It was a dark night in Orgrimmar. In a rare occasion of tranquil silence nothing was happening other than the crickets chirping and the sounds of the midnight bonfires blooming throughout the shadowy night. The guards that roamed throughout the valleys were but mere whispers, ghosts in the wind that were only swept away.
The shack held a single candle to stave off the darkness. Upon the circular wooden table it illuminated a bed with a window an inch above which blew a quiet breeze into the shack. The flame flickered and trembled, trying to wrap itself together from vanishing but an intervening hand shielded it from destruction.
The orc looked to the candle for a moment before resuming on the paperwork before him. A fair shade of green, brown eyes and a worn face, the orc was around 6″2 and fangless. Completely bald and only wearing a pair of plated leggings his overall appearance was marred by the worn, red ring that circled his neck and the scars that poked out from his flesh that resembled whip lashes. His paperwork was neatly piled in two with space to write in between, and just as he placed one form onto the pile to his right he continued with another form from the left.
There was not much to the shack other than the bed and the table. There were only two armor racks near the head of the bed which were covered by plate armor and one of them was lacking leggings. To the side of them was a bookshelf and a tan leather tarp that had a faint, hollow wind trickling through. The shack only had one window available which was the one near the bed, and the only companion it could make contact with was the door on the other side, both casting an eternal stare to the other.
And then suddenly the door went bump. Khaadgrim whipped his head toward it and stared as the candlelight was snuffed out by an ambushing breeze. When nothing happened the orc unbuckled something from underneath the table and lifted himself from the chair, slowly approaching the door with a short axe. Each step fueled him with more and more adrenaline as the silence crinkled and cracked at what could emerge from the door.
As he was about to open the door he heard voices. Whatever made that bump in the night attracted the guards and their urgency. As he opened the door a guard looked to him, slightly taken aback as some others in the background began organizing. Apparently a bloodied Sin’dorei was laying unconscious at the foot of the door.
She felt dizzy and heavy. The sounds of muffled activity flooded her ears which worsened her headache. Her vision cleared as it adjusted to the light, and upon realizing how much of a direct hit the sunlight tossed from the window to her bandaged face she whipped herself up. Her mind reeled to recuperate but the sharp pain from her forearm told her to ease down.
As she leaned onto her side with a look of anguish on her face a voice trotted to her ears. “Even if you wrapped yourself in a fancy little package I would have declined your offer, just so you know.” She opened a green eye to behold an orc adorned with plated black armor and spikes on his shoulder pads and faceguard. He was staring at her, arms crossed, looking rather expectantly of the elf. Like a stone figure the orc did not fidget or budge from his seat, the elegant black and purple cloak over his back giving him the look of a regal judge.
“Khaadgrim,” the blood elf remarked with a bitter tinge. “I see you’ve upgraded your equipment last we met.” She struggled to spout out each word as they left her with a feeling of sharp needles in her torso. She gave up and laid on the bed with her eyes to the ceiling. “You’ve certainly got a knack for smithing but we both knew that.”
“I find it amusing how you make small talk despite how close you were to death.” He gestured to her and wrapped his arms again. “You left a bloody pool on my doorstep. Whatever you got yourself into this time I don’t want to know.”
He was expecting some sort of snarky comeback but it never came. The elf stared deeply into the ceiling, boring a hole in it and perhaps beyond the sky. The orc could only quirk a brow at this but he restrained himself from delving too deeply into the situation and stood up. “Your belongings are on the table,” he uttered as he opened the door, waving a hand to the table that had two sheathed daggers and some slightly bloodied red and yellow leather armor. “You’re wounded but not that wounded. Drink a potion or two and you should be –”
“They killed her,” she interrupted. Khaadgrim froze in place and glanced over his shoulder, hearing as the words gave way to sniffling. He heard the pain in her voice, sympathized with the knives driven into her chest like heated metal into soft flesh. Of all the times to heed sincerity from her the orc realized this was one of those times.
The activity from outside was muffled once more as he closed the door. The elf’s weeping echoed through the shack and resonated like drops of water to a puddle. As hard as the elf wanted to cry the throbbing pains throughout her wracked body denied her the right and she could only manage what weeping she was doing. Closed eyes tried to stifle tears and failed as the orc made his way back to the chair to sit.
“I kept my promise,” she uttered at the expense of her body. She moved a worn hand over her bandaged chest and pressed down, stifling her sniffling as much as she could. “I stopped. I actually stopped stealing, can you believe it?” A sardonic scoff left her lips as they curled into an anguished smile to face the stony orc and then disappear. “But that didn’t matter, none of that did. They still stole her away from me.”
The orc had nothing to say. He only stared with crossed arms as the elf struggled to stay together. She propped her forearm onto her forehead and then wiped her tears with it, letting out a sigh as the arm fell to the side of her head. A silence took over for a few minutes before anything else was said.
Khaadgrim adjusted in his seat and with a calm, soft assurance said, “Evalency –”
“Oh shut up, Roark,” she said with bitterness. “I know you’re going to give me one of your humane speeches, or some sort of stupid speech regarding mortal dignity and karma but I just don’t want to hear it.” She swallowed a knot in her throat but a bigger one simply returned. More tears swept down and mingled with her bright blonde hair but she stroked them away with quick misery and kept her eyes to the ceiling.
“I was actually about to tell you how I signed his death warrant so he couldn’t have possibly killed your daughter.”
“Bald-faced liar!” She moved as fast as she could but her wounds were deep. A broken dagger was gripped which was easily dodged and confiscated by the orc. Evalency panted as her head surged with agony and her vision blurred into a duet, leaving her up to Khaadgrim’s decision. He simply helped her back to the bed and returned to his chair.
“You bastard,” she quipped as she regained her focus. “All your talk of honesty and justice did nothing to stop him.” She gripped her side and grunted with a wince. A splotch of blood began making its way into the bandages as she tightened her grip.
“You’re wrong,” Khaadgrim contested. “If anything I spited him well.” He let out a low growl and looked out the window. “But it seems I made a grievous error in my placement of loyalties.” Evalency’s strength was completely sapped and she could no longer sink her venomous words into the orc. Before she passed out she heard the sound of footsteps and the closing of a door.
As usual Grommash Hold maintained a steady stream of organized business that ranged from soldiers to advisors and other people of interest. Tapestries hanged from above showcasing valor and strength, testimonies that served to inspire and teach lessons from events past. Down below the Kor’kron Elite, personal guards of Thrall adorned with gold and black plated armor, did business with reports and maintained the order of the hold.
As Khaadgrim approached the gates the Kor’kron guards saluted and welcomed him in. He made his way into the antechamber past the delegates, emissaries, shamans and other councilors. Finally stopping near a Kor’kron Elite he waited for him to notice his presence. The Kor’kron turned away from the bookshelf encased in the wall of the antechamber and looked to Khaadgrim.
“Roark?” he said with surprise as he clasped the book close. The orc’s tight features wrinkled a bit as he smiled. Olive-skinned and just as bald as Khaadgrim the orc pressed a fist to his chest and bowed. “What can I help you with?”
“Urmak, do you recall my investigation with the petty thefts concerning a blood elf named Evalency?” Khaadgrim didn’t mince or coat his words with petty formalities and stepped up to the point. Urmak grinned and shook his head.
“Always straight to the point with you, Roark.” He looked over the bookshelf and took another book out. “You do realize you don’t have access to these files?” Without a flicker of hesitation Khaadgrim took it and began leafing over it.
“Good thing I’m your friend, isn’t it?” Khaadgrim said without looking away. Urmak simply chuckled and leafed over the book in his other hand. “Did you know that blood elf had a daughter?”
“Really?” Urmak said, sounding surprised. “No, I didn’t.”
Khaadgrim nodded. “It seems she was murdered by that elf’s former employer.”
“There wasn’t a report about –”
“It was recent.” Urmak stopped reading and looked up to Khaadgrim. He was still reading over the book, seemingly unconcerned but Urmak felt uneasy around him. “I signed the papers but I wasn’t there to carry out the execution. According to this Jargag is still confirmed as alive.” Something cold showered over Urmak as Khaadgrim continued reading.
“Khaadgrim, I –”
“Speaking of that execution,” Khaadgrim interrupted, “weren’t you the scheduled executioner?” For the first time during their conversation Khaadgrim stopped reading and shot a staring, cold bullet of a glance toward Urmak. The impact made a clean kill as Urmak backpedalled against the bookshelf with Khaadgrim closing in for the final draw. Urmak tried to form words but only shapeless silence spewed forth from his lips.
Calmly Khaadgrim looked over Urmak’s cowering features and drew in his helplessness. He closed his book and then picked the book from Urmak’s weak grip to slowly leaf over. As he read the two Kor’kron from the gates approached and further cornered Urmak into his cemented oblivion.
“How strange,” Khaadgrim spoke as he read, “just yesterday I saw this other criminal detained from the Drag. According to this you were supposed to execute him yesterday.”
“Khaadgrim, please –”
“And then this one,” Khaadgrim spoke as if counting off as he bulldozed over Urmak’s attempts to speak. “This one killed a child in cold blood. You were supposed to get rid of this one too but he was found dead a month ago in someone’s house.” The orc had enough. As he closed the book and handed it to one of the Kor’kron he drew closer to Urmak, close enough to poke him with the spikes on his faceguard.
“I trusted you,” Khaadgrim seethed in a dark, quiet whisper. “I had my doubts, but now I understand my loyalties were misplaced. A mother has lost her child and no one here is to blame but you.” Something shot through his heart that caused him pause, but he pinned Urmak with his cold glare once more and continued. “And this is not the first time.”
Shaky but resolute, Urmak grinned here and there as he retorted. “And what are you going to do about it, sir?” He whispered a sardonic laugh as his smile unearthed his fangs. “You’re not in the Kor’kron anymore, you know that. What sort of authority can you possibly muster against my rank?”
Khaadgrim froze his glare on Urmak for a few seconds, then slowly backed away. He whispered something to one of the Kor’kron and he nodded. As he walked away the two guards apprehended Urmak and pinned him to the wall which caused some books to fall from the bookshelf.
“What is the meaning of this!?” He yelled out, attracting the antechamber’s attention. As he was bound Khaadgrim simply looked over his shoulder.
“You are young and foolish,” Khaadgrim scolded as Urmak was raised to his feet. “And as young fools do they make mistakes.” He shook his head and faced Urmak in all the burning anger covering over his contorting face. “You’ve caused our people unnecessary pain; many of us would likely want to see you die for your crimes and you’ve certainly pissed off the wrong person.”
“Fool!” Urmak blurted out with a vicious chuckle. “You say I am to blame? Blame yourself for your trust, you naive fool! Perhaps if you watched who had your back this wouldn’t have happened to your whore friend!” He spat onto Khaadgrim’s boot and chuckled some more. The orc simply looked down, gripped the top of Urmak’s head and wiped the spit away using his cheek. He tossed his head down as he continued to chuckle and offer vain attempts of taunts.
“Keep struggling,” Khaadgrim said casually as he half-turned. “Kayjax enjoys those with an iron will.” Something in Urmak died; the guards smirked beneath their helmets as the blood drained from his face. He shook his head weakly, then began struggling to free himself from his bonds.
“No!” Urmak began as the guards were given the order to drag him off and out from the hold. “No, please, Khaadgrim, don’t do this damn you!” Khaadgrim watched as the orc struggled and raged, yelling and screaming as his voice became a faint echo in the distance. “NO, KHAADGRIM, NOOOOOOOOOO!”
Evalency stared at the candle on the table, the life in her eyes practically snuffed out just the same. She sat on the bed with a gentle hand clutching her side amidst the muffled silence coursing through the room. The feeling inside her was just the same, the world around her trying to restrain a loud voice from breaking out in agony.
She jumped a bit as the door opened. Khaadgrim looked to Evalency but it was difficult to read the expression on his face, even more considering the helmet. But his eyes showed this strange mix of calmness and doubt; Evalency knew that he did something but the job was not finished yet.
Before Evalency could speak Khaadgrim beat her to the punch. “You should be resting.”
She scoffed. “As if I could?” She grunted softly as a sharp stab went through her midsection. “Your bed’s as hard as a rock by the way.”
“You’re well enough to hurdle smarmy remarks I see.” Khaadgrim took out a few vials and handed them to Evalency. “Drink these and then go back to sleep. The pain should be eased when you awake.” She looked at the vials and studied the red liquid. For a moment she hesitated as there was something in her eyes that sunk her visage to a forlorn state. Khaadgrim crossed his arms and eyed her face.
“Lose the nerve to live?” Khaadgrim quipped as he slid a chair near the bed and sat down. Evalency only managed a glare as she quickly downed the vials’ contents, tossing them to the orc once she was finished. She coughed a bit and contorted her face as she felt several sharp slashes go over her body. After a minute she groaned, slowly and broodingly wrapping herself with the blanket.
“Go to hell, Roark,” she retorted quietly. Khaadgrim scoffed with a grin on his face; he was expecting such a response from her and for just a moment things felt alright. It was a nice change from all the misery the day provided thus far and the orc was happy to find any semblance of normalcy. He stared at Evalency as she drifted off to sleep with her back toward him, knowing that when she could she would swiftly make her way out of the shack and find her attempted killer.
That facade she puts up never fooled him. She was a smooth thief, one who always found a way to escape, con, and steal from unsuspecting victims. Even under dire circumstances she was cool-headed and always found a moment to strike an insult. What was even more surprising was that she tried to kill him. As much of an annoying pest Evalency was she was never truly a cold-blooded murder.
So he knew she changed when she tried to outright kill him. As she slept Khaadgrim felt a blade of guilt slash through him, knowing that he had a part in changing her. His mind was about to glaze off when he heard Evalency begin to whimper.
She was crying. She slowly began moving about, whispering to herself and trying to stifle her mourning from growing. She wrapped herself so tightly in a fetal position a squeak of anguish escaped her lips but was quickly muffled by the clenching of her teeth and lips.
As he stared a dim red glowing surfaced in Khaadgrim’s eyes. For a second he only saw red, anger and rage unbridled that knocked murder and mayhem into his mind. And then all those thoughts simply dissipated and vanished with a slow, silent exhale. Evalency finally stopped stirring, and when she did Khaadgrim swiftly made his way of the shack without a sound.
“You’re hiding something from me,” Kayjax said calmly. The bulky, lightly-skinned orc stared hard into Urmak’s beaten face, his sole violet eye sucking in the sheer terror and anguish the younger orc was feeling. Urmak could only cower and stutter as Kayjax’s herbal smoke stung his bloodied face like numerous bees.
Kayjax lifted himself from Urmak’s eyelevel. The younger orc was bound against a metal chair by the hands and feet, slouching, gazing away to the floor bloodied and wounded. There were burn marks all over his face and it was visible how bad he was shaking. The room only had a dull torch illuminating it and only the two orcs were present.
Kayjax swept his scraggly violet mohawk back and blew out more smoke from the other side of his mouth. A dark, deep chuckle echoed through the room as he turned his back to Urmak. The interrogator looked over his black and gold plate armor and adjusted the eye patch of his left eye, tapping the insignia of the Horde with thought, trailing the finger over the other smaller metallic plates adorning it.
“Kayjax,” Urmak pleaded with desperation in his words. “Please, brother, I’ve told you all I know! Just let me pay my dues!” Kayjax scoffed and turned to gaze hard into Urmak’s eyes. He flicked some ashes into his eyes and then grabbed Urmak’s head, adding another burn mark in the young orc’s cheek. Urmak screamed hoarsely as the flesh sizzled, then grunted in pain as Kayjax bought a plated knee into his stomach, causing Urmak to begin a series of hacking coughs and wails.
As he writhed in his agony Kayjax slowly walked around him like a vulture to a dying carcass. Each of his metallic footsteps resonated throughout the room, every step like obsidian pillars impaling themselves one by one into the fibers of Urmak’s being. With each step he twitched and shuddered, only wondering what pains the interrogator could unleash next.
“You are a stain upon the Horde’s honor,” Kayjax began to speak in a calm tone. “You are the most shameful maggot I have ever laid eyes upon – and believe me, I have interrogated quite the lot.” He flicked more ashes with a finger and then moved to one of the walls of the room. From beyond the darkness he opened some sort of slot which further illuminated the room and bought forth from it a pole only a few feet long that was searing hot on one end. As he closed the slot he looked over the heated metal with such a calm countenance it bought unwavering shivers through Urmak’s spine.
“Let’s face it, Urmak. You’ve caused enough grief for families; killed when you should have, killed when you shouldn’t have. The only difference is the merit of the corpses that have piled up under your mistakes.” With an elegant swing he bought forth searing agony upon Urmak’s back. Urmak’s cries were going dry and hoarse as pain swept through his body once more. Upon the impact point a burn mark was seared into his skin.
“What,” Urmak tried to say but he needed to breathe first, “what do you want from me? I’ve told you everything I know already!”
“I think the sun’s going down now,” Kayjax remarked absently. “I know a wonderful spot upon the cliffs of Orgrimmar with a wonderful view. Shame you’ll only find the view of the ground as you hang over it.” He swung the heated rod once more, this time into Urmak’s chest. The sizzling flesh echoed through the room as he let out another anguishing scream, trying to pull from the chair as it clanked and shook along with the chains binding him.
“I don’t know anymore! I keep telling you I’ve already told you everything!” As Urmak panted and whined he slowly descended into weeping.
“Do you think I’m stupid, you whoreson? You know what you need to tell me in order to make this all go away.” He blew more smoke into the crying sob’s face. Urmak’s eyes stung as the smoke lingered and bit into his eyes. “Miserable bastard. We put our faith into you and I see before me a weeping mongrel.” Before he could ready for another swing the metal door creaked open and bought forth the light of the outer world.
“What’s wrong, Kayjax? Do I insult your interrogation room with my unbound presence?” Khaadgrim closed the door behind him and looked over Kayjax. He only scoffed with a smile on his face.
“Better that than this cretin.” He gave Urmak a glare as he moved to return the heated rod back to its chamber. Without a word to the broken orc the two exited the room and left Urmak in the darkness with his soft whimpering.
The two stood by the door and talked. They were deep to the side of Grommash Hold and no one else was seen around the empty space. Several other doors could be seen on the hold’s wall akin to the one the two exited. They were all thick steel doors that had slots up to eye level and from the looks of it they did not seem so friendly, the contents within much more heinous than appearances led to believe.
“What did you find out?” Khaadgrim asked, arms crossed. Kayjax was leaning on the wall with his arms crossed as well.
“Nothing useful. Told how much he was given, what other executions he ignored, that’s about it. Doesn’t know anything about Jargag and the murder – so far.” Khaadgrim only looked to be half-listening, his visage focused on the ground. Kayjax eyed his face and shifted his jaw ever so slightly.
“It seems this hit you really hard, captain.”
“I’m not your captain anymore.” Khaadgrim looked up to Kayjax, who was grinning just a bit.
“You know I don’t care. Regardless I can still see the pain in your eyes.”
He was right. Khaadgrim murmured to himself and then shrugged a shoulder. For some reason Kayjax smiled at this and shook his head.
“You have the most obvious habits.” Khaadgrim looked to him and let out a humorous scoff.
“Didn’t help you get any answers from me, did it?”
“One day,” Kayjax warned with a tint of friendship, “you’ll be back in that chair.”
“And then we will imbed ourselves in the same loop all over again.” The two chuckled softly before going silent. Khaadgrim looked to the door for a while and only snapped out of his reverie when Kayjax spoke.
“Khaadgrim,” Kayjax started, clearing his throat to pause for thought. “When I do figure out something useful what will you do with this information?”
“Simple. I will make amends for this dishonor.”
“As if that answered my question.”
Khaadgrim growled as he spoke. “I’m going to kill Jargag.”
“You know you can’t do that.”
Khaadgrim gave Kayjax a hard stare. “That is why you’re going to help me.”
Kayjax frowned. “And why should I get involved?”
“I have tarnished my honor for this mishap.” Khaadgrim moved closer to Kayjax as they locked gazes. “I have allowed a murderer to murder again and a friend to lose a daughter. Everyone associated with this case is also dishonored as one of us failed all of us by his unscrupulous acts. You need to help me.”
“Hah!” Kayjax barked out, “need to, you say so sincerely.”
“Out of all the interrogations you’ve done I am your walking failure.” Kayjax went quiet. The words bore through his face and pulled it down into a furl of shame and anger. “Now,” Khaadgrim continued, “whose fault was this, hm?”
Kayjax chewed his cheek and growled low. As hard as he tried there was no way out of this corner. Khaadgrim narrowed his eyes for a mental final blow and Kayjax succumbed.
“So be it,” Kayjax said bitterly and then added, “for honor and redemption. Hmph!” The sarcastic tinge was not missed as Khaadgrim’s lips turned into a grin. As Kayjax waved Khaadgrim away he calmly said with a touch of exasperation, “I’ll inform your old, faithful squad about our plans. Try not to die by midnight.” Kayjax opened the door and returned to the darkness of the chamber. Khaadgrim stood there for a moment and heard a muffled scream resonate from behind the door, then made his way towards the main road. There was much to prepare for and the sun was dropping now; there was no time to waste.
Even though night was approaching the Drag was not affected by it in any way. The section of Orgrimmar was cloaked in shrouds of purple tarps and darkness, kept underneath the comforting bedrock which blocked any light from shining. As usual it was cool and somewhat quiet, only marred by the sounds of chanting and other devious discussion which only made themselves known by their incoherent whisperings. Khaadgrim knew the place was filled with the untruthful but no sense of intimidation stirred within him; he was only here to talk, anyways.
It took him a half an hour to find what he was seeking; the orc had a light shade of green and a scowl on his face. He was adorned with dark, purple robes with intricate patterns lining over them and a metal staff with a green crystal topped on it. His head was covered by a purple pointy hat but his long, braided beard was a faded orange. When he caught sight of Khaadgrim his scowl deepened.
“Go away,” he stated bitterly as he was touching up items in a chest. The little hut was nothing fancy, a bedroll to the side along with the sole chest the orc was fiddling with. Khaadgrim shook his head and watched as the orc muttered and swore under his breath.
“I need your help, Tograhn.” Khaadgrim’s words sounded weary as if this scene occurred before. Tograhn grunted, waved a hand at Khaadgrim and then kept fiddling with the junk in his chest. “I’m not leaving until you help me, Tograhn.”
“Meh!” he responded impolitely. He began tossing some items from the chest ranging from little pouches to books and jars. After finding what he was looking for he let out a quiet “Aha!” and slammed the trunk shut with all the junk still scattered across the open hut.
He opened the book and began reading to himself, using a finger to ensure his place. Khaadgrim walked closer and looked over Tograhn’s shoulder, inspecting the writings, finding nothing but gibberish from the foreign words. Tograhn was whispering as if reading off it, and then his voice rose as something stirred from the center of the hut. As Khaadgrim watched a swirl of darkness and dust began rising from the ground in conjunction with Tograhn’s voice. He then uttered a loud incantation and something burst from the ground.
When the dust settled a shrill, sharp voice yipped out. “WHERE AM I!?” it cried as it ran around the hut. Tograhn grabbed it by the neck and glared at it.
“Yipyap, you filthy little imp!” Tograhn hurled it toward the chest where it shrieked with pain upon impact. As it tried to crawl away Tograhn held a palm toward it where swirls of purple tendrils thrust forth toward the imp. Tried as it did Yipyap could not move and obeyed when Tograhn told it to sit down.
“Tograhn!” Khaadgrim yelled which snapped the bitter orc out of his haze.
“You’re still here?” Tograhn was confused but not in the literal sense. He was waiting for the kind orc to show himself out!
“A daughter is dead, damn it!” Khaadgrim gripped Tograhn by the shoulders and glared into his brown eyes. He shook him lightly to ensure he was focused. “A daughter is dead and I need your help!”
Tograhn’s mouth went dry. The scowl lightened but it seemed it was a permanent fixture on his face. As Khaadgrim released him Tograhn growled low to himself, scoffing and then turning back toward the chest while telling Yipyap to move, which it did.
“Make it quick,” the warlock uttered curtly. Yipyap was off to the corner shaking and cowering as Tograhn shuffled through his chest and listened at the same time.
“Do you remember my case with Jargag?” Khaadgrim began, watching as Tograhn sifted. He nodded his head.
“One of our own didn’t keep his word and Jargag was freed. He killed a child in cold blood and tried to kill the mother but she escaped.”
“Escape? Jargag is cold-blooded, he wouldn’t let anyone escape.”
“Evalency is a cunning one, she’d be able to.”
“Why the hell are you coming to me, then? Wouldn’t she know where he’d be hiding or something?”
“She’s busy recovering and this is a quicker approach. If Jargag has been alive all this time it’s certain he’s still doing business with the Undermarket.” Tograhn stopped in place for a few seconds before continuing his rummaging. Khaadgrim paused for a moment to let his words sink in and then resumed. “The problem is figuring out what he has planned right now.”
“I don’t know anything,” Tograhn replied quickly.
“You knew enough to help me catch Jargag the first time, you know enough now.” Tograhn growled, slamming the chest closed as he turned to look Khaadgrim in the eye.
“Will you just piss off!?” He basically screamed the words at him but Khaadgrim was unmoved.
“Maybe if you give me the information I need I’ll proudly do so!”
“Argh!” Tograhn cried out as he kicked Yipyap with frustration. The imp shrieked as it hit the top of the hut and slammed into the dusty floor. “You make my life so infuriating, you know that?” He faced so closely with Khaadgrim Tograhn’s nose could practically touch the spikes of Khaadgrim’s faceguard. “You and your damn charades of justice and honor, you keep getting me almost killed!”
“Fancy you’re still alive, which means you haven’t gotten killed yet.”
“And someone whose death was falsified has a damn good chance of getting to me considering what you’re asking!”
“Then you help me!” Khaadgrim’s words bit fiercely into the warlock. “You help me find justice for the child who died! Of all the times I’ve put you in danger you have done for the causes.” Tograhn felt a block in his mind; it was difficult to formulate responses for the orc who glared ever so pleadingly into his eyes was right.
“I know you’re not evil, Tograhn,” Khaadgrim said, earnest and calm. “I know what you do despite what others say and do to you; your efforts are not shrouded underneath the Drag and left to be forgotten.”
Yipyap’s cowering carried on for what seemed like hours. When Tograhn finally had enough of it he punted the imp out of the hut and its crying disappeared from his ears. He stood there for a moment and looked to his feet, then turned and looked to Khaadgrim.
“That blood elf’s child wasn’t the first,” Tograhn began speaking as he read Khaadgrim’s eyes for surprise. “He’s killed more, took out the unwilling and coveted the rest. It seems Jargag took an interest in the slaving market and he’s trying to find fresh blood after his falsified execution.”
“How long have you known about this?” Khaadgrim’s brows were furrowed, surprised at the extent of Tograhn’s knowledge. The warlock slightly tilted his head from side to side and looked out of the hut.
“Ever since his name came back up on the market. Based on my information he’s hoping to sweep you all up and put you all down at the same time, including me.” Khaadgrim furrowed his brows harder at the information and craned his neck back.
“Do you know how he was going to accomplish that?”
Khaadgrim saw something coming he was not going to enjoy. For some reason he felt jigsaw puzzles coming together as Tograhn spoke his words.
“Not a clue. I heard Urmak’s name drop but obviously he’s being held at Grommash Hold.”
Khaadgrim looked to the ground, brows furrowed in thought. Tograhn examined his eyes and realized something was about to click.
“Jargag never leaves anyone alive,” Khaadgrim muttered to himself. At long last he realized what was going to hit him. “Evalency!”
As he ran off Tograhn chased after him. “Wait, what did you find out? Khaadgrim!” Khaadgrim made his way toward his shack as the moon observed. Tograhn was panting and groaning as he saw Khaadgrim standing in front of his doorway looking at an empty bed and a more empty table.
“She’s gone!” He slammed the door and turned to continue running but Kayjax stopped him.
“Khaadgrim, Urmak’s gone!”
“Oh no.” More pieces were falling together as Khaadgrim realized Jargag’s motives. “This is how he was intending to lure us. We’ve fallen right into this trap!”
“What are you talking about?” Kayjax looked to Tograhn and Khaadgrim with a perplexed face. Tograhn was still trying to catch his breath but he was gesturing to Khaadgrim to forward the explanation. Khaadgrim quickly explained the situation which caused Kayjax to spout out a curse.
“So that explains the other body.” Kayjax pointed toward Grommash Hold and then to the side road leading to the Valley of Strength. “Some of the guards spotted another person running along with Urmak, possibly a blood elf. I can see more parts of this fitting together.”
“So,” Tograhn interrupted, waving a hand. “So we’re going to waltz right into Jargag’s trap? We’ll all be killed – and this time I won’t be so lucky, Khaadgrim!”
Khaadgrim looked towards the side road and glowered. He then looked to Kayjax and spoke, “Has everyone been gathered? I have a plan.”
Kayjax nodded. “Pakka and Prow are waiting inside the hold with Lakarra. Your orders, sir.”
“Tail me.” Tograhn and Kayjax looked to each other before sending their looks of shock to Khaadgrim.
“You know your track record for risky plans isn’t what I call spotless,” Tograhn quipped honestly. “You’ve been caught near death half of those times and most of them involved your Freelance friends!”
“And the other half involved us in some way,” Kayjax replied as he looked to Tograhn. “You know this as well as I do and it’s happened the other way around.” Tograhn scowled harder and then looked away. Kayjax looked back to Khaadgrim and nodded crisply. “When do you want to spring our counter-trap?”
Khaadgrim shrugged and then began making his way toward the Valley of Strength. “That will be up to you!”
The moon continued to observe as the stars and night gathered around it, catching sight of Khaadgrim slowly making his way over the high road leading into the Valley of Spirits. As he passed by guards he asked them if they saw an orc and blood elf running around. They pointed him in the right direction as the clues led him to a hovel sticking out from a wall in the Valley of Spirits.
He cautiously opened the door. It was a poorly built house that looked close to collapsing. The insides were just as poor with decayed wood and furniture covered in layers of dust. A bookshelf stared back at Khaadgrim with its broken shelves and downtrodden state but the orc saw something great in it.
There was cold air seeping into the hovel. Khaadgrim unsettled some of the dust and watched it blow past him, confirming his suspicions. Inelegantly he shoved the bookshelf to the side and revealed a solid wooden door with a latch. Welcoming himself in he was greeted with cool air and a dark, long tunnel. Several feet away Kayjax, Tograhn and the rest were following the orc and biding their time for any signal to surface. They kept on their toes as they slowly made their way through the tunnel.
After several minutes Khaadgrim could see a light at the end of the tunnel. The bright light turned into a huge storage space with bookshelves, barrels and other materials stockpiled to the sides. He could hear whimpering and crying somewhere but beyond the pillars holding the area up and the lights he could find nothing.
And then he stopped, stared, and realized it was only one person doing the weeping. He moved in closer to see a woman on the cold stone floor weeping on her knees.
“Evalency?” he whispered to himself as he approached her. The blood elf did not stir as he moved a hand to grasp her but the second he did he felt two bulky arms lock his apart and pull him back. Evalency twirled around and sunk two daggers into his chest but they simply bounded off the orc’s heavy plate.
“What the hell?” the assailant said surprisingly as he saw sparks fly off the armor. Khaadgrim thrust an elbow to the person’s side and flipped him over, who recovered in a roll. Evalency rolled to the side and braced herself in an attack stance with two daggers in her grip.
“Damn,” Khaadgrim said as he drew his axe. “I should have let Kayjax beat the life out of you.”
Urmak cackled and drew two axes from his waist. “Another lapse of judgment from you, captain. I didn’t realize that armor of yours was so resilient; the error is not yours alone!”
“Time to remedy that!” Khaadgrim charged. However, Urmak and Evalency made no movements and Khaadgrim barely managed to get far until a bolt of lightning stopped him in his tracks. He let out a roaring cry of pain as he buckled under the weight of the electricity and onto his knees and hands. Another person surfaced from the shadows and looked down upon the armored orc with a smile on his face.
“Miss me, Roark?” he said with thick smugness. “I’ve certainly missed you!” He held out his palm and stormed Khaadgrim again. He reveled in Khaadgrim’s cries of anguish as his heart began skipping beats. Khaadgrim buckled to his side and struggled to keep conscious.
Kayjax and his crew charged in for their shot. Urmak stepped forth and bought his axes down, sending veins of purple through the ground and underneath Kayjax’s group. They suddenly found their bodies in stasis and unable to move, helpless to only watch Khaadgrim suffer under the hands of a merciless nemesis.
All except Tograhn, who watched from around the corner, still in the tunnel. He adjusted his hat and gripped his staff tighter as he watched Jargag circle over the entrapped group. Evalency watched absently as Urmak delivered a swift kick into Khaadgrim’s abdomen.
“And the gang is all here!” Jargag said cheerfully as he held his hands forward and around. His dark skin complimented his sneering expression of victory as his jade eyes scanned over the struggling fighters. Jargag looked to Kayjax and punched him square in the face, causing Kayjax to spit in his face as a return gift.
“Gods you were a bitch,” Jargag said as he wiped the spittle off. He rammed his elbow across Kayjax’s face and knocked him out cold, leaving his head to hang in place while the rest of his body was frozen in mid-charge. Jargag then turned his view to the others with a proud smile.
“Don’t you all love it when a plan comes together?” he said as he laughed obscenely. “It has been too long! A year and the fruits of my labor have been delivered finally!” He reached out to Pakka and studied her soft features. His fingers trailed across her brow piercings and he quickly yanked one out, causing her to let out a short cry.
“Come on,” Jargag urged on, “Cry, you little bitch!” Pakka growled, some strands of her red hair coming down onto her face. Her icy blue eyes showed nothing but contempt towards Jargag and she did nothing else.
As Jargag began torturing her by slowly pulling on her piercings Tograhn continued to observe. Urmak was rubbing his foot and grunting in pain, another lapse of judgment from him. The fool tried to kick a fighter decked in heavy plate, what the hell was he expecting? Tograhn looked to Evalency again and realized she was still standing in place, almost as if hollow and empty. His eyes glowed a faint purple as he narrowed them at her, whispering some sort of incantation to himself. After a minute his eyes lit up and he took a peek toward Jargag.
Pakka was bleeding bad around the face now. Two of her brow piercings were torn off and the black blood dripped around her right eye. Jargag looked over her and chuckled. “Now you look like a whore.”
Khaadgrim was still on the floor, panting and trying to recover from the electricity still coursing through him. His body would not respond to him, still in shock at the attack and could only manage a slight twitch of the finger or limb. He forced himself to look toward his comrades and watch as they were beaten or tortured.
But something did not seem right. He could make out someone in the shadows of the entrance but Tograhn looked frozen along with the rest. Khaadgrim’s vision was slightly blurry so perhaps it was just that, but still, something did not seem right.
Jargag made his way over to Tograhn and stared at his frozen face. Jargag squinted and quickly realized something was wrong. The illusion of Tograhn dissipated into purple mist and revealed an imp at the opening of the stasis who laughed nervously at Jargag. Before the orc could do anything the real Tograhn revealed himself and shot bolts of purple energy toward the prisoners. At a moment’s notice all but Kayjax and Tograhn charged at Jargag and blitzed him.
Urmak was ready to attack but Khaadgrim caught his leg and hurled Urmak down. They tussled on the floor sparing blows to each other but neither could really do any damage. Khaadgrim’s punches were weakened by the shock still going through his body and Urmak’s weapons did nothing to Khaadgrim’s armor.
“Attack them!” Jargag shouted as the Kor’kron members continued to strike him. “Damn you whore, get the one in the dress!” Suddenly Evalency came to life and sprinted across the area, leaping over Jargag and the Kor’kron and toward Tograhn. She drew her blades down and cried out as she closed in but the warlock only drew a palm toward her and shocked her with some sort of purple energy. The blood elf yelped out in pain as she was thrust to the side and rolled over the ground, unconscious.
Somehow Jargag was still conscious during his unrelenting beating. Each strike bounced off a shield of some sort but the Kor’kron still persisted. “I’m going to gut each and one of you if it’s the last thing I do!” A sudden surge of electrical energy shot from Jargag and cast his assailants away toward the walls. They took the hits in stride and quickly recovered to charge a second time toward Jargag.
“Die!” They had no way to avoid Jargag’s electrical tendrils that surged through them. Through the storm of light the Kor’kron screamed and cried out in agony as their bodies failed to respond. Jargag sent so much voltage through them they were practically having seizures in mid-air.
Tograhn was about to cast a spell but Jargag caught sight of him from the corner of his eye. He maneuvered a hand toward him and charged his palm with more electrical energy but it collided with a rapid current of shadow bolts from Tograhn.
“Dark magic didn’t suit your tastes, Jargag?” Tograhn taunted as he channeled.
“Who says I stopped practicing?” Jargag’s bright lightning was suddenly swept over by shadowy bolts that emitted screeching . It combined with the lightning and quickly pushed through Tograhn’s channeling like it was nothing.
“What the hell is this?” Tograhn yelled as he struggled to regain his foothold in the fight. “You bastard! How dare you pervert the magic of a shaman!”
Jargag sneered at this and then forced his power further toward Tograhn. Tograhn lost his grip, causing him to lose the battle and be swept with dark and electrical energies. His eyes went wide as the shock ripped through his being and the shadowy magic burned his flesh. As they all screamed in agony Jargag laughed like a crazed master whipping his dog.
“You have no idea the forces you fight against!” Jargag began shouting through the electrical storm consuming the room. “I serve a higher plane of existence, a new era where maggots like you have no place other than to serve and obey! Too bad you will all be dust by the time I’m through with you!”
They couldn’t hear but Khaadgrim heard every word. His energy was dwindling with his struggle against Urmak and Khaadgrim’s punches no longer served a purpose. Urmak continued to wail on the armored orc, still trying to slice through the armor but the axes had been chipping apart ever since he started. Khaadgrim had to do something, the lives of his comrades depended on it!
A sudden roar surged through the room that contested with the cries of the lightning. Khaadgrim’s eyes went bright red as he tore one of the broken hatchets from Urmak’s grip and plunged it into Urmak’s side, causing him to roll over and grovel at his wound. Khaadgrim then ripped the other hatchet from Urmak’s hand and charged at Jargag; unfortunately he wasn’t quick enough and Khaadgrim was caught in a shadowy trap with tendrils choking his body and neck.
The red dissipated from his eyes and the forced energy fatigued him to the point of unconsciousness. Jargag let his victims go, silencing the storm and leaving the limp bodies to lay on the dirt ground, sizzling. Tograhn was the only one still stirring but Jargag paid no heed to him, he was no longer a threat.
“Used your trump card already, Roark?” Jargag calmly walked toward Khaadgrim. Jargag’s hands were behind his back that gave him a look of polite maliciousness. “Mm, yes, you would use that sort of curse to your benefit, but I’m afraid it will not work with me.”
The shadowy tendrils loosened from Khaadgrim’s neck. He coughed and gasped for breath but found it easier to breathe when Jargag removed his helmet. Khaadgrim had an expression of defeat on his face, feeling lightheaded and dizzy as the tendrils kept him up and standing.
“What,” Khaadgrim started while breathing heavily between words, “what higher force do you serve?”
“Maybe that will give you something to think about when you’re a pile of ash.” Jargag couldn’t help but to smile, that fanged, taunting smile that further dropped Khaadgrim into a deeper pit of defeat. “Though I will say this: the hammer of judgment will decide who lives and who dies. The worthy will be spared but the nonbelievers will perish in a flaming truth.”
“I see now.” It was futile to say anything longer; Khaadgrim was dropping in and out of consciousness now and he could see his end nearing. Urmak finally tore the broken hatchet from his side and glared at Khaadgrim.
“Can I finish him off?” Urmak uttered, looking to Jargag for approval. Jargag nodded and looked back to Khaadgrim, shrugging.
“You’re already dead,” Jargag remarked as he unsheathed a sword and handed it to Urmak. “Might as well give my faithful acolytes the honors of ridding your broken spirit from your body.”
Urmak and Jargag smiled. For some reason Khaadgrim couldn’t help but to smile either and it confused the two.
“You,” Khaadgrim wearily said, “you forgot someone.”
Urmak looked to the side and caught a throwing knife with his skull. As he fell Jargag took the blade from Urmak’s limp hand and connected blades with Evalency. The spell dissipated from Khaadgrim and he hit the ground with a thud that softly quaked the ground. He could only watch as the two attack, deflect and dodge each other in a duel that seemed evenly-matched. Every single time Jargag tried to use his electrical attacks Evalency strafed or rolled to the side and tried to stab him in the back; but just the same Jargag twisted and dodged or deflected her attacks to begin a new loop of fighting.
“I was waiting for this moment,” Evalency quipped as she continued to exchange blows with Jargag. “While you’re rotting in hell my daughter will laugh and taunt from the heavens for what you did to her!”
“Really? Jargag said with mock surprise as he parried. “I’d think that whore would be bathing in the fires alongside me!”
She lost it. With an angry grunt she thrust her dagger but missed. Jargag sidestepped and tore a hole into Evalency’s chest with the blade which made her gasp out in pain. She gripped him, trying to get her footing but she knew she had lost. Jargag paid no mind to it and simply chuckled.
“A hug from you? How lovely.” His chuckling stopped with a cry of shock as Evalency plunged her blades through his windpipe. Jargag shoved her away and clutched at his neck as black blood squirted and oozed from it. He gurgled and croaked as the fluids filled his lungs and mouth, whipping his body around as he tried to save himself but there was nothing he could do. To the bitter end he tried to fight his demise but his body stopped, his choking and gurgling, his fighting; he was now a corpse with his hands clutched over his neck to display how he died and nothing else.
Khaadgrim was able to move but each response was sluggish and dulled. He groaned as he lifted himself up to a crawl and slowly made his way toward Evalency. From time to time he tipped and toppled but struggled with all his might to assess his fallen ally. He bent beside Evalency and lifted her head. Her breathing was haggard and strained and the life in her eyes was obviously fading.
“Stay awake, Evalency,” Khaadgrim said with a gentle voice as he pressed a hand on the surface of the wound. The blood only spilled from whatever gaps it could and created a puddle beneath the bleeding elf. A look of hazy desperation filled Khaadgrim’s face as he struggled to keep himself awake and save Evalency but it was in vain.
He looked into her eyes and she into his. He was so certain everything would turn out alright, that he would either die or be close to it but still manage to buy time to bring a victory to him and his allies. This bitter victory hollowed itself through Khaadgrim’s being, eating away at his honor and soul as he watched the blood of a comrade flow through his fingers.
But, for some reason, Evalency mustered enough energy to give the orc a weak smile. She lifted a gentle hand to the orc’s face and then toward the hand clutching her wound, moving it away ever so slowly to the orc’s own chest. She then rested her hand to her slowing heart and waited for whatever spirits to wisp her away. Her head went limp and her eyes half-shut, the bright emeralds flowing down her cheek into a dissipating mist and replacing her eyes with hollowed sockets.
Khaadgrim carefully laid Evalency’s head down and stared. His heart broke into pieces as he studied the empty sockets of the Sin’dorei, hanging his head down and tearing a hole into himself with his eyes. His fists clenched tightly but his left made some sort of clicking noise. He looked to it and opened his bloody palm, realizing the elf snuck a heart-shaped necklace into it.
It was opened now and he studied the contents. There were two pictures within, one showing a young little blood elf with Evalency to her side and the other was of another woman that resembled Evalency except with dark red hair which curled inward at the ends. All three were dressed elegantly and smiled happily within the pictures.
Kayjax finally stirred, groaning as he lifted himself from the dirt floor. Using his staff as a support limb he pulled himself up to a stand and gazed around. Tograhn was alive but still on the floor; Kayjax could tell the rest were breathing but were burned in several places. Upon closer inspection he realized they weren’t burned severely and concluded that Jargag’s shocks were meant for torture rather than outright killing.
When he saw Khaadgrim on his knees beside Evalency Kayjax only feared the worst. He limped his way toward Khaadgrim and looked down at the elf’s empty eye sockets. Kayjax shook his head and muttered a small prayer, “Aka’magosh, elf. May the Spirits bring you to everlasting peace.”
Khaadgrim sat there, still kneeling and staring at the corpse. “Is everyone alright?” he asked. Kayjax felt the tone of remorse from the orc’s voice, replying with a simple “Yes.”
There was a touch of hesitancy in Khaadgrim’s movements. Gently he scooped Evalency from the ground and struggled to get up, almost toppling from the weight of his armor. Kayjax recovered him and helped him up to a stand.
“Thank you,” Khaadgrim said weakly. He slowly made his way to the exit without another word. Kayjax sighed and shook his head and limped towards Tograhn, who was on his elbows and propping himself up with his staff.
Once Khaadgrim left Tograhn looked to the entrance and let out a groan of disgust. “All that and she ends up dead!”
Kayjax scowled at him. “Be lucky you’re Khaadgrim’s friend, Tograhn. Maybe that would be you with your hands clutching your neck instead.”
“That’s not what I meant damn it!” He fussed as a hand adjusted his hat. “I mean it’s a damn shame we couldn’t save her!” He let out an angry scoff as he glared at the floor. Kayjax joined in with a nod and a look of failure on his face.
“For better or worse,” Kayjax said as he broke the silence, “justice and honor have been given to the affected families.”
“Uh uh,” Tograhn disputed with the shake of a head. “We still have some kids to get back, this isn’t over.” He limped his way toward the exit as Kayjax watched.
“What do you intend to do?” Kayjax asked with a furrowed brow. Tograhn only waved a hand over his shoulder.
“Enough, just keep Khaadgrim posted with whatever I send you.” With that Tograhn vanished into the darkness of the tunnel, leaving Kayjax alone with his unconscious brethren. He knew he wouldn’t be able to carry them all out so he exited the room to contact guards for aid.
A few days later the group gathered above the Valley of Spirits to give the elf and her daughter a funeral. It wasn’t clear how Evalency wanted to be put to rest considering her broken ties with her people but Khaadgrim felt this would be better than leaving the body to rot in an undisclosed gravesite. Khaadgrim and Kayjax began chanting softly as the ashes of the two elves combined and disappeared into the wind.
“A’rakan o’shanna.” They ended with silence as the remaining ashes flew off. The wind quieted and left the group to pray their final words before they departed. Khaadgrim was left with Kayjax to gaze into the wind, the two contemplating on yesterday’s events. There was peace in Khaadgrim’s mind but turmoil in his heart, and he accepted such feelings would stick to him until he departed to the Spirits.
“Looks like you stirred something in Tograhn,” Kayjax said in a tone respectful for the dead, somber and gentle. “He was doing a lot of research these past few days and said he’d begin acting after the funeral.”
Khaadgrim nodded absently. “Is that why he wasn’t here?”
“Yeah, he wanted me to fill you in of what he found.”
Apparently Jargag wasn’t stealing away children for profit. According to Kayjax the higher power Jargag was referring to had something to do with an organization called the Twilight’s Hammer.
“Twilight’s Hammer?” Khaadgrim said with surprise as his brows furrowed. “Jargag wasn’t a religious nutcase, what could he have possibly found with them?”
Kayjax shrugged. “Whatever it may be it made him stronger, that’s for certain. Tograhn’s certain Jargag was manipulating shaman magic but he’s still doing research.”
“This is certainly a dire situation.” Khaadgrim murmured to himself and shrugged a shoulder. Kayjax crossed his arms and slowly blew out some smoke from the other side of his mouth.
“Tograhn also found campsites where some of the kidnapped children were being held. They’ve all been rescued already and he’s only feeding us more information as the days pass on.”
“Good news in a sea of bad. Thank you, Kayjax.”
Kayjax began walking away but stopped to say, “Has our honor been reclaimed, captain?” Khaadgrim peeked over his shoulder from the corner of his eye and slowly nodded.
“And justice has been delivered.” Khaadgrim looked back to the funeral slab. Kayjax stared at the orc for a moment before nodding solemnly and departing from Khaadgrim’s view. The orc stood there for what seemed like hours. The wind rustled and ushered a soft breeze to mend the orc’s bleeding heart but his armor served to let it fill and drown him.
He heard footsteps coming but remain unmoved. The body then stood alongside the orc and gazed at the funeral slab, taking in the ashes that stuck to it.
“A’rakan o’shanna,” the person said quietly as Khaadgrim looked to the body. It was the red-haired woman from the necklace. She had a solemn and serious expression on her face as she studied the funeral slab, squatting down to dust the remaining flickers of ash that were blown away from a soft wind. She was equipped with plate armor and a light mace made from silver and steel. Her hair flickered to the side as she moved her gaze to the orc.
“May your regrets be soothed in the next life, right?” She gave the orc a melancholic smile before staring into the distance. The wind blew softly and ushered them into silence. “I wasn’t expecting her to take this long to die. Rather surprising now that it’s finally happened.”
Khaadgrim looked away and gazed to the funeral slab. “I assume you’re Evalency’s sister?” When she nodded he asked for her name.
“Quelennia,” she said, “Or if you want you can call me Len. The name’s a mouthful anyways.” There was a touch of humor in her tone that was washed and drowned away by guilt.
“She never told me she had a sister.”
“Val never told people about her life,” Len replied, then looked to Khaadgrim. “But you’re a rare occurrence. Either you’re very charismatic or Evalency held great respect for you, and the former doesn’t reach her that easily.”
“How did you find out about her death? This funeral?”
“Some warlock dropped her name to me. Grumpy fellow who liked kicking his imp.” She furrowed her brows and gently shook her head. “I was skeptical at first. After all warlocks aren’t known to speak honestly, but when he explained the details to me and I rushed over here from Silvermoon to see for myself.”
“How do you feel now?”
She bit her lip. “Coupled with my last days with her, remorseful.”
“Sounds like she was the black sheep in the family.”
Len shook her head. “She was the most honest out of all of us. If she didn’t agree with something she would say it, no argument. It hurt me when I heard her acting like a mercenary and I cut all ties with her.”
“You mentioned having last days with her.”
Len nodded. “About a week ago she contacted me asking if I wanted to see little Emaline. I told her I’d be on the next ship to Kalimdor but I couldn’t hold any promises.” Something tore in her heart and she pressed a hand against the side of her neck as her lips quivered. “She was so ecstatic. I couldn’t honestly believe I would see my sister again, more shocked that she had cleaned her act up. But now….” Her will shattered in teardrops. She moved a hand to cover her face as she quietly wept. Khaadgrim stood there and gazed at the funeral slab as Len gained her bearings.
The orc dug a hand through a pocket and produced the necklace. “Here,” he said as he held the necklace out. “I’m sure she would have wanted you to have this.” Len looked to the orc and then to the necklace, taking it and opening it to reveal the pictures. Her heart sunk as she gazed over the pictures but she blocked herself from weeping anymore.
Instead she spoke a word of thanks to the orc and placed the necklace over her. She looked to the pictures for a long while and her lips curled into a smile. “She looks just like her, Emaline. I can’t thank you enough for this, Khaadgrim.”
“By duty and honor,” Khaadgrim said solemnly. “Perhaps we will meet again in the future.”
“Actually,” Len said, stopping the orc from leaving. “There was something else I wanted to ask you. If you can believe it Val spoke highly of an orc who I can only assume was you and mentioned something about a union of some sort working for charity and peace.”
Khaadgrim studied her and noted the genuine interest in her eyes. He beckoned her to walk with him and the two spoke as they departed from the site. The skies were blue and the weather was nice and cool for such polite conversation. While Khaadgrim shared his ventures with Evalency and her misdeeds the orc made it clear of this fact: Even thieves had honor, and Evalency was the most honorable upon his list.