Shadows of the Forgotten

((Something I was working on back in Legion but scrapped it. With Shadowlands coming, I figured I’d tweek it for a new storyline. This follows some events from the origin story as well as some old rp stuff involving Marico which are long forgotten heh. As SI:7 is involved, anyone in law enforcement can take notice, I just hope I can actually Do some rp with this. With my schedule, who knows.))

Entry 34: I’m excited! First day of basic training and it is everything I expected it to be. Lots of pain, yelling, more pain and some healing followed by more pain just like father said it would be. I have to stay strong though if I’m ever going to make it to Hearthglen to finish my training. First I need to strengthen my body, then my mind. I can’t do too many of these as time here is very fixed which leave little time to write.

Entry 49: Things seem busy around here. There is talk of the army mobilizing and the fleet in the harbor has many concerned. Whispers of demons to the northwest have many on edge. Many of us are eager to fight, but our instructors seem to think we are not ready for what those leaving will face. I pray to the light our army returns safe.

Entry 55: Our King…I-I don’t know what to think. A dark cloud seems to have set over Stormwind this day. I can’t think right now.

Entry 56: Demons have attacked the Keep! We were called into action regardless of experience to protect the Kings son. After a great battle, the demons were driven out, but now there is a hint of fear in the eyes of many. Doomsayers have begun to appear…

Entry 60: Random attacks by demons that seem to come out of nowhere, making many in the city uneasy. Demon Hunters have arrived and search the city for demons posing as people. Many of the Doomsayers are suspect and many are beaten by mobs of scared people. We remain in the barracks for now to continue our training. Light knows they need fighters now.

Entry 65: Strange ships have started to appear all over Azeroth. Reports of many towns both Horde and Alliance being attacked by armies of demons. The beginnings of a full invasion have begun.

Entry 76: I found a strange black rose in my mail today with the message “Remember” attached to it. No idea who left it or what it meant so I placed it in my bag. We graduated today as well. Normally a moment of great celebration, but everyone knew better. As I had once longed for, I make my trek to Hearthglen to continue my training.

Entry 78: The strangest thing, the black rose I had placed in my pack somehow was lying next to me when I awoke. As I examined it I swear I saw the silhouette of a person or shadow standing over me. I quickly got up and it was gone. I’ll have to look around in the morning.


Menethil Harbor Patrol; SGT Myers reporting: On a normal patrol our troop came upon a small camp near the road going north towards Arathi Highlands. The small camp was in disarray as if a struggle occurred. Not far from the camp a body was found of a young woman, possibly a trainee. The body had been mostly burned by what looked like fel fire, but after further investigation traces of arcane magic seemed to be mixed in as well. Next to the body a black rose was discovered. I will report back later when more is learned.


Rose looked up from the journal and report handed to her by the SI:7 agent who stood watching her as though he were looking for a specific reaction.

“Ok, I’ve read it. I still don’t understand why something like this was brought to me. Based on what I read, this happened a few years ago. Shouldn’t this have been forwarded to the Stormwind Guard or Union?”

“Oh, originally it was, but SGT Myers did continue his investigation and he discovered there were more incidents similar to this. Not all were Alliance related, some also involved Horde victims. That falls to us to take over.”

Rose looked over the journal again shaking her head in confusion. “That explains your involvement, but not why it should be any concern of mine. I mean, I get there is a black rose there and ‘ha ha’ my name is Rose, but I’ve never dealt in Fel magic before let alone Fel fire.”

“Are you sure about that?”

Reaching into his pack, the agent retrieved more papers and set them down on Roses desk. Taking the papers, she looked over them and the agent watched as her eyes began to widen. Rose stood letting one of the pages fall onto the desk.

Sarken journal Entry 23- Dammit! Three weeks of this and still I cannot get the subjects to merge correctly. Every animal and small demon used ends the same. The first few minutes turn out fine, but when the powers begin to mix, there is a reaction that tends to kill the subject. My guess is that both arcane and shadow require a level of discipline. Something the test animals just don’t have. It may be hasty, but I will use three of the older children for testing. The first is Robert Hellen of the Hellen family who just entered the academy this year. The second is Devon Rol. Lastly, the eldest daughter of my assistant Marico, Kera Grenwall, will take part in the next phase. I will watch them closely.

Entry 24-A week has passed since the last entry and the subjects have had…reactions, to the treatments. The first, Robert Hellen, did not fare well. After the forced possession, the effects were immediate. Though having some discipline from the academy, his mind could not handle the sudden surge of shadow magic and died almost instantly. I have sent the SI:7 agent, who is now under my command, to remove the remaining Hellen family members to keep the child’s death and experiment a secret. The second subject, Devon Rol, seemed to handle the change well. However, the demon placed in him was dead and the result ended in no actual change mentally or in power. The third child, Kera Grenwall, had a live demon placed into her. Just as the first subject, the change was instant, but due to her higher intellect, she was almost able to restrain the added power. Her powers were amplified almost one hundred percent, but since she could not restrain the live demon, it was removed and killed before full possession. I will need to try other spells and have the hunters work harder at containment during the possession. If the strongest three could not control it, I may need to limit the power sent to them. I just don’t know how yet. Perhaps I should try some with less experience than the older subjects. Kera’s younger sister Rose is just 10 and beginning her training in fire, she and I think two others will do for the next phase. We will see…

“Where did you get this?” Rose said quietly.

The agent gathered the pages and put them back into his pack. “These were collected off of the bodies of the slain. One page was found at each and so far there have been five deaths. The young paladin Etain was the first, but she was followed by a mage named Lucus. On the Horde side a Goblin called Sorble, a Tauren named Tomoxin as well as a Forsaken Priest named Solarin. A sixth was attacked but somehow managed to survive. When we approached him to learn what he knew, he promptly tried to eat our agent. All we could get was his name, Malerus.”

Rose shook her head again. ”None of these names mean anything to me. “

“No, I don’t think they would, but they all, save for Etain, worked for an order called ‘Agents of the Third’ who, if I’m not mistaken, are employed or were at one time, but your father Marico. Etain was not the intended target of the Black Rose. It was originally addressed to a Denava Morin, who works with you in the Iron Wolves.”

The agent again watched Rose as she put the pieces together.

“Denava, she was with me when…” She said trailing off.

“When what?” The agent asked.

“It’s not important. Are there more of these pages?” Rose asked.

“These are the only ones we have recovered, but it hints at a much larger journal. Of the pages, it tells of 9 families and 13 children used in this experiment. Given the timeline, that falls in line with 7 families who disappeared without a trace 15 years ago. The only ones of that list still standing are you and Faruzia who also works for you. I find that oddly coincidental.”

“Talk to my father, all of these agents belonged to him. He’s got to have more answers than I ever could give.” Rose said as she felt a slight panic creep in. Along with the panic she began to feel pain crack along her skull. Celesa’s curse was activating.

No, not now. She thought to herself as she glanced around for something to cause pain to herself with. She eyed the letter opener with a growing desire as the pain increased. With the agents gaze following her movements she dared not reach for it potentially sending the wrong message.

“As much as we would love to speak to him, we can’t. That is the other reason I am here. He has gone missing. We believe he is the next target.”

Through the pain, Rose looked at the agent with shock in her eyes. Then she closed her eyes and put her head on the desk as the pain became overbearing.

“I see much of this is taking a toll on you so I will leave you be. I shouldn’t need to say this, but if it wasn’t implied, but don’t leave the city. We will be watching you.” The agent said leaving the room.

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It had taken him a while to return to Stormwind after being away for so long. He had taken time away from the stresses of the world to for once rest his tired senses, going into the deep forests of Ashenvale for peace and quiet. The letter sent time him calling him back did little to explain the reason, but the urgency expressed was plainly stated.

He had searched all over the city for her and naturally the first place he should have looked was the last. Leaving Meatbag outside, Wulfgrin entered the Blue Recluse. There, at the end of the bar he found Rose, surrounded by empty mugs of ale or various drinks and nothing else. With her head down on the counter she didn’t hear him as he sat down. Ordering ale himself, Wulfgrin waited until his drink was finished before saying anything. Downing the drink happily he held the empty mug in his hand as he sighed looking over to Rose. As loudly as he could Wulfgrin slammed the mug onto the counter and yelled startling Rose so much she fell from the counter.

“Haaa! Aye, Now THAT hit tha spot! Woooo! I needed that!” He bellowed as he watched Rose scramble on the floor looking around like she forgot where she was until she saw the Dwarf on the stool. Using her own stool to get up, she groaned holding her head as she sat back down.

“Why, why would you do that to me, Me of all people? What if I had ignited or something? Geez.” She said still groaning a little.

Laughing as he ordered another drink. “Come now, it’s been a good while since I last saw ya and with you so quiet there I had no choice. As cryptic as your letter was I had to have a little fun. Now, what was so important ta have me come all this way?” He asked as he began to drink from his mug.

“Sarken’s journal has been found…” Rose said as she watched Wulfgrin nearly choke on his drink. Setting the drink down he looked at her.

“Wha…”

“Not all of it, just a few pages so far, but it has begun to surface.” She said.

Pausing a moment letting the shock fade. “This…this is good news then! You’ve been hunting that thing for years.”

“Only I don’t have the pages. SI:7 have them and Wulf, how they got them now has Us in the crosshairs.” She said.

Wulfgrin sat quietly as he listened to Rose go over everything the SI:7 agent told her. The murders, what pages they did have and Marico having gone missing all were things to be concerned about, however, Wulfgrin cared only for one thing and so far she had not mentioned it. The pages had nothing about him, otherwise he would have been dead the moment he came into the bar.

A light touch on his shoulder startled him slightly as he turned to see Rose staring at him.

“I know it is a lot to take in, but there is something else.” She said taking a small knife from her belt. Flashing the blade in front of him made Wulfgrin uneasy. That feeling faded as he watched her draw the knife across her own arm cutting it deeply. As the blood flowed he noticed she had no reaction to the pain. To his horror, she cut her arm three more times and with each cut again made no change in expression. Coming to his senses, Wulfgrin quickly grabbed a towel from the counter and covered the wounds.

“What the blazes are ya doing lass? Ya can’t be doin’ things like that in public.” He said looking around hoping no attention drew to them.

Cradling her arm, she moved it under the counter hiding it from view.

“Wulf, it’s getting worse. Celesa’s curse, barrier or whatever you call it, it’s breaking. I can no longer satisfy the requirement of pain. Even now, my head feels like it is cracking and right now, drinking myself into a stupor is the only thing that eases it.”

“I don’t understand, the cuts always worked before. The seal can’t be broken.” Wulfgrin said with surprise in his voice.

“I don’t think she planned on me living with it for over fifteen years Wulf. I have been in wars, battled Horde and demon alike. Fought monstrous creatures and in quieter times, the knife was enough. This world is always full of conflict, more than enough to satisfy the curse and enough pain for me to balance it.” She said drinking from her own mug.

Setting the drink down she continued. “With the end of each conflict there is a lull or peace for a time and every time there is a break from conflict, the pain grows and grows. Now, the war is over. There are never calls for defense anymore as many villages and towns have better trained guards or militia defending them. I’ve turned to hunting dangerous creatures knowing the damage they can do. I noticed about a month or so ago that just like the knife, they to, offer nothing to balance the pain.”

“What can we do? Celesa and her priest were the only ones who knew anything about the curse and they are gone. It was hopped that Sarken’s journal held something that could offer some insight and that is beyond our reach.” Wulfgrin said.

“I, can’t do anything as I am under lockdown and cannot leave the city and if the seal breaks here…” She said shaking her head taking another drink. Setting the drink down she reached into her robes and pulled out a small vial.

Holding it up, she showed it to Wulfgrin. “This…this here is the endgame. If I feel the pain is to strong and fear the seal will shatter, I’ll drink this.”

Eyeing the vial, Wulfgrin stared at the dark contents. “And what is that?” he asked.

“They call it Zanzil poison. The effects aren’t instant. It is said if you are poisoned by it that it will kill you in seven days. No pain, you just suddenly stop and whatever problems you had are taken care of. If I feel like I’m going to lose control, I’ll drink it and after seven days whatever my other half does will be stopped.” She said looking at the vial. Wulfgrin couldn’t help but notice her stare seemed like she wanted to drink it right then.

Breaking the silence she looked back over to Wulfgrin. “Hopefully it won’t come to that. In the mean time I have tasks for you. I sent Sephrine to SI:7 headquarters and see if she can somehow get those pages. I must know what else is on them. I want you to go and seek out the one survivor of the attacks. The Forsaken called Malerus; he might have some details on whom or what he and the others were attacked by. I’ve also recalled Denava and Faruzia since all three of us are being watched. We may as well make it easier on them to watch us.”

“And what will you be doing through all of this?” Wulfgrin asked.

“Oh, I’ll be here. Not much else to do in this city and as I said before, the drinks do help.” She said half-heartedly.

“But Wulf…” She said standing up. “I need you to hurry on this. I made a promise and I Will die before I turn back into that monster again. You know this, but I will keep fighting as long as I can, just hurry. All of this business with the journal, my father missing and the murders all taking place when the seal is at its weakest, it can’t be just a case of bad timing.”

Wulfgrin stood taking a final drink from his mug. “Then I should be moving then. You stay strong in this lass; we’ve been through worse than this. I won’t let you down.” He said with a reassuring hand on her shoulder. With a slight nod he headed for the door.

“Wulf…” Rose said causing him to turn again. “I trust you to do your best. You have been there for me longer than anyone I’ve ever known. For that, I thank you and cherish you as if you were my own family.” Rose said with a slight smile.

Wulfgrin returned the smile. “And I you as if you were my own daughter.” He said leaving.

Letting out a loud whistle once outside, he mounted as Meatbag ran up beside him. “We have work to do my old friend. Secrets to be found and secrets to be kept, for the sake of all.” He said looking towards the bar once again where Rose stayed. With a spur to his mount, they moved on.

Sitting alone in the bar, Rose ordered another round. Feeling generous, she also ordered drinks for all those in the room. As the drinks went out, one server went upstairs to serve any patrons that stayed there the free round.

Sitting alone at a table directly above where Rose sat, a man waved the server over while lighting a pipe he had sitting on the table. The server cleaned the table noting the ash that had gathered from the man’s pipe indicating he had been there a while. Setting the drink down the server asked if the man needed anything else.

“Oh no, I am quite fine as I am. Two things make me happy and now I have both. Drinks and stories. Tell me, do you like stories? I think I’ve just heard a good one…”

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She came from the shadows this one did. She made no sounds at all while we had our encounter giving a chill in the night air as she stalked around me. The silence was enough to even quiet the voices that normally run through my head.

Days before I sat waiting by the mailbox still hoping for someone to take me in as their chef and as always no one ever came. Still I waited for that happy Goblin courier to come by with news and possibly a snack, but even they were running low on…volunteers. Thankfully I sniffed one out and that day I did get two things rather than one. Mail had actually been sent to me in the form of a black rose. As I ate the rose I read the note that was attached to it which only had the word “Remember” on it. While I cooked the Goblin with some potatoes and carrots I had found nearby, I pondered the meaning. Thinking nothing of it I ate that as a garnish with the Goblin.

A few days later I awoke randomly to seemingly nothing. Originally I had happily thought a cat had wandered in for my late night snack. Sadly though this was not the case as most cats seemed to have wandered off. While my search for said snack ended in failure, I spied an object on my dining room table that had previously been bare. Another black rose lay alone causing me to pause and ponder. Picking it up I sniffed it and after snacking on it I determined it was the same before, if not a tad crunchier.

It should be noted I smell Everything. I have burned into my mind over one thousand spices which melted into my brain when I died and they stayed with me when I became Forsaken. Nothing escapes my rotten nose as everything smells edible to me. I did not smell anyone in my room, I never heard anyone come to me, yet she was there. We sat in the dark for moments just taking in the darkness. I could smell nothing from this, thing. Igniting my hand to give light to the room I saw her for only a brief moment before the attack. Dressed in all black, she had a hood adorned with a rusted golden mask covering her face. No weapons that I could see, but her hands had already conjured spells I had never seen before. In one hand she had a small fire spell which was encased in Shadow and in the left a frozen spell that also was encased, but with Fel magic.

All this time, she made no noise, nothing to give off the impression that this, Thing, had ever been alive. Before I knew what had happened, I was on the floor burning. My arms had been separated, ripped by some unseen force and thrown away from me. As I burned she stood over me looking down and through her mask I heard her whisper “Remember…”.

Then she just vanished.

“And that’s it?” Wulfgrin asked as he held the rope that kept the Forsaken bound.

“She just whispered to you and then left, nothing else?”

Moving uncomfortably in his tied state, Malerus sniffed the air. “I don’t remember much after that. When I awoke there were Humans standing over me looking for something. After everything that had happened I was rather hungry so I may have taken a nibble of their legs which startled them. I couldn’t get more as my arms were still somewhere else in the room and hadn’t found me yet.”

“So you did die? The report said you survived.”

“Well, I’m sitting here aren’t I? I did kind of die, but it is not so easy to kill me. It’s not the first time I’ve lost my arms. I tend to use them as emergency food from time to time and I died by fire and exploded before so what she did had no lasting effect on me.” Malerus said with a slight smile.

“In the other attacks the bodies were discovered with a page from a journal, did they find one with you?” Wulfgrin asked.

Malerus sat silent for a moment with a blank stare as though the question was taking time squirming around in his brain. Then his rotted face lite up. “I do believe so, over on the table there. I may have been using it as a napkin. Might have even snacked on it some, but that is the only paper I remember being new.”

Wulfgrin cautiously moved over to the table and under a pile of scraps the journal page was there. Outside of the bite marks and stains it was mostly intact.

Entry 32: An odd development has occurred. With the experiment mostly failing on the older more refined children I turned to those who only recently have begun to grasp their abilities. The Demon hunters I employ for the project offered their own daughter Faruzia. Her training with the demonic arts are light, there was worry the experiment would have no effect on her so rather than the normal procedure we instead introduced waves of Arcane energy into her blood. Unfortunately the effects were similar to those of the other subjects. No real change in her power, but physical changes did occur turning her hair white and when pain is introduced her tears turn acidic. The other child, Marico’s daughter Rose, who is only just now training in Fire, was also sent for the experiment. For whatever reason she seemed rather upset about something while waiting. Giving cold stares towards her father once and a while. I paid no attention to it, not until after her procedure. After the demon essence was removed, I noted no change in anything. Not in power, not physically, nothing. The one thing I noticed was her very, I suppose the right word is ‘aura’, felt very off. Her eyes seemed calmer, but cold in a very unsettling way. Much like a soldier who has been in combat so long they no longer feel anything. Our Dwarven benefactor was present during this and he seemed very interested in the outcome of Rose. When I approached him to question his reasoning I was stopped by his massive white wolf guardian. He saw something in this child I could not and letting her leave left me unsettled. I only have one subject left to test and I will be glad once this is over with. Subject 13 will be the last.

Wulfgrin set the page down on the table again and stared at it for a moment. Taking a candle from nearby he ignited a match to light it. Taking the page, he held it over the candle to let it catch. Watching the flames grow over the page he tossed it onto the table again which also started to burn.

Seeing this, Malerus shifted in his bindings. “You got what you wanted right? Seeing as how my home is about to be dust, might I trouble you to release me? I promise not to try and eat your dog again.” He said looking over at the wolf.

“Well, maybe a nibble…” he paused. “…a sniff at least?”

Wulfgrin and Meatbag moved towards the door leaving Malerus still bound.

“Just like that page, you don’t exist. At least the smoke you smell will be pleasant.” He said leaving the room.

Malerus burst out laughing as he left. “Really?? Did you not hear me earlier? Fire won’t kill me; it’s just a minor anno…” He began to say until he saw the two explosives Wulfgrin had also left on the table.

“Oh…that might do it…”

Wulfgrin watched outside as the house erupted from the explosion.

“Now, for the other pages…”

Pistols? Loaded…

Swords? Sharpened and ready…

Vanishing powder? Pockets full of them…

Grappling Hook? Yeah, got that too…

Confidence level of mission? Am I Nuts???

I was all excited to Finally get a real mission from the boss. Always with super boring missions like, Seph, go look at this, Seph, follow this guy or Seph open this random locked thing because my big friggin hammer can’t open it…

When I was told the boss wanted me for something really important I was all for it. All they wanted me to do was steal some pages from some SI:7 guy which sounded kind of boring in itself. What they Didn’t tell me was his office was IN the flippin SI:7 Headquarters!

What should have been the first red flag to me was the fact that this super spy headquarters front door, in fact Had no front door. The second that I saw no guards. I did see more pencil pushers than fighters after I got in.

I quietly made my way through the floors looking for this agent’s office and eventually I did find it. Heading in I saw no one around and made my way towards the desk which had papers neatly spread all over. I remained in the shadows to not give myself away. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. The only thing I was told was to look for five or more journal pages. Anything with the name ‘Sarken’ in it. Looking through the pile I did spy several pages with that name in the entries. I took those as well as other pages of stuff that might be important. I turned to leave and that’s when I noticed it.

The door out was shut.

I never heard a sound and I made sure any noise I made was next to nothing, but I never heard it shut at all. Then a light flashed in the corner on the other side of the room and then I saw him. The agent was there in the corner and had lit a candle. I was still in the shadows myself so I’m pretty sure he couldn’t see me. Then he spoke.

“Hope you found what you’re looking for. I suppose I should have cleaned up if I had known I was going to have a guest.”

I kept my eyes on him, never flinching, but slowly backed my way near the door. He never moved, only stared in my direction. I looked around for any kind of exit, but naturally this is the one place that has no windows so my grappling hook was pointless. The door was shut so that option was out.

While I tried to think of what to do, he moved from the corner towards his desk.

“I do enjoy a good story, with this job you get to read so many and rarely get to share with anyone. This journal entry for instance, fascinating stuff. I’m done with it now if you wish to take that page as well.” He said setting the page on the desk then headed back to his corner.

A page I missed?? What do I do??

He looks unarmed, but could have daggers hidden anywhere, Everywhere. I have my pistols, but they aren’t cocked. The noise would alert him and I’d be dead. I have my swords, but I have no doubt he would be faster and as an agent he would be more skilled than me. At least I’d hope so, SI:7 aren’t known for hiring novices.

It could also be a lure. I take that page, and then he knows there is definitely someone here and where I am. For a time I think we are in a stalemate, but then he takes the candle he lit and snuffs it out. The room is now completely dark and I lost my one advantage over him. I can’t see him anymore.

“You’re pretty good to get in here unnoticed.” He said, somewhere. His voice sounded close and far at the same time. I had no idea how he was doing that.

“No sound in your movements, not even the pages you took made sound. So that leads me to believe you have Some skill.” He said. The way he talked made the hairs on my neck stand up. He seemed to be everywhere. He had to be doing it to get me to move, to do anything to make a mistake.

“Talent like yours is wasted on something so trivial. Do you even know what those pages contain?” He said as his voice seemed to draw closer making me tense up even more.

Just then the handle of the door moved and began to open causing a hailstorm of knives to fly from across the room.

“Sir, I have those reports you wante…MOTHER OF LIGHT!” the aid screamed as knives slammed all around him.

The agent sighed coming out of the shadows knowing his target had escaped. “Jim, how many times have I told you to knock first?” He asked.

“At least once a week, s-sir.” He replied, still shaking at the door.

“Think now you will get it right?”

“Y-yes sir, I-I’ll just leave these on your desk and leave.” He said leaving the reports on the desk and quickly exiting the room.

The agent sighed again and moved over to his desk looking over the pages. His eyes stopped at one page and looking at it made him smile slightly. On it was a crude drawing of a smiling face with a tongue sticking out.

“Such wasted potential.” He said with a sigh.


“And that is my report.” Sephrine said with a smile on her face.

Wulfgrin sat in Rose’s office with a smile. “A rather amusing tale. I’m glad you were able to get out in one piece. It sounds like this agent will be a handful.”

“Scary, sure, but nothing I couldn’t handle.” Sephrine said with some confidence.

Wulfgrin nodded “And the pages, do you have them?”

Reaching into her pack she pulled them out. “Right here, but I am to give them to the boss.”

“Oh, she is rather busy in the tavern. I can handle the pages until she returns.” He said extending his hand to take the pages.

“She told me Only her. I can take them to her at the tavern myself.” She said placing them back into her bag.

Wulfgrin frowned at this and his voice was more direct this time. “Outside of this room there is only one other of rank here and that is me. While we are pretty lax in discipline, we do still have a pecking order here and you aren’t on it. While she is gone, I am the boss, get me? Hand them to me, Now.”

Sephrine stared at him for a moment and could see the deadly intent in his eyes. She reached back into her bag. “You’re right; I don’t know why I made this more difficult than it needed to be. This is all I got.”

Taking the pages, Wulfgrin looked over them. Sephrine watched as he placed them into a drawer. She spied a small black vial roll to the edge as he slammed it shut causing her eyes to meet his stare as she looked up. “That will be all, you can go.” He said.

With a slight bow, Sephrine headed for the door.

“Oh, Sephrine, one more thing.” Wulfgrin said causing her to stop.

“You didn’t Read any of these pages did you?” He asked.

“Of course not. I assumed it was above my pay and all.” She said hoping it was convincing enough.

Wulfgrins eyes narrowed slightly, studying her. Then he leaned back into the chair and smiled.

“Aye, that’s a smart lass. You can go now.” He said waving her away.

Sephrine, not wishing to further provoke him, left the office. Once safely away, she checked her bag for the pages left. She had only given a few pages hoping they would be enough if mixed in with the other pages she grabbed from the agents office. Securing the remaining pages, she made her way to the tavern where Rose was.

Once he had rested a moment, Wulfgrin again withdrew the papers Sephrine given him. Glancing over them, he slowly tossed each page into the fireplace and watched them burn. The fire flickering in his eyes gave him some comfort.

((Sorry this is taking so long. I had hoped to get this done before SL, but my luck and speed are not with me heh. Busy weekends, hospital visits (should be done with them for at least 6 months) and just all around tired when I get home. I brainstorm all night at work, then pass out in the chair when I get home heh. Also working on a side project isn’t helping.))

“Another round on ME!” Rose shouted raising her mug high to the sounds of cheers in the tavern.

“To all…for those…because…”Rose paused, lost as to what to say.

“…Toooo…Whatever you want! I’ve run out of reasons so just be happy!” She finally said to another round of cheers.

Turning back to face the bar again she sat down. Taking a sip from her mug she quickly drained its contents and set it down again. The bartender, seeing it empty filled it once again. She stared at the full mug lost in thought. The sounds of the tavern seemed to fade away and the drink dulled her senses making her feel somewhat relaxed.

In her state, she had failed to notice the man who had sat next to her until he had nudged his own mug against hers in a ‘cheers’ motion. Picking up her own mug up, she returned the motion and drank as he did.

“I apologize for randomly coming up to you like this, but I felt it was time to meet you.” The man said.

Rose looked him over. He was an older man, fair looking, but had a traveled look about him. His hair was red though time was catching up to him as grey was overtaking what remained. His expression seemed cheerful and friendly and Rose couldn’t help but feel a welcoming aura around him.

“I’m sorry, have we met before somewhere?” Rose finally asked.

“No no, I’ve been coming here for about a month or so and I tend to stay in the upper levels to myself. I don’t know why, but I find this is the best place to read. Lately, to my luck, I have not needed to pay much for my drinks thanks to you. After all of this time I figured it was time to meet the one gifting all of these drinks.”

“You are most welcome and I’m sure if you stick around there may be more free drinks in the future.” She said slightly smiling. As if on cue, a sharp pain shot across her head causing her to grab her head and grunt in pain which startled the man.

“You really should drink more water with your ale. I’ve also heard bananas can be helpful as well.” He said smiling.

Through the pain, Rose glanced over to the man. “What are you my father now?” she said sarcastically.

Caught off guard, the man shook his head and extended his hand. “Nah, but fatherly advice is always good advice right? I am Magnus Everburn.”

Rose smirked at that. “Magnus Everburn…you’re joking right.”

Smiling at that he laughed. “Too much? I thought it was a cool name. Makes me feel like some legend from old tales or something, but my real name is Lyulf. Pleasure to meet a fellow Mage of Flame.”

Taking his hand in return she seemed confused. “Rose Grenwall. You make it sound so elegant, how do you know what my craft is?” Rose asked.

“Many of us tend to wear our colors without even knowing it. Almost like we were born with the color red as our favorite. Have you never seen others do the same? Frost Mages tend to wear blue and Arcane sometimes wear purple. It gets to be like a uniform or something.” He laughed.

Rose smiled inwardly as she realized that her own wardrobe did in fact contain many reddish outfits. Looking over towards Lyulf she had noted that he was indeed in a full red outfit, though faded and unwashed over time.

Another shock of pain struck her head again causing her to wince in response. Noticing it, Lyulf had a look of genuine concern.

“I wasn’t joking about the water or banana. They can help and you could always just burn it out by raising your inner temperature.”

Rose shook her head. “Unfortunately it is not that kind of headache and I’m sorry, raise my temperature?”

“Well, yes. Our power over flame comes from our core, our very body. You can do more than just sling fire. Have you not been taught this?” He asked.

“I, have very little training. Much of what I know I’ve learned through combat and some teachings from my father. The rest…” Rose looked away on that thought. “I had been taught that my emotions, primarily anger and rage are the fuels for my fire. People get hurt when I lose control so I turned it towards fighting.”

Lyulf stared at Rose for a moment. “Anger and rage. You do know those aren’t the only emotions in the world right? They are but two things that the flame can manifest from.”

“They are all I know and all I have ever experienced.” Rose replied.

“My dear, there is so much more than just those two. The fire within can draw power from every emotion. Fire itself is a wonder to behold just by its own beauty. Did you know that there are around eight different colors of fire? The flame you produce for combat is but one color, used as a tool. Fire is so much more than just that.”

“Fire is pain, destruction and has a constant need to feed and consume all it touches. THAT, is all I was ever taught. It is all I have ever known or have ever seen in my life.” Rose replied.

Frowning at this Lyulf took another sip from his drink. “That is a sad way to look at things. I don’t know what has happened in your life to have you think in such a way, but your path cannot have begun that way and it need not end as it is now. Your parents must have had big plans for your future as it can’t be a coincidence they named you with that name.”

Intrigued somewhat, Rose raised her eyebrows lightly. “Oh? Why do you say that? Roses have thorns, cause pain like fire?”

Shaking his head chuckling. “My, you do have a lot of negativity in you don’t you? Your name “Rose” is a flower of beauty and one aspect about a rose that stands out, at least to me, is that like the flame, there are many if not more colors than just red. The flower and the flame, destined to be one and the same. Fire is wild and powerful and yes, if one is not careful it can be dangerous. Fire is not only a weapon, but there are many positive aspects as well. You do not need to just focus on the negative. Flame brings light to the darkness, warmth to the cold. It creates a place of gathering and comfort. When I stare into the flame I am at peace, at my most calm.”

Placing a hand on her shoulder, Lyulf earned a slight glare from Rose. “Look, I know we have just met, but it sounds like you are in need of help and I can help you. Perhaps even help you with that curse of yours…”

Jumping from her chair Rose stood back igniting her hands with flame. “I knew something was off! Who are you, how do you know about me?!”

Still sitting calmly in his chair, Lyulf took another sip from his drink. “I told you, I am Lyulf and I do want to help you. I suppose I should have been up front with you to avoid this. About a month ago I was sitting right above you and your Dwarven friend. I overheard your chat, which by the way, you should be more careful as this place has great acoustics on the second level. I do love a good story, but this was a rare chance that I could help. I just didn’t know how bad you had it in training. I mean you no harm, I want to train you.”

Relaxing her hands, Rose picked up her chair and sat down again. “I suppose you heard everything, but not the details. What could you possibly do to help me?”

“I don’t need to know the details of your past or why you have what you have in your head. You had mentioned emotions pretty much vanishing when your curse breaks leaving only anger and jealousy while the rest is pushed away or something. What if we strengthened the other emotions to the point of complete calm? As I had said before, fire is wild and powerful, but it can be controlled and even more powerful in a relaxed state.”

“How can it be more powerful in a relaxed state? The angrier I get, the stronger my flame gets.” Rose said.

“The elves taught me to love nature, the Tauren taught me to respect the world and the Monks in Pandaria taught me inner peace. I have traveled the world, learning it all away from conflict. The colors of fire are the strengths of its power. In time you could learn to control flame hot enough to cut metal or say remove toxins in the body. Since we have been here, how many drinks would you say I’ve had?” Lyulf asked.

Rose had not payed any attention until he had pointed it out. In front on him sat multiple empty mugs as well as shots, but he was as sober as a man only drinking water.

“How?” Was all she could say.

“I told you already. I raised my inner core, burned away the alcohol. Pretty handy to make the night last longer.”

Rose smiled a little. “Kind of takes the fun out of drinking I’d say.”

“True, I do have my days to fully unwind, but today I needed to be focused. I can teach you, strengthen your emotions and inner self so if the day comes and the curse breaks, you emotions will not just fade away. You will overpower the draw to anger and jealousy.”

“Not really sure how we are supposed to do that as I am stuck here.” Rose said pondering.

“That won’t be a problem. As I said before, I learned all of this without the need of…” He began saying as a guardsman came rushing into the tavern. Out of breath, the soldier managed one word.

“ZOMBIES!”

This brought a smile to Roses face. “Well, that works. I can show you what I can do and you show me what you can do.” She said running out of the door.

Sighing, Lyulf went to take another sip of his drink only to stare at it. “…conflict. Without the need of conflict.” He said putting the drink down. Making his way through the tavern, he stopped at the entrance to watch Rose torching several zombies with such joy in her face.

“What have you been teaching her Marico? This is not what I asked of you when I left my daughter with you…”