A Message Posted at Ratchet and Other Places

-by Drahliana

The MessageEdit

The following message is found posted prominently in Ratchet, the CrossRoads, and Sun Rock Retreat. News of the message is quietly leaked to Astrannar as well. The message is posted in Darnassian, Common, Orcish, and a fourth language that certain scholars would identify as Thalassian, a language not heard in Kalimdor for over seven thousand years. They would not know off hand that that particular part message was intended for one person only.

To the communities of the Horde, specifically the residents of Sun Rock, from Drahliana, High Ranger of the Rangers of Moonwood.

Some time ago, I ordered a penetration of the Retreat of Sun Rock, a neccessary step to resolve a prolonged investigation involving a serious threat to both the domains of my people and the greater welfare of Kalimdor's guardians of Nature.

The recent set of invasions of the Scourge made it neccessary for us to postpone acting upon our findings so as not to dilute the efforts needed to combat the undead menace. With the invasion apparantly pushed back for an indefinite period, this must now be dealt with.

Eons before the rise of the present day Horde and Alliance, my people made the decision to exile our former nobility, the self-styled Highborne or has they would call themselves the Quel'Dorei, or High Elves if you prefer the common term. The Quel'dorei were not content to learn from the follies of arcane corruption that led to the Sundering which almost destroyed us all. Forbidden the use of their arcane arts, they tried to reverse that decision by unleashing plague upon their own people. In his mercy, the great Malfurion Stormrage held back the death they so richly deserved for the death they had dealt and instead ordered eternal exile from Kalimdor to find their own destiny, forever barred from the World Tree Nordrassil. And so they were sent out and a veil of darkness laid upon our lands so that they would not find the way to return. Furthermore they were warned upon pain of death never to darken our shores again.

Over the last few months, the Druids, the Dryads, and the sons of Cenarius which dwell upon Stonetalon Peak have been subject to repeated attacks. Attacks we have learned were orchestrated by a renegade Quel'dorei named Braelyn Firehand, who is harbored at Sun Rock Retreat. Her motives for attacks upon these guardians of nature can have no reason based on any advantage for the Horde, only revenge for the sentence justly imposed upon her kind by their once-fellows.

These attacks can no longer be left unasnswered. It took a lot of time and investigation to narrow down the one responsibile. The penetration of the Retreat was ordered to confirm this presence. I do not apologise for this neccessary action, but I will note that steps were taken to ensure that no serious harm was suffered by anyone during this operation. This was not an Alliance operation but a Kaldorei matter to address crimes against my people both present and ancient.

I will not pretend to false politeness by calling this a request. And as I have no official sanction from our government, I realise that I can not put this to the governments of the Horde. I instead am attempting to reach those of like mind among the Horde, those looking to protect the interests of their own as we do and have the vision to see that no good is gained by either side by slaughtering Nature's warders.

I wish to arrange a meeting with the representatives of a similar independent Horde group to discuss the surrender of Braelyn Firehand, to our forces to a Cenarian Trial of both Kaldorei and Tauren to judge her actions. In return, we promise not to seek any action against those Horde she influenced to carry out her attacks. While this is a Kaldorei matter it is the Circle of Cenarians who suffered the greatest harm and we are content to leave judgement to their hands. In this matter we also hope to show that we can act in a matter other than that of wanton vigilantes.

Replies can be sent to me via the representatives of the Steamwheedle Cartel at Ratchet. They have been instructed to wait for these messages and relay them promptly.

Signed by my hand and seal.


High Ranger

Rangers of Moonwood Vale

Response by KormokEdit

"And you will deliver this to her hand only?"

The goblin nodded vigorously. "I'm a bit surprised you'd even want to bother. I mean, can you even read?"

I snarled viciously and seized the little green creature by his frail neck, slamming him against the post holding up the awning above the inn hard enough to cause it to shake. The goblin bruisers had their weapons drawn and pointed at me in an instant, but I did not release the one in my grasp.

"You're in a bit of a bind, orc," the goblin grinned smugly.

"I'll snap your neck long before they even get close to bringing me down. I am told your kind enjoys gambling. How do the odds look for your life at the moment?" I narrowed my eyes beneath the feral mask, and the goblin paled. He waved his calloused hands wildly, signaling the guards to return their weapons to their sides. Only when they had done so did I release the translator, dropping him unceremoniously to the dusty ground.

"You will give her this message, goblin, and then you will be paid. After that, you will never speak of this again." My mailed fist rested on the hilt of my axe. "Agreed?"

The goblin nodded, and I followed him inside. A quill and paper was already prepared, and he sat down nervously to begin to write.

High Ranger Drahliana,

Your ultimatum has been noticed by these tired eyes, and it is with regret that I must contact you under these circumstances. Given the nature of what will transpire in these coming days, what you have dictated here is destructive to that which we seek to forge.

In response to your words, I can offer only a beseechment that you reconsider your actions. All that can come of this is more death, and I would expect you to know that above all others. Yours is the face I hold in utmost respect among your people, and I trust you will find the wisdom to seek a way other than the one you have chosen.

I do not condone the acts of dishonor that the blood elf known as Braelyn Firehand has been accused of. However, as a soldier of the Horde, I am honor-bound to protect those who are placed under our auspices for whatever reason, until proof of their misdeeds can be presented to our leaders in a fashion befitting the political gravity of the situation.

You know of the events of which I write previously, and I will not risk alerting parties who would seek the ending of such affairs. I ask you again to reconsider, for the sake of what is to come.

If proof is found and presented, then I will not stand against you. However, if others are slaughtered in your mission to quell this blood elf's activities, then regretfully it may be me who is forced to stand in your way.

I await your response.

Strength and honor,
Kormok, son of Grolmok
Clan Emissary of the Tears of Draenor

Message to an Emissary (Reply to Kormok)Edit

The following weeks came with a variety of responses, most of which were trivial or insulting to a varying degree, particurlarly annoying was one letter that Drahliana had to take to the librarians of Eldre' Thalas only to find that it was not only badly accented Thalassian but nothing more than a dismissive complaint. After shoving the trollish author's letter into a nearby fire. Drahliana went to a nearby desk and took out the one letter that she had found worth replying to. As it had been transcribed in Common, there had been no need to take it to the library which was the one intact place in the ruins now known as Dire Maul, but it had taken her that long to compose a reply in her mind. Steeling herself, she obtained a quill and parchment from one of the librarians and began to write.

Emissary Kormok, Son of Grolmok and the Tears of Draenor

I hope the delivery of this missive finds you and yours in good health and hopefully having endured this Scourge Invasion without heavy loss. These last battles remain in my thoughts as I write this now.

You have asked me to reconsider the actions just taken and I assure you I did not make my choices lightly. However the circumstances and the nature of the crimes committed by Firehand and the unwillingness to act of the government of Darnassus...
She paused for a moment thinking of the last visit she had made to the settlement on top of the peaks of the StoneTalon range. A new inn had been built, but the new structures were unmanned, undefended with no plans to supplement them in the future. About the only afect the new construction had was to have displaced the home of the clothier she had met before. If anything it seemed to heighted the sense of cross purposlessness that pervaded Darnassus as the split between the Moon Priests following Tyrande and the Druids behind Staghelm grew more and more pronounced.
... have forced my hand. To the Horde, I could understand that the matter at hand would amount to nothing but "elf things". I would imagine that the raiders would see them as nothing more than Night elf pawns, weak and without honor. For us however, we labor under the charge given to us by the Ancients as guardians of this world we both share. The Children of Cenarius and the Druids that serve him are important agents in fighting the corruption left to us by Deathwing and the Burning Legion. The attacks made upon them mirror uncomfortably the death of Cenarius during the time of Arrival of your people and the Humans. But this time there is no demon to pass the blame on to.

That is part of the key to this dilemma. I have made some limited observations of your culture and you Orcs speak much about Honor, much of it with earnest sincerity. But following that word is always another even if it is unspoken. That word is Strength. It has become clear to me that Honor as understood is not only buttressed by Strength but has no foundation without it.

There can be no peace between out peoples without a common bridge. From the Kaldorei side, you would need to start encompassing our understanding of the world and the responsibiity my people have undertaken for over ten thousand years. On the other side, the Orcs can not feel respect for a people lacking in Strength for without Strength to survive the harsh lands, there is no Honor.

For us to merely withdraw these claims it would be Weakness, that sin in Orc terms is cousin to DisHonor.

For us to have ignored these attacks would have been confirmation of Weakness.

I would have hoped that you would have recognised the restraint in which I have pursued our present course of actions. There would be no shortage of bravos that could be mustered up for mindless slaughter, but that is not my way. However circumstances greatly limit my choices. There can be no appeal that I could make to your government, as I have no status in which to make one. Indeed in this latest invasion, the governments of both our factions made no effort to work together in the fashion they had done during the Gate War in which you and I had fought side by side. And even those efforts quickly broke down once those forces had been beaten back.

The future of our peoples in these times comes more and more to rest in disconnected groups like ours. Your Thrall is limited by the the volatility of your people, the limits they place into the concessions they will allow him to make. Jaina Proudmoore is for all intents and purposes. abandoned by her masters in the East and hemmed in on all sides. Staghelm is blinded by his own narrowness of vision, and I do not believe that Tyrande has the will to act beyond the immediate without the presence of Malfurion.

It is people like you and I who have to fill in where our leadership does not reach. Consider your actions as I must consider mine.

You are a Hunter like I. Like I, you have that inner Beast within which can guide you when words fail. There is proof for you to find if you choose to seek. Go to this Firehand and sniff her out yourself. There is a madness among this one, a madness that goes beyond even the Quel'dorei my people remember, these elves who dress in crimson and darkness. The Ancients grant our good fortune that there is only one of her kind that we have trailed within Kalimdor and that Thrall would not make the same mistake in allying with these people as in taking in the Forsaken. The Quel'dorei of old were obsessed with power forsaking all other concerns. These new Quel'dorei make the tales of the other pale by comparison.

I can not appeal to your government any more than our governments could meet together. As it as always been, you have been your lone voice and I must be mine. This is not an Alliance matter, and in many ways not even a Horde one. The concerns are deeper and far older than both. Kalimdor is in a fragile state still suffering from the wounds of the last war. The Wailing Caverns show that we are still on the balancing edge of an even greater disaster if we make a misstep. For over ten thousand years it was the sole responsibility of my people to protect this world. Now we are diminished and we must share what remains with new visitors. The Humans have not the vision to see what must be seen. It is hoped that now unleashed from demonic influence, your kind may learn from your Tauren allies to broaden your vision as well.

Strength and Honor.


High Ranger

Rangers of Moonwood.

p.s. If you can find the time, you may want to revisit the ruins of Jadenar in the Felwood, or visit them if you have not before. Take the scent there deeply and then return to Sun Rock. And be careful.

The Situation at Sun Rock Retreat - RainfalleEdit

Rainfalle Sylvansong ignored the little beetle that scurried across the rock in front of her, while Cuchulainn watched it crawl by. The big lion could sense the quietness within his mistress, so he continued to sit on his haunches and watch the valley below while the Orcs and Tauren scurried from the big tent to the wooden building.

The words spoken below tended towards the harsh, guttural sounds of Orcish with the rare interchange of Taurahe with its lilting sounds that reminded her of nature. There was one figure standing by the lake that stood out in the crowd, her blonde hair resting upon her shoulders, the dull-red robes with its black highlights and gold trim - clothing made for a city or any place other than a small dusty outpost. Even her voice sounded out of place with its almost musical quality grinding against the raw sounds of Orcish. The sketch of Braeln Firehand didn't capture the haughtiness in her stance, the sneer on her lips.

She does not want to be here, but something is keeping her here.

Down below, Drahliana's messages were nowhere to be seen. She had been told that the Goblin had placed it on the side of the wooden structure, but it was nowhere to be seen now. The word back from the Horde was one of dismissal for the most part, except for the word from some Kormok who seemed to want to work things out.

There. Someone is talking to her and...she's gesturing up towards the north. Just like we thought. Time to run.

She clicked her tongue against the top of her mouth three times, causing Cuchulainn to run up beside her as she mounted up and started the dangerous journey down the steep mountain. Her mount's paws and balance on the rocks made the descent faster, although a bit more bumpy until she reached the path that led into the Charred Vale. She rode back north to Stonetalon Peak and jumped off her nightsaber, dismissing it and gesturing off towards the hill below for it to wait.

Rainfalle found the nearest shadows to the old, weathered marble pillars and laid down one of her traps, before she stepped into the shadows nearby and disappeared. The big lion faded from view as well, laying down on the ground to wait and watch as well.

The faint smell of oiled iron and leather caught her attention before she saw the young Orcish warrior, his eyes darting about in trying to find the nearest child of Cenarius to fight. The female daughter had not caught the scent of the Orc that was nearing her yet and continued to frolic in the soft, sweet-smelling grass.

The Orc only saw his prey as he continued to get closer to his goal, not noticing the frozen grass a foot in front of him as he triggered the trap. The panicked look of surprise was frozen along with the Orc. Once the Orc was frozen in place, Rainfalle stepped out of the shadows, her arrow nocked and aimed at her target with her own predatory smile on her lips.

As the trap's hold on the Orc thawed, Rainfalle shot her arrow into the lower half of his shield, before quickly throwing the bow over her shoulder and pulling out her shotgun. The Orc pulled back behind his shield, tightening his body to be ready to pounce when Cuchulainn growled softly off to his left, distracting him as Rainfalle shot down at his feet, nicking the dull iron side of the warrior's boots and sending up dirt and dust in a spray.

The Orc glanced between the Night Elf and the black lion, trying to decide which was the biggest threat and which to take down when the Night Elf placed her shotgun's barrel on her shoulder and pointed at the Orc. The Orc sneered and started walking towards the hunter until she held up her hand, palm facing flat towards him. She then pointed again at him, but this time, he noticed towards his shield.

He looked down and for the first time saw the note attached to the arrow with a name written in crude, awkward Orcish - Braelyn Firehand. He looked up in confusion for a moment when the black lion started to move closer to him, its fangs bared. He looked back up at the Night Elf as she smiled, nodded, and made a shooing gesture as if he was now dismissed.

Rainfalle could see the Orc's eyes darting about, as if his mind was jumping around the possible choices. She leveled her shotgun at him again and pulled back the hammers with a loud click which caught his attention. He nodded and bowed quickly before turning around and running back up the trail that led to the south and back to Sun Rock Retreat.

Now let's see what the others witness of him handing over the letter to her, she thought as one of the Cenarius's daughters walked by the Kal'dorei, unaware of how close death was to taking her as she smiled and wandered on her way.

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