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Morning Light: Thread 1: In Media Res The Foreword!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41550358[View All]

#ask/invite #canon: lost light universe #era: six hours before high noon #no but for real it's a fantasy au #era: morning light

It is a time of legends.

The world has never known more peril than it does in these halcyon days, nor has the sun above it ever shone brighter for the brave and noble souls that stand against the forces that want the mortal world for themselves.

Twenty years have passed since the greatest of Man's princes turned traitor and took up the mantle of the Lich King, sitting in his citadel of ice and bone in the far north of the world, plotting the downfall of all things good and pure in existence, and yet all his necrotic might and icy hatred has been for naught against the heroism of the cities that were once his and the arms and armies of other cities still that never trusted him, even in the days where he yet possessed a soul of his own.

It has been ten years since the disaster at Kaprika, an entire civilization vanishing overnight, sucked screaming into the realm of Chaos and leaving behind a frigid hellscape of capering demons and embittered, haggard survivors, a place where the veil between material and immaterial is treacherously thin and the unknowable things that wish to gnaw on the bones of the myriad mortal races and spit the gristle out claw feverishly at the bars of their cages, shrieking and gibbering where none can hear, but for every demon that bursts through reality like a swollen, diseased pustule, there are twenty silver-armored figures of the Seventh Legion to stamp it out, purple bolts of witchfire splashing off their armor like greasy smoke and tortured, inhuman shrieks falling on deaf ears as these few elite among Stormwind's countless defenders condemn the beast to another eternity of seeking an entrance into the materium.

It has been five years since the formation of the Orders, fraternal organizations that seek to look beyond border disputes and age-old blood feuds to protect their various homes and ensure all are ready for the next inevitable crisis, for there are always more crises, more than could ever be put into words; those named are but a few among innumerable, just as the glories and honors of these days. The orcish warriors of Orgrimmar raise a shout of joy and pride to rival any cheer of Stormwind's human sons at news of slain titanic beasts or repelled demonic incursions; the archmagi and nether-scholae of the College work tirelessly to bring new arcane wonders into the world just as eagerly as the dwarvish blacksmiths and runesmiths of Ironforge show off their newest inventions to the merchant-lords of Reeve. Every war sees new wonders created and discovered in tandem, every spat between Horde and Alliance is in spite of how well their soldiers have overcome the Fallen Son's latest plans. It is a world of contradictions and sureties, myths and mysteries.

Rejoice in what it means to know honor and glory, for these are words that mean a million things to a million beings but have never been more universally understood. Marvel at the wonders of the age, for to live here is to witness an epoch of discovery and remembrance, to see gods and science existing side by side.

It is a world where adventure can be found wherever it is sought, and where the battle must never be forsaken, no matter how dire.

It is merely a matter of time.
284 posts and 198 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

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A young woman sat at the balcony overlooking the event. Her frail and albino appearance made her standout among the other nobles. It wasn't often she left the estate, much less could she have the energy to go very far, so events like this meant the world to her. The youngest daughter of her family, Reah.

Behind her, steadily approaching the young noble, was a tall man clad in a crimson armor, concealing his appearance in all; an unusual looking suit at that, with its fur cape and trinkets.
Who is he? someone eavesdropping on the group asked themselves, seeing the fearsome knight approach Reah.
"That man scares me... What's he want from that girl?" Another said
"I heard he use to be a bandit, killed his father for money" A gossiper said.

It was then, the man in armor stopped besides the Reah, before he pulled out a small parasol and put it up over her to shield her from the hot sun. "It's hot," he said, his voice slightly echoed from his helmet. "You'll get sunburnt."

Reah sighed in relief, it was a bit embarassing but she loved the sudden instillation of shade. Thus she took the umbrella from his hands; although she looked to have a bit of trouble grasping it at first, "You worry too much, Siegmar."

"You're not too tired, are you?" He asked as he looked over the balcony to see the parade. "Too loud," he thought to himself.

Reah responded to his question by gently batting the knight with her parasol, "See, there you go again." She said with a laugh. "What's bothering you anyways? Things are going well aren't they?" She said, unaware of how uneasy others in the event were.
Sheltered, to her, this was just a friendly meeting between two groups.
To her, the Alliance and Horde was just an uneasy conflict between two groups.

"The last time I was at an event like this, it was on a smaller scale." Seigmar said, crossing his arms. "Two rival families. Coming together to set aside the cycle of violence. Patriarchs of the families shaking hands. Next thing you know, one has a knife in his throat. Next thing you know, it's a bloodbath. Both sides-"

Before he could continue, the young noble hit him with her umbrella again, the hit caused a quiet thunk on his armor. "Stop that!" Reah said, brow furrowed, "You're ruining the moment." Huffing, she was quick to regain her good mood, "How about you put on a smile and say one thing you're having fun with right now?" She looked up at her protector. "I can't tell if you're smiling but I'll pretend you are."

Seigmar, who wasn't actually smiling under the helmet, sighed and looked down at the frail young girl, before he gave his answer. "I have high hopes for it." Given, this was a far different situation than the story he shared.

To which, Reah chuckled quietly and leaned against him, "There we go... We'll go soon." She said as she began to drift off already. A sickly pale thing, she hoped she wouldn't miss out on too much by the time she woke up.

Siegmar patted her on the head. Despite his heavy appearance and his armor, his touch was quite gentle. She was happy, that's what mattered to him.

Behind his helmet, the knight smiled.

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A woman with light blue hair topped with a pair of brow rabbit ears sat watching the proceedings from the window of an inn. Hands covered her ears as they laid flat to protect her hearing from the sound of hooves on stone and instruments being played. "Had I known this was going on today, I wouldn't have come here." The ear's owner thought to herself as she stood and walked away from the window. An annoyed sigh left her lips as she leaned against a wall and closed her eyes to wait for it to end.

"You just had to see the big city didn't you Sonia?" She muttered to herself as the music continued. Opening her eyes back up, she slowly stepped towards the window and peered at the crowd to see others covering their ears. "At least I'm not the only one dealing with this." Lifting her gaze to the ones playing the instruments especially on the ones carrying the hunting horns, a look of confusion crossed her face. "What kind of instrument are those?"

Shifting her focus to the main float of the parade,Sonia lowered her hands from her ears in awe of of the ruler perched atop it. It was like looking at living painting of a goddess. Her white dress was long and flowing with an ornate gold sun stitched to the front of it. Long two toned hair seemed to flow with no wind causing it"...I can see why they did all this."

Unable to get a clear look at her face, Sonia turned away head out and get a better look. Walking over to a table, she picked up a large flask with a gem on the lid and filled with a blue fluid and clipped it to her belt. Lifting a coiled gilded whip with a long pink crystal at the end of it, she looked it over before stowing it away in it's place on her belt." Alright, let's go see what's going on out there." Smoothing her hair back with her hands, Sonia headed out the door.

Anduin Wrynn and Atta!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552650

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"I don't know much about the humans, Your Grace," the commander grunted, turning his head to look slightly in her direction without breaking the facade, "but as far as I can tell, if there's one thing they love, it's presentation. Best to give them what they want at the outset." He couldn't help but let his chest puff out a bit at her praise, though; it still gave him the same thrill it had back when he'd barely broken in his first set of armor wearing the royal colors. He faltered a bit thinking of that, his mind making a few illogical leaps to lead him to briefly worry over the comparatively young buck that oversaw the Guard now and how well he might be getting along without them. It was a moment of worry that only lasted about the blink of an eye, but to him it still felt like an eternity before he dismissed it with the ease of a mountain telling the wind that passage was not yet afforded to it. "He wouldn't be there if we didn't trust him to be," Atta told himself as gently as he was able- that was to say, barely. "Even without the greatest of us present, the other three will see to the safety of the kingdom.

The boy's close enough to two at them as it is."

He let a half-smile briefly crack across his features at the little joke he shared with himself, but he didn't let it distract him from his queen's slight gesture, and the master of the Sons descended from the float. While it was somewhat less graceful than Celestia's had been, there was no question of the surety with which he carried himself as he took his place behind his liege.

Anduin, although reassured by the kindness in his new ally's eyes, found himself looking at the old warhorse as a part of him wished he'd been a little more insistent about Vulkan remaining in Stormwind. Even that bit of anxiety was quickly forgotten, however; he'd felt as if all of reality had hung suspended, everything forgotten but he and his guest, as she'd seemed to appraise him. Whatever that test he suspected he'd just been through was, however, he also suspected he'd passed with flying colors. He hoped he had, anyway. Even so, he couldn't help but to be a bit surprised at the question; while he'd expected at least a bit more grandstanding for their respective peoples to see, the Little Lion would have been lying to himself if he'd said it wasn't a welcome idea.

"Of course, Lady Celestia," he smiled to her in reply, waving in turn so the crowd could see them both before he turned, cloak swirling gracefully behind him and silver-and-gold armor gleaming in the sun as he gestured to the palace with one hand and offered her the other. "I hope you will consider Stormwind yours as much as we consider it ours for as long as you wish to remain, Your Grace. Please, this way."

CelestiaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552655

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>Celestia gave a small nod of acknowledgement, before she took her leave to turn and enter the castle proper. It wasn't white marble, sung from the stone of the mountain by magic. It was a fortress built by the effort of many, one that signified the alliance of many races living together peacefully... she approved. Once she had entered Stormwind Castle proper, however, the magic that had given her the ethereal, magical quality she held faded. She folded her wings, tucking them close to her back, and seemed to get comfortable once she was finally out of the public's sight. She still looked lustrous, and her warm charisma seemed to actually warm the room, but the shining, impeccable leader that had been aboard the ship became much more approachable as Celestia let the spell fade.
"I do deeply appreciate the hospitality, Anduin, but we do still have business to discuss!"
>She said, smiling as she folded her hands at her waist, looking around to admire the decor the Little Lion had prepared.
"Tell me, Anduin, what kind of people are of the Alliance? What kind of leader are you to them?"
>She asked, with genuine curiosity, as if she was still deciding on his character. She'd heard reports from her emissaries, but she wanted to judge him herself.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552677

Reah was sleeping at the house, she'd be there for the rest of the day, which left Seigmar to go do his own thing.

The streets were a little too loud, so he decided to move through the quiet parts of the city. Thankfully, his armor's helmet acted almost like an enclosed space, giving him comfort.

A few choices lied before him; he could go to the bar and drink a little. Go get his armor or weapons looked at, they haven't in a while... Who knew when he had to use them again, he'd have to be prepared.

No, I can't be gone for too long, the bar is out of the question. he said with a huff, pulling on his satchel, As good as it sounds.

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Coming out here was a bad idea, it's even louder. I'll have to go somewhere else til it's quieter.
>Sonia held a hand to her head a she walked down an alley to get to away from the crowds. Taking hold of the large flask hanging against her hip, she lifted it up and swirled it around to see how much was in it.
I'm getting low on this too. I'm going to have to get this refilled and the enchantment redone.
>Turning the corner, she set the flask back onto her belt as the headed down the street. Seeing an armored man ahead of her, she hastened her walk to catch up to him.
Excuse me, could I ask you a question?

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It wasn't like he minded the event. It made Reah happy and to see her in a good mood did mean a lot. Lifting the visor on his helmet to get a better view of the street, the man looked down at the girl, quickly closing up the visor to hide his face.

"Yes?" He said in his usual gruff tone, his deep voice matching his stalwart appearance. The blue haired girl looked like she was in a hurry. Must be new to the city or a tourist. "Do you need something?"

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>Watching as he looked down at her before lowing the visor, Sonia paused debating on if she wanted to ask him.
I'd better hurry so I can get out of his way.
Yes we, I wanted to ask if there was anywhere around here where I can get something enchanted.
>Glancing down at her whip, she placed a hand over it.
If there isn't a place like that here, it's fine. I'll just have to look for a weapon shop instead.
>Returning her gaze back up to him, her ears folded back slightly as she stared at his visor wondering why he was quick to close it back up.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552681

"Hm, another young adventurer looking to make their weapon better." he thought to himself. A respectable choice, a weapon even with the most minor of enchantments will have a leg up on a weapon with no enchantments. It was a whip too... "An unorthodox weapon, but a weapon never the less."

Finally he gave his reply, "A weapon shop? I know one." He nudged the handle of his own sword, a short sword at his hip. "I was on my way to one. Don't know if they know about enchanting."

To the point and straight forward.

He could tune his sword and crossbow himself, most of the time. Once in a while, an expert was needed... That or when he ran low on supplies or was in need of a new whetstone.

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You were?
>Smiling a little bit,she turned and looked behind her before facing him again.. Her mood seemed to perk up slightly as she rested a hand on her hip.
If you don't mind, could I follow you to the shop?
You know the way better than I do and I don't want to get lost on the way there.
If they can't enchant anything, I'll try to find another place to go after I leave.
>Patting her whip, she thought about asking if there was anywhere where she can buy a new crystal for it before thinking against it.
Thank you for the help.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552689

"Very well." he said, turning away, before motioning the young woman to follow. "I'll take you to the place where I get my supplies." With a short, pause, he gave a shrug, "I'm sure they do enchanting..."

The two of them certainly contrasted in appearance, even down to their color schemes of red/black and blue/white.

But, thankfully, Seigmar was a man of his word from the looks of things. Eventually he lead the girl to a small shop on the corner of a street. "Nix & Crew: Supplies and Materials" said the sign.

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>Looking up at him as he turned away, Sonia nodded as she followed. Leaning her head to the side, she wondered what the guy under the armor was like.
That's good, I was worried I would have to leave this city to be able to get that done.
>Reading the sign for the shop once they got there,she turned to look up at him then back to the shop.
Is this the shop you were talking about sir?

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552698

"It's not as popular as some other shops, but it's the one frequent. Less busy." With the parade still going on, Nix's shop was just out of the way enough that it wouldn't be hit with the rush of visitors to Stormwind.

Opening the door to the shop, the bell at the top of the frame making a chiming sound, he looked around. From the fact Nix wasn't there, probably meant she was in the back. No quaint nature of the shop often enticed him to stand guard when the owner was out.

"Nix is a an odd one, but she has good wares." He says as he walked to the counter, waiting for the owner.

Lying on the shelves of the shop were various adventurer's tools, such as weapons, rations, satchels, and even a few magic items here and there, including the ever present healing potion many a merchant sold.

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Well I guess if it's not as busy as the others ,it would be easier to get get everything I need here. But I hope they do have what I need here.
>Following him inside, Sonia stopped to look around at the items on sale. Looking down at the whip she carried on her, she patted it gently.
She is?
But are you sure you want to talk about her when she isn't here?
>Heading over to the counter to wait with him, she looked back at the shelves.
But I think I might need to pick up more that I thought I was originally.

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"I'm coming! Keep your helmet on!" a voice shouted, coming from the backroom, as a new figured arrived. She was a small woman, a halfling from the looks of it, clad in a black outfit. The slightly annoyed halfling adjusted her monocle. "Seigmar, you brought a guest? Didn't know you were popular with the women."

"No comment..." The armored man said, looking to the girl that he just met moments before. "I'm just here for more polish. She is looking to get her weapon enchanted." He paused, waiting for Sonia to say her part.

In the meantime, the halfling, looked to Sonia, still holding her monocle as if to inspect the whip on her hip.

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Popular with the women?
>Looking up at Seigmar then back to the Halfling, she simply shook her head.
It's nothing like that, I just asked for help finding a shop like yours ma'am.
>Reaching to her side instead of unclipping the whip from her belt, she took the large flask off of her belt.
And it's not really my whip that needs to be enchanted, it's actually this.
>The flask had a bronze bottom and top with a glass middle that showed a a green fluid within. On the top part of of it was a pink gem used as a stopper and a handle shaped like a wave of water.
I just needed an enchantment to keep the contents of this safe.
>Looking down at her whip, she took it off and looked it over. I don't think anything really needs to be done to this.

Seigmar/Nix!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552754

Nix inspected the bottle and hummed. She never heard of using an enchantment on a bottle of all things. But, it was doable, so the halfling crossed her arms, her eyes (or eye, since the right one was covered by her hair) beamed with pride, "Sounds like you just need a protection enchantment! You got yourself a deal!"

In the meantime, Seigmar sighed and shook his head. Nix was a good saleswoman, but she was very loud. He waited for her to be finished with Sonia before he'd buy his own stuff.

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Alright, how long will it take?
>Glancing back at the rest of the shop, her ears perked up.
Cause I think I might take a look at what you have for sale while I wait.
>Turning to face them again, she rested her hand against her chin. Looking over to Seigmar, she nodded with a smile.
I can also wait til you give him what he needed too.

Seigmar/Nix!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552758

"A couple of minutes! I'm a novice, but I can give a good protection enchantment that'll hold out!" With a wink, the halfling added "Or your money back~ That or you can check out the parade, I'd go but I don't want to get stepped on by the crowds!"

With the size different between them, the bottle was enormous compared to Nix; who stood at only about 3 feet in height, dwarfed by both parties. Shooting a glance over to Seigmar, she went to help him out with his transaction; she planned to move on to the enchantment immediately after that. But most important, she made another sale!

"Thanks," Seigmar said, as he spoke up, "I'll be outside. if you need me. I won't be going anywhere."

"So grumpy..." Nix said, taking note of Seigmar's pessimism, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. The knight looked like he just shrugged her comments off.

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I would, but with ears like mine I can't really handle crowds or loud noises that well.
>One of her ears flicked as she pointed too it before she headed off to look at what was there. Looking at a satchel, she picked it up and turned it over in her hands.
Yeah, this should work.
>Returning to the counter, she turned to look up at Seimar.
I'll see you out side when I'm done here then.
>Placing the satchel on the counter top, she patted it gently looking it over again.
I want to get this too, I think it's time that I got a new one for myself. And, is he really that grumpy?
He didn't really seem it to me.

Seigmar/Nix!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552765

As Seigmar went to wait outside, Nix grinned. If there was one thing she liked as a guilty pleasure, it was gossip. As she checked out the satchel, she nodded, "Never seen him in a positive mood. Not that I can even see him smile, he never takes that helmet off. I bet he's hideously scarred. Handing the satchel back over to Sonia,as she counted up her sales, Nix sat up on the counter. "He always comes here with this young girl, a sickly little thing she is, and seems to like her. Under all that armor, I bet he's a total softy that'd I'd love to get to know like that." She said with a wink.

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>Turning to look at the door Seigmar walked out of, Sonia leaned back on the counter. Turning slightly, to take hold of the satchel, she left it on the counter with her hand on it.
Wait, you've never seen his face? Darn, I was going to ask you what he looked like too.
But I guess that's why he was quick to pull the visor of his helmet down when I ran into him.
>On hearing about the girl, she turned to fully face Nix and leaned in a bit more.
So there's a girl he's taking care of? That's a nice thing to hear about him.
>Smirking a little, she placed a finger on top of her flask and leaned it from side to side a little.
From what it sounds like, you really want to get to know him better.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552775

"Heheh, a girl gets lonely. Even if he is all scarred up under that helmet." Tapping her chins, she held her hand out to take the flash. "I'll be out with it shortly, in the meantime, you two have fun together." The halfling grinned, knowing she made a sale, "Returning customers get a discount, so stop by again in the future. Returning customers that I like, that is... Might I add I like your fashion sense?"

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Well I wish you luck with him.
>Pushing the flask over to Nix, she watched the fluid slosh in side a little as it settled. Looking down at her whip, she took it off her belt and looked at the gem at the tip.
I might gave to get this looked at by you la-
"You two have fun together."
Wait wait, what do you mean by have fun together?
>Clipping her whip back into place on her belt, she shook her head.
He's not really my kind of guy, he's all yours.
And I might drop by if I come to this city again.
>Looking down at her clothes, she adjusted her belt.
You like my outfit?

Anduin Wrynn and Atta!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552791

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Well, that wasn't what he had expected.

Not her transformation; while that was a surprise as well, it was a welcome one, and helped to put the youngest Wrynn's mind at ease. He'd need all the help he could get to be ready for her very first question right out of the gate.

"We... the Alliance started as a union of human nations against the threat of the orcish invasion from Outland," he started, looking uncomfortable even citing the incident as he gestured to silently invite Celestia and her guard to follow him further down the hallways of Stormwind Keep. The marble archways rose high overhead, the spaces between them lined with stained glass murals of important events from Stormwind's past and painstakingly crafted statues of some of the Alliance's greatest heroes. "It was only through great sacrifice that the First and Second Wars were ended, including that of..." The words caught in his throat for a moment. It was still difficult for him to recount the details. "Of my father, Varian Wrynn, who still resides in stasis upon the throne thanks to the efforts of the priests of the Conclave of Light. It was thanks to him, and many of his brothers-" Here he stopped again, offering queen and commander an apologetic smile. "-I apologize, Your Grace. The concept of brotherhood is a strong one for the Alliance. Even if they were kin to my father, I feel that my uncles, Light bless them, give me that title as well as a show of acceptance. It is a welcome one for me."

Behind the two heads of state, the stallion allowed himself a private smile; a nephew who was treated as the youngest of them instead of a simple relative. There was something he could appreciate in that. He had nothing to add, however, continuing simply to listen to the Lord Regent and bask in the sunlight tinted by yet another depiction of a lone figure in silver-blue armor atop a mountain of orcish corpses. Anduin, either not noticing or not wishing to disturb him, continued.

"It was thanks to their efforts that mankind survives in the Eastern Kingdoms at all; to say nothing of other kingdoms siding with us in the years that followed. The dwarves of Ironforge were always staunch allies. The draenei gave us much insight to the arcane that I feel the Guardian would have preferred remain in his hands alone," he laughed, nodding to a few of the statues they passed, one of a stout figure in horn-crested plate by the name of Bronzebeard, the other a cloven-hoofed paladin with a hammer slung over his shoulder and a determined look in his stone-chiseled eyes.

Atta gave a grunt of appreciation.

"The night elves, the kal'dorei of Nordrassil," Anduin continued, gesturing to a statue of a feminine figure in... thrifty armor, a warhawk upon her shoulder and an elegantly crafted bow in her hands as she sighted down something that was surely not long for this world. "They suffered greatly at the hands of orcs and demons alike, and were grateful for any aid we could spare them; they and the draenei form the bulk of our forces upon the continent of Kalimdor." His smile faded as he began to ran out of things to talk about that weren't himself.

"As Regent, it's my responsibility to look after them as if they were my own people," he finally said after a moment as they passed into a new chamber; this one was circular, multiple pathways leading away between the great statues that stood guard between the marble pillars. There was no need for him to point these out: Atta had done at least some of his homework, and these were familiar to him. Vulkan, the Promethean, the savior of Blackrock Mountain and the Dark Iron dwarves; he had almost singlehandedly banished Firelord Ragnaros and saved the wayward dwarf clan from eternal slavery, their gratitude to him bringing them back into the Alliance fold with their Ironforge cousins. There was Ferrus Manus, the Iron Hand, the obsessive perfectionist who had gone with his Legion to seek the friendship of the giants of Northrend- and to ply the secrets of their smithwork, as well. The Praetorian, Rogal Dorn, who had raised a thousand fortresses and besieged a thousand more. Atta's brow scrunched ever so slightly; there was no sign that he had ever betrayed the trust of his brothers like so many others had- no matter how much Stormwind had attempted to cover up the existence of those traitors- so what had befallen him?

Anduin was not ignorant to Atta's scrutiny; the shadows cast by some of those marble daises, their occupants covered by black cloths of grieving and a fervent desire to forget, felt as if they cast a longer shadow than ever. The mark of the traitors was still felt, even here in the foyer of the throneroom.

"I'm sure you knew already that not all of my kin remained in the fold, Lord Commander," Anduin finally said, addressing the elephant in the room directly. After a pause, Atta slowly nodded. "It's not a secret that the Phoenician has taken up leadership of the sin'dorei of Silvermoon in the absence of their prince," he said carefully. "Nor that the Red Angel has thrown in his allegiance with Orgrimmar's Warchief." For the sake of politeness, he did not mention the Night Haunter, the crazed murderer that stalked the ruins of Northrend, nor the truly lost and damned that had thrown in their lot with Lupercal... or, worse yet, the Ruinous Powers. That didn't mean he held his silence, however. "In the face of such adversity from your own kin, to say nothing of what your people and the people of the Alliance have overcome... it is nothing short of a miracle that you have done as well as you have, Your Grace." He inclined his head in a short bow, but it was no less reverent or sincere for its brevity. "The Alliance might be young, as are you, but that makes it no less admirable for its strength of conviction."

CelestiaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552793

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>Celestia was respectfully silent during his explanation. As things slowly came to light during his words, she realized how this kingdom worked. It was an inherited position that the young lion found himself in. Leadership had not been his by right of his people... it had been foisted on him by birthright. She thought back over the course of her long life, taking her protector's words in. She thought back to a pink haired girl, the one who'd made a deal with a charming devil to save a loved one... Anduin was in one of the most difficult circumstances she'd seen an individual, and her smile turned into one of genuine concern.
"Anduin... your story has given me insight into your plight, and it echoes with my own... I too know what it's like to fight loved ones, and family. Over a millennia ago, I had to seal away my sister. She'd been poisoned by jealousy, which led to hatred and fear... I was only able to save her through the tremendous effort of those I put my absolute faith in... And I also know when saving a loved one is beyond even my own reach."
>She said, looking truly morose as she did so. Looking to Anduin, she seemed to understand him, because she saw so much of herself in his situation.
"I, fortunately, have lived long enough to see that the ending of this story is not always bleak, young Prince. You fight a terrible battle, and it will exact a terrible toll."
>She said, giving him a somber, serious face as she put a hand on his shoulder... She still needed to know more about him. A king was a representative of his people...
"Were we to help you in this fight, what would you have my people do? How would we assist?"
>She asked, giving him an open opportunity to explain his own plans. Would her people be fodder to be thrown to the wolves? Would they be treated as friends, or as tools?

Anduin Wrynn and Atta!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552796

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Anduin was taken off guard by the directness of the Equestrians, but at the same time he knew it was to have been expected: he had been led to believe they were a direct people that placed great value in honesty and transparency, leaving subterfuge and subtlety to specialists like their Nightguard and the sister his guest had just mentioned.

It was a welcome change of pace, really. He smiled.

"Thank you, Majesty, Commander," he said to both of them, deeply bowing his head to each of them in turn before gesturing to a passage to the right of the barred portal that, going by the warm golden light sneaking through the edges, was most likely where Varian himself was yet interred, waiting for the day where Frostmourne's cursed wounds could be healed and he would come to the aid of his people once more. "Please. This way." Atta did not ask about the throneroom itself, but he almost had to force himself to stop staring up at it. He couldn't help but feel that, while serving directly underneath both his queen and his goddess had probably skewed his opinion on the issue, the Little Lion and the people of Stormwind as a whole were in danger of putting too much faith in a detached figure to save them from their darkest hour, and not depending on the strength they had at hand and had clearly displayed.

It was a worry he did not deign to share at that time.

Anduin led them into a warroom that looked like it had seen its fair share of strategic meetings; so much so that it barely had time to be cleared of the information from the last one before some new crisis assailed the borders of the Alliance. Rolls of dusty parchment haphazardly separated the tightly-packed scrolls lining every inch of shelving in the room, the round table in the middle covered in maps that were themselves covered in markings denoting troop movements or fortress locations; a simple glance at some of them afforded a glimpse into just how precarious the Alliance's situation was, even since the long years following the Second War. The Horde might have been content to consolidate its strength and secure its hard-won borders, but that didn't mean that undead, demons, foreign powers and other threats had gotten the memo regarding the unofficial ceasefire. "We are far from being able to attempt a landing on the shores of Northrend," Anduin began, pointing to the last map of the northern wasteland they'd been able to procure; aside from a few successful scrying attempts and outlying reports made by the Iron Hands legion elements that had made landfall in the land of the Jotun, the information was pitifully outdated. "The most we know is that Arthas has not been seen in the field since the battle at Icecrown twenty years ago; we can only assume he has been gathering his strength and bolstering his citadel's defenses in the interim. Any landing attempt will be difficult, as we would have to contend not only with his forces, but those of an arch-lich that is outside of his dominion and challenges his strength; any attempt to establish a beachhead will almost assuredly become a three-way war, one far from our supply lines and directly inside of the Lich King's sphere of influence, putting us at a major disadvantage and at risk of draining our fighting strength to critical levels before we can even attempt to make our way further inland, to say nothing of laying siege to Icecrown itself." His finger moved further south, but where it landed was still in the far north of the Eastern Kingdoms, in a province that had been marked as the Plaguelands. "We've received rumors that one of his necropoli has been seen on the move, consolidating the Scourge left behind during his march on Silvermoon and raising the fallen as more of his servants, but we've not yet been able to get solid numbers, nor identify Traitor Legion elements that might be present. We fear that he means to eliminate Light's Hope and prevent the Silver Hand from consolidating enough priests and paladins to seriously blunt the effect of his unholy magic; if that is his plan, I don't know if we can get enough soldiers there in time to make a serious difference in the battle. Sending them by mage portal risks their numbers being insignificant in the defense and only serving to be more fodder for his servants to kill and resurrect to swell his numbers."

Atta took it all in in silence, but soon the commander leaned over the table to place a finger on a northern portion of the continent across the ocean from the Eastern Kingdoms; the nation of Kalimdor, which some elements of the Alliance called home uncomfortably close to the capital of the Horde. "What of Teldrassil and the draenei?" he asked, tracing a finger between the kal'dorei and draenic spheres of influence that formed a rough crescent moon over the northwestern corner of the continent. "Are they concerned the Warchief will attempt to force the passage on their lands if their warriors are committed to the fight against the undead?" Anduin hesitated, but nodded. "It is a concern," he confessed. "Prophet Velen does not think the current leader of the Horde would prosecute the crimes the orcs have visited upon his people in the past, but his Council of Exarchs are not so quick to forgive and forget the genocide that was visited upon them in Outland, and the night elves saw much of their land burned and deforested to fuel the Horde war effort during the First and Second Wars." He sighed. "A best case scenario would be to come to an agreement with them to lay down arms until Arthas is defeated, but I don't see how such an outcome is possible. There are many decades of bad blood between our people. Asking their Warchief to trust us is as likely as the Arch-Traitor willingly surrendering."

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552801

"If you say so~" Nix said, heading to the back with the bottle. "I'll be back soon, don't go running off now. When I get back, be sure to tell me where you get your outfits, I got a pretty penny to spend after this."

With that, the friendly, albeit money loving, halfling departed to the back, working on the enchantment.

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I do say so.
>Folding her arms in a huff, Sonia turned away with a slight frown.
I don't know where you got that idea from.
>Shaking her head as she headed over to the door, Sonia paused.
Wait pretty penny after this? Just how much am I being charged for-
>Turing to see that Nix was already gone, she let out a sigh before heading outside.

Seigmar/Nix!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552805

"Sorry can't hear ya." She said from the back. All indication of what she was doing was a faint glowing light coming from the back. With a short pause, she shouted back, "Sheesh, I was kidding! What can a woman like me do to get a laugh once in a while!"

Given, she was getting plenty of money. From the sales she made before and the ones she had just now... Somethings were a bit hard for someone of her size, not all cities were made with halflings or dwarves, along with other smaller races, in mind. But she managed.

Outside, was Seigmar, resting on the wall, going through the things he had bought. It was about time to head home, maybe if he took the long way home, he would be back by the time Reah would awake.

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>Already out the door, Sonia turned to see Seigmar looking through what he had gotten inside. Walking up to him, she gazed up at his helmet.
Oh, you really were out here. I mean it's not like I didn't think you would be but I'm just a little surprised.
>Moving to lean on the wall, she rested her hands behind her head with a yawn. Looking up at the buildings around them, Sonia's ears twitched from side to side.
Oh yeah, I did hear your name earlier but I never got to give you mine.
>Turning to face him again, she moved off of the wall.
My name is Sonia Azure, thank you for helping me find this place.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552867

"Sonia..." He repeated the name, as if to confirm it, "It's fine. I want to make sure you got everything settled." He said crossing his arms. "The enchanting process shouldn't take long, when it's done, I'll be going back to my house. I have someone waiting there."

Hearing the sound of the visiting Equestrians in the distance, Seigmar shot a question Sonia's way, "What do you think of it? The changing of times? Still makes me uneasy, but maybe I'm just getting old."

Was that the case? Maybe he was just being an overly cautious old man... He wasn't even that old.

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>The more Celestia learned about the situation, the less she approved. The Alliance, it seemed, would be unable to weather the Lich King's assault on their own. At the same time, they could not take forces away from the homefront, for fear of retaliation by the horde. This all seemed to be simple animosity... perhaps her student could come down to solve this issue in camaraderie... It seemed as long as this conflict between the Horde and the Alliance continued, then there would be no hope of defeating the undead threat.
"I think I've come to understand the situation. Were we to lend you support, our troops would be sent to this Light's Hope, to avoid the destruction you fear will come to pass. You ask for our help, because you fear the Horde would march if they sensed weakness."
>She said, neatly summing it up as she thought it over. There was a much more elegant solution that came to her, but she knew the look of a leader stuck in his ways. She'd need to offer her help personally.
"Then, if that is the case, I shall lend you the Expeditionary Forces. All three regiments shall assist you where needed, and my commander Atta shall see to their placement and usage."
>She said, smiling widely as she alighted upon an idea that seemed most wonderful to her! She'd put more than a bandaid on this situation...
"And, as this is a temporary solution, I shall continue to help you in cultivating a permanent one! You say you have bad blood with the Horde, and that is something I can sympathize with. Equestria has had enemies in the past that I personally would hesitate to ally with... But through efforts of my student and her closest friends, even those old wounds have closed."
>She said, before she said the words Atta was hoping she wouldn't. With a self assured smile on her face that lit up the room, she announced
"And so, I shall be ambassador to the Horde. Sometimes to establish a friendship, you must talk through a neutral party, and I find I'm as good a diplomat as any. I'll try to aquire their cooperation. If I cannot get them to lend aid, I will at the very least keep them from intervening."
>She said, smug at having thought of the idea all on her own...

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Oh? Well it's nice to hear that. It's not often that I have something like this happen in my travels.
>Returning to lean against the wall, she looked skyward as her ears twitched from the sounds of the parade. Putting a hand to her chin, Sonia thought about her answer for a few minutes.
To be honest, I don't really know how I feel about what's going on just yet. I mean, something like this would be good for the future.
>Lowering her gaze to the ground, she frowned.
But we still don't know how the future would be or the path we would take to get there.
I think it might be best to wait and see how things come to past.
It's what I did after I left home.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552889

"I suppose" he said, nodding. "They're not coming with arrows flying at least." Maybe he was being a pessimistic old man. The way he grew up must have contributed to that.

Quickly, he changed the subject. Might as well talk about something that isn't related to war or political tensions.

"So you were looking to get that bottle enchanted? Is there something special about it?" He asked, glancing at the shop's door, "...Or is it just special to you?"

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Yeah, thank goodness for small victories like that. But the thought of arrows in the air kinda reminds me of home a little bit.
>Perking up as Seigmar asked about the bottle, she nodded.
It's a bit of both actually, that bottle along with this outfit was given to me the day I left home.
It's filled with a special blessed wine that I use in what I do.
>Taking her whip off of her belt, she held it up in front of her.
I use when my whip isn't enough to get things done.

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"Wine?" he asked, now even more curious than before. It was obvious that potions and elixirs were a prominent part of any adventurer's life... He hadn't heard of a wine that would assist in combat. "Didn't take you for much of a drinker." He said with a quiet, very brief hum.

"I assume it bolsters your physical abilities?" He said, hazarding a guess. Knowing his years of experience though, guessing wasn't always enough to figure out what something does. You never know what to expect from the most innocuous things.

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>Turning away, she scratched her cheek a little.
Well I'm not really much of a drinker to be honest. I do drink every once in a while, but it's not really me.
>Placing her whip back on her belt, she patted it before shaking her head.
Nah, I'm strong on my own because of my training. The wine is actually blessed. I give it to the demons I fight as a final drink.
>Resting her hands between her head and the wall again as she leaned back against it again.
But I do have a question for you though. Why were you so quick to lower your helmet visor when you saw me?

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552936

"Hm..." A final drink, huh? Some sort of holy boon to purify them? Possibly some form of parting gift... A form of respect towards enemies. He didn't understand it and didn't ask, only giving a nod and a reply, "...Demons love wine, I suppose..."

Touching his face plate, he sighed, "...As for that... I just don't like showing my face. I find comfort in my armor and don't want to remove it out in public... Or out of the house for that matter. You wouldn't expect a knight such as I to feel so insecure?"

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"I guess so." Turning her head to stare at his helmet, Sonia tilted her head. "I don't really know what to expect from a knight actually. I've never met that many and each one I did was different from the last." She said moving a hand forward to start counting off with her fingers. "Actually, I think you're the fourth I've ever met. The one I've talked to for the longest also."

Moving her hand back behind her head, the rabbit eared woman glanced at the door. "I think I should get ready to go inside and pay for everything." Pushing herself a off the wall, Sonia checked to make sure nothing was on her back. "I think I will go check to see how it going. If it's done, I do hope to see you again before I leave the city." Heading over to the door, she opened it with a nod. "I don't want to keep you here too long." With that said, she walked in.

Seigmar/Nix!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552944

"I do got to return to my duties." He said, nodding, knowing well that his liege was waiting for him. If he hurried, he would be home in time to help with the night time duties. "Have a good day." He said with a nod, before departing

As Sonia would head inside, she'd find the halfling sitting on the counter, counting up her money. Why she had such a large normal sized shop for such a small person was another question. Next to her was the bottle that the rabbit eared girl gave her. "It is done~ I was tempted to taste the drink inside, but I don't drink on the job. wasn't sure what it was either.

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"Have a good day." Waving a little before closing the door, she turned to see Nix counting money on the counter. Standing quietly, she watched her from the door. "Huh." Walking up to the counter, she leaned against it on her elbow to look at her bottle.

"I don't recommend doing that." Sonia picked up the bottle and turned it over in her hands. Holding it up to light, the fluid seemed to glow before she placed it back down. "The wine in this is blessed." She said patting the top of the bottle. "So how much do I owe you for both this and the bag?"

Anduin Wrynn and Atta!jSaxman3BgCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552982

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Anduin smiled at Celestia's pledge, but there was a clear look of hesitation in his eyes; something wasn't quite adding up for him. "I am grateful beyond words for your aid, Princess Celestia," he said, angling to find the most tact approach for the question even as he verbally barreled headlong towards it, "but... my advisers tell me that there was a fourth, as well. I hope I don't overstep my boundaries by asking if all is well in your homeland, or if Ambassador Sarek simply misheard." Fortunately, Atta fielded that one, and he did it with an easy chuckle.

"You overstepped nothing, Your Grace," the commander said, taking his hand off the map and standing back up, then giving himself a moment to rest his hammer against one of the bookshelves. "All is well at home, and our numbers were supposed to consist of a fourth regiment, but the spellcasters were deemed unready for service at time of launch, and it was decided by the powers that be that we could ill afford to wait. Our mages are quick and talented learners, but the mistress of Wyrdrassil is nothing if not..." He paused for a moment, searching for the words to not inadvertently offend the mare in question's teacher. "... a perfectionist," he finally decided upon. "They will sail at a later date and join us then."

"Hopefully before the heat death of the universe," he added to himself.

One of the ideas that Celestia herself proposed after that little snafu was cleared up sounded considerably more tenable than the other to both men present.

It wouldn't require much time or guessing to figure out which one was in which category.

"The Horde have a long history of aggression and conquest," Anduin began, choosing to not go with his knee-jerk reaction of out and out calling them barbarians. "They do not trust us; if word has already reached them of our summit here, then with all due respect, Your Grace, I do not think they will lend you an ear."

"He may be right," Atta warned, arms crossed and looking at her with an expression somewhere between stern and worried, like a parent talking to a child that had already made up its mind; it would have made for an amusing contrast between the two, were it not for the subject matter. "At least a few of our people anxious to explore the world at large struck out before the expedition fleet; they may very well be in Horde territory already. If you do your portal act right in the middle of their capital, they might see it as an act of aggression... or as an insult." He wasn't sure which one would be worse: he'd heard of the Horde's adherence to honor, and he worried being the second city Celestia visited after their Alliance opposite number would be interpreted as a slap in the face. It would reflect poorly on her, endanger any of their people that might be in the unfamiliar territory, and make things worse for the Alliance then they already were.

His head already hurt at the myriad possibilities. And this was what the humans dealt with every day.

"Is it too late to go home?"
he wondered again.

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41552996

I don't know the exchange rates of how much this would cost but I'll say it's a decent price
Putting down a piece of paper showing the transactions, calculating the price, Nix handed it over to Sonia. "Told ya I have good prices. You took me for a charlatan, didn't you?" Adjusting her monocle, the halfling stood up, standing on the counter to make herself at head level with Sonia. "Be sure to stop by again if you're around, I know I would."

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"Me walking in to see you sitting here counting money really didn't help your case." Sonia pointed out as she took out the money to pay for everything. Watching Nix stand up on the counter to face her, she lowered one of her ears. "I'll see if I can. But I thought you wanted to know where I get my clothes from."

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"Oh hush," she said, "I did want to know. You can tell me and still stop by." She said, confused by the girl's statement. What a puzzling girl, she thought to herself, A good sale regardless.

"What do you plan to do after this?" She asked, now curious.

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"Well I really don't know when I'll visit this city again." She said taking the bottle and clipping it to her belt. "So my next visit to this shop might not be for a long time." Putting the satchel's strap over her shoulder, Sonia then went back to leaning on the counter.

"Well I was just going to go back to the inn I'm staying at while I'm here and wait out the end of the festivities. Then go and get something to eat before heading back and going to bed."

!2/0gPatch.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41553130

"Fair enough, fair enough," the halfling said, nodding, "I sometimes take a caravan out for sales on the road, might see me there, might not. It's a small world after all."

Maybe she'd go out and enjoy the festivities herself. There weren't many people coming here anyways... Maybe chat it up with some of the visitors, see what she can sell them on.
Did they use horseshoes? Maybe she could sell them on those.

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"I dunno, the world is a lot bigger than I thought." Turning towards the door, Sonia moved away from the counter to head towards it. "But who knows? Maybe I will see you out there in the world sometime. " Placing her hand on the door handle, she pulled it open. "But then again I could stop here again on my way out and pick up a few more things for the road ahead."

CelestiaCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41553314

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>Celestia listened to their protests with a polite smile, thinking of the possibilities. Even if they did not see her visit as a friendly one, she would not be the one that chose not to extend an olive branch. If she was going to pledge her nation to a fight, she would at least ensure that she did not drag them into any other conflicts or grudges. She was cool at the king's assertions, and said simply.
"And I'm sure with your history, they would have every right to harbor resentment... Or would you say that the conditions you provided for them after the second war were entirely satisfactory?"
>She asked, giving Anduin a firm gaze. For the first time, he could see a shadow of the fire that had been in her eyes, and a ghost of the godlike visage she had supressed upon coming to the castle.
"I am offering you support of the expeditionary force, Anduin, for the purposes of defeating the Lich King... who, if my memory serves, is a former member of the Alliance. My forces are not to be involved in any conflict with the Horde, and have in fact been ordered to abstain from any fighting between your two nations that might occur. Anduin, I hold the Alliance in highest esteem, but your history is not without its stains. They may have been the ones to strike the first blow, but I've yet to see either side make amends. I am going to the Horde to offer them the support of the Wyrdassil battlemages, and that of a portion of my own Royal Guard. Luna herself has gone to entreaty the Caesar to our south for further reinforcement, and if that comes to fruition, the Horde will enjoy their services as well."
>She said, fluffing her wings a bit to get them to lay comfortably, which had the added effect of making her look a bit larger and more impressive. She smiled down at him, much like a mother would.
"However, if they are as unreasonable and quick to see insult where none exists as you say, then you've nothing to fear from me going, but potential new allies in your fight against the Lupercal."
>She said, with an air of finality. She'd made up her mind...
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