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[OOC: Zula wants to speak to me before I update him.]

Lordaeron


Within the hour, Alford had returned with Tileot. The boy was unsure as to why he had been distracted from his fencing training, but Alford had told him that it was time to see at least one of the Bruxist prisoners.

A ragged woman sat facing out of a window in an otherwise bare chamber. Alford put a hand on Tileot's shoulder, as if to reassure the boy. The poor young man had no idea that he was looking at his mother. Gathering his breath, Alford began to speak.

"Look, Tileot. This is what happens when you sell your soul to a malevolent deity. When you give up all that you love and care about, to sate the appetite of a monstrous demon."

Tileot squinted at the woman, who sorrowfully turned to face him. Burning tears streamed down her once beautiful face, which had been scarred by battle. "What happened to her? Who is she?"

Alford grunted, a pain in his chest at having to lie so many times this day. "It doesn't matter. I just wanted you to see the consequences of war; what a man or a woman becomes when turning to paganism to find meaning to life."

Margaret unwisely chose to speak, her voice powerful with anger. "He looks so much like me."

Alford froze, his grip on Tileot's shoulder tightening. "Silence, woman; lest you regret it for the rest of your days." Tileot's confused expression wracked Margaret further. Her face contorted with anger and hatred. "My boy, my boy. Do you not recognize me?"

Immediately, Alford swung Tileot around and tried to shove him back out the door. "You are my son!" Margaret cried. Then Tileot was out the door, and Alford lowered his head to meet the boy's eyes. "She is a raving lunatic. Go, continue your training. Forget this encounter." The poor young man's expression became defiant, and he looked over Alford's shoulder briefly, before leaving. Alford knew that Tileot would surely put little stock in Margaret's ravings. After all, he had not an inkling that he was not his uncle's son.

Furious, Alford turned back to Margaret. "You treacherous, lying snake!"

Margaret laughed back at him, tears still searing her reddened cheeks. "You should take responsibility for your bastard child now, Alford. It's better now than never. Tileot is the least of your problems."

Alford massaged his temples and pondered. "What are you on about now, woman?"

She who called herself Yune revealed her familiar smile, a mouth which Alford had once kissed. Her words were venomous. "I know you lied to me when you said you would return my estate to me. I know my brothers are dead, and yet you promised to give Corin's Crossing to them? I broke my word just as you did." the crying woman raged on. "Alford, be warned. Tileot's brother will come for you. Amron would have told him by now; Andol Corin is my son. Your son. Tileot's twin, who I hid from you just as I knew I would never see at least one of my children again. If Andol still lives, he will claim your throne, you pathetic fool."

-

Outside, a trumpet heralded the return of Marshal Sherman and his consort, a bloodied and tired ragtag band having witnessed chaos at Caer Darrow. Between them, shackled and blindfolded was an elf who had enjoyed collaboration with Amron but nights before; a Viridian Benefactor of Quel'Thalas.

That night, still recovering from shock, Alford bore witness to the presentation of this valuable hostage. An elf in green looked into Alford's eyes, and the world span, a flood of brief memories hitting him.

-

Alford found himself looking upon a face that was somehow familiar. A young man with light hair and ragged armour stood face to face with an elf in a brown robe and an elf with a green robe, amidst the tranquility of a glade. The elves looked to one another, and back at the boy. Alford recognized that one of them was Kariel Winthalus, whom he had just seen before him. Kariel, who had sent him this vision.

Kariel's voice resounded in his head.

"It is no coincedence that we Benefactors are the ties between the pagan factions of this world. Even in chains, I can sense events transpire, dear King. Yes, what you have heard is true."

The young man looked to the elf in brown. "Where are you going, Amron? Why are you forsaking us?" Calm golden eyes shimmered back at the human, and he embraced the boy comfortingly. "Look at me, Andol." The boy complied.

"Boy, if I do not return to you by the fourth rising of the sun from this day, read this letter." Amron continued, handing Andol an envelope. "I go now with Kariel Winthalus. We will lure the human war party away from you. Take the cult into Hesperia, Andol. Kariel has promised to bring us safely into the hands of our allies. I will do my best to lead our enemies away from you; to keep you safe, my boy."

Kariel smiled. "If all goes according to plan, the master will have a relic of immense power, and your cult's defeats in Strattania will pale compared to the glory of the victories to come."

Amron did not seem as positive. "Such potential futures are fickle. I will rely on what is probable. Go now, Andol, and may we meet again, in this life, or the next."

Alford found himself back in the throne room, glaring into Kariel Winthalus' eyes. Sherman brought Kariel to his knees. "My King, I offer you-"

"Kariel Winthalus." Alford muttered.

Sherman seemed surprised. "How did you know?"

---

Ravenholdt


Hellen von Xie found herself drawn to the dungeon of Ravenholdt the night before her departure. Messenger Prax, the Alterac prisoner, had but one request. To be able to talk to her about a private matter.

Hellen, for the life of her, could not remember what was said that night. In fact, she could swear that her memory of the entire night had evaporated. Dismissing the matter as either irrelevant or the hint of a silly dream, she equipped herself and set off to investigate affairs at Caer Darrow.

Meanwhile, Myrokos gathered to his retinue some of the finest that the order had to offer, including some of Hellen's own Nightstalkers. They would travel as fast as was possible by horse north into the Hinterlands, and then east towards the trollish city of Jintha'alor. Their contact, 'BJ', promised to reveal himself to them, rather than the other way round. Myrokos was not happy with this arrangement, but after his failures in Quel'Thalas he was hardly ready to disobey direct orders from Travot.

The company came across very few signs of activity, though they stopped by the Ironforge Expedition's base in the Hinterlands to gather what information the dwarves may have heard. Indeed, there was word of Maroon cultists in the region, and word had travelled of a massacre at Caer Darrow. Myrokos decided to leave such things up to Hellen, and the Nightstalkers were off again.

Eventually, the company halted when Myrokos had the faint feeling that they were being followed. Myrokos scanned the treetops with his accute eyes. No human would have spotted the outline of a figure in a distant tree, but Myrokos was no human. He realised he would have a clear shot at whatever the creature was if he took immediate action; or he would lose the target and likely suffer the consequences if he delayed. There was, however, no guarantee that this was even an enemy.

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