((Posted here for Zaanthe, whose account isn’t fixed yet. Letter by me. Enjoy!
While travel between Stormwind and Oribos had been made near-enough trivial with the use of, essentially, death gates, the sensation of stepping through those portals wasn’t exactly something that vindicator Zaanthe was keen on. This was true of portal travel in general, but there was an inescapable measure of that in everyday life by now. As such, the draenei had elected to make use of lodgings that had been set up within the dimension’s hub. The multi-tiered city didn’t originally have any sort of location, but the recent influx of mortal souls into the plane had created a necessity, and the resident Brokers were eager to produce supply wherever demand showed itself.
The sleeping arrangement wasn’t comfortable, quiet, private, or really adequate in any metric that Zaanthe would’ve measured, bar proximity to the day-to-day business with The Repentant that he found himself embroiled in. After dressing and cleaning himself up, the draenei went about a few odds and ends within the city. Foremost on his list of things to address was his lack of an adequate weapon. His hammer was unaccounted for since the ambush outside of the Theater of Pain, and it didn’t seem like he was due to get it back. It wasn’t at Theo’s camp, and so his last ditch hope was that she’d kept it. Until he could confirm this, he’d need something new. An outright replacement was out of the question; he’d need to visit an artificer, a crystalsmith, and an enchanter. Just bouncing between all of those would take him a week of legwork alone, and that was time he simply didn’t have to spare. Something else would have to do.
Thankfully, the Brokers stepped up to that plate as well. While he knew that their final product wasn’t going to be precisely what he wanted, it would suffice in the meantime. This morning was the first available day the weapon would be ready for pickup, and so that was where the draenei was headed. He made his way through the broad halls of the city, carefully shifting through the flow of foot traffic that weaved about, until he made it to the Hall of Shapes. A Broker behind a small metal desk sat, their metal sigil turned towards the movement of a few folks of vastly differing origins lining up before them. The Broker called out for the next in line, the members of the line shuffled forward, and the process repeated over again in a snap. Eventually, the vindicator’s spot in line came up.
Zaanthe cleared his throat, and began to speak. “I’m here to pick up an order. Vi–”
The Broker’s flame flared to a deeper hue. “Zaanthe. Requested weaponry, reminiscent of draenei longsword. Measurement is five feet seven inches, point to pommel. Paid in full upon order, and ready for pickup. Thank you for your patronage of Cartel Ba. Next, please.”
A crate was set down in front of the draenei, about seven foot in length. It seemed a little long for what he knew was inside. Zaanthe took it aside as the line behind him shuffled onward, and set it on a nearby surface to pry at the top.
“We ask that all customers unpack their orders outside of the Hall of Shapes. Thank you for your patronage of Cartel Ba.” Another Broker chimed, and began to corral Zaanthe away, with no small degree of insistence. Before he really had paid attention to everything that was going on, the vindicator found himself outside of the hall. He held his crate in both arms, and made his way back to his rented space, somewhat steamrolled by the whole experience.
Sat on his cot, the draenei pried open the crate. Within, laid about in soft packaging, was the sword he ordered. By the pommel, another smaller box was stuffed within the wooden slats. Standing, he set the box aside, and saw a flicker of a white square tumble out of a pocket and land on a tousled sheet. Unfolding it a number of times to its full size, Zaanthe began the lengthy task of reading a rather wordy letter addressed in his name. With each line, his lips pulled into an increasingly broader grin.
My most favorite cause of running low on arrows, Vindicator Zaanthe:
I must start off by informing you that the escort lying in wait with your letter failed to show any courtesy whatsoever and had to be summarily dispatched. My most insincere apologies. I’m hoping you had little to do with the strong smells that currently waft from my bedroll; I suspect your compatriots are to blame, as that seems in keeping with their general character.
I will admit I did not expect to hear from you, given the circumstances of our first meeting. It’s not often the rabbit seeks out the wolf after escaping its jaws. I can’t decide if you enjoy flirting with death, or if you Templars are simply more courageous -and foolish- than I gave you credit for. I suppose time will tell.
In regards to your armor, hammer, and other miscellany. I am willing to negotiate, as you have guessed, given the entirely personal nature of my book. If you have damaged it in any way, I will find you and Pride’s Prison will have to settle for whatever shred of your soul is left after I am through. However, if it is undamaged and whole, I will trade it for the hammer. For the other personal effects -the stone, the papers- I want my animal care bag back. I could remake the food, and while Fang loves his red ball I can find another of those as well, but his paws are prone to chafing and cracking in dry weather. The skin around his horns is also sensitive, and flakes and itches. Seeker does not have any health issues but is very picky about her meals, and as such I carry insects native to Revendreth when I travel. I hope you understand why this is a priority for me.
There is also a wooden box with broken porcelain. It is trash, and I do not care what you do with it. You may keep it, throw it away, or for a laugh, give it to Nadana since she seems to have taken your side. My other items matter little.
I appreciate that you share the same respect for decorum, as you called it, that I do. I am aware of my skill set, but I am not a mindless killer. I emphasize honesty and straightforwardness in all my work- I do not make empty threats or idle vows, only promises. Until the entirely unwelcome interference of your friend, I found you to be refreshingly sensible under the circumstances. I hope that you continue this trend. To conduct our exchange properly, I will grant you one half hour of ceasefire and safe conduct, starting from the time of our meeting, and five minutes head start to make whatever escape you believe to be sufficient.
Understand that outside of that timeframe my orders and mission still stand, but inside it I will do you no harm unless harm is done to me.
Tea is at 4:00 sharp, three days from now; don’t be late. There are directions to the location on the back of this letter. Dress code is formal. I have included some attire along those lines, because I doubt you have anything appropriate to wear judging from what you had with you. They were hardly good for bandages. But these should fit.
As you said, I have your measure.
Apparently your host,
Lady Theodora Evergreen, House Evergreen, Court of Revendreth
(On the back of the letter is a brief map, apparently to a location in the Banewood. Wrapped in parchment and sealed with red wax and a green ribbon in the box with Zaanthe’s sword is a package, containing clothes- not just any clothes, either. A suit of midnight and moonlight, black velvet and brocade and fine silk, is embroidered with silver in a pattern like vines going up in stripes on the jacket. The undershirt is white, button up, and ruffled with fine lace on the sleeves and in the neckline. A white lace handkerchief is meant for the pocket; a brooch made of jet for the neck; and an elegant little silver chain for the waistcoat. A black leather belt goes with the black silk trousers, and there’s some odd wide strips of leather that on closer inspection are a substitute for boots designed for hooves. The metal buckles and buttons silver again. The entire thing is exquisitely tailored to Zaanthe’s figure.)
Zaanthe flipped the letter, and took a cursory glance at the map. He then opened the smaller box, and thumbed through the numerous layers of heavy cloth that lay within. “Light, is that a handkerchief?” he groused under his breath as he closed the box back up. He turned the letter over again, and re-read it.
And then again once more.
After a few moments to process, he reached up to activate a communication stone. It had one specific other person on the line, and anyone who knew the vindicator could guess who it was. “Mosur, I’ve picked out a replacement weapon in Oribos. Are you busy? Can you meet? I’d like to get your opinion.”
After a brief chat, Zaanthe changed lines, and opened communication over the guildstone.
“Templars. I am curious – among the supplies in the huntress’ camp, there was a bag of pet care supplies. Food, a ball, maybe some… Ointments? A jar of bugs? That… Sort of collection. Who picked it up…?”