Through the Barricades

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Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:33 pm

((a little bit of back story regarding cross faction friction))

Robi walked by the shore Lordamere Lake, drinking in the warm ambience of the still unspoiled Alterac countryside. The manor house, once a syndicate base stood empty and she idly wondered if she should tell her mother, it was after all her early childhood home.
Robi let her mind wander aimlessly, glad of the solitude and once again found her thoughts drifting back to earlier and in her opinion simpler happier times.
Her marriage to Owyn..light she had been young then and in hindsight, probably foolish, and then to Shay, her husband now, her life, her reason to be....
Then as was usual when she thought of her time with Shay, her thoughts turned to Arli Sunblade, the brash young Bloodelf who she and Ivery had kidnapped and who she later formed a strange bond of friendship with.
She'd cried when she'd been told he was probably dead, she hadnt meant to, she'd been sitting alone thinking over events after being told, she hadn't thought of the bad things, it was the quieter moments when it had been just he and her alone that had jumped to the forefront of her memories. Their sharing bourbon and bloodthistle...his coming to Stormwind to see her, her seeking him out in Elwynn,. and before she had known it several tears were rolling down her cheeks.
Arli had deserved a lot of things but somehow a lonely death away from friends and loved ones wasn't one of them. She had wished she had been there to say goodbye to maybe hold his hand and let him know at the end that at least one would mourn him.

She sighed and pulled herself back from her reminiscence and again looked out across the lake towards the towering ruins of Lordaeron.
Another soft sigh and she turned to head back, pulling her cloak around her as the sun started to set.

"Uruk...?" came a soft familiar voice from somewhere behind her.
She spun on her heel and saw nothing.
"Arli...?" her voice little more than a husky incredulous whisper.
A soft warm laugh and Arli slipped from the shadows to stand before her.
She opened her mouth then closed it again, words failing her, she shook her head in disbelief.
"I gotta stop thinking about him, Im going nuts..." but somehow she knew, this wasn't her imagination, it wasn't a ghost, it was Arli, large as life with that oh so familiar cheeky half grin half smirk dancing around his mouth.

"Youre dead..." she said inanely
He laughed amused and patted himself down the arms and across the torso.
"Nope..feel pretty much alive to me" he laughed.
"They said you were dead..." she repeated, her eyes locked on him almost afraid to look away in case he disappeared and she was in fact going mad.
He shook his head and looked serious for a moment
"I hit a bad patch Robi..I needed to get away"
Then he shrugged and the smile returned, a little forced perhaps but the seriousness had gone.
"So I went...let people think I was dead if thats what they wanted, they shouldnt believe all they hear...." he laughed as if greatly amused by it all.
For some reason this angered Robi, she looked at him sharply.
"So you went...? SO YOU WENT!" she almost raged at him. "You selfish..selfish little git...."
Arli looked slightly taken aback for a moment as he looked at her then burst out laughing.
"Why Robi...don't tell me you missed me?"
"" she started but broke off as tears splashed down her face, she looked at him then launched herself at him, her hands slapping at him wildly and blindly.
"Selfish...idiot..." she gulped "didnt you even -think- for a minute..I might have mis...I mean people might have mourned you?"
every word was punctuated with a flay of her hand or an almost hysterical punch on his chest.
"I worried...I wondered..I cried..." all the while her hands lashing at him.
"Whoa..whoa..." he half laughed as he grabbed her wrists and held her at arms length.
She aimed a kick at him, still sobbing abuse about his leaving and her thinking him dead.
"Enough already..." he said and pulled her towards him, his hands grabbing her arms and holding her still.
Her shoulders shaking still, she took a deep breath and calmed herself, she looked up at him her eyes still filled with anger, hurt and relief.
Arli smiled.
"Oh Arli...." she said in exasperation and a wan smile found its way to her lips.
He still held her arms and as she looked his eyes met hers. A lone tear tricked on her cheek and he leaned in to wipe it away.
"Im I don't know...glad youre not dead I guess..." she stammered.
"Funny way of showing it..." he laughed softly.
She had the good grace to blush slightly and smile a little embarrassed by her outburst. She had to admit it she'd shocked herself at it.
He looked down and she looked up and they exchanged a smile,their eyes locked they moved slowly closer....

"Vile Thorn......!" a human voice shouted from somewhere close..."For Lordaeron....."
"Go..quickly" Robi hissed "I'll get rid of him..."
Arli smiled as he slipped into shadows.
"Shadows protect..." she whispered.

"Oi..what you shoutin' about?" she called towards the voice. "Can't a girl get some sleep around here..."
Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:36 pm

Robi's face lit up as she ran towards Ivery.
"Ivery" she flung herself at him, leapt up and wrapped herself around him and hugged him tight.
Ivery laughed warmly and hugged her back closely.

She hadn't seen him for ages and she hadn't realised how much she'd missed him.
Clinging to his arm as he lowered her they exchanged news and greetings. Calahan came across and exchanged pleasantries. The two men talked a while, chatting easily while Robi stood contentedly listening.

Aresh came out of the inn and as Robi was introducing him to Ivery a loud, not too ditant yell cut the air.

Robi smiled.

Both Cal and Ivery drew their blades and looked around, Robi swore she heard a faint elvish laugh close by and she turned her head.
Ivery grinned wickedly and turned to her.
"That who I think it is?" he asked
Robi laughed and nodded.
Ivery laughed
"Tenacious little bugger ain't he?" he grinned "Think he'd have learned a lesson or two"
Cal wasn't amused as he slipped into the shadows.
"Uruk!" the yell came again.
Cals voice rang out angrily
"Show yerself you limp wristed little bastard..."
Again Robi thought she heard a laugh.
"Id better go see if I can see him" she said quietly to Ivery."We dont want the locals panicking do we?"
Ivery grinned, his eyes glinting with amused wickedness.
"Aye lass that you should"
She soared high over the village calling as rose.
Then a string of Thalassian which she tried hard to translate.
"I land now, you drop your bag..." she heard
"Huh?"she thought puzzled "What the fel did he mean, surely he wasn't going to land in Goldshire with Ivery around and Cal on the warpath.
As she pondered from the corner of her eye she glimpsed a windrider flying swiftly away from the village in the general direction of Westfall.
The copper dropped.
" the baggage?" she wondered
Feeling smugly pleased with herself she wheeled Charlie and flew towards the small island in Westfall where she and Ivery had held Arli.
It appeared deserted when she landed but then Arli would stay hidden until she was sure she was alone.She released Charlie and walked to the edge of the island.
She turned slowly and smiled as Arli slipped from the shadows.
The smile faded slightly as she looked at him before her.
He looked awful she thought, his masked face showing fading bruises, but that wasn't it, it was his whole appearance, his clothes unkempt, she thought they looked as though he'd slept in them for days, he looked, she thought. as if he'd been sleeping rough, his face was pallid and his eyes slightly red rimmed, and as she stepped nearer she could distinctly discern the odour of stale alcohol around him.
She bit her lip and lowered her head, a pang of concern stabbed at her. This wasn't the Arli she remembered....
She saw him stagger and give a strangled yell and Ivery slipped from the shadows, grinning coldly and brandishing a dagger.
He pointed at Arli.
"Right Belf...what do you want? Im warning you now, you so much as even give her a dirty look and Ill tear your balls off and hand them back to you as a Thistle pouch...understand?"
Arli looked slightly perplexed and dazed but nodded.
" I just wanted to see her, Im not here to hurt her..." Arli replied.
There was something in the way he spoke, an edge to his voice and the look in his eyes as he glanced at her for reassurance...he really did want to see her, she got the impression that for some reason it was important.
"I'll be fine Ivery...." she smiled at the handsome rogue
Ivery looked from Arli to Robi and nodded curtly
"Ok..." he sounded unsure but mounted his griffon, turning his head towards Arli he growled "Thistle pouch..."
Arli nodded his understanding and looked glad to see Ivery leave.
He turned and looked at her
"Sit with me a bit?"
she nodded and they both sat side by side on the edge of the island and looked out over the sea.
They made small talk for a while, she subtly tried to extract information about where he'd been, what he'd done, not for any great cause, but to satisfy herself that he was as fine as he said.
In true Arli style he laughed off her more serious questions and deftly evaded giving her a straight answer if it had meant revealing anything.
She didnt press the issue, she felt that he needed companionship not a nagging or a prying interogation, she looked up smiling and leaned against his side as his arm circled her waist.

"Did I ever say I was sorry?" he asked "You know I was acting under orders,,,"
"No you didn't, but neither did I, and I don't have the excuse of orders..." she laughed lightly
They exchanged a smile and his arm tightened around her, she nestled closer to his side. They spent the next few minutes in a thoughtful but companionable silence.
" Can't we just forget about it all?" he asked finally "put it in the past where it belongs.."
She nodded and hugged him.
"Maybe we can meet again.." he started
"That would be nice, we could make a fire..."
"cook some food..."
"not your fish though..." she laughed kindly "Last lot disagreed with me... never could get away with foreign food"
He laughed and elbowed her playfully.
"Come to Eversong" he said "I know a lot of places I could show you.."
She smiled, he sounded enthusiastic and keen to show off his homeland to her, well that or cleverly luring her into a trap.
She looked up and studied him and all but dismissed the thought.
"I'd like that" she replied
They gazed out over the horizon, each lost in their own thoughts, his arm wrapped around her she rested on his shoulder.
"I have to leave" he said "Comms is busy Im being asked to report in...told the Deathmaster Im hunting in Duskwood"
"Then you'd best get gone then" and she slipped out from under his arm.
He looked reluctant to leave and she felt reluctant to let him go. They hastily agreed to meet a few days later and explore Eversong Woods together.
She hugged him warmly as he turned to leave then reluctantly released him.
She'd enjoyed their talk, although there was more she had wanted to say more to ask him more to understand, but alas her command of Thalassian wasn't that good.
"Stay safe..." she called as he took to the air.

She headed back to Goldshire and found she was looking forward to seeing Arli again.
Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:30 am

(( Backstory from May last year. Arli and Robi had a lot of interaction before this too. This storyline is set after his return from self-imposed exile from Thorns - the time after I returned from Defias. He was demoted to the lowest rank, punished for abandoning his post in the first place and as Robi finds him, is going through a rough time in adjusting to being back ))

Arli sat on the bridge over the Undercity Canal and took another swig of his final bottle of bourbon from Relena, one of his Thorn sisters. This was good stuff, smooth and proper Silvermoon bourbon not the stuff you could sometimes get in Orgrimmar that was clearly some goblin import that had never seen Quel’Thalas let alone Silvermoon. Relena was a nice girl, never given him any trouble - that he could recall in his alcohol-induced haze anyway. When he got a few gold together he’d return the favour and take her out for a drink. Arli laughed to himself, drawing cold glances from the male forsaken passing by, well he would take her out when he sobered up one day and got some paid work.

The evening had started badly. He was heading to the bar in Orgrimmar when a Marauder Orc stopped him and pointed to the Alliance flying above, telling him to deal with it, he was a Thorn and wasn’t it his job? Arli had laughed at him, it wasn’t his job to protect Orgrimmar and besides, he needed a drink. The Marauder had muttered something about Thorns and Arli had just smiled and walked on, counting the last of his money to buy a drink at the bar, and not Frog Venom Brew.

He had just brought a Silvermoon Port and turned to leave when he saw Antel looking at him from the doorway. There was an awkward silence and the conversation that followed was even more awkward and stilted, he didn’t know what to say and was scared in case he said the wrong thing and she walked away. Arli had given her his drink, hoping to prolong the conversation, get her to stay a little longer. He told her he missed her and she looked upset, his hopes rising as she talked of ‘if’ she took him back. But it ended too quickly as Dianthaa and Celthrik came into the bar and greeted him, and his heart ached as he watched her pull up her hood and walk away, neither agreeing or refusing to meet him to talk. He didn’t know what to say or do to fix this any more and in a daze made a brief apology to his friends and left the Inn; walking aimlessly around Orgrimmar and rerunning the conversation with Antel over and over in his head, analysing it for any hint that she was to forgive him and take him back.

Finally, Arli answered the recurring calls for assistance over comms and headed to Elwynn Forest to meet the rest of the Thorns. The fights were fast and he found it hard to concentrate; he needed a drink not to clash blades with the enemy. As his Thorn brothers left to attend to tasks of their own, Arli stayed behind, sitting on the hill overlooking Goldshire for a while, with no orders given he had nothing particular he should be doing and with no money, he couldn’t even go and get drunk. Arli scrambled down the hill and slipped to the shadows, it was getting late, maybe he could catch a few drunken Alliance leaving the Inn and acquire some spending money for himself.

As he approached the Inn Arli could see a small group standing talking, a couple of males …Arli swore lightly..Ivery and Calahan but standing next to them was Robi! Arli yelled her name and laughed as she looked around, and as Ivery and Calahan both drew their blades, Calahan slipping to the shadows. Arli grinned and backed away into the woods and then back to a new vantage point; Robi, just the distraction he needed. He watched as another male came out and spoke with her and then left towards Stormwind, laughing to himself as the remaining three searched for him. He needed to see Robi, he hadn’t been able to find her and their last unexpected meeting was cut far too short. Arli yelled again in Thalassian, the language he knew Robi could understand a little of; “Robi, the Island now and lose the baggage!”, he laughed and headed towards Westfall, knowing she wouldn’t let him down.

Arli approached the island slowly and in the shadows. As much as he wanted to see Robi, it would be foolish to not be careful on Alliance territory. He watched as Robi waited on the edge of the island, looking out across towards the horizon. He paused, she looked as good as she always did, that natural beauty, that figure and with that edge of danger about her. Arli smiled and stepped from the shadows as he greeted her. Robi turned and returned the smile and as he walked towards her he felt a sharp crack across the back of his head as he stumbled, and fell to his knees, dazed. “Ivery!” scolded Robi as Arli scrambled to her and stood shakily with daggers drawn, looking at a grinning Ivery. Arli backed away, there was a lot of history with Ivery and should they clash blades, he was pretty sure Robi would not fight at his side, he was still the enemy after all. A few sharp words were exchanged, with Ivery threatening him a slow and painful death should he cause Robi any harm at all. With Arli’s assurance he meant no harm, Ivery slipped to the shadows with the final words that he would be watching him. Robi and Arli sat and looked across the moonlit sea, exchanging small talk, skipping over any delicate questions she might ask and laughing away any concerns. He put his arm around her and she leaned into him as they sat and talked, he had so missed this, just relaxing with someone who didn’t judge him or care who he worked for or what he did. Too soon the questions came over comms as to where he was and what he was doing. Answering that he was hunting in Duskwood, Arli reluctantly said his goodbye’s to Robi. He hurriedly arranged to meet her in a few days in Plaguelands and he would show her around Eversong, they could take food and drink, he’d bring ‘thistle and they could have an evening relaxing together away from alliance and horde. Just Arli and Robi, no Thorns, no Knights, no trouble.

Duskwood was quiet and few guards were around. It was easy to pick off one of the lone guards, choosing one that looked most like Ivery, and prolong the kill, let his screams break the silence of the sleeping town and fill a few of its citizens dreams with nightmares. Finally, Arli mercifully cut short the screams with a dagger across the stricken guards throat, rifling his pockets and taking a few gold and the gold wedding ring from his finger. Slipping to the shadows as men ran from the houses, blades and guns raised, he ran through the trees and on to Stranglethorn Vale, time to head home and finish that bourbon and plan his meeting with Robi, it was good to have something to look forward to again.

Last edited by arli on Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:29 am

Arli crouched once again in the the small outcrop of bushes at the side of the road to Ghostlands. He yawned tiredly, it was well into the early hours of the morning and he had to finally admit to himself that he had missed the meeting with Robi.

He stood up and stretched and started the walk back to Lights Hope Chapel where he could get a Windrider back to Undercity. How the hell was he going to tell Robi that he has missed the meeting so that she didn't think he stood her up? He needed a contact Alliance side again, someone reliable and discrete who he could pass on messages to.

Arli stopped walking and replayed the last words in his head, '..stood her up.', he felt his face redden. This wasn't a date, he told himself, they were just friends who enjoyed each other's company and besides, Shay would literally skin him alive and he had Antel now. Yeah, just friends...Arli laughed lightly and carried on his way.


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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:42 am

Robi sat in the shadows behind a rocky outcrop outside the pass that linked The Plaguelands to The Ghostlands.

She was cold and stiff and quite frankly bored with waiting and the boredom was making her irritable. Arli was supposed to be meeting her, taking her for a tour of Eversong..a trip to the beach....
She sighed and admitted to herself that he wasn't coming. She couldn't help but feel a twinge of disappointment.
She wondered why he hadn't come, Thorn business perhaps? Romantic problems?
"Nah" she thought "Probably lying drunk in an Undercity gutter somewhere"
Or perhaps, this had all been a trick to lure her here, keep her waiting until she was numb with boredom then...
She looked around and placed her hand on the hilt of her dagger. Yes she thought a typical Arli trick as she remembered the last time.

But remembering how he had looked the other night she couldnt quite believe he was trying to trick her. She believed he had genuinely been glad of her company as she had been of his.
She gave a soft wry laugh to herself as she felt mild annoyance at having been stood up.
"Stood up" she laughed "Anyone would think we were dating"
She shook her head laughing still.
The very idea...her dating a bloodelf no she and Arli were friends and would never be anything else I mean, they didn't really trust each other one hundred percent did they? They were traditional enemies, weren't they?
She mocked herself for her thoughts and wondered if she could find someone to carry a message to him for her. I mean just a friendly note that said there were no hard feelings about him letting her down and that it was ok..she had been passing anyway like she did every Thursday....
Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:15 pm

“She hit me…”, spoke Arli to his reflection in the mirror, “she hit me…”. Arli winced as he touched his blackened eye, “..and all in front of my Thorn brothers”. Arli had been surprised at the force such a small forsaken woman could pack into one punch; he had overstepped the mark with the Thorn Mistress and paid for it. He ran his finger down one of the more prominent scars across his face, the reminder of punishment given on his return. The scars were starting to fade, but the deeper cuts still left angry red marks on his pale skin, they would heal in time and thankfully he could hide most of it with his Thorn mask. Unlike the blackened eye he now wore.

Arli sat on the single bed and looked around the small, but functional room. He had finally swallowed his pride and sought his cousin Naimen to ask her for a loan so he could rent a place and start to sort himself out. However Naimen knew him too well to lend him any gold, so instead she offered him the use of the small bedsit she owned that she only used when she rarely needed to stay in Silvermoon. He was welcome to live there she said, rent free, for the next month which should give him enough opportunity to save a deposit to rent his own place. With no other option, Arli had accepted and thanked Naimen for helping him out again and promised to visit his Grandfather again soon.

The Mistress had called them all to Brill that evening; Arli reluctantly turned up as commanded, he had been drinking and really hadn’t planned on doing much other than drinking more that night. But the Mistress was insistent that all Thorns attended so he turned up and stood in line alongside the other Thorns. The Mistress faced them, Deathmasters Soulak and Squadron at her side;

“Arli, run to the lake”

Arli just looked at her; “No ma’am”.

“Arli, I gave you an order”

“I know, and I see no point in following it, it serves no purpose, ma’am”.

“The purpose is you will follow orders, NOW RUN!”

Arli turned and ran out of Brill and towards the lake stopping as soon as he was out of sight and sitting behind a tree, he reached for the last of the bourbon in his hip-flask.

The day before, Arli has stood up to the Mistress for the first time in all his years as a Thorn. He had been given an order to kill Robi and he had refused. He had explained that she was of use to him, he got a lot of useful information just by talking to her and the loss of that information would be detrimental to the Thorns in the long term. He knew there were other reasons that he didn’t want her killed, but wasn’t stupid enough to voice them. Working hard to keep his voice calm, Arli had played his final card, stating simply that the Mistress was allowing emotion to cloud her judgement. There was a long silence and it had taken all of his courage for him to stand his ground; finally she replied that Robi could live, for now.

“Arli, get back here, the Mistress said the Lake, not the sea”, growled Squadron over comms.

Arli laughed and walked back to the meeting, he stood up to the Mistress over Robi and she backed down. Arli strolled over and smiled at the other Thorns as he took his place once again in line. The Mistress looked at him again, his smile obviously had not been overlooked;

“Arli, run to the lake”

“No ma’am. This is pointless”

“I gave you an order.”

“Yes ma’am, and when it serves a valid purpose I shall follow it”.

“The Thorns at your side will face punishment until you follow my command”.

The Mistress pointed at a Thorn and sent them running to the Lake; they obeyed immediately without question.

“Arli, run to the lake”.

Arli hesitated and then shook his head. Again, a Thorn was taken from the line and ordered to run to the Lake and again her command was followed without question. Each time she asked Arli and each time he refused, another Thorn taking his punishment, and each time Arli feeling more uneasy at disobeying her, but determined to win this battle of wills.

Arli laughed “You gonna keep punishing Thorns for me disobeying a pointless order?”. He smiled and tried to look relaxed to hide the rising panic as yet another Thorn was punished.

“Thorns”, spoke the Mistress coldly once all had returned, “I hope you realise that your brother Arli is causing you this?”

The assembled Thorns nodded, if looks could kill Arli would be one dead elf.

“Like it matters?”, replied Arli with false ease, taking all his effort to keep his voice even, “They don’t like me anyway”. He shrugged and smiled although the rising panic and adrenalin was making him feel sick and dizzy now. The Thorn Mistress walked over and stood in front of Arli and without a further word, punched him in the face. Shocked, Arli staggered back, almost falling; to be struck by the Mistress was unheard of.

“Run to the lake NOW SUNBLADE”.

Arli stepped back and saluted clumsily, turning on his heel he ran towards the lake, stopping again once out of sight but this time to throw up, he wasn’t sure if it was through fear or the alcohol although he was pretty sure he hadn’t drank that much. Quickly, he returned to the Thorns and stood in line, head bowed as the Mistress lectured them on what it means to be a Thorn and how she would expect her orders to be followed to the letter, looking at Arli as she said ‘especially on commands to kill’. If they were to fail then they would be punished, along with the Thorns at their side. Risking a question got Arli another run to the Lake from Squadron, and then again to the other Lake by Soulak, much to the Deathmasters amusement.

And so here he was back alone at Naimens place with ample time to think over his future. He felt uneasy as he thought of Antel. He had been so happy when she said she would take him back, but had heard nothing from her since. Yet Robi…he’d seen Robi a lot. He had warned her that the Mistress was out to kill her and the Brotherhood, she had been grateful for the warning and had got away just as Squadron arrived. Then he saw her again later, told her that she would be safe, he would protect her from the blades of his brothers if needed and took her to the Thorn Mistress, under the Mistress’ command. They had talked afterwards and agreed to meet again later in the week, for that promised tour of his homeland.

Arli lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He could be a good Thorn from now on, follow command, obey without question and maybe one day rise in rank again. The other option of course was to follow the more dangerous path, the one more Sin’dorei than Thorn, the one he had already started down. He thought back to the meeting with Robi and the favour he had asked of her, the contract he needed arranged discretely. She had agreed to help him, he knew she would do as he asked, no questions asked. Two paths, the good Thorn with Antel, or the Sin’dorei in Thorn colours and further meetings with Robi and maybe contracts for her people, and whatever that could lead to…..

Arli got up and left the bedsit, a couple of bottles of bourbon would help him think more clearly.


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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:25 am

Robi strolled leisurely through Stormwind City keeping half an eye open for any sign of Ivery. She kinda hoped she would bump into him, not for any particular reason other than since she'd bumped into the other day she had this butterfly knot in her stomach and just wanted to see that wink....
"URUK!" an urgent sounding yell went out over the city "URUK..MALAN LO'NO DRIS BA'AR NI MEDO AS'ME"

She stopped and scanned the roof tops, nothing...

"ARLI..." she yelled back, careless of the people who heard, he sounded desperate."NU'ANAS DATAD JAE'AST"

With that she mounted Charlie and spurred the beast towards Westfall.
Arli was waiting on the island, not in shadows but standing tense and anxious.
"Robi..The mistress has given an order to kill you...she has heard of an assassination plot on her, by some order called "The Brotherhood of Shadow", she seems to believe youre mixed up in it somehow..."
Robi looked confused and arched a brow.
"Theres no Brotherhood plot to assassinate Anethrax..where did this come from?"
"She says she has her sources"
"Well I can categorically state that The Brotherhood have not instigated an assassination..."
"I told her you were a Knight of Lordaeron, not this Brotherhood.."
"Im with the Brotherhood Arli..."
The exchange between them was rapid and low.
Arli looked aghast as she uttered the last sentence.
" have to leave them..she has ordered them all dead on sight..."
"Arli..there is no assassination plot...we're still establishing ourselves, we are not yet in a solid enough position to threaten Thorns, let alone Anethrax..."
Arli nodded as he studied her face looking for truth or lie in her words.
She smiled and placed her hand gently on his arm.
"Believe me Arli...there is no attempt" she said
"I will tell her..." he broke off and pushed her urgently "Go..quickly..Deathmaster Squadron is coming, he'll kill you.."
She nodded briefly and quickly smiled her gratitude as she leapt onto Charlies back and soared high, just in time to see Squadron emerge from the shadows.
She shuddered, remembering how he had cut and poisoned her face.

As she swiftly flew towards the shore she heard Arli call on the wind
"O 'Isu ashad'a Uruk"

Landing in Stormwind she ran to the inn to find Aresh. He had to know.

The message arrived, a plain simple request from Arli, she didn't recognise the messenger but wasn't in the mood for pleasantries. She took it and walked aside.

Meet me at the Bulwark, The Mistress wishes to speak with you, I have said I will defend you against the blades of my brothers if necessary"

Arli Sunblade.

Aresh wasn't around, damn it she'd have to go alone, she thought.

Arli was already mounted on his skeletal horse as she landed.

"By land Robi" he said and urged his horse to walk.
She nodded and stayed on Charlies back but kept the mighty griffon on land. She was damned if she was getting off, she would be poised for a quick take off should this go wrong.
Their talk was strained, she was nervous and got the feeling Arli was too, she wondered why.
The usual thoughts and suspicions crowded her thoughts as he led her deeper into Tirisfal.

Robi felt sick with apprehension as ahead, by the shores of a lake she saw the deceptively diminutive figure of Anethrax, her eyes drawn to the poisoned blades at her sides glinting in the moonlight.

"So Robinas" she started straight away. "I hear you have complied a report for your guild master on The Vile Thorn"
Robi looked at Anethrax, suprised that she seemed to know about it, it had been less than a day since she compiled it. She thought it foolish to deny it.
"Theres not an order in the Alliance that doesnt have some form of dossier on you" Robi replied.
"But none as in depth and as concise as yours, where did you get the information?" Anethrax countered looking hard at Robi.
Robi's spine tingled with nerves as she tried to hold Anethrax's gaze.
Arli looked surprised to hear this and looked at Robi quizzically.
"Maybe you should ask her Arli...what information she holds on you...."
"The information in it is all intelligence I have gathered from various sources none from Vile Thorns themselves if that is your suspicion" Robi continued
Inside she couldn't help but feel a touch pleased with herself, the fact that Anethrax was concerned enough to question her about told her that her findings were accurate.
"You gather information well..." Anethrax conceded. "Maybe you would like to gather some for me..."
Robi tilted her head and looked at The Thorn Mistress.
"Like what?" she asked
Anethrax smiled and Robi shivered.
" I won't ask you to raise a blade against Alliance, just to sometimes give me locations on certain people that I know you know" Anethrax went on.
Robi knew this wasn't a request, she was in fact bargaining for her life and Anethrax knew she knew.
"What in it for me...?" Robi asked "I just walk away with my life?"
Anethrax looked at her with yellow eyes
"Isn't that enough?"
In that moment Robi fully understood why this former woman commanded fear and a certain respect. There was no veiled threat in her voice, no anger, no bargaining tone but Robi knew she was being given no real choice.

" You do not raise a blade to the Thorns and we in turn will do the same to The Brotherhood, perhaps we can be of use to each other"
"Ma'am" Robi replied.
Nodding satisfied Anethrax turned and slipped into shadows.
Robi nearly fainted with relief.
She smiled wanly at Arli.
"Meet me where we were to meet before" said Arli "We need to talk"
Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:26 am

Deep within the pass they talked in hushed tones.

Sunblade and Kaezlan.

She had been surprised but hid it well when he asked her to arrange a contract killing.
"You'll have to point him out"
"I will..does this mean you agree?"
She nodded
"How much?" he asked
"A favour owed" she replied
He nodded
"I'll be in touch" she said

"So what about this tour of my homeland soon?" he said breaking the sombre business mood and they were Arli and Robi again. Two friends that just happened to be on opposite sides.
"I'd love it..." she grinned

"When?" he asked
"As soon as?" she replied
They agreed, they'd meet here day after tomorrow and he'd finally give her the tour he'd promised.
She hoped he'd turned up, she wanted to see him, talk to him, see if she could find out what had started him down the path that she worried was one of self destruction.
"Stay safe" she said as she hugged him
"Shadows protect Robi" he hugged her back.

Then each with a last glance back over their shoulder at each other they walked their seperate ways.

Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:45 pm

“Arli, you will obey my orders, are you now in Wintergrasp?” said the Mistress over comms

“Yes ma’am”, replied Arli as he took another drag from his Bloodthistle smoke and leaned on the doorframe of the balcony door as he looked down on the darkened Silvermoon. “I’ll be off comms while I scout the Fortress, it seems that it is in Alliance hands”. Arli switched off his comms before the Mistress or this supposed partner in Wintergrasp, Dianthaa, could reply and threw it onto the table behind him. The Mistress had been on his back from the moment she had come on comms that evening and frankly, he was sick of it. And as for Dianthaa, she had totally ruined his evening, totally ruined it.

Arli had met Robi at the border of Ghostlands as arranged and they had made their way to the Eversong coast. Arli was proud to show her the beauty of his homelands and Robi seemed genuinely happy to be out with him. On the way he had asked how the contract was progressing and had she found someone to fulfil it. She had a name in mind but wouldn’t tell him, but the contract would be completed as requested. Arli took another drag of his smoke and exhaled slowly; maybe he had been a little too hasty in this decision and what with the Mistress seemingly watching his every move, perhaps he should call off the contract, for now at least. Although it was between himself and Robi, the Mistress seemed to have contacts everywhere and should she find out about this, Thorn law dictated that he would face execution.

Finishing his smoke he walked back into the small bedsit and opened a bottle of bourbon. That night he and Robi had only just sat to talk he had his arm around her and she rested against him, both contented when there was a stifled giggle behind them. Dianthaa, like some Sin’dorei replica of the Mistress - “Do this Arli, don’t do that Arli, do as you are told Arli”, Arli frowned and took a long swig of bourbon. They had argued; Dianthaa referring to Robi as his girlfriend and Arli denying it, claiming Robi was just an Informer to him. And poor Robi, caught in the middle of it all, standing bemused as the two Thorns bickered. Then the Mistress came on comms and gave them both orders to report in at Wintergrasp. He’d hardly said a word to Robi and now he was being ordered away and with Dianthaa refusing to leave without him. In the end Robi said she had better leave and promised to meet him again soon. Arli reluctantly said his goodbyes to her, promising to find a way to get a message to her for when they could next meet. As Robi left him, Arli stormed off across Eversong towards Silvermoon with Dianthaa always a few steps behind and constantly nagging him to follow the orders given.

On firm orders from the Mistress, Dianthaa left for Wintergrasp with Arli saying he would follow as soon as he had refreshed his supply of poisons. And now here he was, back at the bedsit with a good supply of bourbon and ‘thistle; no way he was spending the night in the snows of Wintergrasp. Arli looked across at the comms unit; maybe he would stay off comms a few days, let the Mistress forget about her focus on him and hopefully turn it to some other unfortunate Thorn. He took another long swig of Bourbon. After all, no one knew where he lived now…maybe a few days of drink, ‘thistle and whatever else his supplier could get him would give him a few days respite from reality.

He downed the rest of the bottle and reached for another, the effects of the ‘thistle and bourbon already making his thoughts fuzzy. The contract…maybe a poor, and dangerously stupid, decision but a means of him having reason to seek out Robi, he smiled to himself and started the second bottle.


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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:23 pm

She listened hard and looked from one bickering belf to the other but couldnt understand a blind word either of them were saying. She caught the odd word but without understanding the context they may as well have been speaking demonic.

She'd met Arli as planned and so far had enjoyed a leisurely walk through the beautiful eversong, she'd listened happily as Arli showed off his native land, his pride in it almost transforming him back to the Arli she knew instead of the down at heel looking drunk she felt he was becoming.
They'd come here to the coast and had just sat down together and she was looking out over the sea. Arli wrapped his arm around her and she snuggled into his side. They chatted easily for just a few minutes when she heard the giggle behind her, turned and saw a pretty little Sin'Dorei in Vile Thorn colours.

When their interchange had first begun, Arli had tried to involve her and translated for her when he noticed her perplexed looks, but soon they were exchanging words so rapidly he seemed to forget she was there.

She glanced around wondering if perhaps there were more thorns in hiding and decided it was probably wise to leave just in case.
With more than a touch of disappointment she said farewell to Arli and cast a disdainful look at the girl.
Arli hugged her and said he'd be in touch, she hugged him back and nodded.
A last smile at each other and she walked, as casually as she could, until she was out of sight then mounted and rode for home.
She'd go to Elwynn and listen, hoping to hear the welcome yell on the wind....
Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:09 am

Arli sat in the darkened corner of the Booty Bay Inn and glanced at the door again; he was late. He drained the last of his bourbon and sat moodily staring into the empty glass. Damn the man, now he would have to go and scout Stornwind himself and he was supposed to be elsewhere right now. A movement caught his eye and he glanced again towards the door and with some relief, saw that it was finally his contact. The human male walked casually over and sat at the chair opposite him, his back against the wall and looking towards the bar.

“I’ve a message to be delivered to Robinas again”, spoke Arli in a low voice, with a Thalassian lilt to the words spoken in common., “it’s got to get there tonight”. He pushed a small hurriedly sealed note across the table, a dark pouch resting on top.

The human didn’t look around as he replied in a low voice “Twenty gold”

Arli scowled as he replied quietly “We agreed fifteen per delivery”

The human started to stand up.

“ok...ok..”, replied Arli hurriedly, taking a few extra gold from his pocket and putting them on top of the letter. “It had better get there tonight”.

“It will” replied the human as he scooped up the letter, pouch and gold and walked out of the Inn as casually as he had entered it. A few moments later Arli stood up and hurriedly made his way to the boat to Ratchett, apologising over comms on his lateness and pulling on his Thorn Tabard and mask as he ran.


Osbourne sat at his desk in his room in the Dwarven District of Stormwind and looked at the sealed note; his cat, Scrag jumping straight onto his lap as he sat down. “So, Scrag, what’s so important that the Belf will pay extra?”; Scrag looked up at him as he carefully broke the poorly sealed note. It was short and written in common;


The contract, I need it put on hold for now. The Mistress watches me too closely and I dare not risk it. Please let me know that you can do this.

Shadows protect,

Osbourne chuckled as he finished reading the note “Arli, eh? So that’s your name my little Belf friend. And why would a Hordie use Alliance to fulfil a contract....and who is this Mistress?”. Osbourne put Scrag on the floor and reached for some parchment to transcribe a copy of the note, pushing the scrawny cat to one side as she vied for his attention. This could be of interest to someone, a few extra gold might be made.

Carefully re-sealing the note he left his small dwelling, heading for Old Town, the place he had found Robinas before so a good starting place. He walked into the Inn, almost walking straight into Robinas.

“Robinas?”, he smiled at the dark haired girl.

“Who’s asking”, she replied, quickly adding “Oh, you..”

“Best you don’t know”, smile Osbourne in return, taking the note from his pocket, “I’ve a message for you”. Robinas returned his smile as he handed the note to her. “Any return message?”. Not that he was going to pass it on, just might give him another piece in the jigsaw.

Robinas hurriedly opened the note and read it eagerly. “Just tell him no”, replied Robinas as she read the note for a second time, “I mean no, the contract won’t happen”.

“No problem” smiled Osbourne, bowing slightly and adding as he turned to leave “I’m sure I’ll see you again” he winked.

“Where can I find you?” called Robinas, “In case I need to get a message to him?”

Osbourne replied without turning as he casually walked away, “Dwarven District, hang around there and I’ll find you”.

He smiled to himself, this arrangement had potential. The Belf paid well, the look on the girl’s face when she read the note showed that this was more than just an impersonal contract killing arrangement. Now to find a buyer interested in the information exchanged between the Belf and his girl.


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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:11 am

“Here”, points Deathmaster Squadron to the abandoned Inn below; we swoop down on our Windriders, landing close by. Plaguelands feels unusually dark and oppressive, even for this ravaged land. We walk into the Inn, stepping around the broken pieces of furniture and walk up the stairs in silence. I frown as Illisara steps from the shadow of one of the rooms, and stands in the doorway.

“Hail Deathmassster” she salutes Squadron and turns to me; “So good to sssee you again Arli”, she smiles, well I assume it’s a smile.

“The pleasure is all mine, sister” I reply dryly, still unsure why the Deathmaster has brought me here this evening.

“I have kept out guessst occupied”, Illisara speaks, looking directly at me. I give her my best disinterested look and let my gaze drift past her and into the darkened room, the boards on the windows letting in little of the fading evening light. A small movement catches my eye, someone sitting against the far wall, slumped slightly forward.

“So who is the lucky one to get to spend quality time with you then, sister?”

She smiles at me again and steps aside, I hear a faint sob as I cross the room towards the poor soul that has suffered at the hands of Illisara. The darkness seems to envelop me as I get closer and kneel down in front of a bound female human. I place my hand under her chin and gently lift her head, and sink into the deep brown eyes I know so well. Her face is disfigured almost beyond recognition, one side bare of skin and the other marked clearly with the symbol of a Thorn.

“Robi”, the word escapes my lips as barely a whisper.

I feel a pull on my shoulder as Squadron hauls me up, Robi holding my gaze as I stagger back.

“Kill her” comes the voice of Squadron from behind me,

“Sir..she...she is under my protection, Thorn protection, I can’t..I mean won’t kill her”, I reply, unable to break from her tear-filled eyes.

“Then we are done here, we are needed at Tol Barad” speaks Squadron, punching my shoulder, turning me to face him. “No human is under Thorn protection, that clear?”

Illisara stands behind him, poisoning her blades and grinning at me. I nod numbly and follow him out, glancing back at Robi, her eyes pleading for me to stay. As we walk to the Windriders I stop; “Deathmaster, what will happen to Robi?”

Squadron turns and gives me the look that tells me what a fool he thinks I am.

“Illisara won’t have any problems following my orders”. As if on cue, I hear the terrified screams of Robi from the Inn. I draw my blades and yell in Thalassian;

“Robi, I’m here, I’ll stop this”

The Deathmaster makes no move and I turn and sprint back towards the Inn, yelling again in Thalassian that I am here. The Inn seems further away than I thought, I seem to run and run, Robi’s screams spurring me on. Finally I am almost at the door to the Inn, when out of the shadows step my Thorn brothers, the Mistress in front of them all, my way into the Inn blocked.

“You draw your daggers at me, Sunblade?”, speaks the Mistress, her voice low but somehow very clear above the screams.

“Traitor”...”traitor”...the muttered accusations from my brothers surround me.

I look from the Mistress to the Inn doorway, the screams from Robi tearing me apart.

I step forward, I have to get to her, a thousand blades come towards me and...

I gasp and sit up, my heart is racing and the echo of the pain of Robi’s screams still racking my body as I look around my empty room. The bright early morning light cuts through the partially opened drapes and I shakily get out of bed and head to the small kitchen to draw myself a glass of water. A bourbon is really what I need right now, but I know I have none and I’ve managed over a week without a drink, a mere nightmare won’t break my resolve.

I pull on a shirt and picking up my ‘thistle pouch I head to the balcony, pulling open the drapes roughly I open the doors and sit on the balcony step. I start to roll my first smoke of the day, I’ve cut back on this too but it helps me through the day and doesn’t get me into fights.

No wonder I am getting nightmares I muse, Illisara took great pleasure in asking me the name of my ‘human girlfriend’ over comms, I told her I didn’t know what she was talking about but another Thorn soon chipped in the name ‘Robi’. As always I stated she was just an informer, as always I was greeted by laughter. This was followed by more subtle threats from Illisara, but I know Robi is safe so I just ignored her. The Mistress told me that while Robi is useful to us, she is safe as she can be. I know right now that she is very useful, she has been tasked with a killing, the result of which will further the business interests of the Mistress.

And tonight...I smile...tonight we meet with the Brotherhood of Shadow which means that I will get to see Robi. I run my fingers through my hair, time for a cut and tidy-up so a visit to Orgrimmar today and I can get my armour sorted out there too; I’ve been working hard the past week, mainly to keep Squadron off my back, but it does mean that for once I have some gold. I want to look presentable by evening because hopefully Aresh will screw up again and I will be sent alone again to give a message to Robi.

I finish the smoke and stand up, flicking the stub casually over the edge of the balcony as I turn and walk towards the bathroom. Here’s hoping that Aresh underestimates the Mistress again; I flip my Seal of Dalarn and catch it heads-up and grin.


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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Robi Kaezlan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:09 pm

Robi's gryphon gave a raucous call, stretched its neck and put on a sudden burst of speed, despite the fact they were descending onto the rocky slopes of Westfall Island.
"Whoa whoa easy Charlie-boy.." she laughed as she hauled back on the reins.
The beast slowed and made a landing, clawing impatiently at the ground while she slid from the saddle. Charlie called again, this time she fancied she heard an answering call on the breeze.
She looked up and saw an armoured windrider glide gracefully into land a few feet from the gryphon. She smiled as Arli slipped off it's back.
"Hey.." he greeted her
They stood facing each other for a moment, she ran a hand through her hair, he fiddled with his mask then removed it.
"So what...?" they started together then laughed.
"Fishing..." they answered together
They both turned to their mounts and almost in unison pulled a fishing rod from their respective packs.
"See..." again they spoke together.
Arli nodded towards the edge of the rocks "Shall we?"
"Mmmm" Robi nodded her agreement and walked to the edge, baiting her line with a piece of cheese as she went.
Arli laughed as he applied bait and lures to his magnificent looking fishing rod.
"What do you expect to catch with that old stick?"he goaded playfully
"Its not the size of your rod that counts Sunblade...more that you know how to use it properly" she grinned and winked as she saw him redden slightly.
Standing close together they cast their rods and waited, chatting idly about what they had been up to since their last encounter.
"Hows the Commander" he asked
"Don't talk to me about that arrogant fart" she replied, then bit her lip as she nearly told him about the encounter.
Although if she did perhaps there was the solution...set the Thorns on Blayke.
"Arli..." she started
He turned to look at her smiling "Uruk?"
Then all was forgotten as she felt a tug on her line.
"Oh...Oh..I caught something..." she started to wind her reel.
Arli too was winding in swiftly. "Me too"
For what seemed some time they each gave and hauled on their lines getting nowhere until it suddenly dawned..their lines were entangled and perhaps ironically...they were each trying to reel the other in.
Then another tug.
"Cut your line Arli..I have a bite anyway" she ordered
"Think you'll find its mine" he replied
"No Way...."
"Yes Way..."
They looked at each other, no smiles only competition mirrored in their expressions.
Both silently hauled and yanked on their lines feverishly, elbowing and shoving each other in the race to land the catch.
A sudden yank and the fish broke the water and was landed on the rock by their feet, where it flapped its tiny tail and paddled its fins desperately.
"MINE" they cried together and dove forward as one, dropping to their knees and reaching for the minuscule fish.
Their hands found the fish together and they shoved and pushed each other to try and claim the prize as their own.
"Mine"..."No mine..." they bickered, then both watched in disbelief as the fish flapped and with a soft plop fell back into the sea.
They looked at each other with venom in their eyes, then burst out laughing.
They laughed for a long moment, both of them looking slightly chagrined.
"I didn't want it anyway..." said Robi as their laughter subsided
"Me neither.."
They looked at each other, both slightly dishevelled from their squabble and exchanged a smile. Arli reached over to kiss her cheek
"No hard feel..." his words silenced as Robi picked the same moment as he leaned across to turn her head to reply and instead of her cheek, his lips had inadvertently met hers.
They pulled back, cheeks reddening and uncharacteristically both were lost for words.
Their eyes locked and in a what seemed to be a timeless moment,they moved slowly closer together,their lips met and eyes closing they shared a soft tender kiss.
His arm circled her waist and he pulled her closer, their lips locked in an ever deepening intense kiss.
They parted and looked at each other, their soft smiles mirrored as they rested forehead to forehead.
He stroked her cheek with the back of his forefinger, she closed her eyes and held her hand over his.
"Lets go..leave all this behind us..." he started
"Start Thorns, no Brotherhood..."she continued.
They made no move to leave, they stood in each others arms her head resting lightly against his chest.
In soft hushed tones they talked, and as they did the realisation dawned that this was just an impossible dream, romantic as it may sound they couldn't stay here indefinitely, there was nowhere they could go, or should they choose to go, there was nowhere they could return to.
There was Antel..there was Shay, both meaning too much to them to be forgotten by what might just turn out to be a passing moment of moonlight romancing.
There was Thorns..there was The Brotherhood, it was possible that both these orders would hunt them down...
"We can't do this Robi..." Arli said softly
She nodded
"I know..."
But how long could they go on meeting in secret, there was no answer, well there was one, they couldn't.
They looked at each other and words weren't needed.Better to end this now before it started, before events overtook them and carried them along until they were out of control.
She placed her palm against his cheek, his hand covered hers and he raised it to his lips kissing her wrist.
Her eyes locked to his she whispered
"Goodbye Arli"
He closed his eyes briefly then held her gaze
"Goodbye Uruk"

Then their lips met in a soft tender bitter-sweet kiss that both knew would have to last them a lifetime.
Robi Kaezlan

Posts : 126
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : at his side

Character sheet
Name: Robi Kaezlan
Title: Commander

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Re: Through the Barricades

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:53 pm

“Deathmaster, any further orders?” I ask over comms as I head back across Stranglethorn Vale.

“No High Assassin, nothing for now”, replies Deathmaster Shivian, the Deathmaster I am assigned to aid. I’m pleased that I report to her directly, she trusts me and has gained my complete respect.

“Then I shall be off comms a while, as I do a little reconnaissance of the area” I reply smiling at my luck in getting my mission finished quickly.

“Very well, shadows protect”, comes the reply from Shivian.

With a faint static click, I switch off my comms and wheeling my Windrider around I head north-west to Westfall and towards a small island where I should meet Robi tonight, if I’m lucky.

In the distance I see Robi arriving and as my Windrider swoops gracefully onto the island, I smile and half wave to her as I dismount. We exchange a few words as I unfasten my mask, laughing as we say the same things to each other. I smile at her, we think so very much alike, which is one of the reasons I feel so at ease in her company now. I can be myself when I’m with her, not a Thorn, no one to try and impress, just be myself. I unfasten my expensively crafted fishing rod from the side of the Windrider, and taking the small bait box, carefully apply an engineered lure and bait to the end of the line. I glance over to Robi and laugh as she fastens what looks like a piece of cheese to the line on something that looks like it was a sapling not so long ago. I grin at her as we walk to the edge of the island and cast into the sea in unison;

“What do you expect to catch with that old stick?”

"Its not the size of your rod that counts Sunblade...more that you know how to use it properly", she grins back with a wink.

I laugh and look out across the sea as I feel my face redden. We talk easily, of how things are in the Thorns and how the Brotherhood is progressing. Our small talk is cut short as I get a bite on my line, and I notice with some consternation that Robi too has a bite on her line, how she managed to catch anything with that set-up is beyond me. We both work to bring our catches ashore, finally realising that it is our lines entangled and not a catch at all.

“My lure and bait is so good, I’ve attracted a piece of mouldy cheese!” I laugh as the realisation hits me. Suddenly there is another tug on the line and I look back quickly as my float dips below the water.

"Cut your line Arli..I have a bite anyway" orders Robi

I look at Robi, all laughter gone in her voice. "I think you will find its mine" I reply seriously.

"No Way...." she replies

"Yes Way..." I reply and turn my attention to hauling in my catch.

I work to reel in my catch, glancing at Robi and seeing a look of total concentration on her face as she too tries to win this prize. With a splash a Firefin Snapper lands on the rock before us.

“Mine!”, I call in unison with Robi, as I kneel and grab the fish, unhooking it from the tangled lines.

“No mine!” exclaims Robi as she reaches to grab it from my hands. I shoulder her aside, trying to keep a grip on the wriggling fish. With a frustrated growl Robi lunges again for the fish, knocking me almost into the water, I drop the fish as I attempt to regain my balance and then swear in Thalassian as the fish drops back into the sea. I instinctively clench my fist as I turn to face Robi, a look of anger on her face. We lock narrowed eyes for the briefest of moments before the absurdity of it all hits us and we burst out laughing, neither of us wanted it anyway. I stand up and grin at her, as she looks at where our prize made it’s escape back into the water.

I lean forward to kiss her cheek “No hard feel-..”. My words are cut short as Robi turns and my brief kiss finds her lips instead of her cheek.

I step back quickly, feeling my face redden and lost for words, a look of mild surprise on Robi’s blushing face. I hold her gaze and feel myself falling into the depths of her brown eyes as without a word we move slowly together and as our lips meet, I close my eyes to savour the tenderness of her kiss. I reach and hold her close as the kiss intensifies, lost in this moment together, wishing it would last forever. Our lips finally part, leaving soft smiles mirrored on our faces. I look down into her eyes, the feelings I’ve denied for so long have finally been shown to be true.

"Lets go..leave all this behind us..." I start

"...start Thorns, no Brotherhood..." she continues, we share the same thoughts
as always.

We stand there, her head resting lightly against my chest and my arms circling her, holding her close to me as we plan our escape together. A fresh start, just us, someplace where it won’t matter what we once were. We would get by, both of us are survivors, this could work. Only.. as we talk and plan, we both know it can’t possibly work out. The Thorns would come after me for my betrayal and the Brotherhood, well it is doubtful they would let this go. There is my duty to the Mistress and my Thorn brothers...and then Antel...and Shay... our long time partners, neither of us can be sure that what we feel right now is little more than the passion of the moment.

“We can’t do this Robi...”, I hold her close to me, it hurts to say the words out loud.

“....I know”, she replies softly.

We cant pretend any more that this is a simple friendship. We both realise can’t meet in secret any more, we can’t meet alone again...we have to end this now...we both know where this will lead should we allow ourselves to be swept away.

She looks up at me, her hand caressing my face. I cover her hand and kiss her wrist and look into those deep brown eyes.

“Goodbye Arli”, she whispers.

I close my eyes....“don’t end this” the voice in my head pleads....I open my eyes and reply softly in thalassian

“Goodbye Robi”

Our lips meet and I lose myself for the last time in her tender kiss.


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Re: Through the Barricades

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