooth out her crumpled paper but, as it has been said before, haste makes waste, and she instead tore the sheet clean in half and knocked her hat and books to the floor.  She was fairly certain her head was actually on fire at this point but could not simply shrink away to hide from the shame, especially not when she was being watched by the object of her affection. So, instead she managed to partly whimper, partly mumble in a cracking voice, "Yes. Everything's fine, Doctor Jones."

    She sat straight-backed in her seat, willing herself to ignore the cacophony of chuckles and storm of glances all around her, and forgot that her things had spilled to the tile at her feet. It was only when the professor walked over to her desk to start to pick them up, not even interrupting his line of speech or train of thought about mixing scorpid blood, that she realized that they had fallen.

    "Oh, I'm so sorry," Greyce exclaimed as she hopped out of her rickety wooden chair. Doctor Jones had already picked up her notebook and was now pausing for just a moment upon picking up her ranger's hat, probably because it looked almost identical to his own trusty headgear. She noticed his fleeting and puzzled look and felt so stupid for having gone through the trouble of trying to dress like him. In a blur of panic and a lack of thought, she threw out her hand to try to grab her books before he could help, and unintentionally humiliate, her anymore, and her thumb got caught on a golden chain around her neck, yanking free her brightly glowing pendant.

    The blinding, yellow orb bounced off the floor and up towards Doctor Jones, almost striking him in the face before he skillfully snatched it out of the air. But before he could grasp it for more than a second, he yelped and dropped the trinket, shaking his hand as if it had been burnt, which it almost had been. "Ouch! What is that thing," he exclaimed as he watched Greyce scoop up the jewel from the floor, apparently accustomed to the heat of it.

    "J-just my necklace," she uttered as she plopped her books back onto her desk, rocking the furniture, almost causing another scene. Much to her relief, the table stilled and nothing else happened, but she was still left red-faced and staring apologetically at the professor.

    He looked at his hand and seemed to believe that he was unharmed before regarding her again. "Don't leave here today without seeing me. I need to talk to you about a few things." He was having trouble looking away from the brilliant gem so she quickly tucked it into one of the pockets on her vest.

    Long minutes passed as she sat in the back of the class, being bathed in the warm sunlight of an actually clear winter's day, but feeling none of the benefits of the rays. She wanted to just disappear and never come back. Not even the sound of the professor's voice as he went on and on in his lecture could raise her spirit after the embarrassing incident she had just gone through. She started to remember the days not long ago when she would have never put up with the heckling and giggles of an arrogant crowd, when she would always stand up for herself, even if it meant someone being hurt. Breaking bones, spilling blood, shouting and screaming: all of these had once been in her personal arsenal to win arguments and end confrontations. She wanted to finger the necklace in her pocket but forced herself to fiddle with another locket she was never without instead.

    The fond memories of her brother started to calm her but not by much. She could still see the whorish Lana Dubing in the corner of her eye, sitting there in all her worthlessness and skimpy clothing, clothing far too revealing for what was supposed to be a place of education! Greyce chewed a strand of hair relentlessly as she struggled internally to control herself. She could feel her hand trembling from what was probably an eruption of frustration so she put it in her lap, out of sight from the others. She realized her foot was tapping uncontrollably fast on the floor, making what must have been an annoying rap to the others and had to wince to get herself to stop. She really craved inflicting injury to Lana, and Idorian, and that Draenei  two rows in front of her who did not speak a word of Common, and so many others who had wronged her. She licked her lips when she thought of the first strike, the explosion of chaos from the defenseless throng of people around her, the ensuing melee with the guards, and, perhaps, even being defeated, unconscious and arrested, or worse. She started to wonder who would even miss her when abruptly there came three quick knocks on the window pane.

    She tossed her gaze from the blank spot on the desk it had been so content to stare at before and to the outside world. Through the blur of her own flaxen hair, she could already tell who it was: Vauggo and Satyreh, the latter having been the one who tapped on the glass, her hand still there and a big smile on her face.

    Satyreh was wearing her almost trademarked blue lumberjack's shirt and overalls; even though Greyce could not see their feet, it was a sure bet that Satyreh was also wearing sandals. Why the young woman limited herself to such drab and tomboyish outfits, Greyce would never know. And Vauggo was an entirely different story altogether. He was once again bare-chested and wearing one of his ancestral kilts, also smiling widely with a twinkle in his eye; Greyce could also win an easy gold on the wager that the rogue was barefoot.

    As she saw the only family she had left in the world, her heart was a disaster of emotions, all of them muddled and stirred almost to the point to which they could not be recognized.

    She loved them both more than anyone, more than she thought she was capable of loving someone at this point in her life. And they loved her more than anyone else loved her, and more than she deserved to be loved; of this she was sure.  It seemed to her that no matter what she did, they would always forgive her, never lose faith or patience. To them, it seemed, Greyce was infallible, and something she did that was clearly a mistake was actually just a step in a new direction. Sometimes to her, it appeared that they must have seen her like she was their child, still learning and growing, going through teenage tantrums and heartbreaks, despite the fact that she was definitely older than Satyreh. How it came to be like that was a mystery. Greyce always tried to be steadfast and unshakable for them, a bastion of sheer will and undying protection in a world so uncertain. So how was it they saw her with such admiration and softness? Somehow, somewhere, they were able to find the core she had worked so desperately to hide. Even though she was embarrassed by the fact that these two had managed to tame the beast she wanted to be, it made her so happy to see them.

    And yet, all within the same cauldron of feelings and reflections, there was an entirely opposite reaction to seeing them.

    There they stood, Vauggo and Satyreh, looking as pleased as could be on a beautiful day, holding hands with fingers intertwined tightly. There was nothing to them that should have offended anyone, but they greatly offended Greyce in a way that was not fair to either one of them. To see them so happy and in love was a wicked, serrated blade right to her heart.  Each day she saw her friends, she also had to see a grim reminder to what she never had and would never have. The smiles and secret kisses the two shared should have evoked the feeling of hope for new love and a new, better generation in the world, but instead it stroke her with a great suffering that the naive and wandering, doe-eyed individuals of this world would one day inherit it. There they were, apparently invincible so long as they were together, and loving it. Just the night before things had been so odd between them. Greyce noticed the heaviness in the air, the tension that lingered after what she thought had to have been an irreparable fight. She thought that maybe they would separate. She did not know how that would make her feel. But here they were, happy again. Happy as they deserved to be, and how Greyce did not.

    From the way Vauggo's brow lowered and Satyreh's rose, Greyce realized she must have been staring at them like a dullard. Quickly she blinked away the torrents of thoughts and forced herself to smile genuinely. After all, she was glad to see them.

    "Did you ask him," Satyreh inquired, her hushed voice sounded as if she was underwater due to the thick glass between them. She pointed an accusing finger right at Doctor Jones.

    Greyce looked at the professor, worried she would get caught talking to friends in the middle of a lesson, and then right back at Satyreh with a pleading expression. She pointed again and again in the direction towards the door, away from the window and out of sight, but neither one of her friends seemed to understand. In a rushed scrawl she wrote, Not yet. Meet me at the entrance in ten, on a piece of parchment and held it up to the window.

    Satyreh squinted, mouthing the words as she apparently struggled to make out the poorly-drawn text. Vauggo almost instantly nodded and put his hand on Satyreh's shoulder, urging her to walk away from the window.

    Greyce sighed with relief when they finally moved away only to find that the class was already ending and students were gathering up their things and filing towards the door.

    "And remember to try to get some titanium dioxide for the field trip at the end of the week. You might have to go to Dun Morogh and haggle with some of the older refugees of Gnomeregan to get this stuff but trust me, it is worth it if you're going to be out in the Uldum sun all day," the professor was saying very loudly to apparently no one since apparently no one was actually listening. "Once again, I'll be spending probably another hour or two here at my office in case anyone has any further questions." He noticed Greyce moving from the back of the classroom and was ready to tell her to come see him when she actually strode right up to him, books held flat against her chest.

    "Hey, kiddo! I'm glad you remembered I wanted to talk to you. You seemed a bit flustered after dropping your things earlier," he announced with a smirk.

    Greyce rolled her eyes, feeling her cheeks getting hot, only this time in a good way. It seemed the close proximity to the man was readily melting away the icy attitude she had placed herself in. "Oh, no. I'm fine. I'm, I'm just clumsy sometimes I guess." She twisted her lips into a giggling smirk to rival his own as she flicked some of her hair over her shoulder, feeling adventurous to be trying to flirt so obviously with her teacher.

    Harrison was used to women of all ages batting eyelashes at him so he seemed completely unaffected by Greyce's own meager attempt to seduce him. "What was that necklace you had there?" He pointed towards her books while leaning back on his desk at the head of the class near the chalkboard. "Have you had a curator take a look at that thing? They might be able to tell you where it's from."

    Greyce's countenance immediately leveled to a more serious tone and she shook her head gently. "No, that's fine. I already know where it's from." The professor's eyebrows shot up and it was clear he wanted to know more so she had to speak quickly to change the subject. "Listen. There was something I wanted to ask you before I forget. Could I maybe take it upon myself to teach my two friends how to use the surveying gear?" Her words were bumping into each other on the way out for that was how fast she was talking.

    The professor gave her a momentary, curious, and judging glance that then morphed into one of admiration and approval. "I think that would be really interesting. Maybe even worthy of extra credit."

    Greyce's cheeks were instantly sore from the width of her grin and she hopped up just once before regaining control of herself. "I could tell them everything you've taught me about history and artifacts and everything, Doctor Jones."

    He started fishing through a drawer in his desk as he spoke to her. "I think that is a good idea, kiddo. Light knows I can't fit any more students in any of my classes so to have an Assistant Professor like you help out a few inquiring minds?" He nodded and grabbed a hold of two sets of two sheets of parchment that had a good deal of fine print on them, but at the top they were clearly labeled Surveyor's Kit Registry and Waiver of Responsibility. "That'd really do me a favor. Have them sign these as soon as they can and bring them right back to me the next session."

    Greyce popped into the air one more time, despite of herself, and snatched the forms from his hands, slipping them eagerly into her notebook while almost shouting "Thank you" over and over again. She rolled her eyes back in pure excitement and said to the ceiling, "Oh, Doctor Jones, you won't regret this!" She turned to leave in her frenzy of enthusiasm when suddenly he caught her hand. No time passed before she was as red as she was when she had spilled all her things and slowly she turned to face him with an innocent and questioning expression.

    "There's one other thing I need to tell you, Greyce. It's really important," he declared while sitting on his desk, letting go of her hand.

    The fact that he had actually said her name for once, rather than 'kiddo' sent waves of gleeful anxiety through her, along with countless ecstatic ideas. Subconsciously she fiddled with her left ring finger, right where a gold band had once sat contentedly. "Y-yes?"

    Without looking, he reached behind his back to grab a file off the top of his bookshelf. It had no distinguishable characteristics other than the seal of the Cathedral of the Light stamped on its cover. "It's about that field trip at the end of the week." He gave her the nicest, most sincere and caring look anyone could possibly give someone to soften the blow of what he said next. "I don't think you can go."

    The red in Greyce's cheeks drained immediately and her heart wound up somewhere past her knees. "Wh-what? Why," she stammered. Her fingers almost lost grip on her books.

    The professor sighed quietly but still managed to keep the complexion of someone who was concerned and justified for all the right reasons, and thus, he looked optimistic. "It's just that some of the other students feel that you're a little... I don't know how to say it." He did not look away from her now welling eyes. "Dangerous. They say they've seen you have a few outbursts outside of class, that you're always wanting to be alone."

    "Why would they say that? That's ridiculous," Greyce started to argue as her voice began to slowly rise in volume. "Everyone has times when they want to be alone. Everyone gets mad sometimes."

    "Listen, it's not, it's not only them," Harrison pleaded while putting his hand to his chest. "I've read the reports here from the Cathedral, Greyce." Their eyes locked for a long moment, and he gained a slightly deeper understanding of the woman, before he continued. "As the professor of these classes, I am personally responsible for the safety of my students when they are either in my classroom or on one of our outings." Quickly he looked around the room to ensure they were alone, which they were. "And I don't feel it is safe to bring someone who has been committed to come along for these digs. At least not at Uldum where we might be finding some dark enchantments on some really bad voodoo-like items. At least not until I can trust her more."

    At last he was done tearing her heart out. She stood there, barely able to feel her own heartbeat, hardly capable of swallowing, clutching her books tightly as if they were the last thing in the world she had, for they may very well have been. She thought maybe that she had actually died, that her heart did actually stop from the shock, and now her spirit was trapped in that instant for all of eternity before he spoke again.

    "I'm sorry, Greyce. You understand." He turned around and sat at his desk, busying himself with some paperwork. Honestly, he felt terrible to crush her dreams like that, but ultimately it was the best choice. He tried to appear interested in someone's homework so that he would not have to look at the poor, devastated young woman.

    Greyce felt like she wanted to cry but she was so sick of crying by now. So many times she shed tears over bright dreams that had dissolved into nothing more than choking dust. Too many times she had sobbed over charming men who had drifted into nothing more than dishonest strangers. She did not want to cry again. She had learned this harsh lesson too many times before.

    Wordlessly she stormed out of the room, the feeling of tears still crammed up tight in the back of her eyes. She could fight it, she was pretty certain. She just had to get out of the Keep, out of the city, and be alone. She pressed her way through the waves of people in the hallway of the small university. None of them had any features to her, all just blank slates that could not care for her even if they tried.

    Suddenly, by the front door that would lead out to the garden and the Royal Library, in the sea of the nameless, two faces did appear: Vauggo and Satyreh. Holding hands.

    "Hey, there she is," Vauggo stated while pointing over the head of a Dwarf.

    Satyreh almost instantaneously knew that something had gone amiss from the way the other woman was hurrying through the crowd and showed no signs of slowing down. "Something's wrong." She looked up to Vauggo, who had a confused expression. "Greyce! Over here!" She waved a hand over her head and put on her best smile as her friend approached.

    Greyce reached into her notebook, took out the forms she had been given just before, and forced them into Satyreh's hands. "Give those back tomorrow, signed." Without another word, she was bumping shoulders with people to get away.

    "Greyce," Satyreh called. "Wait! What happened?" She started to take a step after the other Paladin when she felt the strong grip of Vauggo's hand on her shoulder. She looked up to him again, but this time he had a look of a profound understanding of, or even a connection to, the woman who had stormed off with teardrops forming in the corner of her eyes. He watched her disappear and knew, at least in the smallest bit, what was going through her mind.

    By the time Greyce had reached the Canal District, she was clutching the brightly glowing pendant so fiercely that the jewel was nearly on the verge of cracking and it had cut open her palm, blood streaking onto her hand. And she was crying again.

A Harsh Lesson

Another old WoW FF featuring Greycelyn (who you can see in an excellent piece by MischiArt here I think this one is at least 4 years old but could be a little older.

In this "chapter" - A Harsh Lesson - we get to see some different sides of Greyce that are usually left in reserves. If you read the last old FF piece I uploaded (The Dead of the Night, you will already know that, in this time frame, she was quite the dark individual at the time. But her violent thoughts and tendancies were mostly kept in check, and only came out when she lost control of herself. After a series of particularly bad events, she committed herself to the Asylum for a little while, just to try to calm down and set her mind straight.

When she was in control, she was still incredibly judgemental while simultaneously fearing being judged, as well as letting jealousy guide most of her decisions.
On the other hand, Greycelyn is studious and passionate about the topics that interest her most, i.e. archaeology and jewelcutting...and the occasional cute guy. Having earned the nickname Jabberjaw when she was young and a "say it all" when she was older, once she does start talking, she won't shut up about something until she's said each word on her mind.

All of these reasons and more are why I love Greyce so much as a character, flaws and perfections - I feel she is really fleshed out and you can imagine meeting someone just like her in reality. Hopefully anyone reading this will feel the same way.

(More old works to come.)


2 – In the Wrong Place

Dirt, grime, and good old-fashioned sweat clung Greycelyn’s blonde locks to her face and neck as she walked through the lush, green trees of eastern Elwynn Forest. All around her, the scent of flowers fresh in bloom intermingled with distant smells of crops recently harvested at their peak, at the heart of the summer season. Someone standing right next to her, though, would only get the strong stench of body odor, for she had been camping out in the emptier parts of the woods for a few days now. Even though she had vowed to stay a wanderer on the edge of the Alliance’s territories, here she was, a day’s ride away from the capital city of Stormwind.

Whether she would admit it or not, the thought of something familiar, of someone welcoming, was pulling her back. If Greyce were to take hold of someone’s throat, it would take three Tauren, a Draenei, and an Ogre for good measure to pull her off. But the past and the memories of a home that never felt permanent would always be too much for her to resist.

From the scraps of the map in her recollection, she placed herself somewhere south of the Eastvale Logging Camp and north of the river dividing Elwynn Forest from Duskwood. Holding a hand up to push the sun and hair out of her eyes, she could barely see the top of an old watch tower far to the southeast, opposite the direction she was heading. That gave her more of an idea of where she was in this sprawling woodland that had managed to repel most of what the world would like to throw at it. Not that it was still standing by luck, chance, or the goodwill of the Horde; no, the men and women of the Alliance, whether they be diminutive Gnomes or ravenous Worgen, who were willing to put their lives on the line were to thank for the serenity of Elwynn throughout the years.

If she continued westward for a while longer, she would eventually come to a rivulet that rushed across the land, flowing from Stonecairn Lake to the north. At the mouth of that rivulet, she had buried the last remnant she had had of her own family: a wooden locket containing a drawing of her younger brother, Dyse. He had passed away from an incurable illness when Greyce was only a teenager. Although there had never been a day when she did not miss him, and her parents who fell victim to the cataclysm Deathwing had wrought years ago, there was hardly an hour that could pass when she wasn’t glad that they were gone, for their sakes. What kind of world was this to live in, one torn apart by war, greed, betrayal, and all the dark stirrings of forces unknown?

She paused a moment, leaning in the shade under a tree, and crossed her arms to stare into the distance at nothing in particular. For some reason her thoughts allowed Drael and his goon squad to cross her mind. Stupid bastard. He and his friends could have been talented fighters, they had youth, motivation, and some degree of cleverness. But instead of putting their skills to good use, to defend the people who lacked the strength to protect themselves, they chose to stick daggers in the backs of their own kind for the promise of a few silvers. It was despicable, pathetic, utterly detestable, and put a sourness in her stomach, a curl to her lip, and an undying rage through her veins.

And it reminded her of something her father had once told her. She had just spoken to him about her desire to begin studying the Light as a priestess but confessed that she was nervous and worried that she would fail at it as well. He imparted his words of wisdom on her then: “What is worse – someone who has no talent, or someone who does but won’t share it with the world?” He had been encouraging her to go discover who she was and what she could do to help others but the lesson applied to her today, long after she had discovered that her one talent was fighting and killing.

A chuckle escaped her lips, despite her decision to brood over the past, and she rolled her eyes. Would he have told her the same thing then if he knew what she would become? If he knew what would eventually be her only reason for putting one boot in front of the other, for waking up in the morning? She had a talent for cutting down the wicked, and regardless of all her mistakes and losses in years gone by, she couldn’t bring herself to retire just yet. The world still needed her abilities, or so she would like to believe.

As if the world was peering into her subconscious and had been tempted to give her what she wanted, a woman’s shout carried quietly through the air, bristling the hairs on Greyce’s neck and arms. She took a few hurried steps in the general direction of the shout, tensed in place, and cocked her head to the side. Among the rustling of the leaves in the breeze and the chirps of the birds and bugs hidden in the foliage, hushed noises of conflict could be picked out by someone listening as intently as she. It was quiet but it was there all the same. A clang of metal but… it had been hollow, like tin or aluminum. Not a weapon. Cookware. A woman in her home.

Drawing her sword, she started running deeper into the woods, looking for a livable structure. Somewhere close, a woman was being attacked in her kitchen, fending off whatever it was with a pot or pan. When Greyce paused to listen to the wind again, the woman’s voice could be heard once more but not clear enough to pick out words. She was still shouting, though, not screaming. Not a bear, gnoll, or kobold that might have broken into the house to steal a meal. Whatever it was, she was trying to talk with it, meaning it understood the Common tongue. Horde or Defias. Greyce picked up her pace.

After a minute of trudging through the forest, an inkling of panic nipping at her heels to spur her faster and faster, a dirt path appeared between the trees and the sounds of an argument became clearer. Greyce pounded the earth of the trail flat as she sprinted towards the little cabin she could see between the trees, as if she was thrust forward by the long arm of the law itself. A picket fence divided the small yard from the wilds and she leapt right over it without missing a beat.

She could see right through the front window, which had had curtains probably not minutes ago, as evidenced by the tatters of cloth hanging from a rod there. Though the window was dirty with cobwebs, she could see the distinct turquoise-colored silhouette of a Troll standing towards the back of the home. He was facing slightly away from the window, grumbling at the woman who undoubtedly was standing in the corner where Greyce could not see. She didn’t really have to see her, though, for she had seen enough to know she was not directly in front of the closed door.

With a kick that could have bent the portcullis gates of the capital, Greyce absolutely shattered the hinges of the cabin’s door, splintering and throwing the plank into the room. In the corner of her eye, she could see a dark-haired woman cowering into the corner, covering her head and shrieking, apparently quite alarmed by the intense entrance. The woman’s position gave Greyce plenty of room to wind back her shield arm, focusing on the Tusker who was also shocked and shrieking, albeit in a much deeper voice. In a dazzling line of bright yellow Light, she hurled her holy shield right into the face of the Troll, cracking its two jutting tusks in half and knocking him off his feet to collapse in a motionless lump. The shield hit the far wall, made an impressive dent, and flew right to Greycelyn, who caught it on her arm as if it didn’t really weigh fifty pounds.

In two strides, she was within lunging range of the Tusker, ready to plunge the tip of her sword into its heart. When she pulled her arm back for the killing blow, two feeble hands wrapped around her elbow. “Stop,” the woman shouted right into Greyce’s ear, giving her just enough reason to pause.

“It’s not dead,” Greyce growled in the back of her throat as she looked away from the twitching Troll to glare at the dark-haired woman. The malice behind the words was escalated by the red-ring scar around her neck.

“Thank the Light, he’s not,” the woman barked as she pulled on Greyce’s arm with all her strength, which was just enough to force her to take one step back and catch her balance. Moving past the Paladin that had just ruined her front door, the woman collapsed to sit beside the Troll and rest its face in her lap and hands.

“Why are you doing that?” Greyce spat as her mind tried to catch up with what was going on right before her eyes. Was this woman… sympathetic for her intruder? For a Tusker?

“Why did you do that,” the woman retorted with an ample helping of spite and frustration. The Troll coughed up dark-green blood that splattered against her palms before groaning and opening one eye lazily. A stream of his un-red blood was pouring from his large nose, which had clearly been broken into bits. “Why did you do that? Heal him! Now!”

“Not a chance.”

“Are you serious? This isn’t some random Horde marauder,” the woman continued with no less ire behind her words. Despite the menacing posture of the Paladin and the sword in her hand, she apparently found no reason to curb her anger for what had occurred. “This is my husband, you stupid bitch! We were just arguing about his damn tusks getting snagged on the curtains. Now heal him. I know you can!”

Greyce’s jaw jutted out a little and leveled as her veins turned ice cold. From the day the first greenskins walked through the Dark Portal, there had been misguided fools who thought they were civilized. Since the end of the First War, there were the blind who thought the Horde deserved some mercy. After word of how Archimonde fell in Kalimdor reached the Eastern Kingdoms, there were even the selfish ones who thought Orcs, Trolls, Tauren, and the rest deserved freedom, rights, and privileges as if they were all members of one great Alliance. Some called them saints, some called them naïve, but Greyce called them Hordehearts. And to her, they were the worst of threats, lower than the beasts they coddled.

“I oughta cut you down, too, for letting this Tusker into our lands. Into Elwynn, of all places.” Her teeth were grinding together, a habit she had tried to leave behind with so many others. Her fists were clenching and unclenching out of her control, and it took all the discipline she had ever learned as a priestess and then as a Paladin not to strike the dark-haired woman.

“Get the fuck out of our home. You disgust me with that antiquated racism,” she snarled as she turned the Troll’s head to the side, letting him cough up more blood onto her dress’s skirt.

An icicle shot down Greyce’s spine as she realized that the woman could be a mage or warlock with a tome just out of sight, or a rogue with a dagger snuck into her palm. She took one step back and half-lifted her shield arm as she glanced quickly around the room. Cookbooks on the shelf near the entrance. A poorly-carved ham on the kitchen counter next to a knife better suited for deboning a fish. Flour on the dining table and floor, no signs of sigils traced into it, or even an effort to clean it up. Not a candle lit in the entire room. No. She’s not a threat.

With a quiet, flustered sigh, Greyce relaxed her shoulders and took another step back, eyes still locked onto the Troll. He wasn’t very muscular and had no sort of armor on him. If he made a move against her, one swipe would gut him. “You said I was… what was it? Antiquated? For hating him? For hating his kind?”

“Get out of here,” the woman ordered flatly as she tried to rise.

The tip of Greyce’s longsword shot out, stopping inches from the woman’s head. The Troll grumbled a complaint and repositioned his arm, apparently coming back into his senses enough from the titanic shield blow to know that he had to do something to protect his… wife. “Don’t you dare make a move right now. Listen to me. I was just in Lakeshire cutting down Orcs that got too close to our settlements, to our people.” She bit her lips together and shut her eyes to steady her breathing before continuing. “What I do isn’t antiquated, honey.” The term was not used for endearment. “It’s necessary. And if you think kissing the Horde’s ass is enough to stop them from killing you tomorrow or the next day or the day after that, you don’t deserve to keep the head that had those thoughts.”

The woman took the pause in the speech as her moment to glance this brazen intruder up and down, really size her up, and she paled as it occurred to her that her own death might be lurking close, just there in the intent of the stranger. She took an extra second to stare at the scar around the Paladin’s neck and the rose in her hair. “Who are you? What do you think gives you the right to do this?”

Greyce’s expression twisted with genuine bemusement. “Gives me the right?” She scoffed a laugh that sounded as dry as desert sand. “Nothing gives me the right. I’ve gotten where I am by taking what I want.”

The Troll opened his other eye and shifted to try to rise, brushing a hand against the woman’s collar as he did so. As he immediately trembled and collapsed back onto her lap, a wooden locket tied to a string that had been hidden in her dress and hair came loose, dangling above him. Neither of the two of them paid it any mind but it caught in Greyce’s gaze like a lighthouse across the seas.

It reminded her of all the promises she had made, and all of the ones she had willingly broken. So many times she had found herself ashamed of what she had done, of the person she had become, the sister she knew Dyse would have hated. Did every day have to pass with more regrets? Could she never see the sunset without first seeing bloodshed? She sighed heavily, wrinkles of both age and stress showing around her eyes and lips. “He can’t stay here,” she said half to the woman and half to the wooden floorboards beneath her boots.

“This is our home. He’s staying,” the woman protested with a tremor in her lip. In the heat of battle and the first moments of chaos, anyone can be brave. They don’t know what is actually going on so they can’t be afraid, and they get an adrenaline rush to keep them standing. But give them a minute to think and the vast majority of them would show themselves to be cowards, Greyce had found. It was clear now that this woman had been given a minute to think about her situation.

A curl of gold fell before her eyes as Greyce shook her head weakly, as if she was upset with a child who had talked back to her. “He can’t. And he won’t. If I find him here again, I’ll kill you both. But that means I’m being gracious enough to not do it now.”

The dark-haired woman shifted under Greyce’s unforgiving stare. “Please,” she whimpered in a plea that fell upon deaf ears.

“I am, however, not an idiot. I am not going to leave here without… making him a little bit safer,” Greyce explained with the hint of a wicked grin on her lips. In rough, brutish movements that did not pair well with the delicacy of her facial features, she grabbed the Troll by the arm and yanked him off the ground and onto his feet, lifting him as if he weighed no more than a bag of grain.

“Stop,” both the Tusker and the woman complained together as he was hauled towards the center of the cabin.

With a loud slap, Greyce forced his arm across the table, pressing it against the wood from her grip just above his wrist. “Let the loss of this be a reminder of my promise.”

The woman gasped and rose to her feet as well but a furious gaze from Greyce froze her in place. The Troll squirmed to try to get loose but he was still half-unconscious from the holy shield strike that had broken his jaw. Even without that debilitation, he was not nearly as strong as her. When the Paladin drew her sword and steadied it over his wrist, he sneered through bloodied and shattered teeth and tusks, “Iz only gunna grow back, mon.” It was true. Given enough time, the natural regeneration and healing of a Troll could fix almost any wound.

All at once, Greyce’s arm steadied perfectly, the blade not wavering a fraction of an inch as she held it there above his hand. She locked eyes with him for the first time since she attacked him. If only he had known how much she hated it when the Horde had the gall to speak the Common tongue.

The tension hung heavy in the air for a moment as they stared at each other. Despite the wildness of his species, the history of his people, and his crooked grin filled with long, jagged fangs, she looked infinitely more of a berserker in that moment.

“I know,” she stated coolly as she moved her blade’s alignment from his wrist all the way up to his shoulder joint. Her arm pulled back and the blade came down with the force of a guillotine, spraying that un-red, inhuman blood onto the window.

In the Wrong Place - Chapter 2 of Forget Me Not

Here comes chapter 2 of (many) for my WoW FF that I have decided to title "Forget Me Not". Every piece in this series is being complimented - no, certifiably enhanced - by an artwork created by the magnificent MischiArt ( Click to view the one she made for this chapter. It is chilling. It is colorful. And it is right out of her creative mind - I am sending this talented artist a chapter, she reads it, and then composes a scene she thinks would translate well into an art piece, rather than me initially saying what I want to see. I absolutely love it.

In this chapter, we see Greycelyn coming to terms with changing times. In her own way. There's so much backstory to this character - easily the most thorough character I've ever made, even more so than the ones I've put into the few novels I have finished - so it is a fun and interesting challenge to try to represent her fairly in these pieces to a largely unfamiliar audience. With that said, I think I also should upload another ancient FF with her in it today as well.

Anyway, give it a read. Please enjoy. And chuck any comments, questions, or criticisms you want in the comments. Art given no feedback may as well be locked up in a dusty old storeroom!


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The Dead of the Night


                The timeless scent of water and salt mixed together was fresh in the woman's mind as her hippogryph landed, its talons scratching the soft soil in the process. The grove she was now in was known as Stonetalon Peak, somewhat of a sanctuary due to its obscure location and shrouded in coniferous trees and ancient high cliff walls. It was in this range of mountains that agents of the Horde and Alliance consulted the great and wise Oracle, later revealed as the reclusive Archmage Medivh, who would eventually, and temporarily, bind them into a pact of truce. Thus, the land was held with some reverence to both factions, seemingly calming the nerves of travelers and adventurers, reducing the conflicts when compared to the adjacent Barrens or Ashenvale Forests. This was commonly considered one of the safest places in which to hide away in Azeroth.

    This common belief, however, was of no concern to the paladin as she stepped down from the saddle on the hippogryph's back. To her, the world was constantly at war with itself. Even in the center of Stormwind enemies were potentially drawing knives behind every corner. In all fairness, she was not entirely wrong.

    The winds that usually whipped around the high points of Stonetalon Peak were absent on this eve, leaving not a sound to disturb the grove's natural melody of chirping crickets and the occasional hooting owl. The moon was nearly full and it watched over the landscape vigilantly. To the residents in the inn behind the woman's back, that white satellite was a divine representation of their Goddess, Elune, and under her careful eye, no evil would go unnoticed.

    The woman adjusted her plate gauntlets casually as she gazed around her, eyes straining to find the slightest movements in the old ruins in the western distance. She faced south and spied her reason for coming here at so late an hour: a single cottage tucked away against the eastern cliff wall. Despite the weight of her armor, she moved towards the lonely building almost silently, not even awakening the slumbering Elven flightmaster.

    Other than the moon above, there were only two other sources of illumination in that secluded region of the world. First was the mystically powered "lamp" that stood in the distance before the cottage. It would normally shine just as brightly as the moon but something seemed to be blocking most of it this evening.  The other was the woman herself. Or, at least, what she wore. Around her neck was a brightly glowing pendant, shimmering in a blinding yellow light whenever she took a step; it looked like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm. Also, her pauldrons and helm all emitted an eerie red glow; the design of the helmet was that of a skull, jaw hanging agape, the red light seeping out of the eye sockets, and the shoulder guards were designed to look like sundered earth with lava threatening to erupt outward from within.  Anyone who saw her and did not know who she was may have easily mistaken her for an emissary of Death himself.

    Between the crimson and yellow lights, the woman's features could be made out somewhat, had someone been standing right next to her. She really was quite beautiful for a woman strong enough to don plate mail, carry a thick broadsword on her hip, and an encumbering, hundred-pound shield on her back. She had golden strands of hair sticking out of the top of her helm, trying to sneak in front of her soft, brown eyes; rounded cheek bones set a little high on her face, creating a blend of both regal and modest beauty; lips as full as any clever thief's purse that hid an elegant, secret-knowing smile, should one ever be lucky enough to see it; and a muscular body with all the curves in the right places that managed to show she could either break a man's skull or seduce him, depending on her mood. And yet, despite all of these attractive features, some of the shine was clearly tarnished by exhaustion, and maybe even a little hint of age creeping up on her when she was not looking.

    By now, she had nearly reached the shy cabin, and would have done so entirely without notice, had it not been for the wolf literally at the door. This was no ordinary wolf, as could easily be determined just by looking at its very slightly translucent frame.  The creature that was now rising from its prone position, its hackles raised and forming a razorback, and issuing a quiet "leave this place" growl was in fact a shaman in its ghost wolf form. Since this was Alliance territory, it must have been a Draenei.

    The blonde-haired paladin politely shushed the wolf as she drew within striking distance, for she knew who was this actually. She looked towards the lantern before the cottage to see that a mask adorned with long horns had been draped over it, obscuring some of the white light and confirming the identity of the shaman. "Be quiet, Blue," she requested in a calm, priestly voice.

    The hound lowered its ears as its tail started to wag upon mention of her name. In a second the smell of the paladin went through her flared dog nostrils and reached her brain, at last recognizing who was the stranger in the night. Excitement started to overtake her, as it often did, and she perked up her ears as she approached the woman before yowling 'woo woo woo'.

    The woman narrowed her eyes and shushed the shaman again.  She was close enough to run her gauntlet over the head, between the shoulders, and down the back of the beast, and she did so several times to appease it. "Don't wake anyone," she whispered into a soft, pointy ear.

    Bluesky - or Blue for not-much-shorter - sat on her rear, thwapped her tail against the earth, and closed her eyes, as happy as can be from the attention. A little key dangled from her collar and twinkled in the yellow light of the woman's pendant.

    Abruptly a steel fist was around the key and it yanked it away from and clean off the collar, creating a snapping sound as the string that had held it in place snapped. "I need this. Okay," she asked in the same hushed tone as before. Even though it was a question, it was not; she was going to take the item whether or not the Draenei wanted her to do so. Quickly she scratched under the wolf's chin, causing it to raise its head in pleasure.

    Subsequently this also caused Bluesky to not see any reason to not let the woman have the key. After a moment the chin-scratches ceased and she blinked her big puppy eyes a few times sleepily. She really wanted to go back to sleep but first needed a drink. She strolled lazily over to a bucket of water that had "BLuE's BOLe!" brushed onto the side in blue paint and started to drink from it.

    The paladin clutched the key tightly as she tucked her necklace behind her tabard and into her chestplate, completely eclipsing any light that had been previously flashing out of it. She took a careful step forward to slip the key into the lock beneath the wooden door's handle while grumbling under her breath, "Stupid dog." With deliberate movements she turned the handle and pressed her fingertips ever-so-slightly against the door, popping it open with a whimper-like click.

    Bluesky's canine ears could not have ever possibly missed the creak of the door opening for they were too keen, so she pranced over to stand behind the woman, wondering why she was going inside. She peeked into the widening crack in the doorway, able to see slightly better than the human, and could see the spot on the floor she usually slept. She felt like barging past the paladin and getting relaxed but she did not feel completely comfortable sleeping in there when both Shady, her master, and Vaggo, her master's rogue friend, were in the same bed, so she opted to stay put.

    The door finally swung open on silent hinges enough to allow the woman to step inside. The cabin was very small but that is what made it apparently so cozy. To her right was an alcove with a little table with an open journal on it, chair with an open book on it, and bookshelf with nothing on it but an assortment of chewed up toys and odd-looking trinkets; apparently there was not enough books for the shelving to be used appropriately. Across from the door was a dresser pressed against the far wall; it seemed to be overflowing with garments of every type, displaying the lack of tidiness of those who dwelled here. And to her left were those who dwelled here. Of course, in the darkness of the cottage's interior, it was nearly impossible to actually tell for certain who was over to the left, hidden mostly beneath the covers of a bed not quite big enough for two people. But the uninvited guest knew exactly who they were - her trusted, and only, friends, Satyreh and Vauggo.

    In the abnormally still night air, she could hear the gentle breaths of the pair and it was obvious both were sleeping. Perhaps they were some of those who believed that no real trouble ever came to the venerated canyons of Stonetalon, or perhaps they just put too much faith in their watchdog. Whatever the reasoning, neither one of them awoke to the woman's looming presence. She took a single step towards their bed, her boot landing without a sound.

    There she remained, staring at them beneath her slightly-glowing helm. Her breath became as still as the outside air and she started to lose track of the time she spent standing there. In that frozen spell, the voice in her head for once was also speechless.  When she at last caught her breath in a hushed gasp, she was startled to find her hand on the hilt of her sword. And yet, as she stood staring down into the darkness at her weapon, she did not immediately remove her hand. No, instead, it lingered as a ghost lingers in the place it loved most during its living days. The low scraping of claws against the ground brought her attention suddenly back to the door, and she could see the silhouette of the shaman's wolf form. It reminded her that she had spent long enough - far too long, to be honest - there.

    Quickly but still not hastily enough to make a careless sound, she exited the building and closed the door, having prodded Bluesky back. The clarity of the night was a strong contrast to the cloudiness of her mind at that moment. She stared vacantly at the hound, the stars in her eyes fading away.

    Bluesky could feel the distance between them, the familiarity having apparently been left behind the closed door of the cottage. She whimpered as quietly as she could manage and moved away from the paladin to lay down in the dirt near her bucket.

    The woman briskly walked away from the cabin and down a hill on the southern edge of it. She did not go far and remained within eyesight of the shaman. There she reached into a pouch tied to her belt and pulled out old, tattered, and torn reins that seemed to have a faint, violet glow to them. However, this could have just been a trick to the eyes in that black atmosphere. What came next was not an illusion, though. She clutched the reins until her knuckles turned white beneath her glove and the ground just a meter in front of her feet started to tremble. Suddenly a crack divided it jaggedly and neon green light poured out of it. Before any more time could pass, a horse with skin as dark and wretched as decaying leather and hooves as viridian and burning as the hell it had come from leapt wildly from the crevice, which sealed almost immediately after its escape. Even though it did not move its rotting jaws, the ghastly sound of a horse neighing echoed all throughout the grove.

    Bluesky whimpered again and stuffed herself as far against the door as she could before hiding her eyes beneath the tuft of her tail.

    The undead creature was cool to the touch as the paladin mounted it, adjusting in the saddle a moment before kicking her heels against its skeletal ribcage. It galloped off to the south with unnatural speed, the grass beneath its fel-ridden hooves withering into grayness with every thunderous impact.

    The cold air nipped at her skin as she raced through the trees, away from the ruins and the cottage and the inn. Frost was gathering at the tip of her nose but she did not notice. There had been a period in her life when the cold and her were as brother and sister. That had been a dark time.

    After a few minutes, the ground sloped slightly upward and a trail came into view. She was at the edge of the grove, looking into a thin canyon that served as the only passage between here and the rest of the mountain range. Beyond these cliff walls, the prestige of the peaks was jaded by Venture Company interlopers and a Tauren village.

    Pulling back on the reins slowed the horse, which she had named War, to a trot, and she guided it to the trail. Upon reaching the gap between the gully below and the forested area behind, she turned her mount perpendicular to the pathway, creating a wall that effectively blocked the way. There she remained, motionless for countless minutes, maybe even an hour. She was a statue for all the world knew.

    After clouds had caressed the moon lovingly and the wind started to reawaken in the clefts of the landscape, something finally stirred her. Down the trail, a speck on the horizon appeared and slowly grew larger. Long, aching moments passed as it grew and grew. Eventually there came with it a soft green glow, just a tiny dot in the shadows of the night. Soon it was also accompanied by the telltale sound of human - or humanoid, anyway - footfall.

    Beneath the skull-shaped helm, the rider's eyes focused, her pupils dilating to let in as much light as was possible. She could feel her ears itching at the sound of the approaching stranger. A sinister grin cracked her lips as she waited patiently.

    The speck had now become a living creature. It was a jogging... something. Another minute passed and it decided to reveal its true form: a female Blood Elf, green eyes aglow framed by shining flaxen hair. She was dressed in a blue wool robe, carried a slender wooden staff in her hands, and had a backpack strapped over her shoulder; certainly one of those young and naive "heroes" that seemed to be on everyone's tongues lately. She was humming an old song from her childhood and had just reached her favorite part when she noticed the mounted watcher not very far ahead. She froze in her tracks, fear over taking her. What was that creature it sat upon? And what was the creature that sat upon that creature? Was it a Death Knight? Was it a centaur? Was it anything at all? Her mind was racing as fast as her pulse.

    The paladin was completely opposite. She knew just what approached and her mind and heart rate were as placid as Mirkfallon Lake far to the southeast. Blood Elves were Horde. They were a threat, no matter how small and weak they may appear to be. Again the steel  edges of her boots cracked against the ribs of the nightmare and she raced towards the unfortunate Blood Elf with broadsword held high in the air. It was a flag that represented nothing but certain death.

    The young Blood Elf cursed in her native Thalassian tongue and wished she had been skilled enough to turn herself invisible. After her legs could be controlled again, she turned to run as fast she could. Behind her, hell tumbled down, promising to crush her as utterly as an avalanche. The pounding of the hooves on the dry, rocky terrain reverberated, creating the illusion of being completely surrounded by terrifying spirits of humankind's blackest intent.

    The muscles in the rider's sword arm ached from the strain of holding up the weapon but also salivated over the imminent blow to their prey. At the last moment, when the young Horde was just close enough to slash, she unexpectedly dove to her left, directly in front of the horse, risking being trampled but successfully avoiding the blade's edge. Unfortunately, she, like so many other mages, was not too athletic, and her somersault was imperfect, placing her right within the grasp of the rider's free hand, which greedily grabbed a hold of its victim's hair. Dirt kicked up wildly and one slipper flung free from the elf's foot as she was lifted off the ground by nothing but her hair.

    The cries of pain were music to the paladin's ears. She tugged on her reins harshly to halt War as she hefted the Blood Elf higher into the air, to eye level. She was using her shield arm to lift the squirming, shrieking, and slender creature, so there was little to no discomfort from the strain. When their eyes locked, there was a moment of paradoxically pure terror and pure delight between the two of them. "How funny it is... for you to be so afraid... and for me to be so thrilled by what's happening here," the human announced in a cocky voice that was dangerously concealed in the back of her throat.

    The elf shut her eyes, sealing up the emerald light, and pleaded in both Thalassian and Orcish before finally shouting out a single and clear, "No!"

    Abruptly the twisted enjoyment the paladin had been taking from the situation was stripped away, leaving nothing but fury in her now-darkened eyes. She burned a hole with her glare straight through the thing struggling in her grasp that was tugging at her fingers and at its own strands of hair. Her mouth curled into a snarl far fiercer than the wolf from before had ever managed, revealing foamed teeth. It appeared that the desperate plea for mercy had evoked wrath instead, for she threw down the Blood Elf into the soil with a loud thud.

    Stars blinded the mage as her head crashed against a stone. She tried to gather herself but the injury had instantly generated a pounding headache. She was about ready to scramble away, to any direction really, when she heard the sound of boots landing heavily behind her.

    Next came the disgusting sound of bones breaking as the plated toes of the human's footwear kicked the elf's ribs, sending her toppling over, landing on her back. There was not enough time for the Blood Elf to truly feel the pain from the broken ribs before a much more paralyzing pain erupted from her midsection, the broadsword having been driven through her stomach. She tried to cry out but her breath was caught inside her own lungs, tangled up in the agony.

    The paladin put her foot down on her victim's legs and yanked the sword out of the wound, spattering her own legguards with blood. She was expressionless as she watched the mage struggling for breath beneath her feet. There was no emotion there, no connection to the elf bleeding before her very eyes. The voice in her head coaxed her on, cackling at what she had done, but its taunts were falling upon deaf ears. She no longer needed him to bring her into madness - she had found that all on her own.

    The soft cries for help were all at once silenced as the edge of the broadsword lashed out in a blur, decapitating its quarry. There was no returning from a death like this, no ancestors to guide one's spirit back from the abyss and to the body, no redemption by the good will of the Light. This was an absolute ending to a life.

    The silence of the dead of the night returned once again. And the soft cries for help started to murmur in the back of Greyce's mind.

The Dead of the Night
-- Foreword: Starting to go back into old WoW fanfiction pieces I wrote with Greycelyn as the central character and uploading them to DA. Not exactly sure the order in which they were written, though. I told my computer to arrange them by Date Created but that didn't work - just showed the date when they all got transferred to the computer - and then by Date Modified and I _think_ that kind of worked? Not sure. There's an order there that could be slightly jumbled up. Anyway, quite certain this is the first thing I ever wrote for this "series", and it was way back in 2010! WHOA! Where'd the time go? I can see where my work needed improvement back then. Glad I stuck to this writing thing! --

This story comes from the early stages of Greycelyn's inner turmoil and true madness. There was a time when she was certain she could hear the voice of Arthas, even though he was dead (I believe the final Wrath of the Lich King raid in WoW had been completed a couple months before this story), and he egged her on to do bad, bad things. She has on a shining necklace, which I RP Magic'd to be a fragment of Arthas's old warhammer that he discarded to pick up Frostmorne. Greyce was also never lucky in love and has a jealous side to this day, which would explain some of her actions in this story. Lastly, this was also the first time I wrote about my other character, Bluesky, the loveable but totally ditzy Draenei Shaman. Be sure to head over to MischiArt here on DA to check out not only all her fantastic work but a couple pieces featuring both Greycelyn and Bluesky (as well as Satyreh and Vauggo, who appear here as well).


Jonathan Strauss
United States


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Ihsan997 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015
You should post some more of your writings.
aprizzleak Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Satyreh Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Greycie-Blue!!! :excited:
rimireku Featured By Owner May 29, 2013   Traditional Artist
Oh ma gawd it's Struss!
Thanks for the watch too, I'll be updating with more current stuff over the summer.
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