[RP] A Silver Thread

The small packet of powder lingered temptingly in Renzly Silvertip’s pocket. The cravings had begun while she was still in Stormwind, but so far she’d resisted them. The numerous headaches, the aching muscles, the nagging feelings of self-doubt…. All that could go away with just one drink, but no. Alcohol had at least helped with similar mind-numbing properties.

It’d been an interesting few weeks since she had killed Crankshaft in Elwynn. She hoped the wolves had made a good meal of the goblin’s body. Stormwind had proven to be a relatively safe place to hide out while the rest of the drugs had cleared her system; she’d even made a friend of sorts. She had less luck with contacting any of Stormwind’s more open-minded citizens, as she was completely in foreign territory. With the holiday long over, a goblin’s presence in the city was becoming more conspicuous. Fortunately the death knight hassling her was more interested in getting rid of her than anything else. He’d removed the Tallowit’s tracking band and let her go free.

She didn’t wait long until taking a strike back against the Tallowits. She was still riding the high of watching the Midnight Lady burn in smoldering flames off the coast of Stranglethorn. Zurom had recommended Ahdes for aiding her revenge, and the rogue had not disappointed, even if she’d been initially perplexed by bringing along that naive goblin mage. Finna Sterling was not going to be pleased by the loss of her favorite ship; Renzly simply wished her aunt could have been aboard while it burned.

Ahdes and Swizelle had taken money and other treasure from the ship as their payment. The only thing Renzly grabbed was some more packets of Vimgo and the officer’s silver earring bearing the Tallowit Consortium’s emblem. Zurom had already helped her recover her father’s notebook and the bit of Tarnik’s horn that had allowed them to capture her and the imp in the first place. Renzly wasn’t sure what she was going to do with the Vimgo, but stashed the drug in a safe place just in case. She had quite a collection of hidden caches around the world, most unreachable without Tarnik’s assistance.

Perhaps just a little bit of Vimgo will get rid of the headaches without the mind haze…

Renzly cringed and squashed that thought down. Every day, her mind and her memories were growing clearer. Even some of the spell-forms her father had laid on her were growing looser; for the first time in years, she’d been able to even talk about the mental restrictions. She couldn’t risk undoing that progress.

Beside her, Tarnik chirped something that sounded concerned.

“I’m fine,” she assured the imp. “Ready to go? Feralas next, I think.”

He bobbed his head in assent while chattering in demonic. He jumped on Renzly’s shoulder and a moment later, she felt the tug through the nether before they reappeared high in the forest of Feralas at a disused camp.

It took about ten minutes to dig up the emergency pack filled with some coin, a few survival supplies, and a change of clothing. There was also a small photo of a dark haired elf; a sudden flash of memory told her the name ‘Adassos.’ One of the people she’d been ordered to forget, apparently. She concentrated on the memories trying to evade her grasp. He was someone she’d trusted well enough to invite to her photo lab. She’d never even taken… taken what’shername there.

Now, Renzly’s home on the outskirts of Bilgewater was long gone. Her lab was burned down months ago and the remains picked over by scavengers. It included the loss of her camera, not that she had much intention of returning to her job at the magazine. Whatever thoughts she’d entertained about settling down and living a quiet life had gone up with smoke along with the lab… and the Midnight Lady… and everything else Renzly intended to bring to ruin.

((I’ve been maintaining a thread on the AAMS’ website about Renzly’s exploits but as more people have gotten involved, figured I’d join the fun here and add to the RP posts ^.^ ))


The visit was long overdue.

‘Free drinks.’ The phrase had bothered her in Stormwind. She knew there was someone, or someplace, in Stormwind that would’ve been of use to her, if she could’ve just remembered. The phrase had turned her ear and led her to the Recluse; while the place did ultimately prove useful, that hadn’t been it.

It wasn’t until she’d gone to Booty Bay with Ahdes and Swizelle that the pieces started to resurface. The death knight had even mentioned the name; it just wasn’t the name she used.

She waited on the rooftops of Booty Bay concealed in lengthening evening shadows. At least that was one benefit of her time with the Tallowits and Yamivi; the troll had taught her new tricks for sneaking around. At last the white-haired figured rounded the corner and pulled out the keys for her small apartment. Renzly dropped to street level, allowing herself to make a small thud.

The other goblin immediately turned, her hand unhitching one of the maces hanging at her side.

“Shh! Goldie, relax, it’s me.” Renzly quickly held up both of her empty hands.

She froze. “Renzly? Where… where have you been?”

“Here and there. How are ya? How did ya escape?”

“Uh… Tarnik.” A look of both embarrassment and distaste washed across Goldie’s face at the mention of the imp. “I managed ta destroy the seal on the room, he got us out.”

“I owe the guy a bit more credit. Can I come inside?”

“Oh! Right! One sec.” She fumbled with the keys but soon had the door open. Inside was a vaguely familiar mess of stacked books and take out containers. Renzly opted to perch herself on the arm of a reading chair in the corner while Goldie (no, Kezrin) hastily tried to clean up just a little before giving up.

Kezrin sighed at Renzly. “Ya didn’t answer my question. What happened ta ya? Where have ya been? Why didn’t ya contact me sooner?”

“Sorry. I meant ta, but… I had trouble …remembering.”

Kezrin’s face fell. “Oh… is… is he back? Was Waxworth right? How much did you loose?”

“Nah, pop’s still dead. Jus’ got someone else usin’ the same techniques. I’m mostly okay, I think? Past few months are a bit fuzzy, and there’s some gaps here an’ there ‘fore that, but it’s been comin’ back in bits a spurts.”

Kezrin nodded knowingly. “Just do me a favor and don’t let Yotingo try and fix ya.”

“Didja ever hear of the Tallowit Consortium?”

“A little. They swiped some of my family’s shipments after the Cataclysm.”

“They’re runnin’ a drug and slave ring outta Tanaris. Pickin’ on the poor and the folk who won’t be easily missed. Ya need ta stay clear of them, got it?”

“Only if ya do.”

“Goldie, I ain’t jokin’. I need ya ta stay clear of them. They’re not happy with me, which means you’re the one in danger. Stay outta Bilgewater and Gadgetzan. Keep one of ‘em Shields with ya. Move someplace more secure.”


Renzly was startled by the stern reply. Kezrin crossed her arms.

“I ain’t hidin’, Renzly. Maybe ya memory ain’t that clear, but I’m not the kid I used ta be. Ya know how many times I get threatened jus’ for wearin’ white and gold? I’ll be careful, but I’m stayin’ where I am.”

“Fine… do me at least one favor, then. See this gets ta Stormwind?” Renzly pulled an envelope from out of her pocket.

“Sure, but Stormwind… what were ya doin’ there?”

“Eatin’ way too many apples.” Renzly slid off the chair and to her feet. “I gotta go.”

“You could stay here, too, y’know.”

“I think it’s best if I didn’t.” Renzly smiled ruefully, opening the door. “‘Sides, ya and Tarnik would never get along.”

“Why do ya…” Kezrin’s question trailed off and she shook her head. “Nevermind. I’ll ask ya later. Because we are gonna talk again later.”

“I might even answer.” Renzly grinned and slipped back out into the shadows.

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Tucked between his cot and the stone wall of his cell, Alan kept hidden the letter Miss Kettlebottom had delivered earlier in the day. A smile danced on the rogue’s lip at knowing his drinking buddy cared enough to write him while he was in the Stockades. He was eager to thank her in person now.

Really, if he thought about it… It had all started with her. Seeing her in Stormwind, randomly stopping in to have a drink or three. And always returning in hopes to see her and make sure she was safe. Funny how things had turned out. And he wouldn’t change a thing either.

A chuckle escaped him, “Good for you drinkin’ buddy… I hope they paid in full on that return. With interest. And I hope you’re enjoying a good drink on my behalf.” He gave a little salute in the dark before trying to settle in for sleep.

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Yamivi crouched in the corner, fingers playing with the beads of one of her bracelets as Finna Sterling paced back and forth across the inn’s small room. The troll was content to wait while the older goblin woman wore out her frustration on the creaky floorboards. Sterling had elected to stay in Booty Bay until they could recover some of the losses from the Midnight Lady… or perhaps run into an annoying rogue who’d been spotted openly flaunting her presence.

“She steals from my home, burns down my ship, and now the storefront in Bilgewater’s gone, too.” Sterling ticked off the items on her fingers. “I’m assuming Crankshaft’s dead, or else I’d kill him myself.”

“I could always be tryin’ ta bring his spirit back for you,” Yamivi offered.

“Tempting, but perhaps later. We need to bring Renzly back into line.”

“What about the Goldwick girlie? Was very effective last time.” Yamivi twisted a black bead. “It will be harder to lure her out.”

“She attends that ‘Lounge’, doesn’t she?”

“And is surrounded by many powerful protectors.”

“We don’t need to lay a hand on her to provide an appropriate retaliation and to remind my dear niece of the deal we made.” Sterling smiled grimly. “And then there’s the matter of Renzly’s new… associates.” Her expression darkened. “What have you found out? Surely it can’t be him.”

“If it not… it be someone who matches his style. There be talk of a red-eyed Forsaken with fiery swords named Ahdes in the company of a goblin water-mage.”

The creaks ceased as Sterling paused her pacings. “If he’s actually Hallocke, we’ll need to be taking our own precautions. The mage first, then. Have someone keep an eye on her.”

Yamivi rose from the floor. “I’ll look into it myself.”

“Good. I might have a lead on acquiring new transportation while you handle that.”

Yamivi slipped back into the hustle and bustle of Booty Bay’s streets. There was work to be done and debts to be paid.

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Premium Borean leather.

Custom jet black paint job with red flames.

Cobalt plating with silver filigree.

Multi-colored flame jet afterburner.

And now it was all scratched up and smelled like piss.

“My baby, my poor baby.” Boomer Flashburn inspected his precious mechanohog, hoping the tauren’s treatment was only cosmetic. The Sparkthruster Deluxe Afterburner was expensive. His fee wasn’t high enough to cover that sort of damage.

It was supposed to be an easy job! Scorch up a building in Ratchet, make sure they knew the Tallowit Consortium was responsible. Bonus points if the white-haired gal were present. Basic intimidation tactics.

He was expecting to deal with office workers, not some monster of a tauren or that dark-haired elf. At least the human chick had been decent enough to heal him, mostly. At least enough that he’d be able to ride back to town on his own. And the muffins weren’t half bad. Still. Boomer was pretty sure it was by the skin of his teeth that they decided not to toss him in the “hole” and bury him to his neck.

And now… now he was expecting to report back to Sterling and Yamivi, with that Adassos fellow promising that the AAMS would be watching. He technically could report back a success. The place had been set on fire… no one said it had to burn… and they definitely knew that he’d been sent by Sterling. He just had to leave out the part about being captured and interrogated. Easy-peasy.

Boomer gingerly wiped off his seat with a rag. He could figure out exactly what to say while on the way back to Booty Bay. First priority was to have his precious baby looked over in town and get a detail job.

A very, very thorough detail job.


“Shut up, Tarnik.”

The imp’s imperious, screechy voice particularly grated against Renzly’s ears in the early morning hours. She sipped her tea, wincing at the bitter taste, but eager to be rid of the persistent headache and soreness her body was suffering.

Tarnik chirped a few more times disdainfully; it was odd these days that she was actually starting to recognize a few words, even if she didn’t know what they meant. Never stopped her before from interpreting them however she wanted, though.

“Yeah, I know. We gotta get going.” Renzly downed the last of the tea and started packing up the remnants of her small camp, this time in southern Stranglethorn. Maybe she ought to have taken up Adassos’s offer of a couch, but, well, not like she knew where he lived, anyway, and there were fewer questions when traveling alone. The pain started to dim into a haze, her thoughts centering around her plans for the day with determination.

She needed to be in Booty Bay soon to catch her ride. Distance usually wasn’t much of a problem with Tarnik’s help as long as it was a place he was attuned to. However, neither of them had ever been to Tiragarde, which meant putting Reagan’s seasickness remedy to the test.

Finna Sterling wasn’t anywhere to be found in Booty Bay, nor had she returned to Tanaris or Azshara. The best intel Renzly had gathered was that Sterling was in search of a new ship to replace the Midnight Lady and had made recent contact with shipwrights overseas. She hadn’t taken Yamivi with her, so it wasn’t likely to be Zandalari. It’d taken effort, and a few “favors,” but she’d arranged passage to Freeport.

Perhaps the AAMS could’ve arranged a portal, but Kezrin would’ve protested, and Adassos would’ve insisted on coming along. As she told Swizelle, she wasn’t a team player.

But what if Yamivi had captured Swizelle successfully?

All the more reasons to eschew any ties. “Just ya and me, Tarnik. No sidekicks, no liabilities, no one tellin’ us what ta do. That’s how it’s gonna be. Ready ta go?”

The imp hopped down from his branch onto Renzly’s shoulder. He chirped an affirmative. She winced again; the headache hadn’t completely faded yet but she didn’t dare drink any more tea. She didn’t know exactly how much would tip her from being “focused” to “oblivious.” It was a dangerous game, but right now she couldn’t afford to be distracted by sickness from her mission. She could quit after Sterling was dead. She needed the energy, the drive to keep pushing forward.

When everything was done, Vi’ta’s potion was packed alongside the stolen Vimgo. She didn’t know if it would help, but it was a promise to herself.

“Let’s go.”

Tarnik’s grip tightened and she felt the familiar yank as they vanished from the camp.

Her whole body ached, but it was the bearable kind of ache. The kind that a good stiff drink would fix-up. That was the reason the Brawler’s Guild had a bar, wasn’t it? So the losers could drink away the pain of losing until they were drunk enough to think they could win and fight again.

Of course, Renzly couldn’t win. Should’ve learned that lesson by now. Maybe a half dozen losses ago. Yet this pain was preferable to other kinds.

The Tallowit Cartel had been dealt a severe blow and Finna Sterling removed from power, but not by Renzly. No, Renzly had allowed herself to fall into Finna’s trap yet again and be imprisoned. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been half-starved and drugged up before Adassos found her, nor sure what she’d done during that time.

“'Nuther coconut rum.” Renzly waved down the bartender. He grunted and turned to find the bottle. Renzly noted out of the corner of her eye a tall, dark-haired blood elf approaching her position with an intense expression.

“Well. If it’s not Renzly Silvertip. I thought you were supposed to be harder to find.”

“Every gal’s got her off days.” She nodded thanks to the barkeep as her drink was delivered.

“More than a little off. That last fight of yours cost me two gold.”

She smiled sardonically. “Ain’t my fault ya had the bad sense ta bet I’d win.”

“Win? No. But I thought you might have been clever enough to at least last a full two minutes.” He clucked his tongue at her.

“Listen, buddy-”


“-hooknose, I ain’t out there fightin’ for you ta make money.”

Lanveris frowned, touching the tip of his nose with a long finger. “Hooknose? Have you looked at goblin noses lately? And you think mine is worth insulting?”

“If ya have an objection, I could always break it for ya. Give it a crook as well.”

“Not in your current state.” He settled into the barstool next to her and pointed at her rum. “Drunk, picking fights you know you can’t win, it’s quite pathetic and I don’t see why you’re worth anyone’s time.”

“Then f*** off.”

“Can’t. I’m here to issue you an invitation.”

“You’ve got a really strange way of goin’ about it, but I’ll play along. Invitation ta what?”

The elf reached into his jacket, then set an envelope made from heavy stock paper on the counter. “Family reunion.”

“Let me guess, did Finna send ya? Or is Yamivi pullin’ the strings now?”

“Neither. If you’re interested, read the letter. I’m sure you can make your own travel accommodations. I recommend not showing up drunk.” He stood without waiting for a reply, waving briefly over a shoulder as he left.

Well. Curiosity had always been one of her weaknesses. She picked up the envelope, using her dagger to cut open the side and pull out the single page inside. To her surprise, the letter was written in goblin, with small, precise handwriting. Familiar handwriting.

Renzly slapped a gold coin on the counter, gaining the barkeep’s attention. “Ta settle whatever’s on my tab.” The letter was stuffed in her pouch and she quickly threaded her way out of the bar and into the arena proper; the dark-haired elf was already lost in the crowd.

“Tarnik!” Renzly called, half-mentally, and searched for the imp; he was never that far, even when hiding. In a moment, the imp appeared beside the half-empty cup of rum. He gave her an inquisitive chirp.

“The hooknose elf who just left here? Follow him.” Tarnik nodded and disappeared in a poof.

Renzly continued to make her way to the exit of the arena. The stitch in her side that kept her from acting immediately. Lanveris was right; her head was still woozy, and every muscle ached so bad that she wasn’t sure she’d represent herself well in a street fight. Her numerous losses in the arena were proof that it was best to avoid an open fight.

It was time once again for subtly, reconnaissance, and careful planning before dealing with Leo Othmar.

“Good evening, Miss Sterling.” Leo Othmar stepped just inside the small room, leaving the door ajar behind him.

The prisoner in question responded with a short phrase in the goblin tongue. She glared at the human from the far side of the cell where sat on a stool, seperated from her visitor by a metal grate.

Othmar shook his head in disapproval. “Now, then, no need for vulgarity. It’s important to maintain decorum.”

“Buzz off. I ain’t answerin’ any more of ya questions. And ya already know ya mind tricks aren’t effective with me.”

“Indeed, I have been quite impressed with your mental discipline, something I would expect from a lady who practices her own form of mind control and manipulation. I almost wish we had more time together.”

The goblin woman tensed. “What do ya mean by that? Finally going to kill me? Take over my business?”

“No.” He smiled condescendingly. “I don’t really care much about your business. I’m sure someone will come along and claim the scraps of what are left. This is more about protecting my own people.”

She scoffed. “Don’t tell me this was all about killing that little stooge of yours. Ya sent a spy. Ya think I’m gonna let that stand? That’s the way our business works, both yours and mine.”

“As much as that infraction earned my ire, there is another who has a stronger claim than I. Let me tell you, Miss Sterling, that I have a very strong belief in family. Whether you hate them or not, they are a part of yourself. Betrayal of family is the worst sin. It is your family that will decide your fate.”

Sterling turned her attention to the half-open door. “You’re turnin’ me over ta my niece? I s’ppose I should thank you for the quick death; Renzly has no imagination.” Finna Sterling laughed darkly. “Yet after all that talk, you’re goin’ ta follow the whims of someone who killed her father. Where’s the revenge for him?”

“Ah, the vaunted Zenik Silvertip. I know more about him than you may think. Some occasional brilliant insights, but very sloppy execution. No, you’ve got the wrong idea. I’m not giving you to your niece. I am leaving your fate up to your sister.”

A gobin woman stepped in through the open door, locking eyes with Finna Sterling. For the first time in her captivity, Finna faltered at the cold fury in the other woman’s expression.

Othmar continued to smile pleasantly. “I am so very pleased to be facilitating this family reunion. Would you believe I found her working as a secretary? One of my finest researchers, now. Trust me when I say, Miss Sterling, your sister has a very… creative imagination.”

The appointed meeting place was a cafe inside Ratchet, the Golden Quill. The second floor of the building had a private outside patio for diners. Renzly could see the goblin woman patiently waiting at one of the tables through her new camera scope,.

“Whaddaya think, Tarnik? Is it her?” Renzly put the scope back into her pocket. The imp shrugged and chittered something non-committal.

“Guess only one way to know for sure. Take us there, bud.”

Tarnik perched himself on Renzly’s shoulder. She readied her blades. The shadows obscured her vision a brief moment before the familiar tug of traveling between spaces. The teleport was precise, her feet not making a sound as she landed in front of the woman’s table.

The other goblin’s eyes widened in shock, darting between Renzly and Tarnik. Silently, she stood from her chair and made a few motions with her hands.

“Hello, daughter. Little one.”

“Ma…” Renzly’s voice shook, but her hands held her blades steady. “After all this time… I thought ya were dead.”

“Hiding.” Luzanne Silvertip motioned to the table before signing more words. “Sit with me? Eat? We have much to discuss.”

“Tarnik, keep watch.” The imp disappeared. Renzly cautiously sleeved her daggers and sat down. “I was looking for you. For months. Ya weren’t in any of Pop’s hideouts! Why didn’t ya contact me? Leave a note?”

“And let Zenik find me?” Luzanne shook her head as she sat down. “I didn’t know if he were dead. Permanently dead. Or that you were free from him. Then there was Finna to consider.”

“Tell me she’s dead.”

“Not quite. She is still useful.” The smile on Luzanne’s face spoke of satisfaction. “It’s her turn to be a prisoner. Experiment.”

The knot in Renzly’s stomach untangled. This was her mother. The same spark of hatred Renzly felt for Zenik Silvertip and Finna Sterling shone through her eyes.

“I did try to look for you, but none of my spells worked.”

“Oh, yeah…that would be my fault. I had ta get some extra protections ‘gainst scrying before Pop died so he couldn’t find me.”

“I can see some new spell forms on you… along with the mess your father made.” She frowned. “They don’t look stable anymore. That is not good.”

“Yeah, well, Yamivi mucked things up pretty good.”

“What did she do to you?”

Renzly waves a hand. “I’d rather not talk ‘bout that. What else have ya been doing all this time? And how’d ya end up with that Othmar guy?”

Even after all this time, Renzly could recognize her mother’s look of “we will definitely talk about this later but I’ll let it pass for now.”

“I found a job in Booty Bay working for the Greengold Consortium. They were one of his business partners until a takeover. He offered some of us a job working for him. When he found out I was a mage, he let me continue my studies.”

“So ya work for him now?”

“I help with his research, he provides me with material for my own. Now I want to hear about you.”

“Not much… not much ta say. Takin’ odd jobs here and there. Until the Consortium caught up ta me.”

Luzanne nodded. “And Tarnik is still with you.”

“Can’t get ‘im ta leave. Jus’ another way Pop ain’t really gone even when he’s dead.”

“He is dead, but I am not. I am here for you.” Luzanne rose from her chair, beckoning Renzly forward. “Stand. Now.

Renzly rose to her seat; her mother quickly grabbed her and pulled her into a tight embrace. With a sigh, Renzly wrapped her arms and held her mother close. She still smelled of dusty parchments and metallic inks.

A hoarse, barely audible voice strained a whisper in her ear. “I… love you…. Renzly… You …freed me… I will… free you… Promise.”