(A lovely rp between Ace’s new main and Theo. Super fun!! Shoutout to ace for being awesome)

 

The despoiled camp wasn’t suitable anymore for a number of reasons, not just the overwhelming smell of cat piss. Theo didn’t return there on her arrival in Maldraxxus. Rather, instead she slipped past the lines of skeletal soldiers and found herself in the midst of the giant fungi and the green bubbling pits of lethal toxins. It was less ideal in terms of location, but that should deter trouble as well as help conceal her location. 

 

No one here but the forgotten and tormented, after all, lost to sickness and madness. None would be interested in her, if she kept her presence quiet, and she intended to. 

 

There wasn’t any need to hide her trail, so she didn’t. Part of her almost wanted them to find her; it would save her the trouble of looking for them later. A part of her was oddly reluctant. But most of her was… 

 

…Focused. 

 

Duurm would not be an easy nut to crack.

 

At the top of a small hill, under the drooping “roof” of a flat topped mushroom, she’d set her pack and bedroll, a light camp that left little sign. The venthyr sat with her back against the thick trunk like stem, planning, her survival book propped against her knees. From below, the wierd undergrowth and the angle of the hill obscured her. From above, all that could be seen was a mushroom top. If she kept sitting, or an otherwise lower profile, the tall sporelike sprouts in the spongey ground rendered her nearly invisible. It was more open to the elements, but it was a good spot to plan before she launched her assault. 

 

As Theo brainstormed, she remained alert to her surroundings. So did the darkhound at her feet, laying down with his blocky, powerful head on massive clawed paws.

 

“You’re not an easy person to find, Theo.”  His voice echoed to her from just beyond the sprouts concealing her form. He stepped out of the shadows nearby with barely a whisper. From her position, she could see polished black leather boots with black pants over them. His strides over the moist fungal ground making either little sound or none at all. Coming to a stop, he turned and then kneeled slowly to peer under the mushroom cap. His hands empty, torso covered by a black leather chestpiece with a cloth covering, also black. The sleeves went to his wrists covering his arms, and a lightweight black cloak completed the ensemble. His expressionless face peered at her, noting every detail, especially the large animal not-resting beside her now that he is present. “It seems that your previous campsite was left in a rather … unsanitary state.” He added quietly.

 

Theo didn’t turn to him, but kept sketching, finishing the lines on the page before she closed the book and looked at him with red eyes and an even, neutral face. 

 

“One of the reasons I don’t like mortals very much. But the Shadowlands are lousy with them, these days, putting noses into places they shouldn’t be,” she said, bluntly. The dog at her feet raised its head to sniff at the air, but stayed relaxed, taking a cue from his hunter. She tilted her head, an odd owlish motion, considering him. 

 

Quiet approach. Not too quiet for me, but on purpose. Still- not like he could sneak up on me anyways- worth noting. No weapons that I can see; daggers maybe, hidden. One of those… what are they called. Dusk elves or something. Polished boots. He’s either very picky about it or he doesn’t do a lot of travel in the wilds line I do.

 

“Go away, and bother someone else. I’m not interested in whatever you’re peddling from the mortal world, I have no currency or gear you are capable of taking from me, and killing you would be noisy when I want to keep quiet,” she added, apparently ticking points off a list from previous encounters.

 

“You may not be interested, but there are more than a few that are interested in you. More than the ones that have arrived here still living and stay here. Not to mention the group that is currently chasing you down like prey.” He remains kneeling, making sure he is out of reach by a sudden attack from her or her familiar. “And if I can find you, so will others. How much longer do you think you have before you need to run again?” He waits for an answer.

 

At his words, Theo paused, then turned to give him her attention. Her eyes narrowed a little, a second evaluation, more thorough than the first. 

 

“…You are remarkably well informed, though I’m not running,” she said, after a moment. So the Templars were chasing her? That was an interesting tidbit. “You did find me, so you are not unskilled, and you wear no colors, so you are unaffiliated, which makes you an unusual mortal.” 

 

She hadn’t been interested, but now… it was at least worth hearing him out for her curiosity. If he was a problem later, she would handle it, she though, looking over the details of his face. 

 

“If you wanted my attention, you have it. Who are you? Why are you seeking me out?”

 

“I am Mythalen Duskhaven.” He inclines his head slightly, never breaking his gaze on her or the animal beside her. “A mortal organization that has been in the shadows of civilization since the beginning of time has heard of you here, and sent me to find out more. We call ourselves The Uncrowned.” His arms spreading out wide. “We are here, and there, and everywhere in between. Some have called on us to provide … services of a sort, while we have called on others to do the same.” He produces a polished gold coin, engraved with symbols and the image of a dagger stabbing through a crown in the center. “This is our symbol, but it is also a form of currency, a pass to previously hidden places, and more.” His arms draw back in to rest at his hips.

 

Not unaffiliated then. The Uncrowned… whatever they were where he came from. Providing services, huh? That sounded a lot like an euphamism. She tilted her head again, thinking, for a moment bearing a lot of resemblance to her dog. 

 

“How did you… “hear” of me?” she asked, genuinely curious. “My work is generally quiet. I’m one of the Master’s hunters, nothing more; I’m not famous, Mythalen Duskhaven.” She pronounced the words like she was trying them out.

 

He smirked. “Oh no. You are quite more than nothing, or beneath notice. Like I said, we are everywhere, and nowhere. I’m very sure that some of them are permanent residents in your home … residence. Venthyr of course, but not just beholden to your Sire.” He waved his hand to indicate the area. “Some of them also are here, dead in the mortal realm but living now of a sort. Like yourself.”  He shrugs slightly. “The Uncrowned has motivations that are sometimes apparent, and sometimes not. Vague, I know. But that is what keeps our enemies off balance, guessing at what we do next. But what they want is to speak with you. You have a reputation of a sort that they desire to treat with, and to give guidance towards achieving your goals whatever they may be.”

 

The red eyes narrowed at him. 

 

“Venthyr who aren’t loyal to the Master are traitors, and deserve whatever death I can give them,” she said flatly. “Why would they want to help… “guide” me?” She asked, a wary question. “I assume they want something in return.”

 

“If you have ever met anyone from the goblin race from Azeroth, they have a saying: Everything has a price, and everyone pays, eventually.” He shifts slightly. “As for what the Uncrowned want in return, I cannot say. For everyone it is different. A vow of fealty for one, a blood debt for another.” His face turns expressionless. “If you are going to ask me what they wanted from me, you’ll be asking for a long time.”

 

“Fealty.” 

 

She tastes the word.

 

“Hmm.” 

 

The red eyes watch, considering. 

 

“And they want to… treat with me.”

 

He nods in response and holds up the coin. “This will open the door for you, should you decide to speak with them. It is yours to keep of course if you decide otherwise.” He shifts again slightly. “But be warned, the Uncrowned do not take refusals lightly. They are as close in power to your Sire, collectively.” His eyes widen slightly, and he turns his head as if he heard something out of sorts.

 

Theo stood, and her dog stood with her, though the motion was slow enough to be no threat; likely that was deliberate. Instead of drawing a weapon, she bent to pick up her pack and other things. 

 

“I want no guidance, or treaty, or frankly anything to do with your Uncrowned,” she said as she did. Theo turned to look and weigh him a moment. She didn’t seem angry (mostly; there was a cool edge to her words) but simply stating facts. “You say everything and everyone has a price, but you are wrong. I am not a thing to be bought with favors or coins, like a new bow and fancy arrows. My goals are the goals of Revendreth, my mission is paramount, and my loyalty is spoken for. You are not one of us, so you cannot understand how important our work is, but there is no force you or your masters can bring to bear that will change this. If they do not like my refusal, they are welcome to come see me about it. I’m happy to explain in person.” 

 

She held his eyes. 

 

“But that would be their end. This is not a threat. Just a promise. I am not currently an enemy. Do not make me one. Any attempts to convince me by force would be as stupid as they are short. I respect you finding me -you are not as unskilled as most mortals, flailing around like children in the dark- and I respect your offer. But you may keep your coin, Mythalen Duskhaven, and your shadowy masters. I already have one.” 

 

Theo shouldered her pack, Fang shaking himself and stretching out looooooong for a moment before he yawned, licked his lips, and butted his head against Theo’s thigh. She put her hand on his great blocky muzzle. 

 

“Goodbye.” 

 

She turned to go.

 

Making the coin disappear in his fist, he nodded. “Then I hope I do not meet you while on a task. I do not see the outcome being a good one for either of us. Farewell, Theo.” Brushing his hands on his leg coverings, he stood and watched her leave. Shortly afterwards, he faded from sight as well.

 

Author Cael
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