Smiling Jim pub nights often make for interesting events, whether it be through Alekxandar's patented JUSTICE or dare, Harple's trickery of drunken rogues, or any other of a wealth of events. This day, however, seemed to be on the opposite end of the spectrum.


Captain Kelaani stood not far from a table where vindicator Zaanthe and brother Mosur sat, forming a trio of blue-hued, wind-worn travelers. A younger woman, Arianys stood nearby the fire, alongside Koryander, who had apparently taken an impossibly large barrel of alcohol hostage. The two men sat and muttered, as they usually did, bringing up the day's woes and their (often haughty) opinions of their companions and peers. The evening was quiet; a good number of the Templars were out on the field, perhaps seeing to pack up the camp at Durotar, or taking well deserved breaks from their busy lives. Arianys and Koryander chatted by the fire and as things began to wind down the two men at the table started to converse.

“I'll tell you, Zaanthe,” Mosur begun in Draenei, musing out loud to the plate-clad form that was stuffed into a corner on a wooden seat, “the forest is not the only thing I am looking forward to.”


Before Mosur could elaborate, Zaanthe had already interrupted, “There you go again. It's like travelling with a Talbuk with blinders on.”

“…What do you mean by that?” Came a steady voice from under Mosur's white hood.

Zaanthe groaned, and placed his hands on the wooden table, “Precisely what I said! Whenever we talk, it's always that damned journal and the books.”

“Can you not just be happy for me? Can I not just have this one thing?”


Zaanthe's hand brushed over his face and he looked to the group at the fireplace. Kelaani had apparently set off and Koryander and Arianys were… doing whatever it was humans did in their down time. Koryander spoke some Draenei apparently and had started to turn her attention towards the two, even before their voices started to escalate.


“It is not about me being happy for you, you damned fool! Who knows what might happen in pursuing this. What happened last time that you and a little priestess stepped into danger?”

Mosur's fist connected solidly with the wooden table in a slam that reverberated through the tavern. He stood and set his jaw firmly.


“I don't think I understand what you mean,” his tone was flat, serious.


“I meant precisely what I said,” Zaanthe offered in rebuttal, not taking his gaze from the robed figure. In truth, the vindicator got a rise from his reaction. Perhaps it was his nature, or just the wearing of the extensive travels of the three Draenei over a particularly troublesome time in Azeroth.


“Who are you to speak on any of these matters!” Mosur fired off at Zaanthe who had now thrown himself up and onto his hooves, leaning toward him.


Arianys was seemingly the only creature left in the tavern and upon hearing the men begin to raise their voices she turned yelling at the both of them, “If you're going to fight, take it outside! You're ruining my drinking!”


The two Draenei men stopped, glanced at each other, nodded once, and left the tavern. They barely made it onto the grass before their argument flared up once more. Mosur threw himself at Zaanthe in a burst of anger but was caught pretty quickly in a headlock. The stockier, taller Draenei starting to laugh to himself. A few calls came over the guildstones, stemming from Arianys' warning that the two seemed to be in discord. Zaanthe goaded over the device, unable to help but chortle at the sounds of a few voices warning him not to hurt Mosur.


“Since when did you get such an abundant little fanclub, brother?” he asked, just as a few familiar faces turned up. Before Zaanthe could shout at them to mind their own business, the ground underneath him shifted and shuddered. The vindicator fell his iron grip taking Mosur with him to the ground where they still swung at each other and rolled about. Nyres had turned up and dragged Zaanthe away with a handful of others as Arianys pried Mosur away. The two eventually stood again, eyes locked at each other as various parties stopped them from clashing once more.


“What is -wrong- with you two?!” the high elf cried out in something akin to disbelief. Zaanthe still shouting at the crowd to mind their own business, that it was a dispute between two men and it should be settled as such. Eventually, a single calm voice cut through the rabble of Common and Zaanthe recognized it as Mosur's.


“Calm down. Let them think we're fine. Then we'll go over there..” Mosur nodded off into the distance, “…when they're not paying attention, and we can finish this.”

Zaanthe nodded, and forced a smile, still speaking in Common. “…Ah. Yes. It is simply a misunderstanding between two good-natured creatures.”


The two soon made their way back into the tavern, snipping at each other over time in Draenei as Robin, who had shown up amidst the brawl, drank and talked with Nyres and Arianys.


“If you could just get your thick-skull around what I mean…” Zaanthe started.


“Let's not start remarking on each others heads, tiny-crest,” Mosur rebuked.


“Rather that than be born with short, shriveled tendrils.”


“At least I have all of mine, you disfigured old haggard.”


“Happier to have lost them in battle than be born with those!”


“Maybe it's time you lost the other one!”


“Maybe I'll give you a scar to match that pretty one on your cheek!”


It continued on for a while, Mosur pulling out the journal that started the argument, not even to read it, but to spur Zaanthe's anger on more so. It worked fantastically. He rose again, starting to yell.


“Put that Light-damned thing away before I–”, he started, but looked over his shoulder. Robin, Arianys and Nyres simply glared at him. He slowly lowered to his seat. “… Before I have to ask you twice,” he murmured, making nice once more. The night continued on, things quiet enough for the two to slip outside the front mostly unnoticed. That was, of course, until Saashenka awoke.


Her gaze fixed on the two, even as they stood beside one another, Zaanthe's trunk of an arm hanging over Mosur's shoulders, the men making nice. “You are right, brother,” Mosur started, “we shall sleep on it all in Dalaran, and discuss things in the morning when we are of sound minds.” Zaanthe could just barely see the perk in Saashenka's brow as she made her way towards them, following.


The two men had made it mostly out of view when Zaanthe looked about. “Here,” he said, with a swing of an open palm to the back of Mosur's head, “this is far enough.” He turned to face him again, seeing Saashenka approach out of the corner of his eye, “And no more of your little tricks with the earth, Kro'kul.”


Those last words were almost hissed silently from behind his teeth. Zaanthe didn't only know how to strike a foe, but also how to wound a brother.


Mosur yelled, and swung at the vindicator. “SHUT! UP!”


The blow wasn't expected, and Zaanthe neither flinched nor blocked. He took the knuckles square to the chin, his head jarring backwards. His gauntleted grip tugged at Mosur's robes, and the two fell to the ground once more, each trying to get a hold of the other. Intervention seemed to rush from all sides, Nyres attempting to grip Mosur from range, and Arianys rushing towards Zaanthe to grab at him. The vindicator's attention turned almost immediately and a great swing struck at her jawline. With her size, though, came an advantage with speed, and she was soon latched on his back, flailing at his head as Zaanthe tried to strike at anyone in range. Zaanthe let himself roll onto his back, simply trying to pin and crush the woman beneath him, but both Draenei soon felt a sharp crack on their skulls, both dazed briefly as a shrill, desperate voice caught their combined attentions. “Stop!”


Saashenka was standing, her pale hands glowing with a golden hue, leaning against her staff as her chest heaved. She was catching her breath, looking more exhausted than those just involved with the brawl. Apparently she had been shouting at the two to stop the entire time they brawled and they were too wrapped up in battle to hear. The two eventually pulled themselves to their hooves, wiping their faces and still staring each other down. Zaanthe's attention was taken briefly to stare down the woman who had climbed onto his back, her continued presence annoyed him and he sought to send her scurrying by bending toward her and essentially roaring in her face with his nose against hers.


“Enough! I'm tired of being kept in the darkness!” the younger girl's voice rang out. It was the first sentence of hers that truly registered to Zaanthe's ears. He soon chimed in.


“Yes, tell her, Mosur. Tell her -precisely- what your plan is, and what happened to the last priestess.”


It was a stretch, but it was still an easy blow for the Vindicator. His eyes wandered once more, making out another familiar face just to his left. Arialynn stood with a stony expression and look that was most likely reserved for these sorts of situations. Zaanthe swallowed hard, and Mosur was still silent.


“Let whatever emotion it is that split you two apart become one that can forge you back together,” the Justicar spoke simply. There was nothing offered in reply as the crowd dispersed and Saashenka was the last one standing to berate the two fully-grown children.


The two kept mostly silent in their explanations to Saashenka. It seemed that she was about the only one capable of pulling sense from them, what little there was to be had. It was when Zaanthe was agreeing that he had no excuse for violence when Mosur started to gesture. It took the vindicator a moment, but he picked up on what he recognized as sign language they had both learned years ago to deal with an irritating third party. 'This isn't over yet,' was the gist of the message and Zaanthe gave a rebuttal. The anger in the two swelled, Saashenka was blind to their physical motions but easily picked up on their emotional states.


'I'll make sure it isn't over until I knock you on your tail.'


'I'd like to watch you try, elf-fucker'.


Saashenka called out again, “I am blind, not stupid! Stop whatever it is you're doing!”, she seemed to be increasingly close to tears of desperation and disappointment. Zaanthe soldiered on, as Mosur explained the nature of the journals, the three books, and the power he thought they held.


'Promises of power and gifts of your deepest desires always end well. Ask Kil'jaeden, or Archimonde.'


Mosur, infuriated, replied in a string of niceties. 'Tiny-crested tendril-deformed haggard over-grown potion-popping dog-loving meat-shield'


“Mosur!” the younger girl cried out yet again. “Head back to the inn. I'll meet you there.” She turned to Zaanthe, and the two spoke for a brief moment. Her pleas for even-handedness and a level head fell on ears that refused to co-operate in that moment of time, the vindicator simply harumphed and nodded sternly. “Are you not brothers?” was the sole question that struck a chord within Zaanthe's mind. He gave hardly a backward glance as Saashenka went to see to Mosur.


Author Zaanthe
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