Sunday, May 26, 2013

Navimie and the Battered Hilt - Chapter 2: The Silver Enclave

Previously:  The Investigation Begins

CHAPTER 2: THE SILVER ENCLAVE

Dalaran's sewers were a vastly different world to that above ground.  Where light and towering spires brought a sense of majesty and greatness to the city, the sewers seemed to be where everyone who didn't fit into the "goodness, wholesome bright and magic" genre seemed to go.  Duels were frowned upon in the city,  but down below, Navimie remembered many hours of duelling against Horde and Alliance foes alike in the Circle of Wills - fighting against Sevros and Shabadu to hone her own skills in these very tunnels which were perfect for running and hiding... she shook her head to clear her wandering thoughts and focussed on the task ahead.


The Cantrip and Crows Inn was a small tavern, infrequently populated as it was built right over the sewer waters themselves.  Why anyone would build an inn over sewer water was beyond Navimie.  The high elf Silver Covenant agent was leaning against the wall, her knee bent resting her foot against the shiny wood, in a very casual pose, but her eyes were scrutinising every person who walked nearby.  Her blue eyes bored into Navimie, as Navimie headed to the tiny bank section behind the tavern.  When Navimie glanced back towards her, she had already moved on to scan the next patron.  Navimie wondered what she was looking for, and shifted into cat form.  Navimie didn't think this could be done quietly.  She stealthed and headed back to the agent's position.

But the agent was gone.  Navimie looked around the tables but did not see her.  She turned to head out of the inn to look for the elf when a blade bit deep into her shoulder where her neck had been a second before.  She yowled as she dropped out of stealth.

"You Sunreaver lackeys are all the same," sneered the elf, as she turned to stab Navimie in the flank.  "I could see you coming a mile away.  Especially one as big and clumsy as YOU."  She laughed, a tinkling laugh of confidence.

The shock and pain caused Navimie to instinctively shift to Dire bear form, thickening her pelt and her sudden increase in size overturned a nearby table with a loud crash.  The agent's dagger's flashed again as she took another stab at Navimie's ribs, but it could not penetrate the bear's armour.  Navimie roared, disorienting the agent momentarily allowing Navimie to swipe at the agent's hand with her sharp claws, drawing blood and the blade clattered harmlessly to the floor.

"Hey!  What's going on!" yelled Ajay Green, the Innkeeper, as he rushed out from behind the bar.  He stopped in his tracks as he saw the Elf agent kick Navimie in the face, knocking her off her paws into a chair that splintered upon impact.  Navimie scrambled to get upright and charged at the agent, her great claws again leaving bloody rends through the Elf's clothing.  Suddenly, the Elf vanished.

Damn it!  Rogues and their stupid vanishes!  Navimie turned and tried to back up against a wall.

The elf reappeared behind Navimie and sliced at her hamstrings, but it was the poison on the blades that weakened Navimie more than the paltry dagger cuts themselves.  Navimie growled in pain, her movements feeling slow and sluggish but the full force of a bear swipe turned the Elf's face into a mangled mess of crimson flesh and with a strangled cry the Elf fell to the ground, her last breaths gurgling in her throat as her life's blood spilled onto the wooden planks of the inn.

A pair of trolls who had jumped to their feet initially at the disturbance, sat back down in their chairs and went back to the conversation, as if what had just occurred was quite commonplace.  Ajay approached Navimie, his eyes flashing but wary.  "I'll be needing compensation for your brawling, Tauren," he said.  Navimie shifted back into tauren form and used her healing powers to remove the poison from her system and ease her wounds.  The warm glow of her rejuvenation took the sting from her shoulder and she flexed her fingers of that arm, testing it.

"You'll have your payment," said Navimie, kneeling down to search the body of the fallen agent.  There were no identifying documents on the Elf, but Navimie tossed a small purse of coin she found on the body to the innkeeper.  He weighed it in his hand thoughtfully, then nodded as he went back to the bar.  Navimie's fingers closed upon an envelope in an inconspicuous fold of the Elf's clothing.  She opened up the envelope and skimmed the Silver Covenant orders.
You must meet with Arcanist Tybalin on the top floor of the Silver Enclave. He will entrust you with a book that is beyond value. Be discreet in your movements and guard this book with your life. Carry it back to Caladis Brightspear at Quel'Delar's rest with all haste.
The book.  They were trying to take it out of the city.  Navimie pocketed the letter, and looked around, wondering what to do with this body.  Then it dawned on her, why this inn was built over the sewer.  She dragged the Elf's body by the boot to the edge of the platform and pushed the dead body into the murky water.  Maybe Vern would find it and eat it.  She glanced back and saw Ajay throwing buckets of water over the blood stains, the soiled water trickling between the floor planks into the sewer waters beneath.  She brushed her hands on her pants and she strode out of the establishment.  Seedy businesses indeed.

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Magister Hathorel frowned as he read the orders.

"The agent you intercepted was supposed to deliver the Wyrmrest tome to Icecrown, after meeting with one Arcanist Tybalin inside the Silver Enclave. We have to reclaim that book, Navimie, and we only have one chance before it leaves the city. We have to work quickly."  His brow furrowed as he tried to formulate a plan.  "Getting you inside the Silver Enclave will be tougher than it appears. Only those who possess Silver Covenant tabards are permitted entry to sanctuary. If we can get our hands on one, a simple enchantment will do the rest of the work..."  He snapped his fingers as his eyes lit up with an idea.  "We need a suitable disguise!"

"On the balcony above Threads of Fate, you'll find Shandy Glossgleam. I've helped him a few times in the past, so he owes me a favor. He handles laundry for a wide variety of people in the city. Maybe he can find a way to 'lend' you a tabard for a while."

"I know him," said Navimie, nodding.  "I've taken him things from Mr Worth to him in the past."  Threads of Fate was where Charles Worth worked, and Navimie had learned her tailoring skills from him.  "I'll head there now."

Shandy had an bound elemental that assisted him with his laundry duties, which seemed out of the ordinary, but not in a city of magic like Dalaran.  They were in fine form when Navimie arrived.

"Aquanos, stop sending the clothes so high!  You didn't have to see Aethas Sunreaver's face when he found his pants in the fountain!"

Like all gnomes, Shandy was so small he came up to just above Navimie's knee.  However, he was still busy enough that he didn't notice her standing there until he went to add more clothes to the wash.

"Ah, Navimie!  I'm very busy, I'm not sure if I can bring anything back before tomorrow!"

"Shandy, I'm not here with Master Worth's goods today," said Navimie.  "I am here to ask ... a favour."

Shandy put down the pants he was examining and looked at her inquisitively.  "Oh?  How can I help you?"

"I was wondering... if you have a Silver Covenant tabard I could borrow...."

Shandy's eyes narrowed and he lowered his voice.  "One does not simply put on a the tabard  and walk into the Silver Enclave.  It is folly."

"Magister Hathorel has asked me to ask you... personally."

Shandy's shoulders slumped in resignation.  "Hathorel.  I cannot refuse him."  He straightened and looked Navimie in the eye, a smirk on his impish face.  "But, he never said I had to give it to you for NOTHING.  You're in luck. I've got just what you need in the load I'm about to wash.  Come!  See the piles of laundry and the bucket of water? I'll call out what I need next, and you put it in the tub. Ready?"

It sounded more like a game than a task to Navimie, but she went along.  "I"m ready."  She stood between the 4 buckets.

"Add the unmentionables... uh, I mean, the 'delicates'!"  Navimie threw a pair of pink underwear to Aquanos who shot them up in a fountain of water.

"Toss some pants in to the tub!"  Naivmie picked up a pair of pants and squinted at an unknown stain on it.  "Nice," said Shandy, craning his neck to see what she was looking at.  "I don't want to know what that stain was."  She threw them over to Aquanos.

"Quick, add some shirts to the laundry!"  Navimie threw 2 shirts, a white and a yellow one over to Aquanos.

Time passed quickly and before long all the buckets were empty.  "Clean and tidy!" said Shandy Glossgleam, beaming.  "I should keep you around."  He turned to a folded pile of clothing and handed Navimie a neatly presented package.  "See how easy that was with everyone working together? Just take what you need from the clean laundry here, but don't forget to return it when you're finished."


Navimie inclined her head.  "Thank you Shandy.  I'll return it as soon as I can."  And she flew back to Magister Hathorel.

"I knew Shandy would find a way to make it work."  Hathorel shook out the tabard and lay it on the table.  "Let me get this enchanted and ready for you to use. With any luck, the tabard's owner won't even know it's missing and Shandy will cover the rest of our tracks."

Navimie watched as Hathorel began to cast a series of spells over the tabard.  The tabard glowed brightly for a few seconds and faded.  She touched it tentatively - it didn't feel any different.  What was I expecting, that it would bite? She laughed inwardly.  An Audience with the Arcanist, who was a magic wielder himself, wearing a magic disguise?  Navimie hoped this would work.

"I've placed an enchantment on the tabard that should allow you to slip past the Silver Enclave's defenses for a short period of time. You should have enough time to find your way up to the top level of the Silver Enclave and meet up with the Silver Covenant's man there, known as Arcanist Tybalin."  Navimie picked up the tabard and slipped it over her head.  Instantly she was transformed into a female high elf.


Hathorel nodded approvingly, admiring his handiwork.  "While disguised, obtain the copy of Ancient Dragonforged Blades that his men borrowed from Wyrmrest, and return the book to me.  Remember, you don't have a lot of time, Navimie."

Navimie held her hand out in front of her and regarded it.  Such a small hand, and so many fingers.  What does one do with that many fingers?  She headed out and resisted the urge to shift to flight form and walked across Dalaran to the OTHER side, the Alliance side, the Silver Enclave.  It was always well guarded - she was extremely curious what the inside looked like.  You could not stealth past the guards - you would be immediately teleported back outside.  Navimie wondered how long her disguise would last and whether she would be able to look around a little.

The top level of the Silver Enclave wasn't hard to find, but it was disconcerting trying to saunter casually past the guards and the many Alliance that still frequented the inn.  Probably not as many as the days before the Cataclysm, but still... she took a deep breath and ascended the stairs.

Arcanist Tybalin was sitting at his desk reading when Navimie appeared at his doorway.  He motioned her in, and stood to greet her.  Navimie met his icy blue gaze and felt the familiar fluttering she often felt when looking at High Elves - but she reminded herself of the price of failure and discovery and the butterflies settled as if squashed by a giant foot.



"Travel quickly!" said Tybalin, gesturing towards the door.  "The Sunreavers will not waste any time one they realise that we have the information they seek."

Navimie bowed low to Tybalin.  Little did he know... she departed quickly and slipped out, resisting the urge to explore the area further, now that she had the book in her possession.  Her heart was pounding so  hard in her ears as she neared the exit, and her eyes darting from each of the guards, as she resisted the compulsion to shift to cat form and sprint out the door, and as soon as she walked out the gate she immediately walked around the corner and slipped into her familiar flight form and soared to one of the spires of Dalaran.  She shifted back to humanoid and opened the book to have a quick read.
Rare indeed are the 'prismatic' blades forged by the combined will of the five dragonflights. Among the greatest of these blades were the sister swords of Quel'Serrar and Quel'Delar.
In her wisdom, the dragon queen Alexstrasza gifted one of the blades to each of the elven peoples of Azeroth. Quel'Serrar was to be borne by a valiant kaldorei warrior, while Quel'Delar was entrusted to a quel'dorei champion.
Each blade transformed in the hands of its wielder, molding its magic to its master's strengths...
She snapped the book shut.  This hilt - the blade - was the sister blade to Quel'Delar!  An Elven prismatic blade - it almost seemed wasteful for her to pursue it, as she would be unable to wield it.  She dived off the spire and plummeted to the ground, shifting at last minute to a bird again and swooped sharply around an archway, her wings clipping a hapless draenei across the face.  Oops.  Navimie grinned and swept into the inn at neckbreaking speed and she skidded to a stop right before a brazier in caster form, gusts of wind knocking the mugs from a nearby table with a clatter.  Nobody noticed her entrance over the din from the patrons - one of the great things about this noisy, boisterous inn.

She hurried over to Hathorel and handed him the book.  He took the book and skimmed few pages.  "Excellent work. Now that this is in our hands, we must get it to Myralion Sunblaze as soon as possible. We can't risk the Silver Covenant taking the book from us again."  He passed her the book and Navimie returned the tabard in exchange.

"I'll get that tabard back to Shandy and see that he's well compensated for his assistance. Once the book is in Myralion's hands, the Silver Covenant won't be a threat anymore.  Would you bring it to him? I cannot rely on anyone else to transport the book and you have proven adept at evading the Silver Covenant's men."

Navimie nodded the affirmative.  If he had asked anybody else to do this when it was HER quest, she would have been... displeased, to say the least.

"Take it with you to Quel'Delar's Rest, south of the Argent Tournament Grounds in Icecrown. Myralion will be waiting for you. If he can identify that blade, we may be able to claim it in the name of Aethas Sunreaver."

So Aethas Sunreaver will get all the glory after my hard work, grumbled Navimie to herself.  As if I haven't done enough for him and the Sunreaver Offensive over the last few months.

It was time to see Myralion again.

Next: Quel'Delar

4 comments:

  1. I picked up a Battered Hilt off the regular AH over Winter Veil. I'd been thinking of saving it for my Paladin, but after reading this story, I'm not sure she'd want to do these shady sorts of things!

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    1. I know, all this subterfuge! It gets better though Kam :)

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  2. I love this story, maybe I like being back in Wrath. I'm going to be so sad when it's over but maybe you'll come up with new stories I can't even think of!

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    1. Glad you like my silly old stories, Ancient :) /hug

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